The will of a person needs to be engaged to follow through and implement their belief into action. Belief needs to go from the mind through the heart and activate the will to take hold of what has been understood and responded to, and make it part of one's life. This then in its outworking, becomes obedience to the 'Word'. The scriptures speak of "obedience to the faith" Romans 1: 5 , this is where faith has had its complete outworking.
In the parable of the Sower Matt. The difference depends on the soil, the heart into which it falls. Notice the things which hinder the growth of the Word - a stony ground i. Y'shua said, "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Adulterers and adulteresses!
Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself the enemy of God" James 4: All knowledge that comes to the natural man is through the five senses: seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling and touching. All of these senses connect us to the natural realm of this world.
Accepting the conditions which we see as fact, instead of what the Word says will hinder faith. Our physical body interprets things according to its senses; hunger, pain, fatigue cold, sight and hearing etc. Our soul, that is, our mind, will and emotions react to our environment and circumstances conditioned by our physical senses in the world around us. The perceptions of our mind take in knowledge of the Word but it can be just intellectual knowledge and not revelation knowledge which activates faith. Our spirit functions in the spiritual realm.
The faculties of our spirit are intuition i. Faith operates through our spirit's visionary capacity to enable revelation knowledge which unveils the mind of purposes of Yahweh God to us. The faculties of our spirit give us perception of spiritual realities! Failure to Confess the Word Faith not verbalised, is faith not activated.
When we receive the spirit of faith, we must also speak out the "word of faith", for it to have the creative power of God. We will have whatever we confess before men. Mark ; Romans Assurance which rests on the facts of the Word of God and is a work of the Spirit. Galatians ; 4: 6. But was its occupation really inevitable? Miller is confident that it was:. But as life re-explored adaptive space, could we be certain that our niche would not be occupied? I would argue that we could be almost certain that it would be--that eventually evolution would produce an intelligent, self-aware, reflective creature endowed with a nervous system large enough to solve the very same questions we have, and capable of discovering the very process that produced it, the process of evolution Everything we know about evolution suggests that it could, sooner or later, get to that niche.
Miller and Giberson are forced to this view for a simple reason. If we cannot prove that humanoid evolution was inevitable, then the reconciliation of evolution and Christianity collapses. For if we really were the special object of God's creation, our evolution could not have been left to chance. It may not be irrelevant that although the Catholic Church accepts most of Darwinism, it makes an official exception for the evolution of Homo sapiens , whose soul is said to have been created by God and inserted at some point into the human lineage.
The difficulty is that most scientists do not share Miller's certainty. This is because evolution is not a repeatable experiment. We cannot replay the tape of life over and over to see if higher consciousness always crops up. In fact, there are good reasons for thinking that the evolution of humanoids was not only not inevitable, but was a priori improbable. Although convergences are striking features of evolution, there are at least as many failures of convergence.
These failures are less striking because they involve species that are missing. Consider Australia again. Many types of mammals that evolved elsewhere have no equivalents among marsupials. There is no marsupial counterpart to a bat that is, a flying mammal , or to giraffes and elephants large mammals with long necks or noses that can browse on the leaves of trees. Most tellingly, Australia evolved no counterpart to primates, or any creature with primate-like intelligence.
In fact, Australia has many unfilled niches--and hence many unfulfilled convergences, including that prized "humanoid" niche. If high intelligence was such a predictable result of evolution, why did it not evolve in Australia? Why did it arise only once, in Africa? This raises another question. We recognize convergences because unrelated species evolve similar traits. In other words, the traits appear in more than one species.
But sophisticated, self-aware intelligence is a singleton: it evolved just once, in a human ancestor. Octopi and dolphins are also smart, but they do not have the stuff to reflect on their origins. In contrast, eyes have evolved independently forty times, and white color in Arctic animals appeared several times. It is hard to make a convincing case for the evolutionary inevitability of a feature that arose only once.
The elephant's trunk, a complex and sophisticated adaptation it has over forty thousand muscles!
Yet you do not hear scientists arguing that evolution would inevitably fill the "elephant niche. Finally, it is abundantly clear that the evolution of human intelligence was a contingent event: contingent on the drying out of the African forest and the development of grasslands, which enabled apes to leave the trees and walk on two legs.
