I have decided to start an online list of the main things that I believe about Creation (including Christianity), Evolution and Design, in alphabetic order of topics. I will add to this list over time and (where applicable) add Bible references.
That is, there was both Genesis 1 "man" (Heb. 'adam in Gen. 1:26-28 is without the article and therefore is translated "man") and a Genesis 2 "Adam" (Heb. 'adam in Gen. 2:20 is with the article ("the man") and therefore is translated "Adam", i.e. an individual, a name). Genesis 1 "man" (male and female-Gen. 1:26-28) were the actual and/or symbolic common ancestors of all Homo sapiens. But Genesis 2 "Adam" (Gen. 2:4,20;3:17,20-21; 4:1, 25; 5:1,3-5; Hos 6:7; 1 Tim. 2:13-14; Jude 1:14) was a literal individual and/or symbol ("the pattern of the one [Christ] to come"-Rom. 5:14) and was/symbolised the common ancestor only of the line which led to Christ (Lk. 3:23,38) and therefore through Him, "the last Adam" (1 Cor. 15:45) was united back through Genesis 2 "Adam" and Genesis 1 "man," to all humans as their Representative (Rom. 5:12-14; 1 Cor. 15:22,45).
Bible. Is God's unique God-breathed (2 Tim. 3:15-17) revelation in human words, of Himself, His ways and His will, to man.
Christianity. Is the one true religion, in the sense of God's only way of salvation (Jn. 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 Tim. 2:5). Is proven true beyond reasonable doubt by Jesus Christ fulfilling multiple prophecies of Messiah's time of coming (Dan 9:24-27), place of birth (Mic 5:2) His Virgin birth (Isa. 7:14; Mat. 1:23), sinless life (2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 4:15; 1 Pet. 2:22; 1 Jn. 3:5), miracles (Mat. 8:23-27), suffering (Ps. 22:1,7-8,16,18; Mt 27:35-46; Isa. 53:3-12; Acts 8:32-35), death, resurrection and ascension.
Common ancestry. I accept universal common ancestry (but not evolution). That is, I accept that all life on Earth, both living and dead, shared a single common ancestor at the origin of life. And that thereafter all life has descended with modification from that single common ancestor. But that modification was by both supernatural and natural means. Common ancestry is therefore not necessarily evolution, since as Dawkins (quoting Darwin) pointed out, God could have intervened supernaturally "at any one stage of descent" in which case it "was not evolution at all" but was in fact "divine creation" (Dawkins, R., "The Blind Watchmaker," 1986, pp.248-249,317)! See my posts of 23-Sep-05, 04-Jan-06, 16-Nov-05, 27-May-06, 30-May-06, 20-Jun-06, 11-Aug-06, 02-Aug-06, 27-Aug-06, 04-Nov-06, 31-Dec-06, 17-Feb-07, 26-Mar-07 & 30-March-07.
Creation. According to my Progressive Mediate Creation position, this was the creatio ex nihilo (creation out of nothing) by God of the raw materials of Universe (Gen. 1:1), and thereafter (Gen. 1:2-31) was creatio ex materia (creation out of matter) by God making and forming those raw materials, both supernaturally and naturally. Therefore creation includes both 1. primary or immediate creation - God working supernaturally not through secondary causes; and 2. secondary or mediate creation - God working supernaturally and naturally through secondary causes.
Creationism. That the Universe and life was brought into being by a Creator. Includes Old-Earth/Progressive Creation (OEC/PC) and Young-Earth Creation (YEC), which hold that God supernaturally intervened to bring about the origin of the Universe, life, life's major groups and man. Also I regard as creationism those versions of Theistic or God-Guided Evolution (TE/GGE) in which God supernaturally intervened in or guided creation. Also versions of Deistic Evolution (DE) or Evolutionary Creationism (EC) which hold that God front-loaded the Universe so that life and man would inevitable appear, I also regard as a form of creationism. However those versions of TE/GGE, DE and EC which are just Naturalistic Evolution believed by those who are, or claim to be, Christians (NEC) I do not regard as creationism. See my position Progressive Mediate Creation.
Darwin, Charles. Founder of the modern theory of fully naturalistic evolution. A flawed genius, like Sigmund Freud. Committed plagiarism and other forms of dishonesty in seeking for himself "the bauble fame" (Darwin. F., ed., "The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin," 1898, p.i:452).
