2,000 years and counting…
what is truth?
is truth knowable?
at what point is one satisfied that they have arrived at it?
do we start with falsehood and whittle away until only truth is left?
do we start with truth and add our own beliefs to it, diluting it?
do we do both?
are we capable of holding conflicting beliefs?
do we ever act NOT according to our actual beliefs?
it seems to me that that which is true would be true no matter what i think about it — or even if i think about it at all.
if my beliefs line up with what actually is, then so much the better for me.
i also think, somewhat, that people’s actual beliefs can be inferred from their behavior, though i think socialization comes to play, and limits/enhances somethings, so that we are coerced into doing that which we would not otherwise do — allowing belief that the consequences of not doing x would be worse than following what we really believe about y.
iow: a behavior do show our true beliefs, but one’s true beliefs and behaviors are to complex to for another to really infer much out of it.
This position splintered this controversy into two prongs: one focusing on Bristol Palin, and a second focusing on Sarah Palin. It was always been the goal of the McCain campaign that the focus be on Bristol, in spite of their pious protestations that “children of candidates should be off limits,” because framing this story to be about Bristol as much as possible would keep attention off of where it belonged, on her mother. Not one shred of concrete evidence has ever been released to demonstrate that Sarah Palin is Trig’s biological mother. We have received one incredibly suspect letter from her physician (which among other things did not even get all of the birth years of the four older Palin children correct.) It does not state explicitly where Trig Palin was born (though it helpfully tells us where he could have been born), when he was born (well, actually, it says 2008), or who actually delivered him.
A meditating teenage boy in south-central Nepal is drawing the attention of scientists after attracting huge crowds in the past six months and earning himself the name Buddha-reincarnate.
They are mulling over how to examine him without disturbing his meditation.
Ram Bahadur Bamjan’s friends, relatives and managers say he has been meditating without drinking water for six months now and that he will carry on for another six years until he gains enlightenment.
Siddartha Gautama, who Buddhists believe later attained Nirvana, was born in 560 BC.
i will concede that we are indeed to “make judgement” — even about people and what they are up to.
but the context of the verse you pulled out shows the difference between what jesus was referring to in john 7 and what he is teaching about in the sermon on the mount:
14 About the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and began teaching. 15 The Jews therefore marveled, saying, â€œHow is it that this man has learning, when he has never studied?â€ 16 So Jesus answered them, â€œMy teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. 17 If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. 18 The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory, but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood. 19 Has not Moses given you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law. Why do you seek to kill me?â€ 20 The crowd answered, â€œYou have a demon! Who is seeking to kill you?â€ 21 Jesus answered them, â€œI did one deed, and you all marvel at it. 22 Moses gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath. 23 If on the Sabbath a man receives circumcision, so that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me because on the Sabbath I made a man’s whole body well? 24 Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.â€
both of these passages speak to not judging —- and both infer that in order to make wise decisions about how to treat people one needs to be in a place of humility before god, and seeking the true good of the other person.
the original thought behind the plankeye post was a friend pointing out how those who claim to follow christ’s teachings are often those who are most guilty of being judgmental — and unfairly judgmental at that, often with yucky results in the life of those being judged.
i was obviously, in my first post on this topic, not saying that one is never to decide whether something is right or wrong.
clearly to follow christ is to believe there IS a right.
but judging and condemning people is the wrong way to go about getting them to change their behavior, while encouraging and asking is the right way.
in fact, to do so is to make a right judgement: to “hold back” on force-feeding your “pearls” of “rightness” to those who are not able to digest them, and instead love and encourage and simply ask them to consider a better way.
so, i stand by my statement:
judging IS the plank in our eye.
and i’ll say it again using a different word, by way of expounding:
condemning IS the plank in our eye.
Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.
condemnation and judging puts a HUGE stumbling block in the way of those who would otherwise be attracted to the kingdom.
we who claim to live in the kingdom behave in unattractive ways, in ways that make people feel rejected, not loved, and so they turn and attack us.
just like jesus says they will in the passage i quoted above.
but if we simply ask people, without condemnation, they are more apt to find our message acceptable.
