Matt W Cook

writer.former fundamentalist.christianly fellow

Month: November, 2008

Video

This was made a while ago, it was just waiting for a decent internet connection:

A Word from Ruth

Hey everyone!

This is Ruth. I, along with my family, am so thankful to all who ever prayed for my father, DevRaj. He no longer lives on this earth but is residing with the King of Kings! I can’t even imagine how happy he must be to be with His Jesus and to fellowship with the One he served all his life! I am looking forward to that glorious future myself.

I want to tell the world about my dear dad. He never met most of you, but the ones he did he remembered in his prayers daily. He was always thankful about how so many of you never stopped supporting him and his family in all the ways you have. Lots and lots of thanks to you all for praying, encouraging and everything. We miss him so much! It’s hard to believe that he is gone…kind of strange that we will not see his face until we see him there…partially sad but a glorious hope. Please keep praying for us all. Especially my mom who feels all alone at this moment…we Pakistani people spend almost all our years with the families and it is just so hard to be away from each other. But I am so thankful that I was here and my visa arrived late. God works all things for good.

I love my dad and am so proud to be his daughter. He gave me all the freedom regardless the cultural/tribal barriers and I’m proud to know that he always encouraged us to accomplish our goals. One BIG thing I noticed was that he was truly a man of God. Faithful, devoted to God, kind and gentle, our good friend. I spent hours talking to him and realized this one thing that mattered to him – trust God no matter what. Follow His lead. Don’t run after this world and its vanity but chase after God. Only He matters. He spent so much time with His God that he actually knew all about his death – how it would take place and even when he’d be buried! He was very perceptive. He loved his God above all. I learned so much from his faithful life and praise God to have been given an amazing godly man. I could go on and on about his character.

Even on his death bed, in the very last moments, he said this to me as I was crying: “God is always faithful and will never leave His people. Be content and happy in all things. We must praise Him in all circumstances.” The thought that gives me peace is that he is up there with his God and have no sickness and totally has a new body. He ran his course well. Praise God!

Up and Away

I’ve been reading a book by Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion. I have half a chapter left, and I’ll probably write a full review at some time. I’ve been itching to deal with one thing I’ve noticed in the book since about chapter three, especially since my father-in-law crossed the river. So I’ll deal with it a little bit right now.

Dawkins talks about the popular idea of NOMA (non-overlapping magisteria). That is, the idea that science cannot comment on things related to religion (and, presumably, that religion cannot comment on things of science). Dawkins denies NOMA, and I think I do, too. Dawkins finds no reason why our scientific knowledge cannot give us a clue to whether there is a God or not and (if he exists) what he is up to. Makes sense to me. But then he takes a fatal turn in his logic.

One of his main arguments is about regress. Where did a God complicated and powerful and personable enough to create such a vast and complex universe come from? Christians give the almost cop-out answer that God was always there and they generally leave it at that. That sort of answer does not satisfy Dawkins. Nor, I suppose, does it satisfy me. It’s a true answer, I think, but it’s missing something.

When we talk about God, especially in regards to his existence, we usually miss the most important concept. If any kind of God exists, he is necessarily transcendent. When we talk about God without keeping utter transcendence in mind we will always make mistakes. God is not a He or a She. He is transcendent. He is not a person as we know people, but he is more like a person than anything we know. We can only imperfectly compare him to things we have come in contact with.

Trying to talk about God is usually like a couple amoebae talking about the scientists that are growing them. The scientists are completely transcendent to the amoebae and there is no way the amoebae can even conceive of the scientists in any real ways (unless the scientists somehow gave them that ability, but that’s another blog).

So when we talk about the God Hypothesis we will be talking utter nonsense unless we acknowledge transcendence. Which is why Dawkins, arguing from a purely biological standpoint, cannot understand why regress cannot end with God. In his book he never argues metaphysically, but any discussion about God must needs be metaphysical. Not to say that science cannot tell us anything about God, but science, because of our own limitations, cannot ‘pin him down.’

This makes me think about my father-in-law. He is the amoeba who has now evolved into something higher. I am sitting here in my little petri dish, my tiny thoughts stabbing in the dark at something beyond me. He has been taken out of the dish and given a chair in the scientist’s house. I can hardly conceive God without falling into idolatry, but he can walk and talk with him now, metaphysically speaking.