Archive for April, 2008

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During my journey from one of not wishing to believe to one accepting the power and grace of God; I explored science and thought that science would offer all the answers and ultimately be able to explain everything.  As my learning expanded and I came to appreciate that there was too much order in all that my eyes see and my mind perceives; I came to accept that only a creator could establish the order of the universe we live in.

 

When I reflect on the big bang and read Genesis 1:1-5 I see in those few words the fact that once there was a Big Bang and that it was when God created the light.  Those seconds and billions of years that followed was when God set out to create the universe, and eventually create the planet we call earth.  All of that is the work of his “First Day”.  If we measure it in our time, billions upon billions of years passes; as God moved particles of matter and energy that flew out from the great blast he caused.  So great is his power and so glorious his vision that in time the galaxies, stars, suns and planets formed and began turning so that there would be a time of dark and a time of light.  His first day’s work was done.

 

We all know that at the foundation of all life is air and water and on the second day he created H2O and air.  With these two creations he created the expanse between the water in the sky and the water on our planet.  So ended God’s second day’s efforts.

 

On the morning of the third day he created DNA and developed the structure of a plant cell.  He then spent the balance of the day manipulating this creation in to what we know as the vast diversity of plant life.  He then blessed these various forms of vegetation to be fruitful, evolve and multiple.  On that day he set in motion the process that would allow these initial forms of vegetation to evolve into the various forms of vegetation we are familiar with today.  He wanted his various creations to evolve and enjoyed watching the new forms of vegetation emerge and recognized that some would not survive and in many cases decided to destroy those that were not pleasing to him.  He saw that his creation of numerous plant species was good and saw that his third day of work had come to an end.    

 

On the fourth day he saw that for evolution to continue there must be times when the sun, with its great energy, would touch the earth.  So he parted the waters of the sky to form what we now call clouds.  He caused the planets to rotate and the sun to disappear and the other planets, stars and galaxies to become visible.  He set the earth’s rotation and orientation to align with all his other celestial bodies, causing there to be warm times and cold times.  By setting the earth to tilt and spin at a certain rate, he was able to create the seasons which further stimulated the growth and evolution of his first creation, vegetation.  The vegetation was now able to follow a cycle of life he established when he set in motion the passage of the seasons.  By altering the strength of the light from the sun and intensity of the light of the moon he added diversity to his creation.  With this new process in place it was time for God to rest the evening of the fourth day.

 

On the fifth day God arose and decided to create creatures that would fill the seas and soar through the sky.  By using his creation, DNA he moved on and created animal cells.  In the morning he created simple creatures to inhabit the sea and soar through the sky.  He saw that this was good and he caused these creations to be fruitful, evolve and multiply.  As the day progressed he continued to experiment and create more complex creatures by developing animal cells capable of performing different functions.  God continued to relish in the creation of diversity.  As he created each new species he continued to embed within them his concepts of evolution and enjoyed watching each evolve from its own kind and fill the sky and the sea with a diversity of birds and sea creatures.  And it was time for God to rest the evening of the fifth day.

 

On the sixth day he saw that the land was only filled with vegetation and saw that the richness of the vegetation of the land could support new forms of life.  So in the morning he caused the creatures that inhabited sky and the sea to evolve and descend from the sky and crawl out of the sea.  As the day progressed God further populated the land by creating new creatures.  Like he had done on the fourth and fifth day, he blessed these creations of the land and let them be fruitful, evolve and multiply.  As the day passed he noticed that some of his creations were so large that he could not allow them to continue to multiple.  Slowly but surely God evolved his land based creations to become what we know as the livestock and the wild animals.  God was selective is his process of creation and enjoyed creating a wide variety of creatures.  Yet he also had an eye for beauty and diversity and would often determine that one or another was not fit to continue to exist.  Those that where pleasing to him, he allowed to flourish, multiply and evolve.  Others of his creations he saw where not good and he destroyed them.  In all his thinking there was a plan to create a creature in his own image.  As the creatures of the sea, sky and air evolved he selected only those creatures which would be suitable for the world man would also inhabit.  After a time he saw that through his process of selection and planned evolution his creations had evolved to the moment when he was ready to populate the world with a creature God could commune with. 

 

So near the end of the sixth day

 

Genesis 1:27-28 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him: male and female he created them.  God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.  Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground”.

