This page is a brief treatise on handling why I teach the Big Bang in astronomy classes while being a professing Christian. I was asked, via email, how I managed 'both' points of view.
I pounded out the article below fairly quickly but I think it hits many good points. If you have more to add or things to take me up on, please email me at email@example.com
Here are excerpts from the original emails:
cannot believe that we are reading and answering questions about ideas that
cannot be proven and do not match the Word of God. God Creating the
universe explains this in such a better way. Is there not a textbook
that gives explanations with the aid of God's Word? I am surprised.
answer your question simply, yes I do. Now to answer your question in
great detail...read on...
me give you the reasons in a number of points. I'll try to write this with
some good flow, but it won't be a complete essay. <grin> (I'll pound
this out into a clear concise essay soon, but time is short with life things.)
Reason 1: When I teach an
astronomy class, it is an astronomy class. Astronomy, as is science
itself, built on a secular - Godless basis. Stay with me on this though.
There is an assumption that is critical to all scientific investigation because
cause and effect must be reliable and predictable. If there is a God above
and beyond the laws of physics, then He can do what ever He wants when He wants.
Therefore nothing is provable. You can't make cause and effect statements
if God can step in whenever He wants.
Reason 2: As an astronomy class, you get
an opportunity to see what the current science is. The current science
(with the above basis) is the best that people have come up with based on the
observations that we can make. I can use the telescopes we've used to see
light from objects that are 100,000's of light years away - and make the
measurements that show that distance myself. Current (Fundamentalist)
Church tradition shows the universe/Earth about 10,000 years old at most.
Reason 1: The Gospel of John
says that everything was made by Christ Jesus and nothing exists that was not
made by him. I'm absolutely confident that He made it all.
Christian Reason 2: The 'word' of Science changes and will continue to change as more observations are made. It was vastly different 100 years ago than it is today, and people could 'map' it the Genesis and the rest of the 'how the universe works' mentioned in the Bible. The Word of God never changes, and Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. That's a solid basis to live by.
Reason 3: I believe there is no
question or observation one can ask or make (respectively) that can 'break' the
Truth of God. He Is. The Universe He created is.
Eventually (I believe) science will run up against the Creation of Christ.
Some will never admit it, but theories will dangle incomplete and will remain
uncomfortably broken to honest scientists. This is already happening in some
corners of cosmological investigation. (I admit this is a woefully brief
statement... and will change over time as well. As an example, the center
of the Earth was considered a good location for Hell, then the Sun, now Venus
could look like a good match. The mapping process we do trying to get the
images presented to us in the Bible is silly, but we do it anyway.).
Reason 4: There is a strong
tendency for the Church in history to replace sound doctrine with tradition.
We (the Catholic church - and later the protestant Church) held that the Earth
was the center of the solar system for about 1,500 years. People were
punished, imprisoned and called heretics for saying otherwise. Can we
be so arrogant/proud to say that all our doctrines are pure and free from man's
traditions? I believe that ANYTHING made by man- be it Science or
Theology will always be flawed, incomplete and goofed up. God is a TON
bigger than any thought we can come up with AND his creation will be more
complex and amazing than we will ever conceive (until we get to ask him face to
Reason 5: Going back to the
earlier cause and effect problem and God. He made not only the Universe,
but the cause and effect that scientists study. He made the concept of
cause and effect. He made the underlying structure and order in the
universe that we can express as mathematical equations and laws. He
DOES step in and 'break the rules' when he wants, but he doesn't destroy the
universe doing it. He does it with infinite Wisdom backing it. The
dead walked when Jesus was crucified and when Lazarus rose (and when Jesus
rose). People are healed supernaturally amazing doctors- ( I had a
stomach defect healed by prayer, I've prayed for a blind woman who got her sight
back). Christians are given supernatural information about others to pray
for them, I saw a verse form in the nap of a carpet when I was praying for
direction. I had not read that part of the Bible yet, but it directly
addressed my question). Science still works even with God at work in real
problem is : why aren't there Christian
texts? Well, sadly, many Christian 'scientists' start with their belief in
the Church's doctrine, and work backwards into reality. This 'guided' view
of how the world works makes them jump to conclusions and explanations that are
not even consistent with each other, let alone with fairly straightforward
observations of the world. It doesn't even take other scientists to end up
unsatisfied with this type of work. This method allowed all earlier cosmological
models to be 'fit' into the Genesis account (The sun was thought to be made of
coal that had a burn life that was conveniently the right length for the
understanding of Biblical past and futures here on earth.)
