Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Language of Theology

I once asked my friend Mike, a chemist at the time not a minister, to explain the difference between saturated and unsaturated fats. I then got him to do it as a talk illustration by speaking in a way no-one would understand. He did a good job. The thing is that he was also able to explain the difference in language we could all understand by removing, or explaining scientific terms.

I have listened to the many scientists involved in the experiment to recreate conditions just after the Big Bang using the CERN particle accelerator. What comes over is not so much an understanding of exactly what they are doing, what they will observe and how but the sheer excitement of it all, to them. Countdowns in Bond-villain accents, applause and champagne all communicate that this is important, exciting and difficult.

For those of us who feel that we already have a good take on the meaning of life, so that this simply adds to the sum of human knowledge about it, it is a lesson. Perhaps more excitement, applause and champagne would convince people we were serious.

The language of theology, although sometimes necessary amongst initiates for the sake of clarity, is not an easy one for outsiders to follow. The language of excitement is.

Sunday. 10.00 a.m. 'Welcome. We are going to be in touch with the creator and sustainer of the Universe in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 ...'

I can almost hear the pop of the champagne corks now.

2 comments:

Not-So-Spoiled said...

Hello.

I drifted in because apparently you like recycling too.

I like your blog.

Did you see the cover of G2 yesterday, with the relabelled diagrams of the LHC? It summed up about what I understood!

Clearly, God does an hour at yours and then nips over to us for a bit, as our services sstart at 11.

Rhiannon

St said...

Yes I did. Brilliantly funny, especially the cheese quandrex. I have put the whole thing on my fridge.