A vision for the Church – Part One

What do we mean by “Church”? What is the Church? Do we “go to church” or are we the Church…or both? In this two-part series, I would like to lay out the vision of the Church from Scripture and show how this relates to God’s ultimate purpose for creating humankind. 

Throughout the Old Testament, God’s people went to meet Him in a dwelling place: a tent, a tabernacle, and finally in a temple. They would call it the “house of God.” But was this actually God’s house? Solomon, when dedicating his great temple, said that both heaven and earth cannot contain God, so who was he to think he could build a building that could contain Him (1 Kings 8:27). This wasn’t just high-sounding hyperbole but revelatory insight. Isaiah brings picks up this theme at the end of his prophecy, which Stephen cites in Acts concerning temples made with human hands:

47 But Solomon built Him a house.

48 “However, the Most High does not dwell in temples made with hands, as the prophet says:

49 ‘Heaven is My throne,
And earth is My footstool.
What house will you build for Me? says the Lord,
Or what is the place of My rest?
50 Has My hand not made all these things?’ (Acts 7:47-50; cf. Isa.66:1-2)

Stephen’s point for bringing this up was to answer the High Priest and explain this “Way” that was later dubbed “Christianity.” Stephen was explaining why Jesus and why us.

The revelation of Jesus Christ

The writer of Hebrews brings out this same theme when explaining that Christ is greater than Moses:

For this One has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as He who built the house has more honor than the house. For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God.  (Heb.3:3-4 *)

Indeed, Jesus Himself said He will build His church and even the power of the grave could not prevail against it:

18 So I tell you, you are Peter. And I will build my church on this rock. The power of death will not be able to defeat my church. (Matt.16:18 ERV *).

You may be familiar with the original Greek word for “church.” It’s ἐκκλησία (ekklēsia). Contrary to popular modern opinion, it doesn’t simply mean “called out ones.” Ekklesia means  “a congregation of called out ones, an assembly of the saints of God.” In other words, we are not the “church” by ourselves. We become the “Church” in the context of the universal body of Christ and whenever we meet with other believers. We will come back to that next time.

We have one more passage to consider from the Old Testament. When Jacob had his dream of a ladder going from heaven to earth and angels ascending and descending upon it, he said afterward:

16 “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it. 17 And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven! (Gen.28:16-17 *)

Which Jesus alludes to with Nathaniel in John’s gospel:

51 And He said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.” (John 1:51 *)

Jesus was deliberately connecting Jacob’s dream with something about Himself that was quite remarkable. But it wasn’t just about Jesus, it was ultimately about us, too!

You live in two places at once

Then Jesus says something rather strange a little later in this same Gospel:

13 No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. (John 3:13 *)

So, was Jesus telling Nicodemus that He was actually in heaven at that moment while He was physically on the earth talking to him? Yes. Jesus was basically saying He was in two places at once.

Side note: the historiography of this verse is interesting. It seems some manuscript copies leave out the last phrase “who is in heaven.” One theory is that the scribes deleted it because they didn’t know what to do with it. What’s interesting about this is that while it didn’t make sense to them, we can actually make sense of it now with quantum mechanics!

Why would Jesus say something that wouldn’t make sense to Nicodemus? I believe because He was saying something about us. Jesus’ incarnation was the prototype of the New Creation (Col.1:15). And now we are His body, His Church:

18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. (Col.1:18 *)

Heaven is not just our destination, it’s our orientation. We’re to live now from heaven to earth. This heavenly-earthly reality is what Paul brings out in his teachings.

For in Him the whole fullness of Deity (the Godhead) continues to dwell in bodily form [giving complete expression of the divine nature].

10 And you are in Him, made full and having come to fullness of life [in Christ you too are filled with the Godhead—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—and reach full spiritual stature]. And He is the Head of all rule and authority [of every angelic principality and power]. (Col.2:9-10 AMP *)

When you put it all together it becomes clear. It wasn’t just what Jesus did for us on the cross, but what He did to us with His death and resurrection. When Jesus died, we died. When He was raised from the dead and ascended to heaven, we ascended with Him (see Rom.6:4-6; 2 Cor.5:14; Gal.2:20).

