The Mission of Jesus had nothing to do with the American Dream

The temptation in the wilderness of Jesus as recorded…in greater detail…in Matthew’s gospel in verses 4:8-10 and in Luke’s gospel in verses 4:5-8…was a seemingly misdirected, apples-to-oranges, nonsensical approach by Satan that missed the mark…regarding Jesus…in a key, fundamental way.

The power and the glory of the kingdoms of the world…was not anywhere in-the-ballpark of what would be tempting to the Son of God Jesus.

This appears on the surface to be a complete misunderstanding of the mission of Jesus Christ…an appeal to Jesus of the American Dream…on steroids.

It demonstrates a total misconception or a total under-estimation of the character of God…either by a very clever initial probing of the character of Jesus the Son of God in the opening sparring contest between darkness and light…or instead is a genuine ignorance about the un-susceptibility of Jesus Christ to the allures of the glory and power of the kingdoms of this world.

Either way…the mission and ministry of Jesus was not to validate the autonomous individualism that can be a component of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…by leisurely sailing the Greek Isles in the Mediterranean Sea in a carefree manner…for His own enjoyment.

Jesus Christ is the Passover Lamb of God atoning sacrifice for the sins of mankind.

His unique life-script mission transcends above any worldly conventional goals, dreams, or aspirations…however commendable when these goals are part of our God-composed, journeys of faith that crossover into some of the tenets of the American Dream.

What reaches a level of inconceivable depth…light-years beyond what could be the product of human inventive, literary fiction…is that Jesus is the most wealthy and the most successful person in all of human history…being the divine Son of God in a human body…the Creator and mastermind of everything in the universe including ourselves…who owns literally everything…yet is in the humble outward appearance of a lowly carpenter from the outlying and insignificant small town of Nazareth in first-century Israel (Jn. 1:46).

If the sin-free, unblemished Passover Lamb of God atoning sacrifice…Jesus Christ…foreglimpsed in the ram caught in the bushes on Mount Moriah that became the substitute for Isaac (Gen. 22:13)…and depicted in the ancient prophecies of Isaiah 9:6 and Isaiah 53…if Jesus can perfectly live a divinely elevated life-script…being the Son of God while enjoying none of the outward advantages of the American Dream (Mt. 8:20)…this then opens up to every believer who will accept God’s invitation to follow Him by faith into a biblical-quality adventure of faith…to experience life to the fullest according to God’s perspective…within a divinely composed journey of faith for each of us…regardless of social, cultural, or economic status.

A God-composed journey of faith life-script is in an entirely different category…going in a different direction…entering in at the narrow gate of the cross as described in Matthew 7:13-14 as spoken by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount…in a fundamentally different way of life…from pursuing the American Dream through our own efforts.

This is one of the most important…possibly the most important message coming from the Bible to modern, sophisticated mankind today…that Jesus Christ is not only our Savior and King…but also that He is the way, the truth, and the life…because He is the only person in all of existence who can craft journey of faith life-scripts for us that transcend above worldly conventional normalcy and thinking.

Jesus can do this not only because He is our Creator God…who knows each of us intimately…but also because He lived just such an unconventional life-script Himself.

The narrative stories of faith in the Bible are therefore of enormous and incalculable worth.

For this reason they have been under attack for the last four to five hundred years…for their supernatural accounts of the interactions between people and God…and for their accounts of supernatural events that were and still are today incorrectly criticized for being outside of the supposed closed-system of naturalistic materialism…a philosophical paradigm that no longer holds water in this new, Information Age time-period.

The narrative stories of faith in the Bible go way beyond being thrilling bedtime stories for children, covering issues that are deadly serious in their sophisticated applications to life.

The fundamental difference between going our own way in pursuit of the American Dream…and instead partnering with the living God within a journey of faith that may result in an outcome that exceeds the goals, dreams, and aspirations of the American Dream (Gen. 41:37-44; Ex. 12:31-36; Josh. 11:23; 2 Sam. 2:1-4; 2 Tim. 4:6-8)…is a discontinuous gap of two choices for human life…that far outpaces  the inventive imagination of human literary fiction writing.

