Tag: God

IF THERE’S A GOD, WHY IS THE UNIVERSE SO BIG?

Some people believe that the size of our universe disproves God. Whereas it was once thought that the solar system was the universe, we now know, they say, that even our entire solar system is as nothing against the backdrop of the cosmos…

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All that space out there makes our tiny planet insignificant, say the skeptics, and therefore of no consequence. No intelligent God would make a planet so tiny in comparison to such a mindbogglingly huge universe.

For the life of me, I can’t see why this is seen as a good argument. The very same people would, were the universe only a little bigger than the earth, complain that there can’t be a God or the universe would be much bigger. That’s the way it is with those determined not to believe: they’re always looking for excuses not to believe.

The fact that the universe is so vast only demonstrates to us the immeasurable, infinite power of our creator. Why would an infinite God create a tiny universe? That wouldn’t make any sense. The size of what we see out there is an unmistakable sign to us that our creator is limitless. It’s there for his glory and pleasure. It’s there as a demonstration of his awesome nature and creativity. The “heaven of heavens cannot contain him” (1 Kings 8:27) and the New Testament tells us that he fills all things (Ephesians 4:10). There is no place in this universe where God is not. And since he created the universe-time, space and matter (Genesis 1:1) he must also be outside it and beyond it, and not subject to its laws.

Critics claim that the Bible is primitive in its understanding of the cosmos. It’s true that it isn’t a twenty-first century science manual, but it’s also true that no statement in the Bible contradicts true science. God’s intention was not to blind the reader with science but to help him understand that God is its author.

When we consider how unique is the earth in relation to anything we know of in our solar system and in our universe, we can’t honestly dismiss our planet as being “insignificant”. Its the most beautiful, incredible “speck” we know of. It’s far more significant than any other “speck” we know of. Life is only possible on it because of the many thousands of “fortuitous” conditions which meet perfectly here, and as far as we know, nowhere else.

Why is the earth so small in comparison to the rest of creation? Well, I don’t know about you, but as much as I’d like to see the world, I’ve only seen parts of it, because it’s just too big to get around, unless you happen to have the money and the leisure time available. God instructed mankind to “fill the earth”. He didn’t create it to be empty, but to be populated (Isaiah 45:18). We’re led to believe that the earth is overpopulated, but I once calculated that every person on the earth could fit in the tiny nation of Ireland, each with an area of something like a hundred square feet. Of course, they might not all get along, and they might get hungry, but the point is that the world is plenty big enough for its human population.

Earth is big enough for us-for now. The creator has a plan for it, and for everyone who is prepared to recognize him and choose him. You can find that plan towards the end of the book of Revelation. My own conviction and dream is that the universe will in the future be explored and colonized by that mass of humanity which has chosen to recognize and worship the creator. This dream fits the promise of eternal life, and it demolishes that stupid, condescending idea some people have that believers expect to be floating on a cloud and playing a harp for all eternity. God is big, and so are his plans for mankind.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3185261/Is-universe-FAKE-Physicists-claim-playthings-advanced-civilisation.html

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TROUBLE

“Man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward”, observed Solomon. Sometimes, perhaps often, we all feel the same way about life…

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More recently, Bob Dylan wrote in his song “Trouble”

Trouble in the water, trouble in the air
Go all the way to the other side of the world, you’ll find trouble there.

I’ve written a lot on the subject of trouble and suffering in the past, but not enough on its ultimate source. The story of Job in the Bible is very sobering, but enlightening to anyone with open eyes and an open heart. Job suffered severely, and made the mistake of putting his suffering down to the conviction that God was picking on him:

“Will you never look away from me, or let me alone even for an instant?” (Job 7:19).

However, the testimony of the book of Job is that God was not “picking” on him-it was Satan. The devil was pouring out his hatred on Job. It’s true that God was allowing Satan to do that, and the question of “why” is examined in my posts on suffering*. The point here is that Job was blaming God, when it wasn’t God at all.

Moving into the New Testament, we find Paul, a man persecuted to death, and even now hated by many in and out of the Church, squarely blaming the one who Job didn’t even seem to be aware of:

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12).

Paul counseled his followers to “Put on the full armor of God” in order to be able to combat the attacks of the evil ones (verse 11).

On a daily basis, our troubles come at us from the selfishness of other people, from the lies of bad and godless philosophy, from the consequences of the Fall, and from our own mistakes. When we drop our toast butter-side down on the floor it most likely isn’t because Satan himself arranged it. But ultimately our enemy is that enemy of God. Be aware of the fact, without being obsessed, and put on the armor, described in more detail in Paul’s letter.

