If modern science at this point in time is revealing an Intelligent Designing Agent this precise in crafting the natural world, then if the main response to the evil and suffering in this world is to merely compose life-scripts and orchestrate journeys of faith that do not altogether remove evil and suffering, then this seemingly partial solution needs explaining.
If the response by the God of the Bible is to initiate research programs into the knowledge of good and evil as articulated in this book, now better understood through the lens of the modern scientific method, this produces the common complaint that if God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and everywhere, why doesn’t He remove evil and suffering?
The argument that the presence of evil and suffering renders God weak and incapable of providing an entirely safe and optimized environment for humans, presupposes that there is not a more important reason for God allowing evil and suffering to exist on the earth.
For many years, I attributed most of the blame for the fall of some of the angels in heaven, to the charismatic appeal and outward appearing beauty of Satan (Mt. 25:41; 2 Pet. 2:4; Jud. 6), being similar in character in the Bible to the account of the very nearly successful revolt of Absalom against his father David the king (2 Sam. 15:1-6).
Some verses in the Bible imply that a third of the angels followed Satan in his revolt (Rev. 12:4), that there was war in heaven (Rev. 12:7-10), and that the kingdom of heaven suffered violence and was temporarily taken over by force (Mt. 11:12).
Ezekiel 28:12-15 gives us some background by telling us that Satan began as one of the covering cherubs “full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty, until iniquity was found in him” (paraphrased by me).
Isaiah 14:12-17 and Luke 10:18 describe Satan’s fall from heaven.
If Satan and a few others were the only rebels engaged in this coup attempt and insurrection in heaven, then I suppose it would have been relatively straightforward to exile and ban them from heaven to some other distant region.
But if a third of the angels were susceptible to being drawn away through the enticing rhetoric of the liar Satan (Jn. 8:44), then God has a much larger problem on His hands.
The question can be asked here, if God is timeless, did He know in advance that Satan would rebel and take with him a third of the angels?
In the John 8:44 verse cited above, Jesus is recorded as saying that Satan was a murderer from the beginning, and the father of lying…of cleverly spinning the narrative away from and outside of truth.
Revelation 13:4 refers to the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, clearly meaning Jesus Christ.
Several places throughout the New Testament various verses say that believers will reign with Christ for ever and ever (Rev. 22:5).
These are all realities that are timeless, but we live in the four-dimensional reality of space and time.
Here in God’s response to evil and suffering we see the brilliance of the plan of redemptive salvation by grace through faith in Yahweh in the Old Testament (Rom. 4:1-8), and in Christ in the New Testament (Lk. 23:39-43), as opposed to autonomous self-salvation through self-performed good-works.
If the problem with one-third of the angels was their inability to discern the truth about the character and qualifications of God as the legitimate ruler of heaven, against the deceptive character assassination of a clever and charismatic liar, then one obvious solution would be to set-up a program through which His subjects could get to know Him intimately within the context of life experiences that reveal His true character.
The plan of redemptive salvation by grace through faith in Christ based upon a research program into the knowledge of good and evil that involves the four-wheel drive vehicle of our fallen yet redeemed moral natures, acknowledges ahead of time that God knows this requires the existence of a broken world containing evil and suffering.
One of the admirable characteristics of a good leader is that they will not ask other people to do something that they themselves would not do.
A captain or coronel who leads at the front of the cavalry brigade charge merits our respect and inspiration to follow them into battle.
The God of the Bible can hardly be said to be a distant and passive participant in this plan of redemptive salvation.
Through the incarnation, the cross, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, God is telling us that He is standing foursquare with us in this current reality of a broken world, for the highest and best of reasons.
As the divine Son of God taking upon Himself the singular role of being the Passover Lamb of God sacrifice for sins, Jesus Christ is willingly placing Himself squarely in the middle of the evil and suffering dilemma of this broken world, by personally experiencing the hate-filled rejection and physical pain of execution by crucifixion (Isaiah 53).
At this point we can begin to understand the imaginative brilliance of the God of the Bible in formulating the program of redemptive salvation, while not removing the evil and suffering in this world.
If we are ever going to learn the real truth about the knowledge of good and evil, and to get to know God on a personal level that will stand the test of eternity, it is not by eating a piece of fruit.
In addition to the broad array of moral concepts, our human capacity for intellectual and moral reasoning, and the life-script of Jesus Christ all coming together in what must be human history, the fourth component of free-will choice comes into the mix.
Free-will choice is a central pillar in the eternal reality of God.
To have any meaning, humans must have the free-will choice to make mistakes.
Apparently, the evil and suffering generated by our inhumanity to man, and natural disasters thrown-in, is not enough to override the incredible strength of the power of individual self-autonomy that entices us to sit atop the thrones of our lives as self-sovereign junior gods.
Not only has God foreseen this broken world and allowed evil and suffering to exist, but He has also dialed-in the fine-tuned, delicate balance between belief and unbelief as the determining factor, excluding self-salvation through good-works (Isa. 64:6; Eph. 2:8-9).
The verse “There is none righteous, no, not one.” (Rom. 3:10) highlights the fact that everyone is equally equipped to enter into a research program into the knowledge of good and evil, by each person universally inhabiting an imperfect moral nature.
The verse “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Rom. 8:1), highlights the fact that salvation is the free gift of God accessible to every person through faith (Eph. 2:8), but not through works.
How then does skeptical unbelief put people today in the same boat of condemnation with the angels who followed Satan in his failed coup attempt and violent insurrection.
The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ, the person rejected and crucified as the Passover Lamb of God sacrifice for sin (rebellion) will be the main presiding judge on Judgment Day.
Jesus is recorded as saying: “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” (Mt. 10:32-33).
In other words, Jesus Christ will use His substitutionary atonement obtained through the cross and the resurrection to exonerate those people who have been willing to acknowledge their imperfect moral characters (repentance) and to accept the free gift of salvation by giving Him the benefit-of-the-doubt and confessing faith in Christ (Mt. 4:17).
For some people this leads to the last-minute “fox-hole” or death-bed confessions like that of the thief on the cross (Lk. 23:39-43), or to God-composed journeys of faith life-scripts beyond our wildest imaginations like that of the apostle Paul.
