the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, and the voices of those who bring thank offerings to the house of the LORD, saying, "Give thanks to the LORD Almighty, for the LORD is good; his love endures forever." For I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were before,' says the LORD.
1 Corinthians 15:57 NIV
But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ
Ephesians 5:20 NIV
always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Colossians 3:17 NIV
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV
give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
Revelations 11:17 NIV
saying: "We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign.
To whom does the atheiest give thanks?
For the pumpkin pie?
Surely not, for the pilgrim had no sugar in supply.
For the evolutionary eye?
Surely not, for it moves with blinded* eye.
To whom does the believer give thanks?
For the Turkey?
Surely not, for the turkey was supplied.
For the creators watchful eye?
Surely, for from Him are all needs supplied.
*Blinded eye here refers to a naturalistic evolutionary view that suggest evolution has occured through random natural selection.
Feelings never felt before
Moving to beats without rhymes
Experiences never experienced before
Living men among the end of times
Death’s hand beating on our door
Fear gripping men’s minds
Alas, is there a savior?
Indeed, Love has come and He has given us a rhyme
Archaeology cannot prove that the Scriptures are divinely inspired. It does, however, confirm and support the reliability of the Scriptures as an historical document. Archaeology explores physical evidence or data that places the text of Scripture in proper historical and cultural context, which is crucial for Western readers to properly interpret an Eastern text. There is and always be various interpretations of evidences and this has caused various interpretations of the Scriptures themselves.
I believe the Scriptures have historical value and transmit accurate historical information. I agree that it cannot be a blueprint for history but being true in its statements does not mean it contains everything that is true in the world or universe.
The Bible always speaks the truth when interpreted correctly. When interpreted incorrectly that interpretation cannot represent truth. I believe the Bible to be true in whatever it teaches but not everything it says is to be taken literally. Neither does each verse teach a particular principle. Some verses contain prescriptive or descriptive information and has various literary meaning. The content of our canon contains what God wanted to be included and thus we use Biblical Archaeology to provide a Sitz im Leben, in order to provide a living context for an ancient document.
There is also a metaphysical or supernatural element contained in the Scriptures and therefore it must be considered as well. As believers we should not understand the Holy Scriptures as written merely by humans but as breathed into them by God (as in the case of the Adam). The words of the Bible came from God but were written by men. The apostle Peter affirmed this when he said that “prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:21 NKJV).
These men were literally “moved” (Grk. phero) to write or go into the destination that the Holy Spirit desired. It is as if the Holy Spirit picked them up in one place and carried them or bore them to another. They did not write by their own will, but were moved by the Spirit. These writings are living, not inanimate, and have the ability to encourage and convict the hearts of people.
William Dever, Editor: Shanks, Hershel. "Face to face: Biblical minimalists meet their challengers." Biblical Archaeology Review 4 no. 23 (1997) (pg. 7)
In Biblical Archaeology two views exist concerning the relationship between this science and the Bible. These views are considered mutually irreconcilable.
The Biblical Minimalist limit the historicity of the Bible accounts. They see little correspondence between the Bible and archaeological data. On this view, the data takes priority in interpretation of their worldview and interpretation of the Scripture. Archaeology also provides little and often contradictory evidence concerning the question of Biblical historicity.
The Biblical Maximalist do not limit the historicity of the Bible accounts. They observe or find correspondence between the Bible and the archaeological record. The Biblical data has influence in interpretation of the text of Scripture while archaeology, itself, provides the likelihood of certain Bible events. It also aids in discovering that the Scriptures themselves are reliable historical documents. (1)
It is not the goal of either view to prove or disprove Scripture. Religious truths are not independent of facts, therefore Biblical archaeology can confirm and validate the reliability of the Scriptures as historical documents. For example, the city of Ur, the hometown of Abraham, is mentioned four times in the Bible. It is presently located about 186 miles southeast of Baghdad.
Archaeologists have been excavating Ur off and on since the 1800's. Sir Leonard Woolley directed several excavations at this site from 1922 to 1934. They have found evidence (Royal Tombs at Ur, Ziggurats) that it was occupied from the 4th Millennium BC. These excavations indicate that Abraham's ancestral home was a powerful city-state before its demise.
The Book of Mormon contains numerous locations and places that have never been located or identified as actual places. If the Bible authors were in error in their historical statements then their theology is also suspect, as is Mormon doctrine. Yet, Archaeology has shown that many of the historical statements of Scripture are reliable. The physical data or evidence helps moderns situate Scripture in a proper historical context in order to better understand the people, language and cultures of the Bible.
In conclusion, Randall Prince adequately states, "If archaeology does not seem to support biblical history in every case, the limitation is not from the Bible but from archaeology...the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence."(2) This should be a guiding principle for believers interested in the relationship between their Bible and the archaeological data.
1) Price, Randall. The Stones Cry Out: What Archaeology Reveals about the Truth of the Bible. Eugene, Or.: Harvest House, 1997. 321
2) ibid. 332
For some time those who would consider the deity and the human aspects of Christ, without division of them, use a term such as the Dual Nature. This means that the humanity and the deity are united inseparably into one. This, however, does not mean Jesus was a mirage, a hologram, a mere shell, or ONLY a man. He was indeed true and genuine biological matter however this is not only side of the Biblical story. The claims of Christ and the witness of the Scriptures themselves attest to His humanity and His divinity
We must bear in mind though that we cannot SEPARATE the divine and human aspect of Jesus, the Christ. Jesus is 100% God and 100% man. He did not just appear as a man, He was truly a man. He was not ONLY a man and that makes all the difference. We must also remember that the flesh of Jesus was not divine and if it was He would NOT be truly human and therefore flying in the face of Christ as our substitutionary atonement. The name Jesus, the person Jesus was born on a day and in the tapestry of Creation.
English Standard Version (©2001)
For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”? Or again, “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son”? Heb. 1:5
Concerning 1 Tim. 3:16.
God was manifest in the flesh refers to Jesus, the Christ and Lord (Phil. 2:5) and particularly to His Incarnation. You cannot refer to God being manifest in flesh and not invoke the Incarnation just as Paul also cannot refer to "vindicated [justified] by the Spirit" without implying the Resurrection. This passage is still a great testimony to the Incarnation and to the Resurrection.
English Standard Version (©2001)
Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory. 1 Tim. 3:16
English Standard Version (©2001)
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
The word “became” or egeneto (Grk.) means to come into being, to happen, to become. Jesus is our perfect, sinless example. God manifest in the flesh. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. The Word was with God and the Word was God.
