At this point in the essay, I’d like to address the solid footing Christians have when it comes to realizing a part of what is wrong with this world we’re living in, what’s wrong with us, and what the solution is. I’d like to break this solid footing down into an understandable framework. This installment corresponds to the “A life lived in submission to the teaching of the risen Christ” portion of the thesis. For the sake of remembering the context, below is the full thesis.
A life lived in submission to the teaching of the risen Christ is a life of unmatched freedom which leads to an eternal existence greater in every measure to the life lived before.
In order to demonstrate clearly why the Christian faith provides a solid footing when it comes to moving through this life, I’d like to first refer to a common metaphor espoused by physicists to shed some light on where we stand in relation to God and creation. Understanding our situational positioning helps bring our limitations as created beings as well as our responsibility to the Creator into perspective. Second, I’d like to share a few examples both personal and from pop culture storytelling which will give more background when it comes to what it means to exist in the presence of God. This context will help give a proper understanding of how the way we were created lends itself very well to maintaining an appropriate relationship with our Creator. These examples will also provide some insight into the reason for the urgency of the spreading of the Christian gospel. Lastly, in order to prove the part of the thesis this installment addresses, I’ll walk backwards through the points made throughout the piece, spelling out how Christ relates to each. Stringing each of the parts of this installment together, we will have assembled for ourselves building blocks, as it were, to the Christian life lived under Christ’s teaching.
Our situational positioning in relation to God and creation
It’s important that I explain the title of this essay, “Leaving Flatland”. The motivation behind the title is tied directly to the first point I’ll bring in this installment. When thinking about the debate over Theism and Naturalism or the debate over Christianity and Secularism, one can think of the two sides as representing distinct universes of sorts, or even radically different ways of perceiving a common universe. I’ll first give you a metaphor utilizing a fictional two dimensional universe and afterwards explain its relevance when it comes to developing a proper understanding of our position in the created order.
There’s a common illustration used by physicists or science fanatics when trying to describe what higher dimensions are like. Carl Sagan made this popular some years ago in his television program using a table, a few pieces of paper, and an apple. The point of the exercise is to illustrate to a three dimensional being (we the viewers/listeners) what life would be like for two dimensional beings. This gives us a better understanding of our own limitations when compared to the ability of a being which fills more dimensions than we do.
The illustration goes roughly as follows:
Imagine a table, this represents a two dimensional universe. Imagine pieces of paper cut into various shapes - squares, triangles, circles, etc. - these represent the inhabitants of this two dimensional universe. Now, imagine what life would look like to these beings who are only able to perceive things within their two dimensional perspective. Everyone and everything would look to be pretty much the same - as a line - all things being seen only one side at a time. Both a circle and a square, when viewed head on, would look almost exactly the same.
Let’s take this a step further and point out that no one in this two dimensional universe would actually have a real idea of what shapes they or anyone else were. They, even though they are actually squares, circles, rectangles, stars, etc, would only see and understand themselves as lines that change in length when they rotate. There would be many aspects of themselves they would have no knowledge of because of their being trapped in two dimensions.
This is flatland - a very restricted land where simple beings who know very little about themselves travel around, conducting their two dimensional lives in light of their unchosen circumstances.
We are the Flatlanders
As if it weren’t obvious enough, in this illustration, we are the Flatlanders. However, God is not the three dimensional being in this example - He has more power and is more sophisticated than that. God isn’t directly represented in the illustration since this illustration is more of a depiction of our limitation than it is a lesson on God’s sovereignty.
Like Flatlanders, we see so little of ourselves. We know almost nothing of what we are really made of and why our neighbors are the way they tend to be. We’re stuck within a framework inside of which we make decisions and form contracts with one another. Not everything in our world makes sense, take quantum physics for example. For the things we don’t understand, we form theories and pronouncements we can never fully assess the validity of.1 We’ll compare and contrast our experience with that of the fictional Flatlanders after taking the metaphor a little further.