If Jesus Christ becomes incarnate in a human body, and as His mission-plan voluntarily takes upon Himself the full penalty for mankind’s sins by dying on a Roman cross of execution, then this justifiably enables Jesus Christ as judge to extend full and unconditional pardons to people based upon the criteria that He thereby is free to determine and establish.
But the galactic-sized insight in all of this, is that the point God is making here is so important that He is willing to come to earth in the person of the Son of God…Jesus Christ…to be the Passover Lamb of God atoning sacrifice for sins, to codify faith as the criteria to establish personal relationships, and to inaugurate research programs into the knowledge of good and evil that human beings can pursue through first-hand experiences with the impunity guaranteed through the blood shed by Jesus on the cross.
On January 6, 2021 in the United States the outgoing president engineered a coup attempt and a violent insurrection that threatened the existence of representative democracy in America.
The revolt by Satan and his fallen angels threatened the good order and peace of the entire known reality of the kingdom of God.
The stakes here are so enormous and eternally destabilizing that the current presence of evil and suffering in this world, is the only context within which to graphically demonstrate the end-points where skeptical unbelief eventually leads.
Jesus does not come for the last time into Jerusalem on Passover week with an army of Jewish soldiers to forcibly expel the Romans out of the city and to end the occupation of the country of Israel.
As evidenced by the history of Israel in the Old Testament, it is often a good thing to resist through military force foreign invaders having the evil intentions of plunder through conquest.
Throughout human history, despotic autocrats in power have been justifiably overthrown through rebellions and revolutions.
But the God of the Bible is brilliant pure light, absolute goodness, and possesses divinely timeless foresight.
There is no justification for mounting a rebellion against the God of the Bible, other than through jealousy, envy, malice, and the raw lust for power.
Jesus says to Pilate in the Roman judgment hall: “Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above.” (Jn.19:11).
Jesus says just before His death on the cross: “It is finished” (Jn.19:30), signifying that His mission-plan was complete and that all of the positive results accruing from His sacrifice were now codified forever in the cross.
Jesus Christ is the epitome of His statement: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (Jn. 15:13).
As humans we possess the capacity for intellectual and moral reasoning, the complimentary existence of the broad array of moral concepts, and the life-script of Jesus Christ as recorded in the New Testament gospels.
But we also possess the free-will choice to accept Christ or to push Him away.
I would think that as part of his defense when Satan stands before Jesus Christ on the Judgment Day, he will point to the multitudes of people he was able to entice to follow him in rebelling against God to pursue our own way according to the tenets of self-sovereign autonomy, by saying: “See there, I was not the only one, and therefore you cannot be correct in condemning me. If this large a number of others freely chose to follow me instead of you, then who is to say that I am not the right choice to be God?”
This subtly brilliant defense will not hold-up to close scrutiny, because it is exactly this autonomous self-sovereignty apart from God that produces a part of the evil and suffering in this world.
This is evidenced empirically by those people who did not give meat to the hungry, water to the thirsty, housing to the stranger, clothing to the unclothed, or visited the sick and those in prison (Mt. 25:41-46).
Unlike the understandably naïve inability of Adam and Eve to discern truth from untruth in the perfect Garden of Eden, for people to be able to rule and to reign with Christ for ever and ever without a hiccup going forward, requires the savvy ability to individually parse the subtleties of the broad array of moral concepts within the knowledge of good and evil.
But this also requires a personal relationship with God that relinquishes to Him the position in heaven that He alone is qualified to occupy (Jer. 31:34).
Finally, Jesus tells the disciples about the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, who will come after Jesus departs the earth and why:
“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” (Jn. 16:7-8).
The greater love exhibited through a man laying down his life for his friends (Jn. 15:13), and the Holy Spirit leading and guiding us into all truth (Jn. 16:13), cannot happen in a perfect, idyllic world not having evil and suffering.
Does the life-story of Abraham match the analogy that Jesus presents of a seed falling into the ground to die, rising up to produce much fruit?
Does the postponement of the birth of Isaac the son of promise represent God dangling the desire-of-the-heart out of the reach of Abraham and Sarah for a period of time, for a capricious and ill-intentioned motive, or does utilizing this innately created characteristic in Abraham instead produce the unique context for biblical faith to actualize, to rise-up out of the ground to become a supernaturally created, fruit-bearing tree?
Does this concept starting with Abraham reside at the pinnacle of moral reasoning, at the very peak of importance in the long expanse of human redemptive history?
Moving along in the Bible, certainly the life-story of Joseph in Egypt demonstrates over his lifetime the innate, in-built capacity to successfully manage the sheep herding family-business in Canaan.
But the series of extraordinary events that leads to Joseph governing the entire nation of Egypt during a great famine, as a Hebrew foreigner, falls outside of not only the human capacity of Joseph to contrive and self-orchestrate, but falls outside of his ability to even imagine ahead of time.
The information-content that describes the person and life-plan destiny of Joseph, placed inside him like a seed, finds brilliant fulfillment through his God-composed life-script that begins with his innate talents and abilities, tinged with the arrogance of being his father’s favorite son.
These innate talents must first fall into the ground and die for a period of time as a servant-slave in Potiphar’s house, and as a falsely accused felon in Pharaoh’s prison, before this divinely composed life-script for Joseph can actualize into concrete reality.
Moses will not commence the deliverance of the Hebrew slaves from Egypt by killing an Egyptian and hiding his body in the sand. Moses incorrectly assumed by this action that his Hebrew “brethren” (Acts 7:23-28) would recognize and acknowledge his calling to deliver them from bondage.
No human power on earth could deliver the Israelites from bondage as slaves in Egypt.
But at the burning bush, the innate abilities created within Moses, match-up with the God-composed life-script calling for Moses, and he enters into the spectacular and larger-than-life destiny through faith and trust in God and not in himself, that according to Hebrews 11:6 cited above pleases God and benefits a large number of people.
Who else in the Bible falls into this same pattern of an information-rich seed first falling into the ground to die before rising out of the ground to become an apple, orange, or avocado tree, to realize their in-built potential?
Joshua has good reason to fear the heavily fortified, walled cities of the Canaanites that he has been tasked by God to militarily conquer.
God says to Joshua several times throughout this campaign to conquer the Promised Land: “Fear not, neither be thou dismayed” (Josh. 8:1).
Yet Joshua and the Israelites have to learn the hard-way on two occasions about the difficulty of the transition from self-sovereignty to God-sovereignty (Josh. 7:3-5, 9:14-15).
