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God's Sovereignty Control Chance ChoiceAcross the world, people wonder how much is predetermined & predestined (see related Ephesians 1 Audience article). What must happen that we can do nothing about? What is fate? Where does our free will come in during this life? The answer to these questions significantly impacts one’s world view and even how God‘s own scriptures are understood. In the Christian community, people agree that God is Sovereign, yet what does that mean in terms of God’s control, our choices, and chance itself? While there are over-simplificiations out there, what does the Bible have to say?

Chance Under the Sun:

What does the Bible say about Chance? Does it exist? Even if it exists, is it marginal? Does chance impact people’s life?

The Wise King Solomon shares in our Biblical Scriptures that chance happens to people in many areas of life.

Ecclesiastes 9:11 (ESV): 11 Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all.

The scripture shares from our viewpoint, from observing how the world works, that chance does exist, chance is not marginal, and chance impacts people’s lives.

Chance impacts the outcomes of battles within a war, who wins competitions, the food you have to eat, how wealthy or poor you will be, and whether you’ll be treated favorably in this life.

Chance Under the Son of God:

What did the Son of God say about Chance?

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who is one with God, who existed before Our Universe was created, who is greater than King Solomon, speaks to us about being a good neighbor, and about the presence of chance, in the Parable of the Good Samaritan.

Luke 10:29-37 (ESV): 29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”

The Son of God revealed God the Father‘s divine message, and God’s divine message recognizes chance. Clearly Jesus could have revealed any other message, like that by the Divine Providence of God, the Priest was made to pass by there. Jesus clearly acknowledges chance was the reason. The Divine perspective by the co-creator of Our Universe is that chance is real, that chance definitely exists, and that chance influences who is in & out of our lives.

Chance under God’s Sovereignty:

Do you find the Wise Revelations of King Solomon and the Divine Revelation of Jesus Christ the Son of God concerning the presence of chance as disturbing? Even the highly respected scientist / theorist Albert Einstein found it unpalatable, saying:

“God does not play dice with the universe.” — Albert Einstein, The Born-Einstein Letters 1916-55, http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/2669-god-does-not-play-dice-with-the-universe

Does chance undermine God’s Sovereignty?  How can God be Sovereign even in the midst of chance?

Let’s consider a thought experiment, which is a common tool scientists use to understand complexity. This thought experiment will illustrate how chance exists without undermining God’s Sovereignty.

Most everyone is familiar with the game of tic tac toe. Imagine you were playing a game with an opponent who is invincible. Even if you made random moves, you would still be unable to win. The game itself at best results in a tie when playing with an invincible player. Think about God’s Sovereignty in the same way. No randomness in the game play undermines God’s Sovereignty in any way by design.

Choice in Our Universe:

The Divine Word of God illustrates many choices people have, as already elaborated upon on the topic of “What Choice Do You Have?” .  To Summarize, People have Choices like the following:

God tells the truth and does not lie. God gives you legitimate choices. God wishes for you to pick blessings, but will let you pick curses. Pick Wisely!

Choice under God’s Sovereignty:

Does choice undermine God’s Sovereignty?  How can God be Sovereign even in the midst of choice?

Let’s consider the other side of that same thought experiment, except this time with choice rather than chance. A thought experiment is a common tool scientists use to understand complexity. This thought experiment will illustrate how choice exists without undermining God’s Sovereignty.

Most everyone is familiar with the game of tic tac toe. Imagine you were playing a game with an opponent who is invincible. Even if you use your intellect to makes the most intelligent move choices, you would still be unable to win. The game itself at best results in a tie when playing with an invincible player. Think about God’s Sovereignty in the same way. No deliberate choice in the game play undermines God’s Sovereignty in any way by design.

Control under God:

What are ways in which God institutes control in our world, to optimize the outcomes that result in the midst of chance, choice, and the fallen character & fallen culture of humankind?

The entire Bible’s testifies into the ways God has intervened with promises and with actions in the 66 Books of Bible. God promised to send his Son Jesus Christ into the world to bear our sins. Jesus Christ came and offers to bear the sins of all who become true believers & followers of his.

