Apr
28

Voyagers Retreat 2017

Mar
26

Republicans Do Not have Majority in House

It looks like Republicans do have a majority based on those who say they are Republican, however the subgroup, Freedom Caucus (among others) is not Republican as they say. Last Friday’s vote is proof of that. When the Freedom Caucus did not get their way, they voted for Obamacare with the Democrats instead of the supporting our president on this important Republican bill. They voted as Democrats! They, at best, are Part-time Republicans that cannot be counted on. Friday’s vote was a major blow for our President Trump, the Republican party, and the country.

Why did they vote this way? I believe the Freedom Caucus did not understand the bill, which was written to pass in the Senate. And then later, two more phases would bring the law more in line with Republican principles. Was that too complicated? They also do not know how to legislate. How should that work? 1) during the formation of a bill, each group presents their ideas and tries to sell them the rest of the party. 2) When the bill comes for a vote on the floor, the members should come together, accepting they might not have sold all their ideas. That is called compromise. Simple.

Going forward, the Republican plan is to fix the tax code. I expect the Freedom Caucus will have their own ideas, some of which will not be accepted by the Republican party, and I expect the Freedom Caucus will do the same thing and vote Democratic, killing the bill again. Their actions are why It is clear they are not Republicans. I don’t believe are smart enough to be Republicans. I have no hope the tax code will be revised.

Comments? Go to my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/shaun.shaunfield

Mar
11

Comments Turned off

I am sorry to tell you that because of a flood of comments from people trying to sell Viagra, Cialis or payday loans I have had to turn off comments. Apparently these people making these comments are too stupid to know that all comments have to be approved before they are posted and that is not going to happen. I am working on a new book and am considering posting each chapter as it is completed. That way there is no wait for the complete book to be published. I will again allow comments when this happens and I implement some blocking software. Thanks for your patience and God bless.

Shaun

Oct
04

It all started on Saturday 9/24, a little over a week ago. The night before, my main PC shut down normally. But when I tried to turn it on that Saturday, all I got was a blue screen with numerous options, none which were good news. My machine would not boot up, and it was more serious than I realized at the time.

Obviously, my priorities changed. I had been working on the installation of the rain water harvesting system, but now that became second. Did I tell you I am installing the rain water system, after just talking about it for 15 years? I have all of the components, the tanks, pump, filters and associated fittings. But now my focus now was on getting my PC back up and running.

Saturday, I started with the usual things to fix problems, but none worked. I went to the Dell website and found their Preboot Assessment, which is a complete hardware check. It took about three hours to run and the hardware all checked out okay, indicating the problem was software. The more I checked it appeared that I would have to do complete computer reset, which means all the files and programs are erased and you start over. I also ordered the small ASUS laptop I had been looking as the dedicated PC to control the house automation system. It came in Monday and has been a great help having one machine running to check on internet for advice.

I did not feel my backup had been running well and probably was not up to date. However, I later found out that the backup was up to date – good news. The backup of disk E:, where I store photos and music, was not complete, however, I have the files from an old backup program and since not much changes here, I probably did not lose much. But I was still faced with the massive task of rebuilding everything, something on the order of 50,000 files. A lot can accumulate over the years.

I went to church Sunday morning and then worked on the PC that afternoon. It seemed like everything I tried did not work. I did my usual and prayed to God for assistance, however I did not get any response. That was unusual. Monday I called MicroSoft Windows 10 Technical support. They were not very helpful and the technical link that we started was disconnected before any progress was made.

Next, I called Dell Technical Assistance. The machine was still under warranty and I was connected to Sara who was very helpful. She provided a copy of the Windows 10 media which is the complete program. We then initiated the installation, but it did require a reset of the PC which meant that all partitions and data on all disk had to be removed. We had a clean machine on which to install a new copy of Windows 10. It then appeared that everything was now okay and I could start rebuilding the system; recovering files and programs and reinstalling some programs.

Over the next few days I did restore some critical files, but I could not install my mail program, Windows Live Mail. Again, everything I tried did not work even with prayers to God. I finally gave up and decided to go with Outlook the mail program which comes with Microsoft Office. Reinstalling Office should have been straightforward, but that did not work either. Like I said, everything I tried failed. It was now Friday and I called Microsoft Office support and was connected to Josh who was a great help. He tried but could not install Office either, and it was concluded there was a problem with the Windows 10 installed on the machine. We ended our session with the plan he would call me on Monday at 11:00 AM, assuming I would have the Windows 10 problem corrected.

