Category: Philosophy


A couple of weeks ago I discussed very briefly the three main theories humans use to attempt to explain our existence. A fourth, one which I dismissed from consideration, is that we aren’t really here at all-we only think we are. If we don’t exist, you’re not really reading this post, so there’s no point in imagining that you’re reading it, because it doesn’t exist anyway…

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I concluded, based on tangible evidence, that we do exist and that we’re here because God created us. We didn’t get here on this planet because aliens “seeded” us here, and we didn’t develop in some fantastical evolution from nothing. We were created, by a being far above our own abilities and perception. Today I’ll consider what that God must be like.

The farther astronomers look into space, the more they see. The closer researchers look into cells and living systems, the more mind-boggling features, processes and detail they discover. The longer we as individuals live, the more beauty we recognize. There seems to be no end to what we can discover and experience in this incredible world and universe-there’s only a limit and an end to the time we have to explore and enjoy it.

Since the universe is this way, and since things do not create themselves and do not arise and develop from disorder, we must conclude, if we’re honest with our reasoning and logic, that what we see, feel, hear, taste, smell and otherwise spiritually detect with our senses comes from what God has created. The fact that we have the ability to test, enjoy and benefit from the world around us is one evidence that God is gracious, generous, kind and loving to enable us to experience these things, and to interact with our environment and with each other. We would not even know that the universe outside our immediate surroundings existed if we didn’t have the eyes to see, the bodies to move, and the brains to comprehend what’s there.

For such a universe to exist, God must be a sovereign being. There could be no order and consistency if there were many gods vying for supremacy and having different ideas about how things should be. Just look at the mess of our political scene as a contrary example, or at the Greek Pantheon and its constant quarrels and childish actions and reactions. The real God is One, and is supreme.

The creator must be eternal and unlimited by time. He created time along with other things. Einstein concluded that time and space are inseparable, and that you can’t have matter without time and space also. Perhaps unwittingly, he was confirming the first verse of the Bible, which states that “In the beginning (time) God made the heavens (space) and the earth” (matter). The three had to come into existence simultaneously, and of course, secular scientists have had to incorporate the three together in their “big-bang” theory. But the Bible said it first-a long time ago. So to create time, space and matter, God must be outside of it all: apart from it and above it, and not subject to it.

God must be able to control  the universe and all it its constituent parts. That makes him omnipotent-all powerful, and omnipresent-everywhere. And so all the order we see in the universe-the precise order of the planets and their movements in our galaxy, all depending as they do on the order and consistency of the sun’s power, is evidence, as Isaac Newton concluded, that God is unfathomably intelligent, ordered and powerful, and is in fact The master mathematician and The master scientist.

The integrity of God’s design speaks of the integrity of his character. He is faithful, consistent and committed. Just as the universe hasn’t changed in its operations, laws and principles, so God must be unchanging.

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When we look around at our own world, we see beauty which constantly astounds and amazes us. This makes God not only the master of beauty, but beautiful in his nature. Beauty can only be created by beauty.

When we consider the terrible things that man inflicts on his own kind, we see the patience and mercy of God in action, because the all-powerful God, who created what we damage and destroy, endures it all- at least, for now.

As we know, large numbers of people deny the existence of God, or they twist and deny his character as expressed in creation. The apostle Paul wrote about the clear evidence for God all around us. He declared that there’s no excuse for denying His existence and His nature:

“For what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood from His workmanship, so that men are without excuse” (Romans 1:19-20).

The real truth is that God is far above any words we have available to us, and any power of imagining we can conjure up. God is great. Glory to his Name.

There will be a part 2 to this post, coming soon…

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When I was a kid and a teenager-many moons ago-it was not uncommon to hear people say that we needed some sort of supreme authority over the world; someone who would take control of those politicians who were messing everything up, and make the world a just place for all. This dream and hope has only grown over the decades, until now we have some very influential people openly using their positions to try to bring it about. As someone famous said not too long ago, if you don’t have borders you don’t have a nation…

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That, of course, is the goal of many now in positions of power: they don’t want nation states anymore. They want us all to be “world citizens”. For the most part, their goal up to now has been worked toward surreptitiously, by maintaining the outward appearance of nation states but by demolishing the sovereignty and independence of those states. Just look at the EU, already a pre-global governance power, with some in its sway only now waking up to what has been going on.

