Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Essence of Christianity in Regard to Creation

I have been writing another blog concentrating on the Bible. It is

I accidentally posted on this blog an article about James, the brother of Jesus, from that blog. This one is primarily about science. I have removed it. However, I want to state Christian belief regarding the Big Picture of why we are here. Whether (Catholic Priest) Lemaitre's Big Bang is essentially correct or not, the mind and power behind creation are Christ's. Whatever ideas and convictions on behaviour man has, the heart behind mankind and creation is that of Jesus Christ. It all stands somewhat at odds with the naturalist/reductionist/evolutionist framework of mainstream science, but maybe less than is currently claimed by some popular atheist thinkers and writers.  Mainstream Christianity has Christ as both God and man, and as both creator and redeemer. 'Project Humanity' is therefore seen as the highest realisation of the purposes of Almighty God. In the Genesis 1 account God describes the creation as 'very good' only after man is made. It was merely 'good' before that.

Morally, Christ was perfect. In the sense of priesthood, he was, as God, offered for our sins by God. In His pre-incarnate state, He was the prime agent of all creation, seen and unseen.

One of the most succinct statements about Jesus Christ is found near the beginning of Paul's letter to the Colossian Christians from the New Testament section of the Bible.

He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. 
(Colossians 1:13-20 ESV)

Note the phrase 'In him all things hold together'. This is Physics' sought after Grand Unified Theory according to the Bible. We are not given equations!

Elsewhere Paul summarises the death and resurrection of the Christ (in Greek), or Messiah (in Hebrew).

Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, .....he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, .....Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me (Paul). (taken from 1 Corinthians 15v4-8)

In theology there is a concept known as the 'hypostatic union'. 'Hypostasis' is a Greek word and it carries the meaning of an actual, concrete, physical existence. The hypostatic union is the living, concrete, foundational reality of God and man combined in the actual physical person of Jesus Christ. We cannot be saved unless we realise that the Christ who died for us has such a nature.

By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. 
(1 John 4:2)

Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 
(1 John 4:15)

Jesus Christ therefore was most certainly known in the usual ways of brotherhood and parenthood to his family, first as a boy and then as a man. His brother James only later came to see him as also being God incarnate.

But because Jesus was in one sense so utterly normal as a human being, James did not see the realities of his deity. But we do know that his humanity was quite normal and unexceptional. Jesus had all the characteristics and bodily functions of a regular mortal human being.

Scientific Objections

Obviously, recent conclusions accepted as 'mainstream', drawn by those attempting to use the scientific method to examine the deep past, stand at odds with the Biblical creation story. This is an extremely brief overview of this potential conflict of worldview.

A major common objection regarding origins is the view held of elapsed time. Mainstream cosmology implies billions of years have passed since 'the beginning'. The Bible has a few thousand years. But Genesis 1 uses the Hebrew word 'yom' for day. 'Yom' can, as with English, refer to a period of time other than 24 hours. Example 'The day of the steam locomotive is over'. Anyway, our day is based on solar system dynamics, and the solar system was not in place until day 4. And the Bible itself uses 'yom' in the 'day-epoch' sense as early as Genesis 2v4.

Another is the fossil record as interpreted by Darwinism. Here, previous cataclysmic judgements by God are a possibility, as evidenced by the fact that Genesis 1v2 may be rendered accurately in Hebrew as 'the earth became void and without form'. It is increasingly seen that the fossil record does not reflect a progressive, gradual evolution. It is true that radiometric dating seems to present an obstacle to a young total creation.

Within the Christian camp, many attempts have been made to patch up long range science and the Biblical revelation. Francis S. Collins and his followers at seems to have a lot of support. They accept most of the essentials of mainstream science. The Intelligent Design community seek to use rational and probabilistic analysis to falsify the 'unguided, stochastic' view of how biological life arose. Young Earth Creationists seek to cohere all observed data with a totally literal understanding of the early chapters of the Book of Genesis from the Bible.

I do not know the detailed answers, but I believe in Christ as Creator and Redeemer; the only Way to the only true God.

I am not against science, I like it. I am against the misguided, and often ultimately illogical, attempts to remove God (in Christ) from our picture of creation.

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