When one is given the Spirit of wisdom, one is able to see the pattern God has established in history. This should leave us with a sense of comfort, for it means that life is not chaotic. God has a plan. — Rev. Jude Winkler, OFM
I will start by stating that this is not a defense of Intelligent Design (IG) because, in my modest opinion, IG is unassailable and there is no need to defend it. One cannot say the same of opposing theories that need to be defended in courts of law or by loyal filtering agents at the Human Resources departments of academic institutions. Here I am quoting a paragraph from the article by Bill Pratt: Simple Explanation of Intelligent Design Theory as it was published on November 28, 2008 in the Tough Questions Answered blog.
1. Intelligent agents sometimes leave behind detectable empirical evidence of their activity.
2. There exists, in biological life, detectable empirical evidence of intelligent agency.
What pertains specifically to our analysis is “an intelligent agent leaving detectable empirical evidence of his activities.” To simplify the interpretation of my article, we will identify one specific intelligent agent defined in Christian theology as Logos.
In the beginning was the Word [Logos] , and the Word [Logos] was with God, and the Word [Logos] was God. (John 1:1 NRSVACE) [Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος: En arché én ho Logos én pros ton Theon kai Theos én ho Logos. (Stephanus Textus Receptus, 1550 A.D.)
There are various groups of detectable empirical evidence left behind by Logos. One is the physical organization of the Universe including the organization of all living beings on our planet, the earthly biota. Another is the organization and contents of Holy Scripture.
As I briefly examine those items, please do not assume that we are simply saying “these processes are too complex and therefore we must assume they are the work of God.” No, and let me say it again, no. I intend to prove that it is impossible to deny in good faith the operation of an intelligent agency in the development of those realities. In fact, we will see that those subjects are nothing but evidence of the action of Logos in history from the very beginning of time until our days. In them, we can discern the signature of Logos.
An atheist may argue that things simply are the way they are. His arguments are many but they all end up attacking reason. If I want to sell him a pair of gloves that fit his hands, the atheist will not pay a million dollars for a pair of common gloves only because I say: “these gloves were formed over eons of time by primal undirected forces and therefore too precious to sell for just a few dollars!” Yet, somehow he expects me to believe that a Universe that fits life like a glove is a product of chance. But I repeat, God has a plan and furthermore, “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.” (Proverbs 25:2)
A few months ago, if I remember well, someone sent me a link to a presentation by Chuck Missler. It was an interesting video with many parts that my feeble memory has lost already but one section of the talk impressed me. I took some notes. I was planning to be able to discuss it with a biblical Hebrew expert but the quarantine got in the way. Here is that part of the talk, presented perhaps not as interestingly as Mr. Missler did. The essential information is there: God has a plan and every part of that plan is designed for your eternal benefit.
Remember that chapter of Genesis containing the first genealogy of man? No? Many readers skip that chapter with the names of the first patriarchs: Adam, Seth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech and Noah the father of Shem, Ham, and Japhet.
Those used to read my musings in this blog may have noticed that there are thirteen names in the list. One of the named patriarchs was Enoch who never died because he was taken into Heaven. A biblical rarity: Methuselah is the oldest man mentioned in the Bible. He lived 969 years. He was also the son of Enoch and therefore died before his own father. So we have a list of twelve men, one of them was taken into Heaven and other was instructed to make an ark and sail into a new world preserving mankind through the Universal Flood. The picture seems to me a prophetic representation of Jesus, Peter (and his famous barque) and the Apostles, all of them add to thirteen.
The most interesting part of this chapter is the meaning of the Hebrew names. Let’s start from the beginning with Adam the first man.
Adam: from adomah=man the root of which is “adom” the word for “red” — later in Genesis we find Edom, the red haired brother of Jacob.
Seth: meaning “appointed” — “for God has appointed me a replacement for Abel.” (Genesis 4:25)
Enosh: meaning “mortal”, “miserable” or “frail” (the root is “anash”=mortal wound, incurable grief.