one Christian scientist I've found who is making some progress with a young
earth (just 1,000's of years old) with an old universe (billions of years).
He uses relativity and modern cosmological concepts in a creative way and
changes just one base assumption of the universe. But to explain what he
has done, I still need to teach the current 'secular' view and then show the
tweaking to it that brings the two views more together. He hasn't
explained anything 'new' in the world with it. It is working backwards from the
'answer' that man has built.
Reality = Creation (temporary) and God (eternal).
Man Made = Science (temporary) and Theology (temporary).
All things man made are flawed. Period.
Bible is a love letter, not a science text.
It doesn't explain airplanes, computers, television, or a whole host of things
that exist and that we understand today. It tell us first about our
relationship (or lack thereof) with a loving God who created us to accept His
Son and be saved.
are tidbits in the Bible that might allow much vaster amounts of time to exist
in the past than we commonly are taught in some Churches today.
the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth. Now the Earth was
formless..." The "Now" allows an indefinite
period of time. You can fit years or 1,000's or billions of years between
vs. 1 and vs. 2 - Maybe.
day is as a thousand years to God" in II Peter 3:8
That allows 6 days of creation to be 36,000 years or more generally, any amount
of time? Since time is a created part of the universe, then God will be
above and beyond time. He is not subject to that limited aspect of reality
in anyway, but (maybe) you can't explain billions of years to the people who
(through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) wrote the books of the Bible (Moses
for the Pentateuch?).
a personal note, I think this Church tradition is
alienating scientists to the Gospel. It was a big hurtle that keep me
apart from Him until my 20's, and I had to visit with a pastor for a few months
pounding out the 'Church repulsion of science minded people' I sensed.
We don't know which way He did it. But He DID create it all. And he
created it to stand up to our scrutiny.
for his personality, I can observe objects easily
(the Andromeda Galaxy, the closest unrelated galaxy to us) an object that is 2.1
million light years away. That means we had to have at least 2.1 million
years of history to be able to see light from it today. OR God had to
create the light in transit for us to see it. That means He is creating a
deceptively large universe. Nothing I know from my relationship with Him
reflects this deception, nor do I see it in the scriptures concerning his
dealing with humanity. Can He make it look super large for
reasons I can't imagine. Sure, because who am I to out guess how the God of the
Universe made it? But for now, I'm running on the gut feeling that He
wouldn't do this unless it was important.
reject the idea that Satan buried strata, fossils, cratered the Moon, and put
light in transit to fool us. Everything was created by and through Jesus.)
finally, which is a greater miracle?
God demonstrating amazing power by creating the Universe in six days?
Or God demonstrating amazing patience by crafting the universe nearly 13.7
billion years with his plan of salvation and the plans for each of us in his
mind across that entire time?
last note: I don't think there will
be a secular vs. Christian view in the end. As long as science keeps going
after real Truth, Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth. and the Life.
John 14:6. They will keep heading His way.
for prompting me to lay it all out as clear as I have so far. Please
challenge me with any counterpoints of objections you may have. I love to
chew these type of issues over. I know that through thought, talk and
reason, my Faith in Him will only be strengthened.
care, and if you do take an astronomy class, do your best with
the material Don't let it do anything but excite you concerning the
possibilities of how Jesus did it all.
more provocative thought/challenge, if
scientists found real life on Mars, or received television from another
planet/star system; what would that do to your view of Him and your faith?