As Jesus predicted and Paul affirms, we’re now seated in heavenly places in Christ in God; our citizenship is in heaven from which we wait for Jesus Christ to return, we have come to Mt. Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem (see John 14:2-3, 18, 23; Eph.2:6; Col.3:3; Phil.3:20; Heb.12:22).

We exist both in heaven and on the earth. How can this be? Because we’re much more than our biology. We have a spirit that exists in the heavenly realm as well as a body that exists in the physical realm.

God answers His own question

The living Church is the answer to God’s question, “Who will build a house for Me?” We are His dwelling place where “heaven is His throne and earth is His footstool.”  We are His “temple “made without human hands,” the “gate” between heaven and earth:

19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? (1 Cor.6:19 *)

One final note here. King David said his one desire was to dwell in God’s house all the days of his life (Psalm 27:4), but God’s desire has always been to dwell in our house all the days of our life.

We will look at the function of the Church next time.

* New King James Bible translation unless otherwise noted. All emphasis added.

About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 39 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
This entry was posted in Father Heart of God, Heaven on earth, Identity and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

60 Responses to A vision for the Church – Part One

  1. john zande says:

    God’s ultimate purpose for creating humankind

    OK, this is not tied directly to your post’s general theme, but this statement seems to deserve a little scrutiny… especially considering your previous posts on evolution.

    If you simply address this quickly, I’ll leave you to discuss your “church” matters, which don’t concern me, and I have no interest in.

    What, exactly, do you mean by “Yhwh creating humankind”? Where did Yhhw intervene in evolution?

    Short of actually “creating” humans 200,000 years ago, there are a number of places where this could have happened, directing the evolutionary path towards something that bring humans into a higher state of probability.

    For example, it could have been the Great Oxygen Catastrophe 2.5 billion years ago which killed off virtually all life on earth, but created an oxygen-rich atmosphere which enabled multicellular life to take root. It could equally have been the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction 66 million years ago, setting the biosphere alight and killing off the dinosaurs, making room for tiny mammals to rise up.

    Equally, it could have been in fashioning of the Hox and ParaHox gene clusters; bundles of molecular foremen responsible for constructing the bodies of virtually all modern-day animals. Now, of course, the Hox and ParaHox gene clusters (the door to multicellularity) would be useless if it weren’t for the earlier mutation in the GKPID enzyme, adhesion molecules such as addressins, cadherins, integrins and selectins (proteins necessary for cell-to-cell bonding and signalling in animals) and kinases (a catalysing enzyme necessary for cellular differentiation and patterning). So, was this genetic and enzyme tinkering, perhaps, where you think Yhwh intervened? If so, where?

    Or, of course, over the period of some 7 million years (starting with Sahelanthropus tchadensis) Yhwh could have intervened at any number of points in our particular evolutionary branch. Did Yhwh perhaps influence Australopithecus afarensis, or Homo habilis, or even Homo erectus? If he did, were Neanderthals and Denisovans deliberately killed off to pave the way for Homo sapiens?

    In short, where, when, and how did Yhwh “create” human beings?

    And a final question which really needs to be answered: if Yhwh’s purpose was to create humankind, why are we still evolving?

    To everyone concerned, the fact that we are still evolving indicates humans are not what Yhwh wants, not the goal, and this appears to contradict your statement of “purpose,” which implies a goal reached… A mission (or design work) accomplished.

    • Mel Wild says:

      You’re right, this has nothing to do with this post.

      • john zande says:

        Sure… Except for it being the central statement in the posts opening paragraph .

        I’ll guess you’ll just be deleting that sentence then… considering you can’t defend it.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Why would I delete the sentence? I am making a theological statement, not a biological one. And you cannot prove your conclusions about intent and purpose. You have to smuggle in your worldview in order to make them. And besides, this post was not written to you; it was written to people whose hearts are actually open to God and seek to understand the biblical view of the church. For this reason, your comments here are irrelevant. I will not discuss it further here. Believe whatever you want. You will anyway.

