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Natural Revelation

Page history last edited by pinkhamc@... 1 year, 1 month ago

Let's address two important concepts right away.

 

Theologically, there are two major kinds of revelation about God and spiritual matters: General and Special.

 

General Revelation refers to knowledge of God discovered through natural means, such as 1) observation of nature (the physical universe), 2) philosophy and reasoning, 3) consciousness, or 4) providence or providential history (evidence for God's guidance in the lives of individuals and nations).  It is man finding God.

Special Revelation refers to knowledge of God discovered through 1) supernatural means, such as miracles or 2) the scriptures, a disclosure of God's truth through means other than through man's reason.  It is God finding man.

(Both modified from Wiki articles on General and Special Revelation.)

 

So what is natural revelation?  It is number 1) under General Revelation above.

 

Matt Slick defines it as "the revelation of God in nature."

I would elaborate on that to give, "Examples from nature that serve as metaphors for God's Spiritual Truths."

 

In other words, at the bottom of everything is God; not His immanent self, but his symbolic self, and that by design.  Failure to appreciate this leads to a life that is full of nothing, one, that like a balloon around a vacuum collapses on itself.

 

Why do these revelations exist? I suppose there are two (decidedly not necessarily mutually exclusive) explanations:

1) God is the author of both the Word and the World and He merges the two in the incarnate Word, thus we should expect to find many examples of the Word in the world, just as we find similar themes, phrases, and approaches in the various works of the same author.  Perhaps C. S. Lewis has caught this idea best:

 

“What man, in his natural condition, has not got, is Spiritual life—the higher and different sort of life that exist in God.  We use the same word life for both: but if you thought that both must therefore be the same sort of thing, that would be like thinking that the “greatness’ of space and the ‘greatness’ of God were the same sort of greatness.  In reality, the difference between Biological life and Spiritual life is so important that I am going to give them two distinct names.  The Biological sort which comes to us through Nature, and which (Like everything else in Nature) is always tending to run down and decay so that it can only be kept up by incessant subsidies from Nature in the form of air, water, food, etc., is Bios.  The Spiritual life which is in God from all eternity, and which made the whole natural universe, is Zoe.  Bios has, to be sure, a certain shadowy or symbolic resemblance to Zoe: but only the sort of resemblance there is between a photo and a place, or a statue and a man.  A man who changed from having Bios to having Zoe would have gone through as big a change as a statue which changed from being a carved stone to being a real man"1.

-----

1Lewis, C.S., 1960, Mere Christianity, McMillan Publishing Co., pp 139-140.

 

2) The mind of man is adept at finding patterns and connections.

 

Psalm 139:14 captures both our awareness of NR and provides an example.

 

How the Intricate Simplicity of the Cell and the Heme Molecule Reflect the Trinity and God's Plan of Salvation:

The cell provides numerous metaphors for spiritual truths, including a parallel with Communion.  In the slide show below given first in February, 2011, at an OCF Cadet/Midshipman retreat, I provide two of countless, original examples of natural revelation. As I developed the presentation since then, including one at Norwich and one at the Green Mountain Community Alliance Church, additional examples have been added.

 

You may be surprised to find God has embedded the symbolism of Communion in the cell.  After all, the cell is only matter, right?  If that's your attitude, consider this quote from C.S. Lewis' mere Christianity1, "There is no good trying to be more spiritual than God. God never meant man to be a purely spiritual creature. That is why He uses material things like bread and wine to put the new life into us. We may think this rather crude and unspiritual. God does not: He invented eating. He likes matter. He invented it."

 

When you click on this slide show, open it in the "Home" tab, and be sure it's in the view that allows you to read the accompanying notes.  Each slide (except the first one) is equipped with a full set of notes.  If that doesn't appeal to you, open the file, "How the Cell Mirrors the Trinity," below the slide show file which contains the notes.

 

I am not the first or only one to see the connection between the Holy Spirit and oxygen.  Michael Reeves in his excellent book, Delighting in the Trinity, An Introduction to the Christian Faith, (2012) on page 90 et seq., talks about "The Oxygen of the New Life."

