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Wesleyan Theology I - Lesson 8

The Work of God

God created humans in his image so we have both a physical and spiritual nature. Sometimes biologists make statements about evolution that are outside of what can be examined and verified by science. According to young earth creationism, creation took place in 6, 24 hour days and the earth is about 6,000 years old. According to theistic evolution, once the process of evolution began, no special supernatural intervention was required for it to continue. The opposite of a naturalistic explanation for life is not supernatural, but intelligent causes. Intelligent design makes information theory and mathematical probability integral to its overall approach. Irreducible complexity argues against gradualism in the evolutionary process. 

Kenneth J. Collins
Wesleyan Theology I
Lesson 8
Watching Now
The Work of God

I. CREATOR

A. Divine Freedom

B. God is the creator of human beings

C. God creates through the Word

D. Creation is good

E. God creates ex nihilo

F. Creation and general revelation

G. Creation is both physical and spiritual

II. EVOLUTION AND CREATION

A. Definition of evolution

B. Young earth creationism

C. Theistic evolution

D. Intelligent design

1. Irreducible complexity

2. Metaphysical naturalism

III. QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS


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  • For the first 5 centuries after Christ, the theology of the Christian Church was ecumenical. Since then, you have differences in Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox theology, and then the Reformation with different Protestant traditions. The Church has a history of promoting and preserving knowledge in all fields of study. Ideological secularization is characterizing theological ideas as irrelevant and not academic. Structural secularization is the process of marginalizing the subject of theology in the academy. Both revelation and reason are both important elements in the discussion of philosophical and theological subjects. God is transcendant, which means that he is distinct from everything that has been made. God is immanent, which means that the Spirit of God can be communicated in time and space through media, but is not the media itself. 

  • God can only be fully know by revelation. However, we can know some things about God by observation and reason. Thomas Aquinas gave 5 reasons that supports the idea of the existence of God. We can perceive motion and there must be something that caused the motion. Nothing can come from nothing, so something must exist at all times, which is God. Humans are contingent beings, but God’s essence is to exist. There are different degrees of goodness and complexity in organisms, so there must be a being of a highest form of good. Design and purpose must be at work because it’s not reasonable that the universe resulted from chance. Dembski also estimates that the mathematical odds for everything happening from a single cell at less than 1 in 10 to the 150th power. 

  • Humans are both material and spiritual and have the capacity to experience transcendence. Without God, you are describing a diminished view of humanity. John Calvin says that wisdom is the knowledge of God and the knowledge of ourselves. Revelation of God comes from Scripture (the most important), tradition, reason and experience. Theology should be participatory and result in transformation. …Wesley’s theology describe in two words would be, “holiness” and “grace.” Wesley’s theology is conjunctive. Holy love is a tension. Holiness results in separation and love results in community. Wesley’s view of grace includes both cooperant grace and free grace. 

  • Two sources for knowledge are revelation and reason. Empiricism teaches  that you get knowledge from your senses. Rationalism teaches that you get knowledge from the operation of your mind. Kant said that the mind makes a formal contribution to knowledge by organizing it.  All knowledge begins with experience but it does not all arise out of experience. Reason can only take us so far. Humans are the only species that worship God.

  • Scripture is unique, the word of God and inspired by God. Scripture is the source of truth and provides a norm for truth. Wesley gives four arguments for inspiration. They are miracles, prophecy, goodness of the doctrine and the moral character of the penmen. Characteristics of Scripture include the sufficiency, clarity and wholeness of Scripture. 

  • Univocal refers to a one-to-one correspondence between the language we use and the reality of God. Equivocal refers to the idea that human language does not correspond directly to describing God, so it acknowledges ambiguity and more than one interpretation. Analogical refers to language used to describe God using  analogy. “Via Negativa” is describing characteristics that God is “not.” “Via Positiva” is describing a characteristic that is true of God, using analogy. Aseity means that God’s essence  is to exist. Eternity means that God transcends the limitations of time-space. There is not a space where God is not. Omniscience of God means that God knows all things. Omnipotence of God means that God is all powerful. Once God creates, there is an order in creation, and God works within the framework he created.  Immutability means that God’s essence does not change. Leslie Weatherhead describes three aspects of the will of God as the intentional will of God, circumstantial will of God and the ultimate will of God. Wesley describes God’s holiness as purity and simplicity. The wrath of God can be described as God’s unending determined opposition to evil.

  • Triunity describe God’s nature. The concept of the Trinity was foreshadowed in the Old Testament and taught explicitly in the New Testament. Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all active in creation, baptism of Jesus and resurrection of Jesus. The Trinity is three distinct persons with the same essence. The distinctiveness has to do, not with their nature or essence, but with the relations. Person is different than an individual. According to Wesley, the Trinity is an invitation to participate in the deeper life of God. The gospel is the universal love of God, manifested in the person of Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Holiness apart from love can result in legalism. Love apart from holiness can result in sentimentality and wishful thinking. 

  • God created humans in his image so we have both a physical and spiritual nature. Sometimes biologists make statements about evolution that are outside of what can be examined and verified by science. According to young earth creationism, creation took place in 6, 24 hour days and the earth is about 6,000 years old. According to theistic evolution, once the process of evolution began, no special supernatural intervention was required for it to continue. The opposite of a naturalistic explanation for life is not supernatural, but intelligent causes. Intelligent design makes information theory and mathematical probability integral to its overall approach. Irreducible complexity argues against gradualism in the evolutionary process. 

  • God freely created the world and chooses to govern within the framework of the created order. The moral law is consistent with the character of God. God uses the moral law to convict the world of sin, bring us to Christ and keep us alive. Natural law is a body of moral principles that can be discerned by reason. Natural law is the will of God expressed in a created order. Deep conscience refers to the interior witness to the foundational principles of the moral law. Four characteristics of our moral design that are evident at the level of the species are interdependence, complementarity, spontaneous order and subsidiarity. 

  • Adam and Eve were created, not just as physical beings, but also spiritual beings. The image of God includes relationality as well as the capacity for rational thought. Wesley describes it as a natural image, political image and moral image. Wesley says that the natural image of God means that we have physical bodies and also a spiritual nature. Humanity is the conduit for God’s blessing of the rest of creation. 

  • The characteristics that give a human personhood belong to another order of explanation than that explored by biology. Sartre, who is an existentialist, says that existence precedes essence. In other words, each person determines their own nature by the choices they make. Others would say that your choices determine your character but that’s separate from your nature. Postmodernism teaches that the self is only a social and linguistic construct. Some scientists have argued that humans do not have a soul, but that cannot be proved or disproved by the scientific method. If God is dead, humanity is dead. Human beings are more than the social groups in which they participate. Humans are animals, but not merely animals.

