God As Creator Of Order
The first important concept about God in the system of Ordergonics is the concept of God as the creator of order. In Ordergonics, as in the Bible, order and creation are so interdependent as to be almost synonymous. Order is the means of creation, and creation is the means of order.
The very first sentences of the book of Genesis read: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters."
The expression of the earth as formless and empty suggests that the earth was without order. The Bible says God's first act of creation was to bring order to nothingness by creating the heavens and earth, and his second act was to bring order to the darkness by creating light.
I do not mean that we must take the book of Genesis literally, and readers who have serious doubts about the reality of God will probably not find the Genesis account persuasive. Nevertheless, it beautifully expresses the concept of increasing order which God brought to his creation as he made all things.
Chance As The Absence of Cause
Against this biblical and philosophical concept is the more modern notion of evolution by chance. Chance is defined by Webster's as "the absence of any cause or series of causes of events as they actually happen that can be predicted, understood or controlled: often personified or treated as a positive agency." This definition is significant in its emphasis on not perceiving any causes which can be "predicted, understood or controlled." In the absence of such understanding, one assumes no cause, hence chance. But suppose the reality of the situation is not that there is no cause for certain "chance" events, but that the cause cannot be perceived due to the limits of human understanding.
If one flips a coin in the air a hundred times, the chances are very strong that approximately half the time the coin will land heads up, and half the time tails up. The more this is repeated, the greater the probability approaches an even 50-50. Statisticians even refer to such phenomena as "the laws of chance." But how can there be "laws of chance" when the very meaning of "chance" is "without apparent cause"? The reader will see a strong parallel here between the concept of chaos and the concept of chance. What is at work is not the lack of cause or order, but the limits of human perception or precise understanding in the face of an unpredictable phenomenon such as the repeated motion of a thumb flipping a coin into the air.
Increasing order, as observed in increasingly complex forms of life and as posited by Darwin as the result of "evolution," does not result from chance or a lack of cause. As we will see later, the odds against life forming by "chance," that is, without any cause, much less "evolving" to the level of human life by chance, are so overwhelming that in all the universe's 16 billion years, chance could not come close to producing even a single-cell organism. Darwin was woefully ignorant of the incredibly complex order of life.
I used to think of evolution as Darwin originally did, as God's way of creating ever-higher levels of order of life. But it is more precise to say that evolution is only a theory based on limited understanding and inadequate calculation. Again, we will delve into this more deeply in future chapters. The point here is that the theory or belief that all advances of order are caused, and do not occur by "chance," is a more plausible description of the phenomena of reality than the theory of evolution. Through faith one may also reasonably believe that God is the cause of all "natural" advances of order.
God, Nature and the Supernatural
In a previous chapter we described nature as existence independent of humanity. As post-Newtonian science found more and more "natural" explanations for all phenomena, the notion of God in nature became unfashionable, and science pushed God out of "nature."
To defend their beliefs, well-meaning theologians developed the idea of God as "supernatural." Many people still believe in a "supernatural" God today. But unfortunately, many others find this idea wholly unacceptable, and in rejecting the supernatural, they also reject God. Supernatural means, to them, unreal.
However, the Bible does not speak of God as "supernatural." The Bible speaks of God as real, as real as anything else in existence. In the system of Ordergonics, God is indeed real, as real as anything else in existence.
There is only one reality, and that reality includes "nature." God is not a part of "nature" but he is real, the creator of nature, who acts in nature as he acts also in human life.
Every law of physics, chemistry and biology, every discovery of science, all mathematics, every orderly aspect of the "natural" universe is the result of God's creation of order. Order is the medium through which God acts upon the matter and energy of the universe, and through which he has acted since the dawn of time.
Our senses only detect matter and energy in "nature". But our mind perceives order in nature. And our mind knows, inherently and intuitively, that this order is not accidental; this order was caused or created. Mankind's hunger and passion for meaning in life, for the meaning of human existence, is his hunger and passion for understanding order in all its dimensions, and ultimately for the source of order, the Creator God. There is only one reality, of which nature is a part. Order is the medium through which God has created and is continuing to create "nature."
Proving The Existence of God
Throughout the ages philosophers and theologians have attempted to prove the existence of God. Some have relied on logic, some on human experience. The fact is, you cannot prove something to someone who refuses to accept the bases of your proof. This means you cannot prove the existence of God to someone unless they accept the possibility of the existence of a Supreme Being, Creator or some other dimension of reality that necessarily leads, by logic or other demonstration, to acceptance of the reality of God.
