Maker of Heaven and Earth, Part 5

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October 27, 2011 Tags: Creation & Origins

Today's sermon features David Swaim. Please note the views expressed here are those of the author, not necessarily of The BioLogos Foundation. You can read more about what we believe here.

In the final part of this series, Dave Swaim of Highrock Church concludes with several Scriptures, scientific facts, and personal stories that evoke awe and wonder about our intricate universe. Swaim wraps up his sermon with three points that he feels sum up the Biblical truth of creation: there is an all-powerful God, he has a perfect plan, and he has given us his love through Jesus Christ. Therefore, as Christians, we stand confident in the gospel.

"Maker of Heaven and Earth" (transcript, part 5)

When well understood, science and faith should not conflict. They should complement each other because science can allow us to see even more of the majesty, complexity, and beauty that God created. On Monday, I showed my kids an amazing video that scales out from the surface of the earth in these powers of ten, going beyond our atmosphere and our solar system and our galaxy to the edge of the visible universe, and it was amazing! As we talked about it I said, “this is what our almighty Father created! I mean just think what that means about how big he must be if he can do all of this.” The times where it seems black is just because there is so much space, and it goes and goes and goes and goes…and I want you to hear Romans 1, “Since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made.”

See! That is why historically, scientific discovery thrived wherever Christianity went because scientists were assured that the universe was intelligible and worth investigating and reflected God himself. That is why most of the world’s great scientists in history have been Christians. Psalm 19 celebrates, “the heavens proclaim the glory of God; the skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard, yet their message has gone throughout the earth and their words to all the world. Science is a spiritual calling, so let us love God and embrace science as a way to know him even better.

Some people worship God with science just like some other people worship God with a guitar. That is why so many scientists are also believers. Among university professors, surveys find the highest percentage of Christians in the hard sciences: biology, chemistry, and physics—perhaps because they are the ones who best know the limitations of science and spend the most time exploring the vast wonders of creation. Francis Collins, America’s senior scientist as the director of the National Institutes of Health and the head of the human genome project, is also a strong Evangelical Christian even though he used to be an atheist. His outstanding book The Language of God describes how science helped lead him to Christ. He wonders if DNA might not be the logos or the language through which God spoke life into existence.

Some of you know that I gathered for dinner maybe five times last year with about forty or so professors (mostly from Harvard and MIT and mostly in the sciences), but from all kinds of faith backgrounds or non-faith backgrounds, and we met to discuss these intersections between science and faith. During one of those dinners, Howard Smith, the senior astrophysicist at Harvard and at the Smithsonian, explored the inexplicable coincidences required for a planet to sustain life, for example, the precise balance between the strong nuclear force and the weak nuclear force—the same thing with gravity and electromagnetism. Stephen Hawking, who was not at dinner with us, noted the rate of expansion of the universe…if it had been smaller or greater by just one part in one billion, the whole universe would have collapsed immediately. Dr. Smith suggested that all this indicates the hand of a purposeful creator, and as we discussed it around our dinner table that night, the other scientists admitted that the mathematical odds against random chance seemed almost impossible.

In fact, Robert Jastrow, who was among the original scientists at NASA and was a professor of geophysics at Columbia and then at Dartmouth, was an agnostic, but he wrote about some of his scientific colleagues, who initially had an unaccountable biased against the now widely accepted Big Bang Theory. Their reluctance was not based on scientific misgivings. What bothered them, he found, was that the Big Bang bore an uncomfortably close resemblance to Genesis’ claim that the heaven and the earth erupted from a bold stroke of creation. He discovered that scientists can fall prey to the very same kind of fundamentalism that they despise in religions. He wrote, “the details differ, but the essential elements in the astronomical and Biblical accounts of Genesis are the same. The chain of events, leading to man, commence suddenly and sharply in a definite moment in time and in a flash of light and energy. Science has proved that the universe exploded into being in a certain moment…it asks, “What cause produced this event? Who or what put the matter or energy into the universe?”…and science cannot answer those questions. For the scientist, who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, this story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled a mountain of ignorance, he is about to conquer the highest peak. As he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.

