April 23, 2010

Flatland, Atheists, and "Something More" ...

One of the songs that I love to sing when our student ministry gathers together is called, "Consuming Fire".  The lyrics that catch eyes and stir curiosity are these:
There must be more than this
O breath of God, come breath within
There must be more than this
Spirit of God we wait for You
Fill us anew we pray ...
The song captures that notion that life viewed from the perspective that, "what we see exists and there is really nothing spiritual - nothing more than the physical", is lacking.  It captures the hopes that you and I actually have meaning to our lives and a destiny that is more than just the survival of the fittest.

And yet, for some of us this is a hard pill to swallow.  The idea that there is a God who has been involved in shaping history is tough to believe.  Some of us are "prove it and I'll believe it" people who have just enough skepticism that nothing could really ever prove it!

Now, to be fair, people who believe there is a God don't always make this easy, do they?   Take this idea of the Trinity, for example:  "God is One, but made up of Three unique and distinct personalities in such perfect relationship to each other that they are actually One".  Pardon?  "How does that make any sense?", the atheist would say.  Hmmmm ...

I've been reading a great book called, No Perfect People Allowed: Creating a Come as You Are Culture in the Church.  In it, John Burke, the author, explores exactly the questions and problems that I've mentioned above.  Both John and another author named Rob Bell have made use of a concept called "Flatland" to help us wrap our minds around the mystery that is "the More of God" (my term).

Check out the clip below and see how Bell explains this very helpful concept during his speaking tour called "Everything is Spiritual" ... I think, whether you fall into the category of 'Christian', Atheist, or something in-between, you will find it helpful.


1 comment:

Bert said...

That's great. I found this video by Carl Sagan a few months ago that references Flatland. I was blown away by how this agnostic explains a scientific concept in a way that comes across as almost blatantly theological. He was so close...