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Theology From An Astronaut

Getting away from it all works wonders, and experience teaches us. Quiet-time ... being alone ... solitude ... all create space for reality to regain proper perspective.

There is a way of knowing that goes beyond logic and deductive reasoning. In a scientific age, such knowledge is seldom given much official credence. Still, of all we believe and hold true, a great deal comes from the anecdotal accounts of other people. Unproven, untested, but believable -- because “it happened.”

Knowing God, and such phenomena as the resurrection of Jesus, fall into that category of knowledge for many.

Astronaut Edgar D. Mitchell talks of his confrontation with knowledge that transcends reason:

When I went to the moon, I was as pragmatic a scientist-engineer as any of my colleagues. I’d spent more than a quarter of a century learning the rational-objective-experimental approach to dealing with the universe. But my experience during Apollo 14 had another aspect. It showed me certain limitations of science and technology

It began with the breathtaking experience of seeing planet earth floating in the immensity of space – the incredible beauty of a splendid blue-and-white jewel floating in the vast, black sky. I underwent a religious-like peak experience, in which the presence of divinity became almost palpable. Then I knew that life in the universe was not just an accident based on random processes. This knowledge, which came directly, intuitively, was not a matter of discursive reasoning or logical abstraction. It was not deduced from information perceptible by the sensory organs. The realization was subjective. It was knowledge every bit as real and compelling as the objective data the navigational program or the communications system was based on. Clearly, the universe has meaning and direction—an unseen dimension behind the visible creation that gives it an intelligent design and gives life purpose.

How wonderful to hear thoughts from a scientist -- an engineer -- a thinker -- that confirm our own faith beliefs.


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