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

(Phil) #81

Sounds reasonable. We really do not have much to go on as to what the new heaven and earth means, but will know someday. My point was that there seems to be a lot of stuff going on in the universe that we are unaware of and that seemingly does not impact humankind, but somehow God is involved with. That includes dinosaurs, and other worlds potentially.


I guess im increasingly digging my heals in about the concept of God’s attention being anywhere other than on us as His ultimate and only focus.

In the sermon by Dr John Lennox I referenced in post 79 above to Shawn, he explains that he can use his telescope to see huge sunflares that furl millions of kilometers into space. But, the Sun has no idea its being observed or that we exist, it just provides warmth and light.

I understand that the universe has been proven as infinite. I interpret that as eternal!

(Dillon) #83

I don’t think this line of reasoning leads to the conclusion that God exists. (That is to say that, even if God does exist, existence itself doesn’t prove that fact). I consider it god-of-the-gaps reasoning, though plenty of believers disagree with me here.

From my perspective, it seems like there is some kind of uncaused cause somewhere… something to initiate the casual chain. But (unless you begin with the premise of God’s existence) there is nothing to suggest that this uncaused cause must be God. Obviously, it is some unfathomable thing that can initiate a chain of causality from nothing. But does unfathomable=God?

Sure, God might be himself unfathomable. But that doesn’t mean that everything that is unfathomable is God. That is the root of god-of-the-gaps reasoning, IMO.

(Shawn T Murphy) #84

Thanks for this,
Although I have I never found wisdom in Ravi Zacharias or in any of the modern orators. They are just rehashing the words of the Bible to support their doctrines. They are not fulfilling the role that Jesus promised of the spirit of truth. Remember, Jesus stood up to the priests of His time starting at the age of 12. He saw through their corruption of the Word and corrected them. They took His life for this defiance. Please read pages 6 -13 in the journal attached and let me know what you think. (Alternate link.)

(Mervin Bitikofer) #85

Your link doesn’t open up any journal with those pages (and clicking the ‘journal’ tab there doesn’t seem to do it either). You may need to link more directly to the actual document involved if you want anybody to be able to see it.

Where did you get this idea from? Can you provide scriptural support for this?

(Phil) #86

Isn’t that a little presumptuous for a heap of dust? We have an infinite God, I’m sure he can multi-task. I agree that God’s ultimate gift and boundless love is focused on us, but that does not preclude his action elsewhere.

Regarding the universe, I do not think infinite is a good term to use for it, as it had a beginning, and will have an end. I think we have a poor concept of these sorts of things, but thankfully they are secondary.

(Christy Hemphill) #87

Not what the Bible says. He listened to the teachers and asked questions. And when he was “quizzed” by the teachers, they were amazed at his understanding.

Luke 2:46-47
After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.

(Mark D.) #88

I’ll try again.

I’m saying that if and when God -or anything else supernatural- chooses to make themselves known to creatures of the natural world seems to be up to them, not us. That is my understanding of the supernatural category, that it is undetectable to our senses and science. That doesn’t stop anyone from making claims regarding the supernatural, obviously. If one accepts that the supernatural has made appearances in the past and left messages for mankind then of course you have a basis for those claims. Anyone who believes such a thing might agree with the claims you make. Or they might interpret the message left in some other manner or else point to other such miraculous occurrences and messages left. But I myself have no dog in that fight as I am unaware of anything supernatural and suspect it is an empty set. I am merely pointing out that whatever anyone thinks they know about the supernatural is contingent on what that supernatural entity has elected to reveal.

(Shawn T Murphy) #89

Dear Christie, Please check your quote. It says “Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.” This means that He could not only read at this age, but that He could explain them better than the Pharisees and scribes listening. This continued through His life. Nicodemus was a Pharisee who met secretly in the night with Jesus to learn more from him. He had to do this in secret because the priests and Pharisees did not agree with Jesus’ teachings.

(Shawn T Murphy) #90

Mervin, Christie beat me to it.

I updated the link and added an alternate.

(Randy) #91

Hm doesn’t that mean they were amazed at his insight of a 12 year old? can’t read too much in there. Rebuke I do not see. thanks.

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #92

I do not expect this reasoning to prove the existence of God, any more that reasoning can prove the existence of gravity or the truth. The question is, If the universe began with the Big Bang, does that confirm or deny the existence of God? I think it is clear that it conforms the existence of God.

This is not a God of the gaps issue, but a God of the origins question. There are 3 basic disciplines which we use to understand Reality and Life, Science, Theology, and Life. Science says that it can say nothing beyond the Big Bang which describes the beginning of matter, energy, time, and space.

You seem to favor the Philosophical point of view which says that an uncaused cause created the universe. This leads me to ask the question as to the nature of this cause.

