Friday, May 23, 2008

Tell me all your thoughts on God

I am just about through all 170 of the exams that I had to grade at the close of this semester and am looking forward to more time to spend on some writing projects and preparation for the fall semester. I am writing a piece on the compatibility of notions of substantive neutrality and nonendorsement with the law's treatment of facially secular government speech that impinges in some way upon the audience's religious perspectives and an essay on the First Amendment issues raised by the aggressive use of the judicial canons and recusal standards in judicial elections.

But I also have to rework my Law & Theology seminar. One of the subjects that I treated last time was competing legal and theological reconciliations of the supposed conflict between religion and science. One way to go at this is the current controversy over Intelligent Design and, on that topic, I recently read an interesting review by Joseph Bessette in the wonderful Claremont Review of Books.

One of the things that intrigues me about the ID controversy is the tendency of both sides to treat it as something that it is not. If there is something to ID, it does not prove the God of Scripture. It may be consistent with that God but then, so is neo-Darwinian evolution. It certainly makes it likelier that such a God exists, but She may not look much like the God we apprehend through faith. The prominent atheist Anthony Flew who has, on scientific grounds, come to believe in some type of God does not, for example, believe in an afterlife.

Indeed, according to Bessette, prominent ID theorist Michael Behe - who argues that random mutation and natural selection, although it occurs, has insufficient explanatory power to account for the complexity of life - certainly believes in a superintending intelligence (God). But he prefers to argue that the element that is missing from the neo-Darwinian model, i.e., the extra something that must exist to arrive at the complexity that we see, is not necessarily the tinkering in history of this God. He suggests that "intelligent design is quite compatible with the view that the universe operates by unbroken natural law, with the design of life perhaps packed into its initial set-up."

If this is accurate (I have Behe's latest book but haven't gotten to it yet), then Behe does little more that critique the neo-Darwinian synthesis. He says that it's true (at least in it more modest and documented claims) but it is insufficient to explain the development of life. To use the (somewhat incomplete) example that many of us heard in high school biology, it may be that there is no number of chimpanzees banging on a typewriter that will produce Hamlet.

I can't say whether this is true or not, but its not really religion.

For the same reason, I am not moved by the charge from the other side that ID is some form of "creation science." Maybe some of it is, but there seems to be much more that is not. There is, I suppose, a category question here. Bessette also reviews recent books by astronomist Owen Gingerich and biologist Francis Collins (again I bought it, but have not yet read it) who seem to believe that science rather strongly points to design, but are adamantly opposed to calling that inference itself "science." (Collins also criticizes the notion of irreducible complexity which is part, but not all of, Behe's case.) Presumably, Collins and Gingerich would argue that atheist evangelicals like Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett and Steven Pinker also transcend the boundaries of science.

My own view has always been that inferring some design or other organizing is missing from the neo-Darwinian evolution is almost certainly science. One is arguing - from scientific evidence - that the posited mechanism for the origin and evolution of life is inadequate. At least at this point, further speculation about what that something is may be what belongs in the realm of philosophy or religion.

32 comments:

illusory tenant said...

I would be careful about claiming whatever it is Antony Flew is thinking these days is derived from current science. He's a philosopher, after all, and arguments from or to design aren't necessarily informed by evolutionary biology.

Sounds like an interesting course, however, and if I needed another three credits I'd sign up just to hassle you.

Michael Behe's latest "goddidit" was pretty much debunked and counterexampled into submission within days of its publication, incidentally.

illusory tenant said...

If I needed another three credits ...

Oh hey, can it count as CLE?

Super Id said...

Rick,

While ID uses science it is not science. There is no hypothesis that can be tested. Simply worded, you cannot prove that an intelligent designer exists merely by saying science can't explain everything.

Instead, ID is merely a critique of evolution as we understand it today. Merely critiquing our current understanding of evolution does not establish that the theory is wrong. In fact, the critique of a theory is necessary component of the scientific method. It aids the understanding of that theory.

While we could certainly go on for pages, perhaps this is not the appropriate venue for such a discourse. But I will point out that the Vactican has even taken the position that ID is not Science.

http://www.catholic.org/national/national_story.php?id=18503

Rick Esenberg said...

Super ID

My problem is with broad claims that ID is "not science." Some of it, at least, seems to be - as you implicitly concede in saying that the critique of a theory is part of the scientific method. The hypothesis, as I understand it, is that the neo-Darwinian synthesis adequately explains the evolution of current life forms. Behe says that it doesn't. This, of course, does not mean that evolution doesn't happen. It just suggests that something else is going on.

