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Theory of Relativity and God

Science leads away from god. — Louis Pasteur.” (a poster in a Soviet Union classroom)
Science … brings men nearer to God.” (a real quote by Louis Pasteur)

Just over 100 years ago, Einstein showed that time is not constant but relative for each “observer”. The technical terms describing this are velocity time dilation and gravitational time dilation that derive from Einstein’s special theory of relativity and his general theory of relativity. In simple terms, these concepts mean that the objects perceive time differently depending on their location in relation to large-mass bodies that warp spacetime around them into non-euclidean shape or depending on their movement relative to each other.

The notion that time is not universally constant is so counterintuitive, and yet it is the bedrock of modern science. It has been demonstrated again and again. For example, time dilation is taken into account when NASA lands a rover on Mars or when you use GPS navigation in your car.

Over 1800 years ago before Einstein, Apostle Peter wrote,

“But do not forget this one thing, beloved, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” 2 Peter 3:8.

Even before that, Moses said in a psalm,

“For a thousand years in [God’s] sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night. Psalm 90:4.

These passages appear to argue that time is relative thousands of years before science got wind of the notion. But do these Bible verses imply that God is moving close to the speed of light (velocity time dilation) or that he is so massive as to curve the spacetime around him like a black hole (gravitational time dilation)?

Actually, neither. Theory of relativity deals with objects localized in space and having mass. The Bible claims that God is not localized in space (he is omnipresent or present everywhere; 1 Kings 8:27, Jer. 23:24, Prov. 15:3) and has no mass (he is spirit; John 4:24). So, the theory of relativity would suggest that an observer that is present everywhere and has no mass is not subject to spacetime at all.

Just as the Bible says, God “inhabits eternity.” Isaiah 57:15. All points in space and all points in time are before Him.

“O my God,” I say, “… [your] years endure throughout all generations!” Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment.” Psalm 102:24-26.

 


P.S. Some scientists’ insistence on arbitrarily removing God from their understanding of reality and from their search for such understanding robs them and us of deeper insights.

If you only allow for God’s existence, it is so fascinating to contemplate cosmologists’ notions about the Big Bang, cosmic inflation, and accelerating expansion of the universe, cosmologists’ own admission that they can’t account for 95% of our universe’s matter and energy (so they are just calling what’s missing dark matter and dark energy), quantum fluctuations (physics of empty space), wave-particle duality of the quantum world, standard model of elementary particles, non-locality of quantum entanglement, delayed choice quantum eraser experiment, entropy’s inexorable arrow of time, Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, Gödel’s incompleteness theorems for mathematics, physics’ search for theory of everything and on and on.

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Reading the Bible Through

Early one January an adult Sunday school class had just begun its session. The Bible teacher got up and asked a simple question. He had asked this question in other classes and venues, and knew what the answer would be. “How many of you have read the Bible all the way through”? He asked for a show of hands. Many in the class looked at each other and seemed a little ill-at-ease with the question. One lady in the back of the room raised her hand. In classes of 25 to 30 students, this was normal: one or two believers had actually read the Bible through. The rest were embarrassed; inevitably tried to justify their response with mumbled replies.

We now face the beginning of a new year. There are many who will be trying to design improvements to their physical situation or emotional wellbeing. A few will be concerned about their spiritual growth and behaviour and will resolve to read the Scriptures on a regular basis.

Reading the Bible through is one of the most basic and helpful ways to provide growth and maturity in the Christian heart and life.

Some people like to try to read the Bible through in a year. This is a noble task. For many, however, it creates some problems.

open BibleIn our current day and age, many people—especially younger people—have difficulty reading complete books. Some have difficulty with well-written paragraphs. Still others can only comprehend short cropped phrases. For many people reading and writing is confined to 140 characters or less. Some have difficulty following an argument from paragraph to paragraph. All these things affect their understanding of what is formally written, leaving them unable to comprehend what’s on one page of the Bible, much less what’s on the rest of the pages.

A second difficulty with reading the Bible through can be lack of interest—spiritual, doctrinal or subject matter. It is difficult to read the Bible for some because they just aren’t interested in what is in the Bible. It is important that each time you begin your Bible reading you take time to pray and ask the Lord to help you with your interest, diligence and understanding. Ask God to teach you by his Spirit through his Word.

A third problem involved with reading the Bible through is time. There are so many pulls on our time each and every day that we don’t have any moments to spare to come aside and read the Bible. We make good progress at taking ten or fifteen minutes to spend time with the Lord in his Word, but then one thing or another manages to steal that time away.

Thus, it takes quite a commitment to begin daily Bible reading, and particular diligence to read it consistently and all the way through.

The most important thing in deciding to read the Bible on a daily basis is to remember that you are meeting God through reading his Word. You are doing this for your relationship with him and your spiritual growth. It is to know God better.

There are several practical ways of reading the Scriptures and of reading all the way through. First is the need to set aside time to do so; second is determining how you’re going to do it. Would morning or evening be best? Third is should you endeavour to read through the Bible in one year, or two, or five? Will you read straight from Genesis to Revelation or use some other system?

There are many tools which are available for the believer. There are numerous translations in English—some are good, while others are a detriment to spiritual growth. There are devotional Bibles which have the text divided into 365 day increments for convenience. Many Bibles have a Bible reading plan located in the back of the Bible, and there are many Bible reading plans available on the Internet. The wonderful Christian blogger Tim Challies has a recent article on this.

Some people like to read the Old Testament text in the morning and the New Testament text in the evening. Thus they start and finish the day in God’s Word. They will often start in Genesis and Matthew, and just plough through.

