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Posts Tagged ‘faith’

Without fully touching on the nature of God one cannot understand the theological term of Predestination. Let me quickly run through what these are.

The Will of God cannot run contrary to His attributes Power and Wisdom, dimension of which is infinite. Thus  where his Wisdom touches an abstract idea of love it cannot be conceived as apart from his will. His love is evident in his creation calendar. First He made all that were needful for man and on the sixth ‘day’ He observed, “…Behold it was very good.(Ge.1:30)” God entrusted the creatures under the care of Adam after he had endowed him with his living breath. He inducted him into service as it were. Naturally we see God trusted in his stewardship when God brought His creation to him and  left choice of their names(Ge.2:19) to him.  God’s trust in his own Power and Wisdom working through him is unmistakeable( When Calvin makes Total Depravity as a central plank in his doctrine he is undermining God’s sovereign Power and Wisdom. Liberality of God in such gifts we can conclude are examples of Love in expression.

Man’s moral choice, whether killing a life form,- be it plants or animals, was not altogether any new element introduced. Adam correctly exercised it when found no helpmeet among animals. It is part of his Gift, wisdom and is entered under the divine Will. What is death to us? Dissolution of physical reality that the body holds for us. Whereas death holds altogether a different significance to Him. It cannot be otherwise, seeing Power and Wisdom are inextricably woven into the Will. Also significant is the testimony of Jesus who speaks of his Father thus. “You do err, not knowing the scriptures…God is not the God of the dead but of the living (Mt.22:29-32)”. I shall cite another example. God gave double of everything Job had lost  (Jb.42:10) He had seven sons and three daughters before Satan afflicted him. In the end when God blessed he was given the same number and not double mind you, of children. His children who were dead to him were already in the presence of God.( Jb.42:13),

Holy Spirit reveals God by the generic term  Elohim in the Creation Account. From John’s account we know God the Son was also present (Jn.1:3-4,1)  God is the Father of lights. Jesus Christ is revealed as the light of men. The spirit in extending God’s attributes make the Will envelop the whole cosmos to give it space. Trust that God extended to Adam connects with Jesus symbol of which is light*. This natural phenomena is not in terms of light having to travel light years but in terms of man’s power and wisdom howsoever is limited. Inspiration of the Holy Spirit is to render a believer overcome his physical limitations. Some Bible scholars have erred in ascribing double predestination,

God’s gifts and calling are without repentance. As Just God his Power and Wisdom he scattered liberally and in sending his Son with a clear mandate (‘whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have eternal life’) is in harmony with His nature.  Just as He entrusted Adam with naming the creatures He left judgment to the Son since His Fullness is in the Son. (For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell-Col.1:19-KJV) .Jesus expressed divine Will in no uncertain terms. ’Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.’(Mt.18: 14) He also proved with his life.

Core Will is a term to explain Will of God in  totality.  This is necessary owing to our finite understanding of time. Divine Will commands certain attitudes and conduct from man. It has a finite time frame. Man is judged on this basis. Whatever judgment God determines on these has a Time frame,

In order to demonstrate predestination in working and how we are part of eternal plan of God let me quote two passages one from the Epistle to the Hebrews and the other from the Book of Job.

Speaking of Melchicedec, the King of Salem St Paul states that Abraham gave him a tenth part of all in tithes. He goes on to add, ‘And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law…’

“For he (Levi) was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchicedec met him.(He.7: 10)”.

Now for the other.

When the Lord finally confronted Job out of a whirlwind he asked, ‘…Where was thou when I laid the foundation of the earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding (Jb.38: 4)’. Levi was in the loins of Abraham when he paid tithes to the King of Salem. By the same token when God laid the foundation of the earth we were all dead in sins because of Adam, and without a ray of hope. We have been preordained in his Will for punishment. But in obeying the Son and by our faith we have received grace. He blotted out the writing against us and nailed to the cross. (Col.2: 14). This is what St Paul terms as ‘mystery of his Will’ (Ep.1: 9) the key to which is the atoning work of the Son.

As a result we figure as overcomers in Core Will, which ‘he hath purposed in himself’. Thus by the blood of Christ Jesus God shall establish us children of obedience in Core Will.

