Skip to comments.The Creator
Posted on 02/08/2010 7:53:00 PM PST by Ken4TA
When a Russian Cosmonaut returned from a space flight he said that he hadnt seen God out there. An American Astronaut, one who was a Christian, was once asked if he had met God while in space. He answered with full confidence, I would have, if I had taken off my space suit. These are not just two contradictory answers to the same question. They are two totally different understandings of the word God and what is meant by it. The Russian Cosmonaut, an atheist, could not believe God existed unless he saw him with his own eyes. Whereas the Christian Astronaut believed in a God who is spirit, and who cannot be seen with human eyes.
A short while ago I was talking about God to a young man who interrupted my chain of thought by saying I was not very clear in my choice of words. I thought to myself that he was referring to some theological word, but when the truth came out, I found he was objecting to the word God. Who is God, what is God, what does that word mean? thats what he meant.
When we talk of God, what does that word conjure up for you? There are so many different ideas of God and that statement makes a lot of people abandon the search for him before they really get started. When we talk of God, we have to start somewhere, or will end up like science fiction writers who pass off their ideas as if they were facts.
For me, I find it very obvious that the only place to start is with the Universe; which all comes to me from the fact of what I am, and that I am capable of even asking or searching for the answer of why I believe in what the word God conjures up for me. There is no sense in asking What am I?, until I can answer Where am I?; and that posses the ultimate question of all times: Where did anything come from?
Seeing as how there are many different answers to that ultimate question, lets look at the main ones. One school of thought I find downright obnoxious is the teaching that the Universe is only a figment of the imagination an illusion. This school of thought is in itself self-delusional, and not worthy of any more discussion. Then there is the school of thought that the Universe has always existed. It has changed, evolved and will continue forever, for there was never a time in which matter didnt exist. This school of thought is as old as recorded history. We find it all the way back to the time of ancient Grecian thought. This view is a rational alternative to the belief in creation, and our modern research efforts into the depths of the Universe to find its origin makes it an increasingly difficult doctrine to defend. More and more scientists are coming to believe that the Universe is not infinite either in time or space, but that it had a positive beginning and will have an end.
Another view could be spoken of with one word, chance. This view is that at some remote point in time nothing became something: By chance, ingredients happened to come together and caused a reaction, an instantaneous creation. One thing the adherents seem to overlook in this school of thought is that it doesnt explain where the ingredients came from to create, which really leaves us where the last view stood, and at that, on shaky ground.
I firmly believe that it takes more faith to hold to these views than to believe in God, whom in this context I speak of as the prime or first cause the Creator. This last statement leads us to look at what opponents call the religious view; the view that this Universe was created. To me this is the only violable view to take, and that the very fact of the Universes existence is proof in itself that there must be a power and an intelligence greater than anything in it, which willed its existence. That Power and Intelligence is the one to whom we refer to as God. We do not need to go to the Bible to make claims of Gods existence. We can see. We can hear. We can feel. We can think. Yes, we are.
Having just made a very basic and blunt analysis of the theories of men as pertains to the universe we live in, we ask, Where did anything come from? And that question is so deep that it will never be answered by any scientist today, or even tomorrow. Sure theories will be advanced, but never proven. If any ask me, I could answer the question easily. I would say with all assurance, In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. The word was with God in the beginning. Through the word all things were made; without the word nothing was made that has been made. Of course, the first thing said to rebuke me would be, How do you know that? I would again say with great assurance, Through faith. Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at Gods command (His spoken word), so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. And going on, I would say, In other words, by faith I accept what is seen, for since the creation of the world Gods invisible qualities His power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. Yes, you who pronounce theories denying the One who created out of nothing what is seen; not giving Him the glory nor thanking Him as our Creator; have, claiming to be wise, became fools. You thinking has become futile and your foolish hearts darkened.
