No Randy. For hundreds and thousands of years the gospel has been avoided, side-lined, by-passed, traduced, denied, lost, ignored, invisible in plain sight, yeah butted out; everything and anything but the gospel is endlessly ruminated on in the psychiatric sense [here on this site included]. And yes, forbearance and mercy are essential for those without the gospel. The vast majority of Christians. Even the immensely privileged like WLC. Let alone those we fail to be good news to.
The gospel? For God is love. [Where are the leaders saying that here? I’m just an old man on the bus, late, very late, incredibly just recently late, to the clear unchained gospel, with my nasty old man’s ways.]
Whoa. I differ dramatically from this statement. First, I’m sure that you are with great love. Second, I think that the leaders here are very godly, loving and forbearing. For example, they put up with me!
I am curious what the definition of “love” is? Used in the wrong way, can it not be dictatorial as well?
I am trying to avoid the use of the second person pronoun. It helps avoid unintended implication of criticism.
. My sons and daughter from 7 to 12 years old) often challenge me on rules, and as I age, I realize that they need more than simply a loving father, but also someone who is able to deal with the difficulties of the world. I have to show them how to be both strong against challenges, and loving and accepting during those battles. I can protect them, and yet encourage questioning. Second, children, as you know, are terrified when they don’t have boundaries. Some, depending on their temperament, purposely bump their heads against rules–sometimes to reassure themselves that they exist. We all work based on fear.
A book I skimmed a few years ago indicated that church splits often occur over disagreement among those who adhere to 3 main ideas: 1) that God’s rules are most important, 2) that spreading the Gospel is most important, and 3) that love is most important. I easily fall most readily in the 3rd camp, but I realize that we all need to answer the questions about how we follow rules and understand God best, too.
One question that comes back to me frequently is how to mesh Christ with “nature, red in tooth and claw”–an indifferent universe. It is as it is; but my concept of Christ as a representative of God clashes with that sometimes. At least, YEC believe that they have a reason for suffering–that we are being punished for Adam’s sin. It’s a horrible thought, and far from reality; but it gives them security in that they think that they know how to contain it.
There is room for mystery; and I don’t have the answers to everything. However, good for you (and the moderators) in trying to show love in the midst of adversity.
You are a good man Randy. You have a good heart. I’m not. I don’t. But I know it when I see it and I aspire to it. I’m a bit of a Caliban in The Tempest.
The leaders are too forbearing, of me and many others. Like you, they are levels more decent than me. That is not in issue.
If it’s dictatorial, it’s not love.
Totally agreed on kids. But God in Christ treats us as moral equals, adult to adult, no compromise, no punches pulled. He confronts our lovelessness in His first sermon, later in the beatitudes, in all He said and did. Those are the rules of love. That is the gospel. Follow all rules lovingly, other-centredly, for the benefit of others. That’s how to understand God.
YEC and all damnationists, which is 98% of western Christianity at least, believe what they have to in the absence of being led in the gospel. In love. Non-western is hardly a beacon on a hill with its self serving patriarchal nationalistic institutionalization.
There is no mystery in love. We all know it when we see it, when we feel it, when we fail to give it. Dogs and octopi do. We have always known. In Christ we have no excuse whatsoever. But we still find excuses. We. It’s collective.
We all need to walk naked together in this conversation Randy.
You’re going to have to educate me. I haven’t read that; and a survey of him in Wikipedia was a bit confusing! It’s about converting and alliances of an abused man?
As you know, I’m patriotic, so to speak, as you are (not a “damnationist”!). It’s not a Gnostic knowledge that makes the difference between salvation and punishment, as Rachel Held Evans put so well in “Faith Unraveled.”
I’m just realizing that in our world view, many of us reflect the savagery of what we see around us. Sometimes, we fill in the mystery of why bad things happen to good people with falsehood. The gospel sometimes constrains us to patience with those who do, as I think you agree. Thanks for your insight.
‘You taught me language; and my profit on’t
Is, I know how to curse.
The red plague rid you
For learning me your language!’
(The Tempest I.ii. 366–368).
Like Caliban Randy, I’m a bit of a beast. Somewhat deformed. Wild. I am compelled to foolishly answer fools according to their follies. What does that make me? Wretched man that I am. And now I have less excuse than ever before, but I am old and deeply grooved in my ways.
That is brilliant. Even though I feel I must be misunderstanding it. Until most recently the gospel was not unalloyedly clear to me in the words of Jesus and Paul. It mixed light - salvation - and dark - punishment. I rejected the dark as being enculturated, human, of the time. Echoes of gnosticism at least. I knew better. Something that the arc of the moral universe transcended since. But it robbed the scriptures of authenticity. Of God Himself. But even that was only relatively recent. For decades I was at home, comfortable, revelled in the light and dark, in God the Killer. My 66 year ontogeny recapitulates my 3000 year phylogeny.
But the gospel has been made clear. It is all salvation. For all. In the words of Jesus Himself and through Paul.
How do you understand Rachel?
And yes, I agree on patience and now I have no excuse for not exercising it. But the habit of impatience is deeply scored.
His Kalam is specious nonsense because of it. His Molinism is even more absurd.
I’ll disagree there. The universe definitely began to exist. And things don’t happen “in” non-existence without reason. That’s surely an absurdity. Thus, there is a reason for why the universe began to exist. This is pretty simple and I’ve always seen attempts to get around this as a form of logic butchering.