        • john zande says:

          I know it wasn’t written for me, which is precisely why I wrote:

          If you simply address this quickly, I’ll leave you to discuss your “church” matters, which don’t concern me, and I have no interest in.

          And no, that is not a theological statement, but a biological/anthropological one. A theological statement would be “God loves us,” or something to that extent.

          You made a claim that Yhwh “created” human beings. It is that statement, that claim, that I asked you for clarification on. Where, when, and how did Yhwh “create” human beings?

          If you can’t defend that biological/anthropological statement, which it appears you can’t, then that’s fine, but it does leave the rest of your post as somewhat vaporous… considering everything hinges on your principle “claim” being true and demonstrable.

  2. This is well said, Mel.

    LOL, seems simple to me, I’m just “out of this world! Or perhaps, “did you fall from heaven?” I really enjoy some of our cheesy love phrases because there is often truth hidden in them. We people are always operating on at least 3 levels,mind, body, and spirit. We’re IN the world but not OF the world.

    Love this, “Heaven is not just our destination, it’s our orientation.” Exactly. That goes well with the saying, “Jesus didn’t die just to get you into heaven, He died to get heaven into you.”

  3. Arkenaten says:

    For this One has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses,

    Odd how even this writer was unaware that Moses was simply a narrative construct.
    These types of verses tend to throw huge suspicion on the veracity of so much of the bible and especially the biblical character Jesus the Nazarene.

  4. Nan says:

    Question: If your god (via one of his minions) said this: “Heaven is My throne, And earth is My footstool” … what role do all the other planets and stars and moons play? Are they just knick-knacks on a nearby table?

    • Mel Wild says:

      Hi Nan. The phrase is not to be taken with wooden literalism. “Heaven” being where God actually exists and “earth” being the natural physical world. So, if I stood on Mars, it would still apply. 🙂 But the Bible only concerns itself with “earth.”

      One thing the Bible doesn’t do is tell us everything. It doesn’t concern itself with other planets, other lifeforms (if there are any). It’s not meant to be a science book, it’s the story of redemption and God’s intent for humankind. It doesn’t tell us how the universe got started other than God created it. It follows one single thread of humanity from Adam to Jesus, not the entirety of all humankind. As the early church fathers and those believers during the modern science revolution have said, we have the natural sciences to explain all of that.

      • Nan says:

        Yes, I get it, Mel. No “wooden literalism.”

        But considering we live in a vast universe with millions and millions of galaxies — and who knows how many other planets — doesn’t it seem rather small-minded of “God” to offer “redemption” only to humankind?

        And you’re absolutely correct! The bible doesn’t tell us everything. And that’s too bad because in this day and age, it makes the “word of God” seem rather deficient in its (supposedly) intended purpose.

        • john zande says:

          Nan, not only doesn’t the bible tell us everything, Jesus/Yhwh didn’t say a single new or original thing in his entire earthly sojourn. Not one new thing… Which is really, really, really odd, if you think about it.

        • Mel Wild says:

          And you’re absolutely correct! The bible doesn’t tell us everything. And that’s too bad because in this day and age, it makes the “word of God” seem rather deficient in its (supposedly) intended purpose.

          Only if we try to make the Bible something it’s not intended to be. The Bible does address contemporary issues of the human heart very well. But we have science for what the Bible doesn’t address. This is how the early church fathers like Augustine understood it. They called nature God’s first Bible. This was the impetus for modern science and natural law. For me, the Bible helps me sense of things that science does not address…the why’s about life, value, and purpose. And we need to beyond science because, as the philosopher, Ludwig Wittgenstein, said about the laws of nature:

          “The great delusion of modernity is that the laws of nature explain the universe for us. The laws of nature describe the regularities. But they explain nothing.”

          Like with the Bible on scientific matters, science is truly deficient if we try to make it answer what it cannot answer. We end up with a reductionist worldview that really satisfies no one.

  5. Arkenaten says:

    For me, the Bible helps me sense of things that science does not address…the why’s about life, value, and purpose.

