LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Monday, March 31, 2008

In the Beginning

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

1) Christian belief: The universe had a beginning.
Atheist belief: The universe had a beginning.

2) Christian belief: God is eternal, self-existent with the power of being in and of himself.
Atheist belief: There is no God.

3) Christian belief: God created the heavens and the earth. In short he created the universe and everything in it from nothing. Human beings have discovered that the universe is unbelievably large and amazingly complex with an order that points to God as the designer.
Atheist belief: An incredibly dense and small point of singularity of matter/energy exploded into a vast orderly universe of billions of galaxies with billions of stars in each galaxy. This big bang beginning is as far as the atheists will go back. They have no answer for where the matter/energy that exploded came from.

4) Christian belief: God created plant, animal, and human life on the earth.
Atheist belief: Life began on earth from non-life in the form of a one-cell animal. By accident this one cell animal reproduced. By accident this one cell animal evolved gradually to all the plants and animals that are on planet earth today. From non-intelligence, intelligence began in animal life, but not in plant life.

5) Christian belief: God sustains and is sovereign over the universe and nothing can happen apart from his will. Life on earth is sustained by his power.
Atheist belief: It is by accident that all of the many scientific laws of physics, chemistry, etc. that are needed for life on earth came to pass and continue to operate.

The belief that intelligent design is the cause for the orderly and complex universe that we live in is mocked and ridiculed in the United States by our universities and media. Scientists and journalist that even dare to consider investigating the possibility of intelligent design are discounted, shunned, and in many cases either fired or denied tenure. There is movie coming to theaters on April 18th by Ben Stein by the title of: Expelled, No Intelligence Allowed that addresses the tactics of what can be called the Church of Darwin. I recommend this movie, as I understand it will expose the intolerant tactics that are threatening free speech in America in many areas including intelligent design.

57 Comments:

Blogger Maalie said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

April 01, 2008 5:43 AM

 
Blogger Baptist Girl said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

April 01, 2008 6:53 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Please leave the atheist's comment up this time.

Mark

April 01, 2008 6:54 AM

 
Blogger Baptist Girl said...

Well said Jazz!! isn't it funny that nobody talks so constantly about God as those who insist that there is no God.
The fool says in his heart "Ther is no God" Psalm 14:1


“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world” (Psalms 19:1-4).

Cristina

April 01, 2008 6:54 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world” (Psalms 19:1-4)."

Cristina,

Isn't it interesting that some scientists are creationists while others are fools?

April 01, 2008 7:10 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

There have been some who are critical of the way I treat Maalie here. Now it is time for you all to show me how it is to be done. Bring on your best debate with him here.

Mark

April 01, 2008 7:20 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

A small sample of Maalie's approach - Jazzy starts things off with this...

#7- You said…. Maybe you would do better to try to answer my questions.

Your questions were answered and I could not help but notice that you cut bait and disengaged with Daniel at Bluecollar when he was discussing your flawed theory of evolution. Let me state it bluntly, you ran away from the discussion like a coward running from a bully. I am not going to discuss evolution with you as it is not a big interest, but you can go to Daniel’s blog and invite him over here to take it up again if you can muster the courage to answer his “challenging” questions.

#8- You said…. Simple first-grade genetics would tell you it would take some three million years for humanity to diversify into the range of ethnic groups we now see on earth.

Wow, genetics in the first grade! I am afraid that in America, we are too busy feeding them global warming propaganda than to be teaching genetics in the first grade. Let me give you a simple first grade answer for how many years it would take an all-powerful supernatural supreme being to produce diversified ethnic groups. Answer: one generation! The key word here is supernatural!

While this is certainly hard to comprehend, let us remember that atheistic evolution must make an even greater leap of faith when it explains why there is something instead of nothing. I believe your best answer so far has been that you don’t have a clue!

March 27, 2008 3:49 PM


Maalie said...
Well, you would say all that, wouldn't you? Well, I can choose to make my own judgements from the independent reports I have read, and my own experience and the evidence I have witnessed in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, or I can take the word of a person who believes in inter-continental swimming kangaroos, and refutes the report of the International Panel on Climate Change. It's a no-brainer, really. LOL!

As for Daniel, he is as deluded as you are. I disengaged from him because he was talking gibberish. It was simply a waste of time.

The scientific evidence will never go away, Jazzycat, it will never go away, it is growing by the week...

Actually, I feel quite sorry for you in your delusion. Maybe I will even pray for you (to His Majesty the Sun God, of course).

March 28, 2008 3:22 AM

April 01, 2008 7:36 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

I'm just going to sit back and watch this.

