January 22, 2010

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New Song: "All Things" THE SCRIPTURE: Rom. 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." (NIV) Though one earlier manuscript has this verse read simply that "all things work together for our good", we can be assured that the reason they do is because God Himself is working in the midst of all things, making them turn out for His glory and our good. The things-- the events, situations, circumstances of our lives-- on their own have no ability or determination on their own to work for us. But because God is present in history, we can trust that for His children, God is always working in ALL things. THE STORY: In November of 2008, my wife and I experienced a prolonged and painful miscarriage. The signs came early in the pregnancy but the worst occurred while we were in Malaysia for a conference I was speaking and leading worship at. We cut the trip short and returned to the States to attend to the situation. With heavy hearts, the loss lingered through the holiday season. When we found out in February of 2009 that we were pregnant again, we were thrilled. Yet the joy was tempered by the realization of how precarious the early weeks of a pregnancy are. We marked the date on the calendar for the "heartbeat appointment", the point at which miscarriages become increasingly unlikely. It was during our sabbatical and we decided it would best if I stayed home with the girls while Holly went. That morning, we sat in our living room and sang a few worship songs and prayed. Through tears we acknowledged that God holds us and our children in His hands...and that we would trust His goodness...
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Science, Miracles, and God It is largely assumed that miracles are inherently unscientific. But let's examine the premise for this belief. Science, it is said, shows us a predictable universe, one that follows uniform laws and rhythms. Miracles, by definition, are an aberration of those laws, a suspending of the norms of nature, and therefore are improbable if not impossible. The secular philosopher David Hume wrote in his Essay on Miracles that there are two questions to be answered: "Do miracles occur?" and "Is Nature absolutely uniform?" Because he answers yes to the latter question, he answers no to the first one. But, as C. S. Lewis points out, Hume has engaged in philosophical sleight of hand for the two questions are the same one. By asking is miracles occur you are simply asking in another way if nature is always absolutely uniform. So, the real question we have to wrestle with is the one of nature's uniformity. How do we know that the universe follows a uniform pattern of behavior? Our first response tends to be: by experience or by observation. But the truth is all we can say by experience and observation is that during the period of time that we have observed nature, we have observed her to behave is such and such a way. Even the longest periods of observation-- decades for many things, centuries for a few things-- is a relatively short period of time in light of the relative age of the universe. For scientists who believe in an earth that existed millions of years before mankind, even the short history of humanity (6000 years at our best guess?) is not enough to to answer the question of nature's uniformity by experience alone. In fact, when we try to say that we believe in Nature's uniformity because of...

Glenn Packiam

Lead Pastor, new life DOWNTOWN, New Life Church, Colorado Springs, CO. Author and songwriter.

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