The plan was to go back to Dell and see if we could get a good copy of Windows 10 installed. But first on Saturday I started search the internet for a solution and ran across a program for $29.95 that would scan my PC and fix the very problem I had. I bought it, did the scan and found many problems but no fix. Then, I was offered the assistance of one of their technical experts to fix the problem. I first rejected their offer of $250. They then dropped the amount to $150, which I also rejected. Finally, I accepted their offer of $100. I admit I was leery of the situation; were they real? It turns out they were. I began a session with Brian at 1:00 Saturday afternoon. He was very knowledgeable but not familiar with this specific problem. We worked on the problem until 7:00 PM without success. Sunday, we resumed the session at 10:00 AM and then worked until 7:00. We downloaded a new version of Windows 10 but could not get in to install. Again everything we tried did not work. I had skipped church to work with Brian. We seemed close but not quite there. Brian had already spent 15 hours on the problem, but we agreed to start again Monday at 11:00. I do not know how many hours had been spent on this problem, but it was all day for a week and two days.

I did not sleep well that night and woke at about 2:30. I had this idea I might could fix the problem and I needed it fixed by 11:00 that morning to resume the Office installation with Josh. As I turned on the machine, I remember reading that you should disable the UEFI mode, whatever that is. Then as I came to the BIOS setup screen again I saw a section with two options: UEFI and something else which I do not remember. It was like I was being guided through these steps. I selected the latter, pressed ENTER and then Windows 10 started to load. This was amazing. Now, whatever I did was the right thing, just the opposite from the days before. It was like night and day. Windows 10 installed without a hitch. My PC was working again.

I installed the mail program, the Chrome browser and restored a few critical files, all without a problem. Josh called at 11:00 and Office 365 was installed within the hour. I now had me PC back and as good as ever.

So what happened? Why was there such a difference in the early actions when nothing worked to Monday morning when everything worked? I have an idea, but it is somewhat farfetched. It is reasonable and fits the evidence, but is it true? You be the judge.

I believe that Satan was the cause of the PC crash and all of the problems this past week. But why did God not answer my prayers to help? I had been asking God to guide me and help me understand Him better. The plan was to take this information and share it with blogs on the website. The thought is that if an atheist is presented with a more accurate description of God then they would be more likely to believe. God has answered my prayers and given me many ideas about Himself, but I have not done anything with them like I had intended. That is why God did not answer my prayers to help fix my PC. Monday was Barbara’s birthday and I believe she went to God and told Him that for her birthday she would like Him to help Shaun, which He did. Satan is now gone and God is back with me. Do you have a better story to explain the events? Maybe all of these events were just coincident? Maybe my story is true; maybe only parts are true. One day we will find out.

You can expect to see blogs about what I have learned from God. This is a commitment I have made to God. I believe you will find my thoughts interesting, maybe controversial.

I have many files and programs yet to restore, but I am confident because God is with me again.

Praise God,

Shaun

Jul
04

God Speaks Again

As you may know from my books and writings, I have seen the evidence of God acting in my life. Well, it happened again last week. You my say it is just a matter of coincidence and that could still be true. However, the frequency of these events is not natural, so I will continue to believe God is involved with my life.

You also probably know that I have built my house, but I am still working on the courtyard. The courtyard is a large project, too large for someone my age to be doing. It is rather large, about 3000 square feet and built up about three feet with retaining walls and then filled with about 400 cubic yards of caliche that I am digging up in the back of the property.  Last Wednesday, 6/22, I was reviewing all the work I still had to do and became very depressed. It looked as if would I would spend my old age working on the project and would still not get it finished. This is not what I had hoped for in retirement.

I prayed hard to God seeking advice on what to do – could I eliminate some features, plan better, become more efficient or whatever? The next day, I felt somewhat better and went to work moving some dirt with the tractor. Then I hit the main water line coming into the house from the well and it broke. I had no water from the well. This setback was not the response I had hoped for from God. I had hope for movement forward, not backward.

