Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The Trinity All Around You

The controversy and lawsuits over whether or not the hypothesis of Intelligent Design should be discussed in schools has recently been front and center in the news. The arguing and attacks from the "Evolution only" crowd seems to be relentless. Rather than discuss, they want to delete any discussion of ID by labeling it "religion and not science."

A lot of the controversy exists because of the "materialism only" definition of science. But if we look at what people actually want to be taught to their children, they are overwhelmingly open to letting the public decide what should be taught regarding the matter of origins.

Here are the results of a WorldNetDaily poll that was given a while back:

How should the matter of origins be taught in school?

Let local schools and parents decide what's best for their own community, the ACLU should butt out 39.22% (1152)

Just close up the schools 12.09% (355)

Every possible theory should be presented 11.88% (349)

Teaching evolution exclusively is just as religious as creationism only 10.79% (317)

Evolution, intelligent design and creationism 8.82% (259)

Intelligent design and creationism only 8.51% (250)

Evolution along with scientifically based intelligent design 2.96% (87)

Evolution only, everything else is religious superstition 2.86% (84)

Include the theory we were planted here by space aliens 1.43% (42)

Other 1.43% (42)

TOTAL VOTES: 2937 (at time I copied the results)

My question is, why can't each of these theories be discussed? Even if the scientific community thinks it's not politically correct, why not let both disciplines (religion and science) be discussed together? Personally, I don't mind if it is not discussed in science classes. Why not create a new type of class where both might intersect?

Several months ago, a member at my message board and I started a discussion on the issue of what came first; intelligence (or mind, consciousness) or matter? As I recall, we didn't get very far. We always seem to reach an impasse. But isn't this an interesting question to explore? I think it is.

Many in the scientific elite community would claim that such a question belongs on a philosophy class. OK. Put it in a philosophy class. Since they wish to do that, why not then allow Creation to be discussed as well?

In this post, I will touch on a question that might come up within our hypothetical class. Mathematics is scientific, isn't it? The concept of the Triune God (Trinity) in Christianity is metaphysical and religious, isn't it? What could we call such a class I wonder? Any suggestions?

Let's examine some thoughts about the concept of the Trinity. I will share a portion of a booklet that contains a very interesting "natural realm" analogy. It uses the universe in order to provide a mathematical illustration for the explanation of the Triune God.

I know...that's a mouthful. But hopefully the excerpts from the booklet will make the point of the illustration clear.



"The first few pages of the booklet discusses various Biblical references to the "God in Three Persons" nature of God. I can post this later if anyone here is interested. For now, I will just share a few brief points:

1. The first verse of the Bible we read, "In the beginning God [Elohim] created the heaven and the earth" (Genesis 1:1). In Hebrew the word for "God" is Elohim. That word is plural. El is singular, but Elohim is plural. We know it is plural because it contains within it the personalities of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

2. We also read where God said, "Let us make man in our image....and in the image of God created he him" his own image (Genesis 1:26-27). "Us," "Our," "His." And so over and over again, even in the Old Testament, when God speaks, He goes back and forth between the singular and the plural, the plural to singular, because He is the singular-plural God.

3. The facts of the Triunity of God are clearly seen in these four facts within the Bible:* The Father is God, said thousands of times.* The Son is God, said hundreds and hundreds of times.* And the Holy Spirit is God (Spirit of God in OT) is said dozens of times.* Finally, there is but one God.

Back to the main reason for this post.

In Dr. D. James Kennedy's booklet entitled "Understanding the Trinity; Evidence for God in Three Persons," Dr. Kennedy describes that the universe itself explains the Trinity.

Dr. Nathan Wood, formerly president of Gordon College of Theology and Missions, wrote a magnificent book, The Secret of the Universe. In it he spells out for us the result of years of searching in the natural realm for some kind of analogy that was correct for the Trinity. He finally came up with the universe itself.

It is so simple.

It is right there in front of us.

We can never get away from it.

It is always there.

We ought to see it very clearly.

He points out that any man who manufactures anything or makes anything with his hands is going to inevitably leave his fingerprints upon it. If you were to create a table or chair or something in your workshop, it would contain your fingerprints.

Dr. Wood says that the universe is covered with fingerprints of the Trinity because it was made by the Triune God. The Bible says that the Father created the universe, the Son created the universe, and the Holy Spirit created the universe - the Triune God created the universe.

What does Dr. Wood mean by that?

Well, there are fingerprints everywhere. We just don't see them.

I would suppose that there are literally millions of fingerprints in this very sanctuary. Did you see any today? Not a one. We are blind as a bat when it comes to fingerprints. We just don't see them. First of all, we're not looking for them. Now you might see them at home on a mirror or something like that, but ordinarily, we don't see fingerprints. However, if a detective were to come in here and begin to dust the wood on the pew in front of you, he would find thousands of them. So let's put on our Sherlock Holmes cap, get out our dusting brush, and see if we can see the fingerprints of Him who made all things.

