18 January 2006

Flying or Grounded?

Yesterday Qantas flight 249 from Sydney to Los Angeles left, and after an hour or so of burning fuel, returned to Sydney. No the pilot was not homesick. One engine had been on fire since about 10 minutes after take off. All the passengers reboarded another 747 later last night. Do you reckon they were keen to board another Qantas aircraft?

In another grounding episode, the Australian Defence Force has confirmed that two Sea King aircrew members have refused to fly in the helicopters since the crash of the Shark 02 on the Indonesian island of Nias last April.

The board of inquiry into the crash of the Sea King, which killed nine military personnel, has heard damning evidence about widespread maintenance management problems within 817 Squadron, home to the Sea Kings. These include that there is an "embedded culture of shortcuts and workarounds".

The Sea Kings were grounded in early December after the discovery of yet another serious maintenance problem with the aircraft, but the navy intends to let them fly again

Lleyton Hewitt of Australia narrowly beat Czech tennis player Robin Vik in five sets in the first round of the Australia Open yesterday in Melbourne Park. Richard Hinds of the Sydney Morning Herald described it today as Lazarus rising from the dead or the Easter story of Jesus' resurrection. An irreverernt imagery for some, but fitting as sports segments go.

Hewitt was flat and down 2 sets to one, and Vik was serving for the 4th set at 5-4. But 'from the dead' he arose and took the 4th and then the 5th and seemed himself again. He was flat and 'grounded' in dull tennis, 'fairly ordinary' the ABC kept telling us during their 'other news' segments during the cricket reporting yesterday.

But there's nothing ordinary about Lazarus or the Jesus resurrection stories. They were both seriously grounded, dead, one from sickness, the other from sinful men's hostility. But in the case of Lazarus (Eliezer in Hebrew), Jesus raised him from the dead (Story in John chapter 11). In the case of Jesus, the Bible says the Father raised him from the dead, and no one needs to be grounded ever again.

What caused us our inability to fly into the arms of God? What keeps us far from the presence of the Almighty? The Bible (Isaish 59.2) tells us it's our sin that separates us. So the death and resurrection of Jesus breaks that barrier and allows us to 'fly' again.

He who is born once died twice. He who is born twice, dies once, and lives forever!

08 January 2006

Creation vs Evolution?

I'm always fascinated by the battle lines some will draw over the issue of science and its attending scientism in opposition to creation, or special creation, or intelligent design and the attending Scopes-like faith. Fascinating how fanaticism can be found in either side of the argument.

I was raised under the influences of a scientific world and I graduated university with a major in mathematics and a minor in biology. My mind is used to critical thinking; I'm comfortable seeking proofs in empirical data.

At the same time, I know God created the world. I believe that God created the world in six days, which shouldn't surprise anyone who knows the God of the Bible. Six days is a surprise, though, but not that it took such a short time. Remember the Darwinian position continues to extend the length of time required for evolution to have taken place into millions and now billions of years of earth's existence.

So the real surprise should be why it took so long to create the world. Why did it take six days? Why not six minutes or six seconds? God spoke and it came to be.

All this said, the Bible is not a science book, but a book of life and helpful for us to know who God is and His plans for us.

Science is good; scientism is not good. When people think that science has 'all the answers', that anything and everything can and should be explained (or explained away) by science, then we have faith in science (what I call 'scientism') and this was never the task assigned to science. We need 'knowledge' (that's the translation of the word 'science') to help us learn and to put into the formula of our lives where everything fits.

To that end, even this blog is given.