What divides Christians from "mainstream science"?

Interesting thought you postulate, that a design does not require an intelligent designer… “Intelligent” defined as simply “thinking with reason”, and not defined as superior genius, would seem to be required for a design, wouldn’t it, since a mindless, unthinking, unreasonable pattern, would not be considered a design. The definition of design would require a designer, or it would simply be a lucky accident, not a design. The question is, which is it? lucky accident, or undeniable design? combination of both? Criteria for decision?


I believe my comment clearly detailed what my view of evolutionary creationism is. There is no lucky accident involved in the process—everything in nature is determined by preceding events and states of affairs.

Determinism: the principle in classical mechanics that the values of dynamic variables of a system and of the forces acting on the system at a given time, completely determine the values of the variables at any later time.

Determined Mechanical Forces > The Physical Universe > Life > Intelligent Design Through Evolution > The Spiritual Universe (The World of Mind/ The Mental World) > Human Ability to Influence and Mold the Spiritual and Physical Universe

No lucky accident. Determinism by material events. Like a watch that runs on its own. Blind watchmaker? or a watch without a maker?

God is self-sufficient… is He not?

Self-sufficient: able to supply one’s own or its own needs without external assistance.

I wouldn’t call God blind either–remember… there is no accident. The watch is in the maker, and the maker is in the watch.

Tony, you have raised some good points. God is self-sufficient. But the watch is not. Although the watch appears to be self sufficient, running on its own, still we know it didn’t make itself, nor is it changing from a watch to a grandfather clock. To say that the watch is in the maker (not sure I agree with this, but let’s not dispute this for the moment) still would seem to be different than saying the watch is part of the maker. Ie. If I swallow a watch, it is in me, but still external to my being. It can only really become part of me, by no longer being a watch. Is God in the watch. Yes, perhaps like I might be in a house I build. But that really doesn’t say how I have built the house, or whether I am still building it, or whether it is building itself, or whether I am simply observing the contractors I have hired. It doesn’t solve the problem, nor simplify the answer.

An analogy helps to explain an idea, but it doesn’t prove the idea, nor does it give evidence for the idea.

So you say that God started creation, he is not blind, he maintains it? Concretely, then, how is God’s presence different from his absence in this situation? Is there evidence that God is still present? Are the mutations not random then? How do we know?


That the watch is part of the maker and the maker is part of the watch seems to sound better. That the watch is in the maker and that the maker is in the watch is more descriptive though. If you have read some of my other comments, in other threads, you probably know where I am coming from with this analogy. Specifically where panentheism states that—“The cosmos exists within God, who in turn “pervades” or is “in” the cosmos.”

"Panentheism (from Greek πᾶν (pân) “all”; ἐν (en) “in”; and θεός (Theós) “God”; “all-in-God”) is a belief system which posits that God exists and interpenetrates every part of nature, and timelessly extends beyond as well. Panentheism is distinguished from pantheism, which holds that God is synonymous with the material universe.

In panentheism, God is not exactly viewed as the creator or demiurge but the eternal animating force behind the universe, with the universe as nothing more than the manifest part of God. The cosmos exists within God, who in turn “pervades” or is “in” the cosmos. While pantheism asserts that God and the universe are coextensive, panentheism claims that God is greater than the universe and that the universe is contained within God. Panentheism holds that God is the “supreme affect and effect” of the universe."


If you are interested in understanding why I make these claims, a specific and lengthy discussion was had on these matters beginning here Fine Tuning and Teleology and continuing here Panentheism vs. Theism

“If I swallow a watch, it is in me, but still external to my being. It can only really become part of me, by no longer being a watch.”

In relation with God… God is pure energy. Pure energy occupies all physical matter. All physical matter is what makes up the periodic table of elements. The periodic table of elements consists of all the different known types of atoms in the physical universe. All the known different types of atoms in the physical universe are occupied by pure energy (God). The mass-energy equivalence known as Einstein’s equation E=MC2 states that mass and energy are two sides of the same coin. One does not exist without the other—all mass is energy, and all energy shows evidence as mass. Hence I believe your example, “If I swallow a watch” is not realistic, since the watch is made up of atoms (energy and matter) and, so is your body made up of atoms (energy and matter). So, your statement “If I swallow a watch, it is in me, but still external to my being. It can only really become part of me, by no longer being a watch” is not applicable to the relationship between God and the universe. In relation to God and the universe—all energy is in matter, and, all matter is in energy. In your example—some energy and matter (the watch) is in some energy and matter (your body), however—the energy and matter (the watch) is still external to your being because (the watch) and (your body) have individual distinct being. This individualism does not change the fact that all energy contains matter and all matter contains energy. Another way that this can be described is to say that the watch has being and has energy, and your body has being and has energy. And one thing that has being (the watch) is inside another thing that has being (your body), thus, one thing (the watch) is still separate from the other thing (your body). However, the universe, as a whole—has being and has energy. The universe, as a whole, is not separate from any other thing, and, no other thing, as a whole, is separate from the universe, because there is no other thing. Everything is in God, and God is in everything—even though some things are inside other things.

“Is God in the watch. Yes, perhaps like I might be in a house I build. But that really doesn’t say how I have built the house, or whether I am still building it, or whether it is building itself, or whether I am simply observing the contractors I have hired. It doesn’t solve the problem, nor simplify the answer.”

“An analogy helps to explain an idea, but it doesn’t prove the idea, nor does it give evidence for the idea.”

These questions were dealt with, above, in the post to Roger:

“So you say that God started creation, he is not blind, he maintains it? Concretely, then, how is God’s presence different from his absence in this situation? Is there evidence that God is still present? Are the mutations not random then? How do we know?”

God’s presence is different from his absence in that with his presence we can experience existence. Without his presence we would not experience existence. Descartes stated, “I think therefore I am.” This is supportive evidence that God is still present, since we can experience existence. The mutations are only random within the stochastic process that they engage in. We know this because all the evidence points to the fact that we live in a cause and effect universe—the universe is rational and intelligible.


In my opinion design is always rational and thus the product of an intelligence. I understand that there are people who maintain a humanist, philosophical atheism, who maintain that the universe is rational and has meaning, but do not attribute this to an intelligent Creator God. This is not the issue I am addressing.

Monod and Dawkins both say that the universe has no design, but only the appearance of design. Again if something looks like it is designed, acts like it is designed, and best understood as operating under rational rules is designed. The problem of course with evolution is that it is not understood as operating under rational rules. Darwinism claims that it works by random chance of survival of the fittest, thus claiming that the world is not designed and not rational.

BioLogos says that God created the universe and humans through natural means, but has refused to explain how God has been able to do this as I have said. My point is that we Christians need to discuss this if we are to engage in a responsible dialogue with others and teleology is an important aspect of this discussion. I also offered my views for a basis of that discussion.

You have offered your view as a part of the discussion, which is evolution is the result of “determined mechanical forces.” The problem with words like “determined” and “selection” is that they strongly imply rationality, rather than chance. Thus natural indicates that nature can select based on a rational basis which alleles to allow to survive and flourish to produce the best ecology for the earth.

To say that evolution is determined by mechanistic forces for no reason or purpose is just untrue. Life does have meaning and purpose. What is true is that we are discussing issues on the boundaries of science, philosophy, and theology. To ignore this crucial fact is impossible, so we need to take the bull by the horns, so to speak, and be clear about the issues and problems, so we can have an open and honest discussion. We also must be clear that Christians should not be telling scientists what to believe, but discussion how humans know what is real and true.

The basis of your thinking is that humans live in a deterministic universe, even though quantum physics and other trends in thought point to a universe which is not deterministic. Humans are not determined. We have the freedom to make decisions and change our lives.