* https://nickyfisher.com/2018/07/15/why-doesnt-god-stop-bad-things-from-happening/

EVIDENCE FOR GOD

Is there any evidence for the existence of God? It’s not “cool” or politically correct to ask such questions in our age, but I say “Ask”! And here I offer some (but not all) answers to the secret seeker…

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Consider first that there are three possibilities as to how we all got here. 1, We were created by a Creator; 2, We evolved; 3, We aren’t really here, we just think we are. Other evolution-related concepts such as “Pan-Spermia” (life evolved somewhere else in the universe and was then seeded on earth) are not really alternatives, since all life, wherever it came from originally, either evolved or was created .

I have no time for the third option: I’m here, and so are you. That leaves two possibilities. I’m convinced that if you’re in the evolution-from-nothing camp, you’re determined to be there, against all the available evidence to the contrary.

DESIGN

I see incredible design in all of nature. Out of the thousands of examples I could give, one of my favorites is a moth I saw late one night near where I live, under a bright light. It was on the ground with its wings fully open on the ground. It had a five-inch wingspan (12.5 cm), and on the back of each wing it had a large fake fearsome eye, so that you seem to be looking at a formidable, intimidating five-inch wide face. Presumably the moth has these “eyes” as self-defense to avoid being eaten. I asked myself how a moth would “evolve” those “eyes” for itself, even given millions of years. Why didn’t all its progenitors get eaten, and if they didn’t, why did it need the eyes?

When we look around at our world we see beauty everywhere, and things which fit and have meaning and purpose. We live, love and exist in a world of wonder, not a world of chaos. Science is not evidence against God, it’s evidence that God is The master scientist.

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INFORMATION

One strand of DNA, invisible to the naked eye, contained in each of the trillions of cells in our body, is packed with more information than a huge library of books. Where did that information come from? So called “simple” life forms are really incredibly complex: how did that first information arise out of nothing, or out of inanimate matter? Information has never been observed to come from nothing or from chaos, and so to believe it did is blind faith, not science. Researchers scan the skies for a radio message from space which, they are convinced, would confirm intelligent life out there, yet ignore the incredible message in plain view within life on earth, as seen in our DNA, in our brains, and in all of life.

 

O is for ORDER. The universe operates in a very orderly, lawful way, as does our own solar system and our own planet. The laws of nature hold all things together and allow us to exist and function. Sir Isaac Newton, whose laws of motion and gravity are still employable and were used to land man on the moon, attributed that orderliness to a Creator.

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ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE

This principle, dismissed as mere “coincidence” by the evolutionist, demonstrates clearly that Earth is uniquely placed and equipped for life in our galaxy and in our solar system. It benefits from many hundreds-thousands-of extremely fortuitous conditions. As an example, if earth were tilted any more or less in relation to the sun, its temperature ranges would be too extreme to support life. If we didn’t have our moon, or if the moon were not at just the right distance from us and at just the right relative size with just the right orbital pattern, we would have no tides to keep the oceans alive and fresh, and there would be no life on earth. Earth’s magnetic field protects us from the harmful power of the sun’s radiation. Water is unique in many of its properties, enabling life to exist and continue.

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ORIGINS

Even famous evolutionists admit that they don’t know for sure how life evolved from non-life, and they’ve never seen it happen. Millions of people are convinced that life has been made, or almost made, in the laboratory: this is not the case. The Miller experiments made a few amino acids only. When the proverbial first living cell miraculously produced itself according to evolution theory, defying multitudes of natural obstacles, who did it mate with and what did it eat? I can much more easily believe in an intelligent creator than in a rock producing all the complexity we see.

There’s plenty of scientifically supportable reason to believe in the Biblical view of origins. Try http://www.icr.org for a start, or http://www.answersingenesis.org

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HUMAN HUNGER FOR GOD

Man has an inbuilt hunger for the spiritual, which explains the existence of many religions throughout history and in every culture. Religion is not always a product of superstition: perhaps superstition is born of  a natural longing for God, and the realization that there’s something much greater than us.