From A Popular Defense of the Bible and Christianity

A God-Composed Journey of Faith Transcends above the American Dream 2

In the Bible…the people who become caught-up in a God-composed adventure of faith life-script mission…discover along the way that their personal relationship with the living God becomes more important and more valuable than anything else in life…even the attractiveness of the American Dream of material wealth, the culturally acceptable validation of ourselves, and achieving through our own efforts a sense of personal security.

The acceptance and validation coming from God…in valuing us enough to call us by His Spirit into a unique and individual life-plan…of having faith in us to the point of calling us individually into a specific mission that only we can perform…with His assistance and partnership…is entirely different from the self-satisfaction of achieving the goals, dreams, and aspirations of the American Dream according to the Frank Sinatra song “I did it my way”…of self-autonomous individualism…that is typically found within worldly conventional normalcy and thinking (Phil. 3:4-10).

The parable of the nobleman away on business…and the instruction of Luke 19:13 to “occupy till I come”…is the commendable, baseline guide for all Christians to be about our Father’s business in whatever capacity we may be assigned in the caretaking of the estate…in this parable…trimming the walkway shrubs, sweeping the exterior walkways, picking the fruits and vegetables from the orchard, caring for the livestock, preparing the meals for the staff, and the general interior and exterior cleaning and up-keep maintenance of the estate buildings and grounds.

Realizing the American Dream can be achieved entirely through self-effort…through the application and exploitation of our natural, innate abilities…through autonomous individualism.

Experiencing a biblical-quality journey of faith…by intentional design…requires the direct participation of the living God…within a personal relationship.

These two realities for life are not the same…although they can and do overlap in some areas.

What this means…in a practical applied sense…for Christians today is that God can guide and channel life events and circumstances …and insert unique and individualized life-scripts into the lives of plumbing contractors, stay-at-home moms, auto mechanics, high school teachers, lawyers, accountants, engineers, professional athletes, journalists, small town mayors, church pastors, Christian foreign missionaries, Bible college professors, and Christian book writers…after the pattern of the narrative stories of faith recorded in the Bible.

For some people…their individual gifts and talents are either outwardly apparent…or internally revealed to them.  Some people know early in childhood that they want to become a medical nurse, or that they possess the athletic ability to play professional sports, or that they have the gift of exceptional intelligence to be able to earn a PhD in mathematics.

For these people…the addition and inclusion of an actively interested and participating God into the mix…enhances the life experience of pursuing their goals with their very best effort…giving it their all…because these unique gifts and talents derive from their Creator God in the first place.

A personal relationship with God can actualize…can come to life…can translate into any conceivable career path, geographical location, personal circumstances, political environment, and economic situation.

Jesus famously said that He came to earth…that we might have more abundant life (Jn. 10:10).

This more abundant life is based upon the strength of the foundation of a fulfilling relational walk-of-faith with Jesus Christ, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit…and not on the satisfaction of the self-works of achieving the American Dream on our own…apart from God…and outside of a brilliantly unique, divine calling for our lives (Mk. 8:36).

From A Popular Defense of the Bible and Christianity.

A God-Composed Journey of Faith Transcends above the American Dream 1

“No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”                                                                                               (2 Tim. 2:4)       

The American Dream…in modern terms might be defined to include things like going to the finest college, earning an advanced degree, getting a high-paying job we enjoy working at, having a happy marriage, successfully raising a family, buying a large mansion in a great location, driving a Bentley or Aston Martin convertible automobile, having good friends, enjoying hobbies, playing sports, having good health and a long life, sending our children to Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Oxford, or other prestigious colleges, having a healthy stock portfolio, taking European vacations, enjoying our grandchildren, and having a secure retirement.

What could outwardly appear to be more popularly sensible…more conventionally appealing as goals, dreams, and aspirations for life…than the list of things described above?

Yet the narrative stories of faith in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible are entirely different…in terms of goals, dreams, and aspirations…from any imaginable ancient version of the American Dream translated back in time.

