‘n God of …

Martin Rees, ‘n 68 jarige astrofisikus en vorige voorsitter van Britain’s Royal Society het Woensdag die Templeton (John Templeton Foundation) prys van $1.6mil gewen. Hy het die gesogte prys gewen in erkenning van sy werk op die vraagstukke om die bestaan van die heelal en oorsprong van lewe. Rees is veral bekend as kenner op black holes en die Big Bang teorie. Die Templeton prys is ‘n godsdiens prys. Rees is nie ‘n aanhanger/volger van enige geloof nie.

Een van die moeilike vrae wat hy aangespreek het in sy tyd by die Royal Society is die oënskynlike perfekte balans van die elemente en samestelling van die fisiese sodat dit standhoudend is vir die mensdom. Volgens hom is dit opmerklik hoe sensitief die balans is en dat verandering aan enige van die sogenaamde “universal constants” ons aarde onbewoonbaar sal maak. Alles is basies perfek in balans vir ons bestaan.

In een van sy boeke, Just Six Numbers, spreek hy die onderwerp aan. Dit verskyn so in die berig:

“Rees argued that the perfect tuning was neither a mere accident nor the act of a benign creator. Instead, he said, “an infinity of other universes may well exist” where the constants are set differently. Some would be too sterile to support life, others too short-lived. Ours happens to be just right.”

En dan voeg hy by:

“”It is still a conjecture,” Rees cautioned, albeit one he said was being taken increasingly seriously.”

Opmerklik hoe oor die eeue van die mees intellektueel begaafde mense se konklusie om die vraagstuk opeindig in ‘n doodloop. Die konklusie is meeste van die tyd die bestaan van ‘n Groter Wese of ‘n parallele heelal.

 

Sien die berig in USA Today.

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Interview With Rob Bell

Christmas As The End Of The River

Creation out of nothing was an awesome event. Imagine what the angelic spirits must have felt when the universe, material reality of which they had never imagined, was brought forth out of nothing by the command of God.

The fall was an awful event, shaking the entire creation.

The exodus was an amazing display of God’s power and love.

The giving of the law, the wilderness provisions, the conquering of Canaan, the prosperity of the monarchy—all these acts of God in redemptive history were very great and wonderful. Each one was a very significant bend in the river of redemptive history, bringing it ever and ever closer to the ocean of God’s final kingdom.

But we trivialize Christmas, the incarnation, if we treat it as just another bend on the way to the end. It is the end of redemptive history.

And I think the analogy of the river helps us see how.

Picture the river as redemptive history flowing toward the ocean which is the final kingdom of God, full of glory and righteousness and peace. At the end of the river the ocean presses up into the river with its salt water. Therefore, at the mouth of the river there is a mingling of fresh water and salt water. One might say that the kingdom of God has pressed its way back up into the river of time a short way. It has surprised the travelers and taken them off guard. They can smell the salt water. They can taste the salt water. The sea gulls circle the deck. The end has come upon them.

Christmas is not another bend in the river. It is the arrival of the salt water of the kingdom of God which has backed up into the river of history. With the coming of Christmas, the ocean of the age to come has reached backward up the stream of history to welcome us, to wake us up to what is coming, to lure us on into the deep.

Christmas is not another bend in the river of history. It is the end of the river. Let down your dipper and taste of Jesus Christ, his birth and life and death and resurrection. Taste and see if the age to come has not arrived, if the kingdom has not come upon us. Does it not make your eyes sparkle?

John Piper on Christmas (1981), from The Gospel Coalition

Die Heiligheid van God (Looking Beyond Shadows)

God het Homself aan elkeen van ons gewys en uit onsself, as ons aan onsself oorgelaat word, teen dit inskop. Dit is vir ons so maklik om eerder God te verklein in iets wat Hy nie is nie, en dit is die wortel van afgodery. Ons verander God in iets wat ons pas.

Hierdie is die idee wat Tim Challies bespreek in sy studie van Dr RC Sproul se The Holiness of God.