Why am I preaching this today? There are three things I am much more concerned about than any particular position on evolutionary science. First, there is a God who knows everything. Whether you are a seminary professor or a science professor, you are not him. We all need more humility because all of us are still learning about this. Let us learn all we can, but let us be appropriately suspicious of our own certainty before we go around trying to beat up anyone else. Second, in all the bluster of the science versus Scripture debates, I don’t want you to miss what Genesis 1 is all about: you have a Creator. Just like the creed reminds us, ‘I believe in God the Creator…” not, “I believe in this version of creation or that scientific theory…” and that Creator is our Almighty Father.

That is the real news of Genesis and the good news of the entire Bible. Someone knew what he wanted to make and whether it was 6000 years ago or 13 billion years ago, God had a purpose he wanted to accomplish so he created heaven and earth and everything in it. There is a reason you are here. If you ultimately think that you are just a random collection of chemicals, just lucky mud, then you have no purpose or meaning—but I want you to see that we have a God who knows us and planned for us, who has a plan for us, plans to give us a hope and a future, and a Creator who is watching us at every moment…who created us to do good things, and he will hold us accountable for that. This is where Genesis is as true today as it has ever been. We are not the Creator, we are just dirt, but we have been fashioned by God so that we can have true joy and peace in a relationship with God or we can have shame, and disappointment, and frustration and anger and murder and meaninglessness and death as we try to become gods ourselves.

When we try to become like God or pretend that we know everything, we lose the true life that only God can give. So, I am not nervous about the conflict between the truth of Scripture and the truth of science. Scientists are just discovering the complexity, the intricacy, the beauty of our Father’s creation and it is amazing. I am nervous that you will miss what Genesis is about which is the fact that you have a Creator who formed you and knows you and has known you from before the earth was born. So, do not get distracted (like I did in the parable of the lost son) by asking wrong questions: was it six days or seven days? That is not the point…was it six days or six eons? That is not the point; that was never the point. The point is that God created you. Therefore, there is a reason for your life and you don’t have to worry that you are on your own and that everything is random because you are not on your own. God has a grand purpose, and you are a part of it.

The final thing I want you to get from this sermon is to be unashamed of the gospel. So many of you love Jesus, I know that…so many of your lives have been transformed by Jesus. I know that! I have seen that transformation and it is incredible, and yet, some of you go into laboratories, classrooms, or companies where you work or into neighborhood cocktail parties with the smart people around here, and you are embarrassed to talk about the living God who created us...and about what he has done in your life. You are embarrassed to reach out and offer true hope. You are embarrassed to offer salvation for fear that people might laugh at you because believing in God means rejecting science, and so I want you to see that you are not rejecting science. You and the smartest scientist on earth are engaged in the same conversation, [and] asking the very same questions! So, do not be embarrassed when what we believe is the gospel. It is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes.

Now, I have spoken for too long already, and had to skip so much, but you can learn a lot more on the High Rock sermon discussion board online where many great resources have been posted by a bunch of people in our congregation. You can add some resources of your own. I am going to post the link to the full version of the video that we showed you, but I hope I have persuaded you that we can’t be shamed into silence about something so precious and life-changing. We have no reason to keep quiet about all the reasons for the hope that we have and the God that we met. We can tell them about our Creator and their Creator who is more than just the maker of mountains and microbes; he is our Almighty Father who revealed himself most clearly in Jesus so that we wouldn’t be afraid of him anymore. Jesus, who came, Jesus, who loved, Jesus, who confounded those who thought they had figured everything out already, Jesus, who was crucified, and Jesus, who was raised again from the dead even though it was impossible, Jesus, who is coming back to get us. This is our creator, and we cannot be ashamed to talk about him. I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.


