Genius Has Its Costs (As Per Two TV Shows)

So tonight is this fall’s most “genius” night for TV, across two American TV networks!

First I watched, “Young Sheldon” (CBS, 8:30pm)  was tonight’s premiere of a prequel (set in 1989) of current sitcom leader “The Big Bang Theory.”  The 9-yr-old Sheldon, which, due to his super-high intellect, got into high school, but he could not socialize properly with the other kids.  He studied the entire student handbook, and rather than focus on his schoolwork, he would complain about his fellow classmates, picking on violations of dress & groom code.  This enters other spheres as well, such as church (questioning his fellow members about some moral issues, analogous to his behavior at school), among others.  It shows Christians should use our intelligence (or any gifts) to his glory, and be modest about it.  It was quite hilarious, and I’ll try to a loyal viewer!

The next show, on ABC this same night, at 10pm was “The Good Doctor.”  It involved a doctor who was also an autistic-savant, perhaps in his 20s.  Based on knowledge he learned in medical school, he was ambitious to become a surgeon.  At an airport, using his rich human anatomy knowledge (probably a photographic memory involved?), when a boy fell through a glass, and had bleeding in his neck and was unconscious, and needed some serious emergency attention, such as CPR, etc., he was there.  Here’s the twist:  he would, like Sheldon in the other show, question authority.  He may have those “Gray’s Anatomy” figures filled in this head to help him, but most other doctors wouldn’t want his advice based on such.  The more seasoned doctors had the experience, which in the  medical profession, typically leads over strict knowledge.  I may have high-functioning autism, but I could never memorize those anatomical figures.  Remember, he had that “savant syndrome,” which while perception and memory of the sharp detail is amazing, common sense was trailing.

The board eventually welcomed this new surgeon into their hospital.  There’s a catch, though could be in the OR, he couldn’t perform surgeries!  So he was a spectator watching the team of surgeons do their job.  Also, his motives were inappropriate:  One is money, the other is the death of a pet rabbit and a childhood friend.  (Or as he said it, “they went to heaven”). Well, if one is officially dead, get over it!  Surgery won’t bring them back.  If the hospital is a typical secular institution, that would not be the best way of communicating it.  Overall, he had no empathy.

So while “Young Sheldon” was a pleasant sitcom, “The Good Doctor” was a little far-fetched.  But they share a common theme:  humility is key when dealing with professionals — or even peers.  (Phil. 2:1-11)

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Testimony: Three Dilemmas, All Handled by Faith

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.  (John 10:10, ESV)

We’re going to discuss three issues I faced this morning and that a man of faith like me can handle, of course, with patience.  Unbelievers are stuck with their reasoning power, and while God imparted to all persons (Christians and otherwise), Christians have the power of faith, which goes beyond reason to solve much more profound problems that mere reasoning cannot.

  1. Missing wallet
    All this time it was under the bed, within the past few days.
  2. Could not turn on my computer with Apple password, which I have forgotten since I seldom use it.
    I called Apple, after I asked my mother what their phone number.  Upon getting to obtaining the serial number, I talked to tech support, and worked my way through the procedure.  I now have a new password for turning on my computer.  Hooray!
  3. Lack of olive oil
    Of secondary importance to breakfast, but essential for many omelets and other cooking ideas.  While I was busted, a friend brought me to a local convenience store, and bought it for me.

You can see in this testimony, “God’s sovereignty, man’s responsibility,” a central doctrine of Reformed theology (“Calvinism”), the Protestant theological tradition I belong to.  While we trust God’s is sovereign over all events of history, man is still responsible for those very deeds, that is, those which are within his control.  So despite loads of criticism (and I’m not trying to convert you to such belief), Reformed Christian doctrine, in my humble opinion,  is one of the most God-glorifying, man-humbling, and indeed beautiful expressions of Christian faith.

But in any faith tradition, always be thankful for what God does for his “sheep” (i.e., Christian believers). and to give more abundant life on earth, as well as eternity with him.

Science and Scripture Don’t (Typically) Mix

Some verses, aside from the creation narrative(s), are quite unscientific.

I give three key examples here

1) John 3:8 — Jesus’ discussion with Nicodemus about the new birth included Jesus’ statement that the wind direction cannot be detected. Yes it can, thanks to meteorology! But that didn’t exist then!

His message is that you can’t always tell the people who are saved.

2) Isa 55:10,11 – This verse suggests that rain comes down ONLY to water the plants. Well, consider the ecological concept of the water cycle and some botany. In addition to evaporation from land and bodies of water, the air moistens due to another process called transpiration, wherein the stomata (pores) in leaves open to cool it, albeit perhaps at the expense of photosynthetic efficiency. Together, all evaporative processes are thus known as evapotranspiration, and has its sharpest effects in arid conditions.

All Isaiah said, living long before this science was known, in the next verse was that God’s word will do its will.

3) 1 Cor 15:36, 37 – Paul says that seeds must “die” to germinate. Well, they may be dormant, but the actual pending plant (the embryo), needs water, as well as food storages in its cotyledons (aka “seed leaves”). Once the seed does germinate, the cotyledons are the jump-starter before the plant starts to truly photosynthesize, and thereupon the cotyledons wither.

Paul is discussing resurrection of the body, not botanical principles.

These are just three of many unscientific points in Scripture that should corroborate its true purpose. Only some may be strongly interested in science, but all people need to know Scripture. AMEN