Working Toward a Mature Faith

In undergraduate school, I remember one professor marveling at various features of brain functioning and talking about the reasons that a particular function evolved.  It was just as easy, or easier, for me to think of reasons that these features were designed into the system.  In my first class on physiological psychology, the professor did not have an evolutionary bent that I could tell, and merely marveled at the function and complexity of the brain.  I think many students are unprepared for the naturalistic worldview, and that this often can trigger a crisis of faith.  In their book, God Attachment, Clinton and Straub (2010)1 note that people often enter adulthood with the same views they had with their faith that they learned in early childhood.  In other words, they have not developed a more mature faith that allows them to have an understanding of the problem of evil, the existence of many different religions, and the evolutionary viewpoint (a view espousing the all-powerfulness of useful accidents).  Thus, they are setting themselves up for a crisis of faith that will inevitably come with real-world life experiences and the hard knocks that life delivers.  I frequently encounter people who become sort of paralyzed in that crisis of faith without attempting to find answers to their questions.  They will often just resign themselves to somewhat of a wishy-washy stance like, “I’m not sure I believe everything in the Bible.  I believe, but I’m just not sure about X.”  When asked, they’ll admit they’ve never tried to resolve the issue with learning more about the subject.  So, they end up assuming a distant stance with God on the basis of a particular issue that they have not taken the time to resolve.

I don’t think people have to believe that Genesis is literally true to be saved.  I don’t think there is anything in the Bible that would suggest that.  But I do think it is possible to be logically consistent and hold an intelligent worldview encompassing a literal account of Genesis.  Frankly, I think a literal account of Genesis leads to the most logically consistent stance in explaining the problem of evil in the world (i.e., the fall).  Also, one only needs a vaguely possible scenario to explain certain observations (apparent age of the Earth and Universe) to make this tenable.  If God is all-powerful, then He could have done it.  I’m not advocating a kind of “God did it” approach to science, but I am rather asking believers to explore the issue in more depth and to develop a more mature way of viewing their faith.  This can help believers have a more mature relationship with God.

I would also caution creationists against the view of saying that people who advocate for evolution are liars.  Evolution contains many lies, but to lie involves intent to deceive.  There are times when they do likely lie, but it’s better to be careful about this.  I’d rather look at it as a worldview, which I think contains many untruths.  It’s understandable, just false.

I urge fellow believers, and those with doubts, to more fully explore these issues in order to develop a more mature faith—a faith which can stand up to the complexities of the world and the problem of evil in the world.  More personally, it will help with the very difficult things that you face in your own life and promote a deeper connection with God.

1). God Attachment: Why You Believe, Act, and Feel the Way You Do About God

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The Five Dimensions: A Creation Science Cosmology Theory

Naturalistic cosmology has had decades of theoretical work and millions in public funding to produce a number of fairy tales, that purport to explain the cosmos. In some ways, creation scientists have only recently begun to put forth their own theories to explain observations of the universe within the context of Biblical explanations.

Recent theoretical work on this issue by creation scientists has focused on 5D symmetical expanding universe in order to explain observations of the universe.

Carmelian Cosmological General Relativity theory is considered in five dimensions. For it to be consistent with both Cosmological Relativity on the largest scales and Special Relativity on the smallest scales, the acceleration of the expansion of the cosmos must have been extremely large at Creation and must be zero at the present epoch. Hence the forced stretching of the fabric of space only occurred during the Creation Week and then ceased. This implies that during the creation of the heavenly bodies, massive time dilation occurred on Earth at the centre of the expansion. It is a necessary conclusion from the 5D theory describing a spherically symmetric expanding universe that light from the most distant sources reaches Earth within the biblical time scale as measured by local atomic time, but takes billions of years as measured in cosmic time. (1)

The article is very technical at points. It takes to account and provides explanations for a number of “anomalies” in current naturalistic cosmological theory. As with all theories, further research into the issue will be needed for testing it.

The article concludes (in part) with:

Observations are consistent our galaxy being situated at the centre of a 5D spherically symmetric universe of finite extent that has expanded many-fold. In terms of cosmological clocks it is as if the universe appears like a still photograph. This is the result of the vast distances and slow intrinsic motions on the cosmological scale. Nevertheless, the validity of the new theory applying to both the current and past epochs leads to the inescapable conclusion that the time it has taken light to travel from the most distant sources to Earth is billions of years of cosmic time, yet a matter of only days or years in local atomic time units.

(1). A 5D spherically symmetric expanding universe, Creation on the Web, John Hartnett


A recent book that may be of interest by John Hartnett

The Gospel of Satan?

About Thomas Huxley, Darwin remarked:

Darwin called him, ‘My good and kind agent for the propagation of the Gospel—i.e. the devil’s gospel.’1

Apparently, Darwin didn’t have time for proselytizing, but Huxley did. Huxley also gave us the term ‘agnostic.’

Typical and very unfortunate for atheists (the father relationship aspect):

Neglected by his father, he grew up in poverty, with only two years of formal schooling.

I have to say that I respect his ability to educate himself. That is sorely lacking in the world today. Darwin called Huxley:

‘my good and admirable agent for the promulgation of damnable heresies’.

Oddly, I find myself agreeing with certain of Huxley’s statements.

‘If divine authority is not here claimed for the twenty-fourth verse of the second chapter of Genesis, what is the value of language? And again, I ask, if one may play fast and loose with the story of the Fall as a “type” or “allegory,” what becomes of the foundation of Pauline theology?’

In fact, this is some of the reasoning for YEC.