Indeed, to maintain that the evolution of humans was inevitable, you must also maintain that the evolution of apes was inevitable, that the evolution of primates was inevitable, that the rise of mammals was inevitable, and so on back through dozens of ancestors, all of whose appearances must be seen as inevitable.
This produces a regress of increasing unlikelihood. In the end, the question of whether human-like creatures were inevitable can be answered only by admitting that we do not know--and adding that most scientific evidence suggests that they were not. Any other answer involves either wishful thinking or theology. Miller opts for theology. Although his new book does not say how God ensured the arrival of Homo sapiens , Miller was more explicit in Finding Darwin's God. There he suggested that the indeterminacy of quantum mechanics allows God to intervene at the level of atoms, influencing events on a larger scale:.
The indeterminate nature of quantum events would allow a clever and subtle God to influence events in ways that are profound, but scientifically undetectable to us. Those events could include the appearance of mutations, the activation of individual neurons in the brain, and even the survival of individual cells and organisms affected by the chance processes of radioactive decay.
In other words, God is a Mover of Electrons, deliberately keeping his incursions into nature so subtle that they're invisible. It is baffling that Miller, who comes up with the most technically astute arguments against irreducible complexity, can in the end wind up touting God's micro-editing of DNA. This argument is in fact identical to that of Michael Behe, the ID advocate against whom Miller testified in the Harrisburg trial. It is another God-of-the-gaps argument, except that this time the gaps are tiny. Miller raises another argument also used by creationists and theists as proof of celestial design: the so-called "fine tuning of the universe.
If, for example, the charge of the electron were slightly different, or if the disparity in mass between a proton and a neutron were slightly larger, or if other constants varied by more than a few percent, the universe would differ in important ways.
I know many Unitarians who are Christians, and do not believe in the Trinity. In fact, they resemble those short, concise questions from the old Baltimore Catechism, the ones that had wonderfully brief and to-the-point answers. Nestle-Aland 27th edition, prefer the question variant. Someone must pay and rightfully it should be me so I pound myself for my stupidity. No longer was the object of the verb a person, but the object of the verb now became a statement. There's an invitation in those extended metaphors to see reality as characterized by a cosmic generosity, and five times in that passage Jesus also says to those who are listening to him: "Why are you anxious, oh, people of little faith? THREE I recognize by faith that God has proven His love to me in sending His Son to die in my place, in whom every provision has already been made for my past, present, and future needs through His representative work, and that I have been quickened, raised, seated with Jesus Christ in the heavenlies, and anointed with the Holy Spirit Romans ; ; Philippians ; ,7,13,19; Ephesians ; ,6; Acts ,
Stars would not live long enough to allow life to emerge and evolve, there would be no solar systems, and the universe would lack the elements and the complex chemistry necessary for building organisms. In other words, we inhabit what is called a "Goldilocks universe," where nature's laws are just right to allow life to evolve and to thrive.
This observation is called "the anthropic principle. At first glance, its explanation appears trivial. As Miller says, "Taking as a starting point the observation that you and I are alive, at least in the immediate present, it's obvious that we must live in a universe where life is possible.
If we didn't, we wouldn't be here to talk about it. So, in a certain sense the fact that we live in a life-friendly universe merits little more than a big 'Duh.
But this raises a deeper question: why do the constants of the universe just happen to have those life-promoting values? The answer given by creationists is that this is no accident: a beneficent God or an intelligent designer crafted those physical laws precisely so that somewhere in the universe intelligent life would evolve--life so intelligent that it could work out the laws of physics and, more important, apprehend their creator.
This answer--known as the strong anthropic principle--is scientifically untestable, but it sounds so reasonable that it has become one of the biggest guns in the creationist arsenal. It is important to grasp that anthropic principles concern the conditions required for the existence of any life, and say nothing about the inevitability of complex and intelligent life.
http://characters-with-character.com/wp-content/hydroxychloroquine-y-chloroquine-drogas.php Also, scientists have other explanations, ones based on reason rather than on faith. Perhaps some day, when we have a "theory of everything" that unifies all the forces of physics, we will see that this theory requires our universe to have the physical constants that we observe. Alternatively, there are intriguing "multiverse" theories that invoke the appearance of many universes, each with different physical laws; and we could have evolved only in one whose laws permit life.