I agree that ID - as science - says nothing about what that something else may be. It could well be some natural law or biological process not yet discovered.

IT

I don't know whether Behe's latest book - which doesn't seem to me to be a "goddidit" - has or has not been debunked. That's not really my point although I suspect that the proposition that the neo-Darwinian synthesis is all there is to it can't readily be proven.

I suspect that you could get CLE althought it's be pretty expensive CLE. But the latter third of the class will clearly qualify as ethics credit.

Super Id said...

Rick,

As you know Behe's argument is essentially:

1. Incredibly Complex things cannot evolve

2.If it can't have evolved it must have been designed.

I do not believe that Behe and others advocating the IC theory can establish point 1. There are numerous articles which undermine the IC frame work. See e.g,
http://www.talkdesign.org/faqs/icdmyst/ICDmyst.html

Second, IC's conclusion, point 2, doesn't necessarily follow. As you note:

"I agree that ID - as science - says nothing about what that something else may be. It could well be some natural law or biological process not yet discovered."

P.s.

Fun discussions but something tells me you'll get fewer comments here than on your gay marriage posts.

Anonymous said...

I can't say whether this is true or not, but its not really religion.

Of course any version of ID can be irreligious; indeed, as Hume noted long ago, the inference from design to deity is at least as great as the inference from seeming design to actual design (though both gaps in reasoning are vast, and hitherto never soundly bridged, nor even very seriously attempted).

The problem, in any case, is not that ID is necessarily religion, though it very often is, on the hoof. The problem is that, rounding to the nearest whole number, 0% of non-spiritual-believers are capable of finding evidential support for ID (whatever ID we're talking about) .

That (inter alia) is what Behe got nailed for in Dover -- not for making the positive thesis of ID a religion, but for making clear in his testimony that one practically had to be religious in order to recognize its alleged scientific virtues. Which makes the motivations forteaching it, prima facie, primarily religious (squeeze that Lemon!); and would make it singular as a scientific theory, were we to entertain it as one.

...or, more significantly, were there an actual proposed theory available to entertain, since amid all the sturm und drang, one thing we have never, ever seen is an actual theory of what the design is, what the designer is, and (especially) how the designing was implemented.

Anonymous said...

The thing I like about evolution is that it changes with whatever discovery is made.

Evolution taught that dinosaurs went extinct 60 to 70 million years ago but now that soft tissue was found in the bones of a t-rex discovery, well maybe it was ten million years ago. Whats a few million years when you cannot prove either in the first place?

And those darn artifac's of buriel stones and figurines of dinosaurs that people made within the last 1400 to 2000 years, really simply cannot exist because they could have never seen what dinosaurs looked like.

The Vega's mentality of evolutionist that the house always wins is being extinguished.

reddess said...

Boy...did I marry a nerd. I'm going back to Roscommon.

JesusIsJustAlrightWithMe said...

"The thing I like about evolution is that it changes with whatever discovery is made."

That's not just true of evolution, it's true of science in general. It is why science, and evolution, are so compelling. I think this quote from a Sherlocke Holmes story says it perfectly: "It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts."

illusory tenant said...

Now that soft tissue was found in the bones of a t-rex discovery, well maybe it was ten million years ago.

How unsurprising that you have it exactly backwards. Do yourself a favor and lay off the creationist websites.

Anonymous said...

it -

they can say whatever they want because guys like you will fall in line and believe anything they tell you. However, any reasonable person that saw the original interviews when the discovery was made knows that a lot of double talk was and still is going on from the evolution side of the debate.

Go ahead and believe that soft tissue has stayed juicy for 68 million years. As for me I'll have a good laugh about that and then stick with the real evidence and science that is coming from it.

Anonymous said...

Also,

I've been totally kidding this entire time. There's no way anyone in real life could think the things I've been spouting. Did you like the bit about evolution being racist? That was my favorite one. Could you imagine if someone really believed that?

Rick Esenberg said...

or, more significantly, were there an actual proposed theory available to entertain, since amid all the sturm und drang, one thing we have never, ever seen is an actual theory of what the design is, what the designer is, and (especially) how the designing was implemented.

But if the designer is God, then this is precisely where science probably will not take you. My understanding of the Behe argument is that random mutation and selection can't explain everything.

As far as whether no one could believe it, there are all sorts of nonbelievers that puzzle over the implausibilty of our existence. So much so than many of them have proposed answers ranging from space aliens to multiple universes.

As for the dinosaurs, that stuff has nothing to do with ID, at least as I am using the term.

