Monday, November 07, 2005

Freakonomics and Faith

What do Freakonomics, Morphic Fields, and the Church have in common? Steven Levitt, author of the best-selling Freakonomics and Rupert Sheldrake, author of the Dogs That Know Thier Owners Are Coming Home and The New Science of Life, are both experts in their fields. Sheldrake and Levitt have centered thier careers on something that seminary students, pastors and theologians do well to heed.

An expert in developmental biology and pioneer of the concept of "morphic fields," Sheldrake has devoted his scientific research to understanding the quotidian, "the everyday mysteries of life." Developing scientific theories to explain such matters as why amuptees can feel sensations in their amputated limbs, why birds seem to always find thier way home, and why dogs can anticpate thier owners arrival, Sheldrake has devoted his work to the suff of everyday life. Whether or not we agree with his unorthodox methods and unusual claims, we must admire his attention to the details of life, his preoccupation with the normal.

Stephen Levitt, recent recipeint of the is attempting to explaing the "hidden side of everything" through economics. He wrestles with matters like, 'What Makes A Perfect Parent' and 'Why Drug Dealers Still Live With Thier Moms'? Levitt's analysis is certinaly thought-provoking and , at times, right on. An outstanding intellectual, Levitt has not settled for the ivory tower. Instead, like Sheldrake, he has devoted his capacities and insights to the stuff of everyday life.

Seminary students, pastors and theologians would do well to imitate the "rogue" attempts to translate academics into "everything". When was the last time you tried to understand your pet or your parenting from a theological perspective? Beyond what developmental biology and freakonomics can offer, practical theology, integrating life with faith, sparks not only the intellect, but also the soul.


At 11:47 PM , Blogger Dave said...

i can say that i know how Robbie feels because I too live with an anthropologist! kalila can resonate with Robbie also living also with weird seminoid! thanks for an "every nook and cranny" theology of life.

At 5:42 PM , Blogger Josh said...

Although I am not married to an anthropologist, I got to agree with you, Dave.

"Two enthusiastic Thumbs Up" to you, Jonathan, for a call to integration!


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