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Friday, December 11, 2009

Life, Science and God. . . how old is the earth actually?

So how do we tie God into  his creation?

Well John, that guy who knew the God/man, Jesus, well; points out that “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God.”(John1:1) The term word is actually the Greek word “logos” which is more encompassing than that English “word”. By reading further, it becomes abundantly clear John is talking of Jesus. He might as well have written “In the beginning was Jesus, and Jesus was with God, and Jesus was God!”

So it appears Jesus was at the beginning of creation!

When was this beginning?

This is a difficult question which will take a while to answer with more completeness. Probably more than this one blog! Let's start anyhow! Let’s try and establish a scale for time since creation. earthstimeline.jpgThis time is one of the things that is way outside the concept of time that us a average humans can understand! We have about 100 to 120 years we can exist on earth at our outer limit of our lives. This makes understanding “billions of years” difficult. Maybe the associated Images I put together can help us a little.

The Earth timescale shows a 6ft man to represent the whole of the Earth’s history by this black silhouette man’s height. This is about 4.5 billion years.

"Modern" mankind has been around according to archeologists for about 55 000 years and on the original black silhouette size, refers to about 3/1000000 of an Inch under his foot. Rather like a sheet of paper on which that 6ft man could have stood.

Now if we consider the whole 55000 years of mankind’s existence on earth, most of it is “pre-history” (the time before writing). If this 55000 years were represented by the 6ft mans length[the grey silhouette], then we have had writing for a mere 3.6” of that height. A very small amount if you think we were previously representing this as a piece of paper under the earths timeframes foot.

These timescales are barely understandable! But the next diagram really challenges our thinking. Here an 18.3ft man is used to represent the lifetime of the currently understood universe!

universetimeline.jpgThe earths timeframe is shown by the smaller men on the right of the universe could fit in about three times. The universe is currently estimated by science to be about 13.7 billion years old.

Doesn’t this clearly give us a deeper understanding of the words of Hebrews 2:6 “"What is a human being that you think about him?  What is the son of man that you take care of him?”

In summary, we are a short hiccup in the universal timeframe if we discount God, so let’s not discount our own value, God doesn’t!

Fri, December 11, 2009 | link          Comments

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Life, Science and God. . . and what is truth. . .2

WHAT IS TRUTH?

Let’s think about some types of truth. We have absolute truth, personal truth and group truth.

Absolute truth is truth independent of anyone’s understanding. It just is true! No matter what we say about it! No matter what any person says about it.

I am loath to give examples (because so often things that we think are true right now, gets changed later as we learn more), but perhaps I could say one truth is that if we drop something, gravity pulls it down towards the center of the earth. This is perhaps an absolute and fairly universal truth (on this earth at least) and is one we almost all agree on. The important aspect of this absolute truth is that whether we agree with it or not, we don’t change the fact that it applies.

If you step off a balcony on the top floor of a skyscraper, you will go down and not up! Some people on drugs may have believed otherwise, but on applying their beliefs, they exited this world squished on some object below. They are not with us today! I take that as proof that their belief didn’t change an absolute truth. Our beliefs don’t change absolute truths. We also are poor interpreters of what is absolute truth! We simply do our best to get to understand it and proclaim it. God upholds it if we are right! If not we loose!

It is God who controls absolute truth. Only someone who knows everything could know absolute truth! We may think we have some of it worked out, but often our most definite truths turn out wrong given time, and more discoveries.

On example. . .in about the 1543A.D. ,  the popular consensus said the truth was that stars and sun go around the earth . This was put forward by Copernicus and was in general believed by the public for a good few years after that. This truth had put down another good theory of science called the Aristotelian theory.  It was the foremost scientifically proved answer of the time! But later it was found out that Copernicus was totally wrong!  Along came another guy called Galileo in about 1610 who started to undermine this theory with what appeared to be facts, but they couldn’t be proved!

Around that point in time with the given instruments, neither Galileo nor Copernicus’ theories could be proved superior to each other! That meant hardship!  Church people believed Copernicus rather than Galileo. Then as better telescopes were invented, all that changed. (So did the scriptural arguments used by the church stating the earth had to be central, and please note, the scriptures themselves didn’t change, just our interpretation of them.)

Today we think how stupid those 17th century people were! But were they? 


Let’s be careful, we can still make those exact same mistakes!