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Yes, the universe appears to the rational mind to be intelligible (understandable). But, to some rational minds it also appears to be designed, while to other minds it is random and accidental. And to some minds, the universe is not understandable at all. In all ways, man experiences this universe, but his opinion of his experience differs from other men… and thus some men, whom I would not agree with, would argue that we can experience the material world without a presence of any god. But our knowledge of God depends on our experience of God, which is dependant on the holy spirit within us. Some do not experience that due to lack of the Spirit. Hmm.

Is God pure energy? We might think so, but then God is so much more than that. Energy as we measure it is a concept limited by our experience. And we cannot measure God. In addition, God can create things outside of himself, and has done so. In the beginning, God created the light, which I take to be energy in a form we can relate to. Before the beginning, the light (energy) was not created, apparently. God is not limited by the material, and exists outside of the material, even though he may by choice exist inside of it. Even without energy or the material world, God would still exist. This is as I see it, and as scripture indicates.


I suspect that you must also be aware that this humanist, philosophical atheism that I maintain is strictly based on an in-depth investigative research of the Holy Scriptures of the Judeo-Christian faith, and their mutual correlation with scientific tenets and philosophical objectives. As with all investigative research of this magnitude it involves critical thinking based on scientific facts, and scientific theories, that have been verified by empirical evidence. Logical philosophical assessment confirms that these theories are based on a solid analytical foundation. I am confident that there are many other evolutionary creationists who similarly hold this worldview that I present here today.

In the Judeo-Christian tradition God is understood as being eternal. Panentheism does not conflict with this view. It also respects the principles of God’s transcendence and immanence associated with traditional theism. In the words of one Panentheistic proponent—“The relationship between God and the world is like the relationship among the members of the Trinity in that it involves relationships and communities” [communities: similar character; agreement; identity] (Molnar 1990, 674). I present these central points with which supportive claims will be introduced and assessed to confirm the underlying logical assessment of this interpretation of the Holy Scriptures and of the Judeo-Christian faith. http://www.reference.com/browse/wiki/Panentheism Panentheism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

In the beginning, the “supreme affect and effect” of the universe (the eternal animating force)—what theists put out as the (white haired bearded man in the sky god)—caused the universe and the earth to be. The eternal animating force is not the intelligent being designer (god) that theists would have us believe. In philosophical terms, the eternal animating force [has being]—it is not a being. It also has some form of “supernatural intelligence” (so to speak), and [s]hould be respected as such—I mean… do theists actually believe that evolutionary creationist don’t appreciate and respect the awesome power that established the universe, or, the magnificent beauty nature displays in all its splendor. Or, perhaps it’s that theists would have it that we revert to delusive doctrines once again.

If the irrefutable fact is understood for what it is—that there is no (white haired bearded man in the sky god), then it follows that it shouldn’t be too difficult to put together the rest of the puzzle—Christ will return from amongst mankind to establish His Kingdom. Accordingly, to fulfill the Biblical narrative, the only logical conclusion that makes any sense is that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit of the Triune God are none other than Adam, Jesus, and the Third Person of the Trinity. The Revelation states, “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven (The Spiritual Plane) from my God: and I will write upon him my new name” (Revelation 3:12). The important point to make here is that the same Spirit that inhabited Adam, and Jesus, is the same Spirit that will inhabit the Third Person of the Trinity, although—He will have a new name.

Wikipedia states, “According to genetic and fossil evidence, archaic Homo sapiens evolved to anatomically modern humans solely in Africa, between 200,000 and 100,000 years ago, with members of one branch leaving Africa by 60,000 years ago and over time replacing earlier human populations such as Neanderthals and Homo Erectus.” Human - Wikipedia

An interesting correlation is that, “Stephen Anderson states that the age of spoken languages is estimated at 60,000 to 100,000 years,” occurring around the same time period of the members of one branch of anatomically modern humans leaving Africa. Moreover, if the writers of the Bible painstakingly took the appropriate measures to make sure that the lineage of Adam was meticulously recorded—as documented in the Hebrew Scriptures—perhaps, approximately 6000 years ago, as the Bible indicates, Adam—as the Father of one family line from the branch leaving Africa, is the point where man developed conscious awareness of the Higher Self—Yahuwah. It would make sense that language be developed first since, “Language is the human ability to acquire and use complex systems of communication.” An important consideration is that, “Thinkers such as Rousseau have argued that language originated from emotions while others like Kant have held that it originated from rational and logical thought. 20th-century philosophers such as Wittgenstein argued that philosophy is really the study of language.” It is logical to conclude that the capability of rationalization (language) be required to be able to think critically and understand that we can communicate with our Higher Self—Yahuwah. Language - Wikipedia

The resurrection is another important point of contention that is not competently understood. Biblical claims on the Resurrection and/or religious interpretation by organized religion and/or individual interpretation thereof are problematic—to put it lightly—and do not conform to rational empirical scientific facts. Others here in the BioLogos community have had similar opinions—rightfully so! The whole discussion concerning John Polkinghorne’s women finding the body of Jesus before the men did creates a situation of leading individuals on a wild goose chase. Perhaps it’s more like the dog chasing its tail. If the women found the body first, or, if it was the men—makes no difference with what interests us here! The body of Jesus would still have been able to have been removed and hidden elsewhere. Whether it makes the story more believable or not is besides the point. In the opinion of rationality—there was no physical resurrection—Jesus’ body was removed and hidden. In the famous words of Sherlock Holmes, “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” Therefore, if we would want to call it as such—there was a Spiritual Resurrection. Yahushua’s Holy Spirit—His personality, character, quintessence—resurrected to the World of Mind (what religionists have known as heaven, but is understood in Kabbalistic terms as the Spiritual Plane). Thus, Yahushua’s Holy Spirit (His personality, character, quintessence) has already been reincarnated into the Third Person of The Holy Trinity—The Messiah is already present! Have you not been reading the headlines or watching the world news.

As such, if we come to understand the true significance of the religionist conception of heaven as being the Spiritual Plane, it becomes clear that the dead do not go to an afterlife—immortality of the Soul (Psyche) involves the continuing survival of the genetic family line. In this sense, parents pass on their genetic material (DNA) to their children. Similarly, parents pass on the psychological and spiritual characteristics of their family line. At death, therefore, it can be presumed that the person’s spirit (psychological and spiritual characteristics) continues to survive in the hearts and minds of those who remain and were close to the deceased.

In line with these thoughts it follows that the Rapture is “a mystical experience in which the spirit is exalted to a knowledge of divine things”—the person is enlightened with Divine Truth. According to these considerations Mystical is defined as, “having spiritual meaning or reality that is neither apparent to the senses nor obvious to the intelligence.” Thus, the imagination, or rather, (the sixth sense), is required for the spirit to be exalted to a knowledge of Divine Things and experience the Rapture— (Webster’s Ninth Collegiate Dictionary - Rapture, Mystical). Read, analyze, and comprehend the definitions of these two terms correctly. Christians will not fly into space!!!—They will transcend normal reality and be enlightened with the magnificent Mystery of God (Revelation 10:7).

OEC’s, YEC’s, and ID advocates disagree with these views, therefore, it is not difficult to comprehend on which side of the fence they stand. However… the worldview that a person holds regarding the essence of God and Christ, and of spiritual truths, is not an issue that dictates salvation, per se—Jesus Christ’s two most important commandments are at issue there—although, if these worldviews cause the person consternation, this in itself, through psychosomatic cause and effect, can lead to further physiological/psychological imbalances. In the time that we live in it is unequivocally important to be balanced and sure of oneself—that one is prepared for The Great and Terrible day of Yahuwah.