April 01, 2008 7:44 AM

 
Blogger donsands said...

"No, it is not mocked and ridiculed there or anywhere else."

Yes it is, according to Ben Stein. At least that's what his film documents. Looking forward to seeing this film.
And Ben is not a Christian, but he belives there must be a Supreme Being.

There's another prominent atheist, Antony Flew, who has come to reject atheism. " Flew states that certain philosophical and scientific considerations had caused him to rethink his lifelong support of atheism."

His latest book: "There Is a God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind", in case you want to read it Maalie.
He is not a Christian either, but a dieist.

April 01, 2008 9:18 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Mark,
I am sorry but I deleted Maalie before I saw you request. I like your idea so could you please copy and paste his comment back up. I didn't even read it myself and would like to see it. I shouldn't be so hasty when I first get up.....

April 01, 2008 9:26 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

RC Sproul interview with Ben Stein can be found HERE

This is must see......

April 01, 2008 9:31 AM

 
Blogger Maalie said...

Thank you for bearing with my comments this time. I appreciate the opportunity to discuss. I will try to be objective and not to sound disrespectful.

But, if I may say so, I thought it interesting that Jazzycat deleted my comment without first reading it. I think this reveals something.

Second, I am curious as to how you can assert what atheists "believe"? The only thing that can be said for sure about atheists is what they don't believe, that is God. That is how you define an atheist. Many atheists do not hold any scientific views at all. Am I wrong?

April 01, 2008 10:14 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Maalie,
It reveals that I was still half asleep and was enforcing the ban on you. Over at Jazzycat 2 that Mark has quoted some comments from, I have given you a new life for discussion as long as you behave. Mark has made an exception on Bluecollar for now on your posting.

Disbelieving in a God is a belief that there is no God. Are we going to split hairs here? For those atheists that do have scientific knowledge, I believe this post accurately describes their thinking. You can correct me if I am wrong about a particular point. Perhaps you can even explain to us where all the matter/energy came from.

April 01, 2008 10:38 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Here is the earlier comment by Maalie that I deleted!!!

Maalie said....
Well, since you are critical of atheists and universities, you ought to have the
decency to allow at least one of them to have the right to reply, but I expect you
will delete this as being contrary to your preconceptions.

All of what you write here is a ridiculous parody of the true state of affairs.

The belief that intelligent design is the cause for the orderly and complex universe
that we live in is mocked and ridiculed in the United States by our universities and
media

No, it is not mocked and ridiculed there or anywhere else. Divine creation simply
doesn't conform with the evidence as we know and understand it.

I believe you are guilty of perpetrating mis-information to foster people's personal
incredulity.

April 01, 2008 10:51 AM

 
Blogger Maalie said...

Jazzycat, it is you are splitting hairs in an attempt to win a cheap point with an ad hominem: the main post asserts several time what atheists are supposed to "believe". I repeat that I consider that is presumptuous, the best that can be said it what they don't.

>Perhaps you can even explain to us where all the matter/energy came from.

You keep coming back to this futile point. We do not yet understand, and we may never understand how the time/energy/matter continuum operates. Perhaps it has always been there. Because we do not understand something now does not mean we may never know. 100 years ago we had absolutely no concept of the genetic code, and now we know the human genome and can start a life in a test tube. To say we do not know is neither a point for or against, it is neutral.

To ask about the origin of the time/matter/energy continuum is merely an expression of your personal incredulity: it does not advance the discussion. What it seems to me is that you are saying is: "We do not know how it started, so let us say that God did it". That just put the argument one step back.


I am a biologist, not a cosmologist. If you are seriously interested in learning a little more about the current theories you might start your reading here


I'm sorry, may next comment is going to be rather long, I have copied from something I wrote elsewhere and is intended to clear up a misconceptions about what scientists "believe".

April 01, 2008 11:01 AM

 
Blogger Maalie said...

I sincerely intend this comment to be informative, not confrontational.
--------------
"Evolutionism" is not a doctrine, like Christianity. In principle, biologists do not "believe in evolution" as people might "believe" in miracles, the tooth fairy, Santa, or a flat earth. Evolution is simply a provisional explanation (hypothesis or theory) for the state of affairs that we observe on earth ("the evidence"). If the evidence changes, then the explanation is modified or even rejected to take into account new observations. There is no fundamental doctrine or dogma involved.

