Monday, January 7, 2013

Chicken vs. Egg?

I can remember really puzzling over that question, wondering how a person could actually know which came first. I believe I was well into my teens before I realized that, for a Christian who believed in the six days of Creation, it was a no-brainer.

The God Who created the world in six real, twenty-four hour days did everything in a carefully ordered way. He didn’t just start creating things willy-nilly – He followed a meticulously thought out plan. How do I know? Because 7,000 plus years since the Fall of Adam and Eve, the world is still so orderly that almost every part of it can be described in mathematical formulas.

Do you realize that almost everything in our world can be described by a single set of numbers? They’re called the Fibonacci numbers and the visual equivalent, the Golden Mean and is a sequence of numbers, starting with 0, 1 and continuing 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13. Each new number equals the two numbers before it. This is only the first few numbers – they go on forever, but the ratio is 1.618033988749895… The whole concept gets pretty math heavy and I get pretty lost, but when I can see that rose petals wrap around their stem using that pattern, sea shells follow the Golden spiral, and so many things in nature contain the same ratio over and over again, I’m led to the conclusion that God laid out our world along very strict guidelines.
“John Polkinghorne, a theoretical physicist and a minister, claims that the equations that guide physics point to a Creator. Polkinhorne said, ‘Physicists are deeply impressed with the order of the world. It is rationally beautiful and structured, and the feeling that there is a mind behind it is a very natural feeling to have …. I think the feeling of wonder, which is fundamental to the experience of physicists … is fundamentally a religious experience, whether people recognize it or not.’”[1]
In Genesis 1, God worked from general to specific. He didn’t create an living thing until He had created a place where it could survive.
“Then God said, ‘Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear’; and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good.
“Then God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth’; and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. So the evening and the morning were the third day.” Genesis 1:9-13
The whole Genesis account of Creation shows a thoughtful and concerned Creator who carefully built a beautiful home for His creations. Not even a blade of grass was created until the system to keep it alive was in place.

On the other hand, we have the theories of Charles Darwin built around his research on the Galapagos Islands. His ideas involve natural selection and don’t describe any logic or purpose just an on-going struggle for survival. If God were to use a theory like the one described by Darwin, He would have to be described as careless, wasteful and cruel to just pitch ideas for creatures out into the planet and see which ones survived.

That would be like me deciding to plant a garden in my backyard so I just gathered up a whole bunch of seed of all different kinds and just pitched them out into the yard. Then I just watched to see what would come up. I didn’t prepare the ground for the seeds or make sure the seeds went into the right kind of soil or in the right amount of sunlight. I didn’t worry about whether or not the seeds could even grow in my area of the country. If the plants made it, great, but if the weeds took over and none of them made it, that’s ok too. In my backyard, that would mean I’d end up with very little of anything edible, just Johnson grass and sticker burs. I would have wasted a lot of seeds.

Anyway, how would you feel about God if He was so indifferent about how things went on His planet? Would you be interested in worshipping Him? or praying to Him?

I believe that the way we picture Creation has everything to do with the way we picture God.
“Some theologians argue that God is not indifferent to natural evil, but, rather, God is limited in His very nature so that He is good but limited in power. Hence, while He desires to do something about the pain and suffering in the world, He is unable.
“A second option offered asserts that while God is all-powerful, His greatest desire is the complete freedom of the cosmos to self-create and self-determine. This freedom is said to be more important to God than imposing some kind of order or design on the universe. Advocates of this view tend to express God as being in a power-sharing relationship with the universe, with the universe participating in its own creation.
“A third option is Deism. In this view, God launches all the natural processes and then absents Himself like a disinterested, absentee landlord. While this God may have all power, He shows little or no personal interest in the affairs of humankind. In this construct, God is highly unlikely to personally interact or intervene with any particularity in the affairs of earth’s history.”[2]
What a blessing to know that our God is not limited in any way, that He maintains His control over the universe, and that He cares about each and every one of us.

I know I end with John 3:16-17 often, but I just don’t believe we can be reminded enough of how involved God wants to be in every aspect of our lives and that, more than anything else, He wants to spend eternity with us. Take just a couple more seconds and really read and think about every word. Each one was written just for you and for me.

“For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.
“For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him.” John 3:16-17AMP

[1] Pallab Ghosh, "Historic Hunt for 'God Particle,'" BBC News (9-10-08)
[2] Stephen Bauer, PhD, The Lesson in Brief and Learning Cycle, Lesson 2, Origins-Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide

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