Archive for the ‘creation’ Category

Evolution and Survival of the Fittest

March 24, 2011

Something about the theory of human evolution just doesn’t make sense.  If a key component is “survival of the fittest”, it would seem those who survive are those who are most self interested.  Yet this doesn’t fit what we see.  There are so many people who are truly interested in the welfare of others, who sacrifice for others, you would think they would not be surviving.  Yet if those other-centered people also love and trust God, they seem to be really thriving.  They are happy, optimistic and healthy.  Those who sacrifice for others out of some sense of duty, rather than love, suffer compassion fatigue and burn out.  They aren’t thriving.  And those who live solely for self eventually wind down and suffer “self fatigue”.  They aren’t thriving either.

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Hubble Telescope

March 26, 2010

Looking at pictures taken through the Hubble Telescope makes for a marvelous trip.  As the earth fades into the distance, our solar system fades into the distance, and eventually our galaxy fades into the distance.  Our galaxy, the Milky Way, is so fantastic in its beauty.  I thought it would be a milky white cloud on a black background, but it has color.  Amazing!  Then as the Milky Way fades into the distance, other galaxies appear, and they, too, have color.  As they fade into the distance, we see something like the electron cloud of an atom, as it is portrayed by artists.  Countless galaxies form a colorful cloud around something that appears to be in the middle of it, yet is invisible.   350 Billion galaxies are in this cloud!  Its just unfathomable.  Children would see it with wonder in their faces.  How many of us have any of that wonder left, or do we just say “ho hum, so all of this just happened, maybe someday scientists can tell us how.”  Children see the infinite mystery, and wonder Who did it.  That would explain why Jesus said unless we become like little children we will never enter the kingdom of Heaven.  Maybe the door to Heaven has a key called worship!!

God and the Earthquakes

March 1, 2010

Yesterday our pastor asked if we were “clapping for God”.  In other words, were we worshipful, appreciative, and grateful to God.  My first thought was all the questions people would ask about the recent earthquakes.  If we clap for God’s goodness and His beautiful creation, what can we say about the earthquakes?

Earthquakes can mean at least three things.  First, what if God is not completely good, at least as far as we can see?  Second, what if God is not all powerful?  Third, what if there is an evil power which God, for whatever reason, allows to exist?

Jesus taught there was indeed an evil power, in fact, an evil being.  He taught this evil  had definite limits put upon it; this evil  would eventually be defeated,  and we would be personally victorious over the evil power through the greater power of God.  Jesus taught that God is all good and all powerful, but lets evil live among the good, because there are purposes being worked which benefit the good.  Read his parable about the weeds and the wheat for a very profound picture of great eternal truth.

The end of the story has already been revealed.  God wins.  The outcome is already determined.  Yet, like being in the middle part of a three-part trilogy, we don’t yet see exactly how the end is all going to be accomplished.  Yet today, even living in the choke hold of the evil one, this earth still shows more than just a glimpse of the original beauty and power of the creator.  We can certainly worship God for what we do see in creation, even if it has been spoiled by the evil enemy, called Satan.

The climax of the story already occurred.  It happened 2000 years ago on a hill called Calvary where the price to be paid for restoration was paid by God Himself.  The price to redeem the universe from evil was determined in the counsels of the heavenlies, and the second person of the divinity stepped forward to pay it.  He became a human named Jesus and died the most horrendous death anyone can imagine, all for love.  I imagine the shock and surprise of  Satan, who never thought Jesus would go through with it to the death, and never thought God would love His world so much.

The verdict has been announced.  Satan is a defeated enemy.  But, we are still in that middle book of the trilogy, and the implementing of the verdict is still being carried out.  Even after the judicial imposition of a fine, an award or a sentence, the verdict must be carried out.  That is still happening in our universe.   The completion of the story, and the victory are in the third book of the trilogy.  Its been written, and God knows what is in it, for He is the author.  It is yet to be published for humankind.

Our Lavish God

October 28, 2009

Lord, being in the mountains yesterday was a time of worship.  It was so incredibly beautiful.  Yet these mountains were not always as they are now.  Volcanoes, earthquakes and glaciers shaped what we see.  Nor will they always be as they are now.  Boulders fall,  dam up rivers and create lakes.  Earth moves and rivers are re-routed.  Climate changes.  Wildlife migrates.  Then there are seasons.  The rushing streams of spring make way for the green of summer, the vibrant tones of autumn and finally life slumbers under a blanket of snow.  You didn’t just create a masterpiece and walk away.  You are directing a neverending epic of beauty.  You didn’t have to be so extravagant Lord.  But you are.

Stonehenge and Purpose

October 7, 2009

Once upon a time I proposed the possibility that Stonehenge could have been caused by natural processes.  There are many stone circles throughout Europe which formed during the Ice Age, when the freezing caused ice to form in circular patterns, moving earth and stones in the process.  I hypothesized that the power of glaciers, which is massive, could have forced these stones into a circle, and forced some, not all, the lintel stones to rest across the upright stones.  Then as the ice melted some stones were left balanced and some were left on the ground.  I got lots of protests.  One was that these stones were a special kind of rock that had to be brought to the site.  One was that the lintel stones had to be fastened into place.  One was that these stones seemed to have a purpose.  These arguments implied design and hence, a designer, not some natural processes.  I actually agree that Stonehenge was designed.  Yet to be consistent, lets look at what is often said about a cell.  Even the simplest cell has specialized material, amazing complexity, purpose in every component, and the ability to ensure survival of the species through reproduction.  Yet, probably the majority of scientists would say the cell came about through natural processes over time. 