Darwinism. Is false, except as a limited theory of adaptation. In its general form is self-refuting, because of Darwin's "horrid doubt" that "the convictions of man's mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals" i.e. by a purposeless process like the natural selection of random mutations "are of any value or at all trustworthy" (Darwin, 1898, p.i:285), which "convictions of man's mind" would include Darwinism itself (not to mention any theory of evolution that was fully materialistic and naturalistic and denied design, and indeed Materialism and Naturalism themselves).
Design. God's purpose, plan, and their execution. Argument from design to a Designer. Argument to design from a Designer. See Intelligent Design (ID).
Evolution. Cosmological and biological change over time in which God had no part. Does not actually exist, except in the sense of a counterfeit of the genuine article, creation.
Flood, Noah's. On the basis of Jesus' affirming that there was a Noah, an ark and a flood (Mat. 24:38; Lk. 17:27), and other evidence such as the credible design and dimensions of the Ark and the widespread ancient stories of a Great Flood, I accept that there really was a Noah's flood, but that it was probably a local symbolic act by God to represent His judgment on the entire world.
Genesis 1. Of the various main interpretative approaches to Genesis 1, including: Literalist, Gap theory, Day-age, Proclaimed days, Revealed days and Literary Framework; I consider the latter Literary Framework interpretation to be the best fit of the data of the text itself and the evidence from nature (general revelation). See my post of 31-Aug-06 for more details.
Genesis 1-11. I regard this as real history expressed partly (e.g. the talking snake of Genesis 3-Gen. 3:1-4; 13-14; Jn. 8:44; Rom. 16:20; 2 Cor. 11:3; Rev. 12:9,14-15; 20:2) in symbolic form.
Global warming. I believe that global warming is part of the Great Tribulation. Having once been a global warming sceptic, I now believe it is real and indeed going to be nearer the worst case than best case scenarios. I interpret some of the signs Jesus warned would precede His return, e.g.:
"Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places." (Mt. 24:7; Mk 13:8; Lk 21:11)
25"There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. 26Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. (Lk 21:25-26)
as being fulfilled in the environmental and social upheaveals that will occur as consequences of global warming. See further some of my posts on this: 31 Mar 06; 28 Mar 06; 04 Mar 06; 04 Dec 05; 29 Nov 05 & 12 Aug 05.
Gnosticism. I believe that much of what passes for Christianity these days is a form of Gnosticism, in which God is regarded as radically separate from His creation such that He should not, would not, or could not intervene in it supernaturally, but should only, would only, or could only work through secondary causes (e.g. Demiurge, Evolution). Is marked by those who claim to be Christians but who are strongly opposed to God having intervened supernaturally in His creation and who seek to minimise or even deny Biblical miracles. Extreme hostility to the idea Intelligent Design, that there is empirically detectable evidence of design in nature, I regard as Gnostic.
God. Exists as Person who is infinite in power, knowledge, goodness and love. Revealed in Bible as Triune: Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Mat. 3:16-17; 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14; 1 Pet. 1:2).
God, evidence. All humans intuitively know there is a God (Ps. 19:1-3; Rom. 1:18-20). Even atheists show by their attacks on God and His followers that they really know deep down that there is a God to whom they are accountable.
Great Tribulation. I believe we are in or entering the period described by Jesus as the Great Tribulation (Mat. 24:21; Rev. 7:14 KJV), which is also "Satan's little season" in which he will be free once more to "go out to deceive the nations" (Rev. 20:1-3,7). That time will be marked by the Great Apostasy (2 Thess 2:3 KJV. "falling away" = Gk. apostasia); when there will be an "increase of wickedness" and "the love of most will grow cold" (Mat. 24:12) such that when Jesus returns, true Christian faith will be comparatively rare (Lk. 18:8). Christians will be increasingly persecuted (Mat. 24:9-14), Antichrist will appear (1 Jn. 2:18; 4:3; 2 Thess 2:3-11). and the Church would be destroyed (Rev. 11:3-10) were it not for Jesus' return (2 Thess 2:8). See also Global warming.
Hell. I am persuaded by the weight of Biblical evidence that Hell is not everlasting conscious punishment, but rather it is the final divine judgment whose results cannot be reversed, and which, after each person receives no more and no less than the just punishment due for their sins, terminates in their annihilation. See my "Re: Baxter, Darwin, predestination, damnation, etc." Also see Pinnock, C.H., 2005, "The Destruction of the Finally Impenitent," 11 May; Fudge, E., 1984, "The Final End of the Wicked," Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, 27.3, September, pp.325-334; and "Annihilationism," Wikipedia, 19 October 2010.
