In the Beginning

For life to begin to exist (an effect) it must be caused: either created supernaturally (by God) or arising spontaneously and randomly, by accident, out of non-living matter (i.e. random chemicals dissolved in water). By definition, these two explanations are our only reasonable choices to explain life on Earth.

For well over a century, scientists have desperately been trying to explain how life might have evolved on its own without a Creator; the entire evolutionary claim depends upon this.

Yet even the very simplest living things are so bewilderingly complex that the more we research the problem the farther away we find ourselves from discovering a naturalistic cause.

Every single-celled organism, as scientists imagine the first life forms to be, is like a tiny three-dimensional city, complete with streets, power plants, utilities, waste collection and removal services, factories, hospitals, food stores, repair shops, police, thousands of little robots automatically carrying out very specific functions all throughout the cell, and a governing center with little computers running it all, complete with extremely complex information encoded into unfathomably and irreducibly complex molecules capturing every detail and nuance of how the cell is constructed and operates.

It is not surprising that evolutionary scientists have a very difficult time admitting how extremely complex any cell is, or the vast improbability of even one of these ever coming into being on its own; only Creation scientists appear willing to state the obvious.

For example, each cell contains all of these bewilderingly complex, interconnected and interdependent systems and components within a surrounding wall or membrane, keeping everything in place and protecting the inner workings of the cell from its external environment.

Just trying to explain a cell membrane, the little bubble surrounding the cell, is daunting all by itself. This membrane must keep the internal environment of the cell chemically stable while allowing nutrients to pass into the cell and waste to be expelled. It must keep all necessary cell components in their correct locations, so it must form around and enclose all of the internal, interdependent components only after they have all been co-located into positions which allow them all to interact seamlessly and consistently with one another.

This membrane, even in the simplest living organism, comprises over a million complex molecules, each having a distinct function and arranged very precisely such that each segment of the cell wall works together seamlessly with the rest of the cell to keep the cell alive.

The membrane comprises two distinct layers which maintain the stability of both the interior and exterior wall surfaces while allowing fluidity, or lateral movement of the structural molecules (phospholipids), within the wall itself, which is crucial for the wall to function properly.

Very complex protein molecules must be precisely configured and correctly positioned within the cell wall to facilitate movement of the correct types of molecules through special corridors both entering the cell (nutrients) and exiting the cell (waste and toxins).

Further, the cell membrane must permit external environmental factors to influence the internal components of the cell such that the cell can respond favorably to environmental stimuli, yet without allowing the environment to compromise the integrity and stability of the cell’s infrastructure.

And finally, this membrane must be designed to allow the cell to replicate without destroying the cell itself, to split apart and form two completely new cells with all of the necessary internal components in each new cell without destroying any of these internal components or the cell itself in the process.

No living cell can exist without a fully functioning cell membrane, so how did the first cell get a membrane? Did over a million very complex molecules accidently compose themselves out of a random environment of naturally occurring chemicals (most of which happen to be hazardous to the cell’s internal components) into a very precise design around a mass of other precisely designed components for no apparent reason, creating a safe and amazingly complex barrier precisely suitable to sustain life?

The likelihood of a single such membrane actually forming by chance, even if all of the required component atoms are floating around in perfect concentrations just waiting to be used up, is unspeakably small. It is more likely that we could randomly select a specially-marked atom from among all the atoms in the known universe in a single trial event, and then repeat this feat trillions of times in a row and never miss a beat. This is statistically impossible, for all practical purposes.

This doesn’t even begin to touch the problem of how all the rest of the extremely complex components within the membrane get there: the random formation of the genetic programs precisely configured to produce and repair the necessary proteins and enzymes needed to carry out basic life functions of the cell, such as metabolizing nutrients and converting them into usable energy, repairing damaged cell components, and replicating the cell itself. Each one of these processes is incredibly complex, all on its own.

For a living cell to function all of these systems must be precisely engineered and interconnected within the cell in precisely the correct locations and configurations at the same time for each of them to function properly. We call this irreducible complexity.

