Book Review – Suprises Of Christian Way Chapter 1 At least in Lithuania, God is a problem for many people exactly how D.Shenk has described in his book. An old man sitting upstairs watching people and trying to punish them for whatever bad they may do. There are probably two main reasons for that. One would be the post soviet dark period when government was trying to forbid religion and parents at the same time were telling their children to do what God says and not listen to what the soviet regime tells to do. To encourage that, parents talked about punishment of God in case their children would act improperly.
The second main reason I think is Catholic Church history, related to executions, persecutions, taxes and tough governing power. As long as majority of people are Catholics in Lithuania, children in schools learn history and say: Why do we need such a religion? How can we know that church and image of God has changed? And their doubts are reasonable. There is a lack of information about today’s church. The first approach to the God described in D.Shenk’s book is mostly spread and relevant to Lithuania. As I have written above, people read the history and especially dark ages and see that the Church has manipulated the religion the way it was useful to it and claimed it to be truth.
So it leads to the conclusion that God is probably an illusion and people just need to have somebody who could help in case of problems, disasters, stresses and other unpleasant experience. And what I have noticed was that older people misinterpret the religion and build their own image of God, which even might be very different from the image of God described in the bible. That new image of their own could also be called an illusion. Chapter 2 The evidence of a creator is overwhelming, but the image of the creator is very unclear. It is obvious that somebody had to create the world so different people wrote different books about what has happened long time ago and called it their sacred books.
Then people build their own religion according to what is written in the sacred books. Others who do not believe in God are either confused by the variety of religions or think that everything is made up by clever people. And I think that is quite logical because every religion provides different understanding about the creator and even calls it facts. The facts that contradict each other. And even more confusing thing about different religions is the teaching. For example Christians provide an argument to protect the bible that everything that is written in the bible is relevant to us and happens in our daily life. That is absolute truth.
Except that other religions provide exactly the same argument. Who is right, who is wrong? If it is too hard to choose, people just decide not to bother and simply not to believe in anything. Those people could probably be combined with the alternative believe that the earth and material universe are the only reality.(Shenk 26) Reasons for choosing that alternative are very simple. To believe that everything is more than just a material universe people need evidence. Well it is very hard to provide spiritual evidence, especially to people, who are materialists and do not bother putting effort on understanding spiritual world. Materialists motto is I believe what I can see, smell, touch, hear.
Everything else is irrelevant. This alternative believe is attractive because there is no need to study the religion or spend much time trying to understand what is being said in the sacred books. Chapter 3 The biblical faith and science concerning species. At this point I would rather stand on the evolutionist side because even if this does not necessarily mean that God suddenly stopped creating species at a certain time (Shenk) as we understand, creatures could not appear and disappear in six thousand years. As far as I know, none of the creatures have changed for the last thousand years, and none of the species were created at least since the day Jesus was born. At least we cannot find a single word about new species in the New Testament.
Is that really possible that thousands of insects, dinosaurs and birds could simply appear and die in four thousand years? The power of love for the others. I can hardly imagine the world existing without that. I guess love comes even from the instincts of animals and human beings. You can see a lion mother carrying her small baby very carefully to the destination. The same with human beings.
Every mother wants to do good to her baby, and every friend wants to show love to his/her friend. Love is the very basic of the human existence and avoiding love causes wars, disasters, crimes and all the events that people don’t want to see and feel. Chapter 4 Although there are quite a few opinions about the tree of knowledge and it’s meaning, I choose to believe that the tree was built intentionally in order to let Adam and Eve experience the bad and evil. One would think why didn’t God just explain the meaning of the evil to his two wisest creatures. But on the other hand people are not something superior and they still have some animal instincts. Like almost all women want to have a baby, or your body gets used to eat three times a day and then a person feels hungry three times per day.
So I think no one would be offended if I compare for a while human beings to the animals. The first example that came in to my head was my dog all the time running after motorcycles and barking at them. Once a motorcycle hit my dog when she crossed the road barking as always. After that event my dog ran away every time she saw a two-wheel vehicle that had a sound of an engine. Of course I agree that human beings are much much wiser but still sometimes it is better to experience that to hear somebody’s story and say Poor they, but that would not probably happen to me. What I basically believe is that the tree of good and …