Intelligent Design (ID). Scientific theory that there is empirically detectable evidence of intelligent causation in nature prior to the origin of humans. ID depends solely on the evidence of nature. Therefore ID cannot specify who the designer is. See Intelligent Designer & Irreducible complexity.
Intelligent Designer. As a Christian, I personally assume (but cannot prove) that the Designer is the God of the Bible. However, it is not necessary to identify the designer to correctly infer design.
"In Darwin's words, `if it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous successive slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.' ... Darwin had to show only that the intermediates could possibly have existed. His critics had the more difficult task: they had to show that the intermediates could not have existed. It is very difficult to prove negative statements." (Ridley, M., "Evolution," Blackwell: Cambridge MA, Second Edition, 1996, p.342).
Therefore my definition of "irreducible complexity" is, to paraphrase Darwin:
"Any complex biological system which could not plausibly have been formed by numerous successive slight modifications."
Jesus Christ. Was and is God in human form (Mt 1:23; 28:19; Jn 1:1,14; 8:58-59; 10:32-33; 20:27-28; Acts 20:28; Rom 9:5; 2 Cor 13:14; Php 2:5-6, Col 2:9; Tit 2:13; 1 Pet 1:2; etc). That is, the pre-existent Christ, the Second Person of Trinity, took upon human nature of man Jesus. Died on the Cross for the sins of the word, resurrected from death and ascended to heaven, from where He will return to raise all humans who have ever lived and judge them according to their every thought, word and deed.
Jesus Christ's return (second coming). Jesus will return (Mat. 16:27; 24:30; 26:64; Acts 1:11; 1 Cor. 11:26; 1 Thess. 4:16; Heb. 9:28; Rev. 1:7)! My interpretation is that we are in the period predicted by Jesus in Lk 21:24-28, between[Right: Jerusalem, after 1967: BBC]
Jerusalem being no longer under Gentile rule ("Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled" v.24b) which happened in 1967, and Jesus' return"with power and great glory" (v.27). That period will be characterised by "nations ... in anguish and perplexity" (v.25) and "Men ... faint[ing] from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world" (v.26). "When these things begin to take place" Jesus encouragement to His followers is to "stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near" (v.28). I assume (along with leading Christian theologians such as the late Anthony A. Hoekema and William Hendriksen) that the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in AD 70, predicted by Jesus in the Olivet discourse (Mt 23:37-24:51, Mk 13:1-37; Lk 21:5-36), was a `type' of the second coming of Jesus. And therefore Jesus' prediction that "this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened" (Mt 24:34; Mk 13:30; Lk 21:32) applies also to the generation that will live to see Jesus' return. And since Jerusalem no longer being under Gentile rule in 1967 is one of the "all these things" that that generation living at the time of Jesus' return will experience, I therefore assume that Jesus will return before the bulk of that generation that lived in 1967 passes away, i.e. before 2037. See also my posts "Re: about your prediction of Jesus' return by 2037" and "Re: what would happen if I lived to 2037 and Jesus has not come?"
Life, origin of. I assume that a fully naturalistic origin of life from non-living chemicals is so improbable that it was effectively impossible. That is, I agree with the late Francis Crick, co-discoverer of the structure of DNA that:
"An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going." (Crick, F.H.C., "Life Itself: Its Origin and Nature," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, 1981, p.88. My emphasis)
except that on the basis of "all the knowledge available to us now," I accept that the origin of life was "a miracle"! That is, the origin of life required the intervention/guidance of an Intelligent Designer (who I assume is the Christian God)
"`I predict that, if a form of life is ever discovered in another part of the universe ... it will be found to resemble life on Earth in one key respect: it will have' been created by an Intelligent Designer"! ("Smallest genome clocks in at 182 genes").
However, I assume that life has only ever existed on Earth in the entire Universe, with the possible exception of Mars (in the latter case it would then have been transported to Earth in bacterial form via meteorite ejecta). See also SETI.
Materialism. That is, "matter/energy is all there is." Materialism is equivalent to naturalism. Is false because there is a non-material God, spirits (e.g. angels and demons) mind, information, laws and numbers. Also materialism is self-refuting because:
"... if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true ... " (Haldane, J.B.S., "Possible Worlds," Chatto &
Windus: London, 1932, p.209).
Mutation. The true cause of biological change. Included genetic (e.g. DNA point mutations) and chromosomal (e.g. duplications, inversions, translocations and deletions). Mutations can be directed or undirected (random). Major biological change.
