james david low

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I think you’re wrong about this one

I do really like the way Rob Bell looks at the scriptures, his ability to communicate and say the things I’ve always thought but not been able to put into words, his perspective on emotion and the existential realities of being human, and a lot of his overall world view.


I recently heard him talk about Masaru Emoto and his water crystals in a Mars Hill sermon and in an interview with Jimmy Eat World’s Zach Lind I do have to say…

I do think that you’re wrong about this one.

To be honest I was really surprised when he talked about it positively. From his DVD Everything Is Spiritual seemed to show that he did have a reasonable grasp of science, so to give credibility and not be dubious of Masura Emoto seemed very out of character and more naive than I expected. There are a myriad of possible explanation including selection of results, or what part of the water they observed. If the results of these ‘experiments’ are to be believed then it would change physics and science as we know it completely, and I believe that the relative obscurity of the results and findings means that it probably hasn’t.

There are many different world views that attempt to reconcile observed scientific laws and religious beliefs. Some would hinge on Calvinist ideas like predestination and scientific points of view like determinism, where God is the first cause in leading to world in which manifests the choices that we make while preserving the laws of physics. Stephen Hawking himself says man is determined. Others would take on a more indeterminate view of the world where the universe is not a closed system and it is possible for outside influences to change things.

I would tend to lean towards the universe being determined on a macro and microscopic level, but as quantum physics seems to be showing us, at a quantum level it is random and indeterminate. This would lead to the possibilities of humans able to have free will and influence the universe while maintaining the laws of physics. Some have even suggested that quantum events may occur in the human brain.

A further random thought is that even if our brains are determined in and of themselves, the result decisions and possible paths for our lives are not, as one of the inputs to them has been the observation of quantum phenomena, indirectly through the resulting ripples through the universe from the quantum level to the macro level, and now directly through the knowledge and direct observation of scientists of phenomena.

In either case I do believe that God would be able to allow free will and even step in and intervene in the natural course of the universe while leaving scientific observation of such phenomena unseen, he can of course do anything. Likewise he can work and exercise his will (even if that will was determined from the beginning of the universe and is not individual interventions at a specific point in time), while at the same time allowing humans to have free will. For example people doing evil things crucified Jesus, and if God is loving, he never wills evil, and my personal belief is that he didn’t zap people with negative thoughts to get them to do it. But at the same time God was able to use those events as the method for saving people and providing a way for people to know God’s love and know him, which is a good thing.

Anyway, random ramblings, I don’t know where I was going with it…

10:18pm / Apr 29th / 09
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    […] disagreeing with Rob Bell over comments he made in one talk I’m glad to say his latest sermon from Mars Hill was really […]

    3:24am / Aug 22nd / 09 james d. low / worship / Back on form