  • Lucifer brought sin into the world with his sin of pride. The sin of Adam and Eve was unbelief. Wesley describes  unbelief as the perversion of the relationship between God and humanity, a lack of faith in God, resulting in alienation. He distinguishes three types of death as physical death, spiritual death and eternal death. Satan was self-tempted when he sinned. Adam and Eve were tempted by something external to them, Satan.  Wesley sees Adam as a representative of all humans, so all humans inherit Adam’s sin nature. 

  • There are orders of creation and preservation, like family and marriage, that can mediate the grace of God. God sustains creation, and also relates to people as persons. The three-fold circle of divine providence is the outer ring of the whole race of humans, the second smaller circle is all that are called believers and those who profess to be believers, the innermost circle only the true disciples of Jesus who worship God in Spirit and in truth. Wesley doesn’t deny that bad things happen to good people, both from other people and from events in nature. If God eliminated all evil, it would require eliminating freedom, which would also eliminate love. 

  • Wesley describes total depravity as "a want of original righteousness," and also in terms of a "natural propensity to sin.” Luther, Calvin and George Croft Cell agree. Eastern Orthodox teaches that Adam and Eve were not so fallen as to be unable to respond to any subsequent proffered grace. Wesley teaches the total depravity of humans and the sovereign act of God in salvation. He uses prevenient grace in two distinct ways. The “narrow” sense refers to all those degrees of grace that come before justifying and sanctifying grace. The “broad” use views all grace as prevenient and emphasizes the prior activity of God because he is always ahead of us and takes the initiative. Prevenient grace can be understood as both cooperant and free grace. 

  • God acts preveniently to give humans revelation by communicating his divine attributes. God places in humans a moral law that is expressive of the image of God. The Holy Spirit restored to all humans a certain measure of free-will. Original sin makes it impossible for people to respond to God on their own without God restoring their personhood, which they need to be able to respond to God’s grace. God doesn’t do it in a way that overruns a person’s personality.

  • The incarnation is a foundational teaching of the Christian faith. Since Jesus claimed to be God, it’s not an option that he could be just a good person. Paul teaches that Jesus has the same nature as God and that Jesus created all things. Ebionites rejected the divinity and virgin birth of Jesus. Adoptionism taught that Christ was a good man that was penetrated by God’s nature at his baptism and becomes divine, which treats divinity as an acquired attribute. Arias taught that Christ was not coeternal with the Father. He was more than mere man but he was created so he wasn’t equal with God. The first ecumenical council of Nicea in 325 affirms the divinity of Christ in response to the teaching of Arias. Wesley affirmed that Jesus existed as one person with both a human and divine nature. To affirm the essential equality of Christ with God the Father, Wesley often used the terms, “the only-begotten Son of God,” and “the Word of God.” The Son of God is the creator and sustainer of all things and the redeemer of humanity. The difference in the Godhead is relations, not nature. 

  • 1 John 4:2 describes the incarnation as Jesus coming to earth in the flesh. Jesus is also referred to as the Son of David in the Gospels. Jesus was able to become the mediator between God and humanity because his divinity meant that he was not a part of the problem of sin and his humanity meant that he could fully identify with humans. This is a unique and distinct role that can only be accomplished by Jesus, the God-human. Jesus suffered physically and emotionally and then died and was resurrected to new life. This qualifies him to be priest, a mediator between man and God. The title, Son of Man also emphasizes the humanity of Jesus. Apolliniarism taught that Jesus had a human body and soul, but a divine mind rather than a human mind. Docetism taught that Christ is pure spirit and only seemed to have a body. Gnostics view the body as lowly and the mind is considered higher. Monophysitism taught that the divine and human nature of Jesus was mixed into one nature. Nestorianism teaches that the divine and human natures of Jesus were sharply separated. Wesley viewed Jesus as the expression of the God of holy love, maintaining divinity while becoming human.

  • As a prophet, Jesus proclaimed the coming kingdom of God. Messiah in Hebrew has the same meaning as Christ in Greek. It means, “the anointed one.” The baptism of Jesus was the beginning of his public ministry.  When Satan tempted Jesus, the temptation was real because of the humanity of Jesus. It was necessary for Jesus to experience temptation. Jesus as a preacher, went from place to place, proclaiming the kingdom of God. As a teacher, Jesus taught in the synagogues and the listeners described him as teaching with authority. Christ as a lawgiver is seeking to communicate wisdom to humanity. This moral law is connected to God’s character. Jesus performed miracles to heal the sick, bring people back from the dead and demonstrate his power over nature. Christ as priest, became the mediator to bridge the gap between God and humanity. At the cross, what the holiness of God required, the love of God provided. Theories of the atonement are the best attempts of thinking about how to express the atoning work of Jesus. 

  • Penal substitution asserts that atonement primarily involves Jesus’ taking the sinner’s place (‘substitution’) in bearing the penalty (hence ‘penal’) for his or her sin. That penalty was no less than God’s wrath and the sinner’s death. God’s wrath is his unswerving opposition to evil. The moral influence theory teaches that without the fall, that amazing instance of the love of God to humanity would have never existed. Penal substitution and moral influence theory complement each other. In the governmental view, the death of Christ illustrates the punishment which sin may attract and therefore serves good government by acting as a deterrent. Jesus raised from the dead into an immortal body. Only life can give meaning to human existence. Death destroys all meaning. The first time Christ came as a redeemer. As king, Christ is coming again to rule . Three roles of king are giving laws, restoring people to the image of God and reigning in all believing hearts.

  • The personhood of the Holy Spirit is revealed by the roles of the Holy Spirit. Jesus told the disciples that he would send an advocate. The Holy Spirit is an advocate, teacher, proclaims truth, provides direction and assists in prayer. Four characteristics of the Holy Spirit that indicate his deity are eternity, omnipotence, omnipresence and omniscience. The Filioque controversy is a difference between how the Eastern Orthodox and Western Traditions describe the nature of the Holy Spirit.

  • At the beginning of creation, the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. The Holy Spirit is the author of the Bible and brings understanding as people read it. The Holy Spirit makes effective the completed work of Christ and gives us the power to live out the Christian life. The Holy Spirit is personal, not an impersonal force. The believers received the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost after Christ ascended to heaven. The gifts of the Spirit are for the common good of building up the body of Christ. We should be cooperating with the work of the Holy Spirit in our individual lives and his influence should be evident in how we interact corporately.