Then I realized God was speaking to me after all. “Do not feel sorry for yourself, you are blessed, you have the knowhow and the resources to fix the break. You can do it. Furthermore, you can also finish the courtyard. You just need to work smarter and I will help guide you” In addition, I just happen to be reading the book, Healthy Faith, by Dr. Bill Nichols. The book addresses the issue of setting priorities and getting to the root of an issue. It was perfect for answering the above questions. Was this just another coincidence? I think not.

I had a one-day setback, but now I have my positive attitude back. Thanks to God. Now I am reviewing all of my projects and setting new priorities. I expect many activities will be eliminated.

Have a blessed day,

Shaun

Jun
27

This current election cycle is amusing to watch, but would be even more so if not for all the junk mail and phone calls. I can have this view of amusement since I have removed myself from the election activities – there is no way I have any reasonable representation under the current system. I have given up on the Republican party and have become a Patriot. I will vote a straight ticket, however there are no candidates. Stop and look at how the system now works. Everything in Washington is about money, money, money. To get elected takes millions and millions of dollars that come from wealthy individuals, super PACs, lobbyist, and corporations, thanks to the Supreme Court and the Chief Justice, John Williams. Elected representatives spend about half their time soliciting money to get reelected. Now stop and think about who really is represented when an important issue come up? Am I represented or is it all the wealthy people who gave millions to their campaign? Right, I and you are not represented. In effect, we are taxed without representation. This is the system we have evolved into and those in control like it very well. Their wealth keeps increasing as shown by the statistics. There is the continuing urging to get out and vote – that is just the patriotic thing to say. And they well know that advertising works and votes can be bought, and that is why they want you to vote. John Roberts apparently did not know how well advertising works when the Supreme Court gave rich people unlimited amount of campaign contributions. We use to have one person, one vote, but that ended with that ruling. Now my vote is so diluted it doesn’t matter.

So what is amusing? Essentially every elected official owes some wealthy person or organization for their being in office. When an important issue comes up, there is payback time. Do you think that wealthy people who gave millions would not expect something in return? Do you think your interests are even a factor? A very large number of “ordinary” people now have this view and are fed up with Washington. Surveys show Washington with the lowest rating in recent years if not ever. That is the reason for the strength of Donald Trump; he is an outsider. The Republican Party elite, those who have been in control through money, are slow learners and are now just realizing what is happening. For the first time you may have someone in office that the elite did not put there and who they have no control over. They are panicking. So what are they doing? Well they are doing just what you would expect. They are using money to try to buy Trump’s defeat using smear tactics. These are not ads in support of someone but rather ads to bring down Trump, the only strong Republican candidate. How stupid is that? Is their motive a dislike of Trump or is it that they will lose control? Trump has demonstrated he is a winner and these attacks on him may just increase his strength when people realize they are being duped. But they are also giving strength to Hillary and the Democrats. Control of the Republican party is so important to these people that they would sacrifice the election. Their interest is control and since they own representatives on both side of the aisle, control is more important than which party wins.  Talk about greed.

Now Trump has some mannerisms that are not liked by some people. He is rough at times. Truth is like that sometimes. It is refreshing to see someone not worried about political correctness. For example, he says he will control our southern border (by building a wall) and because of that the Pope says he is not Christian. Trump uses language that Max Lucado does not approve of and he declares Trump is not a Christian. I wonder if either one of them could ever forgive Trump and are such statements themselves Christian?

I believe that Trump as president would surround himself with good people. He did not get to where he is by doing otherwise. This country is in deep trouble and I see no solutions coming out of Washington or any of the candidates. The politicians keep talking about what are the important topics such as immigration, the debt, abortion, health care, terrorist, Middle East peace, the decline in wealth of the middle class, meaningful jobs for all willing to work, racism, crime, unfair taxes, the flight of companies leaving the U.S., etc. Now stop and think what progress have we made on any one of these topics. Do the rich really care about any of these issues? I think not, because if they did Washington would have done something. Basically, the special interest contributors will not entertain any compromise; that is the primary reason for the lack of progress on any of the important issues facing our country. I believe they like it just the way it is so they can continue to make more money. Meanwhile the country keeps digging ourselves in deeper. We need someone like Trump who thinks big and believes that the U.S. can be great again. We need someone not controlled by the rich and is able to get things done. This is radical thinking and maybe this change is what scares some people. I think that the fact that the Republican elite are worried is what makes Trump so appealing to me. I think I might just vote for him, even though there is some risk for change we might not like.