You think my statements dogmatic, bold and blunt? That may be. But, maybe you will also recognize that they are not my words, but anothers, one who God has spoken to face to face. Yes, God has spoken, and said just what I said. You see, the word that God spoke that I mentioned above, also spoke into being a man called Jesus who lived for 30 some odd years on this planet He created. Wait, you say, how do you know that? Want my answer? Its really very simple I believe the testimony of actual eyewitnesses. Why do I believe their testimony? Again its very simple. Their testimony is filled with historical facts proving that they spoke the truth about what they said. You believe that George Washington existed and was President of the USA? How do you know that? Were you there? Did you vote for him? I see: You say that you read about him. How do you know that what you read is true? Oh, the evidence is recorded in books written by those who were there and who knew him. There is historical proof that he lived and was elected President of the USA. I see: You believe the testimony of men who wrote about him because there is historical evidence to back up what they say? Great! That is the same way that I believe that God visited this earth and then revealed His will to mankind through Jesus who He declared was the Messiah. Men wrote down what He did and said, and evidence was recorded that proved it!
Im getting ahead of myself, but dont forget what was just said. We do not need the Bible to tell us things about God which we can figure out by using our eyes and our minds. In looking around us we cannot help but deduce that God must be tremendously powerful. Just think of what you see. A good example to give to show that our Creator must be powerful beyond description is shown in the recent space shuttle sent into orbit around our planet and then how about the trip American Astronauts made to the moon? Think of the enormous power it took to send it into orbit. That power would furnish enough energy to light up a large city for a full year or more, and from that, think of the power that would be needed to put an object the size of the moon into orbit; the earth around the sun; our solar system, the whole Milky Way Galaxy, along with innumerable other galaxies, turning around a central point that is so far away that we are unable to comprehend figures used to state it. Yes, our Creator, God, is so powerful that it is incomprehensible to imagine!
Then God must be of tremendous intelligence. Man prides himself on his intelligence because he thinks he can understand the universe in which he lives, but, in time he comes to realize that the more he finds out the less he knows. A man once gave this example: Water. What amazing complexity is involved in this apparently simple substance which keeps our planet clean, fertile and cool. The tides move in an endless manner, washing our shores. Millions of gallons of water are caught up into the air every day and then dropped back onto the land, often from an altitude of several miles, and yet so gently that the moisture sustains life without harming plants, the animals or humans. That is the hallmark of intelligent and careful planning. God is not only all powerful, but intelligent.
What else can we say? There must have been a single force which we call God to start the ball rolling. God is also a single God. Yes, there is no other creative mind at work in our universe. As a man said centuries ago, We live in a uni-verse, not a multi-verse. It makes no difference how far we probe into space, we find that it runs on the same principles: gravity still applies, along with velocity to keep things in place. The laws of physics hold true. The Conclusion is inescapable. There is only one God, and only one, who is holding the universe He has made by his tremendous power and intelligence.
Even though we can sit and think about the power and the intelligence it must have taken to make the things we see, we find our thoughts to have limitations. We can reach certain conclusions about the nature of God, but how can we be sure that they are not merely delusions, creations of our own intelligence making ideas? How do we make them correspond to reality and be sure of them? The answer is that we cant. Mankind can sit and think, and by probing the things seen, can discover hints and notions of God, but really, in the end, there comes a point beyond which human reasoning cannot go. Thinking cannot get us beyond ideas which lack the kind of certainty which changes lives and makes commitments unless we are aided by the One who made us, God.
Lets suppose our search is not one-sided. Suppose this Creator has spoken about himself. Suppose that He personally revealed himself to individuals. Suppose the record of what He has said is still available. Suppose that He left immutable evidence that He visited us. With all this supposing, and if it is true, then surely we would be in a position to confirm or reject the ideas we have of God by our thinking process. Yes, we would be certain of what we reasoned out. We would know what we were made for and what the future has in store for us. That information is in the record that our Creator left for us the Bible. Have you really read it lately?
Those are the same characteristics which theologians have used to describe the Transcendent God of the Bible.....unimaginable powerful, unimaginable intelligent, personal, spirit (non-spatial), immaterial (not made of matter), or in other words he is all powerful.
If there is no God, why is there anything at all, rather than nothing?