Back to the metaphor. Notice there has been no purpose or goal bestowed upon these Flatlanders by the three dimensional being. If that were the case, we could use that purpose or goal as a springboard when it comes to defining laws or a concept of “the good” within their universe. Even without a clear purpose or goal though (if we take into account that their universe is ordered) we can still come up with a number of virtuous regulations for the flourishing of these two dimensional beings. We can do this very easily because of our vantage point. The Flatlanders, however, because of their vantage point, would have no way of knowing the reasoning behind these regulations and might even see them as irrelevant, or nonsensical, or even oppressive.2
A few examples of laws or regulations could be:
- The prohibition of the building of any object with sharp corners. The reasoning behind this would be that the sharp corners would be impossible for the Flatlanders to detect and would do serious damage to them if they were to run into those sharp structures. To a Flatlander, this rule wouldn’t make sense until they perhaps ran into the unfortunate end of a sickle shaped structure at which point it would be too late.
- Any Flatlanders naturally outfitted with sharp corners (stars, triangles, etc) would be required to wear rounded caps on their sharper corners. This is a simple regulation to those with access to the third dimension of space and wish for the Flatlanders to be safe, but it is a confusing inconvenience to the Flatlanders who have no knowledge of the potential damage an army of Isoscele’s triangles could do were they to organize after having realized their physical advantage.
- Boundaries or limitations to the movement of the Flatlanders. It would make no sense to Flatlanders were they not allowed to occupy a certain place during a certain time, however, to a three dimensional being wishing to visit the Flatland realm without crushing any Flatlanders, this regulation is an act of mercy. The Flatlanders would have to accept this in an act of faith in the higher order being who would be able to appear and disappear instantly whenever it pleased.
It’s not that Christians, in this metaphor, are represented by the three dimensional being or even that we have the vantage point he does and everyone else does not. Rather, Christians are Flatlanders like everyone else but differ in the sense that they are living by faith under the laws and regulations of the higher order being. We too have limited sight and understanding no different than the secularist, but in our real-life limited realm of existence, a higher order being (so to speak) has broken into our world in order to teach us how to relate to Him and how to flourish.3
Everyone here on earth knows something wrong has happened. It seems that it’s a part of being human that we tend to envelope ourselves in beliefs and practices meant to shield us from the harsh realities of life. We do so with that wistful but unrealistic notion that “if everyone just held to the ideals I do, this world would be a better place.” Each world religion and all of the smaller ones claim to have a solution to a human problem - if they didn’t, they wouldn’t be a religion.
Christians share these feelings. We live in the same world and experience the same things other people do. We get scared, angry, sad, etc., when terrible things go on in our countries or our neighborhoods. We see the true suffering and oppression the wicked of this world have to inflict. We all share feelings of grief in the face of large-scale or personal tragedy, but the Christian worldview is the only worldview which has the tools to define these as tragedies, to stay alive and sane while in them, and to ultimately move on all the better for having gone through them.
The birth of crime
If we go back to our Flatland example and put down for a minute any sense of purpose or design, we are faced with an important question - does any decision made by the Flatlanders actually make a bit of difference? If a small army of Isosceles triangles in our fictional two dimensional universe really did decide to break regulation and stage some kind of military takeover, using their sharp corners to take out any shapes willing to fight back and to intimidate the rest into submission - would that make any real ultimate difference?
In the absence of purpose and design, all actions taken - the violent takeover, the heroic counter attack, the frantic fleeing - would essentially carry the same weight in terms of significance…shapes will flee violence because that’s just what shapes do. Some shapes will fight back when threatened, because some shapes just tend to do that. Other shapes will violently attack and kill…well…because apparently some shapes just feel like scratching that particular itch every now and again. All actions in the absence of designed purpose have the same weight when put to the scale of moral significance, and that weight is zero.
