The Man Born Blind (John 9)

07 Nov


I’ve been going through the miracle of the healing of the man born blind in John 9 with my Kirkland students.  Kirkland is a maximum security prison and my class is composed of fourteen lifers who have committed their lives to Christ and are working on an Associates degree from CIU.  When they graduate they will become assistant prison chaplains and will be disseminated throughout the South Carolina penal system.

I’ll tell you more about my course with these brothers in Christ at a later date, but I thought you might enjoy my fictional account of the miracle in John 9.  Always glad to get your comments.

“The Man Born Blind” (John 9)

My name is Jeduah, but you can call me Jedu. Anonymity has its benefits, but it will be easier to tell my story if I can give you some extra details, paint a picture you can see, so to speak.

I really haven’t had much time to process what has happened to me. It all seems like a whirlwind. My throat is sore from trying to explain the change, but then my voice has always been strong. And my hearing – my hearing has always been just about perfect. You see, when a person is born blind, the other senses seem to try to help out, seem to go beyond their normal abilities, to make up for the loss.

“Loss.” That’s a good word to describe what my life has been like. My poor parents. It must have been quite a blow for them to realize shortly after I was born that I was blind. Blindness means dependence, joblessness, yes, a life of begging. In Jewish culture such a devastating tragedy demanded an explanation, and there was no shortage of neighbors and others who sounded like the ancient patriarch Job’s friends in trying to explain my “situation.” Sometimes I would hear my parents crying themselves to sleep because of some unkind thing said by those who thought they knew why I was born blind. But now their crying has been turned into laugher! Has it ever! Oh. Sorry. I’m getting ahead of my story.

My life of begging wasn’t so bad, I guess. [I use the past tense for a very good reason.] Sometimes those who wanted to do good, or wanted to be seen doing good, would toss a few coins into my begging basket. I did better than a lot of the other beggars. Afterall, I could cry out, “BORN blind! Please help! I was BORN BLIND!” My friends told me that occasionally some young trouble-makers would quietly slip up to my begging spot and wave their hands in front of my eyes to see if I really was blind. But I would just let them do it. Funny how people don’t realize you can overhear them hatching their plans or that you can feel the air move when they put their hands in your face.

I’ve gotten used to people talking about me and my condition. The whispers, the theological guesses, I must admit, they often brought tears to my empty eyes.

But one day I heard some new voices discussing me. A couple of men walked up and pointed me out to a wandering Rabbi. The question they asked Him was one with which I was quite familiar, but this time was asked in a way expecting an answer. They said, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” They actually sounded like their question could be answered, but, of course, only God Himself could explain why.

Funny how people think that blindness makes a person deaf – or mute! Those men didn’t ask me what I thought about my “disability.” I use the term “disability” carefully. You’ll find out why later. I felt a bit like a thing, an object to be examined and explained – or explained away. For some I was just part of the scenery, just another beggar. I felt pitied. Ashamed.

But the Rabbi who was asked that profound question, that question that only God could answer, responded to His followers with some startling words. To their straightforward either-or question, “who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”, this Rabbi responded, “Bad question, fellas. If you’re going to ask me a multiple choice question, you’d better make sure that the answer is one of the multiple choices!” He said it with a kind of chuckle, not in any way criticizing them for asking the question, just for telling Him what the possible answers could be!

I could not believe the answer He then gave them. I remember His clear, authoritative voice as if it boomed out five minutes ago. He said, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned. But this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.” For once in my life I was mute! Although no one had asked my opinion, I could not believe His dogmatic declaration – a declaration that only Jehovah could make – that my “condition” was not because of me or my parents’ sin!

His proclamation that neither I nor my parents were to blame for my sightlessness was the most liberating and thrilling statement I had ever heard. I felt as if a cloak of shame had been pulled off me, bathing me in a freeing

sunlight. I thought to myself, there could only be one thing better than the freedom of those words – and that would be (dare I even think it?) to receive my sight!

This Rabbi then said something I had heard many times before, from friends and those who loved me. He said, “This happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.” I was always having an aunt or a beloved relative say such words to me. “You know, Jedu,” they would say, “Jehovah’s going to do something special with your life. You can count on it!” I knew they meant well. My parents also would share truths they had gotten in the synagogue services, truths meant to encourage me. They would often quote the book of Exodus when the Lord said to Moses, “Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?”    It was just so hard to believe, after all these years, that something good could come out of my world of darkness. I frequently prayed for a “work of God,” but my prayers seemed to bounce back on me.