Your comments are excellent! Thank you. I hope you have enjoyed what I wrote a long time ago (1982).
They saw Him for 33 years and many still did not believe. They saw Him heal lepers, make the blind see, they saw Him resurrect the dead. And many were not convinced.
It’s not about the seeing.
Isn't it ironic that those atheists who proclaim themselves arbitors or truth and science must borrow from the Theistic Christian Worldview to make such a statement.
Very true. Blessed are those who have not seen, yet believed.
Yes, I'm acquainted with that argument.
Isn't it ironic that those atheists who proclaim themselves arbitors or truth and science must borrow from the Theistic Christian Worldview to make such a statement.
Yes, is is ironic. But atheists won't admit what they do, much less what they believe from what is seen. I've had conversations with some atheists, and it's an almost impossible task to present the Good News of Christ - they always seem to have a materialisic view of what is truth.
Everything is made, formed, prefabricated, constructed....
Abstract concepts such as mind, spirit, Laws of Logic, love, justice, joy, faith are abstract constructs not made of matter and energy. Surely mind is something. Surely the laws of logic are something. So I am not sure I agree totally with your statement.
You don’t agree that everything is made, formed, prefabricated, constructed?...
From what do you think the universe arose then?
I agree with science that the universe arose ex nihilo, out of nothing. You seem to assert what science has long since put to bed that the universe came to be, creatio ex materia.
David Hume would ask you, "Have you examined everywhere else, and have you examined all brains?" The point is that Hume's skepticism makes a valid point. You taking the broadest brush and declaring these abstractions are produced nowhere else but in our brains does not make it so. I will ask you to justify and warrant such a statement. I would ask you how a dead, brute nonliving universe gives rise to conciousness and sentience? How do molecules give rise to sentience? I would ask you, if materialism is true, why do you trust REASON. If mental processes are nothing but chemical reactins in the cerebral cortex, then there is no REASON to believe anything is true (including the theory of materialism and evolution). Chemicals don't evaluate whether a theory is true or not. Chemicals don't reason, they react. Thus claiming championing truth and reason, the evolutionist makes truth and reason impossible by their worldview of materialism.
Beyond that the darwinist makes, not only reason impossible in his world, but the materialists assertion that we rely on reason alone cannot be justified. This is because reason requires faith. The idea "Reason alone!" is nonsense because a defense of reason by reason is circular and therefore worthless.
Our ability to reason can come from only one of two places: either our ability arose from preexisting intelligence, or it arose from mindless matter. The materialist atheist believe, by faith, reason arose from mindless matter without intelligent intervention. We can say this because it contradicts all scientific observation, which demonstrates that an effect cannot be greater than its cause. You cannot give what you do not have to give.
Materialism cannot explain reason, logic, or truth, or any other abstract concept any more than it can explain first life. Materialism is just not reasonable.
Reason requires that this universe be a reasonable one that presupposes there is order, logic, design, and truth. Those things can only exist if there is an unchangable objectivae source and standard to judge. Science is full of presuppositions: the existence of the theory-dependent, external world, the orderly nature of the external world, the knowability of the universe, the existence of truth, the laws of logic, the reliablility of our cognitive and sensory faculties to serveas as truth gathers and as a source of justified beliefs in our intellectual environment, the adequacy of language to describe the world, the existence of 'values' used in science (i.e. test theories fairly and report test results honestly, vis-a-vis the climatologists in U.K. and Univeristy of Penn), the uniformity of nature and the efficacy of inductive reasoning, and the existence of numbers. These are just a few of the scientifically unprovable assumptions which science takes on faith in order to conduct scientific investigation.
I find it very satisfying that God constructed existence. Though I know virtually nothing of the mind of God.
Biblically, He commands that I love Him, though certain aspects of His being seem unlovable.
Thus, “If I knew God I’d be Him.”
Yet as far as I can discern, abstraction is a human construct emanating nowhere but from the human mind which, as I say, I believe God created. If you believe in any other source, by all means produce it.