David Swaim is Senior Pastor of Highrock Covenant Church in Arlington, Massachusetts. After attending graduate school, he served in numerous churches until he settled at Highrock.

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KevinR - #65786

October 27th 2011

“So, I am not nervous about the conflict between the truth of Scripture and the truth of science.”

I congratulate you on that fearless and bold stance. There is indeed nothing to fear about science. Real, hard-nosed, honest-to-goodness science, that is.

When it comes to evolution, however, we’re not talking science anymore. People like to equate evolution to the whole of science and so when someone like myself raises objections to its inclusion in biblical thought, the adherents to evolution want to ambiguously point out that I am anti-science. I am staunchly anti-evolution and so are all other Biblical creationists.
Evolution - defined as that process through which molecules turned into human beings - is not scientific: it cannot be observed, tested or falsified because of the
1. slippery definitions that spring up when challenged.
2. the fact that no one can go back into the past to verify it and
3. the fact that no one can live that long to observe the mythical claims and lastly
4. no one in living memory has seen or is currently seeing that kind of wholesale change.

Furthermore and this is most important: the bible specifically ejects any notion of evolution through specifically stating the changes from night to day and counting of days in Genesis 1. Six days only for creation, not billions of years. Secondly, Exodus 20:11 and 31:17 rules out any mis-interpretation of Genesis.

Billions of years comes from outside of the bible. Period. It’s a totally atheistic idea which has its roots in those who deny there is a God. Hence everything had to make itself. There can be no greater denial of the glory of God than this.

So let me make it quite clear: evolution is not [all of] Science and Science is a whole lot more than the nonsense of evolution. So please : if one is going to discuss the so-called dispute between science and the bible, be clear and up front: State it as being the battle between biblical belief  and the atheistic evolutionary belief system. Belief in evolution is a religion - it certainly has all the characteristics of one.


Darrel Falk - #65790

October 27th 2011

To our new readers:

The point that Kevin makes here is not an unusual one:  “I accept science, it’s just evolution I reject.”  Actually, the conclusions about the age of the earth and  evolution comes from the very heart of almost all scientific disciplines.  Astronomy, geology, anthropology, astrophysics, biology, physics would not only be wrong in some peripheral component, they would—each one—need to be uprooted and torn apart.  That’s what views like this require. For independent reasons, each of these disciplines all point to the exact same conclusion.

We need to be sure that this point is clear.

Having said that, many people I know realize this, but still think a literal reading of the Bible needs to supersede all the scientific disciplines.  BioLogos respects the people who hold this view, even though we profoundly disagree.




Ronnie - #65829

October 28th 2011

Darrel

The peripheral component you mentioned is the evolutionary philosophy that dominates the mainstream of each of the disciplines listed! Are you 100% positive that each of these disciplines point to exact same conclusion?

I think proponents of evolution have done a masterful job in synonymising science and evolution to the point where any contradictory view is passed off as eccentric. Is this really science?

Furthermore, to Kevins post above I would like to add Hebrews 11:3 to the list of scripture that rejects evolution.

beaglelady - #65806

October 27th 2011

The sciences are integrated  You can’t simply lop off the parts you don’t like.


paul.bruggink1 - #65789

October 27th 2011

@KevinR:  While Darwinism (whatever that is) may or may not be atheistic, biological evolution is a well-established science, and there is nothing atheistic about the Big Bang theory. To deny billions of years is equivalent to denying practically all of science. There is more than one legitimate way to interpret the early chapters of Genesis.  It’s time to deal with it.


beaglelady - #65808

October 27th 2011

True, John Polkinghorne likes to remind people that evolutionary theory is no more atheistic than gravitational theory.


beaglelady - #65792

October 27th 2011

That is why most of the world’s great scientists in history have been Christians.

Many have been. But in the time period 800-1100 Islamic Baghdad was the scientific center of the world. That’s why many stars have Arabic names.   Then an Islamic scholar decided that mathematics was the work of the devil!  Islam’s supremacy in the sciences unraveled and never recovered. (There were other factors for its downfall.)