The Bible writers must have wanted us to be well acquainted with the phrase “the day of the Lord,” since it is used nineteen times in the Old Testament (Isaiah 2:12; 13:6, 9; Ezekiel 13:5, 30:3; Joel 1:15, 2:1,11,31; 3:14; Amos 5:18,20; Obadiah 15; Zephaniah 1:7,14; Zechariah 14:1; Malachi. 4:5) and four times in the New Testament (Acts 2:20; 2 Thessalonians 2:2; 2 Peter 3:10)." What is the day of the Lord? | GotQuestions.org

What many Christians fail to understand is that Christ’s first coming was in humility as the faithful Servant—to be the example to the world as to how people ought to live and respect one another, and, of course, to confirm the prophecies of the prophets, and to fulfill the prophecy of Himself as the sacrificial Passover Lamb for the sins/crimes of the world. However, His Second Coming is anything but in humility. It is to fulfill what was said of Him in Matthew 5:18, “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled”—to bring the Wrath of God upon those who have heard the Gospel and have not turned from their unjust, criminal, and immoral ways, as the rest of Matthew 5 decries. It must be this way, if not… life on earth will not survive. Furthermore, Christ has the right to be King, Priest, and Judge because He paid the price in full to be so.

Thus, roughly 2000 years ago, on the Sabbath, Jesus rose from the Nazareth Synagogue and read Isaiah 61:1, "The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;"and stated, “This day is this scripture fulfilled,” (Luke 4:17-21) fulfilling the first coming of the Messiah. Today, in our time, Isaiah 61:2-3 will be read, “To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified,” to fulfill the Messiah’s second coming.

For those who summon Anthony Cashmore, biologist at the University of Pennsylvania, who wrote an article, in 2010, titled—The Lucretian swerve: The biological basis of human behavior and the criminal justice system. He wrote: “It is my belief that, as more attention is given to the mechanisms that govern human behavior, it will increasingly be seen that the concept of free will is an illusion." Although it may be true that genes and the environment play a very important role in shaping the individuals that we become, and thus, to some extent, determine our behavior, there is enough stochastic variability where we can be confident in making the statement that we are free moral agents expressing free will. As Cashmore wrote: “[A]n individual cannot be held responsible for either his genes or his environment. From this simple analysis, surely it follows that individuals cannot logically be held responsible for their behavior.” Well… still, if individuals really were deterministic (having no free will), and thus, not responsible for their criminal behavior… fine—Neither is the judge nor the executioner (a person who executes an act, will, judgment, etc.) responsible for his legal behavior in imposing justice.

You are repeating yourself, Roger, and ignoring my response. In your original comment above–at the top–you stated;

And my answer was;

These were your views for the basis of that discussion taken from your original post above—at the top of this thread.

For evolutionary creationism—Pure Unadulterated Christianity (just stating it as it is)—there is no issue that divides Christianity and science. God’s two Books (Nature and the Bible) agree. For others who have issue with teleology and science perhaps they are not assessing the evidence correctly? That teleology is identified with Aristotle and was incorporated into Christian theology through Thomas Aquinas explains its introduction into Christianity through its pagan roots. However, it does not explain the apparent contradiction that you seem to be experiencing. What is required to resolve the issue is that Christians grasp the idea that cosmological evolution is deterministic and biological evolution is teleological. Determinism [does not] suggest chance—it implies that events in nature follow cause and effect/action and reaction natural laws that have been established by the cosmological constants with the origination of the universe. [I use the term origination because science does not like the term creation—it suggests a creator. Since there is no creator, to be respected by the scientific community, one should use an appropriate term. This significant point (creation) was a contributing factor in what decided the outcome of the intelligent design trial and ultimately, and by reason thereof, the judgment in the schools.] The eternal animating force (God), as implied, is eternal therefore, [it] establishes the cosmological constants through its cycling cause and effect determinism—designed, but no designer. Biological evolution, by contrast, is teleological in that [all] biological life “strives to survive and thrive.” That is the goal and purpose of all life (the microbial world, the animal kingdom, and human society)—to strive to survive and thrive. This is evolution at its most basic function. Through deterministic fine tuning and the birth of life on earth the “designing intelligence” (within the cell)—to strive to survive and thrive—began to create the innumerable various species on our planet. In line with philosophical protocol teleology is a social science and philosophical issue that biology has not been given the right to address. Thus your statement that science has taken a materialistic view of reality is unjustified. Because natural scientists analyze and assess the material world without implicating teleology (meaning and purpose) does not suggest that they have denied that life has meaning and purpose. Hopefully our present discussion will resolve the conflicting issues that many Christians have with cosmological and biological evolution according to their distinct and contrasting aspects of determinism and teleology.

Your point here is in agreement with my worldview concerning biological evolution. As Bill Nye stated in his debate with Ken Ham—survival of the fittest does not mean, the strongest, or the smartest, but rather those organisms that fit in best with their environment. This is also true with Darwinian sociology. Those who fit in best in the social environment survive. In the wild it is nature itself that selects for survival thus—natural selection. In human society it is the law (the social contract) that selects for survival thus—artificial selection. It is already understood that artificial selection also implies the selection of different animals breeds and different strains of plant life.

Cosmological evolution seems very well to be determined by mechanistic forces. However, I would not say that there is no reason or purpose. The reason or purpose would seem to be that—this is just the way that the eternal animating force (God) operates. In this same sense is the reason or purpose for an apple falling from a tree to reach the ground—the reason or purpose of the apple falling is the apple’s weight on its limb and the force of gravity. It has already been explained that the reason or purpose of life is to survive and thrive—or as you state it, to survive and flourish. Same difference.

I totally agree… this is exactly what we are involved in—here at BioLogos.

Actually the evidence seems to point to a deterministic universe with stochastic variability, even though the variabilities are difficult to calculate. We have the illusion that we have the freedom to make decisions and change our lives—However, with the infinite stochastic variabilities it makes a good enough case that we have free will. The Holy Scriptures themselves confirm the deterministic nature of the universe. Referring to the Antichrist it is written—“And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Revelation 13: 8) Is it not clear enough that they who worship the beast do not have their names written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Did you also catch that the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world. It was determined from the foundation of the world that the Lamb would be slain.

These last two quotes are again taken from your original comment above—at the top of this thread.

I view it this way… Einstein’s energy/matter model of the scientific monistic relativistic worldview has for its biological counterpart Descartes’ mind/body model. This view is sometimes referred to as the mind/matter continuum. In my opinion these two worldviews need not be reconciled since one involves inanimate matter and the other animate matter. When they are reconciled it tends to create confusion—as is experienced in the theistic anthropomorphism of nature. Above, you exhorted: “we need to take the bull by the horns.” Well… let us move forward and evolve then, not backward and regress!

Although there should not be a war between science and a faith, theology and religion do create an environment of perplexing confusion. And while you say that “the gap… can not be papered over by a better understanding of science or Christianity,” I recommend being aware of what the individual sciences can and cannot discuss. As for Christianity… a better understanding has been presented. If this is what you mean by, “reconciliation through a new understanding of the nature of our universe” I say that that needs to come first of all from [a better understanding of theology]—A theology directed by philosophical principles and considerations.


Very interesting mish-mash of syncretic occultism. It is too bad that you did not heed my warning concerning cults and the occult. If you do not believe in a Personal God, YHWH, then please do not use God’s Name in your philosophy. Besides being offensive to YHWH, Jews, and Christians, it offends logic.

It is also too bad that there is nothing in this long rant that I can agree with and could form a common ground for discussion. As for > A theology directed by philosophical principles and considerations you have demonstrated what happens when one puts human understanding first and God second or third (behind science.)

Thus you have not provided any basis for solving this problem beyond baseless speculation. You have provided no basis for discussion.


Jesus said, “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” (Matthew 7:6) Is this not the case here?