Imagine being a Flatlander affected by this fictional military takeover that’s accepted the authority and law of the extra-dimensional onlooker and regulator. That Flatlander would have grounds to call out the aggressors’ actions as belonging to a new category of action and thought - evil. This would be done on the authority of the law giver 4 (which in this example is the higher dimensional being). Flatlanders operating out of faith and under the influence of the teaching of the authoritative extra-dimensional regulator might be every bit as confused about the various regulations but they’d know when a law was violated and what it’s consequences were.
Now, look at what just happened in this fictional universe. We now have tiny two dimensional victims and we have little flat aggressors. We have crime, we have criminals - the birth of evil. None of these terms could accurately be used without the existence and influence of a higher more authoritative being intervening into the lives of these unassuming Flatland dwellers. Without him, the whole system is an experiment in uselessness, but with him, there exists purpose and value. The more these Flatlanders awaken by faith (since they cant see just why they are doing what they do) to the realities about their world that they can’t detect, the better off they’ll be and the more they’ll flourish.
You may notice that our metaphor is beginning to break apart. The metaphor is starting to crumble under the weight of God’s significance with respect to our own reality as metaphorical Flatlanders. Dangling questions about the beings in the fictional universe begin to protrude: Why is the three dimensional being invested in the flourishing of the two dimensional ones? Where did he come from and why does his access to an extra dimension give him authority over the two dimensional dwellers?
Let’s exit the metaphor and address it’s failure head on because doing so will give us greater clarity regarding our own situation. The truth is that God is infinitely higher in every way to us than the fictional three dimensional being is to the fictional two dimensional beings in the Flatland example. In reality, God isn’t just some watching regulator who happens to see things we can’t see because He somehow has access to more dimensions than we do. As stated before, God is much too powerful and His actions are far too sophisticated for Him to be bottled into a mere extra-dimensional being, even metaphorically. In reality, we humans exist inside a sliver of time on the edge of an expanding ten dimensional universe and, though we will never have the resources to understand how, God exists outside of and transcends the entire thing.
This is the basis for the framework Christians work within when it comes to calling things we and others do out for what they are, whether they be actions of good or actions of evil. The Flatland metaphor breaks down when we consider that the three dimensional being has no real relationship with the Flatlanders. When we push through the metaphor into reality, we realize that God isn’t disinterested and He isn’t detached. In fact, He is the one who started all this in the first place. He has an active relationship with His creation and the souls He places within it. No matter what you’ve created or set your hand to do, you have never been as involved with anything as much as God is involved with this present reality we’re in.
Also, in Flatland, we have beings completely unaware of this three dimensional being and it is never established that they are beholden to him for anything or why they would be. Things aren’t the same with God and with us. Long ago, He entered this Flatland of a universe and gave us His law and let us know what He requires of us. Since He created us, He has authority over us - and that is the end of it. If we aren’t ok with any particular thing which God has commanded us to do we have exactly the same grounds for complaint as a hammer has over a man using it to build a table. Therefore, since authority has been established and since that authority has not been silent, we humans have everything we need to navigate questions of good and evil. God is the bedrock. He is the basis upon which all Christian morality rests.5
An aside: If, because of the usage of the Flatland metaphor, you were beginning to develop the idea that God is a higher dimensional being and as a result has us beat in terms of power and access, you’re mistaken. Think larger. This whole universe with all it’s matter, mysteries, and dimensions IS His Flatland. Moreover, He isn’t just an observer, He is creator and sustainer of the entire system.
Living in the presence of God
For His own purposes, God created us to experience a sense of awe when it comes to the good, the true, and the beautiful. We naturally react with a sense of reverence or even fear when it comes to encountering things that surpass our understanding. I’d like to share a personal experience of mine in order to illustrate this.
Second Grade Courier
One of my earliest school-related memories is from a time when I was in probably the second grade. As far as I can remember, it was a regular school day and I was in Mrs. Bowersox’s class. For some reason, she needed a message or some object like a folder or stack of papers carried upstairs to another teacher. Probably because she figured my temperament would make me less likely to wander the halls, she chose me to perform the task.