Finally, for such complexity to arise randomly in a primordial soup, the entire process must occur within a very short time span (a few hours); most of the components within the cell decay and break down rather quickly if not stabilized in a very special chemical environment which is not found outside the cell. Even if all of these internal components were to form somehow and come together on their own, without the cell membrane to shield them most of the components would only last a couple of hours before breaking down and decaying into useless molecules.

Stating the obvious: scientists will never be able to explain how any living organism formed randomly by mere chance. We know enough now to state this as an extremely well established, verifiable scientific fact. Those who refuse to admit this fact and incorporate it into their world view are not following the science; they are being irrational and dishonest – hoping for a veritably infinite sequence of statistical miracles while denying the very possibility of miracles.

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Love His Appearing

Am I loving the appearing of Jesus Christ? Does my spirit rejoice in God my Savior at the thought He will return to enforce Torah (Ze 14:16-17), as He rules the nations with a rod of iron? (Re 2:26-27)

Or is there unholy hesitation, ungodly fear simmering beneath the informed intellect? My renewed mind (Ro 7:25) knows better than to slink away, to run and hide from God, much less resist Him. (2Ti 3:8) But the Old Man ever lurks in shadows, peering out of darkness, offended by the light. (Ge 3:8)

Is there anything at all in me that recoils at the thought of Messiah’s return? (Re 1:7) That’s wrongfully afraid of Him and wishes to hide? (Re 6:15-17)

Many, mindful of earthly things, neglecting and despising Torah (Ro 8:6), seem unafraid of Jesus (Re 19:15-16), as if He’s only tolerance and love, unconcerned with their carnality. (Php 3:18-19) I know better (Ro 1:18-19); yet what troubles me? (1Jn 3:20) What is my complaint? (Ro 3:4)

Does an instinctive aversion yet abide within by my permission? Does my willingness to let it live amount to consent? Can I indeed rid myself of it entirely? or am I stuck?

A crown of righteousness awaits all who love His appearing with their entire being. (2Ti 4:8) Freedom awaits those who seek (Mt 7:7-11): this is mine for the taking. (Mt 11:12)

Cross-examine this body of lies, whatever remains inside; square off with it; interrogate it; root out all its doubletalk and irrationality. Boldly expose all deception without hesitation or fear: He has not given you a spirit fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2Ti 1:7) Hold each lie up to the lamp, one by one before the light of the Word. (Ps 119:105)

The carnal mind is enmity against God (Ro 8:7); he refuses believe in the goodness of God. There’s nothing sane about him: all lies, top to bottom, corrupt throughout. (Ep 4:22) Put him off; cleanse yourself from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God (2Co 7:1); leave no trace. (1Jn 3:3)

This is war, spiritual battle: take no prisoners. Co-labor with God to pull down your strongholds (2Co 10:4), entrenched patterns of corrupt emotions and desires, and see them vaporize before the light. (2Th 2:8) Take them down intentionally, strategically, and hold your ground once you take it back. (Ep 4:27)

Believe Yeshua gave Himself to redeem you from all iniquity and purify you unto Himself a peculiar soul, zealous of good works. (Ti 2:13-14) He can do this. (1Jn 4:4)

Believe and thank Him that He is delivering you from the body of this death. (Ro 7:24-25) Know that your old man is already crucified with Him, nailed to the cross that the body of sin might be destroyed; you don’t need to serve sin any longer, for we who are dead are freed from sin. (Ro 6:6-7) Reckon you yourself to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ your Lord. (Ro 6:11)

Remember, and stir up the gift of God which is in you. (2Ti 1:6) He is able to keep you from falling and into present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy. (Jud 24)

Walk in the light, as He is in the light, and fellowship with Him. (1Jn 1:7) Let us have grace to serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear. (He 12:28-29) We may have boldness in the day of Judgment (1Jn 4:17), knowing God is just and faithful. He Who walks with you is the One Who comes for you to receive you unto Himself to be with Him. (Jn 14:1-3)

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Ye Are Gods

As Jesus testifies to the Jews of His identity, that He and Father God are one (Jn 10:30), they take up stones to stone Him. (31) When He challenges them to explain why they’re trying to kill Him (32), they accuse Him of blasphemy (33a), offended that He, a mere mortal, is making Himself God. (33b) They’ve evidently decided a human being cannot possibly be God, that God would not present Himself that way.

