Serving up another helping of ‘He is there and He is not silent’

Posted: July 21, 2006 in Book notes:'He is there and He is not silent'., Theo/Philo

Dr[1]. Francis Schaeffer.jpg

For the previous post in this series please go here.

To have an adequate answer from a personal beginning we need:

1.A personal infinite God

2.Personal unity and diversity in God

1.God needs to be both Personal and infinite, without these qualities, there is no base from which Man can operate with logical and individual consistency. If God is not personal then there is no answer to our experience of personality, there is also the problem of the origin of personality since we are not causa Sui.

Is personality an emergent quality of an underlying neurological process, or is this a convenient ‘Black Box’ for metaphysical naturalists to use so as to avoid explaining why we have personality, in the process they explain away any sense of being unique or basis for individual significance.

God is infinite because he is not limited like we are limited. Also he is infinite in regard to time –he has no beginning he is the unmoved mover. God views time much like we would look at a picture in an art gallery –he see it all at once as Psalm 90:4 states:’ For a thousand years in your sight are but yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night’. Apart from Biblical teaching no system has God being both Infinite and personal.

2.God provides a basis for unity and diversity as found in the relationship of the trinity.

Matt 28:19 says: ‘Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,..’

For more about point 2 go to this previous post.

Only God is independent-there is a chasm between God and created finite things such as man, animals, flowers and the machine. Regarding infinity man is as separated from God as is the atom, the animal or any other part of creation.

In regard to personality, the gap is between man and the animals, the planet and the machine, as Man is made in the image of God, the originator of personality.

The Nicene creed was produced by the council of Nicea in 325AD its format underlines the idea of three persons in loving communication before all else including space/time existed. Creed did not produce the doctrine of the trinity but reflected the doctrine that was laid out in the Bible.

Here is the creed:

“We believe (I believe) in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, and born of the Father before all ages. (God of God) light of light, true God of true God. Begotten not made, consubstantial to the Father, by whom all things were made. Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven. And was incarnate of the Holy Ghost and of the Virgin Mary and was made man; was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, suffered and was buried; and the third day rose again according to the Scriptures. And ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of the Father, and shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, of whose Kingdom there shall be no end. And (I believe) in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceeds from the Father (and the Son), who together with the Father and the Son is to be adored and glorified, who spoke by the Prophets. And one holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. We confess (I confess) one baptism for the remission of sins. And we look for (I look for) the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.”

If this loving communication did not exist before the beginning of time then we would have had a God who needed to create in order to love and communicate. God would have needed the universe as much as the universe needed God. He would not of been perfect as he would of needed to add to himself.

This communication between the three persons of the trinity, is the model for family, the model for marriage, the model for mans need to be part of a community, the model for communication –as Schaeffer say ‘The reason we know anything is that he is not silent’.

  1. […] Ok… Ok I know it’s been a while since I posted.Here is another instalment in my notes on Francis Schaeffer’s Book ‘He is there and He is not silent’For the previous instalment please go here.Last time, we looked at what a philosophically adequate personal beginning looked like, today we are looking at the Moral Necessity.I have to admit it I’m shrinking, a continual process of apoptosis is reducing my stature, cell by miserable cell is giving up the ghost and leaving me less likely to be allowed onto those really scary rollercoaster rides, currently I am ok, at a shade off of six foot tall but who knows how much longer I can nonchalantly walk past the height barrier?Mans sense of finiteness demonstrates itself in our failing capacities and the sense of loss we feel when a friend or loved one dies.It is this characteristic of finiteness that shows us that Man alone in an impersonal world is not enough to give an adequate foundation for living.Within a conversation between two people there is an agreed shared meaning applied to the sounds that are made by each person. That meaning is our reference point, our dictionary .Schaeffer puts it like this’ as finite beings there is no reference point big enough and there are no morals by the same token. With an impersonal beginning we cannot talk about what is really right or wrong.’We need a reference point outside of ourselves, external and eternal for there to be any meaning.Assuming an impersonal beginning ‘Man’ has by chance become a being with aspirations, including a moral capacity  for which there is no ultimate fulfilment in the Universe as it is.   […]

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