The Rabbi then said something rather cryptic. He said to His followers, “As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming when no one can work.” I didn’t know what “work” He was referring to, but I knew about night, for that’s all my life had been, a kind of night that was my constant companion – a darkness like the one during the children of Israel’s escape from Egypt, a darkness that could be felt.

While I was thinking about His words, and wondering what “work” He was referring to, I heard a common sound, a sound made even by many Palestinian women, the sound of spitting. Before I realized what was happening, the Rabbi had picked up some common soil, mixed it with His spittle, and carefully smeared some over both of my eyes. Perhaps He fancied Himself some kind of doctor, but my heart was too excited to be cynical. His gentle touch clearly meant me no harm, and then He spoke to me.

“Go, wash in the Pool of Siloam.” That’s all He said. Two simple commands. Just seven short words. But the way He said those words indicated that something great was going to take place. Those words seemed to contain within them a hope, a promise even, of a “work of God.”

I could have gotten to the Pool of Siloam on my own, but one of my brothers took me by the hand and led me to that sacred place. “Shall I wash off the mud for you, Jedu?,” my brother Jehu asked. “No,” I said. “The Rabbi told me to go and wash. And that’s what I’m going to do!”

There are no words to describe to you what happened next. But I’ll do my best. Please try to put yourself in my place. Imagine what I felt. When I cupped my hands to gather water from Siloam’s pool, my eyes began to burn. It wasn’t a painful kind of burning, but a burning that seemed to be an initial stage to something I had never felt before. When I brought the water up to my eyes, I must admit I was not nearly as gentle with myself as the Rabbi was when He first put the mud mixture on me. I splashed the water over my closed left eye and then over my closed right eye. I’ve had friends describe to me what it feels like to swim in a clear river. They’ve told me of their excitement in opening their eyes underwater! That’s what it felt like to me. As soon as the water touched my eyes, for the first time in my life I could see. I could see the water, and some of the mud, dripping off my eyes! I looked at my brother Jehu and said, “Jehu, you’re not bad looking at all! Why are you still not married?” We laughed and laughed. “Lean over the Pool,” Jehu said. “Why?” I asked. “You’ll see,” he said. I leaned over the Siloam Pool and I saw my own reflection – for the first time. “I’m not so bad looking either,” I thought to myself as I got up.

“Don’t just stand there staring!” Jehu said. “Let’s go home. We’ve got a lot to tell – and show – Mom and Dad!”

And so we went home. The Pool at Siloam was not that far from our house, but I’m sure it seemed to Jehu that it took us forever. I kept stopping and staring at things. My brother had to identify everything for me as he tried to hustle me home. I saw my first sparrow. My first cloud. My first peddler. My first . . . woman. I went up to one peddler and introduced myself. “Hello,” I said. “I’m Jeduah.” “I recognize the voice,” he said, “but I don’t think we’ve ever talked before.”

“You don’t know who I am, do you?” I said to him. “I’m the beggar who was born blind! That Rabbi who recentlycame to town has healed me!” “Wow!” he said, then moved away from me. I don’t think he believed me.

A crowd began to form around me. What a variety of shapes and sizes and ages of people! Other than occasionally touching some of these people [many had treated me as if I had leprosy], I knew them only by their voices. What fun it was to connect the voices with the faces.

But they seemed to be arguing with one another. “What’s the big argument?” I asked. “I can see [that word made me chuckle!] that there’s some kind of disagreement.”

“Well,” said the seller of spicy fish. “It’s just that we’re not all sure you are who you say you are. I mean you look like the guy who used to stand over there and beg alms from people. Others suggest that you just can’t be that guy.”

For a moment I was tempted to deny my own identity. I thought about saying to them, “Beg? I have never begged in my life! You must have me confused with someone else!” That would have saved me a lot of trouble later. But I simply replied to him, “I am, I mean, I was, that guy! Over in that corner was my begging spot. Remember? I used to cry ‘BORN blind! Please help! I was BORN BLIND!’ I am that same person. But now I can see!”

