Before Genesis: why did God do it?


(Mitchell W McKain) #21

God already had a relationship - Father and Son remember. So I think the lonely part of this is wrong. But I think it is true God conceived of a different kind of relationship with us – one which was completely self-less and all about giving of Himself.

Since science no longer supports the concept of absolute time, there is no need to talk about a before as if God was subject to some external measure of time. But I do think God could use whatever temporal relationships He chose, so there is no problem with the idea of God making decisions and actions.


(Mitchell W McKain) #22

Agreed. My dispute was not with the existence of angels but with this pseudepigraphal mythology of a war in heaven. The orgin of evil was the fall of Adam and Eve. There is a big different between created servants and children who grow up and learn things for themselves.

I go with the Christian tradition of Satan being a angel who was made into “the adversary” as a result of the event in Eden. And being a leader of angels, an archangel, the angels under his command went with him to serve in this new role.

Now while I use the name Lucifer for this archangel, the passage in Isaiah 14 from which the name was taken as well as the mythology you are referring to is not talking about an angel at all but about the king of Babylon. Like I said there is a difference between created servants (i.e. tools) and children who have to grow and learn for themselves. If tools do wrong then it is the fault and ineptitude of the creator, but it is the nature of children to learn from their mistakes, so their doing wrong implies no fault or ineptitude in the parent.

The adversary serves a twofold purpose. 1) If we are going to blame evil on someone, then it is better that we blame Lucifer than God, since God is the only hope for redemption. 2) Satan is a lesson in the fact that power and responsibility go hand. If we blame the evils of the world on him then we give him power over us. However the reality is that Lucifer is pretty much a scapegoat, and thus portrayed with goat like features. But whether made so by our error and God’s reassignment, the devil is still the personification of evil and no sympathy would appropriate.


(GJDS) #23

Generally I agree with the thrust of your comments, but I would add the following.

Yes, but the passage is also understood to refer to Lucifer.

The events in Eden display Satan as the adversary and deceiver, but I am inclined to the view that he was so from the beginning (ie Gen 1 as in the beginning). The events in Eden introduced sin to Adam and Eve, which has been so for all of humanity.

Since I take sin to mean contrary to God’s Law and Will, I think Satan brought sin before the events involving Adam and Eve. He should be blamed because as a sprit being, he did not face temptation, but developed pride and fancied himself as god.

Now on what I think you infer, that Satan is a tool and thus happened to do evil, I would disagree. The NT also mentions a war in heaven by the angels and Satan is thrown down.


(Mitchell W McKain) #24

Yes people tend to make the Bible say whatever they want, regardless of what it actually in the text.

No the events in Eden resulted in Lucifer becoming the adversary, and I am inclined to the view that Lucifer was just doing His job of stimulating living things with challenges which would help them learn and grow. The sin of Adam and Eve was the Orignal Sin – the beginning of it all.

Since I take sin to mean self-destructive habits – bad habits which destroy our potential, awareness, and freedom of will, I think the actions of Adam and Eve were the beginning of those bad habits, which children have learned from their parents ever since. We should learn that blaming others for our mistakes is one of the worst of these habits that will not only make it difficult to learn from mistakes but will create adversaries and give them power over us.

Lucifer and all the angels are created beings given all of their knowedge and abilities by God rather than growing and learning as we do. Therefore they are no more or less than what God made them to be.

No, I infer no such thing. He was doing his job, when Even blamed him for what happened. So God made him the adversary of mankind. But the original sin was what Adam and Eve did.

The Bible mentions a war in heaven ONCE in Revelation and it is quite clear in this text that it is speaking of the final defeat of the dragon in the end times (conquered by the blood of the Lamb), and NOT something which happened in beginning. In the beginning he was a serpent, but in the end he had become an ancient dragon who had deceived the world. It says the dragon chases after a woman (who is taken to be Mary) and the war in heaven comes after his failure to destroy the woman and her child.


(Shawn T Murphy) #25

Dear Matthew,
I am just trying to bring some scientific perspective to the Bible. There are estimated to be 80 billion trillion stars in the universe. Granted, when John wrote Revelations he did not know this number, but he could observe a seemingly infinite number of stars in the sky. Saying that 1/3 of them fell gives us perspective that I not seen discussed in modern times. Those who talk about the Fall, seem to imply it was a few angels who fell, and God has long given up on them and He started over with man. I am suggesting a different perspective based on our modern knowledge. What if each star in the universe represented a fallen soul?

The Greeks spoke of the bitter sea and its ruler Poseidon. They also believed that this “bitter sea” represented countless fallen, a literal sea of despair. These are the waters spoken of at the beginning of Genesis, oceans of beings. Why else was such an endless material universe created for a few billion humans?


(Matthew Pevarnik) #26

He could see about 5,000 stars with the naked eye you mean.

I think most make the fall about humans and the YEC crowd, animals as well. Necessarily if there was an angelic fall it would have been before the human fall because we’ve spiritualized the serpent to be Satan. So if Satan was alreadydbon earth causing havoc this angelic fall must have been earlier or so the logic goes.

They probably get that from this apocalyptic phrase from Jude:
“You also know that the angels who did not keep within their proper domain but abandoned their own place of residence, he has kept in eternal chains in utter darkness, locked up for the judgment of the great Day.”
‭‭Jude‬ ‭1:6‬ ‭NET‬‬

Here’s a star formation density rate curve:
image

From this we see the star formation rate density per year hit a peak a few billion years in. And has been declining since then. And then all stars have a finite lifetime depending on their mass and elemental makeup. What do we say about the souls of stars when they go supernova and disappear forever? Why does the rate of soul star formation increase but then decrease, billions of years before earth even existed?