The physicist Lee Smolin has suggested a fascinating version of multiverse theory. Drawing a parallel with natural selection among organisms, Smolin proposed that physical constants of universes actually evolve by a type of "cosmological selection" among universes. It turns out that each black hole--and there are millions in our universe--might give rise to a new universe, and these new universes could have physical constants different from those of their ancestors.
This is analogous to mutation in biological evolution. And universes with physical constants close to the ones we see today happen to be better at producing more black holes, which in turn produce more universes. This resembles natural selection. Eventually this process yields a population of universes enriched in those having just the right properties to produce stars the source of black holes , planets, and life. Smolin's theory immensely raises the odds that life could appear. The idea of multiple universes may seem like a desperate move--a Hail Mary thrown out by physicists who are repelled by religious explanations.
But physics is full of ideas that are completely counterintuitive, and multiverse theories fall naturally out of long-standing ideas of physics. They represent physicists' attempts to give a naturalistic explanation for what others see as evidence of design. For many scientists, multiverses seem far more reasonable than the solipsistic assumption that our own universe with its 10,,,, , planets was created just so a single species of mammal would evolve on one of them fourteen billion years later.
And yet Miller seems to favor the theological explanation, or at least gives the anthropic principle a theological spin:. The scientific insight that our very existence, through evolution, requires a universe of the very size, scale, and age that we see around us implies that the universe, in a certain sense, had us in mind from the very beginning If this universe was indeed primed for human life, then it is only fair to say, from a theist's point of view, that each of us is the result of a thought of God, despite the existence of natural processes that gave rise to us.
Miller equates the faith of religious believers with physicists' "faith" in a naturalistic explanation for physical laws:. Such belief also requires an extraordinary level of "faith" and the nonreligious would do well to admit as much. Well, physicists are not ready to admit as much. Contrary to Miller's claim, the existence of multiverses does not require a leap of faith nearly as large as that of imagining a God. And some scientific explanations of the anthropic principle are testable.
Indeed, a few predictions of Smolin's theory have already been confirmed, adding to its credibility. It may be wrong, but wait a decade and we will know a lot more about the anthropic principle. In the meantime, it is simply wrong to claim that proposing a provisional and testable scientific hypothesis--not a "belief"--is equivalent to religious faith. The most common way to harmonize science and religion is to contend that they are different but complementary ways of understanding the world.
That is, there are different "truths" offered by science and by religion that, taken together, answer every question about ourselves and the universe. Giberson explains:. I worry that scientific progress has bewitched us into thinking that there is nothing more to the world than what we can understand Science has perhaps gotten as much from the materialistic paradigm as it is going to get.
Matter in motion, so elegantly described by Newton and those who followed him, may not be the best way to understand the world I think there are ways, though, that we can begin to look at the creation and understand that the scientific view is not all-encompassing. Science provides a partial set of insights that, though powerful, don't answer all the questions.
Usually the questions said to fall outside science include those of meaning, purpose, and morality. In one of his last books, Rocks of Ages: Science and Religion in the Fullness of Life , Stephen Jay Gould called this reconciliation NOMA, for "non-overlapping magisteria": "Science tries to document the factual character of the natural world, and to develop theories that coordinate and explain these facts. Religion, on the other hand, operates in the equally important, but utterly different, realm of human purposes, meanings and values--subjects that the factual domain of science might illuminate, but can never resolve.
As a solution to our perplexity, this is no good. In a spirit of pluralism it ignores the obvious conflicts between them. Gould salvaged his idea by redefining his terms--the old trick, again--writing off creationism as "improper religion" and defining secular sources of ethics, meanings and values as being "fundamentally religious.
The NOMA solution falls apart for other reasons. Despite Gould's claims to the contrary, supernatural phenomena are not completely beyond the realm of science.
All scientists can think of certain observations that would convince them of the existence of God or supernatural forces. In a letter to the American biologist Asa Gray, Darwin noted:. Your question what would convince me of Design is a poser. If I saw an angel come down to teach us good, and I was convinced from others seeing him that I was not mad, I should believe in design. If I could be convinced thoroughly that life and mind was in an unknown way a function of other imponderable force, I should be convinced. If man was made of brass or iron and no way connected with any other organism which had ever lived, I should perhaps be convinced.