“But how did your eyes get opened?” someone from the crowd yelled. I didn’t know what to say. I overheard another merchant talk about the Rabbi and how He had put mud on my eyes. “I think His name was Jesus. Yes, that’s it. The Rabbi, the man they call Jesus, He made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. I did – and now I can see! That’s my story.”

“Where is this Jesus?” the people demanded. “I don’t have a clue. I have no idea what he looks like. I don’t see Him anywhere,” I said, grinning from ear to ear.

The next thing I knew I was being dragged to visit the Pharisees. I say “dragged” because I had a lot of sight- seeing to do. I assumed they would rejoice with me that I had received my sight. Bad assumption!

I wonder if somehow I’m in trouble, I thought to myself. Oh, no. I’ll bet it has something to do with my healing happening on a Sabbath.

“We understand,” said an older Pharisee abruptly, “that you claim to be a man born blind who can now see? How did such a miracle take place?”

He looked at me with angry eyes – and I looked back at him with eyes welling up with tears. “He put mud on my eyes,” I stammered out. “And I washed and now I see.” I thought to myself, Keep your answers short. You don’t want to get these men upset.

One of the men pushed his way to the front and shook his finger at me. “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath!” For a moment I thought he was talking about me, but then I realized he meant the man called Jesus. Oh, no, I thought to myself. Jedu, you’re in trouble now.

Others in the group spoke up. “How can a sinner do such miraculous signs?” Wow. Is that what happened to me? I am the recipient of a miraculous sign?! I smiled to myself as they began to argue with one another. I was too hasty in thinking they were done with me, for the one who had been shaking his finger turned to me and demanded, “What do you have to say about him? It was your eyes he opened!”

Great. On top of everything else, he adds guilt! I’m supposed to feel guilty that I got healed? I didn’t know what to say, so I just blurted out, “He is a prophet!” It’s all I could think of at the moment. I didn’t know anything about this Jesus.

They certainly were not going to take the word of a man born blind that this Jesus was a prophet. So they

interrogated a couple they thought could answer their questions: my parents! They sent for my parents, who were terrified that somehow they would be kicked out of the synagogue. The synagogue was the center of Jewish social and religious life and my parents had no desire to become social outcasts. They pummeled my parents with three questions: “Is this your son?” “Is this the one you say was born blind?” “How is it that now he can see?”

My Father has got such a great sense of humor, even in a nerve-wracking situation. When they asked, “Is this your son?”, my Dad’s face took on that expression that says, “I’m not sure. Let me look at him carefully.” I could see the twinkle in his eye and knew he was just busting their chops. He came over and held my face in his hands, squeezed my arms, even had me open my mouth so he could examine my teeth, and then declared, “Yep! That’s my boy!” My Mom was looking at him the whole time with an expression that said, “What are you doing? You don’t play around with these religious people!”

She then volunteered: “We know he was born blind.” They then said together, almost in perfect unity, “We have no idea how he can now see. Have you thought about asking him? He’s of age. He can answer your questions for himself!” Fear can be a powerful motivator. I don’t blame my parents for wanting their conversation with the Pharisees to be brief. It was a well-known fact that if anyone said that Jesus was the promised Messiah, he would be excommunicated.

The Pharisees wasted no time turning back to me. You need to understand that the last thing I wanted was to be grilled all day by these sweaty-faced, angry, legalistic inquisitors. I wanted to spend time with my parents, to throw a big party for myself, to begin my new life of sight. I longed to be done with my day in court.

But they summoned me back into their presence and put me under oath: “Give glory to God,” they insisted. I immediately remembered my Sabbath-school lesson on Achan and how he had been grilled by Joshua to tell the truth about his covetous act which brought God’s judgment on His people. Joshua had said, “My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the LORD God of Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it not from me.” Wow. These men were thinking that I had been lying to them.

They continued: “We know this man is a sinner!” I was not about to cave in to their assumption about Jesus, so I said, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” Why were they putting me on the spot? Their fight was with Jesus.

“What did he do to you?” “How did he open your eyes?” Their questions had not changed and were delivered as if they were fists to my face. I don’t know what came over me. Impatience, I guess. They did not want information, but ammunition against Jesus. So I answered them in the same tone they questioned me. “I told you already and you did not listen!” I thought to myself, Man, Jedu, you’re being pretty bold now! “Why do you want to hear it again?” If I had stopped there, they would have been plenty mad at me for my disrespect, but my boldness pushed me even further. “Do you want to become his disciples, too?!”

