Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Response To A Critique of Creation Ex Nihilo - Free Will

Recently a gentlemen posted a link to a you tube video on my blog article, entitled: "Thanks to Adam and Eve for ... Sinning?" The video is regarding the presentation of the theory of Creation Ex Materia. I watched the video, which makes several claims that are lacking Biblical support as evident by the lack of any source in the Bible given, and commented attempting to correct the error. Since commenting, I have been pointed to video, after video, after video, rather than a single presentation by the author. So, as someone who desires to preach the word, to  give an answer, and to correct error, I have decided to take some of these videos, and go through them. This will serve 2 purposes:

1 - To correct the error that is taught

2 - To equip others and show them how to dialog on this topic.

So, with that said, here we go. First up is Video 1, entitled: "1 Problems with Ex Nihilo - Free Will"

Please feel free to watch the entire video, or simply follow along with what has been written below.

The first thing I notice is while the author of the video is glad to announce to viewers that he believes in "God", he does not tell his viewers "which" God. Based on the presentations, it appears it is the god of Mormonism, which is not the God of Christianity. In an effort to lay the ground work, the author points to the Westminster Confession of Faith, which is as he puts it, the "Mainstream Christian View" of who God is.

Now, interestingly, the author includes 2 slides, with minimal information. In fact, here is a image of those slides:





Now, anyone who has taken even a glance at the confession knows and will attest to this, that the document is not a small one, not at all. In fact, the document has several sections to it which include, but are not limited to:

  • Of the Holy Scripture
  • Of God and of The Holy Trinity
  • Of God's Eternal Decree
  • Of Creation
  • Of Providence
  • Of the Fall of man, of Sin, and of The Punishment Thereof
  • Of God's Covenant with Man
  • Of Christ the Mediator
  • Of Effectual Calling
  • Of Justification
  • Of Adoption
  • Of Sanctification
  • Of Saving Faith
  • Of Repentance unto Life
  • Of Good Works
  • Of the Perseverance of the Saints
  • Of the Assurance of Grace and Salvation
  • Of the Law of God
  • Of Christian Liberty, and Liberty of Conscience
  • Of Religious Worship, and The Sabbath Day
  • Of Lawful Oaths and Vows
  • Etc., Etc., Etc
There are 33 sections alone to this document, some with quite lengthy responses, and each, using the Bible, the written word of God as the final authority for the answers to the questions. All that to say, 2 slides that give less than 3 sentences hardly does this document justice. So rather than pointing directly to the Bible, the one and only source of doctrine for Christianity, the author goes to a very small part of a confession of faith, which is pulled from context out of section 2, which is speaking about "Of God and Of The Holy Trinity".
Interestingly, the author never quotes from the SAME document which speaks on the topic: "Of Free Will", which is his title of the video. Interesting indeed. 

At approximately the 2 minute mark, based off of what has been read for those 2 slides, the author comes to this conclusion:

God Exists
God Is Alone
God Does Not Need Anybody
God Can Do Whatever He wants
God Is Perfect
Existence Is Also Perfect Because God Is the Only Existing Entity

So, is the author correct? 

Existence: Well, according to the Bible God not only exists, but is eternally existent. So yes, the author is correct. 

God is Alone: If by "alone" the author means that the One living God exists eternally as 3 persons in a triune relationship, that is co-equal, co-eternal, and co-existent, then yes. 

God Does Not Need Anybody: This is correct. God existed before our creation. In fact, God exists outside of time, space, and matter. We see in Genesis 1:1 the creation of these 3 thing. In the beginning (time), God created (matter) the Heavens and the Earth (space). Since God exists outside of these, and is eternal, it is absolutely correct and right to say God does not "need" anybody. As God, He is complete, lacking nothing, and in perfect union. 

God Can Do Whatever He Wants: If the author means "whatever he wants" such to include things like sinning, or ceasing to be that which He is by essence, than no, God cannot do whatever He wants. God cannot lie (Numbers 23:19) for instance, so the author needs to better define his terms here. 

God is perfect: If the author is saying that God is perfect, such as to describe the immutable attributes of God, then the author is correct. 

Existence is also perfect because God is the only existing entity: If the author intends to say that the way in which God existed before the creation of all things was in perfection, then yes, that is correct. 