 

Given that he made man in his image, man had the ability to think and had the power of free will.  God also knew that through time our knowledge of where we live and all that is around us would grow.  I could venture into the question of Sin and ponder how it all fits into God’s plan.  What we do know is that God can see everything that will and has happened so clearly he knew Woman would listen to the serpent and eat of the fruit of the Tree he had forbidden them to eat from.  With this same clarity God knows that at different stages in the growth of our knowledge of how the earth and the universe was formed some would see themselves as God’s equal and decide that there was no need to reverie the one God.  These foolish men would forget to continue to pursue knowledge and instead stop and come to believe that the little knowledge they had acquired gave them the power to see themselves as Gods and to think that they understood it all. 

 

Knowing all of this, when God spoke with Moses he offered us the ten commandments and reminded us in the first four commandments that there is ultimately only one and if we bow down to science or other idols we will lose sight of the reality of creation and forget that God always leaves us another question to ask, another space to explore and other theories to test. 

 

He wants us to learn, yet he built something so complex in it characteristic of being both infinitesimally small and infinitely large that we can and will never reach a time when there is nothing more to learn.  Any scientist that stops in his quest for knowledge has lost sight of his reason for being a scientist.  Any human that accepts what he is told and does not continue to question will lose sight of the infinite power of God and become lost in a cloud of ignorance.  For God’s greatest gift is that we can always seek and learn and that we will always have more to learn and search for.

 

Blaise when I read Genesis I know I am reading the words of Moses and I know that Moses was listening to God telling the story of how he created all that we see around us.  What is clear is that God knew that man was not ready to understand the complexity of what he had done and so he offered Moses a simply yet vastly complex picture of his six days of work, knowing that we could explore and learn yet at the same time accept and be certain of his power. 

 

What is amazing is that when we listen to the great scientists, the ones that continue to look deeper into what it is they are exploring they find that in the end there are no final answers, simply more questions.  This is exactly how God planned it.  He wants us to explore, he wants us to learn how to manipulate and utilize that which is around us.  What he also did was create something infinitesimally small and infinitely large so that through the reality of infinity we can and will never be able to find any other answer than the one written in Genesis, God created the universe and all that is within it, including the processes of reproduction, evolution, mutation and destruction.  

 

Yes, like I did at the beginning of this email, he will allow us to interpret the words in Genesis and wants us to further our knowledge and understanding.  He knows that through the ages we will understand some of the complexity of what he did.  BUT at the core the words that are in the Bible are the clearest way of saying everything and leaving us the responsibility to always question and learn.  Through this responsibility, God knows that in the end we will understand that only the creator could create the universe in its complex glory. 

 

Neither Chaos, Genetics or Evolution will ever be able to help us understand why only four basic elements can be combined in such a variety of ways to produce so many complex life forms.  The complexity of DNA and the cell and their ability to evolve are and will remain God’s greatest creation.  The stars nebula and beautiful clusters that fill the telescopes we use to see into the distance only offer us a glimpse of God’s love of art.

 

The order and chain of life is so structured that only the one had the knowledge and power to drive the creation of the universe and design the process of evolution that allows the plants, birds, sea creatures, land animals and those most primitive of elements: matter and energy; to continue to create new and wonders things.  Only the one God has such intellect and power.

 

Of Jesus that is for another day.  There the story is of God deciding that he had to finally come to earth to teach us how to live together.  For unlike the other living things, we were given free will and unless we accepted his guidance we will and can destroy that which surrounds us. 

 

We must remember that God almost gave up on us, when he destroyed all but those Noah took forward.  Jesus came to offer us salvation and more importantly to simplify the Ten Commandments down to two – Love God and Love Your Neighbor.   If we could simply do these two things then we would be at peace and like the other creatures of god’s creation live in harmony in God’s universe.

 

Our quest is simply to help everyone to understand that by living with those two commandments in our hearts and in our heads; we can live in peace and maybe one day return to the Garden of Eden.  Then with respect for God and all other people we can work as a team to be better than functioning as isolated individuals seeking dominion over someone else.

 

 

I said I would send you an interesting PowerPoint, do with is as you wish.  The rest of this email is me thinking and expressing my beliefs possibly for confirmation most probably to express in words what God has been driving into my heart and mind.

 

With God’s Love