More to life than the physical

ForrestPathToRiver

I believe that the physical universe–the things we can see and touch is not all there is to reality. I believe there is a spiritual world that is just as real (maybe more real) than the one we can see. I have an unshakable intuition that I have a soul–that there is more to my consciousness than neural software. I can’t shake the belief that I’m more than a sophisticated, intelligent, bio-machine. (I know a little bit about machines that appear to think. I am a computer programmer and teach Computer Science.)

Can I offer any empirical evidence for these convictions? Not really. Can I use the scientific method to confirm the reality of a world of the spirit? I don’t think so. Of course we have all heard the stories (maybe even read the books or watched the movies) about life after death experiences. Or about encounters with supernatural forces (angels, demons, ghosts). Did these things really happen? Maybe. Probably. Some of them must be true. But they are hard to prove. And that isn’t really why I believe anyway. Read more ›

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All Paths Lead to… Somewhere

My family and I have been in India for a little over a month and one thing that stands out is the diversity of the society here. In the class I teach, my students all speak different languages, depending on what part of India they are from.  In the food court at the IT Park where I work, you can get a sandwich from Subway or traditional Chicken Biryani (which is by far the better option!). On the streets of the city we see people going to churches, mosques and temples. Once, while riding in a taxi, the driver pointed out a church. I asked him if he went to a church, temple, or mosque. He said “All three. It’s the same God”. Read more ›

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Purpose and Meaning

I remember sitting on the grass in front of my high school, waiting for the bus and thinking about my life and what I could do that would make it mean something and give it purpose. This question has always been a big deal to me. I don’t want to get near the end of my life and look back wondering “what was the point?”

I thought that if my life was going to mean something, it was going to come from being connected to something big—bigger than myself. Read more ›

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Faith and doubt

Almost everyone I know who has faith also has had doubts. There is a story in Mark chapter 9 about a man who brought his son to Jesus for healing. Jesus asked the man if he believed. The man said “I believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (vs. 24).  All of us who live by faith have had these times when we cry out to God “help me believe!” and God accepts the faith we have and gives us more.

My first serious bout with doubt

When I was in my first year of college (way back in 1978!) I took a class in Ancient History from a professor who made a point of frequently criticizing the Bible. I don’t think she actually made any real criticisms of the historicity of the Bible. She mainly just objected to the accounts of miracles, like the parting of the Red Sea (or Reed Sea?)

Her criticisms made me think. Did I believe the Bible and follow Jesus just because that was the way I had been raised? If I had been born into a Muslim home, I would probably be a Muslim—and think that was the only right way. What were the chances that I had been born into a home where I actually had learned the right way to God? Read more ›

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