Again, I have no idea whether Behe makes his case or not. The argument from irreduceable complexity seems to have a "god of the gaps" quality to it. The argument from improbability seems quite plausible although it strikes me as difficult to prove or disprove.

illusory tenant said...

As for the dinosaurs, that stuff has nothing to do with ID, at least as I am using the term.

No, but such misunderstandings are fairly typical across the board, from young earthers to the Beheites. If they are going to criticize evolution, the least they could do is know what it is in the first place.

From a theological perspective, Behe's position is even stranger, since he accepts evolution for the most part but concentrates on a few molecular dilemmas.

Behe agrees that humans and other contemporary primates share a common ancestry, but his god is one that tinkers obsessively with bits and pieces of cells.

Ultimately, it's human evolution that science's detractors object to, so I'm not sure why Behe is such a hero among creationists.

Anonymous said...

"Boy...did I marry a nerd. I'm going back to Roscommon."

Good move, Reddess. He's already discarded one spouse. Turnabout is fair play.

reddess said...

anon 10:24

If I had known that my foolish little comment would bring you out from underneath your rock, I wouldn't have made it. Still too much of a chicken to let us know who you are huh? And can't you please come up with something new to say? You are getting tiring.

As usual, your analysis of Rick's past situation could not be further from the truth.

Anonymous said...

Isn't this the tale spun by every second wife?

Anonymous said...

My sources tell me that the real problem was Rick's ex wife became a man. That's rough dude.

John Foust said...

The other Richard Esenberg who shows up far more frequently in CCAP and Wisconsin licensing reviews is a former tenant of mine. I'm glad I no longer have to deal with him. Web anonymity is always a two-edged sword. Let's lay off the personal attacks, Anon!

Anonymous said...

My quick reply is that ID is our ability to say that some things are over our heads, we simply cannot understand or duplicate them, they're more intelligent than we are.

Is that God or just a polite way of pointing out our ignorance at that point?

Anonymous said...

"amid all the sturm und drang, one thing we have never, ever seen is an actual theory of what the design is, what the designer is, and (especially) how the designing was implemented."

But if the designer is God, then this is precisely where science probably will not take you.

So what is left of the alleged science of ID? No theory of the design, no theory of the designer, not a whisper about how it was done, nor even how it could have been done. What's the positive thesis of ID?

Of course there is none; just a dismal inference to Jesu- oops! the Des- sorry, designer, on the basis of alleged problems with evolutionary theory -- allegations overwhelmingly based on misstatements of evolutionary theory so absurd, from people so ostentatiously appraised of their mistakes, that it's impossible not to ascribe sheer mendacity.

Behe is, by and large at least, an exception on the mendacity front. In his case (since he accepts common ancestry and huge swathes of evolutionary theory), the strangeness in his view manifests as a fondness for clanging non-sequiturs, mobile goalposts, and transparent arguments from failed imagination. But it is too great a task here to recapitulate the self-inflicted disasters of Behe's "irreducible complexity" arguments. The internets hold them all.

AnotherTosaVoter said...

I wonder what conclusive evidence of elementary forms of life on Mars would do to this argument.

I for one think it would completely disprove Christian and other religious theories of the creation.

What do believers think about such a hypothetical?

Anonymous said...

tosavoter -

I think there was a claim that Mars had a major flood that covered the planet when there has been no evidence that Mars had water on it. Contrast that with planet earth that is covered 60% (of more) with water and has plenty of evidence of a major flood and we're told that there was no flood.

I think there is a huge credibility problem with what comes from Mars regardless of what side you're on.

Publius said...

“If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail. “
Abraham Maslow

ID is simply a warning not to base all belief on science. As we become so wise, like Richard Dawkins, we know there can be no watchmaker, because we have the blueprints and we can see the pieces just fell together to make a watch.

Perhaps the point is ID cannot be proven by science; at the core of science is belief.

1COR1:27: KJV

But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

Whereas, we may debate an Intelligent Designer, one thing I can warn the anonymous poster of stupid statements is: The Reddess surely exists, and woe unto him, who incurs her wrath.

Anonymous said...

ID is simply a warning not to base all belief on science.

I agree to an extent, though I'd replace 'warning' with 'exhortation', and add the word 'empirical' before 'belief'.

In any case, you've captured the problem quite perfectly, since IDologists claim that ID is science.

As we become so wise, like Richard Dawkins, we know there can be no watchmaker, because we have the blueprints and we can see the pieces just fell together to make a watch.