The definition of the word “cosmos” according to Merriam Webster:
Cosmos: the universe
Unless you’re using your own definition of “cosmos” rather than the dictionary definition, this is a contradiction. Are you referring to some sort of potential multiverse? If so, I see no reason as to why the multiverse itself can escape a beginning.
I agree with Klax about there being a process which precipitated the big bang we associate with our universe. We have no way of knowing it was unique any more than we do of knowing there are or have been others.
I’m not sure what you’re referring to by a process that precipitated the big bang. Are you saying the big bang was caused? If so, you’re agreeing with the Kalam. Klax has asserted the eternity of the universe, but this to me is logically flawed. It is logically invalid.
An infinite amount of time has passed
Thus, an infinite amount of time has passed to get to this point in time
As a matter of fact of reality, an infinite amount of time can’t “pass”. No matter how much time passes, it will never reach infinity.
As you can see, (2) is a logical consequence of a past-eternal universe but contradicts (3) which is just a fact of logic. In other words, the idea of a past-eternal universe is logically incoherent.
I’m not agreeing with the Kalam if I think there is a level of existence at which singularities come and go out of existence somewhat routinely in keeping with an internal order we are in no position to understand. Nobody can say with certainty what brings about the expansion of a singularity but in my opinion it seems likely not to be a one of a kind experience … except of course for creatures like ourselves living within the space provided by one of these. I think Klax’s way of putting it is in reaction to the very common reaction you yourself have in equating the universe defined as the expansion of that one singularity we call the Big Bang with the cosmos itself. Whether or not they are the same is a perfectly comprehensible question. How would we know? If I were Christian in a more conventional way it would be just too tempting to fold the the Big Bang into a naive reading of the Genesis account of creation not to do the same. But from my perspective, if God must be saddled with creation, then He must have had a hand in setting up a cosmos in which energy, matter and space become crushed in some regions until they are released into others rather like a frothy mass of soap bubbles.
I won’t pretend to know or have any adequate way of arguing for a multi-verse cosmos, but it does strike me as likely. Afterall, since the extremely tiny realm of quantum phenomenon contains some surprises, why shouldn’t the extremely vast realm of a multi-verse cosmos not also seem strange to those of us who live our entire lives in the middle? However I will always argue that a single universe cosmos is no more certain than the alternative. What is certain is that the one we know exists, its status as exclusive or one of many is beyond our capacity to verify so far as I know.
You’re right, I pushed the boundaries insouciantly. I was using it in the sense of ‘the all’ (not the All), but even that is idiolectic as you imply.
‘Physical cosmology (often simply described as ‘cosmology’) is the scientific study of the universe, from the beginning of its physical existence. It includes speculative concepts such as a multiverse, when these are being discussed. In physical cosmology, the term cosmos is often used in a technical way, referring to a particular spacetime continuum within a (postulated) multiverse. Our particular cosmos, the observable universe, is generally capitalized as the Cosmos .’
So yes, ‘Universes have always begun. The multiverse hasn’t’. There is no beginning of beginnings whether grounded by God or no.
Klax asserts the eternity of the multiverse. Not this blip. The natural ‘all’. Whether grounded by God - the All - or no.
Your ‘critique’ of infinity doesn’t match with Cantor’s.
Infinity is a rational fact. Infinite time = eternity. God didn’t change 13.8 Ga ago go. A mere tick of the multiversal clock. A bubble in the infinitely eternally seething pot. Hoyle was uniformitarianly right. At the wrong scale. In the excellent historical western Broken Trail, Bob Duvall buries the dead with beautiful expression, 'We’re all travellers in this world. From the sweet grass to the packing house. Birth 'til death. We travel between the eternities..
God is a lot bigger than we think. Than we can think. To paraphrase the great J. B. S. Haldane. In every way, He’s big minded. Scarily, vertiginously bigger than infinite nature from eternity. Nietzsche’s pit or what. Of course the future hasn’t happened and the past is dead, but now is on that cusp. From forever. That’s a fact. Deal with it.
@ManiacalVesalius and Klax, I do appear to be distinguishing between the “universe” and the “cosmos” too glibly to suit my POV. Sorry about that. But the alternative seems to be to talk of multiple singularities and big bangs at a distance to one another which puts them beyond our ability to peer just now. All the comments made regarding the uniqueness of our ‘universe’ (as I had been using it) would seem to apply to the uniqueness of the big bang event of which we are a part.
It is foolish and irrational to presume that the God who is cannot intervene in his children’s physical lives as some here in their ‘rationality’ have professed, not unlike what Jesus did in the storm,* no matter which universe we live in.
*“and it was completely calm” so they had to row all the way back!
I’ll watch Mark. But you and I know at least as much as he. His genius has nowt ter do wi’ it.
‘In 2007, Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg suggested that if the multiverse existed, “the hope of finding a rational explanation for the precise values of quark masses and other constants of the standard model that we observe in our Big Bang is doomed, for their values would be an accident of the particular part of the multiverse in which we live.”’
I, a bloke on the bus, think he’s wrong. These values precipitate, coalesce, damp down, emerge out of the interstices of intersecting dimensions of being. As dodecahedrons emerge from soap bubbles.
Whether God grounds them or not, and nature just abhors a null.