WHO IS RIGHT? WHO IS THE ONLY ONE WHO KNOWS?

The Lagoon Nebula, shown in a photo taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope (from here).

When I read The Cosmic Christ by Mel Wild, I was left wondering. “What is wrong with us?” What is the subject of the post?  might put it differently, but I would say it is about how Creation, especially the stars, declares the glory of God.

Since I had just read A few questions/thoughts for the godless by ColorStorm, and left some carefully considered comments, I was inclined to compare and contrast the two posts.  and  apparently have different views on creation. includes the video of a presentation given by Dr. Haarsma, the current president of The Biologos Foundation. On their What We Believe page, The Biologos Foundation affirms The Theory of Evolution. does not accept the validity of The Theory of Evolution.

Nevertheless, I decided not to make that controversy the main thrust of this post. Between Christians, I don’t think this is a difference of opinion worth much argument.

Consider this portion of one of ‘s comments.

Agreed that some things are irrelevant to one believer, but relevant to another; we are not all at the same mile markers in life I like to say.

In all this, we still can enjoy each others company, and while I wonder sometimes that believers may not see what I do, I’m sure the same goes the other way too.

So we forbear right, and focus on that which we delight in common. It’s all good.

And once more, many smart people find a ton of science in the scriptures, just sayin. God owns all blueprints. (from here)

“God owns all blueprints,” not us. So I went back to the thought that first struck me when I read ‘s post. How could someone look up into the stars on a beautiful, crystal clear night and not be awed, humbled, and filled with child-like wonder? How could someone not believe in a Creator? Romans 1:18-32 does not exactly answer that question, but it does tell us something about people who insist upon putting things they idolize before God.

So what about the glory of Creation? What are we to make of it? I expect that depends upon what we put at the center of things.

Until we had decent telescopes, many thought our sun was at the center of the universe. Until Copernicus proved otherwise, men believed the earth a the center of creation, and that is the way we still perceive it. So it is that we still speak of the sun rising and setting. In our hearts, most of us want to believe that what we perceive through our eyes, ears, nose, taste, and touch is true. “I” am the center of things, but the glory of the heavens quietly proclaims otherwise. When we gaze the sky and see uncountable stars, we each can begin to understand the difference between finite and infinite. Then we can begin to understand the difference between ourselves and God.

What else can we see when we gaze upon the stars? Our ancestors knew from experience that all things have a cause, that creation must have a Creator. When we look into the sky, we see the same stars our ancestors saw. The stars remind us of our mortality and give us a glimpse into eternity, causing us to wonder. How did it all begin? Astronomers with their instruments and their calculations see a bit more. They see an unfolding universe that had a beginning.

15 thoughts on “WHO IS RIGHT? WHO IS THE ONLY ONE WHO KNOWS?

  1. Mel and Colorstorm are a couple of my favorites. I appreciate their eyes and the way they give voice to the more spiritual and poetic side of things.

    In faith our discussions often remind me of the a parable of the elephant and the 3 blind men. The one feeling the trunk sees a snake,the one on the side sees a whale,and the one on the back end is just seeing a tail. They’re all right in a way, and they’re all wrong too. None of them are able to identify the elephant completely because it is too big.That’s the mystery woven around human perception.

    When we build a house too, we might know how to do it all ourselves,but the smart people will hire specialists, electricians,plumbers, people who are really good at what they do because they focus in on one skill.

    I don’t accept the theory of evolution as it is understood today, but I am open to the possibility that God changes things and there are some elements of evolution that are true, people being smaller in the olden days for example. We’ve gotten bigger as we got more food and less demanding physical work. That’s a form of evolution.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The Theory of Evolution cannot be proven.

      One of the things I have asked its advocates is for examples of practical application. In others, here we have a bit of “knowledge”. Life evolves, supposedly. Well, if this knowledge is real important, then it ought to be important for a reason. That is, we actually can do something we could not do before. That doesn’t seem to be true.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Uh oh Tom, I read the ‘statement of belief’ from the Biologos foundation.

