What does this volcano represent and why does institutional Christianity, all the while proclaiming that “the truth will set you free”, steadfastly and even dishonestly refuse to engage the issues?
Scientific knowledge clashed with Scripture and belief set in concrete. Far easier to silence (try to plug the volcano erupting) the source of knowledge rather than confront issues that called long cherished beliefs and Church authority into question. It took the Roman Catholic Church centuries to apologise for its treatment of Galileo. And once again, Church authority is digging in the heels and refusing to engage what is staring them in the face.
This scientific “story” not only invites but demands that Christians (and people of all religions) reflect on their understanding of the mystery they call “God” in this context. Christianity traditionally has two streams of thought.
In the second stream of thought, developed in the Christian Scriptures well after Jesus died, Jesus became the unique “way” to the elsewhere deity. He “opened the gates of heaven”; he “saved” us. Or, at least, he “saved” people who believed he was the unique way to God.
The Christian religion, in its creedal statements, locked itself into this story of Jesus gaining access to an elsewhere deity rather than honouring Jesus’ preaching about God-with-us.
And now this religion is facing the biggest shift ever in its history because so many Christians simply no longer give credence to the worldview or the notion of God that underpins traditional, acceptable, orthodox Christian theology. These Christians are not being “unfaithful” to Jesus or the God Jesus preached or a stream of thought that has always been part of Christian thinking. They just want their religion to shift from a no-longer-believable story about or emphasis on a deity who has definite opinions on whether women should be ordained priests or stem cell research or whatever.