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Linked Together: Questions About Creation

Two suggestions for weekend reading.

Why Did God Create the World?
There’s new book by Ben Stevens—a reworking of a dissertation by Jonathan Edwards—that seeks to answer this question. Here’s a quote from it.

Creation must have arisen because of the way it accomplishes something God values. God values things like goodness, truth, and beauty. And yet those words are simply labels we have come up with to describe things that were, before creation, all him. So I think we are logical to conclude that if God could have created the universe to expand and increase himself—and, implicitly, all the things that we have come to know in the abstract as goodness, truth, and beauty—then that best explains the logic behind his decision to create a universe in the first place.

If you want to know more, read the rest of this excerpt (The Gospel Coalition), or better yet, read the book

What’s the Point of All This Futility?
Romans 8 tells us that God subjected creation to futilty. Why would he do that? The answer is counterintuitive, but is shouldn’t surprise us. 

God does things very differently from us (Isaiah 55:8). But there is a pattern. This is a God who chooses death as the means to life (Hebrews 2:14-15), foolish things as the means to shame the wise (1 Corinthians 1:27), humility as the means to exaltation (1 Peter 5:6), and poverty as the means to riches (2 Corinthians 8:9).

Is it any surprise that he also chooses futility as the means to hope?

Read the rest (John Bloom at Desiring God Blog).


Thankful Thursday

I’m thankful 

  • for sunflowers and for my favorite color, yellow.
  • for all the little cherry tomatoes I’ve eaten this summer. There are only four left to ripen on my tumbler tomato plant, but they are the last of daily picking for six weeks or so.
  • for the four season. It’s hard to let summer go, but it goes with the promise to return again, and for that I’m thankful. 
  • for cheap flights, which help us stay connected to friends and family. So many in my family have benefited from them recently and more will be flying places in the weeks to come. 
  • for the love of the brethren. I’ve seen examples lately and I’m thankful for believers who sacrifice to care for other believers. 
  • for the Holy Spirit who makes new people from old.

Also thankful today:

What are you thankful for? Leave a comment with your thanksgiving, post your thanksgiving on your blog, or tweet it. Give me the link by email or in a comment and I’ll add your thanksgiving to the list in the post.


Theological Term of the Week

finite Godism
“[T]he view that there is a personal God who created and directs the world, but he is a finite being and is limited in significant ways by factors external to him.”1

  • Scriptural proof that finite Godism is unbiblical:
    “The former things I declared of old; they went out from my mouth, and I announced them; then suddenly I did them, and they came to pass” (Isaiah 48:3 ESV).
    Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure (Psalm 147:5 ESV).
    “Ah, Lord GOD! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you” (Jeremiah 32:17 ESV).
  • From the Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 2, Sections 1 and 2:

    1. There is but one only, living, and true God, who is infinite in being and perfection, a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions; immutable, immense, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty, most wise, most holy, most free, most absolute; working all things according to the counsel of his own immutable and most righteous will, for his own glory; most loving, gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin; the rewarder of them that diligently seek him; and withal, most just, and terrible in his judgments, hating all sin, and who will by no means clear the guilty.

    2. God hath all life, glory, goodness, blessedness, in and of himself; and is alone in and unto himself all-sufficient, not standing in need of any creatures which he hath made, nor deriving any glory from them, but only manifesting his own glory in, by, unto, and upon them. He is the alone fountain of all being, of whom, through whom, and to whom are all things; and hath most sovereign dominion over them, to do by them, for them, or upon them whatsoever himself pleaseth. In his sight all things are open and manifest, his knowledge is infinite, infallible, and independent upon the creature, so as nothing is to him contingent, or uncertain. 

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Linked Together: Wildlife

Bear Up
Did you know that grizzlies can use tools? Or maybe the headline should say one grizzly can use a stool? (CBC News)

Shooting Salmon
Here in my town, we use a fish ladder to get the returning salmon up and over the dam.

But some dams are too big to be scaled with a ladder, so they’ve invented a salmon cannon that can propel salmon 100 feet into the air and (hopefully) over the dam

(Update on the Whitehorse Rapids Fish Ladder: This year 1555 Chinook salmon have passed through. The run is winding down, so there won’t be many more. Thankfully, that’s a few hundred fish more than last year and the year before. Hopefully, it’s the start of an upward trend.)


Heidelberg Catechism

Question 50. Why is it added [in the Apostles’ Creed] “and sits at the right hand of God”?

Answer: Because Christ ascended into heaven for this purpose: to might show himself there as head of his church, (a) by whom the Father governs all things. (b)

(Scriptural proofs after the fold.)

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