Bupkus

Ok, I promised I would come back and revisit this book I’m reading. I’m working my way through it (slowly!). It’s an intense read, to say the least, and I am finding that I just don’t have much time for ‘casual’ reading with my current class schedule. But I just finished the introductory chapter, so let me summarize it.

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The author is a physicist who originally started as an atheist. Throughout his work, he eventually came to the conclusion that God exists and that a future resurrection of the dead to eternal life will occur (and that this is all provable). He states that the universe has already been existence for at least 10 billion years and will continue for at LEAST another 10 billion, but more likely for another 100 billion+ years in the future. God, in his theory, is in actuality something called the Omega Point, basically the end of time/space/etc. He claims that as a necessity to his theory (and by implication proven through his calculations), God is not yet fully Being, that His Being will actually only occur in the future, at this Omega Point event. He does claim that his God is personal and that his God loves us, and thus will resurrect us. Heaven and Purgatory exist (or will exist, to be more precise), and Hell might exist, depending on a future condition (a.k.a. variable) of the Omega Point event (i.e. the end of all time and space). According to the author, the resurrection of the dead will occur for all those who have died in the past (but not for another few billion years, at the end of time), but that it will occur as an emulation performed through the computers of the future. The dead will be resurrected to this state of being (which he claims can be proven to be identical to our current state of being), and that it will be a state of “continued individual becoming.” Additionally, he states that neither Western Christianity, nor any other major world religions, fits well into the Omega Point Theory. He states that the Omega Point Theory merely proves the two things that every religion shares — that God exists and that He will grant immortality to us. The rest of the book will be used to flesh out these thoughts/theories more fully.

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Already, I’m barely out of the introduction, and I’ve discovered that what this scientist postulates does not match up with the God that the Bible proclaims. I would not say that this scientist is a Christian (and based on his own words, I do not think he himself would claim to be a Christian, necessarily, either; in fact, I think it would be far safer to say that physics is his religion), though he believes in God, because his view of God (and his view of an inevitable and undiscriminating resurrection of all to essentially the same place) does not match the Scriptural proclamation of the Gospel. I plan to continue working my way through his book because I believe in giving everyone a fair chance to voice their opinions (and frankly, I curious to see where he goes with this).

Ghosts

The call was to talk to a psychic about a possible haunting. The couple had only lived there a short time. In fact, the house was only two years old. She had taken a picture of him, and the print, when it came back, showed perfectly round spheres of light distributed throughout the photograph. She had also seen a little boy (not her own, as she had no children) sitting on her staircase, resting his chin on his hands. These were only two instances of at least half a dozen she mentioned. And she wanted to talk to the psychic to determine if her home was, indeed, being haunted. I never heard the outcome of the conversation because I had to leave for work before the psychic actually came on the phone. My guess is that they were involved in something that attracted this kind of demonic attention, in which case, even moving from that house would not relieve the oppression. Those things have a way of following you…..

Later, another caller wanted to talk to the psychic because he wanted to know how to attract ghosts to his home. He thought it would be pretty cool to have several ghosts to “hang out” with, something like a conversation piece. He thought it would be fun to open his cupboard to get a box of cereal out and find one of his ghosts buddies sitting there (reading the label, or somesuch thing). I don’t think this guy even knew what he was asking for. Dangerous…. and extremely naive……..

Chaos

Ok, I’ve only just started this book (The Physics of Immortality), and I can already see where he is headed — and I’m not even out of the preface yet. He has stated that the universe is chaotic, that it evolves chaotically, that life is the very reason for its existence. At the same time, he posits that God, Heaven, and the “resurrection of the dead” do, indeed, exist. However, he defines God as a particular theorem, a convergence of numbers, if you will. I have not read the specifics of this Omega Point, but as I get into it, I will spell out it for you. Tipler is a physicist, and thus a reductionist. He has joined modernism, mysticism, and theology into a whole…..

(more to come…..)

Same Desires

For the past couple of days, I’ve been listening to an extended debate regarding the legalization of gay marriage, and the “rights” and “responsibilities” thereof. It occurred to me today that the primary reason for the whole debate, other than the financial benefits gained for gay couples from such legislation, is that gays are seeking the same thing everyone else wants — a legitimate, long-term relationship. Human beings were created for monogamous relationships. It is how our psyches function and where the greatest stability comes from. Ultimately, even gays want some sense of that, and they believe, and hope, that legalizing their relationships will give them that.

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I found the book shown below in our local library. I’m just starting to read it, but the cover of the book caught my attention and so I want to see what this guy’s theory is about. I’m sure I will comment on it here as I work my way through it.

Moral Evolution

This whole business with Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake’s performance at the Super Bowl this past weekend has sparked huge controversy internationally (even the British are marking remarks). Did they violate obscenity laws? Is TV becoming too lewd and crude? What is it really that big of a deal?

