Two questions about how central the question of origins is to your core beliefs


#61

Hi Mervin
Those two sentiments above appear to be in tension with each other.

To clarify, God’s core and original objective was for us to be in harmonious relationship with Him, but, through free will (yikes).
By ‘Bigger’, i dont think i have any room for any proposition of observable ‘life’ that is beyond His Sovereignty. Everything scriptural about God’s character reaffirms that Humanity is the apple of His eye. Perhaps the 2x greatest commandments are a good testament to this?
In this view, entertaining the idea of extraterstial life ( fun for sure) is a little like wondering if your dad had an affair, or fathered other unknown kids somewhere…it doesn’t line up with God’s character presented by scripture. It also reduces our ‘reverence’ and leads to us thinking that, perhaps we (I) am not so special…or even fearfully/wonderfully made. That is a lie.

Satan’s attempted heavenly coup, and banishment to earth did and has set us and everything well offcourse.


(Randy) #62

Interesting discussion, @NTassie and @Mervin_Bitikofer. Have you read C S Lewis’ Space Trilogy, where he postulates God’s salvation for populations on different worlds? Out of the Silent Planet is about Earth and Mars(under the Devil’s domination, it’s silent, according to God’s heavenly beings, who long to look into His salvation; but Mars has already fallen as well); Voyage to Venus is the protagonist’s struggle as God’s instrument to prevent a fall in the new world. It examines the nature of what sinlessness and innocence could be, even if we are able to sin. It’s very interesting as an illustration!


(Phil) #63

I share your feelings regarding John 1 also as being the creation story. This weekend at my daughters house, a Cuban pastor and church planter they were hosting have a devotional, and started out saying that the first thing you have to know is Genesis 1. I thought, “Here we go again, another YEC pronouncement…” He then read "3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. " He then went on to discuss how this was spiritual light and darkness, and how we all have to decide where we are going to be, in the light, or in the darkness. This correlates well with the verses quoted above from John 1, and also can be expanded on with 1 John 5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all[b] sin.
In a sense, it seems these verses re-interpret Genesis much as Isaiah was reinterpreted in the Gospels. In any case, something to think about.


#64

Thanks Randy.
C.S is always great, but i havnt come across these…must do tnx.
It examines the nature of what sinlessness and innocence could be, even if we are able to sin. It’s very interesting as an illustration!

I recently stumbled on the following article which gave me another angle on Sin and the fall (more than one). The disobedience of eating the fruit wasnt the whole story, it was that by doing so, we became enlightened both Good and Evil. It suggests that this was when were still very immature in our relationship with God (like kids). God intended us to learn His ways (perhaps in the safety of the Garden), so we would be mature enough to acquire the Knowledge of Good and Evil, but Satan cut this short.


(Randy) #65

yes, that is sort of what my church (and to a lesser extent, Lewis) imply; though I personally, after reading Lamoureux, think that Adam and Eve did not exist, but God allowed them to communicate spiritual truths in the Genesis. Lewis did say that that choice is so deep and complex that he didn’t think he had plumbed its possibilities.

I found the idea of God interacting with different populations in different ways in the trilogy reminded me of the OT, remembering that when Moses asked Him, “Are you for us, or for our enemies,” and God gave him the surprise answer–“Neither!”–was paradigm shaking. In the trilogy, He’s for his own creation to the point of reaching out for each one on each planet, but we each still have to make our decisions of whether to follow him or not.

Note, by the way, that my church is YEC and would not accept my EC beliefs; I have been open with them and they made an exception to let me join :slight_smile:


(Mark D.) #66

Any church that didn’t receive you with open arms is probably no place anyone should want to be.


(Mitchell W McKain) #67

The C.S Lewis Space Trilogy has been on my shelf since my youth and I have read them something like this: Out of the Silent Planet about 10 times, Perelandra 3 times, Hideous strength 1-2 times. Early science fiction like this can seem a bit hokey and naive but you can just read them like fantasy (and frankly much of what is called science fiction should be called fantasy in my opinion anyway).


(Mervin Bitikofer) #68

Indeed - you may be right that you don’t have any room for it. But the real question is: does God? But I’m certainly not here to drag anybody away from their own comfort zones in this - not an issue I’ll dig my heels in for. That said, I don’t think the comparison of God’s faithfulness can be tied to a provincial “earth-only” view within the universe. That would be a bit like the people of Israel thinking that God would be unfaithful if he shows any love, blessing, or care for other nations outside themselves (which they - like you - could probably have found apparent scriptural justification for thinking). But God has a history of expanding our provincial horizons beyond ourselves, our tribes, and even our own nations. And that is a trajectory that tends to drag all of us out of our comfort zones. It’s also a “broadening” we see God calling his people to exercise over and over again.