    Adam and Eve as well as the account of the biblical flood were mere poetry? Oops. I do agree there are some things in scripture that are subject to interpretation, such as pre-post-mid- or the scope and relevance of Daniel’s 70th week, but the creation of man, as described as it happened, does not give interpretation rights to he with the cleverest imagination. True science will ALWAYS agree with scripture. If not, the mistake lies with us, guaranteed.

    If there was no first Adam, then how in God’s good word does the ‘last Adam’ even have context? If Christ is the last Adam as clearly delineated, surely there must be a first. scripture affirms this, and the whole warp and woof of God’s word depends on this. How will we then interpret ALL of scripture?

    Furthermore, if the Lord Himself spoke of the flood, as well as Peter stating positively that the world which then was…………..enveloped in water, it seems quite the stretch to say the account in Genesis was a fable.

    Why focus on these two things? Because the ‘theory of evolution’ as held by the same men, is equally suspect in my opinion. But like the good lady who commented, there is room for evolution within the confines of species, but never one ‘kind’ becoming another. After ‘THEIR’ kind is God’s structure, not mine, yours, or the Bio foundations.

    More to your post however. Differences there will be, but HOW and in WHAT manner do we conduct ourselves during these differences. You provide a great platform where this can be tested and proven. 😉

    Again, a nice collation of posts and commentary. Tks for the link and heads up.

    Like

    1. @ColorStorm

      Thanks for your comment.

      When I read the Genesis account, I am more comfortable reading it as if it describes what actually happened. However, I understand the position of the people in the Biologos foundation. Their colleagues look at Genesis, and they say The Theory of Evolution makes more sense.

      Scientists don’t have any way of studying miracles. When presented with a miracle, their toolbox becomes useless. Frankly, the proper answer to scientists is to ask them to set aside their biases, which is effectively what the secular scientists have demanded that Christians do. Don’t we all have biases?

      The people in the Biologos foundation believe Jesus is God. They are trying to reconcile what science tells them with what the Bible says. Because they believe The Theory of Evolution is correct, they are obviously struggling. The Creation account and the story of Noah’s Flood don’t seem to be allegorical.

      When I look at the Bible, how do I reconcile what I find in Genesis with what I know about science.
      1. I believe in the whole Bible because Jesus endorsed the whole Bible, and we have sufficient proof Jesus died and rose from the dead. So Jesus is believable.
      2. We cannot prove The Theory of Evolution.
      3. I don’t have any problem saying much of what people call settled science is not settled. We don’t know what happened ten thousand years ago, much less more than 13 billion years ago. All we have are some very interesting theories.

      How do we solve this problem? There is no easy solution, but we need to get the government out of the business of educating us. Part of the reason for the popularity of The Theory of Evolution is that the government has a monopoly on research funding. That is not a good thing. Look at this Global Warming nonsense. The main reason that theory of so predominant is that too many scheming politicians like it. Such crises provide wonderful excuses for power grabs.

      The Theory of Evolution is clearly a political matter as well. Therefore, research funding has become politicized. Given the number of private citizens who don’t believe the Theory of Evolution is actually quite large, the fact that believers in the Theory of Evolution control virtually all research funding is tyrannical.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Good talk Tom.

        You highlighted this when speaking of the Bio group: ‘Their colleagues look at Genesis, and they say The Theory of Evolution makes more sense.’

        And I would politely add: In what way then, are they different from ‘other groups,’ who are equally funded, equally sincere, equally passionate…….who say Moses never lived, the Exodus was a ‘tale’ for kiddies, or that Daniel never spent a night in the den of lions, and that Christ never lived and died?’

        In other words, when we dismiss what is consistently clear, do we not give power to the enemies of the gospel, and does our credibility not then take a direct hit? I think it does.

        I do not have to explain how God created man from the dust of the ground. I wasn’t there, and I do not have that information, nor does any man on earth. But surely scripture presents it as fact, the same way the genealogies prove Christ lived in the flesh, and that His ancestry went through Enos, Seth, then of course Adam, proving demonstrably that a man named Adam lived. There is no room for compromise when something is clear as day. Can we also compromise when we say Buddha died for our sins…………according to the scriptures? Never. The scriptures are not a salad bar where we pick and choose what truth is appealing to our taste.