A cell screams design in its every part, yet science would deny a designer.  They wouldn’t likely deny a designer for Stonehenge, but for the cell they reject a designer.   The designer of the cell would have to be God.  It certainly isn’t random processes, and it certainly isn’t a human designer.  Yet scientists refuse to believe in a designer whose intelligence is greater than their own.  The writer of the Psalms said “The fool says in his heart there is no God”.  The definition of a fool is one who cannot recognize obvious evidence.

Grateful for Faith

August 8, 2009

I feel overwhelmed today.  I just feel so much gratitude for my Christian faith.  I remember a time when I wasn’t sure that God existed.  I didn’t know the history of Jesus, and how he rose from the dead.  I didn’t know all the proofs that he is God.  I didn’t know His promises of eternal life.  I was afraid of death.  I was afraid of bad happenings after death.  I was also afraid that death might be the end.

Humans are the only beings on earth with self awareness.  We know we exist.  We are able to wonder why we exist.  We are aware of our mortality.  We are able to wonder what happens after our death.  Our awareness would be cruel if we didn’t have any answers, or if our lives were so short and death was final.  What would be the purpose of all we learned and all the loves in our lives?  What would be the point of a love that was so great you couldn’t believe it would one day die, if that were all there was…the death of love.  But then I began to learn and discover the promises of Jesus Christ.

No other religion has the promise of the Christian faith.  With some religions the best I can hope for is some kind of melding with the eternal–a loss of my self.  With other religions, I can only hope for some eternal reward from a God who is quite unknowable, not at all personal, and quite arbitrary.  With other religions, notably atheism and agnosticism, I can hope for, well, nothing at all.  That is my best hope with atheism–that there is nothing following this life.

Christian faith offers a personal God, a God who has had our experience of human life and understands what that is like to be human.  Christian faith offers the promise of God that life can be forever.  Christian faith offers the love of God, grace, forgiveness and the promise of a future home being prepared just for us.  It is backed up by the historical evidence of Jesus life, the miracles that proved his credibility as God, and His resurrection which proves His promise of eternal life to be true.  The resurrection of Jesus is one of the best attested facts in history.  If one were to throw out His history, we would have to throw out history books completely. 

I’m grateful for the Christian faith’s promises, I am grateful for a God who loves his creatures, and I am grateful He never made it necessary for our faith in Him to be a blind faith.

Marvelous

May 1, 2009

I read something today that made the hair stand up on the back of my neck.  When I was in college, way back when, I accepted without question the idea that human cells evolved from simpler cells, which started in an organic pond struck by lightening.  Well, you know the story of all that.  What I never sort of “put together” was the biology of the cell which I studied in those same years, and the believability of the evolution story.  Today I learned that that microscopic (electron microscopic) human dna is a whole lot more complex than 46 little helixes.  If these microscopic helixes were unwound and laid end to end, they would extend about 28 feet!  Thats out of a cell thats microscopic itself!!  And all this replicates itself every time the cell divides!  Whatever I might wish to believe, or not believe, the idea this all happened through random processes just defies reason.  Some say it takes faith to believe in a designer.  I think it takes more than faith to believe the sheer irrationality of this all happening by chance.  It takes less faith to believe that Stonehenge happened by chance through some as yet unknown natural processes (look at the Scandinavian and other stone circles) than to believe the human cell happened that way.  Yet, when I suggested we’d never looked at the possibility that Stonehenge might have happened without any intelligence behind it, people acted as though I were insane.  The same thing can be said of the human cell happening without Intelligent design.  Why does no one think that is insane?

Faith

June 21, 2008

I used to think faith was believing that God exists, without enough evidence to prove it.  I have changed my mind about that.  I have learned enough about science to see that God’s existence has more than enough proof for anyone who isn’t just pushing away uncomfortable truth.  Faith is more about trusting God.  Its more about trusting that God knows what He is doing.  I encountered that this week.  I trust God knows what He is doing in allowing scorpions on the earth, even as I cleaned 16 scorpions out of the place I’ve been staying!

Nonni

Orchestra without a conductor

April 13, 2008

I was in the middle of a small orchestra and chorus today.  It is amazing being in the center of that experience of sound.  You hear things you don’t hear from the audience.  Each instrument sounds individually, and the individual voice parts can be heard to some degree as well.  Its taken for granted that written music is used…and it takes a conductor to keep everyone together.  Now, it would be quite possible for everyone to sing or play whatever they felt like, and none of that would hurt the others, but without playing the same song, it would be noise and not music.  Also, even when playing and singing the same song, if the whole group isn’t together, it still sounds like noise, tho faintly recognizable as something supposed to be music.  The audience surely doesn’t appreciate it.  When everyone is on the same page, and the director has everyone together, and each part is coming in at exactly the right time, its beautiful music.  The whole thing seems to me to be an allegory of the creation/evolution debate.  How could evolution happen with no script and no director, and the whole universe be in such a marvelously beautiful harmony.  Take into account the physics and chemistry that have to work together for the biology to even have a chance.  Amazing!  Seems without belief in a director you have to concentrate on each part without considering the awesomeness of the whole as it works together.  Next time I will share an awesome bit of information I just found.

Nonni