Are they presuming God cannot present Himself in human form? That this is simply too difficult for God? (Ge 18:13-14a) Likely not; they understand God is omnipotent, capable of anything He wishes. (Ps 115:3)

They evidently presume God would never want to do so; that this would be inappropriate, too condescending, way beneath His majesty; He would never abase Himself in this manner. Perhaps they reason human beings are too weak and sinful, so far beneath God He would never humble Himself to appear in human form. (Php 2:7-8)

In response, Christ quotes from Psalm 82 and challenges the Jews with a question: If God Himself tells us we’re gods (Ps 82:6a), why is it blasphemy for Christ to claim to be the Son of God? (Jn 10:34-36) He appears to be addressing the root cause of their presupposition: that God would never take on a human body, and so identify Himself with us as to live as a Man among us.

In saying we are gods (lords, rulers) Christ is evidently pointing out a consequence of God making men in His own image (Ge 1:26a), charging us to subdue the earth (28a) as He gives us dominion over all of it. (26b) We not only bear His likeness, as kings we have a domain of authority and control resembling His. Christ appears to be demonstrating our value lies not in our behavior but in our image, design and calling. This is fundamental truth these Jews seem to have overlooked, exposing their presupposition as error.

Further, in the immediate context of His quote from Psalms, we find we are all children of the most High. (Ps 82:6b) God values us immensely and identifies with us as a Father, treating us as part of His family. Christ appears to be giving sufficient evidence Jehovah God is willing to walk among us as one of us (Ge 3:8-9); He loves us and values us dearly.

So, in His challenge, Christ effectively removes any and all grounds for presuming God is unwilling to take on human flesh, and exhorts the Jews to focus on the evidence: Do Christ’s works verify His claim to be divine? If so, they should be willing to accept Him as God rather than cling to arbitrary bias unsupported in Scripture. (Jn 10:37-38)

This seems exemplary of God’s dealings with Man; in receiving Him we must humble ourselves, receive the evidence He’s given us (1Jn 5:10-11), acknowledge Him as God and trust Him as Savior. (Jn 1:12)

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Being the Brightness

When Christ walked the earth He looked normal, like any other person, but on the Mount of Transfiguration His face became so bright it shone like the sun. (Mt 17:1-2) This is evidently His natural state, what He’s like when He isn’t veiled, disguised, subdued.

For example, when Jesus appears to Paul from Heaven His face is even brighter than the sun. (Ac 26:13) And we find the same when Jesus appears to John years later (Re 1:16); Christ is so overwhelming in His mere appearance our dear brother John faints dead away. (17a)

Further, when Christ returns to reign on Earth, His very brightness destroys His enemies. (2Th 2:8) So, He’s already toning it down a good bit when He appears to the apostles and to Paul.

Jesus is the brightness of God (He 1:1-3); He Who made the universe outshines all the stars together. (Co 1:16) When Jesus walks into a room, unless He gets out His dimmer switch and tones it down, we will not only be unable to look at Him — any more than we can stare directly into the sun — in our natural state we’ll need to take cover and/or shield ourselves from His brightness in order to survive… if anything actually could shield us from it. And this is when He’s in a kind, loving, gentle mood.