Then at 2 minutes 18 seconds into the video, the author has a load of questions which he fires off in rapid succession. These questions are:

  1. "The Bible says, "God is love" and if God does not change, then who was God loving before creation? Itself?"
  2. "What was God doing? Was God Not content? Wouldn't the decision to begin creating be a change?"
  3. "How long did the, "God only" existing go on?
The author then states, "Now, I don't really have the answers to these questions, but it's just something to think about."

So what we have here, are 3 questions at least, more if each question within the question was written out, that the author not only does not know, but has no intention of trying to answer. Why ask them then? To do nothing more than to create doubt so that you will find the position he is about to begin stating as more plausible than the teachings of the scriptures. 

So before we move on with his presentation, lets look at these questions. Because if one studies the Bible, instead of throwing it out when we have a question, in favor of another gospel, we will learn that God's word is indeed reliable. 

So question one is, "The Bible says, God is love and if God does not change, then who was God loving before creation? Itself?"

What does the Bible say? When describing God, does the Bible only state that God is love? How about just this confession quoted? Well the confession cant say God is "love" alone, because by the authors very own slides and quotations, the quotes call God infinite in being and perfection, a most pure spirit, possesses all sovereign dominion over all things, all sufficient, etc. So if we are trying to be consistent to the word, and understanding the word, which I am SURE this author of the video is intending to do, we must say that God must be more than just "love". So the question is, if God is more than just love, which is an attribute, what are the other attributes of God? 

Well, we can, in a matter of speaking, kill two birds with one stone, by answering this question from the confession this author quoted, and give the scriptural foundation for each answer given. So, what attributes besides love does God possess:
  • God has all life - JOHN 5:26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself.
  • Glory - ACTS 7:2 And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran.
  • Goodness - PSALMS 119:68 Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes.
  • Blessedness - TITUS 6:15 Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords. - ROMANS 9:5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
  • Most Wise - ROMANS 16:27 To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen
  • Most Holy - ISA 6:3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. REV 4:8 And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come..
  • Immense - 1 KINGS 8:27 But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded? JER 23:23 Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off? 24 Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.
  • Eternal - PSALMS 90:2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. 1 TIMOTHY 1:17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
  • Almighty - GENESIS 17:1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. REVELATION 4:8 And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
I could continue for pages and pages. But suffice it to say, the authors first question has been answered. God, who is eternal as we see from the verses above, existed in perfect relationship within the trinity which Biblically is supported in places such as John 1, Matthew 3, Matthew 28, etc. So the triune God is eternally existent, complete and lacking nothing within Himself, existed outside of time and space, which mean there were no billions of years all alone which is grounded in scripture, and therefor as I said before, lacked nothing. And of course, God does love God. The Father loves the Son, the Son loves the Father and obeys Him, etc. 

The second part of the question is, God does not change. The author is making a simple category mistake between the activities of God, and the attributes of God. If every time God acted, He also was guilty of change, we would not be able to believe the Bible when it says in Malachi 3:6 that God does not change. The fact that God was speaking would be an activity and would then by default, according to this author, be changing. 

God, throughout the Bible, acts in His creation. He speaks to prophets in the Old Testament, brings judgement upon sinful cities, delivers enemies into hands of others, provides rescue through His perfect sovereignty to the Israelite's during the Exodus, and even judges Pharaoh for his rebellion and sin. 
This is not God changing His attributes, it is God acting within His creation. 

Now, if God were to somehow suddenly command things like homosexuality, murder, rape, etc. the author may have had a valid point. But that is NOT what the Bible says. So this simple category error costs the author question one. It shows a lack of Biblical study for the word of God, and simply ripping any text that fits into your own man made theology does not constitute Biblical support. So question one, in both of its parts, has been answered. In fact, this answer will help answer the other "questions" that were raised. 

Question 2 states, "What was God doing? Was God Not content? Wouldn't the decision to begin creating be a change?"


We have already shown that God is eternally existent within the 3 persons of the Father, Son, and Spirit, and was lacking nothing. Now, simply because we do not know every activity that happened prior to the creation means nothing. It is not important, nor is it mans business what God did prior to creation. And those who know how to read the Bible realize that we speak where the Bible speaks, and we are silent where the Bible is silent. We do not create our own theories that contradict the rest of scripture, and shove it into that space. That's how you end up with false doctrines, gospels, and gods. 