This is one of the unique facts about the Bible that argues for its divine origin…because this transcendence above popular conventional thinking…would never originate from popular conventional thinking.

This observation…counter-intuitively…is one of the most positive features of the biblical gospel message of God’s very real and very rational offer to us of an alternative choice…into an elevated, purposeful life on a higher moral, ethical, and spiritual plane…to become a willing enlistee of God into a divinely-composed journey of faith life-script…full of risk and adventure…having the most profound meaning, purpose, and fulfillment imaginable for human beings.

Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and life (Jn. 14:6)…not only because He is the Savior, Redeemer, and Light of the world…but also and of equal importance…Jesus Christ is the only person in all of existence who can compose divinely-crafted  journey of faith life-scripts for every believer in the Old Testament…in the New Testament…and for Christians today…that are an attractive, alternative option that transcends above popular conventionality…yet may encompass some of the goals of the otherwise commendable American Dream list described above.

One of the key biblical concepts that is still missing today in contemporary orthodox Christianity…that has not yet been fully recovered following the Protestant Reformation…is that the narrative stories of faith recorded in the Bible…have little or nothing at all to do with the American Dream.

The calling of Abraham the “father of faith” as long ago in history as 2,200 B.C., recorded as beginning in the 12th chapter of Genesis…the first book in the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Old Testament…as well as the callings of Joseph, Moses, Joshua, David…all the way through the Bible to the calling and ministry of the Apostle Paul…are not anything like the America Dream as outlined above.

As Abraham walks from the city of Haran to the Promised Land of Canaan…with each step he takes God is displacing whatever conventionally normal life Abraham might have lived in Haran…with a completely different, elevated life based not upon the American Dream…but upon an entirely unique walk of grace-through-faith…that opens up the context in which to get to know the real living God on a personal basis.

Instead of becoming the city mayor of Haran, or becoming its international trade ambassador, or serving on the school board, or coaching an ancient version of a youth soccer team…and thereby exiting quietly from history as an unexceptional person living an unexceptional life…Abraham’s calling and life-mission as brilliantly composed by God…was to become the singular “father of faith” example of an elevated life…that has had a huge and beneficially incalculable impact upon human history for thousands of years…to our present day.

This is the common through-line theme of every biblical story of faith…repeated in variations of the storyline for the benefit of multiple generations…and for our benefit…as the new normal for all relationships between people and the living God…starting with Abraham’s walk of faith.

The narrative stories of faith…as recorded in the Bible…are so different from worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…that they invent an entirely new frame-of-reference for human life.

This frame-of-reference has as its goal the establishment of a personal relationship…between people and God…set-up through the creative mind of God…and on His terms…that must be the new reality if our life-stories are to be elevated up and out of worldly conventional, popular normalcy and thinking (Jn. 8:36).

The biblical narrative stories of faith are not for or against the tenets and aspirations of ancient and contemporary versions of the American Dream. 

The biblical narrative stories of faith simply transcend above these universally popular goals, dreams, and aspirations in a way that makes them curiously inapplicable, unimportant, and no longer the chief desire of our hearts and minds.

The life events and circumstances…the goals…and the end-point outcomes in the storylines of the biblical people of faith…have nothing to do with making a success of ourselves in terms of worldly conventional standards…according to the American Dream as translated backwards into every century of time and every cultural setting from the ancient books of Genesis through Acts…in the Bible.

From A Popular Defense of the Bible and Christianity

Journeys of Faith Transcend Above Normal Life 2

            The divisive issue in the Garden of Eden was not only about disobeying the commandment of God…but also about the derailment of the essential…tragically irreplaceable…of building a personal relationship over time between Adam and Eve…and God. 

            Adam and Eve could have answered the serpent in an informed, insightful, worldly savvy way: “What you are saying to us is interesting and appealing, but there is no hurry in this matter.  We will discuss the pros and cons in what you are suggesting…with God…think it over…and get back to you in a few days.” 

