Faith and science can be compatible
I don't often feel compelled to respond to an opinion I've read in a newspaper, but Wayne Clark's review of the Dawkins and Hitchens books warrants a response from a simple Christian. Mr. Clark speaks of the history of monotheistic religions and the pain those beliefs have inflicted upon many. I agree with that statement; in many ways organized religion gives God a bad name. But then we must remember that religion is a creation of humankind, not one of God. To blame God for religious errors is the same as blaming him for the errors in science, whether that be the A-bomb, poisonous gases or biologically engineered diseases that can kill millions.
He also hypothesizes that faith has no place in reasonable thought and debate. The Bible (not sure if its a book Mr. Clark has read) describes faith as "a well grounded assurance of that for which we hope, and a conviction of the reality of things we do not see." Mr. Clark further goes on to say that "you can believe in science or you can believe in religion, but you can't have it both ways."
Yet, do scientists not "hope" to find the next answer(s) to the questions they have posed? Are researchers not hoping that the cure for cancer is just within their grasp? Do physicists not hope that the next mathematical equation they describe will help them find answers to the origins of the universe? (Which, by the way, they have still been fully unable to answer.) Mr. Clark then goes on to state that "the fortunate skeptic has faith that his thinking will continue to evolve." So, I ask Mr. Clark, is there room for "faith" in that question?
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Mr. Clark poses three questions that I will endeavor to answer to my own understanding:
Who can believe that one God has three equal components? The issue of the Trinity has, is and will continue to be a difficult theological question to answer, but if one believes that God is in everything, including you, me and Jesus, and if you consider that the spirit of God is wisdom and that the gift of wisdom comes from both Jesus and God, then perhaps you can start to contemplate the complexities of the Trinity. I know I do not have the full answer, but I believe that in my search for wisdom, it is within my capacity to understand.
Who can believe that Jesus died for our sins but did not die? Through grace, Jesus died as a sacrifice for all human sin; including mine and yours. Death is the ultimate end for those who do not believe, but Jesus rose again and defeated death to show us that who we are is not wrapped up in our human selves, but rather our spiritual selves. To those that believe, he has given us the power to become sons and daughters of the living God. Jesus died to sin and rose to life everlasting. I, for one, choose to believe that there is more to this life than what I can see, touch, hear, feel or taste today.
Who can believe that faith is an option for those who lack that particular fanciful capacity? It appears Mr. Clark, himself, has answered his own question by stating that he does have the capacity for faith. The question now seems to be to what or to whom can he apply that newfound capacity?
I, for one, believe that there is a beautiful cohesion of faith and reason (or faith and science). I see it in the beauty of the universe created and continuing to create and grow. I see it in the beauty of nature. I see it in the capacity of humankind to help one another when the need is great. I see it in the miracle of life, renewed in the birth of each species, but especially in that of humankind. Mr. Clark tells us that "any atheist will attest that life is precious and worth living." But I will attest that my everlasting life is even more precious and worth living for. To that, Mr. Clark, I say "Amen."
Progress made by troops in Iraq
President Bush has a clear plan for victory in Iraq that begins with training Iraqi forces so they can defend their country and fight the terrorists. We are making tremendous progress toward this objective.
Withdrawing from Iraq, as Democrats in Washington propose, would send a dangerous signal to our enemies that we cut and run when the going gets tough. President Bush is offering a clear strategy to win, not a political quick fix.