Natural selection. Is nothing more than differential reproduction. Can of itself only negative eliminate the unfit and make minor adaptive changes (e.g. peppered moths and Galapagos finch beaks). Cannot of itself positively create. Requires the right mutations, at the right place at the right time to make major biological change. The latter therefore requires directed mutations.
Nature. God's general revelation to man. Book of nature that, with book of Scripture (Bible) has the same ultimate Author. Therefore the two books must ultimately agree and be complementary to each other.
Naturalism. That is "nature is all there is"-"there is no supernatural" and "all that exists can in principle be studied by the scientific method." Is false because supernatural God exists and so does supernatural beings angels and demons, as well as laws and numbers. In its dominant scientific form, naturalism is equivalent to materialism. Naturalism is self-refuting because:
"Naturalism, even if it is not purely materialistic ... discredits our processes of reasoning ... to such a humble level that it can no longer support Naturalism itself." (Lewis, C.S., "Miracles," Fontana: London, 1963, p.19).
Pascal's Wager My simplified form of Pascal's Wager that I employed in debates with atheists is:
Neither the atheist, nor the Christian, can absolutely prove that his position is true. Nevertheless the consequences for either the atheist or the Christian being right (or wrong) is clear. If atheism is true, then both the atheist and Christian will die and neither will know that the atheist was right. On the other hand, if Christianity is true, then the atheist and Christian will die (or Jesus will return) and both will know that the Christian was right. Morever, if the atheist was right, he would have gained nothing and the Christian would have lost nothing (I personally have had a great life since becoming a Christian in 1967). But if the Christian was right, the atheist would have lost everything and the Christian would have gained everything!
Progressive Mediate Creation (PMC). My position on the creation-evolution spectrum as what seems to me to be the best fit of the Biblical and scientfic evidence. It holds that, as per Genesis 1, God created ex nihilo (out of nothing) the raw materials of the Universe (Gen. 1:1). Thereafter (Gen. 1:2-31) God created by the making and forming of those raw materials, both supernaturally and naturally, through secondary causes. I took the name "Progressive Mediate Creation" to denote the position of the great evangelical Presbyterian theologian Charles Hodge, who wrote of a "a mediate, progressive creation":
"Mediate and Immediate Creation But while it has ever been the doctrine of the Church that God created the universe out of nothing by the word of his power, which creation was instantaneous and immediate, i. e., without the intervention of any second causes; yet it has generally been admitted that this is to be understood only of the original call of matter into existence. Theologians have, therefore, distinguished between a first and second, or immediate and mediate creation. The one was instantaneous, the other gradual; the one precludes the idea of any preexisting substance, and of cooperation, the other admits and implies both. There is evident ground for this distinction in the Mosaic account of the creation. ... It thus appears that forming out of preexisting material comes within the Scriptural idea of creating. ... There is, therefore, according to the Scriptures, not only an immediate, instantaneous creation ex nihilo by the simple word of God, but a mediate, progressive creation; the power of God working in union with second causes." (Hodge, C., "Systematic Theology," , James Clark & Co: London, Vol. I, Reprinted, 1960, pp.556-557)
It follows, therefore, that after the original ex nihilo creation of the Universe God created only by modification, both supernaturally and naturally. Therefore Universal Common Ancestry is a corollary of PMC. See also my FAQ, Progressive (Mediate) Creation.
SETI. Since I believe that life only ever has existed on Earth or also possibly Mars (in the latter case only in bacterial form) I believe the search for extraterrestrial life beyond Mars and extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI), are doomed to failure.
Shroud of Turin. I am persuaded by the evidence that the Shroud of Turin is the actual linen cloth which covered the body of Jesus. And that the
[Left (click to enlarge): Face of the Man on the Shroud of Turin: Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B., 2000, "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," Michael O'Mara: London, p.28]
double-sided, photo- graphic negative, 3-D, x-ray, image of a naked, flogged, crowned with thorns, speared in the side, crucified, man, was the result of a flash of radiation as Jesus' body changed state at His resurrection (Jn. 20:19,26; 1 Cor. 15:42-44,50; Php. 3:21). See my series of posts from: Bogus: Shroud of Turin? #1 and my "A proposal to radiocarbon- date the pollen of the Shroud of Turin." See also my second blog, The Shroud of Turin.
Universe. Ultimately created by God from nothing (Gen. 1:1; Jn. 1:1-3; 2 Cor. 4:6; Heb. 11:3). Sustained and governed by God.
Created: 11 November, 2006. Last updated: 26 February, 2011.