  • God intervened with the flood, saving Noah and his immediate family
  • God used Prophets to warn Kings
  • God intervened in battles & wars
  • God appointed & disciplined Kings
  • God sent Prophets who delivered God’s message and performed miracles to help people
  • God performed miracles to heal others, feed people in need, bring people back to life, and to teach deep theological lessons about forgiveness
  • God transforms the personal & eternal character of those who diligently seek him with all their heart, mind, body, soul, and strength
  • God reminds us of our choices & responsibilities
  • God determines the bounds of the length of our days & the locations of our journeys, though is open to change those bounds upon request, under the right circumstances
  • Jesus Christ came back to the Earth after his death to testify again to the Divine & Eternal Truth & Life found in The Way

Even though God rested from adding new physical rules governing Our Universe after the 6 days of creation (see Bible Genesis Creation Account), God still intervenes in Our Creation for the benefit of our souls.

The Wise King Solomon also acknowledges that although chance exists, God is able to intervene in chance.

Proverbs 16:33 (ESV): 33 The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.

This verse does not preclude God from deciding that the outcome is to be determined by chance, yet rather asserts God’s ability & right to intervene in a way that looks like it was just chance.

This means that just as many people have seen God acting in the world through what seemed like chance fluke outcomes, that at least in some of those cases, it was God acting, even though it’d be difficult to prove at times.

“Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.”, Albert Einstein, The World as I See It, http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/14140-coincidence-is-god-s-way-of-remaining-anonymous

Even though much encouragement can be gained from observing these events, make sure your faith rests on the firm foundation of God’s Word. Likewise, looking back at the Parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus does not reveal whether the Samaritan was there by chance, or by God’s intervention.

Control under the Son of God:

The ultimate control over all is in the process of being handed over by God the Father to God the Son, Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:20-28 (ESV): 20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. 28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.

Because all people have sinned, except for Jesus, all deserve death for their wrongdoing. Jesus’ life & death provided a way for those who were enemies of God, to become God’s friends, and to obtain forgiveness of sins and everlasting life (reference Hebrews 2 (ESV) at BibleGateway.com and Romans 6 (ESV))

God is Sovereign in the Midst of Chance & Choice:

The analogy to use Tic Tac Toe provides a simple way for people to understand these very complex and robust concepts about God’s Sovereignty & Control in the midst of Chance & Choice in our life.

English: Albert Einstein Français : Portrait d...

English: Albert Einstein Français : Portrait d’Albert Einstein (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am optimistic that many who are presently secular will be able to understand this mystery, since a very similar analogy is present in the 1983 science fiction movie War Games. The basic premise is that a self-aware computer gets the codes necessary to start nuclear war, and only by running several simulations of Nuclear War and Tic Tac Toe does the self-aware computer grasp finally that there is no guaranteed way to win.

In the context of religion, understand that there is no way to win against God, yet the way to win, is with God, through his Son Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 54:16-17 (ESV): 16 Behold, I have created the smith who blows the fire of coals and produces a weapon for its purpose. I have also created the ravager to destroy; 17 no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord.”

God ran the necessary calculations & setup the appropriate controls & contingency plans ahead of time to ensure it, even though the calculations are more complex than Tic Tac Toe or Global Nuclear War scenarios. To understand more how creation & calculations are intertwined, refer to the Genesis Creation Account Universe Tools Paradigm.

Games like Tic Tac Toe and even more advanced games like Chess are generally understood to lead to ties, if neither side made any mistakes. Satan the Devil will  will face final defeat, having already made a mistake by rebelling against God (Ezekiel 28 (ESV), and by tempting humankind to fall away from God (see Genesis 3 (ESV)). God is Sovereign, and worthy to receive all the honor, power, and glory (see Revelation 4 (ESV))

For those who find chance and choice distasteful, rest in this assurance, that God is Sovereign whether or not you accept the realities of chance and choice. You can also comfort yourself, knowing you are in well-respected company, as even the honored scientist Albert Einstein found that concept distasteful, despite investigations of Our Universe pointing to the conclusion that God does play dice with the Universe. The thought experiments introduced complement scriptural illustrations to show God plays dice with the Universe responsibly. 

Each person has the responsibility to seek God and his righteousness to live in faith, being faithful to God.

Romans 5:1-4 (ESV): 1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

Seeking always to do what is right out of faith is expected of everyone, regardless of your viewpoints on God’s Sovereignty, Chance, Choice, Predestination, Election, and Calling. While people might want to debate these Paradigms, never miss your own personal responsibility, so you’ll accompany fellow believers in the New Heaven and New Earth for eternity.