English Standard Version (©2001)
Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” John 8:58
Concerning John 8:58
John 8:58 does not simply assert Messiahship. The verb suggests the eternal present of God’s eternity. “I AM” is also reminiscent of God’s name in Ex. 3:14. There is no way to overlook this as it is also impossible to realize, as a result, that Jesus is the divine Son of Man - the Messiah whom they knew would come from Heaven.
English Standard Version (©2001)
21 As I looked, this horn made war with the saints and prevailed over them, 22 until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints possessed the kingdom. Daniel 7:21-22
“Son of Man” ho wios tou anthroupou = “the Son of Mankind”" He goes on to state that, "Against all my expectations, the title “Son of Man” refers to Jesus primarily in his Deity, not His humanity."
Dr. Crownover also concludes with "The title “Son of Man” is a prophetic title clearly demonstrating the Devine nature of the coming Messiah." He offers these texts concerning the Son of Man:
Matthew 9:6 tells us the “Son of Man” has power to forgive sins
John 5:27 says that the “Son of God” was granted authority “because He is the Son of Man.”
Matthew 12:8 "For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath."
Matthew 13:41 “The Son of Man will send out His angels”
Matthew 25:31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.”
John 1:51 And He said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man."
John 6:62 What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before?
John 3:13 "No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.”
When God revealed Himself as "I AM" (ehyeh in Hebrew) and "I am he" (ani hu in Hebrew), the Septuagint renders these two phrases as "ego eimi." Thus when Jesus repeatedly used "ego eimi" in John 8 and in other places He is using the divine name for God. The Jews reacted accordingly because they knew He was claiming to be the I AM of Exodus 3:14-15 and the "I am he" of various OT scriptures. "Except ye believe I am the Messiah!" is not what Jesus is trying to say. He is saying to them He is God from all eternity. There was never a time when He came into being, or when He did not exist. Therefore He said, “Before Abraham was, I AM.”
We must acknowledge, as did the Jews of John 8, the identity of Jesus Christ as the incarnation of God. Identifying Jesus Christ as God without the humanity or Jesus Christ as human without divinity would leave an incomplete Jesus.
English Standard Version (©2001)
I and the Father are one.” John 10:30
Jesus simply referred to God as "The Father" in third person speech, for the sake of those with whom He would speak, in the incarnation, who did NOT recognize Him for who he was and is. The word "one" here is heis which refers to a primary or cardinal number - 1. Just as in Gal. 3:20
English Standard Version (©2001)
Now an intermediary implies more than one, but God is one. Gal. 3:20
This verse was used against the Arians in early Church History as well as various other beliefs that would separate the deity and humanity of Jesus. To say Jesus is to invoke the Incarnation itself. In John 8:52ff we see that Abraham died, and Christ is the giver of life (vs. 51). To the Jews Abraham was their father, their ancestral hero so to speak. Christ was at the center of everything Abraham did in the OT for he rejoiced at the very thought of the day of Jesus. Abraham was a man and the contrast here is that Christ is essentially God. That is why when the Jews asked "Who do you think you are?" (vs. 53) Jesus would reply, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”
Another key point, Jesus prefaces His remarks with amen, amen or truly, truly. This type of phrase at the beginning of a discourse—surely, truly, of a truth but when used at end—so it is, so be it, may it be fulfilled.
During the times of Jesus it was a custom that when the one reading Torah was finished and offered prayer that the others responded with Amen, Amen. This continues to happen in Christendom. Jesus totally takes Himself to another level before the Jews by declaring His existence is not just earthly but eternal as it relates to the essence of God but also that this is very true! Truly, surely!
Concerning John 8:58 we can also note that by pronouncing God's name, as Jesus had done (I AM), and claiming it for Himself was punishable by death. Lev. 24:15-16 points this out as well as the Mishna Sanhedrin 7:5 which says "The blasphemer is not guilty until he pronounces the Name." Jesus was essentially claiming that although Abraham had a beginning He has no beginning. Only His flesh was bound by limitations as the manifestation of the Father.
The Translator's Handbook on the Gospel of John makes this plain, "Here again I Am is used in the absolute sense in which it identifies Jesus with God the Father." (Newman, B. M., & Nida, E. A. (1993], c1980). A handbook on the Gospel of John. Originally published: A translator's handbook on the Gospel of John, c1980. Helps for translators; UBS handbook series (295). New York: United Bible Societies.)
Handbook of Christian Apologetics
1. The early creedal formula "Jesus is Lord [kyrios]": 1 Cor 12:3; Phil 2:11.
3. The New Testament calls him "God": Titus 2:13; 1 John 5:20; Rom 9:5; John 1:1.
4. Absolutely, universally supreme: Col 1:15-20.
5. Eternally preexistent: John 1:1; Phil 2:6; Heb 13:8; Rev 22:13.
6. Omnipresent: Matt 18:20; 28:20.
7. Omnipotent: Matt 28:18; Heb 1:3; Rev 1:8.
8. Immutable: Heb 1:11-12; 13:8.
9. Creates (only God can create): Col 1:16-17; John 1:3; 1 Cor 8:6; Heb 1:10.
10. Sinless, perfect: Heb 7:26; John 8:46; 2 Cor 5:21.
11. Has authority to forgive sins: Mark 2:5-12; Luke 24:45-47; Acts 10:43; 1 John 1:5-9.
12. Rightly worshiped: Matt 2:11; 14:33; 28:9; John 20:28; Heb 1:5-9.
13. Speaks the unique, forbidden divine name: John 8:58.
14. Called "King of kings and Lord of lords": 1 Tim 6:15; Rev 17:14.
15. One with the Father: John 10:30; 12:45; 14:8-10.
16. Performs miracles: John 10:37-38; and throughout all four Gospels.
17. Sends the Holy Spirit: John 14:25-26; 16:7-15.
18. The Father testifies to him: Matt 3:17; 17:5; John 8:18; 1 John 5:9.
19. Gives eternal life: John 3:16; 5:39-47; 20:30-31.
20. Foreknows the future: Mark 8:31; Luke 9:21-22; 12:49-53; 22:35-37; 24:1-7; John 3:11-14; 6:63-64; 13:1-11; 14:27-29; 18:1-4; 19:26-30.
21. Is Lord over the Law: Luke 6:1-5.*
*Excerpt from: Handbook of Christian Apologetics
© 1994 by Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli. All rights reserved.
