Science, Religion and Religious Minimalism

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Science, Religion and Religious Minimalism

Steve Knapp and I just posted our first Huffington Post blog on the new book, The Predicament of Belief. Check it out by clicking here.

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December 23, 2011at 7:43 pm

A number of years ago I sat down at the computer and said to myself on a whim, “I’m going to find some scientific evidence for the activity of the Holy Spirit”. So I googled in the words Holy Spirit and brain activity and up came some recently completed research on glossalia. The researcher Andrew Newberg, non Christian also known for brain research with Buddhist meditators and contemplative catholic nuns, discovered that during speaking tongues the normal language centers in the brain switched off as the research subjects shifted from singing to tongues. He couldn’t determine where in the brain the vocalizations were originating. This reminds me of Paul’s statements that he would pray with his mind and also pray in the Spirit. Praying in the Spirit in that context meant praying in tongues(I Corinthians 14). I am also reminded of the verse in Acts 2 where it says they spoke in tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

I believe we have been given authority over the created order of matter and energy and so can bring them into the lab to research. (the earth he has given to man, Psalm 115:16). We don’t have that authority to bring directly the Spirit into the lab. However I believe we can see the wake of the passing of the great whale Yahweh in creation, though the whale himself isn’t to be caught and pinned down and studied at leisure by scientists. Though God does allow himself to be caught and known by those who believe in Christ. I was a hindu meditator who had been told by earnest baptists and pentecostals that unless I trusted in Jesus I wouldn’t have teh Father. I was at first offended, then when I finally received Christ, in that moment my eyes flew open in surprise at the sudden shock of the closeness of God.

A tale of tongues. My sister-in-law when she heard her husband first speak in tongues, thought it sounded African, she remembered a phrase to share with an South African co-worker. She explained to him what had happened to her husband. He knew of tongues as his mother was a Christian, though he himself wasn’t. The phrase was in his language, the Xhosa language, and it was the words “come to me”.

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