Interesting post Willie :-)
"I suppose now that Stephen Hawking has calculated that the big bang can be a natural physical phenomenon, we can say, in the wonderful words of the late Douglas Adams... etc etc..."
Well not quite. My own personal examinations of this, in order that I may get to be able to accept a Christian life, is that maybe God was created with the Big Bang! One of my biggest questions, either with the possible existance of God or with the beginning of the universe, is those first few microseconds of creation. What was before it and how did it all come into being. Stephen Hawkins himself one replied to me that he was unsure about the first few microseconds. It calls for 'special pleading' simply because the physics of those first few microseconds were extremely different from the physics that have stayed the same since. So, my skeptically intellectual side says to me that even the initial spark is just as unfathomable as God's creation. It's just not satisfying to me to say that God has always been there because in my world all things need to be created somehow.
Evolution answers my questions about life on Earth perfectly. And I read Genesis and, poetically, it says nothing different than evolution does, except is uses days instead of millions of years. Dayos = a period of time I think.
And so, to satisfy my emotionally spiritual side I have been trying to get to somewhere in my head where I may be able to explain God's creation maybe at the same time as the Universe. Now I know some of you may think me crazy for this. That is fair enough. I do too sometimes! But I need to try and unite the two sides of my life - the spiritual and the intellectual sides - if I am to give God any credence. I DO want to have a spiritual life as well as a scientfic one, you see, but this proof based system I have on things needs more. This is a serach I have to do. Don't ask my why I want to believe. I just do. But I also want to be certain to.
In short.. for my own sanity, I have placed God's 'creation', IF he/she exists, at the time of the Big Bang.
On an entirely different side to Willie's post. How refreshing to read what you put about your Muslim colleagues. The voice of reason from the wilderness. Live and let live indeed.
Those must be the kindest words I have read in some while alongside the word "Muslim". It seems to create so much paranoia and distrust. It is extremely pleasing to read and hear of Muslims being treated so 'normal' and being allowed their own routines wityhout reference to anything else other than good deeds. I wish there were more such posts. Maybe there are and I have been reading the wrong threads.
You see, I also view other people's religions as mere roads of getting to their own heaven. We are all on a journey and many take different routes. As long as we all arrive to the place we are all heading to safely then so be it. What we see and do along that journey perhaps is just as important as the arrival at our destination.
And to Joe. What a wonderful statement from yourself. Open and honest. I fully respect where you are with it, though I cannot go that way myself, and find it almost a comfort to know how settled some are in their belief. The mentor I mentioned way back on this thread is very much of the same mind as you Joe. He and I had many a disagreement as to some things BUT we both respected where we both were with things. He is a brilliant man. His Christianity is so solid and yet not once have I ever known him to look down on anyone or judge a soul. Quite a hard act to follow.
It's hard to keep a grip in reality sometimes when reality means holding on to things that are quite unreal I find. It's worth the investigation for me though.
Jesus said "Unless you humble yourself as a child you cannot see the kingdom of God". How true I find that sometimes because being an adult can often obscure things we believed so much easier when we were young.
My journey continues with only a rough idea of directions at the moment