    You have mentioned this point on several occasions but to date have yet to fully elaborate, other than to hand wave away any skepticism on my part.

    Due to the continuing advances made in archaeology, history and biblical scholarship we know that the Pentateuch is myth and /or historical fiction, if you prefer and slowly but surely the one-time mystery of the bible is being stripped away bit by bit. Who knows what those working in these areas will reveal in the coming years? Based on what has already transpired the likelihood is that all we will end up with is an ancient but very human quite ordinary man made religion based on bronze age superstition.

    As the Pentateuch is the foundation, the fundamental bedrock for the religion of Christianity how does myth … helps make (me) sense of things that science does not address…the why’s about life, value, and purpose.

    To accept this worldview one must enter this arena with a presuppositional world-view – based upon the theme of ”Goddidit!!” .This, as we also know, is a largely ingrained geographic specific cultural trait.
    Christian because of a quirk of where (and when) we were born. Excluding missionaries of course!

    Add to this the doctrine you are obliged to acknowledge, if not live your life by, (Nicene Creed for one), the confession of sin, the belief that you are unlikely ever to be worthy(enough) and the worship of a human blood sacrifice,though I acknowledge you have a different view of this part of Christianity, exactly how is your bible-based religion/worldview truly answering any of the things that science does not address?

    • Mel Wild says:

      Thank you for totally misrepresenting Christianity by parroting all the typical anti-theist talking points. I’m not going to try to dismantle your straw man here because it wouldn’t matter one way or the other to my post. For instance, let’s suppose for a moment that the Pentateuch is not actual history (I am not saying it is). It would not change what I’m talking about one single bit. The Bible would still profoundly speak to the human heart and explain why we’re here and give us purpose, something that science cannot answer. And this is the problem with textual critics and trying to disprove the historicity of the Bible. They’re so busy trying to authenticate words and study rocks and pottery they can’t see the forest for the trees. They’ve never actually read the Bible, or should I say, let it read them. They are still missing why it is so effective and why people are still transformed by its contents.

      • Arkenaten says:

        For instance, let’s suppose for a moment that the Pentateuch is not actual history (I am not saying it is).

        It isn’t and you know darn well it isn’t so please do not even suggest otherwise. Unless you are now wearing an innerent fundamentalist hat?

        The Bible would still profoundly speak to the human heart and explain why we’re here and give us purpose,

        Again, you use these lovely poetic terms but do not explain them in any meaningful manner whatsoever.
        Why not?
        All I want to read from you is how (and where) the bible answers the questions you keep claiming science does not.
        Why we are here, purpose etc etc.

        Why is this such a difficult request for you to fulfill?

        I have read the bible – all of it. granted it was while ago but my old KJV ( won as a prize in Sunday School, I’ll have you know! ) is littered with red felt tip marks where I cross-referenced all the parts I did not understand or simply wished to double check.

        Personally, I didn’t think it answered anything pertaining to what you continue to allude.
        So ,please, tell me where in the bible these issues are dealt with and answered.
        You are a minister so you must have a greater working knowledge of the bible than I do, surely?
        How hard could it be?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Again, you use these lovely poetic terms but do not explain them in any meaningful manner whatsoever.
          Why not?

          Because this is about the vision, or big picture, for the church. It’s not about explaining what science cannot answer. This post was also written for believers to understand the church, not for atheists to argue about the Bible.

          Personally, I didn’t think it answered anything pertaining to what you continue to allude.
          So ,please, tell me where in the bible these issues are dealt with and answered.
          You are a minister so you must have a greater working knowledge of the bible than I do, surely?
          How hard could it be?

          It isn’t that hard but it’s also not what this post is about. Very briefly here, the Bible speaks to us at the deepest heart level. It brilliantly describes human nature to a tee, describing how humans interact with each other and God. It tells us about ourselves and about God’s intent for humankind. It talks about the why’s of life which science doesn’t deal with.