You’ve heard of the proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back”? Well, I know camels – and my last question was no straw. It was more like a load of bricks! I had thought that religious people spoke a holy language, showed great patience in stressful situations, and remained cool-headed at all times. But these Pharisees lost it! Flames seemed to leap from their eyes; smoke appeared to be coming out their ears. They began to throw insults at me and at my family. They showed no restraint. They screamed at me, “YOU are this fellow’s disciple!” I was? I really didn’t know much about Jesus. But they were right that I wanted to become one of his followers. I didn’t even know where to find him or even what he looked like.

They stopped attacking me for a moment and began to toot their own religious horn: “WE are disciples of Moses!”, they said. “We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow Jesus, we don’t even know where he comes from!”

I guess I should have backed out of the debate at this point. If I had chosen silence, they could have saved face and I could have walked away. But I could not let them get away with their ignorance. I retorted, “Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes!” I focused on what they did not know, then I turned to what all religious people ought to know. “We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly man who does his will.”

They obviously did not like me including myself with them when I said “WE know . . .” But they were convinced that Jesus was a sinner. Their logic made no sense. God doesn’t listen to sinners. And God had listened to Jesus. The only reasonable conclusion was that Jesus was a godly man who was doing God’s will! People, even religious leaders, aren’t always logical, I guess.

I’m sure I sounded like an expert when I then said, “Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” And that was the last thing they let me say. They exploded, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” But God’s Word teaches that all of us are born in sin, doesn’t it? David, the Sweet Psalmist, writes, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” (Ps. 51:5). These Pharisees had Jesus pegged as a sinner and they were certain that I was one as well. I wonder: how did they see themselves?

Before I knew what was happening, hands began to grab me and push me out the door of the synagogue. Furious voices were shouting, “You’re excommunicated! You’re under God’s curse! You’re no longer part of God’s covenant people!”

I found myself face down on the street – right next to the spot where I had spent my whole life begging. Now I was cut off from God’s people, cut off from the social center of Israel, cut off from . . . God? Before I began to spiral into despair, I remembered the words of Rabbi Jesus: “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.” How could I now display God’s work when I had been kicked out of God’s house by God’s leaders?

At that precise moment I heard someone walk up to me. He did not identify himself; he just asked me a straightforward question: “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” I knew that the expression “the Son of Man” would be used of the Messiah when he came. But I didn’t know what this stranger meant, although his voice sounded familiar to me. “Who is he, sir?” I asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.”

Wait! I thought to myself. I recognize that voice. This was Rabbi Jesus speaking to me! He had heard that I had been kicked out of the synagogue – and he had sought me out! “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.” He knows that I am no longer blind! He had been gone when I had gotten back from the Pool of Siloam. Jesus knew that I would be given my sight! In fact, He was the one who healed me. His words, “You have now seen him . . .” convinced me that this Rabbi was the Messiah. I immediately said to Him, “Lord, I believe,” and I worshiped Him there on the spot!

Just then the Pharisees came up and saw that I was worshiping Jesus, blasphemy in their eyes because only Jehovah should be worshiped. Before they had a chance to further condemn me, Rabbi Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into the world, so that the blind will see” (here he pointed to me) “and those who see will become blind.” My“disability” had become the means by which Rabbi Jesus could do the Father’s work and preach the good news of faith in Him.

Some of the Pharisees who had been hanging around Jesus became outraged and asked, “What? Are we blind, too?” Their use of “too” really irritated me for it suggested that they still had not accepted my healing but still regarded me as that blind beggar!

Jesus did not directly answer their question, but simply said, “If you were blind, then you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.” Contrary to the Pharisees’ teaching that my blindness had indicated that I was “steeped” in sin, Jesus separated the two, saying that one is not guilty of sin if one is blind. Their claim to see caused their guilt to remain, because they did not go to the Lord for healing!

Well, that’s my story. By the way, did I mention the fact that I’m not bad-looking, and that I’m still single?