            Adam and Eve did not trust the word of God…His character and truthfulness…long enough in time…over the course of a few short days…to wait and speak with Him before charging straight through into disobedience and self-destructive, independent self-sovereignty…which has plagued the human race ever since…and is problematic in my own journey of faith from time to time.

            This is why a God-invented, God-composed journey of faith has this component of gaps between what we can accomplish in the worldly conventional zone of “occupy till I come” normalcy…and what we cannot do on our own…that creates a divinely crafted environment…spread-out over time…where we need God to intimately participate and intervene in the course of our lives.

            This is what we universally see in the narrative stories of faith recorded in the Bible…brilliantly transcendent above anything within worldly conventional normalcy and thinking. 

            Setting up the unique circumstances whereby we can have a personal relationship with the living God…who created the heavens and the earth…can only be crafted by God. 

            We cannot…on our own…craft or contrive a similar quality of life-altering, beneficially inspiring dependence upon God like we see in the life-scripts of Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Gideon, Hannah, Ruth, David, Esther and Mordecai, Jeremiah, Elijah, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, Peter, James, John, or Paul…to name only a few from the Bible.

            This component of the gap between what we can do in the realm of worldly conventional normalcy…and what we cannot accomplish without divine help from God…such as produce a son of promise Isaac…or become governor of Egypt as a Hebrew…or deliver the Israelites from Egypt via the ten plagues and the parting of the Red Sea…all the way through the Bible up to the calling of Paul to become a missionary evangelist for the faith he was previously seeking to destroy…all of these things are totally and completely outside of humanistic imagination and invention. 

            This gap…beautifully and succinctly described in Hebrews 11:1…that is common to every biblical narrative story of faith…can only occur within a context that is itself divine…that is above our capacityto imagine, invent, or contrive within the narrowly restrictive realm of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking.

            Now is the time in human history to recognize that this is quite remarkable.

            Now that modern science understands the unique role of information in the complex, functionally integrated, and coherent systems we find in the microscopic molecule DNA, in the Big Bang creation of the universe, in the Anthropic Principle that identifies the fine-tuned mathematical constants in the equations of physics and chemistry that allows for complex life like ourselves to exist, and in the twenty-plus conditions in our solar system that makes life on earth possible…it is also now time for a more straightforward, broader, and insightful appraisal of human nature.

            Human beings were created with an incredibly sophisticated capacity for moral reasoning and judgment…with the unimaginably privileged capacity to enter into a relationship with the God who created our universe and this amazing earth we inhabit.

            The central issue under consideration in this current world environment…is that we were created to be in a personal relationship with God…which is the core of the Christian gospel salvation message…of the good news that Jesus Christ is alive and risen from the dead…and that this God-created capacity enables people to receive Jesus Christ into our lives…by grace through faith…and to step-up into God-crafted journeys of faith as entirely new people in Christ…filled with purpose and meaning beyond our wildest imagination.

            Going our own way apart from God is going the wrong way.

            No topic could be more important in the fields of Christian apologetics and Christian discipleship today…and in the world at-large.

            One of the beautiful discoveries of our modern era…is that the narrative stories of faith in the Bible were not written by us. 

            They were recorded by human writers…but the storylines were not written through human literary imagination.

            The contrasting dichotomies of the two worldviews of autonomous self-sovereignty…and the cross-of-Christ centered narrative stories of faith recorded in the Bible…could not both be the products of human imaginative fiction-writing…could not both conceptually originate out of the atheistic worldview of naturalistic materialism.

            The amazing separation…the two-edged sword that divides truth from error from the Christian perspective…thousands of years old now but coming into clear focus in these upcoming last days (Dan. 12:10)…is that we either by free-will choice enter into our God-composed adventure of faith life-script as patterned for us in the biblical narrative stories of faith…designed to create a context for a personal relationship with God…while achieving something monumental and positive for mankind…come what may…or we try to convince ourselves or God into doing things our way…to talk ourselves or God into doing things according to our plans.