        • Arkenaten says:

          So if it not about what science cannot answer then the bible can’t answer either, it seems.
          Well done!
          In other words, it is pretty much all made up by the individuals – like you – who wish to beleive that they have found some mystical worldview that is only open to those who confess their sins and acknowledge some dead beat eschatological 1st century Rabbi is the Creator of the Universe.

          You are peddling bullshit Mel, and deep down you know it only too well.

          The Bible speaks to us at the deepest heart level.

          What a load of old cobblers.
          It eloquently describes the monster you genuflect to and demonstrates how easy it is to indoctrinate certain individuals who will beleive any old nonsense!
          Furthermore, we could get a better understanding about humanity from reading the Cyrus Cylinder.
          And once again you have simply hand waved away a direct request.
          You are a willfully ignorant wet blanket.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Thank you for your comments, Richard Dawkins. There’s no point in talking to you about this.

        • Arkenaten says:

          So, once again, another hand wave comment that says so much about you, Mel.

        • Mel Wild says:

          And considering that every comment you ever make is either a fallacious argument or totally irrelevant to the actual post, that says a lot about you, Ark. Sorry, but your “hand-wave” accusation doesn’t work.

        • Arkenaten says:

          I never make any fallacious arguments. That is an outrageous lie. How dare you!
          The Pentateuch IS myth /historical fiction.
          And everything I write is relevant because your entire worldview is built upon a mythological presupposition.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Haha…that’s rich. Ark, you are either lying or you’re in total denial. I’ve called you out on several of your fallacies in several posts in the past, like your red herrings you pull when you don’t want to answer a question.

          And if you seriously think you’re being relevant, then you don’t understand what the word means. You take every opportunity to make your attacks and make your poisonous statements and could care less about being relevant.

          This post is specifically written as a theological overview of the church in the New Testament. It was not written to atheists; it was written to people who believe. You have not said one thing here that’s relevant to this post and it was not written to you. I think we’ve gone far enough here.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Yes, people who are either indoctrinated or willfully ignorant.
          And I never lie.
          My arguments are all relevant and you STILL have not answered directly my questions pertaining to the things your religion/the bible answers that science apparently cannot.
          So let’s see just how honest you truly are, and if you are prepared to answer a question without using throwaway words, hand-waving or ”strawman”.

          Exactly how does the bible/your religion answer the questions science does not and where exactly in the bible will I find evidence of this?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Right. Whatever…
          I think we’ve skidded off into the ditch of irrelevance far enough now. Good night.

        • Arkenaten says:

          ”Whatever”
          The brainfart epithet of the disingenuous Mel Wild.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Yes, Ark. There is no talking to you. You’ve shown over and over that you have no ability whatsoever of being honest about yourself. When you actually have a relevant comment on a post that’s addressed to you, we can talk. But you refuse to do this, so good-bye.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Not honest?
          How dare you!
          I have never shied away from a question.
          Never lied to you about my motives for writing and commenting.

          You have never once had the decency or the integrity to answer a direct question posed to you, but continue to obfuscate and promote a worldview for which you have absolutely no substantiated evidence, and in many cases the evidence flatly contradicts the nonsensical position you are peddling
          And this has been demonstrated by every non-believer who has ever commented on your blog.
          You are nothing but a hypocrite.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Ark, you DON’T answer my questions. You either put conditions on them or change it your own question and then accuse me of doing exactly what you’re doing, which is deflecting. Please look in the mirror for once when you say these things.

          I don’t answer your questions when they are IRRELEVANT. Get it? I won’t be bullied by you trying to take this post hostage to your agenda.

        • Arkenaten says:

          I will always respond when presented with questions that are asked honestly.
          Once again. EVERY question I ask is relevant as you are promoting a worldview based on completely unsubstantiated claims with no verifiable evidence to support them.
          Trying to isolate topics and then shout context is merely indicitive of the lack of confidence you have in your own beliefs: they will not stand on their own.

          I strongly suspect that the reason you simply refuse to answer any direct question is because you fear your responses will reveal just how shallow your ”faith” truly is.

          That you continue to refuse to identify exactly how your religion answers the questions science supposedly cannot and you will not identify the passages in the bible to back your vacuous claim speaks volumes.