I will make a very large assumption in the following discussion. That is that your referencing God, means you are referencing an omnipotent, omnibenevolent, omniscient, transcendent God of the the Bible. If yours is a pantheistic god, these comments will be meaningless to you.
You say you know nothing about the mind of God and and that you are commanded to love HiM.
It is sometimes said that faith an reason are hostile to each other, and whatever is of reason cannot be of faith. This misstates the Biblical concept of faith. The Biblical notion of faith includes three components: notitia (understanding the content of the Christian faith, fiducia (trust), and assensus the assent of the intellect to the truth of some proposition. Trust is based upon understanding, knowledge (warranted true belief), and the intellects assent to the truth. Belief in something rests in the belief that something. Faith is not a blind, irrational leap into the dark. Faith and reason cooperate on Biblical views of faith and are therefore not hostile to one another. Col. 2:8 says, "See to it that no one take you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ." This is not an exortation to avoid philosophical examiniation of the Truth, but exhorts one to avoid "hollow and deceptive philosophy". I Peter 3:15, says, "But santify the Lord God in your hearts, and be ready always to give and answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is within you,..". Romans 1:18 and following, states that the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrightousness because that which is know of God is manifest in them; for God has shown it to them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.
Darwin, in his book Origins,said, "With me the horrid doubt always arises whether the conviction of man's mind, which has been developed from the mind of lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would anyone trust the convictions of a monkey's mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?" It is a good question. Alvin Plantinga postulated that knowledge is warranted true belief and a belief has warrant for some person just in case ("just in case" means, "if and only if") that belief was formed by cognitive faculties that are functioning properly and in accordance with a good design plan in a congitive environment appropriate for the aim of those cognitive faculties when the design plan is aimed at obtaining truth. The important point is that question, "are our cognitive faculties functioning the way the ought to function. Since proper function is normative (the way the ought) proper function cannot be understood as a mere description of the statistacally usual or normal way that human faculties do function. There is a difference between normative function and statistacally proper function. Therefore the notion of proper function, understood as functioning the way something ought to function, makes sense for artifacts that are designed by intelligence. This is because the claim that something functions the way it ought is easily unerstood in terms of functioning the way it was designed to function. An engine function properly when it functions the way it was designed to function. If, therefore, knowledge presupposes warranted true belief, and if warranted true belief presupposes that those beliefs were produced by properly functioning faculties, and if the notion of proper function requiring the proper design, then knowledge (warrated true belief) presupposes a designer.
"If I knew God I'd be Him" is a statement of Immanuel Kant. Only the noumina can be known by your senses and the thing in itself, so Kant's proposition preclues one from knowing anything else other than self. The problem with Kant's theory is that his theory violates the Law of Noncontradiction. How can Kant know his theory if he is not the theory itself.
You are correct in saying you are not God. But you can know much about the nature of God. He has revealed Himself in the creation, in the conscious of every man, so that they are without excuse of knowing Him, in the revelation of Jesus Christ, in the Moral Law, in the Cosmological argument, Kaalams arguement, the Teleological argument, the Transendental Proof of God, and in many other ways.
Again, regarding your declaration that abstract constructs issue from the mind of man....you can say it, but if man is only the sum of creatio ex materia, you will need to account for the molecular construction of the soul, mind, spirit, love, mercy, justice, logic, rational thought (or any thought), the self-awareness (you are part of this universe and are self-aware) of the universe coming forth from the unconscious elemental makeup of the universe or deny it exists, rational thought, theory of evolution, and any other abstract concept which you say is the product of the universe and not supranatural. What do each of these "things" weigh? Kant denied their existence because he could not 'be' mercy, or love , or justice, just as you say "If I knew Him I'd be Him".
Your remarks of Him being unlovable, I will leave at this point. I have written too much.
Though America could not have been founded without Christianity, I do not believe Jesus was divine. He was a fine, though imperfect (-as are we all-) Pharisaic rabbi whose image however, may well have been utilized by God to that former end.
“If I knew God I’d be Him”, was rather stated by Rabbi Joseph Albo, 15th century.
I guess it makes for less of an assumption that I follow Torah and science, both passionately.
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