What then will it be like when He’s angry? When Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, rises up from His eternal throne in a full on, indignant rage? (Je 10:10) At the end of the age, when the King of Kings shows up in all His glory and splendor (Re 19:16), full of wrath and fury (2Co 5:11) we have no idea what that will be like – nothing in all Creation can endure His undiluted, unfiltered, angry presence (Re 6:16-17): Creation itself will try desperately to flee and find no cover. (Re 20:11)

When He came the first time, Jesus Christ of Nazareth was unimpressive, not much to look at. (Is 53:2b) Born in a stable among some animals, to a poor family from a very poor community, having no formal education, He essentially came to us incognito. If He hadn’t veiled His glory like this His enemies wouldn’t have been able to act like enemies; He was pleased to give them the opportunity to express their nature before the universe, which they certainly did, for all of us to ponder. (1Th 2:16)

And I suppose it’s reasonable to expect this is why He still seems to be mostly in hiding, not typically showing Himself in unmistakable, overwhelming ways just yet (He 12:18-21): it’s evidently to let us all show who and what we are before He throws open the doors of the Heavenly Courtroom. (Ro 9:22) He will do so, some day. (Ro 2:4-6)

So, it’s wisdom to kiss the Son lest He be angry, and we perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled just a little. (Ps 2:2) Let’s not trifle with Jesus (2Co 5:11); He’s been incredibly kind and merciful to deliver us from the wrath to come (1Th 1:10), but let’s not disrespect Him or take Him for granted; He’s to be feared as well as loved. So, let’s honor and revere Him as He deserves (Jn 5:23), serving and obeying Him with fear and trembling. (Php 2:12)

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My Father Worketh

Science, particularly the physical sciences, can be thought of as a search for causes. We want to understand how things work, the interactions and interdependencies between events so we can better understand and predict our world.

When some particular behavior or event (effect) is observed there’s an implicit assumption it was caused. We call this the Law of Causality (Cause and Effect); it’s so fundamental to the rational mind that violating it is absurd. It’s not only true — it’s formally true by definition: an effect is by definition something caused.

However, as we pursue probable causes to find an initial root cause, especially when examining historical events which we cannot replicate, we inevitably go back in time until we reach an event or state where there seems to be no possible natural cause: we then deduce that there must be an uncaused Cause. We call this observation the Kalam Cosmological Argument; it is formal proof of God’s existence.

One need not go all the way back to the beginning of Creation to find God causing effects: God has continued acting since Creation. (Jn5:17) While we should not presume God is the cause when we don’t yet understand how something works (God of the Gaps logical fallacy), we should be willing to acknowledge God as the Cause (a miracle) when this is implied by science itself: when any other probable cause violates scientific law.

Certainly, if we conclude a miracle has indeed occurred, we might later develop further scientific understanding and be able to explain it naturally, but this does not mean concluding an event is miraculous is unscientific any more than if we provide a plausible naturalistic explanation which later turns out to be false. In either case, we are being reasonable and honest based on our current understanding of science.

For example, a personal friend was shot in the chest multiple times at point blank range and survived. In analyzing his wounds, the attending surgeon found multiple instances where a bullet track terminated at the surface of a vital organ and the organ was undamaged; there was no bullet anywhere in the track, nor any alternate route found where the bullet might have exited the body. How does one explain the cause of such an event?

We may deduce the following: either [1] the surgeon lied (or was careless in his examination, which seems unlikely given his expertise, character and willingness to document and testify of the result – the x-rays are still available), [2] bullets ricocheted off vital organs and exited the body through the same path they entered (violating the physics of bullets fired at bodily organs), [3] the bullets vanished (violating the Law of Conservation Energy), or [4] this is a miracle.

Once we eliminate [1] by having multiple, authoritative witnesses interview the surgeon and examine the x-rays (which should be done with rigor, given the significance of the event), we must either conclude the laws of physics have been violated or accept this event as a miracle. (Jn 3:2)

Refusing to acknowledge the miraculous based on an a priori presumption of Philosophical Materialism is dishonest and irrational (Jn 12:37-38); it is simply a stubborn, willful refusal to acknowledge evidence, which is unscientific. Such bias will eventually be exposed as enmity against God by God Himself and punished accordingly. (Ro 1:18-21)

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That Perfect Will

As God’s children, we desire to know the will of God for our lives; we want our lives to count for God; we long to be living in His perfect will. How do we find this? how do we know what His unique will is for us as individuals and in spiritual community?

