Featured Essays

Science and Religion – Reconciling the Conflicts by David M. Barker

by MSKeller

Review

You can Check it out here.

I was fairly interested in receiving this book, since my leanings are significantly more towards the science and logic parts of life than the faith based intellect.  I wish I had the spiritual gift of faith, but I really do not. My faith has come through struggle, study, putting unresolved questions on a shelf to be revisited later with new eyes and wisdom.

Being a fairly substantial book with 523 pages including an extensive index, glossary , bibliography and three Appendixes, it would take many words to share my thoughts and insights.  Therefore, I’ll simply take a FEW, with emphasis on the few, of them and share as a taste of why I think that anyone who has difficulty with one of any of the questions between science and sacred records, ought to read this book; and I do believe it will benefit anyone with some of those questions.

Science-Religion-Reconciling-David-BarkerA few bullet point topics that David covers:

  • Carbon Dating
  • Comets, Asteroids and Meteorites
  • Continental Drift
  • The Flood
  • Geology
  • Evolution
  • Astronomy

His sources are thoroughly vetted and he has done his homework.  His manner of writing really pressed me to ask my own questions instead of the sort that just tells you ‘such and such’ is truth and you simply have no option but to see things the way of the author.  He feels more like a mentor who is asking questions still, and finding more information that deserves the light of day.  I like that.  I detest being told what to think or how to go about forming an opinion.

This could well-summarize much of the main ideas behind all the facts Barker deliciously and forthrightly offers.  From John Widtsoe – Evidences and Reconciliations p 153 –

“The failure to differentiate between facts and inferences is the most grievous and the most common sin of scientists.”

 

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I am Woman

by Bonnie

In my twenties I decided that if I ever left my faith I would become a Presbyterian minister.

I’ve always gravitated toward leadership of whatever I’m doing and of all the possible realms of leadership what most appealed to me was to lead souls to Christ. I am LDS and my faith doesn’t ordain women. At one point the Presbyterian ministry was an issue of profound consideration, and by point I mean about a decade and a half. I don’t claim to have questioned God any more than the next person, but we have a long history of animated conversation, much of it punctuated with “I just don’t GET IT.”

So when a young non-LDS woman writes something like this, I have to say, it resonates with questions that have passed between me and God over the past 35 years. The fact that not much of that conversation has occurred out loud with mortals is merely a factor of my personality, not evidence of a greater spirituality or a lesser courage. It’s just my way. I’m not too bothered by other people’s ways. I have a tendency to assume they are coming from genuineness when they do things differently than I would.

Picket a priesthood meeting? Initiate a letter campaign to a prophet? Not my way. Why have others wanted to do that? I wonder if, even in our different choices of how to act, we share some of the same buried questions. If so, I definitely get that. If so, I could never respond with a “that’s-what-she-gets-for-being-uppity” reaction to her reaction. My heart is tender for people who feel dismissed.

Do I?

Not anymore.

Why?

Because at nearly 50 I’ve had some time on the other side of life experience that has shown my younger self a few of the whys. That isn’t meant to be condescending, or to imply that age will draw everyone inexorably to the same conclusion. It’s merely been my change of mind, and a profound one for me. I don’t know that we ever share the real essence of experience with all its attendant meaning (because if we could we might have more efficiently skipped this messy mortality and simply watched some heavenly version of a Nicholas Sparks movie), but I feel inspired to come out of a relatively silent time to try. (more…)

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