Herein the significance of my earlier remark re: absurd misstatements of evolutionary theory. Unless you also hold, e.g., that water exists because oxygen and hydrogen atoms "just fall together", this is an astonishingly inaccurate representation of anything that Dawkins, or anyone else even vaguely acquainted with biological theory, would suggest.

Anonymous said...

anon 8:17 -

"this is an astonishingly inaccurate representation of anything that Dawkins, or anyone else even vaguely acquainted with biological theory, would suggest."

Thousands of negative mutations have been discovered that are identified with numerous human ailments. They believe that this is only going to get worse while not one positive mutation has been discovered. Are you so sure that you're as acquianted with biological theory as you suggest you are?

John Foust said...

Patient: Hey, Doc, can you take a look at this positive mutation? It feels good when I wiggle it.

Doc: OK, wiggle it.

James Rowen said...

And I thought I was the one using too many big words.

Anonymous said...

not one positive [human] mutation has been discovered

What do you mean, "positive" mutation? Traits are positive or negative according to their interactions with an environment. Change the environment and you can change the utility of the mutation. Lactose intolerance and sickle-cell blood structure are both positive mutations in the environments in which they spread widely through local populations.

Are you so sure that you're as acquianted with biological theory as you suggest you are?

Yes.

The entirety of my "suggestion" was that evolutionary theory does not hold that parts of organisms "fell together". This is about as controversial as observing that the parts of gestating infants don't fall together, either. Crappy descriptions of the theory generate crappy attempts at refuting it.

Anonymous said...

anon 6:21 -

You may consider "Sickle cell anemia" a positive, but I think most people, especially those who have the disease would consider it a negative.

Anonymous said...

Sickle-cell anemia is a positive mutation in the malaria stricken areas where it originated generations ago.

For the general condition in a non-malaria area the down side of sickle-cell outweighs the healthful benefits.

Change the environment and you can change the utility of the mutation.

Mark said...

