THE SOURCE Workbook

Copyright © Nils Jansma 2008 - 2020,  All Rights Reserved

CHAPTER 5 –  THE NATURE OF GOD  

Page  55

q-55.1     What does to “anthropomorphize" God mean?

 

q-55.2     What questions has this led to, with what conclusions expressed by some atheists?

 

Page 56  THE ANALOGY OF FLATLAND

q-56.1     In order to unify the four fundamental forces, what theory have mathematicians developed?

 

q-56.2     How does the Bible describe God?

 

q-56.3     What relationship is there between God and time?

 

Page 57  APPLICATION TO ANOTHER DIMENSION;  Setting the Scene;  Figure 5.1: A sphere

q-57.1     Briefly describe what it would be like to live in a two-dimensional world.

              

q-57.2     What would be the first evidence that a Sphere was visiting a two-dimensional world?

 

Page 58  SPEAKING TO THE SPHERE;  Fig. 5.2: Truncates a sphere-  Fig. 5.3:  Moves

q-58.1     What would a Flatland man see that would indicate a Sphere is passing through his plane of existence?

 

q-58.2     How would the Flatlander likely respond to such an encounter with a Sphere?

 

Page 59  Application to God

q-59.1     Why is following the Sphere’s directions time consuming and dangerous for the Flatlander?

 

q-59.2     Why can’t the Flatlander do as the Sphere requests?

 

q-59.3     What is the purpose of the Flatland illustration?

 

Page 60  Person of God

q-60.1     If God also exists in a “higher dimension,” how could we discover things about Him?

 

q-60.2     How might discovering God be comparable to discovering the composition of the atom?

 

Page 61  THE DIMENSION OF TIME;  Metaphors for God

q-61.1     What are some of the properties of God?

 

q-61.2     According to the Bible, how can God be described?

 

q-61.3     How are time and God alike?

 

Page 62  THE VARIABILITY OF TIME

q-62.1     What makes time a “fourth dimension,” and what does it measure?

 

q-62.2     What causes time to pass at different rates?  Give an example.

 

Page 63  Example of the Neutron;  Position of God toward Time

q-63.1     Site experimental proof that Einstein’s time theory works.

 

q-63.2     How does the Bible describe God’s relationship to time?

 

Page 64  THE PRINCIPLE OF EQUIVALENCE;  In Our dimension;  In God’s Dimension

q-64.1     What do human time-experiments suggest about God and time?

 

q-64.2     What is the “Principle of Equivalence?" Give an illustration.

 

Page 65

q-65.1     Is there a scriptural basis for equivalence?

 

q-65.2     How can “eternity” be best described?

 

Page 66

q-66.1     What phrase does the Bible book of Revelation use to describe eternity?

 

q-66.2     What other sources of information does the Bible recommend to those who want to learn more about God and his accomplishments?

 

End of Chapter 5

 

The Source Workbook - Answers

Copyright © Nils Jansma 2018,  All Rights Reserved

 

CHAPTER 5 –  THE NATURE OF GOD

Page  55

q-55.1     What does to “anthropomorphize" God mean?

A dictionary definition is: “To ascribe human characteristics to things not human.” 

 

q-55.2     What questions has this led to, and with what conclusions have been expressed by some atheists?

A)  It has led to personal questions about God’s appearance and habits.  B)  Some atheists have accused people who believe in God as “creating Him in our image,” because we have a need to believe in someone all powerful who will protect us when we are in danger.

 Math Scientists

Page 56  THE ANALOGY OF FLATLAND

q-56.1     In order to unify the four fundamental forces, what theory have mathematicians developed? 

 

Since it is generally accepted that there was a “Big Bang” beginning, there must have been a time when all matter was combined or somehow intigrated by natural laws.  As the universal expansion proceeded, everything we associate with the universe began to become measurable.  This includes all the “laws of nature.”  These events have encouraged mathematicians to develop a set of equations that can explain or model the Big Bang in all its detail.  A number of theories are emerging for this purpose.  They are all included within the phrase, “theory of everything (TOE).”    Two popular contenders for the TOE title are the Grand Unified Theory (GUT) and an emerging complex of “String Theories.”  All of these mathematical techniques include more than our four space-time dimensions.  String Theory is discussed in more detail in Appendix 3, page 223, of The Source.

q-56.2     How does the Bible describe God?

The Bible describes God in terms of his attributes. 

q-56.3     What relationship is there between God and time?

God is not visible and seems to exist outside of time.  He is a mysterious multi-personality that has always existed.  He clearly is what we would call supernatural and beyond description.

Page 57  APPLICATION TO ANOTHER DIMENSION;  Setting the Scene;  Figure 5.1:  A Sphere

q-57.1     Briefly describe what it would be like to live in a two-dimensional world.

