Tag Archives: Creation

My heart’s desires – the logical approach

17 Mar

Consider this argument: 

P1 – Designers who manufacture products know best how they should operate

P2 – God designed and made human beings

C – Therefore, God knows best how they should operate

 

Psalm 33:15 refers to God as He who fashions the hearts of them all (the children of man)

Given our topsy-turvy contemporary culture, I’ve been thinking about the desires that pour out of our hearts and incline us to move in different directions.  Society’s icons counsel:

  • Be true to your heart
  • Follow your heart
  • Look within
  • Trust your heart
  • Go after your passion

But that assumes that what the human heart wants is optimal for humans.  This ‘wisdom’ also presupposes that in our reasoning, we know when we should yield to the heart and when we should hold back. (Or worse yet – that the mere existence of a desire MEANS an automatic seeking to fulfill it!)

Imagine a car, fresh off the dealer’s lot.  Having written a very large check for your vehicle that should work well since it’s new, you cautiously ease onto the road, headed home.  You don’t have to drive very far until you notice a distinct tug by the steering wheel to the left. The wheels seem to have a mind of their own, wanting to veer into oncoming traffic.

The way this car operates at the moment is what happens to be natural for it. It ‘desires’ to pull left.

But you, the operator, know better.  And in fact, the car manufacturer knows better.

Yet if your car could talk, he might even argue, ‘THIS makes me feel good, to favor the left!”

Are we any different, from the point of view of being something designed and made?  We human beings have bodies, hearts, and minds purposefully planned and fashioned by our creator God.  Only when we align ourselves according to His Word, the Scriptures, do we ‘operate’ or ‘function’ correctly.

To assume that all desires are GOOD and beneficial for not only us but society is dangerous and misleading.  Yes, people will argue, “That’s just the way God made me.  If he hadn’t wanted me to feel a certain way, he would have designed me differently.”

There happens to be one detail that throws that argument out the window!  Given the fall of one man and woman (thanks, Aunt Eve and Uncle Adam!), all of creation has been disordered.  AND God alone both knows and has the manufacturer’s right to prescribe how we should function to optimize LIFE.

 

Logical Gal – Metaphors and Reality

28 Mar

Metaphors  I’m sure you recognize a metaphor when you see one.  It’s an analogous word picture that describes reality but is not to be taken literally.

It’s spring break and I am enjoying the time to read more leisurely and at length.  This morning I picked up John Lennox’s book, Seven Days that Divide The World – The Beginning According to Genesis and Science.

The author instructs the readers in a useful distinction by describing the use of metaphor.  What I probably knew implicitly but had never thought about explicitly was that metaphors are to be taken literally, not literalistically.

Lennox uses the example, The car was flying down the road.  This is a metaphor that describes reality.  There is an actual car and an actual road. We take ‘flying’ literally, to mean the car was going very fast. If you take the verb ‘flying’ literalistically, then the car would be traveling above the ground on some kind of floating road.

Flying car

Here is the operative quote from John Lennox, “ Just because a sentence contains a metaphor, it doesn’t mean that it is not referring to something real.” (page 23)   So we are to take a term the way the author or speaker intended.  That is the ‘literal’ meaning.  On the contrary, what the term means in its basic, primary sense is the ‘literalistic’ meaning.

We ordinary folk use metaphors all the time, as do scientists.

A wife might describe the many worries that plague her husband this way:

-John is carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders

Weight of the world on his shoulders

A scientist might describe energy in motion this way: 

the flow of  electrical current along a wire and the movement of light particles in waves 

Light particles and waves

So, how is this distinction between literal and literalistic helpful?  And the connection with reality?

For me, armed with this division between the two definitions, I can better appreciate the discussion on how to take the days of creation.  Bible interpretation depends on a correct understanding of terms.  Often non-believers resort to ad hominem attacks to denigrate and marginalize Christians.  They say something like, “You don’t take the Bible literally, do you?”

But now I can say with confidence, “If by literally you mean to ask if I take the Bible the way the authors intended the meaning, then yes, I do!”   I will follow up with the return question, “Do you read the sports pages literally or literalistically?”

Striking Gold

 

Question: How does this distinction between the literal meaning and the literalistic meaning help you sort out a difficult issue?