Monthly Archives: March 2012

The nature of God

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[Today’s run: 7.1 miles with Boardtown Runners]

It has been my understanding for quite awhile that people limit their conception of reality to be within the bounds of how they perceive God.

I’m a bible-believer.  I think it is a book written by men at God’s direction and under His control and therefore has in it what God wants to convey.  One of the more shocking parts is right at the beginning where we read that God created the “heavens and the earth.”  It’s hard to understand exactly what happened.  The story is not difficult to read; the hard part comes in correlating the story with what we find around us:  things like dinosaur fossils, light coming from far away stars and the apparent age of rocks, etc.

Pretty early on I noticed that people go to a lot of effort to explain how all of this fits together in an orderly way.  Don’t get me wrong, I think it does fit together, but I don’t think that is really the problem we make it out to be.  If God is able to create the world, He could surely put it in such a condition as to appear of any age He pleased. He could put fossils in the rocks or whatever He liked.  The big jump is the creation part,  the rest is gravy.

But people don’t like the idea that God might do something unobvious.  So we won’t believe that God created the world because we don’t believe that a God who acts like God should act would create the world that we see around us.

In response to Darwinism in the 19th century a guy named Philip Henry Grosse wrote a book called Omphalos.  I’ve never read the book but I think I would like to.  According to what I’ve heard, Grosse argues that God created a world in working order and that necessarily meant an appearance of “age” as we understand it.   People objected to that because they assumed it would mean God is somehow being deceptive.    I don’t see that as being the case at all.  I think the fault is ours.  We perceive the passing of time through the one-way action of entropy going on around us.  We have no way to conceptualize  what things would be like outside of that frame of reference.

On the first day Adam was alive, he saw the sun go down.  The next morning it came up.  It has been doing that ever since.  So we assume it was doing that beforehand as well, in an unbeginning cycle.  There was fruit on the tree.  We know that fruit comes as the result of natural processes.  So those processes must have been happening beforehand.  It is impossible to break into the cycle of activity in a creative act without implying some before-creation existence.  That is the nature of a cyclic universe.

But the whole point of the Genesis account is that God is taking credit for starting the cycle.  It was not, and then it was.

Peter points out in one of his epistles that people get into this rut.  Jesus isn’t coming back; things continue like they always have; the cycle will go on and on and on and on.  But, like there was a creation, a start of the cycles, there will be an end.  And we don’t know when that might happen. (2 Peter 3:4 and following).  He places his argument on the fact of creation.  He says that we “willfully forget” that once there was none of this and then there suddenly was.

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Mar 31, 2012
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