So, God was lacking nothing, in perfect triune relationship, and the decision to create did NOT change who God was. God is creator, which if this author had read the section "Of Creation" in the Westminster Confession, he would have known. Allow me to quote: "It pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, for the manifestation of the glory of His eternal power, wisdom, and goodness, in the beginning, to create, or make of nothing, the world, and all things therein whether visible or invisible, in the space of six days; and all very good." So question two has also been answered. 

Question 3 states, "How long did the, "God only" existing go on?"

The answer? The question is asking for a time limit on an eternal being, who exists OUTSIDE of time. Therefor, it renders the question useless. God, being outside of time, can not be asked, "for how long did you exist when there was no time?" 

So, it seems that the first three questions have been easily answered by simply going to God's Holy and inspired Word. By reading the Bible for what it says, and not for what I want to make it say. By trusting the Bible as the final authority, we see it is in fact trustworthy. 

Do to the length of this post, and I am not even a full 3 minutes in, I will break the posts into 3 for the response to video 1. 

In closing, I would like to end with this inspired verse from Isaiah 40:8



10 comments:

Nice job on this article. I shared it on my Facebook page.

Really good article!! I shared it on my Facebook page.

JamiePellew: the video, which makes several claims that are lacking Biblical support as evident by the lack of any source in the Bible given...

You will be happy to know that the first video (#1) and the supplement (#1b) are merely an introduction to the series, whereby a logical explanation is given for why free will does not exist within Ex Nihilo framework. Every video that follows the introduction theme addresses the pertinent Bible verses, context, original language, and so forth.

JamiePellew: The first thing I notice is while the author of the video is glad to announce to viewers that he believes in "God", he does not tell his viewers "which" God.

The video series will explain, in extreme detail, exactly what I believe about God. From beginning to end.

JamiePellew: the author points to the Westminster Confession of Faith, which is as he puts it, the "Mainstream Christian View" of who God is. ...the author includes 2 slides, with minimal information.

The point of the slides is to present what the audience needs to know in order to understand the concept of Ex Nihilo is. Going into the Westminster Creed concerning "Justification" is not a useful item at this point in the conversation.

JamiePellew: ... rather than pointing directly to the Bible, the one and only source of doctrine for Christianity, the author goes to a very small part of a confession of faith,

I address the general understanding that Christians hold concerning the nature of God and creation. The common interpretation. The Westminster Confession of Faith is a good source for this. Do you disagree? I go into the Biblical verses from which the interpretation is made further into the series.

JamiePellew: the author never quotes from the SAME document which speaks on the topic: "Of Free Will"

I know that you believe in free will, I know the document describes the belief in free will. I myself believe in free will as well. The point isn't that Christians don't believe in free will. The point made by this video (and part 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxOiYvKDack) is that logically speaking, Ex Nihilo does not provide a framework through which free will can exist. Then, the series continues by explaining, from the Bible, that Ex Nihilo is an extra-biblical assumption to begin with, and not described in such terms by the text itself.

JamiePellew: At approximately the 2 minute mark, based off of what has been read for those 2 slides, the author comes to this conclusion: "God Exists, God Is Alone, God Does Not Need Anybody, God Can Do Whatever He wants, God Is Perfect, Existence Is Also Perfect Because God Is the Only Existing Entity

Now you go through all of these ideas and essentially agreed from what I got from the Westminster confession of faith, however, you add that I did not mention the 3 person nature of God, which was purposeful because I invited some of the Jewish faith into the discussion and they have a say in the "free will" discussion as well. I will get back to that. Just note that you criticized my use of the Westminster Creed, but then essentially agreed with it.

-S

JamiePellew: God existed before our creation. In fact, God exists outside of time, space, and matter.

There are differing opinions on the details of this statement, as it is not expressed specifically in the Bible. This view may very well be correct, I address the possibilities further into the discussion. In the beginning refers to the creation of this Universe. You yourself made the statement following statement:

"It is not important, nor is it mans business what God did prior to creation. And those who know how to read the Bible realize that we speak where the Bible speaks, and we are silent where the Bible is silent."

