To Adam he said

And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them. Genesis 3:17-21

Before they sinned Adam and Eve had a very good life. There was fruit to eat all the time. All they had to do was pick some and eat. They tended the garden but the work was enjoyable and was relatively easy. Things changed after they chose to disobey God. Even with all our modern farming methods farming is hard work and often fails.

We contend with droughts, too much rain or rain at the wrong time. We constantly fight insects and disease. Weeds sap the nutrients and water from our crops and it seems like every unwanted plant and many of the wanted have thorns. The thorns are a particular problem for me. We have a few citrus plants in our backyard, a Meyer lemon, grapefruit and a couple of orange trees. Now the only one that regularly bears fruit is the lemon and although it is a thorn-less variety that does not mean no thorns. There are more than a few. Now the long ones I can usually avoid although I am occasionally scratched by them but it is the little ones that get me. Hard to see and extremely sharp and small, I am constantly pricking my fingers on them. I love the taste of the Meyer lemons but I sure wish I could pick them without bloodshed.

Of course that is what sin leads to, bloodshed. We shed our blood on the thorns and thistles that grow on and around our crops but sin requires much more blood than that to atone for our sins. Sin required that God come down to earth to live a perfect life as a man and then be sacrificed in order to pay the price of my sin and yours. Sin brought struggle and pain into the world. It separated us from God. Sin required innocent blood be shed on our behalf. The blood of Christ washes away all our sin and once we accept that sacrifice made on our behalf we too can regain our proper relationship with God.

Have a blessed day,

David

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About dwwork

The name of this blog is taken from 1 Peter 3:13 - “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience. This verse became special to me over ten years ago when I was asked to teach an adult Sunday school class on Christian apologetics. This interest grew over the years to the point that I took some graduate level classes in apologetics. I think the best way to be prepared to give and answer to everyone who asks is to know scripture. It is my hope that through these short devotionals the reader will become more familiar with each verse. I have tried when possible to make them personal hoping in some small way to show that God’s word written over two thousand years ago is still relevant today. In the writing of these short devotionals I have been able to better understand how God’s word impacts my life. It is my hope that you too will come closer to our Lord Jesus and develop a closer relationship with Him. Finally, if the reader finds anything in conflict with scripture please let me know. God’s word is the final authority always overrules anything I might write. David
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9 Responses to To Adam he said

  1. So the blood sacrifice of a god to himself to save us from himself is what we need? Why wasn’t that god just forgiving in the first place? Why all the drama? Doesn’t seem like a very good parent to me.

    • dwwork says:

      A very good comment, I wish I could give you an answer as short as your comment but it touches on so many issue in the Christian faith that this is going to be a rather involve answer. So, let’s start here. God was not saving us from Himself He was saving us from ourselves. One does not need to watch the evening news for very long to see how depraved humans are. A day doers not go by without a murder, child abuse or child molestation story making the news. We kill each other with abandon. We rob and harm each other. Even the best of us lie, steal, ever took something that did not belong to you maybe too much change at the store, and hate it is just who we are. Yes we are capable of great acts of kindness and mercy but we are just as capable of great acts of savagery and cruelty. We tend to run from God and what God wants us to do is run toward Him. What Jesus did was not to save us from God but from ourselves.

      Why the sacrifice? I wish I could tell you I know why God does what He does but I cannot. I cannot pretend to know the mind of God. What I do know that that the punishment for sin, disobeying God is death or eternal separation from God. When we break the law there are punishments we must face. Sometime it may be a fine other times it may be loss of our freedom and in extreme cases it can mean loss of our very lives. I cannot speak for you but if someone steals from me. Or harms me or someone I love I feel they deserve to face punishment. I may forgive their actions but that forgiveness does not absolve them from having to be punished for their actions. We have broken God’s laws and every one of us deserves to be punished.

      What God did for us is to take that punishment we deserved on Him. If we read the Old Testament we see that God required the Israelites to sacrifice an animal as payment for their sins. This animal, usually a lamb, had to be unblemished. It was to be the best they had. For a herding people this was a huge sacrifice. It is not a sacrifice if it does not cost us. Rather than make each of us pay the price for our sins God took in on Himself to pay the price for us. He loved us that much. I would suggest you check out John Paine’s post on “Why Jesus had to die” on his Veracity blog.

