Re: Questioning the Big Bang

From: george murphy (
Date: Wed May 01 2002 - 09:22:26 EDT

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    "Howard J. Van Till" wrote:

    > >From: george murphy <>
    > > The basic problem here is not the eternity of the world but the statement
    > > that God-and-World is the "Ultimate" reality. I think, e.g., of Tillich's
    > > statements that God "is the name for that which concerns man
    >ultimately" and
    > > "[W]hatever concerns a man ultimately becomes god for him, and
    >conversely ...a
    > > man can be concerned ultimately only about that which is god for him."
    > (Systematic
    > > Theology I, 211.) If the world posseses ultimacy in something like this
    > > sense along
    > > with God then I think there is indeed a First Commandment problem. But
    > > perhaps you meant something less strong than "Ultimate" here.
    > Yes, I have no objection to using some other word to avoid violating the
    > first commandment. However, in panentheism the problem goes away since the
    > World is within God, and always has been. To distinguish between God (which
    > includes the world) and God-and-a-World then looks like a distinction
    > without a difference. In any case, the World cannot be ultimate apart from
    > God.

             The fact that two things are always related doesn't mean that
    no distinction
    can be made between them. Given a source of light, I am always
    accompanied by my
    shadow & my shadow is not present without me, but we're not the same thing.
             But whether or not there is a difference is a question that
    has to be faced
    most critically when one asks not merely philosophical questions about the
    relationship between God and the world but rather "What do you put
    your trust in?"
    or "What do you worship?" Lex orando lex credendi. If indeed there is no
    distinction that makes a difference at this level then it seems to me that the
    fundamental problem with the First Commandment remains. The prophets
    had a lot to
    say about nature worship & Paul sees the fundamental sin as the fact
    that people
    "worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator" (Rom.1:25).



    George L. Murphy
    "The Science-Theology Interface"

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