Certainly, David knows intimately about the concept of a seed falling into the ground to die, rising up to become a specific “tree” with a specified purpose and destiny bearing much fruit.
Even though David is anointed at the age of seventeen by the great prophet Samuel to become the next king in Israel, David somehow understands that he cannot help-out God to fulfill his calling when on two occasions David could have taken the life of King Saul (1 Sam. 24:4-7, 26:8-12).
It would be safe to say that like Joseph in Pharaoh’s prison three months before God gives the famine dream to Pharaoh, David’s low-point at Ziklag (1 Sam. 30:6) comes at the end of the long process of a seed dying in the ground.
Both Joseph and David rise-up into their respective destinies having their innate talents and abilities still intact, but now redirected within the narrow gate and the hard way of God-sovereignty (Mt. 7:13-14) to be now able to “bring forth much fruit.”
Similar scenarios of seeds falling first into the ground to die can be derived from the stories of Gideon (Jud. 7:2), Ruth (Ruth. 1:16-18), Hannah (1 Sam. 1:15-16), Elijah (1 Ki. 19:10), Jeremiah (Jer. 20:7-9), Esther and Mordecai (Est. 4:16-17), Daniel (Dan. 2:12-18), Ezra (Ezra 4:21-24), Nehemiah (Neh. 1:11), Joseph and Mary (Lk. 2:41-52), John the Baptist (Jn. 3:30), Peter (Lk. 22:61-62), James the half-brother of Jesus (1 Cor. 15:7), the disciples (Mk. 14:50), the early Christian church as a whole (Acts 8:1), the apostle Paul (Acts 9:3-9), and Jesus Christ (Lk. 22:42), to name a few.
Self-sovereignty is incapable of “bringing forth much fruit” according to autonomous individualism because human beings lack divine foresight and timeless foreknowledge.
Only God can write the extraordinary and unconventional biblical narrative stories of faith matching the in-built, personal capabilities of the people of faith with callings that have supernatural missions, goals, and outcomes that are only assessable through the biblical faithdescribed in Hebrews 11:1 and 11:6.
Falling into the ground as a seed to die, picking-up our cross to follow Jesus, entering in at the narrow gate (Mt. 7:13-14), ”hating” this life in terms of “the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” (1Jn. 2:15-16) are the necessary components of making the transition from self-sovereignty to God-sovereignty, in the realm of the kingdom of God where all things are possible.
In John 15:5 Jesus is recorded as saying: “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”
The supernatural participation of God in the biblical narrative stories of faith that separates-out atheists and agnostics into unbelief, is the very thing that creates the life within the God-composed journey of faith life-scripts.
The self-sovereignty of going our own way is the wide gate and the broad way of Matthew 7:13-14 that leads to destruction, because on that broad road of self-autonomy God has no opportunity to make the connection between our created abilities and the life-script He has written for us that can bring forth much fruit.
Self-sovereignty is the way of rebellion and chaos, of thinking our ways are better than God’s ways and is unacceptable in the kingdom of God in a timeless eternity.
Only faith and trust in God will push through the adversity of falling into the ground as a seed to first have our own will and ideas die, in order for God to raise us up according to our in-built capacity and destiny, to walk with Him through life along a supernatural path that has the unique and individual context to bring forth much fruit as articulated in the brilliant John 12:24-25 verses quoted above.
I do not think it would be a stretch to infer from the life-script of God’s calling of Abraham to say that the desire to produce a family was a high-priority in the information-package divinely created within the “seed” that describes the person and character of Abraham.
Abraham has everything…wealth, possessions, servants, and a beautiful wife he loves…but he does not have a family upon arrival in Canaan.
At the very center of the God-composed life-script for Abraham is a promise of descendants as numerous as the dust of the earth, pinpointing at the outset of his calling a divinely created, in-built desire-of-the-heart for Abraham that is accurately utilized by God in fashioning Abraham to become over time, through a series of divinely crafted events the “father of faith.”
Yet this same created, innate desire for a normal family-life also produces the context for the problem with Sarah, Hagar, and Ishmael.
This sets-up the supreme challenge of faith for Abraham on Mount Moriah (modern day Jerusalem) that may be the most difficult test that any human being has ever been asked of God to face, other than Jesus Christ as the Passover Lamb of God two thousand years later at Calvary.
In other words, God not only crafted the life-script adventure of faith for Abraham, but God as Creator placed within Abraham the unique information-content of being the right “seed” to take this adventure of faith on God’s terms all the way to a successful conclusion, to produce good fruit (Heb. 11:17-19; Rom. 4:3).
What makes the biblical narrative stories of faith so extraordinary as to validate their divine origin starting with Abraham, is that Abraham’s own ability to produce children of promise through Sarahneeded to fall into the ground to die like a seed in order to rise up as a supernaturally endowed and beneficial life-story.
This then rises far above the worldly conventionality of self-produced outcomes through autonomous individualism (Gen. 17:15-19).
It would appear from the biblical narrative stories of faith that the big-picture, fundamental objective is worldly unconventional to the core.
The big-picture objective gleaned from the biblical narrative stories of faith examples is not to validate our worth and value according to self-reliant self-achievement (Mk. 8:36) using our created talents and abilities apart from God, but instead to validate an entirely different objective.
That entirely different objective is to create the unique contexts for biblical faith to actualize into personal relationships between people and God, at the height of our created purpose and destiny.
Can Abraham produce children on his own within worldly conventional normalcy and thinking, without God’s divine intervention, outside of the promises of God?
The answer is yes.
After the death of Sarah, Abraham took another wife, Keturah, who gave birth to Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah.
We should not forget that Abraham produced Ishmael his first son through Hagar (Gen. 16:15).
But we do know from scripture (Gen. 17:19) that Abraham cannot produce Isaac the son of promise, other than through Sarah.
The three men that visited Abraham and Sarah in the plains of Mamre recorded in Genesis chapter 18, the leader being called Lord by Abraham (I believe this was Jesus the Son of God) confirms for us that in this critical opening scenario introducing the biblical narrative stories of faith, this worldly unconventional and innovative component of God validates His divine participation in the affairs of mankind.
This is for the highest imaginable reasons.
The life-story of Abraham does not validate the fact that Abraham is capable of producing a large and happy family-life on his own according to conventional thinking, but instead that God can create the new reality of biblical faith as defined in Hebrews 11:1.