 John Wesley's beliefs understood from an historical and theological perspective

Dr. Ken Collins

Wesleyan Theology I

th510-08

The Work of God

Lesson Transcript

 

Okay. So we are continuing our discussion of the doctrine of God. We have explored, if you will, the person of God, and now we're talking about the work of God. And we begin with God as creator, goddess, creator. And we start out this discussion by underscoring the divine freedom that God is free to create or no God is self-sufficient. You'll recall our discussions that we've had earlier in terms of the divine being. And as Aquinas argued, God does not have any latent capacities that need to be actualized there, fully actualized. That's just another way of saying that God is self sufficient. At times I hear people say, Well, God needed to create and needed to create humanity. That is a misunderstanding of who God is. God is self-sufficient. There is no need on God's part to create. If there is a creation, it will come out of the freedom of God. It will come out of the freedom of God. And therefore that means creation is a sheer order gift. It is a sheer, utter gift. God brings the other the one who is not God into being in order to communicate the divine holy love. And so when we think about this of God creating in freedom and not out of necessity. When Wesley John Wesley reflected on that, he thought about free grace. He thought about free grace. And so this is what Wesley writes in one of his sermons, one of his early sermons, quote, All the blessings which God hath bestowed upon man are of his mere grace, bounty or favor. His free, undeserved favor. Favor all together, undeserved man having no claim to the least of his mercies. And then Wesley continues, It was free grace that formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into him a living soul.

 

This same free grace continues to us at this day. Okay, so what's Wesley saying here? He's affirming that God creates. He is also affirming that God does so in freedom. And when he describes humanity being formed of the dust of the ground. Wesley sees this as a species of free grace, meaning the work of God alone, a sheer, utter gift. Elsewhere, Wesley writes, A Christian is happy in knowing there is a God and intelligent cause and Lord of all, and that He is not the produce either of blind chance or inexorable necessity. He is happy in the full assurance he has that his creator, and then, of all things, is a being of boundless wisdom and infinite power. And so what Wesley is suggesting there is that when God creates, that God creates with purpose, with intention, and that human beings are the creation of human beings, represent the design, the design of God. And so we see when we look at revelation in the Bible, at the Bible, in particular the early chapters of Genesis, for example, the very first verse of the Bible reveals that God is a creator. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. And then if we look at materials from the New Testament, in order to understand God as Creator, we can lift up the book of Hebrews Chapter one excuse me, Chapter 11, verse three, which states quote, By faith, we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that that what is seen. Was not made out of what was visible. Okay. And notice here, the approach of the author of Hebrews is saying, by faith, we understand the universe was formed at God's command. We talked earlier about two basic organs of knowledge.

 

We have reason on the one hand, revelation on the other. Revelation clearly shows us that the universe was formed by God, that God is behind all that is all that is. And so we in the church, we as Christians can affirm that statement. Upon what basis upon the basis of revelation. It has been revealed to us that behind all that we see is the invisible God who in freedom, in sovereign freedom, brought the things that are into existence. And so God not only brings the sun and the moon and the stars into being, but God is also the creator of all human beings, as revealed in Genesis 127 and also five two. Which state? So God created humanity in his own image. In the image of God, he created them male and female. He created them. And so if we take a look at Wesley's commentary on Genesis 127, it's it's rather interesting. This is what Wesley writes on this particular verse, quote, That man was made last of all the creatures, which was both an honor and a favor to him and honor for the creation was to advance from that which was less perfect to that which was more so. And a favor. Okay. And then Wesley lifts up that passage from the Old Testament. Let us make man, you know, let us make humanity in our image. And he sees this as a description of the Trinity, that father, son and Spirit were all involved in the work of creation, the work of creation. And so when God creates humanity, according to Wesley, that humanity is created in nothing less than the image and likeness of God, male and female, He created them. Of course, Scripture says, and Wesley makes commentary on that.

 

Wesley's Notes on Genesis five one. To fill this out a bit for us in a helpful way that God made him in his own likeness, righteous and holy and therefore undoubtedly happy. Man's nature resembled the divine nature more than any of the creatures of the lower world, Wesley writes. And so something that's important to see here, as Wesley is exploring God as a creator and God creating humanity, creating humanity in his own image and likeness is that humanity was originally created righteous and holy. And then Wesley adds the comment and therefore happy. And what you need to see at this point, especially in Wesley in theology and John Wesley strategy in particular, that holiness and happiness go hand in hand. To be holy is to be happy. And we may not be able to see that so clearly at times, but we can discern the truth of this. What Wesley is expressing here in his notes by considering the contrary, think of unholy ness. Think, for example, of a person who's jealous or who is envious, or who is a miser. Can they be happy in such a condition? No, no, they won't be happy because those are miserable tempers and dispositions of the heart and they will result in in misery and misery and pain and suffering and not lead to happiness. And so, you know, we've been talking about a God of holy love, and now we're talking about creation, humanity being created in that image. And Wesley's making a point that when humanity was a. Originally created. They were holy, they were righteous, and because precisely because they were holy and righteous, they were happy, happy, happy, happy. And so God creates through the word. Here again we see the entire Trinity is going to be involved in creation.

 

In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God. He was with God in the beginning, through Him meaning Christ, the word through Him. All things were made without him. Nothing was made that has been made. We see that in John one verses one through three. And so here we see the fathers role in creation, but we also see the very prominent role of the son in creation as expressed in this particular verse. Through him, all things were made without him. Nothing was made that was made. And so Christ has been involved in all of creation. Again, quoting John, Chapter one versus nine through ten. The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world and through the world. And though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. This, by the way, this verse, John one nine, is one of Wesley's favorite verses to underscore the importance of and grace. In other words, that Christ is that true light that gives light to everyone who is coming into the world. In other words, not just Christians, but everyone that Christ is an illuminator, that Christ brings light to everyone who is coming into the world. And in looking at the sun, looking at Christ, we see the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For in Him all things were created. Things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities. All things have been created through him. This is Paul now speaking through him and for him. And so in Colossians chapter one verses 15 through 17. Paul underscores that Christ is before all things and in him all things hold together.

 

And so we see here the activity of the father in terms of creation. We see also the activity of the son in terms of creation. Now we're going to see the activity of the Holy Spirit involved in creation. And here we're we're quoting the early chapter of Genesis, Genesis one through one two. Now, the earth was formless and empty. Darkness was over the face of the surface of the deep. And the spirit of God was hovering over the waters. Okay. And so we see here the Spirit's activity in creation as well. Therefore, as we talked about in the earlier lecture, some have tried to parse out the Trinitarian roles in discrete functions. We see very clearly that that doesn't work. We see once again, it doesn't work here because the father is involved in creation. The son is involved in creation. The Holy Spirit is involved in creation. Creation is an act of the Triune God is an act of the trying God. Now, the first thing we must say about creation coming at the hands of a God of Holy love is that creation is good. And if we look at the Hebrew in describing the creation, it uses the Hebrew word tov, which means good that the creation was good and creation is good because its source is good. Creation comes at the hands of God. Creation is dependent upon God who is the source of all that is good. And so, as I said in the preceding lecture, the church, the Christian community, because it has received revelation as well as reason, talks not simply about nature, but also talks about creation. The word nature. We have to be careful here. We have to understand how the word nature sometimes is used, because sometimes that word is defined in a way loaded up with presuppositions and assumptions that would exclude the activity of God.