      So, why not just forgive and forget? God could surely have done that. And He could continue to forgive us each and every day as we continue to sin. God was not looking for a short term solution He looks for eternal solutions. What God wanted was to bring us back to a relationship with Him. That required a sacrifice to be made. Someone had to be able to live a sin free life and then willingly take our punishment. But Jesus’s death is not the real story. The real story is the resurrection. What Jesus shows us by His resurrection is that physical death is not the end. We are eternal beings and there is life after our earthly death. That life can be with God or without Him. More on this later.

      As to God’s parenting skills, a good parent sometimes has to endure drama and has to punish their children. Left to their own devises kids would just as soon eat ice cream for every meal. A good parent sometime makes their kids try vegetables and yes this involves drama. A good parent also has to punish their kids at time, something that I have found is anything but enjoyable, in fact is hurts to have to punish someone you love unconditionally. God did what He did out of love for us. He wanted to restore a broken relationship and show us the way back to Him.

      Now it occurred to me that when you wrote that God was not a good parent you may have been referring to what He allowed God the Son to do. Jesus was not literally and physical God’s son. God was not Jesus’ biological parent. The personalities that make the triune God of the Christian faith are co-equal and co-eternal. But they are relationally distinct, God the Father being the head and God the Son being relationally under the Father. Unfortunately there is not time or space to go into the Trinity. And I am not an expert by any means being a layperson but if you are interested I will try to give a better answer at a later date.

      Now to my more on this later comment. God will not force anyone to accept Him or follow Him. He gave each of us free will and we can choose to believe in Him or not. Now I know that some atheists believe that free will is an illusion but if our minds are to be believed we see the evidence for free will every day, this too is for another post. God gives us enough evidence that is one follows the evidence we can believe in Him. I have always found it interesting that some of the greatest Christian apologists have been former atheists. But I digress, in order to force us to follow Him God would need to take away our free will. This would make us no more than robots unable to think for ourselves. God because of His character will not force us to love Him, forced love is rape and God is not an eternal rapists. So God lets each of us choose. We can follow Him or not that is up to us. For those who choose to follow Him He allow us to spend eternity with Him. But for those who choose not to follow Him rather than force them to spend eternity with Him He allows them to spend eternity apart from them. That is what Christians call hell. Maybe unbelievers will call it something else.

      Sorry for the long response but I wanted to give you the best response I could. I really appreciate your comments and hope that you find my posts if not believable at least somewhat challenging or at the very least willing to comment further.

      Have a blessed day,

      David

      • David,
        Thank you for your reply. Let me try to explain what I find problematic about these things, not in a condemning way, but just to explain why.

        The Christian bible (hereafter bible) proclaims the existence of a god and what that god wants from us. There is no external corroberation on this. That is to say that there is no credible evidence for the existence of a god, any god, nevermind YHWH. In terms of reason this leaves us to examine the bible for truth, understanding, and guidance in the matter of the god YHWH and his claimed son (himself, depending on your sect’s beliefs) Jesus. This is the sum of what there is to examine. That said, we should endeavor to examine it objectively with every attempt to avoid confirmation bias. Wanting something to be true or good does not make it so.