        • Mel Wild says:

          That you continue to refuse to identify exactly how your religion answers the questions

          And, again, that’s totally irrelevant to this post. Why don’t you get this? But since you refuse to stop talking, you can answer these honest and straightforward questions for me. They are directly relevant to what you’re asking me. I will go to bed and look at your honest and forthright answer tomorrow.

          1) Do you believe there is knowledge about our existence and/or reality that science will never be able to answer?
          2) If yes, then what “knowledge” would you consider to be on par with scientific knowledge?

        • Arkenaten says:

          1) Not likely. We have been around for such a brief amount of time it would be utterly ridiculous to expect us to have all the answers and who knows what we will find out in the future?

        • Mel Wild says:

          To be clear, are you saying that you believe there IS knowledge about our existence that science will never be able to answer? And if that’s so, you didn’t answer the second question. What kind of knowledge would you consider to be on par with scientific knowledge?

        • Arkenaten says:

          No. Read the comment carefully , Mel. I wrote unlikely.

        • Mel Wild says:

          This is still ambiguous. Are you saying, unlikely that science can ever answer all knowledge about our existence, or are you saying that science could answer it but it’s unlikely because there’s too much to find answers for in our lifetime (or several lifetimes)? I’m trying to ascertain whether you believe there are limits to science first, then if you think there are, what kind of knowledge would not be found out by science.

        • Arkenaten says:

          I consider it is very likely that science will eventually answer all questions.
          When? Who knows?

        • Mel Wild says:

          I consider it is very likely that science will eventually answer all questions.

          Thank you for the clarification. Then you surely embrace scientism (science provides the only real knowledge there is) which, ironically, cannot be demonstrated by science. You are also disagreeing with renowned scientists like Sir Peter Medawar who said there are “questions that science cannot answer and that no conceivable advance of science would empower it to answer.” (“The Limits of Science,” p.66)

          And while there are a lot of things about our life we cannot demonstrate scientifically, I cannot answer your question to your satisfaction because you would not accept anything outside of your scientistic worldview.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Medawar is but one scientist. There are no doubt others who would disagree, especially since he died in the 80’s.
          Your attempted pejorative use of the term ‘scientism’ is water off a duck’s back and simply makes you look churlish.

          If you are not even remotely willing to attempt to answer your own question it demonstrates that all you have is an indoctrinated worldview based upon your unsubstantiated religious beliefs, where you posit your god instead of simply saying, I don’t know.
          How arrogant are you?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Oh, Medawar dying in the 80’s really disproves what he said. Right. Ark, many honest scientists and philosophers, both atheist and theist, believe there are limits to science. In fact, it’s this limitation that make it so effective. And, again, to say that science is the only knowledge there is cannot ever be proven by scientific method. Don’t you understand this? It’s circular reasoning at best.

          Scientism is the perfect definition for what you believe. It’s not me being churlish, I’m trying to get you to tell me what you believe and you finally told me. You say I have a theistic worldview, which I gladly admit. Why can’t you admit you believe in scientism? After all, since you cannot prove your position with science, it’s a statement of faith.

          It’s not that I’m not willing to answer the question, it’s that it’s pointless to give you an answer since your myopic worldview cannot accept it. I cannot have honest dialogue with you if you believe science gives us the only valid knowledge there is. I would be wasting my time. It would be exactly like you trying to discuss evolution with an anti-science religious fundamentalist. Your worldview is just the flip-side of religious fundamentalism.

        • Arkenaten says:

          I mentioned the date of Medawar’s death to illustrate just how far science has already advanced in this short period of time.

          I stated that we cannot know how long it would take but I based my view on what has gone before.

          Of course I only believe in what science can show, and what I cannot (currently) I gladly state: ”I don’t know”
          Tell me how you know our purpose, Mel?
          Explain it terms that a five year old will understand.

          Your personal worldview is so full of hubris that the term ”I don’t know” simply will not compute for you and thus, you HAVE to insert (your) ”Goddidit”, because failure to do so would make you an apostate.