Have a blessed Day,

Shaun

(Note that I wrote this blog on March 3 of this year, but I did not publish it until now with minor editing. I believe it is still true after four months. We are in interesting but troubling times).

Jan
21

Ten Years Without Bobbie

Today, January 21, 2016, marks ten years since my dear wife, Bobbie (Barbara), passed away. You ask: “how could it be 10 years?” You may remember the story of that day. She had suffered the previous six months with the cancer and was not very responsive. The whole family had been here, but now it was just our three kids, Julie, Jim and Jena. The rest had gone home to wait the inevitable. I wondered if Bobbie would respond to our song, Since I Met You Baby, My Whole Life Has Changed, by Ivory Joe Hunter. Around noon, we put the song on, loud enough for her to hear. I went in the bedroom to be with her and talk to her. While she did not speak with her voice, she did with her eyes. I told her I loved her and she told me she loved me with her eyes. I then told her it was okay to go be with Jesus; she had suffered enough. Then just as the song ended, she let go of life and was gone. That was the saddest moment of my life. However, the events that followed showed me she was in Heaven with our Jesus and God. I had a great piece knowing that. I cannot hold back the tears as I relive this moment. I had accepted Christ only five months before that day and I do know how I would have survived without God and the love He showed me during that time.

However, while the sadness of the separation from her is always present, the grief is gone and I have a lot of joy remembering the times we had together, 49 years with nearly 48 years in marriage. Who could ask for more? We really should have not been together: The Bible says a Christian, like Bobbie, should have not been around me, a non-believer, and why would I want to be with someone as narrow-minded as this Christian girl? It was because of the love; it came from God. I truly believe God put us together in 1956 and gave each of us His kind of God strong love we had for each other.

If I had only one word to describe humans, it would be “relationships”. Practically everything we do involves a relationship with someone. There are all kind of relationships, but love is one of the most important. And love of our spouse and family is the most important of all. But it also brings the greatest sadness we experience. And that is when we are separated from our loved ones. I remember as a kid when we had visited my grandparents and the deeply sad feeling I had when we left. I experience it again last Christmas. Jena, her husband, Troy, T.A. my grandson and his girlfriend, Lindsay, had spent Christmas at my place. But when they left and went back to Boerne, I that immensely sad feeling from separation and it lasted much of the day even though they were only 12 miles away. This terrible feeling, we have from separation must be the feeling we would have if we are not in Christ and are separated from God at the end-of-time.

Today, I really have more joy than sadness and that is remembering the good times we had. Bobbie and I had so many days of joy. Good times, we did have with a lot of laughter, almost every day. I use to delight in making her laugh. However, I admit she would laugh at almost anything I did. Often the laughter would be due to some silly thing that happened in an intimate moment.  We would then realize that we could not tell anyone about it. Our life together was an adventure. We were always doing something out of the ordinary. We were married on Valentine’s day, only six weeks after being back together following a six month separation. There was our start with me as a private in the Army in El Paso, me finishing my EE degree, the move to Baltimore to work at Westinghouse, the coming back to Texas for the job at TI, the first sports car, the sailboats, the new house and swimming pool, the year in San Antonio building houses, the move back to Dallas, self-employed writing software, the job at Honeywell, trips to Hawaii and Mexico, the early retirement, traveling around Texas, living in our motor home and then building our own home in Boerne with our two hands. But more important than all of that is our three great kids who were part of the adventure. And of course Bobbie had her church work, teaching the two-year-olds Sunday School class and I had my engineering work. How special it is to have a good time with someone you love. I don’t know which was better: me loving Bobbie or her loving me back.

I wonder if the past ten years have been part of God’s plan. I know He did not take Bobbie from me, but I believe He could have prevented her death. However, if Bobbie were still here I would not have written any books and there are at least a few people who might not be in Christ now. Did God know this would be the case? And then I wonder what the next years will be like. I am 78 now and wonder how many years I have left?

While I have a great amount of joy in my life today, I still miss Bobbie. I know I will be with her again someday and fantasize what that reunion will be like. What will it be like to be in Heaven and hold her again? I know that joy will make everything else here pale in comparison.

Have a blessed day,

Shaun

Sep
22

After a book is released there is time to reflect on what was said, and as a result there are new thoughts that might be slightly different than what was in the book. While not drastically different, they are more like additional information and insight. I want to share those reflections with you. These thoughts are probably the most important of all my Blogs to date.

