How could God be sovereign over history, yet give you free will? John Lennox answers

Short answer: It is a mystery. John Lennox:

Der Theologe und Philosoph John Lennox am 25. ...

Der Theologe und Philosoph John Lennox am 25. Oktober 2008 in Marburg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(1:25) When people ask me that question, I ask them, „What is consciousness?” And of course, they tell me they don’t know. They don’t even know, our physicist friends, what energy is. Those are much simpler things, that this question (you have asked me). You asked me the question: How? Now, the ‘how’, of these deep things, there are many of them we just cannot answer.

-How did God speak the universe into existence? I don’t know, But, that He spoke it into existence, I do believe there is evidence for it. So, I distinguish between the ‘how’ and the ‘that’ is this: You can see the evidences within Scripture and within experiences, that that is the most sensible way to understand the universe. In other words, I take Scripture seriously. And when Scripture tells me that God rules; His kingdom is, was, and ever shall be, I believe that. When I hear the Son of God stand on earth and say to Jerusalem, „How often I would have gathered you under my wings, but you wouldn’t,” I believe that too. That we have a real capacity to say yes or no to God. How that works, I don’t know. Let me illustrate that for you, because you might just find this useful.

I was asked at a big lecture I gave to about 500 senior physicists, in England- a man came up to me after, and said, „You know, that was a very interesting talk on science and religion, but, I perceive you are a Christian.” I said, „You’e very sharp.” He said, „As a Christian, you’re obliged to believe that Jesus is the Son of God.’ I said, „That’s right.” He said, „Explain to me how that can be?” I said, „Oh, very easily, but, as a quid pro quo, I’ll ask you a question.” And so, I asked him what consciousness was and he said he didn’t know. And then, I asked him what energy was, and he said, „Well we can measure it and use it.” I said, „That wasn’t my question, „What is it?” He said, „I don’t know.” So, I said, „That’s interesting, but you believe in both consciousness and energy, don’t you? And you don’t know what they are. Should I write you off as a physicist?” And he said, „Please don’t.” „But,” I said, „you were going to write me off 5 minutes ago, because I couldn’t explain to you how Jesus could be God and man at the same time. But, you observed that I believe it, quite correctly.”

„Tell me,” I said, „why do you believe in consciousness and energy?” Well, that was a bit too philosophical for him and I had to help him, cause I’m a soft person at heart. And I said, „You believe them, not because you understand them fully, but because of their explanatory power.” He said, „Thats right.” I said, „That’s exactly why I believe that Jesus is both God and Man not because I understand how. If we don’t understand the nature of energy, how could we possibly understand the nature of God? But, I believe it because there’s evidence that it’s true. Just as I believe that light is both waves and particles, however difficult I find that to get together. And you can see the relevance to your question.” It’s one of those questions, that people, because they can’t integrate it intellectually, tend to push it to one side or the other. It seems to me that Scripture both things and that what we are looking at is an unpacking of how it works, so that we can see how it relates to our lives.

VIDEO by CPA – Christian Prepared with Answers

Who created God?

READ THIS ARTICLE in ROMANIAN here

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Who Created God? And how can God be three and one? Aren’t these „mysteries,” and don’t Christians just have to say, „we don’t know”? Explore with John Lennox as he explores hard questions and objections to Christianity. First an 11 minute clip and then the entire lecture video at the bottom of the posting of John Lennox at UCLA.

QUESTION:

Daniel Lowenstein: One of the most basic difficulties for those who hold the view of a materialistic universe is the question of a beginning. And, as you pointed out, before Christianity has long claimed that the universe was created, and now we have the big bang theory that at least suggests (that) it started at a certain time. And yet, there’s always the issue, „Yes, but if there can’t be an uncaused cause, then what created God? And I guess, Christianity gives different answers to that. As I understand it, Augustine’s answer was that God was outside time. And in a way, that’s a good answer, but it seems to me that that’s a way of saying, „We don’t know what the explanation is, because none of us has the slightest idea of what it means to be outside time. Or, Christianity says that the Father, or the Son, and the Holy Spirit are three, but they are one. And from those statements, many wonderful things follow. And yet, it seems to be a way of saying, „We don’t know what it is, because we have no idea what it means to be three and be one, and of how a God as powerful and as amazing as, let’s say the God of Job, could appear in the form as a human being and be the Holy Spirit. So my point is this, I think this may be a strength or weakness, but, it does seem that many of the difficult questions are just explained by mysteries- which is a Christian word, that in a way are saying, „We don’t know.”

ANSWER:

I love this particular thing and I think about it a great deal because it’s absolutely obvious that replacing one mystery by another is not always a helpful way forward. Let’s unpack this because there are 3 or 4 questions. Let’s come to that first question which has interested me because it has become a great focus recently. Both in North America and in Europe, everybody’s talking about it. I thought I left it behind in Russia. And that’s the question:

Who created God?

Dawkins has made it the heart of his book ‘The God delusion’. I was staggered when I found it there. I used to get this all the time at the academy of sciences, when I was traveling to Russia in the late 1980’s and the early 1990’s. It was almost the first question. If you believe that God created the universe, then logically you’ve got to ask the question: Who created God? And then who created the God who created God… ad infinitum. And that was the end of God, of course. And that’s exactly what Dawkins says in the God delusion. Let’s analyze it for a moment. (Transcript continues below this video…)

VIDEO by VeritasForum website www.veritas.org

Who created God? If you ask that question, that shows you’ve immediately categorized God as created. So you’re talking about a created god. Now, can you imagine if Richard Dawkins had written a book called ‘The created god delusion’? I don’t think many people would have bought it, because I don’t need him to tell me that created gods are a delusion. We usually call them idols, incidentally.