With Christianity, however, there is a belief, or faith, that something is the way it is the way it is because God decided he wanted it that way. There is no room for discussion because it is, by definition, dogma. So when Christians are confronted with "evidence" that appears to contradict their belief that "God did it" they presume that the evidence is wrong and need to discredit it. Things I have heard are "The fossils are hoaxes"; "the scientists invent it for their own advancement"; "we can't really date the rocks"; "carbon-dating doesn't work"; "a living seal was dated at 10,000 years old"; "natural selection doesn't explain the origin of the eye". There is a whole industry based on publishing mis-information like this.

Or they may appeal to foster personal incredulity ("you don't really believe that life grew out of slime, do you?) or human vanity ("you don't really think we are just an ape, do you"?); but most of all they capitalise on ignorance ("it's only a theory, you know"), because many people are simply not aware how the genetic code works, or how chemistry, physics, genetics, biochemistry, ecology, microbiology, molecular biology all integrate to reinforce the more physical aspects of the evidence.

It is true there have been hoaxes; it is true that some scientists have told lies to serve there own purpose (Donsands makes a food point here) but the whole point of the scientific system of peer review in the public domain means that these fallacies are rapidly exposed. Personal incredulity arises because a mind is already made up ("I don't believe it could happen without a supreme intelligence"); and ignorance is partly fostered by parents who home-school "on biblical grounds" (I quote). And of course a reluctance to learn for fear that knowledge and understanding will challenge their cherished faith (which is probably true).

Evidence is evidence; observations are observations; fossils are fossils and the genetic code is the genetic code. It is not the evidence per se that is wanting, but it may be felt that the explanation requires modification. That is how science works.

Evolution is the best theory available to explain biodiversity that fits all the available evidence. If anyone feels that the explanation should be changed in the light of some new evidence they have, please publish it in Nature so that the world may see it and review it.

Having said all that, no scientist can prove that it wasn't all down to God. A truly omnipotent God could do anything he wants, even plant misleading 'evidence' to confuse us. But the theory of evolution doesn't depend on the supernatural to explain the state of affairs, therefore it is more parsimonious (fewest assumptions) and thus scientifically more acceptable. At the moment, a concept of Adam and Eve and inter-continental swimming kangaroos is incompatible with the biological facts as we know and understand them right now. Things may change of course.

April 01, 2008 11:03 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Freedom of speech is under tremendous attack in this country as the liberal elites in the media and on university campuses are and have been for several decades arbitrarily establishing political correct standards. IOW, they are deciding what is to be allowed or not allowed. This has now spilled over into science as scientific elites are deciding what can be investigated and believed and what has been closed to further inquiry.

This is true in many other areas such as the global warming debate where the proponents have declared that the debate is over and there is no further need for investigation. I am very much reminded of the old movie Fahrenheit 451 where a coercive government has banned all books. We are seeing very similar attacks on thought and ideas that does not meet PC muster………..

This movie “Expelled No intelligence Allowed” exposes this nonsense. The interview link between RC Sproul and Ben Stein can be found a few comments above.

April 01, 2008 11:10 AM

 
Blogger Maalie said...

I see, Jazzycat. You start with an ad hominem and then move on to a straw man. You do not address the issue.

April 01, 2008 11:18 AM

 
Blogger Mary said...

The fossil record is completely void of any transitional forms (not transitions within species, but transitions from one species to another species). Evidence is evidence. No transitional forms in the fossil records.

Pangea - explains why kangaroos did not have to swim across any ocean.

April 01, 2008 11:44 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Maalie,
I must be out for a few hours. I will address you when I return.
Thanks.

April 01, 2008 11:48 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Mary - WELCOME!!!

Pangea is something that old Maalie chooses to ignore.

April 01, 2008 11:50 AM

 
Blogger lorenzothellama said...

I have just come onto this site as I haven't been well for a couple of days.

I would like to say that it seems to be all or nothing between Calvinists and Atheists. There is plenty of room for speculation. Even the Catholic church now believes in evolution. That changes nothing in their belief of Christ.

A friend of mine is an archeologist and worked with Richard Leakey for a few years in the Olduvai Gorge and then with Jane Goodall researching Chimpanzee behaviour. The skulls they found, although hominid, are quite unlike the skulls of modern man. What do you think these animals were? Do you think they went in the ark with Noah? If so, why did they die out? What is your opinion on animal species that become extinct? If they were saved originally in the ark, why do you suppose whole species died off? What do you make of dinasaurs? Were they in the ark too?

I ask these questions, not to be difficult, but because I don't think they can be answered realistically. It just depends on whether you believe the Bible is to be taken literally.

Jesus spoke in parables. Are we meant to take them literally because they are in the Bible?

April 01, 2008 11:52 AM

 
Blogger lorenzothellama said...

I didn't know what pangea was so I googled it and it is another name for Continal Drift.
On the web site I visited it said that 'pangea' first started 225 million years ago.