Yet you just claimed as a statement of fact that God lives outside time. Are you sure? What if God has existed in eternity, but in time different than "time as WE know it." Are you just making assumptions now? Did God the Father and Jesus Christ communicate to each other? As you noted:

JamiePellew: "The fact that God was speaking would be an activity and would then by default, according to this author, be changing."

JamiePellew: it is absolutely correct and right to say God does not "need" anybody. As God, He is complete, lacking nothing, and in perfect union. Existence is also perfect because God is the only existing entity: If the author intends to say that the way in which God existed before the creation of all things was in perfection, then yes, that is correct.

I address these issues in the video entitled: "The Solitary problem".

JamiePellew: God cannot do whatever He wants. God cannot lie (Numbers 23:19) for instance, so the author needs to better define his terms here.

And I do. Yep, you guessed it. It is discussed, with scripture, in the video series. I describe and quote other Christian authors concerning things that God says he cannot do.

JamiePellew: Then at 2 minutes 18 seconds into the video, the author has a load of questions which he fires off in rapid succession. These questions are:

These were rhetorical questions, which I did not intend to answer at this time, but instead used to introduce the topics in the series to the audience. ALL of the questions are addressed later in the series.

JamiePellew: So what we have here, are 3 questions at least, more if each question within the question was written out, that the author not only does not know, but has no intention of trying to answer. Why ask them then?

I don't have the answers from YOUR point of view. I DID answer the issues that come up from these questions from MY point of view.


JamiePellew quotes:
"It pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, for the manifestation of the glory of His eternal power, wisdom, and goodness, in the beginning, to create, or make of nothing, the world, and all things therein whether visible or invisible, in the space of six days; and all very good." So question two has also been answered.

I responded to this very concept in "The Solitary Problem". You claim that God "needs nothing", yet apparently felt the need to "manifest the glory of His eternal power, wisdom, " etc. If God has no needs, then how about wants? Apparently he wanted to do something. And there continues the actual discussion on THAT topic.

I am sure you felt clever when writing this blog post. I think you will find, in the light of what I am producing, that you are not as clever as you hoped. Not only have you not addressed the topic of the video that you were responding to AT ALL, but you also underestimated the extent to which I have developed into each of these topics.

Enjoy the new video on the Fall of Adam and Eve. It posted last night.

-S

JamiePellew: the video, which makes several claims that are lacking Biblical support as evident by the lack of any source in the Bible given...

You will be happy to know that the first video (#1) and the supplement (#1b) are merely an introduction to the series, whereby a logical explanation is given for why free will does not exist within Ex Nihilo framework. Every video that follows the introduction theme addresses the pertinent Bible verses, context, original language, and so forth.

JamiePellew: The first thing I notice is while the author of the video is glad to announce to viewers that he believes in "God", he does not tell his viewers "which" God.

The video series will explain, in extreme detail, exactly what I believe about God. From beginning to end.

JamiePellew: the author points to the Westminster Confession of Faith, which is as he puts it, the "Mainstream Christian View" of who God is. ...the author includes 2 slides, with minimal information.

The point of the slides is to present what the audience needs to know in order to understand the concept of Ex Nihilo is. Going into the Westminster Creed concerning "Justification" is not a useful item at this point in the conversation.

JamiePellew: ... rather than pointing directly to the Bible, the one and only source of doctrine for Christianity, the author goes to a very small part of a confession of faith,

I address the general understanding that Christians hold concerning the nature of God and creation. The common interpretation. The Westminster Confession of Faith is a good source for this. Do you disagree? I go into the Biblical verses from which the interpretation is made further into the series.

JamiePellew: the author never quotes from the SAME document which speaks on the topic: "Of Free Will"

I know that you believe in free will, I know the document describes the belief in free will. I myself believe in free will as well. The point isn't that Christians don't believe in free will. The point made by this video (and part 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxOiYvKDack) is that logically speaking, Ex Nihilo does not provide a framework through which free will can exist. Then, the series continues by explaining, from the Bible, that Ex Nihilo is an extra-biblical assumption to begin with, and not described in such terms by the text itself.

