Rafael walked home with his daughter, Celia, to bring her back to her mother. Celia told him about Derek, and she wondered how he knew so much about him? Rafael didn’t think he knew much at all.
They climbed the stairs to the second story apartment wondering what Celia’s mother would say or do when she saw her daughter again after two years. The silence of their searching eyes overcame the hardened words and deeds from their memories. Then tears restored their lost connection.
There’s quicksand by the pearly gates for those who wander off the way, who love the breezy, sleazy mud. Then pleasure pops – another dud. On pins and needles now they say, “Let’s try again!” And there they stay.
If one has a closed natural system where nothing can enter to support it from the outside, the system will run down. Any order will become disorder in a finite amount of time. Entropy is a measure of disorder.
In naturalistic or materialistic worldviews the universe we live in is supposed to be such a closed system. There is nothing outside it. Or, if there is, that supernatural stuff can’t break through the boundaries of the closed system to offer support.
In the Christian worldview not only is there an outside to the universe but that outside is powerful, willing and intelligent enough to both create the universe and make an ongoing difference to it. The material universe is not closed in this worldview although it could be hypothetically viewed as closed to study what would happen to it assuming the outside did not intervene.
For example, if we assumed nothing would stop erosion, weathering and traffic from the outside, we could ask how long the hypothetically closed system of the rock formations in the photo above would remain intact? No one doubts that there is intelligence outside this system of rock formations. Just by studying the system we are that intelligence outside it. After a study is made other people powerful and willing enough could use the findings to implement policies to preserve the formations. All of that study and preservation comes from outside this system of rock formations intervening to alter what would happen to it if those formations were left alone.
If we supposed that our universe were closed with no outside support, the main mystery would be how our universe came to be. With entropy we cannot claim that our universe had always been here to avoid addressing its origin. If our universe were infinitely old, it would have run down by now. Furthermore, any popping of ordered reality out of nothing or even out of less ordered stuff would require an explanation how that popping could increase orderliness without the assistance of some outside intelligence.
In the past it was believed that random mutations filtered through natural selection could serve as the mechanism allowing living organisms within a closed universe to evolve into ever more complex organisms without help from the outside. The change coming from random mutations would be mindlessly directed by natural selection to achieve this. R. A. Fisher even offered a mathematical proof that it would work.
However, with further study of mutation-selection the opposite is now known to happen. This perpetual motion mechanism is not what we thought it was. Even Fisher’s Theorem has been flipped by William F. Basener and John C. Sanford. The following podcast with John Sanford puts this in perspective.
Rather than describing a means by which evolution could occur mutation-selection describes the mechanism behind genetic entropy. Without outside help, living species in a closed system not only do not evolve into super-species, they run down just like everything else does. At some point in their genome degeneration they go extinct.
A door appeared. It opened. “See? The reasoning you thought was sound fell on your worldview’s slippery ground.” I’ll tweak another mystery.
That dissonance won’t let me be. The stars above at least still shine. While rioters prepare to whine the world remains about the same though burnt a bit with needless blame. I’ll cross that threshold, make it mine.
Ronovan Hester offers the rhyme word “ground” to be used in a B line of a décima having rhyme pattern ABBAACCDDC for this week’s challenge.
Helen heard an infant crying, slid down to the river and found a newborn, an expendable pawn, abandoned to die and be washed away near a drain outlet. She wrapped the baby in her coat and then almost fell when the ground shook from the explosion while hearing Bill yell from above, “Helen, get out of there!” The water from the burst dam crushed her against vegetation on the bank as she protected the infant until her team reached them.
Bill and Rose adopted the child Helen rescued and invited Helen to stay with them indefinitely since she lived alone and could no longer take care of herself given her injuries which gave Helen days, months and then years to read to and guide Little Helen from her wheelchair.
When Little Helen was three years old a man gave her a permanent marker to write a message while Rose held her so she could reach the top of the casket. As she carefully made her marks she suddenly looked up with astonishment and proclaimed loud enough for all to hear, “Mommy, Auntie Helen is dancing with Jesus!“
On top the swamp is plain to see – below, a rotting misery. The light green algae doesn’t know. The darkness doesn’t want to show the fruits of deep, defiling sin. There’s quicksand should you venture in.
Predestination is God’s plan for us for responsible service as slaves of Jesus and yet children of God (Matthew 6:9, 1 John 3:2). There is nothing more meaningful or fulfilling in one’s life than coming to repentance and accepting that destiny. He wills it for all of us (2 Peter 3:9, 1 Timothy 2:4).
However, predestination is overshadowed within some traditions by adding on the notion of predeterminism. These traditions contain conceptions of the nature of God that pit our free will against God’s glory.
Starting at 28:00 for about 13 minutes David Pawson described two views of predestination, the Arminian and the Calvinist (Reformed) views.
This video is part of Pawson’s introduction to the Bible covering the books from Genesis to Revelation. After going through this series I began to see myself and those around me as living within an historical drama leading to a wedding the significance of which I had not appreciated before. The Christian worldview came to life. It is from within that worldview revealed by the Bible that I now consider issues such as predestination.
In section D6 of Election and Reprobation at Monergism, Wayne Grudem made summary observations that I agree with: “So in a Reformed system God’s highest value is his own glory, and in an Arminian system God’s highest value is the free will of man. These are two distinctly different conceptions of the nature of God….”
Given these two distinctly different conceptions of the nature of God, I ask myself: If God’s highest value were really his own glory, why the crucifixion? If God’s highest value were not the free will of man, how did sin and the resulting evil enter the historical narrative of the Christian worldview as revealed by the Bible?
Though Moloch wants a sacrifice don’t let his dreams for you come true. Don’t do what he says you must do. Beware his smile. He isn’t nice. He’s betting that you’ll pay his price so pumps you up with hopeless fear. Protect your children. Keep them near. Your baby’s ready. Time for birth. Life only is upon this earth. That’s why those demons wander here.
Ronovan Hester offers the rhyme word “birth” to be used in a D line of a décima having rhyme pattern ABBAACCDDC for this week’s challenge.