God is still Creator @AiG

The world’s highest radio telescope, built on a Chilean plateau in the Andes 5,000 metres above sea level, has captured the first image of a new planet being formed as it gobbles up the cosmic dust and gas surrounding a distant star.

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The image taken by the Atacama Millimetre-submillimetre Array (ALMA) in Chile shows two streams of gas connecting the inner and outer disks of cosmic material surrounding the star HD 142527, which is about 450 light-years from Earth.

via Revealed: first image of a new planet being formed with star dust – Science – News – The Independent

Recently, I was accused of denying to God His creatorship… No, those who deny God as Creator are the Young Earth Creationists…They are also Deists too, but then again, fundamentalists are gnostics all the way around.

Anyway, one of the most beautiful aspects of a theology anchored somewhat to science is the fact that science continues to prove, sharpen, and shape theology. For instance, my theology on Creation has changed somewhat. No longer is it merely “God created” but is God creating, God is Creator. This realization has propelled other aspects of my theology as well, but most notably the theology that God is Judge, but only because He is first Creator, present tense. He is savior, but only because He is first Creator. God is love because hate is not the opposite of love, nothing is. Think on that for a bit, will you.

The on-creation of  a star merely adds to the wonder of the theology that is shaped by truth.

I greatly pity those who deny the power of God, such as Young Earth Creationists.

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Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

14 thoughts on “God is still Creator @AiG”

  1. Genesis 1 says God created the stars on day four of creation.

    And nowhere in the Bible will you read that He is still creating them, though astronomers know of numerous stellar nurseries. I guess the miracle of stars still being created was just not worthy of any biblical author’s mention.

      1. Me a fundamentalist? Your shittin’ me. AIG interpretive doctrine leads them to most probably believe that God created the stars, all of them, on day four. Henry Morris and ICR used to claim up till the 1980s that there was no evidence of any other planetary systems throughout the cosmos, but then came the first telescopic images of a ring of matter circling the nearby star, Vega, which is as close as our telescopes could see. The creationists were not impressed. They still hung onto their denial that other planets circled other stars, but now we have images as you’ve shared, that show evidence of new Jupiter-sized planets IN THE VERY ACT OF FORMING round a star. It will just deepen their denial I guess.

        The history of astronomy is extremely interesting. It wasn’t until big telescopes built in the early 1900s that we even learned other galaxies existed. Up till that time the Milky Way was the only galaxy we could see, because everything beyond it was “fuzzy,” so we believed tiny fuzzy clouds surrounded our galaxy. But the newer telescopes resolved the fuzzy clouds, the nebula, and we saw them for what they were, whole new spiral galaxies lying outside our own.

        And it was less than 20 years ago when the estimates rose from 100 billion galaxies to over 200 billion visible galaxies.

        Hubble’s deep space shots vastly expanded estimates of the number of known galaxies. If you raise your fist, holding it up to the sky, there’s over 1 million galaxies being obscured by your fist in the depths of space.

        This also makes me wonder what kind of “Designer” requires over 200 billion galaxies, including colliding galaxies, to produce one planet with life, and leaving the rest of the cosmos and planets lifeless. Heck, even our solar system isn’t filled with life. And even our single planet isn’t filled with life in its own desert regions, which include frozen tundra whose air is dry as desert. And the life on our planet is limited to it’s thin surface, because five miles up or down and it’s lifeless again, and that thin surface keeps quaking and hiccuping lava and splashing tsunamis on the shorelines.

        Countless wasted suns and planets. Doesn’t that seem like a lack of focus or maybe playing the odds — like flinging over a trillion darts at a dart board the size of the cosmos to get at least one planet with life on it. The rest of the planets are just there to take up space and remain empty real estate, or maybe a few, very few, are filled with nothing but the simplest living things. We’ll know someday if we can take a closer peek. (Or maybe some aliens will land here and share with us their religious beliefs, varieties, mysticism, doubts, or lack of beliefs.)

        What kind of “Designer” requires endless cousin species and cousins of cousin species that go extinct from lemur to monkey to apes (including apes with greater cranial capacities than modern day apes), and species (plural) of humans that have also gone extinct? Cousin species and cousins of cousin species all extinct. Does this shout that God was intent on “us,” our species? Or again is it more like the dart board illustration I shared concerning planets?

        Such evidence also makes me wonder how many cosmoses it took such a “Designer” till it came up with this one?

        Genesis 1 and the story of how everything was good, and how the earth was filled, makes sense in ancient flat earth parlance that knew nothing of countless empty worlds, colliding galaxies, exploding stars and new stars still forming.

        “So long as people believed, as St. Paul himself did, in one week of creation and a past of 4,000 years–so long as people thought the stars were satellites of the earth and that animals were there to serve man–there was no difficulty in believing that a single man could have ruined everything, and that another man had saved everything.”

        Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, “Fall, Redemption, and Geocentrism,”Christianity and Evolution
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        I agree with Chardin. Ancient Near easterners imagined that the gods created two major halves of creation, heaven and earth, and filled the earth with animals and humans, and the humans imagined the sky was filled with life too–with human-like divinities living directly overhead (not light-years away).
        ____________________________

        “Though it is not a direct article of the Christian faith that the planet we inhabit is the only inhabited one in the cosmos, yet it is so worked up from what is called the Mosaic account of creation, the story of Eve and the forbidden fruit, and the counterpart of that story, the death of the Son of God–that to believe otherwise renders the Christian system of faith at once little and ridiculous, and scatters it in the mind like feathers in the air.”

        Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason
        ________________________

        Regardless of what moderates and liberals say, Christian theology has a stake in all I’ve mentioned above. Catholic theologians are already discussing the theological implications of contacts with other sentient life forms, and C. S. Lewis tried to tackle the question of sentient aliens in his space trilogy (in an ad hoc manner, he simply divided them to begin with into categories that fit his theology, i.e., “fallen” and “unfallen” species).

        If we do meet sentient beings from other planets I’m sure we’ll want to know “what they believe about God” (if they have institutionalized religions with specific dogmas, or travel round the cosmos as agnostics or atheists). We’ll also pay attention to “how they act” (seeking signs of them being “fallen” or “unfallen” or even “saved” without having ever heard about Jesus’ death–all in order to fit them into “our Christian schema,” because for a believer in a particular religion with particular doctrines and dogmas everything must be kept tidy, and fit into distinct categories, unless of course you’re speaking about inter-sexed individuals with gonads that contain stripes of both testicular and ovarian tissue which tends to confuse tidy theological categories of “gender.” Perhaps alien religious views will also confuse us).

        So Christian theology has a stake in the matter.

        Did Jesus only “die for the sins” of the upright primate humanoids
        living on M-class inhabitable planet number Efzg2343900981y2435aawefasef0000000000000000001?

        And how to spread the word to aliens who have never heard it? Is spreading the word necessary? Or maybe some aliens will try to peddle their beliefs to us? And how ought we to react in that case, especially if we find their beliefs not exactly to our liking, maybe not even fully understandable?

        And what if we search for eons in space and only discover simpler life forms on nearby worlds? Or maybe discover a planet with large brained species, elephant-like, dolphin-like, or ape-like species with large brains but no language? What kind of cosmos is this? We probably don’t know yet. We’re still on the cradle planet. And still disputing theology and authorities and meanings of holy texts amongst ourselves. And no Designer seems to care how many holy texts have arisen throughout time, or how many different books claiming to be “the right interpretation” have arisen for each holy text. Ha.

        1. edward, I asked a simple question. I didn’t accuse you of anything.

          Further, you missed the point of the post and again demonstrate that you have some anger issues with religion in general to come to terms with.

  2. You started by saying I was reading text “like a fundamentalist.” Maybe you could explain a bit more why you were drawing such a parallel? I was being sarcastic in my initial small comment. Maybe the sarcasm didn’t come through and you thought I was agreeing with AIG? Whew. O.K., read my comment as sarcastic, especially the “I guess…” part.

    We both agree that the biblical authors demonstrated no evidence of having special revelations concerning cosmology, creation, astronomy, geography (certainly no knowledge of the poles and the Western Hemisphere, Japan, Australia, etc.), and many other things besides. To which I’d add, what makes anyone think such authors were inspired in invisible spiritual matters if they demonstrated no evidence of being inspired in earthly matters?

    As for the length of my post it’s not indicative of anger. I keep past conversations indexed and reuse paragraphs, quotations, etc., since I was just discussing this with Randal Rauser and with I.D.ists before him, just this month. It’s all connected, the existence of other planets, and raises a heap o’ interesting questions in my opinion. What you see is me interacting with the “Designer” question in general.

    1. If your comment was sarcastic, I would suspect that it wouldn’t have shown up on Facebook…

      I would agree that the biblical authors didn’t care about ou 21st century cosmology, period. yet, if our ultimate theology is of a creator God, we can still make the point that God is creating when we see these massive stars being formed.

  3. I believe you have a penchant for process theology these days, or are playing with the idea. That’s fine. I just thought you’d appreciate added questions.

    As for process theology, if it’s Christian or sectarian, it simply raises more questions. One such question might be why no new improved special prophecies or written revelations for the past 2,000 years? Surely Process-God has learned a thing or two over the past 2,000 years that He’d like to share with us, some stuff that’s pertinent to where humanity is at today? Or maybe Process-God can even share some secrets of science with us today, since we now know about “science,” which wasn’t exactly a hit in the ancient Near East or in the apocalyptic brou-ha-ha years of the first century.

  4. Joel, This is silly.

    Someone accused you of denying God his creatorship. And then you get miffed enough by that to try to set the matter straight and make a blog post about it in which you rant “fundamentalists,” and also call them “gnostics.”

    Then I made a small comment about creationist interpretations of Genesis 1. And you don’t get that I’m on your side. And you ask me why I’m interpreting the text of Genesis like a fundamentalist.

    And then I explain that we both agree that the authors of Genesis did have pre-scientific opinions about cosmology, and probably did agree with their neighbors that a high God put all the stars in place at creation. And I had sarcastically added that it’s quite an unheralded miracle that God is creating them still.

    Then I get miffed by your question in which you turned my sarcastic comment (which was made humorously and in your favor) into an accusation of improper exegesis on my part. So I cut and paste some stuff about the history of astronomy and what the cosmos reveals and how that might affect one’s view of “God the creator/designer.”

    And now that’s where we are at. I’ll leave it at that. I’m not any more miffed than you were at the person who accused you of not taking seriously the idea of God as “creator.”

      1. No problem, you’ve got your own battles to fight, with fellow God believers who accuse you of misunderstanding God or the Bible. I’m not a God-defender or Bible-defender anymore. More of a God questioner. What kind of God, what do you mean by God, and how does the cosmos make sense given the mixed messages it provides, along with mixed messages in the realm of so-called divine revelations and endless battles over their proper interpretation.

          1. I’m more of a “don’t know ist,” since I can’t understand how any type of “God” whether it’s classical theism, deism, panentheism, or pantheism, “works.” I’m not denying there’s something going on. It’s an interesting matrix we live in, perhaps even a cosmos of cosmoses, but whether it’s some “deity” making “personal choices,” or whether the matrix is naturally interconnected in some way, I don’t know.

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