Category Archives: Articles

Excellence Begins in the Heart of the Human Being – Introduction

“Everything that God is and does is marked by excellence.”

Andreas Köstenberger

As always, first, it is important to mention that the English version of this article has been translated from the Spanish version of Towards Excellence (https://hacialaexcelencia.org/2022/05/15/la-excelencia-comienza-en-el-corazon-del-ser-humano-introduccion/); not necessarily from the original texts and works of authors here cited.

So now, let me begin by sharing that a few years ago, I had the opportunity to venture a submarine trip in Hawaii. A short but surprising journey to the bottom of the sea, where the wonders of the marine realm only seen on the small and big screens, became a beautiful reality. This incredible experience simply confirmed me that wherever we are, we will always be surrounded by beauty and magnificence.[1]

But not only that, it was an extraordinary experience, as it led me to an unfathomable reflection. Just as even in the depths of the sea the Triune Creator God left His mark of excellence; likewise, the Triune Creator God left that same mark of excellence and even superior, in the depths of the heart of the human being, the pinnacle of His creation.

Andreas Köstenberger, in his book “Excellence: The Character of God and the Pursuit of Scholarly Virtue” states:

TE-Andreas Köstenberger-eng“Systematic theologies generally do not list excellence as one of God’s attributes…however, for excellence can be viewed as an overarching divine attribute that encompasses all the others. Everything God is and does is marked by excellence.” (Köstenberger 2011)

And as we have also noted in the previous articles, the mark of God’s excellence is present in all of creation, consequently in humans.

Wernher von Braun, the renowned German scientist who brought us into the space age, laid the groundwork for cell phones, satellite radio, the Internet, GPS, and Doppler radar. But not only that, especially he held a firm belief in the Creator God of the Bible. And we precisely quote Von Braun because after his conversion to Christianity he was a strong proponent of the Christian faith and creationism, thus defending that creationism was a feasible scientific theory for the origin of the universe, life, and man.[2] He stated:

“To be forced to believe…that everything in the universe happened by chance—would violate the very objectivity of science itself. Certainly, there are those who argue that the universe evolved out of a random process, but what random process could produce the brain of a man or the system of the human eye?” (Bergmann 2014)

Science with all its advances is still amazed at the extraordinary structure, composition and functioning of the human body, as it is the case of those who study the human brain and all the complexity that it entails, which, without a doubt, continues to leave tremendously astonished those who tirelessly, advancing in investigation after investigation, do not stop until they specify the magnitude and depth of this organ.

According to an article from the “Institute of Creation Research,” researchers found the rosehip ethereal neuron, and Sherwin, its author, says:

“…in postmortem samples and in sections of brain tissue from surgical procedures. Interestingly, this newly discovered neuron is not found in mice. They are unique to humans, and rosehip neurons can activate a unique set of genes in that single type of brain cell.” (Sherwin 2018)

TE-Human BrainExtraordinary as the brain is, although small in its physical structure, just 3 pounds if we talk about the brain of an adult, it manages the information of 1000 supercomputers. The brain is like a communication center, and it has a computer, a library, and a video camera all in one. And the more the brain is used, the better it becomes![3]

Isn’t it fascinating? But there is still something much more fascinating in the human being, something highly impenetrable. His soul! Why? Because the soul represents the very being of a person.

Coming soon “God’s Mark of Excellence,” an extraordinary topic.

[1] Cecilia Yépez, “Excellence Stems from the Heart – Part 1”, Blog “Towards Excellence”, https://towardsexcellence.org/2017/02/28/excellence-stems-from-the-heart-part-1/

[2] Jerry Bergman, “Wernher von Braun: The Father of Space Flight,” Institute of Creation Research, https://www.icr.org/article/wernher-von-braun-father-space-flight

[3] Donald B. DeYoung, “Thinking about the Brain,” Institute of Creation Research, https://www.icr.org/article/thinking-about-brain/

THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD – Communicable Attributes

“If God’s genuineness is a matter of His being true and veracity is His telling of the truth, then His faithfulness means that He proves true…God’s faithfulness is demonstrated repeatedly throughout the pages of the Scripture. He always fulfills what He has said He will do.”

Millard J. Erickson

As for the study of incommunicable attributes, we will now follow the classification proposed by Nyenhuis for communicable attributes; of course, including contributions from other scholars, so that it allows us to have a broad and properly supported idea for each attribute.

But as always, first, it is important to mention that the English version of this article has been translated from the Spanish version of Towards Excellence (https://hacialaexcelencia.org/2022/04/10/los-atributos-de-dios-atributos-comunicables/); not necessarily from the original texts and works of authors here cited. Most Bible verses are from ESV unless otherwise indicated.

So, communicable attributes, Nyenhuis points out, instead give us knowledge of God’s being, while we experience an analogy of His virtues. It should also be noted that the incommunicable attributes qualify the communicable ones; so that these in essence are different in God and different in the human being. God, for example, is infinite and immutable in love, in justice, in wisdom.[1]

And so, Nyenhuis specifies:

little-girl-closed-her-eyes-praying-in-a-field-h-2021-09-01-13-46-02-utc

“What we find in the human being is an echo or reflection of the attribute and is not, in this sense, the original attribute. Echoes and reflections are often weak and disfigured; however, they give us a basis for a knowledge of the reality of God.” (Nyenhuis 1990)

Let us focus then, in the study of the following nine communicable attributes.