My belief is a true relationship with Christ is unshakable by any idea, event or
fact. Sept 11th, the death of a wife one day after marriage, or alien
life. Nothing exists apart from His Truth and will. It's comforting
to see how infinitely you can push into Him, and find his arms wrapping more
firmly around you. He doesn't fall over when you push.
to ya later.
So in the Winter of 2010/2011, one student went through and added commentary to many of the points above. As promised, if good stuff came along - I said I'd modify this document to show those points and any answers I had to them. So below are many of the same points, a student's commentary on them, and my responses. As you can see - as in learning about God OR His handiwork - the learning and thinking never stops!
Before I jumped into it though, I did give a summary of a study God is giving me on what reality and Reality are (reality is your view of the world, Reality is the actual world, God's view of reality. These two are never the same (except on small points now and then as is His Will)).
Here is the start of my response to your responses to the Web page referred in this discussion.
I’ve added back a few of the points themselves that you didn’t to make this easier to read.
My answers/comments back are in blue!
One of the points that you mention a few times below is a bias in my note. Remember the purpose of this letter. It is to explain why I’m teaching what is considered a secular (only) version of the creation of the universe in a Christian university setting. So the purpose of the letter is to show why there may be some or much value in this worldview that may or may not contradict the tradition of Creation teaching created in the last century (of course, the Big Bang theory was created in just the last century – so they sort of go hand in hand in time).
Second, as an astronomer and a Christian, I don’t see a contradiction between the two approaches to how God did everything. I do see that the science is not complete yet and I do see that the theology surrounding it has been invaded at times by passions and politics (not Washington politics – but a human ‘sidedness’ that one could broadly call political- “social relations involving intrigue to gain authority or power”). Knowing that I’ll be held to a higher standard than most for being a teacher who worked in ‘both camps’ – I pray a LOT for God to keep me on track and not stray away from teaching what He would have me say on these matters. I must take my position on this with much fear and trembling and constant checking to make sure I’m not moving out of His will on this.
Finally – I’ve been working on more related areas that extend beyond this topic – that of the nature of Reality itself. I have cast the entire argument in a larger framework that follows these three theses (hopefully that is the plural of thesis). I’ve got a 400 page PowerPoint outline on these and probably a 2-3 more years of research, reading and discussion to make sure it is solid (so don’t take this as fully fleshed out Biblical teaching yet).
Thesis 1: reality (small “r”) is a model in your mind, and you are not the model.
Thesis 2: The universe is causally complete.
Thesis 3: Reality (capital “R”) is a model in God’s mind, and God is not the model.
Here is a quick boil-down of 100’s pages of notes and that big outline. There is much much more detail in the full presentation that I’m still finishing/working on.
Thesis 1: is backed by neuroscience, medical and psychological research and the observation that all your senses are approximate feeds of information from the outside Reality into your brain. Nothing gets to your consciousness except by your sight, hearing, feeling, taste, smell, and balance – and these senses are very derivative, fuzzy and can be messed up (by drugs for instance) or deceived (see what stage magicians can do quite easily). Nothing gets into our view of reality except through these sense (except for Christians and others by God’s choice or Satan’s influence – more in a moment on that). Your brain builds a model and (even in the case of your sight – Google ‘optical illusions’) fills in the gaps for what you don’t observe with past experience/memories.
Thesis 3: From Genesis and the beginning of John – we see the role of Jesus as the Word. Words in our brains (we are created in His image – in that we create a universe just like Him – but we just do it in our minds – while He sustains it continually with his Word) are components of the reality we create in our minds. But He is not the universe (this leads to the heresy of Animism – that rock or this desk is God or a god too). Etc. (there is much much more to say here. )
Thesis 2: is the firewall that God built to keep mankind from discovering Him. If he didn’t create the universe to have what we would call a ‘natural cause’ then there would be a scientist making careful measurements somewhere at sometime who isn’t one of the people that Jesus chose since before the beginning of time to be part of His bride. As opposed to all other religions and philosophies (where you need to do good, be good, reach out and find God and/or impress him --- works) – the Grace of God is expressed in Him coming to us. He sent His Son to the world. We didn’t earn it. We didn’t deserve it. We don’t have salvation coming to us. (See the “Four Spiritual Laws” pamphlet) But He, with His Grace and Mercy – came to us – just as we are- and offered Salvation. Thesis 2 is so unbreakable by mankind that we cannot affect God with anything we do unless it is His choice. He reaches from Thesis 3 – Reality into our reality (Thesis 1) (which is only in our mind) by His perfect Will because He decides it is Good.
