Mankind was created in the image of God to rule the earth and to fulfill God’s plan of redemption for the human race. Mankind’s role in this plan seems to point to a noble purpose. There are many ways to answer this question and not everyone will agree with our response but it will cause everyone to think more seriously about why mankind is on planet Earth. So, this question will be answered in two parts in successive weeks to give the reader a broad perspective on the biblical concept of a noble purpose.
Mankind has been around a long time. There are signs in cave drawings, primitive rituals, cities that go back more than 12,000 years.Humans have been living in community for the most of our history, reaching beyond mere existence and survival. A lot of smart people including psychologists, philosophers, historians, theologians and just thoughtful people have affirmed that when we live life with a sense of purpose we are healthier, happier, have better relationships and are likely to be more successful.
So, is there a noble purpose for mankind? There are clues; in fact, an abundance of clues. In spite of many attempts to reduce faith in God to rules and rituals, at the heart of God’s self-disclosure is love. If God is love and if God’s self-disclosure is to encourage and support love, then we have discovered a significant clue about a noble purpose. If love is the basis for sustainable personal relationships, restorative justice, caring for those in need, family and community building, and transformational communication, then we have found a noble purpose that has deep roots, a long track record, and universal application that comes directly from the heart and mind of God.
Yes, it happened and it was real, very real indeed. It is no myth or just a story. Jesus referred to Noah as a real person and the flood as a real event. We can totally rely on his words. The best estimate as to when the flood occurred is about 20,000 years ago. The Bible gives no specific date only a sequential chronological progression of the events of creation. This dating comes from the most recent science record of the first humans somewhere around 45,000 years ago. That’s very recent in the timeline of the earth considering the dinosaurs were last on earth 250 million years ago.
As to the extent of the Flood. The Bible states that it covered the earth, which to the population at that time would have been their known region. Recognizing that the peoples at that time were concentrated in a very local geographic area in what is called today Mesopotamia (principally Iraq), it is generally recognized that the flood was universal to the entire human population at that time. Recent archaeological discoveries have unearthed large settlements that are now underwater in the Persian Gulf. The geography of this area of the earth has changed greatly since the flood. Numerous movies have been made purporting to tell the flood story, but all fall far short of depicting the Biblical narrative
The Bible does not describe in any detail character traits of Noah and his family other than being righteous. There are no quotes from Noah or his family in the Bible. All words and conversations in the movies are drawn from the imagination of the producer. The movie, Noah, produced in 2014 strayed so far from scripture that is was scorned by scientists and condemned by religious scholars. The movie was banned in much of the Muslim world despite the fact that the story takes place in what is today the heart of Islam. The movie distorts Bible teaching about God, animals, sin and salvation. The producer of the movie, Noah, didn’t just add to and take away from the story of Noah as recorded in Genesis, he reversed good and evil, elevated animals above humans, gave rocks souls, he equated fallen man with Jesus, and even elevated man higher than God.
For more thoughtful information about the flood, we strongly recommend visiting “Reasons to Believe” at www.reasons.org and/or reading Hugh Ross’ book, Navigating Genesis 1-11.
Image by Prawny from Pixabay
People often question how life and the universe began. Many who put their faith in science and history believe that Christians have a non-scientific worldview. However, Christians also believe in science and history BUT they realize that neither science nor history are infallible. Men of science make mistakes, scientific journals may be biased, and history may be distorted to prove a slanted point of view. True science and history support the Christian worldview which is actually the most rational of all worldviews. It requires no more faith than any other worldview or philosophy.
For example, many who hold a secular worldview believe that everything began from basic matter or energy and eventually some very elementary form of life happened to spontaneously generate from a primordial soup. That worldview requires faith that “something” always existed but does not explain the origin of that “something.” They also believe that the elements got more and more organized until more advanced life forms developed. However, the Second Law of Thermodynamics states that there is a natural tendency for isolated systems to degenerate into chaos, not toward more order. Therefore, the secular worldview is in conflict with this scientific law while the Christian worldview is not.
The secular worldview has faith that a basic life form developed on its own even though intricately designed nucleic acids, lipids, proteins, and carbohydrates are essential components of all known forms of life. The most basic life form is much more complex than a cellphone and a cellphone would certainly not just develop on its own from basic elements. The Christian worldview has faith that a Creator was in charge while designing the universe and creating life. Which worldview really requires more faith?
Ultimately, everyone must choose their own worldview and this choice will affect every aspect of their lives. The Christian worldview is not only supported by honest, scientifically sound truths but also by biblical revelation. The Gospel of John contains the philosophical foundation of the Christian worldview. It states that in the beginning Christ was, He was with God, and He was God. He created all things and nothing was created without Him. This foundation is a solid rock in a turbulent world of constantly changing opinions and values. A person with a firm Christian worldview will not be tossed to and fro by every secularist doctrine.
Most people wrongly assume that science supports evolution as the explanation for the origin of man and that the Bible ‘s description is without any scientific support.
Consider that the theory of evolution born out of the writings of Charles Darwin in the 19th century in now undergoing a considerable re-think based on 20th and 21st century science. Through science we now know that our universe had a beginning before which there was nothing, that the universe and earth are governed by life sustaining natural law constants of such precision that they could not have come about by chance and that numerous biological processes appear to operate on incorporated information.
That the universe had a beginning points to a beginner. The precision of life sustaining natural law constants rule out chance and point to intentionality. The information incorporated into physical and biological processes points to intelligent design. Collectively, a beginner, intentionality and intelligent design point to one conclusion. That God is the giver and sustainer of life.
Evolution as popularly taught is in trouble because of the absence of transitional species required to prove evolution, the periodic explosions of life forms without those expected transitional species, and the extreme statistical improbability that chance could be a factor in numerous complex biological processes.
In weighing the evidence, the scales seem to have tipped in favor of a beginner and intelligent designer that intentionally made the world and man to occupy it.
It was all done with a purpose.
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will… Ephesians 1:4-5 (NIV)
God doesn’t live anywhere. He is everywhere and as far as his ability to be omnipresent, it is impossible to know such a thing or else we would be god like. However, once we recognize that god is a transcendent being and operates outside of time and space as we know it, it is easy to understand that a being can be involved in every aspect of creation.
Nuclear physicists have hypothesized that at the subatomic level the smallest identifiable quantity is light. So just as light is everywhere—inside every cell of the human body, inside every grain of dust and blade of grass, God can be everywhere all the time.
In the Bible, writers describe God as one who is involved in every aspect of his creation. When we read David’s passage of Psalms 139:11-12, we get a sense of the wonderment of Gods power come over David.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
The best way to test the theory of God’s omnipresence is to talk with him. As you become aware of your communication, you only have to imagine billions of others carrying on a conversation with God at the same time.
Image by PIRO4D from Pixabay
We can never fully understand God, but we have glimpses and hints of what he is like. The creation speaks of his creative power and glory. Just look at sun rises and sunsets. The macro and micro worlds are beyond our understanding. The human body is such a marvelous creation that science and medicine will forever be trying to comprehend its complexity. Human love is impossible to fully grasp and the love of God is greater still. That said, here are some ideas of what God is like. He is eternal, personal (can be known), one/unique (no other gods exist except Him),Spirit, holy, just, sovereign, omnipotent, in control and the source of all love, joy, beauty and wisdom. That is why God is worthy of our worship our praise, our love and our obedience.