 

How the Cell Mirrors the Trinity

 

Uses of Different Symbols for a Spiritual Truth

One of the difficulties with accepting How the Cell Mirrors the Trinity comes from the generally accepted understanding that Jesus is often depicted as being water springing up to give us eternal life and the Holy Spirit as the oil of the sacred lamps, fueling our fire.  The metaphor of the cell is not an attempt to usurp these instances of symbolism inspired by the Holy Spirit, but to show that the Holy Spirit is not bound to one way in His use of symbols to convey complex spiritual truths.  For example, we know in Ephesians 6:13-17 we are given the parts of the full armor of God, including the breastplate of righteousness and the shield of faith and the sword of the spirit (the Word of God).  But in 2nd Corinthians 6:7, the Holy Spirit instructs us to take up "the weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left."  Now the breastplate is not a weapon, it is a defensive piece of armor.  While the shield is often a defensive piece of armor, the shield used in the Greek here is a large, body-length shield, with a pointed projection at the top that can be used as a weapon2 .  Hence (Jesus') righteousness is BOTH a defensive attribute AND an offensive weapon.  In order to convey this truth, the Holy Spirit chose to do so by using two verses in two different epistles written by the Apostle Paul.  Paul would certainly have known what he had written once and would not contradict the earlier writing with a new symbolism, unless he was specifically inspired by the Holy Spirit to do so.

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1Lewis, C. S., 1960, mere Christianity, MacMillan Paperbacks Edition, MacMillan Publishing, New York, p 65.

2Since the New Testament was assembled after the time of Paul's writing, we must turn to the Old Testament and therefore the Hebrew that Paul was thinking in when using these words.  In Hebrew, the word, magen is shield.  This word occurs in the Old Testament 57 times in 54 verses.  It is by far the most common Hebrew word translated as “shield.”  The second most common word translated as shield is tsinnâh, which occurs 20 times in 18 verses.  The remaining nine words translated as shield by various authors occur five or fewer times each.  The difference between magen and tsinnâh is that the former is a small shield or buckler, used mostly for defense, whereas the latter is a full body shield, often with a forward projecting point that could be used as an offensive weapon.  (Taken from Chapter 11 of my pending book, The Trouble with the Trinity.)

 

Why Would God Use Leaven as a Metaphor for Sin?

Leaven is widely regarded as a metaphor for sin in the Bible1.  Why would this be?  The simple answer is God intended it to be so.  But God is not arbitrary, why would He choose leaven to stand in for sin?  Many have answered this question. One such answer is provided below2.

 

But for the time being, I want to introduce a reason unavailable to past commentators, but one that is available to us now because of our deeper understanding of science.  Leavening causes the bread to rise.  Specifically, leavening is accomplished by yeast, a primitive eukaryote as it produces the waste gas, carbon dioxide.  It is this gas which causes the bread to rise and be riddled with the holes that make bread so light and airy.  With that introduction, I draw the reader's attention to the slide show above at How the Intricate Simplicity of the Cell and the Heme Molecule Reflect the Trinity and God's Plan of Salvation.  View it with respect to the role of carbon dioxide in cellular metabolism and especially the discussion for the last slide in the show.  Then, go to The Problem of Theodicy, Choice, Proof of God, Theodicy, and Numbers 35:33 and read the role of yeast in the Last Supper.

 

Since leaven causes bread to be puffed up, I wonder if being puffed up is synonymous with something bad in the following three verses: Habakkuk 2:4, “See, the enemy is puffed up; his desires are not upright— but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness—."  1 Corinthians 4:6, "Now, brothers and sisters, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, “Do not go beyond what is written.” Then you will not be puffed up in being a follower of one of us over against the other." and Colossians 2:18, "Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind."  This is something that needs further investigation with commentaries.

 

1For example, see the discussion, “The Meaning of Yeast in Scripture, Summary,” found associated with its use in Matthew 13:33 in The Scofield Study Bible, 2004, New International Version, Oxford University Press, NY, p 1273.

2"Leaven is fermented dough, and the Jew identified fermentation with putrefaction, and so leaven stood for rottenness."  Barclay, William, 1975, The Gospel of Mark, Revised Edition, Westminster Press, Philadelphia, PA, p 332.