        ==God was not saving us from Himself He was saving us from ourselves.==
        I do not think it fair to say this of YHWH with regard to the incident in the Garden. Subsequently it is ‘odd’ to assume we are guilty of Adam’s failures. We did not prove ourselves to be this way, it was YHWH’s pronouncement, nothing more. YHWH did not have to put the tree in the garden, nor leave his creatures unattended where they could be tempted. An omniscient god failed to protect them knowing they would eat the fruit. An omnipresent god failed to protect them while they were in danger and indeed allowed the snake into the garden (lest he be not omnipotent) if he was not the snake himself. All in all YHWH did everything that he could to ensure that Adam and Eve failed. This omniscient god knew that Adam would need a mate, but pretended like it was something he hadn’t thought of. He pretended to not know that they had eaten of the fruit. Given that he had done all he could save shove the apple in Adam’s mouth, without remorse, love, nor compassion he punished Adam and Eve and all humanity. Note that he lied to Adam about the results of eating the fruit as well. YHWH set up the original sin … to what purpose we can only guess but it does give him all the lattitude needed to torture 99% of all humans to ever live. Not just for a little bit, like torture to death, but for eternity. The trap is now set, to avoid eternal torture humans are told they have to live a life of harsh struggle. If they are lucky they will be able to spend eternity as the worshipful lackies of a deity who seems to have designed this situation to be in his favor. Worship him for eternity despite any harm he may throw your way (see Job) or be tortured forever. Love the one you are told to fear, or be punished… forever. It might be fair to say he was saving us from ourselves had he not done seemingly everything he could to ensure Adam’s fall from grace. Please note that I did not twist any facts or misread the book at all. These are observations that any 5th grader could make of the story.

        ==One does not need to watch the evening news for very long to see how depraved humans are.==
        It would be difficult to not notice that even piety of clerics does not help avoid this, so one must question the situation whereby it is possible for the very folk selling religion themselves to be corrupt to the core. Kind of like a drug dealer cop. What value then does the message of faith have if it’s best representatives find no ability to avoid corruption via their faith? That might seem a bit of a strawman, but the question is valid. One I asked from the uncomfortable seat on a pew. If it doesn’t work for these dedicated folks, how would it ever work for me? It appears beyond reasonable doubt that when good people believe they are good believers and when bad people believe they are bad believers and more troubling than this is the fact that belief seems to have little overall effect, if any at all. Prison conversions and AA conversions are conversions of those who already want to be good people, thus they enter belief being good persons and it magically looks like belief changed their lives when this is not true.

        == A day doers not go by without a murder, child abuse or child molestation story making the news.==
        Most of these are perpetrated by clerics these days

        == We kill each other with abandon.==
        This is quite a religious thing to do, especially when you have divine mandate (See Joshua, militant Islam etc.)

        == We rob and harm each other. Even the best of us lie, steal, ever took something that did not belong to you maybe too much change at the store, and hate it is just who we are.==
        Can you say prosperity ministries?

        ==Why the sacrifice? … We have broken God’s laws and every one of us deserves to be punished.==
        Unless there is a blood sacrifice/scapegoat. No manner of sin/crime can stop a person from their deathbed conversion. This is even encouraged. It is not an incentive to be good, but a get out of jail free card. YHWH condemned us, then changed his mind… several times. It’s all good for modern Christians, but those Canaanites? No, not so good for them or any of the other people that YHWH had not made a special deal with. The god of Abraham may, in your view, seem loving and compassionate but he has demonstrated that he can change his mind and need not be kind or even civil to any who are not in his favor. You can’t say that when you get to the grave that you’ll be in his favor no matter what you do. There is no guarantee that he won’t change his mind. Remember, even Jesus said he came only for the Jews, then changed it up. It leaves the believer with the problematic issue of figuring out what they might have done to displease a capricious god. For Christians this is especially difficult. Hell was invented for them. The god of Abraham makes up his own rules and without updates to the bible you won’t know if they are changed.

        ==What God did for us … Rather than make each of us pay the price for our sins God took in on Himself to pay the price for us. He loved us that much.==
        But he doesn’t love us enough to forgive us outright and make heaven here on Earth? Is YHWH omnipotent? Is he love? Is he jealous and vengeful?

        ==God was not looking for a short term solution He looks for eternal solutions.==
        But he will/has create a heaven where there is no pain or suffering, no crime or harm and it is an eternal solution. This makes life on Earth a lottery to see who will get this promised heaven, an eternal solution that he creates independent of our propeciation. He already has the long term solution but refuses to let us in without our voluntary enslavement to him. To gain this we are forced to love the one we fear most. This effort is required not because we each have broken the law but because Adam did. If YHWH created me, and I am broken then he created me broken and punishes me for his failure.

        == What God wanted was to bring us back to a relationship with Him.==
        He could accomplish with ease if he would do something that make him look more than make believe.