As Americans set new records for charitable giving in response to Hurricane Katrina, some fundraisers are seeing a principle confirmed: when the suffers are perceived as innocent victims, donors respond generously.
On the other hand, giving patterns suggest donors are losing patience with chronic problems such as poverty, in which suffering is arguably exacerbated by questionable choices. Private donations are shrinking for homeless shelters, AIDS-related services and programs for troubled youth, to cite just a few examples.
what do you think?
who is “innocent” ?
who deserves to receive the dollars we give in compassionate causes?
how do you go about deciding where to give money?
are you positive that race and/or class issues aren’t in the back of your head as you make such decisions?
who is it that jesus said we were to be compassionate to?
is that who you are compassionate to?
i have heard it myself, many times, from people talking about the welfare system we have here.
statements like, “well, i don’t mind helping people out, but if they’d just get a job…”
i am wondering how much of the “innocence” of a person plays into how generous we are…
of course no one is truly innocent, but do we feel more compassion towards a middle-class white family who loses everything in a fire set by an arsonist than we do for a lower-class black family who loses everything in a fire set by a crack pipe?
are we more willing to give generously to the first example?
the article is saying that, by and large, we (americans) are, and that supposed christians are no different.
it ought to make one pause and relfect on one’s own heart, not argue over who’s right or wrong.
i have a question that i’d like to discuss.
i’m not looking for “the right” answer, as there isn’t one.
you can use bible verses if you like — there are some that are very relevent to the discussion, but i don’t think we can come up with “this is what the bible says about it” on this issue.
however, some very important things will likely come out in this discussion, that will illuminate (perhaps even to ourselves for the first time?) some of the underlying assumptions we make about this life, this universe, and the god who made it.
the question is, “why do we have bodies?”
i’ll start the conversation by posting some writing:
The life of the body, like life in general, is both a means to an end and an end in itself.
To regard the body exclusively as a means to an end is idealistic but not Christian; for a means is discarded as soon as the end is achieved. It is from this point of view that the body is conceived as the prison from which the immortal soul is released forever by death.
According to the Christian doctrine, the body possesses a higher dignity. Man is a bodily being, and remains so in eternity as well. Bodiliness and human life belong inseparably together. And thus the bodiliness which is willed by God to be the form of existence of man is entitled to be called an end in itself.
This does not exclude the fact that the body at the same time continues to be subordinated to a higher purpose. But what is important is that as one of the rights of bodily life its preservation is not only a means to an end but also an end in itself. It is in the joys of the body that it becomes apparent that the body is an end in itself within the natural life. If the body were only a means to an end man would have no right to bodily joys….But if the body is rightly to be regarded as an end in itself, then there is a right to bodily joys…
Within the natural life the joys of the body are reminders of the eternal joy which has been promised to men by God.
i got the idea from another website, but decided to try the idea, and found the results startling.
i would love to hear some of the questions raised by the text below, but first an explanation of what i’ve done:
a) substituted “Christian” for “Jew”
b) substituted “Muslims or Buddhists” for “Gentiles”
c) substituted “Baptism” for “Circumcision”
d) substituted “law of grace” for “law”
i’ll point out that i’m not trying to re-write romans here, just bring up some questions about this life of “being christians”.
anyway, onto the text:
For it is not the hearers of the law of grace who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law of grace who will be justified. For when Muslims or Buddhists, who do not have the law of grace, by nature do what the law of grace requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law of grace. They show that the work of the law of grace is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.
But if you call yourself a Christian and rely on the law of grace and boast in God and know his will and approve what is excellent, because you are instructed from the law of grace; and if you are sure that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law of grace the embodiment of knowledge and truth– you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who boast in the law of grace dishonor God by breaking the law of grace. For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Muslims or Buddhists because of you.”