We can say that it is not physical, but is it rational or is it spiritual? If the Cause is rational then it would seem that the universe would be basically rational, which it is not. The universe is basically physical, rational, and spiritual.

Many philosophers have labelled the Uncaused Cause or the Unmoved Mover as God, but I would agree that is not the God of Theology, the God of the Bible. This is the unfathomable Absolute God of philosophy, not the Trinitarian loving God of Jesus and the Bible.

The challenge for Science, Philosophy, and Theology is to understand how the physical, the rational, and the spiritual work together to create a livable, meaningful, and a sustaining environment for humans to live in, and live in that environment in a just, loving, and peaceful manner.

For me to understand that God is the Source of the physical, rational. and spiritual so we can integrate them all in ourselves since we are created in God’s Image.

(Christy Hemphill) #93

Yes, but nothing about the account suggests he was rebellious or confrontational. You imposed that on the account when you suggested he was “standing up to them” and “correcting their corruption of the Word.” He was extraordinarily insightful for a 12 year old.

(Randy) #94

Yes, @Shawn_Murphy. Have you read “The Chosen” by Chaim Potok? Sounds like that–with the gematriya, pilpul, and rabbinic discussions among young men :). Pretty cool book!

(Mervin Bitikofer) #95

There is no indication (at least from the 66 books of today’s protestant bibles) that Jesus ever began his ministry before his “inauguration into it” with John’s baptism and Jesus’ subsequent wilderness experiences. The brief childhood passage you are referencing also concludes that this young boy was growing in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men. These words give no indication whatsoever that Jesus had already begun disputations with Pharisees that would lead to conflict and disfavor that eventually resulted in his crucifixion. [There are at least two ways in which I as an older teacher can be amazed at a young child’s questions and answers: I may be amazed that the child has progressed and advanced so quickly for their age which would appropriately impress (but not stump or surpass any older teacher). or 2. (the sense you have taken) I can be stymied because some young genius prodigy has surpassed all of us teachers and has taken to arguing with us to show that what we thought we knew is actually all bunk. “Amazed” might begin to describe this 2nd situation, but there are other less kind words that would quickly follow from any now-defensive authorities who find themselves being rebuked by some young upstart. --“growing in favor with God and men” is not something that happens with children who are still in the throes of what would be seen as disrespectful arrogance. So everything in here points toward the 1st understanding and away from the 2nd.]

But in the last three years of his life when Jesus actually was rebuking the Pharisees and religious leaders - even then he stops short of completely casting them aside in the eyes of his disciples. (See Matthew 23:2). The problem with the Pharisees wasn’t so much that they were preaching wrong things as it was that they were not practicing what they preached.

Scriptures don’t give us any reason to think that Jesus was already out and about looking for conflict from religious leaders before his ministry had even started. In fact we see him trying to avoid conflict for a while even after his ministry is started! He avoids, stays away from, and tries to keep people quiet much more than he provokes or gets in people’s faces about things. But once he “sets his face toward Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51), we see things really starting to heat up.

To insist (as I understand some of the non-canonical books do) that Jesus even as a young boy was already instilled with a confrontational prophetic spirit is to dehumanize him all the more by denying what scriptures tell us: that he grew and learned from his elders just as we are obliged to do.

Thanks for updating the link. I started skim reading it … but I’ll admit my eyes glazed over a bit when I reached the part where the author claims that humans are “fallen angels”. Was there some particular portion in there that pertained to this discussion at hand?

[with additions / edits]

(Randy) #96

I am sorry. I initially wrote a criticism of the link. I did not think you were in the same vein as what I was reading; but I am sorry, too, for the way I wrote it. It is good to discuss things. I apologize.

(Shawn T Murphy) #97

This discussion is about the question of origins.@NTassie had said that the Word existed before the birth of Jesus and I asked “how long before.” He gave me a link to Dr. John Lenox which did not answer the question. So, I asked him to consider what was taught by another preacher that gives a logical (for me) reason for the creation of the material universe - the fall of the angels. I have read no other reasonable explanation on this Forum as to why the world was created, nor why there is so much suffering in the world. This question was about “my core belief” and I decided to share it. But it seams the stones are already flying. Is that Christ-like?

(Mervin Bitikofer) #98

Well - on your reading of how Christ behaved (casting said stones even at his elders in the temple) I would say we haven’t begun to approach that kind of “Christ-likeness” here yet.

But yes - we do want to bring things out into the light of scripture and reason (all underneath the Spirit of Christ) for inspection. And the results of such inspections may not always seem pleasant, but it does need to be done. The best we can try for is to not be jerks about it! But we will still call a spade a spade.

(Randy) #99

You are right! I apologize, sincerely. I will edit my message. Keep talking and I will learn. Thanks.

(Shawn T Murphy) #100

So, how do you explain the fallen angels? When did they fall? Why has God not forgiven them?