Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


On Thin Ice

A Reuter's News article tells of Florida State University's professor Doron Noff's "possible explanation" for Jesus walking on water, which is published in the April edition of the Journal of Paleolimnology. In the article, Noff states,
The study found that a period of cooler temperatures in the area between 1,500 and 2,600 years ago could have included the decades in which Jesus lived. A drop in temperature below freezing could have caused ice thick enough to support a human to form on the surface of the freshwater lake near the western shore, Nof said. It might have been nearly impossible for distant observers to see a piece of floating ice surrounded by water.
"I believe that something natural was there that explains it," said Noff who gained notoriety in the 1990s with a physical explanation for the parting of the Red Sea.

Both his walking-on-water and parting-the-Red-Sea explanations remind me of the boy whose parents never attended church. At age 10, he spent the night with a friend and attended church with their family the next morning. His Mom worried the church might have indoctrinated her boy in that short time and asked, "So what did they teach you in church today?"

"Praise the Lord!" The boy exclaimed, "We learned how God led the children of Israel through the Red Sea on dry land. He parted the waters and made a way for them to escape from Pharaoh. Isn't that something Mama? Praise God!"

The mother was quite taken aback and finally mustered the secular wherewithal to counter what her son had heard in church. "Now, son, scientists have proven that it was the Reed Sea, not the Red Sea," she explained. "The water levels were low at that time of year and a strong wind from the west could have pushed back the little remaining water and dried out a path. It wasn't a miracle, it was perfectly natural."

"Praise the Lord! That's even better," her son replied.

"Even better?" the Mom asked, exasperation showing through in her voice.

"Yes, God drowned mean old Pharaoh's army in the Reed Sea which is a miracle because it didn't have hardly any water," the boy said.

But if you prefer the scientific explanation, there is also the report from MIT which tells how water striders can walk on water. The researchers there looked at the "hydrodynamics underlying the surface locomotion of the semiaquatic creatures" and then created a mechanical water strider they called Robostrider, which also walks on water, without treading on thin ice.

The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor + King of Peace Episcopal Church


  • At 4/06/2006 8:58 PM, Blogger Celeste said…

    I have to agree with the son.
    I think you've preached that before: about choosing to see it as a miracle or coincidence? We do have a choice.
    Also, it is somewhat encouraging to know a professor actually believes the Bible as history and then to go to lengths to try and prove it scientifically.

  • At 4/09/2006 5:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Sometimes, i wanted to believe in many things, but it's difficult,and when you know so much, it's more difficult.
    I really wanted to understand somethings. Sometimes i think that it's just a thing to make the people follow the rules of the church, you know, that histories.Histories of God.
    I really like your job


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