For baptism indeed is of value if you obey the law of grace, but if you break the law of grace, your baptism becomes non-baptism. So, if a man who is not baptized keeps the precepts of the law of grace, will not his non-baptism be regarded as baptism? Then he who is physically not baptized but keeps the law of grace will condemn you who have the written code and baptism but break the law of grace. For no one is a Christian who is merely one outwardly, nor is baptism outward and physical. But a Christian is one inwardly, and baptism is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.
about one-third of the planet’s current population live in areas that have historical ties to the religion associate with jesus christ — and yet so very few people actually study and follow his teachings.
here in indiana, where i live, you’re hard pressed to find someone, anyone, who doesn’t believe in god in some capacity or another, and its is even tough to find someone who does not claim to be a christian.
but the way they behave proves out that they don’t really believe in him, or the power of his teachings.
we humans always act in accordance with what we really believe to be true about the universe.
this is what jesus meant when he spoke of a “good tree can not have bad fruit and a bad tree can not have good fruit”.
just because people claim to have opinions on things does not mean they actually believe those opinions to be Truth.
christians are taught, in the text held as god’s very word, that condemnation of others should never be part of our lives.
we are never to condemn, simply.
some of us who claim christ as lord DO, and it grieves him, and me, but none of us ought to.
and we are to never feel condemned, since we know that there is One Who Is True and who loves us, no matter what others who do not know us, say.
some of us forget this, too — and get very offended when opposing views are brought up.
again, god is grieved by this behaviour, too.
that’s one of the things about claiming to follow a god who asks for no less than perfect — we simply can not live up to that.
but, that is also what is so beautiful about jesus’ teachings: he shows that god is loving, and accepts us as we are — faults and all.
now, i am old enough, and been online long enough to know that none of us are going to change anyone’s mind here who doesn’t believe god exists.
be that as it may.
i hope my post has been able to show you a more accurate portrayal of how we who follow christ see the world — as opposed the the view imposed on us by movies, tv and popular culture in general.
we believe things far more mysterious than hollywood can imagine, and greater than you could believe.
there were both explicit and implicit conditions on being “accepted” by god.
god desires to accept us, but respects our opinion in these matters.
to those who have no desire to have anything to do with him, he respectfully backs off and waits, and hopes.
this is, of course, rather than simply coercing with a fire and light show so irresistible you’d have no real say in the matter.
the former, imo, is the better way to run the universe, if one is stuck with the job.
tonight, whilst doing some “light” reading, i came across these seven things that people tend to mean when they speak of “truth”:
1. Reality â€“ Sometimes, we use truth to mean â€œwhatâ€™s out there,â€ or â€œwhatâ€™s really, really, real.â€
2. A human perception of reality â€“ Sometimes we use the term to mean how an individual human or group of humans perceive whatâ€™s really out there. For example, in court, when a person swears to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, we understand only God could fulfill that promise, unless we defined truth to mean â€œan honest and full accounting of what you perceived.â€
3. Knowledge about reality – Clearly, thereâ€™s always some degree of difference between #2 and #1 above, and when we weave our perceptions into coherent, conscious generalizations and call those generalizations knowledge, the difference isnâ€™t erased. In other words, reality as seen and known by our infinite and wonderful God is always fuller and to some degree different than reality as seen and known by limited, situated humans. Scripture affirms this, reminding us that we know only in part.
4. Statements or propositions about reality â€“ When we take our knowledge, which arises in the context of our imperfect perceptions about whatâ€™s really out there, and then we share that knowledge with others in statements, we have to admit we add new layers of imprecision â€“ through the wonderful but sometimes imprecise interplay of encoded, sent, received, and interpreted symbols we call language. Human statements clearly do some justice to the realities they describe, but if even half of my critique of your column (an attempt to make true statements about reality, I donâ€™t doubt) is valid, you have to admit that our very best attempts to make true statements about reality still arenâ€™t perfect. For example, do you believe, looking back, that all the statements in your column were perfectly, completely, absolutely, objectively true? If you give anything less than an unqualified â€œyes,â€ you are being sensitive to the same concerns postmodern people have about these matters.