 

The Three (+ 1) in the Two Protestant Sacraments or Ordinances

“Most Protestant denominations identify two sacraments [or ordinances] instituted by Christ; the Eucharist (Holy Communion) and Baptism. However some traditions avoid the word "sacrament". Reaction against the 19th-century Oxford Movement led Baptists to prefer instead the word "ordinance",[8] practices ordained by Christ to be permanently observed by the church. Anglican teaching is that "there are two Sacraments ordained of Christ our Lord in the Gospel, that is to say, Baptism and the Supper of the Lord", and that "those five commonly called Sacraments, that is to say, Confirmation, Penance, Orders, Matrimony, and Extreme Unction, are not to be counted for Sacraments of the Gospel".[9]

[8]Jeffrey Gros, Thomas F. Best, Lorelei F. Fuchs (editors), Growth in Agreement III: International Dialogue Texts and Agreed Statements, 1998-2005 (Eerdmans 2008 ISBN 978-0-8028-6229-7), p. 352

[9]Thirty-Nine Articles, Article XXV”

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacrament

 

In both these two ordinances, the three prominent inputs to the cell and one of the four prominent outputs are found, although in each, two are clearly involved and the third and fourth is less clearly so, but that, too, reflects the way these two are in life.

 

There are many parts of this metaphor to notice.

 

In the symbolic act of Baptism, we are placed under the water where we cannot breathe and then we are raised above the water again.

 

Water (the Father) is prominent before, during, and after this sacrament, supporting us before, receiving us completely during, and yielding us back up and supporting us after. 

 

Oxygen (the Holy Spirit) although prominent before, is not found during, but is prominent again after, sustaining us before, symbolically leaving us (although His remnant is still within us doing His work) during, and then symbolically returning to us and sustaining us after in the new role as the conveyor of Jesus’ Holiness and empowerment.

 

Nutrients (the Son) are present before, during, and after as our body; before as an old, filthy self; during as being washed by Jesus’ shed blood and the water; and after as a holy and empowered new self.

 

The waste carbon dioxide (our sin) is present before, builds up during (as we become more and more convicted of our sin), and is released explosively after as we breathe out our first exhalation before gratefully breathing in oxygen (the Holy Spirit) in our first inhalation. 

 

Thus, notice that the One of the Three playing a less obvious, but no less necessary, role in Baptism is the Son.

 

In the symbolic act of Holy Communion, we take a wafer of bread and then a glass of wine and eat the bread and drink the wine.

 

The wafer or nutrients (the Son) is present before, during, and after this sacrament, visible and on the alter before communion, during communion becoming invisible inside our mouth where it is broken and swallowed and becoming part of our body after communion.

 

Water (The Father) is present before, during, and after this sacrament as the major liquid in the wine, visible and on the alter before communion contained in a glass that represents our refusal to acknowledge Him even though His existence cannot be denied, imbibed during, and distributed in our body after.

 

Oxygen (The Holy Spirit) is present in each inhalation before, during, and after this sacrament, in this case, always carrying on its important role of sustaining and empowering us, but doing so in the background, which is so often the way He works.

 

Meanwhile, carbon dioxide (our sin), is also present in each exhalation before, during, and after this sacrament, reminding us that although our spirits are cleansed and made holy by the shed blood of Jesus, our body still remains tainted by our sin nature.

 

Thus, notice that the One of the Three playing a less obvious role in Communion is the Holy Spirit.

 

As a parting thought, consider Jesus' first recorded miracle, the conversion of water to wine at the Wedding feast of Cana (John 2:1-11).  We have no trouble recognizing that His waiting until the end of the feast to perform this miracle is a suggestion that the ritualism of the Torah will be followed and superseded by the freedom of the Gospel.  And further, that the Gospel more efficaciously generates devotion and obedience to God than the Torah1.  Why then should we object to the idea that the image of water (the Father) is shifted to the image of wine (water and nutrients: the Father-Son) in this, Jesus' first miracle?

 

1Barclay, William, 1976, The Gospel of John, Volume 1, Revised Edition, Westminster Press, Philadelphia, PA, p 103.

 

For more thoughts on Communion, see A Scientist's Musings on Communion

 

The Name as a Breath Prayer1

The divine name for God is the tetragrammaton, “Yah, He, Wa, He,” the name He gave to Moses in Exodus 3:13,14 from the midst of the burning bush.  Since no one knows for sure how the Name should be spoken, it is often rendered, “Jehovah.”