        ==That required a sacrifice to be made.==
        No, it did/does not. The god of Abraham is omnipotent, he could speak and it would be so. That the situation is as it is would seem to be his desire, unless you would think him unable to make it different.

        ==The real story is the resurrection. What Jesus shows us by His resurrection is that physical death is not the end. We are eternal beings and there is life after our earthly death.==
        If the first book of the bible is not true, what matter is it this Jesus story? There is no credible evidence for the existence of a miracle worker Jesus. Only heresay and the bible. The bible says god exists and that it is the true word of the god and it is the proof of the god’s existence. Nothing could be more circular in nature. Consider that with the problems of Genesis and I don’t think it shows anything at all past the ability of bronze aged Jews to tell a good story, and copy those of other gods.

        ==As to God’s parenting skills, a good parent sometimes has to endure drama and has to punish their children.==
        As mentioned, god did not have to put that tree there nor leave his favorite pets alone – he is omnipresent, right? No warning, just punishment that he knew he would have to do which makes him seem as though he is not omnipotent. He could not find a way to make this one incident right. He had to punish all mankind in complete contradiction to any amount of compassion or love. Good parents teach. Warn once and punish is not teaching. What lesson is to be learned by YHWH lying to Adam about the consequences of eating the fruit?

        ==He wanted to restore a broken relationship and show us the way back to Him.==
        He broke the relationship, or was unable to stop it from happening. Either way he knew it would happen and did it anyway. If he was unable to stop it he is not omnipotent. If he was able to stop it but did not, he is not loving. In either case what would make him worthy of worship? I don’t see anything that would.

        As for the trinity, how many died for believing differently about whether there is one god in three parts, or three gods, or three aspects of one god? Even Christians cannot agree on this pivotal aspect and certainly the Jews and Muslims do not share a Christian perspective on this. They too believe in the god of Abraham with the same conviction that you do. Which of you is right? How would I know? How can I make the right choice when all three have exactly the same evidence for their beliefs – that is no credible evidence at all. All claims, no show and tell. If one of you is wrong, it is more likely that all of the big three monotheistic religions are wrong. That is unless you have evidence as to why your particular version of monotheism is correct and the others are wrong. They can’t all be correct. Each of the three has doctrine to convert the others. Which holy text is right? They all claim to be.

        There’s the rub. The evidence that you speak of is only convincing if you already believe in a god, specifically the god of that religious sect. It was not long ago that all good ‘Christians’ thought Catholics and Mormons were devil spawn. Jefferson’s wall of separation letter was to the Danbury Baptists who feared for their livelihoods and lives at the hands of other Christians. That Christendom has become less violent does not suddenly make it correct and righteous. The difference in doctrine among the sects speaks volumes of just how convincing the evidence really is. Should there actually be credible evidence there would be only one religion yet there remain many. Each of them lays against the others as being the only true religion. To show then that your sect and doctrine are correct or even that your version of god is correct you must show why the others are wrong. It is not the atheist that you need convince, it is the theists who do not believe as you do. If any religion were to have convincing evidence, those that seek it would find and be convinced. As it stands you cannot even convince those who are predisposed to believe in gods that your sect and doctrine are correct.

        ==God because of His character will not force us to love Him, forced love is rape and God is not an eternal rapists.==
        Except in heaven, right? In heaven you will worship or be kicked out. When did god create Lucifer and the other heavenly hosts? It wasn’t in that fateful first week.

        ==Sorry for the long response but I wanted to give you the best response I could. I really appreciate your comments and hope that you find my posts if not believable at least somewhat challenging or at the very least willing to comment further.==

        I appreciate your reply. Again, if I’ve written poorly and this seems an attack, it was poor writing. I’m merely epxlaining why it is that I have problems with believing in a god, including any god of Abraham. I have had these questions since I was in school. There have been no satisfactory asnwers. I hope my reply is not too long and I look forward to more discussion. Perhaps we can discuss only one or two points in a comment/post?

      • dwwork says:

        Great comments, I agree that we should take your comments a few at a time, Unfortunately I have been ill this week so have not spent much time on my blog. I hope to have a first response next week.I really look forward to our continued discussion.