The life-script for Abraham has a gap in time between the initial calling of Abraham with God’s promise of descendants as numerous as the dust of the earth, and the fulfillment of this promise coming years later, that forms the context for this biblical faith to actualize into real human life experience.
When God created the seeds for apple, orange, peach, and avocado trees…and for corn, wheat, and barley crops…He placed within each unique type of seed the information that would not only grow into large-sized trees and farm fields as far as the eye can see, but would also produce very specific and different kinds of edible fruits and grains.
John 12:24-25 records the words of Jesus:
24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
In these verses Jesus introduces a concept that is unique in all of human experience and literary imagination, yet is universally standard within every biblical narrative story of faith.
This includes His own experience in Gethsemane, at Calvary Hill, and on Resurrection Day.
There is a pattern that is discernable within the callings of the people of faith in the Bible starting with Abraham’s detailed and highly specific life-script, all the way through to the calling and ministry of the apostle Paul.
This pattern authenticates the divine origin of the biblical narrative stories of faith, but at the same time also provides inspirational guidance as to what Christians today should expect in their callings and mission-plans from God.
Like the information that is contained within the seed that grows into an apple, orange, or fig tree, God as our Creator knows exactly the precise information He has placed within each and every human being.
The analogy that Jesus uses in John 12:24 above, of a seed first having to die in the ground in order to emerge as a tree or plant as applied to the people of faith in the biblical narrative stories of faith, reveals to us over the long expanse of human redemptive history different types of people, callings, and missions that match the in-built personalities, capabilities, and characteristics of each specific person.
This islike the seeds for apple, orange, or avocado trees.
Like the farmer recognizing and knowing the type of seed they are planting, God knows what He has placed within us to be able to enter successfully into an adventure of faith and to fulfill our unique and singular missions with His assistance along the way.
One question that is crucial here is how does the apple tree know when it is time to stop growing and begin to produce fruit, to produce apples?
This information is contained initially in the apple seed, and then in the individual cells of the apple tree.
The same is true for the born-again Christian today, no matter what is our calling and circumstances.
One thing that pleases God according to Hebrews 11:6 cited above, is to be able to match-up the innate, in-built capacities He has created within us with a God-composed life-script actualized within the events and circumstances of this present world, for our benefit and for the benefit of other people, through a relationship of mutual trust and faith.
This dynamic of an adventure of faith is designed by God to last and to endure for eternity.
This insight of John 12:24-25, universal within every biblical narrative story of faith is so deep it eludes all naturalistic explanations for its origin in the marketplace of ideas.
It completely surpasses the reach of the worldly conventionality of humanistic literary imagination.
This concept is found exclusively in all of literature only in the Bible, actualized in the counterintuitive idea of our worldly conventional ideas dying on our individual crosses, as seeds planted in the ground, alongside Jesus on His cross (Mk. 8:34-35).
God displaces our self-directed ways with His higher ways and thoughts within a God-composed journey of faith life-script, brilliantly replacing self-sovereignty with God-sovereignty which only God could do.
One of the all-time classic themes of the Bible is that the God-composed journeys of faith life-scripts recorded in the biblical narrative stories of faith are beyond our capacity to contrive or to even imagine ahead of time.
As the Creator of everything and everyone, God alone knows our individual attributes and abilities, and thus has the singularly unique starting point for crafting life-scripts for an Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David, Peter, and Paul, to name a few of the people of faith in the Bible.
Adventures of faith, because of their supernatural origin, stretch people to achieve more than they could have imagined possible.
Adventures of faith reveal that God knows us inside and out by the precise matching of our adventure of faith to talents, abilities, and newfound, morally noble characteristics we did not even know ahead of time we possessed.
If we could go back in time and interview the people of faith in the Bible, they would tell us unanimously to a person that they initially had no idea they had the innate ability to go as far as God took them, through their individually crafted adventures of faith.
I think it would be reasonably safe to say that Abraham did not see himself as the future “father of faith” as he walked from the city of Haran toward the land of Canaan (Gen. 17:18).
Although Joseph probably had a good sense of his innate leadership talents, it is doubtful that he ever imagined that he would someday become governor of Egypt, while he labored in Potiphar’s house and languished in Pharaoh’s prison.
Moses certainly has no way of seeing into the future the great deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt, as he tries unsuccessfully to talk God out of the immense calling at the burning bush that Moses now feels he is no longer a qualified candidate for (Ex. 3:11).
Gideon objects to God’s calling for him to deliver Israel from the oppressive occupation by the Midianites, saying that he is the least even within his own family (Jud. 3:15). Gideon then comes-up with his proverbial “fleece-test” to confirm that he correctly understands God’s intentions for him
As Ruth the foreigner follows her mother-in-law Naomi back to Naomi’s native country Israel, Ruth has no idea that she will capture the attention and affection of the wealthy, noble, and godly Boaz. Through her marriage to Boaz, Ruth becomes part of the royal lineage that produced King David and culminated, roughly a thousand years later, in the birth of Jesus Christ the eternal King and Savior.
Elijah complains to God that he is all alone in his opposition to the evil king Ahab and queen Jezebel (1 Ki. 19:14).
Jeremiah protests to God that he is too young to be a prophet (Jer. 1:6).
We detect in both Ezra and Nehemiah an underlying, suspenseful trepidation just below the surface in their difficult callings to rebuild the walls around Jerusalem, and to rebuild the temple.
Certainly, Peter is utterly clueless as he goes out of the courtyard of Caiaphas to weep bitterly over his failure to courageously stand by Jesus during His night trial. Unbeknownst to Peter at the time, standing courageously alongside Jesus would have resulted in Peter needlessly occupying a fourth cross on Calvary the next day.
Peter did not realize at the time that the crucifixion of the Son of God for the sins of the world was preordained before the creation of the universe (1 Pet. 1:20), and that Peter’s role at that moment was not to be a martyr for the faith, but to instead be one of the leaders of the early church in Jerusalem.
Being the head of the early Christian church and its chief spokesman in Jerusalem amidst intense opposition required a quality of courage and fidelity that Peter painfully discovered in the courtyard of Caiaphas that fateful night, that Peter did not possess on his own without the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 4:8-12).