Is knowing God’s will a matter of being still and listening for His voice? the “leading of the Spirit” to guide us and show us what to do? Are we to look inside ourselves for good feelings triggered by potential activity? or thoughts appearing in our heads or hearts telling us to do or not do this or that? This sounds spiritual enough on the surface, but Scripture disagrees: God’s way is quite different.

To find God’s will for our lives, God says we need to be transformed by the renewing of our mind: we are to prove what is His good, and acceptable and perfect will by changing how we think about Him, ourselves and the world. (Ro 12:2) We need to stop listening to what others are saying about how to find and follow God, about how to live life; we need to stop following their lead, stop thinking like the world and aligning with its philosophy. (Co 2:8)

We all start out thinking the wrong way about God, about ourselves and others, even life itself, so our way of thinking needs to be cleaned up, fixed, corrected. The carnal mind, the natural way of thinking, is largely opposed to God and His ways, at enmity with Him (Ro 8:7), broken. What seems right at first glance (Pr 14:12) is ultimately the way of Death. (Ro 8:6) To be free, we align our thinking with God’s, with Truth itself. (2Ti 2:25-26) God calls it repentance. (Lk 13:3-5)

This should be expected, really: God should be more interested in who we are becoming than what we happen to be doing along the way. We can’t very well do God’s work if we aren’t becoming more and more like Him. It’s all about the heart: the core of who we are, seated in our mind, how we think, which drives how we feel and what we do. (Pr 4:23)

To renew our mind, to have a sound mind, we must discover where it’s misaligned with God’s Way and ask God to help us correct it. This is how we cleanse our way, by paying attention to where we’re deviating from God’s Word. (Ps 119:9) It’s why we’re hiding God’s Word in our heart, memorizing and meditating on Scripture, constantly recalibrating ourselves with His Word.

As we get our mind right, our thoughts, beliefs and inclinations, as well as our emotions will follow and align with God’s; then our behavior will tend more toward godliness (1Ti 4:7), honoring God and bringing Him glory rather than grieving Him. (Ep 4:30)

As God transforms us more into His image, we begin to realize God’s will for us is to become holy (1Pe 1:13-16), partakers of His holiness (He 12:10), that we may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. (Co 4:12)

A desire to do great things for God may in fact be a desire to be recognized and rewarded by God, ultimately rooted in a spirit of self-exaltation rather than a desire to serve God and please Him. It turns out God measures greatness, not by our exploits and achievements before Him, but by our obedience to Him – to Torah. (Mt 5:19)

As we’re seeking to be transformed more and more into His image (2Co 3:18), into the likeness of Christ, seeking to obey and honor Him in all we do, God will be working in us to will and to do according to His good pleasure (Php 2:13), and we will find ourselves in the will of God, right where we belong.

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Keep My Sabbaths

Trying to keep Sabbath in a non-Torah culture can be challenging, especially if family and friends are not aligned. Are we violating Sabbath if we put gas in the car? go to a grocery store or a pharmacy? eat out at a restaurant? go to a movie or a concert? What if a friend needs help on Sabbath? or we need to travel for a business trip or vacation, or attend a wedding or a funeral? In the complexity of living in a broken world, if we aren’t thoughtful and careful in our application of Sabbath, it can become a stressful burden rather a blessing of rest. (He 4:4-5)

There are three questions to consider: [1] Do our individual activities violate Sabbath? [2] Are we requiring / encouraging others to work? and [3] Are we setting a bad example or causing others to stumble?