She called me up to her desk and told me whatever I needed to know to get the job done and I walked out of the classroom to begin my special little mission. Getting to leave the classroom for a bit was fun, but this whole thing wouldn’t have been such a big deal to me if it weren’t for the fact that the classroom I was traveling to was full of students in a higher grade than I. I don’t remember, now, whether this was a third or fourth grade class, but I do remember the nervousness they caused me as I headed up to that classroom.
Eventually, I made it up to the destination, stood at the door, and knocked on the doorpost since the door was already open. I remember being acknowledged by the teacher as she paused whatever lesson she was giving at the time. Once the teacher’s attention shifted to me, immediately after, the attention of the whole class seemed to shift to me as well. I don’t remember what I said but I probably told her, my little raspy voice having to reach now across the classroom of older students, that I had an item to give her from my teacher downstairs. She likely nodded or verbally agreed and I entered the room.
What I felt next as I walked through the classroom is the reason I’m telling you this story. As I entered the room, I passed between rows of desks occupied by what seemed to be frustrated older kids. They knew I was of a lower grade and they, for whatever reason, decided to let me know that they knew by conveying that I didn’t belong there through visible intimidation. Since their teacher was still in the room, their attempts to flex their superiority (or as far as my second grade nervous little mind could understand what they were trying to do) took the shape of blank or impatient stares. Even their postures, being larger kids sitting in what were probably slightly larger desks, seemed imposing. As I passed each desk, there almost seemed to be an audible hissing noise coming from their frustrated mouths, although I’m sure there wasn’t.
After I delivered whatever it was I was supposed to deliver, I promptly left the classroom, probably taking the few seconds it took to reach the door to glance around at the differences between this older, higher order, classroom and my younger, simpler one. I don’t remember much after that, but I do remember it felt pretty nice having been able to make the little journey. I also remember being glad I was able to complete the task without tripping or messing things up in some other way which would have been almost too embarrassing for my little frame to handle.
This vivid memory sticks with me a whole two and a half decades later. It’s pretty amazing how natural it felt to be so nervous. I wish I were as sensitive to the fact that each and every day I am living in the presence of God. Somehow, I’ve shoved down under the surface layer of my conscience the truth that God is present and watching in an even more involved and invested way than the fictional three-dimensional being was with the Flatlanders who could see the outer and inner workings of each shape as well as each move they made. I wish I could see and feel that God is more glorious and terrible than these grade school children. Instead, I go about my days doing things I ought not do, willfully ignoring truth as I go about them like an addict willfully ignores the dangers and consequences the next high will bring. I attended a boys Catholic high school within the LaSallian tradition and, though I am not Catholic, I look back with a grateful eye to the fact that we’d open up most of our classes throughout the day with a call to attention before prayer, “Let us remember we’re in the holy presence of God”. As grateful as I am for that guidance, I am still left with a nagging question: If God has created me to naturally assume a stance of awe in the face of greatness, why do I still do things I know I should not do in the presence of the Greatest of all?
Suppression and Consequences
This is an old question. The questions concerning where evil came from as well as why it still takes place have perplexed the best of philosophers and theologians and I will not be offering right now an attempt at an explanation of it as I am neither. This is even something Paul openly grappled with in one of his letters although he did provide for us the notion of “suppressing truth in unrighteousness”. I believe this has a lot to do with why it is we continue to sin even when we’re knowingly and perpetually before the face of God.
Taking a careful look at the phrase “suppressing truth in unrighteousness” gives us a good idea as to what’s going on inside us when we do bad things. We effectively cover up, as it were, the truth of what we’re doing with the non-guaranteed and temporary pleasure of the evil we’re getting into. The same can be said for the Secularist but we can go even further to say that the knowledge of God is present within even them. At the moment we do a thing that is bad, we are temporarily suspending concern for our well being. Each time we sin we are clearly articulating through our actions that we should not be held responsible for what it is we’re doing because we’ve rationalized how it actually is necessary. We choose to perform acts of disloyalty to the One in whose hands we live. This is a very dangerous thing. Committing temporary treason against the conductor of the universe is the worst idea anyone could ever have - but we do it every day.
