7 – Realising History
thesis of Chapter 7:
world without God makes history accidental and pointless. A world
with God fits the worldview of history that is theistic. God would
have had to make it a developing world, and that we observe through
is often a derisory note about a God who would make an imperfect world,
and how primitive man was unlikely to have been part of God's plan
need to think about:
- why God made the world in the way
He did, (this chapter) and
He revealed Himself in the
way He did (the following chapter).
is the Creator of all things and
the world view that holds that
proposition is reasonable and logical as far as the consequences
it are concerned.
analogies of a father trying to teach a very young son and the things
that the son needs to learn before he can take over the father's business,
help us see why the mankind developed through history and why god
revealed Himself slowly.
there are two things we need to understand:
Mankind has developed or evolved in knowledge, understanding and ability
to where we are today.
God who is all-knowing, has always existed, and is unchanging, but
has only gradually revealed Himself to the human race.
is important to understand the consequences of our worldview, i.e.
- if there IS a God there are some
logical consequences to be observed, and
- if there is NO God, then the development
of mankind is a meaningless, accidental chain of events which leaves
us today with a lot of knowledge but no meaning.
that are sometimes asked are:
- Why Did God make (IF He did) primitive
man with hardly any knowledge so that life was so harsh?
didn't God input knowledge into mankind so that it ‘jumped' the
primitive stage and all the difficulties that
went with that period?
are really only two possibilities:
- God makes man as fully developed
in thinking as modern man is, so that he didn't have to learn, and
he didn't have to gradually develop (contrary to that observed in
created primitive man and allowed and encouraged man to gradually
develop in all the ways archaeology suggests (as observed in history).
we look at historical developments we can see this latter option in
scientific knowledge and in social development generally.
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8 – Realising Revelation
has developed or evolved in knowledge, understanding and ability
to where we are today. Much of the previous chapter was given over
to thinking about this.
who is all-knowing, has always existed, and is unchanging, but has
only gradually revealed Himself
to the human race.
if we put these two together there are some natural outcomes, for
- man's understanding of God was initially
- God chose to reveal Himself to mankind,
not by direct teaching, but by His interactions with individuals
the revelation of God through the Bible comes very largely from
observing the way He dealt with or interacted with individuals or
peoples (mostly Israel
- man living three thousand years
ago was very much more primitive and could only receive a limited
understanding from God,
- i.e. God would not have said some
things to them because they would not have understood it,
- similarly He also had to speak in
certain ways to help them understand, ways that he might not have
had to use with a more developed world,
as we'll soon see, that was
the only realistic option open to Him.
it comes to religion, from a
purely scientific point of view, all we have to go on are grave-goods
and archaeological remains. The biblical documents take on major importance.
things to remember:
God doesn't develop ii)
Our Understanding of Him does develop.
revealed Himself to individuals with whom he formed relationships.
It is through these relationships and the things that were said, that
we learn most about God in the Bible.
peak of this revelation was through the Son of God, Jesus Christ,
but God has nevertheless continued to reveal things of Himself through
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9 – God and the Rest of the World
chose a particular nation, right from its outset, to reveal Himself
through to the rest of the world. Throughout the Old Testament the
signs are clearly there that
was to be
a light to the rest of the world, who would see what was happening
to them, and have their thoughts drawn to the God who was interacting
with this nation.
about this nation – their founding grandfather, even their actual
father, the way they came into being in Egypt, the way they were delivered
from Egypt, the way they were led and given a new land to live in,
the struggles they had there, the eventual exile and restoration –
all this pointed to the reality and existence of the One God.
see God's concern for the whole world being revealed through:
interactions with gentile kings
the Gibeonites & Naaman
whole of the New Testament.
these three chapters we have sought to show how the biblical accounts
‘fit' what we know of the world generally.
saw how it was natural and logical in history for
God to create primitive man who had to learn and gradually develop
over the centuries, right up to the present time.
saw that, in line with the above, in respect of revelation
, it was necessary for God to reveal Himself gradually to
primitive mankind through the means of interacting with individuals
and then with the nation called Israel and finally through His own
Son coming from heaven.
also saw there is a worldwide purpose on God's heart,
that took Israel with the express intention of them being a light
to the rest of the world and, finally, for them to be the environment
into which He sent His Son, Jesus Christ to further reveal Himself
and deal with the problem of Sin and unpunished sins.