        David

      • Take your time. No worries.

      • dwwork says:

        Once again sorry for the delay, I have had a few health issues I was dealing with.

        I would like to start my reply to your latest comments with a brief look at what I perceive as the most important question, does God exist. If we don’t start there then all else is just tossing words around. Without God’s existence the Christian Bible is just a collection of stories. I have a seven part post that summarizes the various arguments for God’s existence.

        I want to take a slightly different tack in my comments today by looking at which arguments caused two atheists to become theists. Both were professors at Oxford University and contemporaries. The first is C.S. Lewis who went on to become one of the foremost Christian apologists of the twentieth century. The other is Antony Flew who was one of the most respected atheist philosophers of the twentieth century. Both men took different roads from atheism to theism and they both ended at different points of belief but both found sufficient reason to believe in the existence of God based on three different arguments for God’s existence. Now most of these arguments do not tell us whose concept of God is correct. For that we need to look at the various religions to see which one best describes God.

        Now we will not be able to scientifically prove God’s existence but then there are very few things, especially in the past, that can be proved scientifically. But two of these arguments come very close to what most would consider scientific proof. For most events we are limited to legal proof, that is the preponderance of the evidence. An argument that convinces one person will leave another cold but I believe that when taken together they form a very convincing argument.

        I do not plan on repeating my previous posts of the arguments for God but will take a brief look at the three that convinced Lewis and Flew. C.S. Lewis was convinced that God existed and that Christianity was true by the Moral Argument. Lewis reasoned that there is a moral law and it is consistent across cultures. That a moral law existed required a moral law giver, God. You can find my summary of the Moral Law here: here. Lewis’ Mere Christianity gives his case for a moral law and Christianity.

        Antony Flew became convinced as to the existence of God based on the Kalam Argument and the Argument from Design. In brief the Kalam Argument states that any finite thing, the universe, must have a cause. That the universe is finite was first brought up in modern time with the advent of the Big Bang theory. In the 1960’s the first evidence of this was found in the cosmic background radiation. Since then further evidence has been found to support that the universe had a beginning. You can find my summary of the Kalam Argument here.

        What really convinced Flew was the apparent design of the universe. He was impressed with how fine-tuned the universe is and how little various properties must be in order to enable intelligent life to exist. While I am not in any way Flew’s intellectual equal, he was as I am unconvinced by the various multiverse theories that are not only undetectable but un testable and only push the problem back in time rather than answer the question. You can find my summary of the Argument from Design (the Teleological Argument) here: . I also recommend There is a God by Antony Flew and Roy Abraham Varghese, The Goldilocks Enigma: Why Is the Universe Just Right for Life? by Paul Davies or The Creator and the Cosmos: How the Latest Scientific Discoveries Reveal God by Hugh Ross.

        Some final thoughts on Flew’s conversion from atheist the deist. First, Flew by no means embraced Christianity though he did write that of all the revealed religions Christianity was the most convincing. When There is a God was published in 2008 it caused such a controversy in atheist’s circles you would have though the world had ended. Flew went overnight from hero and wise old man of atheism to a doddering senile old fool. I guess that Christians would react similarly if Billy Graham was to come out as an atheist and denounce Christianity. One of the criticisms you will find on Amazon is that no way Flew wrote this book but was taken advantage of by Varghese who really wrote the book. The only problem I saw with this argument was that in reading There is a God I found most of the book inconsistent with being written by a Christian. It came across to me a pure Flew or very similar to other books by Flew I have read.. Also something that I was privy to four years before There is a God was published is that Flew had already come to this conclusion in 2004. I had the privilege of taking a class form Gary Habermas and he informed the class then of Flew’s decision regarding the Argument from Design. Given all the furor over the book I can imagine Flew hesitation in making his new belief public. To me it would take great courage to essentially say publically that his life’s work had been wrong.
        Hopefully the books I have mentioned will give you a better feel for these arguments than I can in such a short space. I found both Flew’s and Ross’s books quick reads. Davies’ is a bit slow at the start but he does spend a lot of time laying a scientific foundation for the rest of the book. Paul Davies is a physicist and a professor at Arizona State University. I am not sure of his religious beliefs but from his book it would seem he is not a Christian. Hugh Ross is a Christian and founder of Reasons to Believe. He is an astrophysicist who uses science to back up his Christian beliefs.

