reflections of a proud parent

success wayProud parent day yesterday. It was Speech Day at Thomas’s school and he was awarded the Year 11 Science and Religious Education prizes. It’s very tempting to go on about how brilliant this is, and I will if you ask me, but you can imagine that Sally and I sat there very proudly and applauded very loudly when he received his awards. It has to be said that Hannah brought home a good report from her year’s study too.

Well done, both of you. The combinations of my genes, Sally’s genes and a ‘normal’ (????) upbringing has produced two great young people. And a quick reminder that God thinks we are all pretty special too.

I think that given the apparent juxtaposition of the two subjects it is hilarious that Thomas was awarded them both. People like Richard Dawkins would have us believe that the two are incompatible and that science trumps religion anyway because there is empirical proof. Of course RE does not mean ‘faith’. Knowing the facts of religious doctrines and history do not make anyone a Christian any more than knowing the recipe for Coq Au Vin makes you a chef. It’s only when you live what you know that it starts to become faith.

And that to me is the fatal flaw in Mr Dawkins’ thesis. He wants to be able to discover all truth by reason. But you cannot discover the truth that you love someone by reason. You cannot discover the truth that something (or someone) is beautiful by reason. These things are intangible, yet still true. I’m sorry, I can’t remember who came up with the following analogy but it works for me.

If you look at the stained glass window in a cathedral from the outside you get some idea of the form and shape, you can gauge the size and may perceive some colours. It is only when you go inside the Cathedral and see the window from the interior where the light shines in through the glass that you can experience it in all its beauty and splendour. The same is true of faith. You can understand a little of it from external observation. It is only when you you genuinely ‘enter’ the faith for yourself that you can perceive it correctly and experience it for yourself.

No jokes today, just a website you may like to visit. What do you do during boring sermons? I carry on preaching. Some people doze (no names here!). At Norwich Cathedral some of the choristers drew cartoons related to the sermon text. You can find them online with a quick search. Some of them are quite funny, but what I find funnier is the explanation about why they drew the cartoons that you will find on the welcome page!

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