There would be no height dimension.  Actually, it is impossible to describe a two-dimensional world because we couldn't really see anything if there weren't at least a line-thickness in the vertical direction for us to see.  Even supposing a line with some thickness, we would still only see straight lines of variable length, with some wiggle spots on them denoting movement, as an eye or mouth.  So you see, we really have to be imaginative to appreciate the use of this illustration.  It is intended to convey to us the mysterious aspects of coming into contact with elements from a higher dimension.

q-57.2     What would be the first evidence that a Sphere was visiting a two-dimensional world?Sphere passes through plane

As illustrated in Figure 5.2, it would be as if matter just popped into existence out of nothing.  We hypothesize that this is what happened at the Big Bang, which would be strong evidence that the universe originated in a higher dimension.  In the illustration, it is assumed that lines have some thickness in order to represent perspective.  In that way, a circle would appear as a line with a thicker middle, which is closest to the observer, while getting thinner towards the circle’s edges because they are farther away. 

Page 58  SPEAKING TO THE SPHERE;   

q-58.1     What would a Flatland man see that would indicate a Sphere is passing through his plane of existence?

He would see matter pop into existence as a point and then appear as a ling growing longer and longer as a line until reaching its spherical midpoint.  Then the sphere image as a line would start to shrink until it disappeared altogether, as shown in Figure 5.2.

q-58.2     How would the Flatlander likely respond to such an encounter with a Sphere?

Since he could not explain the event in natural terms, the Flatlander would likely consider it to be supernatural or miraculous. 

Page 59  Application to God

q-59.1     Why is following the Sphere’s directions time consuming and dangerous for the Flatlander?

What the Sphere asks the Flatlander to do is not only very time consuming but also dangerous.  While it might not be obvious, for a Flatlander to draw a circle from the outside would require special survey equipment to accurately map out the perimeter since it only appears to him as a continuous line..  It is much easier to draw a circle from the inside because all one has to do is hold the marking device at arm’s length turn completely around while drawing a line until it connects up with its starting point.  However, because a line has thickness and is like a wall, there is no way to get out of such a circle without special demolition equipment.  If a Flatlander is trapped within a completed circle, he or she would be reported as missing and might starve to death before being rescued by the authorities.

 

q-59.2     What is confusing about the Sphere’s request to “rotate the circle?”

What the Sphere has asked is impossible to do in Flatland because there is no third dimension.  As shown in Figures 5.3 A & B, the Sphere wanted the circle rotated vertically while the Flatlander could only rotate the circle horizontally. 

2 dimensional sphereSpheres impossible request.

 

q-59.3     What is the purpose of the Flatland illustration?

Among other things, it illustrates some aspects of our physical relationship with God.  We can’t see Him because He does not exist in our dimension.  He can be very near to us, but we would not realize it unless He made His presence known.  Because of His relationship to time, He can be omnipresent or everywhere at the same time.

 

Page 60  Person of God

q-60.1     If God also exists in a “higher dimension,” how could we discover things about Him?

The physical laws that control our universe prevent us from leaving our space dimensions, and so we could never directly discover God by experiment.  For this reason, God has revealed Himself to us through the revelation of His Word found in the Bible.  In the Bible we are given examples of physical things with which we are familiar that can represent attributes or qualities of God.

q-60.2     How might discovering God be comparable to discovering the composition of the atom?Image of Atoms

At this time, God can be likened to an atom because we can’t see it directly either. In October 11, 1955, Erwin Müller and his Ph.D. student, Kanwar Bahadur using a Field ion microscope (FIM) were able to see some types atoms under certain circumstance as blurry circles but without any identifiable details. Maybe someday we will develop equipment that will be able to analyze the atom in a more direct way.  However, until that time, we learn about the atom indirectly by studying the results of tests performed to determine its properties.  Similarly, we learn about God by studying the Bible to determine His properties as He has revealed them to us. See Figure 5.4

Page 61  THE DIMENSION OF TIME;  Metaphors for God

q-61.1     What are some of the properties of God?

From the Bible we can determine that God’s properties are, among others, He is a spirit and He posses the qualities of love, patience, goodness, and justice.

q-61.2     According to the Bible, what are some of the metaphors used to describe God?

The Bible sometimes uses anthropomorphic terms to describe God.  These are terms that make God look human, but are intended only to illustrate aspects of God by using words we understand.  God cannot be described physically in human terms.

q-61.3     How are time and God alike? 

We can’t see either of them, but we do experience their presence.  We experience time by its passing. God makes His presence known to us throgh His creation and the many ways He satisfies our present needs and those we are yet to discover.

 

Page 62  THE VARIABILITY OF TIME

q-62.1     What makes time a “fourth dimension,” and what does it measure?