But this is childish writing.
Similarly, if a nine-hundred-foot-tall Jesus appeared to the residents of New York City, as he supposedly did to the evangelist Oral Roberts in Oklahoma, and this apparition were convincingly documented, most scientists would fall on their knees with hosannas. Scientists do indeed rely on materialistic explanations of nature, but it is important to understand that this is not an a priori philosophical commitment.
Daphne Delay. People say seeing is believing, but I beg to differ. The greatest faith any of us could possess is the ability to believe without seeing. Jesus said. Spiritual insight, they say, comes for them through faith and obedience, as it does we need to realize that blind people can use 'chopsticks' and get along fine.
It is, rather, the best research strategy that has evolved from our long-standing experience with nature. There was a time when God was a part of science. Newton thought that his research on physics helped clarify God's celestial plan. So did Linnaeus, the Swedish botanist who devised our current scheme for organizing species. But over centuries of research we have learned that the idea "God did it" has never advanced our understanding of nature an iota, and that is why we abandoned it.
In the early s, the French mathematician Laplace presented Napoleon with a copy of his great five-volume work on the solar system, the Mechanique Celeste. Aware that the books contained no mention of God, Napoleon taunted him, "Monsieur Laplace, they tell me you have written this large book on the system of the universe, and have never even mentioned its Creator. In a common error, Giberson confuses the strategic materialism of science with an absolute commitment to a philosophy of materialism.
He claims that "if the face of Jesus appeared on Mount Rushmore with God's name signed underneath, geologists would still have to explain this curious phenomenon as an improbable byproduct of erosion and tectonics.
There are so many phenomena that would raise the specter of God or other supernatural forces: faith healers could restore lost vision, the cancers of only good people could go into remission, the dead could return to life, we could find meaningful DNA sequences that could have been placed in our genome only by an intelligent agent, angels could appear in the sky. The fact that no such things have ever been scientifically documented gives us added confidence that we are right to stick with natural explanations for nature.
And it explains why so many scientists, who have learned to disregard God as an explanation, have also discarded him as a possibility. This brings us to the second reason why Gould's explanation does not cohere. It is all well and good to say, as he did, that religion makes no claims about nature, but in practice it is not true. Out of the thousands of religious sects on this planet, only a handful do not have adherents or dogmas that make empirical claims about the world. Here are some. Jesus was born of a virgin and, after crucifixion, came back to life.
After Mary's death, her physical body was transported to heaven. The Prophet Mohammed ascended to heaven on the back of a white horse. After death, every being is reincarnated in some other form. The god Brahma emerged from a lotus flower that grew from the navel of Vishnu, and, on Vishnu's command, created the universe. God listens and responds to prayer. Sea mammals come from the chopped-off fingers of the Inuit god Sedna. You will gain wealth and happiness if you send money to the ministry of Creflo Dollar. Those are the dogmas. To see what the faithful actually believe, consider that more than 60 percent of Americans believe in miracles, the virgin birth of Jesus, his divinity and resurrection Giberson and Miller are among them , the survival of the soul after death, and the existence of Hell and Satan.
Regardless of what liberal theologians claim, most of us are not deists or Unitarians. And if you think that Americans see the Bible as mere metaphorical poetry, I invite you to visit a gospel church in Wasilla, Alaska, or on the South Side of Chicago. Many religious beliefs can be scientifically tested, at least in principle. Faith-based healing is particularly suited to these tests. Yet time after time it has failed them. After seeing the objects cast off by visitors to Lourdes, Anatole France is said to have remarked, "All those canes, braces and crutches, and not a single glass eye, wooden leg, or toupee!
Recent scientific studies of intercessory prayer--when the sick do not know whether they are being prayed for--have not shown the slightest evidence that it works.
Nor do we have scientifically rigorous demonstrations of miracles, despite the Vatican's requirement that two miracles be proven for canonizing every saint. Holy relics, such as the Shroud of Turin, have turned out to be clever fakes. There is no corroborated evidence that anyone has spoken from beyond the grave. And what about the ancient "foundational" miracles, such as those supposedly performed by Christ, Buddha, and Mohammed?
