Your path led through the sea,
your way through the mighty waters,
though your footprints were not seen.
- Psalm 77:19
Gilead is a city of evildoers,
stained with footprints of blood.
- Hosea 6:8
“If something is created by God, then it owes its whole existence to God, but that does not mean that there must have been a time when it did not exist at all. It is therefore quite possible to believe in an eternal universe that had been created by God.
“Aquinas gives an example of how this might work. Suppose there was a foot making a footprint in the sand and it had been there for ever. Although there would never have been a moment before the footprint was made, we would still recognize the foot as the cause of the footprint: if it were not for the foot, there would not be a footprint. …
“Though most of us now turn to science for an explanation of how the universe began, the arguments of Aquinas show that philosophy is still relevant to how we think about the subject. He demonstrates how philosophy can provide the tools for intelligent enquiry, allowing us to investigate not what happens to be the case, but what is possible and what is impossible, and what are intelligent questions to ask. Is it or is it not coherent to believe that the universe had a beginning? This is still a question for philosophers, and no amount of theoretical physics will be able to answer it.”
- Sam Atkinson (senior editor), The Philosophy Book, Big Ideas Simply Explained
First, the Scriptures are the only two instances of the word “footprints” in the NIV. While God can place His footprints and no one sees them, we can, by our sinful nature, leave “bloody” footprints in the sand. I wonder if the example in the quote above, possibly used by Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), was based on Psalm 77, as God placed an eternal footprint in the sand.
Second, the editors of The Philosophy Book would probably classify me with the minority on my beliefs regarding how the universe began, but I take exception to the use of the term “science” as being the modern explanation of how the universe began. When you consider true science instead of theoretical physics, you will find many indicators of the Bible being accurate and what the quoted book’s author says as “science” often being disproved. And God could have spoken the Big Bang into existence as Thomas Aquinas might have imagined, with the universe bursting into existence roughly 6000 years ago but with the appearance of millions of years since it began. God is all powerful and unless the universe instantly became expanded, the tremendous gravitational force of the infinite mass of the universe would have caused the universe to collapse upon itself, rather than continue to expand. An “eternal” universe had to be created by God to establish the wonderful balance in the universe.
But whether you accept the ideas of theoretical physics (even the name states it as theory instead of fact) or you accept the Bible, the last paragraph in the philosophy quote is quite profound.
We are quickly losing the ability to think, and to some degree, our school systems are encouraging that dumbing down of our society. Add to that the concept of a safe space so that you never hear anything that is against your way of thinking. We rely too much on man-made organizations to feed us, clothe us, and put a roof over our heads. We abdicate our authority upon all we survey in exchange for entitlements that are aimed at removing our freedom and making us more and more reliant on those man-made organizations.
And once the button pushers of this world, the antichrists, come from behind their curtains and reveal themselves, the masses will have no concept of how they became puppets of the regime. They will simply fail to THINK. And without our ability to think, we will be back in the Dark Ages. We might call it the Neo Dark Ages, but we would have to think in order to call it that.
And I have my moments. At times I feel that trying to think a problem through is such a waste of time. It is like that scene in the Indiana Jones movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark. Indiana Jones has been doing a lot of hand-to-hand combat, until a big guy with a big sword shows up. Indiana Jones then pulls out a gun and shoots him. I have heard the scene was ad-lib. I have heard Harrison Ford was suffering from dysentery and could not stick with a complicated sword fight without stopping to use the facilities a few times. Maybe both were true, but it illustrates how we can take monster shortcuts when we get tired of thinking problems through.
And in this world that characterizes Christians as being the stupid ones who cannot think, it is refreshing to see a book on philosophy attribute this statement toward Thomas Aquinas. “He demonstrates how philosophy can provide the tools for intelligent enquiry, allowing us to investigate not what happens to be the case, but what is possible and what is impossible, and what are intelligent questions to ask.”
May we not lose sight of the fact that we can indeed enquire as to what is possible and what is not possible. And while we are at it, if we prove that what is being taught as “being the case” of what science believes to be in error, I pray that we can think how to return to God and abandon these godless fantasies.
Maybe, just maybe, true science is finding God’s footprints in the sand and the secular world dismisses them for a mirage.
If you like these Tuesday morning essays about philosophy and other “heavy topics,” but you think you missed a few, you can use this LINK. I have set up a page off the home page for links to these Tuesday morning posts. I will continue to modify the page as I add more.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.