I was charged with reading this dreadfully boring book called The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn in one of my World Civilization classes. If my memory serves correctly through the fog of the book's massive inability to hold attention (much like this blog?), it was basically his dissertation paper that he had bound and packaged and delivered to only this particular professor's doorstep in a glowing basket of joy, because, as far as I know, he is the only person who has ever taught it in a school setting.
That is how exciting it was.
I was tired of learning the history of the telescope and I was tired of hearing about mitochondria and I was sick of all of these people insisting that they were absolutely correct and the pinnacle of knowledge of the day only to have some punk like Galileo barging into your sanctuary insisting that the Earth moved around the Sun instead of all of creation centered right smack at the Vatican. The unmitigated gall.
This one story intrigued me, though. It was not so much the "Scientific Revolutions" portion of it rather than its broader implications. After doing much research, he decided to pay the ol' heads of state a visit. He stated his research and divulged his theory that the Earth is revolving around the sun, rather than the other way around. It was literally so shattering that he was forced to recant his heretical philosophy under threat of torture and death (the Church back then was apparently pretty big on irony), to which he purportedly muttered under his breath, as I quoted earlier, "E pur si muove."
Italian for "Nevertheless, it moves." A legendary statement from one who saw the truth of the situation despite the majority shouting the contrary and, although he caved to save his life, held that conviction to continue on to be one of the most famous scientists and thinkers of all time.
The book was about advances in science and regime changes and it droned on and on about the topic with more specific examples than Elin Nordegren can cite against Tiger Woods, but all I could do was think about the implications of what I was reading.
If every time in history we have believed, for whatever reasons we choose to state, that we are unshakably, undoubtedly correct with our complex theories on anything at all and we are proven wrong, what does that say about us today? In the age of the epitome of thorough knowledge? What if we have gotten so wrapped up in the way that we perceive things that the Truth (and yes, that is a capital "T" Truth) slips right by us, unnoticed, going about its business as it always has?
I will deliver yet another turn of the screw with this: if even the mostly secular scientific community can see it in our perceptions of the physical world, how much more important is it for us as Christians to beat it through our thick skulls that for a thousand years we have been missing the point?
What if we're so busy interpreting that we forget to live? What if we're too busy boycotting abortion clinics to love on the girls shaking with fear and tear-blurred vision who are trying to hide themselves walking in? What if we're so busy defending our "God-given Constitutional Rights" to own a gun that we overlook our God-given Mandate to love God before anything else, and then take that love and love each other with it as well?
Am I saying that I am the example by which you should live? By all means, no. Of all the ill-tempered, arrogant, most undeserving people of Divine grace that occupy this world, in the words of Paul, "I am the foremost."What I am saying is that I should try even harder than everybody else to follow the example set for me.
There is absolutely, definitely, concrete Truth that exists in this world, and it is probably not in the places that we think it is. It's not in our rules or our currency or our imaginings about how things should work or in our ideas or in our education system or in our denominations or in anything we can imagine that has been constructed by human hands. It became flesh 2,000 years ago, died, and is the only thing that hasn't given up on our race as humans yet, despite our best efforts to twist it around to fit it into our little boxes.
Best of all, it has a name.
Together, with Him, we can discover how to be black lines in this world constructed of gray paper.