 

And so I'm just calling this to our attention to be aware of that, that when we talk about nature, how are we defining nature? You know, I think the Christian community, of course, can embrace the word nature, but we don't want to be limited to the word nature because we want to make rich allowance for the activity of God as creator in terms of the things that have been made. And some will define nature in terms of the things that are in a way that is exclusive of a divine role. In other words, a denial of creation. And that, of course, would be would be problematic. It would be problematic in. Also, I think we'd have to raise the question if we're defining nature. We have to be careful here. Are we understanding nature as utterly devoid of spirit, such that spirit doesn't exist, it doesn't have ontological reality that such things as Spirit and angels do not exist? That would be a philosophical judgment, and we'd have to at least put that on the table and be aware of it, that, you know, folk were doing that. And so the question of spirit is important to us, especially in the context of creation, because we have said earlier that God is spirit. That's how God is revealed in Scripture and we in the image and likeness of God. And we'll certainly get to this when we talk about anthropology and humanity in particular. But we also in some sense are spirit. And so once again, if we are going to, you know, understand nature as excluding spirit, we have to be very careful about that, be upfront about that, realize what are the assumptions and presuppositions that we're putting in this word nature that we're using.

 

That's all I'm saying. I just want us to be more increasingly aware of the language we use and how language can be front loaded. Representing different philosophical views. It is clear that God creates ex nihilo. Now, I know that's been criticized by some contemporaries today, but that God has created XDR also has a rich heritage of its affirmation by a number of theologians, meaning that God creates. What does ex nihilo mean? God creates out of nothing. Out of nothing is a. Now, suppose we argued that God created out of something. Well, if God created it out of something, then that means that something must have always existed. And now we have a problem. Because now we're talking about something other than God as sharing a important attribute of God, namely eternity. And that matter here would be considered or energy would be considered eternal. I can complicate this for you even further by saying, you know, that some of these discussions are simply taking place. That is whether God creates out of matter or nothing within the context of a time space manifold, which itself is the creation. And so to talk about matter as eternal would would not make sense, would not make sense, because eternity would be something that would transcend the creation of space and time. Because, as Augustine wrote, with creation comes the beginning of time. And so it's it's almost illogical or absurd to ask what is before creation? You say, because we're thinking in terms of a time space manifold and phrasing our question that way to something that is beyond the time space manifold, because it's transcended and God transcends space and time. And we speak of the eternity of God precisely in terms of the transcendence of time and space.

 

And so, you know, when I hear some people say, well, matter has always existed, that raises a number of problems right away. Does it have independent existence? Is it contingent existence existent? Is it contingent on the one whose essence is to exist? You see the difficulty right away. You know, if you're a positing matter or energy as eternal, does it have independent existence? Is its essence to exist? See, that becomes problematic right away. And so and I mean, I could list a number of other arguments against those who are critiquing ex nihilo. I'm not going to go into them all, but simply to make the affirmation that God created ex nihilo out of nothing. That and this can be understood from look. At some of the early theologians of the church who argued in a similar fashion. And one question, of course, which is a good question to ask. And I think points in the direction of God is why is there something rather than nothing? You know, for those who are atheists or agnostics, to ask yourself the question, why is there something rather than nothing? Think about that. Ponder that for a long period of time. And we see that in the Genesis accounts. God is a creator. God creates in Genesis. Everything comes into being only after God speaks or acts brings it into being. And so the creation of matter is generally termed primary creation. And the following process of bringing an orderly world out of the chaotic matter can be referred to as secondary creation. You know, for example, we can look at human beings is God, did God create humanity? The answer is yes. Is humanity involved in the ongoing process of creation? The answer is yes. Ongoing. We so participate.

 

We can affirm both of those things. And they do not detract in the least from, you know, the basic theological truth that God creates ex nihilo. Now, in creation, we have to acknowledge and our age has a difficult time acknowledging this, that creation is both physical and spiritual. It's not just physical. We're so used to thinking in terms of philosophical materialism that we have a hard time realizing that when we look at Revelation, the Old Testament, the New Testament, it shows us very clearly that God did not simply create matter and energy, but that God also created created what created Spirit, that God created angels. These are beings. And so we speak of creation as both spiritual and physical. From angels to fleas, if you will. And that when we look at humanity, humanity properly understood, is both. Physical and spiritual. And in other words, I think a helpful way to describe a human being is as an embodied soul and embodied soul. And I know some in the church have picked that that language of soul and spirit and whatnot, but I think it's nevertheless helpful. It's still helpful today to consider ourselves as embodied souls that when we examine our physical nature in terms of our organs and even in terms of our brain and the activities of our brain, it doesn't exhaust. That's the key word here. It doesn't exhaust all that we are and all that we know ourselves to be. It doesn't exhausted. It's important to be sure no one's doubting that, but it doesn't exhaust all that. We know ourselves to be as multidimensional beings. And I think a helpful way to get at that is to talk about an embodied soul, soul ish life, and even to talk about spirit.

 

Okay. Now, Paul in Romans 120, we were alluding to this earlier, believes because of the things that have been made that human beings, in using their own God given reason, should come to some understanding. Paul writes, For Since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities, because God is Spirit, His eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen being understood from what has been made. And so they are without excuse. And so Paul is inviting us, especially those in the church, to make a reflection upon the things that have been made and then to ponder and think about the reality of God. Now we call this whole area general revelation, and we would distinguish it from special revelation. General revelation would concern the revelation in nature, special revelation in terms of scripture, what has been revealed to us in in the Bible. And so these are two important revelations that in nature that Paul is referring to here. And then also special revelation, which we have in Scripture now, with creation, of course, in our age, in the 21st century, this conversation is still going on. We have the whole question of evolution and creation that God created. Humanity is a precious belief of the Bible and Christian tradition, meaning that behind humanity is a God of holy love, that our source is a God of holy love, that we have been brought into being with purpose and intention, because God intends for us to know God to love God, enjoy God for forever. Okay. Now, of course, how God created humanity is a mystery in terms of, you know, filling out the details. But Scripture is clear that God created humanity is abundantly, abundantly affirmed. And I think when we raised this question, when we raised this question, I don't and I'm not trying to be cute here.