HornSpiel - #65797

October 27th 2011

Then an Islamic scholar decided that mathematics was the work of the
devil!  Islam’s supremacy in the sciences unraveled and never recovered.

Now that’s an  interesting observation with, certainly, implications for our current discussion, and even the raison d’être of the Biologos web site.

Do you have any good references for that observation and the “other factors”?


beaglelady - #65805

October 27th 2011

There was a video by Neil deGrasse Tyson.  

Other factors for the fall of Islamic supremacy in science, etc, was the breakup of the Islamic empires. That hampered communication, which is so important to scientists. (Think of peer-reviewed literature.) Also, Islam turned inward, no longer translated “foreign” books into Arabic, etc and didn’t keep up with the outside world.  For centuries in the Ottoman Empire, Muslims were forbidden to use the printing press, but non-Muslim subjects had no such restrictions!! (The Muslim scribes wanted to protect their jobs.)

You could read the books by Bernard Lewis.

Here’s an older article by Tyson: “Footprints in the Sands of Science”

 http://www.haydenplanetarium.org/tyson/read/2003/02/01/footprints-in-the-sands-of-science


Loren Haas - #65798

October 27th 2011

Kevin R.,

When I glanced at your list 1.-4. I thought your were refering to the claims of Young Earth Creationists? Seems to fit.

1. slippery definitions that spring up when challenged.
2. the fact that no one can go back into the past to verify it and
3. the fact that no one can live that long to observe the mythical claims and lastly
4. no one in living memory has seen or is currently seeing that kind of wholesale change


Menno van Barneveld - #65815

October 27th 2011

I am a physicist myself. I know that the Big Bang theory is impossibly. I the mass and energy of the whole Universe is concentrated in a small ball it is a black hole from which nothing can escape, so no big bang. Then gravity is known from experience, but scientists do not know how gravity is propagating from one mass on the other practicaly. The same holds for all chaacteristics of matter.
Scientists cannot add one partical from nothing to the Universe or annihilate it fully. So no one knows how the Universe came into existance from science.

Apart from the impossibility to explain how life appeared on earth, no scientist was there when one species changed into another one. So no one can scientificaly have percepted wether God gave the command for the change and the holy spirit did make the change or not. Even if in modern science changes in viruses or bacteria are detected or when genome engenering is undertaken, it cannot be detected wether the holy spirit is at work to give the result or not.

This proofs that there are no bases for scientific proof that the big bang took place and that evolution by chance without the work of the holy spirit is scientificaly sound.


sy - #65823

October 27th 2011

The concept that evolution is not testable, cannot be observed, and cannot be falsified had been repeated many times, but it is a false notion. When Darwin conceived of evolution by natural selection, he knew nothing of genetics, and no one knew anything about the biochemistry of genes. Once DNA was discovered, and the processes by which DNA funchemtions to carry inherited information in all living cells were elucidated, it became possible to test directly, the theory of evolution. We can examine the detailed chemical structure of the genes of all organisms, and test the theory that some organisms share common ancestors in the recent or more distant past. In every single one of the hundreds of cases where this has been done the results confirm and do not falsify the theory of evolution from common descent. Chromosomal rearrangements, pseudogenes, mutations, and other biochemical “fossils” within the cells of living and extinct life forms, do in fact allow us to observe the process of evolution.

We know that evolution happened. As Pastor Swain might say, we must not ask the wrong question here. The right question is not whether evolution is real or not. The right question is do we have a purpose. This not a question that can be answered by science, but for Christians the answer is yes. Evolution does not at all contradict that answer, if anything evolution confirms it.