April 01, 2008 11:55 AM

 
Blogger lorenzothellama said...

typo: Continental drift.

April 01, 2008 11:58 AM

 
Blogger Mary said...

Lorenzo, I'm not a Calvinist. Like Maalie - Mark and company think they have me pegged and I've not seen them come close. Lot's of straw involved there.

Mark, Hey - wish I could get my husband to join this discussion with your atheist friends - as it's a subject he's studied extensively and basically it comes down not to "facts" because the facts lead to all different places and some people ignore facts such as Pangea, but where do you put your faith. Everybody's got faith even the atheist.

April 01, 2008 12:01 PM

 
Blogger lorenzothellama said...

Hey Mary, I'm not an atheist! I'm a Catholic!

April 01, 2008 12:03 PM

 
Blogger donsands said...

Jazzy,
Thanks for the link to the Sproul interview. I heard about it with my ears, but now I have finally seen it with mine eyes.
It was excellent. Two graciously bright men discussing this controversial subject.

I was also wondering about fossils of 1/2-reptile/1/2-mammal types.

"Jesus spoke in parables. Are we meant to take them literally because they are in the Bible?" -llama

The story Jesus tells, say for instance the sower and the seeds, has a literal truth within it.
And in this particular parable, the seed is the Word of God, literally. The soil is the human heart. literally. The results show those who become fruitful for God's kingdom, and those who do not.

Jesus never wasted a word.

April 01, 2008 12:27 PM

 
Blogger Maalie said...

Mark, I am grateful to you for allowing this discussion. I don't really have any more to add just now, but would like to summarise my position.

1. I feel that the generalisations that are made about atheists in the five headings of the main post are too sweeping. All that can legitimately be said about atheists is a negative thing: they don't believe in God. Most of the atheists I know are in fact quite indifferent to science. They base their atheism on their personal experience of injustice in the world (poverty, homelessness, HIV/AIDS, war and so on) that seems to be out of character with the notion of an Almighty Everlasting Heavenly Father who loves us all.

2. It seems to me that those who subscribe to this blog have already decided (for whatever reason that is personal to themselves) to believe in a literal interpretation of the bible. Therefore evidence that appears to contradict their faith is considered intolerable and they will seek ways to discredit it, sometimes going to extraordinary lengths to do so.

It is evening now in England and I have to go out to give a guest lecture to my local university (yes, you've guessed, it is evolutionary - "Host-specificity in arthropod ecto-parasites of sea-birds". And no, I won't be saying it is because God wanted it that way!

Finally I am impressed that the first thing that Jazzycat does each morning when he wakes up is to delete me! I wish I had such influence on other people. Well Jazzycat, you may delete me, but the evidence lives on and will remain and strengthen long after you and I are gone!

I hope I may be allowed to look in from time to time.

I wish you all peace.

Jim

April 01, 2008 12:52 PM

 
Blogger Maalie said...

Just a quick word on continental drift. As Lorenzo asserts, the break-up of Gondwanaland commenced millions of years ago, but the great flood is alleged to happened in post-neolithic times (it must have been if Noah could built a boat as substantial and as sophisticated as claimed). The alleged flood was therefore incredibly recent in geological time and, if true, there would be loads geological evidence everywhere. I'm afraid this is just another instance of ill-considered denial of a phenomenon that is perceived to contradict your faith. The quasi-scientific mis-information put about by the creationist publishers is full of it.

I'm....gone...

April 01, 2008 1:04 PM

 
Blogger Mary said...

""Just a quick word on continental drift. As Lorenzo asserts, the break-up of Gondwanaland commenced millions of years ago, but the great flood is alleged to happened in post-neolithic times (it must have been if Noah could built a boat as substantial and as sophisticated as claimed). The alleged flood was therefore incredibly recent in geological time and, if true, there would be loads geological evidence everywhere. I'm afraid this is just another instance of ill-considered denial of a phenomenon that is perceived to contradict your faith. The quasi-scientific mis-information put about by the creationist publishers is full of it.""


You make the erroneous assumption that those believing in the Great Flood would believe that the earth is billions of years old. I doubt anyone here believes in a billion year old earth. There is much geological evidence of a world wide flood - the very existence of fossils in the first place is evidence of a dramatic hydrological event. There are "action-shot" fossils such as a fossil of an ichtheasaur giving birth. There are fossils of polystratic trees oriented vertically which cut through multiple layers of sediment. Such fossils prove that the sediment was laid down very quickly and not over eons of time. Fossils of sea creatures on the sides of mountains and we can go on and on. I've often wondered how an evolutionist would deal with the evidence that their theory really is nothing more than a theory and requires a great deal of faith on their part to believe - how do they deal? By resorting to the ad hominen. You would think someone would publish books showing all the mistakes of the quasiScience Creationist literature, but since they cannot refute actual facts and evidence nobody would actually want to publish such a book because the Science isn't really quasi no matter how many times someone wants to stamp their feet and use that word like its Gospel!

