Q: What is the glory of God?
A: His glory is who He is, what He does and how His matchless character and His intrinsic uncreated divine nature, His awesome revelation in holiness and power to His creation. As Bengel says, “His glory is Divinity manifest”.
Q: How can a mere creature give glory to God?
A: Man and the creation were originally intended to be living demonstrations of God’s greatness and goodness (Ps. 96:8,66:2) When the creation returns to its original purpose, it honors God in the same way an outstanding child honors a wise and loving parent.
Q: Why will God not share His glory with man (Isa.42: 8)?
A: God’s glory is the value of what He is- and He is of ultimate worth and supreme importance. This, of course is not true of any of the rest of His creation, and to “take glory” that belongs by intrinsic right to God alone is essentially to play God. (Jer.9: 23-25; Rom. 1:23).
Q: What does it mean for me to be a “partaker of His glory” (1Pet.5:1) if God doesn’t share His glory with anyone?
A: Although God cannot share the claim to His intrinsic worth with any creature, He longs to share the joy of what He is with others. To be invited into the presence of a king is to be honored by that king; to be invited into the presence of the King of all kings is to be honored indeed. To have the privilege of companionship of God is to be a partaker of His glory.
Q: What does it mean to “fall short of the glory of God” (Rom.: 23)?
A: Falling short is to miss most of what God designed us to be: a people and creation that bring Him honor He deserves by our lives and relationships with Him and with each other. Man as a rebel ruins his God given glory.
Q: God’s wanting everyone to love Him and put Him first hardly sounds like the essence of unselfishness. Isn’t that purely egocentric?
A: God wants everyone to live according to ultimate intelligence and truth. The truth is this: God wholly deserves to be first in all things. To live in accord with this reality is not only the ultimate good, but absolute wisdom, Put simply: if we don’t put God first, we are not only selfish, but stupid.
Q: Does God need praise from people?
A: No, God has no intrinsic or extrinsic needs; He is happy in Himself and knows fully who He is. Nevertheless, receiving praise from His creation is not only what He deserves, but it is beneficial to His creature; for properly honoring God by our thoughts, our lives, and our words, we likewise recognize and take our proper place in His universe and add to the total happiness in it.
Q: Why does the Bible describe glory as if it were light?
A: Light in Scripture is not only that which reveals, illumines, and banishes darkness; it also symbolizes that which is most wise, true, and pure. Light is radiant, not absorbent; energy, not matter; tangible, though itself formless. As God must show himself in some way to mankind, light-glory becomes His most common appearance (Ex.24:16-18; 29:43; 40:34ff.; 2Chron.7:1ff.; Ezek. 1:28; 3:12ff.; Acts 9:3).
Q: How do we give glory to God?
A: We treat Him the way He deserves to be treated; speak to (and of) Him with the full honor He deserves; and live our lives under His wise and wonderful watching eye. Christians are to receive each other ” for the glory of God” (Rom. 15:7) and to speak and minister ” that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ” (1Pet.4:11)). Our bodies must be kept pure for His glory (1Cor.6: 20; Phil. 1:20); “weather we eat or drink or whatever we do” we are to “do all to the glory of God” (1Cor.10: 31).
Q: How did Jesus glorify His Father?
A: He did what no man ever did: in suffering or joy, conflict or conquest, victory or agony, He brought honor to His father in all that He ever said and did. He shared His Father’s glory before He came to earth (John 17:5, 24). He was the fulfillment of prophecy in His birth-” the glory of the Lord shall be revealed; and all flesh shall see it together” (Isa. 40:5; see also Isa. 4:5; 11:10; 24:23) and “the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us; and we beheld His glory…” (John 1:14). His own personal glory of a perfect, pure and courageous life directed total honor to the Father- “I have glorified thee on earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do” (John17:4). Even in His betrayal, suffering, and death He showed the greatness and the grandeur of God (John 12:23; Luke 9:31; John 7:39; 12:16; 13:31ff; 17:1,4). He went to the cross as a King to his coronation; and with death itself the astonished victim, at the resurrection He took up again the glory He had laid aside in His incarnation. Raised from the dead by His Father’s glory (Rom.6: 4), restored to glory (1Pet.1: 21); received in glory (1Tim.3: 16), He now reigns forever in glory at His Father’s right hand (Acts 7:55ff.;2:33;3:13; 3:21; 1Cor.15:27; Eph.1:20; Phil2:9ff.; Heb.1:3ff).