Certainly, as Saul/Paul approached the city of Damascus to arrest Christians, he had no idea that he would soon become the foremost champion of the very faith that he started-out opposing with such fearsome persecution.
At that precise moment, before the supernatural light of Jesus Christ shined down from heaven upon him, Paul had no idea that he possessed the inner capacity to become the missionary evangelist to the first-century Greco-Roman world.
Paul could not contemplate ahead of time that he would compose the divinely inspired New Testament letters to the early Christian churches he helped create, that he would develop the love for other people that could write First Corinthians 13:4-8 now famous throughout the modern world, or that he had the innate people skills that could form the intimate relationships revealed in Romans chapter 16.
All of these people, along with every person of faith recorded in the Bible would testify that the higher plans that God had for them in life stretched them beyond anything they could or would have imagined (Psalm 23).
This component of biblical faiththat is a stretch beyond our human ability to contrive or imagine, argues for the divine origin of the Bible.
Biblical faith is not armchair philosophy.
No human could or would invent it through contemplative imagination.
The element in the biblical narrative storylines of God displacing our ways with His higher ways is the factual component that entirely excludes all humanistic explanations for the origin of these stories.
Atheistic critics of Christianity and the Bible today completely miss this biblical faith component in the narrative stories of faith, incorrectly interpreting as myth what in actuality is beyond the inventive imagination of humanistic conventional thinking.
The biblical narrative in a modern world inserts an alternate worldview to worldly conventional normalcy and thinking.
The biblical narrative offers a new and living way (Heb. 10:20) into human life that contains the guided trajectories of purpose and meaning, in a true way that cannot be orchestrated through worldly conventional normalcy.
The biblical narrative stories of faith, including and especially the life-script for Jesus Christ demonstrate that only God has the complete picture, that only God has all of the information along with timeless foresight and absolute moral goodness.
Satan was unable to comprehend and to foresee the final outcome of the Passover, of the blood of a lamb applied to the exterior top and sides of the entry doors to the dwellings of the Jews in Egypt (Ex. 12:7). This effectuated the plague of the “destroyer” death to safely Passover the houses of the “children of Israel in Egypt” (Ex. 12:27), re-enacted by Jews every year thereafter as the Passover celebration for roughly 1,500 years.
Satan was unable to grasp and to anticipate the Passover as a foreglimpse of the prime mission of Jesus Christ the Son of God to be that very Passover Lamb of God.
If Satan had any foresight and advanced knowledge into the true mission-plan of Jesus at the time of the temptation in the wilderness, he would not have wasted one of his temptations on the idea that Jesus of Nazareth would be susceptible, would lower His sights, to the enticing allurement of using worldly power and glory as a shortcut to achieve His destiny.
The offer of this worldly conventional means by which to save the world that might presumably tempt Jesus, again clothed as a deceptive half-truth but lacking the complete picture was intended for Jesus to take the quick and easy worldly path to accomplishing His mission.
Whatever was miscalculated by Satan at that moment in time, the underlying destructive intention was to subordinate Jesus to Satan’s authority (Lk 4:7), the main goal of this temptation in the wilderness.
To sacrifice His unique role and singular opportunity as the Son of God in a human body, in order to accomplish the saving of the world by taking its repair into His own hands by using the standard, worldly conventional means of political power, glory, and influence, to Satan’s thinking might be appealing to Jesus.
As a “shot-in-the-dark” this corrupted form of self-sacrifice at the enormous cost of abandoning God-sovereignty, of worshipping Satan as the means to an easier way to save the world, might work at that critically opportune time of the physical weakness of Jesus after fasting in the wilderness (Lk. 4:1-4).
But Jesus emphatically rejects this tempting proposal put forward by Satan, choosing instead the elevated life-script composed by Jesus, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit before the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8).
Jesus Christ knows His own life-script calling andmission-plan, because Jesus of Nazareth as the Son of God in a human body possesses all of the information ahead-of-time (Lk. 2:49; Mt. 9:6, 9:28, 12:40, 26:53-54; Jn. 18:36-37, 19:10-11), being in direct communion and communication with God the Father at all times (Mt. 11:27; Jn 3:34).
The unique life-script for Jesus Christ to become the Passover Lamb of God atoning sacrifice for mankind’s sin, elevated and transcendent far above worldly conventional normalcy and thinking, was foreglimpsed in the aborted sacrifice of Isaac on Mount Moriah (Gen. 22:8), was foreglimpsed in the yearly Passover instituted at the time of the deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt (Ex. 12:1-28), and was foreglimpsed in the brazen serpent lifted up on a pole by Moses during the Exodus (Num. 21:8-9; Jn. 3:14).
The extraordinary revelation here that illuminates the real truth about God is that Satan at the time of the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness was incapable of envisioning and comprehending a higher, transcendent mission-plan for Jesus the divine Son of God, to absorb within Himself the sins of the world.
Satan cannot rise above his own limited capacity and character, in crafting his temptations for Jesus Christ of Nazareth, and for human beings today.
This is where God can outpace and out-run Satan, as demonstrated in the biblical narrative stories of faith, and in God-composed journey of faith life-scripts for Spirit-born Christians today.
The temptation in the wilderness of Jesus regarding the attractive appeal of the kingdoms of this world, and the power and glory of them (Lk. 4:5-8), as the sole means to solve the problems of this world, should not automatically be disqualified as not being commendable and admirable just because it comes out of the mouth of Satan.
The cleverest and most appealing of the destructive temptations by Satan contain a kernel of partial truth, being half-truths that have some measure of positive value.
The destructive nature of Satan’s temptations is that they rob the intended target of realizing the fuller benefit of the half-truth being deceitfully offered, having a final, hidden outcome that intentionally and knowingly falls far short of the misleading promise conveyed.
This is like unknowingly accepting a one-hundred dollar-bill from a counterfeiter, only to find out later at the grocery store that it is worthless.
The precisely targeted temptations by Satan in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:1-5), of Jesus in the wilderness (Lk. 4:1-15), and now being put forward in this present time attempt to get people to lower their sights to aim for things below their created potential, to aim for lower goals that miss the mark of people’s divinely intended destinies.
Human beings were created with the privileged capacity to be able to have a personal relationship with our Creator God, to know Him from the least to the greatest (Jer. 31:34).