  1. God’s Love

God’s love, says Nyenhuis, is the most central attribute of God. In fact, this attribute qualifies all the others, but it must be understood that the others also qualify love.[2]

Chapter 4 of 1 John brings us even more clarity to understand this attribute of God, thus:

“…God is love”. (1 John 4:8)

Dr. Miguel Núñez points out that the Bible not only affirms that God loves us; but also and especially emphasizes that “God is love”. And when the Word says that “God is love”, it means that God is going to love us forever.[3]

By saying that “God is love” we are declaring that this is its essence; therefore, it will not change under any circumstances.

And perhaps the most extraordinary and at the same time humanly incomprehensible of this attribute is that the love of God is giving and sacrificial. John 3:16 and Romans 5:8 explain it very well. It is truly incomprehensible and difficult to accept that, since we are sinners, God the Father sends his Son, Jesus Christ, to die in our place, to give us salvation and eternal life in His presence. Inconceivable in human parameters, but a profound spiritual truth!

And Jesus also said:

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)

Erickson here highlights that Jesus did indeed die for His friends, who surely loved Him and appreciated what He did for them. But He also stresses that Jesus died for His enemies, who despised and rejected Him.[4]

And this is what makes the big difference between the application of this attribute by God and by us, the human beings. God’s love is totally selfless and seeks the good of his creation; not his own. On the other hand, we human beings, imperfect, often seek our own good and not that of our neighbor.

Erickson illustrates this very well, taking the case of an employer and his employee. The employer is surely interested in the good health of his employee because that way he will produce more and better for him.[5]

  1. God’s Grace

Grace, then, is nothing other than the unmerited love of God towards the human being lost in sin. The grace of God, says Nyenhuis, is His benevolent and undeserved attitude towards the sinner.[6]  Which and if the sinner accepts it, comes to a happy end, that is, the salvation of his soul.

And this is where the attributes connect, or qualify each other. Nyenhuis says:

“One of the most remarkable characteristics of grace is that it is unmerited…God loves the sinner even though he cannot provoke love. God loves because God is love. (Nyenhuis 1990)

It is well here to remember the truth of Ephesians 2:

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

God’s grace is definitely an unmerited gift from Him to His creation. And when this gift, the gift of the forgiveness of sins, is received by the sinner; there is absolutely nothing to boast about. The greatest thing, the salvation of his soul and everything else that goes with it, is an unmerited gift from his Creator.

  1. God’s Mercy

There are two important terms to consider: Racham, in Hebrew; and Eleemon, in Greek; both mean to have compassion. Therefore, God’s mercy can also be called compassion.[7]  In other words, it is God’s love towards the one who is suffering the consequences of sin; in a sense, mitigating the pain caused by sin.[8]

Here are two biblical texts that help us better understand this attribute:

“The Lord passed before him [Moses] and proclaimed, ´The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness…”  (Exodus 34:6)

 Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.” (Hebrews 2:17)

Exodus 34:6 and Hebrews 2:17 illustrate the concept of this attribute very well; and by the way, the meaning of the original terms (Hebrew and Greek) above, in relation to the compassionate heart of our God.

  1. God’s Patience

The patience of God also called long-suffering. This is seen in the fact that God “endures” the wicked and those who challenge Him. God postpones punishment, so He gives sinners a chance to repent. Examples of God’s patience are found in the following texts: 2 Peter 3:3-9; Matthew 23:37 and Luke 13:34.[9]

  1. God’s Sovereignty

God’s sovereignty is limited solely and exclusively to His own will. This also entails the absolute superiority and omnipotence of God. In other words, God is accountable to no one; He just plans it and executes it. This is how Nyenhuis describes it and emphasizes that it is above the law. In fact, the law in the broad sense is an expression of the will of God.[10]

And as Chris Poblete says and illustrates:

“Sovereignty speaks of the divine control that God has over everything that happens. There is nothing beyond the control of His loving hand: neither the designs of the wicked (not even the plans of the evillest dictators in history), nor the way the earth works on itself apparently against the lives of men (like earthquakes), not the workings of demons (or even Satan), and not my own free will.” (Poblete 2011)

Certainly Romans 8:28,38-39 are a clear affirmation of the sovereignty of God. Everything, absolutely everything helps the children of God for good, according to His purposes; and not only that, but there is nothing beyond the control of the sovereign hand of God. This is how Poblete understands it.[11]

  1. The Truth of God

God is true and God is true in the revelation of Him. If God were a liar, Nyenhuis explains, humanity’s existential situation would be chaotic and desperate. This attribute is what allows us to distinguish the true God from idols, which, as Psalm 115:3-8 points out, have eyes and do not see; they have ears and do not hear; They have a mouth but they don’t speak. And a tremendous aspect of truthfulness is God’s faithfulness, which is the basis of our trust.[12]

In fact, other scholars classify faithfulness itself as an attribute, let’s see what Erickson says about it:

TE-MErickson-english“If God’s genuineness is a matter of His being true and veracity is His telling of the truth, then His faithfulness means that He proves true…God’s faithfulness is demonstrated repeatedly throughout the pages of the Scripture. He always fulfills what He has said He will do.” (Erickson 2003)

In the book of Numbers, we find a very inspiring portion that suits the theme:

God is not man, that he should lie,
    or a son of man, that he should change his mind.
Has He said, and will He not do it?
    Or has He spoken, and will He not fulfill it?”  (Numbers 23:19)

God always does what He has said He will do; and this is what brings complete peace, to those who have put their trust in Him.