The real business of archaeology is to establish factual benchmarks in the world of the Bible to guide interpreters. ~Joseph Callaway
Only 2% of tels in Israel have been excavated. Only 10% of cuneiform data has been translated. ~J. Randall Price
Scholars have been looking for a Sitz im Leben, a living context, for the Biblical text. I have argued that the best you can do is to find a literary context. But archaeology could provide an independent witness. ~William Dever, Editor: Shanks, Hershel. "Face to face: Biblical minimalists meet their challengers." Biblical Archaeology Review 4 no. 23 (1997)
The purpose of diagnosis in counseling and psychohterapy is to identify disruptions in a client's present behavior and lifestyle. ~Gerald Corey (Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy)
Hear, O Israel: The LORD is our God, the LORD alone. (Deut 6:4 NRSV)
Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord Alone. (Deut 6:4 NJPS)
The above passage, often called the Shema (Heb. Listen), is usually second in line or at least very early amongst the dearth of Trinitarian arguments allegedly found in the Old Testament.
Echad means “alone”.1 God has no partner or consort as in the mythology of neighboring cultures.2 Spiros Zodhiates says, "To the Jew, this is the most important text in the Old Testament. Jesus Himself called the injunction in 6:5 “the first and great commandment” (Matt. 22:36-38; see the note on Ex. 20:1-17). The Jews refer to Deuteronomy 6:4 as the “Shema,” naming it after the first word in the text. In this instance the word means to heed, or listen and obey. Moses is teaching not only the priority of belief in one God, but also a means to preserve that belief."3
One option is to translate 6:4: “The LORD is our God, the LORD alone” (cf. TEV, NAB, NRSV, NLT).4
I know alot of us have looked echad over like a precious diamond but was wanting to explore this area further. Feel like sharing what you have learned about this text and echad?
1.(HALOT, The Hebrew & Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament, © 1994-2000 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands. All rights reserved)
2. Fox, E. (1995). Vol. 1: The five books of Moses : Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy ; a new translation with introductions, commentary, and notes. The Schocken Bible (Ge 1:1). New York: Schocken Books.
3. Zodhiates, S., & Baker, W. (2000, c1991, c1994). The complete word study Bible : King James Version. This electronic resource is a compilation of the The Complete Word Study Old Testament, edited by Warren Baker, and The Complete Word Study New Testament, edited by Spiros Zodhiates.; Words in the text numerically coded to Strong's Greek and Hebrew dictionary, introduction to each book, exegetical notes, grammatical codes on the text, lexical aids. (electronic ed.). Chattanooga: AMG Publishers.
4. Biblical Studies Press. (2006; 2006). The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible. Biblical Studies Press.
In the past several years in Pentecost I have met and dialogued with individuals who hold that within 1 Corinthians 11 Paul is noting not only hair, but also a material veil. I do proceed with some bias since I do not believe this doctrine to reflect the meaning of the text of Scripture. Oneness theology should not incorporate such a doctrine into its formal or informal theological profession. There are pastors within the largest Oneness organization (UPCI) in the world, however, who hold to this view (mainly Canada and Jamaica).
First, it is incumbent on one who believes to prove that there is a kalumna or in English veil found in the 1 Corinthian 11 text. The only reference to a material veil would be at the end of the most relevant textual data (1 Corinthians 11:1-16). In vs. 15 the English word "covering" there is a noun, in the Greek "peribolaion" (peri-bol'-ah-yon). Earlier "covering" references are verbs, in all its prior uses in 1 Corinthians 11. Therefore, it specifically says the long hair is what acts as the covering for a woman, in the place of any customary veil wearing.
I see no demand for a second covering, in fact the hair is given naturally and created for the natural order of society. Not a man made material that, if taken literally, no second covering adherent would want to wear in public. Nor could she pray without being covered, in public or private worship, since believers are to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). The woman’s hair is a natural veil, that is why the reference to a material, man made one, may only be implicit and secondary.
It matters not what other churches or people would say on this matter for this is the Word of God. Paul goes through so much effort to culminate to this point, he appeals to everything possible to make his point (Nature, Angels, Properness), he even reduced an earlier argument to absurdum.
The word glory--doxa--here refers to the grounds, occasion or source of honor or glory, which means her glory, is due her because of her long hair.1 Her hair is "her glory" it is what she should be most concerned with and care for with Godly pride. God's opinion of her is elevated by her obedience to the divine order He has created, not fabric.
For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word (Logos), and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, . . .
Of course, no such statement occurs in the oldest Greek manuscripts. These manuscripts state literally
And the spirit it is (which is) testifying, for the spirit is truth, (seeing) that three (there) are (that are) testifying, the spirit, and the water, and the blood, and the three are for one (thing).
As a nothing example, the KJV and most other translations imply that "logos" is a code-word for the supernatural entity termed the "pre-existent Christ." One place where John associates this term with Jesus is in Rev 19:13, where he writes, after describing the actions of an entity, that "His name is called the Word of God." John wrote this about a supernatural entity. The term logos as used here is an identification and all that needs to be determined is what John was identifying. In John 1:1-14, the term "word" is used in most translations for the Greek logos. It is clearly used in this manner to uphold the notion of the per-existent Christ. But, from the Greek, looc has no such meaning.
The following translation of John 1:1-14 uses the most basic and consistent forms that have been traced to the common first century Greek. This is done so as to eliminate doctrinal biases.
According to the article 2, the major question is whether John wrote his portions of the Scriptures in some poetic code-language that would only be understandable by a later generations? The Holy Ghost that guided his writings is certainly capable of stating a concept in clear and concrete terms, terms that would, indeed, be totally understood at the time John wrote 1:1-14. The ideas and language used by Justin in his description of the pre-existent Christ were most certainly understandable and usable by John. But, it's claimed, that the Holy Ghost did not supply John with a claimed major piece of Christian doctrine. "In the beginning was the word (logos)."
The term logos has a long, long history, especially throughout Greek philosophy. But, the most straightforward and comprehensible meaning at the time of John and in the form he uses it is that it represents a "complete logical account" relative to something. It can be but a "mental" accounting. The notion of logical means "an orderly" account. What is the "something" this accounting represents? As will be established from the most ancient Greek manuscripts in existence, this account is God's "conditional salvation account" and it existed when the universe began.