All that required for such a turn around was our faith, which comes from hearing the Word. “…Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Ro.10: 17)”. This is the kind of faith that death cannot silence.  Cain slew Abel but his blood could catch the ear of God.

God cannot deny himself. His divine Love spreads outwards through his Son and as Jn.3:15-16 makes it clear the call is to even the little ones. Predestination when man interprets it relying on authority,  as lawyers and scribes in the time of Jesus did, is narrowed. Jesus castigated them. The same spirit works still.

Consider this verse. “Notwithstanding they (sons of Eli) hearkened not the voice of their father, because the Lord would slay them (1 Sa.2:25) As mentioned in the example of Job we were all under condemnation because of Adam. Also the verse in the gospel of Luke clues us in the condemnation abides with those who reject the counsel of God by rejecting the Son( Lk.7:29-30)

Because of our faith we were justified through his Son unto salvation. In rejecting the Son is tantamount to a state where we are rejecting God the Father . All authority is given to the Son (Jn.5:22,27). God is the Will while the Son is fulfillment. The Spirit in setting down two narratives from the Father and the Son respectively made the sons of Eli foreordained as it were, because they rejected the counsel of their father.

  • The Spirit tags persons with qualities in this case light. Glory of Adam in the presence of God is light. When he chose to step out of God’s Will he felt naked meaning his glory left him. It connects to Jesus in whom was the light of men. Thus the Spirit informs us of Children of light and of darkness.

benny

 

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Abraham

 

“Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness…(Jas.2:23)”

Before he could be called as the friend of God there had to be an actual body of shared experience between them. It is supplied by faith: the arc of life that Abraham could trace from the land of his fathers unto his last day on earth was marked by faith. Between eternal God and man a bond need not be shared on physical plane alone. What connected God in heaven and Abraham on the earth? In spiritual terms it is called faith. Abraham became the Friend of God because of faith.

It was God’s choice to elevate him to such a position that he shared his Intent with him. Before he judged the cities of the plains he said, “Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do…?(Ge.18:17) ” Here we have the proof of friendship in that he shared confidence with the patriarch. In dreams and vision God reveals his intent to man and as such basis for friendship can only be made real by faith. It works both ways. God demonstrated his Faith when he called him out. “Now the Lord had said unto Abram, “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee…(Ge.12:1-3).” He was seventyfive years old when he set out, “not knowing whither he went. “…Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness (Ro.4:3).

His circumcision was a sign: seal of the righteousness of the faith, which he had. “Can two walk together except they be agreed?(Am.3:3)” Abraham demonstrated his faith when God called him out; he went out without knowing but trusting in God. Here we can how their bond was forged and the term ‘friend of God’ aptly fitted.

Holiness of God is what his Name implies. He changed the name of Abram to Abraham, signifying he was the father of many nations. He was ninety-nine years old. “Neither shall thy name anymore be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham…(Ge.17:5)”. Name as we had already discussed has spiritual significance; so righteousness of God is imputed to him not because of circumcision but by faith. Holiness is not anything we earn because of works but our lives produce spiritual fruits by abiding in him. Our holiness cannot be apart from our relationship with God through his Son. Years ago I had written on the flyleaf of my Bible: ‘There is no holiday from holiness.’ That is for one who is in Christ holiness is his life and it is an abiding life as Abraham did. “And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”

Here we shall discuss two points which are relevant for us, ‘….upon whom the ends of the worlds are come (1 Co.10:11).’ The promise was not to Abraham alone but also to us. By faith God’s covenant is with us as well. “For here have we no continuing city, but we seek on to come (He.13:14).” We read how Patriarch Abraham lived in the land of promise.

“By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob…for he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God (He.11:8-10).” We are pilgrims and sojourners on this earth and as such we are nomads, or birds of passage. For us any undue entanglement with the fashions of the world and in the customs, traditions that convulse men can only bode ill. For either or principle dictates we have time for doing so much and no more. We are as branches from the true vine that is Christ, and we can only produce fruits by abiding in him. We cannot be as well tumbleweeds being driven hither and thither by fashions or trends the worldly set up as distraction to their shallow lives. Is it a life for producing worthwhile fruits that we desire? Or do we leave sum total of life as stubble of withered branches that at the end of the day is only fit for burning? Our confidence is that we shall be with our Lord Saviour when our earthly life is done. There shall be a day designated as day of the Lord. Those who are in Christ have passed from judgment and whatever happens to the earth cannot harm us. St Peter exhorts us to be in all holy conversation and godliness…we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness… (2 Pe.3:10-14).”