1 http://creationontheweb.com/content/view/6019/

The Owner's Manual–Young Earth Creationism (YEC)

Think of it like this; you have in front of you an amazingly complex machine, unlike anything you have ever seen before, and you want to understand where the machine came from, what the machine does, and how it does it. As you stand examining the machine a man approaches you and says, “This manual was written by the inventor of this machine and explains how the machine works, why it was designed, and how to maintain and repair it.” Being the skeptic that you are, you reject the manual and tell the man that you can figure this all out on your own using “skeptical” methods and your own reasoning. You simply reply, “That manual was written by a man who claims to be the designer, but how can I really trust that claim. I will investigate this machine and tell you all about it once I have studied it thoroughly.”1

I think this quote and article from Answers in Genesis well exemplifies the differences between believers and atheists. Perhaps this is “on average” and not in the total sense of the difference. Some say that only what we agree on socially is what matters. For believers, the written word, as revealed by God, is what matters. So far, I am not impressed in any way by social agreement. But if your starting point is a belief in God, then the manual has authority and is impressive to me.

1 http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2008/10/10/feedback-searching-for-truth

Young Earth Creationism (The Importance of Theological Consistency)

I was formerly a proponent of Old Earth Creationism (OEC). At one point, I was agnostic, verging on atheism. At that point, a low point for me, I sincerely prayed to God that he would answer my serious questions about the problems that I had with Him. In the course of 2 weeks, all of these questions were answered. I’m not saying it will happen that rapidly for everyone. And, my questions had been building for years.

Along the way, I considered, that Old Earth Creationism might answer some of my questions. Such as the starlight and time problem1, and the problem of dating methods2. The gap theory3 worked out reasonably well for me, until I discovered Answers in Genesis4 a few years ago. Now, I am somewhat undecided. I have a great deal of respect for the position of AIG, but I also realize that could possibly be wrong in their theological interpretation. Thus far, I haven’t found many problems with their theological interpretations.

So, what I am hoping, is that some atheists and agnostics out there, will open their minds and hearts to the possibilities of God. Go to Him in prayer–just talk to Him. Tell Him the problems that you have with Him and the questions that you have (whether they be personal or intellectual). Ask for answers. Open your mind to the answers…

1 http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab/does-starlight-prove
2 http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2005/1107rate.asp
3 http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v2/n1/mind-the-gap
4 http://www.answersingenesis.org/

Creationists Weigh in on the Large Hedron Collider (LHC)

However, our guess is that no matter what happens when the beams collide, researchers will use it to justify and/or explain what they believe happened in the moments after the big bang. After all, these scientists have faith that they are recreating big bang conditions; they will likewise have faith that the results mimic the “original” big bang.

The problem is that because the big bang was (allegedly) a one-time event—just like creation in Genesis—no amount of “repeating it” nor any scientific experiments could provide evidence for it. Rather, it must be accepted on faith, and then the results interpreted within that framework. In other words, the LHC experiments will no more confirm the big bang than creationists could confirm Genesis 1 by shining a flashlight on a swimming pool on a dark night, saying, “Let there be light” and leaning over the surface of the deep. (1)

Just today, I watched a special called The Next Big Bang on the History Channel about the LHC. Honestly, I found it more than a bit silly. The scientists, in the naturalistic fairy tales, noted that we know what happened up to a few microseconds from the start of the “Big Bang.” They purported that the LHC will take us back within a nanosecond of the start of the “Big Bang.”

As for me, I wonder how much the 8+ billion dollars that was spent on this essentially worthless experiment, could have been applied to real-world problems, and how many human lives could have been saved with that money. It strikes me as a big effort to show that “God does not exist,” rather than anything useful. Indeed, one person already committed suicide out of fears that another big bang would occur. (2)

(1). http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2008/09/11/big-bang-or-hot-air
(2). http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?click_id=3&art_id=nw20080911094052586C108680&set_id=

Update: Please also see my co-author’s post on the LHC.

YEC, Christianity, Politics, and Education

In my opinion, and that of many others, Young Earth Creationism is the most theologically consistent position. Intelligent design is a perspective that includes YEC, but Creationism does not entail the Intelligent Design movement despite the arguments of many naturalistic evolutionists and theistic evolutionists.

So then there is the political element. I don’t really have a lot of interest in this element. I prefer to side-step the issue entirely. Let Caesar take the approach he wants with the public schools. What I advocate for as many people as have the means is home schooling. The public educational system is laced with political manipulation and propaganda. Probably less so out here in the sticks, but more so in the urban areas. But nonetheless, I like the model of home schooling, because it teaches people to be more independent learners. I tend to be a fairly radically independent thinker, or at least I like to think so, and this is the reason I prefer to function in a private practice setting as a psychologist. There are no organizational politics. I am the one who is responsible for the care of my patients…not an organization with organizational philosophies. But enough of politics and the personal stuff for the moment.

When you start with the assumption of an all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-present God, all you need is one possible explanation for natural phenomena no matter how improbable it may seem. I remain somewhat uncommitted on how things have actually happened in the history of the world, because humans interpret scripture and humans conduct science. Thus there is a fallibility aspect inherent in all domains of human endeavor. I have a great respect for the Young Earth Creationist position, although I have not completely committed to that position. I’m not sure I’ve yet committed to any of the positions completely, other than the existence of God and the theological basics of Christianity. I’m still learning. But I do have great respect for the YEC position above all others.

Specifically, death and suffering are, in my opinion, given the best explanation by YEC proponents. Although I agree with certain aspects of ID, I do not have as much respect for it as I do for the YEC position. I think the ID position is more easily supported, but I think the YEC position has a greater degree of honesty and theological consistency. There are also possible explanations that are provided by YEC proponents. And for the time being, they are at least, good enough for me.