The Wise King Solomon recognized that many aspects in life are subject to time & _________________.

Jesus, the Son of God, revealed that ______________ exists in life.

You have the responsibility to ___________ good or evil.

You have a ___________ to seek God’s righteousness.

God plays dice with the Universe _____________.

There is no way to ______ against God, yet the way to ________, is with God, through his Son _______ _______.

Credits:

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English: Square root of x formula. Symbol of m...

English: Square root of x formula. Symbol of mathematics. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Christian theology, it is understood God is infinite. Jesus Christ as the Son of God came as a person as a Son of Man in bodily form.

Colossians 1:15-19 (ESV): 

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

In Jesus is the fullness of God, being one in character & nature with God. Since our brains weigh just a few pounds, a reasonable starting hypothesis is that people are finite. The question naturally arises as to whether the finite can embrace the infinite. The answer to this questions is found in mathematics and applied mathematics in the sciences. In mathematics reasoning, it is possible to represent the infinite with finite equations as is often done with Calculus, limits, and even simple algebraic equations. With proper reasoning and tools, the infinite is applied to decision processes. In science & engineering, while the answer can actually be finite, in cases where the answer  is infinite, for real world applications, the answers are approximated by the finite. This teaches us that at times there is an interplay between the finite and the infinite.

Colossians 1:24-29 (ESV): 

24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ‘s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.

This fullness of God is not meant to be limited to Christ alone, since God through his Son Jesus Christ is calling us to open the doors to our souls to welcome Christ within us. Embrace the Infinite! Embrace Jesus Christ!

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The Greatest Commandments

The Greatest Commandments:

Mark 12:28-31 (ESV):
28 One of the teachers of the law  came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus,  “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  There is no commandment greater than these.”

The Ten Commandments:

Exodus 20:1-18 (ESV): 

1 And God spoke all these words: 2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

3 “You shall have no other gods before me.

4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

7 “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

13 “You shall not murder.

14 “You shall not commit adultery.

15 “You shall not steal.

16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

18 When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance 19 and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.”

Further References:

Andy Stanley has an informative video on God’s Commandments applying on two levels: (1) One level is to love your neighbor, which is the horizontal, and (2)  the other level is to love God, which is the vertical level. The visual above reinforces this message using the imagery of the cross.

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Life Parallels Courses & Course Tests & Course Coaching

There are many types of tests in courses, just as there are many types of tests in life. A few test types will be explored to gain insight into God’s expectations for us. As many subject matters are complex and tests are challenging, many schools & instructors utilize a variety of test taking approaches when assessing their students applied proficiency. Often even before taking a course, a vetting takes place to ensure proper background exists to maximize the chance to do well. Even during a course, often instructors and even others act as a coaches, furthering everyone’s ability to learn the material and pass.

Illustrative Test Types

Several instructors grade on a curve. Grading on a curve typically involves elevating the achieved grades’ assessment, relative to one’s peers. In other courses, grades received are without a curve, so scores relate directly to your own individual performance regardless of others’ current performance. When the class performance is low, some instructors allow more time study materials to re-take exams.

Parallels to Cain killing Abel

There are several parallels in taking a test, to the precursors to Cain killing Abel. Let’s examine them one by one to maximize our learning.

God Permits Retake over Curve

When Cain killed Abel, it was as if Cain thought God’s approval was curve based. As Cain learned directly from God, God allowed a re-take. God cheered for Cain’s success on the re-take, for Cain to pass life’s test with flying colors. As many addicts know, in some cases a re-take means staying several steps away from temptation, and from those people who’d bring them down. When you make a poor choice, remember God is cheering for you in this lifetime, to repent and re-focus on making choices in a way consistent with Jesus’ life & character.

God Ensures Appropriate Material Difficulty

God vetted the test, to ensure it was the appropriate level of challenge for Cain. God vets life’s tests, to ensure none are above our ability to meet them with a God-centered character. Jesus’ life shows us how to meet obstacles, enemies, hypocrisy, and even death with the proper mindset and care, even for those meaning one harm.

Coaches Availability & Encouragement

God also coached Cain, to maximize Cain’s chance to do what is right. God encouraged Cain by assuring Cain that Cain had the capability to pass the re-take, because God knew Cain did. Because Cain ignored God’s advice, Cain replaced a bad score, with an even worse one. When facing life’s challenges, this is an adverse outcome all of us must work to avoid, deriving assistance God put out for us to see.

