Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Miracles, Science, Religion, and Dan Brown

This last week I've read The DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons by Dan Brown. Got me thinking about a couple things.
First, there just doesn't seem to be a lot of spiritualism now. Instead of contemplating the wonders of God's creation we (and by we, I mean me) seem to spend more time in front of the TV, playing video games, and coming up with new ways to stay busy with more earthly diversions. I thought I'd share a couple things. Miracles happen - when I was in grade school, I would get horrid migraine headaches. One hit on a Sunday morning on the way to church. I felt lousy but still took communion. As soon as I sat back down in my seat, my headache was gone. Granted, it's not walking water or raising the dead, but having one happen to you, even a small one is far more potent. In spite of this, I struggled with my faith for many years before deciding to go back to church. When I did the pastor gave a sermon that seemed written just for me. He talked about Jacob's Ladder and the dream Jacob had where he wrestled the angel. After that, Jacob was known as Israel, which literally means to struggle with God. Now, if the father of 3 major world religions can struggle with God, surely it's ok for me to struggle as well. What really got me thinking about this again was the carmenlengo (sorry about the spelling) from Angels and Demons quoting the rock on which the church is built. Peter was described in Angels and Demons as the most devoted of the Disciples. Yet he denied Jesus 3 times. Again, if Peter could be afraid and ashamed and still be a devoted Disciple, surely I can too. This message is the one I want to shout from the rooftops and be sure that every child grows up knowing. I hear so much from the moral majority types that you have to be so righteous and good all the time that it's hard to remember that God still loves me even when I falter. I'm sure others have the same problem, and some might not have heard and even if they had it might not stick.
So now to the science part - when Isaac Newton was alive the science of physics was called Natural Philosophy. The point was not to remove God from the equation but to gain a better understanding of God by better understanding the world around us. After studying physics at the college level for a couple years (no, I did not graduate, I was studying PHYSICS) I had not met a single person who was openly an atheist. I did meet several people who were Christians and considered science another way to learn about God's creation. I find it hard to believe that most of a renowned scientific institution would be atheist.
Also, I had to suspend belief a little bit about Robert Langdon. Only getting as far as my junior year in college as a physicist, not only did I hear about CERN I knew sangreal could mean holy blood, of the Illumanatti, a decent bit of Greek mythology, literature, history etc and I got out of as many of those classes as I could. I'm supposed to believe some one with a PhD and professor at a prestigeous ivy league school would know so little about science? But then again, being "well-rounded" always seemed to mean more about humanities and arts than it did science.
Overall though, I've enjoyed reading Dan Brown's books. The pace is very fast, hardly a dull moment. I'm going to borrow another one from the library tomorrow. I won't have seen a movie for the other 2 they have, so we'll see if I can make it through without reading the last chapter.
I think that's about it for today. I did take pictures of my garden, so hopefully I'll put some pics of that up. Had fresh green beans for supper tonight!


  1. this post really struck a nerve. at the age of 17 and fill of religious fervor i entered a convent. i left at 22 with my whole attitude toward religion turned on its head. I no longer go to any church at all. it seems churches are more concerned with hounding the people they consider sinners and making their lives miserable than loving them. nuts to that. i like Carlyle's statement: "it is a mistake to believe that God cares about our religion." i LOVED DaVinci Code. have neither read nor seen Angels & Demons, though I'd like to.

  2. I'm giving this a try; hope it works. The Carlyle statement is very similar to (but maybe the opposite of) what Lyle's dad said as he was dying: "God loves all the religions." Interesting, though, as this is surely not how Glen had felt about other religions. I think he was getting a peek at the other side already.