First, there is the realization of a new thought that is so important it should be added to the attributes God gave Homo sapiens 200kya. I expected that there would be such a realization and discussed the possibility on page 122 of HUMANS. That new thought is that there is life after death. Dinesh D’Souza in his book, Life after Death, The Evidence[1], made the comment, “The universality of belief in an afterlife is astonishing, because life after death is not one of those empirically obvious beliefs that one would expect every society from the dawn of mankind to share.” D’Souza also pointed out that life after death is not only a religious idea, but also one of the early Greek philosophers. Given the universality of the thought, it meets the criteria of NEA, and therefore was part of the attributes and thoughts that God gave Homo sapiens. Now if it is just a thought, one might ask if it is really true. I suggest that since God gave us the idea, then it is the absolute truth. The fact of this thought being given humans at the beginning of Homo sapiens might one of the strongest arguments for life after death.

Second, consider this. What starts off as fairly weak and maybe nebulous thoughts, such as our realization of the moral code, is now transferred back to the beginning of Homo sapiens and is shown to be given by God. That means that the weak thought we might have had now has the strength of coming directly from God. It is an amazing transformation of a weak thought to one that is rock solid, all realized by thinking and the rules of logic that God gave us humans.

Third, I believe I was too conservative in my presentation of these key attributes given by God. I now think that the strength of the logic, in effect, proves the source of these ideas was God and the thoughts are absolutely true. Some naturalists might object to the interpretation of the supernatural event being an act of God, since they do not believe in the supernatural or God. However, the most reasonable explanation is that God was involved. In Appendix A of HUMANS, I point out that anyone who lets their mere opinion, such as rejecting the supernatural without any evidence, precede the beginning of an investigation is practicing poor science.

Because of the importance of the things realized in HUMANS, I would like to summarize the specific items that were the result of specific actions of God:

  • Origin-of-life
  • Consciousness and all the attributes
  • The moral code
  • The fact that there is life after death
  • Our conscience
  • The sense of a god
  • Our free will

For the first time that I am aware, all of these items were realized using secular analysis and logic and confirm what was already known from the Bible.

Fourth, I am more convinced that the above attributes, our HDS (Human Defining Set) really is our soul, especially since we now see that life after death is true. It makes such sense and is the obvious definition of our soul. This is significant since now we know what constitutes our soul and we now know how we acquired it.

Fifth, all of this discussion provides more evidence of the existence of God.

God bless,

Shaun

 

 

 

 

[1] D’Souza, Dinese, 2009. Life after Death, The Evidence. Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, Inc. p 40.

Sep
16

HUMANS – Who Are We?

The main focus of this blog is about humans; but what that really means is how do we relate to God? How do humans view God; what do we really know about God? To describe God, we must first better understand ourselves. This is not an easy task, since we are too close to ourselves, and even a mirror does not provide enough distance for a truly objective perspective. However, difficult as it may be, I am going to try and provide some insight about ourselves that I believe you might find interesting.

In the book, HUMANS, I described the fascinating story of how we got here. We see that our story began with God’s introductions of Homo sapiens, 200kya in Africa. However, I stopped the story about the time humans became complete with full consciousness, and I believe that was the point in time that we became God’s children. This was a long time in the making – almost 200,000 years. This also was about the time we were beginning the major advancements in civilization and that advancement now has have been going on for the past 10,000 years.  This period is the most intriguing and interesting of all human history, but it is also the most difficult to capture the true significance. I find it interesting that we need historians to describe the significance of even recent events, even those that we remember as first hand witnesses.

If you look at humans today, you see a marvelous and complex creature involved with activities, too many to list – we engage in trillions of different activities. In these activities, you see the full spectrum of possible things that humans might engage in from the very good to the very evil and with every level of goodness in between. In addition to the specifically good or evil activities there are those which are neither. I know the evil activities must sadden God, as he would like all to pass His test and go to Heaven.  The purpose of the testing will be a special topic to be covered in detail later. In this blog, I will focus on the good of humans, as it shows what humans are capable of and maybe that will be our mode of behavior when we go to Heaven. I very well could have a lengthy discussion of the evils of today – the things humans do to each other either through corruption or in the atrocities of unnecessary war. Almost everything imaginable is how you might describe what we do to each other. This topic bothers me greatly and I might talk more about this topic at a later date; however, if you want to know more just listen to the evening news.

