Rise – Décima

It’s not the sun. It’s not the moon.
It’s not the stars. They serve as signs.
The ordered light they offer shines,
but cannot sing a sacred tune.

He’s coming and He’s coming soon.
We lift our voice. We lift our hands
abandoning our once prized plans.
In unison our praises rise.
In expectation, earth and skies,
are eager, waiting for our stands.

Ronovan Hester offers the rhyme word “rise” to be used in a D-line of a décima having rhyme pattern ABBAACCDDC for this week’s Decima Challenge. Eugenia offers “unison” for her weekly prompt. I am thinking of Romans 8:16.

Sunrise with two birds
Sunrise with birds

Sunday Walk 77 – Owen Barfield and the Evolution of Consciousness

If the eighteenth-century botanist, looking for the first time through the old idols of Linneaus’ fixed and timeless classification into the new perspective of biological evolution, felt a sense of liberation and of light, it can have been but a candle-flame compared with the first glimpse we now get of the familiar world and human history lying together, bathed in the light of the evolution of consciousness.

Owen Barfield, Saving the Appearances: A Study in Idolatry, Harcourt, Brace & World: 1965, page 72

Owen Barfield’s literary estate associates him with C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. When I was trying to understand Saving the Appearances in the 1970s as an undergraduate in a Catholic college I wrongly lumped him with theistic existentialists such as Gabriel Marcel or Martin Buber and social critics such as Jacques Ellul or Ivan Illich. As I saw it they were the good guys offering guidance. I recently read the book again to try to see what went wrong in my own thinking at that time.

Barfield has this to say about Jesus, “If we accept at all the claims made by Christ Jesus concerning his own mission, we must accept that he came to make possible in the course of time the transition of all men from original to final participation; and we shall regard the institution of the Eucharist as a preparation – a preparation (we shall not forget) which has so far only been operant for the sidereally paltry period of nineteen hundred years or so.” (pages 170-171)

As a philosopher with a captive audience he did not have to bother trying to convince his readers with much evidence, whether biblical, logical or empirical, for why we “must accept” his assertions. I wonder today if he had a clue what the mission of Jesus was. By “paltry period” I suspect he thought we still had millions, or even billions, of years of consciousness evolution before us. What I realize today is when one takes the ancient myths of evolution seriously, in spite of the evidence of entropy going against them, one begins dismissing or distorting the Creation, the Fall, the Death, Burial and Resurrection of Jesus and the Last Days.

Why people find the myths of evolution believable, indeed why I used to believe them looking forward to some Age of Aquarius, is not clear to me. If one likes believing such things one might glibly talk about an evolution of this or that as Barfield does of consciousness. If one doesn’t, one could think of such beliefs as a centuries long buildup to the fulfillment of prophecy in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 where Paul predicted a rebellion preceding the day of the Lord.

Admittedly I did not understand Barfield as an undergraduate, but today I wonder just how much there was worth understanding. His stature as an authority made me think that reimagining his own beliefs was more important than reading the Bible. That helped lead me astray. I forgive him for that, knowing that I need forgiveness as well.


Weekly Bible Reading: Romans, 1 Corinthians and 2 Corinthians
David Pawson, Romans, Part 10, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Part 11
Bible Project, Romans 1-4, Romans 5-16, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians

Weekly Parashah Readings
Parashah: Mishpatim 27 Shevat, 5782 – January 29, 2022
Torah: Exodus 21:1-24:18
Haftarah: Jeremiah 34:8-34:22
Brit Chadashah: Matthew 5:38-42; 17:1-11
Resources: Chabad, Hebrew4Christians, Weekly Torah Readings, Calendar

Dam 1 Forest Preserve River
Dam 1 Forest Preserve River

Sunday Walk 76 – Uniformitarianism

Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

2 Peter 3:3-4 King James Version

Belief in millions or even billions of years of deep time, rather than thousands, rests on assumptions of uniformitarianism. These assumptions include asserting that no global catastrophes occurred in the past such as a high-energy global flood that would have accelerated change, that only low-energy processes built the mountains and carved out the canyons, and that currently measured rates of low-energy change were constant throughout time.

Assuming no global catastrophes and constant rates of change would allow these low-energy processes to be used like clocks extrapolating billions of years of deep time into the past. However, this extrapolation works just as well into the future. The rates of change coming from erosion and entropy give us a maximum age of how long current structures would survive. That means the age of the present structures cannot be older than the amount of time it would take to erode them away.

For example, if the entire fossil record would be eroded away in 10 or even 50 million years, the fossil record could not be older than that. It might be younger, but not older. If someone claimed that a fossil was over 100 million years old, the first question should be how did that fossil survive the effects of day-by-day, low-energy, uniformitarian erosion?

Although low-energy processes can effect a lot of change over millions of years they do not explain how the structures we see today, the mountains and canyons, got there in the first place. To explain them one needs high-energy catastrophes working faster than the low-energy erosion that would wash them all away.

Deep time uniformitarianism attempts to discredit Biblical events that explain why the earth is as it is and where it is going: Creation, Fall, Noah’s Flood, Babel, the Resurrection of Jesus and His Second Coming. When one begins to see that the present state of the earth confirms the view that it is young then a creation and global flood account as described in Genesis becomes plausible. When that becomes plausible the rest of the narrative does as well. When one realizes that all of this is more than plausible one’s whole life renews.

37 But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Matthew 24:37-39 King James Version

Weekly Bible Reading: Acts and Romans
Commentaries: 
David Pawson, Acts, Part 8, Romans, Part 9, Unlocking the Bible
Bible Project, Acts 1-12, Acts 13-28, Romans 1-4, Romans 5-16
Weekly Torah Readings
20 Shevat, 5782, Yitro: Parashat Exodus 18:1-20:23; Haftarat Isaiah 6:1-7:6; 9:5-9:6

Snowy
Snowy

Sunday Walk 7 – Rosh Hashanah

17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; 18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. 19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. 20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: 21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. 22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. 23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again. 24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?

Romans 11:17-24 King James Version

The Feast of Trumpets began last Friday. Below is Jonathan Cahn, a Messianic Jewish pastor, explaining the significance of the feast especially for today and blowing the trumpets.

Jonathan Cahn, The Feast of Trumpets
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