        I think there are some common themes in your comment that I will try and answer over the next few weeks. Next time I will try to give an answer to if Christianity is true why do so many Christians act so bad. I devote one response to the health and wealth brad of pseudo – Christianity. I also will give my answer to why God just did not make us good and why He does not just let everyone in heaven. I hope to cover why I think Christianity is true and also why belief in the trinity is required to be Christian, I am not sure which sects you refer to when you write that some Christians do not believe in the trinity. My final two replies will be about the historicity of Jesus and His miracles, as well as a common misconception about the Bible, finishing up with a look at the question of God as a vengeful and hateful god, really God’s character. Hopefully I can give you some helpful answers at least from a layperson’s perspective, recommending books I have found helpful over the years.

        I look forward to hearing back from you with your comments. Till next time have a blessed day and thanks again for your insightful comments. I look forward to our continued discussions.

        David

  2. David, sorry to hear you have not been well. I hope you are feeling better.

    The moral law argument and the KCA have been refuted repeatedly. C.S.Lewis was required reading in my house growing up and W.L.Craig has been repeatedly refuted by myself and others. These arguments are logically flawed. I’ll get to why I say this but something you said is worth noting.

    ==Now most of these arguments do not tell us whose concept of God is correct. For that we need to look at the various religions to see which one best describes God.==

    This is a presupposition that at least one man-made religion has gotten their idea of god correct. It’s a flawed presupposition that cannot be shown to be true without the god of that religion showing himself to all and removing all doubt about his existence. When this presupposition is tacked onto the flawed moral law or LCA arguments, the entire argument is baseless.

    ==Now we will not be able to scientifically prove God’s existence but then there are very few things, especially in the past, that can be proved scientifically.==
    Showing that a god existed in the past does not show that the god exists now. Showing that people of the 1st century ‘really’ believed that Jesus was a god does not mean that he was, only that they believed he was. For a god to be as described in the Christian bible the evidence should show him to be real both now and historically. This is a problem not often brought up.

    I understand not wanting to repeat all that you’ve already written. If you wish to link to your other posts, I’ll happily read the relevant posts.

    The apparent design of the universe is answered quite well by another author, Douglas Adams:

    “This is rather as if you imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, ‘This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting hole I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!’ This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, frantically hanging on to the notion that everything’s going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for.”
    ― Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt

    Also see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fine-tuned_Universe

    I do not want to refute any of your arguments from previous posts in a one by one manner. What I’m looking for is evidence that has not already been refuted time and again. When you asssert arguments which have been soundly refuted many times it is like watching an old black and white movie with no sound. I’ve seen it already and it offers me nothing new, nothing to make me think nevermind change my mind. If that makes me sound tainted, I’ll own the label.

    It does not matter that atheists in their singular numbers might convert to Christianity. As you and all Christians are wont to tell others, we are not perfect. Atheism doesn’t claim to be perfect nor even that all atheists believe in the same things. It can and probably does happen. I do not, myself, agree with all that other atheists believe in. Not believing in gods doesn’t require that I believe in the same things. To tell me that someone converted from atheism to theist is niether shocking nor convincing of anything. It’s much like telling me that you found a dog that didn’t like raw chicken. Yeah, it’s meaningless to me too.

    ==I am not sure which sects you refer to when you write that some Christians do not believe in the trinity.==
    There are several non-trinitarian Christian sects. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nontrinitarianism

    David. Many say that atheists are closed minded among other negative thoughts. I am not and I find others are similar to myself in that regard. I search for new evidence, new answers, things which have not already been discovered and refuted. Something which can be evidence or lead to it. I am not convinced by the arguments which have already been soundly refuted.