There are many who will try to read the Bible through during the calendar year 2017, and while this is a noble endeavour, it can be rather difficult, particularly if you set a specific amount to read daily. There may be certain days that will interrupt the reading schedule because you are ill or traveling or for some other valid reason, and you will struggle to catch up. If you do not have time to go back and catch up on your reading, it is perfectly acceptable to pick up again on the next day and continue on. You may miss some of the details or context, but you will be able to continue without the burden of having to make up readings which slow you down and eventually cause you to stop altogether. Being able to brag that you have read every single verse of the Bible is not why you have committed to reading the Scriptures. It is important to read the Bible completely even if you miss several small sections.

Dr Allen Fleece recommended that you could spend thirty days in a book of the Bible. He recommended starting with Romans. You read as much as you can each day, and when you reach the end you start over. You do this for thirty days. Then you continue in 1 Corinthians for thirty days. Some people like to add “Spiritual Vitamins” by reading a chapter of the book of Proverbs each day of the month.

Some people read the Bible all the way through, not concerned with when they finish. They average a chapter or two a day, and take time to slow down if necessary to ensure they understand what they’ve read. They take their time day-by-day in God’s Word.

It is my hope and prayer that you will make a decision and a commitment to read God’s Word consistently in the coming year, that you will understand what you read and that you will be able to have a much closer relationship to God through his Word. God is as willing as he is able to assist, help and bless you in this.

As Dr Fleece used to put it, “When you open your Bible God opens his mouth; when you close your Bible God closes his mouth”. Make your commitment today.

Blessings,

GW Anderson
Spoudason Services

 

George W. Anderson taught at Columbia International University before becoming the Editorial Manager as well as an Editorial Consultant of the Trinitarian Bible Society in London. Mr. Anderson offers his knowledge and expertise at Spoudason Services, a research & teaching consultancy in Bible, NT Greek, hermeneutics & theology for Bible students, SS teachers, pastors & missionaries.

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When “errors” are not errors.

Amazon’s email to OSNOVA:

 

Hello,

We’re writing to let you know that at least one of your readers has reported some problems within your book [the KJV Bible], and we have confirmed the issue. … There are some words in your book that our spell check dictionary could not identify. … Here are the words and their locations

For example “cieling of wood; ” should be “ceiling of wood; “(loc:48522),”burglers” should be “burglars” (loc:48385),”sodering” should be “soldering”(loc:27757),

 

OSNOVA’s Email to Amazon:

Dear Amazon,
As always, we have carefully reviewed your report.  Given that we are dealing with the text of the KJV translation of the Bible, we have to faithfully reproduce all the spellings of its authoritative editions.  Neither you nor I are qualified to update the spelling of the KJV Bible to the modern standards or decide that the original text contained errors or misspellings.

In this particular instance, all of the reported “errors” cannot and should not be corrected even though they look strange to the modern eye because the original text had “cieling of wood,” “burglers” and “sodering.”  Please see the attached reproductions of the text of the KJV that served as the basis for our electronic edition.

I would appreciate if you would pass this information to the customer who reported these “errors.”

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Beware Kindle Touch Firmware Update

The two-three most recent firmware updates for Kindle Touch (5.1.0, 5.1.1, 5.1.2) have brought new features but also much havoc.

One of the new “features” is the “Enhanced Table of Contents.”  What it means is that Amazon removed from the “Go to” menu the link to the (carefully crafted by us) Table of Contents in the book itself and replaced it with the entire contents of an internal toc.ncx file.  For those who know, Amazon basically followed the epub toc custom but, unlike epub, listed all levels of toc by default. In practice, it means that you will see the list of all!!! chapters of the Bible one by one, and if you happen to be reading in the middle of the Bible you will be lost – there is no way you can scroll up through the entire list.  The cumbersome workaround around this mess is to press “Beginning”, then open the “Go to” menu again and select the OT toc or NT toc.

The other blunder is that you will not be able to search reliably any of the books that you had on the Kindle prior to the update (their index file on your Kindle is messed up by the update).  The only solution so far is to delete the book and reinstall (redownload it from Amazon) it again so that Kindle Touch can create a new index file for the book.  This issue also means that DVJ-1 will work only after you delete/reinstall.

The only good news (we have to treat anything that is not broken by Amazon’s update as good news) is that DVJ-2 (see this post) did not receive any harmful attention from Amazon. It still works… but for how long?

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Should God answer all our prayers?..

Growing up in a Christian background, I remember thinking that as soon as I prayed and said the *magic* phrase “in Your name”, the deal was done – whatever I asked for would come true! Has it ever happened to you that you expected God to necessarily answer your prayer “just the way you asked”? Many people do believe that God absolutely has to positively react to the prayers of His saints.

Here is an excerpt from Charles Spurgeon’s commentary on the Psalm 130, in which he addressed the question of (un-)answered prayers:

“Lord, hear my voice.” (Psalm 130:2) It is all we ask; but nothing less will content us. If the Lord will but hear us we will leave it to his superior wisdom to decide whether he will answer us or no. It is better for our prayer to be heard than answered. If the Lord were to make an absolute promise to answer all our requests it might be rather a curse than a blessing, for it would be casting the responsibility of our lives upon ourselves, and we should be placed in a very anxious position: but now the Lord hears our desires, and that is enough; we only wish him to grant them if his infinite wisdom sees that it would be for our good and for his glory.

(from “Treasury of David: Expositions of the Psalms” by Charles Spurgeon)

 

How many times in my life I was actually grateful to my God for not answering my prayers in the way I expected! Trusting the Lord to hear us – both our prayers and wants – and to give us what is truly best for us is a great Christian virtue!..

 

 

Own a copy of “Treasury of David” on your Kindle?
Remember to leave a review for it on Amazon!

 

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