JamiePellew: At approximately the 2 minute mark, based off of what has been read for those 2 slides, the author comes to this conclusion: "God Exists, God Is Alone, God Does Not Need Anybody, God Can Do Whatever He wants, God Is Perfect, Existence Is Also Perfect Because God Is the Only Existing Entity

Now you go through all of these ideas and essentially agreed from what I got from the Westminster confession of faith, however, you add that I did not mention the 3 person nature of God, which was purposeful because I invited some of the Jewish faith into the discussion and they have a say in the "free will" discussion as well. I will get back to that. Just note that you criticized my use of the Westminster Creed, but then essentially agreed with it.

-S

@Seven7up

I wanted to reply to your video. I am having sound issues so not able to listen to the video. However from what I have seen your objections are:

1-Because God knows all things, we can not freely act

2-God has created everything including all of our characteristics

The biggest problem I have seen is that you are "equivocating on the term "free-will". I will shortly be working on a masters in philosophy and I can tell you that "free-will" is something HOTLY debated in philosophical circles and there are many different views such as libertarian and compatabilism. To just throw the term "free-will" around an act as though everyone agrees to the same definition is naive and intellectually dishonest.

As for the first point, the fact God knows all things does not entail man does not freely do them. Again philosophy comes to our aid again as we look at Aristotles four causes (http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/aristotle-causality/)

God is the primary causes in that He holds all things together by His will (Hebrews 1) however the nature of a human being is hylomorphic and thus consists of spirit/matter. The fact that the Creator is in a sense the efficient cause does not negate man also is a secondary causes by exercising His will.

The fact that God knows x will happen at T2 does not entail He forces things to happen against the will of the creature. You need to demonstrate that this is so. Asserting it over and over that it does, is not an argument.

Secondly, Characteristics such as height, weight, features, characteristics are accidents and not essential to the essence of what the creature is. You have smuggled into your conclusion that characteristics are part of the essence of the creature. Again, this is just in error and you are "begging the question" in that you are assuming what you are trying to prove.


Lastly, As I have stated my sound is not working so I have not been able to hear the video. However from the title of the video I would challenge your assertion that the universe did not come into being from nothing. Based on modern cosmology we know from the laws of thermo dynamics, expanding universe, radiation echoe that the universe came into being. This is not me reading from the bible but based on cosmology:


The present location and velocities of galaxies are a result of a primordial blast known as the BIG BANG. It marked: THE BEGINNING OF THE UNIVERSE! THE BEGINNING OF TIME!" Terry Herter, Cornell University

"That radiation is residual heat from the Big Bang, the event that sparked the beginning of the universe some 13 billion years ago." Craig Hogan, University of Washington

"Most scientists agree that the universe began some 12 to 20 billion years ago in what has come to be known as the Big Bang (a term coined by the English astrophysicist Fred Hoyle in 1950." University of Illinois

"The universe cannot be infinitely large or infinitely old (it evolves in time)." Nilakshi Veerabathina, Georgia State University ()

"The universe had a beginning. There was once nothing and now there is something." Janna Levin, Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at Cambridge University

"Today scientists generally believe the universe was created in a violent explosion called the Big Bang." Susan Terebey, Department of Physics and Astronomy, California State University Los Angeles

"Evidence suggests that our universe began as an incredibly hot and dense region referred to as a singularity." Stephen T. Abedon, Ohio State University


For these and a number of other reasons I think your video sets up straw men, you assume everyone agrees to your definition of free-will, you do not understand causation and you are ignorant of modern cosmology. I look forward to your reply.

@Seven7up

I wanted to reply to your video. I am having sound issues so not able to listen to the video. However from what I have seen your objections are:

1-Because God knows all things, we can not freely act

2-God has created everything including all of our characteristics

The biggest problem I have seen is that you are "equivocating on the term "free-will". I will shortly be working on a masters in philosophy and I can tell you that "free-will" is something HOTLY debated in philosophical circles and there are many different views such as libertarian and compatabilism. To just throw the term "free-will" around an act as though everyone agrees to the same definition is naive and intellectually dishonest.

