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To: betty boop; marron; Alamo-Girl; xzins; YHAOS; MHGinTN; hosepipe; metmom
Behold: a rarity!!

Seldom, indeed, is it that I find three of my esteemed and beloved siblings in Christ in disagreement with me on so fundamental point as to whether ex nihilo creation was -- or was not -- uniquely confined to "the creation week".

(Point of distinction: I said, "was not", rather than "could not be" ...)

~~~~~~~~~~~

Therefore, I must re-examine my position and ask myself a few questions:

  1. Does Scripture list more than one instance of ex nihilo creation?

  2. Does Scripture list instances of ex nihilo creation after the Creator began his "day of rest" ?

  3. Is the birth of a child an act of ex nihilo creation, or is it an example of "formation" from pre-existing created material?

  4. Was the ensoulment of Adam an act of ex nihilo creation -- or did God "breathe" into Adam HIS pre-existing "neshamah"? Note: this raises the question,

  5. "Does introducing something [pre]existing in "the Heavenly dimension" into this universe -- where it never existed before -- constitute an act of ex nihilo creation?"

  6. Was "man in the image of God" without precedent -- or was the Prototype from which he was modeled (God) already in existence? ("Let us make Man in Our image".) [Take note of the verb...]

  7. When Adam (and his clone, Eve) were made/created in the Garden, and ordered to "be fruitful and multiply", did their ensoulment pass on to their offspring (as did the sin from their Fall)? Or...

  8. Does God perform a new act of ex nihilo creation every time a human is born? Every puppy? Every seed that germinates? Every microbe that undergoes mitosis?

  9. Were there no humans or other "creatures" conceived / born / germinated / sprouted into existence while God "rested" on the seventh day of Creation?

  10. Is He busy, now, flitting all over His Earth (not to mention the rest of His universe) performing some sort of act of ex nihilo creation every time a human (or other "creature") begins existence?

  11. Does the term, "creature" truly specify an act of ex nihilo creation?

  12. Or, (like the Michaelangelo painting cited in #143) are we allowing a human construct (a word ["creature"]) in a human-devised language) to lead us to conclusions not warranted by Scripture?

While I cogitate on these questions -- and (re)-search Scripture for answers -- I hand them to you, my Sisters and Brothers in Christ, so that you can be ready to deal with whatever conclusions I reach...