5. Moral or ethical judgments â€“ The situation becomes even more complex when our statements are judgments about moral or ethical behavior. Even for those of use who claim to know God and have faith in the Bible: we need to look back over our own history and realize that just as there are disastrous consequences to claiming there is no such thing as legitimate moral judgment, there are also disastrous consequences to claiming that we have unquestionably legitimate moral judgment. Our ancestors judged slavery as morally justified, and brought in Scripture to enforce their point; we now judge slavery wrong, also using Scripture. Are we so naÃ¯ve to think that all our judgments are finally right, just because we quote the Bible?
6. A belief system or world view â€“ I think that the concept of world view is very powerful. And for that reason, it can be very dangerous. For example, I suspect that for many religious broadcasters and writers, â€œThe Christian World Viewâ€ means â€œThe Modern Western Christian World Viewâ€ or â€œThe Calvinist Systematic Theologyâ€ or â€œA Syncretism of Christian Theology and Conservative Republican Politics,â€ but neither they nor their listeners realize it. Anyway, thereâ€™s a lot of mystique and fog around the term. Adding the words â€œTheâ€ and â€œChristianâ€ in front of a worldview doesnâ€™t guarantee this worldview is now 100% in synch with #1 above, but it sure can give that impression to unreflective people reading a column in Christianity Today, especially if theyâ€™re already feeling intimidated and afraid by all the changes in our world, and are hoping for reassurance.
7. A feeling of certainty â€“ When some people use the word truth, I think they mean a feeling of certainty, security, and rest that means they no longer have to think or ask questions. In other words, truth means â€œcase closed.â€ This exemption from further thought is something we all desire at times, I think, especially after a long hard day of reading a column in CT and criticizing it (and then criticizing the critique). But one only has to talk to a person hospitalized for psychosis to realize that a feeling of certainty can have very little in common with #1 above!
all truth is god’s truth.
i love this part of acts:
17:22 So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: â€œMen of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, â€˜To the unknown god.â€™ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. 26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for
â€œâ€˜In him we live and move and have our beingâ€™;
as even some of your own poets have said,
â€œâ€˜For we are indeed his offspring.â€™
29 Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. 30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.â€
32 Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked. But others said, â€œWe will hear you again about this.â€ 33 So Paul went out from their midst. 34 But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them.
here we have paul quoting pagan poets to make points about god.
what i like about it:
it shows that paul was familiar enough with their poets to quote them.
and he was astute enough to realize when they speak truth.
everything that is true is so because god said it ought be thus.
a friend of mine recently wrote:
This is the very reason I stopped attending my youth group. It was so unwelcoming.
And, there’s something else, too. It seems to me, that rejection from the church crowd holds a bigger emotional consequence than rejection from other crowds. These are, after all, the people with whom you are supposed to be sharing God, a very intimate experience. It’s like rejection from a lover, in a way. Not to mention the fact, that church crowds are so darn good at rejection, and doing it group-wide. I have found that many churches are like giant rumor mills. If you get rejected at all, you get rejected ALL THE WAY.
no disciple of jesus’ could agree that the above statement about “our people” is the way it should be.
rather, all would say it would be best not to be this way.
so, what is it that prevents us from being the grace-filled, friendly, welcoming crowd that jesus himself clearly was?
Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, â€˜Let me take the speck out of your eye,â€™ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
(most people stop quoting this little section there, but jesus didn’t stop there….)
â€œDo not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.
i see a few things in there that, by and large, are missed, through lack of sheer studying, as far as i can tell.
first: judgment IS the plank in our own eye.
as soon as we stop trying to correct other people’s behavior, we are freed, by grace, to love them.
as soon as we stop trying to force them into doing what they can’t, they’ll stop feeling (and being!) judged.
as soon as we stop trying to “force feed” our “pearls of heavenly knowledge” to pigs…
you know that pigs can’t eat pearls, right?