Firstly, we note God never clearly defines work in the context of keeping Sabbath; this is not an oversight on God’s part – it is inestimable brilliance. He’s inviting us to participate with Him in how we observe Sabbath, to use the guidelines He has provided to sort out what it means in any given circumstance. In other words, this isn’t about thoughtless, rote obedience to a set of rules; we must understand the heart and spirit of Sabbath in order to properly obey it. (Mk 2:27)

The primary Sabbath principle is to remember it (Ex 20:8a), remind ourselves why God blessed and sanctified it (Ge 2:3), setting it apart from the other days. (Ex 20:8b)

We set Sabbath apart (keep it holy) primarily by doing all our work (Ps 104:23), how we typically generate income or value and provide and care for ourselves (2Th 3:10), on the other six days (9): we are forbidden to work on Sabbath and to require others to work. (10) As God rested on the seventh day (Ex 20:11), so should we. (Le 19:3)

So, we’re evidently within Sabbath guidelines if we abstain from the types of activities we typically engage in the other six days, especially income-generating activities, so long as we’re not neglecting our duties to ourselves or others, continuing to live responsibly and charitably in the world. (1Co 16:4) The more of this routine activity we can do before Sabbath, to prepare for it without creating an inappropriate inefficiency or burden, the better. This can be a learning process, where we get better at keeping Sabbath the more we observe it.

So, if a friend has an emergency on Sabbath and requires our help (De 22:1-2), we shouldn’t think of this as a violation. (Mt 12:11-12) But when friends or family routinely plan chores on Sabbath and count on our help, wisdom advises them of our Sabbath observance and kindly asks them to respect it.

And if we need to go to a store to pick up something we overlooked, or want to relax at a restaurant or go out to a performance on Shabbat, does this promote our rest and recovery from our weekly labors? Is it something we can easily put off until after Sabbath? Would it increase our stress or decrease it? We should pray through each situation with the spirit of Sabbath in mind.

As to how the world views our Sabbath activity, God deals with each of us according to our hearts. (Pr 24:12) Unless we are in Israel itself, most people in our culture work voluntarily on Sabbath, ignorant and/or heedless of God’s commands; benefiting from this isn’t necessarily inconsistent with Torah since we aren’t requiring others to work, or even encouraging it.

It isn’t our responsibility to require others to obey Torah, or to rebuke, admonish correct or instruct those who aren’t seeking after God and wanting to obey Him. God evidently enforces Torah violations differently depending on one’s understanding and permits His own to benefit from the voluntary Torah violations of others so long as we ourselves are being obedient. (De 14:21a)

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Eat No Fat

God tells us to not eat the fat from an animal which may be offered as a sacrifice, such as an ox, a sheep or a goat (Le 7:23-24); violating this rule imposes the death penalty. (25) Since all God’s Law is spiritual and good (1Ti 1:8) we should be obeying this principle.

As a bit of context, while God says the fat belongs to Himself (Le 3:16-17), He also describes the location of the fat as that which covers the animal’s flesh and internal organs. (14-15) God doesn’t require us to shred sacrifices to remove every trace of fat.

As with the blood, which we’re also forbidden to eat (De 15:23), it isn’t generally reasonable or practical to try to remove absolutely all the fat from any cut of meat. No matter how well we slaughter an animal and drain out the blood, some blood cells will always remain within the flesh. The idea seems to be that we are to avoid eating animal fat as a focus, we trim it out where it’s reasonably practical to do so.

When God blesses His people with the fat of lambs (De  32:13-14), it’s clear that all fat isn’t forbidden; baby lambs simply don’t have much fat; what little is present is evidently intended for us to enjoy.

So, we should trim the fat off the outside of a cut of meat and then enjoy the flavor-enriching marbling within as we like; not in rigid, legalistic fastidiousness, becoming judgmental, fretful or worried about getting out every trace of fat, yet not casually eating easily isolatable chunks of it either.

As in applying most any aspect of Torah, especially in non-Torah observant contexts, reason, love and moderation ought to rule the day. (Php 4:5)

We might ask why God forbids eating fat. Is it bad for us in a nutritional sense? Do animals tend to store more toxins in fat than in other parts of the body?