Remember those lovely diagrams of apes evolving to Neanderthals, which in turn evolve to modern man. This was in almost every biological treatise on evolution up to just a few years ago! Then very, very recently we found via DNA that we were wrong! Suddenly those diagrams are disappearing and it’s hard to find one of them. Since science accepts truth once proved, there is no apology put forward to the world for misleading us! It is considered a fair risk and known part of the scientific process.

We do now know that Modern Humans did not come from Neanderthals, but do you know it is still being taught by outdated teachers, using outdated textbooks, to our students at schools who lap up every word as truth, and reject what their parents and churches teach. Maybe our youth needs to be a bit more careful in accepting any truth. (Research it! Use books like this and check the content out on the internet on respectable sites[Wikipedia is not necessarily the best!]. Be responsible and wise!)

Where is that big apology by science to the church for telling its members they were stupid for not accepting the fact that modern man comes from Neanderthals! I haven’t seen a single apology anywhere! We as Christians need to understand we will never get one!

Science simply accepts the change and moves on. Sometimes I wish Christians would be as accommodating!  We as Christians need to fight for absolute truth as a scientific objective and as a Christian objective as well! We need to shout loudly that theories are not proofs and shout equally as loudly that what is acceptable as proof must be accepted even if it goes against our religious understanding of the time. God is truth! Honesty combined with Faith is more correct than current science knowledge, if applied correctly! We don’t turn our back on truth, but we can allow anomalies! We should allow anomalies! It explains where our faith can be investigated and increased sometime in the future. Let’s be courageous people, not wimps!

A second form of truth is personal truth. This is a truth that is based on our own opinions. Once I have gathered facts and tried to splice them together, I form an understanding of truth that I consider close to the absolute form. This is termed personal truth and while it is separated from absolute truth, we try to make it correlate to it. Unfortunately, sometimes it can differ quite considerably from absolute truth. We need to make allowance for that!

TruthTriangle.JPGGroup Truth is based on the collective understanding of the truth.  We get together in informal and formal groups and allow understandings of truth to form our personal view of truth while we as a group agree to some truth. This can be close to absolute truth or really far from it! Hitler’s group had a lot they believed that was seriously questionable! Group truths can be dubious and need checking. Particularly our in-groups truth since we often allow these to slip into our personal truths without thinking. That’s dangerous behavior in today's world!

So, now we know we tend to lump truths into categories, but how do we use them?

How do we disentangle and defuse that “hate” between many Christians and scientists as both try to find truth and go in opposite directions. We need to decide on some basic ground rules.

Let’s place truth supreme, and do our best to align the different forms of truth. This is done in different ways and with different perspectives but our objective needs to be to discover absolute truth.

Psychologists have given us advice on how we can approach this investigation from different viewpoints having different measurement scales. 

We can approach truth with a will to pleasure and in so doing subscribe our beliefs to that ancient psychologist “Feud’s” theory. This focussed on the S's. Sex, Shelter, Sustinance(food), and now days we would add sport! This theopry is a bit dated today and probably not the best option.

If we approach life with a will to improve, we will take that other psychologist, “Maslow’s” viewpoints.  He says our key tendency should be to focus on self actualization which is a way of looking at the world in which we desire to fulfill our potential as the key or top driver in our lives. We should do this without any specific need for gain or success according to Maslow. Maslow says our driving force changes from one level to the another in association with our needs.  He says we go through physiological needs like food, sex, shelter, etc. to the next level of need,  that is for safety! This is then superseded by the needing to be loved or belong! The fourth drive is one to be esteemed by others! The final and highest is the self actualization previously mentioned.

Victor Frankel is perhaps the latest advocate of the most sophisticated viewpoint, he says we need to have a will to have meaning. Meaning in life is the highest attainment.

So, we can see different people and social strata will see our journey to the truth from different perspectives and servicing different understanding of needs. 

Despite all this can we see truth simply is a tool enabling success in achieving life direction and understanding the things happening around us.

Let us look for it, chase after it, improving ourselves and those around us!

Thu, December 10, 2009 | link          Comments

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Life, Science and God. . . and what is truth. . .

An explosion occurs and over time life appears to erupt into the universe. Some say billions of years ago, some say about 6000 years ago. Who is correct? What do we believe?

Why?

