Category Archives: God

Edward Feser on Christian, Muslims and the Reference of God

Here is an excellent post by Edward Feser that is both logical and without the ad hominem regarding the issue of whether Christians and Muslims worship the same God as brought to our attention via Wheaton College’s Dr. Hawkins statements you can read here.

This should give us pause with regard to both Wheaton and the laity (“conservative Christians”, Mirsolav Volf’s term) concern over controversial statements. I would submit that even if Wheaton could not go along with what Feser says, then it would be within their ecclesiastical right to maintain it’s suspension and or possible firing.

The Cosmic Importance Of The Red Circle

My son sent me a link to this picture which is suppose to count against the existence of God. You can see it here.

The guy who put the picture up said that it makes a “good point.” But it really only makes a good point if you are not thinking critically. First, the author is misguided in saying that every single action that Yahweh, Jesus, or Allah did in the Torah, New Testament or Quran occurred within the red circle. This is the claim that the author makes not the claim Christianity makes. The Bible speaks of God as not only the author of all existence (everything is dependent on God for it’s existence) but it also says that God PRESENTLY SUSTAINS all (thus, in human history, God is providentially at work) and lastly, God has a future for the whole earth. There is also the issue that whatever God did in that little red circle, God affected everything else in the cosmos. Lastly, I want to make a round-about response about this via a quote from a book by “Bo Jinn” entitled, “Illogical Atheism.” Bo Jinn says this:

“The “way the universe should have been,” as far as the new atheists are concerned is an ever- morphing tautology which can adjust to any set of altering circumstances.

As a tiny speck of ignorant nothingness floating about in infinite space, none of us are in a position to make any fleeting assumptions about how the universe “should be.” At any rate if we were going to proselytize on behalf of atheism by resorting to doom prophecy, I could have made it far worse for the theist than Mr. Hitchens did; because incidentally all of us, presently living, will be dead before the turn of the century. Or, at least the vast majority of us will. I’d have thought that would have been an altogether more pressing concern than the ultimate fate of the universe a few quadrillion years from now. As for the immense size and scale of the cosmos in relation to us; as the mathematician John Lennox points out, on a logarithmic scale the human being is about half way between an atom and the universe. So, I suppose if God thinks in terms of logarithms that would make us the perfect size for the universe we inhabit. But even if that were not the case, what does the size of the universe have to do with anything anyway? Perhaps a metaphor might better illustrate the point:

Suppose there were a small tribe of ten primitive humanoids in a cave some five hundred thousand years ago. Imagine that these were among the first human beings on the planet. They looked beyond their caves every day. They hunt within no more than a kilometer of their home. The Earth stretches for miles and miles beyond the horizon, across seas and oceans- domains they feel no primate human could ever possibly traverse. Between themselves and the ends of the earth lay vast expanses of land, desert and frozen glaciers battered by the elements- completely inhospitable to any kind of human life. Now, nine of these humanoids believe in a “Great Spirit” that created the world and everything in it, including the humanoids themselves. One humanoid, however, is an atheist. The atheist humanoid turns to his fellow proto- theists and says. “Why does the land and sea stretch so far beyond, so needlessly exceeding our purposes? Why is so much of our planet so completely unsuited to us? What kind of “Great Spirit” would create an Earth so large?! How wasteful! Could he have not made it a bit smaller perhaps? Some design!”

You see the point. These days we are more concerned by the fact that the Earth is too small, yet we take the same attitude the primate atheist took with regard to the cosmos. Speaking in terms of size and quantities is relative to the point in spacetime that we occupy, not that that should even matter at any rate. Precisely what size would Mr. Hitchens or Mr. Dawkins have preferred for our universe? One galaxy? Two galaxies? A few solar systems, perhaps? Or would they have preferred that Yuri Gagarin had had hit some kind a divine barrier between the Earth and the stars putting a halt to all science as we know it? How disappointingly uninteresting would that have made the universe? I am reminded of Robert Southey’s Goldilocks: One really has to ask; just what kind of universe would have been “just right” for the new atheists?”

How one cannot see how this diminishes human significance is beyond me.

The Existence Of God And The Argument From Beauty

Nothing big here. Just a quote I think is telling.

“…in experiencing beauty we feel ourselves to be in contact with a deeper reality than the everyday.” Anthony O’Hear from Beyond Evolution

Trinity and Process: The Abridged Version

My bud Tom Belt offers the shorter version of Greg Boyd’s enormous dissertation here.

Some years ago I went to the local university library to check out his dissertation. It was in two volumes and there was much to read (and comprehend of which I didn’t do of either. 😀). Hopefully this shorter version will make it much more accessible to interested readers.

God As Author And Sustainer With Regard to Euthanasia And Assisted Suicide

My facebook friend Brent White has an excellent post on one of the biggest news stories of the week, the story of Brittnay Maynard. You can read his post here.

In the the first paragraph White says this:

Given the tone of this article, which was reprinted in USA Today and received much sympathetic approval on social media, I find myself strangely unmoved by this 29-year-old cancer patient’s decision to end her life later this month. Whatever else her decision may be, it is deeply unchristian. It denies the fact that God gives us each moment of life as a gift. It also denies that God could have any purpose for permitting someone to suffer—what Tim Keller rightly calls God’s “causal relationship with suffering.”

I want to add to his point about “God giving us each moment of our lives.” Most of the time words or something to that effect come off sounding cliche. We’ve heard it a million times, “God is the giver of life,” “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.” And though that doesn’t sound too satisfying or comforting when watching a love one die–ESPECIALLY when watching someone close to us pass from this life into eternity–for it can be very insensitive when used that way, there is still a truth to this that we may have forgotten. That truth is this: That God is the AUTHOR AND SUSTAINER of life.

I want to explain the implications of this by quoting from Gilbert Meilaender’s book, Bioethics: A Primer For Christians

Christians have held that suicide is morally wrong because they have seen in it a contradiction of our nature as creatures, an unwillingness to receive life moment by moment from the hand of God without ever regarding it as simply “our” possession. We might think of ourselves as characters in a story of which God is the author. Dorothy L. Sayers ingeniously developed this analogy of artistic creation in The Mind of the Maker. Of the “work” produced by the artist Sayers writes:

For the satisfaction of its will to life it depends utterly upon the sustained and perpetually renewed will to creation of its maker. The work can live and grow on the sole condition of the maker’s untiring energy; to satisfy its will to die, he has only to stop working. In him it lives and moves and has its being, and it may say to him with literal truth, “Thou art my life, if thou withdraw, I die.” If the unselfconscious creature could be moved to worship, its thanks and praise would be due, not so much for any incidents of its structure, but primarily for its being and identity.

Characters in a story do, of course, have a real, if limited, freedom, and a good author will not simply compel them to do what is contrary to the nature he himself has given them. But at the same time characters do not determine the plot of their life’s story, and it is a contradiction of their very being if they attempt to bring the story to its conclusion. We are dependent beings, and to think otherwise to make independence our project, however sincerely is to live a lie, to fly in the face of reality.

This SHOULD have some impact or influence on us in guiding or steering us in end of life decisions.