Truth, Understanding, Insight

The Making of the World

28th February 2013, hej


1) A new look at creation.

For a while now I have been dissatisfied with explanations to rebut Evolution. Over a year ago I was asked by someone to think upon how I would answer in favour of the Bible account of creation.

There is plenty of material to and fro from those committed to both sides, and I have read much of the apologetics for a six day creation, which explain in detail what arguments are favoured by Evolutionists and by so doing give place to their arguments and argue on their terms, in their frame of reference. But in favouring obscure observation (atoms/ universe), they miss matters of ordinary observation and experience. Whether true or not, it's 'common sense' that many academics lack it.

The curiosity of choice

Let us begin with a question. What choice did you make to decide what to eat to begin your day and to do today?

Now how and why would youdefend that choice.

But what does this have to do with creation? It turns out that all humans are creatures with an uncanny ability to make choices and by so doing shape themselves and their world.

Beavers might build dams, but they have never invented a new material to make the kind of dams that could destroy a city if they failed. Bower birds might collect, but they don't make squares of woven material covered with synthetic to represent obscure (sometimes whacky) subjects that are collected in vast numbers in buildings so large that it may result in kilometers of walking to view them. Monkeys might make rough tools, but ancient civilizations have left stones to make flour which is only useful if you make bread (the Quern stone found Abu Hureyra, Syria is just one example with another being the ancient stone found from the Dead Sea (oldest_evidence_wild_cereals.pdf). In addition from earliest times of pottery they made something very complex indeed, alcohol. From Iran to a Neolithic village Jiahu in China, the remnants of alcohol have been found on the oldest pottery. Ancient pottery found in Iran was purpose designed to remove the by-product crystals (Patrick McGovern's discoveries were featured in 2010, a-thirst-for-beer alcohol-s-neolithic). Birds might make nests and travel long distances, but humans from the earliest times made tall buildings and moved large stones, often aligned to observe the complexities of the heavens. In other words, humans are unique in making choices and shaping their world, way beyond anything observed in any other creature, and they have been this way from the earliest evidence found. Many animals may be cunning as predators, but there is every evidence humans have by far the greater cunning in their inventions from the earliest times to eliminate other living things.

The origins of these peculiar traits of humans defy explanation, but more than that consider your ability to make things now. Even if you are not a Christian, you should know that Jesus ( Y'shua) was a carpenter.

When the Sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence has this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?
Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him. (Mark 6:2-3)

We see two key things. The first is that mighty works were 'wrought' or in Greek “ginomai” “caused to be”, from 'gen' from which we have 'generate'. The second point is that they said he is the carpenter.

Now just why is it that he was a carpenter? Why wasn't he some great scholar from the priests? It seems from this revealing criticism that until this point Y'shua had seemed to those who knew him, to be unremarkable, except as the carpenter. Since becoming a man until age 30 he was known to make things.

We are told that he had a remarkable intellect at age 12.

It came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. (Luke 2:46-47)

But still, until 30 he was a carpenter, making things...

An aside on Y'shua the carpenter

The importance of Making things

How important is it that we know the greatest man made real things? Saul-Paul who wrote the majority of the New Testament, though a significant scholar, was also tent-maker who called himself an architect (term of wider application than today).

According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder (architektōn), I have laid the foundation, and another builds thereon. But let every man take heed how he builds upon it. (1Cor 3:10)

Foremost among the Apostles were a band of four fishermen who were to become “fishers of men” (Matt 4:19, Mark 1:17). If Paul, as an urban tentmaker and builder, says he is building the congregation's foundation, what did the carpenter do?

When speaking to the Athenians Paul said God made the world and all in it,

God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwells not in temples made with hands; (Acts 17:24)

Writing to the Hebrews there was more detail about the work being made at that time,

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds (aion/ ages); (Hebrews 1:1-2)

How did God make the worlds/ eras/ ages by his son? John introduces his account of Y'shua,

He was in the world (kosmos), and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. (John 1:10-11)

The carpenter makes everyday items from 12 to age 30, and then after age 30 he makes in 3 years the world (kosmos / order/ arrangement decoration). The context of John implies he is speaking of the work Y'shua did (despite his own village and nation initially not accepting him).

The Bible is full of references to the Almighty doing and making, including direct from himself,

“Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if you have understanding. Who has laid the measures thereof, if thou know? or who has stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb? When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it,” (Job 38:4-9)

In addition to this there are too many statements to list about what the Holy One of Israel said he will do. He is doing things all the time, and he will do yet more things, as he said he would. So much is this making and doing associated with the God of Israel that when he gave his name to Moses in Exodus 34 it literally meant “I will become” (or “He who will become”), which is established by other use of the Hebrew word “I will be” in the same passage (for more To be and become.

Each of us may be readily defined by what we do. We could say the Holy One of Israel called himself “He who will do and make things”. Due to the division of labour we do not do all things necessary for our life, we tend to specialise. The Holy One of Israel by his name says he does and makes all things.

Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself; (Isaiah 44:24)

This is present tense. When we look to the heavens we see clouds moving and being 'stretched', we know the earth is moving.

Have ye not known? have ye not heard? has it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in: (Isaiah 40:21-22)

Zechariah introduces the Hoy One of Israel in a similar way,

The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him. (Zechariah 12:1)

This does not say he stretched the heavens in the past, but that he is doing it in the current world, day-to-day moving and making things.

The statement about the spirit of man, is again not in the past but daily.

Who knows not in all these that the hand of the LORD has wrought this? In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind. (Job 12:9-10) and
These wait all upon thee; that thou may give them their meat in due season. That you give them they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good. Thou hide thy face, they are troubled: thou take away their breath, they die, and return to their dust. (Psalm 104:27-29) and
Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein: (Isaiah 42:5)

Therefore the truly big questions of life is about how things work NOW. The big question of origins, pales to insignificance. We can argue about that to little purpose as it is history now and we weren't there and we can't make things as they were back then to test any theory.

We have a strong link between in the things God makes and the very question of life, day to day, moment to moment.

Take a breath. The truly huge question is regarding living breathing life, itself, now.

But this is an intractable question, as the counterpart of that question is why do we die? The answer is that we 'just do' and it is an observable fact.

Questions are always good, and the Bible lets us ask questions that otherwise have no answer. It answers questions we may have than none human can answer. We can ask “why do we breathe?” We can ask “why do clouds move?” We can ask “why does the water cycle work in the way it does?” We can ask, “why plants make oxygen?”