I never met The Rev Canon John Polkinghorne. The first time I encountered his name was in a college philosophy textbook, one I was surprised to find still listed for sale online. Today as I read his obituary (More than a month after his death,) I feel a sense of regret having never met the man. I would love to have talked to him about his unique life path.
Dr. Polkinghorne was a Professor of Mathematical Physics at Cambridge from 1968 until 1979. His published works include titles such as The Analytic S-Matrix (1966,) The Particle Play (1979,) Models of High Energy (1980,) and 31 others. But he resigned his position in the physics world to become an Anglican priest, though he remained an Honorary Fellow of the college until his death.
His worldview stood as a testament against the claims of some atheist writers who insist there is some barrier between science and Christianity. Polkinghorne saw no barrier. He believed, as other people of science believe, that advances in his field made it easier to believe in God. It is also the reason I felt it appropriate to make this post about his death on the website of a Southern and Country Gospel radio station. The purpose of the station is to encourage Christians in a world that is becoming increasingly hostile to our faith. To that end, I hope highlighting Polkinghorne’s life (and others throughout the year) will shed light on the false idea that one must make a choice between following God or studying His creation. Polkinghorne’s words illuminated this idea in the mind of a much younger me years ago as a college student. I hope his words will continue to do the same for others.
The state House of Tennessee has honored Dolly Parton, who was born in Tennessee, by passing a bill that if signed by the Governor would make “Amazing Grace” sung by Dolly Parton the official state song.
State Rep. Mike Sparks (R-Smynra) introduced HB 0938 in February. State Sen. Raumesh Akbari (D-Memphis) introduced SB 1416. The house bill passed 91-1 on Monday. If the bill makes it all the way through the legislative process the song would become the eighth designated state song of Tennessee.
The General Assembly on Monday also adopted a resolution recognizing Parton for her, “cultural contributions and philanthropy.”
(Photo: Boulder police arrest Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, 21, of Arvada. He is charged with 10 counts of murder in the first degree / Courtesy: Boulder, Colorado Police Department)
A reporter talked to a man who survived the March 22, 2021 mass shooting at a Colorado grocery store. The witness, Neven Sloan, told the journalist something that may be hard for non-Christians to understand.
“Satan hasn’t won today,” he said.
“…Even though this evil thing has happened, Satan hasn’t won… Jesus has won,” he told the reporter.
How can someone say Jesus won when ten people died?
Well, if this life is temporary; if this life is our time of sorrow; if all pain is over and an eternity with God begins when this life ends, then death doesn’t mean that Satan has won. It only means our time here is done.
Scoffers see this as Satan’s win because they assume it’s the end, not the beginning.
These are some of the crimes against the church reported this week in North America. This is not intended to be an exhaustive report. It is only a sample of crimes reported by news agencies in Canada and the US over the past seven days.
Two off-duty officers in Manitoba were able to subdue a man who used profanities and flashed a gun to threaten worshipers at the Westside Community Church of Morden this past weekend. Witnesses said the man lifted his sweater, displayed a gun. The off-duty were attending the service. They took the man into custody without any injuries. Officers determined the man’s weapon was a fake. Dustin Warkentin, 32, is accused of weapon, assault and disturbance charges.
Investigators with the Powell County, Kentucky sheriff’s office are investigating thousands of dollars in damage caused by criminals who ransacked a church building. A sheriff’s office spokesperson said someone overturned pews, smashed holes in the walls and caused extensive damage to the sanctuary of the South Fork Church of God. The vandal or vandals’ motive is not known.
The Knights of Columbus spent last weekend removing satanic graffiti from outside the church of St. Joseph in Washington, D.C. A vandal, or vandals, left an image of a pentagram, the word Lucifer, and some indistinguishable writing. Patrick Abbot, an officer in the Knights of Columbus, said the vandalism was like Satan’s empty promises in that they were easily washed away.
A man accused of setting a Florida church on fire last year is facing a federal hate crime’s charge. A federal grand jury indictment was handed up Wednesday against Steven Shields, 24, of Dunnellon, Florida. A press release from the U.S. Justice Department says the indictment alleges that he was motivated to set the fire due to the religious character of the church.
Boston police are looking for a man who’s wanted in connection with two incidents of vandalism at Catholic churches in Dorchester and South Boston. Around 6:30 a.m. Monday an unknown substance was found on several doors at St. Teresa of Calcutta Church and St. John Paul II Catholic Academy in Dorchester. Two hours later officers were called to St. Augustine Church in South Boston where a similar substance was found on doors and a statue was toppled.