Tuesday, April 06, 2010

The word of God

If you are a person who believes in a creator God, then there's a lot of room for argument and discussion and evaluation concerning the various holy books which purport to be the word of God. The more you learn about the history and provenance of these books, of the parts left out and who chose them, the vagaries of translations, the editing, the more the idea that the book is absolutely divinely inspired becomes harder to credit. Throw in the many ways that the various books, and their claims to eminence, contradict each other, and even themselves, and it becomes very hard to ascribe to any book or group of books an absolute divine provenance. People can argue for centuries about the finer points of literal versus interpretative reading, so that not only can't you be certain which book to use or how human-written versus divine-written it is, you can't even be sure what it's saying.

But there's something you can be absolutely certain of. There's one thing whose provenance has to be entirely divine, wholly untouched by the influence of human writers or editors, wholly free from uncertainty about literal versus figurative interpretation, entirely reliable and trustworthy. The one thing you can be sure was created by your God. That thing is the universe itself. And the word for the study of God's creation is science. "The profoundest act of worship is to try to understand."

Brought to you by Catherine Faber's poem "The Word Of God", and Kathy Mar's song based on it, about which I have previously blogged.

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