First, at the beginning of the creation of a material universe (“heavens and earth”) in Genesis 1:1, God possibly used the mechanism of a black hole to hold in all matter in a singularity with the greatest force of gravity to cause biblical time to measure in terms of earth centric 24 hour days.Continue reading
A Brief Commentary on Mark 9:1-29
Especially Addressing the Plea, “Help Me Overcome My Unbelief,” or Overcoming Our Jadedness
“And He said to them, Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power” (9:1 NIV).
The “Some Who Are Standing Here Will Not Taste Death Before They See That the Kingdom of God Has Come With Power” Conundrum: To whom did Jesus address this statement? The answer is found in the previous chapter. “Then He called the crowd to Him along with His disciples and said: Whoever wants to be My disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow Me” (Mark 8:34 NIV). So, He addressed “the crowd” and “His disciples.” If He only addressed His disciples, then the complication would arise, which disciples? What event would some disciples see that the other disciples would not? But, this is not the case, since evidently “the crowd” (9:1 NIV) was being informed of a future event to be viewed by these “disciples,” as well.
If physical death (“not taste death”) was implied in Christ’s statement, then when would His disciples “see that the kingdom of God has come with power” (9:1 NIV)? Evidently, Christ was referring to the disciples’ witnessing His Resurrection, to which He referred only earlier in the same discourse (Mark 8:31). Both His Death and certainly His Resurrection were unexpected by His disciples at that time. And, Christ’s defeat of death through the “power of His Resurrection” (Philippians 3:10 NIV) transcends any expectation of a mortal mind. “And who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by His resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 1:4 NIV).Continue reading
A crowning achievement of modern man’s cooperation was Neil Armstrong setting foot on the moon on July 21, 1969. Months later, my high school literature class was assigned to read William Goulding’s fiction novel, “Lord of the Flies” (1954), a dismal tale of the failure of civilization over savagery. A group of preadolescent, British schoolboys were stranded on an island in a remote part of the Pacific Ocean. Surviving a crash of their evacuation plane, against the backdrop of a world war, they agreed to have fun, survive, and constantly maintain a signal fire for their future rescue. Things fell apart shortly thereafter. End fighting resulted in the killing of three of their own before being rescued. Goulding’s depiction of the “darkness of the human heart” contrasts with a more recent (2020) article by Rutger Bregman appearing in theguardian.com — The real Lord of the Flies: what happened when six boys were shipwrecked for 15 months. Like their movie counterparts, these six boys had left school (1965) and had become stranded on a remote Pacific island (‘Ata), but these were merely bored and plain misfortunate. Unlike the movie, these boys cooperated and physically thrived until their signal fire brought about their rescue. Two different scenarios depicted human conscience and moral law with different outcomes. But, “what does Scripture say” (Romans 4:3 NIV) about moral law and conscience?Continue reading
No doubt much of the public fascination over the possibility of an Extinction Level Event (ELE) has come from a Cold War consciousness of the risk of thermonuclear holocaust, as well as, the scar of a comet or asteroid strike off Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula; but, all of that pales by comparison to the worldwide flood of epoch proportions described by Moses in Genesis. “God said to Noah, I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth” (Genesis 6:13 NIV).Continue reading
If creation is the act of producing or causing to exist, and a miracle is an effect or event considered as a work of God, then Creation is a miracle. Creation is the Masterpiece of God. When a magician pulls a rabbit out of a hat (6:36), the audience responds with enthusiastic applause. But, when God creates the universe ex nihilo — out of nothing — the applause stops, and both scientist and theologian begin a forensic discussion of how God did not do it, how Genesis was never intended to be but a figurative story, or how God needed more time and process to accomplish such a feat.Continue reading
The inherent concept of God is miraculous. If a miracle is the intervention of the supernatural, then God’s existence is miraculous. A being who has no beginning or end is not natural.Continue reading
The universe is expanding, but energy is running down. Humankind experiences cycles of advancement in knowledge, productivity, and longevity; but continually, cycles of selfishness, greed, and destruction diminish our limited planet. Man’s capacity to build and replenish is far too often outstripped by our tendency to tear down and subjugate. It takes a far greater faith to believe in a natural and growing goodness of humanity to establish justice in the earth than to hope for the supernatural intervention of an infinite God performing miracles in the affairs of humankind. The way I see it, we need a miracle!Continue reading