 

In Hebrew cursive these four letters, read from right to left, which is how Hebrew is read are: “והיה” which translates, “I am Who I am.” 

 

Notice that when you say these letters under your breath, you breathe in with “Yah” and “Wa” and out with “He.”   It should be done under your breath because it is difficult to replicate this effect saying the letters out loud.  But, also notice that with your first breath in life, an inhalation, you begin to breathe the Name, and with every second exhalation from then on you have said the Name until with your final breath, an exhalation, you breathe the Name for the last time!

 

God is so awesome!  Yet, there is more to this than what you see here.  The vital oxygen we bring into our body with every inhalation is one of three fundamental inputs to the cell as explained elsewhere on this page.

 

1Rohr, Richard, 2016, The Divine Dance-The Trinity and Your Transformation, pp 204-206.

 

A New Way Salt May Metaphorically Serve as an Example of Natural Revelation in the Bible.

This opens a paper published in the American Journal of Biblical Theology, 16(52), on December 27th, 2015.  In this paper I review all the ways salt is used as a metaphor for spiritual truths in the Bible and introduce a way that calls upon our scientific knowledge of salt to reinforce some of these ancient metaphors.  As my friend, David McCorkle, says, these are examples of "unwitting allegory."

 

Salt_1-revised-1 w 5_ariel_and 1-103 endnotes-improved.docx

 

A passage in C.S. Lewis's Mere Christianity (pp 18-19) bears on this:

 

[Or again, suppose a person who knew nothing about salt. You give him a pinch to taste and he experiences a particular strong, sharp taste. You then tell him that in your country people use salt in all their cookery. Might he not reply "In that case I suppose all your dishes taste exactly the same: because the taste of that stuff
you have just given me is so strong that it will kill the taste of everything else." But you and I know that the real effect of salt is exactly the opposite. So far from killing the taste of the egg and the tripe and the cabbage, it actually brings it out. They do not show their real taste till you have added the salt. (Of course, as I warned you, this is not really a very good illustration, because you can, after all, kill the other tastes by putting in too much salt, whereas you cannot kill the
taste of a human personality by putting in too much Christ. I am doing the best I can.) It is something like that with Christ and us. The more we get what we now call "ourselves" out of the way and let Him take us over, the more truly ourselves we become. There is so much of Him that millions and millions of "little Christs," all different, will still be too few to express Him fully. He made them all. He invented—as an author invents characters in a novel—all the different men that you and I were intended to be. In that sense our real selves are all waiting for us in Him. It is no good trying to "be myself" without Him.]

 

Two passages that relate to Natural Revelation are Psalm 19:1-6; and Romans 1:20.

 

A Real Stretch

I am sure I am not the only one to notice this, but isn't it interesting (an example of God's sense of humor??) that if you rotate Africa, the birthplace of hominids, about 30 degrees counterclockwise, it is nearly identical to the profile of the skulls of many of the early hominids?

 

The Author of the Bible HAS to be the Holy Spirit

As mentioned above and under "Concordance versus Accommodation-Will the Twain Ever Meet?" in "The Evidence for Belief," there are many examples of "unwitting allegory" in the Bible that point to an author of this collection of books (the Holy Spirit) who knew how the universe actually worked and inspired wording that would later reflect His knowledge through phrases that carried a message that fit the cosmology at the time of authorship and drives that message home even more strongly now with our more scientifically-informed cosmology.

 

As an example, there are passages in the Bible that reveal the author knew the Earth is a sphere that rotates on an axis tilted to its orbit around the Sun and this tilting and orbit produces weather.  How can that be?  Let's see by exploring this one step at a time.

 

The Earth is a sphere that rotates on an axis

In Psalm 103:12 we read, "as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us." (NIV)  Now think about this, what, in the cosmology of approximately 1000 BC when this Psalm was penned was there to prevent this from saying, "as far as north is from the south?"  At that time, it was not at all certain that the world was anything but a large flat plane. 