  1. God’s justice

Nyenhuis in his analysis points out that justice is God’s perfection insofar as he complies with all the standards that God sets for Himself. In fact, there is no standard or guideline above God. God is the one who pronounces the sentence on His own acts.

Nyenhuis also highlights God’s remunerative justice. This refers to the fact that God rewards and rewards according to the conditions and promises that He Himself has established. A clear example of this is the Word found in 1 John 1:9.

On the other hand, Nyenhuis continues in his analysis and presents retributive justice. This has to do with the punishments that God imposes because of sin. Justice is an expression of God’s wrath against sin. God is undoubtedly just that He does not overlook the sins of His people and therefore, in His place, He punished His Son Jesus. The application of justice is fundamental to our salvation. Surely, God’s justice must be satisfied through Christ, or through the sinner.[13]

Now, Erickson points out that as far as justice is concerned, God not only acts in accordance with His law, but also administers His kingdom in accordance with it. It also means that God administers His law fairly, never showing favoritism or partiality.[14]

  1. The Holiness of God

According to the study of Dr. Miguel Núñez, “holy” means separated and free from corruption. God is free from corruption, he emphasizes. And he also highlights that God is a being apart from the rest of creation. God has set apart for Him those who are His children, he affirms.[15]

Thus, the essential idea of ​​God’s holiness, says Nyenhuis, is His moral excellence or perfection, that is, the infinite distance between Him and all impurity, sin, or contamination. If one thinks about concepts like honesty, trustworthiness, integrity, trustworthiness, purity, dignity, and others; put all this and more, including when one refers to the holiness of God.[16]

  1. The Wisdom of God

According to some thinkers, wisdom is considered to be a kind of intelligence. Thus, the wisdom of God is that intelligence of God through which He determines all things and leads them to Himself.

Nyenhuis stresses that wisdom is evident in creation, providence, and redemption. And indeed, the Psalmist praises God’s wisdom when he considers His works.[17]

Lord, how manifold are your works!
    In wisdom have you made them all;
    the earth is full of your creatures.” (Psalm 104:24)

And in this line, Dr. John MacArthur invites us to reflect on the depth of God’s wisdom, thus:

“Consider creation, from the unlimited number of galaxies in the universe to the distinctive structure of a single atom; from the grandeur of a blue whale to the intricacies of countless microscopic creatures that live in a pond. One attribute of God stands out above all others in the display of creation: His wisdom.” (MacArthur 2011)

Each element of creation was certainly brushed with the wisdom of the Creator God.

Now the number of God’s attributes varies somewhat according to the study of theologians or scholars who present it. And in the comparative studies that the reader may do, he will find slightly different proposals, although established on the same basis that has been used in this research. In fact, analyzing the character of God is a vast, endless, and fascinating subject, and from this side of eternity we will hardly understand who God is in its entirety.

On the other hand, throughout this study, it has also been seen that the incommunicable attributes qualify the communicable ones; and also some attributes, especially among the communicable ones, qualify each other. So, the number of attributes can surely vary.

But what matters here is not the number of God’s attributes as such. What matters is that, through the study of them, we have the understanding about who the Triune Creator God is and the depth of His nature, the depth of the nature of His Being.

Certainly, the study of the character attributes of the Triune Creator God takes us to a higher level. Having gone through the different moments of creation; and even, having looked at a few wonders of the natural world that surround us today; we have no choice but to stop for a moment, raise our gaze to infinity and recognize that in every brushstroke of creation the Triune God is present.

Infinitely extraordinary, infinitely perfect! The Creator is infinitely perfect! And as great and magnificent as the universe looks, how much more will the Maker of it be! The Creator does not depend on anyone for His existence at all; however, every microparticle in the universe depends on an order from the Creator for any movement.

But we do not depend only on a great telescope to realize the immensity of the Triune Creator God. Yes, He transcends space and time because He simply made them and is not confined to them.

But, descending to Earth as such, we observe that, just as the Triune Creator God breathed life into the first human being – Adam; likewise, he has breathed the breath of life into his present creation. Every time we get up, after a pleasant night of rest, we can do nothing but thank God for a new dawn, full of life and health! How self-evident it is here to recognize that God’s perfect love is indeed infinite, beyond our comprehension!

At this point, it is worth remembering here the Word of James 1:

“Every good gift and every perfect gift comes down from above, from the Father of lights, with Whom there is no change, no shadow of variation.” (James 1:17)

The signature of excellence of the Triune Creator God is stamped throughout the universe; and although some have wanted, but no one will be able to eliminate it:

“You are the Lord, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and You preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships You.” (Nehemiah 9:6)

[1] Gerald Nyenhuis and Dr. R.C. Sproul, El Dios que adoramos (Miami, FL: Logoi, Inc., 1990), 93.

[2] Gerald Nyenhuis and Dr. R.C. Sproul, El Dios que adoramos (Miami, FL: Logoi, Inc., 1990), 94.

[3] Miguel Núñez, “Los atributos comunicables de Dios,” Coalición por el Evangelio, https://www.coalicionporelevangelio.org/articulo/los-atributos-comunicables-dios/

[4] Millard J. Erickson, Christian Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2003), 319.

[5] Millard J. Erickson, Christian Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2003), 319.

[6] Gerald Nyenhuis and Dr. R.C. Sproul, El Dios que adoramos (Miami, FL: Logoi, Inc., 1990), 94.

