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The Creation of Beauty

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February 4, 2012 Tags: Problem of Evil

Today's sermon features Michael Gungor. Please note the views expressed here are those of the author, not necessarily of BioLogos. You can read more about what we believe here.

Though some may believe that moving the science/faith dialogue forward is best left to scientists, scholars, and theologians, we at BioLogos recognize that our pastors play an invaluable role in the conversation. Across the globe, pastors are helping their congregations work through difficult issues of science and faith with honesty, insight, and a gentle spirit. To this end we present an ongoing series recognizing sermons (and the pastors who give them) that are helping to promote the harmony of science and faith. Today's sermon comes from Michael Gungor, a musician, founder of the musical group Gungor, and a pastor at the Bloom Church in Denver, Colorado.

Gungor’s song “Beautiful Things” emphasizes the liberating truth that God has wonderfully made beautiful things “out of the dust,” just as God makes beautiful things out of a life fully surrendered to him and buried in his love.

Beautiful Things

All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

All around
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

Physical death is a necessary and, perhaps, disconcerting element of the evolutionary process for many Christians. It is difficult to imagine a perfect and loving God designing such a universe where forces such as natural death and entropy operated. Michael Gungor of Bloom Church in Colorado addresses this idea and offers wisdom on such a complex issue.

He highlights the words of Jesus in John 12:24 (NIV): “Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” In other words, death precedes true life. This statement appears self-contradictory, but there is evidence of this truth in the world around us. Gungor points to the death of cells in a human body. The death of worn-out cells makes room for new cells, keeping the body healthy. In fact, humans necessarily consume plants and animals in their diet to bring nourishment and support life. He also discusses the second law of thermodynamics: entropy. In accordance with this law, the sun continually burns itself out as it produces light and energy that supports life on earth. Thus, there is a place for natural death on this earth as it allows for the continuation of life.

In light of the New Testament and the testament of science, Gungor proposes that perhaps God is not as afraid of physical death as humans are. God is not fearful of death, knowing full well that it will not remain. It allows for growth in the present, but God has spoken of the day when all death will be destroyed forever. Revelation 21:4(NIV) affirms this truth: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Chapter eight of Romans also speaks about the time when all things will be brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God—that is all things will be made new. Ultimately, life will swallow up death forever, but the current “messiness” of the process of becoming is part of God’s plan too.

(To hear the entire sermon go to this link and scroll to the sermon —“What Can We Learn About Jesus from Science? Part 2”)

Michael Gungor is a Grammy-nominated musician and song-writer from Denver, Colorado. He and his wife have produced the albums “Beautiful Things”, “Ghosts Upon the Earth”, and the recent “I Am Mountain”, as well as a live album entitled “A Creation Liturgy”. With thought-provoking lyrics and wide-ranging musical styles, their songs celebrate creation and redemption in the midst of a painful and imperfect world.

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