Menno van Barneveld - #65825

October 28th 2011

As Christians we know that the holy spirit is everywhere, even outside our universe. As followers of JesusChrist our lord we have the experience that the holy spirit guides us to to the will of God. If we accept a gift of the holy spirit, we can experience supernatural things to happen, take for example healing with laying up hands.
But the holy spirit cannot be detected scientificaly, and it cannot be discriminated between biological addaptations by chance and biological addaptations by the work of the holy spirit.
Therefor in any case it cannot be observed wether development of species is by chance or by work of the holy spirit. So evolution by chance cannot be proven.


sy - #65830

October 28th 2011

Menno

I agree with your comment. As you say we cannot distinguish between a purely random mechanism of mutation, and the role of the Holy Spirit acting for a purpose to guide evolution, according to His will. But we can have faith that however the process occurs, the result is according to His will, for here we are. We should also remember that random mutations do not produce new species, their function is to produce variation within a population. It is the selection of particular variants by environmental or geographical factors that leads to speciation. Evolution requires volcanoes, earthquakes, asteroid strikes, climate changes, island formation, floods, and all the upheavals of the earth. Selection is not random, and in fact, we cannot know that what is random to our eyes, is so to the Lord.

 


Merv - #65834

October 28th 2011

Sy, your concluding two sentences above (at the end of 65283) state “This not a question that can be answered by science, but for Christians the answer is yes. Evolution does not at all contradict that answer, if anything evolution confirms it.”

Be careful at the very end, because you begin to contradict your premise in the previous sentence.    I agree with you whole-heartedly, that science cannot address purpose or meaning, but to be consistent with this outlook means we should refrain from referring to science as a confirmation of it, too—tempting as it is to do so.   Our praise (I think) rises from a place other than science, and science can feed into it.  But do you agree that our worship and praise expressions draw from sources beyond science; i.e. scripture, Holy Spirit, tradition, testimony, personal experience)?

—Merv


sy - #65843

October 28th 2011

Yes, Merv I do. I meant to use the word confirmation in a spiritual, not in a scientific sense, which was not clear. Scientific information confirms the wonders of the Lord’s works, outside of methodology or hypothesis generation, but only when one steps outside of the normal scientific rules, and observes the wonder of the stars, or the joy and incredible variety of life. Even confirmed atheists, like Gould and Dawkins have been susceptible to this sense of wonder, although they were not aware of its ultimate source.

 


Steve Smith - #65838

October 28th 2011

These sermons are filled with embarrassing factual misstatements. I see that an editor has footnoted two passages with the disclaimer “These are fringe reports that are far outside of the realm of mainstream science,” but a stronger rebuke than this is required for the entire unfortunate series.

Here are just a few examples of the misstatements that assert the opposite of what is known to be true:

Who or what put the matter or energy into the universe?”… and science cannot answer those questions. [Part 5]

Guth’s Inflationary Universe answers this question: “The question of the origin of the matter in the universe is no longer thought to be beyond the range of science—everything can be created from nothing … it is fair to say that the universe is the ultimate free lunch. … Now we can return to a key question: How is there any hope that the creation of the universe might be described by physical laws consistent with energy conservations? Answer: the energy stored in the gravitational field is represented by a negative number! … The immense energy that we observe in the form of matter can be canceled by a negative contribution of equal magnitude, coming from the gravitational field. There is no limit to the magnitude of energy energy in the gravitational field, and hence no limit to the amount of matter/energy it can cancel.”

no scientist can explain abiogenesis, which is an undirected process producing the first living organism from nonliving chemicals.  That’s scientifically impossible [Part 4]

There are several viable scientific hypotheses for abiogenesis, many described at Wikipedia.

everything after Genesis 11 is intended to be literal history, and modern archaeology and anthropologists have accumulated libraries full of corroborating evidence [Part 3]