Although deductive (logical) proof of the existence of God may involve circular reasoning, demonstrative or inductive proof of the existence of God is possible. For many believers, the most compelling "proof" of the existence of God is the so-called Argument from Design. The universe is so intricately designed, the argument goes, that it must have been created by a Designer, namely God. It is inconceivable that so much complex design, from the structure of the atoms to the vastness of the universe, could exist without a Supreme Intelligence working out the infinite details of all that complexity.
In contemporary times, enormous scientific (inductive) evidence has accrued to indicate that the universe did not evolve by chance but instead came into existence at the beginning of time by forces which created perfect conditions for the eventual creation of human life on earth.
The Scientific Evidence For A Creator God
The scientific evidence that the universe was created by a Supreme Intelligence in a manner essential for human life has been summarized by astrophysicist Dr. Hugh Ross in his fascinating book, "The Fingerprint of God." Some key points cited by Ross include:
1. "The gravitational coupling constant (the force of gravity) determines what kinds of stars are possible in the universe." If the force of gravity were stronger, stars like our sun would be more massive and would burn too rapidly and erratically to allow life on a nearby planet. If the force were weaker, stars would not have the mass necessary to form the heavy elements which are essential "for building planets or life itself."
2. "The strong nuclear force coupling constant holds together the particles in the nucleus of an atom. If the strong nuclear force were slightly weaker, multi-proton nuclei would not hold together. Hydrogen would be the only element in the universe." If the force were slightly stronger, hydrogen would be rare or non-existent, and so would water and many other chemicals essential to life.
3. "The weak nuclear force coupling constant affects the behavior of leptons. Leptons form a whole class of elementary particles (e.g. neutrinos, electrons, and photons) that do not participate in strong nuclear reactions" which we noted in #2 above. Again, if the weak nuclear force were slightly weaker or stronger, the abundance of varied elements in the universe, and therefore life, would not exist.
4. "The electromagnetic coupling constant binds electrons to protons in atoms." If this constant varied only slightly, "the necessary molecules for life would not exist."
5. "The ratio of protons to electrons establishes the role of gravity relative to electromagnetism. When the universe was less than a second old, anti-protons quickly annihilated all their partner protons, and just a few protons were left. The same thing happened with electrons and positrons (anti-electrons). Amazingly, the protons and electrons that remained were equivalent in number to better than one part in 1037 (1 followed by 37 zeros). Had the balance been any different, electromagnetism would have so dominated gravity that galaxies, stars, and planets could never have formed."
6. "The ratio of electron to proton mass also determines the characteristics of the orbits of electrons about nuclei. A proton is 1836 times more massive than an electron. If the electron to proton mass ratio were much larger or smaller, again, the necessary molecules would not form, and life would be impossible."
7. "The age of the universe governs what kind of stars exist." The universe is widely believed by scientists to be about 16 billion years old. If it were any younger or older, stars would not have developed in the variety in which they now exist, and "no environment suitable for life would exist."
Ross lists many other factors, including:
• The expansion rate of the universe
• The entropy level of the universe (we will explain entropy in a subsequent chapter)
• The mass of the universe
• The uniformity of the universe
• The stability of the proton
• The fine structure constants
• The velocity of light
• The nuclear energy levels of certain atoms
• The distance between the stars
• The rate of luminosity increase for stars
• The design of the sun-earth-moon system
-- These and other factors of the incredible order of the universe point powerfully to the fact that the universe was designed and created, at least in part, to support human life on earth. (These factors do not rule out the possibility that intelligent life exists on other planets, but the chances of that occurring are apparently very remote.) Of course, one may always cite the anthropic principle, which states that all of this reasoning is simply perfect hindsight, in that had these characteristics of the universe not occurred, there would be no human beings here to observe it anyway.
The Universe Did Not Create Man
A further blow to the naive idea of man "evolving" through nature can be found in the statistics necessary for life. This is a complex idea, and we will discuss it in further chapters. But it is linked to the extremely high level of order which human life represents. As Ross notes, the human genome, which is the set of chromosomes necessary for reproduction, contains about six billion nucleotides, which are certain chemicals found in and essential for the nucleus of cells. The support and reproduction of life inside human cells is incredibly complex. After going through other complex scientific facts, Ross states that "the universe is at least ten billion orders of magnitude (10 followed by 10 billion zeros!) too small or too young for life to have assembled itself by natural processes. Such calculations have been made by researchers, both theists and non-theists, in a variety of disciplines."