Jesus also said, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” You ask, you knock, and you inquire, and yet—against all rational reason, you tread and stomp upon, and attempt to extinguish intellectual advancement.

You made the statement, “we need to take the bull by the horns, so to speak, and be clear about the issues and problems, so we can have an open and honest discussion.” Now I definitively realize that you want nothing of the sort.

However, because I know there are others, here at BioLogos, who are serious about doing philosophy, theology, and science I know that my efforts have not been done in vain. Although… I do realize that my last piece has touched a very sensitive nerve in you indeed.


Thank you for your reply…

I do not support an ideology that denies the presence of the true God. I also agree that our knowledge of God depends on our experience of God, which is dependent on the Holy Spirit within us. However, because some do not experience the Holy Spirit is not, in effect, related to belief in “the white haired bearded man in the sky god.” The Holy Spirit is received as a gift from parents, family, and close friends who are there to guide us in our life journey, and is further developed from the interactions of life’s experience. Thus, that some do not experience that due to lack of the Spirit is directly related to a lack of moral upbringing in the family beginning at childhood.

Emmanuel was with us some 2000 years ago. Our ancestors who were there and were filled with Yahuwah’s Spirit passed the Spirit on to their children, who in turn, passed it on their children. Today the Holy Spirit is alive and well in the families in whom it dwells.

In my opinion, it is more accurate to state that “without the present universe” God would still exist. Yes, this is as scripture indicates, but it is also as panentheism posits.

Tony, you said,

" I suspect that you must also be aware that this humanist, philosophical atheism that I maintain is strictly based on an in-depth investigative research of the Holy Scriptures of the Judeo-Christian faith, and their mutual correlation with scientific tenets and philosophical objectives. As with all investigative research of this magnitude it involves critical thinking based on scientific facts, and scientific theories, that have been verified by empirical evidence. Logical philosophical assessment confirms that these theories are based on a solid analytical foundation. I am confident that there are many other evolutionary creationists who similarly hold this worldview that I present here today."

Tony, in the interests of focussing, I thought I would only highlight this comment and see if I could get clarification. Are you claiming that some evolutionary creationists would maintain a humanist philosophical atheism? I admit I don’t understand how this is possible… it sounds like a dualism that goes much beyond the old Aristotelian and Rom Cath dualism of body and soul. How an evolutionary creationist can deny God puzzles me greatly.

Tony as to your post on the Holy spirit. You say it is passed on by parents thru moral upbringing. How do you know this spirit is holy? Why do you call it holy? How can unholy people create a holy spirit. What manner do they use to pass on this spirit that they created? Do they have to keep it holy or does it stay holy on its own? I’m also curious who told you about a white haired man in the sky god… I’ve never seen him, and I don’t know Christians who believe in this caricature. Do you think that those who do not believe in God can still have God’s spirit within them? If not, whose spirit is it? If yes, explain why God would do that? Or where you get your evidence for that thought.

The Holy Spirit is received as a gift from parents, family, and close friends who are there to guide us in our life journey, and is further developed from the interactions of life’s experience. Thus, that some do not experience that due to lack of the Spirit is directly related to a lack of moral upbringing in the family beginning at childhood.

I presume you mean that knowledge is passed on as a gift. For some have the knowledge, but not the Spirit.

To clarify, do you think that without the material world of any kind, and without energy, God could not exist?


To adequately answer your question certain philosophical acknowledgements must first be established:

“Philosophy has two important aims. First, it tries to give a person a unified view of the universe in which he lives. Second, it tries to make a person a more critical thinker by sharpening his ability to think clearly and precisely.” (World Book Encyclopedia - Philosophy).

As a result of this reasoning it is obvious that to fulfill philosophy’s two important aims it is essential to first fulfill the necessary requirements to achieve the second aim first—to have a specific and accurate definition of the pertinent philosophical terms involved in critical thinking. Without fulfilling the necessary requirements to achieve the second aim first, the attempt to fulfill philosophy’s first aim would be futile, which is to give the person a unified view of the universe in which he lives. If these considerations are understood we can proceed further in our investigation to comprehend the more profound mysteries—those pertaining to God.

We progress in our investigation and transcend in thought in the next step where we gain a specific and accurate definition of the relevant terms used in theology, religion, psychology, and judicial science. This essentially involves a concordist approach with terms used in these intrinsically related fields, such as—sin/crime, sinner/criminal, repent/regret, forgive/pardon, devil/psychopath. As you will notice, in each case, the word on the left is a religious term, and the word on the right is a scientific term (both terms have the same meaning). Utilizing this method for the observation of the human condition it becomes clearly apparent that through the creation of scientific terminology, in this case—psychology and judicial science, for example—that science is examining the validity and justification of religious claims.

In addition, metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that seeks to understand reality beyond what we know from our sense perceptions. It is the name given to research about the eternal universal nature of things. Metaphysics includes: Epistemology—the study of the origin, nature, and limitation of knowledge, Ontology—the study of the nature of reality, and Cosmology—the study of the origin of the universe and its laws. In other words, in order to ontologically understand the nature of reality we must epistemically comprehend the origins, nature, and limitations of language, and, cosmologically understand the origin of the universe and its laws. (Concerning epistemology [the origins, nature, and limitations of knowledge] this pertains to etymology, semantics, semiotics, etc.— however, for our purposes we need only focus on the dictionary definitions of our terms since the rules of language have already been established for us. For cosmology [the study of the origin of the universe and its laws] this pertains to physics and chemistry, and similarly—for our purposes we need only focus on the conclusions of scientific facts and scientific theories which based on solid analytical empirical evidence since these scientific assessments have already been verified for us.)

Hence… what is the nature of reality? Before we deal with this question something needs to be said regarding perception:

"What is Real? We often use the expression “Seeing is believing” without thinking much about it. But sometimes we find that the expression is not quite true. You may be sure you see a puddle of water in the road, but when you come closer, the puddle may not be there at all. Or you may see a bent stick in a glass of water, but find that the stick is straight when you take it out. You then begin to wonder, “Was there a puddle of water in the road?” "Is the stick bent or straight? These problems concern the question of deciding whether what we perceive, or sense, is real, and which of two perceptions is the true one.

As you look at a stick, you might say, “I see a stick.” But what you actually see is an image formed in your eye. If you compare the stick you now see with one you might have seen in a dream, you might find little difference. But you know that the one in the dream was a mental thing. This raises the question of the nature of what you perceive. Is the stick a real thing independent of your knowledge of it. Or is the stick simply what you know of it, or a purely mental thing? The philosophic theory called realism insists that objects exist independently of our knowledge of them. Idealism argues that they exist only in the mind.