ATHEISM

The condition of atheistic societies to date has not been impressive or endearing. Atheistic philosophy has been the cause of far more evil in our world than any religion has. Hitler, in his book “Mein Kampf” expressed the need to “cleanse” the human race for the sake of “Mother Nature” and healthy human evolution. Also refer to the regimes of such men as Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot. Once man sees no God to answer to, and no  fixed, objective standards of right and wrong, tyranny is the likely outcome, along with the degradation of the value of human life. We can see this at work in our world now. Please note I am not saying that every atheist is a “bad” person: they are usually no more evil than anyone else. Instead I’m demonstrating  that having a God-less society is not the answer to our problems.

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EMOTION

Most of our emotions would be superfluous and even detrimental if we were only here to contend with other life forms so as to emerge the winner (as we have, if we evolved). The God of the Bible made us in his image, and is himself a feeling, emotional being.

LOVE

Real love produces commitment, caring, empathy, loyalty, faithfulness and truthfulness. Where does love come from if not from a loving, faithful designer? How could chemical reaction and interaction alone-born of rock-produce love? When your significant other asks if you love her or him, do you reply that yes, you are currently experiencing some chemical and hormonal interactions, and as long as they occur you will stick around and refrain from killing and eating him or her? Love in today’s popular definition is a reductionist ploy with the aim of reducing our relationships to good vibes and temporary mutual use while the going is good. Godly love, as found in the Bible, is that which produces stable relationships, happy kids, and successful societies.

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JUSTICE

Our sense of justice is evidence that we were made by a just, moral God. If we “evolved” a sense of justice, why do we still have crime, war and murder, at every level of every society, no matter how many new laws and regulations are created? And why would or should we care anyway? The fact is that we recognize naturally in our hearts that there is such a thing as evil at large in our world, and that it needs to be controlled. This recognition was given to us by a God of justice.

AESTHETIC SENSE

We have an inbuilt appreciation for beauty and for all of creation, and not merely for our mate when we’re having sex, or for the food on our plate. We desire to be creative, to entertain, and to express ourselves, and we appreciate those who do so skillfully. We love art, music, literature, and all forms of recreation and creation. We imagine-often without any practical reason but the pleasure of it. We philosophize and think deeply (some of us do anyway).

SIN and EVIL

The Bible is right about human nature: just look around. You probably need look no further than the mirror, or your own family and friends.  Those who claim that people only abuse each other when they’re impoverished are often the same people who berate the ultra-rich for abusing the rest of us. If poverty were the cause of crime and terrorism, half of India and Africa would be in absolute turmoil. And if we evolved, why shouldn’t the rich abuse the rest of us, since life is all about the “survival of the fittest”?

EXPERIENCE

In the years I’ve been a Christian I’ve experienced God in many ways. This includes an acute awareness of His presence, a feeling of indescribable completeness at times, an inner peace and joy, and answered prayers. It’s important for me to remember those experiences and continuous states of mind, and not to let them be dismissed as mere superstition, hormonal balance or positive thinking. I’ve seen the difference made by the Spirit of God in people’s lives, in homes, and in areas of society where God has been allowed or invited in.

WHY ARE WE HERE?

I was listening to a song* by my favorite prog-rock band, “Yes”. The founding lead-vocalist and lyricist, Jon Anderson, is a super-talented man in my opinion, but in his attempt to address the reason for our existence, his view of life and eternity, which has been based on a New-Age style of thought, fell short of answering the question. Instead he sang that at some far-off future time (I’m paraphrasing) the reason for our existence will be made clear.

Ahem, Jon, excuse me, but the answer to our vital question, and the one which is all-too politically incorrect to ask these days, has already been made clear, and there’s no need to wait for another one. We weren’t made so that we could ultimately be gods or ascended masters, or so that we could find fulfillment for ourselves-although that certainly is an outcome of our willing submission-but to bring glory and pleasure to our creator:

“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being” (Revelation 4:11)”

When we accept our correct role in the grand scheme of things, and begin to live lives pleasing to our God, then and only then will we find fulfillment and meaning in our existence.

*The closing section of “Gates of Delirium”, on the album “Relayer”.

WHO MADE GOD?

To me, the idea that the universe created itself and ended up producing Beethoven’s Sonata NO.14 in C is the most ridiculous, preposterous idea that could be imagined. But a common question which believers in such ideas ask, in order to stump Christians, is “Who made God? Where did he come from?”

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When I was eight years old my fourteen year-old brother, who had a mechanic’s mind and not a scientist’s, asked me what I thought was at the end of the universe, and what was on the other side. If there was a brick wall, he said (jokingly) what would you see if you looked over it? We came up with some funny ideas, not knowing the current scientific understanding that there is no outside to the universe. There is no outside! Beyond the boundaries of our universe, there’s no space, no matter, and no time. There’s not even a McDonald’s restaurant!