Because the universe is constantly expanding, we never occupy the same universal space location more than once for each moment that passes.  In this way, time uniquely defines our location in space along our “world line.”  A world line is the path every object has followed in space since the Big Bang.  Currently, all of us are tracing out our individual world lines with every passing second.  Every point on our path can be located by a four-dimensional coordinate of +-height, +-width, +distance and time measured from a starting base line that passes through the Big Bang origin.

Because God is outside of time, He can visually see (if God sees visually) our whole lives from the time we are born to the time we die.  Nothing is lost to Him as it is to us.  The past, present and future are all the same.  In scientific terms, we would say that God sees our individual “world line.”  This view of God's ability to know the future is supported scientifically because it has been proven that both time and space were created at the Big Bang.  Figure 5.5

 

Universe since the Big Bang

q-62.2     What causes time to pass at different rates?  Give an example.

Einstein proved that time and velocity are related.  This was a new concept.  Before this, velocity was considered to be unlimited.  You could go as fast as the energy you could muster would propel you.  However, Einstein hypothesized that the speed of light is the upper speed limit for something traveling through space.  He further hypothesized that time passes differently for objects traveling at differing velocities.  On earth, the effects are not noticeable because our velocity difference relative to one another is very small when compared to the velocity of light.  However, if a person were traveling in a spaceship at a much higher velocity, there would be a noticeable difference in the way time passes compared to those on earth..  It is to be noted that people traveling at the same velocity would not notice any difference in time passage.  It is only when you compare the passage of time between two clocks traveling at significantly different velocities that the time change becomes apparent.  This has been proven experimentally.

 

Page 63  Example of the Neutron;  Position of God toward Time

q-63.1   Discuss experimental proof showing that Einstein’s time theory works. Cellphone like devices are synchronized

Local experiments have been conducted with a highly accurate clock traveling in a satellite.  Comparing this clock with a stationary clock on earth, Einstein's predicted difference in time has been verified.  These time corrections have been a necessary part of the space exploration program.  For use a little closer to home, our Global Positioning System (GPS) of geo-satellites would not work reliably, or even at all, if these time corrections were not continuously being made.  So Einstein seems to be correct in saying that light is the fastest speed anything can travel through space. See Figure 5.6

q-63.2     How does the Bible describe God’s relationship to time?

Since God exists outside of time, He can see everything as if it were all happening at the same time.  We cannot grasp such a reality and do not understand how it is possible. 

 

Page 64  THE PRINCIPLE OF EQUIVALENCE;  In Our dimension;  In God’s Dimension

q-64.1     What do human time-experiments suggest about God and time?

Science has shown that time is not constant.  The Bible is scientific when it reveals that God experiences time differently than we do.  As we have already learned, one big difference is that God knows the future as well as He knows the past.  This does not mean that God knows the future because He guesses what it will be like or personally controls it.  It means that, for God, everything has already happened, with His intervening occasionally.  If God controlled everything about the future, we would not have free will and could not be held accountable for any of our actions.

q-64.2     What is the “Principle of Equivalence?" Give an illustration.

A)  There are many Principles of Equivalence featured in various fields of science.  In this chapter, we are referring to Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, which states that gravity and acceleration produce equivalent effects.  If you are standing on the earth or accelerating in a rocket at the same rate as gravity, you could not tell the difference.  This leads to the conclusion that space-time and gravity are both shaped like a three-dimensional fabric that can be distorted by a massive object such as the earth, as shown in Figure 5.7.  This means that the space-time relationship is dynamic and can be bent by mass and gravity.  Under certain circumstances, time can even be made to stand still by gravity or acceleration.  B)  If time stopped, we would not get older and could live “forever” so to speak. 

 

Space-time fabric

Page 65

q-65.1     Is there a scriptural basis for equivalence?

Yes.  Jeremiah 23:23-24 says that God fills heaven and earth.  We call this the omnipresence of God.  For Him to be everywhere at the same time means that time, as we experience it, is standing still for Him.

 

q-65.2     How can “eternity” be best described?

Eternity is a timeless place we call heaven where nothing can die of natural causes.  It must be located in a higher dimension where time, as we experience it, does not exist.  This concept is beyond our imagination and represents a form of existence we cannot comprehend because we are time dependent creatures.

 

 Page 66

q-66.1     What phrase does the Bible book of Revelation use to describe eternity?

Revelation 21:1 speaks of a “new heavens and a new earth” taking the place of our world system.  We do not know how this will come about, but we do know that it will be the fulfillment of the Lord’s prayer of Matthew 6:9-10, where it indicates that the will of God will extend to the earth, when His Kingdom assumes full power through the second coming of Jesus Christ.

q-66.2     What other sources of information does the Bible recommend to those who want to learn more about God and his accomplishments?

 Job 12:7-9 tells us that we can learn something from God's natural creation.  This means that it will be useful for us to become familiar with the Geosciences (earth sciences) to better appreciate how accurately the Bible has described creation in poetic Hebrew terms that harmonize with the latest scientific discoveries. 

End of Chapter 5