So as Christians – we have His Spirit living in us covered in the blood of Jesus and we get another input into our incomplete model of the universe. For fun, I call it the seventh sense (since seven is a special number to Christians) – it is also called a conscience – or it is His voice that the sheep know and recognize when we pray continually. Etc. Others can hear His voice too – by His will – and some are influenced by demonic input through this seventh sense as well. It is our spiritual ear – I guess.
So why pray continually? It is so we keep exercising this inner ear to God so it doesn’t get drowned out by the input we continually get from the world.
Why read His word a lot? To keep hearing His word our brain which helps us keep in sync with His voice on the inside - keep reading his Word and you’ll know his Living Word even more.
This input from His Word counters the model of who we are and what the universe is that resides in our individual minds. This individual model of reality (small r) is the stuff called the flesh.
So this gives new baking to my claim that ‘if science seeks the cause and effects that go back to the beginning of time’ they will keep uncovering how He did it. But they will never hit the end – they will never run out of cause and effects where God must be the first cause. But as Christians – we know the truth from beginning to end. We know Who did it and why and how it will end. But if you try to force non-Christians to hop from the observable world straight to God Reality (without the Holy Spirit going along with you) you’ll just jam them against Thesis 2 – God’s universal firewall – and they’ll just walk off shaking their head saying/thinking “dumb Christian.”
Similarly, without the Holy Spirit empowering you and the person you are telling the Gospel to – it sounds like foolishness. The ‘Thesis 2’ firewall is really unbreakable without the power of God. And it is one-way, without the Power of God. Salvation is a miracle only He can do – and it takes him coming from Thesis 3 to Thesis 1 – breaking through into a person’s private reality with Truth.
As for miracles? They can an do break cause and effect in the universe…but- God in his wisdom knows when and where and how to do them so that there still isn’t a dangling loose end in the universe. There won’t be an incontrovertible, undeniable-to-everyone miracle that will lead those who will never know Jesus – to conclude that He just acted. There is no satellite picture showing the parting of the Red Sea – and medicine has a label for ‘spontaneous remission’ for diseases that disappear. But with my ‘seventh sense’ we as believers know when they have occurred because we have the author of them speaking to us on the inside. Etc.
So in a year or two, I’ll be ready to present these three thesis, or postulates, or concepts fully backed with the science approach (Thesis 1) and the scriptural approach (Thesis 3 and 2).
Ok, so with all that as background for why I have a bias – I’ll go to your points below.
Secular Reason 1 – (Summary) God is bound by cause and effect and physics, otherwise God can do what he wants when he wants. You can’t make cause and effect statements if God can step in whenever he wants.
This is somewhat biased in that everything has to have an explanation that is eventually understandable by observation, experimentation, and the prowess of the human intellect. God explicitly states that His ways are not our ways, and His understanding is not our understanding. As such, this makes this statement not necessarily true. Miracles are an interruption of the natural process of things. God does step in when he wants and changes things. If this is not true, then many of the miracles within the Bible have to be thrown out, or explained away: the virgin birth, the sun sitting still, purposeful famines, the entire book of Revelation. Physics, cause and effect bend to God’s will not the other way around. In doing so we unintentionally put God in the proverbial box. (Side note) it is interesting that theologians in the attempt to keep God out of a box inadvertently put Him in a box.