 

I'm not trying to complicate things any more than they can be. But I'm asking this in a very serious way. And it has to do with my understanding of the human being in light of Christian revelation, when does humanity first appear? So in other words, if we talk about evolution and if we talk about God creating through evolution, as some would argue, my first question would be in that process, when does humanity first appear? You know, if it is this elongated process, because to me, the fact that you would have genetically, you know, Homo sapiens, for example, may not be enough because in my understanding of a human being, we are not simply bodies, we're not simply bodies. And so I'd have to further ask the question, you know, when would the reality of Soul and in Solomon take? Twice. Because it would be then when you'd have a human being, a true human being, as we would understand it, you know, not simply a body, but an embodied soul, a spirit of freedom, intelligence, understanding. Well, a self self-reflective, all of that. You know, when does that come in place? And I think language is an important piece in that question, because the way we use language, we enter into a very human world, a world of transcendence, a world of spirit, a world of going beyond ourselves in community through language. See, to me my understanding of of human beings, because I don't understand a human being. Rebecca As you were indicating earlier, as an individual, I wouldn't understand a human being that way. And actually, there have been studies about this young boy who was separated from his parents and was actually raised by dogs, and they could never integrate him later on into the human community.

 

To me, that makes perfect sense because human beings are more than bodies, they are more than chemical physical operations, that we are embodied souls and we have spirit and we use language and we're relational and we participate in community, and our identity comes out of that. Who we are as people comes out of that. And that is, I think, very much in accordance with how Scripture understands humanity as created in the image and likeness of God. Because we've already said relationality and personhood is at the the heart of who God is. So you see where I'm going with this? I suppose I'm complicating it a bit. Others are satisfied once they simply have the genetics in place. I'm not. Maybe other things would be required. Okay. Evolution therefore might be an explanation for the physical generation of humanity. But human beings are not simply bodies. They're not simply bodies. We have to raise that issue. And when God created God did not simply create bodies. We already know God created spirits. Revelation tells us. That tells us that very clearly. All right. This is a controversial topic and I'm just going to lay out for different views precisely because it is controversial. And, you know, maybe you'll see where you fit in in terms of these larger views. But we're going to give for views of evolution and creation for views. And we're going to start out first with a definition of evolution. We're going to define our terms, lay out a basic definition of evolution. Then we're going to take and take a look at four different views and see what you make of it. Jerry Coyne, who by whom I've read highlights six major components of what we mean by the word evolution.

 

And he says, bye bye. The six major components of evolution are the word evolution itself. Secondly, gradualism that things happen slowly over time. Then thirdly, speciation. In other words, species arise and new species arise over time. Then fourthly, a common ancestry. In other words, we can trace all life back to a common source natural selection, meaning that nature itself chooses, decides, if you will, what will go forward and what will perish, go off to extinction, that sort of thing. Nature, the context, the environment. And then he also uses the language of nonselective mechanisms of evolutionary change. And so that would be his sixth one. So he's got a number of things. They are six components in his definition of evolution. Then there is the work of Alvin Plantinga, the gifted evangelical philosopher who also has explored what do we mean by evolution when we use that language? And he's lifted up five basic elements. Of what is currently being taught today under the banner of evolutionary theory. And the first thing he lifts up is the claim that the Earth is very old, that the Earth is very old, the earth is not young, the Earth is very old. Secondly, that life has progressed from relatively simple to complex forms. So you move from the simple over time to the complex. Another element he lists here, Plantinga lists that life evidences common ancestry. In other words, we can go back to a common source, just like Coyne had said. And Plantinga adds that this last process is best understood in naturalistic terms, and that life itself developed at some point from non-living matter without any special creative activity of God. Okay, Now I think Plantinga is defining evolution as it is generally used by scientists in general, and by biologists perhaps in particular.

 

In other words, I'm not suggesting that Plantinga is affirming this. He is simply saying that these five basic elements are what is currently being taught today under the banner of evolutionary theory. Okay. So I do make that that distinction here. And so, you know, equipped with this whole idea of genetic mutation. Well, let me back up that. We have, of course, the origin of species. In 1859, Charles Darwin puts forth, you know, the theory of evolution. But where we are today, we're actually in a different place. And so some have felt the necessity to talk about neo-darwinism in other words, a new Darwinism, because Darwin was not aware of the genetics the way we are today. I mean, for Darwin a cell was a glob of jelly and we are not there today. In evolutionary theory, we are far more advanced in our understanding because lots of times people will express the theory of evolution in terms of natural selection operating on genetic mutation. In other words, there is constant genetic mutation. Natural selection operates in terms of that, and then we see what goes forward in terms of the species. Okay. And so are equipped with the two elements then of genetic mutation on the one hand and natural selection on the other. We see a distinct methodology which has now become prominent in terms of what we're calling the neo Darwinists. And we see this during the latter part of the 20th century. Okay. This happened earlier, but of course. But we're seeing it really take off, especially the genetics of it in in the 20th century. Now, I should also say at the outset that a number of statements have been made by scientists that have been problematic and that the church should, of course, in her knowledge and wisdom, especially in terms of revelation, should respond.

 

For example, what I'm talking about the late Stephen Jay Gould in thinking in reflecting upon evolutionary theory and biology, wrote this quote, Biology took away our status as paragons created in the image of God. Before Darwin, we thought that a benevolent God had created us. End of quote. Well, I, as a theologian, have a problem with that statement, and I can express it on number of levels. My first problem is that the late Stephen Jay Gould is not doing biology here when he makes such a statement. He's doing philosophy specifically or ontology. He's telling us what can and cannot exist. And he also is diminishing, in my judgment, in light of revelation, diminishing what a human being is, because he's even made a point of it that evolutionary theory has taken away our status as paragons created in the image and likeness, in the image of God. That simply doesn't follow. It simply doesn't follow. First of all, the image of God as we have defined it, though it is rooted in some sense in our bodily existence, is not exhausted in our bodily existence because it is expressed in terms of the invisible, in terms of the things that cannot be seen or weighed or measured. It has to do with relation to a God of holy love who transcends us, a God who is spirit. All of this beyond the ken of scientific method, scientific empiricism. So I just lift that up as one example. There are numerous examples of scientists not content with doing science. They want to do philosophy, amateur philosophy, very amateur philosophy, by the way. And, you know, we in the church who are trained in these areas, you know, have to say, halt. You know, you've you've gone too far.