 

Yet, today we know, because the earth is a sphere that rotates on its axis, if I go north far enough, I will reach the geographic north pole where in one instant I am going north and in the next I am heading south.  But if I head east, I will never reach a point where I am heading west.  In other words, my sins are so far removed from me, I will never encounter them again!  Isn't it interesting, then, that the directions given by the Holy Spirit to David are east from west, NOT north from south.  If the Bible had said that, my transgressions would not be removed from me at all!

 

Of course if this passage were not inspired by the Holy Spirit, as some would claim, David did have a 50-50 chance of getting it right, so let's go on to other examples.

 

The Earth orbits around the Sun:

"He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in (Isaiah 4:20, NIV).  Typically this is interpreted in light of the ancient cosmos of the Earth beneath the solid dome(s) of heaven1.  Sometimes this is used as an argument that the earth is a sphere.  (i.e., the circle of the Earth being what our astronauts see when they visit the moon, just as the moon is seen by us as a circle, yet we know it is a sphere.)  However, there is a much more logical explanation that gives God a much more advantageous perspective and conveys a much more impressive idea of the (infinite) size of God:  The circle of the Earth is describing the Earth's orbit around the Sun.  Although Johannes Kepler in his Laws of Planetary Motions showed that planets orbit their sun in an ellipse, for all practical purposes, this ellipse is a circle for the Earth2.

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1http://biblehub.com/isaiah/40-22.htm

2 At its perihelion (closest point to the Sun), the Earth is 1.47 x 108 km from the Sun.  At its aphelion (furthest point from the Sun), the Earth is 1.50 x 108 km from the Sun.  In other words, as the Earth orbits around the Sun, the radius of it's nearest point is 96.7% of that of it's furthest point--essentially a circle.

 

The Earth's axis is tilted to the Earth's orbit around the Sun:

Twice in the Old Testament (Isaiah 11:12 and Ezekiel 7:2) and twice in the New (Revelation 7:1 and 20:8) there is a reference to four quarters or four corners of the earth or land.  This has been taken by some to suggest the Bible supports a flat earth.  There are sound arguments against that interpretation based on the Hebrew used in the Old Testament passages1.  But all the arguments miss an interpretation that only the Holy Spirit would have known and seen at the time these verses were inspired: The Earth is a sphere that rotates on its axis and that axis is tilted to the plane of the earth’s revolution around the sun.

                                                           

Here is how that works:                                       

 

Notice that because of this            

arrangement, at any given

moment, the Earth is divided

into four quarters.  The 1st and

2nd quarter are in daylight

while the 3rd and 4th quarters

are in nighttime.  Meanwhile, the

1st and 4th quarters are in winter while the 2nd and 3rd quarters are in summer (or fall vs spring).  Thus, at any given instant the earth has four quarters or corners, a quarter in winter (or fall) daylight, a quarter in summer (or spring) daylight, a quarter in winter (or fall) nighttime, and a quarter in summer (or spring) nighttime.

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1https://christiananswers.net/q-eden/edn-c017.html

 

The spherical Earth’s rotation on its tilted axis and orbit around the sun produces weather (winds)

Ten times in the NIV, Bible authors mention the “four winds.”  In Jeremiah 49:36b and Ezekiel 37:9 they are mentioned without elaboration.  In Revelation 7:1, they are the “four winds of earth.”  In Daniel 7:2, 8:8, 11:4; Zechariah 2:6, the are the “four winds of heaven.”  Mark 13:27 brings these two locations together with “four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.”  Jeremiah 49:36a returns to the four quarters idea with “Four winds from the four quarters of heaven.”  Finally, Matthew 24:31 sums it all up with “four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.”

 

So, how does this relate to weather?  We have already agreed that the Earth is rotating on an axis tilted to the plane of its orbit around the Sun.  As just about everyone knows, this rotation takes 24 hours.  Thus, at the equator, any point on the surface of the Earth is traveling roughly 465 meters/second or 1,040 miles per hour.Now the rotation causes the air above the surface to travel somewhat more slowly (thankfully) because it is not directly attached to the surface.  The air above the surface near the equator is also being moved at an angle to the direction of rotation because it is rushing to replace the air rising into the upper reaches of the troposphere (the lowest part of our atmosphere, where most weather occurs) via the next process.  The tilting also causes the temperature at the surface to be warmer at and near the equator because the Sun’s rays have less atmosphere to penetrate to reach the Earth’s surface than they do near the poles.  As a result, this warmer (and moister) air rises at the equator into the upper troposphere where the Coriolis effect causes it to spin northward.  Since it is so cold, that high air loses its moisture (as rain) and cools.  Eventually it gets so cold it is denser than the air beneath it and it sinks back to the surface of the Earth as, now, dry air.  Therefore, the tropics have moist jungles and the mid-latitudes have dry deserts.  The figure below2 provides more details.   