Posted by on November 7, 2012 in john 9


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17 responses to “The Man Born Blind (John 9)

  1. Janice Florio

    November 7, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Thanks for this – my first participation in a “blog”. John 9 has been one of my favorite stories. In fact, it was what I used for one of the sermons for HOM6300. I found your version captivating though I usually do not enjoy Biblical events written with additions, e.g. his brother being with him. It also put a new slant for me on the way in which his parents answered to the Pharisees. I hadn’t thought of the father “busting their chops” but don’t see why it couldn’t have been that way. The added humor made me smile – so thanks!

  2. larrydixon

    November 7, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    Thank you, Janice, for your kind words! Blessings. Dr. D.

    • John

      November 8, 2012 at 12:37 am

      I hope these “brothers in Christ” are not just coning you to improve their lot in jail. I am also surprised that you had to embellish the Bible story to make it more palpable for these convicts. Both, the actual Bible version and your version are equally hard to believe if to be taken literally.
      However, I give you an A+ for effort.

  3. larrydixon

    November 10, 2012 at 10:34 am

    John: I always appreciate your comments. My brothers-in-Christ are lifers — they will not be given parole. What would make you think that I had to “embellish” this story to make it more “palpable” for “these convicts”? I wasn’t trying to water down the story at all. Miracles aren’t “hard to believe” unless one lives in a closed universe that even God Himself can’t invade. But that philosophical perspective is a presupposition, not a fact. John, have you considered the fact that God might want to use your life “to display the works of God” (John 9)? Thanks for the A+! Larry

    • John

      November 11, 2012 at 9:59 am

      Larry: My occasional comments let you know that at least one reads you blogs and thinks about them. Meaningful conversations always have some elements of controversial content. I cannot consider anything that your God might or might not do as a “fact”. It is not factual but rather based on your belief. We are surrounded by “miracles” but hardly pay any attention to them. The birth of a child, the growth of a tree, the limitation of the lifespan of the species,….etc. These are miracles that I accept as part of nature, they are all repeatable and part of our normal life experience. The miracle you refer to are single event miracles that never happened. The are part of a myth. The Bible contains many such miracles, but are only true to those who believe in them.

  4. Anonymous

    November 12, 2012 at 11:15 am

    John: It is always good to hear from you. For such a bright man, I am saddened by your presupposition that miracles are not possible, but only matters of “belief.” That is not how they are presented in the Bible. People were not dunces or ignoramuses back then. They wanted evidence before they believed and were open to where the evidence led. It seems to me that you have redefined miracle as the wonders of nature and automatically ruled out any possibility that God could intervene in His creation. Miracles don’t become “true” because I believe in them. Just as they don’t become “false” because you don’t. Where does the evidence lead? Blessings. Larry

    • John

      November 12, 2012 at 2:34 pm

      What would you say if I called you an Heretic because you believe not, what I believe ?
      You call yourself a Christian because you believe in Jesus. I don’t call myself a Christian, but think and act as one, because I believe in the Christian value system, without believing in Jesus.
      Tolerance, honesty, respectfulness, truthfulness,… just to name a few of the cornerstones a civilization should be built on.

      I read your discourse on Heredity that displayed your intolerance to anyone who thinks differently from you. Fellow Christians like Rob Bell, Brian McLaren, Bart Ehrman, and others who deviate from your narrow path, are branded as Heretics. Has it ever occurred to you, that you could be wrong in your narrow views and that your God would want you to be more tolerant?

      History has thought us, that fanatic adherents to past religions and myths were ALWAYS wrong. There is no reason that this would not also apply to our times.

      There has never been a scientific proof of any recorded miracles. The miracles you refer to, are based on hearsay, recorded by people submerged in superstition.


  5. Nathan T

    November 14, 2012 at 9:04 am

    John, you write: “History has thought us, that fanatic adherents to past religions and myths were ALWAYS wrong. There is no reason that this would not also apply to our times.”

    Two comments:
    1) This is a pretty bold assertion. Unfortunately, it is also so vague that it is impossible to either refute or defend. What do you mean by “fanatic”? Do you mean anyone with whom you disagree? What do you mean by “past religions”? Do you mean any religion that has died out? If so, then Christianity can’t be lumped in there.
    2) Your reasoning (if I can call it that) would also apply to you. What makes you think that you are somehow outside of your statement? Are you not a “fanatic adherent” to a worldview? (philosophical naturalism) Your worldview can neither be proved nor falsified. You have absolute faith that there are no such things as miracles. As far as I can tell, this faith is based merely on the fact that you yourself haven’t OBSERVED any miracles – therefore they cannot be real. This is a flimsy argument.