1. How do I know that God exists?
To understand what God is doing and not doing, you must first understand more about God, and be rid of doubt as to whether God exists. Having faith is great. Some people can feel or sense God. They pray and the prayers are answered in supernatural ways further strengthening their faith but here, we’re going to approach the existence of God through logic and science.
The first consideration is energy. Not one specific aspect of energy but the whole of energy as one unit. What could initiate energy? If there was ever a time when there was no energy, what could make it start? No matter how far back in time you are able to render in your mind’s eye, the only force that could initiate energy is energy. If it ever did not exist, there would have been no force to bring it into existence so its existence now is the proof that it has always been. If you cannot understand and agree with that statement, reading further is a waste of your time.
2 – The Four Eternal Elements.
Energy is an eternal element. Life, consciousness and self realization are three other elements of energy that could not have come began if there was a in which they were not. For example, if space was ever dead, containing no living thing whatsoever, it could only have remained dead because there would be nothing to initiate life. If there was no self awareness, there would be no force or reason that would suddenly cause something to live, wake up and realize itself.
Energy, life, consciousness and self awareness are the four eternal elements. The four phenomenon that must have either always been or they could never be. The combination of those four elements and their eternal existence is your proof that God exists. There has always been conscious, self aware, living energy. Even before there was time, matter or even a universe, one being could say, “I am.”
If the four eternal elements did not exist, nothing would exist. Everything in existence around you is proof of God and since there is no period prior to the existence of the four elements, God being without a beginning is the relative beginning. You can know that God is because you are, and you are because God is.
3 – The Defining of Matter
When there was only God, his plan was formed. That plan was to share the four elements. The word commonly associated with his action is “creation” but what took place is more accurately defined as “conversion.” A massive conversion of pure energy, life, consciousness and self awareness was converted into life forms then into matter.
The recognition of the self facilitates the uniqueness and the advent of the individual. That individuality is the “spirit.” The purest spirit is the first spirit; God’s spirit. When there was only God, he did something that demonstrates who he is; he gave a gift that he does not revoke. That gift was to share his possession of life; to convert the four elements into other conscious, self aware, living, unique spirits. That desire defines goodness and holiness. God possesses thee first and Holy Spirit.
For there to be anything other than God, required the defining of that which would be. Atoms, molecules and the many forms of light and dark matter all had to be decided upon, defined then converted from God into what they would become. That ability to define is the basis of language, an ability that was with God from the beginning, part of God and was God, known most accurately as “The Word.” Having come forth from and having always been part of the very substance of God, the word is the “Only begotten” of God; an only son. The Word plays the most powerful role in God’s plan because every single thing that was or will be converted from God’s elements into anything else must be defined.
Visualize the expanding universe in a reverse chronology. You know that it expanding, reverse it and shrink it back to a single mass just prior to the “Big Bang” explosion. Prior to that moment, there was no universe. After that moment, a mass was expanding. That mass contained all of God’s elements plus the newly defined element of Matter. The natural scientific question is, “Where did the matter come from and how did it come?” The obvious answer to both questions is that matter was converted from energy after having been defined by the Word. The phrase; “Let there be light” and the “Big Bang” theory describe the same event; a massive conversion of non tangible energy forms, into material energy forms or more exactly; the creation and merger of defined matter with energy, life, consciousness and self awareness. God put the attributes of his existence into a huge mass and sent it flying in all directions to fill a space with enormity we cannot even imagine.
Recapping; Change is an effect. It does not take place unless there is a causing force. At the initiation of this universe, a change took place. The conversion of energy into matter required defining atomic and molecular configurations into tangible materials and forms of energy or forces. To "define" is the basis of language; the utilization of "The Word". The Word or definition is the interface between the four original elements and all things. The ability to define or “Word”, was always part of God, was always with God and was God. That is why the Bible states in John 1:1
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
That biblical explanation is scientifically accurate. God will never act in conflict with his own Word and the Word will never act in conflict with God therefore God has made all things subject to his Word and the Word perfectly executes and does only the will of the Father.
The four elements, the Word and the choice of the original unique consciousness to do good, are the basis for the Biblical phraseology; the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Every possible combination of matter and every possible future event came from within the original energy and consciousness of God therefore God knows of every possible combination. That’s why God knows of all events prior to their actual occurrences and has known the end from the very beginning.
The origin of love was God's choice to include the four eternal elements in the creation of the universe. Through that gift he gave life as well as consciousness and self awareness to each of us. Equally as great was the gift of freedom of choice. We are free to think and feel whatever we will think and feel. We can choose for ourselves.
4 - The Origin of Evil
In the beginning when there was only God, there was a single partition of space however the conversion of energy into anything other than God would create a second partition; a space that was not God. Before God made the first conversion, he knew that doing so would initiate the law of opposites. The defining of goodness would create the possibility of the absence of goodness. The defining of love would create the possibility of the absence of love.