We were not there when they happened, so we cannot test them. But at least we can apply the same standards to these as we do to other Biblical or Koranic claims. Like Giberson, Miller rejects a literal interpretation of the Bible. After discussing the fossil record, he contends that "a literal reading of the Genesis story is simply not scientifically valid," concluding that "theology does not and cannot pretend to be scientific, but it can require of itself that it be consistent with science and conversant with it.
Why reject the story of creation and Noah's Ark because we know that animals evolved, but nevertheless accept the reality of the virgin birth and resurrection of Christ, which are equally at odds with science? After all, biological research suggests the impossibility of human females reproducing asexually, or of anyone reawakening three days after death. Clearly Miller and Giberson, along with many Americans, have some theological views that are not "consistent with science.
What, then, is the nature of "religious truth" that supposedly complements "scientific truth"? The first thing we should ask is whether, and in what sense, religious assertions are "truths. I confess that God, as my Creator, made me for Himself. In this day, I therefore choose to live for Him. Revelation ; Isaiah ,7,21; Revelation THREE I recognize by faith that God has proven His love to me in sending His Son to die in my place, in whom every provision has already been made for my past, present, and future needs through His representative work, and that I have been quickened, raised, seated with Jesus Christ in the heavenlies, and anointed with the Holy Spirit Romans ; ; Philippians ; ,7,13,19; Ephesians ; ,6; Acts , FOUR I recognize by faith that God has accepted me, since I have received Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord John ; Ephesians ; that He has forgiven me Ephesians ; adopted me into His family, assuming every responsibility for me John ,17; Ephesians ; Philippians ; given me eternal life John ; 1 John ; applied the per- fect righteousness of Christ to me so that I am now justified Romans ; ; ; made me complete in Christ Colossians ; and offers Himself to me as my daily sufficiency through prayer and the decisions of faith 1 Corinthians ; Colossians ; Galatians ; John ; Matthew ; Romans ; Hebrews , FIVE I recognize by faith that the Holy Spirit has baptized me into the body of Christ 1 Corinthians ; sealed me Ephesians ; anointed me for life and service Acts ; John ; seeks to lead me into a deeper walk with Jesus Christ John ; ; ; Romans ; and to fill my life with Himself Ephesians I confess that in my salvation my part was only to receive Him and that He dealt with my sin and saved me.
Now I confess that in order to live a holy life, I can only surrender to His will and receive Him as my sanctification; trusting Him to do whatever may be necessary in my life, without and within, so I may be enabled to live today in purity, freedom, rest and power for His glory. All things build upon this. In describing our spiritual armor, Paul uses a helmet to illustrate the truth of our salvation: that which protects the mind, and protects us from a fatal blow. We make it a critical part of basic follow-up, because scripture affirms that it is.
Let your disciples doubt that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Let them doubt that the Cubs will ever win a World Series. But, rehearse this with them until that helmet cannot be pried off their head. Faith is like a muscle; it grows by lifting weights. Weights are the resistance—the doubts, mental whispers, and circumstances that tell us the opposite of what faith must believe. He is for me. He has a plan. And so all disciples are periodically tossed into a boat and sent out into a raging storm, where God is conspicuous by his absence. We are not trying to rescue our disciples from the situations and circumstances that will cause faith to grow.
Our role is to come alongside them, strengthen their feeble arms and help them to curl the heavy weights that will cause their faith to bulk-up. I think I just described a steroid. God provides the weight adverse circumstances and trials , but they must continue to lift the weight. Alternatively faith grows through new challenges and we serve our disciples well by calling them into circumstances where they will need to trust and rely on God.
They take courageous steps, God shows Himself faithful, and their faith grows. Through the stress and strain of faith development, the truths discussed in this article are the most common fracture points, and the places your disciples may most need your encouragement to wind their way up the hill of faith. Missions are not the ultimate goal of the Church. Worship is. To firmly cement in our minds the foundations for guilt-free living, this chapter will look at the biblical teachings on law and grace.
This is fundamental to overcoming guilt and building a positive self-image. Understand how you can know God personally. What is Christianity? Learn the basics of what Christians believe.
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