Categories
astronomy Cosmology Physics

You’re not lost in a directionless universe

A news article in appeared in Science titled “It’s official: You’re lost in a directionless universe”1 where the author Adrian Cho reported on the results of a research paper published in Physical Review Letters in September 2016. That paper is available online as a preprint.In the online Science article the conclusion of the research is stated that

“For the first time, we really exclude anisotropy,” [the lead author] Saadeh says. “Before, it was only that it hadn’t been probed.”

universe_cmb
Top image: CMB temperature anisotropies map from Planck satellite. Bottom image: Simulated image from one of the models used where a preferred axis was introduced. Credits: (Top to bottom) ESA and the Planck Collaboration; D. Saadeh et. al., zenodo

The research involved simulations on a supercomputer where various forms of anisotropic structure and expansion of the universe were introduced in modelled universes. The authors looked for how those would affect any putative patterns that might be observed in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation. The design was to see what would produce anisotropy in the CMB temperature data. See illustration to the right.

They found that none of the patterns they produced are observed in the CMB data from the Planck satellite. Ok, so that solves it! The Universe is isotropic and therefore the fundamental assumption for the big bang model—that is, matter is distributed uniformly throughout the Universe, on the largest scales–is correct and hence it validates the choice of the standard ΛCDM big bang model to describe the Universe. Well, no, not actually.

Firstly, for that to be true it would have to be assumed that the authors modelled all possible sources of anisotropy in the Universe. It would also have to be assumed that the patterns they generated in their modelled CMB temperature anisotropies were, in fact, indicative of large scale structure in the real Universe. There is no independent way to test that. All that researchers have available to them is supercomputer modelling. So how can you know what the Universe should look like with different types of anisotropic distributions of matter? There are no other universes available except this one, therefore we are always limited by this fundamental uncertainty.

Categories
Biblical doctrines hermeneutics

Holy Spirit: Indwelling or Filling?

All saved Christians receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes some get a big dose of it at salvation, sometimes some get it at another time, but all believers have the Spirit of God dwelling in them otherwise they are not of Christ. (All bold are my emphases added. Square brackets [ ] indicate meanings of words. King James Version Easy-Reading Bible (KJVER) used.)

romans-8-9Indwelling of the Holy Spirit

All believers are indwelt by the Holy Spirit upon their rebirth–their salvation.

Ephesians 1:13 In whom you also trusted, after that you heard the word of truth, the gospel [good news] of your salvation: in whom also after that you believed, you were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.

No believer can be without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 8:9 But you are not in the flesh [i.e. not controlled by the flesh], but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.

The Apostle Paul hits it from two sides. If you are saved the Spirit of God dwells in you and if you don’t have the Spirit of God in you then you are not saved. God wanted the message to be very clear.

Some ask for the Holy Spirit, others just get zapped the moment they receive Jesus Christ, but all get the Holy Spirit regardless of their circumstances. Read Holy Ghost Baptism. It is given as a seal (or proof) of salvation and as the power to witness for Christ.

Categories
Belief in God Biblical doctrines hermeneutics Trials and temptations

Can saved Christians be overcome by Satan and lose their salvation?

Some erroneously teach, in my opinion, that a saved regenerated believer in Christ can lose his salvation and become un-born-again, unregenerate, through some action on his or her own part. While discussing this one day with a Christian brother, who believes such is possible, I asked him for a biblical text in support of the idea. He gave me 2 Peter 2:19 and 20.

While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants [slaves] of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage [enslaved]. 20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

Reading that passage it does almost seem to support such a notion, except when you put it in its original context. And also it brings up a concept centred on the meaning of the word ‘overcome’ as used in the Bible. Since we are admonished (2 Timothy 2:15) to rightly handle the word of truth, let’s look into this matter a little more. (All bold are my emphases added. Square brackets [ ] indicate meanings of words. King James Version Easy-Reading Bible (KJVER) used.)

opening-teaser

2 Timothy 2:15 Study [Be diligent] to show yourself approved to God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

The Authorized version uses the word ‘dividing’ which I believe captures the point very precisely. We need to divide truth from error.