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BOOK CONTENTS and EXTRACTS from "GOD and Man – A Holistic View"

BOOK CONTENTS

Introduction – Personal Story
Chapter 1 – First Principles and God
Chapter 2 – The Living and Non-Living
Chapter 3 – Holistic Man
Chapter 4 – Body, Soul, Spirit and Death
Chapter 5 – Creation Ex-Deo Revisited
Chapter 6 – The Created Order, Freedom and Determination
Chapter 7 – Omnipresence, Omniscience, Foreknowledge, Predestination?
Chapter 8 – The Enigma of Evil and Divine Justice
Chapter 9 – Paul’s Gospel for Everyone Today
Chapter 10 – Universalism and Paul
Appendix A – Does the Bible agree with the Gap Theory?
Appendix B1 – Ages and the Bible
Appendix B2 – Plan of the Ages Chart


BOOK EXTRACTS

First two paragraphs from
Introduction

A journey into seeking truths is alluring but not easy. Much labour is called for, but the outcome is gratifying: perplexity is diminished and understanding increased. Having been given a starting foundation makes it a little easier. I consider myself privileged in having been brought up in a home with a basic religious worldview that has given meaning to me and guided my young life and thinking. As I grew up and interacted with individuals and groups of similar and dissimilar worldviews, both within and outside Christian circles, I began to reflect upon the differences among these worldviews. This has led to my worldview being modified several times so as to bring it more in tune with and truer to Christian Scripture — as I understood it progressively — than with traditions. I discovered that traditional beliefs, accepted at face value and learnt in a second-hand way without checking the original or quoted sources for myself cannot be fully trusted. In the process, much of what had been to me paradoxes and mysteries were resolved. In their place, I found a worldview that is sensible, internally consistent and satisfying to the mind and the heart. This is a personal journey of spiritual growth and understanding in this modern (or post modern) scientific and spiritual environment.

In searching for an understanding of the nature of reality, and to bring about utmost consistency and coherence to my own beliefs, I tried to be honestly self-critical, being aware that any predisposing psychological bias could lead me into a line of reasoning towards a particular notion, preconceived or otherwise. In so doing I tried to find out if there was a way in which I could reliably test whether my own preconceived ideas of God and also those of others (insofar as they had an influence on my own) are sound, coherent, holistic, reverent and scriptural. In this exercise, I realised that a means was indeed available to me without my having to delve deeply into voluminous literature on the subject -- a task well nigh impossible for me to do. What I had to do was to re-examine as rigorously as possible the rudimentary terms and concepts which are the presuppositions upon which the foundations of knowledge (as in theology and science) are built. In the process I discovered unrecognised “little errors at the beginning” or “little errors of the past” (to borrow a phrase or two from the late philosopher, Professor Mortimer J Adler) which might have contributed to and influenced the development of these disciplines. Some of these I had been taught or simply absorbed and believed as true without much critical thought. Such “little errors” could, if left unrecognised, have prevented me from seeing the truer and broader picture of things. My own views had also had occasion to run into little wrong turns and needed redirection. In this search I told myself to keep an open mind and to proceed on the basis of reviewing, as and when I encountered them and as fully as possible, the bases of truth-claims. None were immediately rejected as outright errors even though at first glance, they were at odds with those of my own. Keeping an open mind meant, to me, willingness to have one’s views examined and re-examined any number of times, as this is a sure way of honing them and bringing them ever closer to often elusive “ultimate truths.”


To read the full INTRODUCTION please click here.


First paragraph from
Chapter 1: First Principles and God

The author began his journey by looking into these four basic concepts: space, time, nothing, and something, all of which he thinks must be defined purely – as pure as their root meanings will allow. In the literature of science and religion, these terms have, as they seem to the author, often taken on or given distinctively restrictive sense. The word “nothing” for example has at times taken on the meaning of “no visible matter” and at other times the meaning of “absolutely nothing.” Both thoughts have at times been used interchangeably, therefore resulting in contradictory and confusing arguments when one is assumed whilst the other is meant. If these terms are capable of being defined in the most basic and rudimentary sense, can they then be used as common starting points in reviewing the many concepts in science and theology? In the author’s view, the basic sense conveyed by such terms must necessarily be left intact (in their root sense) if one is to delve into the very origin and nature of things. Verities can be masked by artificially restrictive definitions which hamper free flow of ideas that could lead to further discoveries beyond their confines.


To read the full Chapter 1, please click here.


First paragraph from
Chapter 2: The Living and Non-Living

At this stage, we take a look back a hundred years at the groundbreaking research of an Indian pioneer of science (physicist, inventor and plant physiologist) Sir Jagadis Chandra Bose of Calcutta. He began his career as a physics lecturer at Calcutta’s Presidency College and later became a professor there (1885-1915), which he left to found and direct (1917-37) the Bose Research Institute, Calcutta. Bose earlier went into research of wireless transmission of radio waves. Attracting the attention of the Royal Society of London, he published in their journal a paper on the “Determination of the Wave Length of Electric Radiation,” and was later awarded a doctorate from London University. Continuing his work with radio, he noticed in 1899 that certain metallic components in his radio receivers lost their sensitivity with continuous use; they exhibited a type of fatigue characteristic of human and animal muscle tissue, and they recovered full sensitivity after a period of rest or unuse. This led him into further research. His design and invention of highly sensitive instruments for the detection of minute responses by living organisms to external stimuli enabled him to discover parallelisms between animal and plant tissues and, even more remarkably, similar responses by “non-living” inorganic substances such as metals.


First paragraph from
Chapter 3: Holistic Man

Man seems to be or wants to be “the measure of all things.” But who is the measure of man? The Copernican revolution has apparently displaced man’s abode from being the centre of the universe, yet man cannot but think that he is still the centre of it. It is man who originates the question on the origin of the universe and himself. Man’s quest seems to be to find the ultimate answer to his own question, no matter how elusive it may be. The proper study of mankind is man, it has been said. Can the proper study of God be better understood if we first begin with the study of man and understand more of him?


First paragraph from
Chapter 4: Body, Soul, Spirit and Death

The cells of a growing embryo truly ‘evolved’ in the literal sense, in small steps practically before our very eyes, into the complex interconnected organs of the body, this express ‘evolution’ being guided by the living directive mould of a biofield or a “subtle body,” as we have seen from researches described in the last chapter. The subtle body is the missing link that explains that the processes of growth are not just physical chemistry and physics alone. The subtle body is what enables the physical body to maintain its shape and adapt to the environment up to a tolerable limit, beyond which sickness creeps in and eventually death ensues. The body’s growth follows a unique pattern of intelligent design – that of the subtle body, which in its particular shape and form is built into each species of living things. The subtle body is the builder of complexity in living things. It is the form-building template of an organism.



For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity . . .
(Romans 1:20a World English Bible)


(c) June 2006 - Yeap Teik Sinn - GODandMan.biz