I learned from Michael Wilson’s blog that the San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone had called on the Catholic Church to deny Communion to prominent pro-abortion Catholics.
I agree with Archbishop Cordileone, but would add a twist to his call making it relevant even for non-Catholics: All Christians should advisethose who are pro-abortion to refrain from Communion until they have repented.
Does that sound harsh?
What would be harsh would be Satan’s accusations full of finger-pointing and despair with no hope of forgiveness on the other side. However, this call is different. It is a call to the discomfort of repentance and the liberation of change where pardon replaces that crash into the brick wall.
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.
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?
Mary Hood (tqhousecat) at mehflowers linked to MercyMe’s song I Can Only Imagine in her post, Wake Up Dreaming, contrasting it with John Lennon’s Imagine. What a contrast! I can’t even imagine what must have been going through Lennon’s mind when he wrote what he did.
This beautiful song has been around for some time, but it is the first time I’ve heard it. I am grateful to Mary for sharing it. I may never have heard it otherwise.
The King James Version translates the last word, διψυχοι, as “double minded” which suggests to me a feel-good spirituality without repentance. Avoiding repentance is a sign that one hasn’t experienced the joy that such change provides when grounded on forgiveness. No amount of substitute sentiment can compare with that.
I suspect the devil needs only half a heart to drag us all the way down. King David wanted nothing less than a newly created, clean heart when he almost lost it all with Bathsheba.
Mario Murillo described a woman who was once demon possessed and sold on the streets in “Mary Magdalene on the Day Jesus Died”. After Jesus cast out her demons she followed Him. Then came the crucifixion.
And then came the power of the resurrection.
In his Easter blog post this morning Mario Murillo wrote, “Easter is not polite. It is fire! It is not about bunnies or eggs, and it has no place among the other harmless religious holidays.”
The resurrection separates Easter from other religious holidays. That resurrection is the assurance of the coming judgement.
διοτι εστησεν ημεραν εν η μελλει κρινειν την οικουμενην εν δικαιοσυνη εν ανδρι ω ωρισεν πιστιν παρασχων πασιν αναστησας αυτον εκ νεκρων
Jason Lisle is an astronomer who argues for biblical creationism and a young earth. I think he’s right. However, I suspect many Christians would not agree. They accept the deep time of evolution perhaps because they’ve been taught that’s just the way things are. To keep religion relevant, they add onto this a God who guides the mythical process of evolution. I know some Christians believe this kind of theistic evolution, because I’ve been there, done that and wish now I hadn’t.
The problem with theistic evolution is that no connection exists between that guiding God and Elohim (Yahweh) after theistic evolution trashes Genesis 1-11. If one doesn’t accept Genesis as an historical document, how can one make sense out of Easter except as one more myth? Don’t forget what’s at stake: 1 Corinthians 15:14.
There is plenty of scientific justification for a biblical young earth. Indeed, what is lacking is scientific evidence for the belief that deep time could ever be deep enough to make evolution work or that a big bang could randomly pop any ordered reality, let alone an orderly universe, out of a disordered quantum vacuum no matter how often it tries.
Here are a few sites I have found useful should you wish to explore this.
John Hartnett describes the Anisotropic Synchrony Convention that Jason Lisle uses to solve the starlight travel time problem which answers the question how light from stars billions of light years away could reach the earth instantly on the fourth day of creation.
Easter is upon us. Many proclaim the resurrection of Jesusas historical fact. That’s the core of what matters.
Asserting the resurrection of Jesus as historical fact takes me back to creation as presented in Genesisalso as historical fact. If it is weren’t for Adam and Eve there would be no need for the death and resurrection of Jesus. From that beginning I go to the end times that prophecies assert will also be, some day, historical fact.
Here is a song I found on The Marshall Report appropriate for those last days which may be coming soon.
Update on learning Hebrew: I have found the Alef with Bet channel very helpful. The audio lessons are at the beginner level. Beth clearly enunciates the words and there is a helpful transcript of the video.
I found this song on Dianne Marshall’s blog The Marshall Report. It makes me think of being born again in expectation of the end times.
I have been watching videos to better understand the Epistle of Jude. I wanted to know who those false teachers were that Jude warned the believers about and what was their message. While reading through John Gideon Hartnett’s post Bridge to Babylon and following his links things started to make sense even though Hartnett did not mention Jude at all.
Here is the bottom line as I currently see it. The false teachers used gnostic philosophy to discredit Jesus as our Lord and that conceptual error led to moral depravity.
There’s got to be more to it than that, but that’s how I see it at the moment.
η γαρ αποκαραδοκια της κτισεως την αποκαλυψιν των υιων του θεου απεκδεχεται