[7] Miguel Núñez, “Los atributos comunicables de Dios,” Coalición por el Evangelio, https://www.coalicionporelevangelio.org/articulo/los-atributos-comunicables-dios/

[8] Gerald Nyenhuis and Dr. R.C. Sproul, El Dios que adoramos (Miami, FL: Logoi, Inc., 1990), 94.

[9] Gerald Nyenhuis and Dr. R.C. Sproul, El Dios que adoramos (Miami, FL: Logoi, Inc., 1990), 94.

[10] Gerald Nyenhuis and Dr. R.C. Sproul, El Dios que adoramos (Miami, FL: Logoi, Inc., 1990), 114.

[11] Chris Poblete, “The Attributes of God: Sovereignty,” Blue Letter Bible, https://blogs.blueletterbible.org/blb/2011/10/28/the-attributes-of-god-sovereignty/

[12] Gerald Nyenhuis and Dr. R.C. Sproul, El Dios que adoramos (Miami, FL: Logoi, Inc., 1990), 115.

[13] Gerald Nyenhuis and Dr. R.C. Sproul, El Dios que adoramos (Miami, FL: Logoi, Inc., 1990), 116.

[14] Millard J. Erickson, Christian Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2003), 314-315.

[15] Miguel Núñez, “Los atributos comunicables de Dios,” Coalición por el Evangelio, https://www.coalicionporelevangelio.org/articulo/los-atributos-comunicables-dios/

[16] Gerald Nyenhuis and Dr. R.C. Sproul, El Dios que adoramos (Miami, FL: Logoi, Inc., 1990), 136.

[17] Gerald Nyenhuis and Dr. R.C. Sproul, El Dios que adoramos (Miami, FL: Logoi, Inc., 1990), 138.

The Excellency of God’s Character – In the Beginning

“Jesus was there not only before matter; He was there before time. He did not come into being; He just was.”

John Piper

The Intelligent Design Theory by itself will not necessarily lead us to determine the God to which it refers, to determine who is specifically the Designer that is being talked about – a topic addressed previously. Therefore, it is very important that Science works hand in hand with Theology.

That is why throughout the development of the preceding articles section, we worked in parallel presenting the evidence of science, research and biblical support that the case deserves. This is how we conclude that the Designer spoken of in the Intelligent Design Theory is the Creator God of the Bible; in other words, the Triune God (Father, Son Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit), who intervened as the author of creation.

And it is precisely the Triune Creator God and His character, a topic to which we will dedicate space to expound during this and the next articles that we will publish.

Again, it is important to mention that the English version of this article has been translated from the Spanish version of Towards Excellence (https://hacialaexcelencia.org/2022/02/06/la-excelencia-del-caracter-de-dios-en-el-principio/); not necessarily from the original texts and works of authors here cited. The Bible verses used are from NKJV.

In the beginning

The clear manifestation of the Creator God is observed in Genesis 1. And in this same chapter, it is elucidated who the Creator God is. Let us then quote Genesis 1, in the New King James version:

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” (Genesis 1:1-2)

In both verse 1 and 2, it is clearly seen that this portion refers to “God” and “Spirit of God”, respectively. Dr. Charles F. Stanley comments in “Life Principles Bible – NKJV”, thus:

“Look closely at Genesis 1:1,2 and you will notice that the Bible refers to ‘God’ and the ‘Spirit of God’ without making the slightest distinction between the two. Use the two terms equally. Have you ever wondered why? It is because the two are one! This is the first allusion to the doctrine of the Trinity in the Scriptures.” (Stanley 2005)

And Dr. Stanley adds that later in the account of creation, there is even a second reference to the Trinity, like this in the version of New King James:

Man strive hand to a God

“Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…” (Genesis 1:26)

And likewise, the version of the Textual Bible, IV Edition (Spanish) is noted as a reference:

“And Elohim said: Let us make a man in our image, according to our likeness…” (Translated from the Textual Bible IV Edition 2018)

Who was God speaking to? And to whom did this mysterious “let us make” refer? These are key questions asked by Dr. Stanley. The other beings that existed at the time, Stanley says, were animals or angels. And we are clear from the study of the Scriptures that none of these beings took an active part in the creation process. But happily, in the very next verse, we are given the answer.[1]

“So, God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1:27 – NKJV)

Without a doubt, that mysterious “let us” refers to God; that is, to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, emphasizes Stanley.[2]

And here it should be noted that the name Elohim is plural, but as noted in Genesis 1:1 for example, in the original Hebrew, this name is used followed by a singular verb. This occurs, as Don Stewart points out, when referring to the true God. It denotes unity and diversity as part of the nature of God, which is revealed in the Scriptures as the doctrine of the Trinity.[3]

Now, to correlate this initial portion referring to the creation and the participation of the Triune God in it; it is important that we refer to the Gospel of John, also in the New King James version:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” (John 1:1-3)

As a reference, we will also quote the version of the Textual Bible, IV Edition (Spanish):

“In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was before God, and God was the Logos. This one was in the beginning before God. Everything existed for Him, and without Him, nothing that exists existed. (Translated from the Textual Bible IV Edition 2018)

Interestingly, we observe that the transcendental passages of the doctrine of Creation appear at the beginning of the Bible, consequently at the beginning of the Old Testament; but it is interesting that also at the beginning of the New Testament; honoring precisely the “beginning” as the starting point for the creative work of the Lord – “In the beginning…” (בְּרֵאשִׁית – bə rê šîṯ), in Hebrew, in Genesis 1:1; identical phrase also in the Greek, which is reiterated in John 1:1 (Ἐν ἀρχῇ – En archē).