John writes "And the logos was toward the God." (Notice the past tense.) In this case, the Greek word for "toward" (pros) is a connective of the accusative case denoting "direction toward" and has been translated by such words as "to, for the sake, for the purpose of, pertaining to." Is it too much of a stretch to understand this statement as "The account pertained to (the) God"? The Bible is a linguistic model for God's operative behavior. This includes purely mental processes. Hence, this is God's "mental" account of "something". John tells us exactly that the mental logical account has as its underlying bases "God" when he writes "God was the logos." (Again notice the past tense.) (As will be seen, the use of the past tense is necessary since it is but an "account" and is not as yet realized in objective reality. It existed prior to its realization.) The missing Greek article would indicate that this account contains an "essence" of God, or that it is an account that has as its underlying basis some indispensable attributes of God, attributes that have always existed.
The account was not the "complete account" of God, in general, but is only relative to special attributes. Indeed, as will be more clearly shown shortly, these are the human-like attributes of God, and as implied by Genesis 1:26, God created the entire universe just so that He could populate the earth with entities that had similar, but highly weakened, attributes of this same type. John actually states that the "agent" that created the universe has the underlying attributes represented within the logos, when he writes, "All come into being through [the agent represented by] it and apart from it not even one thing came into being which has come into being." So, the entity that has these attributes is further identified as the creator God. Further, such a universe has a condition attached. The created entities can make choices. This is why this salvation account is conditional. I point out that an "account" or "narrative" cannot be a "him," in general. But, the Greek allows the word "it" to be translated into these forms if the context requires this meaning. Changing the term into a masculine pronoun significantly altersn in meaning and, appears, to change the original intent of what John writes. Writing a masculine pronoun for what is an "it" is done throughout orthodox Bible translations. This procedure tends to force the reader to accept the term "word" as a code-word of a pre-existent Christ.
The next verses John writes show the true significance of this account, since "In it was life, and the life was the light of men." This clearly refers to what John knew was the purpose of the account, it was the salvation account that was totally relative to the "light" which he now identifies. Verses 5 - 13 clearly identify the "light" as the forthcoming man Jesus Christ, the attributes He will display and the salvation truths He will present.
Of great importance is verse 14 "And the logos became flesh." The previous mental account is now materially realized and becomes objective reality. The account is the entire pre-designed conditional salvation account - the incarnation and everything there after. This account details the one and only one road to salvation and also describes the most complete set of Godhead manifestations that can be perceived by humankind within the physical universe. He displays His Son of God or Christ attributes. Notice that many of these attributes were not displayed during Old Testament times. This is an exact example of the "tri-category model" in that human comprehension is restricted to a specific list of divine attributes. When God displays these attributes, they often fall into three distinct categories. Obviously, these attributes are not those of distinct entities but are attributes of the single spirit we call God.
The orthodox Church uses the term "Word" as an additional "name" for Jesus based upon Biblical verses such as John 1:14 or Mark 16:20. Logos neither signifies this in John 1:14 nor Mark 16:20, where the whole account is an obvious meaning. But, in Rev 19:13, John wants us to know that the entity he describes has, among others qualities, the same attributes as those displayed when God manifested Himself as the Son of God. Further, God's complete account or plan for salvation is a major part of His attributes. Hence, He also represents the Word (plan) of God. This entity is the glorified Jesus and the entire list of glorified Jesus attributes designates all that humankind can ever perceive or understand about God both in the physical and supernatural worlds.
“The doctrine of, or concerning, Christ; all that relates to the history, the person, and the work of Jesus Christ; the study of how Jesus relates to the Godhead and how the Godhead features his eternality, his earthly Sonship, and His position as both the Prince of Peace and the Mighty God, simultaneously the promised Son and the everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6).”
A “disjuncture of ‘Christology’ and ‘theology’ ” has been observed among contemporary scholarship before—and more often since—the Coptic Gnostic library was found in Nag Hammadi in the middle 1940s. Since that discovery, a plethora of divergent theological and Christological thought have re-emerged, mostly thoughts that deny Christ’s absolute deity. A dividing of God and Jesus is a part of postmodern relativism that seeks to dilute the supremacy of Christ, thereby making God non-inclusive to the biblical texts. Oddly enough, Trinitarian epistemology has produced dogma that articulates this position as well, only more delicately. Christ as a demiurge, a prophet, or a divine second person who vacillates to subordination, even in function, is simply another Jesus.
“Some one has truthfully said, ‘The infinite truth of the Godhead lies far beyond the boundaries of logic, which deals only with finite truths and categories.’ But [Bartleman continued] the revelation of it is ‘in the face of Jesus Christ.’ ”
The ever-developing Trinitarian doctrine asserts that Jesus pre-existed as the divine eternal second person before His Incarnation. Often, Oneness believers ignore the issue or are uninformed as to how Jesus actually pre-existed before the Incarnation and ultimately the Creation. However, Oneness theology does affirm pre-existence. Pre-existence from a Oneness perspective is that Jesus did pre-exist the Incarnation, but as God Himself and not as an eternal second person. Jesus is the single person of God that became man, the expression by which the eternal God has reconciled humanity (Hebrews 1:1-3; 2 Corinthians 5:19) to Himself.
It is possible to argue away this fundamental issue, due to unfamiliarity or awkwardness of ‘pre-existence.’ Many are simply unprepared to questions about pre-existence and the God-man.
“One cannot easily disassociate the doctrine of the pre-existence of Christ from that of his deity, as they are part and parcel of the same teaching.”
“When we call Jesus God, it must be carefully nuanced: Jesus is not all that God is. He is the incarnation of that aspect of the divine being which is God going forth from himself in reactive, revelatory, and saving activity. In terms of later dogma, he is the incarnation of the Second, not of the First, person of the Trinity.”
 Metaphysics is used here in the supernaturalist view to refer to transcendent reality, i.e. reality of existence beyond the physical world.
 Christology, an epithet for Jesus, can specifically refer to the time when Jesus became Christ, i.e. the Messiah or the Anointed One.
 Thompson, Marianne Meye – The God of the Gospel of John – Eerdmans Pub. Copyright © 2001 pg. 4
 Epistemology is a branch of philosophy that is concerned with the study of knowledge.
 Bartleman, Frank – The Deity of Christ, What Think Ye of Christ? Is He God or Man?, L.A. California 1926 – Chapter One, paragraph 15
Elwell, W. A. (1996, c1989). Evangelical Commentary on the Bible. (electronic ed.) (2 Co 3:6). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.
 White, James—"The Pre-existence of Christ: In Scripture, Patristics and Creed"— http://aomin.org/The_Pre_Existence_of_Christ.html
 Thompson, M.M.