The life of Patriarch Abraham instructs us where righteousness be found. For us the new earth and the heaven is a place founded on the risen Christ. It is a compact city whose maker and the builder is God. When God promised Abraham he named specifically ‘ all the land of Canaan’ and this is to be for an everlasting possession. We need to accept it as God’s promises and it is eternal.

We read God’s promise to King Solomon after he had dedicated the temple. “And the Lord said unto him, I have heard thy prayer…I have hallowed this house, which thou hast it, to put my name there forever…(1 Ki.9:3-6) It was however conditional. Israel was unfaithful and God accordingly cast them out and ‘Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people.’

A remnant of Israel shall be gathered and they shall realize their folly in having rejected Jesus Christ in his first advent. We have this verse in the gospel of John, “He came into his own, and his own received him not (vs.11) “All kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him (Re.1:7)” On his second coming he shall reign as Messiah, the prince of Peace for a thousand year that shall be known as the Millennial Reign. After he hands over this kingdom he himself shall be subject to his Father so He is in all and through all.

In the New earth and new heaven there shall be no temple therein. “For the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it (Re.21:22). Significant is the use of the title Lamb in this context. Why not the Son instead? The Spirit clues us in familiar symbols the House of Israel and the Gentile nations to inform us of eternity. His promise to Abraham is fulfilled, all families of the earth alike are blessed (Ge.12:3) Therefore we need pay particular attention to the symbol of the Lamb and to the Lord God Almighty as unifying elements than as distinct entities.

(Selected from The Immanuel Factor-Heroes of Faith)

It is available through Amazon.com.

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Faith and Quantum Tunnelling

 

In the previous post Quantum World in Nature we had discussed how quantum tunnelling could connect two worlds albeit being of different worlds. An electron belongs to the world atoms and of quantum realm. It can pass through a material to jump from point A to point B in a way that seems to bypass the intervening space. How in matters of faith (I speak from Christian perspective) quantum tunneling holds out a clue  for us. Using scientific ideas it is possible how God and man could connect. Direction of science is by empirical method for example from fossil evidences to reconstruct bygone era.

In case of God time is of no consequence. He is omnipresent.

Let us examine this line from the post. ‘The electron can only make this leap through the so-called quantum tunnel if the bond is vibrating with just the right energy’. Faith can only be instilled in a reader who comes to the Word in the right spirit. Entanglement of two fundamental particles is across space while God has no space to restrict his Will being done.

When the electron leaps to the other site on the receptor as in the case of smell, it could trigger a chain reaction that ends up sending signals to the brain that the receptor has come into contact with that particular molecule.

Treat Trinity as in a Quantum realm: Word and the Spirit can exist as two entities; disappear and reappear as God as One. One day science might come up with an answer to the mysterious process of faith owes to Quantum effect. ‘Faith from the Word (Ro.10:17)

Hearing in a believing heart is powerful because heart and emotions are all engaged. When Apostle Peter addressed the crowd after the outpouring of the Spirit they were stirred up to ask,”Men and brethren what shall we do?(Ac.2:37)” Like quantum effects in the molecular centers for photosynthesis the Word and Spirit instill faith in a listener by working at multi-levels.

Quantum superposition may speed up the process of photosynthesis in a plant but faith requires conscious choice to accept the Word as true.

For those who are interested in the nature of Triune God here is my view.

God is One (De.6:4). Think of it as Will or Thought that is expressed. How shall be expressed so man may understand it? It has to be spelt out, is it not? It is the Word that accomplishes it. He is as a son who is obeying his earthly father. Since we are talking about heavenly things we shall rephrase the above as thus: God the Son obeys the Will of God, the Father. He is begotten but not created of God.

The Thought is self-conscious. God reveals to Moses as I AM THAT I AM(Ex.3:14). It has a direction. In narrative of the Bible we see it connects the nation of Israel, and gentile nations as well.

