Merry Christmas from Layman

I have been defending the nativity narrative of Luke for a few days now. But today I'll refer to a passage from Matthew that I think nicely captures the significance of the incarnation and the reason we should celebrate this day with joy:

"Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means, "God is with us." -Matthew 1:23.

Merry Christmas.


Anonymous said…
Was God with the 20,000 who died due to an Act of God?
Anonymous said…
'God with us'???

Did God know that God was with him,when God Incarnate said on the cross that the one God of Christianity had forsaken the one God?

How can God be with us when God was not even with Jesus?
Layman said…
The phrase "Act of God" is somewhat misleading. This is an act of nature. Though there is a cost, God has provided us with predictable laws of nature that allow us to live our lives and plan our own futures.

But this argument is hardly a new ones. There have been much more destructive acts of God in the past and there may be more destructive ones in the future. They haven't destroyed belief in God in the past, they are unlikely to in the future.
Layman said…
God can be with us now in a more powerful way than previous precisely because of what Jesus accomplished on the cross.
BK said…
I would attempt to answer Anonymous (*sigh*), but the tone of the comments suggest he/she isn't seeking an answer but merely flinging accusations. 'Tis the Season to be frivolous, I guess.
Anonymous said…
"This is an act of nature"

Nature has a 'mind' of its own?
How so?
Layman said…
Who said nature has a mind of its own?

Please stay on topic.
Anonymous said…
Act of Nature?

God creates and sustains all things, including Nature.

Isaiah 45:7 ' I form the light and create darkness,
I bring prosperity and create disaster;
I, the LORD , do all these things.'
Layman said…
To paraphrase from The Princess Bride:

"That verse. I donna think it means what you think it means."

Yes, God made light and darnkess. Yes, he has brought prosperity and disaster. But he does not appear to claim credit for all weather and geological events.

Some Christians would disagree with me, of course. Perhaps Calvinists or Presbyterians. They would give you different answeres.
Anonymous said…
Job 5:10 'He bestows rain on the earth; he sends water upon the countryside.'

Job 37:6 'He says to the snow, 'Fall on the earth,' and to the rain shower, 'Be a mighty downpour.'

Psalm 135:7 'He makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth; he sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses.

A search of the Christian Cadre site reveals this article

'God Proclaims His Love:
Design of the Earth

Established a unique continental crust, which allows for recycling of minerals through tectonic activity'

Gosh, God loved those 50,000 who died through his recycling of minerals through tectonic activity.
Layman said…

You are going to have to be specific about your point. If you have one, that is.

None of these verses say that all Acts of Nature are purposefully caused by God to accomplish some end. So if your point is that God killed these people, you'll need to find better scriptural evidence.

If your point is merely that God created a world in which bad things can happen, then I would agree with you. God created a world in which bad and good things can happen.

Is this the best possible world he could make and still accomplish his purposes in making creation at all? Arguing that is is not seems a pointless exercise in speculation.

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