April 01, 2008 1:53 PM

 
Blogger Maalie said...

I find that last comment truly incredible. It is utter nonsense, more of the quasi-scientific misinformation put about but the creationist publishers who make a fortune out of selling it to gullible people.

I MUST go now, Oh my ears and whiskers, I shall be late (said the white rabbit).

April 01, 2008 2:10 PM

 
Blogger Mary said...

Right, Maalie, if the evolutionist says it than we have to except it as gospel - talk about ya dogma. I see Maalie has yet to address any of the "facts" I've put forth.

Mark, another interesting twist on creation v. evolution is the arena of statistics and probability. I'll see if I can dig up some of it - of course statistics and probability may fall into that quasi area where some don't want to accept it because it doesn't line up with what they want to believe. When something doesn't line up for the evolutionist all he has to do scream "quasi science" and he thinks we don't notice that he's not dealing with the actual scientific facts. How did that whale fossil get on a mountain in Europe?

April 01, 2008 2:37 PM

 
Blogger lorenzothellama said...

How about answering some of my questions?

April 01, 2008 3:07 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Maalie,
When I asked for your explanation for where the matter/energy of the big bang came from, you said……….

You keep coming back to this futile point. We do not yet understand, and we may never understand how the time/energy/matter continuum operates. Perhaps it has always been there. Because we do not understand something now does not mean we may never know.

This post is about Genesis 1:1 and is about the beginning of the universe. It is not futile and in fact is the focus of the difference between the Christian view and the atheist view. I know your field of science is evolutionary biological science, but that is just part of what this post is about. I know atheists would like to start at the big bang, but that is like starting a ten story building on the second floor. We must build on a foundation before we get to that second floor. I do not mind the evolutionary debate in this thread, but it is not limited to that subject alone.

You say we do not understand and may never understand the answer to my question. Let me ask you a question. If we do not know, then why is the God hypothesis rejected as being a possible answer? Why could a supreme being not be the creator of the matter of the big bang and the reason it exploded?

Science has determined that the universe is expanding and will eventually burn itself out and become dark unless acted upon by a creator (God). Therefore, we know the universe had a beginning and will have and ending unless acted upon by God. Since the end of the universe has not yet come, then matter/energy cannot be infinitely old and must have had a beginning just like the universe had a beginning, because if matter were infinitely old and eternal, the end would have already happened and the universe would be dark and cold. This leaves two possibilities for the origin of matter/energy. God either created it, or it popped into being from nothing. Since it is pure nonsense to assert that something came from nothing, then an eternal self-existent supreme being is the only choice left. Thus, scientific discovery has pointed to a creator God. This creator God has revealed himself by natural revelation, in history, and in the Holy Bible.

April 01, 2008 6:14 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Loren,
The verse in this post is Genesis 1:1 and it is not a parable. It is meant to be taken literally. Not everything in the Bible is to be taken literally as there is allegory, poetry, parables, etc.

It has become really convenient for many today to explain away clear and plain passages they do not like by claiming they are not meant to be taken literally. The teachings in the last ten or so verses in Romans 1 that deal with man's sin and depravity are an example of this.

April 01, 2008 6:25 PM

 
Blogger Maalie said...

>if the evolutionist says it than we have to except it as gospel - talk about ya dogma.

Mary, no you are wrong. There is no "dogma" or agenda in science. Science doesn't seek to prove or disprove anything. It seeks to explain the evidence as is observed. If new evidence comes to light the explanation is modified, or replaced. If you have an alternative interpretation of the evidence, why don't you offer it to the editor of Nature or the Internati0nal Journal of Applied Geology for peer review?

>When something doesn't line up for the evolutionist all he has to do scream "quasi science"

You malign science again. There is a lot of creationist stuff out there that purports to be "scientific" that has not been peer-reviewed by the scientific community and is quasi science. Nothing to do with "lining up", and we don't scream, we simply point out its erroneousness.

As for high altitude fossils, well you claim to know all about pangea, therefore you will understand the geology of plate tectonics and know how mountain ranges are thrown up by collision of the tectonic plates. It's all there in the literature, maybe you should read it.

I really am sorry that you find science so inconvenient to your own dogma. An inconvenient truth. Now, where have I heard that before?