I will start this description of us with the physical and then finish with the mental. There are about 7,000,000 humans on earth today and there is a remarkable sameness in our physical makeup. We all have the same bone structure starting with 270 bones at birth. Some bones fuse together and by adulthood, the bone count is 206.[1] The rest of the human anatomy is amazingly the same with respect to the muscle, organs and the function of each. We are the same anatomically as the first Homo sapiens. This sameness is also found in essentially all other living things. This sameness is so common in evolution theory that there is an appropriate word used to describe it – stasis. I believe that stasis illustrates the robustness of the DNA coding system – no change over many, many generations. This concept of stasis is contrary to Darwin’s theory of creation of new creature species by long periods of small change. We will see that this is not the only problem with Darwin’s theory, when I discuss evolution later.

I should note that stasis is common to all other living creatures, animals, plants, fish, birds, etc. It is common to see fossils of animal millions of year old that are the same as creatures today. When you look at humans, you see not only this sameness, but you also see a whole spectrum of cosmetic differences. There are many different heights, weights, shapes, skin color, hair and hair color. The differences are so great that it is rare to see two humans that look alike. This is not the case with all other living things; members of a given species, other than humans, all look alike to me. Maybe it is just my inability to see the subtle differences that may be present. This human sameness and yet differences may best be described by the nature of our DNA code. There must be a portion of the code that is protected from change, while another part is susceptible to the variation in climate and other environment factors that humans have experienced over long periods of time. I believe this is micro-evolution in operation. However, once these variations are created in the people of a given culture, then we see the sameness again.

The physical properties of humans are interesting, but the real significance of humans lies in the mind. I keep the same distinction between brain and mind that I used in the book, HUMANS, p23. I like the concept of mind-brain dualism, where the brain is the physical organ that resides in our skull, while the mind is more spiritual, our soul and independent from the brain. This view has gone out of favor, but I believe it maybe the more accurate way of describing the real facts. In HUMANS we saw how the Complete Human emerged with what I call the Human Defining Set (HDS). The set of attributes includes all the attributes of consciousness, plus the moral code, our conscience, the concept of a god and our free will. Not other creature has these attributes; they are what make humans unique.

The dominate attribute is the ability to think. It is really what makes us human. I am thinking as I write these words – do they convey the desired thoughts? You are thinking as you read these words – are you getting the intended thought? Almost every activity humans engage in involves thinking. The primary exception is where we require automatic, repetitive actions where there is not time to think about the detailed set of actions, such as in many sports. You cannot think about the details of the golf swing while you are swinging – it must be automatic. This act of training for a specific action has allowed humans to attain spectacular performance in many areas. We celebrate those champions who have achieved these spectacular results.

Notice that I describe the attributes of humans and the human mind by the activities they have engaged in. Probably one of the most significant advancement was with agriculture, which eventually provided a surplus of food and a surplus of time. This allowed humans to think of activities in other fields and the division of labor (and thought) was born. Within a short 4,000 years, we see the first pyramids in Egypt. Compared to the minor advancements made during the first 150,000 years, 4,000 is a short period of time. Remember that these people, a short time earlier, were instinctive driven, hunter-gatherers. In the next 3,000 years we see the implementation of metals, copper, bronze and iron refined to make tools and weapons. The very significant invention of writing was first observed in Mesopotamia in about 3,300 BC. By 733 BC we see Rome established. This now is within the time frame of the Old Testament. Then, there is the period of Christ and the spread of Christianity thorough much of the Old World.

There seems to be a slowdown in advancements in during the next period. There were some, just not at the same rate as earlier. Then beginning with the 15th century we see the discovery of the new world and the beginning of the great sea voyages that essentially brought all parts of the world together. Then beginning with Galileo around 1600 we see the pace of advancements increase. Just the names of a few of the innovators give you the idea of the pace of advancement in the past 100 years. A few of these names include: Newton, Pascal, Maxwell, Ohm, Darwin, Lavoisier, Curie, Planck, Bohr, Fermi, Wright, Ford, Einstein, Kilby, Biard, Moore, Jobs, Gates, Watson, Crick, and Hawking. I admit to the bias based of my own experience in technology. There are hundreds more innovators not only in technology but also in the arts, literature, architecture, medicine, government and even agriculture. Although my background is in technology, I feel that one of the most important areas of human activity is in the arts. This is where you see the society defined and expressed.