 

Note from this figure that at the tropics, the hot air rises, moves northward and sinks at the mid-latitudes.  A somewhat similar effect occurs at the polar latitudes and the poles.  This means there are two locations in each quarter of the globe where the air rises (paired, dark blue arrows rising), and two where it sinks (paired, light blue arrows heading back the the Earth's surface).  That makes four altogether!  These four zones and the resulting three cells are a major cause of our weather and winds, second only to that of the Sun.  And this brings us to the “heavens” above.  Weather patterns are also affected by the fact the Earth does not rotate around the Sun in a perfect circle which creates times when the greater land mass of the northern hemisphere is closer to the Sun in the summer and times when the greater water mass of the southern hemisphere is closer to the Sun in the summer.  Since water is a better heat absorber and retainer than land, long-term variation in weather patterns result from this and other variations related to the timing of the precession of the Earth's axis during this process and the even longer interplay of these processes with the location of the perihelion as the ellipse itself rotates about the Sun.

 

So, we return to the Bible verses above and we see that the “four winds, [really are] from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.

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1 Cain, Fraser,https://www.universetoday.com/26623/how-fast-does-the-earth-rotate/, accessed 21 May 2018.

2Anonymous, https://rdt-atmosphere.wikispaces.com/Unit+4+Section+2+Global+Winds+and+Air+Masses, accessed 21 May 2018.

 

The Holy Spirit as a Catalyst

In chemical reactions, catalysts are agents that supply an alternative route to the desired results.  The route they provide requires less energy than would normally be required:  https://www.chemguide.co.uk/physical/basicrates/catalyst.html

 

The following diagram illustrates the idea:

  

The brown line shows that the energy needed to achieve a particular result is much more (brown line) than the energy needed when following a different route (blue line) to the same result.  In our body, enzymes are catalysts that provide a good example of this principle.  Their shape is such that they bind more easily to the reactant(s) and produce the desired results once this binding is effected.  It might take a long time for two molecules to bind together on their own, but in the presence of the right enzyme, they may bind together in a mere fraction of a second.

 

The same is true of the Holy Spirit interacting with us.  It might be possible for us to achieve something miraculous on our own, but that might take years, or more likely, longer.  When we join with the Holy Spirit in the endeavor, the miraculous can take a mere instant.

 

 

Further Examples of Natural Revelation that Need Expanding

 

water cycle

 

17 12 22 -- Numbers 15:6, 1/3 oil (lipid), 1/3 wine (carb & water), 1/5 flour (carb, protein, nucleic acids)

 

18 06 08  Exodus 16:1-3 Quail and manna appear on same day (Meat and bread from heaven)  Eat meat in evening and bread in morning (Ex 16:13)

 

Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)

12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.  The spongy bone described is harder to sever with a sword than compact bone.

 

16 06 12

The following is taken from the reading for today in "A Year with C.S. Lewis, Daily Readings from His Classic Works."  C.S. considers in Miracles, why Jesus' ascension took him "up" into the sky (Mark 16:19; Luke 24:51; Acts 1:9-11);

"It is not an accident that simple-minded people, however spiritual, should blend the ideas of God and Heaven and the blue sky.  It is a fact, not a fiction, that light and life-giving heat do come down from the sky to Earth.  The analogy of the sky's role to begetting and of the Earth's role to bearing is sound as far as it goes.  The huge dome of the sky is of all things sensuously perceived the most like infinity.  And when God made space and worlds that move in space, and clothed our world with air, and gave us such eyes and such imaginations as those we have, He knew what the sky would mean to us.  And since nothing in His work is accidental, if He knew, He intended. [Emphasis mine] We cannot be certain that this was not indeed one of the chief purposes for which Nature was created;"

 

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