Fellow Learners

Cain’s brother Abel actually provided benefits for Cain that were left untapped. What were these untapped benefits? They were (1) the added illustration on what God expected, and (2) the opportunity to seek to understand how Abel’s view of the world & God lead to a better decision & outcome.

Fellow Learners as Illustrations

Abel’s life example showed Cain what God expected. Our mind typically learns materials best when real world illustrations & stories accompany other instruction to enhance learning. God expected Cain to cheerfully give a portion of the best, trusting in God & showing appreciation for God. What can we learn from this? When looking at those in life whom God approves, look to learn from their example. God has provided many examples in life, from those listed in the Bible, to Jesus’ own life, to the life of the apostles, to those following God in our lives.

Fellow Learners as Fellow Helpers

When learning new materials, an instructors’ first pass often brings the learner a long way. This lays the important groundwork for a fellow learner to help get a classmate a step closer to successfully knowing the materials. Abel was there to be Cain’s helper. If only Cain had tapped Abel’s expertise too, to learn not only from Abel’s example, but also from the thought process than enabled Abel to make a better decision to achieve a superior outcome. Today, besides those you might personally know in life, God has provided life examples in blogs, podcasts, webcasts, books, conferences, seminars, and even by organizations helping out many in this world.

Extracting Insights

As you read the account of Cain & Abel, what other insights & parallels do you see? Which perspectives help you to come back and do better on life’s next re-take? Which viewpoints increase your likelihood to get God’s approval, which comes with an active living Faith in Jesus Christ?

Genesis 4:1-16 English Standard Version (ESV):

1 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord.” And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground. In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen?  If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”

Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said,“I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” 10 And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. 11 And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.12 When you work the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.” 13 Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear. 14 Behold, you have driven me today away from the ground, and from your face I shall be hidden. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.”15 Then the Lord said to him, “Not so! If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him.16 Then Cain went away from the presence of the Lord and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.

Reference:

Bible, Genesis 4:1-16, ESV Translation: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+4&version=ESV

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Genesis Interpretations: Part 4:

Dinosaurs did not live with people???

Courtesy of CreationOpia, the Answers in Genesis website article “Problems with Other Interpretations: Appendix B” at “http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/oect/problems-other-interpretationsdebunks several creation interpretations such as:

In debunking the above theories, the authors applied several key lenses as modes of inquiry to test the validity of these theories and any proposed theories.

How does the Genesis Creation Account Universe Tools Paradigm & Literal Creator Days hold up to each of these modes of inquiry?

The last post already started to examine each aspect point by point. This time the fourth point on “whether the Dinosaurs lived with people” will be analyzed.

English: The exterior of the Answers in Genesi...

Image via Wikipedia

4. Dinosaurs did not live with people? The Bible Genesis Creation account in Genesis 1 & 2 pertains to our Universe with plants, animals, and people created by God.

Dinosaurs Before People:

Before God created man and woman, God created the varieties of air, sea, and land animals. Air and sea creatures that breathed were created, followed by land animals. Dinosaurs are animals, so God created them too.

Genesis 1:20 (ESV): 20 And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.”

Genesis 1:24-25 (ESV): 24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. 25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good

Genesis 1:26 (ESV): 26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

The first creation account (Genesis 1 (ESV)) reveals that after air & sea animals were created, they were to reproduce to populate the land and seas. These creatures collectively are given the capability to grow in quantity from their initial small population to a much larger population size on Earth.

Genesis 1:22 (ESV): 22 And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.”

Strangely, the Bible omits the proclamation for land animals to be fruitful and multiply. This technically leaves open the possibility of the extinction of land animals before the creation of Adam & Eve.

Genesis 1:24-25 (ESV): 24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. 25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

Dinosaurs With First People:

Examining the second creation account (Genesis 2 (ESV)) more plainly shows that every kind of sea, air, and land animals that God created were brought to Adam to name, and were alive too when the naming took place. As dinosaurs are a kind of animal, dinosaurs were alive at the time of Adam & Eve.

Genesis 2:19 (ESV): 19 Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name.

In summary, the Bible reveals animals were created before Adam & Eve. Adam and Eve are the first of humankind, and the ancestors of all people. As dinosaurs are animals, the dinosaurs existed first before people.

