07 July 2013

evolving through day and night

I’ve been reading Michael Dowd’s somewhat cheesily-named Thank God for Evolution for a few weeks now.  (I tend to read more than one book at a time, thus my slow progress.)  It was first published in 2007.  I find him to be a kindred spirit.  Like me, he went from the Assemblies of God to Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary (now Palmer Seminary), although he was there in the 1980s.

His writing style is very much intended for a vast array of laypeople—regarding both religion and science.  He says early on, “This book is intended for the broadest of audiences.” (xxv)  Dowd tells us much about himself, and he delves into his discoveries about faith in an evolutionary context.  He even includes some terms and concepts that he invented!

I like his discussion of “day” and “night” language, which he says describes “two complementary sides of the one coin of our experience.  On one side is the realm of what’s so:  the facts, the objectively real, that which is publicly and measurably true.  Let’s call this side of reality our day experience.  We write or talk about it using day language—that is, normal everyday discourse.  The other side of our experiential coin I call night experience.  It is communicated through night language, by way of grand metaphors, poetry, and vibrant images.  Our attention is focused on What does it mean?” (113)

For Dowd (and for me), pitting these two against each other is nonsensical.  To do so displays, on the one hand, an ignorance of what science is all about, and on the other, a cartoonish trivializing of faith. 

I’m waiting for more discoveries as I continue through the book!

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