In today's world, life traces magnificent patterns against a background of scientific discoveries and inventions that “Wow” us, make us safer, and make us more comfortable. Generally, we appreciate rational thinking over irrational or emotional reactions. In our friendship groups, we love to talk of the latest discoveries although often, if we are honest, we would have to admit that we rarely understand them fully. It seems that to comprehend the newest discoveries fully we would need to devote a lifetime to studying only specific aspects of what is described.

Knowledge and subjects expand faster daily and the professions supporting them proliferate faster than we can even name them. Titles are a dime a dozen and often help little in understanding a person’s work. So we all take the words of others and bind them together in information snippets treating these small sets as valid with different levels of confidence.

How do we know we are putting together the information in the right way?


As young people, we face further problems!


The world is apparently in a self destructing mode and we are going to be left with more elderly people than young soon. We will be left to support those oldies and we think this is unfair as we didn’t ask for the job and they blew resources and planning years before we were born.

Why should we be left with the sentence of a life of hard work to support an older generation just because they enjoyed sexual freedom and decided to have us?

To add to this we find many older adults judgmental, discriminatory and hypocritical! Compromise and dualistic approaches (i.e. the "whatever" attitude) seem the best path in conflict situations, and decisions are hard to make with certainty because of the immense amount of information we have to understand to make a good decision. It’s real hard to tie this information together. Often we give up and make our decision based only on our limited knowledge, accepting we may find out we are wrong later. That increases our stress.

Teenage suicides in our western world are higher than they have ever been, as is the divorce rates and the numbers that fail to even marry. Girls are left bringing up kids on their own by the dozen and guys float away from one girlfriend to the next who is not as demanding (until she also reveals her true self).

So what do we do?

I believe the bible has the answers but that the current church is unwilling to face the truth.

Until it does, us as a younger generation are having to find it out for ourselves!

This writing is here to help. I won’t be politically correct, or avidly standing on political toes as I will be looking to speak truth as I see it personally. How I plan to do that I will explain in the next section!

I want to address that area of understanding how the biblical creation and science relate, and can be considered to support each other, as this is one piece of information we need to consider with honesty. (I really don’t like the fact that many church members are happy to go and use the science of MRI’s, Mass spectroscopy[investigating your medical samples!], use science for health reasons and then say it doesn’t work when we address ancient artifacts and historical evidences or DNA.

The faith that denies truth is not good faith. It hurts our young people and in so doing the future of our Christian lives! We need to get more honest with ourselves!
 
Unfortunately, the complexity of this subject of uderstanding creation means we need understanding of physics, chemistry, astronomy, archeology, cosmology, biology, just to mention a few. Nobody is an expert in all these! Not Stephen Hawkins, Darwin, Oprah, the Pope, John McArthur, Billy Graham, James Dobson, or any other person can say he or she is an expert in it all. As such, I don’t want to say I do either, but I can say that I have spent a fair portion of my life trying to understand plenty of this and I hope to pass on my ideas for you to check out. 

Let me be upfront, I am a Christian, but one that feels that truth is supreme! I believe that we must not be scared of truth, that we should chase it as much as we can, and that truth will never prove or disprove God. Truth is however a tool to be used to become amazed by life in all its complexity and to correlate life to God’s sacred writings as gathered together in the bible!

I take literally the statement in the biblical sacred writings of John chapter 14 and verse 6 where this God/man “Jesus” says “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one gets to the father but by me”.

If Jesus says he is truth and is God, then absolute truth is a key aspect of God. With this mindset I set out to consider truth and use it to its fullest extent and in sharing my thoughts with you as I go, I will hopefully help those you too!

Until tomorrow, have a great day!

Wed, December 9, 2009 | link          Comments

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Marriage Despise, Survive, Strive or Thrive


Married or thinking it may happen one of these days?

 

Maybe you are hoping for the right someone?

 

Hopefully you are also praying for the right someone, although that seems to be a rarity now days! Whichever category we fall in, we need to think about this aspect of marriage very carefully ,and we need to get rid of a number of cultural myths that go along with the current view of marriage.

 

Young people today are asking why get married. “We can get sex anytime we want without strings!” is one argument and I agree to a limited extent. 

 

Sex is a an interesting subject and perhaps taking a look at my blog Surely it’s better to have sex with a few people. . .is God's view still valid? to get an idea of this subject in more detail. Sex is a lousy reason to get married! The years trundle by, and if sex is the key aspect drawing the two people together, then as the breasts sag and the tummy droops, as the initial variety settles into a pattern, this draw card reduces in power and others become more interesting.