        Once more I would like to highlight the lady who sports a blue dress around here 😉 who reminds us NOT to lean on our own understanding………….and it seems this is what we do when we say things like: evolution makes more sense.

        Makes more sense to Who? Why? I do agree there are things we can’t explain, but scripture’s presentation of God’s creation has more depth than we can uncover in a lifetime, and we in our humility and honesty will daily find that God always has the upper hand, and if things are unclear, we just haven’t uncovered the next layer.

        As a sidenote, I’m more concerned NOT with what boards, synods, dioceses agree as to scripture, but what they DENY when faced with blistering facts. 😉

        Why? Because even the devil believes certain things that are. At least he has enough sense to tremble.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. @ColorStorm

          Here is one of my favorite quotes.

          Some one will say: Yes, Socrates, but cannot you hold your tongue, and then you may go into a foreign city, and no one will interfere with you? Now I have great difficulty in making you understand my answer to this. For if I tell you that to do as you say would be a disobedience to the God, and therefore that I cannot hold my tongue, you will not believe that I am serious; and if I say again that daily to discourse about virtue, and of those other things about which you hear me examining myself and others, is the greatest good of man, and that the unexamined life is not worth living, you are still less likely to believe me. Yet I say what is true, although a thing of which it is hard for me to persuade you. (from APOLOGY By Plato translated by Benjamin Jowett)

          I am no Socrates, but I do have a big mouth.

          To learn, each of us must examine our assumptions. If our assumptions are wrong, then our conclusions will probably be wrong too. That’s is why it is healthy to dialogue with those who disagree and LISTEN.

          Do Mel or I ignore what the enemies of the Gospel have to say against it? No. Instead of supporting the accounts of the Creation story and Noah’s Flood in Genesis as being literally true, we admit some uncertainty. Would it be honest to claim we know something we don’t know?

          Our counter is that we know Jesus died, rose from the dead, and our sins are forgiven. Because Jesus affirmed the Old Testament, we know it is true. What we don’t know is exactly how we should reconcile the Creation Story and Noah’s Flood with some of the claims of modern science. However, since many of those claims unsubstantiated, the fuss strikes me as a bit overblown.

          Unless they are doing so as an article of religious faith, why would someone BELIEVE in The Theory of Evolution?

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Good stuff again CT.

          I would not certainly put mel, you ,ib, wally, tricia, cookie, myself, etc, as enemies of the gospel because we may have differences of opinion. I am well aware of liberty and grace, fortunately.

          I am simply pointing out we need not supply bullets for known enemies of the faith (true unbelievers apostates, atheists, pseudo scientists, etc) for their guns to fire at us. 😉

          Liked by 1 person

  3. “How do we solve this problem? There is no easy solution, but we need to get the government out of the business of educating us.”

    LOL! Well said, Tom. That has become my standard answer for all things that puzzle me about people these days.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You may be interested in the Roman Catholic views on this subject which appear to me to pose the same reasoning you seem to have presented, in my opinion.

    The final paragraph is as follows.

    As the Catechism puts it, “Methodical research in all branches of knowledge, provided it is carried out in a truly scientific manner and does not override moral laws, can never conflict with the faith, because the things of the world and the things the of the faith derive from the same God. The humble and persevering investigator of the secrets of nature is being led, as it were, by the hand of God in spite of himself, for it is God, the conserver of all things, who made them what they are” (CCC 159). The Catholic Church has no fear of science or scientific discovery.

    Regards and goodwill blogging.

    https://www.catholic.com/tract/adam-eve-and-evolution

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thanks for the interesting contrast, Tom. My view is actually neutral toward evolution as theistic evolution is understood. As Ard Louis, theoretical physicist at Oxford and devout Christian said, God put in motion the ability for His creation to create, as stars are still being created, etc., which we do have proof for. Things have been in process ever since He said let there be light. But I would have a problem with cross species, as was mentioned here. I do believe the process is “in kind.” So, they’re probably off on some things but I’m not a biologist. And Adam is still representative of humankind, however we think about the origins. I think the point Biologos makes is that it doesn’t have to be wall between Christianity and science. Scripture actually has a lot of latitude if you’re not reading it with wooden literalism (there are other types of literal reading that is more tenable). If they are wrong, they will have to adjust their views with further evidence. But when we make a hard stand on things like this, we further alienate ourselves from the people we’re trying to reach for Christ, unnecessarily so, I believe. They’re not even listening to us. We’re not trying to prove them wrong, we’re trying to win their hearts for Christ.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @Mel

      Thanks for your comment.