What does the universe consist of?

If you were to ask a scientist, he would tell you it consists of space, time, and matter. Now amazing to tell, we find all of those three things everywhere in the universe - not that we have a universe where some of them exist sometimes and not at other times. It is also true that each of the triune parts of the universe is, in itself, triune.


Let us look at each one of them. For example, consider space. What is space composed of? It is composed of length and breadth and height. Always. There is nothing you could name that is not composed of all three of those things. If you were to simply take a pencil and draw a line on a piece of paper, it would have length, it would have a little bit of width, and if you looked in a powerful microscope, you would discover it has quite a bit of height. You can't see it with your naked eye; however, it's always there.

Something that I think is amazing about this is that God always consists of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit - not one or the other. It is not a piece of the pie; it's the whole thing, always. Imagine a square block that a child would play with. Draw a picture of it in three dimensions. Then you could take that picture, and with a pencil and using all length, you could make a bunch of lines and fill in that entire block with nothing but length. I have done that sometimes in fancy lettering. Maybe some of you have as well. Or you could take the same block and make the whole thing out of width, or out of height. The fact of the matter is that it is all length, it's all breadth, it's all height all of the time. That's a perfect illustration of the Trinity.


Or take the matter of time. Of what does time consist? Obviously, it consists of the past, the present, and the future - those three. Any time we have ever known in this universe always consists of those three. Usually we have the idea that we come out of the past, that that really is first, because that is where we came from. The fact of the matter is, time comes from the future, and we meet it head on.

For example, today, yesterday was called tomorrow, and now it's today. A week ago it was called next week, and now it is today. A year ago, it was called next year. So as time approaches us and we move through it, that is what always happens. Anything is first in the future, then in the present, and then it disappears into the past. That is the way time always works. That in itself is an amazing story when you examine it carefully. Past, present, and future.

Dr. Nathan R. Wood gives a fascinating quote that is so remarkable I would like to share it with you. I would challenge you to try to see if you can follow his drift.

He is going to give a long paragraph. Then he is going to give it again, only this time he is simply going to change four words. These four words are "time," "future," "present," and "past". They are going to be changed into "God," "Father," "Son," and "Holy Spirit."

You are going to find out something some of you never knew before - that time, which you live by, which you look at constantly in the way of clocks you wind up every day, and which you make your lives run by, is an incredible illustration of the divine Trinity.

(Note: To make this paragraph easier to read, I will post it in a prose format).

Read carefully:

"The Future is the source.

The Future is unseen, unknown, except as it continually embodies itself and makes itself visible in the Present.

The Present is what we see, and hear, and know.

It is ceaselessly embodying the Future, day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment. It is perpetually revealing the Future, hitherto invisible.

The Future is logically first, but not chronologically.

For the Present exists as long as Time exists and was in the absolute beginning of Time.

The Present has existed as long as Time has existed.

Time acts through and in the Present.

It makes itself visible only in the Present.

The Future acts and reveals itself through the Present.

It is through the Present that Time, that the Future, enters into union with human life.

Time and humanity meet and unite in the Present.

It is the Present that Time, that the Future, becomes a part of human life, and so is born and lives and dies in human life.

The Past in turn comes from the Present.

We cannot say that it embodies the Present.

On the contrary, Time in issuing from the Present into the Past becomes invisible again.

The Past does not embody the Present. Rather it proceeds silently, endlessly, invisibly from it...

The Present therefore comes out from the invisible Future.

The Present perpetually and ever-newly embodies the Future in visible, audible, livable form; and returns again into invisible Time in the Past.

The Past acts invisibly.

It continually influences us with regard to the Present.

It casts light upon the Present.

That is its great function.

It helps us to live in the Present which we know, and with reference to the Future which we expect to see.

"That is an exact description of the way time operates. It is a perfect analogy. I'm using "analogy" not in the common sense of the word that something is like something or a simile or metaphor, but in the mathematical meaning of the word, which means it is an exact replica as far as every line, every angle, every corner is concerned.


Now let us replace the words. "Time" is replaced by "God"; the "Future" by the "Father"; the "Present" by the "Son"; and the "Past" by the "Holy Spirit" (every word the same but these four). You will see that perfect analogy and you will see the divine Trinity you have been swimming in all of your life!

"The Father is the source [every word the same, but those four].

The Father is unseen except as he continually embodies Himself and makes Himself visible in the Son.

The Son is what we see, and hear, and know.

He is ceaselessly embodying the Father, day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment.

He is perpetually revealing the Father, hitherto invisible.

The Father is logically first, but not chronologically, For the Son exists as long as God exists, and was in the absolute beginning of God.

The Son has existed as long as God has existed.

God acts through and in the Son.

He makes Himself visible only in the Son.

The Father acts and reveals Himself through the Son.

It is through the Son that God, that the Father, enters into union with human life.

God and humanity meet and unite in the Son.

It is in the Son that God, that the Father, becomes a part of human life, and so is born and lives and dies in human life.