The whole problem with this discussion is that one side of the argument insists that morals are a human construct, and that, subsequently, morals change, even ‘evolve’. On the other side of the argument is that side that declares that morals are constant, that they haven’t changed since the Ten Commandments were handed down (to use the words of the notable Rush Limbaugh). As Christians, we stand on the moral absolute side, yet sometimes I wonder if we don’t forget that we are often talking to people who don’t believe in moral absolutes. We know right from wrong because it is clearly spelled out for us in the Bible, and we need to remember that we are talking with people who, just because they weren’t offended by the display (and by continuing downward spiral of morality on TV), don’t believe it to be morally objectionable.

In the long run, the goal is the same as it always has been. Win souls to Christ. Encourage the saints. We aren’t going to change people’s minds about morals without first introducing them to the One who established morals in the first place.

Mankind, Unique in the Universe

So, NASA is exploring Mars, with the hope of finding that there was, or is, water there. This, in turn, I guess, is supposed to indicate that life may once have existed on Mars (or maybe still does, in the super-small microbial fashion). Which turns our attention to the continuing debate about whether or not life exists anywhere but on good ol’ Terra Firma.

Personally, I wouldn’t be too surprised to find life elsewhere, whether it be microbial, flora, or fauna. I don’t think there is necessarily anything which says that could not be (though the Genesis creation account does not mention the creation of life outside of our own atmosphere). What I do believe, however, is that humanity IS unique to planet Earth. God said, “Let us create man in OUR image…” And then he stooped and physically formed Man from the very dust of our planet, further solidifying our absolute uniqueness, the only creation that was not spoken into existence, but rather was shaped into existence, breathed into life, and bestowed upon with the image of YHWH, Jehovah God. And then he sent his Son to Earth to provide a way to Heaven, not to Mars or Jupiter or any other solar system.

So, go ahead, Mr. Scientist, and search for life elsewhere, but don’t be too surprised if you don’t find intelligent life anywhere but here (leaving the question of just how intelligent life here actually is.)

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And somehow, I feel the need for disclaimer, once again. I do support the exploration of space. I believe it to be a noble goal, and one of our God-given rights and responsibilities, though I support it for much different reasons than some. God made us curious creatures, and exploring His creation reveals more our this great God of ours and reveals just how puny we really are in the greater scope of things (though I fear that the perspective typically is one of pride at how much we’ve conquered to be able to actually leave the confines of gravity). So, I’m not condemning space exploration, but merely looking at it from a different perspective.

Relief

This will very likely be a shorter post than I would like, since it is late, my stomach is empty, and I have a good-sized headache — but I will see what I can do to stimulate some thinking.

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Tim Wilkins, former homosexual and founder of Cross Ministry, frequently points out that the opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality, but rather holiness. It follows in my mind that this can be said of everything, that the opposite of is not its logical opposite, but holiness.

I Peter 1:13 – 16 (NIV) — Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy” (emphasis added). Ephesians lays out further specifics of this principle.

I think we should be relieved. This, in some ways, makes it easier for us to live Christly. Instead of focusing on a list of do’s and don’ts, we can focus on what it means to be holy, what it means to be like Christ, our example of the Almighty. In the process, if we are striving to meet that goal of holiness, the do’s and don’ts have a way of taking care of themselves, via the work of the Holy Spirit.

Heresy? Or Not?

Call me weird, call me a heretic, if you will. But I don’t believe that our government should be based on the will of the Christian ‘minority’…. I believe it should be based upon the will of the majority. Granted, our nation was initially founded on biblical principles. It was founded on the notion that freedom would reign, that people would be able to worship God as they see fit, even if the God they serve is merely themselves. America was founded as a republic, a place where the people could have a say as to how they govern themselves. The reason that I believe the way I do is because of this notion, that the people choose the shape of their country’s government. Christianity will thrive no matter the shape of the government. Christianity is not a religion of authoritarianism or of dictatorship. It is a kingdom of grace and truth, and it is our responsibility to bring others into the kingdom, not by force, but by the grace and power and love of God. Some Christians think we should force the rest of the nation to become something of a theocracy, but I know from experience that the best way to turn someone off to God is to force them to ‘love’ and ‘serve’ Him. So, let the people choose their government, and let the Christians continue to do what they do, serve God and love others into the Kingdom, sharing the truth in love, as we are commanded, and bearing up under the persecution that results from those who hate us.

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P.S. Don’t get me wrong…. I’m not saying that Christians can’t or shouldn’t be involved in politics. I think we should be involved in every arena of life. I just think that we should focus on the eternal, using the temporal to affect the lives of others as we can. And, hey, if we again end up with a government based upon biblical principles and run according to God’s law, then so be it (though I doubt we will ever see a Christian society again until the millenial reign).

Putz

I am such a putz. I’m being real open and vulnerable here, but basically, as a person, I suck!!! The past few days I’ve been having major problems with my computer. Basically a stupid virus (or set of viruses) has been ransacking my Internet Explorer, to the point where I had to uninstall it and replace it with Netscape Communicator. And do you think I responded with grace and patience and a general spirit of good Christianity? Of course not! I lost my temper, threw a tantrum, swore and yelled and screamed and acted really quite childish! So, basically, I’m a jerk and a loser who can’t control his temper, who lets rage drive him to points of madness. I SUCK!

Jack-of-All-Trades, Master of Words