The ministry of the Word is only for man and not for angels. So in interpreting the Bible it is the Will and its focus we need to catch on. So we have God the Spirit as Inspirer and as Paraclete, the Helper. If my speech cannot be understood by others I am more like a barbarian of whom St Paul speaks as thus: ‘If I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian…’(1 Co.14:11). So role of God the Spirit is to help us understand the Will of God through the medium of the Word. Jesus manifested in the world to fulfill the Will of his Father. Jn.3:16

 

Benny

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Music of Orpheus made even nature sit up and notice; or as we have been told by accounts that Tansen the immortal singer in medieval India by singing certain ragas could make rain come down. Likewise we exercise our reason in Science and Art to create a semblance of reality. How true is it? Or rather how much of Truth has been skipped in transcribing reality in human terms?

How we arrange our universe is based on certain assumptions: All life forms seek pleasure and avoid pain. We project our emotional ‘bank’ into getting the best of pleasure and avoiding it in pain. Of the latter we only need to look at higher percentage of divorces. Entire gamut of human experience is arranged on this assumption. When our pet dogs wag tail we know the signal, but in case of cats we say it is a brush off. Our experience mostly bears our assumptions as true. When your Rottweiler or pit bull badly mauls a child out of the blue one might assume there are always exceptions to the rule. What are we to make of it? There is a bubble of ignorance in our knowledge of the world about us. Interest from our emotional bank is supplied from our perception of self and nature. But where is the account-keeper that must account for other species as well?

What makes animals extra-sensitive to earth tremors? How sound is it to judge their extra-sensory perception by our reason alone? It does not make an exact fit. In our failure to match them is a good reason to let the nature of miracles existing at a dimension beyond our rational powers.

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In the way we compare material world on the basis of reason can we compare our emotional responses to material objects evoke in us?  Ecstacy of St. Teresa of Avila vis-a-vis that of Midas whose touch turned matter into gold? One over some abstract feeling based on faith the other over something concrete as gold.

Or take attitudes of man against his external world. The adage ‘when in Rome do as the Romans do.’ prompts some to let go their scruples in order to add to their experience. They want what life has to offer to the excess. On the other hand St. Paul may consider his belief stands in the way of eating unclean food of the gentiles. Who is right? Comparing value of experience with value of faith is a vain exercise. Man who makes use of thermals of human enterprises to become wealthy and St. Teresa who left her homeland to work with the poor and terminally ill in the slums of Kolkotta work on two different perceptions. The former works for this world to be seen and admired for his ‘smartness’ . He must however realize he cannot take his gains with him when he dies. The  saintly nun converted her opportunities for another world. Which is right?  There is seemingly no yardstick to get the reading right. Evenso both nestle each other.

Like the world here and now and the world to come duality of these is reflected in our chromosome in cells. It is a discrete packet with ends called Telemia. Everytime cell divides the telemia ends get shortened. There is a limit to which such cells can undergo division. In short death is worked as part of life. Period. Can we call this supersymmetry?

When Paul Dirac established the most general theory of quantum mechanics and it is from his equation we have this notion of an antiparticle to each particle – i.e. the positron as antiparticle to the electron.

Without arriving at this notion by experimenting, -a fundamental creed of Science to solve a problem only by undeniable proof, Dirac worked out by unerring mathematical logic, only reliable tool at such quantum level. Is this super symmetry consistent all throughout? If antimatter and matter were so constituted we might say universe will cancel itself. There are many imponderable forces in flow to which Science shall never be able to fathom fully without giving element of uncertainty its due place. For a Christian faith is not uncertainty but giving the pulse of life in him or her  a sound anchor.

What is faith but giving life that pulsates in us to get up and go about without fully understanding our physiology? A baby whose impression of the world is backed up even before he is conscious of what shall follow, the same growing up phase as any other infants. What loads its interior impulses even in so naked stage is its own, something that stamps it as an unique being. One might call it soul or its essence. Experience is merely molting wings but the direction in which it may want to strike out is not answerable to any known maps drawn up before. Whose hands drew it up? One need to suppose the answer for which goes farther in time and space. If we were to reason of experience we need to ask if there is a cut off point like the Pillars of Hercules, ‘No Further?’