Q: What is this “glorious body” like Christ’s (Phil.3:21)?
A: Redeemed mankind will not only have characters like their King (1John 3:2); we will have transfigured bodies to match (1Cor.15: 42ff.). We will once again in Him be “crowned with glory and honor” (Ps. 8:5ff.) and shine like stars in the heavens (Dan. 12:3), sharing in the riches of Christ our King (Eph.1: 18; Rom. 9:23).
Q: How could God make something out of nothing?
A: Strictly speaking, He didn’t. His creation came from the resources of His own infinite being, that which was always here. When we say He makes things “out of nothing” (ex nihilo), we mean that He does not need any resource external to himself, does not lose part of himself in creating, and that His creation is distinct from himself rather than an extension of His being.
Q: How could a universe as vast and complex as this be created in so short a time?
A: Henry Ford took around 30 years to make a car that can now be made in less than 18 hours. Creation “time” is a function of available energy and wisdom. God, with infinite wisdom and power, has no problem doing extremely complex things in short time intervals.
Q: If God made everything, did He create sin?
A: No. Sin is represented everywhere in Scripture as an alien intrusion on the divine happiness. A wise God could not intelligently author His own unhappiness. God created moral beings- each a tiny “creator” who had the power to make choices for right or wrong. Our own creative choices, like the Devil’s rebellion against God’s expressed will, create sin.
Q: Doesn’t the Bible teach that God creates good and evil?
A: No. The Bible words are ” I make peace, and create evil” (Isa. 45:7). Although sin is evil, evil is not always sin. Punishment or judgement are called “evil” (Deut29: 21; 30:15); some bad or painful event, that is not necessarily morally wrong (Ps. 34:21; Gen. 37:20,33) or the righteous wrath of God (Jer. 44:11) When bad men create wrong choices, He is not wrong, just as any loving and just father would not be wrong in punishing a bad child, or as a fair judge would be in sentencing a criminal. The passage in Isaiah refers to an evil whose opposite is not good but peace, and it is obviously refers to God’s blessing or judgment on a nation.
Q: Did God make the Devil? If so, why did He do it?
A: No. God did not make the Devil. He made Lucifer, a beautiful archangel who chose to set his created will against God, and by his sinful choice made himself the Devil, bringing great hurt and sadness to heaven and earth.
Q: But a universe of evil like ours is inconsistent with the existence of a Creator of infinite goodness, knowledge, or power. Either God did not foresee these evils (in which case He is not omniscient); or foreseeing it, He had no power to prevent evil (in which case He is not omnipotent); or foreseeing it and being able to prevent it He did not have the goodness to do so.
A: This assumes that a better universe would be naturally possible, that under a government administered morally in the wisest and best manner, moral beings could be wholly restrained from sin; but who ever said so? Infinite goodness, knowledge, and power imply only that a universe created would be the best universe naturally possible. Moral and physical evils do exist, but why should their existence be less preferable in a universe in which they were not allowed to exist? And why should we assume that things, which we cannot adequately explain or understand, set aside a world of evidence telling us that God designed and governs what we do know?
Q: If God is unchangeable, how could He create the world?
A: God is unchanging or immutable in His nature and character. But, Finney says, Creation implies no change in either of these but only the exercise of His natural and moral attributes; character consist in design or intention and God always intended to design or create the universe; therefore creation implies no formation or change of character with Him”
(Objections to Creation)
Q: Isn’t evolution a proven fact? The world is full of examples of creatures that have changed or are changing in some way.
A: Creationist believe in that kind of evolution- if all we mean by “evolution” is certain kinds of change. Creationist do not reject micro-but macro-evolution, not small changes in species that allow them to adapt to their changing environments and needs, but the idea of major changes from one kind of creation to another by indiscriminate chance.
Q: Don’t creationist misuse the word “theory” to convey the false impression that evolutionist are covering up some faulty core in their idea?