…they’ll stop trying to bite us.
judgment is something that only ONLY only god can do.
but, we want people to change, right?
we want them to come to the place we are, where pearls are appreciated, and treasured, not rejected?
how do we do that, if not by judging?
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
asking for things is the key to obtaining what you want, in the kingdom of god.
you ask the father for things, so ask his kids.
simply turning your attitude from “demanding/shoving” to “asking” will make all the difference.
of course, to get rid of this judging and contemptive attitude, really, you need to go back to the passages of the sermon on the mount that lead up to it — the things where jesus teaches us how to be of his mind:
in reverse order:
do not be anxious
lay up treasures in heaven
how to pray
giving to the needy
loving your enemies
…in all these little passages are deep deep mysteries of kingdom life — and the one follows the other: he put them in order for a reason.
once you have “worked out your salvation” in this order, and have (all with christ’s help) managed to lose judging, you are then, spiritually able to move on to:
the golden rule
the golden rule simply can’t be “done” apart from living out the sermon on the mount’s teachings.
but, through the spirit, if you seek to obey christ’s teachings in the sermon on the mount, by the time you’re ready to give up judging, you’re nature has changed so much that you are more than ready and willing to start doing to people — really and truly — what you wish they would do to you.
i could talk for hours about this, but i must get going on my day’s work.
many of you have probably heard that there are other people groups, besides the ancient hebrews that have flood stories.
i went looking and found a web page that lists everyone the editor could find
some of them are amazing:
Pictorial records of ancient Incan rulers show that a flood rose above the highest mountains. All created things perished, except for a man and woman who floated in a box. When the flood subsided, the floating box was driven by the wind to Tiahuanacu, about 200 miles from Cuzco, where the Creator told them to dwell. The Creator molded new people from clay at Tiahuanacu. On each figure, the Creator painted dress and hair style, and he gave each nation distinctive language, songs, and seeds to plant. When he had brought them to life, he ordered them into the earth to travel underground and emerge from caves, springs, tree trunks, etc. in their various homes. He then created the sun, moon, and stars.
Since its creation, the world has been destroyed twice, once by fire and once by flood, by the great god Aiomun Kondi because of the wickedness of mankind. The pious and wise chief Marerewana was informed of the coming of the flood and saved himself and his family in a large canoe.
Transylvanian Gypsy wrote:
Men once lived forever and knew no troubles. The earth brought forth fine fruits, flesh grew on trees, and milk and wine flowed in many rivers. One day, and old man came to the country and asked for a night’s lodging, which a couple gave him in their cottage. When he departed the next day, he said he would return in nine days. He gave his host a small fish in a vessel and said he would reward the host if he did not eat the fish but returned it then. The wife thought the fish must be exceptionally good to eat, but the husband said he had promised the old man to keep it and made the woman swear not to eat it. After two days of thinking about it, though, the wife yielded to temptation and threw the fish on the hot coals. Immediately, she was struck dead by lightning, and it began to rain. The rivers started overflowing the country. On the ninth day, the old man returned and told his host that all living things would be drowned, but since he had kept his oath, he would be saved. The old man told the host to take a wife, gather his kinfolk, and build a boat on which to save them, animals, and seeds of trees and herbs. The man did all this. It rained a year, and the waters covered everything. After a year, the waters sank, and the people and animals disembarked. They now had to labor to gain a living, and sickness and death came also. They multiplied slowly so that many thousands of years passed before people were again as numerous as they were before the flood.
my question is: what does it mean to you?
also: i like this article on the subject:
position: the whole bible is the “why” and genesis is a very short answer to man’s age-old question of “where did all of this come from?”
when god revealed the HOW (as he probably did to the first people, who took the story and ran with it, until moses got the “written” version), he did it in a way that could be understood by 8,000 or more worth of human beings — even ones who had not yet figured out how to make fire, or use a wheel.