Those who interpret scientific data argue the age of the dinosaurs in a broad range from thousands of years to millions of years ago, due to various technicalities around carbon dating uncertainties, co-location of species believed to be different ages found at the same rock layer, what they were taught by their instructors, and differences in their underlying beliefs/paradigms/perspectives. While either of these timelines fits and acknowledges God as the Creator in the Universe Tools Paradigm with Literal Creator Days, the caveat is it is hoped that over time scientific dating methods will become more accurate & precise.

As God had Adam name all the animals, then clearly the animals still existed at the time of Adam, and intuitively by inference likewise at the time of Eve.

Dinosaurs With Later People:

As Adam & Eve lived very long lives, the question is how long have dinosaurs co-existed with people?

The Bible in the Book of Job identifies a large creature that has been interpreted as what we today call dinosaurs, as evidence of dinosaurs co-existence with people.

Job 40:15-19 (ESV): 15 “Behold, Behemoth, which I made as I made you; he eats grass like an ox. 16 Behold, his strength in his loins, and his power in the muscles of his belly. 17 He makes his tail stiff like a cedar;the sinews of his thighs are knit together. 18 His bones are tubes of bronze, his limbs like bars of iron. 19 “He is the first of the works of God; let him who made him bring near his sword!

When God questioned Job, Job properly acknowledged God as creator, knowing more than us.

Job 40:1-5 (ESV): 1 And the Lord said to Job: 2 “Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty? He who argues with God, let him answer it.” 3 Then Job answered the Lord and said: 4 “Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth. 5 I have spoken once, and I will not answer; twice, but I will proceed no further.”

God questioned Job, using illustrations from creation, to show the lack of the depth of knowledge of humankind about Our World and about God. Job repented from his views, which were initially informed only by what people had told him. (Aside: The “red” lettering is added for Job quoting God’s response for clarity.)

Job 42:1-6 (ESV): 1 Then Job answered the Lord and said: 2 “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.3 ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. 4 ‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.’ 5 I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; 6 therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”

When it comes to creation & understanding God, let all people remember that ourselves and many people in the world will likely share these same sentiments of Job once the truth is understood more fully. It is our responsibility to look carefully at all God’s revealed words in the Bible, with the aim to fully live our lives as a reborn creation knowing Jesus Christ the Son of God, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, having healthy desires to know God, love the truth, and care about all people.

As creation origins has been a stumbling block for many to come to trust fully God’s scriptures in the Bible, it is an important area to learn more deeply. The Universe Tools Paradigm Literal Creator Days paradigm distinguishes time in Our World from the time in the Creators World. This vantage point supports scientific inquiry to attempt to understand the time elapsed in Our World for the various creation events ranging from the cosmic to the biological. This perspective is inclusive of investigating the truth about proposed time periods, whether thousands, millions, or billions of years in our world existing before people were created. When scientific evidence together with Biblical evidence are consistent with a creation paradigm, then more confidence can be placed in our understanding of the truth.

Later Scientific & Empirical & Cultural Evidences:

What type of scientific & empirical evidence exists that dinosaurs and people lived at the same time?

Before presenting scientific & empirical evidence, be advised there are interpretative lenses applied by scientists, religious people, and atheists that potentially taint our correctly understanding evidences. Even so, let us proceed, knowing many people have been shown almost exclusively evidences about dinosaurs existing prior to people inhabiting the Earth, without being shown evidences dinosaurs also coexisting with people.

Thomas Kindell’s presentation on Dinosaurs named “The Great Dinosaur Deception-Exposed!” at http://nwcreation.net/presentations/Thomas_Kindell/Dinos-Medium_files/frame.htm showcases several scientific & empirical & cultural evidences that Dinosaurs existed at the same time as people, with evidence like:

  • Fossil Record: Shows several human skeleton at Same Geologic Layer as Dinosaurs (Malchite Man by Don R Patton, Ph. D)
  • Carvings & Sculptures: People created carvings & sculptures of Dinosaurs in Latin America. In Peru, over several ICO Stones discovered since 1961, courtesy work by Dr. Javier Cabrera, with the Inka’s time period around 500 A.D. to 1000 A.D.
  • Dinosaur Blood & Tissues: Dinosaur Fossil found with Blood & Cells still inside (Earth, 1997, pages 55-57 and Scientists recover T. rex soft tissue: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7285683). Based upon what is known on how biological matter decays, this infers at least some dinosaurs are younger than thought.
  • Dragon “myths”/”stories” (think of like Dinosaurs): Are found worldwide throughout many cultures (The Dragons of Eden, Carl Sagan)

To summarize the above, the scientific & empirical & cultural evidences suggests that dinosaur-like creatures lived longer with people than typically aware.

