In Mafia parlance, the phrase “go to the mattresses” means to prepare for all-out war between rival crime families. Many of you have seen one or more of The Godfather movies, The Sopranos, or the many other movies or TV shows about the Mafia, so you are no doubt aware of this. The origin of this expression is not known for certain, though it is believed to come from the medieval Italian practice of hanging mattresses around buildings to protect them from cannon shot. It may also refer to the practice of moving families to safer apartments during wartime and having soldiers sleep on the floors for protection.
Well, people, it’s time to go to the mattresses.
Grab the women and children and shuttle them out to a safer part of the city, and hunker down for a good old-fashioned knock-down, drag-out war.
This ain’t gonna be pretty, people.
Biologos is an organization whose mission is to encourage positive engagement by Christians with scientific issues, specifically the issue of evolution. In their own words, their mission is as follows:
The BioLogos Foundation is a group of Christians, many of whom are professional scientists, biblical scholars, philosophers, theologians, pastors, and educators, who are concerned about the long history of disharmony between the findings of science and large sectors of the Christian faith. We believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. We also believe that evolution, properly understood, best describes God’s work of creation. Founded by Dr. Francis Collins, BioLogos addresses the escalating culture war between science and faith, promoting dialog and exploring the harmony between the two. We are committed to helping the church – and students, in particular – develop worldviews that embrace both of these complex belief structures, and that allow science and faith to co-exist peacefully.
This is a mission which I wholeheartedly support, by the way. I have linked lots of material from the Biologos site over here, and will continue to do so in the future. Whether you are a proponent of evolution, intelligent design, young-earth creationism, or some other theory on the origins of the universe, or are not committed to any particular viewpoint on the scientific specifics of how we got here, you can–and I would venture to say that you should–support the mission of Biologos. What they are attempting to do is move beyond the culture war rhetoric of Christian fundamentalists who insist that the whole edifice of Christianity stands or falls on a literal six-day creation and atheistic fundamentalists who view science as the only credible way of looking at the universe and religion as the exclusive province of superstitious fools.
What they are attempting to do, in other words, is to proclaim that the main thing in our engagement with the culture as Christians is to keep the main thing the main thing. Don’t get bogged down in the scientific specifics of any particular theory of origins, but recognize that what all Christians agree on is that God created us and the universe for His own glory, so that we might be in relationship with Him. Hold whatever scientific and theological convictions you have on this issue loosely and with humility, recognizing that there are other believers who read the same Bible as you do, who are just as much a part of the kingdom of God through the redemptive work of Christ on the cross as you are, who nevertheless may hold differing viewpoints on these issues.
Apparently there are a few people running around out there who have big fat stinky problems with that. Continue reading “Time to Go to the Mattresses: Another Rant on the Creation Wars”