A: It is fair to point out well established rules for doing science, and according to these rules evolution doesn’t even qualify as a scientific theory, much less proven fact. A theory is scientific if it fits known facts compiled, studied, and verified by trained observation. These facts are generalized as scientific hypothesis and used as a rough-working model to test an idea through further observation. If the hypothesis fits the facts, it is a theory; its accuracy as a law depends on experimental repeatability, predictability, and proper control. And since no one has ever observed life evolving- then or now- and we cannot repeat it or very it, macro-evolution is, at best a premise based on naturalistic philosophy.
Q: Isn’t it true that creationist misuse popular scientific philosophy to argue that they are behaving scientifically in attacking evolution?
A: While true scientific method cannot be used to resolve this controversy, we can still prove or disprove the ideas in question another way; by weighing evidence as in a law court, to determine which position best fits the facts of the world around us. Creationism is a theory specific enough that not very imaginable fact or evidence, hypothetical or real, can be used to support it; it is properly falsifiable and could hypothetically be proved wrong. In this it is perfectly proper to criticize another ( and the only other) competing idea in the light of direct scientific evidence such as the fossil record, laws of probability, thermodynamics, and the laws of genetics.
Q: Don’t creationist use selective quotations, putting them together in such a way to make an argument that the writer quoted had no intention of making?
A: Creationist authors usually do two things: they quote only from evolutionist sources and they document everything so that you can check for the quotes out in context for yourself. Honest researchers, creationist or not, admit facts even if they cannot follow them through to their own conclusions. It is certainly legitimate for creationists to show how these problems can be explained in terms of a creationist position.
Q: But surely creationism isn’t “science” as it is universally defined today is it?
A: That is not the fault of science. Science has not always been the ally of materialism. Many of the sciences, locked into a hundred years of Industrial Revolution mindset and world view as well as succumbing to the influence of that era’s mechanistic physics, are now under intense scrutiny and challenge. Significantly, the cutting edge of much new research today points directly toward the existence of spiritual or metaphysical, reality.
Q: But how can creationist claim they have a scientific theory when they have merely torn into opposing scientific theory?
A: Conversely, assuming creation a “religious doctrine based on blind faith” does not make evolution an empirical scientific and emotionally neutral theory. Creation and macro- evolution are the only two basic possibilities; if one is true, then the other is false. Although either evolution or creationism can be observed or repeated, creation has certainly not been proven false. We believe it not just because macro-evolution is deemed insupportable, but because creation (even beyond the declaration of God’s record) from the weight of all the best evidence appears to be true.
Creation can be argued evidentially without reference to the Bible. If evolution can’t best fit the facts, why not goes for the theory that does? Christian researchers don’t “bring in God” just to explain what cannot currently be explained. He is not invoked to “fill gaps” for faulty theories, perhaps to be squeezed out by the next scientific advance. We honor Him as creator God, evident in His universe not because other explanations fail, but because studies point to His mind, His purpose or His planing. Can we allow “gaps” in our knowledge of origins? To acknowledge God, as Creator is to honor Him where science reaches its limits and can never expound.
Q: What if there is intellect and personality behind man’s creation? You don’t have to believe in divine creation. Some people have concluded that we were put here by super-beings from space.
A: Do we need to talk about how they came into existence? Perhaps “long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away…” No matter how far back we move the problem and how long ago we set the beginning, the problem of origins will not go away.
Q: If creation is true, why are so many things explained by evolution? Why does evolution seem to have explanations that appear to fit the facts?
A: Much depends on our premises- the ideas you start with, your presuppositions. It is not often the facts themselves that cause arguments; conflicts come because two people start with very different bases by which they interpret what they see. For instance, a fish and a submarine are alike in some ways, they both have tails, move under-water, and so on. The facts declare they are similar in many ways.
Now assume the premise similarity equals common ancestry. With all the right facts, we could decide that the fish is a highly- advanced miniaturized great- nephew of the submarine. This is no doubt offensive to both fish and human common sense, but “facts are facts”
Change your premise to similarity equals common design, and with the same set of facts you see something very different: both fish and submarines were designed to work underwater, one by man, one by man’s creator.
With the right facts but a wrong premise, you can come up with the wrong answer for all the right reasons.