Theologian and teacher R. C. Sproul, in his commentary on John 1:1, notes:

“In this important passage, the Logos is distinguished from God (‘was with God’) and, at the same time, is identified with God (‘was God’). This paradox has great influence on the development of the doctrine of the Trinity, whereby the Logos is seen as the Second Person of the Trinity. (McDowell 1999)

Jesus the Son is a Person distinct from the Father, but is one in essence with the Father; as expressed in John 10:

“I and My Father are one…  If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.” (John 10:30, 37-38)

And it is timely now that we share some passages, which clearly demonstrate once again that Jesus is God and that He was present at creation, as stated earlier in John 1:3:

“But Jesus answered them, ´My Father has been working until now, and I have been working. ´ Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.” (John 5:17,18) Jesus is one with the Father, He is God.
Jesus said to them, ´Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM´.” Jesus already existed before dwelling on Earth, He is Eternal God.
“And He said to them, ´I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven´.” (Luke 10:18) Jesus, God the Son, already existed before the creation of the world.
For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.” (Colossians 1:16-17) Jesus, God the Son, actively participated in creation. In fact, “everything was created through Him,” thus corroborating John 1:3.

In short, and as John Piper beautifully describes it:

TE-JPiper-ENG“Jesus was there not only before matter; He was there before time. He did not come into being; He just was.” (Piper, Desiring God 2017)

In this analysis and comparison between Genesis 1:1-2 and John 1:1-3; and its correlation with the famous phrase “In the beginning…”, we clearly see that the Trinity was present at creation.

Don Stewart defines the Trinity, explaining that within the nature of one God there are three eternal Persons: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.[4]  In fact, Jesus testified of all three Persons of the Trinity in Matthew 3:

“When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.  (Matthew 3:16-17)

And, thus, creation is the work of the Triune God, as Gerald Nyenhuis affirms, in his study of the Creator God.[5] Both Old and New Testament texts testify that God, or rather that each Person of the Trinity had an active part in creation, here are some examples:

The Father as Creator Isaiah 44:24; Isaiah 40:28; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Isaiah 42:5.
The Son, Jesus as Creator John 1:3; Hebrews 1:2,10; John 1:10.
The Holy Spirit as Creator Genesis 1:2; Job 33:4; Psalm 104:30; Isaiah 40:12-13

Thus, this discussion of understanding God the Creator as the Triune God sets the stage for a detailed study of God’s character attributes.

We look forward to meeting you soon as we upload new articles!

[1] The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible – NKJV (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2005), 3.

[2] The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible – NKJV (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2005), 3.

[3] Don Stewart, “What does the Hebrew Term Elohim mean?,” Blue Letter Bible, https://www.blueletterbible.org/faq/don_stewart/don_stewart_1303.cfm

[4] Don Stewart, “What does Genesis 1:1 Tells us about the Creation of the Heaven and the Earth?,” Blue Letter Bible, https://www.blueletterbible.org/faq/don_stewart/don_stewart_681.cfm

[5] Gerald Nyenhuis and Dr. R.C. Sproul, El Dios que adoramos (Miami, FL: Logoi, Inc., 1990), 236.

The Excellence of God in Creation – An Intelligent Designer, a Universe of Remarkable Precision, and the Origin of Life

“An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going.”  

Francis Crick

Today, we conclude with this article the first chapter of the study that Towards Excellence began to share a couple of months ago on “The God of Creation as an Author and Example of Excellence”, excerpts on the investigation of this truly exciting topic.

It is important to mention that the English version of this article has been translated from the Spanish version of Towards Excellence (https://hacialaexcelencia.org/2022/01/02/la-excelencia-de-dios-en-la-creacion-un-disenador-inteligente-un-universo-de-remarcable-precision-y-el-origen-de-la-vida/); not necessarily from the original texts and works of authors here cited. The Bible verses used are from NASB.

Lee Strobel defends the existence of an Intelligent Designer from the evidence of Astronomy; thus he manifests that the Earth’s position in the universe and its intricately choreographed geological and chemical processes work together with superb efficiency to create a safe place for humans to live. And Strobel quotes NASA astrophysicist John A. O’Keefe:

“If the universe had not been made with the most exacting precision, we would have never existed. In my opinion, these circumstances indicate that the universe was created for man to live ”. (Strobel, The Case for a Creator 2014)

On the other hand, the astronomer Guillermo González and the scientific philosopher Jay Wesley Richards stated that:

“… It would take a star with the highly unusual properties of our sun to nurture living organisms on a surrounding planet. Among the properties are: the correct mass, the correct light, the correct age, the correct distance, the correct orbit, the correct galaxy, the correct location. Therefore, numerous factors make our solar system and our location in the universe perfect for a habitable environment. ” (Strobel, The Case for a Creator 2014)

Indeed, the creation of the universe and its precision is a topic that has been widely discussed from different spheres and throughout decades. Millard J. Erickson, in his book “Christian Theology,” notes that the great evolution debate in the early 20th century makes it clear that while Theology and Science advance in parallel courses most of the time without intersecting on a common theme; on the other hand, the problem of the origin of the world is one of the points where they definitely meet.[1]

