Paul couldn’t be conflating science, which hasn’t been invented yet, with theology. It says “have been clearly seen” which means what you can see with your naked eye. So Paul is referring to things such as the starry night sky, the sun and moon, the oceans, the wind and weather, even life as it could be seen. We as moderns know more so we do have to address how nuclear fusion, for instance, would apply to understanding God’s nature. So how is God’s nature seen in the process that fuels the sun?
There is a difference between saying that Paul is conflating science with theology, and to say that a person of modern times is conflating science with theology in their reading and understanding of Paul. The fact that modern science didn’t exist for Paul only underlines the absurdity of making scientific conclusions from what Paul wrote.
The most we can say is that science uses reason and technology to extend our sight to more of what God created. And if what Paul says remains valid for such an extension of our sight then perhaps it also reveals more of God than what Paul could have seen Himself. I think this is more reasonable than the alternative, because God created it all. And thus we must ask why did God do it that way. I have come to the conclusions that God made the universe work according to mathematical space-time laws because this type of automation is essential for the process of life. And God made it so life arises from self-organizing process (including evolution) because this self-creating feature was central to the whole idea of life which gives us our own choices not only about what to do but what we are/become.
Thus it is not just me who sees the difference between living organism and machine in whether something is designed but God Himself. It also explains why the creation of life took billions of years, because it wasn’t design. God’s role was that of a shepherd not a watchmaker because even though the latter way of doing things would have accomplished so much more quickly the result would not have been what God wanted.
It is more convenient for the old fashioned religionists to disconnect means from result so what they command their tin Christian soldiers doesn’t have to be consistent with the stated objectives of Christianity. It doesn’t suit the use of religion for power, but it is far more in agreement with what we see in the Bible and the world.
Are you sure He wasn’t knitting?
The word knit has more than one meaning and clearly the use in Psalm 139:13 is not the meaning which refers to knitting. So yes I am sure. God was not knitting. Knitting is an activity invented by human beings. And while I am not opposed to the idea that God would try this activity out for Himself after seeing us do this. It wouldn’t have anything to do with God’s creation of living organisms on the earth.
The wider implication of Psalm 139:13 is despite all the biological processes we have verified going into the development of an infant in the womb, the Bible still considered God the creator of every single one of us. This only underlines the fact that God creating something doesn’t mean that scientific principles like evolution isn’t how God accomplishes such things.
P.S. I think this might well be what you intended in your comment. But I think it is good to unpack such an intent for everyone to see it spelled out.
Yes, I’ve been thinking of creating a thread on the topic. No one seems surprised or upset that we have a naturalistic explanation for how a new organism (life) comes into being.
This has to be one of the most ridiculous statements i have read on these forums…when will you get it into your mind that God gave Paul the inspiration to write on His behalf?
For example, I was formerly a school teacher…my sole aim in education was to ensure that my students were taught things that are deemed useful in furthering their place in this world and society. If i had information that is most definately necessary in furthering that goal, surely as a teacher i am bound to do so?
In light of that, i ask you to please explain WHY an omnipotent, allknowning and all powerful Creator God would ensure that the apostle Paul was told porkies and then filled potentially as many as 13 books of the bible with theology based on those porkies?
Im sticking with Richards point on this O.P…evolution does a great job of attempting to explain our surroundings without God but what it absolutely does not do is explain reality.
Biologos needs to really think hard about trying to come up with an adequate answer to the epistemological questions…all it flaming does is ignore them instead hiding behind the “but science demonstrates” line.
Science does not demonstrate God orwhy he does anything, and yet TEism goes to extraordinary lengths to attempt to make the claim that what we observe around us today is how it always has been…that is clearly antibiblical!
It amazes me that seemingly educated individuals are able to be so convinced that observations of a fallen and therefore deeply corrupted sinful world demonstrate the nature of God and his design efforts! To me that is like saying that a rusting car is the goal of the Ford Motor Company founder! (an extremely poor example as Ford was not Almighty God who, unlike Ford, does not need to learn what happens to steel when left to the weather for a few decades)
Remember the forum rules. Don’t assume you know what I think.
