One contention I want to make in this book is that the biblical narrative stories of faith, starting with the detailed life-script of Abraham, are roughly 3,500 years ahead of modern science in recognizing this subtle dichotomy between the status quo “is” of studying the material world, and the abstract ideal of what “ought” to be as applied to the destiny and direction of a human life-script.
One of the main themes of the biblical narrative stories of faith is that as Abraham travels south towards Canaan, God’s new life-script for Abraham displaces whatever Abraham might otherwise have done, living in the city of Haran.
Fundamental to eternal reality, Abraham could never have closed the gap between the “is” and the “ought” of becoming the father of faith, through a humanistic approach of self-reliant, worldly conventional normalcy and thinking.
The concept of the God of the Bible displacing our ways with His higher ways and thoughts, to close the gap between an “is” and an “ought,” cannot by definition exist within the self-reliant, “I did it my way” approach of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking.
The revolutionary concept starting with the life-script of Abraham is that God-sovereignty is unimaginatively superior to self-sovereignty, inserting the discernment of a divinely better moral compass that is unattainable through worldly conventional normalcy and thinking.
The constrained optimization in the engineering of a fulfilled human life, had a targeted trajectory towards the ideal end-point “ought” of my optimum destiny living in Christ, starting at the beginning point “is” of being lost and directionless in my unredeemed, fallen nature at the time of my Christian conversion.
This is the epitome of well-defined purpose.
The Dichotomy of “Is” and “Ought,” is Present Today at the Outer Edge of the Universe.
As the universe expanded outward following the Hot Big Bang explosion out of nothing previously material, the circular bubble internally containing all of the laws of physics, chemistry, and mathematics including the fourth dimension of time, and all of the materials in the Periodic Table of fundamental particles, along with all of the information that would comprise the organized complexity within that expanding bubble…has always been tangentially connected to the timeless, physically immaterial nothingness (the eternal God of the Bible is a non-material, self-existent Spirit-Being)…located at the outer edge of the still expanding universe.
If we could travel to and catch-up with the expanding envelope of the universe, we could observe the current transition-line between the “is” of the timeless, nothing-physically-material, existing before and since the Big Bang beginning of the universe 13.7-billion years ago, and the expanding interior of the universe containing all of the incredible realities of time, matter, and energy that exhibit and define the “ought” of either a purposeless or a purposeful universe, the question that modern mankind is attempting to answer.
A fundamental truism to try to comprehend here, is that as the presently expanding universe pushes outward its leading boundary-edge, there exists the most profound demarcation-line between absolutely nothing timely or material outside the universe, and absolutely everything material inside the universe including everything non-materially conceptual in the form of abstract ideas, intellectual and moral reasoning, animal instinct, and the fourth dimension of time.
At the outer edge of this universe exists as stark a contrast between an “is” and an “ought,” as is imaginable.
The “is” of a non-spatial reality containing nothing material exists just outside the bubble of the universe, and the “ought” of absolutely everything exists just inside this line separating nothing physically material with everything physically material.
Modern mankind now has the empirical database of facts garnered through the Scientific Revolution to make an informed decision of how an “is” of nothing physically material could become the “ought” of this remarkable universe we inhabit and study.
From the Christian viewpoint, the “is” to “ought” journeys from Abraham to Paul in the biblical narrative stories of faith, bears an uncanny similarity to the same journey of an expanding material universe out of nothing previously material, pushing outward the boundary-line between nothing physically material from everything physically material.
From the Christian viewpoint, this is unmistakable evidence for the existence of the non-deistic, fully engaged, intelligent designing agent God of the Bible.
This is a reality that no purely naturalistic explanation can plausibly traverse.
This is an excerpt form my book Pondering Our World: Christian Essays on Science and Faith.