Therefore, while we address the issue of the precision of the universe, it is worthwhile at this point to analyze Darwinian Evolution vs. Intelligent Design. “The Origin of Species,” well-known publication of Darwin in 1859 exposes on biological evolution, whose theory provides a completely naturalistic hypothesis that tries to explain the apparent design of natural teleological systems such as eyeballs. This is how James E. Taylor states, in “Introducing Apologetics” that the Darwinian explanation of natural biological teleology includes 3 important aspects: (1) random genetic change, (2) natural selection and (3) genetic heritage.[2]  And this explanation unfolds like this:

“Complex organisms and organs like the eyeballs have evolved over a long period of time from multiple life forms. This process of biological evolution from simpler to more complex forms took place through random genetic changes (mutations) that occurred in simpler forms during the reproductive process. In other words, an organism produces offspring that differ from it in some important respect.” (Taylor 2006)

Thus, according to the Darwinian Theory, such accidental and unplanned alterations in the parts of biological organisms have survival value for organisms or not. If they have survival value, then the organism that acquired them will tend to better adapt to its environment. If they do not have a survival value, then the organism will not be as likely to adapt, and therefore will not have as much desire to survive. This is the idea of ​​the survival of the fittest one or the strongest one. Therefore, the “natural selection” proposed by Darwin is:

“… The name given to this process of elimination of organisms that occurs naturally as a result of the degree to which they can survive. Organisms that inherit traits that allow them to better adapt to their environments are ‘selected’ by nature. (Taylor 2006)

TE-Darwin pic-engSurprisingly, Charles Darwin in his book, “The Origin of Species” identified a means to disprove his theory:

“If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” (Taylor 2006).

Thus, Darwin incredibly recognized that if someone identifies a biological system that could not have been built in gradual steps over long periods of time, then his theory would be invalid.

At this point, it is auspicious for us to address the inherent evidence for molecular machine design that certainly defies Darwin’s explanation of “natural selection.”

Christian biologist and apologist Michael J. Behe, in his book “Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution” argues that there are integrative and complex systems in biological organisms, which he calls “irreducibly complex”, these include sophisticated motors and all kinds of biological circuits; as explained and synthesized by Dr. Stephen C. Meyer, in a long interview with journalist Lee Strobel.[3]

Meyer also specifies:

“These biological machines need all of their varied parts in order to function. Natural selection only preserves things that perform some function, in other words, helping the organism to survive in the next generation. This is the strongest survival. (Strobel, The Case of the Creator: A Journalist Investigates Scientific Evidence Pointing to God 2005)

According to Meyer, complex irreducible systems have a problem and that is that they have no function until all their parts are present and working together in coordination with each other. So, natural selection cannot help building such systems; you can only preserve them once they are built.

Therefore, Meyer adds, in his reference to Behe’s argument that it is impossible for evolution to take such a big leap just by chance and create a complete system at once. This, by the way, leads to the formulation of the following question: “How did the biochemical machine come about? And then Meyer quotes:

“Behe says that these biological systems are likely to appear designed because they were actually designed. After all, when we look at irreducibly complex systems and know how they were formed, invariably a designer made them. ” (Strobel, The Case of the Creator: A Journalist Investigates Scientific Evidence Pointing to God 2005)

For Behe, the notion of irreducible complexity sums it up like this:

“… a single system made up of several harmonic and interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, in which the elimination of any of these parts prevents the system from functioning.” (Collado 2007)

And to explain this notion, Behe ​​takes as an example a homemade artifact – the mouse trap. It can be seen with the naked eye that it is made up of a set of pieces that interact according to a specific design and to achieve a particular purpose. Those who analyze this instrument conclude that the system of parts that compose it has not been arranged at random. It is ruled out, by the way, that the system has been formed gradually; and because of a series of intermediate steps that have been improving the system by a Darwinian-type mechanism. For this instrument to work, it is required that each one of the pieces be arranged according to the expected order or the system ultimately does not work.[4]

To better illustrate it, Behe, in his book “Darwin’s black box” puts it this way:

“Oddly enough, modern biochemistry has shown that the cell is operated by machines: literally, molecular machines. Like their artificial counterparts (mousetraps, bicycles, and spaceships), molecular machines range from the simple to the highly complex: mechanical machines that generate energy, as in muscles; electronic machines, as in the nerves; and solar powered machines, as in photosynthesis. Of course, molecular machines are made of proteins, not metal and plastic. (Collado 2007)

On the other hand, according to Behe, the bacterial flagellum for example is literally an outboard motor that some bacteria use to swim. In fact, Behe ​​accepts Darwin’s challenge by arguing that the bacterial flagellum and other subcellular systems are irreducibly complex and therefore cannot be formed by numerous successive and slight modifications.[5]

Simply put, Behe’s argument against Darwinism is quoted like this:

  • “Some biological systems such as the bacterial flagellum are irreducibly complex.
  • If a biological system is irreducibly complex, then it could not have arisen solely through a process of evolution by natural selection.
  • If there are biological systems that have not arisen solely through a process of evolution by natural selection, then Darwinism is false.
  • Therefore, Darwinism is false.” (Taylor 2006)

Thus, continuing in line with these analyzes and reflections, it should be noted that, for Dr. Meyer, science and faith point towards the same truth. In fact, Meyer convinced states:

“I believe that the testimony of science supports theism. While there are always going to be points of tension or unresolved conflicts, the greatest advance in science in the last five decades has been to walk strongly in the direction of theism… Science, well done, points towards God.” (Strobel, The Case of the Creator: A Journalist Investigates Scientific Evidence Pointing to God 2005)

And a magnificent example of science pointing towards God is precisely the origin of life and the origin of the information necessary to bring life into existence. This information is stored in DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and in molecular proteins.