We are star children since every element of our bodies has been bequeathed to us from interstellar events. Faith is therefore is much more than material facts that can be examined as a fossil or fitted to an original form. (To be concluded)

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All stable matter in the universe is made from lightest particles that signify these belong to the first generation; any heavier particles quickly decay to the next most stable level. When matter is made up to delineate forms that we can name and cherish say, a baby, remember it is made up at its fundamental level by particles and these are ‘condemned’ to decay. Growing from cradle to grave is not a curse but nature’s decree of changes.

Consider energy is neither created nor destroyed. So energy is passed around recycling which in human terms we may say we age and move from infancy to maturity leaving room for another generation of babies to take our place. There is a great democracy in this change: baby born with a silver spoon must make for a baby with a wooden spoon stuck into its mouth.

When we see the nature in its myriad colours we may understand that there are also quarks and leptons involved. Quarks come in three different colors which however when mixed create only colourless objects. For those who rely on their senses to make sense of the world, another world which has no colour, form or shape but equally admissible also exists. You may use your reason if you will or deny its existence. It matters little. Faith rules this realm given the hint that we can empirically know as existent at fundamental level.

benny

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If we wish to colonize Mars in some distant future it may not be a far fetched idea. Teleportation of humans is a giant leap but as Niels Armstrong said, a small step’ has been already achieved. Quantum teleportation is the moving of quantum data from one location to another without having to travel the distance between them. Have qbits will travel to paraphrase a TV series in my youth.

Teleportation in general sense does away with constraints of space and time. Think today as exchange of information. We sometimes have that gut feeling and it is later proved out to be right. Or we make our needs known to God and later we may say our prayers were heard. It is borne out in the way our needs were met. We need not prove if God exists or not. But information has been exchanged just the same. Quantum entanglement as I look at it is one way Science underpins my faith using quantum mechanics. In classical physics light may open up as a glorious sunrise and with the Psalmist I say it is revealing the glory of God. Only that light is a symbol for the nature and workings of the supreme Being.

What is faith but knowing certain exchange of information could exist outside proof between either A or B?

For example, if you and a friend have two playing cards — the ace of spades and the ace of hearts — and you each blindly pick one, walk into different rooms and then look at the card in your hand, you’ll both know instantly know what card your friend has. It’s that kind of instantaneous awareness between two points — instead of cards, think spin states of an electron — that physicists call teleportation because the data point doesn’t require you to observe it directly or have someone send it back for confirmation.

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A research team out of the lab of Professor Nicolas Gisin in the physics department at the University of Geneva achieved teleportation of the quantum state of a photon — in this case, it’s known as the photon’s polarization — to a crystal-encased photon more than 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) away. The distance breaks the previous record of 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) set 10 years ago by the same team using the method. This marks the latest success in a series of experiments the group, led by physicist Félix Bussières, has been conducting over the last decade in an effort to better understand quantum data transfer with ever-newer technology.

The results, which were achieved in March, were published in the journal Nature Photonics on September 21. (ack: cnet of Sept 23,’14)

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If you were to use the physical distance in terms of size as a model, the height a fly can in one jump will for man work out as high as the Empire State building. This is only a hypothetical model. The different flavors quarks come up with, do indicate space in such infinitesimal confines: correspondence principle gives space a yardstick on which infinite or the least can be held up.

At the level of quarks is there time or space? We might tag so many flavors make up proton or neutron just as we would lay a sheet in vast expanse of grass to have a picnic and call it as our space. Once picnic is over and sheet is taken out, folded and we drive away the so called space is dissolved. So is time. These are only related to us. Yet its reality as a memory(of a picnic on Sunday for example) is swallowed up in space where in we create our realities of everyday life in space. It is only relevant to the observer like finding parking space for your car.

Time is similarly related to the observer.

If God is to conceived as eternal, infinite and omnipresent He must hold as real to me as in the cosmos. As a Christian I believe essence of God is achieved in space regardless of such an infinitesimal space. ‘The kingdom of God is within you.’ Gluons are stronger nuclear force binding realities of sub-atomic particles ie quarks. What makes us believe in physical reality of our bodies and ideas? Do we not believe in our world or in our bodies? Just the same these come up as ever with otherworldly tags.

Our faith though as small as mustard seed can grow as large as to cover as the will of God covers the entire cosmos. God has inscribed truth in our inward parts.

Benny

 

 

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