Dinosaur’s Decline:

From the standpoint of the Universe Tools Paradigm and the Literal Creator Days, the goal to more accurately & precisely codify the time of the decline & decay of the dinosaurs is left as a scientific & intellectual & empirical exercise. It is a similar exercise to endeavor to understand the dinosaur’s population sizes and reasons for decline, whether from predators like people targeting their eggs, youth, and adults, and/or other environment factors, including the worldwide flood at Noah’s time. It is a personal wonder whether it’d be possible to extract the genetic material (DNA) from the Dinosaur fossil, and see what can be learned from that, compared to other dinosaurs if/when more materials found later, and to other kinds of animals.

It was previously established that strangely in the creation account in Genesis that the land animals were not instructed to be fruitful and multiply, leaving open the option to the extinction of certain kinds & species of land animals. What else can we learn from the second creation account? After God created the sea, air, and land animals, God created man & women.

Genesis 1:27-28 (ESV): 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

God’s granting dominion of people over sea, air, and land creatures was consistent with their responsibility in a non-fallen (before sin) world to carefully care & tend the world. After the fall, this also means people are in a position of dominance, which could lead to the extinction / extermination of several types / kinds / species of animals. Much research is conducted today showing the migratory patterns of animals like sea & air creatures aimed to find ways to preserve them. As certain sea creatures are associated with food & the livelihood of many people/ industries, this research and the resulting policies / practices are important for all people involved.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, the dinosaurs (1) existed before people, (2) existed at the time of Adam & Eve, (3) existed to some degree during Job’s time, and (4) empirical/scientific/culture evidence suggests co-existed later with people in the historical record.

Did Dinosaurs live with people? Yes, definitely! For how long, deference is given to reasonable assessment of scientific & empirical & cultural evidences.

The Bible Genesis Creation Account Universe Tools Paradigm & Literal Creator Days Presentation is available here, as a reference.

You can view & download the presentation at the SlideShare site at http://www.slideshare.net/creationary/bible-genesis-creation-account

Stay tuned for future analysis of the other lenses as modes of inquiry to test the validity of The Bible Genesis Creation Account Universe Tools Paradigm & Literal Creator Days.

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Courtesy of CreationOpia, Genesis Interpretations: Part 3:

Original caption from NASA: "S103-E-5037 ...

Image via Wikipedia

Genesis Interpretations: Part 3:

Satan fell before end of creation week???

The Answers in Genesis website article “Problems with Other Interpretations: Appendix B” at “http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/oect/problems-other-interpretations” debunks several creation interpretations such as:

In debunking the above theories, the authors applied several key lenses as modes of inquiry to test the validity of these theories and any proposed theories.

How does the Genesis Creation Account Universe Tools Paradigm & Literal Creator Days hold up to each of these modes of inquiry?

The last post already started to examine each aspect point by point. This time the third point on “whether the Satan fell before the end of the creation week” will be analyzed.

3. Satan fell before end of creation week?

The Bible Genesis Creation account in Genesis 1 & 2 pertains to our Universe, with its’ Sun, Moon, and Stars, and our Earth with its’ people, animals, and plants.

For man to be alone is the only thing God specifically identified that was not good in the creation account, which God planned to solve & did solve by creating woman.

Genesis 2:18 (ESV): 18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

The Bible reveals the creation of our Universe was “very good” at the end of the sixth day, after also sharing several times the creation was good days earlier. It is reasonable to conclude there was nothing was created “bad” or “fallen” during this six day time period.

Genesis 1:31 (ESV): 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

This leads to the conclusion that “Satan the Devil did not fall during creation week”. This leaves two possibilities: (1) Satan fell prior to to creation week, or (2) Satan fell after creation week.

The scriptures reveal Satan the Devil was sinning since the beginning, so Satan was already around in a fallen state to witness the creation of our Universe, which God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit made by applying wisdom at the beginning.