Jazzycat
>is the focus of the difference between the Christian view and the atheist view

I disagree. As I said above, and contradictory to the five points made in the main post, most atheists don't actually have a "view". They are mostly quite indifferent to the big bang, Adam and Eve, inter-continental swimming kangaroos or anything else. They base their atheism on the injustice in the world, the cruelty and killing that goes in in God's name and regard this as incompatible with the notion of an Almighty Everlasting Heavenly Father.

>Therefore, we know the universe had a beginning and will have and ending unless acted upon by God.

You can't verify that any more than I can. What you call the beginning is now considered to be an oscillation in the time/energy/matter continuum. But I am a biologist, not a cosmologist, and I refer you back to the specialists (see, for example, the link I put in above).

April 02, 2008 9:42 AM

 
Blogger Maalie said...

Question for Mark

Mark, once again I express my gratitude to you for giving me an amnesty on this post.

I would like to ask you a question in genuine ignorance, with a genuine desire for your opinion.

I was reading an Arminian blog recently (you may have seen it yourself) and under "favourite reading" the author had written: The bible and other anti-Calvinist literature

Would you like to comment, please, on what you think he/she means by that?

April 02, 2008 9:53 AM

 
Blogger Gayla said...

They base their atheism on the injustice in the world, the cruelty and killing that goes in in God's name and regard this as incompatible with the notion of an Almighty Everlasting Heavenly Father.

Hi Maalie. This is pretty much what I've always thought re: atheists. The evolution issue seemed secondary IMO.

The atheist simply says there is no God.

I pray, Maalie, that God would intervene in your life, penetrate your heart with the reality of His presence and have mercy on your soul. Truly, it is a sweet and wonderful joy to know Him. :)

April 02, 2008 9:54 AM

 
Blogger Maalie said...

Mark, I have just found it again. The name is T J Pennock and he seems to be a missionary or something.

Thanks

April 02, 2008 9:56 AM

 
Blogger Maalie said...

Gayla, thank you for your comment, I appreciate that.

I understand that your contributors are sure that have been elected, and I really do congratulate you all on your conviction. It must be a considerable comfort.

I am equally sure that I am not elected. I stubbornly object to repenting for a "sin" that I did not knowingly and wilfully commit. Instead, I try to live my life as charitably as my selfish genes allow and follow the doctrine if my mother who always taught me to do to others as you would have them do to you. Unfortunately she did not have a steel chisel or a tablet of stone handy to carve it into.

April 02, 2008 10:02 AM

 
Blogger Gayla said...

I'm not Mark, but I am online. :)

Here's what I believe to be the very basic, foundational difference between Calvinism and Arminianism - the sovereignty of God in salvation. Both, of course, believe in the sovereignty of God, but they part ways when it comes to the extent of that sovereignty - primarily regarding salvation. Calv. says God is completely, utterly sovereign over His creation - He alone sets His affections and saving grace on those whom He chooses; Arm. says God limited His own sovereignty by sovereignly (if you will) giving the ability to "choose" Christ to man. So it is man's own 'fault' if he chooses to reject Christ.

That's a nutshell version.

I would imagine that the blogger's "anti-Calvinist" reading material might include books that tend to be more man-centered - ie man's choice, man's glory, man's life and what God can do to make it "better." Just a thought.

April 02, 2008 10:06 AM

 
Blogger Gayla said...

"I am equally sure that I am not elected. I stubbornly object to repenting for a "sin" that I did not knowingly and wilfully commit....."

Maalie, have you ever considered that perhaps your desire to interact with us here, and also at Susan's (halfmom) blog, just might - might - be one/a way that God is indeed working in your life? Perhaps He's in the process of stirring your heart. ???? I would submit that most unsaved folks don't have a concern or a thought about whether or not they are of the elect.

Rest assured that: 1) God will win in the end. :) IOW, you cannot outrun Him when He's pursuing you. and 2) The Holy Spirit WILL convict and bring any unknowing and unwilfull sins to light and to your consciousness.

April 02, 2008 10:18 AM

 
Blogger Maalie said...

Gayla, thank you for your concern, and also for your explanation on Arminianism.

I interact because I am becoming quite interested in theology. My former wife's late father was a Congregationist Minister (he was the national secretary in Wales). His sermons were in Welsh but I understood some of them. He, like many clergymen I have known, are not antagonistic to modern scientific understanding, and did not see a conflict between science and Christianity. I am a signed-up card-carrying fee-paying Unitarian.

I have always been intrigued as to why/how the different factions within Christianity have come to hate each other to the point of death, and this was my main reason for doubt. Richard Dawkins did the rest.