 

You have gone beyond the limits of your methodology. Okay. All right. Let's talk about the four major views here that are out there. First, young Earth creationism. This is one of the views in terms of evolution and creation. It basically argues that the days of creation are literally 24 hours. The Earth and the universe are only 6000 years old. That dinosaurs live Dinosaurs lived only a few thousand years ago. This would make a literal reading of Genesis chapters one and two. They take Genesis one and two, quite literally. In this view, species are fixed and do not evolve into new species in this first view. Who would be an exemplar of this? Well, an exemplar would be Ken Ham. Ken Ham is one of the major proponents of this view, this view that we're calling young Earth creationism. Or before Adam and Eve fell, there was no animal death that would also pertain to this view. And then lastly, this view will see a difference between micro and macro evolution. And so it might argue for evolution and slow processes over time on a micro level, but not a macro level in which there would be the rise of new species. And so this is the first view that has been offered. Another view that has been offered. Well, let me back up and say, because I'm going to make some commentary on each one. And if I don't make commentary on the first one, that wouldn't be fair. This first view cannot and I like to use this image, cannot walk the gantlet of all the kinds of tests that we can, you know, in questions we can level against it. It's not going to walk the gantlet so that it's on the other side, meaning that we can show quite clearly that the earth is old.

 

We can show quite clearly and demonstrate that the universe is old. And so this view is terribly problematic because of the kinds of statements that it is making that are, after all, scientific statements that can be examined by the scientific method. And so this view does not go forward because it's maintaining such things that the Earth in the universe is only 6000 years old. We know that's not true. We know for sure that's not true just in terms of the size of the universe itself and the speed of light and measurement and all of that. We know that the Earth is 13. Well, we know that the universe is like 13.8 billion years old. So this view has trouble, has problems. But there's another view. The theistic evolution, the. And this is been propounded by Francis Collins. No, relative, by the way. No relative, but by Francis Collins, who has championed the cause of what is called theistic evolution. And it affirms a belief in God as creator. But it also makes another interesting affirmation. It makes the affirmation that God as creator and Darwinism can be easily reconciled. That's going to be the claim here. And I've heard even people at my own seminary say, you know, express this view of theistic evolution, that evolution, as scientists understand evolution is simply God's way of creating. That's that's what they'll argue. In other words, they're trying to harmonize and hold together the truth of revelation. On the one hand, the truth of reason, scientific reason on the other. And so they simply say, well, evolution is God's way of creating. Okay? And so in this view, in this pro pro offered definition of theistic evolution, Collins adds, This is Francis Collins wants evolution got underway and Collins is a theist.

 

By the way I should I should mention that he is a thesis. Of course it is theistic evolution. Once evolution got underway, Collins writes, no special supernatural intervention was required. So in other words, once the process starts of evolution, nature is sufficient. Notice how we're defining nature here. Exclusive of God. Nature is sufficient to explain all that is that that's his view. What are some of the other characteristics of this view of theistic evolution? Well, it argues that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old, and that would be in accordance with the latest scientific understanding. It accepts that the universe is 13.8 billion years old. Again, in accordance with the latest scientific understanding, days of creation are not literally 24 hours, but that one scripture is talking about a day of creation. It's a metaphor, not specifically referring to 24 hours dinosaurs lived millions of years ago, and they were extinct perhaps by a great cataclysm 65 million years ago. He rejects a literal interpretation of Genesis chapter one. And two, he affirms our common descent of all species. In other words, we can go back to a common ancestor. And so Francis Collins is a major advocate of this view, which we're calling here. Theistic, theistic evolution. Theistic evolution. Okay. And so now there would be a number of problems with this view as well. Just as we list started up, just as we lifted up problems for the first year, I think difficulty for this view would be is random mutation, natural selection and genetic drift. Are they sufficient to explain the evolution of all species? Okay. Is it a sufficient explanation? That's the question. The question is one of sufficiency. Is it sufficient? You know, we have to hold on to that and keep that in the back of our heads.

 

I think also problematic for the theistic evolution view is the whole question of consciousness, because it's going to have to argue somehow through evolution, through genetic mutation and natural selection that somehow or other consciousness arose. Or how are we to understand that in terms of the material elements out of which it arises? And so that's going to be a question to be raised as as well. But, you know, Francis Collins, like others who argue for theistic evolution, are going to maintain once a living cell is in place or natural processes are sufficient to explain all that emerges that no further appeal to God is necessary. Indeed. He just said that earlier in the quote that I've I've lifted up. Okay. So what's the problem here? Well, the problem, interestingly enough, and I do find this interesting, has actually been raised by an atheist. It's actually been raised by Richard Dawkins, Richard Dawkins, the atheistic neo Darwinist, who has basically severely criticized theistic evolution. And he mocked he actually marks the attempts of others to bring forward the view of theistic evolution. Specifically, Richard Dawkins criticizes Peter Atkins and the role that God plays according to actions in the larger process of evolution. And so this is what Dawkins has to say. I'm just going to quote here. I'm going to actually quote material that I have written from a book. Quote, However. Richard Dawkins, the atheist Neo Darwinist, has mocked such attempts in his observations drawn from Peter Atkins that the God of theistic evolution is remarkably lazy. Atkin's Lazy God is even lazier than the deist God of the 18th century. Enlightenment calls him Deists odious. And then Dawkins continues. Akin succeeds in reducing the amount of work the lazy God has to do until he finally ends up doing nothing at all.

 

He might as well not exist. End of quote. Well, you know, I hear that criticism of Richard Dawkins, and oddly enough, I find myself agreeing with him in this way, because, look, notice what the theistic evolutionists are doing. They're saying, just give us the first cell, the first living cell, and we don't need God. Okay. And so Dawkins is mocking that and saying, you know, if you took exception to the days of the 18th century saying that God created a universe, wound it up and then went on holiday, why aren't you taking exception today when theistic evolutionists are saying, just give us the first living cell and we don't need God anymore? Yes. So I think actually the atheists, Richard Dawkins has a point. He has a point which suggests to me suggests to me that the processes of evolution would not be a sufficient explanation to explain all that is. Okay. And so if you're going to argue, as the theistic evolutionists argue, give us the first living cell and then it is simply evolution as understood by scientists that will explain the diversity of life. Well, those scientists make no appeal to God at all. No appeal to God at all. It is simply natural selection, working on the genetics, the genetic mutations that brings the diversity of all that we see in the biological in the biological world. And so this, you know, the becomes somewhat somewhat problematic. Then there is another view here, and that is the view of intelligent design. And properly understood intelligent design works with the basic sense of most people that the universe in general and life in particular gives abundant evidence of having been designed. And so that's actually an important point. What intelligent design is saying that all of us, most of us such as say, have this basic sense that the universe in general and life in particular has been designed.