Thus, Richard Dawkins, a British biologist, stated the following:

“The gene machine code is eerily similar to computers.” (Strobel, The Case of the Creator: A Journalist Investigates Scientific Evidence Pointing to God 2005)

As we know, Meyer points out, computers operate through software programs, the same ones that have been designed by intelligent engineers. Indeed, the information itself – a computer code, hieroglyphic inscriptions or a book, all this points towards intelligence. The same is true about the information of every cell in every living creature.[6]

In fact, the well-known software developer, Bill Gates, confirms this:

“DNA is like a computer program, but extremely more advanced than any software ever created.” (Meyer 2009)

Researcher holding blue pill for health care in laboratory with

So, DNA stores the assembly instructions for building the many crucial proteins and protein machines that serve and maintain even the most primitive single-celled organisms.

Along these lines, a curious note. First established in 1985 by Sir Alec Jeffreys, DNA testing has become an increasingly popular method of identification and research. As it is known, genes are the blueprints of life and control everything from hair color to blood sugar, telling cells which proteins to produce, how much, when and where. Genes exist in most cells. There is a long chain of chemical DNA inside a cell. The part of DNA that determines which protein to make and when, it is called a gene.[7]

The benefits of DNA testing are vast. In 1988, for example, Colin Pitchfork became the first British murderer and rapist, who was caught because of DNA fingerprint tests.[8]

On the other hand, the information provided with the DNA tests has also helped unjustly imprisoned people such as the Americans Gary Dotson (Illinois) and Dennis Halstead (New York) to obtain their freedom in 1989 and 2003, respectively.[9]

Here it should be noted that the origin of life and biological information is a subject that has captivated many, from the highest scientific spheres to ordinary mortals. And it is clearly observed that great scientific findings such as DNA, not only that point to the confirmation of the existence of an intelligent being behind the creation of the entire universe; rather, these same findings, put into practice in daily life, contribute to the growth, development, and care of society; as in the case of technical DNA tests to do justice in cases related to crime, or in cases inherent to responsible paternity.

Thus, the German researcher Bernd-Olaf Küppers, whose scientific interests cover a wide range of problems centered on the fundamental question about the origin and evolution of life, concludes:

“The problem of the origin of life is clear and basically equivalent to the problem of the origin of biological information.” (Meyer 2009)

In the book “Life itself,” Francis Crick, a philosophical materialist, admitted:

“An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going.” (Strobel, The Case of the Creator: A Journalist Investigates Scientific Evidence Pointing to God 2005)

On other hand, Stephen C. Meyer, author of “Signature in the Cell” affirms that, in the Theory of Evolution, Charles Darwin, never intended to uncover the mystery of the origin of biological information. For the English naturalist, this origin was always an impenetrable ministry.[10]

Impenetrable mystery? To the amazement of humanity, each time, the origin of life is revealed even more and more. The most revealing discovery has indeed been that when James Watson and Francis Crick elucidated on the structure of DNA. More than half a century ago, thanks to Watson and Crick, it was discovered that each cell has a complex and advanced information processing and storage system that far surpasses any computer system.

And the famous English scientist, astronomer, theologian and author, Isaac Newton, already 3 centuries ago, in his masterpiece Opticks, published in 1704, reflected:

“How came the bodies of animals to be contrived with so much art, and for what ends were their several parts? Was the eye contrived without skill in Opticks, and the ear without knowledge of sounds?…And these things being rightly dispatch’d, does it not appear from Phænomena that there is a Being incorporeal, living, intelligent…?” (Meyer 2009)

These assertions, the fruit of long years of study and scientific research, are only small samples that the universe and the origin of life itself are supported by an intelligent Creator, a Creator of order, a wise Creator, an Almighty Creator, a Creator of excellence.

Nonetheless, the Word of God, God himself already announced it, centuries ago. Thus, in Jeremiah, written between 627 BC. and 586 BC, he poetically stated it:

It is He who made the earth by His power,
Who established the world by His wisdom;
And by His understanding He has stretched out the heavens.
When He utters His voice, there is a roar of waters in the heavens,
And He makes the clouds ascend from the end of the earth;
He makes lightning for the rain,
And brings out the wind from His storehouses.” (Jeremiah 10: 12,13)

But that same Almighty Creator is the one who not only displayed His excellence in making the heavens and the earth, the universe as such, but also everything that is in it. God, the Creator, also displayed and left His mark of excellence in a singular way by making humanity, the masterpiece of His creation, as the Psalmist sublimely expresses it:

“For You created my innermost parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks to You, because I am awesomely and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.” (Psalm 139: 13,14)

Thus, the quote from Mark DeVine is conducive to this closure:

“It is precisely as a creature that humanity is imago dei and the inclusion of humanity within the rest of the created order can extract the divine superlative ´very good´.” (DeVine 2019)

Towards Excellence will continue sharing excerpts from its research on “The God of Creation as an Author and Example of Excellence” throughout 2022. Please, await for our next articles! A very blessed New Year 2022!

[1] Millard J. Erickson, Christian Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2003), 393.