This dream of removing the “ancient boundary stones” and founding a supreme power over all assumes that the ultimate human authority will be a just and fair one: a very large and very optimistic assumption. But if it’s not just and fair, who would we go to to remedy the situation? Most of us already see our governments as being out of touch, out of reach and uncaring, and making a lot of wrong decisions. We think that because for the most part it’s true. And even when we do get a politician who cares about the people and who isn’t self-serving, he’s smothered by other politicians and media people who want to maintain the status quo and the direction dictated by their own agenda.

There’s one thorny little problem in the whole idea of achieving a just and fair society: human nature. From the very first spat and assertion of one man’s will over another, as imagined in my previous post, “WHERE FREEDOM IS”, human government has been attempting to consolidate power and influence: what good has it done us up to this point? When do we ever, ever ever ever ever, ever ever ever…(for any length of time) get a government which is fair and just? The answer is “never”. So what makes anyone think a world government is going to be any better?

We’re told by those who would benefit-so they think-from consolidation, that just and enlightened elites, with a little help and guidance from the media who are now really another branch of government, not elected and unaccountable, will choose leaders who will be just and wise and fair and beneficent, and so everything will work out. Plato had that idea-2500 years ago. He said that a just society should be controlled and led by an elite band of philosophers, all-wise and all-knowing decision makers, while the rest of us -essentially the working rabble-carry out their will and roll around in unending joy, satisfaction and ecstasy. Kant and Hegel also were convinced that humanity would eventually come up trumps. I intend no pun here, because our current president, bravely battling the movement towards world authority almost alone, is definitely not what they hoped for, hence the frenzy of hatred and falsehoods against him.

Has it happened yet? Have the elites come up trumps-ever? Do you really think it will happen? Some people of the John Lennon variety actually do. They think that humans are basically good, and that we only need to have the right conditions and the right leaders, and Utopia will be achieved. Good luck with that.

If we think government is out of touch and out of range and out of control now, what makes us think that a world body will be any less so? Surely, it will be more out of touch, more out of control, more monolithic, more elite and aloof? Not only so, but huge decisions will be made by those totally out of our reach which will not be in our interests.

Scripture envisions, predicts and prophesies just such a world authority in which the enemy of society (there always has to be an “enemy” to deflect criticism of government) will be the Christian, and the Jew. Such a view is already present within the United Nations, and within the movement pushing for an end to borders and national sovereignty.

Multitudes of people write off the promise and hope of eternal life, and meaning in this one, with one stroke of their closed minds. Why? Because they choose to write off the existence of an eternal and meaningful God…

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He isn’t peering through the clouds, he didn’t fix things up with their desired lover, he didn’t make all their lottery numbers come up at the right time as repeatedly requested, and the world is in a terrible mess. As if that weren’t enough to make them want to ignore the concept of God, it seems that all the people with power and influence are either agnostic or atheistic, and they must be right-right? Haven’t scientists demonstrated, for example, how some cells reproduce themselves, in which case, there’s no God making them? On one level I understand this thinking, apart from the fact that it really isn’t thinking-on any independent level.

It seems to me that we’re here-we exist. Descartes figured that one out many moons ago, and I’m sure he wasn’t the first. Amusingly, even the fact of our existence is questioned by some people determined to remove all meaning from the world.

We’re here. That seems pretty clear to most of us. But how did we get here? Did some alien race “seed” us here? Did we evolve, or did God create us? These are the most realistic options.

If we were seeded here on this planet by aliens, where did the aliens come from? Didn’t they also have to come from somewhere? Didn’t there have to be some point in time when life began and was not “seeded”? The alien race hypothesis is a total flunk, with no evidence whatsoever.

If we evolved, where’s the evidence? Ask yourself what evidence you have personally seen for evolution. What have you seen evolve from one thing into another? What physical, tangible evidence have you seen that one type of creature changed into another? Have you ever witnessed life arising from non-life? The half-baked “evidence” of bacteria developing a resistance to something proves nothing, because bacteria remains bacteria: all it’s doing is surviving and adapting, as it was designed to do.

