Vern Poythress’ new book, Redeeming Sociology, is free here.
I don’t often link sermons, but the Rev. Matthew Mason preached a good one last weekend. You can listen here. Unfortunately, the first few minutes are missing. In them, he discussed Tolkien’s Leaf By Niggle as an example of seeming futility in this life.
If you think work or housework is meaningless and drudgery, this might help you.
I started reading The Hidden Reality by Brian Greene. It covers quantum mechanics and our universe. He writes:
Maybe…the familiar notion that any given experiment has one and only one outcome is flawed. The mathematics underlying quantum mechanics -or at least, one perspective on the math- suggests that all possible outcome happen, each inhabiting its own separate universe. If a quantum calculation predicts that a particle might be here, or it might be there, then in one universe it is here, and in another it is there. And in each such universe, there’s a copy of you witnessing one or the other outcome, thinking – incorrectly – that your reality is the only reality. When you realize that quantum mechanics underlies all physical processes, from the fusing of atoms in the sun to the neural firings that constitutes the stuff of thought, the far-reaching implications of the proposal become apparent. It says that there’s no such thing as a road untraveled. Yet each such road – each reality – is hidden from all others.
Now I am way out of my depth talking about such things, but being mildly Van Tillian, I have to approach this all from the Christian point of view, and that suggests that there cannot be other actual instantiations of me, you and most of all, Jesus, in an infinity of multiverses. I suppose all of these other universes could exist as counterfactuals based on our choices, matter in motion, and so on, but I wonder if they aren’t just possibilities that exist in the infinite mind of God? I don’t mean to identify the universe with His mind, so I don’t know how that would hold up to scrutiny either. I guess I am interested in how quantum theory and classical Christian theism can co-exist peacefully? I note articles that I need to read here, here and here.
I try to like summer, but it is difficult to do it. It is only June 2nd and the grass is already burning up and dying. My allergies are going insane whenever I walk outside due to grass. My eyes burn and I have to pop a pill. The air conditioner runs most of the day and the only relief seems to be when a tornado-carrying storm sweeps through. My lawnmowers don’t work so I cut the entire yard with a weed eater that sends grass into every pore of my body.
I went to the pool and it was full of America at its worst. Loud music over the PA system because we have to have a soundtrack wherever we go. Women wearing absurd swimsuits that they have no business donning. Loud talkers trying to be noticed so that they can enter into a conversation with you. Young girls lip synching to the loud songs that they should not be listening to in the first place, but in our dark age, parents don’t care. Insanely hot concrete underfoot and the only relief is to (a) get in the pool full of screaming kids or (b) get under an umbrella, but they are all taken by the loud talkers.
The only good way to experience the summer in my opinion is at night or on the oceanfront. I do not have the means to do either of those things, so I suffer through it.