This question is extremely interesting, because it’s an illustration of a question that rules out the explanation that’s most likely to be true because the Christian claim was that God wasn’t created. So if God was uncreated. „In the beginning was the Word..” and I am coming into your 3 in 1 (questions) now, and I’m bringing it in obliquely. „In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, and the word was God. He already was. So, the central Christian claim is, and in Judaism and Islam, of course, equally is that God is eternal. So, the question, by definition, doesn’t even apply to Him. And that’s immensely important. The only thing you can get out of it then, in the negative sense is to assume that everything is in the category of the created. But, that’s just begging the original question. And the Greeks were interested in it, and that’s why John’s Gospel starts with those words. „In the beginning, the Word already was.” And then it says all things came to be through Him.

The Greeks were interested in the question as two categories. The things that came to be- the created things, and the things that already were. And the question resolves down to this. Is there a thing, or a being that never came to be? And that is the Christian claim. And that is called GOD. Richard Dawkins, and I had a debate with him on this very topic in Oxford, and I said to him, „Richard, You say that who created God is a legitimate question. I don’t think that it is. But, let me assume now that it is. You believe that the universe created you. So, I beg leave now to ask you your own question: Who created your own creator?”” I am waiting still for the answer. That’s the first point.

ON THE TRINITY: Very briefly to the second point. God is three in one. Is it a mystery? Yes, it is. I was talking to about 1,000 scientists. A man came up to me afterwards, a physicist, and said, „That was very interesting, all that talk about God. But, do you know, I detect you’re a Christian.” I said, „You’re pretty sharp.” He said, „Come off it. As a Christian, you’re obliged to believe that God is a triunity. That Jesus was God and man.” And he said, „You’re a mathematician. This is absurd. Can you explain it to me?”

„Well,” I said, „can I ask you a question first?” He said, „Sure.” So I said, „Tell me, what is consciousness?” And he thought for a second and he said, „I don’t know.” I said, „That’s ok, let me try an easier one. What is energy?” „Well,” he said, „I’m a physicist, I can measure energy, I can use it.” „You know,” I said, „that’s not my question. What is it?” He said, „I don’t know.” „Oh,” I said, „that’s very interesting. You don’t know. Tell me, do you believe in consciousness?” „Yes,” he said. „Do you believe in energy?” „Yes,” he said. „So, you believe in these 2 things and you don’t know what they are. Should I write you off as an intellectual?” And he said, „Please don’t.” And I said, „That’s exactly what you were going to do with me five minutes ago.” I said, „If you don’t know what energy is, nobody does- and if you don’t believe that read Richard Fineman. If you don’t know what energy is, don’t be surprised if energy, light, gravity and consciousness are a mystery. Don’t be surprised if you’re going to get an element of this in God. You’re bound to get it.”

But, now I pushed him a bit further. And I said, „Why do you believe in these things if you don’t know what they are?” That was a bit difficult and I tried to help him out. And I said, „You believe in these things because of their explanatory powers concept.” And he said, „That’s exactly right.” I said, „Look, of course I can’t explain to you how God became human. But, the only explanation that makes sense are the evidence as I see it. I’ve got a simple analogy that might help you. It’s a low level analogy, but at least it’s biblical. I’m married. I’ve been married for 42 1/2 yrs, to the same person. And my wife and I are in a sense one. We’re two persons in one flesh, the Bible would say, but in one unit. And it seems to me that in the very least (don’t misunderstand me when I say this) that this mystery is telling us something magnificent about God. God is not a monolith, who to put it crudely was lonely, so He made a few people, so He could have somebody to talk to.  God is Himself a fellowship.” Now that’s undimensioned and we can’t grasp it, but there is a sense, I feel it’s got to be something like that.

And here is the full video. Description:

Children believe in the tooth fairy until their reasoning capabilities mature and they recognize this belief is neither grounded nor relevant. Does belief in Jesus Christ require a suspension of logic? Can Christianity be proven to be true? UCLA law professor Daniel Lowenstein interviews Oxford mathematician John Lennox with honest questions about Christianity and the grounds for faith. This will be followed by audience Q&A.

Johnn Lennox full lecture 2011

[official] Christianity and the Tooth Fairy

Chuck Missler – Can The Army’s mind control project lead to immortality?

An interesting video. Chuck Missler talks about the Army’s project: The US Army has just awarded a $4 million contract to begin developing „thought helmets”  that would harness silent brain waves for secure communications among troops, so the squad leader can interact with the thoughts of his squad during a unit operation. Ultimately, the Army hopes the project will „lead to direct mental control of military systems by thought alone”.

There are professors who are allowing their neurosystems to directly connect to the computers. When you make that connection, that channel has two directions. That’s an entry  for who knows what.

We are coming into an era when science computation is trying to exceed the human mind and the ultimate aspiration these brilliant scientists (who have no concept of a creator or having any accountability to a creator) is „the ability to exchange „consciousness” between bodies. If you can take the full consciousness that’s in your brain, the software, and put that in a better environment, why not? But, if you can do that, you’ve just achieved immortality because you could be transferred from body to body to body.

Uploaded by  on Mar 6, 2012

In this segment, Chuck Missler discusses advancing technologies. This segment comes from „The Hybrid Age” briefing pack recorded in 2011 and published by Koinonia House.

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