I could sort of go along with a view that "God started it all some billions of years ago and then let nature get on with it" but that is not allowed.

So long as it is asserted that the dozens of humanity's quite separate ethnic groups, from the Masai tribes of Africa to the pygmies of Amazonia, have descended from just two people in only a couple of thousand years, I will never be a believer. It is genetically absurd, sorry.

April 02, 2008 11:04 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Maalie,
You said……
most atheists don't actually have a "view".

Would those that do think about the origin of the universe have any other choice than the one that I presented considering scientific knowledge? Would those that didn’t have a view have any other choice than the one I presented? By definition an atheist has to believe in a universe that came into being without a supreme being causing it. It is absurd for you to suggest otherwise. The injustice in the world has absolutely nothing to do with the origin of the universe or the possibility of a supreme being, and those that use that as a reason for atheism are not being rational.

You said…..
You can't verify that any more than I can. What you call the beginning is now considered to be an oscillation in the time/energy/matter continuum.

At one time scientists believed that the universe might collapse back in upon itself and the big bang cycle would be a continuous oscillation as you suggest. However, about ten years ago, with the aid of satellite data, they discovered that this will not happen and the universe will eventually burn out and go cold. Therefore, the universe had to have a beginning. Scientists also believe this. If the matter/energy in the universe were eternal, then we would not have a hot universe today. It would have long ago reached a cold dark burned out state. Therefore, the matter/energy of universe also had to have a beginning. This leaves two choices. Matter/energy popped into being from nothing or a supreme being, that is eternal and in a state of being rather than becoming, created the matter/energy of the universe from nothing.
The first choice is impossible. It is nonsense. This leaves the God hypothesis as the only logical conclusion. I realize some atheistic scientists do not want to accept this, but many do. Science points to intelligent design of the universe by a creator.

April 02, 2008 11:05 AM

 
Blogger Maalie said...

>At one time scientists believed that the universe might collapse back in upon itself

No, scientists don't "believe" anything. They merely attempt to explain the evidence as it is observed. There is no doctrine or dogma involved, explanations are modified as knowledge and understanding progresses. And some of your brilliant scientists in your own justly world-renowned universities are doing just that.

April 02, 2008 11:17 AM

 
Blogger Maalie said...

>Both, of course, believe in the sovereignty of God, but they part ways when it comes to the extent of that sovereignty

Is there any way of knowing who is right? Axiomatically, they can't both be right, it is mutually exclusive. Could there be an independent arbitrator, maybe?

May I ask if you consider that Arminians are among the elect?

April 02, 2008 12:47 PM

 
Blogger Maalie said...

Might I ask what would you say to the Arminian who wrote (I quote):

The Calvinist system is replete with horrid doctrines and revolting views of the divine nature.

April 02, 2008 1:03 PM

 
Blogger Gayla said...

"Is there any way of knowing who is right? Axiomatically, they can't both be right, it is mutually exclusive. Could there be an independent arbitrator, maybe?"

Well, I don't know how much Scripture you want me to provide, but there is a slew of it (as well as the TOTALITY of the Word) which undeniably shows that God is utterly, completely sovereign over His creation, including the salvation of His people. On the flipside, there is nothing to support that people "make a decision" for Christ.

"May I ask if you consider that Arminians are among the elect?"

Indeed they are!

April 02, 2008 1:07 PM

 
Blogger Daniel said...

I have skimmed over the meta. Interesting discussion.

Lorenzo asked if anyone could speculate about why God allowed certain species which he preserved through the flood to die out later.

I think it is a good and provocative question.

The way we answer it will reflect how well we understand the purpose of the flood and the ark. Was the primary purpose to simply save sample members from every species? Was the ark a primarily a rescue mission?

Let's be clear - God could have handled it just like the last Egyptian plague was handled, or how He handled Sodom and Gomorrah - that is, God could have judged the whole world in a moment, leaving alive the exact same numbers, but without having to go through the flood.

We recognize therefore that when the wrath of God was manifested as a flood, and salvation offered through an ark - the picture is more than a rescue mission, it is a symbolic rescue mission.

What therefore was pictured by the ark? God's eternal redemptive plan.

The ark pictures Jesus Christ (as Romans six states, we who believed were baptized into (immersed into) Christ, and through this union we passed through God's judgment - that is, through God's wrath, and through death - and through this same union, we who are united to Christ by faith were raised with Him.

Thus the flood pictured by a physical judgment - the day of judgment, such that we learn that only those who are in Christ will pass through that judgment unscathed.