There is much more to our existence here on Earth than just our advancements. There are the acts of how we treat each other. Here we see the full spectrum of behavior ranging from respect and love to hate and killing. The human mind with free will and the influence of Satan is capable of all levels of behavior. I believe that most people can resist the influence of Satan and behave moderately well, at least without killing their fellow humans. Others seem to have an obsession with evil and doing harm to others. We all are guilty of some level of sin and I believe our behavior is part of a test. I have some theories about the testing God is giving us and that will be in a later blog.

I have covered much of human history in these short paragraphs, when it really takes volumes to describe these human activities. The important thing to keep in mind is that all of these advancements began in thinking mind of an innovator. It is the thinking mind that makes us human unique. I am going to cover knowledge in detail in a later blog, but for now I want o make the following point about humans and knowledge. Knowledge brought to light by the human mind can take different forms:

  • Rediscovery of knowledge known by others earlier
  • Discover of some fact in nature not previously known
  • Combination of existing knowledge to create new knowledge
  • Creation of a new concept not in nature and not previously realized

The discussion of knowledge is important because of God’s knowledge. He knows everything, but what does that really mean? The later discussion of knowledge is also very interesting, and I believe I will have used all of the above points in the discussion. I also believe that based on my initial thinking about God and knowledge that additional insight will be gained about God by looking at His knowledge.

It should be clear in this short discussion that humans are a marvelous and unique creature, created by God to be his children. I can think of no other way to describe what we are other that being created by God. How can we not realize His existence and presence and love Him as He desires? Keep in mind that this blog is part of the Knowing God Project and that these initial blogs are setting the stage for complex and deep thoughts to follow. Next blog will be: Opinions – A Human Trait

Have a blessed Day,

Shaun

 

 

 

 

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_bones_of_the_human_skeleton. [Accessed 15 September 2015]

Sep
07

Knowing God Project

It has been two weeks since I posted my first blog, and now I think it appropriate that I tell you why I am here writing again. Maybe this should have been the first blog, as it defines why I am doing this; it is a statement of my goal. The reason is simple: I have been on a quest to know more about our God and that has been on my mind ever since I became a Christian, 10 years ago last month. I call this quest on this blog the Knowing God Project. There are two reasons I want to know more about God:

  1. The more I know about God, the more I love Him and the more I am in awe with His being. When I gave a talk about my coming to Christ at an Emmaus meeting some years ago, I wanted to describe the strong love I had for Barbara, who had passed several years earlier. I realized that love was strong like the love God has for us. In fact, I came to believe God placed my love for Barbara on my heart. I do not know which brought the most joy, my loving her or her loving me back. Now I reverse the story and I say my love for God is strong like the love I have (still) for Barbara. And frankly, I like the feeling I have by loving God.
  2. I believe the understanding we humans have for God is incomplete, and that if we had a more complete and correct definition of God, more non-believers would say that makes sense and would consider the truth of God’s existence. That is all it takes to become a believer, as there is an abundance of solid evidence that He really does exist, and most will accept Christ, whenever they take the first step and consider.

 

Why do I say the understanding we have of God is incomplete? Consider the following analysis. Because of our limited human capability, we can never have a complete understanding of God. Any definition of God that does not use the word “mystery” or has the phrase “I do not know” is incomplete, even in human terms. Assume we could assign a number to our level of understanding of God. Let us assume that the complete level of understanding in God’s realm is one million. I would place the maximum possible level of human understanding of God in human’s realm at about ten, but the actual level of understanding is only about five, or one half of the human potential of understanding. The numbers are chosen only to illustrate a point. I do not believe we are at the maximum human capability in our understanding of God. Therefore, if this is true, there is much more we can know about God. There is much evidence of God in nature and I wonder if God wonders if we will ever see the clues. Does anyone think we are at the maximum human capability in understanding God?