 

Sex is not a driver in marriage, it is a spice that improves the flavour of the marriage, but not the reason for marriage!

 

Love and companionship is often given as a reason for marriage! These are better reasons. However, the romantic love we see in novels and various chick flicks is not the type that sustains a marriage, because that type of love is fleeting. It is a great way to get into the relationship but we are kidding ourselves if we think that sustains a relationship.

Hanging my beliefs on a marriage of romance only, results in disappointment and a feeling of being cheated when the other person cannot be the 24x7 miracle romantic partner I expected. They have to work, get tired, and sometimes fart in bed! Yeah, life is real! Romance is for the books and movies! Again, romance is like salt added to a meal, a little bit makes it taste so much better, but dumping it on the food results in disappointment. Trying to be too romantic can result in a feeling of falshood. Hey! But for those of you who have been married a while, you probably need to go out on some well planned dates and have some great sex afterwards. Sometimes that's needed too!

 

Companionship is good as well, but even this is not sufficient to sustain a long term marriage. What happens if the person gets ill and we need to do all the giving? Will we pack it in and look for companionship elsewhere? Strain of this nature, or children that get in the way, or parents that have to come and live with us can destroy this aspect quite easily. Then where are we? Left surviving?

 

So lets see what is the true motivator for marriage! For a non-Christian, I am not exactly sure what they hang onto. Perhaps it’s one of those elusive aspects already mentioned, but for a Christian there is something infinitely more important. Christians get married to make a difference in the world working as one person (not two independent parallel lives) under the love and authority of God. They go to church to get married because its more than a legal agreement, it’s a promise to God that he is the one in control of both of their lives and that they are promising to live their lives together in His will.

 

Crazy thinking in this day and age! However, that’s a true marriage! In non-western countries, the bride and groom may not have any romantic connection prior to that moment. Strangely enough, statistics say that doesn’t matter. The divorce rates are similar in both types of marriages.

 

Okay, now we’re in, what are we to do. What happens if the other person doesn’t live up our expectations? So many marriages fail! I did a survey once of young people and in a fairly large group when asked if they knew of any couple who both had stayed married to their first spouse, and who’s parents also had never divorced, the result was they didn’t know anybody in that category. I had the privilege of correcting them since they knew myself.

 

What makes a good marriage? How many people are simply living through and enduring life with their partner? How many open hostilities are aired in households? Are we just surviving in a marriage?

 

This for many people is their existence, and it’s not life! They survive, but don’t thrive! Then there are those that strive so hard to make things work! They get exhausted and have the continual attitude of the martyr. I must offer myself up to meet the needs of the person and they just don’t ever thank me. Poor me!

 

Poor you! Agreed! Striving is painful and if we accept the position of being a victim, then we are in a real bad place.

 

Even if marriages are not going well, God wants us to thrive. We must be continually open to improving our relationship with the other spouse, but we must not expect that they will necessarily change. We may have to find places to use our gifts outside the home where others do appreciate our efforts so that we can live in the home we have chosen. Not all homes are happy places!

 

So how do I find the right partner and have a happy home? Firstly, don’t sample the opposite sex randomly and expect that it will not impact your future happiness. Setting up expectations for a spouse against experiences with other partners will probably mean you have a number of comparisons. Again read the blog referenced in the hyperlink above to get what I mean. So if I am not to do that what should I do to choose this mate.

 

As a Christian I say pray, get to know the other person very well. Ask your parents and those Christians you respect to tell you what they think of him or her and give them the capability of not sparing your feelings when they give you the answer. If they say that they think you as a eighteen year old are making a mistake. Listen! These people love you and will not be wanting to tell you anything to hurt you so their opinion is given in vulnerability. Don’t argue and get upset! Listen! Maybe they see that marrying a 32 year old guy, with no fixed income who lives at home and mistreats his own parents is not going to lead to you having happy life! Maybe you are too desperate or in “love” to see this. It pays to hear them out and then take their comments to God in prayer.

 

Also check out what the bible says about your relationships. Stay away from 2nd, 3rd and definitely 4th base until you are married. It adds to the romance and increases the chance that the person is the right person for you.

 

Mostly, look for someone who will put God in first place even ahead of yourself. That way when the times get rough, they will listen to God and in that case will change themselves to save your marriage. You see, marriage is a spiritual union, not only a legal or physical union. Only the spiritual can hold marriage together effectively. Only by focusing on the spiritual can you thrive, no matter what the circumstances. If you have been married without this spiritual dimension, it’s never too late. You can make the decision to bring it into your home.