Kenan: meaning “sorrow”.
Mahalalel: meaning “Blessed God” from “maha”=blessing and “El”=God.
Jared: meaning “shall come down” from yaradh.
Enoch: meaning “commencement” or “teaching”.
Methuselah: from methu=death and shalach=bring. Meaning: “His death shall bring” — Methuselah, the grandfather of Noah died shortly before the Flood. His death was a prophetic marker of impending doom.
Lamech: despair, lament, lamentation, despairing.
Noah: from nacham=relief or comfort
If we read the names as a phrase in Hebrew …
“Man was appointed a mortal sorrow. The Blessed God shall come down teaching and His death shall bring the despairing rest.”
God has a plan that is part of the undeniable pattern of intelligence behind the very existence we live in the universe we see, the planet we have as home. This chapter of Genesis is also hiding a sequence of equations that have mystified mathematicians and enthusiasts of numbers for many centuries. For me, that chapter reveals the mysterious love of a God planning his own death as atonement for a human race that shows no interest at all in loving Him. This chapter, filled to the rim with infinite puzzles is a love call from our Creator. I for one, love Him for challenging both mind and heart in this unique manner.
The world we live in 2020
There is a reason to write such a strange article at a time when the United States’ system of government seems to be tested to the limits and with it the political structure of the whole Western World, the economies of various countries upset by civil unrest, unrestricted immigration, pandemics, terrorism, and many other problems.
Our generation “has been appointed a mortal sorrow” to use the phrase we have just discovered hidden in Genesis 5. On Tuesday, November 3, we were presented with the solution to a puzzle, the mystery of the wickedness revealed, operating shamelessly before our very eyes. These are the same forces that patiently infiltrated the Catholic Church aiming to hijack her institutions to use them as instruments of raw political power. Now it’s America’s turn.
Watching the obvious election robbery that took place in the US, many of us had the impression of watching a horror similar to the infamous pachamama “mass” that defiled St. Peter’s Basilica. I sensed a kind of unholy descent from the sacred altars of religion to the hallowed halls of civilian order. My immediate thought was: “Now the abomination is really standing long and wide where it ought not!”
A friend of mine (not American) wrote from Europe:
“This entire US Election is deeply depressing. Donald Trump isn’t perfect, and at times hasn’t helped himself, but he does love his country and genuinely likes to see the ordinary man, the black or Hispanic man work hard and get on. The way he’s been, in effect, hounded out of office dirties all of us. Yes, politics is a nasty business but he’s been pilloried, held in contempt, chased down without pity by a pack of jackals and knaves. And it looks very much like they’ve won.”
Another friend (American) finished her email with this:
“Guess many thought it could never happen here. Anyway, I appreciate and believe what you say that God is still in control and always will be. I admit, I’m not looking forward to what’s coming though.”
Rejoice in spite of all the trouble
I know the panorama looks depressing. If you can, please bear with me and read again the beginning of this article trying to keep your mind’s eye focused in the power of God and His infinite wisdom. The enemies we confront are only a band of witless criminals, they are the modern version of the worshipers of the golden calf.
This whole moment in history is screaming to us: “YOUR REDEMPTION IS NEAR” and that should be a reason to rejoice in the nearness of Our Savior. Nothing will be lost, nothing. We have Christ and in Him we have everything. Our enemies oppose Christ and in opposing Him they have rejected life itself. This is the time to show how solid our faith is. With St. Paul we have to be a source of encouragement to others, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4) Many saints throughout the ages wanted to have the privilege to live these days.
If you find no reason to pray, please pray for this sinner and intercede for me and my work here. I have been the canary in the mine for several years now. I lost everything but I gained Christ and there is simply no way that the loss of a bunch of rusty trinkets is going to make me feel sad. I have Christ and He is making all things new for me, and you, all of us.
This is only the beginning of the storm. Set your heart to the other shore, hold on to Jesus and Mary. Don’t lose faith. God has a plan and you are in it.