Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Character of God Observed Through the Creation




Presuppositions, prejudices and pre-understandings allow a man or a woman to shape an opinion on the origin of the universe. Clearly we see that there is nothing absolute that we can go by. When one thinks of the common silly question of which came first the chicken or the egg, it is possible to become trapped and frustrated when deep in thought on the answer to this question. Is it absurd to try to understand how the beginning of time was established? The origin of the universe is important because it shows us that God loves us, demonstrates his love by continuing its order, and calls us to agree with that order.

We all agree that if we had actually seen the origin of life come into existence, we would certainly know whether or not God exists. But since we were not there, we have to rely on someone who was. Take for instance the book of Romans chapter one verse twenty which states, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse” (NIV, Rom. 1:20). This verse not only clearly and logically explains the necessity for a creator or a maker, but also shows us that God was there in the beginning.

When one looks at a building he or she understands that it did not just appear out of nowhere or was not brought about by chance. The bricks were not suddenly formed out of clay through time and some kind of natural event did not cause them to all come together in the form of a building. We can obviously see that if there is design, a designer was involved.

Some could say that there is no design to nature and that is what makes it beautiful. But if you consider the bigger picture, you will definitely see that design is evident and this is what makes nature so beautiful. It is common knowledge that bumble bees shouldn’t be able to fly because their bodies are so large and their wings are so small. We can obviously see that the way they were designed allows them to fly in spite of the fact that the laws of physics generally do not.

The earth is filled with beautiful and intriguing life forms that most of us would think of as exotic. We have flying fish and swimming birds, we have mammals that lay eggs and reptiles that have live offspring. In the world of transportation, practically the only thing a duck cannot do is teleport! Some species of ducks are capable of flying, walking, running, swimming (under water), and paddling about on the surface of water. The reason for this is because they are, without a doubt, perfectly designed.

One could go on and on talking about the mysteries of nature such as the Venus fly traps, the bombardier beetle, or even bioluminescent sea life dwelling at literally the darkest parts of the earth. The challenge here though is not to only argue the fact that God does exist, but also to show how and why God loves us and desires us to include him in our lives.

God wants us to desire to draw near to him with every situation and every experience we have. First Thessalonians commands us to “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (NIV, 1 Thess. 5:16-18). What are some of the reasons for us to pray continually? Without a doubt so we can get ahead in life and show our concern for the gain of things, love, and healing in other’s lives. One would be mistaken by presuming that the benefit of continual prayer stops here. We can come to an understanding of God desiring us to draw near to him, learn his ways, and yearn for his will. Praying continually actually forces us to keep the bond of our relationship with God healthy and strong. This is his desire.

Many people claim that there are quite a large number of contradictions in the Bible and thus write it off as a credible source of knowledge. The point they are missing though, is that if they see a contradiction, it is possible that God put it there for them so they will search his inerrant word and find the answer to what they once thought was contradicting and in return, strengthen their relationship with God. The Lord desires each and every one of us to spend time with him because he loves us and he knows his ways are right. After all, he is God.

God demonstrates his love by sustaining the order of creation. Through our own experiences, we can see that the second law of thermodynamics –which is when “given the factor of time, all systems left on their own proceed in a direction from order to disorder” (McLean, Oakland and McLean 104)– is in effect; cars rust, people die of old age, and generally all things break down through time. Entropy, which is also known as the second law of thermodynamics, is defined as “the steady degradation or disorganization of a system” (Merriam-Webster Entropy). Although this law is inevitably in effect, that doesn’t keep us from being provided for. We destroy things in the world of humanity all the time and yet, life goes on.

Entropy defies the big bang theory and at the same time shows us what great power and omniscience God has. We must come to an understanding of the timing used within the history of the world and how God is constantly and consistently providing for each and every one of us. Life will never out-grow planet Earth.

When one looks at an atlas while driving through the state of Utah to see what he or she should expect in the lay of the land, an element of surprise is nothing less than highly possible. The atlas will show a piece of interstate 80 in Utah to be perfectly straight for about sixty miles. It seems as though it could be a typographical error in the map. When one gets to that point in Utah where the atlas shows the -straight as an arrow- part in the road, he or she will discover it is true. There is not a gas station or a restaurant in sight for over sixty miles. The point here is that there is more than enough room for us to never over populate the earth. God has provided us with more than enough area to live and having done so, shows how much he loves us by having thought things thoroughly beforehand.

