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Christian Tractatus

(Text as at 12/08/2007 10:17:46)


New Testament teleology does not seem to be credible within the modern world view.

  1. The New Testament seems to picture the fairly imminent destruction of the universe by fire (ie. the heavens "burning with fervent heat" or being "rolled up like a scroll", as in 2 Peter 3:10 - 12 & Revelation 6:14).
  2. Modern cosmology is unsure whether we live in an open or closed universe, ie. it is unclear whether the universe will carry on expanding for ever or whether it will eventually contract again.
  3. However, neither model leads to the Biblical expectation. The former leads to frozen extinction (heat death), while the latter leads to the "big crunch". Neither eventuality will occur for billions of years after the Sun has burnt itself out and all life become extinct.
  4. Certain other natural1 alternatives, such as the engulfing of the Earth by the Sun in a supernova or the expansion of the Sun into a red giant, would have the prophesied appearance from the Earth, but would only be local phenomena and would not obviously lead to "new heavens & a new earth, wherein righteousness dwells". They must therefore be rejected for these purposes.
  5. It has been objected that, since the Bible rejects the idea of a natural end to the universe, any naturalistic expectations are irrelevant. All I am noting here is the difference of expectation2.
  6. The problem of the meaning of "eternity" is not new. However, it is not clear that the Bible contains the concept of eternity in the mediaeval sense. In Special & General Relativity, time is associated with space and matter, so presumably all three are absent in eternity.




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12/08/2007 10:17:46 407 (Problems - Bible Teleology) Problems

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