[2] James E. Taylor, Introducing Apologetics (Grand Rapids, MI:  Baker Academic, 2006), 131-133.

[3] Lee Strobel, El Caso del Creador: Un periodista investiga evidencias científicas que apuntan hacia Dios (Miami, FL:  Editorial Vida, 2005), 1767 – 1772.

[4] Santiago Collado, Análisis del Diseño Inteligente (España: Universidad de Navarra, 2007), 10.

[5] James E. Taylor, Introducing Apologetics (Grand Rapids, MI:  Baker Academic, 2006), 133-134

[6] Lee Strobel, El Caso del Creador: Un periodista investiga evidencias científicas que apuntan hacia Dios (Miami, FL:  Editorial Vida, 2005), 1757 – 1760.

[7] Live Science, “DNA and Genes,” Live Science,  https://www.livescience.com/topics/dna-genes/7

[8] Live Science, “DNA and Genes,” Live Science,  https://www.livescience.com/topics/dna-genes/7

[9] Innocence Project, “200 Exonerated – Too Many Wrongfully Convicted: An Innocence Project Report on the First 200 DNA Exonerations in the U.S.”, https://www.innocenceproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/ip_200.pdf

[10] Tendencias 21 – Tendencias de las religiones, “Un nuevo libro basa el diseño inteligente en el ADN celular,” Tendencias 21, https://www.tendencias21.net/Un-nuevo-libro-basa-el-diseno-inteligente-en-el-ADN-celular_a3987.html

The Creator Prepares Home for His Masterpiece – The Human Being

“God created all things in order to prepare a house and an inn … then after everything that belongs to the essence of a house is ready, man is brought …”

[The Works of Luther]

Creation certainly reveals its Creator. His power, majesty, wisdom, wit, and care.

The Creator puts together a beautiful and incomparable composition with an extraordinary and endless range of elements: Visible light in the splendor of the day and dense darkness in the calm of the night. The sky with its stars, the immensity of the waters and the deep seas, the land of beautiful landscapes. Birds that incredibly fly high in the sky against the wind; sea ​​monsters and an infinity of creatures that dwell at the bottom of the sea; beasts and animals galloping in the field. Dense and exuberant vegetation, infinity of fruit trees.

A world full of color and delicacy. Harmonically designed, whose sounds surpass the most brilliant symphony: from the delicate chirping of the birds to the imposing roar of the lion. From the soft and imperceptible sea breeze to the crash and roar of its majestic waves. From refreshing rain to intimidating thunder.

And this wonderful symphony reaches its climax with even more spectacular, sublime, and peaceful sound; the sweet and loving words of the Creator God towards the highest of His creation, Adam and Eve; who certainly enjoyed splendid intimacy with their Creator, in the delight of the Garden of Eden.

“And God saw that it was good,” “and behold, it was very good.” God saw that His creation was very good! Through His creation, we touch the immensity of God’s love for the masterpiece of His creation – humanity. So great is the love of God, that step by step, detail by detail, precision after precision, He was designing and creating home for humanity.

a-laughing-baby-sitting-in-a-crib-and-playing-with-2021-11-15-17-02-01-utcThis leads us to compare in some way with millions of episodes in the world, when married couples prepare to receive their little baby. How much joy, how much delight, how much expectation! Nine months of so much love, great enthusiasm and of course, a lot of work to properly prepare the baby’s room, its trousseau, colorful and warm clothes, his / her first toys, even specialized preparation to know how to breastfeed him / her, how to prepare baby food as he grows, how to clean and bathe him, how to protect him from diseases, how to interact day by day with the little one so that the environment in which he develops is safe, pleasant, healthy and full of life.

In the same way, the Creator of the universe, took the necessary time to design with splendid precision each part of the magnificent home that He gave to the human being to grow healthy, safe and full of life. God saw that the created home was indeed good and very good!

As Mark DeVine says in his book, “Shalom Yesterday, Today and Forever: Embracing All Three Dimensions of Creation and Redemption”:

“To God be the glory for the things He has done. And what has He done. He has made heaven and earth as the proper home for human creatures made in His image. ” (DeVine 2019)

Likewise, Luther recognizes in his book “Luther’s Works” that the Creator is truly the provider, sustainer and caretaker of humanity:

TE-Luther-eng“God created all things to prepare a house and an inn, as it were, for the future man … then after everything that belongs to the essence of a house is ready, man is brought, as it were, into his possession that we may learn that the divine providence for us is greater than all our anxiety and care. ” (DeVine 2019)

Thus, and according to the biblical account in Genesis, on the sixth day, God concluded His creative activity, and concluded it essentially with the creation of His masterpiece – the human being; and on the seventh day He rested and sanctified this day.

“And so the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their heavenly lights. By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because on it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. (Genesis 2: 1-3 – NASB)

It is clear then that the pronouncement of God after the creation of humanity speaks eloquently of the unique meaning of humanity compared to the rest of creation; Devine points out. And he adds that only with the creation of humanity and its inclusion within the created order, can the creation as a whole extract the superlative “very good” from the Creator. In truth, this speaks of humanity’s uniqueness within the created order, a uniqueness that includes a position of superiority and distinctive worth within the universe. And DeVine emphasizes that no other imago dei creature is created. No other creature exercises dominion over the lower forms of creation.[1]

[1] Mark DeVine, Shalom Yesterday, Today and Forever: Embracing All Three Dimensions of Creation and Redemption (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2019), 709.