The giving of life itself created the possibility of evil because in the exercise of freedom of choice, it was virtually impossible that all living beings would embrace God and love. Eventually one or more would choose to embrace the absence of God and love. In God’s master plan, he made a decision that allowing evil to come into existence and run its course was worth allowing everything else to live. We live in that time period in which evil is running its course and though it has many horrible elements, it also has a point of termination. We will get to it shortly but to understand the end of evil, you must understand its beginning and middle.
5 - Spirits
Life forms that resulted from the conversion of energy into the universe are spirits coupled with matter but just as in the case of God himself, matter is not a prerequisite of life. There are living beings converted from God's life energy that exist outside of the realm of matter. Like us, they each are unique and have been given the gift of freedom of choice. By virtue of freedom of choice, those beings, called Angels could choose to embrace the space that is God or the space that is not God, goodness or the absence of goodness, love or the absence of love. God knew that eventually an Angel would choose to embrace the negative space but in order for there to be any free life, that possibility would need to run through to resolution.
6 - Power
There is only one power. Its elements are the ability to give life, extend freedom of choice, partition existence and to convert the states of energy and matter. That is the only true, pure and absolute power.
The first being that chose to reject the attributes of God and to embrace the space outside of God was the Angel named Lucifer. He desired power but there was only one power. The only pretense of or sense of power could be in utilizing the law of opposites to oppose God. To define his illusion of power, Lucifer determined to take away life and to control others. By this, he became the opposite of God. Evil took form, became defined and is called, the Devil. The desire for evil power infected many of the Angels. When this happened, God exercised his freedom of choice and refused to coexist with evil therefore Lucifer and his followers were forcibly expelled from Heaven. Once removed from Heaven, the devil and his demons were trapped in the non material universe. Even though evil was defined in them, God did not take back their gifts of life because the gift is unconditional. As his continued life was allowed, Lucifer established himself as the author and leader of evil in opposition to the author of goodness and love. Yet he had no control, nothing to take life from and nothing to exercise evil upon as of yet.
7 - Enter Mankind
God converted his energy and coupled it with the substance of Earth, forming mankind. Adam and Eve, the first two people of Earth, (no pun intended) were placed on here to enjoy eternally happy lives with the understanding that evil would need to be resolved.
The coupling of conscious energy and matter, our form of life, also created the potential for the separation of conscious energy from that matter; the opposite of life for a being of flesh; physical death.
Mankind would not have truly had freedom of choice unless along with life, goodness and all that God intended for us, there were also the options of death and to follow after the evil ways of the devil so when God placed mankind on Earth, he placed a source of evil and death within reach. He gave them the freedom to choose whether or not to partake of death and evil but warned and even commanded them not to do so. Unfortunately, the choices given to Adam and Eve were of far greater consequence than either of them could grasp at the time. That commandment was a request for mankind to remain within the will of God. Outside the will of God was the will of Lucifer. Lucifer had no power over humanity unless they choose to reject the will of God and allow Lucifer to begin guiding humanity.
Lucifer told the very first lie, tempting Adam and Eve to consume the embodiment of death and evil. They chose to disobey God's commandment and obey Lucifer’s, taking both death and evil into their bodies and making Lucifer a king over mankind. By consuming evil in the form of fruit, Adam and Eve made death, illness, pain, evil thoughts and all things opposite of life, part of human DNA. Like Satan, their energy, thoughts and desires were no longer pure and could not remain in God's partition. They were ejected from the place originally created for us, a desperately sad and tragic turn of events were it not for the fact that God knew beforehand that it would take place and was prepared.
There was still one missing act that would open the floodgates of Lucifer's pretense of power. He could not orchestrate control over the coming world populous unless people would murder. With that, he could fully express his hatred towards mankind through mankind, people in opposition to his rule could be eliminated and we could experience horrors as such that we would lose belief in God’s existence, making it easier for him to work. One of the worst aspects of Lucifer’s success against Adam and Eve was that his harvest of human souls could begin. Being unable to enter God’s partition, when a human died, they would go into the same place where Lucifer was trapped. God is not there, love is not there and the soul that ends up there would be in the greatest of torments as Lucifer could actually touch them.
Through the years, Lucifer has used hatred, greed, lust and all sin to position himself between people both as individuals and as groups. Starting with the first son of Adam, each time one person mistreats another, Lucifer grows in his pretense of power and his will is solidified upon and within the Earth.
Some people choose to walk in obedience to God, sharing love as they interact with others. They do influence Earth but because goodness comes by gift and persuasion while evil takes by force and murder; humanity cannot win the battle to save this world.
The conditions on Earth are brought about by the choices and actions of mankind so for a time, we live within those combined choices. God will not take away our freedom of choice by stepping in and canceling it all. He is not dead, nor does he sleep. And though the world cannot be saved, individuals can be, as they choose to be. Individuals can also pray if it is their choice for God to act within their lives.
8 - A Second Chance for Mankind
Lucifer and his fallen Angels made the choice to abandon God with perfect knowledge of their actions but mankind was deceived into severing the bond with God. It is therefore just that we receive a probationary time period for each person to choose their eternal allegiance. That time is our lifetimes.
To partake in both good and evil was the original fall of mankind so no matter how much good a person does, we must also learn what behaviors God will not allow in the partition of Heaven and strive to discontinue doing them. We must also strive to abide by God’s opinion and God’s laws, choosing to make him our God and rejecting Satan and that which Satan has to offer.