      I thought Dr. Haarsma’s presentation in the video excellent. Like you, I don’t think it makes much sense to insist that someone agree with us before we are willing to listen to them.

      When I hear people argue over whether or not we can read the Bible literally, I think many of us start the discussion assuming the other side is being dumber than they are (It is fair to say we are all sheep and not too smart.).

      As I see it, the basic issue is how did the author intend for his immediate audience to understand what he had written. When Moses wrote the Creation account and about Noah’s Flood:
      1. What did he expect the Hebrews to believe about Creation and Noah’s Flood based upon what he had written?
      2. What was the point he was trying to get across?

      Obviously, the ancients did not have the tools and the knowledge we have for studying the earth. So they had misconceptions, and I expect our descendants will discover we still have many misconceptions. Still, while we don’t expect God to correct our scientific misconceptions through the Bible, we also would be surprised to find Him affirming them. Therefore, when the Biologos Foundation says the following about Noah’s Flood, that is reassuring, but we still have to wonder. What is the point of the story?

      The Genesis Flood story contains many literary clues that its writers (and original audience) were not intended to narrate an actual series of events. The story employs the literary device known as “hyperbole” throughout, describing a massive ark which holds representatives of “every living creature on Earth”, and a flood which flows over the tops of the highest mountains in the world. These are not meant to challenge readers to figure out the practicality of such descriptions, but rather they are important clues that we are dealing with a theological story rather than ancient journalism. (from => http://biologos.org/common-questions/biblical-interpretation/genesis-flood)

      This explanation is sort of funny.

      The story of Noah, the Ark, and Flood speaks an inspired and powerful message about judgment and grace, that has instructed God’s people throughout the ages about God’s hatred of sin and his love for his creation. Most importantly, we see God’s promise never to destroy the Earth again fully realized in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, where God takes the judgment for sin upon himself rather than humanity. Thus, through the lens of Christ, the biblical Flood story proclaims the marvelous news of God’s grace and love for his people. (from => http://biologos.org/common-questions/biblical-interpretation/genesis-flood)

      If God had not already destroyed the world once, then why does He need to promise not to do it again?

      Of course, my theories about this matter are full of holes too. So when someone asks me about how God made everything, I point to Genesis and say it is the best information we have, but none of us really know how He did it,

      Because it is not central to the message of the Gospel, this isn’t a matter early Christians fought about. What the Apostle Paul preached was Christ crucified. For our sake, He died and rose from the dead, and, as you have demonstrated, that is a whole lot easier to prove.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You are right, Tom. We argue about things that the early church fathers weren’t concerned about. I would argue that it wasn’t even how the narratives were written. It think is so today because we live in a culture that believes science is the only legitimate way to define reality (actually an erroneous view of science called “scientism”). So, we focus on analyzing the Bible stories instead of asking, what are they saying to us? In doing so, we miss the proverbial forest for the trees.

        And I also agree, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the central story of Christianity, not the creation accounts. And we do have solid evidence for that.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve said this before: I am convinced in my own mind that the earth and universe are young, created by God in a singularity less than ten thousand years ago. If I am wrong, I expect Jesus will correct me on the Day of the Lord, and the two of us will have a good laugh over my overly-literal reading of Genesis. It is tragic that some people begin by rejecting Genesis and end up rejecting Jesus, his redemption, and his resurrection. When they find out they are wrong, no one will be laughing. J.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well salvageable, some may surprised to know that I have said many many times regarding the age of the earth and universe………I don’t know. We are allowed our educated guesses or even uneducated guesses. God probably laughs at our theories though.

      One thing we do know, and can agree, that He owns all time, and that He, and not an act of accident or happenstance, created the first day. There was an Adam family. There were children, and you know the rrrrrrest of the story. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

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