Iran not endless, but it is an intrinsic feature of the early universe. Adding or taking away the equivalent of a grain of sand would have prevented us from ever existing if you did it when the universe was 1 nanosecond old:
flatness-oldness-75

There’s a lot more to that, but an introduction to the ‘flatness’ of the universe can be seen here as well as a greater explanation of that figure: http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/cosmo_03.htm


(Shawn T Murphy) #27

Yes, but they the same fail to realize that the Great Day occurred on Easter Sunday, three days after Jesus died on the cross. He conquered Satan and opened the gates to the abandoned to start coming home. The eternity was much longer than 13.8 billion years that the universe has existed.


(Shawn T Murphy) #28

I see this number on google, but this number is way understated from a pollution free, light pollution free environment that John had. The number also does not include all the stars in the clusters and galaxies seen by the naked eye. But I am only suggesting these order of magnitude estimates, not one-to-one comparisons.


(Matthew Pevarnik) #29

No it’s not.

Because you can’t see the ~1 trillion stars in the Andromeda galaxy with the naked eye. You couldn’t just count: 1,2,3, oops not 3, I mean 1000000000002, 1000000000003, etc.

I see. Well anything over 1000 is big to me and very sciencey so it’s all the same.


(Mitchell W McKain) #30

Yes. Even though it sounds funny, in very real sense there are more galaxies in the sky than stars. Look between two close stars in the sky and you find thousands of galaxies.

On the other hand, we have been looking at stars and cataloging them a lot longer with many more people with simpler equipment than galaxies. So we have about 1.3 billion stars cataloged and only just over a million galaxies cataloged.


(Christoper P. Garside) #31

I look at God as without time, He just is. “I am that I am.” So eternity would not be boring, because there is not time. He is outside time and space of this universe, because He created time and space of this universe.


(Mitchell W McKain) #32

I don’t look at God as being without any good thing. I think theologians/people take such things away from God in order to make Him their slave. God is the creator of time and so it would be foolish to think He cannot use time whenever He chooses.

That is what God said in response to Moses’ request for the name of the god who sent him, so I think the point was that God is not and never was one among many. In the beginning, there is God. There is no need to ask what He did for an eternity because there is no absolute time let alone one that He is subject to. But it is not the case that He cannot do things which require time for He quite capable of supplying whatever time He requires.

That’s funny, I am already bored, for what you describe sounds indistinguishable from nothingness to me. Whether yours or the nothingness of the atheists, it doesn’t frighten me in slightest – sounds nice and easy – too easy. But one thing it is not is life – not any kind of life, for life requires time and love too for that matter. Eternal life is thus quite different than what you describe and that is the one I am holding out for.


(Christoper P. Garside) #33

I do not think life outside this universe requires time, you are just in the moment. If you have to have God in time, you have to answer who created God? He just is, without time He does not have a beginning and will have no end. He is beyond time and space because He created it. He can put Himself in it any time and space that He wants. When He creates the new earth that may or may not have time. I know that when people have near death experiences they describe heaven as a wonderful place that they do not want to leave, but it is without time, which allows for many things explained by quantum physics. I know timelessness is a hard idea to wrap your head around, but once you see how it affects physics and matter it explains allot about what we know about God.


(Mitchell W McKain) #34

That is not life, that is a photograph which has no life whatsoever. What you describe is without thought, consciousness or feeling. A moment is only a moment because it is one of many.

You don’t have to choose between God in time or God without time. There is also God who uses time as He desires. Only in that case is God bigger/greater than time. And your question has nothing to do with this regardless. You can keep your God without time, I choose God who is the master of time.

But God can to more than that. He create beginnings and ends. He can create time and space as He desires. Thus while your time-disabled God cannot think or make decisions, the master of time God can employ time for thoughts, decisions, actions, and feelings as He desires.

I am not interested in this lame photograph earth.

I see very little demonstration of any understanding of quantum physics in what you say. You have seemed to have changed it into magic of some sort. There certainly is no quantum physics without time.

Incorrect. Timelessness is easy to wrap your head around. Time is the much much greater challenge and some would say mystery. It is time and change which makes things hard and interesting. So I guess I can understand a desire to make all the difficulties and challenges of time go away. But in the end, it is the choice of death over life.


(Christoper P. Garside) #35

I can tell you really do not understand what I am talking about. God is alive, He created time, He is still the master of time without having to be in it. Time is what is written into the laws of this universe as another dimension of this universe. God is capable of living outside of time and making a universe that is very much alive without it if He wants. God is not a photograph. If timelessness is just a photograph you made God a photograph. For God to create our time and space, He had to be outside of what He created before it existed. I know you might find it boring, but you are not God. Just because you do not understand the idea (which I can tell you do not because you are not using any evidence, just opinion) you do not need to be rude. It also does not appear you want to lean anything, because your world view is correct and does not need to change in your eye. It does not look like you are reading what I am writing in context, because you are separating the ideas and taking them out of context missing the big ideas. You should know that there are places where quantum physics works quite well with no time. The reason for the electron cloud is that the electron experiences no time, so it is everywhere in the cloud at once. If you cannot be constructive with logic I see no need to respond to you any more. If you would like me to go into more detail and give examples and have a mature discussion, I would be happy too. If you are going to be rude and provide not evidence and logic then our discussion will end. I want to engage in productive discussion where I might be able to learn or discover ideas, not argue and throw insults.