9 – What About Physical Death?
First it's critical to understand what death is and what it is not. The gift of life that we are; conscious, self aware energy, is eternal. God will not take it back. If he would, he certainly would have discontinued Lucifer at the first problem. Each of us will continue for eternity. Death is not returning to non-existence. Physical death is having our eternal energy separated from our material interfaces, our bodies. Spiritual death is to be separated from God by going into a partition that belongs to Satan after that separation.
We as individuals were converted from the four elements then placed into flesh to be born. Our brains are wired to retain our experiences on Earth in memory. Upon the deaths of our flesh our memories are no longer subject to the limitations of our brains. Outside of our flesh, we will remember who we were before birth and during life here, as well as how we lived, those we hurt and which power we served throughout our lifetime. For some people, those memories will mean ultimate happiness but for others, ultimate horror. We must all go to one of three partitions; a place with God for those that embraced his will, a place of Lucifer for those that embraced his will or a place in between for those that embraced neither. By the weight of our thoughts, memories and feelings, we will either rise or fall into the space where we belong. Love is pure and but evil has weight. Love can set our spirits us free to ascend but evil will pull us down into the places where Lucifer lives and rules. That is why we must struggle to overcome even the sins in our thoughts and imaginations. Heaven and Paradise are the major and minor places of ascension. Hell and Purgatory are the major and minor places of descension with untold divisions within each.
10 – The Good Side of Death.
During our lifetimes, we do things that we know are wrong; acts that prohibit us from entering God's partition. Those acts are called sins. Our bodies lock us to the things we’ve done or facilitate historical references of our acts, meaning it can be said that I did this or you did that. Physical death detaches us from the physical references our bad deeds. Without physical death, we would be eternally trapped outside of God’s partition because we cannot undo the bad things that we’ve done. Removing those bad things has two parts; the first is physical death and second is having died in innocence or having taken advantage of God's offer to have our sins forgiven. When sins are forgiven, they are removed from our spiritual histories. Dying in a sinless or forgiven state facilitates the return to God’s partition.
The downside of death is for those that lived and died in sin only to awaken in the spirit realm still filthy from their lives on Earth, unable to enter into any of the realms of God. For such people, after physical death comes a second death as they are cut off from God in the spirit realm and sent to live in Lucifer’s domain. That horror is what all preaching, baptisms, missionary work and other forms of evangelism are trying to prevent.
11 - What Does “Only One Way” Mean?
Freedom of choice not only includes the opportunity to walk away from God. It also includes the opportunity to return to God. We would not have freedom of choice unless God created a pathway back to Heaven. Just as all things were formed through his Word, the pathway back to God is also through the interface between the eternal realm and the realm of matter; his Word.
400 years prior to the event, it was foretold and documented that God’s Word would come to Earth as a man and display exemption from the physical laws of matter including the finality of physical death. It was also foretold that when the Word came, he would teach us the rules of how to love one another. Only one person has proven his claim to be the only begotten Word that was with God from the beginning and came out from God. That person was Jesus of Nazareth, whose birth was not only foretold throughout all of history but by whose life the very years of the world's calendars are set.
Because the Word of God took on human flesh, a new Adam was born, the first child of a new race of mankind, not cut off from the power, love and realm of God. All life passed from God into existence through the Word and must also pass through the Word to get back to God. That is why Jesus is the called the only way. He asks us to give our lives to him so that we can come into the place he has prepared for us.
Because Jesus lived a human life without ever serving Lucifer, he became the first human that could return to and sit beside the Father after his life on Earth. It also gave him another uniquely awesome position; he took ownership of important phenomenon that Lucifer stole or caused. For example, Lucifer caused death but since Jesus was not subject to Lucifer, he was not subject to death therefore death became subject to him. During the three days of absence from his body, he went down to the abyss to rescue the souls of those that loved God and returned them to the original paradise. Then because he was not subject to death, Jesus reanimated his body at his choosing and continues living eternally as the interface between matter and spirit. The Word of God, now a man like us, returned to Heaven to make a place for us and that is awesome. After taking his material life back, Jesus ascended to Heaven in the sight of witnesses.
While he was here, Jesus said that to return to the Father, we must admit the wrong things we’ve done, believe that he is the Word of God able to save us, and follow the will of the Father. He also said to take his name upon ourselves as belonging to him because no one comes to the Father accept through the way he has prepared. It is easy to understand why there could be no other way to God except through the interface between God and matter, once you know the layout of things.
Everything bad that we do, even in secret, hurts someone's life and sometimes their eternity. The pain and evil we have sent out will return to us and surround us if we reject the way back to God and his provision for our forgiveness of our wrongdoing. When we serve Lucifer even in secret, look at the risk we are actually taking.
12 – What is False Religion?
False religion is the claim that in order to reach the Father, mankind must give allegiance to a person, a group or a creed other than or in addition to his only begotten Word. That false claim perverts many denominations, groups and philosophies into fuel for the flames of hatred and separation. Lucifer gathers many souls through false religion as people walk outside of love and commit horrible acts, fully convinced they’re working in allegiance with God. When asked what the greatest commandment was, he answered; that you love your neighbor as yourself. If we love our neighbors as ourselves, we will not neglect the needy, commit crimes against one another or harm one another. No matter how nicely people smile and sing on Sunday’s, if they refuse to share surplus with the less fortunate, cheat others in business or break the laws against other people, they have not connected with Jesus at all.
