About cosmology and God

One of my friend in our chat about God said God is power.

.How to understand this and how to help him?

Well, that’s a bit like a blind man feeling the elephant’s leg and concluding that an elephant is simply a type of tree.

It is true that God is the all powerful Creator of heaven and earth. But He is also far more than that.

His seven intrinsic attributes are omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, eternality, holiness, love, and immutability. (Other people may have similar lists that differ somewhat, but I’m sure you get the idea.)

In addition, God is a Who, not a What - a He, not an It. Unlike mere power, He is a personal Being.

I hope this will help you.

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@jlyons thank you.God is a personal being.

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perhaps just keep it simple and ask your friend if he believes in a self-creating universe?

John Lennox, one of my favourite authors, points out the logical problem with this view.

Take, for instance, Hawking’s statement quoted above: “Because there is a law of gravity the universe can and will create itself from nothing.” Clearly, he assumes that gravity (or perhaps only the law of gravity?) exists. That is not nothing. So the universe is not created from nothing.

Worse still, the statement “the universe can and will create itself from nothing” is self-contradictory. If I say, “X creates Y,” this presupposes the existence of X in the first place in order to bring Y into existence. If I say “X creates X,” I presuppose the existence of X in order to account for the existence of X. To presuppose the existence of the universe to account for its existence is logically incoherent.
(from https://www.rzim.org/read/just-thinking-magazine/stephen-hawking-and-god)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CulBuMCLg0 might be worth sharing and just ask them what they think of it.

The mention of Augustine re God preparing hell for those that asks questions is obvious mockery towards those of faith, so I wouldn’t bother answering that one.

His statement “Everything is relative”, presumably might mean there is no such thing as absolute truth; which itself is an absolute statement; and is self defeating.

I don’t know if your friend is interested in science, perhaps he is of the view that science has all the answers; which is known as ‘scientism’. Lennox’s recent book “Can science explain everything?”, is a good thought provoking starter book which might be something you could gift your friend?

Here’s one example from the book to make us all think.

(from https://www.solas-cpc.org/john-lennox-busts-a-myth-about-religion-faith-and-science/)

Sometimes, when in conversation with my fellow scientists, I ask them “What do you do science with?”

“My mind,” say some, and others, who hold the view that the mind is the brain, say, “My brain”.

“Tell me about your brain? How does it come to exist?”

“By means of natural, mindless, unguided processes.”

“Why, then, do you trust it?” I ask. “If you thought that your computer was the end product of mindless unguided processes, would you trust it?”

“Not in a million years,” comes the reply.

“You clearly have a problem then.”

After a pregnant pause they sometimes ask me where I got this argument—they find the answer rather surprising: Charles Darwin. He wrote: “…with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy.”

Taking the obvious logic of this statement further, Physicist John Polkinghorne says that if you reduce mental events to physics and chemistry you destroy meaning. How?

For thought is replaced by electrochemical neural events. Two such events cannot confront each other in rational discourse. They are neither right nor wrong—they simply happen. The world of rational discourse disappears into the absurd chatter of firing synapses. Quite frankly that can’t be right and none of us believe it to be so.
Polkinghorne is a Christian, but some well-known atheists see the problem as well.

John Gray writes: “Modern humanism is the faith that through science humankind can know the truth—and so be free. But if Darwin’s theory of natural selection is true this is impossible. The human mind serves evolutionary success, not truth”.

Another leading philosopher, Thomas Nagel, thinks in the same way. He has written a book, Mind and Cosmos , with the provocative subtitle Why the Neo-Darwinian View of the World is Almost Certainly False. Nagel is a strong atheist who says with some honesty, “I don’t want there to be a God”. And yet he writes: “But if the mental is not itself merely physical, it cannot be fully explained by physical science. Evolutionary naturalism implies that we shouldn’t take any of our convictions seriously, including the scientific world picture on which evolutionary naturalism itself depends.”10

That is, naturalism, and therefore atheism, undermines the foundations of the very rationality that is needed to construct or understand or believe in any kind of argument whatsoever, let alone a scientific one. Atheism is beginning to sound like a great self-contradictory delusion —“a persistent false belief held in the face of strong contradictory evidence”.

hope that’s a helpful start? looking forward to others adding to the conversation.

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I agree with you