At the most basic level, what the gospel offers is a solution to the fundamental problem of human existence- vanity.
As many intellectual objections man may have to the Bible or as much disdain he may harbor for the shortcomings of Christianity throughout history, the basic promises in the gospel should be a beacon of hope to those unmoored in the sea of absurdity.
If you missed my last two posts, Does Science Incriminate the Bible? and Why Can’t Science and Faith be Friends?, I suggest you read them first before continuing on to this one. I have been following a loose but developing line of thought throughout them.
This third post picks up at the assumption that science/life is all there is, i.e. there is no supernatural, spiritual, or eternal elements to the world and human experience.
The most basic human condition is inescapable vanity.
A thousand times over, the death knell of the Bible has been sounded, the funeral procession formed, the inscription cut on the tombstone, and the committal read. But somehow the corpse never stays put.
Despite many eminent scientists, who know a whole lot more than the rest of us, who have not merely ceded to the idea of God being plausible or necessary but have fully embraced Him, the friendship between science and faith still seems to be tenuous.
Recently I have been following a few blogs discussing the historical reliability of the Bible, the historicity of Adam, and questions on the compatibility of science with the Bible.
Christians should not feel threatened by science. Science, in the sense of the way things are and the processes that govern them, is God’s work as much as the Bible is. Actually, both are God’s means of revelation- general and specific (Rom. 1:20, 2 Tim. 3:15).
However, some of what is touted as scientific fact is scientific speculation, assumption, or a leap to conclusions. One common instance of this is the claim that humans descended from chimpanzees because we share 98.6% of our DNA with them. While the latter may be fact, the former is speculation, not science. And this scenario can play out and repeat endlessly as science observes more of the visible universe.
But it is abundantly clear that science can not answer all the questions.
It has been a month since Steve Jobs’ death. The talking heads have had their lime light, the biography has been released, and the tributes have been turned down to a simmer.
Before this passes out of the realm of current events and sinks into the internet’s vast catalog of oblivion, I want to make one more observation on Steve Jobs’ life.
The absence of an on-off switch on Apple devices is more than a design feature. It’s a life philosophy. It has been said that Steve Jobs didn’t put on-off switches on his products because he didn’t like the thought that at the end of a successful, influential life a person is just gone- put eternally in the off position.
“Ever since I’ve had cancer, I’ve been thinking about (God) more. And I find myself believing a bit more. Maybe it’s because I want to believe in an afterlife. That when you die, it doesn’t just all disappear,” Isaacson quoted Jobs as saying.
“Then he paused for a second and he said ‘yeah, but sometimes I think it’s just like an on-off switch. Click and you’re gone,” Isaacson said of Jobs. “He paused again, and he said: And that’s why I don’t like putting on-off switches on Apple devices.”
Since his passing, Steve Jobs has been called a saint, a secular prophet, and a technological evangelist.
On paper, he was just a successful CEO who designed computers and phones. No doubt one that changed not only technology but also the world. He faithfully delivered “magical” products that rarely disappointed. He turned a utilitarian object into something like a friend. One study showed that many people’s attachment to their iPhone reaches romantic levels. They experience separation anxiety if they walk out of the house without it.
Naturally people projected their love of the iPhone onto the creator of the iPhone.
Recently I read an article in the NY Times called, “The Meaningfulness of Lives.” The author argues that the meaningfulness of your life consists in whether or not your life tells a compelling narrative. What makes a compelling narrative is subjective and objective value.