Daily Archives: August 30, 2011

Unconventional Wisdom

So my normal routine goes something like this: roll out of bed, morning run around Nanhu Lake, quick shower, lots of coffee and breakfast (this morning more of that toasted wheat bread with honey from the valleys of Yunnan, and yogurt with raisins and sunflower seeds-yum!), prayer, check email and news, and dive into the day’s work.

Foot bridge over Nanhu Lake in Nanning.

This morning’s news included fascinating stories from East (education gap between rural and urban students at the college level here and China) and West (apparently there is no scientific basis for that whole visual learner/auditory learner divide, but variety and repetition are viable learning strategies). And then, a wonderful thing happened- that prayer and news portion of my morning sort of blended together.

A really powerful article from USA Today entitled “Why Certainty About God is Overrated” chronicles the experiences of world-class physicist, John Polkinghorne, who thinks God is as good a bet as any, and that includes what we normally consider scientific facts, quarks, and the like.  What I like about this article is that it not only expresses what we people of faith know about faith–that it is like iron, steely, yet bendable, and brittle–but that we humans are at our weakest, in terms of learning new things, learning more about one another, and growing in faith and wisdom, when we don’t allow room for doubt.

It’s important and moving to hear one of the smartest men in the world admit the he doesn’t know everything, in fact that he may not be certain of anything, but that is precisely where faith and knowledge both begin, right? I appreciate that the article concludes, “It may be OK, finally, for people to admit that they don’t know things for sure — whether it’s about quarks, light, God or the best way forward for the nation’s economy.”