            Anyone who has ever themselves been engaged in a God-composed journey of faith life-script…a genuine calling of God…knows the difference between these two options…and has faced the choice of continuing on…in our walk of faith following Jesus Christ…in the narrow way that He has laid-out for us…or to take the opposite course instead…of attempting to talk God into doing things our way (Gen. 17:17-18; Jn. 3:30; Gal. 2:20).

            The complexity, sophistication, and intellectual maturity of this two-worldview dichotomy…far surpass any humanistic or naturalistic explanation.

From A Popular Defense of the Bible and Christianity

Introduction 2

From A Popular Defense of the Bible and Christianity

A final example for the purposes of this opening introduction…representing one small factoid…again amongst hundreds of thousands of similar everyday commonsense examples that could be persuasive evidence argued in a court of law…in favor of the necessity of an intelligent designer God…is the existence of our navel…our “belly button”…the umbilical cord between mother and baby that is severed and tied at childbirth.  Every human has one.

Is there a plausible series of sequential, gradualistic, random-chance events that would serve as an intermediate bridge between the first dysfunctional umbilical cord leading to immediate death of the human fetus at the very start of a materialistic creative progression…to cross the gap to a totally functional assemblage producing a viable fetus reaching the point in time of nine-month maturity and a healthy childbirth…whereupon the umbilical cord is cut-off from the placenta and tied into a knot?

Commonsense reasoning tells us that this one feature…amongst millions of other complex and tightly sequenced and integrated features in the human body…of a functional umbilical cord with all of its complex processes…must be up and running at just the right time in the embryonic development process of the human fetus occurring within the mother…for successful human reproduction to occur.

This requires intelligent design of the most sublime quality…not trial-and-error iterations having enumerable failures.

The quantity, quality, and the accuracy of the biological information codes and specifications…extrapolated out to every part of the human body to produce a functional living and reproducing organism having all of the features we possess…argues at the surface level of commonsense…for brilliantly intelligent design.

The steady advance of human scientific discovery has produced a deep and detailed understanding of how things work…in our own bodies such as how we produce speech, how we hear, and how we see…extended out into all of the areas of scientific inquiry from the microscopic atomic level to the galactic scale of the astrophysics of our universe.

This information content is now so vast…that a previous naturalistic explanation for the folding of amino acids into proteins did not even exist 100 years ago at the start of the twentieth century…because this area of microbiological knowledge had not even been discovered yet.

The current discoveries in science…with the new awareness of their accompanying explosion of information content…in highly complex and coherent systems…undermines all theories based on the simplistic methodologies of mindless, random chance, trial-and-error search strategies.

What could pass as an “explanation”…as a placeholder for ignorance 50 or 100 years ago under the guise of naturalistic philosophy posing as science…is now overwhelmed by the sheer volume and magnitude of complex and integrated systems of information that fall outside the chance probability of mathematics.

A naturalistic, Darwinian explanation for the complex phenomenon we now understand better in the living and non-living world…no longer “holds water” in this new Information Age.

As a non-scholar layman in the areas of theology and biblical studies…along with millions of other common Christians around the world simply following Jesus within their journeys of faith…I sense that the centuries-old paradigm conflict between philosophical atheism and Christianity is at a balanced apex…at a tipping-point where the evidences for theism may now begin…if they have not already…to surpass the now behind-the-times logic and arguments against supernaturalism and the miraculous in the Bible.

The Big Bang creation of the universe philosophically opened wide the door for intelligent agency…introducing in the first split-seconds of creation all of the natural laws of physics, chemistry, and mathematics… along with time itself…and all of the material particles in the right quantities and proportions to produce the universe we now observe today…out of absolute nothing…sometime around 13.7 billion years ago.

If an independent agent God can do this at the beginning of the universe…create something out of nothing…ex nihilo…along with the accompanying physical laws out of nothing…then the philosophical objection by skeptics that God cannot introduce creative life and “miracles” into the natural world…a natural world incorrectly viewed by some as a “closed system” up until a few decades ago…is now debunked by the discoveries of modern science through the identification of massive amounts of complex and functionally integrated systems of information…everywhere we look in the living and non-living natural world.

