Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Extrapolation Principle

 The Extrapolation Principle is the application of the idea that God is aware of everything, including human thoughts.

Consider: if you thought of something, then if it was the case that your idea is totally novel, such that God would not have thought of it, then your thoughts could catch God by surprise. He would be, in some sense, ignorant. We know this can't be true, because He is all-knowing.

This also means that, if you can think of a possible reason for why God might have done something, then, provided your thought process is logically sound and not in contradiction to some known Biblical truth, it is reasonable to believe that that thought would have entered into God's decision-making process, as a supporting reason for making the choices that He did.

That's basically it, for this post. I can't make it clearer with more words. But I figure I'll share an example of what I mean, that happens to be what I was thinking about when I formulated this thought.

~ ~ ~

I was contemplating marriage when I went to bed last night. I decided to explore it from a different aspect than is typical. The common ways of looking at human sexuality and relationship are from a procreative and theologically symbolic standpoint:

Procreative: God made male and female separate, as well as sexual reproduction and sexual desire, in order to establish a balance in the created order and to perpetuate humanity.

Theologically symbolic: God made male and female separate, that they may, when they come together in marriage, be a representation of the relationship that Christ has with His Church -- distinct centers of consciousness, but united in purpose (and as near to unity of essence as is possible), both serving the other.

But I figured, why not look at it from a contingency standpoint.

Premise: God is so great that when we recognize that we cannot have a perfect relationship with Him in this world, we will desire to leave it to be with Him. This means we won't care if we die. We'll be prone to recklessness or at least apathy with regard to protecting our earthly lives, since life with Him is far more to be desired than a lesser life on earth.

So God has the conundrum, of how to motivate the humans not to totally throw away their lives so they can pass through death into eternity. He's got to make some aspect of earthly living have enough of a fixation on the heart of men that they won't be tempted to give it up so easily. He needs to do something to make them individually invested in promoting His kingdom on earth, and not just focused on joining His kingdom in heaven.

What's a God to do?

The delights of heaven far surpass the delights on earth. So God might have thought, "I'll create something so delightful that men will hardly choose to die than miss the experience of it." And He created sexual pleasure.

The intimacy of the loving relationship between Father and Son, and Savior and Saint, far surpasses human relationships on earth. So God might have thought, "I'll create something so intimate, than which nothing else will come closer to resembling My relationship with those whom I love." And He made possible the marital union between man and wife.

And then, to ensure that mankind would not be so singlemindedly devoted to pursuit of this passion (recognizing, after all, that not all would be holy in their motivations) at the expense of all others, He connected human sexual intimacy to the generation of life itself, so that as long as people would desire that intimacy (which He made nearly inevitable), new people would be born and His desire that mankind would fill the earth would never be thwarted. Further, the presence of helpless children would serve as a modulating effect, on sinners and saints alike, making them more responsible and convicting them with a sense of duty, and thus providing a way that mankind would perpetuate itself even if it operated on the basest of human urges.

The fact that I thought this means that God knows that I would think it.
Since God is eternal, that means that He was aware of this thought 'before' He created mankind, before He made them male and female and created sex and sexual reproduction.
The Extrapolation Principle then means that, provided there's nothing ludicrously antiBiblical about this speculation, that it's quite possible that these notions constituted some of the multitudinous considerations that God would have processed in His divine mind when deciding how He was going to create the universe. It doesn't mean it was the primary reason (certainly not, by far), but it implies that He would have been aware of it, and the fact that He did what He did in the way that He did takes all possibilities into consideration.

So my conclusion, then, is that one of the supporting reasons for why God made marriage is so that His children would have something to root them in this world and keep them temporarily content with persisting in a shadow of eternity, until the future consummation. A sea-anchor, if you will.

It can't replace God for us. But it's the closest we have to being face-to-face with Him, our true love, between now and the day we're glorified and perfected in Him. And it's such an example of His kindness to us, that He would allow us to have this 'small slice of heaven', the better to know Him by, by intimately loving and being loved by another person.

Tell me that's not romantic.

~ Rak Chazak

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