 

Well, think about it! Those are my thoughts and I do come from a line of marriages that as far back as I know, has never had a divorce in the family!

 

God bless you!

Tue, December 8, 2009 | link          Comments

Monday, December 7, 2009

Fighting the Spiritual War . . .the human spirit!


Some of the areas where we may see our human spirit at work is
; in our conscience, our intuition and in our abilities to communicate with God through prayer. This last area, prayer, is the only area we can work with certainty, the other areas require careful attention to our thoughts to discern the truth from the lies. Without Holy Spirit we may never know the difference.

 

We don’t know how many angels exist (either of the negative or positive persuasion) but most people consider it to be far more that the number of people on this earth now, or in the future. This would mean that they are likely around us all the time. So what does this mean? How does it impact us?

 

It impacts us in our decisions daily. Not all decisions, but almost all. Our decisions determine the path of our lives, and God wants us to be successful in our lives. He also wants us to be successful in the life God promises we will have after we die. Satan and his team want the opposite of this. Simply because God loves us, Satan wants to hurt us. He would like us hurting while we live, and would like to see us hurting forever once we die (because he knows that’s his destiny, and that’s his way of trying to hurt God forever as well).

 

So let’s move back to a discussion on our thoughts. Think of how some of those thoughts seem to circle around in our heads as we try to decide on some choice we have to make, or have just made. Most of those thoughts belong to us but every now and then, we get a thought fed into our minds by either God’s Spirit or angels, or by Satan and his team of demons. As Christians, we have many ways of telling when it’s Satan and his gang. If we aren’t Christian then we do the best we can with our limited spiritual vision and ability.

 

So, our key decision is who will be our guide. It’s really difficult since we don’t have spiritual eyes and cannot see what is happening. Since we are part spirit, we do experience and know there is something impacting us. Let’s be honest, in our hearts we know our decisions are more that a set of chemicals firing in our brains. Who will guide us? How much will they be able to influence our lives? What is their final purpose?

 

We decide who guides us. God offers to help, but he is not a bully and doesn’t push in. Satan is more of a bully, but a sneaky bully. He tries to get you to accept his lies. Negative and positive influences impact our lives through our daily decisions, and their final purpose is in opposite directions. God wants to have us live with, and love him, for eternity and Satan wants to take this away from God and doesn’t care about what happens in the process. (yes, I know that’s just a Christian perspective, but I did say I was taking that approach didn’t I, I hope you will stay with me through this discussion, as there are things worth knowing about even if you disagree).

 
Unfortunately, if we allow Satan to be successful, we are the casualties in the War. Paul explained this in his letter to the Romans in the 8th chapter when he said “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.” 

Paul is not only talking of physical death, but rather the death that is part of the phrase “Life sucks!”, Paul is trying to explain that through Jesus “There’s a cure!” We can be successful! We need to win the war, and we need weapons to assist us in doing this!
Mon, December 7, 2009 | link          Comments


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Rift in Evil

By Ken X Briggs

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This suspense thriller centers on Kiara, a beautiful young woman pursued by a murderous group of people, who relentlessly and ruthlessly hunt her and her sisters. Kiara has no idea why she is being targeted! When Kiara and her family turn to the law for help, this fails. Her pursuers’ powers reach deeply into the political and law enforcement world. Family support for her dwindles when they too have to flee her pursuers. Can Kiara escape the clutches of both the law and dishonest big business? With the media broadcasting that Kiara and friends are dangerous and subversive, can Kiara clear her name and bring her pursuers to justice?

 

 
  

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 RiftInEvil.gifThe town of Zinaville is dropped into a spiral of evil causing a young man and a beautiful but abused woman to launch into an investigation that unveils an evil conspiracy.

A horrific mining accident results in Joshua Robyn's father being killed. Joshua struggles both with himself and his townsfolk as he tries to make sense of an incomprehensible situation. Is it an accident or a murder? Why is there a seeming link to evil? Why is his work environment suddenly threatening? What is the conspiracy about and what are they trying to do? As action moves dramatically from exotic African grasslands to the heart of North America's cities, the plot unfolds and the pace quickens. Will there be time? Why is a beautiful abused young woman in the center of this plot?

Evil tendrils tighten on their lives and the interplay between the visible and invisible world shows opposing forces at work.

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