~~~~~~~~

For those who have access to it, I refer you to

Schroeder, Gerald L., Genesis and the Big Bang -- specifically the chapter, "THE SOUL OF LIFE", PP 149-152.

~~~~~~~~~~

FWIW, marron my discussion of "created" vs "formed" was not nearly so much a disagreement with you as it was intended to be a lead-in to discussion of a couple of points I raised in my (mostly ignored) #143... But, I was "blindsided" into this "sidetrack" by my esteemed and beloved Sisters... ;-)

Yet, in all of this, my intended focus remains on the subject of this thread: "evolution vs creation"...

224 posted on 01/22/2013 3:30:16 AM PST by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias... "Barack": Allah's current ally...)
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To: TXnMA; betty boop; marron; Alamo-Girl; P-Marlowe; YHAOS; MHGinTN; hosepipe; metmom

If I had to pick instances of possible ex nihilo events in the Bible other than creation week, I’d go with these:

water to wine

multiplying loaves and fishes

healing any leper insofar as there is the assumption that any missing body parts were restored.

widow’s oil multiplied

Aaron’s rod becoming serpent

water becoming blood (depending on if that means “red” or “blood”)


228 posted on 01/22/2013 6:27:36 AM PST by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! True supporters of our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: TXnMA; xzins; betty boop; marron; P-Marlowe; YHAOS; MHGinTN; hosepipe; metmom
Thank you so very much for sharing your insights and process of analyzing this question, dear brother in Christ!

The operative part, IMHO, is this:

7. When Adam (and his clone, Eve) were made/created in the Garden, and ordered to "be fruitful and multiply", did their ensoulment pass on to their offspring (as did the sin from their Fall)? Or...

8. Does God perform a new act of ex nihilo creation every time a human is born? Every puppy? Every seed that germinates? Every microbe that undergoes mitosis?

The answer may be somewhere in between, i.e. Scripture makes various distinctions concerning the physical body v. the spiritual body.

Indeed, the physical body seems first relevant to me in God’s covering Adam and Eve’s shame with coats made of skins:

And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where [art] thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I [was] naked; and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou [wast] naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? – Genesis 3:9-11

Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them. – Genesis 3:21

And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. – Hebrews 9:22

Which is to say, the physical body seems relevant to me only after the fall.

Concerning the spiritual body, Jewish mystics point to the Hebrew words nephesh, neshama and ruach in Scripture used to describe the soul/mind/spirit.

More specifically, nephesh is the ordinary soul which all living creatures have (Genesis 1) and is returned to the earth upon death.

And neshama as you pointed out, is the breath of God which Adam received in Genesis 2 whereby he became a living soul.

Further, according to the mystics, the ruach is the soul pivot whereby the man chooses to be Godly-minded (neshama) or earthly-minded (nephesh.) That choosing parallels Romans 8.

For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded [is] death; but to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace. – Romans 8:5-6

Concerning spiritual bodies, the big difference between the Old Testament and the New is ruach Elohim the Spirit of God (Genesis 1) Himself Who we Christians receive and Who guides us (Romans 8, John 15, I Cor 2, etc.)

He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet [given]; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) - John 7:38-39

And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. – John 1:33

Metaphysical naturalists, atheists, etc. would have us believe that the mind/soul/spirit is an illusion, an epiphenomenon. Epiphenomenons are secondary phenomenons which cannot cause anything to happen.

In that view, everything returns to the earth at death and new epiphenomenons begin at birth or conception.

But the Scripture speaks of creation being mindful:

For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only [they], but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, [to wit], the redemption of our body. - Romans 8:22-23

So perhaps all the microscopic organisms, insects, plant life and wild life which only had nephesh and returned to the earth at death (according to the Jewish mystics) actually constitute a creature that is continually being reformed, a hive-mind so to speak that is grounded to the physical.

Conversely then, the living souls which have ruach (choice) and/or neshama (breath of God) would "phase shift" (if P.S. Wesson is right) and continue onwards "in" the creation past the death of the physical body.

Moreover, we creatures called Christian being indwelled by ruach Elohim already exist "beyond" anything physical at all (including a phase shift):

For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. - Colossians 3:3

But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. - Romans 8:1-9

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? - I Corinthians 6:19

Some foot for thought, dear brothers and sisters in Christ!

God's Name is I AM.

234 posted on 01/22/2013 8:53:22 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: TXnMA; betty boop; Alamo-Girl; xzins; MHGinTN; hosepipe
I have to say, I love FR just for these kinds of discussions.

I didn't read any of the replies as particularly a disagreement so much as a continuation of the discussion started in 143, trying to draw some distinctions that I did not make, between “ex nihilo” events and divine interventions that do not (apparently) generate something from nothing but rather redirect or choreograph events. The latter might fall under your “formation” heading.

One question is whether the “big bang” was a single explosion that carried within it the basic formula from which everything we see has unfolded, or was it rather more like the opening of a valve from which a steady stream is emitted (though still with those same basic formula governing physical behavior). I couldn't even begin to answer that kind of question.

My belief is that “creation” is a fundamental element in God's essence, like love, it is in part who he is. Furthermore that, since we are made in his image, it is a fundamental part of who we are. And to push my line of reasoning a bit further, that it is an important part of why he created us; first, because thats what he does, but more as a way of furthering the process of creation. We are tools who are intended to join in creation.

Its important to notice that parts of the process are mechanical, and are predictable, and parts of it have been given independent intellect and will which adds an element of spontaneity to the process. This seems to be by design. Rather than a universe of telephone poles he seems to prefer forests of unique trees whose final shape is not entirely predictable or controlled.

He can work with that kind of uncertainty the way a sailor uses winds he doesn't control to go to a destination he does control. He doesn't need to control everything to remain in control of everything.

Most people picture heaven as a kind of static place but I don't. If creation is, as I say, fundamental to God's nature then it continues today and on into eternity. We have roles to play and will continue to have roles to play on into eternity. I could be wrong, but I hope to find out (and hope to see you all when we get to the other side).

With this, I have batted the ball back over the net. I look forward to the responses.

239 posted on 01/22/2013 10:21:28 AM PST by marron
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