The secular view until the 20th century was that our universe was eternal. The advent of the Big Bang theory brought a beginning, but it still sounded a little too much like creation, and with the knowledge that conditions had to be more than perfect in a multitude of ways to create life, multiverses have been invented. But not only is there no evidence of them, this isn’t even science, because a scientific fact is something which must be observable and which can be reproduced by experiment. This is philosophy; hypothesis; faith; hope; speculation. We can’t even see to the end of our own universe, let alone see outside of it, and we certainly can’t create a universe in the lab.

However, even if we imagine a multiverse scenario where a multitude of universes exist simultaneously, outside of those there’s nothing-not even space. So we might ask just how far this “nothing” goes on, and the strange answer is that it doesn’t go on, because nothing cannot go on. We can’t conceive this: surely even nothing is something, if only emptiness! And how far does that nothing go on-and what’s at the boundary of that? Does it go on endlessly? Considering an end to all material things; a boundary or a beginning, is a little like asking where God came from. We’re all up against….well…a brick wall.

If we imagine that there is an infinite number of universes, we should perhaps ask ourselves the question, “Where did the infinite number of universes come from?” If they were born from each other, where did the first one come from?  We’re now back to square one, wondering how that first universe came into being, and where it came from. Into what did it come to be, if there was nothing at all, not even emptiness? What exactly became our universe: nothing? Really? I can barely pick up one large rock, and that came from nothing? Surely, there must always have been something there, wherever “there” was.

We’re faced, then, with the fact that it’s no more logical to our minds to have a natural beginning to all things than it is to declare the following:

God is infinite, and never had a beginning! Nobody made God!

As limited as we are in our concept of infinity, we cannot escape it. Descartes, the famous French philosopher reasoned that we must have an innate; a built-in sense of infinity, because we do not experience it in our limited world.

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Humans have become very clever in many ways, but no matter how clever we become, there will always be some things we don’t know. If we did know everything, we would be God. Then, believing in evolution from nothing, we would have to declare that God came from nothing…! There’s the answer for you determined atheists out there!

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To the atheist, the universe created itself and expanded to its current size and shape. X billion years later, here we all are wondering where we came from (hence the multitude of religions, including evolutionism) composing symphonies, producing babies with billions of functional brain cells, and killing each other.

The first verse of the Bible states that “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”. In that one verse, written many centuries before Hubble and Einstein, we can see time, space and matter having a beginning. This God obviously had to be outside of space and time, and therefore infinite. This is the claim of Scripture: God had no beginning, and will have no end. It’s no more difficult to accept that than to accept that there was once nothing existing-or rather not existing-for ever.

The Bible also declares in many places that God “stretches out the heavens”. The Bible, which claims to be the word of God, was well ahead of the big-bang theory.

People have asked me, “Who made God?” or “Where did God come from?” in such a way as to expect me to drop my jaw in speechless consternation, and to proclaim in contrite submission that there must not be a God after all, we must have all evolved from nothing. However, the atheist is no nearer to understanding the origin of all things than I am to understanding the origin of an eternal God. Both atheist and theist alike are stuck with the twin questions of eternity and a first cause.

When I’m asked “Who made God?”, I first acknowledge that eternity is one thing I do not understand, and an eternal being is out of my league entirely. I don’t really understand where I came from, let alone an eternal God. He has not attempted to give an account of Himself to me, and He has no obligation to do so. If God tried to explain himself to me, I would not understand.

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Imagine attempting to explain to an ant how Einstein’s relativity works, or how an F-18 can fly at twice the speed of sound, or what inspired and enabled Beethoven to compose his Sonata No.14 in C. The ant, as far as we can tell, would probably not understand the answer, or even notice that we’re trying to tell him something, as he busily tugs on a twig or a grain of dirt. Our thoughts, words and activities are entirely beyond his little world. Similarly, there are things we humans just can’t comprehend, whether we like it or not. Eternity is one of those things. Perhaps that little ant would not be any more interested in what we’re trying to tell him, than we are interested in what God is already trying to tell us now…

Imagine also how the first century Jews felt when Jesus Christ said,

“Before Abraham was born, I AM…” (John’s gospel chapter 8).

 

(This post is a greatly edited version of the original, published February 4th 2011).