Friday, October 16, 2020

Five Things on Friday

Here's a look at five things that are my mind this week...

1) Last Sunday I delivered a sermon from my September-October sermon series ("The Fruit of Our Faith") titled "Faithfulness." If you wonder what it means to be faithful as a Christian believer, perhaps this ~20 minute message will help:

2) For much of this year, I have been teaching a class on the Holy Spirit. Last Sunday, I presented the 25th lesson in this series, titled "The Filling of Your Life by the Holy Spirit."

3) Like many Americans, I watched (as much as I could) the Senate confirmation hearings of Judge Amy Coney Barrett. There really has not been a nominee like her in my lifetime - in the sense that she is so refreshingly and startlingly pro-life and an originalist in her interpretation of the US Constitution. I am excited at her nomination and it has stirred a lot of discussion in the Dowling household. I realize not all readers of this blog may be equally as excited, but permit me here an acknowledgment of something that was, after all, very much on my mind this week. Here is Judge Barrett's opening statement:

4) This week, for perhaps the sixth (or is it seventh time?) this year, I garbed up in PPE (personal protective equipment) and entered a hospital room where a person with COVID was experiencing acute illness. Why was I there? I was there as a hospital chaplain and had come to administer spiritual care to a person with a very serious illness. It goes without saying that it's a strange thing to "suit up" and go into a room where a person with COVID is ill. Of course, I realize there are hundreds and thousands of nurses around our country who do this dozens of times a day, and I am so appreciative that they do. But this week, once again, I did it. And for some reason, I wanted to mark the occasion here if, for no other reason, to say that I wanted to do it, I pray it helped, and I am glad that when the time of testing came to my life (in 2020) I was willing to be present to people "in a time of plague." I remember reading of Christians in church history who were present in times of plague and I always wondered if I would be able to be present to the sick if I was there. Now I know.

5) Last Monday evening, I watched an excellent new documentary titled Dismantled Evolution: A Scientific Deconstruction of the Theory of Evolution. It's a very helpful and polished look at why the theory of evolution struggles scientifically - and why one would be better off taking another look at biblical creationism. Here's a description of the film:

Education systems and the media have repeatedly told us that humans and all living creatures evolved from a single-celled organism through random copying errors in the DNA (called mutations) and the reproductive filter of natural selection. This allegedly occurred over billions of years through unguided natural processes. Furthermore, we are told that the fossil record leaves no doubt that mankind evolved from ape-like creatures. Famous atheists like Richard Dawkins and Bill Nye tell us that we need to face the facts—we're nothing more than an organized assemblage of biomolecules: there is no ultimate basis for morality, no ultimate meaning to life, no free will, and no life after death; humans have no soul and we will never stand before God to give an account for our lives. As Dawkins says, "DNA neither knows nor cares. DNA just is. And we dance to its music." But what if the story we've been told about our alleged evolutionary ancestry is wrong, and the latest findings from modern genetics effectively falsify it? Would you believe it?  

BONUS: This week I have been reading Stanley Tam's Incredible Adventures with God. It has been very inspiring!