It’s silly, but we try to use our evil deeds and their benefits to cover up the fact that we’re in a seriously bad state. Drowning out our God-given consciences won’t do any good either. If we do this, we will eventually run out of cover and our willful disobedience will be exposed. Sitting on the top of that hill of escape methods, pleasure, entertainment, distraction, and countless other kinds of layers is unnecessary and dangerous. As was covered before, we don’t have a creator who is disinterested or unattached - He’s infinitely interested in what goes on inside of His created order. He is also not a silent creator, He has expressed what He requires of us and what the consequences for our transgressions are. This fuels the urgency of the Christian and gives him reason to spread the good news that the same God who cursed humanity and the ground they live on has provided a way of escape from His righteous judgement.
I would go as far as to say that God has even provided within us a natural sense of reverence for the good, the beautiful, and the true. Power and majesty excite and stir our imagination so naturally. No one has to teach us to stare and point at a beautiful rainbow. It’s also true that no one has to teach us to lie, be selfish, or to throw a fit. This is a part of ourselves that we don’t know much about - almost like Flatlanders would know very little about their actual shape because they lack the vantage point to see themselves fully.
A Higher Order
One thing we have in common with soulish animals is our natural respect for higher beings. The reason the animal kingdom, although they are greater in number, physical strength, and deadliness, has tamed not one community of humans anywhere on earth at any time in human civilization is because we humans were created as higher beings in relation to the rest of the created order here on earth. The horse is tamed and made obedient and productive once man takes him as his steed. The dog’s abilities are sharpened and its poise is almost perfected when the human trainer takes it under his care. These lower-order soulish creatures do better when they are joined with a loving and caring human.6
Likewise, each of us have some sort of relationship with God who is a higher order being in relation to us. Like the animals in their relating to us, we do better when we come up under the care of our loving higher order being, God. This is something I’ve learned from Dr. Hugh Ross of Reasons To Believe. In fact, there is a natural respect that comes over us when we come into contact with higher order beings.
Even our movies, books, and television shows reflect our natural posture when we encounter what we might perceive as higher beings of some sort. Think back to all the alien movies you’ve seen throughout the years and take a second to examine the posturing the writer or director weaves into the role of the humans encountering an alien species. There’s a certain respect for and assumption of some higher purpose when it comes to the actions of the unknown but supposedly more advanced beings. The aliens usually come down, descending from on high, with some (yet to be grasped by the humans) positive plan for intergalactic peace and flourishing. However, because of stubbornness and knee jerk reactions of fear and aggression, the humans don’t listen to the scientists (who for some reason are always cast as the unlikely heroes) and end up messing everything up. In the end, the humans realize they were indeed not ready yet as a species for what the aliens, the higher beings, had to give them.
Consider also other alien movies where the aliens are more malevolent than benevolent. We’ve seen the plot before - the aliens, again, descend from on high with superior knowledge and ability and are met with mostly hostility coming from the humans. Although there is very little of an actual fight, the action scenes in these movies tend to be pretty grandiose, demonstrating mostly the awesomeness of the power of the visiting higher beings bent on destruction or colonization. That’s mostly what viewers come to see. We want to see just how powerful and terrible the army of intergalactic aggressors actually can be. We go to the theater in order to see to just what extent the imagination of the storytellers can take us so we can then walk away thinking about how extraordinary it all was. Of course, since the movie market in this era makes almost no room for tragedies, the humans in these types of alien movies usually find a way to thwart the plans of the evil intruders. Still, these movies have a pull to them and people come out to see them and be enthused by the power of the otherworldly beings they almost want to believe could exist out in the cosmos somewhere. All this from imaginary creatures baked up in the mind of a Hollywood screenwriter.