          Of course you are unwilling to try to answer, because your only redoubt is the bible, and we already know how ridiculously fallible this is, don’t we Mel?

          My worldview is the only honest one there is, and it is also the only honest one you have as well.
          Anything else is just …”Making stuff up”.

          And THIS is why you refuse to answer.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Tell me how you know our purpose, Mel?
          Explain it terms that a five year old will understand.

          That would be simple. I would have them go outside and look at the awesome beauty of nature and look at the stars. How everything works together so perfectly that science actually works. How we as human beings have a sense of wonder about all these things. Because, as Paul said:

          “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” (Rom.1:20-21)

          I would also point the five-year old to the other-centered, self-giving love found within the relationship of family. A five-year old would understand all these things. But it would be counter-intuitive for him or her to believe that it just “poofed” into existence for no reason at all. Complicated answers are only needed for adult atheists.

          Your personal worldview is so full of hubris that the term ”I don’t know” simply will not compute for you and thus, you HAVE to insert (your) ”Goddidit”, because failure to do so would make you an apostate.

          Ark, Your continual misrepresentation of my view can only either mean you don’t understand me or you’re purposely lying about my view. I’ve never said what I believe proves God. You cannot prove or disprove God. We can only infer to the best explanation. It’s not hubris to have confidence in there being a creator behind it all. I can look at my computer and see how intricately it works for me and infer that it was designed for that purpose. That’s not hubris. But it is arrogance based on your admitted ignorance to say you don’t know but we’re wrong for proffering an explanation for something science cannot answer. The truth is, you don’t know. Period. So arguing about it with me is pointless unless you have a better explanation. But you don’t because you said you don’t know, which means you forfeit the right to argue about it.

          I really think this conversation has gone on long enough. Again, it has nothing to do with the biblical view of church.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Your explanation of purpose is no explanation at all.
          One can look at nature and feel awe and wonder without the baggage of god belief, especially as there is no evidence to substantiate your claim, and this is not withstanding the criteria for belief on your god.
          Have another go …

          We can only infer to the best explanation.

          And this is most certainly not your god.

          It’s not hubris to have confidence in there being a creator behind it all.

          Based upon the complete lack of verifiable evidence it is the epitome of gross arrogance to infer a god let alone your god.

          The truth is, you don’t know. Period.

          What cannot currently be revealed by science I am happy to say I don’t know.
          And neither do you Mel. Neither do you.

          And once again, you have completely failed to address how you know our purpose and how your religion answers the questions science cannot.
          You remain, as always, dishonest and a hypocrite.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Ark, your refusal to accept this only proves my point why it’s pointless to answer your question. You say you only accept “evidence” that science can demonstrate, yet you don’t see the circular reasoning in this. Science cannot demonstrate why we can have science in the first place, why mathematics works so elegantly, or why we exist at all. Your scientism fails on every point. As the philosopher, Ludwig Wittgenstein said: “The great delusion of modernity is that the laws of nature explain the universe for us. The laws of nature describe the regularities. But they explain nothing.”

          Sure, I could look at my computer and observe its intricacies and say it’s possible it wasn’t designed. I could just wave my hand and say its workings are no explanation for design. But it doesn’t make it a rational argument. Your dismissal also explains nothing and is counter-intuitive to how we infer anything else in the world.

          This is why it’s pointless to talk to you about this, Ark. You have proven, over and over again, just how closed-minded you are. You’re in denial of the huge elephant in the room. The fact that we exist, we are here, science and mathematics works, there is beauty, art, wonder, etc. Talk about major hand-wave! Again, I can’t have a realistic conversation with someone who embraces your irrational scientism any more than you could talk about evolution to an anti-science religious fundamentalist. You both are cut from the same narrow-minded dogmatic cloth.

        • Arkenaten says:

          No matter what faults you find with the scientific explanation, the god-of-the-gaps is simply a non-answer.
          I am not close-minded at all.
          If you have evidence for your beliefs then present them.
          I have asked repeatedly for you to provide evidence for your claim of purpose and you have never once offered anything tangible.
          You claim the bible has the answers yet have never provided exactly ghow or
          where – neither chapter or verse or any sort of relevant explanation.