The concept of an independent agent…God…injecting vast amounts of complex information into our world utilizing creative foresight…such as the DNA code…the unimaginably brilliant folding of amino acids into proteins…and the body-plan architectural information stored somewhere in the embryonic developmental structure of the living cell that builds cells and tells them their unique function and location in the dividing and expanding embryo…is very similar to our own use of accumulated information and creative foresight in the planned and premeditated assembly of houses, automobiles, airplanes, laptop computers, and pharmaceutical medicines.

Daniel 12:10 tells us that skeptical unbelief will be with us in this world…all the way through the end-times.

Daniel 7:15-25 and 8:23-25 infer that the “mouth that spake very great things” (v. 7:20) will wear-out the best of the great Christian apologists…the saints of the most High…in the last days…taking the arguments as far as we can…until God steps in to decisively expose for all time the subtle and elusive deceptions of the “son of perdition” of 2 Thessalonians 2:3…in a way that we cannot currently foresee.

There is a delicate balance between belief and unbelief…must continue until the end of this present world.

Our part is to faithfully share the gospel message…and then let the Holy Spirit do His work of persuasion and conviction in the hearts and minds of people (Zech. 4:6).

The aim of this post is to make the argument for the importance of the biblical narrative stories of faith…under attack from many angles for hundreds of years.

This attack has successfully undermined for some modern-day Christians the recognition of the existence of the divine life-scripts that comprise these stories of faith…that could only be written by the same God who created our incredibly fine-tuned and information-rich universe.

The issues argued in this blog are among the most important in all of human history.

The integrity of the biblical narrative stories of faith means something.

If it can be shown that these biblical stories of faith could not come from human literary invention…but must have a divine origin of imagination and composition…this accomplishes two important things.

First, it restores the credibility of the participation of God in people’s lives.

Second, it again clarifies for Christians today the God endorsed and sanctioned route for Christians to impact our culture…as the light of the world…as pillars of the earth…in the supernatural way that God intended.

God-composed journey of faith life-scripts stand at the pinnacle…at the peak…of what is possible in human experience.  They exemplify the finest, best, and highest aspirations attainable in a human life.

Once Christians see the common through-line theme of the cross of Jesus Christ skillfully embedded within every biblical narrative story of faith…which could never have come out of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…this then clarifies what God is trying to pattern for us…in and through our own journeys of faith.

These plans of God were prophesied and articulated long ago through the prophet Jeremiah…of new covenant relationships between God and believers in which every Spirit-born person will personally know God from the least to the greatest (Jer. 31:31-34).

Introduction 1

From A Popular Defense of the Bible and Christianity

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”                                                             (Heb. 11:6)

I once had a lively discussion with a borderline agnostic/atheist who said that he did not dismiss the idea that God existed…but that to believe and have faith he needed more objective, foolproof evidence for the existence of God and the truth of the Bible and Christianity.

In pondering our talk afterwards, I thought of all of the evidences that are out there in the observable world…easily accessible through commonsense contemplation…that in the hands of a skilled litigator in a courtroom…for example…would not only convince most jurors of the existence of God…but also of the divine origin of the Bible and its message.

There are dozens of categories of very persuasive arguments for the existence of God…many of which contain the obvious “miracles” we experience and see all around us…that we accept as “normal” and take totally for granted.

A few of these obvious, commonsense evidences might be the “miracle” of sexuality…or digestion…or our respiratory system…our constant heartbeat…or our balanced and symmetrical locomotion and motor skills…or the generally brilliant assembly and integration of all of our body parts…all of which shout-out for ingenious design rather than random chance assemblage.

Another obvious evidence for the existence of an intelligent designer God…easily accessible to ordinary, commonsense consideration…is the universal cuteness of any infant—a human toddler, a lion cub, a Labrador puppy, a baby elephant, young ducklings swimming after their mother in a pond…displaying the most sublimely complex and artistic information content in action…yet totally inexplicable and unnecessary under a Darwinian naturalistic framework…having no survival-of-the-fittest value whatsoever…but otherwise easily recognizable as a product of intentional, whimsical, premeditated design.