Perhaps you like to rest in the knowledge that “all scientists” believe in evolution in the Neo-Darwinian style, and that they possess all the evidence you need that we came from the slime. No, it isn’t true that “all” scientists believe in Neo-Darwinian evolution, or even that they all believe in evolution at all in the sense of one creature gradually turning into another. But given that the majority do, does a majority prove Darwin’s tree of life, picturing life forms developing over time? Could it not be that that majority not only began their careers already wishing to sweep away the notion of God, and that they continued in that vein in order to pass exams, get degrees, get a job, gain tenure, and maintain their positions and incomes without being written off for insanity or heresy? Could it not be that they were willingly indoctrinated and brainwashed into an unproven hypothesis? Is a majority always right? Do we have to follow the herd? Do we have to go with the flow of godless thought like a bunch of obedient unquestioning sheep?

Failing the “evidence” test for evolution, the final and most logical option explaining our apparent existence is that there really is a God-a creator. Cells reproduce themselves because they were designed to do that. The universe is a beautiful, intricate, rich and orderly place because it was created by an even more beautiful, intricate, rich and orderly God. We are amazingly complicated and intelligent creatures because there is an even more complicated and intelligent being who made us: one who is immortal, eternal, and who had no beginning. Don’t sweep him away.

If I were to coin the phrase, “Holy Division”, it would not, contrary to the opinions of many out of and even in the Church, be an oxymoron: it would be a scriptural and practical imperative…

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It’s common to hear many people across the political and religious spectrum to piously declare that we should “come together”, “unify”, “compromise” and “unite”. It’s a lovely, cuddly, warm-sounding sentiment, without any regard to reality. The problem for me, and for many others, is that we’re all expected to “compromise” not in the sense of meeting half way, but by capitulating entirely. This is the new definition of unity: surrender to change.

Those claiming to occupy the middle ground, but who in fact are a long way left of what has for centuries in the West been the middle ground, want us to unite… under their ideology. Doing so would mean the rest of us completely surrendering to what our hearts and minds tell us cannot be surrendered to. And more than that, those who want us to unify their way are intent on calling anyone who will not unify “haters”, “bigots” and…well, you know the rest… in order to shame us and beat us into submission. Having once been a very liberal person in my BC days, voting firmly on the left of politics, I now find that my Biblical views earn me the additional labels “extreme right-winger” and even “fascist”. Such name-callers don’t know the meaning of the words and don’t know anything about history except perhaps the “revised” version. Yes, history is being revised as part of the effort to move the world away from what was once the real “middle ground”.

It’s also becoming increasingly clearer that true Biblical faith is inseparable from our view of politics, because it’s the politicians (and judges) who now largely shape the society we live in, including its acceptance of what is totally ungodly. Our view of politics is one expression of where we stand in regard to the Word of our God. For example, the subject of taking the lives of children violently before they have a chance to be born relates very much to the scripture. As David said:

You saw me before I was born.
    Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
    before a single day had passed (Psalm 39:16).

There is a good unity-one worth living for. As the apostle Paul said, the saints are being equipped by Christ:

“…until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God” (Ephesians 3:13 ESV).

That’s the unity I can go for. It doesn’t include, among other destructive and illogical concepts, the idea that there can be one God and at the same time no God, ten gods, and a million gods.

There is, in this ridiculous “post-truth”, post-modern age, a set of standards to live by which are as solid and unmovable as the biggest rock you can imagine, and that rock is Jesus Christ. He is the one who said:

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household” (Matthew 10:34-36).

Doesn’t the scripture say that Jesus was born to bring peace on the earth? Not exactly. It promises “peace to those on whom his favor rests” (Luke 2:14). That’s a very different thing, because his favor doesn’t rest on those opposed to his ways. Jesus wasn’t stirring up division, he was describing reality, saying that those who choose him and his ways will de-facto be separate and distinct from those who do not. And that’s the way it has to be:

What agreement can exist between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be My people.” Therefore come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you” (2 Corinthians 6:16-17 NIV).

 

 

Whatever our view of the beginnings of mankind, we can imagine the first humans having a huge amount of freedom…

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There-wherever it was-the first man and the first woman wandered the land. In every direction they looked they were free to roam. There were no streets, no traffic lights, no private lands, no “No Trespassing” signs, no busy roads, no Mc Donalds restaurants with one-way drive-in lanes and “stop” signs. It was all open, wild and free.