Another aspect of the problem of what is real is the philosophic discussion of universals and particulars. When you look at a set of book, you recognize that they are all books. All books are alike as books. This means that each book is an example of a “Book” in a general sense. Philosophers call this general “Book” a universal, and the individual books particulars. They ask, “Is the particular book or the universal “Book” the real one?” Some philosophers say that only the universal is real. The particular book seems to change, but the universal remains unchanged." (World Book Encyclopedia - Philosophy)

Having outlined and examined these philosophical considerations we must now specifically and accurately determine our definitions for the term—God. Since a solid philosophical foundation is imperative for understanding the deeper mysteries of God we need to be particularly specific in these distinctions. Hence… first, we have “the eternal animating force” God that originated the universe. Atheists would define this “God” as the “eternal animating force”—an impersonal cyclical eternal energy force. I would reason that atheists do believe that something did originate the universe right? After all, it is the theists who reason that the universe was created from nothing! Second, we have “the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit” God—the same Spirit, Personality, Quintessence that occupies three distinct persons. Here, religious people make the big mistake of not differentiating between the “God” who originated the universe, and, “the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit God.” They reason that “the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit God” is the “God” who created the universe. Therefore, they believe that Jesus was the co-creator of the universe. This is wrong. We may call the impersonal cyclical eternal energy force that originates the universe and interpenetrates every part of nature—God, however, it is not a conscious being in the same sense that we usually speak of the term conscious. The impersonal cyclical eternal energy force becomes conscious of itself through the interpenetration of the universe. Categorically, the “eternal animating force” also interpenetrates the Father (Adam), and through genetic reproduction—the Son (Jesus), and the Third Person (New Name) of the Holy Trinity. With the arrival of the Messiah, the Third Person of the Holy Trinity, He will undoubtedly declare, “I do not remember any such thing as creating the universe.” Although all biological life originated through the interpenetrating of the “eternal animating force,” no part of biological life was alive (conscious) at the origination of the universe.) Hence, the, “let us create man in our image,” as if the Father was speaking with the Son at the creation of Adam, is nonsense. Nevertheless, in relation to "the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit God, I do believe there is something to be said about being created in the Image of God. Implying, that we are created in the “idea” (Idealism—a mental thing) of what God should be. Ergo, we try to fashion ourselves to be like the Perfect Model Human Being that Jesus Christ was.

Now, regarding our perception—that we may think we see a puddle of water in the road, but when we come closer, the puddle may not be there at all—this is a mirage, an illusion. The philosophical example is an attempt to teach us the lesson concerning our perception of God. The closer we come to God the more clear it becomes that He and heaven is not “out there” outside the universe—in the place religious people call heaven. But rather, He and heaven exists within us—in the World of Mind.

The illusion example of seeing a bent stick in a glass of water and finding that the stick is straight when you pull it out and ask, “Is the stick bent or straight?” is in this instance trying to teach the principle of the Bending of Reality. Think of it this way—The glass of water is religion, and the stick is God. When you look at God through religion you see Him as “bent.” However, if you take God out of religion you will see Him as “straight.” Remember, the key words are—“which of two perceptions is the true one?” Is God and heaven outside the universe, or, is God and heaven in the universe? Perhaps… He is immanent and through the imagination He can transcend the universe and look back at it?

In regards to universals and particulars—they are both real and are different aspects of the same phenomenon. We exist as individuals but have commonality with others who are of the same universal. God the “eternal animating force” is the Absolute Universal of all universals. And God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are distinct particulars of the All Absolute Universal. The world of man is made up of individuals who are particulars to either of two Universals. These Universals exist in the mind of man as two opposing phenomena creating cognitive dissonance.

"In psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time, or is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas, or values.

Leon Festinger’s theory of cognitive dissonance focuses on how humans strive for internal consistency. When inconsistency (dissonance) is experienced, individuals tend to become psychologically uncomfortable and they are motivated to attempt to reduce this dissonance, as well as actively avoiding situations and information which are likely to increase it."

Therefore, the answer of whether God exists outside us or within us can be considered in relation to the second paragraph of the Perception Article, “This raises the question of the nature of what you perceive. Is the stick a real thing independent of your knowledge of it. Or is the stick simply what you know of it, or a purely mental thing?” “Which of two perceptions is the true one?” Does God exist independently of our knowledge of Him (Realism) or does He exist only in the mind (Idealism)?

Let us move on to a pertinent aspect of our present considerations. Witchcraft is a knowledge unlike education in that it can be used for either good, or bad, depending on how it is used. Like a gun, a knife, or a hammer, it can be used to help people, or, it can be used to harm them. A witch is a person who has knowledge of witchcraft. In itself being a witch does not make a person good or bad. One aspect of witchcraft is involved with the Bending of Reality. Thus, to the term witch we can ascribe the definition—Bender of Reality. In the operations of bending reality a bad witch can place a person under a spell (delusion) to create a different perception of reality. Obviously this is done to take advantage of the individual in some way. Alternatively, a good witch can free a person who is under a spell (delusion) to bring the person to a true perception of reality. Basically then, we can bend reality one way, or, we can bend reality the other way—one way is reality, the other way is delusion. Usually, the good witch is called a wizard, and the bad witch is called a sorcerer. Do you remember the key words above—“which of two perceptions is the true one?” In relation to God and Satan, who would place humanity in a mass delusion? In regards to “Babylon the Great the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the World” the Holy Scriptures state, “And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.” (Revelation 18:23) Most informed Christians are well aware of who this is referring to. However, what they don’t realize is that the Mother of Harlots has daughters, and that the “members” of her daughters are still under the sorceries of the Mother concerning a true perception of who God is.

Furthermore, Solomon, King of Israel, Son of David stated clearly, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” (Ecclesiastes (9: 10) When the body dies the mind dies along with it, and although the body dies, the Soul lives on through the children for parents who are blessed with offspring. Similarly, the spirit can remain alive in the minds and hearts of those who remain. This is the real meaning of the immortality of the Soul (Psyche). Heaven is the World of Mind. The visions that prophets like Ezekiel, Daniel, and John the revelator had were visions of the Astral World at the Spiritual Plane level. Heaven is not a real place—it is an imaginary place where the ideas there can be molded to become real here, in the Physical World.

Finally… your initial question should be repeated for clarity purposes:

Therefore, yes, I am claiming that some evolutionary creationists would maintain a humanist philosophical atheism in that—they don’t believe in the “white haired bearded man in the sky god” (or any other conscious, intelligent, cognitive anthropomorphic being creation of the theist imagination). True Christians understand and respect the fact that the “eternal animating force” originated the universe, and has some form of energy/matter conscious intelligence, however, it is not the picture plastered throughout the churches of Christendom that theists have painted which has irreversibly damaged the lives of so many people. Hence, there does exist a dualism between Body and Soul (Psyche), and between Energy and Matter, however, these function in tandem with one another when the system is in balance. Hopefully it shouldn’t puzzle you anymore that some evolutionary creationists, or, atheists, deny God—they just understand and have a clearer picture of who God really is.

It’s worth mentioning for the sake of the discussion that @Tony’s definition of evolutionary creationism is a bit different from the BioLogos definition, although I have no issues with panentheistic perspectives being represented here. BioLogos firmly rejects panentheism.

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I’m sorry, Tony… some of your statements, are… too self-contradictory for me to grasp. For example, an atheist who

Hopefully it shouldn’t puzzle you anymore that evolutionary creationists or atheists deny God—they just understand and have a clearer picture of who God really is.

who denies God, still understand a god they think does not exist? If you denied I existed, would you understand me better? Or, are you changing the definition of God? Maybe this only makes sense to an atheist, but I find this statement nonsensical (without trying to offend you). And then, for someone who believes in creation, which requires a creator by definition, then denying God… so the creator is not God but someone other than God? So God is an observer, watching the creator…and the creator was not created by God… I think you lost me on that one.

In your examples of the mirage of water, or the stick in water appearing to be bent, I do agree with you that nature can sometimes be deceiving. I doubt that this is directly transferable to demonstrating that God exists only in the world of mind. In fact, it would suggest otherwise. Just as the stick has a real identity, even though it may appear bent, it is not, so although our perceptions of God may at times be off, yet God exists well enough for us to know mostly who he is.