Look at the vegetation of the earth. We as humankind eat and kill and trim and cut much of the green on the earth and yet we never run out. Think of rock quarries. We build miles and miles of roads with concrete out of the stone we excavate from the quarries, we make bricks, cement pads for million square foot buildings and there always seems to be more than enough. There are three hundred and forty quintillion gallons of water on the earth (Winter 97) which seems to be an absurd amount as far as provision is concerned. Even the Psalmist understood the seas as a means of provision from the Lord. “He gathers the waters of the sea into jars; he puts the deep into storehouses” (NIV, Psalm 33:7). One can obviously see the thought and design involved at the beginning of time as we know it.

It is common knowledge that the theories of evolution and special creation are intolerant of each other with a few exceptions such as the theories of Hugh Ross, who believes in “Old earth creationism: creationism that allows that the natural sciences accurately conclude that the universe is ‘old’ (i.e. millions or even billions of years)” (Creation study committee). This view is trying to argue that God used evolution (theistic evolution). The problem with this view is that it is largely unpopular among scientists who favor either evolution or creation. “The objections to the young earth position cannot be brushed aside and must be taken seriously” (Ross Responses). Clearly theistic evolutionism must be in a constant state of defense for its seeming lack of credible logic.

What makes evolution and creation intolerant of each other? The answer can be found simply in the grammar of what the two beliefs are. One says there is a God and the other says there isn’t. So, to dig deeper, the question here should be: What would make one believe one theory over the other?

Now if there is a purpose behind evolution to dethrone God, what would be the purpose to keep God in the picture for creationists? We have already established that people want to be their own boss for the most part, so how would creationism benefit by arguing the existence of God? What is the motive? Some people have seen, as I have mentioned before, that there needs to be a designer for something that is designed. Their motive here is not only simply because they know they have an all powerful creator who loves them, but also because they have an argument that is at least as credible as what is behind the theory of evolution.

Jesus himself states that “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son” and “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (NIV, John 3:16-17). This shows us how much he loves us. We know that mankind is full of sin and needs to have an atonement for that sin in order to be in the presence of God, so that’s just what he did, completely out of love. Many commentaries define this verse, John 3:16, as being the summary of the Bible or the “‘Little Gospel’ as it is often called” (Robertson John 3:16), which gives us an idea as to the purpose of the Bible.

According to the Merriam Webster’s dictionary, love is “a strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties; as in maternal love for a child” (Merriam-Webster love).

Again, a Greek-English New Testament lexicon defines “agape” (which is Koine [common] Greek for ‘love’) as “to have love for someone or something, based on sincere appreciation and high regard—to love, to regard with affection, loving concern, love” (Louw and Nida 25.43). So these two dictionaries, one addressing the ancient world and one the modern world, obviously agree on the definition of love. The point here is to show one that when God said he “loved” the world, he meant it in our terms. How do we apply this knowledge to our lives? Knowing now that there is an order to nature and it isn’t and has never been complete chaos, or has had order coming from disorder (except through the hand of God); we should continue our journey by seeking his special will for our lives. But why does God love us and why does he desire so passionately to be a part of our lives? He created us and in addition to that, has provided for us many good things and sustains this way of life for us. Keeping that He created us in mind, we are a part of him similarly the way a child is a part of his father or mother. These things are why he deserves our exclusive worship. The question we now have to ask ourselves is what we can do for him. 
Written by Nace Howell through the grace of the Lord Jesus


Works Cited

The Holy Bible: New International Version, electronic ed. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984).

McLean, G.S., Rodger Oakland and Larry McLean: The Evidence For Creation: Examining the Origin of Planet Earth. (Understand The Times: Santa Ana, CA 1995).

Inc Merriam-Webster: Merriam-Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, (Merriam-Webster Inc., Publishers Springfield, Massachusetts, U.S.A. 1990).

Winter, Mark: If there is no God… (River Oak Publishers: Tulsa, Oklahoma 2004).

A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, 1997).

Inc Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh ed. (Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster, Inc., 2003).

Louw, Johannes P. and Eugene Albert Nida. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains. electronic ed. of the 2nd edition. New York: United Bible societies, 1996, c1989).

Creation Study Committee: Report http://www.reasons.org/resources/apologetics/pca_creation_study_committee_report.shtml: Presbyterian Church in America, 2000. Ross, Hugh: Responses to young universe ‘answers’: http://www.reasons.org/resources/apologetics/younguniverse.shtml Reasons to believe: Glendora, California 2008.

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