Christ Brings it all Together
God has walked the earth at various points in history but He didn’t choose to come down in a mothership with lasers and instruments of destruction and mayhem. In fact, when God came to the earth and walked with His creations as Christ, He did so rather quietly and without fanfare. He was fully human and seemed ordinary. He even encouraged secrecy when it came to His signs and wonders. After performing some of His miracles, He went as far as to tell the recipients of those miracles not to tell anyone about what happened.7 At the time, the world didn’t make much of him - most people on the planet then didn’t even know who He was. The same can’t be said about the demons and the disinherited sons of God with whom He came in contact. The difference between the way humans reacted and the way the spirit world reacted, I believe, is due to their differences in perspective.
Christ: Visitor from on High
We only realized His strength and importance when He began to teach and work miracles for us. The gods of the earth knew more of who He was and bemoaned His arrival. Eventually, to everyone He came in contact with, both humans and evil spirits, He became a force with which they would need to reckon. His explosion onto the scene was abrupt and extremely consequential. Even today, everything we do and believe hinges on of our relationship to Him. There is no living in spite of or in a way unaffected by His life.
To the disinherited gods of the earth from whom He was sent to reclaim the nations, He enters the picture like modern screenwriters envision the otherworldly invasions we touched on earlier. Coming down from on high, Christ established His dominance and declared that He’d be taking over rule on the earth - it’d only be a matter of time. It was a take over, a regime change.
To us, He came as a self-sacrificing savior. We knew and walked with Him but He was too good for this world and so we rejected and killed Him. Like the benevolent visitors of modern screenwriters’ imaginations, He came bearing wisdom and gifts for humanity. He led in power and love, we benefited, we ultimately rejected Him, we killed him. He arose and ascended, proving He succeeded at what He came to do but then He left, letting everyone know that He’d be back. Unlike in today’s fictional stories, He isn’t waiting till we’re ready or enlightened enough before He comes back - He’s coming back on His own time to conquer and bring us into the new creation.
Christ: The Good Shepherd
If we want to reach our fullest potential, we must come up under the One who created and sustains us. No one has the ability to attract and steer individuals into better lives of more flourishing than Christ does. No one comes to God on their own, they must be led through Jesus. He is the shepherd that can tame and lead the worst among us into a life of virtue. He is, at the same time, the most frightening sight in the eyes of the spirits who hate Him and a most beloved, patient teacher who was approachable enough to rest one’s head upon.
To humans, sheep can appear to be relatively dense little creatures. Their inability to keep themselves reasonably out of harms way might entertain us or maybe stir up in us a sense of pity. One would have trouble finding a keeper of sheep who would be willing to spend more effort on recovering or even simply caring for the sheep than it would be worth at market. Of course, this isn’t the case with Christ. The work He put into our redemption is not less than or equal to the value of His sheep, or in other words - us. We are valuable to Him but it isn’t our value which prompts His guidance and sustenance.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake..8
Our value sits squarely on His creating us. We only matter because God who is the ultimate authority put us together. For His name’s sake, everything that has happened, happened. For His sake, the universe exploded into existence. For His sake, He worked the earth into a tiny habitable pocket of the whole system, placing us here at just the right time to be able to see it all and participate in a tiny way here on this planet. We aren’t the universe beginning to discover itself, we are imagers waking up to the intricacies of creation and how we fit into its perfectly developed fabric. We need to really understand that we are not the center of meaning in the universe. With or without us, God is still good and anything contrary to His nature is the opposite of good. Our minds or cultural standards are not the measure of what is good, bad, real, or fake. The shepherd is the only one who defines what is good and He is gracious enough to let us take part in this gigantic display of His majesty.