    I’m a scientist. (a chemist, to be precise) Science does nothing to prove or disprove miracles. Science only explains the reproducible aspects of our universe. The first question you have to ask is whether there is any personal force or being behind the universe. If the answer is “no”, then I agree miracles are impossible. But if the answer is “yes”, then of course a miracle can occur. You can’t decide on the plausibility of miracles until you have answered the question about God first.

    Imagine for a minute that God does exist. Do you really think that He/She/It is constrained by the physical laws of the universe? If so, then that being you are imagining isn’t really God at all. Either the laws of the universe themselves are “god” – or there is a “God” that created the physical laws of the universe. Those are really the only two choices. Either choice is a step of faith. All people live by faith – even you. Choose wisely.

    • John

      November 14, 2012 at 11:00 am

      My comment was directed to Dr.Larry Dixon. I am not sure if you intended to answer for him or not. I still hope to hear from him, but nevertheless, I am also glad to read your comment.

      In answer to what I mean by “fanatic” it should be sufficient to quote the dictionary:
      “Fanatic is a person filled with excessive and single-minded zeal, esp. for an extreme religious or political cause.” It does not mean any person with whom I don’t agree.
      I have yet no reason to call you a fanatic, although I disagree with most of your arguments. As far as my worldview goes, I would not be upset if nobody, ever, would agree with me. Does this make me a fanatic ??

      I like what you said in regards to Science:
      “The first question you have to ask is whether there is any personal force or being behind the universe. If the answer is “no”, then I agree miracles are impossible.”

      I too happen to be a Scientist (Dr.Tech Sc) , but I am very much aware of what my mental limitations are. I am more apt to admit my lack of understanding how our cosmos functions, than to engage in theories how it was created. ALL RELIGIONS seem to have answers to this in one form or another. Your view on this will be as good as anyone else, because it is impossible to prove it or to disprove it.
      My own personal view is that the cosmos always existed and was not created. This gives some meaning to the concept of “infinity of time”. Our three dimensional world graves for a concept of “creation”, but lacks the insight of what was before a creation.
      In an infinitely existing Cosmos speculations on the nature of a CREATOR are meaningless. It is also meaningless to speculate on the meaning of life. We will never know, but should humbly accept what life gives us.
      Viewed from a higher dimension (if it should exist) all the mystery might disappear.


  6. Nathan T

    November 14, 2012 at 11:26 am

    John writes: “ALL RELIGIONS seem to have answers to this in one form or another. Your view on this will be as good as anyone else, because it is impossible to prove it or to disprove it.”

    Actually, I completely disagree with your second assertion. Science has something very significant to say about creation. It seems that time and space are finite – and that they “appeared” at a singular moment in time (about 15 billion years ago). This has been shown quite conclusively by modern science. Therefore your assertion that “the cosmos always existed” and that there is an “infinity of time” are just not supported by modern science. Modern science actually provides VERY good evidence for “creation ex nihilo”. Your hypothesis just isn’t supported by evidence.
    (please don’t respond with a “multiverse” hypothesis – there is NO evidence for this. It is only a mental trick in order to avoid the obvious conclusion of the Big Bang)

    Now, the next question to ask is whether this “creation ex nihilo” was accidental or purposeful. THAT is the key question that is impossible to prove or disprove. But I think that there are some pretty big clues that we live in a “pre-planned” universe. I see evidence for this in DNA, in morality, in the finely tuned physical constants, and in our insatiable desire for purpose/meaning.

    You write: “In an infinitely existing Cosmos speculations on the nature of a CREATOR are meaningless.”

    I completely agree with this. Except that your belief in an infinitely existing cosmos is just an act of faith – you MUST believe that the universe is infinite because the alternative means something ELSE is infinite. Your belief isn’t based on evidence. The Christian faith, on the other hand, is rooted in evidence. Different faiths are not all equal. They can be judged by the amount of evidence that supports them. I’d start with the below website if you are curious about the evidence. It’s the most important “evidence” based decision that you’ll ever make.