Certainly the mystery of the origin of human speech and the natural inclination of youngsters to acquire, understand, and accurately differentiate subtle concepts in language and communication…at a phenomenal rate of speed…is a reality far too complex and incredibly integrated to be lightly and uncritically accepted as the result of gradualistic, chance descent-with-modification…rather than conscious, deliberate design at a brilliantly creative, extremely advanced level.

In sports…our incredible facility to be able to play professional ice hockey in the NHL…to run back the opening kick-off 100 yards for a touchdown in college football…to hit a 95-mph fastball 400 feet over the left-field fence for a homerun in baseball…to play tennis, ping-pong, badminton, volleyball, run the 100-meter sprint in track & field, run a marathon, compete in the Tour de France bicycling race, surf the Pipeline on the North Shore in Hawaii, and score a goal in World Cup soccer…these amazing human activities we tend to take for granted.

Yet these are physical acuities that are so advanced, so complex, so finely tuned, and so functionally integrated…that to ascribe their origin to blind, mindless, indifferent, naturalistic, trial-and-error processes as asserted in the theory of Darwinian evolution…when we see and observe nothing incrementally progressive or transitional in a major, creative sense anywhere in the natural world…currently or in the course of natural history…seems on its face to be nonsensical.

Certainly the existence of the moral framework that permeates all of the social interactions between people…which we take totally for granted… needs explanation.

Such things as romantic love, friendship, loyalty, bravery, humor, forgiveness, standing up for the right thing even when it costs us something, giving value to other people through respect…and the flip-side—lying, cheating, prejudice, selfishness, injustice, and evil…in the hands of a skilled debater could be persuasively argued to be far beyond the creative naturalistic reach of material particles and energy…given that particles and energy demonstrate no observable capacity for creating complex and functionally integrated systems, concepts, or information.

Add to this the mind-boggling Age of Information explosion of the last two or three decades…in which intelligence has been linked to the origin of information wherever we find complex and functionally integrated systems in human creations…in computer software language codes, literary books of every genre, and inventions of every type.

This corresponds to the information-rich systems we find in the natural world such as the Big Bang creation of the universe, the fine-tuning of the mathematical constants in the laws of science that enable the existence of complex life like ourselves—in the Anthropic Principle, the sudden appearance of new complex life-forms during the Cambrian Explosion, the complexity of information in the DNA code, the orderliness and the intelligibility of the laws of science, the integrated homeostatic systems in the human body, and the intricate body-plan architectures and lifestyle habits of every living creature…to name only a few examples.

Curiously, in the area of the fine arts…we see the seemingly universal necessity of the finale-outcome of good overcoming evil…of the “good” cowboys wearing white hats rounding up the “bad” cowboys wearing black hats…fundamental as a satisfying through-line within the storyline fabric of movies, theater plays, and books.

Oddly this comes from a modern popular culture that otherwise…outwardly at least…claims to avoid the acknowledgment of the concept of biblical sin…the universal imperfection we all share…and that we all try to minimize and to overcome.

How can the existence and complexity of good and evil…sliced-and-diced in every which way in enumerable, fictional storyline settings and conditions…of unending fascination and interest to the human psyche…how can the plausible explanation for the existence of this complex reality…be the sole product of material particles and energy…according to the philosophical worldview of naturalism?

The classic truism that “if we were all angels, we would not need laws and government”…separates human beings from the rest of the living natural world by the unbridgeable and distinctively discontinuous gap of moral reasoning.

The mere existence of the word forgiveness in our vocabulary and in our dictionary argues for a transcendent capacity for moral reasoning and intellectual judgment far above the rest of the natural living world.

The origin of the concept of falling short of some independent standard of behavior and thinking…requiring us to ask forgiveness from other people we have harmed or offended…in a materialistic Darwinian worldview…has no survival-of-the-fittest value.

It is difficult to theoretically ascribe to the capacity of material particles and energy…the advanced potential for creating sophisticated, intellectually functional end-points such as forgiveness from one person to anotherin the highly advanced and complex reality of moral reasoning and interpersonal relationships.