One of the most misguided tragedies in this life is to become side-tracked by alternative goals that distract, frustrate, and dilute the fully realized human life-script of enjoying a walk with God through life, that actualizes into reality this intimate personal relationship with God.
The destructive intentions deceptively hidden within the temptations by Satan are masked within the details of choices and suggested courses of action, that have the outward appearance at first glance of being reasonably beneficial and sensible.
By taking these classic temptations apart piece-by-piece, sunlight being the best disinfectant, what is revealed is the realtruth about God in our modern world (Jn. 10:10).
For example, the temptation of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden that: “ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Gen. 3:5), hopelessly falls short of its implied benefit.
It misleadingly falls short of the whole story, because simply knowing about good and evil alone without the dual accompanying divine capacities of timeless foresight and absoluteperfect character, leads to the despair of failure.
It leads to the frustration of not be able to fully achieve consistent success, of not being able to produce and maintain the trouble-free life of secure happiness, of elevated safely above and out of the vulnerable zone of being corruptible and mistake-prone.
In a nutshell, going our own way at the compromised lower level of lost potential is an accurate description of flawed human nature. In essence, this is a fundamental explanation for the imperfect record of human history.
Our modern culture denigrates the story of the temptation of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden as a human invented, literary myth, but the highly sophisticated theme here is far above and outside of the boundaries of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking.
To lightly dismiss this Garden of Eden temptation story as having a human imaginative origin, in my opinionis being naïvely uncritical and short-sighted.
No human literary writer at the time of the writing of the book of Genesis, or in modern times today, could or would get within ten miles of this story of the downward fall of mankind being negatively defined as venturing out on our own within the self-reliance of self-sovereignty, this being the very cornerstone of humanism.
Obtaining the knowledge of good and evil alone, on thecheap in the Garden of Eden by merely eating a particular fruit from a tree, is like someone giving us an automobile for free that has no motor. It may be beautiful on the outside, but it is not functional in terms of getting anywhere.
That “knowing good and evil” alone would be a positive thing for mankind is a classic example of being a half-truth having an end-point outcome that does not fully deliver as advertised.
The only way that “knowing good and evil” successfully operates for autonomous human beings walking within our own self-composed life-scripts apart from God, is if we also innately possess the timeless foresight to see into the future to make correct decisions ahead-of-time, and possess the absolute perfectcharacter to always without exception choose the right course of action for the optimum benefit to ourselves and to other people
Without possessing timeless foresight and absolute goodness, then knowing good and evil becomes a Catch-22 dilemma of only being able to recognize, appreciate, and second-guess our past bad choices and mistakes in hindsight, after-the-fact in the reactive, cleanup mode.
Not having the benefit in-the-moment of being able to see ahead into the future the final outcomes of our decisions, choices, and actions now in the present time, and not being able to divinely separate and parse the subtleties of good from evil at the proactive, preventive, and trouble-free level of perfect character, is a current reality of human life.
But acquiring the knowledge of good and evil alone, as non-divine human beings, does indeed work extremely well if this clearly recognizable deficiency in our nature is repaired by the addition of a personal connection with our Creator God.
The essence of the biblical narrative stories of faith is that the God of the Bible does possess the divine attributes of timeless foresight and absolute perfect goodness, a reality that is brilliantly patterned for us in the detailed life-scripts of these worldly unconventional, biblical narrative stories of faith.
The tempting appeal of independently acquiring for ourselves one of the legs of the three-legged stool required as a first-start to becoming “as gods,” the three legs of the stool being at a minimum the knowledge of good and evil, timeless foresight, and perfect character, this hasty and rash decision by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden carries with it the unimaginably destructive, hidden by-product of going our own way (Isa. 53:6).
A thoughtfully questioning and worldly-savvy Adam and Eve might have more wisely answered back to the serpent: “What you say sounds good and appealing on the surface, but there is no rush. We will first discuss this with God, think about it, and then get back to you in a few days. Also, we know God just well-enough now to trust His judgment, and will ask God to elaborate further on why He told us not to eat this fruit, and why someone like you would be suggesting we do otherwise. We will put the question squarely to God if there might be another alternate reality we are missing-out on in this Garden of Eden, that is independent of and contrary to the council of God, before making our decision regarding this new option you present.”
The absence of all of the information needed to make a thoughtful decision, of not having the whole picture, identifies this temptation in the Garden of Eden as having such a malicious and destructive intention.
Its subtlety is masked within a half-truth containing some limited measure of appealing value, enabling us now in hindsight to be able to categorize this temptation by Satan as being an injuriously deceptive evil.
This is evidenced on a monumental scale as demonstrated every day in the front pages of newspapers around the world, of people having a knowledge of good and evil but being incapable as less-than-divine gods to divinely control life-events consistently towards favorable outcomes.
The temptation in the Garden of Eden essentially gave us a bank account with a checkbook full of checks that we are unable to cash. It gave us a brand-new automobile without an engine.
Applying this same line-of-reasoning to the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness, the pivotal turn-about here is that Satan did not know…that this time he was the one who was partially uninformed at the time of the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness, about the premeditated and timeless plans of God for Jesus to be the Passover Lamb of God atoning sacrifice for sin (1 Cor. 2:8).
Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 were brilliantly hidden in the Old Testament scriptures as prophetic, predicted events to be fulfilled centuries later in the future, as were actualized into reality on Calvary Hill and on Easter morning in Jerusalem about three and one-half years after this temptation of Jesus took place in the wilderness.
Satan is a created being and does not possess the divine attributes of divine foresight and foreknowledge. This time around Satan himself was not “with-it” and divinely savvy to know in advance the precise plans of God for the redemption and salvation of mankind.
The temptation of Jesus in the wilderness to use the power and glory of the kingdoms of this world as the means to fix humanity’s problems was not an off-target, misdirected temptation. It was not a random, shot-in-the-dark outcome of Satan’s not fully knowing in advance of the precise details of the life-script for Jesus Christ the Son of God, in a human body here on earth.
But in crafting this deceptive temptation of Jesus in the wilderness, what separates itself out here that tells us a great deal about the real truth about God, is that Satan this time was the one who did not possess all of the information.
“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Heb. 4:15)
In all of the accounts of the intense opposition from the religious and political leaders the Pharisees, scribes, Sadducees, and lawyers that Jesus responds to as recorded in the four New Testament gospels, we see what we would expect to see in the moral attributes in a person claiming to be the divine Son of God and long-awaited Messiah (Isa. 11:1-5, 35:1-8).