The Spirit in turn comes from the Son.

We cannot say that He embodies the Son.

On the contrary God, in issuing from the Son into the Spirit, becomes invisible again.

The Spirit does not embody the Son.

Rather He proceeds silently, endlessly, invisibly from Him...

The Son therefore comes out from the invisible Father.

The Son perpetually and ever-newly embodies the Father in visible, audible, livable form, and returns into invisible God in the Spirit.

The Spirit acts invisibly.

He continually influences us with regard to the Son.

He casts light upon the Son.

That is His great function.

He helps us to live in the Son whom we know and with reference to the Father whom we expect to see."

That, my friends, is an exact mathematical analogy that each of the portions of the triunity of the universe are in themselves triune."

Our Creator is so awesome!! He reveals Himself all around the existence of the universe He created!


Boo said...

Worldnetdaily didn't poll "the public" exactly, they polled their readers.

"Many in the scientific elite community would claim that such a question belongs on a philosophy class. OK. Put it in a philosophy class. Since they wish to do that, why not then allow Creation to be discussed as well?"

Um... Creation is commonly discussed in philosophy classes. Am I reading correctly that you want ID out of science classes but in philosophy class, and just start having philosophy classes in high schools? I think that's actually a very good idea.

Susan Smith said...

Hi Christine. About TIME: Nothing keeps us from the love of God... not things present or things to come (see ROM 8:38). Have you ever wondered why things "past" are not mentioned?

As believers, our past does not exist. Our sins are washed away by the blood of Jesus, not covered up by the blood of lambs or goats. Our sins are as far away as the east is from the west. Praise His Name!

Many allow their past to cause unhappiness in the present. We walk in the Spirit on a daily basis as we talk up our cross daily. Live TODAY, my friend. With much love to the West Coast from the Holy City. (ss)

Christinewjc said...


Now that I have thought about it more, I think that it would be more advantageous to create a new, unique, name as a separate discipline. I say this because then, perhaps, ID will at least get it's foot into the door of ideas. The reason(s) for rejection by the scientific elite is circular and unfair. Note the following:

An excerpt from a writing by David Kupelian specifically shows that the rejection of Intelligent Design in science classes is based on evolutionary scientist's own kind of "religious dogma." Their "religion" happens to be named, "methodological naturalism."

Kupelian writes:

"When evolutionary scientists insist intelligent design arguments are invalid because they are "unscientific," they are speaking in a sort of code. The code - and indeed the key to understanding the entire debate between evolutionists and proponents of ID - is a little known two-word phrase: "methodological naturalism."

Whereas "naturalism" - the doctrine that all pheonmena are adequately explained by the laws of chemistry and physics - is a philosophy one can accept or reject, "methodological naturalism" takes the issue one step further: MN is naturalism turned into a dogma, something with which one cannot disagree and still be a bona fide scientist.

And just what does this dogma hold?

Very simply, MN means science has been defined in our modern age asd the pursuit of the best natural or material explanation for all observable phenomena. By definition, then, anything that is not of the physical, material realm - that is, the spiritual, the supernatural, God - is excluded up-front from the realm of science.

Therefore, even if an observed phenomenon is truly born of a non-material, non-physical causes, that conclusion is considered unscientific - even if it is the truth.

Science has become, then, not what most people think - a pure search for truth. Rather, by the narrow definition held to by today's science orthodoxy, it is the pursuit of "natural-only" explanations. Hence, when an ID advocate puts forth his evidence and argument, regardless of how logical and compelling it might be, if it points toward an intelligent designer, it is prejudged to be "unscientific" - by definition. This "closed loop" thus prohibits any genuine controversy over evolution and expels intelligent design from the realm of science - before the debate can even begin."

(bold emphasis added)

Boo said...

I don't think that's quite true, or at least not to the degree you seem to be implying. Many scientists, probably even a majority, accept evolution and simultaneously believe in God. Science has always been about pursuing natural explanations for phenomena, because science is based on testing and replicating. I think it was C.S. Lewis who said that what can't be trusted to be repeatable is not material for science, which is why history is not a science. (As a former soc. major, I would add sociology as well.) God can't be subjected to scientific testing because God is a person(s) instead of The Force.

Natural science has never been about the search for truth. Philosophy is the search for truth. Unfortunately people like Richard Dawkins have confused the two.

"Therefore, even if an observed phenomenon is truly born of a non-material, non-physical causes, that conclusion is considered unscientific - even if it is the truth."

Strictly speaking, that's true, and I think rightly so. Many true things are unscientific, like love. You can't scientifically prove someone loves you.

Which is why I think questions about ultimate origins don't belong in the science classroom but rather the philosophy and religion classrooms.

Brad said...

I was listening to D. James Kennedy's "truths that transform" lecture that included this lengthy quote from doctor Wood that you posted to your blog. It was very helpful to be able to read along. It's fantastic insight; I'm dubbing it "the unifying theory of the universe". Unifying around the trinity, of course...