Die probleem met ons is nie dat ons nie weet, of ‘n idee het van God en wie Hy is nie, maar eerder dat ons weier om dit te glo. Dit is weereens die oneerlikheid met onsself wat lei tot die aanbidding van ‘n afgod. DIe heiligheid van God is nie iets wat Hy wegsteek nie, dis sigbaar vir almal, nie net vir ‘n paar super-heiliges nie. Sproul stel dit so:

…The knowledge of God that is given through creation is not a knowledge we warmly receive and embrace. Instead it is our nature to abhor this knowledge of God’s holiness. It is characteristic of the reprobate mind not to want to retain God in our knowledge. We prefer to change the holy into something less than holy. It is this rejection of God’s majesty that leaves us with minds that are darkened. It results in a massive foolishness that has disastrous consequences for our lives. Once we refuse to honor God as God, our whole view of life and the world becomes distorted.

Challies vertel dan hoe Sproul aan die einde van die stuk die fokus verskuif na dit wat God waarlik is: goedheid, skoonheid en waarheid. Challies vertel hoe hy bid en dankie sê dat God is wie Hy is en vir ons wys wie Hy is.

Sproul verwoord die perfektheid van God, soos hy dit sien en God dit vir ons wys:

God’s perfection applies to all of His attributes. His power is perfect; it has no weaknesses or any possibility of weakness. His knowledge is not only omniscient but reflects prefect omniscience. There is nothing that God does not know or that He could possibly learn. Some modern theologians have tried to declare that God is omniscient but that His omniscience is a limited omniscience. They assert that God knows everything He can possibly known, but He does not and cannot know certain things, especially the future decisions of free agents. But a limited omniscience is simply not omniscience. And it is not perfect. This view of a limited omniscience robs God of His holy omniscience, which is a perfect omniscience. God’s love, His wrath, His mercy—all that He is—is perfect. Not only is He perfect, but He is eternally and immutably so. There never was a time when God was less than perfect, and there is no possibility that in the future He may slip into any kind of imperfection. What has been with God will be so forever. His perfection is immutable. It cannot change.

Laat ons gebed dan wees om waarlik aan wie God is vas te hou EN dit nie net te verstaan of sien nie, maar dit te glo.

The Grand Design

Stephen Hawking is seker die mees bekende wetenskaplike van ons era; soortgelyk aan Darwin in die era voor ons. En soos wat Darwin groot aansien geniet het in alle kommentaar wat hy gelewer het so geniet Hawking dieselfde woord is wet reputasie. (CS Lewis spreek in Mere Christianity spesifiek die Darwin woord is wet reputasie en sy opinies aan)

Die nuwe publikasie, The Grand Design deur Hawking en Mlodinow, handel oor die bewys wat fisika lewer teen ‘n skeppende Skepper. Uit die boek:

“Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touchpaper and set the universe going.”

Soos wat Darwin teenkanting gevind het in mense soos Lewis vind Hawking sy teenkanting, maar nie heeltemal waar mens sou verwag nie – in die fisici kringe. John Lennox (‘n wetenskaplike) het in die Daily Mail koerant kommentaar gelewer op die boek deur om te sê dat dit wat Hawking op die tafel sit is niks nuut nie, dit maak net nou opslae omdat Hawking so groot aansien geniet. Hy gaan verder en antwoord die stelling van Hawking:

“…contrary to what Hawking claims, physical laws can never provide a complete explanation of the universe. Laws themselves do not create anything, they are merely a description of what happens under certain conditions. What Hawking appears to have done is to confuse law with agency.”

Verder argumenteer Hawking en Mlodinow vir die “M-Theory” wat ‘n teorie is wat argumenteer vir die bestaan van baie heelalle waarvan ons heelal toevallig lewe toelaat. Roger Penrose skryf oor die teorie, sonder om een maal God te noem, “unlike quantum mechanics, M-theory enjoys no observational support whatever.” en noem dan ook die teorie, saam met ander wetenskaplikes ‘n “blind alley”“highly speculative” en “not testable, not even in any foreseeable future”, staan alleenlik op “a leap of faith”.

Lennox sluit sy artikel As a scientist I’m certain Stephen Hawking is wrong. You can’t explain the universe without God af met die woorde:

“Hawking’s new fusillade cannot shake the foundations of a faith that is based on evidence.”


Vanuit Stephen Hawking and God (bethinking.org)