Christ: Master of the Sea
There are different ways to view reality, but one of the most common and fitting ways is to view it as a sort of raging sea. You can view reality like a set of dimensions we fill or don’t fill. You could also view reality in terms of a complicated web of infinitesimally minute happenings and decisions tied together by unbreakable bonds. However you think of it, it’s a million times more complicated than that - and God wove it together for one person. That person is not not you, or me. God wove all of it together for Christ. Each moment of your life is a tiny note within the longest and greatest orchestration, and God is the composer. So far greater and more powerful than the multi-dimensional being in the Flatland example, God puts all that we see and experience together and carves for us a permanent slice within the purpose of it all.
Furthermore, God does not plan to leave us trapped here in a limited, unknowing state. God is preparing to create again. When that happens, Christ will be the bridge over which we will pass from this Flatland of a universe into a boundless eternity.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made. […] He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, yet the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him. But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.9
Come up under the reign of Christ. See the world and yourself for what they really are. If you currently deny Christ’s authority and salvation, by faith, come up out of the Flatland you constantly have to make and remake for yourself for things to appear as though they make sense. You can get free from that one dimensional way of life where we ignore ultimate meaning in favor of our own very limited substitutes. Leave that world for a deeper and wider world where we have freedom from insignificance and meaninglessness because we’re finally free to see God’s indelible image on ourselves and others.
I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore. Very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more. But the Master of the sea heard my despairing cry; from the waters lifted me, now safe am I. Souls in danger look above, Jesus completely saves. He will lift you by His love, out of the angry waves. He’s the Master of the sea, billows His will obey. He your Savior wants to be, be saved today.10
The raging sea of life, with all that’s in it, is dangerous and incredible and no one can survive it unless they live in submission to the teaching of the risen Christ.
The reason for the verbiage “never fully assess the validity of” is on account of the fact that the scientific method makes room for no untested constants or theories. Even the famous theory E=mc2 is just a theory although it is the most rigorously tested and proven. Technically, if someone challenged the theory tomorrow and provided enough support for their claim, the scientific community would (after rounds and rounds of peer review) need to adjust their understanding of space and time - and the theory would need to change or be dropped altogether. ↩
There was a novel written by Edwin A. Abbott called Flatland from which some of these regulations are adapted. I’d recommend the book for a nice quick read. It provides an even fuller and more colorful depiction of the 2D world than the metaphor used here does. ↩
I’m not referring here specifically to the incarnation. God walked in the garden of Eden and spoke audibly with the first humans. There are also many theophanies recorded in which a physical person or persons is referred to as God. I’d also recommend this album by Christian Hip Hop artists Hazakim which does a great job detailing a number of old testament theophanies. ↩
The argument for a moral law giver is a formal argument for the existence of God. For more about it, I’d suggest reading up on the work of Dr. Ravi Zacharias. Here’s a brief video of him speaking about the necessity of a moral law giver. ↩
This is a simple statement and sounds like something a Christian would typically say. I think we miss it’s logical conclusion often. God has no authority to answer to. All of His actions are good (even His commands for the total wipeout of people groups in the old testament) and pure and cannot be judged by anyone. God does whatever He pleases and is only accountable to Himself. ↩
This flies in the face of sentiments that the world would be a better place were humans to leave it. The truth is, humans were created to subdue the earth and have authority over all other creatures. We aren’t a plague on the earth, the earth is ours to subdue and develop. This does not mean we are to destroy it or waste its resources but it does mean we have the authority and responsibility to tame and cultivate it. ↩
God not only condecended enough to actually communicate with His creatures, but He also did so gently. From God providing Moses as a medium between Himself and the people of Israel who couldn’t handle His speaking directly to them - to Jesus’s secret miracles, God has been extremely gracious in His handling of us humans. ↩
These are lyrics from a song titled “Love Lifted Me”. It’s a piece I thought was fitting given it’s imagery. The sea in the song refers to a life of sin but I think it’s interesting to expand it a bit to fit also this present physical reality. One day, God will lift us up out of this realm of pain and decay into a perfect creation free from death but full of life and ever increasing understanding. ↩