1 John 3:8 (ESV): 8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.

Genesis 1:1 (ESV): 1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

Proverbs 3:19-20 (ESV): 19 The Lord by wisdom founded the earth;by understanding he established the heavens;20 by his knowledge the deeps broke open, and the clouds drop down the dew.

In conclusion, Satan the Devil fell prior to Our Universe’s creation week starting, and did not fall during or after creation week.

As Satan is a fallen angel, it is reasonable to conclude that both angels loyal Satan the Devil and those instead loyal to God, were there at Our World’s creation.

This is consistent with the view that angels and the Heavens that are outside our world were also created before our Universe’s creation week.

While several words in our language, words have multiple meanings depending on the context. The Genesis account defines heaven both as our Earth sky, and heavens as the broader outer-space around the Earth.

Genesis 1:1 (ESV): 1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

Genesis 1:6 (ESV): 6 And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 7 And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. 8 And God called the expanse Heaven.And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.

Genesis 1:14-17 (ESV): 14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16 And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17 And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 

There are several Bible references to the heaven outside our Universe.

Jesus speaks about this heaven above with the angels and God.

Genesis 1:10 (ESV): 10 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.

Jacob, the grandson of Abraham, and son of Isaac, saw a vision of angels ascending & descending to/from heaven when asleep (Genesis 28:10-17 (ESV) )

Genesis 28:12 (ESV): 12 And he dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it!

In the context of Jacob’s dream, heaven is on one level of reading our Earth’s sky. On a second level, Jacob’s dream portrays a gate between Our Universe and the Heaven God created outside it. Jacob describes this as a gate to heaven.

Genesis 28:17 (ESV): 17 And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”

Prior to technologies which enable flight in the sky around the Earth, it is understandable prior scholars to too quickly to jump to the conclusion that this is where the Heaven with the Angels exist. Likewise, prior to telescope technology that peers deep into space, an interpretation that Heaven above might have referred to our locations in the broader Universe.

With the Universe Tools Paradigm, it is understood that Our Universe and Heaven itself which is outside Our Universe, are created using data & rules supported by a compute infrastructure to operate these worlds. Likewise, it is reasonable to conclude the New Heaven and New Earth will be powered similarly.

Isaiah 65:17 (ESV): 17 “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind.

Seeing people playing in alternate worlds on electronics like PC’s, game systems, smart phones, and tablets devices, makes it much easier today than even before in the history of humankind, to understand the Universe Tools Paradigm.

Did Satan the Devil fall during or after creation week? Definitely Not! Satan was there in the beginning, already a fallen angel at the start of creation week.

The Bible Genesis Creation Account Universe Tools Paradigm & Literal Creator Days Presentation is available here, as a reference.

You can view & download the presentation at the SlideShare site at http://www.slideshare.net/creationary/bible-genesis-creation-account

Stay tuned for future analysis of the other lenses as modes of inquiry to test the validity of The Bible Genesis Creation Account Universe Tools Paradigm & Literal Creator Days.

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Courtesy of CreationOpia, Genesis Interpretations: Part 2:

Sun Created Before Earth???

The Answers in Genesis website article “Problems with Other Interpretations: Appendix B” at “http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/oect/problems-other-interpretations” debunks several creation interpretations such as:

In debunking the above theories, the authors applied several key lenses as modes of inquiry to test the validity of these theories and any proposed theories.

How does the Genesis Creation Account Universe Tools Paradigm & Literal Creator Days hold up to each of these modes of inquiry?

The last post already started to examine each aspect point by point. This time the second point on “whether the Sun was created before the Earth” will be analyzed.

Earth from above

Image via Wikipedia

2. Sun created before earth?

The Bible Genesis Creation Account Universal Tools Paradigm with Literal Creator Days clearly maintains the Creation Order the Bible showcases in Genesis 1.

That the Earth was created prior to the Sun and Stars previously was taken purely on faith by believers, typically without details on how God accomplished this.

A reasonable question is that without the Sun and the Stars, where would enough light come from to light up the Earth for vegetation to grow and the ecosystem to thrive?

This question arises, since the Bible Genesis creation account shows light sent to Earth on Day 1, and yet reports Sun & Stars are created on Day 4.

Genesis 1:3-5 (ESV): 3 And God said, (C)“Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

Genesis 1:14-15, 19 (ESV): And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” … 9 And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.