Then, back to your initial characterization of philosophy: you suggest that first we need to have accurate definitions of terms, otherwise the aim of providing a unified view of the universe would be futile. I would suggest that accurate definitions are beneficial. But a unified view of the universe can be achieved without spending much time on definitions of philosophical terms. Trimmed down to basics, a person’s view might be that the world is a mysterious and brutal place in which he wishes to survive and experience pleasure without placing anyone else’s welfare above his own. He might realize that other people express different viewpoints, but ultimately bellieves that everyone operates on the same principle. This is his unified viewpoint, no more, no less. No philosophical terms are used. Yet his philosophy is as valid as the viewpoint of anyone else, and sufficiently comprehensive to suit the purpose. (And there are several, perhaps many viewpoints which could be expressed in similar non-philosophical terms.)

intrinsically related fields, such as—sin/crime, sinner/criminal, repent/regret, forgive/pardon, devil/psychopath. As you will notice, in each case, the word on the left is a religious term, and the word on the right is a scientific term (both terms have the same meaning

Your list of parallel terms are not entirely suitable, it seems to me… crime is a legal term, not scientific, although it depends partly on scientific evidence. Regret is not scientific, but rather emotional, and dependant on the same type of evidence as repentance. Eg. Is saying you repent the same as actually doing repentance? And devil, psycopath? Definately not the same thing nor the same meaning, although a devil might influence a psychopath.


Here are two similar definitions for the word holy from two different dictionaries.

  1. dedicated or devoted to the service of God, the church, or religion - dictionary.reference.com
  1. devoted entirely to the deity or the work of the deity – a holy templeholy prophets - merriam-webster.com

I’ll deal with only the second one here. A holy temple is holy because it is devoted entirely to the deity or the work of the deity. Similarly, the holy prophets are holy because they are devoted entirely to the deity or the work of the deity. In this same sense the Holy Spirit is Holy because it is devoted entirely to the deity or the work of the deity. Accordingly, we must answer the question—What is the work of the deity? The work of the deity is that which is just, that which is loving, that which is good, that which is kind, that which is merciful. Parents who are devoted entirely to the deity, or, to the work of the deity, will make sure that their children are taught that which is just, loving, good, kind, and merciful. In this way the Holy Spirit—the Spirit devoted entirely to the deity or the work of the deity is passed on to the children.

The apostle Paul explained it this way:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).

At times life can be difficult—some may have health issues, some financial problems, others may have family troubles, still others may experience all of the above. We grapple with these testing times and try hard to remain steadfast in our faith. Who is there that can say they are a perfect human being? There is none! As Christians we try hard to best fill the image of God that has been cast before us, and those of us who have children try to be good examples to our children so that they may fill that image the best that they can. The fruits of the Spirit bear witness that the Spirit we have is holy, therefore, this is why I call this Spirit holy.

Early childhood is the crucial period for instilling a good moral character in children. Sure, they will get into trouble, but good parents are always there for them. When the children of loving parents need love, or when they need discipline their parents are there. The balance of love and discipline is key. The scriptures exhort, "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). Also, "Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22: 6). Jesus said, “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit” (Mathew 7:17-18). I am aware that with these words the trees represent people and the fruit represent actions. This is also the case in the example of David, “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper” (Psalm 1:3). However, my intuition tells me that there is a deeper hidden meaning in these words. What I see in these texts about the trees and the fruit is that the trees represent parents and the fruit represent children. This is simply because good parents cannot raise bad children, nor can bad parents raise good children. Therefore, by their fruit you will know them. Good children come from good parents, bad children come from bad parents. As the text states, "You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit” (Matthew 7:16-17).

Therefore your questions—"How can unholy people create a holy spirit. What manner do they use to pass on this spirit that they created? Do they have to keep it holy or does it stay holy on its own? are questions that involve the patience, mercy, and love that people and societies at large have in their hearts for others who have had a less fortunate upbringing. However, when you think about it… and you don’t need to think about it too hard, the educated and the wealthy stay as far away from the problem as they can to keep their hands and the hands of their families clean. However, can you blame them for wanting to stay as far away from the cancer as they possibly can? It’s a very difficult balancing act indeed to keep your family safe and help those with a diseased soul (psyche)! They leave the hard work involving patience, mercy, forgiveness, and love to those who are already burdened with the weight of their own familial responsibilities. The educated, the wealthy, and the elite, have the private schools, the country clubs, the high society gatherings, and the extended vacations. But again… can you blame them? Nevertheless, the problem remains, and the solution still lies in the total overhaul and transformation of global economic system.

Jesus said:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.”

Therefore, the old saying—“you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is true—to a certain extent. It all depends on how diseased the soul (psyche) actually is. So, how can unholy people create a holy spirit? They cannot. Unless they, who were lead astray to living an unrighteous life, already have the Holy Spirit to begin with, there is no way of creating the Holy Spirit. It is given as a gift of grace—from parents to their children. The prodigal son knows were his home is. What manner do they use to pass on this spirit that they created? Since they cannot create this spirit, they cannot pass it on. Instead they pass on and reinforce their own unholy spirit. Do they have to keep it holy or does it stay holy on its own? Well, since their spirit is unholy, there is no effort or struggle involved in keeping it holy. On the other hand, someone who was lead astray but already had the Holy Spirit to begin with and returns to the fold, daily effort and struggle is involved to keep their spirit holy and remain sane.

The apostle Paul gives us sound advice on how to remain strong in the Lord.

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;” (Ephesians 6: 10-18).

This comes as a surprise to me from an educated person who must surely be aware of the existence of Michelangelo’s fresco painting which forms part of the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope, in Vatican City. This image of God is “burned” in the minds of Christians everywhere. So your statement that, “I’ve never seen him, and I don’t know Christians who believe in this caricature,” is very difficult to take seriously. Especially, when you incriminate yourself (just an innocent expression) with statements such as this one you made in your post above in reply to me

If you see caricatures such as devils influencing psychopaths then it follows that you see caricatures such as “the white haired bearded man in the sky god” inspiring prophets. I believe that these imaginary caricatures ideally exist only in the mind. For the sake of realism we can make the statement—just as the Christ is God… the Antichrist is Satan. These real entities exist here on earth within our world.

It has already been explained that the imaginary caricature—“the white haired bearded man in the sky god”—of God is a delusion. Alternatively, the veracity of the “eternal animating force” God is real. It has also been explained, in an older post of mine, that the Spirit (the “eternal animating force”), as it has interpenetrated every part of nature, it has also interpenetrated mankind. Therefore, since Man is the most intellectually advanced expression of biological life, the Pure Spirit (the “eternal animating force”) within him expresses itself as God—Yahuwah (the higher self). Hence, those who do not believe in God still have God’s sustaining Spirit within them, and although they may not communicate with God as Christians and other religious people do their spirit may not be holy. Alternatively, if someone was raised by good parents who—through love and discipline—instilled the Holy Spirit within them as children, although they have taken a stand of unbelief of God does not change the good person that they are.

Since it is God’s Spirit that sustains all animate and inanimate matter there is no other spirit in this regard. God the “eternal animating force” interpenetrates and expresses Itself in every part of nature. It is in biological life where an alternate spirit emerges. This is where organisms struggle for survival and create competing expressions of themselves. It is within the favored environment of first life where cooperation amongst organisms is experienced that God’s Conscious Spirit comes alive. It is between different species and between different individual organisms within species where competition begins. At a higher level cooperation between species and individuals within species is where cooperation is further experienced and ecosystems flourish. And, at a higher level still is where different ecosystems on our planet cooperate within the whole global ecosystem. Man is where the Mind of God abides. Unfortunately, it is where the Mind of Satan also abides. A cataclysmic clash of intentions is ultimately in store for us—It is right at the door. The spirit of Satan is the spirit of antichrist which is the spirit of rapacious predation. He cannot, and therefore will not submit to God’s authority and abide in cooperation within the global ecosystem.

Where do I get my evidence for my thoughts? I inquire, I listen, and the thoughts proceed. When I question the thoughts, I listen more, and the evidence is provided. When we are thinking critically we claim or assume something. The claim and the thinking upon which it is based is subject to rational evaluation. When we do the evaluation we are thinking critically. Therefore, if the assumptions we hold are well-established propositions that are regarded as reporting matters of actual fact they can be substantiated through further corroborated actual facts.