As for the first point, the fact God knows all things does not entail man does not freely do them. Again philosophy comes to our aid again as we look at Aristotles four causes (http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/aristotle-causality/)

God is the primary causes in that He holds all things together by His will (Hebrews 1) however the nature of a human being is hylomorphic and thus consists of spirit/matter. The fact that the Creator is in a sense the efficient cause does not negate man also is a secondary causes by exercising His will.

The fact that God knows x will happen at T2 does not entail He forces things to happen against the will of the creature. You need to demonstrate that this is so. Asserting it over and over that it does, is not an argument.

Secondly, Characteristics such as height, weight, features, characteristics are accidents and not essential to the essence of what the creature is. You have smuggled into your conclusion that characteristics are part of the essence of the creature. Again, this is just in error and you are "begging the question" in that you are assuming what you are trying to prove.


Lastly, As I have stated my sound is not working so I have not been able to hear the video. However from the title of the video I would challenge your assertion that the universe did not come into being from nothing. Based on modern cosmology we know from the laws of thermo dynamics, expanding universe, radiation echoe that the universe came into being. This is not me reading from the bible but based on cosmology:


The present location and velocities of galaxies are a result of a primordial blast known as the BIG BANG. It marked: THE BEGINNING OF THE UNIVERSE! THE BEGINNING OF TIME!" Terry Herter, Cornell University

"That radiation is residual heat from the Big Bang, the event that sparked the beginning of the universe some 13 billion years ago." Craig Hogan, University of Washington

"Most scientists agree that the universe began some 12 to 20 billion years ago in what has come to be known as the Big Bang (a term coined by the English astrophysicist Fred Hoyle in 1950." University of Illinois

"The universe cannot be infinitely large or infinitely old (it evolves in time)." Nilakshi Veerabathina, Georgia State University ()

"The universe had a beginning. There was once nothing and now there is something." Janna Levin, Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at Cambridge University

"Today scientists generally believe the universe was created in a violent explosion called the Big Bang." Susan Terebey, Department of Physics and Astronomy, California State University Los Angeles

"Evidence suggests that our universe began as an incredibly hot and dense region referred to as a singularity." Stephen T. Abedon, Ohio State University


For these and a number of other reasons I think your video sets up straw men, you assume everyone agrees to your definition of free-will, you do not understand causation and you are ignorant of modern cosmology. I look forward to your reply.

DEVIN PELLEW WROTE: "The biggest problem I have seen is that you are "equivocating on the term "free-will". I will shortly be working on a masters in philosophy and I can tell you that "free-will" is something HOTLY debated in philosophical circles and there are many different views such as libertarian and compatabilism. To just throw the term "free-will" around an act as though everyone agrees to the same definition is naive and intellectually dishonest."


Well, when you get sound, you can review the videos on free-will, because based on your response to me, you appear not to have even understood the explanation provided in part 1 and 2 of the free will discussion.

I discuss the issues of determinism, libertarian free-will, etc. later in the series {"Ex Nihilo and Ex Materia and the Problem of Evil".}


DEVINPELLEW: "...you do not understand causation and you are ignorant of modern cosmology."

If that is so, you can explain the modern cosmological problems such as the "flatness problem" and the "horizon problem" and so forth. I mention that in my "Big Bang" video. Modern comology as you understand it has some serious issues. Perhaps it is YOU who is ignorant of such issues with the traditional Big Bang model.

-S

DEVINPELLEW: As for the first point, the fact God knows all things does not entail man does not freely do them. ... The fact that God knows x will happen at T2 does not entail He forces things to happen against the will of the creature. You need to demonstrate that this is so. Asserting it over and over that it does, is not an argument.

In the video series, I do not assert that God's foreknowledge is what negates the possibility of free-will.

DEVINPELLEW: Secondly, Characteristics such as height, weight, features, characteristics are accidents and not essential to the essence of what the creature is. You have smuggled into your conclusion that characteristics are part of the essence of the creature.

Not really. I was not referring to "height, weight, featurs, etc." in my description of the essence of who we are, although thos aspects are included as part of the total package.

DEVINPELLEW: Again, this is just in error and you are "begging the question" in that you are assuming what you are trying to prove.

Begging what question? Where does the "essence" of a creature come from in Ex Nihilo theology, if not from God?

-K

For a critique of ex materia, click here: http://www.sbts.edu/media/publications/sbjt/sbjt_2005summer4.pdf