All known archaeological and historical evidence contradicts the entirety of the Bible’s history, before Genesis 11 and after, including the New Testament. The Jews were never in Egypt, there was never an Exodus, no Jewish conquest of the land of Israel, and no Davidic or Solomonic empire or kingdom. In fact, the Jews were still polytheists after the Ten Commandments was supposed to have been delivered. Tel Aviv U. archaeologist Ze’ev Herzog on these facts: “the Israelites were never in Egypt, did not wander in the desert, did not conquer the land in a military campaign and did not pass it on to the 12 tribes of Israel. Perhaps even harder to swallow is the fact that the united monarchy of David and Solomon, which is described by the Bible as a regional power, was at most a small tribal kingdom. And it will come as an unpleasant shock to many that the God of Israel, Jehovah, had a female consort and that the early Israelite religion adopted monotheism only in the waning period of the monarchy and not at Mount Sinai. … The archaeology of the Land of Israel is completing a process that amounts to a scientific revolution in its field. It is ready to confront the findings of biblical scholarship and of ancient history. But at the same time, we are witnessing a fascinating phenomenon in which all this is simply ignored by the Israeli public. Many of the findings mentioned here have been known for decades.  … These symbolic elements constitute such a critical component of the construction of the Israeli identity that any attempt to call their veracity into question encounters hostility or silence. It is of some interest that such tendencies within the Israeli secular society go hand-in-hand with the outlook among educated Christian groups. I have found a similar hostility in reaction to lectures I have delivered abroad to groups of Christian bible lovers, though what upset them was the challenge to the foundations of their fundamentalist religious belief.”

Also completely absent is any evidence whatsoever for Jesus and the varying accounts of his life in the gospel stories.

Christians, including many renowned scientists, have fought back by pointing out the many flaws in evolutionary theory and proposing alternative theories of their own. [Part 1]

Not a single renowned scientist, Christian or not, has proposed a viable alternative to the fact of evolution.

These are embarrassing claims to appear on a website that purports to illustrate the harmony between faith and science.


Ronnie - #65840

October 28th 2011

Not a single renowned scientist, Christian or not, has proposed a viable alternative to the fact of evolution.

If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard or read this…


Darrel Falk - #65852

October 28th 2011

To Our Readers (in response to Steve Smith)


I am scientist who has spent much time listening to sermons, some by extremely gifted pastors who understood the science well considering that their real expertise lay elsewhere.  I have never heard a sermon better than this one.  We took the unprecedented step of posting this sermon in its entirety over five different days largely because of the extremely articulate manner in with Dave Swaim brings science and theology together  for a general audience.  

This does not mean that I think he got the science perfect—but he is very well-informed. Remember this was a sermon developed for his local congregation.  He was gracious enough to allow us to post it so that it would help to edify a larger audience of Christians.  It has accomplished that purpose enormously well.  I have either footnoted or expounded in the comments section, the few cases where I would have worded the scientific conclusions a little differently.  



Steve Smith - #65865

October 29th 2011

If pastor Swaim is very well-informed, then why would he deliver numerous anti-factual misstatements, including ones that you call “fringe reports”?

I honestly cannot reconcile your characterization of these anti-scientific errors as an accomplished synthesis of science and theology for a general audience.

Regrettably, I believe it when you say that have never heard a sermon better than this, but I’m sure you can understand how this testimony lends support to those of us skeptical that science and faith are anything but mutually antagonistic.


sy - #65863

October 29th 2011

Steve

While your points are well taken, and in general answered by Darrel Falk’s comment below, I would just like to argue a bit about biogenesis. While there are indeed many hypotheses related to various aspects of abiogenesis, I dont believe that their “viability” is sufficient to rise to the level of, say evolution by natural selection. Some theories might be useful in explaining some possible scenarios, but none (including RNA world, or Yarus’ data on aptamers for code origins) are really ready to be called comprehensive theories of life origin.

I am not saying such a theory is unlikely. Just that we dont have it yet. That is my own opinion, but it is also shared by others. I agree that the phrase “scientifically impossible” was ill chosen, but again, as Darrel points out, Pastor Swain is expressing his view as an educated layman, not as a scientist.


Merv - #65841

October 28th 2011

Thanks for interjecting a couple of needed criticisms, Steve;  I too thought the author was a bit loose with the topic of how scientists have often interacted with religion. 

