Re: [asa] Star of Bethlehem presentation?

From: Merv Bitikofer <>
Date: Mon Nov 23 2009 - 00:27:15 EST

David Clounch wrote:
> Merv,
> I wanted to comment about concordism (I am not rejecting your view),
> but I will now have to wait to comment.
> John says:
> If God wound up the universe in the Big Bang and let it unwind
> according the laws of physics, it would be predestined that these
> events would occur at some point.
> The idea that 13 billion years ago God set the laws of physics in
> motion with some initial conditions, and this determines a physical
> event in our current history makes no sense to me. Its the opposite
> of what Polkinghorne was trying to say about non-determinism.
Agreed. I like to think that God goes "poking around", even if we can't
prove or conclude such a thing from science alone. Theologically, it
just makes more sense. I am happy to sing the funeral dirge over
determinism along with everyone else for the same theological motivations.

> So if God is omniscient and wants to use this event as a sign, it
> is as simple as timing the advent of Christ accordingly. Easy peasy!
> This goes for all the other prophecies in the OT as well. Do you
> reject those for the same reason?
> I would reject them under those deistic type conditions. But the
> deistic conditions are not necessary unless one believes a priori that
> God cannot stick His finger into the universe after initially setting
> it up.
> The very idea that Jesus was simultaneously divine and physical
> demonstrates that God sticks His finger in the universe. God walked on
> the water and the sand. He left footprints. Since He can do that he
> can also manipulate historical events. He doesn't have to use a long
> causal chain of natural events to effect a tweak in a historical event.
> The entire objection to non-deistic Christianity is based on the
> idea that His reach into the universe is a zero length causal chain,
> i.e., he cannot reach into the universe at all. Except at the
> beginning. You seem to be postulating that He affects events via a
> 13 billion year long causal chain that is deterministic. But
> everything we know about the universe says it is not deterministic. I
> don't see deism being consistent with physics.
> This is an important disagreement. If people believe deism is
> consistent with physics, well, they have to demonstrate that.
> John
> ----- Original Message ----
> From: Merv Bitikofer <
> <>>
> To: David Clounch <
> <>>; asa <
> <>>
> Sent: Sun, November 22, 2009 8:33:00 AM
> Subject: Re: [asa] Star of Bethlehem presentation?
> Okay -- you uncover my weakness! Maybe this (the whole star
> presentation) is one of my few remaining concessions to
> concordism. I guess as long as I don't try to make my faith lean
> to heavily (or at all) on our modern speculation about process,
> I'll probably be okay. But just for the record, theologically
> speaking, I don't find the notion of a sovereign God orchestrating
> the events of our universe to be far out. Indeed I have faith
> that such is the case even if I can't make complete sense of that
> scientifically or philosophically. Where science (if it is
> legitimately done) may happen to reveal such things, I find it
> fascinating. Where science (if its legitimately done) would
> correct an errant understanding of history, it is the
> truth-seeker's job (mine and yours) to stand corrected.
> --Merv
> David Clounch wrote:
> > Merv,
> >
> > It has never occurred to me to attribute it to cosmic phenomena
> period. In spite of the astronomers looking for a cosmic
> explanation. I just ignored that. After all, I also don't believe
> St Nick was Santa Claus, and I don't believe in weeping statues or
> the shroud of Turin. (However, I do believe in St Patrick. [see
> footnote 1])
> >
> > But on the other hand, one thing I've never noticed is anybody
> looking for a non cosmic explanation.
> > I'm not naysaying Larson. Never heard of him. But I've been
> reading these cosmic theories for decades. I think they were
> invented in modern times by folks looking for a way that God
> didn't really get involved in the advent. There are philosophical
> camps that prefer that sort of explanation, and theologians that
> follow those camps of thought. But I am skeptical. The idea that
> God pre-programmed the universe to give just the right solar
> system is ... far out? For example, maybe the universe was
> also pre-programmed to produce the pyramids without any humans
> getting involved? Maybe the egyptians discovered them? *cough*
> *cough*
> > I once went to a church where the pastor taught that the
> constellations were placed where they are in order to tell the
> advent story as a prophecy. And that all ancients knew the story.
> But the pagans changed the story. The thing about this is, for a
> TE type theory, one must believe that God pre-programmed all the
> galaxy to present the "movie in the sky" so as to support the
> Christ story. That to me is on the same level as the cosmic Star
> of Bethlehem hypothesis. Its too complicated. Its easier to
> believe in UFO's. (where angels have power, or technology, or
> both). And the latter doesn't conflict with scripture in any way
> I know of.
> >
> > OK, I'll look at Larson since you guys are so impressed with
> him. Where was he when I was a kid having heaps of BS poured on
> me? ;)
> >
> > Thanks,
> > Dave C
> >
> >

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Received on Mon Nov 23 00:27:31 2009

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