Yes, and see my short essay above – but remember – this was marked as a Secular Reason – from that point of view (Thesis 1 above) there aren’t miracles to those who will never believe. (But only God knows who will and will not be saved – we have NO power to guess that – but we know that there are those that will never be saved.) And science has scraped together just enough of an explanation for how you can get a male child from a female without sex being part of the equation. There are some people who have chromosome accidents ( there are XYY males for example) – and there XXY females – and it goes from there. Do I think that is what happened with Mary? Probably not –but we’ll never have a sample of her DNA to know (as far as I know).
For the believers – we see His handiwork – for the non-believers there is either unbelief or a cause-and-effect explanation that will satisfy them.
Secular reason 2 – (Summary) The universe is old because you can show the measurements for objects that are 100,000’s of light years away, which refutes a 10,000 year old earth theory.
This is not fully explained because as the book suggests light years are a measure of distance, not time. A little more explanation would be helpful (even though I already know where you are coming from, however, an unexpecting reader may not. However, I find it troublesome when I try to piece this theory together. My understanding is that the light we are currently seeing from these objects dates back to practically their origins in formation. At least in my mind, that means from the big bang these objects had to be flung from the explosion relatively close to their approximate current location. I have read in several articles that when scientist look at the edge of the universe they are quoted as saying that they are seeing the creation of the universe. Now I am not sure of the farthest distance we can see, however; if an object is 100,000 light years away then we are only behind in observation of 100,000 years of history for that object, not billions of years. I just read an article that suggest that, “The oldest light (from the most distant sources) is around 15 billion years old”. If it took 15 billion years for the light of that object to reach us then its location in the universe had to be at that distance away from the earth to take 15 billion years to reach us. Yet, what we are seeing is a completely formed object that would have taken billions of years to form, yet, the universe is approximately 15 billions years old. The numbers do not seem to add up. This is my own hang up and I am not fully explaining it well enough. However, your statements allude to information without clearly supporting your point.
Part of that is because the audience for this article is an astronomy class who will be working through the content written in the textbook. The other part of this is that as you are looking out into the world around you – EVERYTHING is in the past. The person across the room from you is maybe one million millionth of a light second away from you – so you are seeing them as they were one million millionth of a second ago. Not a big deal when asking them to pass the butter to you. But the moon is a bit more than a light second away from you. So you are seeing it as it was a second and a quarter ago. And you’ll never know what it is like right “now.” The sun is 8 minutes in the past (it might have exploded the second you read the word ‘exploded’ – but everything will look fine for the next eight and a half minutes –then “boom!”).
So an object that is one light year away is seen as it was one year ago – the nearest star to us is visible only as it was 4 years ago (and a bit more) – and you are stuck with that view. No way around it. Most of the stars in the night sky you see looking up with naked eyes are 10’s to 1000’s of years in your past. Old light! But with binoculars (and the naked eye for the Andromeda galaxy) you can see 1000’s of galaxies beyond ours that are millions of years in the past – it took light that long (that many light years to cross) to get to your eyes.
So that leads to my ‘light already traveling to you comment below.
Christian reason 1 – The beginning of the book of John clearly states Jesus made it all.
I have no problems with this statement, however (and this is a purely unimportant addition) a verse or two to help support the claim would be helpful. However, a couple of questions do arise, how do you know this, and can you prove this? Side note: in supporting this now I am being biased.
Christian Reason 2 – (Summary) Science changes, but God does not change.
With the first part of that statement, if science and knowledge change how can anything be said to be verifiably true. Once people thought the world was flat by the best scientific data available at the time, what is to say that current laws will not be found to be false later on. I have a problem with absolutes when the absolutes rely on human understanding. I understand you are asserting the same idea I just purposed, however, my real problem with this point is the second sentence, “It was vastly different 100 years ago than it is today, and people could 'map' it the Genesis and the rest of the 'how the universe works' mentioned in the Bible”. I am not sure what you are trying to convey here, there are missing words or an incomplete thought. This is not explained well.