(Randy) #69

Oops…duplicate. But thanks.


(Randy) #70

@markd, you are more than kind. Are all skeptics like you as gracious as you?


#71

Fair view, and yes, many arguments are that the Bible ‘doesn’t’ explicitly state we are alone. Regardless of my feelings, and against popular views, i just dont see scripture being ‘open’ to any life beyond earth.
E.g. Jesus is currently creating a new Heaven and a New earth for his followers to move to after his second coming, as in Rev 21. The fact that this includes a new Heaven (singular), negates the likelyhood of other yet unknown creations i think? I.e. there is 1 x God, 1 x Jesus, 1 x Heaven, 1 x Universe, 1 x Earth and 1 x You.

Further to, Rev 1:8
8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,”declares the Lord God, “the one who is, who was, and who is coming, the Almighty.”

Sorry to be the Alien fun police though!


(Shawn T Murphy) #72

Can you expand on what you mean by “take it back further…”? How far back in your thinking is John 1 from Genesis 1? Before the Big Bang?


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #73

[quote=“MarkD, post:60, topic:39708”]
if, when and to whom God reveals Himself is entirely up to him, “at his whim”.

God is free to do as God chooses and humans are also free to do as we choose. I do not have to converse with you, but I choose to do so because of who I am. God does not have to converse with us but God does because of Who God is.

Jesus the Messiah (or Savior) is God’s Word. God so loves the World, which includes all of us, that God the Father sent His Word into our Reality so that we might know Jesus His Word and establish a relationship with God the Father through God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. .

This is not done by whim or chance, but by God’s rational plan.


(Mervin Bitikofer) #74

Police on as you feel led! Right now, strictly empirical science is on your side on this one. And we always need people willing to poke at popular ideas.


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #75

If God created life in God’s Image on another planet, then that is God’s problem, not ours. Certainly God would love them just as much as God loves us, Just as God love you just as much as God.loves me, which is completely.

God and God’s love does not have limits. Also God loves the other creatures that God has made such as birds was well as us.


(Phil) #76

I agree with you that intelligent life is unlikely out there in the cosmos, at least that we would ever see, but do not really see it as something that would be contrary to God’s will and purpose for us. The rationale that I base this on, is that there are no doubt species and organisms that we never have seen nor been aware of on this little planet, though we occasional come across a few of them in the deep ocean etc., so I think that God creates for his own pleasure, and if wants to use other planets, it is really not so different than using the ocean depths.


(Mark D.) #77

I meant it in the sense I bolded below. While the expression very often is used to imply arbitrariness, that is neither necessary nor my intended meaning. If you wish to keep making the case that God does not act in an arbitrary manner please realize I am not defending the opposite position.

The phrase “at whim” means “for no apparent reason, randomly, arbitrarily, whenever the impulse arises, or whenever one likes” The paramilitaries were walking through the village, torching huts at whim. I cannot kick back and read a good book at whim these days; there’s far too much work to be done to the house.
difference - ‘at whim’ vs ‘on a whim’ - English Language Learners …
https://ell.stackexchange.com/q/46821


#78

Hi Phil,
Yes, but I think God created with clear and deliberate purpose, never just on a whim, for fun (okay, perhaps Jesus was having fun with dinosaurs?).
It seems to me the Earth is directly interconnected with Heaven itself.
The fact that both a new Heaven and a New Earth are being prepared, leads me to think both of these are unique/singular.


#79

Hi Shawn,
I heard an intriguing couple of sermons by Dr John Lennox called the Word or God in Creation.

In the below link, look in August 2018:
https://www.oneplace.com/ministries/let-my-people-think/listen/

Sermon #2 is perhaps best.

Lennox outlines/concludes that everything we see is supported by the Word, and that this is the Primary/beginning source of life (and light). It was only by the Word, that anything material came to exist.


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #80

So you are saying that God reveals Godself to whomever God likes whenever God likes, but you deny that God is being arbitrary, even though that is what you seem to be saying.

Now we know that the universe is finite and it has a beginning, which we call the Big Bang.

We know that the universe did not create itself out of nothing.

We also know that only God is I AM WHO I AM.

Only I AM WHO I AM has the ability, the opportunity, and the motive to create the universe.

Conclusion: God created the universe as a home for rational human beings.