Adam and Eve, or if you like, “Aarg” and “Thug”, had no bills to pay, no car payments or mortgages to struggle with, no taxes, no boss to answer to, no fear of getting a ticket for riding their horses too fast, and no fear of getting locked up for trespassing or for trumped-up charges of collusion or lying to investigators. Their kids were content, attentive and helpful, because there was nothing to encourage them to be otherwise.

However (and in every human story there has to be a “however”) at some point in the virtual bliss of life along came Mr X: the new neighbor. Mr. X decided that he liked Thug, Aarg’s mate, very much, and also that the land the Aargs were living on looked a lot nicer than the land he was on. X plotted in his primitive but fertile mind how he might extricate Aarg and acquire what Aarg was enjoying, and make it his. He first attempted to “move in” on Mrs. Aarg, who wasn’t altogether against the idea of being acquired, because X, after all, was more handsome than was that guy she’d been stuck with for some time.

There ensued a battle between Aarg and X, in which X’s features were somewhat re-arranged, and he didn’t look quite so handsome or appealing any more. So X plodded off with his metaphorical tail between his legs.

However (and there’s another “however” already) while X’s pride and face were damaged his determination was not. Remembering that just over the hill lived that rather large and imposing man “Donk”, with his rather large and imposing sons, he took some trinkets: shiny rocks, fruit, and a nice jaw-bone hair brush, and went to make a deal with Donk. The following morning X, Donk and his rather large and imposing sons swaggered over the hill to where Arrg was banging some sticks on the cave wall- working on some pretty intricate para-diddles, and, with the gang behind him, he raised himself above Aarg, X declaring that he was now king of all he surveyed-including Mrs Aarg.

Aarg was forcefully employed twenty hours a day, digging for shiny rocks and cooking mammoth chops. He was confined to his cave at night, because everything else now belonged to X and his deputy, Donk. Aarg’s rent was two shiny rocks a day, for the cave which once belonged to him.

The worst irony of the story is that after some time, Donk’s slow but deliberate brain determined that he hadn’t done quite so well out of the deal as he could have, and X shortly found himself digging for shiny rocks with Aarg, and doing the dishes. He was, however, Aarg’s supervisor, so that poor old Aarg remained on the bottom social level of X’s kingdom.

I write this sad little story not because I believe, as the Communists do, that “property is theft”-I don’t: or as an example of how all unpleasant human circumstances come about. Obviously there are other causes of loss of freedom besides violent tyrants. Instead it’s intended to be a demonstration of how we as humans have moved from being once free to being under the thumb of the society we live in. We think we’re free in the West, but compared to the original freedom Aarg enjoyed, we’re rather constricted and constrained.

Step out of your door and you immediately find that there are places you cannot go, things you cannot do. Where once Aarg could wander and roam, you have an extremely limited path of legality and propriety. The fact that you can see buildings and roads and gardens and fields gives a false sense of freedom, because if you walk over someone’s lawn or through their house or over the field you’ll have the owner’s dog, or the owner or the police, chasing you. Don’t wander in the road or you’ll get squashed by a forty ton truck. Don’t drive too fast or go through the red light or you’ll get a ticket. Don’t try to explore that interesting structure or the security man will evict you and turn you in. Don’t say certain things in public or you’ll be verbally or even physically attacked or jailed.

Pay your bills on time or you’ll be on the streets in the cold. Pay your taxes or the weight of the government will come down on you. Don’t grumble too loudly against the government or you could be locked up for incitement. Don’t dress out of fashion or people will sneer and reject you. Vote to please those around you or lose your “friends”. Construct your sentences well and like all the right things and say all the right small talk and wear the right clothes and appear meek and yet at the same time confident and cool or people will shun you.

We, like Aarg, have been enslaved to the society we live in. To top it all off we’re enslaved by our mortality, and our lives are limited in time. What we like to think of as a free world and a free life is actually very restrictive.

However, true freedom can be found in the creator of all that we are and all that Aarg, or Adam, surveyed. This is the creator who has promised to restore what he originally made-this time under his own, good government. For life in this present world, the apostle Paul said:

“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17).

And Jesus Christ said:

“If you hold to my teaching, you really are my disciples. The you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32).

Freedom is to be found in Jesus Christ, and our Creator, who will be in us if we want Him, where no-one can take it away.

 

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