2009 gifford lectures

The 2009 Gifford Lectures, “A Fine-Tuned Universe: Science, Theology and the Quest for Meaning”, presented by Alister McGrath, are all up online in PDF format.

Lecture 1: Yearning to make sense of things – 2009 Gifford Lecture 1.pdf

Lecture 2: Why we still need natural theology – 2009 Gifford Lecture 2.pdf

Lecture 3: The mystery of the constants of nature – 2009 Gifford Lecture 3.pdf

Lecture 4: The enigmas of evolutionary biology – 2009 Gifford Lecture 4.pdf

Lecture 5: Natural theology and the quest for meaning – 2009 Gifford Lecture 5.pdf

Lecture 6: Conclusion: clues to the meaning of the universe? – 2009 Gifford Lecture 6.pdf

Also in book form: A Fine-Tuned Universe: The Quest for God in Science and Theology

god and reality

The problem with questions like is God “real?” or does God “exist“? is that the most basic understanding of God (let’s assume monotheistic belief for the moment) is that the sum total of existing reality (the Bible says ‘all things’) was created (caused, desired, effected, brought about) by Him.

If this stretches the mind (not to mention language) – then one is actually beginning to grapple with monotheism.

((Related recent post at ‘Just Thomism’: Proof’s for God’s existence))

on science/faith blogging…

miscellaneous thoughts…

  • if the time we spend is to be at all worthwhile, we need to accept that words matter enough to use them and work at our use of them (some key words in science/faith include: ‘knowledge’, ‘evidence’, ‘explanation’, ‘natural’, ‘reality’, etc).
  • it occurs to me that aiming for mutual understanding is infinitely more helpful than aiming to ‘win’.
  • it seems a good idea to avoid the trap of straw-man argumentation, or presenting someone else’s perspective in its worst form – which is often (mostly?) done with little quips or with sarcasm (often the more sustained an argument is, the less ‘straw-man-ish’ it is).
  • don’t post a comment while you’re angry/frustrated (and this obviously does not mean that comments should be –or even could be– totally void of emotion).
  • that is all for now (and I don’t claim to do all these all the time)…

ben on bart

“Holy rusted metal, BArT ehrMAN!”  (yes, I just typed that; many cheese-ness awards shall I win…) ;)

Respected (and prolific! given the rate he publishes blogs and books!) New Testament Scholar Ben Witherington III is doing an astoundingly in-depth review of Bart Ehrman’s ‘Jesus Interrupted’ (parts 1234 and 5) and see Ehrman being humorously interrupted – as many have been! – on the Colbert Report here).  I’ve only skimmed a couple of them (they’re quite long!), but I’ve seen enough to see that he’s done a patient and – very, very, VERY – thorough job.

buses, religion and life

Prof. John Stackhouse’s post (here) on the recent “bus campaigns” is quite good and balanced I think.

Apparently, the board of a Vancouver bus company has the following regulation on bus ads:

“No advertisement will be accepted which promotes or opposes a specific theology or religious ethic, point of view, policy or action.” Continue reading “buses, religion and life”

the future of atheism

I’ve checked out a book from the Carey Baptist library that’s proving to be very interesting:

The Future of Atheism: Alister McGrath & Daniel Dennett in Dialogue

It’s essentially a written copy of a 2007 conference including the McGrath/Dennett debate and the other papers presented – plus a few additional chapters and an introduction by the author/editor, Robert B. Stewart.

What I particularly like about it (conference and book), is that it gives space for both sides to lay out their perspective.  Contributors include: Paul Copan, William Lane Craig, J.P. Morland, Keith M. Parsons, Ted Peters, Hugh J. McCann and others…

I look forward to reading as much of it as I can (probably late night reads while waiting for Thomas to feed, etc.!).

tansaa events in 2009

TANSAA (Theology and Natural Sciences Aotearoa Auckland – a group emerging from LaidlawCarey Graduate School) is finalising their programme for 2009, and it’s looking great.

I’m particularly chuffed about the Conference planned for August 1, hosted by my church, Northcote Baptist.  Details: Continue reading “tansaa events in 2009”

bob white in new zealand

Cambridge Geophysicist, Professor Robert (Bob) White is coming to New Zealand to take part in 3 events.

The first and second are the same talk both in Wellington and Auckland – a Christian Response to Global Warming (I’m planning on attending the Auckland talk).  For the third event (which I am sad to miss, due to a wedding up north), Robert will take part (with others) in a Symposium entitled: Science and religion in the 21st century: faith in science, science in faith.

Saturday, 14 March 2009, 8.30am-6pm
Theatre 401-439, ‘Neon Foyer’, Engineering School, Symonds Street, The University of Auckland
Please register for the symposium by Wednesday 11 March, with p.medhora@auckland.ac.nz
Cost $20, non-waged people $10 (refreshments and lunch provided)
Parking under Owen G Glenn building, $5 flat rate

I’ve provided the PDF flyer for download by clicking here. Continue reading “bob white in new zealand”