 

That's a basic intuition that we have. Now, of course, in the past we've heard the criticisms of William Paley, William Paley, and, you know, stumbling upon the watch and assuming from the watch there must be a watchmaker. And that, of course, has been heavily criticized. But what Dempsey is suggesting here, as he's introducing intelligent design, many people have the basic intuition that when you see the complexity and the integration in the biological world, you naturally assume that an intelligence is behind that. Okay? And so many neo Darwinists fail to understand precisely what intelligent design is and what challenge it actually poses to several of their presuppositions, simply because they set up the wrong contrast from the very beginning. For example, the opposite of a naturalistic explanation for life is not a supernatural explanation for life. That's the false contrast that they set up and damn calls them on it. Damn, she says, the proper contrast is between natural causes on the one hand and intelligent causes on the other. Indeed is precisely intelligent Design's focus on intelligent causation that makes information theory and mathematical probability so integral to its overall approach. And so like the science of forensics or the search for extraterrestrial life, intelligent design seeks to discern patterns that bespeak of intelligence. Okay, So if we saw, you know, complicated, sophisticated patterns, we would conclude intelligence. And so Dempsey is underscoring the importance of mathematical probability and intelligent causes, intelligent causes. Now, in this view, in this view, the earth is 4.5 billion years old. He, Dempsey and other intelligent design proponents accept that the universe is 13.8 billion years old. They would argue that the days of creation talked about in Scripture. Are not 24 hour literal days. They would also talk about dinosaurs living millions of years ago.

 

And so they reject a little literal interpretation of Genesis chapter one and two another. Person who represents the view of intelligent design would be Michael Bay here. Michael Bay, who in his own work as a biologist, has put forth the idea of irreducible complexity, irreducible complexity. And with this idea, which I'll explain in a moment. He's really criticizing the gradualism of evolutionary theory that all sorts of changes come by, changes of degree. And so what he's arguing in terms of irreducible complexity. He uses the example of a mouse trap. All the parts of the mouse trap are needed at once for it to work properly. Okay. And that would be contrary to gradualism, you know, slow development over time, changes of degree. And so, Bay, his work is suggestive in some respects of an intervention. It moves in the direction of an interventionist posture that gaps would require some sort of intelligent intervention. And therefore, he is concluding that naturalistic evolution is false. Okay. And so we see this being put forth again under the larger banner of intelligent design. I've read widely in evolution scores upon scores of books. I've read all these all the critics, as well as proponents of young Earth and intelligent design of theistic evolution. The one thing that I found fascinating about intelligent design, and this comes out of the work of Dempsey, who is holds a Ph.D. in philosophy as well as a Ph.D. in mathematics. It was the mathematics of it all that finally got my attention and sort of shook me up a bit because he started thinking through evolutionary theory in terms of mathematical probability. And that's when I began to have doubts. I began to have some actually serious doubts in terms of what the theistic evolutionists were saying.

 

And so take a simple cell, for example. Let's just begin with a simple cell. It contains at least 250 genes and their corresponding proteins. Now, here I'm going to quote damn scale the odds of the early earth chemical soup randomly burping up such a micro miniaturized factory are unimaginably longer than one chance in ten to the 150th power. In other words, the universe isn't big enough, fast enough or old enough to roll the proverbial dice, often enough to tame and improbability that big. And as I said, reading that shook me up because here we're just talking about going from non-life to life, which, by the way, no one knows how this happened. And then thinking about that in terms of mathematical probabilities, what it would entail and the odds of it are astronomical are astronomical. When you consider ten to the 150 of power, how much more so difficult when we get to the kind of complexity in terms of a human being who is multifaceted, multidimensional, who is transcended in some respects, we make our own thought, our own actions, objects of our own reflections, you know, this sort of thing, you know, how do we get to that? I mean, it at least raises questions at times when Dempsey brings something like this forward. The appeal always is to greater and greater time and, you know, greater and greater, greater and greater time. And, you know, the whole multiverse, which you've heard of, perhaps, you know that there is not simply a universe because there doesn't seem to be enough time to get everything done in a naturalistic scheme. So they postulate, well, again, increase the numbers, there are multiverses and there are so many universes that finally we got one that, you know, it just came up that you would have life.

 

And, you know, there isn't any empirical evidence that another universe other than our own actually exists. So this is a kind of universe of the gaps. Sort of answer. And I'm too much of a hard nosed rationalist to not be disturbed by the mathematics that Dempsey brings forward. And it gives me more than enough basis, more than enough basis for for doubt. This raises an issue for us, and this raises a philosophical issue and the talking about metaphysical naturalism. And so key leaders in intelligent design, such as Philip Johnson and William Dempsey, have contended that a method of logical naturalism that we see in the scientific method itself, in other words, memory. We talked earlier, we said in the 16th century, the scientific method slowly evolved. It eliminated two of the Aristotelian causes in terms of formal cause and final cause. Formal cause relates to design, and final cause relates to purpose. So if you have a methodology, a methodology which is simply focused on material and instrumental causation, are people like Philip Johnson and William Yancey are contending that methodological naturalism that we see in the scientific method is now actually issuing in metaphysical naturalism. In other words, it's being expressed in an all encompassing worldview, a distinct philosophy that is being spun out of a method that in its elimination of design and purpose, is simply left with material and instrumental causation. And it is now being offered as a total explanation for life. Okay. And so these, I think, are important issues that are being raised by intelligent design. You know, we hear scientists say again and again, you know, we're simply doing science, We're not doing philosophy, we're not doing religion. But when I look at the statements that science scientists make, they are doing philosophy.

 

And now it's even more frightening because they're doing it and they're not aware that they're doing it and they are not also aware, because I'm going to cite some statistics in a moment, and the statistics do not lie. They are not aware of the kind of presuppositions and assumptions that are embedded in their worldview because of the limitation of the scientific method with its simply focusing on instrumental material causation, that there is actually a consequence of that in terms of the person itself who so participates in such an enterprise. Let me let me put it this way. Let me put it this way to you so you can see see this very clearly. Let me quote. This is actually a quote from a book. So this is all me. And I'm going to illustrate basically what I just just told you. Quote, Perhaps the most telling statistic of all emerged in a much discussed research project by Edward J. Larson, Larry, with him in 1998 for the journal Nature. Now, this is a very prestigious journal among scientists, and they examined the religious beliefs of a highly select group of scientists, namely those whose achievements and prestige were significant enough to gain entrance to that elite group, the National Academy of Sciences. Here, a number of social, professional, cultural and even political pressures would naturally come into play among such a population of this membership. Watch this. Now, of this membership, this very select group, only about 7% believe in a personal God. Additional evidence suggests that the percentage would be even lower among biologists. So much for the notion that science is simply objective and that it leaves the question of the existence or nonexistence of God open. In so many instances, the practice of science inevitably leads to a myth making.