    • John

      November 14, 2012 at 4:25 pm

      You mean well, but your arguments are full of holes. You don’t seem to realize that all the talk about the “Big Bang” are based on theories only. In the scientific world any theory, regardless of how questionable they might be, stand until disproved. I have to smile about your two sentences:
      ” It seems that time and space are finite – and that they “appeared” at a singular moment in time (about 15 billion years ago). This has been shown quite conclusively by modern science. ”
      They contain the words “seems” and “conclusively”. 🙂 Do I have to say more ?

      I am only a small minded scientist who recognizes his limitation, unlike the real famous scientists of these days, who know exactly the size of the universe at nanoseconds after the big bang.
      I am not an evangelist to try to convince you, or anybody else, to the eternal existence of the Cosmos where a Big Bang is only a minor event repeated over and over again. Just try to think big in terms of infinite time.

      I am curious to know how you reconcile the Big Bang with your Genesis account. What is the role of the trillions of stars that were formed billions of years before the formation of our Earth and what does it have to do with the creation of mankind for the purpose of displaying the glory of God ?

      Keep your good faith and you will be eligible to join in heaven the conscripts that Larry is in the process to convert. I just can picture you, sitting with them, singing HALLELUJAH until eternity will also end.
      Good Luck,

  7. Nathan T

    November 15, 2012 at 8:48 am

    “Just try to think big in terms of infinite time.”
    Wait, wait, wait. No, I will not think in terms of infinite time. Time is NOT infinite. Time and space are essentially a fabric which did not exist prior to the Big Bang. See the link below. Either time and space exploded into existence accidentally or purposefully. Take your pick. You try to propose a 3rd idea that is not supported by evidence. It is actually reminiscent of beliefs of the early 20th century. Please note the following quotation from the below article:
    “In the 1920s and 1930s almost every major cosmologist preferred an eternal steady state Universe, and several complained that the beginning of time implied by the Big Bang imported religious concepts into physics; this objection was later repeated by supporters of the steady state theory. This perception was enhanced by the fact that the originator of the Big Bang theory, Monsignor Georges Lemaître, was a Roman Catholic priest….During the 1930s other ideas were proposed as non-standard cosmologies to explain Hubble’s observations, including the Milne model, the oscillatory Universe and Fritz Zwicky’s tired light hypothesis. After World War II, two distinct possibilities emerged. One was Fred Hoyle’s steady state model, whereby new matter would be created as the Universe seemed to expand. In this model the Universe is roughly the same at any point in time. The other was Lemaître’s Big Bang theory…whose associates, Ralph Alpher and Robert Herman, predicted the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB). … Eventually, the observational evidence, most notably from radio source counts, began to favor Big Bang over Steady State. The discovery and confirmation of the cosmic microwave background radiation in 1964 secured the Big Bang as the best theory of the origin and evolution of the cosmos.”

    The coherence of the Big Bang with the Genesis account has been recognized ever since its conception. In fact, one of my favorite quotes is by Robert Jathrow, an agnostic who was a prominent NASA scientist. He writes (about the Big Bang): “At this moment it seems as though science will never be able to raise the curtain on the mystery of creation. For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”

    Another thing. You write: “What is the role of the trillions of stars that were formed billions of years before the formation of our Earth and what does it have to do with the creation of mankind for the purpose of displaying the glory of God?”
    By asking this question, you are implying that the size or age of the universe is somehow inconsistent with belief in the God of the Bible. I’ve heard this argument before, and it just doesn’t make sense. You have to think about the reverse question: Assume for a minute that the God of the Bible does exists — what would you EXPECT the universe to look like? Would you expect it to look different than it does? If so, why? To me, the universe I observe is very consistent with the God described in the Bible.

    • John

      November 15, 2012 at 10:07 am

      You live behind our time. Have you not heard that the latest craze in science is “String Theory” ??
      And yet, there are no three scientists on this planet, that can give you an explanation that is not different from any of the other two.
      In your long worded explanation, that time is finite, you concluded that the Big Bang is the best THEORY of the origin and evolution of the Cosmos. My THEORY is that the Cosmos always was.
      Here we have two opposing theories. Which one is right ? Both will stand until disproved.
      Let us both be happy in our respective way and turn over this discussion to our esteemed host on this Blog. Larry is an expert not only on creation, but also on how the Hell is constructed to accommodate sinners like me.