Yes the Holy Spirit did inspire the writers, but the words to use in a scientific explanation didn’t exist. The writers of the NT thought men planted a seed in a woman which grew into a child. Not exactly what I would call inspired science. There is nothing in the Bible that indicates supernatural science knowledge was given to the writers.
The Holy Spirit worked with the knowledge that people had and didn’t impart anything special. That doesn’t mean Paul was telling lies. He was telling what he believed to be true.
You just admitted evolution does a great job of explaining reality (our surroundings are our reality) but does not explain reality. My head is spinning. Which is it?
Not “antibiblical” just not Adam’s theology. The Bible actually tells us God and Jesus " is the same yesterday and today, and forever." Which is why we can even do science.
And I will ask you the same question I asked Richard, if evolution is such an affront to God’s nature how do you explain the circle of life? Is it brutal when a predator kills its prey? Or is it part of God’s creation? The OT appears to say the circle of life is from God.
Whatever he was doing wasn’t knitting as we know it now.
No, it doesn’t, it just has no means to account for God – any more than do geology or baking or even race car driving.
Due to its elegance. God said, “Bring forth!” and that just keeps unfolding.
That informal intelligent design club in my university days often looked at it this way: on the one hand God could have designed every item individually and formed each one individually, or God could have just given a single command and it all unfolded. We thought of the first as the “toy farm” view of Creation, and the second as the “ultimate programming” view – and the second as the far, incredibly more elegant way to do things, something like writing a few dozen lines of computer code and having it then generate the entire Library of Congress as opposed to writing out each work individually. That’s why we genuinely felt that “evolution declares the glory of God”.
Actually it is about whether any method God chose would make God obvious to fallen humans. That’s the real issue, the ability of fallen humans to find God on their own. Science is just another human activity, and no human activity points directly to God, not farming or engineering or anything else.
I will differ in that theology begins with a descent, specifically the descent of God to meet man where we are.
= - = + = - = † = - = + = - =
It’s absolutely not ridiculous – unless you believe that God magically over-rode how Paul’s mind worked or Paul’s understanding of Creation in a process that would be more like demon possession than divine inspiration.
Paul’s objective was to communicate spiritual truth. He didn’t care one whit for truth according to a worldview that hadn’t even been developed yet, and trying to force him to speak according to such a later worldview is insulting to both Paul and to the Holy Spirit.
Interesting: you just condemned the Apostle Paul, given that he claimed that the observations of a fallen and therefore deeply corrupt sinful world demonstrated the nature of God.
Our redemption always was part of his design efforts. Jesus was not Plan B as YECism would have it in the perfect creation you imagine. Um, blasphemy? Damn near.
You’ve seen this before but for reasons we won’t mention have not bothered to muse upon it:
That’s funny. I thought that was precisely what Paul was trying to say in Romans 1.That God is visible.if you only look properly.
So why would that be excluded in His method of Creation?
At issue is does evolution display God’s nature?
What would we expect of God according to the divine nature? Certainly we can see majesty but it has by argued by many that Philippians 2 about the servant nature Christ is the nature of the whole of the Trinity and that the self emptying of the Son is the pattern revealed of the whole of God.
What I have found helpful in this is the idea of God’s love that is not controlling but enables the forces of nature to act freely but shepherded by the Spirt towards certain patterns of life that include community and altruism as well as the dark side such as conflict and death that are the result of freely given freedom in which love can also freely emerge.
God knows the risk of the downsides of such natural freedom and planned in advance the incarnation and the eventual resurrection of life centred in Christ to bring to completion all life that is good. The interactions in nature that have an underlying unity with all its differentiation and individuality and beauty that by not be destroyed but transformed by the Spirit to a different type of future existence. Christ enters into all the struggle with harshness and evils of life.
You call it “funny” then proceed to agree with my point – if you have to “look properly”, then it isn’t obvious.
Some don’t ‘look properly’ when they fail to recognize God’s omnipotence in providence through his M.O. in timings and placings in his children’s lives. It’s hardly a surprise then that they can’t allow for it in evolution, whether it be the evolution of the biosphere or of the heavenly spheres (I probably shouldn’t mention the evolution of the weather ; - ).