 “nearly half of all Quakers are Evangelicals” Kurian, G. T. (2001). Nelson's new Christian dictionary: The authoritative resource on the Christian world. Nashville, Tenn.: Thomas Nelson Pubs.
 Penn, William—The Sandy Foundation Shaken, paragraph 2 - http://www.abc-coggc.org/COGGC/gcpublications/jrad/JRAD%202-3-2.htm
When discussing Christology we are bound to end up in the letter of Hebrews. Hebrews 1 bring us to a decision on what I believe to be the inseperably united nature of Christ; the person of God who became a genuine man.
Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. 3 He is the reflection of God's glory and the exact imprint of God's very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, NRSV
In the opening words of Hebrews we see an expression that can help us with the rest of the text. In fact, the New Interpreters Study Bible footnotes suggest, "The high Christology of these verses is determinative for the whole book."1 Here we find "long ago" God the Father has spoken to us in various ways, or by means of unfolding revelation. In the "last days" however He has spoken to us in or by a Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus introduced a new covenant or era of revelation that was essentially a transistion from past revelation to the revelation of "these last days."
The method by which the eternal God the Father has revealed Himself is by means most natural to humanity. God the Father, Himself, was Incarnated through the womb of a human woman--Mary. This was the very method humans enter into existence, yet unique since it was virgin born. The offspring was the Son of God, an existential existence of the metaphysical Creator. Jesus is the surpeme method of communication that the Father has given us.
Jesus is the "express image of his [God's] person" (vs 3). The Greek word for ‘express image’ here is charakter (khar-ak-tare); our English word, character, is derived from this word. However, charakter is found “only once in the NT. . . . This means that the NT use is entirely different from our modern concept of character which develops itself by a will that seeks to conform to principles.”2 The BAGD says here that, “Christ is . . . an exact representation. . . . ”3
Therefore, Christ as the "express image" of His person, the person of God, is another way of saying that Jesus represents God exactly. Jesus is the "impression of His substance"4a. He is what God chose for man to see Him as. It means imprint (NRSV) or stamp. Moulton and Milligan suggest its use comes from a "tool for engraving" or "an exact reproduction"4b It originally referred to the tool made for engraving but later referred to what was actally engraved or stamped.
The Greek word translated "person" is hypostasis. Although rendered as "person," it is more properly understood as "substance" (See Moulton-Milligan) or "essence of being". The etymology of this word has to do with something that underlies. It is that which underlies, supports, or makes up something. In this context, we are talking about what underlies, or makes up God, i.e. God's subsistence.
Jesus is not just a representation of God, but is the very visible impression or imprint of God's invisible substance and essence. He is God's very nature expressed in humanity. It is consistently taught, in the New Testament, that Christ is the visible form of the invisible God.
The writer of Hebrews also says that Jesus is the image of God’s hypostasis (KJV person; NIV being; NRSV being Grk hypostasis). In context, of these opening texts, the God who spoke to us by His Son is the Father of the Son (1:1-2, 5). Hebrews is declaring Jesus to be the image of the God the Father’s subsistence.
I would further say then, that there is no mention of the Son having His own hypostasis, or any references to plural hypostasis. I believe the whole of Scripture testifies of this as well. I conclude then that Jesus is the image of the invisible subsistence or person (KJV) or being (NRSV) of God.
The person of God took on human nature. This human nature was real and genuine, Jesus was the God-man. Thus his prayers were true and genuine prayers from humanity to God the Father. Alister McGrath suggests this:
In one sense, Jesus is God; in another, he isn’t. Thus Jesus is God incarnate-but he still prays to God, without giving the slightest indication that he is talking to himself! Jesus is not identical with God in that it is obvious that God continued to be in heaven during Jesus’ lifetime, and yet Jesus may be identified with God in that the New Testament has no hesitation in ascribing functions to Jesus which, properly speaking, only God could do.5
The New Testament makes it clear that Jesus was aware that God was someone other than Himself, existing in heaven. He was also very aware that He was God become man, or in the flesh. So in one sense Jesus is spoken of as God, and in another sense He is not. This is very important in order to understand the relationship between the Father and the Son.
No analogy is perfect; however, this can be likened to the moon. When Apollo landed and the astronauts walked on the moon for the first time. They walked on the moon that had been beyond man’s grasp for as long as man has existed. When they returned they brought a sample of the moon with them. Scientists studied this sample as the moon, yet it was not really the moon. It was only a portion of the moon.
Notice that the Hebrews writer says it was ‘by’ His Son that He made the worlds. This phrase usually encapsulates alot of the controversy in this passage. The preposition ‘by’ in the Greek is dia (dee-ah), the first "by" being en; Spiros Zodhiates places dia in the genitive form. The genitive usually indicates the relationship between nouns and pronouns. Zodhiates defines dia, here, as “through which the effect proceeds, meaning through, by, by means of.”6 The BAGD and Bullinger7 also define dia as “by means of” and Friberg defines it as “spatial through, by way of.”8
Modern translations, like the NRSV, replace the second "by" with "through". Therefore, instead of reading "by whom also he made the worlds" we can read "through whom also he made the worlds". Some translations rendering dia as "through" here as well are ASV, NKJV, ESV, NASB, HCSB, NET.
Zodhiates, speaking of dia in the genitive sense, concedes this much concerning dia (dee-ah): “In this construction diá may also refer to the author or first cause, when the author does anything through himself instead of another, e.g., of God (Ro 11:36, ‘of [or out of] Him and through Him and unto Him all things’ [a.t.]; 1 Cor 1:9, ‘God, through whom you were called’ [a.t.]; Heb 2:10). Also of Christ (Jn 1:3 ‘All things were made by him’; Col 1:16, ‘all things through Him and unto Him have been created.’ ”
Speaking of Johns Gospel, Marianne Meye Thompson makes this noteworthy statement:
“While John asserts that Jesus speaks the words of God and does the work of God, the Gospel pushes further in claiming that Jesus so fully embodies the Word of God that to see him is to see the manifestation of God’s glory; to see the son is to ‘see’ the Father.”
She goes on to say, “It is clear that the disciples of Jesus do not see God as he does, for whereas the Son sees the Father directly, others see the Father in and through the Son.” This is a very important understanding. Jesus is God. God, in time, became a man. He added to His current existence as deity the nature of humanity. He became the God-man. Therefore, God who would become a a man created "all things".
"Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:" Colossians 1:15-16 KJV
James Moffat commenting on this passage says that Christ “not merely reflects God but in some real sense represents Him; the invisible God becomes manifest in Christ.” He translates the 1:16 passage as “He is the likeness of the unseen God . . . ”9 The ‘image of the invisible’ (vs. 15) is Jesus Christ. ‘Image’ is translated from the Greek word—eikon [ay-kone]. The BAGD offers two possible definitions: “image, likeness—lit. of the emperor’s head on a coin” and “form, appearance . . . a human figure.” Friberg’s decription is “embodiment or living manifestation of God.”
Trinitarians assert that God is the Tri-unity of persons, or that He is comprised of the Trinity. Therefore, if Jesus is the “embodiment living manifestation of God” then the three persons of the trinity are in Christ. In this sense, the trinity is then unnecessary.
Colossians could thus very easily be read as, "For in him were all things created". Jesus created the universe, but not as the Son, or that he even did it as Jesus. It means, as Bernard points out, that the one who later became the Son created the universe. Prior to the incarnation He existed throughout eternity as Yahweh himself. But because he was not the Son, yet, or even Jesus at that time does not mean that we cannot say, now in time, that the Son or Jesus created the worlds.
The aforementioned Hebrews and the Colossians passages are concerned with the Incarnation and the Creation; consequently, the Incarnation did not pre-exist the conception in Mary’s womb. Thus, God—the one who would later be called Jesus—created all things, not that Jesus as God became man or as a second person created all things. God is Spirit (John 4:24). Therefore, man can neither see nor touch the Spirit of God, for a spirit is intangible. Jesus said, “a spirit hath not flesh and bones” (Luke 24:39). Yet, God chose, through the Incarnation, to give us the expression of Himself, in the person of Jesus Christ.
1. The New Interpreters Study Bible, New Revised Standard With The Apocrypha. Copyright (c) 2003 by Abingdon Press. Footnotes for Hebrews 1:1-4
2. Ges, J. New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology. Ed. Colin Brown. Zondervan Ref. Software. © 1989-1999 The Zondervan Corp.
3. Arndt, William, F. Wilbur Gingrich, Frederick W. Danker, and Walter Bauer. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature : A Translation and Adaption of the Fourth Revised and Augmented Edition of Walter Bauer's Griechisch-Deutsches Worterbuch Zu Den Schrift En Des Neuen Testaments Und Der Ubrigen Urchristlichen Literatur. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996, c1979.
4a. Treece, M.D. Literal Word—Hebrews(pg. 4). © 2000 Treasure House Publishers
4b. Moulton, J.H. Milligan G. Vocabulary of the Greek Testament. Hendrickson Publishers © 1930 First printing Hendrickson Publishers edition, Oct. 1997 pg. 683
5. Alister E. McGrath, Studies in Doctrine (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1987) pgs. 202-203
6 The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament Copyright © 2002 AMG International, Inc.
7 Friberg, Timothy, Barbara Friberg, and Neva F. Miller. Vol. 4, Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament. Baker's Greek New Testament library. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, 2000.
8 Moffatt, James. The Moffatt New Testament Commentary, Harper & Brothers, New York and London,19-20.
9 Thompson, Marianne Meye – The God of the Gospel of John – Erdmann’s Pub. Copyright © 2001 pg. 104
“How may the pre–existence of Jesus before his birth by the Virgin be proved from Scripture?”
His answer is threefold:
1. Those passages that say He is the creator of the world.––John 10:3; Col. 1:15–18. 2. Those passages that directly declare He was with the Father before the world was; that he was rich, and possessed glory.––John 1:1, 15, 30; 6:62; 8:58; 17:5; 2 Cor. 8:9.
3. Those passages that declare He “came into the world,” “came down from heaven.”––John 3:13, 31; 13:3; 16:28; 1 Cor. 15:47.
Obviously, there can be no disagreement with Hodge because he uses biblical terminology and does not, nor can he, logically appeal to such a term as person(s). Ravi Zachrias noted,
“Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem was a moment preceded by eternity. His being neither originated in time nor came about by the will of humanity. The Author of time, who lived in the eternal, was made incarnate in time that we might live with the eternal in view.”
As a Oneness I find no qualms here, because the ‘eternal in view’ is, in fact, ‘the express image of His person’ according to the ancient writer of Hebrews (KJV Heb.1:3). The eternal God chose the man Christ Jesus, indeed the Son of God, as His image creature to offer upon the tables of history the ultimate redeemer: God Himself, come in the flesh.
William Barclay states: “In many ways this idea of pre-existence is very difficult, if not altogether impossible, to grasp. But it does mean one very simple, very practical, and very tremendous thing. If the word was with God before time began, if God's word is part of the eternal scheme of things, it means that God was always like Jesus.”
Jesus is God himself. When we say any other name of God, such as, Jehovah Jireh, Yahweh, or Adonai, we are appealing to the names of God. In the New Testament, the supreme, revealed name of God, which is ‘exalted’ above all others, is Jesus (Phil. 2:9). Therefore, to invoke the name of Jesus is to speak of God and His person revealed in time and space.
The conundrum of ‘persons’ will forever plague trinitarian Christendom. Webster’s Dictionary in any version will say that ‘person’ denotes a being or a human being. However, Webster does say that ‘person’ in Christian theology is “any of the three modes of being (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost) in the Trinity.” Notice the phrase ‘modes of being.’ This phrase is no doubt objectionable to trinitarian apologists because of the word ‘modes’ and because it refers to a singular being.
Although it was probably a mistake, the late Bill Bright, a trinitarian, made this statement:
“There is only one Person in the universe worthy of our praise, and that is our wonderful Creator and Savior.”
When we read scripture, we naturally understand One God and One Person—Jesus Christ. Although Bright probably made a slip of the pen, it was natural for him to refer to God as uni-personal, for Jesus alone is ‘worthy of our praise.’ This is natural, for a reading of the Bible definitely draws us to that conclusion.
1. Hodge, A.A. Outlines of Theology. Index Created by Christian Classics Foundation. electronic ed. based on the 1972 Banner of Truth Trust reproduction of the 1879 ed. Simpsonville SC: Christian Classics Foundation, 1996.