    • dwwork says:

      Well, I am not the right person to come up with new evidences for God’s existence. Unfortunately I am not into philosophy, never developed mush of a taste for it. I have always found philosophy too much head in the sky for my tastes. I am a what works type of guy and what works for me in Christianity. Not that I take it entirely on faith. I just feel there is enough evidence for my beliefs. What I gather from your last comment as well as reading your blog is that short of God dropping by and tapping you on the shoulder and saying here I AM you are not going to be convinced by any arguments my feeble mind can offer :).

      I know that the arguments for God have been refuted and that the refutations have been refuted and round and round they go. I do however think that the Kalam argument fits what we observe in the universe. The universe had a beginning and has a boundary which makes the universe finite. The universe also is running down and at some point in time will suffer a heat death and eventually all matter will decay all evidences of a finite universe. Second, no one has ever observed any finite thing coming into existence without a cause. Yes, quantum theory indicates that this can happen but it is yet unobserved and just because we do not know a cause does not mean there is no cause. Nothing can be self-caused it either is uncaused or caused by another.

      Everything that has ever been observed that came into being has a cause. What cosmology and physics is trying to do to get around a universe is to postulate a multi-verse, bubble universes and some variant. This does not answer the problem of the universes’ beginning it just kicks the problem on down the road. There cannot be an infinite series of causes as there is no way to traverse an infinity so at some point there has to be a first cause. This first cause must be uncaused and eternal, infinite if you will, from everlasting to everlasting. Until someone can come up with another first cause I believe there is no better answer than God.

      As to the moral argument for God, if not God than where does the universal moral code come from? Certainly not nature. Nature is amoral. The natural order is neither good or bad it just is. Lions are not bad when a male takes over a pride and kills his rival’s offspring. The lion is just doing what lions do. Nothing more or less. Now personally I am not a big proponent of using the moral law argument but was using it only to illustrate how different people find different arguments persuasive when they move from atheism to theism. Each of us finds certain arguments persuasive in forming our belief system. What is convincing for me will not convince you and vice versa.

      Your quoting Douglas Adams brought a smile to me, thanks. I am tempted to dust off my copy of Hitchhiker. I think his puddle analogy however he misses the point. The puddle may think his world is designed for him but it misses the point that what we observe in the universe is not just that it seems designed for life and intelligent life but how finely tuned the universe is. We are talking about minor changes in so many parts of the universe that change any one by a fraction would make the universe unfit for life. I would recommend “The Goldilocks Enigma: Why Is the Universe Just Right for Life?” by Paul Davies for a non-religious view of the fine tuning of the universe. He devotes the first three quarters of the book to the various things that have to be just right. Over the last quarter he goes into the attempts to explain this fine tuning in a naturalistic way which by his own admission cannot now be done. It gets a bit deep into the physics at times but I found it interesting.

      I agree that atheists come in all sizes and flavors just as religious people do. I seriously doubt one can find any other person who believes exactly what the same as they do. In my encounters atheists are kind, thoughtful, rude and rash just like everyone else. We all have our gifts, weaknesses and strengths. What I enjoy in our conversations is the civility that too often is lacking on both sides. I seriously doubt I will change your mind as I am sure you doubt you will change mine. What is important is the exchange of ideas and how that exchange at least for me makes me think harder about what and why I believe.

      Lastly, on to the non-Trinitarian “Christians”. I did look at the Wikipedia article and the sects listed are not considered to be orthodox Christian religions. Just adding Christian or Christ to a name does not make that organization Christian. Just a quick look at two of them. Mormons are not monotheistic as they teach that each believer can become a god. When we look at Jehovah’s Witnesses, they do not believe Jesus is God but an angel. Every group listed in the article either has a different belief from the Bible about Jesus or sees Jesus as just a man. They all differ from the Christianity found in the Bible and do not hold orthodox beliefs. I define orthodox by what is written in the Bible. That is way too much to go into here.

      As to links to my posts, I thought I had included them but I am not a WordPress expert. I pretty much just post text, no videos or photos and links seem to be hit or miss. I will try again but I make no guarantees. Maybe in a few years when I retire I can devote some time to getting my blog up to speed. So let me try one more time.