Since God hasn’t told us clearly, perhaps we don’t need to know. Perhaps this is a foolish question; having the answer may not help us in our walk with God. (Ti 3:9) Evidently, we don’t need to know why God tells us what He does, we simply need to focus on clearly hearing and fully understanding what He says so we can obey Him in wisdom, love and joy. (Ps 119:3-4)

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I Was Thirsty

God is omniscient; He knows everything about everything; His understanding is infinite. (Ps 147:5) He knows about all of reality, what has been, what is and what will be (Is 46:10), and He also fully understands every possible variation of reality, even things that will never actually happen. (Mt 11:21) Yet does this mean God actually experiences everything? Can God know something perfectly without personally experiencing it?

Since God cannot be tempted with evil (Ja 1:13), it must be that we experience reality differently than God experiences it; God knows with perfectly infinite understanding and awareness exactly how we feel and experience these sinful tendencies without Himself experiencing them. In other words, God knows what it’s like to sin without ever having sinned. (He 4:15)

So, yes, God doesn’t need to personally experience anything in order to fully comprehend all of its detail. Yet this doesn’t mean God is aloof from human experience, that He doesn’t engage intimately with His creation. Evidently, this is especially true of innocent suffering; He so identifies with His elect that He suffers in and with us. (Mt 25:35-36) While He allows pain and suffering in His children, it is not without personal sacrifice: God is willing to enter into our suffering Himself, and actually does so, being one with us. (Co 1:24)

While nothing exists apart from God (Co 1:17), and while all being and activity is of God and by God (1Co 8:6), it is incorrect to say God is any created thing, or that any created thing is God, or even part of God’s divine essence or being. (Panentheism) It is also evidently incorrect to say God is in (in the sense of inhabiting or indwelling) anything physical other than His earthly temple (Ha 2:20) and the bodies of the saints. (1Co 6:19)

While God is ultimately sovereign, controlling all things (Da :35), He is entirely distinct from the entire physical universe and independent of it. He forbids identifying Himself with any particular aspect of His material creation (Ex 20:4) other than His bride: the church. (Ep 5:30)

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Let Us Reason

To read between the lines is to look carefully at what is written in order to infer truths which are not explicitly stated. We call this reasoning, and God invites to use it as we seek Him (Is 1:18), employing logic to expand from what is explicitly revealed to see what some might consider hidden, yet if one is paying attention and thinking deeply it becomes obvious.

To illustrate, the arrow in the FedEx logo may not be apparent until someone points it out; but once you see it you can’t stop seeing it. The arrow isn’t exactly hidden, but it isn’t exactly there either.

To see it you must look between the E and x at the resulting white space connecting them, which is really nothing by itself: the mere juxtaposition of the letters reveals a shape implied by what surrounds it, and this insight enhances the logo, making an impression which creates additional value.

There are many truths like this in Scripture; what is explicitly stated in the text often implies priceless truths which remain unwritten. We may consider what is unspoken, which we might think ought to have been spoken, or which is certainly implied by what is stated, to learn more about God and His ways.

For example, when Paul is meditating in De 25:4, “Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn“, he infers a principle for supporting Christian workers. (1Co 9:9-10) Paul reasons from the general context of scripture that God isn’t particularly concerned about the feelings of an ox, so He must be providing a general instruction in how we’re to treat those called serve in ways which make it difficult for them to earn a living in the traditional sense.

We often see this kind of reasoning explicitly stated in Scripture with the phrase how much more; when God shows us how to address the relatively unimportant, He expects us to reason similarly about more important yet related concerns. For example, if the saints shall judge angels, how much more are they qualified to judge temporal matters? (1Co 6:3) If we expect earthly parents to care for their children, how much more should we expect God to care for us? (Mt 7:11) If animal sacrifices sanctify the physical man, how much more shall the blood of Christ sanctify the spiritual man? (He 9:13-14)

We should certainly be careful when looking at the white spaces in scripture, but they’re indeed present and we should be on the lookout for them, meditating both on what’s explicitly written and prayerfully considering what’s implied.

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