Well, yes, knowledge is passed on as a gift, but so is the Spirit. And although it is true that some have the knowledge, but not the Spirit, others have the knowledge and the Spirit. And since through knowledge and understanding one gains wisdom and insight visions of the past and the future become clear.

Since God is the energy that interpenetrates the material world the question is not valid. However, I understand what is that you are asking—therefore, no, God could not exist without the material world or energy.

Tony, wow, voluminous voluminosity of response! I can’t comment on all your responses; it becomes too much at once… But I guess two issues bother me, one being that you would suggest that people pass along the spirit as if the spirit was like an old coat, or a loaf of bread at the table. To me, and to scripture, the Holy Spirit is not subject to our whims and manipulations. Only one such thing is hinted at when scripture says, “Do not quench the Spirit.” Furthermore, we know that some have come to Christ without any spirit being “passed along” from parent to child. At the time of pentecost, it was merely preaching at a distance that gave knowledge, which the Spirit used to work in the hearts/minds of people. The Spirit is holy because it does not belong to people; people do not own the spirit, so it goes where it wills. The Spirit is God, and so is holy. He works in the hearts of men in spite of their unholiness.

The second thing is when you say that God could not exist without the material world, your statement contradicts both scripture and common sense. Scripture indicates God was there before the material world; he created it. Even the energy or light was created. Furthermore, the biggest problem with the Israelites and Canaanites in the old testament is that they were often worshipping nature, or gods made out of natural materials. If God was merely co-existant with material, why would God be so upset about that? Then also, scripture clearly indicates that God is spirit. Common sense also dictates that God is bigger than the material. This is why Moses could not look at God. Also, how could God create himself…? That God could use material, or even exhibit himself in material ways is obvious, as he became material man, and his presence even became spiritually visible to Moses. But God is not synonymous with the material, and therefore could indeed exist outside of the material. God’s presence in the hearts of people is not related to energy, nor to matter, but rather to spirit, which is something else entirely.


Hi John…

I’d like you to know that I haven’t taken offence that you have found my statement nonsensical. Instead I have taken your comment as suggesting that I should be more specific in choosing my words to clearly express my ideas. Although it’s not simple discussing these complicated issues online, I know it’s doable. I’ll attempt to offer further clarification.

My statement was;

I have since edited my original comment—it should have read [some] evolutionary creationists. My apologies.

You commented;

Since we obviously exist, how can anyone not believe in the origination/creation of the universe? Descartes’ famous statement, “I think, therefore I am,” suggests that since we are able to think, we can be sure of our existence. Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindi, Atheist—any person with the capacity to think is aware that his mother bore him. However… he still understands that the universe as a whole had its beginning with the Big Bang. Therefore, the atheist is aware that there was a beginning and that “something” caused the Big Bang. The theist is also aware that he exists, that his mother bore him, and that the universe began with the Big Bang. However, the difference with the theist is that he believes that “someone” caused the Big Bang.

So, here again, in this post, I will ask you, how can you say that you have never seen the “white haired bearded man in the sky god” and don’t know of any Christians who believe in him—since you, and many other Christians, believe that “someone” rather than “something” caused the Big Bang. Therefore, having further clarified I hope you can grasp what I’m getting at here—both atheist and theist is aware that there was an Originator/Creator of the universe. The atheist, on the one hand, calls that “something,” the “eternal animating force,” the theist, on the other hand, calls that “someone,” the “white haired bearded man in the sky god.” To be clear, my intentions are not to insult anyone, but only to create a vivid colored word picture of the “god” that religious people have been taught to believe in—this picture has been burned into their minds. I have struggled for a good part of my life trying to believe in this “god,” however, I was never able to accept the picture that Michelangelo painted.

Now… if we would rather elaborate that the Creator God evolves with the evolving creation it would necessarily suggest that at the onset of creation the Creator God was not fully what the Creator God would become at the end of creation. Since we have not as yet arrived at the end of creation, the Creator God is still evolving with the creation. Accordingly, as biological evolution implies—information and intelligence evolves from less intelligent basic organisms to more complex intelligent species. If this is the case, it would seem that the original hypothesis I proposed in that cosmological evolution, from the Big Bang onward, was purely a precursor materialistic deterministic process leading to biological evolution where, as we know, information and intelligence evolves from less organized basic organisms to more complex intelligent species. In this scenario, the “eternal animating force” fine tunes the universe for life, and since life is the determined outcome of the “eternal animating force,” the “eternal animating force” [is] God. God is immanent and interpenetrates every part of nature, but also evolves through biological evolution to become Man. This is why Jesus Christ is considered to be God—because the full potential of the Absolute (the eternal animating force) is expressed in Man. We view this original “self-awareness” of God as commencing with Adam (Man)—the Father of Homo sapiens, or at least, one branch of Homo sapiens. In due time, with the fall of Man, God’s plan for redemption was revealed to Moses. As the leader and representative of his people he enacted the covenant between God and the Hebrew people. The story of Abraham and Isaac was a precursor to illustrate God’s plan in sacrificing His Son Jesus for the sins of the Father—Adam. God’s Soul—His Being (the Higher Self), the Spirit, Personality, and Quintessence of God, reincarnated many times from Adam to Jesus. And reincarnated many more times from Jesus to the Messiah today. Three persons, same Spirit, Personality, and Quintessence. (The Adam I refer to here is not sinful fallen Adam, but rather Perfect Adam. Perfect Adam was the Father. Just as Perfect Jesus was the Son. And as Perfect will be the Third Person who is baptized with Holy Spirit).

Therefore, in answer to your question, [I am] changing the definition for the term—God. Why? Because this worldview makes full sense—in contrast to what has been purposely held obscure for millennia. Through this new picture of Christianity everything in the Old Testament and the New Testament harmoniously hold together. This worldview is also in agreement with fundamental scientific theory. Similarly, the definition for the term Atheism should also be redefined—this is what the term, the New Atheism would imply. It has been made clear enough already that theists and atheists both believe in a beginning—how can anyone not believe in a beginning? It has also been made clear that the principle tenets of panentheism—the concepts of eternity, and, immanence and transcendence—are in agreement with theistic doctrines of God. Thus, both theists and atheists agree on eternity, a beginning, and, immanence and transcendence. According to physical cosmologists the universe has an ultimate fate and will one day end. However, the energy and matter that comprises it is eternal and will be recycled (energy and matter cannot be created nor destroyed, but only transformed from one form to another). The growing consensus among cosmologists that the universe is flat and will continue to expand forever only creates an infinite regress because if the universe will expand forever this suggests that it began from nothing (creatio ex nihilo). This is not possible because nothing comes from nothing. If we say that God created from nothing we are suggesting that God is the eternal nothingness. Instead it is more appropriate and makes more sense to say that God is the “eternal animating force” that transforms energy into matter and that God interpenetrates that matter.

The problem with atheism is not in regard to origins—it has correctly defined this aspect of reality. However, not accepting the historical Hebrew account of the beginning of the human family, its trials and errors, and God’s Plan for salvation [is] very problematic to say the least. Hence, my reference to “some” evolutionary creationists who are atheist—in that they don’t believe that the God who caused the Big Bang is “someone,” but is rather “something,” and although being atheist in that sense, are Christian because they believe in the historical Hebrew account of the beginning of the human family, its trial and errors, and God’s Plan for salvation. Accordingly, they are atheist in one sense, but theist in the other. The doctrine for these evolutionary creationists must necessarily be expressed in these terms since the old definition of atheism simply rejects God and Sacred Scripture altogether, and, alternatively, the old definition of theism upholds that “someone” created the universe from nothing (creatio ex nihilo). Accomodationism, concordism, and reconciliation of these important and pertinent concepts is crucial for philosophy’s aim of a unified view of the universe.