      Moral Argument – https://dwwork.wordpress.com/2012/09/22/does-god-exist-part-4-a-brief-look-at-the-moral-argument/

      Kalam – https://dwwork.wordpress.com/2012/08/17/does-god-exist-part-1-a-brief-look-at-the-arguments/ You can also find these by clicking on the category “Arguments for God”.

      Now I have a question. If there is no God then we are here as a result of random chance mutations over billions of years and there is literally no reason or meaning for our existence. In fact free will would be an illusion as would be mind since everything is a result of natural causes so why bother with a blog or putting forth arguments against God? According to a naturalistic view of life I can no more help my belief in God than you can help your belief that God does not exist. It is futile to try and change what is built into our DNA. Anyway, just wondered and please no offense meant.

      Thanks for your concern about my health. Everything is getting better. We had a really bad pollen and mold this spring in the Houston area so I have been fighting sinus problems. Also, I have had too much sun and too little sunscreen over too many years but all is well now. While I cannot give you new arguments I do intend to continue to answer you earlier comments. I hope you will bear with me as it may take some time to get to all your comments. Once again, I really am enjoying our exchanges.

      Have a blessed day,

      David

      • David, Glad things are getting better.
        I’d like to start out with the humble Lego piece. It’s just a piece of plastic. From it (if you add many more) you can make many wonderful things. Even things that move and appear to think.. at least as much as worms think.

        Life adapts. It has always adapted. Our environment (the one friendly to humans) is indeed fatal for many of the species that live on our own planet. This is a wonderment of life. It survives where ever it can adapt to do so. Visit a mountain and witness how every crag and cranny is stuffed with life. Visit thermal vents at the bottom of the oceans where there is no light – teaming with life. Life itself does not require all the fine tuning that is claimed. Human life does. Human life is but one of millions of forms of animal life. Just one. Millions of species have gone extinct. No mammalian species has managed to last more than a million years or so. That fine tuning claim is rediculous in the face of how inhospitable the universe and even this planet is to human life. Yet, life finds a way to exist. The puddle argument is exactly correct. If this planet were different we might be different and would know no better and that species would claim god made the universe ‘just so’ so that they could be alive.

        Everything is a series of accidents. ‘sh!t happens’ and life reacts to that. We’ve witnessed evolution in progress, we have evidence of it, it is the basis of all modern biology, much of all modern science. That we exist as we do and fit perfectly to the universe and world that we find ourselves in is not a miracle, it’s natural. In fact, we are not adapted for all the universe. Much of the universe is completely unsuitable for us humans. Most of it will kill us off quickly.

        That life is a stream of accidents does not mean that we do not have free will. This is a failed philosophy. Such thinking requires that each of us do nothing but simply react to the world around us. We know this is not true. We plan for the future, we design what cannot be imagined until the moment that we do imagine it. Using free will we have altered the course of accidents. I wrote a 4 part series on why Sam Harris is wrong on his theory exactly matching this lack of free will argument.

        All of this is not intuitive. You cannot look at a rose and implicitly understand the millions of years of evolution that brought that flower to your nose in exactly the form that it is today. Because we do not witness change each day of our lives does not mean that there has not been change or that change is not currently happening.

        To accept arguments that have been refuted over and over again is simply to reject all the reasoned argument, to ignore the logic and fact available to you. It is tantamount to saying that you don’t care about facts or reason, you’re going to believe what you want no matter how wrong it might be.

        I’m not asking you to become an atheist but I will say that it is to your benefit to explore why so many feel you are wrong to reject the facts, and do so with such passion. You owe it to yourself to study it all. In the balance of such questions hangs truth. Do you wish to live your life for truth or simply what you imagine truth to be? You would be happy to continue the discussion/argument where it is centered around your beliefs. If the argument is about fact and scientific finding, what do you have to contribute? Are you left on the sidelines because you know little to nothing about it? Can you talk intelligently about biology? Any scientific field?

        The discussion is not simply about which holy text is right. It is about whether any holy text can be right in view of what humanity has learned. If you are not a participant in the discussion of what humanity has learned, are your views relevant?

        Don’t take offense, none is meant.

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