Without the Universe Tools Paradigm, how this is accomplished is a mystery. God by arranging the Universe out of a more apparent order, is deliberately providing clues to us on how Creation was accomplished.

Unfortunately for prior believers and unbelievers, the perspective the Universe Tools Paradigm provides is only readily apparent once consumer computing devices technologies became available these recent decades. Only after about 2,000 years after Christ’s birth & resurrection, and about 6,000+ years since Adam & Eve navigated planet Earth, has this perspective been practical based upon applied advances of science, engineering & computer science.

Prior believers understood that God did it, yet typically without more details of the mechanics of how. Were prior believers just accepting a blind faith? Not at all. Prior believers saw the powerful influence God’s Word made in their own lives, in history, in archeological digs, in describing human nature, in the quantity & accuracy of the transcripts, in the numerous prophecies that were very specific and fulfilled, and in many more ways. The believers in Jesus’ time also saw numerous miracles, and the Jewish people first-hand witnessed God’s saving arm many times. God also sent the Holy Spirit to further guide believers in the truth about God’s character and salvation.

How did God create our world in such an order, where the Earth & light are created before the Sun & Stars?

By analogy, examine how games & movies are made, and how the order is often counter-intuitive. A game maker has the freedom to create the characters, scenery, or game-play in many different orders and/or in parallel. Likewise, movies like Star Wars (R) are known to film partially adorned scenes with green screens. This movie scene adornment order is counter-intuitive, where computer software adds key details only later after the actors act out the scene.

Also by analogy, think about how a smart device like the Apple iPhone/iPad is created. The initial hardware platform containing space for applications and the operating system parallels heavens being made as a container with rules and capabilities. The Earth parallels the initial set of basic applications/functionality on the device. The days of creation represent new applications & content & tools / libraries added to the device to make it more functional. The days after creation represent the next wave of application creators leveraging the platform already created.

While people are the “Creators” of “games” and “movies” and “computer-design” tools, God is the Creator of Our Universe.

The people who design these computer-based “games” and “movies” and “computer-design” tools author the overarching plot, scenes, and rules.

God sets up the rules and underlying informational data in Our Universe. When God introduced light into the Universe, which science discusses as photons, it is logical to conclude God was inserting these photons as data into space.

On the first day, God speaks light into existence. This speaking, rather than making light, is also a clue to the underlying nature of Our Universe being data & rules, just like computing devices operate with data & rules too.

The past several thousand years in our world, people typically made things hands-on until recently. In light of this, this creation account where God announces light introduced by words was odd. This oddity is also a clue.

How can one speak light into existence?

The solution is to look at computing tools, which operate based upon language instructions. These language instructions (machine code, assembly code, programming languages) are used to create new worlds, often games or animations or design tools, which are simulated, virtual, and augmented.

Amazingly, this use of words to create worlds is right upfront at the beginning of the creation account, immediately after God introduces heaven & earth, and the Holy Spirit hovering over the waters.

Genesis 1:3-5 (ESV): 3 And God said, (C)“Let there be light,” and there was light.

God repeatedly declares and demonstrates truth in our world, which at first glance can seem strange, with skeptics approaching it with disbelief. Yet, a deeper analysis shows that God hides all types of wise nuggets right in the open where it is easy to miss, even for those willing to make the effort to understand God.

The net result is that right at the beginning of God’s creation account, the Genesis Creation Account Universe Tools Paradigm fits tightly with God’s word, and modern advances in science, engineering, computer languages, and technologies.

Can one really change reality by speaking?

Today, one hardly requires much of an imagination to see how even our own spoken language can change reality. The Apple iPhone 4S can respond to spoken requests, serving up content and connecting us to people around the world.

Was the Sun created before the Earth? Definitely Not! The Earth was created before the Sun, and this anomaly makes perfect sense in the light of recent advances of applied science & engineering to consumer electronics technologies.

The Bible Genesis Creation Account Universe Tools Paradigm & Literal Creator Days Presentation is available here, as a reference.

You can view & download the presentation at the SlideShare site at http://www.slideshare.net/creationary/bible-genesis-creation-account

Stay tuned for future analysis of the other lenses as modes of inquiry to test the validity of The Bible Genesis Creation Account Universe Tools Paradigm & Literal Creator Days.

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