An Incredible Magnitude Of Order
The point of all this is that the universe was certainly created and developed by an ordering force or Supreme Intelligence, who created earth to support human life. Human life is far too complex, by ten billion orders of magnitude, to have evolved by "chance" or "nature" alone. God has created the universe and human life through a magnitude of order so great that it is indeed awesome.
God created order. God created everything in the universe out of order and energy. Everything that exists is composed of order and energy, created by God.
The God Of The Bible
The God revealed through the Bible creates higher levels of order through various stages:
(1) The initial order of creating the world of nature, including humanity, as revealed in Genesis.
(2) The order of the covenant relationship with the ancient Hebrews, through which God kept his promise— "I will be your God, and you will be my people"— while the Hebrews vacillated between periods of obedience and periods of disobedience including idolatry.
(3) The order of God’s Law, revealed in the Ten Commandments and subsequent rules of life followed by devout Jews.
(4) The new order of life revealed through Jesus, the Sermon on the Mount, and the great commandments: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind and strength," and "Love your neighbor as yourself."
(5) The Bible also claims that there will be a final revolution in the order of life when Jesus Christ returns again to unite all believers in everlasting life and to destroy sin and evil forever.
Through each of these stages, a higher level of order is revealed, order created by God according to his divine wisdom, and we might believe, mankind’s capacity to respond to that higher order.
The Special Order Of Love
Those who believe that love is the supreme religious value, and that order seems somewhat cold and rigid by comparison, may reflect on the interdependence of order and love. Just looking at the "great commandments," for instance, both emphasizing love, one finds the implicit commandment of how we should order our love. God is the highest object of human love, and we are to love him not only with our hearts but also with our minds, soul and strength—that is, with our total being, our whole life, with all that we have and are.
Believers may also reflect on the biblical injunction to "love our neighbor as ourselves." This does not say to love ourselves more than our neighbor, or to love our neighbor more than ourselves, but to balance (order) the love for self and others. So the right order of love is God first, then others and self in balance. One could also say that loving God first enables us to balance love for self and others. As imperfect human beings, it is easy for many of us to put ourselves so far ahead of others that we live very selfishly. But some believers, including ministers, have made the mistake of putting self-love so far down the priority list that they ultimately damage their own ability to take care of themselves and their immediate families.
Steven Covey, in his popular book "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," teaches as an overriding first principle the need to balance what he calls p (production) and pc (production capacity). If we get all caught up in doing work and doing for others, we diminish our production capacity, like engines that never have their oil changed. Self-love and self-care in proper balance enable us to care for and love others more effectively, not less. Self-love imitates God’s love for each one of us as individuals, and thus is as important and sacred as love for others.
God’s Work In The World
I believe that God is continuously at work in the world as he creates new manifestations of order and as he gives us opportunities to participate in his creation through higher or better creations of order. From one perspective we can view recent developments in history, such as the fall of the Iron Curtain and the opening of Communist nations to religious freedom, as God’s action in history through higher levels of order. A key force in bringing about this dramatic change is the force of interdependence of all peoples. Communist countries have found that by living in interdependent trade and peace with other, free nations, they can enjoy more abundance.
The electronic revolution links every point on the globe with satellite communications and information about other parts of the world. Scientists share information with their counterparts across international boundaries. In all these movements and many others, a higher level of order is being created in the world, making the world a better place to live for increasing numbers of people.
From another perspective we look back on the high level of order achieved by Hitler’s Third Reich, and we must acknowledge that not all increased order is good. We might say that the natural progression of order created by God is good, and we can know it as being consistent with the biblical message. But some order created by man is not good, indeed can be the very epitome of evil, as Hitler’s domination exemplified. We will discuss this further in a chapter on good and evil.
Where We Go From Here
Obviously I could write a book about God, not just a chapter. But that is not the purpose of this book. Instead I am choosing to write about God’s ongoing creation through the unique reality of order. I believe that one of the primary obstacles to vibrant faith for many people is the perception of the sensory world as real, and the misperception of God, who cannot be sensed directly, as unreal. Likewise religion is often concentrated on one hour of the weekend and not made a part of everyday, every-hour life. For me the reality of order is the bridge between the sensory world of matter and energy and the ultimate reality of God, who has created all things and continues to create new things through order. Let us examine that creation, beginning with that smallest unit of reality, the atomic particle.
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