Why do I feel our understanding of God is incomplete? There are several reasons:

  • Much of the theology of God is based on the teaching of the ancient Greek philosophers, instead of the Bible. While they were brilliant, they were not always correct in their conclusions. I think it would be okay to use their thoughts as a starting point, but any conclusions should be backed up with the Bible.
  • There is much debate about the nature of God. For example, is God temporal (in time) or is God timeless and outside of time? The true answer to this question is important, as it has bearing on other attributes of God.
  • Humans because of their attempt to exalt God, tend to describe Him to the maximum limit of their imagination. But this can only be stated in human terms when a true description would actually be required in God’s terms. The result is we have an anthropomorphism. An example often cited is that God is omniscient; “God’s knowledge is infinite, and He knows everything.” There is a problem with this. If God knows everything, then there is no more that can be added to His knowledge; however, infinite means ever-increasing. You cannot have it both ways. I believe a better interpretation is that God knows all that is knowable, but that His knowledge is potentially infinite meaning knowledge is ever-increasing. That would mean that the increase in His knowledge is God’s learning. This assumes that knowledge is also potentially infinite, which I believe is the case. Now to say “God learns” bothers some people. The only way that is not the case is for knowledge to be finite and God would know it all, but His knowledge would also be finite, not infinite. I accept that this might not be the last word about God’s omniscience, but it is a starting point for further discussion.

 

I believe there is more to our misunderstanding of God, as we shall see later. The obvious question is: how do I intend to learn more about God? God has provided us with two main sources about Him and His nature, the Book of Scripture and the Book of Nature. Since I stated too late in life to ever become a biblical scholar, I can at least possibly make a contribution in the science and study of nature. Being an engineer with experience in science and research, I feel confident in that field. Furthermore, the above thought process about God’s knowledge and learning, along with the discoveries about the origin-of-life, God being the source of the key human attributes and God as the source of the Moral Code discussed in my recent book, HUMANS shows that I can contribute to the knowledge of God.

John Wesley said there were four sources when studying theology:

  • Scripture
  • Reason
  • Experience
  • Tradition

Wesley placed scripture as the primary source with the other three supporting it. In 1964 Albert C. Outler referred to these four sources as the Wesleyan Quadrilateral.[1] I would add one more, which is the Book of Nature. This approach would use the scientific approach using secular evidence and logic. I believe the reason the Wesley did not include The Book of Nature is that science, the study of nature, was just getting started. Wesley was born in 1703 and Sir Isaac Newton, an early innovator in modern science, died in 1726, an overlap of only 23 years. At any rate, my main focus will be on the science side of the evidence combining that with logic and reason. And anything realized from the Book of Nature or the other three sources cannot conflict with the Book of Scripture.

Much of what I have discussed is philosophical and that, while in search of truth, can often lead to mere opinion, especially when there is limited evidence. My career in engineering was always after the absolute truth; philosophy or opinion had little value in creating a real product that worked as designed. The same diligence toward truth will be followed here.

This blog is somewhat of an experiment; I am not sure this approach to learning more about God has ever been tried. It is very important that you understand most of the statements I make, especially the initial ones, are hypothesis. That means they are just food for thought and I am not saying I believe them or not. These statements will need to be confirmed with evidence and/or reason.  As time goes on and a truthful pattern emerges, I will make a more definitive statement about what I actually believe.  Hopefully, we shall see some level of consensus emerge.

For this to be successful, I need participation of a number of followers. This type of discussion might not appeal to some, but I hope it will be of interest to a reasonable number. That number shows up in the count of people who follow the blog and who subscribe to notifications of a new blog, shown at the top right of each page on this website. If this discussion is interesting to you, then tell your friends and we should see the number of subscribers increase; if the discussion in not of interest, then the number of subscribers will decrease. You can unsubscribe with just a simple click. I also need your comments, either to agree or disagree or add another viewpoint or to ask a question.  Keep in mind that all statements, comments and responses must be respectful and civil. I have to approve all comments before they are posted.

Also be aware that from time to time, I might have thoughts unrelated to the Knowing God Project and the blog allows that freedom. I invite you to join the Knowing God Project. I believe it will be fruitful. We shall see if any more knowledge about God can be realized. I believe it can.

Next time, I am considering looking at just how great and awesome God and His realm and heaven must be like. While we cannot know the details, we do have some indications from the Bible and nature. Having some understanding of this subject is important in understanding God and it shows why we are so limited in obtaining an accurate understanding.

 

God Bless!

[1] http://www.theopedia.com/wesleyan-quadrilateral