  8. Nathan T

    November 15, 2012 at 11:43 am

    John, be careful. There are lots of theories out there. Global warming is just a theory. Gravity is just a theory. Evolution is just a theory.

    In fact, my wife’s love for me is just a theory. God’s love for me is just a theory.

    You are absolutely right. My philosophy and your philosophy are both just theories. But theories are not all created equal. They are evaluated based on the evidence. Based on your statements, I suspect that you haven’t seriously considered some of the evidence for God, for Jesus, for miracles, or for the origin of the biblical texts. Again, I’ll refer you to an excellent website:

    Have a look and evaluate the evidence for yourself. Theories are only as valuable as the evidence that supports them.

    • John

      November 15, 2012 at 4:35 pm

      We not only have different theories, but we have also vastly different personalities. I could never accept the type of evidence you so readily accept as true evidence. They are based on “circular” logic.
      For example, take Larry’s sentence, extracted from the first part in this thread:
      ” For such a bright man, I am saddened by your presupposition that miracles are not possible, but only matters of “belief.” That is not how they are presented in the Bible.”
      I find it frustrating to have the need to point out how silly such circular logic is.

      • Nathan T

        November 16, 2012 at 9:12 am

        John, that’s interesting that you believe that you could never accept the type of evidence that I accept. That seems rather presumptuous since the only “evidence” I presented is a theory that is believed by 99% of scientists today. For further evidence, I referred you to a website. Have you actually consulted this website to see if it contains circular logic? Or is this another blind leap of faith that you are taking?

        I’ve been a skeptic through most of my life. Believe it or not, I’m the one constantly asking the “irreverent” questions. At one point or another in my life I’ve questioned nearly every claim and doctrine of the Christian faith. But time and time again in my life I have examined the evidence to see if the claims make sense. No, most of the claims of Christianity are not “provable”. But there are a great many claims of Christianity that ARE falsifiable. The evidence leads me towards Christianity – and it has CERTAINLY not falsified Christianity. Proof? No. But is it an evidence-based faith? Yes.

        From time to time I think about the claims of Christianity side-by-side with the claims of atheism. Neither view makes complete sense of the world I see – I would have to take a leap of “faith” to accept either one. But time and time again, the evidence has bolstered my Christian beliefs – not torn them down. As far as I can tell, atheism/agnosticism does not have any “evidence” supporting it. Rather, it is simply a denial (or refutation) of the evidence for theism. Therefore, for your atheism/agnosticism to be intellectually credible, you have to take a serious look at the evidence for Christianity. Otherwise it is a blind leap.

        Have a look at the early non-biblical Christian writings. Check out an see if the dating of the gospels (and Acts in particular) make sense. Read some of Paul’s letters and see if he seems like a deluded megalomaniac or a sincere follower of God. When were Paul’s letters written? Are they corroborated by other Biblical and non-biblical accounts? See if there are other ancient historians that mention Jesus. See if the geography and the officials mentioned in the New Testament match what was written by other ancient historians. Think about the implications of the Big Bang. Have a look at the information content of DNA and think seriously about where it conceivably could have come from. Think about the matter in the physical universe – our natural laws DESCRIBE it, they don’t explain it. Think a bit about the phenomenon of consciousness and why it would be necessary from an evolutionary perspective. Or morality. Are humans really unique among the animal species? What makes us “special”?

        After you think about these things, THEN ponder whether Christianity or atheism make more sense to explain the things you observed. Maybe you’ll come to a different conclusion than I have. But at least consider the evidence before coming to a conclusion.

  9. John

    November 16, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    Good for you, that you believe in numbers. You would be quite at home in the environment of several hundreds of years ago, when almost 100% of the scientist thought the earth is flat.
    The “evidence” you presented is based on what 99% of current scientists believe. What exactly is this ? Is it the Big Bang, the beginning of time or the existence of God?
    The references you refer me to are all in the support of the existence of God, written by true believers. I could just as well show you references to the non-existence of any God. But what is the point? I don’t want to argue for or against the existence of God. I only argue against unreasonable evidence of one kind or other.
    As an observer of human nature, I see in so many the desire of extending the life existence beyond death. If it would not for this, very few would have the need to believe in a God.



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