Now if we allow this understanding, the primary purpose of the ark was not to preserve forever the species saved in the ark, but to preserve the image of God's salvation. Thus it really doesn't matter how many species die out.

April 02, 2008 1:20 PM

 
Blogger Gayla said...

"Might I ask what would you say to the Arminian who wrote (I quote):

The Calvinist system is replete with horrid doctrines and revolting views of the divine nature."


I would probably ask him to first give specifics of what he's referring to. Additionally, I think we'd need to establish biblical doctrine, rather than what Calvin, or any man, has to say.

April 02, 2008 1:43 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Thanks, Daniel, for puting this conversation back on its proper track. All this talk about how we should handle scientific data aside, what it comes down to is God and our standing before Him. Either we are in Christ (the Ark) or we suffer His eternal wrath.

April 02, 2008 1:48 PM

 
Blogger Maalie said...

Mark, I am grateful to you for letting me into this conversation. I feel I have learned quite a lot. It seems to be fizzling out now so I shall now withdraw.

I guess my banning will be reinstated in in your next post.

April 02, 2008 3:12 PM

 
Blogger Daniel said...

Maalie, (Jim?)

I too am genuinely curious, and I hope you can indulge that curiosity.

As an atheist, do you conclude that all the matter in the universe has always existed in some form or another, or would you be more inclined to conclude that all the matter in the universe spontaneously generated out of nothing?

I don't mean to limit you to this dichotomy, but it does seems that there are only two options - either matter (or the potential for matter) always existed in some for or other, or matter had an origin, whatever that looked like.

Feel free to introduce some other option if in honest ignorance I have excluded an option.

I am not trying to bait you, but I am genuinely curious as to where your foundation lies.

April 02, 2008 3:13 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Maalie,
You said....
It seems to be fizzling out now so I shall now withdraw.

It is not fizzling. It is beginning to heat up and you are leaving good questions unanswered on the subject of this post, which is the origin of the universe. You admitted that we do not understand and may never understand the answer to the origin of the universe. So please do not cut bait and run. Answer this question that I asked earlier. If science does not know how the universe started, then why is the God hypothesis summarily rejected as being a possible answer? Why is a creator and intelligent design ruled out when science has no clue on any other clause?

With all due respect you have quibbled over my use of the term believe rather than theorize and have tried to discredit Biblical revelation by assuming that the supreme creator God of the universe is powerless to perform supernatural events. But, you have not tried to engage my scientific proof of a creator of the universe, which at the very least should be worthy of being a viable theory. So I ask again, why do you rule out the possibility of an intelligent creator God being the cause of the universe?

April 02, 2008 4:33 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Maalie,
In my April 2, 11:05 AM comment, I showed that science and logic points to intelligent design of the universe by a creator. I answered the very question that Daniel has posed to you about the origin of matter. Ultimately, this answer decides the issue rather than fossil records or evolutionary theory.

Paul told the elite thinkers at Mars Hill that God gave proof of Genesis 1:1 when Jesus Christ was resurrected. To believe as fact that the resurrection of Christ was fabricated you have got to believe (think or whatever word you like) that numerous disciples that were scared to death when Jesus was crucified, suddenly decided to give their lives for what they knew to be a lie.

April 02, 2008 5:12 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

To Maalie and All,

The record of this thread shows that once again Maalie has abandoned the conversation when he has been challenged beyond his comfort zone. He refuses to offer an opinion on the origin of matter and the origin of the universe. His excuse is that he is not a cosmetologist; however, he is not a theologian either, but has no problem discussing and bungling Christian doctrine.

He affirms a Godless Darwin evolution and yet wants to start the story after the earth has been created. His modus operandi is to hit a post, criticize, denigrate, accuse and then when the questions carry him to a point of admitting he does not know where matter/energy came from, he defers to faith, other experts and runs. He mockingly criticizes Christian faith, yet practices a godless faith.

Here is a direct quote proving his faith in a Godless origin of the universe, referring to the origin of matter he says: “You keep coming back to this futile point. We do not yet understand, and we may never understand how the time/energy/matter continuum operates. Perhaps it has always been there.”

If you do not know and rule out the possibility of God creating the universe, then you are asserting faith by ruling out a possible explanation. In short, he claims it is faith for Christians to believe Genesis 1:1, yet there is no faith or belief in denying the truth of Genesis 1:1 and affirming a godless origin of the universe. Maalie, I hate to break the news to you but in your affirmation of a godless origin of the universe you are exercising faith and belief. You are doing the very think you mock and impugn.

April 04, 2008 9:28 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Wayne, AMEN!!!!!

April 04, 2008 10:33 AM

 

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