I think you pretty easily topped him, though.  Your wrote:  “All known archaeological and historical evidence contradicts the
entirety of the Bible’s history, before Genesis 11 and after, including
the New Testament.”   I’ve heard these kinds of sweeping claims before—often from folks who even believe things like “Jesus never even existed”.  You should get out and stretch your mind a bit.  I can’t speak for whatever anti-religious fundamentalist sights you may like frequenting, but hang around here and you may enjoy some real intellectual exchange.

—Merv


beaglelady - #65854

October 28th 2011

Ah yes, Jesus never existed which helps explain why he only said 18% of the things he said. 


Menno van Barneveld - #65857

October 29th 2011

Dear Steve Smith,

You state: “

everything can be created from nothing” I can’t and not any scientist can, only God or the holy spirit.
You also state: “the energy stored in the gravitational field is represented by a negative number!” What gravitational field, has anyone shown its presence? Has anyone shown negative energie? E=mc2, have you seen well that negative energy needs negative mass or an imaginary speed of light? This is not possible at all.
You state: “All known archaeological and historical evidence contradicts the entirety of the Bible’s history, before Genesis 11” Are you aware of the fact that is written that for God one day is as thousand years and thousand years as one day? God created the first man Adam almost one million years ago. You cannot ask a proof by showing the place of the Garden of Eden from that time. The fact that we cannot show the evidnce does not mean that it could not exist. But what about Nimrod in Genesis 10:8-10? In South East Turkey there is a mountain called after him Nemrut. Not far away is an argeolodical site Gobekli Tepe of an ancient city which was Akkad, one of four cities of an ancient culture. Nimrod was not one person, it was that culture.
Also in Egypt proto Hebrew inscriptions are found in a rock that proof that the Jews have been in Egypt.
So the fact that not evereything that is written about in the Old Testament can be found does not mean that it did not exist.
You state:”Also completely absent is any evidence whatsoever for Jesus and the varying accounts of his life in the gospel stories.” This is a lie. There is a stone with inscription written by Zacharia the father of John the Baptist on which the crucifiction and resurrection is prophecied. Christ did walk through Israel with almost nothing and he was crucified as if he was a criminal in 31 AD. But his time, life and work in Judea was very secure prophecied by Isaiah and Daniel. And he revealed his apostles the scriptures of the New Testament and now he has two and a half billion followers who are guided by him. He let me walk through the hills of Judea and showed me the remnands of the stable where he was born. Do not tell me that there is no evidence about him.


ZeroG - #65867

October 29th 2011

 

This was a good sermon on how the relationship of science and faith is continuing to develop in the minds of Christians. One thing I started to think about while reading this is why is it necessary for Christians to believe that God is the creator?

Is it because belief in a creator of good things allows you to appreciate the beauty of everything, because it was all made by Him? I am not satisfied with this because there are clearly some things God “created” which actually are truly not something I desire to be associated with.

Is it so that we can say the universe is like something? In this case it is something created and created things have to have a creator. I think this is the reason why Christians see something in the creation story they can latch onto. It is impossible for us to contemplate the universe going on and on in infinite directions of time and 3D space. We can’t do it because we understand everything through models and things being like something else we already understand

Take Bohr’s model of the atom. Bohr’s theory was that the atom is a proton surrounded by electrons. It is like the solar system, and this metaphoric relationship allows us to model it and in turn understand what it is like. But as we learn more about the new particles and interatomic relationships, we come to learn it is not like the solar system at all. But the model remains.A model is neither true nor false, only the theory of its similarity to what it represents.

As Christians, we are not satisfied with this dry, modelled understanding implied in the word “universe”. We want more, and this is where the creation story comes into play. For example, if I say “the snow blankets the ground”, you get a understanding of completeness and even thickness. But the feelings you get of warmth, protection and sleep until awakening, are the real human derivatives from that statement. The story of creation in Genesis is the poetry which allows us to appreciate the beauty and the meaning of God the creator.


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