It was around 20 years ago, perhaps, when I first started reading that life should be ‘holistic’. Our values, behaviour, aspirations, etc. should flow together without contradictions. This seemed to make sense to me, and still does; I call it integrity.
I wonder if the following is holistic? It used to make me cringe. I would be asked if I would announce the offering (some people call it the collection) at a Christian meeting.
When the time came, I myself would be introduced in the following manner – “And now Barrie Lawrence, local dental surgeon, is going to do an extraction!” There was usually laughter, and the first few times I heard it, I laughed too.
Our faith needs to be holistic. Our standards are those God states in the Bible, though no-one is going to live the perfect life. Preaching honesty, and then being caught dodging tax payments, is embarrassing. Likewise, moral lapses in the area of sex and relationships. Using the name of God as an expletive, whilst also promoting Biblical values. Are all these hypocrisy? Those who avoid falling in these ways are often quick to point the finger at those who do. “Of course we all sin, but I would never do THAT!” betrays a legalistic attitude towards others. Maybe the important thing is to learn from our mistakes, and become more holistic with regard to our faith as we grow older.
Back to dentistry, or at least, teeth and the mouth. Do you know how teeth develop? All body cells are the same in the embryonic baby shortly after conception. Then they start to change, but in different ways. Some in the jaws change to form tooth shapes, and later, some calcify rather like bone in density, and become dentine. Others calcify to a much harder extent and become the surface enamel. All round the mouth. Individual teeth. All different. The front ones shaped for biting, and the back ones for grinding. How amazing is that!
And muscles develop around the jaws, and the jaw bones adopt a shape in the joint area that enables the lower jaw to move in all ways, for efficient grinding of food. Wonderful, and so useful, as every other joint in the body is a simple hinge. You would never grind with a simple hinge. And the muscles enable us to move the lower jaw in every way. Again, absolutely fantastic!
I have sat and thought about the evolutionary process – and jaws and teeth. I have tried to imagine the stages that led to a process of cell differentiation and development that is sophisticated beyond our wildest imagination. My conclusion? – it never happened that way! Such complex development, to my mind, could never, ever happen. To be holistic, I have to believe in creation.
And that’s just teeth! How anyone can consider the structure and function of kidneys, liver, heart, lungs….. and especially the brain, and believe we evolved, seems madness to me. But we live in a secular society where we, our children and grandchildren are drenched in these theories, which are taught as ‘truth’. This is virtual brain-washing.
And so I thank God for my teeth, which to me are living evidence of an amazing Creator. And learning from God’s word, the Bible, and from past mistakes, I try and live a holistic life, honouring the Lord Jesus, ‘who loved me, and gave himself for me,’ Galatians 2:20.
Read more about my career as a dental surgeon in the following book, available from www.amazon.co.uk (UK) and www.amazon.com (North America