In His miraculous healings of the blind and the lame, of inspired preaching to hundreds and sometimes thousands of people (Matthew chapters 5-7), and in His personal interactions with His disciples and the common people, we see the traits of virtue we would expect to see actualized through Immanuel (Isa. 7:14), meaning God with us.
We see truth, honesty, kindness, tolerance, forgiveness, humility, and uncompromising courage, to name a few positive attributes that give Jesus a grade of A-plus, of perfect 100-percent test scores across-the-board within the broad array of moral concepts we can use as standards for judgment.
We can agree with Pilate the Roman governor in Jerusalem after examining Jesus: “I find in him no fault at all.” (Jn. 18:38).
But what we do not see today looking back in hindsight into first-century Jerusalem during the time of the ministry of John the Baptist and Jesus of Nazareth, is why the Passover sacrifice of Exodus 12:26-27 had no connection with the Old Testament Judaic understanding of the anticipated, coming Messiah.
How is it that nearly everyone in and around A.D. 27 in Israel were looking hopefully and expectantly for a Joshua or King David type warrior/priest as Messiah who would expel the loathsome Romans out of their country as had occurred with numerous other enemy invaders in their past national history, and fulfill Isaiah’s prophecy of 9:6-7 of God setting-up His eternal kingdom in Jerusalem?
No one expected the coming Messiah to also be the Passover Lamb of God atoning sacrifice, offering His own body and life for mankind’s sins, according to the obscure and little understood scriptural passages of Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53.
This is where God’s ways and our ways sharply divide, differentiating the life-script for Jesus Christ as being above and beyond human literary invention.
God’s higher ways lift the biblical narrative above other contemporary worldview narratives in today’s modern marketplace of ideas.
But the one area where we canwith solid confidence through the benefit of hindsight today conclude that Jesus Christ is operating at the cutting-edge of divine perfection, is that Jesus Christ is living-out His God-composed life-script to be the Passover Lamb of God atoning sacrifice for sin to the outer limits of absolute perfection.
The life-script mission of Jesus Christ as the Passover Lamb of God would require perfect adherence without any gaps of inconsistency to the uniquely biblical, moral concept of God-sovereignty, Jesus Himself being the Second Person of the Trinity.
Self-will to go His own way apart from God the Father and the Holy Spirit is inconceivable at the high level of brilliant pure light and absolute goodness (Lk. 22:42).
This level of sacrificial love to do the optimum right thing for others would be humanly impossible for anyone other than the messianic God/man Jesus Christ to perfectly actualize.
Every positive person of faith in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, other than Jesus Christ, have God-composed life-scripts that take into account a built-in allowance for human error (Rom. 4:6-8).
All of these positive people of faith are nonetheless morally imperfect and are not perfectly virtuous.
The great men and women of faith in the Bible are morally imperfect like the rest of us in the many categories of the broad array of moral concepts, but also in their inability to perfectly follow-through within their God-composed life-scripts, without stumbling and bumbling at certain points along the way in pursuit of their divinely created callings and destinies.
The biblical narrative stories of faith can be described as God’s attempt to give us something of Himselfto enable us to experience first-hand the expression in-and-through-us of some portion of His divine character. This is actualized through the events of God-composed life-script storylines. But we can also see that this extraordinary program entails our imperfect performance.
Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, David, Esther and Mordecai, Ruth, Hannah, Daniel, Peter, and Paul…none of these people are morally perfect and sinless.
Their life-scripts are based upon Holy Spirit empowered grace-through-faith, and proceed according to their individually exceptional gifts and abilities, plus the creative imagination of God their Creator as life-script Writer.
These biblical life-scripts are not based upon the self-realization of autonomous individualism built upon the attempt to save ourselves through the self-performance of good-works.
Programs of self-salvation based upon self-reliance are by definition human-driven and therefore fall short of moral perfection and sinless virtue.
But the God-composed life-script for Jesus Christ the Son of God intentionally exploits and utilizes to the fullest His uniquely divine nature to the maximum extent to be able to perfectly succeed in the one area wherein God knows we will have the mostdifficulty.
This is the area that is the definition of sin and that the cross on Calvary Hill focuses upon…the area of God-sovereignty versus self-sovereignty…of following God’s leading in our lives compared instead to going our own way in shortsighted self-rulership (Isa. 53:6).
God singles-out and highlights this key element within the broad array of moral concepts, honestly and candidly revealed in the difficulty that Jesus has in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before His crucifixion.
Matthew 26:36-46 and Luke 22:39-46 record that in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night of His arrest and preliminary trial that Jesus asked His disciples to “watch and pray.”
Jesus said that His soul was “exceedingly sorrowful.” The scriptures record that He received the assistance from an angel from heaven to strengthen Him, and that He went back a second time to “pray more earnestly.”
Luke 22:44 records that Jesus sweat “great drops of blood falling down to the ground,” a condition known to modern medical science called hematidrosis.
The remarkable words of Jesus spoken that night: “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: never the less not my will, but thine, be done” (Lk. 22:42), tells us that God has brilliantly written a life-script for Himself, for our benefit.
The life-script for the second Person of the Trinity living in a human body manages to challenge Himself in the one humanly unreachable zone of moral perfection and sinless virtue, of making perfect choices and doing the right thing every time.
Yet this humanly unreachable zone of perfection is still comprehensible within our capacity for moral reasoning, in the test-case scenario in the Garden of Gethsemane ofGod-sovereignty consistent, unified, and indivisible within GodHimself, within the Trinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
If Jesus does not say in perfect faith without skipping a beat: “nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done,” but instead decides to go in another direction other than the cross the next day, at that precise moment in time God-sovereignty would have been split in two.
This would have introduced autonomous individual rebellion into the God-head of the Trinity, of Jesus the Son of God going His own way apart from the Father and away from His ancient destiny as the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Rev. 13:8).
This unprecedented development of the testing of divinely sinless unity-of-purpose consistent between God the Father, Jesus the Son of God, and the Holy Spirit, highlights God-sovereignty as the central issue in all of reality, the top-shelf “queen” of the virtues.
 Lee Strobel, The Case for Christ (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1998), 195.
In our modern world today, we have many more realities we can utilize to form theoretical, skeletal explanatory frameworks in which to conduct scientific research programs.