          There is nothing wrong with science but to teach your version of god belief is dishonest and completely without merit whatsoever.
          It is a presuppositional faith-based belief.

          If you have not the humility to admit you do not know then for once put up and demonstrate your bona fides with the evidence you continually claim you have.
          Otherwise, simply admit you have nothing but faith.

        • Mel Wild says:

          No matter what faults you find with the scientific explanation, the god-of-the-gaps is simply a non-answer.

          I don’t find any fault with scientific explanation, quite the contrary. I think it works so well because of its limitations. I just realize like a lot of rational people realize, that science cannot explain everything. And, ironically, you are arguing against the god of the gaps, not the God of the Bible. You believe that science will eventually displace God like it did the pagan god of thunder. But that’s not the God of the Bible at all. Just because I can explain how my computer works does not do away with a designer. Again, you are arguing a fallacious false-dichotomy. It’s not science or God; God explains why science.

          Otherwise, simply admit you have nothing but faith.

          And I can just as easily turn that argument on its head. Admit you have nothing but faith that science can eventually answer every question about reality. After all, it’s not a statement that science can prove.

        • Arkenaten says:

          God explains why science.

          Please provide a complete and comprehensive lay-out how your god explains the science, Mel. Thanks.

        • Mel Wild says:

          That would be intuitive. Because scientific method is possible, we can infer that the natural world was designed in such a way where laws of physics and the scientific method actually work. Mathematics is predictive because nature is predictable. As Einstein once said, the only thing inexplicable about the universe is that it’s explainable.

          Again, it’s an inference to the best explanation for this reality, not proof of God.

          So, tell me. What is your explanation that’s better? Because if you’re just going to say “I don’t know” you don’t have an argument here.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Absolute nonsense!
          Once again you appeal to intuition with NO evidence to support this.
          And you infer YOUR GOD not just any god and this is based solely on the bible –
          which we know is riddled with error from beginning to end – and your ”heart” (read culture and indoctrination) .

        • Mel Wild says:

          Ark, you can say whatever you want but it doesn’t make it so. So, tell me. What is your explanation for why science and mathematics works? Why are we here, Ark? You are missing the proverbial forest for the trees and no amount of name calling and unfounded accusations will change this. And even if you can explain it, it still does not rule out God.

          Again, this conversation has gone way past any reasonable conclusion. Believe whatever you want. You will anyway.

        • Arkenaten says:

          You are making unsubstantiated assertions, claiming they are fact, and yet you cannot defend a single one.
          You do this in every post.
          And this is why you are a hypocrite and dishonest.

        • Mel Wild says:

          And you are lying (or you’re just dense). I’m not claiming my position as a fact. I’m making an inference to the best explanation. You apparently don’t know the difference.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Oh, so you do not teach that humans are sinners and require redemption from the biblical character Jesus the Nazarene?

          You are the one who tells porky pies, Mel.
          All the chuffing time.

        • john zande says:

          Just because I can explain how my computer works does not do away with a designer

          A computer was constructed with a goal in mind.

          Can you demonstrate evolution is goal-orientated, adaptively directed?

          And Mel, I would be interested to hear your explanation for why an aseitic being created this artificial world? What purpose does it serve?

          You say you have the answers, but Ark is right, you haven’t actually provided any answer.

        • Mel Wild says:

          You remain, as always, dishonest and a hypocrite.

          And that makes it “just so,” right, Ark? My question is, how would you know?

        • Arkenaten says:

          How would I know that you are dishonest?
          Are you serious?

        • Mel Wild says:

          How would I know that you are dishonest?
          Are you serious?

          Yes, you said you don’t know. So how would you prove I’m dishonest about what I believe? You have no legitimate argument against what I believe. You have not proven that I’m dishonest at all, only that I have an explanation that makes the most sense to me. That is not dishonesty, it only disagree with your worldview.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Sorry, I wrote not likely

  6. Pingback: A vision for the Church – Part Two | In My Father's House

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