Good point – this comes from reading books on scientific views of creation as they stood at the time of writing – some were around 100 years old – before nuclear power was imagined (and we didn’t know of two of the fundamental forces). And the big bang wasn’t going to be proposed for another 30 years – science thought that the universe was stead state (what you see is what there was – for all time). Species were (in biology) thought to be all the ones God created and it was impossible to find or make others. DNA wouldn’t be understood for 60 more years and the fossil record was still a fragmentary science in its infancy. My point was that, even then, with science in such a different state – it was possible to harmonize the beginning of Genesis to the ‘current’ state of science.
That points to my ‘firewall’ of Thesis 2 up top – those who are not saved have all they need to believe that there is no God (this is just a restate of the above- but in the negative).
I could pad this out with more actual examples – good idea!
Christian Reason 3 – No observation of the universe can ‘break God.’ no problems
Christian Reason 4 –People have a tendency to replace sound doctrine with traditions – in science and religion. no problems, however, scientists refuse to admit that they are subject to biases as well. Often tradition trumps the scientific method.
Yep – it is a human trait – not a theologian or scientist specific failing.
Christian Reason 5 – skipped
Another problem - skipped
The Bible is a love letter not a science text.
Although this statement is true to a degree, (God doesn’t talk about computers, airplanes etc) However, one reading this statement may think the Bible does not have any authority on any subject other than God’s relationship with his people. Which is not true. Granted the Bible does not even come close to explaining thermal dynamics, yet, it does have a rudimentary approach to science topics. The book of Job is a perfect example. Many of the questions that started scientist thinking came from the examples held within the Bible.
"Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades, Or loose the cords of Orion?
"Can you lead forth a constellation in its season, And guide the Bear with her satellites? "Do you know the ordinances of the heavens, Or fix their rule over the earth? "Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, So that an abundance of water will cover you? "Can you send forth lightnings that they may go And say to you, 'Here we are'? "Who has put wisdom in the innermost being Or given understanding to the mind? "Who can count the clouds by wisdom, Or tip the water jars of the heavens, When the dust hardens into a mass And the clods stick together?
As such, one needs to be careful in making all-inclusive statements. One might want to be careful in stating something like this, because it alludes to the idea that the Bible and science are incompatible.
Ok, I don’t have much to say to this. When you look at the fantastic mathematics that go into quantum mechanics, relativity, thermodynamics and the like – He left us a LOT to discover and enjoy (for those who get a kick about of working a 15 or 150 page math problem). And, now that I’ve introduced Thesis 2 – you’ll see that He isn’t going to tip his hand in a way that one destined to never believe will peek at the Bible book X chapter Y verse Z and say – “hey- that proves God exists, He told them about Higgs Boson reactions thousands of years before Christ – there must be a God!” All bets are off for believers (future and present) though – He tells them how He did and is doing things all the time. And He just might use XYZ in the Bible to do that someday!
There are tidbits in the Bible that might allow for vaster amounts of time.
This is called Gap Theory, and is only one theory among many and not necessarily the leading theory, as supported by hermeneutics. Unfortunately, this is one statement that is precipitated by a bias. People assume that the universe is old so this theory fits the preconceived notion. Also, the use of the word “now” to support the theory is actually a weak argument. It would be better stated to say that the days of fiat were not seven literal days, but rather that there was an undetermined amount of time between the next creations. Some Christian theologians suggest that this theory allows for the dinosaurs to have existed before the emergence of man. Side note: Progressive Creationism might fit your personal theories better. However, it is an assumption on my part that you are referring to Gap Theory.
You can see the reason and purpose for the bias at the top. I’m not relying on Gap theory or any other specific alternate interpretation for verses in the Bible where a word might mean a vast span of time happened, or a day is as a 1000 years etc. At this point it was just good enough to point out that there are other Biblical theories (of various backing and strengths) that take either deeper looks at the original languages the Bible was written in or take other wider spans of verses than just the ‘days’ section in Genesis.