2. Zacharias, Ravi - Jesus Among Other Gods, © 2000 Ravi Zacharias W. Publishing Group pg. 34
3. BARCLAY'S DAILY BIBLE STUDY SERIES (NT) by William Barclay, Revised Edition (C) Copyright 1975 William Barclay. First published by the Saint Andrew Press, Edinburgh, Scotland. The Westminster Press, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
4. Crosswalk - INSIGHTS from Bill Bright: Praise Him!, November 7, 2004 (Email)
" The second century closed by bringing into conflict the Christological views held by the majority of Christians and the evolving trajectory that sprang from the introduction of Justin's Logos Christology. On the side of the inheritors of Logos Christology were some of the most influential teachers in the church, but on the other side were influential teachers as well. On both sides of the issue, key postitions were held by dominant leaders. Historically, the theological label generally ascribed to those who opposed the Logos Christologians is modalistic monarchians, or simply, modalists. The terminology is more properly an umbrella term representing some variety of Christological experssion. While one may also call these Oneness Christologies, we will refrain, as we have thus far attempted to reserve the nomenclature of Oneness Christology for what we deem to be a biblical construal. That said, there was among these modalists a majority who held to just such a first-century perspective."
Chapter 15, Displacing Oneness Christology
"It is quite possible for people to forget their own story, to disown their history, and even to reinterpret meaningful relationships. This is exactly what happened to the Jewish people. In the time after Malachi was penned, cultural pressure influenced them to reinterpret their history and even their understanding of God. While their history is inextricably woven together with the God who speaks and acts, sometime during the late Second Temple Period, their narrative began to be understood in a new way. In this new telling of the story, the active God of the covenant people came up missing, replaced by a static notion of God. In this new understanding, God did not speak. He did not mitigate. He did not act. Indeed, the history of God's covenantal relationship with them was essentially reduced to allegory....."
Chapter 3 The God Who Is Not
President Barack Obama continues to deliver on his promises to the homosexual
The president has nominated Chai Feldblum, a
lesbian activist, to be commissioner for the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission. Her appointment is awaiting Senate confirmation.
Click here for full article.
In the October 2009 issue of Christianity Today there is an article by Cary McMullen on the Assembly of God (AofG) called Holding Their Tongues. The article is about whether or not the distinctive teaching of speaking in tongues is being lost in the AofG through its outreach efforts.
The article begins by narratively describing Noel Rogers, AofG pastor, while attending the 53rd General Council of the AofG. Roberts is having an unhappy lunch while internally bothered by stronger matters. It was the second day of the conference and Roberts said, "I have not heard a message in tongues. When I joined the AG in 1974, it was not uncommon."
From the South Texas District, assistant superintendent Don Nordin said, "some pastor just don't believe the doctrine anymore." Others, like Terry Raburn (superintendent of the Peninsular Flordia District) disagree saying, "I frequently see manifestations of the Holy Spirit." Obviously it is an issue and that is why the South Texas District of the AofG offerd a resolution called "Reaffirmation of Pentecostal Distinctive: The Initial Physical Evidence of the Holy Spirit Baptism." This is the crux of the argument and has also been warned of by Oneness believers since Oneness and Trinitarian pentecostals chose separate paths in the 1940's.
AofG Pastors were polled on whether or not their church regularly prays for people to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. 28% of the Pastors agreed this was their practice while only 41% somewhat agreed. Another statistic determined whether or not spiritual gifts (in addition to preaching and teaching) were practiced regularly in worship services. 43% strongly agree and 13% somewhat disagree. Ironically, 68% of the pastors polled said that "I regularly teach that tongues is the initial physical evidence of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit" while only 3% strongly disagreed.
Nordin also says that, "A lot of guys feel peer pressure to follow the trends. The trend in the circly is not to do it because it would offend somebody." James K.A. Smith, professor of philosophy at Calvin College, and AofG member since 1990 flatly stated, "It's not a live doctrine. It's not preached the way it used to be." Smith also noted though, "maybe this has not been policed the way the South Texas District wants."
The statistics, if anything, do indicate a decline whereas such a poll would offer much higher numbers of agreement in organizations like the UPCI or ALJC. On the last day of the council General Superintendent Wood announced the resolution and offered it up for a vote without debate and discussion. There was a "roar of ayes" for and an "all oppposed no" as Wood "barely paused in the silence that followed" said McMullen. "It is approved", said Wood. At least until the next council.
Check out the CT Library here for the full article.
Center for Oneness Research and Education: Dr. Daniel Segraves Responds Further to Dr. Calvin Beisner
Some time ago I wrote a response to Calvin Beisner’s explanation of Acts 2:38 as found in his book “Jesus Only” Churches (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1998). That response appears on this BlogSpot in the January 2005 archives.
Recently I discovered that Beisner has written a partial response to my comments as they appeared earlier on a web site at http://www.clc.edu/askdr/Archive/Acts238.htm. Although that site is no longer available, the essence of my comments there is incorporated into the article that appears on this BlogSpot. Beisner’s response can be found at http://www.equip.org/articles/does-acts-2-38-teach-baptismal-remission-...
Beisner is of the opinion that the “plausibility of . . . alternative understandings of for reduces the evidential value of Acts 2:38 for the doctrine of baptismal remission of sins.” The article does not concern itself with the meaning of the identical Greek phrase eis aphesin hamartiōn in Matthew 26:28, Mark 1:4, or Luke 3:3 where it is certain that the meaning has to do with effecting the forgiveness of sins. The same phrase appears on the lips of Jesus in Luke 24:47, connecting forgiveness of sins with repentance in a significant anticipation of Peter’s words in Acts 2:38, further indicating the solidarity between repentance and baptism in effecting forgiveness. If the phrase eis aphesin hamartiōn in Acts 2:38 has nothing to do with effecting the forgiveness of sins, this is the only place in the New Testament where it does not. Contrary to Beisner’s opinion, this does not reduce the evidential value of Acts 2:38, nor does it, as Beisner claims, “dispossess the baptismal remissionists of Acts 2:38 as proof of their doctrine.” Instead, the consistent meaning of the phrase everywhere else it is found strengthens the evidential value of Acts 2:38.
You can click on the Amazon Wish List link listed on the right hand side of my blog. One of the books on my list is by Dr. David Norris who recently published what is probably the first synthesis of Onenes Pentecostal Theology esp. Christology. The book is called I AM: A Oneness Pentecostal Theology.
From Christian Today:
“It’s Hollywood’s big atheist comedy,” wrote New York Post movie critic Kyle Smith on Sunday. Several days before the October 2 release of The Invention of Lying, Smith hinted that the movie “might be the most blatantly, one-sidedly atheist movie ever released by a major studio, in this case Warner Bros”.
