Iron Mountain ski jump

Iron Mountain ski jump

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith from a Place of Winter for the Years of Winter… ©

Michio Koku is to physical and biological sciences what Malcolm Gladwell is to social sciences.

In books like Tipping Point and Outliers, Gladwell takes all the research of psychology and sociology and makes it understandable for common folk, including me. From him we learn things like “the ten thousand hours rule,” that it takes ten thousand hours of doing something, like the Beetles playing music or Bill Gates experimenting with computers, before we become truly proficient at it.

Koku does the same for physics in books like Physics of the Future and Einstein’s Cosmos, and especially for brain science/research in The Future of the Mind.

There is no totally accepted definition of “mind,” but Koku makes a good stab at it by saying that human consciousness is the ability to simulate the future.

That ability is not an unmixed blessing. The ability to simulate the future is how we “awfulize,” imagining all the awful things that might happen to us in the future. But it is what separates us from other species and makes us able to survive, even though we are not as resilient as cock roaches nor as fierce as tigers.

It is also what allows us to believe in resurrection, a life beyond this life. Our brains are far from developed enough to simulate what that future might be like, so we have to make so with a replication of current life, only better. For instance, heaven has streets, but they are made of gold. In the spiritual reality of heaven, it is unlikely there will be either streets or gold, but that is the only language we have. Our ability to simulate the future goes only so far.

We don’t have to go any further than we can, though. Theologian Eugen Rosenstock-Heusey reminds us that Easter is about understanding God’s story backward, not forward. We look at the resurrection of Easter and only then understand all that led up to it. It’s an “ah ha” moment; so this is what THIS LIFE is all about, living the Jesus life, the life of resurrection even before resurrection!

John Robert McFarland

The “place of winter” mentioned in the title line is Iron Mountain, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula [The UP], where life is defined by winter even in the summer! [This phrase is explained in the post for March 20, 2014.]

I tweet as yooper1721.

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