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The Life in the Universe According to Christianity

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LIFE IN THE WORLD

3.1. The nature of life according to Christianity

Christianity teaches that the universe was created through love by an intelligent power, namely the God of the Bible. Creation was purposeful, not arbitrary, and therefore the universe is not morally neutral, but fundamentally good. In this purposeful creation, everything and everyone are intrinsically valuable. God's design or purpose for creation reflects God's intention that all creatures enjoy perfect love and justice. God works in human history to fulfil that purpose. God created human beings in the divine image, enabling humans to have some understanding of God and of God's vast and complex design. The purpose of life is to love and serve God in order to help bring about God's glorious plan for creation.

Reason is a unique gift bestowed by God on humans and enables them to reflect on their own nature and conscience, and from that derive knowledge of God's will for creation. But a complete understanding is beyond human reach. To fulfil the goal of wholeness in an existence perfected by both justice and love, something more is needed. Humans are not expected to accomplish the divine plan alone. The fulfilment of God's purpose depends on God's grace. For Christians, grace is God's freely-given favour and love.

Reason is a good gift, sometimes misused for selfish, wilful, or prideful purposes. The substitution of selfish ambition for God's will is a condition that Christians call sin, meaning separation or alienation from God.

The Christian concept of sin originates in the story of Adam and Eve found in chapters 2-3 of the Book of Genesis, a story that has central importance for Christians. The story relates the creation by God of the first humans, a man and woman. God placed them in a beautiful garden called Eden, which provided for all their physical needs, as well as companionship with each other and fellowship with God. For these first humans, God had but one rule. In the garden stood "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil," whose fruit Adam and Eve should not eat. When Adam and Eve later broke the rule and ate the fruit, God banished them from the garden, condemning them and their descendants to a life of hard work, pain, disease, and eventual death, and submitting the earth itself to "bondage." Christians call this humanity's "fall" from innocence.

The evolutionary system has been entrenched for so long that many people who otherwise accept the Bible as infallible have deemed it expedient to compromise on this issue. Thus, evolution has been called, "God's method of creation"; and the Genesis record of the six days of creation has been reinterpreted in terms of the evolutionary ages of historical geology. These geological ages themselves have been accommodated in Genesis either by placing them in an assumed "gap" between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 or by changing the "days" of creation into the "ages" of evolution.
Theories of this kind raise more problems than they solve, however. It is more productive to take the Bible literally and then to interpret the actual facts of science within its revelatory framework. If the Bible cannot be understood, it is useless as revelation. If it contains scientific fallacies, it could not have been given by inspiration.

3.2. Human evolution according to the holy bible

Evolution is believed by its leading advocates to be a basic principle of continual development, of increasing order and complexity, throughout the universe. The complex elements are said to have developed from simpler elements, living organisms to have evolved from non-living chemicals, complex forms of life from simpler organisms, and even man himself to have gradually evolved from some kind of apelike ancestor. Religions, cultures, and other social institutions are likewise believed to be continually evolving into higher forms.

Thus, evolution is a complete world-view, an explanation of origins and meanings without the necessity of a personal God who created and upholds all things. Since this philosophy is so widely and persuasively taught in our schools, Christians are often tempted to accept the compromise position of "theistic evolution", according to which evolution is viewed as God's method of creation. However, this is basically an inconsistent and contradictory position. A few of its fallacies are as follows:

1. It contradicts the Bible record of creation. Ten times in the first chapter of Genesis, it is said that God created plants and animals to reproduce "after their kinds". The Biblical "kind" may be broader than our modern "species" concept, but at least it implies definite limits of variation. The New Testament writers accepted the full historicity of the Genesis account of creation. Even Christ Himself quoted from it as historically accurate and authoritative (Matthew 19:4-6).

2. It is inconsistent with God's methods. The standard concept of evolution involves the development of innumerable misfits and extinctions, useless and even harmful organisms. If this is God's "method of creation", it is strange that He would use such cruel, haphazard, inefficient, wasteful processes. Furthermore, the idea of the "survival of the fittest", whereby the stronger animals eliminate the weaker in the "struggle for existence" is the essence of Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection, and this whole scheme is flatly contradicted by the Biblical doctrine of love, of unselfish sacrifice, and of Christian charity. The God of the Bible is a God of order and of grace, not a God of confusion and cruelty.

3. The evolutionary philosophy is the intellectual basis of all anti-theistic systems. It served Hitler as the rationale for Nazism and Marx as the supposed, scientific basis for communism. It is the basis of the various modern methods of psychology and sociology that treat man merely as a higher animal and which have led to the misnamed "new morality" and ethical relativism. It has provided the pseudo-scientific rationale for racism and military aggression. Its whole effect on the world and mankind has been harmful and degrading. Jesus said: "A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit" (Matthew 7:18). The evil fruit of the evolutionary philosophy is evidence enough of its evil roots.

Thus, evolution is Biblically unsound, theologically contradictory. and sociologically harmful.

3.2.1. Progressive Creation

Some Christians use this term "progressive creation" instead of "theistic evolution", the difference being the suggestion that God interjected occasional acts of creation at critical points throughout the geological ages. Thus, for example, man's soul was created, though his body evolved from an ape-like ancestor.