But contrary to what you might think, Smith is not “one of those hyper-sensitive Bible lovers who thinks the secularists are coming to strip my Christmas tree down to a Midwinter Solstice Pole”.
“Actually, no. Like Gervais, I’m an atheist,” he confessed.
And even for Smith, The Invention of Lying was over-the-top.
“Gervais delights in what a faith-based society would call blasphemy, setting up an imaginary world in which no one ever lies. Except his character, who spreads what Gervais obviously sees as the biggest lie of all: Belief in God,” the film critic wrote in his personal blog.
Click here to read entire article.
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
—Robert Frost, “The Road Not Taken”
There are no atheists in the foxholes.
—William Thomas Cummings, sermon (1942)
Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another.
Dr. Herrmann also believes in the Oneness of God and believes he has come to this conclusion in his personal journey of research and logical thinking. He is also a retired Professor of Mathematics (U. S. Naval Academy). He has a Ph. D. and an M.A. in Mathematics from American University. He also has a .B. A. in Mathematics from Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. Herrmann has individually published 73 articles in 30 different journals from 14 countries. He has written over 250 published reviews as well as 7 books, 5 of which are available, free of change, from his Internet site or the arXiv.org archives. He has personally presented 31 papers at scientific conferences and over 1,200 scientific disclosures.
Here is a great link from CreationWiki on GID and Dr. Herrmann. He is also listed as a Scientist of the Christian Faith by the apologetics website Tektonics.org.
It is my privilege to be dialoguing with Dr. Herrmann, in a private email interview, about 12 concerns and questions about human and supernatural reality. The questions are:
(1) God as described within the Bible has rational attributes.
(2) It is rational to assume that He exists.
(3) Miracles are rational events.
(4) The Holy Ghost is a rational concept.
(5) Everything that exists within the universe is evidence that God exists.
(6) The rationally described Holy Ghost can influence our thoughts in a rational manner.
(7) The rationally described Adversary can influence our thoughts in a rational manner.
(8) Our universe as a whole is designed and produced by actions taken by a higher-intelligence, where the higher-intelligence has the same attributes as those displayed by the Biblical God.
(9) Every defined elementary object, if such exists (a neutrino and the like), is designed and produced by the same higher-intelligence.
(10) Every combination of elementary objects, if any exist, and used to form any other physical object is designed and produced by the same higher-intelligence.
(11) The physical laws and theories are purposely designed by a higher-intelligence. These allow intelligent beings to construct additional physical-systems and subdue the Earth. Based upon physical laws or theories, every physical change in the behavior of every system composed of physical objects is controlled by the same higher-intelligence. (Controlled does not mean personal choice is removed.)
(12) This higher-intelligence can design and produce our universe in a manner that follows a very strict (literal) interpretation of the creation statements make in Genesis 1. He can do this in such a manner that the results of His endeavors produce everything that we observe today including apparent age. Some will observe remnants of God's original creations while others are presented with a strong delusion. (This correspond to 2 Thess 2:11). This higher-intelligence can also design our universe so as to correspond to any of the proposed cosmologies.
The replies to these questions will be posted on Evidential Faith soon. From what I understand, GID indicates that God is involved in "every instance" of change; micro or macro. Dr. Herrmann also states that this "models at lest two Bible verses Heb 1:3 where His power sustains everything and Col 1:17 where His power holds everything together."
This being the case it is a more philosophic inquiry then to account for the reason of evil, sickness, and disease. Since God is involved in "every instance" of change what of the only apparent argument for Atheism? Popular atheists (e.g. Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins) raise this issue frequently in their attacks upon the Christian worldview. Is there suspect morality in God creating changes that lead to cancer cells?
Dr. Herrmann replies:
"There is no such "problem" with evil or what some term as "natural" evil (disease etc.). Humankind originally resided in Pleasantville (Eden). There is a mathematical model that leads to the following interpretation. During day-four via the rapid formation model a very hostile-to-human-life exterior universe was formed. Pleasantville and its local environment still retained physical laws and processes highly different from those of the exterior universe. One purpose for such an exterior universe is to indicate the highly special treatment God accorded humankind as compared with what exists elsewhere. God made humankind in His own image. Hence, He gave humankind the right to make choices. Note that the physical laws and processes of this exterior universe do not depend upon the behavioral choices that human beings make.
Now evil behavior is instituted by a spirit-being, the Adversary. Such behavior is often the opposite of what God considers as correct (i.e. good) behavior. As stated above, there is a mathematically modeled process that allows the Adversary or his associates to influence our thinking. (This also is how the Holy Ghost influences our thinking. A medium for this may be related to the immaterial medium for human thought that Nobelist Sir John Eccles claims exists and can be indirectly verified via experimentation.)
Humankind chose to "listen" more to the Adversary's voice than to God's and they lost their Pleasantville residents. The Bible states that various Pleasantville physical laws no longer applied to their second residents, but they now corresponded to some, but not all, exterior universe physical laws and corresponding processes. In this regard, because of sin, as we are told, evil in the form of the Prince of the world influenced more and more individuals. Indeed, it was only after the first sin of disobedience that physical death, via the changed physical laws, occurs exterior to what was Pleasantville. God started to give human beings what they desired - freedom to choice evil or Him.
Humankind continued to listen to the suggestions of the Adversary or his associates and they chose to follow more of the suggestions. God once more stepped in and completed destroyed not just everything on the land but also the land itself. The remnants of humankind were deposited on a world that is physically controlled by the same laws that govern the physical behavior of the exterior universe. But, the earth that is now our home still has certain remarkable aspects that continue to protect us from the exterior hostile universe. In simple terms, we are now faced with death and all the unpleasant aspects fostered by the present physical laws and corresponding processes since God has given us what we desired. The Prince of the world voice is often much stronger than that of God's. But, we know that there is a way out of this "evil world," a way that will allow us once again to exist in a type of Pleasantville. I need not describe "the Way" since we know what it is.
One final thought on what is classified as evil. The GID model shows explicitly the following: there is a Divine language. (Probably that of the "third heaven.") God is (or has) an infinitely power "mind." A complete description of His power probably cannot be obtained by using the language we are accorded. Further, we can ask questions and they can have answers but these answers may require that His Divine language and His stronger mode of logic be used. Such questions often come about since we do not truly understand what the Greek "to believe" means. The oldest meaning is related to "obey." In this context, an individual's belief in Jesus is directly related to obeying Jesus. It is not related to questions such as "Why should I do such and such?"