It is not only nature (the material world) that can be deceiving. People can also deceive other people—it happens all the time. The scriptures state, “No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him” (John 1:18). Thus, not even Jesus has seen God, although, he hath declared him." Many Christians believe that Jesus is God, however, has anyone ever considered who Jesus was praying to when He asked his disciples to watch over him, “Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder” (Matthew 26:36). Jesus, the man, was the Christ, the Messiah, God’s Chosen One. He, like Noah, Abraham, Moses, and the Prophets prayed to God (the Higher Self) for thanks, for strength, and for protection. We can call it the Higher Self, the Collective Unconscious, the “I”, the I Am—it is the God that Holy people pray to. This God exists only in the World of Mind. This is why the scriptures state that, “No man hath seen God at any time.” This is also why the Prophets and other Holy Men and Women of God received messages and visions through angels in dream and trance states. Here, in the World of Mind, through dreams and visions, God shape shifts and can present Himself as different characters, since, in the dream state, all the characters that we encounter are the same entity—the subconscious mind.

In the example of the stick in the glass of water, I had said that the stick represents God and the glass of water represents religion. I also said that if you try to see, or understand, who God is looking at him through religion you will see, or understand, him as being bent (not who He really is). The philosophic example is to demonstrate what a delusion is, not to prove that God exists only in the Mind. Although, if the delusion is removed one may find that God does only exist in the Mind. In philosophy, “being is a term that refers to anything that is, was, or can be. The most general thing that we can say about any object is that it has being. This means that the object exists or can be known in some way. A thought, or a memory, as well as a table, has being” (World Book Encyclopedia - Philosophy). In this sense, God has being, and has real identity. I understand your point that although the stick may appear bent, it is not. But, just like God—in religion He may appear bent, but in actuality, He is not. However, if you continue to see God through religion you will continue to see him as bent, although, He is not bent. Do you want to see God bent, or, do you want to see him straight (who He really is). I don’t know about you, John… but I don’t want to know who God mostly is—I want to know who He truly, really, and completely is. I believe that most people would want the same thing—God is not a commodity only for the educated privileged few. To end on this point, although God exists only in the Mind, He has real being, and has real identity in each and every one of us. God gives us our awareness of knowing what is right and wrong, just and true. The Messiah will come again, and although God exists only in the Mind, God is just as real to the Messiah.

In a general sense I totally agree with everything you have said here, John. However, we are discussing "What divides Christians from “mainstream science.” Roger began the thread with the main issues—design, teleology, and western dualism. I presented a structured hypothesis of what is actually at work in our universe. We are discussing absolute ideas in a maze of uncertainties and probabilities. One cannot make such a presentation and debate with others without invoking the structured framework of philosophical understanding concerning the main areas of consideration. Sure, at a basic level, the corner junky, the prostitute on the main, and the crack dealer all view the world the way you describe. However will this mode of thinking analyze and assess why these people sink to such a level in society, will it solve these problems, and prevent them from occurring again in the future? What about at the international and global level, can we trim down our views to these basics when discuss sensitive issues such as dictators marching their militaries across borders, terrorist groups slaughtering innocent children, or the proliferation of nuclear weapons in the hands of rogue states?

Crime [is] a legal term, however, it [is] also scientific. Do you notice the term “science” in judicial science? Regret [is] scientific because it is emotional. Psychology deals with the emotions, and psychology is a science. Yes, to regret and repentance are both dependant on the same type of evidence—to show sorrow or remorse. Here is the dictionary definition for the term Regret; “to feel sorrow or remorse for (an act, fault, disappointment, etc.).” So I agree, to regret and repentance are both dependent on the same type of evidence. You asked," Is saying you repent the same as actually doing repentance?" However, I can turn your example around ask—is saying that you regret a certain action the same as actually regretting the action? This line of reasoning involves whether the action of regretting or repentance is sincere or not, not whether they have the same definition.

You said that devil and psychopath is not the same thing nor have the same meaning. However, this is the main central point!—Those behind religion have distorted reality.

It must be pointed out here, that just as God exists only in the mind, Satan also exists only in the mind. However, in this sense, just as God has being, and thus is real, Satan also has being, and thus is real. Remember, the spiritual realm is within us, not out there. (The only sense in which we can say that the spiritual realm is out there, is in the sense that other people are out there in the world who have a spiritual realm within themselves that is apart from our spiritual realm. However, when we start to get into eachother’s heads spiritual attacks can influence the well being of others. The devil, or rather, psychopath is well aware on how to intimidate and influence others).

This is the theological definition for devil;

(1) (sometimes initial capital letter) the supreme spirit of evil; Satan.
(2) a subordinate evil spirit at enmity with God, and having power to afflict humans both with bodily disease and with spiritual corruption.

Here are two secular definitions for the term devil;

(1) an atrociously wicked, cruel, or ill-tempered person.
(2) a person who is very clever, energetic, reckless, or mischievous.

These are the etymological origins for the term devil: Late Latin diabolus — Greek diábolos — literally, slanderer, slanderous, to assault someone’s character.

And here are four definitions for the term psychopath;

(1) a person with a psychopathic personality, which manifests as amoral and antisocial behavior, lack of ability to love or establish meaningful personal relationships, extreme egocentricity, failure to learn from experience, etc.

(2) a person afflicted with a personality disorder characterized by a tendency to commit antisocial and sometimes violent acts and a failure to feel guilt for such acts Also called sociopath

(3) A person with an antisocial personality disorder, especially one manifested in perverted, criminal, or amoral behavior.

(4) A mentally unbalanced person who is inclined toward antisocial and criminal behavior.

The terms psychopath and sociopath are sometimes used interchangeably. In other instances the term sociopath is used for the more cleaver criminal mind who avoids putting himself in any danger for fear of being caught by the authorities. He usually plans out the crime and has the psychopath act it out. The psychopath is less intelligent and usually doesn’t have the means the sociopath has (authority and wealth) to be the one who directs the criminal activity. In other instances still, the terms primary psychopath, and secondary psychopath are used for the distinction of sociopath and psychopath. Understanding the mind of the sociopath and/or the psychopath is a different story altogether and moves the discussion into the area of understanding the principles of the personality and the relationship between the different aspects of the personality construct as outlined by Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. Briefly, this touches on disorders of the mind such as schizophrenia, bipolar disease, manic depression, and the forerunner personality disorders which set the stage for full blown out psychopathy, these are—antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, and narcissistic personality disorder etc.

The last and final point concerns your statement, “… a devil might influence a psychopath.” A devil is a psychopath. Look at it this way, just as God exists in the minds of normal people as the ideal personality to achieve, Satan exists in the minds of antisocial people as an ideal personality to achieve. A saint is a person who lives with the ideal of being Godlike, a devil is a person who lives with the ideal of being like Satan. If your friends, acquaintances, and coworkers are saint like you will be influenced (possessed) by God. If your friends, acquaintances, and coworkers are like devils you will be influenced (possessed) by Satan. Possession of the spirit implies influence of the personality. For example, we have all watched Hollywood movies with the good guys and the bad guys. Who did we idolize—the good guy, or, the bad guy? Whose spirit (personality) has becomes part of who we are? On the world stage we have the antichrist who is possessed by Satan and we have the Christ who is possessed by God. It comes down to who’s mark we have—do we have God’s mark of approval, or, do we have the mark of the beast, and God’s rejection. So the sociopath might influence the psychopath, or, the primary psychopath might influence the secondary psychopath. Only in this sense can a devil (sociopath) influence a psychopath.

With all this being said… let us never forget God’s gracious loving kindness, mercy, and forgiveness that He has shown upon us and those we love. May we continue to seek him and all his wisdom in all that we do that we may be called children of God.