I should include a link her to a more comprehensive expansion of the Gap theory and other interpretations and why they are believed and disproven by adherents and detractors. (To be clear – I’m not a Gap supporter or detractor – I’m showing that there are people – smarter than me on Biblical things – who find more than a simple 6 day creation interpretation is possible from the Biblical account taken as a whole (all things God says about His creation and time and space.)
Some quick links on alternate theories (via Wikipedia - not the best that is out there but quick enough for this busy day) are:
There is also Day-Age creationism:
And an article on Old-Earth Creationism (including Gap theory)
As an aside: my 2nd thesis sort of completely invalidates the idea behind the related Webiste: http://www.godandscience.org/ unless you are already a Christian - if I’m correct.
On a personal note
I agree that the Church alienates scientists from the gospel, however; on the flip side of that scientist alienate Christians from science. On the flip side of this, I started out as a Christian and moved to science, science helped to move me back to Christianity because it lacked the answers I was seeking.
Great testimony! Thanks.
As for his personality (Summary) God is not deceptive
Granted I do not necessarily think God is being deceptive in this case, rather I think there is another explanation to understanding how things work in the universe. However, your claim about God not being deceptive is not entirely supported. God was quite deceptive with Jonah. God told Jonah he was going to destroy Ninevah if they did not repent (which was true) however, the lesson was not about Nineveh, it was about changing Jonah’s heart (Maybe a weak example but I will give a clearer example). Christ specifically spoke in parables so that only those who had ears to listen would hear His message. God told Samuel to lie to Saul. God praised the midwives for lying to Pharaoh. God can be deceptive, but it is always for a justifiable reason.
I don’t think that the Jonah story supports the concept of God as being deceptive. He was going to destroy Ninevah – and they repented – in the process Jonah was taught much about himself and God – but you admit that is a weak one. I don’t think parables are deceptive – they are a prime example of God being needed to come from Reality (the Kingdom of God – Thesis 3) through Thesis 2 (the firewall) to mankind (Thesis 1). To understand them is to need the interpretation either Jesus gives (in the word) or His Spirit gives in your heart. Telling men to lie is still different than being deceptive. I can see how God may tell me to lie to unseat a wicket ruler like Hitler or derail the investigation of a city council that wants to rezone a church, prohibit Christmas celebrations, or kick a widow out of her home (to make up a few examples) – but that is not Him lying. I’ll think on this point some more, but the point is that light is traveling across billions of light years of distance (at 1 year per light year) from galaxies I can see in my backyard telescope, and stars I can see with binoculars may be 10,000’s of years/light years off into the past and distance. He would have had to put the light in transit already filling thousands of light years and millions of light years of distance at the moment of creation. He would have to make the universe look falsely large and old. That is a pretty big fib.
This is a topic I’d like to study further and hear more takes on. It is not essential to my argument either, but a nice side argument – if true.
And finally - which is a greater miracle? God demonstrating amazing power by creating the Universe in six days? Or God demonstrating amazing patience by crafting the universe nearly 13.7 billion years with his plan of salvation and the plans for each of us in his mind across that entire time?
Asking which belief constitutes a greater miracle is a biased question when we already know where you stand. Is this a serious open question, or a question to support your point? The answer depends on the belief of the person.
This is a point of view question that is not really answerable. But it is a way to flip around the assumption that ‘whatever science finds is no longer miraculous’ and make one think - is that kind a patience (13.8billion years from creation to the life of Christ )– potentially a miracle too – IF God ere to come to each believer and say ‘Hey, I Did do it that way.” It, again, is not something one can measure or weigh without the Spirit inside illuminating the idea. (Which is back to the firewall of Thesis 2 and the need for an actual communication link between each individual believer and God via Jesus and the Holy Spirit. There is just no way around the need for Jesus in everything– including the discussions of His creation.)
So I do have some work ahead of me on points above, but that is all good work for me to do as I expand on and fully illustrate the three thesis at the top. Thanks for your input and iron sharpening iron help. More comments are welcome at any time!