The God-Shaped Hole!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Omniscience and evolution

God is omniscient. That word means "all-knowing". But what does that really mean?

It means that God is infinitely intelligent. He knows every fact. In fact, if He didn't, He could figure it all out again instantly.

For you computer/math geeks out there, listen up:

Jesus can solve Turing's Halting Problem.

He didn't "need" evolution to create humanity. To believe that He "needed" it is to insult God's intelligence, as well as His omnipotence. (Remember, He can move a single photon from one side of the universe to the other without disturbing a neutrino. Constructing living cells, atom by atom, is no big deal to Him.)

Now that that's out of the way, let's admit something here. God could have used evolution to create the biosphere, or the Big Bang to form the universe.

However, just as we've decided to avoid insulting His intelligence or His abilities, let's not insult His love. After all, omni-benevolence is an often-cited complementary attribute.

Would a loving God create people and animals through a mechanistic and mindless process of killing off the less fit, at some point having tribes of almost-human primates wandering the plains?

Or would He shape them by hand from the warm clay of Eden?

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Spider-Man 3

Great movie. Not an awesome movie like 2, merely great like 1.

The Raimis should have left Venom for movie #4, and stuck with Goblin II, Sandman, and Black-Suit Spidey. Woulda left room for the proper amount of drama. Here's how it woulda gone down:

Goblin 2 never gets the amnesia. The hatred for Peter festers, but Harry gets his butt handed to him by Black-Suit Spidey. Harry teams up with Sandman, who didn't defeat Spidey, but did get away.

Motivation for Sandman? Goblin pays for Sandman's daughter's medical bills, in exchange for capturing Spidey for Goblin to kill.

Black-suit Spidey takes out Sandman, handing him over to the authorities after torching him into a glass statue somehow.

Final fight? Goblin takes Gwen Stacy (Black-Suit Peter's new GF) to the bridge. This time, it's Peter's symbiote-powered overconfidence that causes him to try to snag Gwen with web... and snaps her neck. (And the fans cheer, not for her death, but for her comics-canon demise.)

Overcome with rage (feeding the beast), Peter attacks Harry, eventually killing him. This ends the dramatic tragedy (and trilogy) that is the life of Harry Osborne.

He realizes what he's done, and goes to the church, where the bells rid him of the symbiote... which drips onto Eddie Brock. Murderous grin, fade to black.

Movie four is Venom. Possibly Moonwolf or Lizard, both of whose stories are ready to go in the next chapter.

Oh well.

Friday, May 04, 2007

The Problem Of Evil

Theologians have a concept they call the "problem of evil." Basically it is this: God is all-powerful, and yet there is evil in the world, so how can He be all-benevolent or all-loving? It is also the main point that is brought out against God by those who do not believe -- or who do not want to believe.

The answer is quite simple, and quite scary. God respects our free will. God allows us to make choices, even if they hurt other people. To do otherwise would be to deny that choices have consequences. Instead, He gave us rules to follow.

For example, cheating on someone (and breaking the commandment Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery) hurts their relationship (even if it was hurt before), and thus hurts other people. It can hurt the adulterer too, such as STDs, or if the angry husband comes looking for the dirty bastard who slept with his wife.

The consequences can be considered negated if the person repents and asks Jesus to forgive them. However, the lingering effects of that choice will generally remain in this universe. Sin is like entropy, adding disorder to God's ordered creation.

The two big causes of sin, the two main motives for hurting other people, are self-preservation and self-exaltation. (I am thankful to Erwin Lutzer of Moody Church for pointing this out, and to God for showing him this in the first place.)

In other words, fear and pride are the two big causes of sin. Self-preservation denies God's sovreignity over the world around you; self-exaltation denies God's sovreignity over you. (Sovreignity in this case means the right to determine what happens, and what to allow or not allow.)

Fear makes moral matters seem unimportant. We call a person a hero if they ignore what fear tells them to do, and instead, they do the right thing.

Pride makes other people seem unimportant. We call a person humble when they don't seek praise for their accomplishments.

However, it is not sinful to accept accolades for accomplishments; it is good to give the credit to God, who gave you the abilities and resources in the first place. And it is not sinful to reap the fruit of your labor, as long as the profit is what you earned by your efforts.

Also, it is not sinful to protect yourself. Protecting yourself from physical danger is one of the parts of life on a fallen plane of existence. Protecting yourself from emotional and logical danger is also vital to your life. Running away from psychologically dangerous people is a valid self-protection mechanism, especially when they know they have a problem and still keep hurting you.

Life is full of choices. Some are immediate, such as whether to blog from work or to jot it down for later. I don't know what the consequences will be to me for taking the twenty minutes to post this, but at this moment, it seems worth it. Some are choices that stretch out over a long period of time, such as saving up my meagers funds now for our Summer trip to Disney World. Some are choices we don't have the ability or resources to achieve, such as personally travelling to the Moon.

God gives each of the choice to accept His Son's sacrifice as the substitute for our sins. He gives us the resources and capacity to make that decision. However, we have to choose to accept it. He will not force salvation on us.

Like a marriage proposal, He asks us to become His bride, His adopted son, His younger brother, His walking temple, His messenger, His worker. He asks us each, individually, personally, to give up the fear and the pride, and accept Him.

He will help you to make the right decisions, both in life in general, and regarding salvation.

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