and, yet, the account fits perfectly with the science:
check out this graphic showing the timeline of the universe, as the science currently says it happend, when compared to what genesis says, from the point of view on the ground, at earth.
amazing similarity, no?
i started to doubt that the earth was 6,000 when i first read stephen hawking’s “a brief history of time”. for those that are unfamiliar with it, it is a “primer” of sorts on current cosmological theory, with things such as gravity, how light works, and more explained in (more or less) everyday terms.
the book made sense, but i was angered that it went against what the bible clearly said.
so i went looking (this was before the internet was in every home!), and was shocked to discover that the bible did not require the “24 hour day” meaning of the word YOHM, as i spoke to in my last post.
armed with this, i went looking even deeper, and discovered that there were, in fact, many christians, some of them quite prominent, who were at least open, if not outright supportive of an “old earth”.
i still questioned, and felt guilty about questioning my faith, but kept looking into the science and the hebrew.
eventually, after a few years of this, i simply faced the facts, as i udnerstood them: the universe was old, and the bible had no problem with it.
once i accepted this, i was free in a way i couldn’t have imagined before.
this was in 1992 – 1994 or so. (ironically, i was in no way living my life in a way that pleased christ at that time, but was living quite selfishly for me.)
in any case, just recently the science has gotten even better: in early summer last year, new views of the universe has proven, beyond any doubt, that the univesrse is roughyly 156 billion lightyears across — which translates, with the inflationary model of expansion — to 13.7 billion years old. more info here
einstein’s theory predicited that the big bang had to have happened, and the bulk of the scientific community balked, because of the theological implications, but the science has proven too good to ignore, and it has become the accepted theory of how the universe was kicked off.
(the big bang requires a “starter” for it, where the “steady state” theory that had been popular until then did not)
there are many other signs just in our planet that require an old earth, as well:
– there’s WAY too much fossil fuel: we know where it comes from, and at any given time, there’s not nearly enough plants and animals on the earth to have made it all (even in some planet-covering flood)
– plate tectonics: we know how slowly the continents drift, and we know how far apart they are now, so we can deduce how much time they have needed to get where they are. (again, the flood doesn’t account for this, either: such a huge shift in only a month or so (thousands of miles!) would litterally rip the earth apart, and the surface would be uninhabitable for hundreds or thousands of years. think of the devastation that 1 earthquake that’s “only” a 9 on the richter scale has caused in asia this past couple weeks. and that is NOTHING compared to how much the earth would have shaken to move the contients as far as they have moved. (not to mention that the ark wouldn’t have survived the quaking)
– light appears old: the light that reaches us appears aged, in that it is scattered, and red-shifted in a way that it would not be if it had only been traveling 6,000 – 12,000 years.
some thoughts that i have, too, regarding the nature of god:
everything we encounter in this life, whether WE do it, or we SEE it done, happens through process.
our spiritual growth is a process. the way we are born is a process. the way we learn, the way we create, be it art, music, or writing, or math.
and we are created in god’s image.
i see much evidence in this creation that its creator LOVES process.
i see no evidence that god lies — and much that we see in our universe would be a lie if it is not old: fossils of tiny and large animals, the distance starlight has traveled before we can see it without eyeballs, the wear and tear on rocks that comes from erosion.
these things, and many others, point to this planet, this universe having been here a long time.
why would god fake that stuff?
bottom line is: i have decided he would not fake it. it appears to be old because it is old.
what’s more is: none of this takes away from god’s power, or detracts from the miracle of it all: this universe is a singularly unique place, and it was made that way, prepared specially for mankind, over the course of 13.7 billion years.
there are thousands of things that must be just as they are for us to even be discussing this, from the average distances between galaxies (this is a HUGE deal) to the distance form the earth to the sun (no error for margin here), to the mixture of gasses in our atmosphere.
it’s all simply a miraculous thing, and i love him for it.
i hope this helps.
as i said before: we have no need to be afraid of asking questions. our god is a god of truth! let us always seek it.