Love is the greatest commandment; the true and eternal standard for measuring the worth of souls. The soul that loves and keeps itself pure from evil will ascend and know eternal happiness.
13 – What is Baptism About?
Baptism is one of the very best ordinances in human existence. It involves being laid back under water to represent a spiritual burial with Jesus as he was laid back in his tomb.
Being placed completely under water represents a cleansing of all sins from our spirits, being lifted from the water represents rising up from the grave as a new, cleansed being. God has agreed to honor the act of baptism as a new spiritual beginning but before baptism it is important to get the sins out of the soul so as not to return to them afterwards. When that happens it becomes seven times more difficult to get them out again. It’s also important to remember that as long as Lucifer is in our realm, we will continue to experience temptation and sometimes fail but it is just as important to regroup, recharge and retry to live sinless lives though we watch the morality of Earth rapidly.
14 - How Will Earth and Eternity Be Resolved?
There is a growing crowd on Earth that seeks to remove God, Christians, Scriptures and the very mention of God from society altogether. They too will have their desire. Through an event called the “Rapture”, Jesus will return to the skies above the Earth and change the bodies of those that belong to him back into their eternal nature in the twinkling of an eye. When that happens, all who are not weighed down with sin will rise to meet him in the air and be removed from this planet, allowing all that remain to grasp the full understanding of that which they seek; a world without God. The purpose is to give them a glimpse into life in Hell. A period of time called “the Great Tribulation” will come upon all left behind; a time period when men rule the world under the will of Lucifer, without the resistance that servants of God have given them throughout history. It doesn’t take too much imagination to consider what this world would be like if the forces of love and common decency were altogether removed. Through terror, some of the people remaining on Earth will learn the error of seeking a life without God and love while others will take pleasure in handing out terror. Each person will make a decision as to whether they want to live with or without God. Those that choose God will be murdered by those that do not. Many people will be saved from Hell through the experience.
When decisions are made by the ruling parties that would completely destroy all flesh on Earth, both freedom of choice ad evil will have reached resolution then God will step in and reality as we know it will stop. Everyone will go to the partitions in which they belong, chosen by the deeds of their lifetimes.
Because Jesus and all who follow him choose to live without Satan, freedom of choice demands that Satan’s kingdom be completely separated from mankind and eternal peace will begin for everyone outside of it. Earth will be recreated in perfection and returned to mankind. Lucifer and all who follow him will be locked away for one thousand years as everyone and everything else is brought to perfection. After the thousand years have passed, death and hell will be opened and everyone will have a last chance to either remain with or come to God or go into Lucifer’s Kingdom and remain forever. Once those final choices are made, Lucifer’s partition will remain the single place of evil and sadness called “Outer Darkness,” forever. Everyone else will live in the presence and will of God, as was always in process from the beginning.
In the realm of God, rewards will be given in accordance to the love, sacrifice, forgiveness and longsuffering we gave while we were here on Earth.
15 - Life is forever. This is only Phase One.
Satan’s greatest tools are:
1. Promoting that he doesn’t exist.
2. Masking hatred as an acceptable behavior.
3. Convincing people that gain or pleasure through the pain and suffering of another is acceptable.
4. Convincing people that murder is an acceptable tool to reach a goal.
5. Convincing people that freedom is doing whatever you want to do.
Freedom is living your life in a manner that will not trap you in Satan's realm when your life is over. Success is building rewards in Heaven that you can enjoy for all eternity. That includes studying to learn how God wants his children to live. Those instructions can be found in the New Testament of the Bible. Read it, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
16 - The Outside Books
Some people gain a thirst for ancient spiritual knowledge after ingesting the Bible. If that is you, you’ll learn that the Bible was once a much larger book than it is now. Study the “Council of Nice” and you’ll learn how it came to be what it is now and why. Some of the books that were not included in it are awesome but don’t believe anything written by the Gnostics. They wrote false books to confuse people and turn them from God by gently twisting facts in the Bible to distort our perception of God. Also, before venturing into the Outside Books, read the Bible first and use it as your reference as to truth. Anything else you that read flatly contradicts the Bible should be tossed it out.
The writings of the Early Church Fathers were written by church leaders after Jesus’ ascension. Polycarp’s life and writings are amazing as are Clement’s and Justin Martyr’s.
For historical writings by a neutral party that cover biblical and post biblical events, read the complete works of Flavius Josephus, honored by the Romans for his work. For greater details concerning New Testament events, read the Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius Pamphilus.
You have enemies:
1. Your own flesh will draw you towards things that your mind and spirit know are wrong.
2. Lucifer will use those around you to cause you to make bad decisions which he hopes will lead to your faithlessness, unhappiness and untimely death.
3. Lucifer will always whisper a lie in your thoughts that you are no good.
Remember that before God converted you and placed you in that newborn body, he knew you. He knew every mistake you would make and every sin you would commit but he made you anyway because you are awesome.
Why does God allow it? Because this season of death, pain, crime, illness and evil is temporary yet it must be, so that there can be life and evil can be banished from among the living, once and for all.
You have just read the real Eternal Plan of Salvation.

Mark Henry