 

Worldview, creating philosophy or a way of life that is inimical to the faith of theists in general and evangelicals in particular. Not to recognize this fact in a forthright way is once again to mistake the ideals of science for its actual practice. The numbers simply do not lie. And as William Pro Vine, the Cornell University evolutionists put it, evolution is the greatest engine of atheism ever invented. End of quote. Wow, there's quite a lot there going on. And what I'm pointing to here is, you know, scientists say, oh, no, no, we're objective. We're just doing science. We're within the scientific method. But no, no, no. As we saw with Jay, Stephen Gold and others, they pontificate beyond the limits of their scientific method and they start doing philosophy. They're now telling us what is real and what is not real, whether God exists or no. And they're carving a position such that only 7% of those who are part of the National Academy of Sciences believe in God, where if you looked at the general population, those numbers would be much, much, much higher. Okay. So we need to look at that. And I've I've read so many things that I see how scientists respond when they're criticized. And they always bring out the ideal. They always bring out the ideal, and they rarely talk about the actual practice and the socialization of being a scientist and what worldviews one holds in the doing of it, and what presuppositions and assumptions one has that are oftentimes unchallenged. That's not good enough for critical thinkers. It's not it's not good enough for critical thinkers. Those who are guided not only by reason, by the sound counsels of reason and critical thinking, but also by by revelation, by revelation, especially when some of these views are running contrary are running contrary to revelation.

 

Well, let me stop here. In order to entertain some questions, even though I have not finished in terms of the four views, I've only gone as far as three. But I think I've said enough to get a conversation going. So when you talk about people going on beyond the scientific method, but claiming not really to do that, would you include people like Stephen Hawking and Carl Sagan in that group? Yeah. Stephen Hawking wrote a book that I read not too long ago, and I was amazed because in the opening pages he said that philosophy was dead and that it had been replaced by science. And I was laughing as I was reading it because he's making a philosophical judgment in denying that philosophy is dead. I mean, this is what you get from scientists who don't know the area of philosophy. Okay? And so I laugh when I read this stuff. And so and especially, you know, Sagan, of course, has done this. I quoted Jay Stephen Gould. They've done it again. But, you know, think about this for a moment. I like your question. I'm going to push it in a slightly different direction. You know, I like to think as a philosopher, I like to think in terms of worldview. I like to think people's basic sense of what is real or not in their workaday world. And I like to envision what reality looks like to a 12 year old girl. Well, let's make our 14 or 15 year old girl sitting in a biology class in an American high school, you know, where the principle is trumping separation of church and state. So you already have that as an environment. You now have a biology class that is teaching that all that is in terms of life and the complexity of life, that that God is not necessary to explain that in any way.

 

Just simply give us the first living cell and nature itself is sufficient to do so. I mean, if I am that, you know, 14 or 15 year old girl and getting these messages in high school, I think that God is not important and not certainly not important to my life because God is not involved in life itself. And what I am is a human being. You know, as Dawkins said, God might as well not exist. And I think more and more young people are making that conclusion. I think the numbers are starting to go down in terms of the numbers of Americans who believe in God, because this view, which has metaphysical philosophical consequences, you know, is it permeates our culture, it permeates our culture. It's almost become like the norm that we assume that God doesn't exist, that that an intelligence that brought all into being doesn't exist, that nature and how nature is being defined, apart from God, apart from design, explains everything. Yeah. So how would you have a 15 year old respond to your classmates given all the holes that you've poked through? The other theories on creationism? I haven't talked about the last theory, which I think is a more balanced theory and and can inform that 15 year old mind whereby she can use her reason and agree with science when science stays within the limits of its method and not engage in some kind of methodological hegemony where it's speaking in areas where it has no voice, but that she can also resonate quite well with revelation that God is behind all that is, and God is actively involved in life in terms of being. Indeed, if God were to remove the presence of God from all that is, it would perish into nothingness because there is no being apart from God.

 

You know, as Scripture says in him, we live and move and have our being, our own contingent. Being is dependent upon God not only in terms of creation, but ongoing. So ongoing, less so. So I think that that student, that young student could be fortified perhaps with a philosophy class in high school or in college, whereby she could learn to think critically with reason and, you know, learn the wisdom that comes from science as it stays within its method, but then also appreciate what comes from revelation and the revealing that behind all there is is a God of holy love. Yes. And that will have enormous consequences for her in terms of her worldview, in terms of how she lives her life, in terms of all of her self-understanding. It will have cash value in the present and significant very good cash value in the present. Yes. I have one more question. Yes. It seems as you're talking about these three designs that all of them. Our falling short because a human brain is trying to determine what God can and cannot do and what time frame. Yeah. Now that's that's an interesting way of putting it. You manatee determining what God can and cannot do. That's an interesting way of looking at it. I think it's best not to, you know, engage in that kind of thing, but to be open and to discern and to discern truth in a dialogical fashion, a dialogical conversational fashion. And I wish I saw more of that, you know, in the scientific community, because when they're met with challenges, you know, oftentimes they come out with just so stories as how they could explain something. But that's more akin to poetry and creative writing than it is anything else.

 

You know, even Jay Stephen Gould pointed out the just so stories. And so I don't even think that scientists have taken the criticism of theologians and theists very seriously that the kinds of criticisms that someone like Adamski is raising in terms of mathematical probabilities has yet to be addressed. They just go on as if the question has never been posed. No, it has been posed and you haven't offered a suitable answer to it. Okay. But there is this perception that the scientists have won the argument. No, no, There there is the argument is ongoing. They haven't won it because people today are raising more and more serious challenges to it such that there is room for considerable doubt. Now, imagine that that that we in the church are doubting or doubting and being criticized for it. Whereas if we had that same 15 year old girl in her high school and she's doubting God, we would hail her as somewhat avant garde or really cutting edge or a really solid person. So I think it's rather interesting that when we express doubts in one area, we're called a Yahoo! Or adult. In other words, in terms of some of the pronouncements, the very agreat, you know, the very large pronouncements that scientists are making. But then when a teenager expresses those doubts in the area of God and theism, you know, she's hailed as some, you know, avant garde intellectual. No, no, no. It's the same It would be the same for both. It would be the same for both. And so, you know, we have to, you know, grapple very seriously with that. Let me let me put it this way. Let me put it this way. In a way you in the church can understand.

 

Becoming a scientist does not exempt you from sin. It doesn't make you holy. Becoming a scientist doesn't bring in entire sanctification. Now, why am I saying that? Why am I doing that? Because the way I hear scientists describe their own work, this ideal that they're doing, they're. They're not allowing that scientists are prejudicial and are driven by biases just like anyone else. Okay. And they're not freely acknowledging that. They're always bringing forward the ideal and never the actual practice. You know, being participating in the scientific community doesn't make you a saint. It doesn't make you selfless. It doesn't eliminate your faults all at once. And you have those faults, just as we all do in other fields. Do you see my point? You see what I'm suggesting here? Time for pushback. No, it really is.