This concept is less acceptable than theistic evolution, however. It not only charges God with waste and cruelty (through its commitment to the geologic ages) but also with ignorance and incompetence. God's postulated intermittent creative efforts show either that He didn't know what He wanted when He started the process or else that He couldn't provide it with enough energy to sustain it until it reached its goal. A god who would have to create man by any such cut-and-try discontinuous, injurious method as this can hardly be the omniscient, omnipotent, loving God of the Bible.

3.2.2. The Day-Age Theory

According to the established system of historical geology, the history of the earth is divided into a number of geological ages. The earth is supposed to have evolved into its present form and inhabitants over a vast span of geologic ages, beginning about a billion years ago.

In contrast. The Biblical revelation tells us that God created the entire universe in six days only a few thousand years ago. Consequently, many Christian scholars have tried to find some way of reinterpreting Genesis to fit the framework of history prescribed by the geologists.

The most popular of these devices has been the "day-age" theory, by which the "days" of creation were interpreted figuratively as the "ages" of geology. However, there are many serious difficulties with this theory.

The Hebrew word for "day" is "Yom" and the word can occasionally be used to mean an indefinite period of time, if the context warrants. In the overwhelming preponderance of its occurrences in the Old Testament, however, it means a literal day, that is, either an entire solar day or the daylight portion of a solar day. It was, in fact, defined by God Himself the very first time it was used, Genesis 1:5, where we are told that "God called the light, day." It thus means, in the context, the "day" in the succession of "day and night" or "light and darkness".

But the most serious fallacy in the day-age theory is theological. It charges God with the direct responsibility for five billion years of history of purposeless variation, accidental changes, evolutionary blind alleys, numerous misfits and extinctions, a cruel struggle for existence, with preservation of the strong and extermination of the weak, of natural disasters of all kinds, rampant disease, disorder, and decay, and, above all, with death. The Bible teaches that, at the end of the creation period, God pronounced His whole creation to be "very good", in spite of all this.

3.2.3. The Gap Theory

Two theories for harmonizing the First chapter of Genesis with the geologic ages have been advanced, one placing the geologic ages "during" the six days of creation, and the other placing the geologic ages "before" the six days. The "day-age theory" has been shown to be an impossible compromise, both Biblically and scientifically.

The "gap theory" likewise involves numerous serious fallacies. The geologic ages cannot be disposed of merely by ignoring the extensive fossil record on which they are based. These supposed ages are inextricably involved in the entire structure of the evolutionary history of the earth and its inhabitants, up to and including man. The fossil record is the best evidence for evolution.

Thus, acceptance or the geologic ages implicitly involves acceptance of the whole evolutionary package. Most of the fossil forms preserved in the sedimentary rocks have obvious relatives in the present world, so that the "re-creation" concept involves the Creator in "re-creating" in six days of the same animals and plants which had been previously developed slowly over long ages, only to perish violently in a great pre-Adamic cataclysm.

The gap theory, therefore, really does not face the evolution issue at all, but merely pigeon-holes it in an imaginary gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. It leaves unanswered the serious problem as to why God would use the method of slow evolution over long ages in the primeval world, then destroy it, and then use the method of special creation it to re-create the same forms He had just destroyed.

Furthermore, there is no geologic evidence of such a worldwide cataclysm in recent geologic history. In fact, the very concept of a worldwide cataclysm precludes the geologic ages. which are based specifically on the assumption that there have been no such worldwide cataclysms. As a device for harmonizing Genesis with geology, the gap theory is self-defeating.

The greatest problem with the theory is that it makes God the direct author of evil. It implies that He used the methods of struggle, violence, decay, and death on a worldwide scale for at least three billion years in order to accomplish His unknown purposes in the primeval world. This is the testimony of the fossils and the geologic ages which the theory tries to place before Genesis 1:2. Then, according to the theory, Satan sinned against God in heaven and God cast him out of heaven to the earth, destroying the earth in the process in the supposed pre-Adamic cataclysm. Satan's sin in heaven, however, cannot in any way account for the age-long spectacle of suffering and death in the world during the geologic ages which preceded his sin! Thus. God alone remains responsible for suffering, death, and confusion, and without any reason for it.

The Scripture says, on the other hand, at the end of the six days of creation, and God saw everything that he had made and, behold, it was very good. Death did not ,enter the world until man sinned Evidently even Satan's rebellion in heaven had not yet taken place, because everything was pronounced "very good" there, too.

3.3. The life in the universe and what next

Extraterrestrial life is defined as life that does not originate from Earth. It is often also referred to as alien life, or simply aliens . These hypothetical forms of life range from simplebacteria-like organisms to beings far more complex than humans.
The development and testing of hypotheses on extraterrestrial life is known as exobiology or astrobiology; the term astrobiology, however, includes the study of life on Earth viewed in its astronomical context. Nonetheless, scientists at the National Institutes of Health reported studies that life in the universe may have begun "9.7±2.5 billion years ago", billions of years before the Earth was formed, based on extrapolating the "genetic complexity of organisms" to earlier times. Many scientists consider extraterrestrial life to be plausible, but there is no direct evidence of its existence. Since the mid-20th century, there has been an ongoing search for signs of extraterrestrial life, from radios used to detect possible extraterrestrial signals, to telescopes used to search for potentially habitable extrasolar planets. It has also played a major role in works of science fiction.

The past is gone by...the future is not yet a reality. The only reality is now...in the moment. It doesn't matter to me whether or not there is another life, because whatever the future holds, does not alter how I live my life in the moment. This moment has never "been" before, and will never "be" again...it is the only reality. When we spend time speculating about the future, we give up being fully present NOW.

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