As one area of research expands into two or more new avenues of interest to investigate in the natural world, the breadth and depth of knowledge increases at an exponential rate, which then likewise increases the number of new explanatory stories needed to add meaning, structure, and intelligibility to the raw data.
This modern reality also generates enumerable possible analogies that can be spun-off these skeletal explanatory frameworks which permeate science, that were non-existent in 1859 when Darwin published The Origin of Species.
For example, anyone living in Southern California in 2022 understands the concept that after putting a few warm-up miles on a recently purchased new automobile, that upon the first time entering onto one of our major freeways our new automobile must get quickly up to at least 65 miles per hour on the on-ramp in order to blend safely into the flow of traffic (except during the start-and-stop traffic congestion at rush-hour).
There is no such thing as entering onto the 405 freeway in a 1920 Ford Model-T automobile having a top-speed of 30 miles per hour, and then safely navigating into the number two lane with the other automobiles driving 70 miles per hour.
This analogy regarding the immediate required fit of adequate velocity on the freeways of Southern California, of having an automobile that can enter into the fast-lane and survive within the biodiversity of different models of modern automobiles all driving within the narrow parameter of 65 to 75 miles per hour, was obviously a concept unavailable to the people of Darwin’s time.
The required conditions of driving on roadways in 1920 for the Ford Model-T no longer apply to the high-speed freeways of today, not only in the vehicles being driven but also in the quality of the roads.
But what is most important to understand from this modern analogy, that was not accessible in 1859 to help formulate accurate scientific theories, is that there is no space or lanes on the modern freeway set-aside or designated for experimental, trial-and-error, incrementally improving automobiles half-way towards fully functional development.
A person owning and driving a 1920 Model-T as a member of a local classic car club, can get from one weekend classic car show to the next by using the non-freeway surface streets, or by going in-mass as a large group early in the morning on one or more of the freeways staying exclusively in the far-right, slow lane.
But a person owning a classic, old-model car would not venture-out daily into the morning commuter traffic at 5 A.M. on the major freeways of Southern California into traffic going 70 to 75 miles per hour, in a vehicle only capable of driving at a top-speed of 30 to 35 miles per hour.
And we do not see on these freeways a mix of experimental vehicles all blending together at various speeds, of one-man solar powered vehicles, or one-man aerodynamic human-powered bicycles, or battery powered skateboards, or hybrid cars that can also fly, or jet-propelled cars that can travel at a top-speed of 400 miles per hour on the Bonneville Salt Flats.
These major freeways in Southern California do not have 10 lanes going each direction, with some lanes being used within the common range of 65 to 75 miles per hour, and the remaining lanes set-aside for a hybrid-blend of vehicles still in the trial-and-error, experimental phases of development.
The obvious, crossover question we can draw from this analogy to the natural living world, is do we see unlimited physical terrain on the African savanna plains for as-yet undeveloped cheetahs having a top running speed of only 35 miles per hour, chasing as-yet not fully developed Thompson’s gazelles with a top running speed of 30 miles per hour, in areas separated from fully developed cheetahs and Thompson’s gazelles running at top speeds of 70 mph and 65 mph respectively?
And are there additional intermediate zones where we find Cheetahs with top running speeds of 20 mph, and still other incremental zones with cheetahs having variable running speeds of 40 to 60 mph?
Do we see giraffes off in another area of a vastly larger continent of Africa, with half-way developed neck lengths feeding on the leaves part-way up trees mid-height, in a separate geographical zone set-aside for an enumerable number of developing organisms, all part-way along their journey towards their full architectural body-plans and lifestyle habits?
One of the modern daggers through the heart of the worldview of naturalistic materialism is that there is not enough physical terrain to support the concept of a blind, mindless, accidental, trial-and-error, gradual process to reach function for the ten-million living species on earth…utilizing small-step, transitional, progressive development.
Our earth would need many more times its surface area to support the quality of trial-and-error development that Darwinian evolution contemplated, similar to the ten or more lanes going each direction on our major freeways to accommodate a varied blend of vehicles all going at different speeds.
What should have been obvious to Charles Darwin observing the finches on the 13 islands of the Galapagos Archipelago, is that these finches were already at their functionally developed phase of being able to drive 70 mph in the fast-lane, on the freeway of the unique biodiversity and ecology of these slightly varied islands.
What appeared to Darwin as microevolutionary adaptation, might be analogous to these finches as they flew the relatively short distances (for birds) in the long-ago past to spread-out over these 13 islands, as speeding-up from 65 mph to 70 mph to changes lanes on the freeway, to move into a slightly faster lane.
Darwin did not observe macroevolution actually taking place in the finches living on these islands, but observed differing finches all existing at the mature levels of survival and reproduction…of change having already occurred.
All of Darwin’s finches on the Galapagos Archipelago at the time he observed them, were in essence driving on the freeway at 70 mph.
As a layman reading books and watching presentations and debates on the Internet, if I am not mistaken the Galapagos Island chain does not have the necessarily broad ecosystem to support birds-of-prey.
There is not a profusion of small rodents as prey for hawks, eagles, and owls, and there are no small cats to catch and eat finches.
It would appear that Darwin’s finches have no serious predators on these islands situated roughly 600 miles west of the South American continent at the equator.
Because the Galapagos Archipelago is an island chain with limited surface area separated by water, the finches are the perfect test-tube subject for highlighting limited physical terrain that validates the concept of living organisms entering into existence at the completed end-points of development…able to immediately enter from the on-ramp into the fast-lane of the freeway at 65 to 70 mph in order to be able to survive and to reproduce.
The challenging environment of the Galapagos Islands, which Darwin described as barren and visually inhospitable, yet teaming with incredibly varied and interesting life-forms, is the fast-lane of biodiversity and ecological balance.
If we do not find Darwin’s finches or anything else part-way along a slowly developing path towards some future end-point of typologically defining essence on these isolated islands, then we will not find it anywhere else.
If the earth can be described, in any geological era as always being a Southern California type freeway having narrowly defined parameters for the required velocity to enter into the flow-of-traffic, and to maintain a safe speed of 65 to 70 mph to blend into the predator/prey relationships of the various models of automobiles on these freeways, then the gradualism of Darwinian evolution lacks the available physical space to be considered a sensible option for explaining the vast diversity of life today.