“Follow Me.” It’s what Jesus told His Disciples, inviting each of them on a journey that would change their lives. It’s the same invitation that He extends to each and every one of us almost 2,000 years later. The Nerdy Bible’s number one focus is to follow Jesus, while working to bridge the gap between Christianity and the modern world through deep thought and discussion.
The early disciples focused to bridge the gap of understanding between Jesus and the ancient world. They saw these miracles first hand and made it their life long mission to share the good news. For some, it’s as easy as it was for Peter to leave everything behind. To walk a new path filled with happiness and fear, wisdom and doubt, and even denial. For many though, it’s not that simple. It’s not easy to die to oneself, to leave it all behind, especially when things are good. Especially 2,000 years later.
I try to imagine what it was like to see Jesus in the flesh, walking right into my life with a smile and those two simple words, “Follow Me.” Divinity aside, I imagine Jesus had a charisma about Him, a peace, or shalom, that was infectious to anyone around that was willing to see. Sure, scripture hints at this but still, I don’t know if words can fully do it justice.
I really do sympathize with those who doubt the truth behind these words. It’s different nowadays, right? We are not like those barbarians who sacrificed animals to gods. We have magic at the tips of our fingers but we are drowning in a sea of information. Overwhelmed by opinions and facts. We all think we figured it out. We all have the answers. Again, it’s just not that simple. Sacrifice is a very complex idea and so is the quantum mechanics that allows for these magical devices at the tips of our fingers. There is truth in it all and these topics deserve to be wrestled with.
This is the first blog post for the project called The Nerdy Bible and this is an invitation for all. An invitation to join us as we attempt to follow where we are called to go. It is an invitation to wrestle with us (figuratively), to struggle with us, to doubt with us, and to seek truth in a world full of uncertainty. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t wrestle. It’s probably what led me to a career in physics. I see the world differently. Not better but different. I’ve spent more nights than I can count thinking my way through the beginning of our grand universe and the long road that led to this giant space rock soaring around our life giving sun.
For many though, I lost you the first time that I mentioned Jesus. “Here we go again. Another crazy who believes in a virgin birth and a man who rose from the dead.” Yes, I do believe these claims but the answer to why I believe is not so simple. I cannot sit here and throw logic at you or proof. I can’t give you mounds of evidence and to be honest, most atheists would crush me in a debate when it comes to these specific topics. If these were axiomatic claims, it wouldn’t be much of a debate now would it. I can’t reason my way through immaculate conception or life after death but I would say the same about the singularity or consciousness. Good luck trying to fight your way through those.
Clearly, the opposite is not an easy claim either. The lack of proof is not a valid reason for disbelief. The lack of reason only speaks to unlikeliness or ignorance on the subject. It reminds me of an electron. Something we have never seen, defies logic, but clearly influences everything around it. Sound familiar? Yes, God is an electron in this analogy. More on that in a later blog!
The point is we are surrounded by uncertainty and probabilities. Surrounded by both belief and disbelief. Overwhelmed by influences, whether good or bad. More often than not, it seems to be frowned upon to think deeply or to disagree. I’ve found this to be true in the church and surprisingly in university. I’ve experienced scientists who find it absurd to even give thought to the crazy idea of God. I’ve also experienced Christians who would shut you down if you brought up topics that seem even remotely controversial or contradicting.
The crazy thing is that both of these groups of people are called to think deeply. They are called to try to understand the world at a deeper level. Yet, both hold on to their biases with a death grip, never taking the time to hear the other side. I don’t just mean listen. I mean to shut up, stop worrying about what to say next, and truly hear what the other person is saying.
We live in a beautiful and mysterious universe, full of life and death, love and hate, especially good and evil. It’s not simple. Nor is it as complex as we make it. Often the greatest mysteries in life have simple and elegant solutions.
The Nerdy Bible exists to wrestle with these mysteries. To provide a safe space where skepticism and doubt are encouraged, along with reason and faith. This is an invitation to join us as we follow the path that leads to an understanding of both science and Jesus. That leads to both doubt and uncertainty, but also truth and reason.
It won’t be easy but it will be fruitful. Sometimes you need to prune the branches to make room for the good and the new. Sometimes you need to soften your heart in order to hear the person standing in front of you. The Bible says to pray for wisdom and we’ll be doing just that.
Until next time.