Daniel P. Barron

From order towards chaos.

August 12, 2016

Pete Dushenski brought to my attention an article entitled “Against Edenism” written by Peter Thiel who goes on to purport that God is moving the world from chaos towards order, and that man is to help in this process.

Judeo-Western optimism differs from the ­atheist optimism of the Enlightenment in the extreme degree to which it believes that the forces of chaos and nature can and will be mastered.

Wait, which group is the one that believes “the forces of chaos and nature can and will be mastered” ? Surely he means the atheists, those foolish enough to believe that there is no God,i and that if anything is to be accomplished it will be by the hands of men. Nope. He meant the “Judeo-Western”ers, whatever that term is even supposed to mean.

The tyranny of Chance will give way to the providence of God. This movement from chaos to order begins in Genesis: “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. . . . And God said, ‘Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear’: and it was so” (Gen. 1:2,ii 9iii).

Here the author quotes a passage from The Bible and then proceeds to add meaning where there was none implied. He asserts that “without form and void” is synonymous with chaotic. Moreover, he seems to imply that this one-off creation process is somehow instructive as to how the world will be changed going forward. In fact, God also creates evil.iv He puts lies into the mouths of false prophets.v For an example of God moving humanity from order towards chaos, look no further than Babel.

Genesis 11:

1 Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. 2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there. 3 Then they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar. 4 And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”
5 But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. 6 And the Lord said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. 7 Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” 8 So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city. 9 Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.

God moves the world from order to chaos, and He goes on to explain exactly why: so that things “that they propose to do” can be “withheld from them.” It’s not unlike the justification given for why He speaks in parables.vi Peter Thiel is not unlike the inhabitants of Babel, thinking that heaven is a goal towards which he may work.

Science and technology are natural allies to this Judeo-Western optimism, especially if we remain open to an eschatological frame in which God works through us in building the kingdom of heaven today, here on Earth—in which the kingdom of heaven is both a future reality and something partially achievable in the present.

The kingdom of heaven is not built; the kingdom of heaven is God. Indeed He will return to earth,vii but it is not a thing to “achieve.” It’s not by work that men are saved, but by the grace of God.viii Mr. Thiel concludes with a destructive heresy concerning the existence of a certain great creature.

After all, in the Bible, the sea is the place where the demon Leviathan lives, and it symbolizes the chaos that must be rolled back.

The Leviathan is not a symbol or a demon; the leviathan is a dragon— that is, an actual living creature who currently dwells in the ocean. Darwin Fish explains it best:

Myths indeed aboundix, but Leviathan is no myth. He is one of the great sea creatures God createdx that is massive, breathes fire and smokexi, and lives in the seaxii. Just because you haven’t seen one, doesn’t mean he does not exist. God does not lie, and He declares Leviathan’s existence.

  1. Psalm 14:
    1 The fool has said in his heart,
    “There is no God.”
    They are corrupt,
    They have done abominable works,
    There is none who does good.

  2. Genesis 1:
    2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

  3. Genesis 1:
    9 Then God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so.

  4. Isaiah 45:
    7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.

  5. 1 Kings 22:
    19 Then Micaiah said, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by, on His right hand and on His left. 20 And the Lord said, ‘Who will persuade Ahab to go up, that he may fall at Ramoth Gilead?’ So one spoke in this manner, and another spoke in that manner. 21 Then a spirit came forward and stood before the Lord, and said, ‘I will persuade him.’ 22 The Lord said to him, ‘In what way?’ So he said, ‘I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And the Lord said, ‘You shall persuade him, and also prevail. Go out and do so.’ 23 Therefore look! The Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these prophets of yours, and the Lord has declared disaster against you.”

  6. Matthew 13:
    10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”
    11 He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 13 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says:
    ‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand,
    And seeing you will see and not perceive;
    15 For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
    Their ears are hard of hearing,
    And their eyes they have closed,
    Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
    Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
    So that I should heal them.’
    16 But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; 17 for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

  7. Revelation 19:
    11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:
    KING OF KINGS AND
    LORD OF LORDS.

  8. Ephesians 2:
    8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

  9. Psalm 58:
    3 The wicked are estranged from the womb;
    They go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies.

  10. Genesis 1:
    21 So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

  11. Job 41:
    1 “Can you draw out Leviathan with a hook,
    Or snare his tongue with a line which you lower?
    2 Can you put a reed through his nose,
    Or pierce his jaw with a hook?
    3 Will he make many supplications to you?
    Will he speak softly to you?
    4 Will he make a covenant with you?
    Will you take him as a servant forever?
    5 Will you play with him as with a bird,
    Or will you leash him for your maidens?
    6 Will your companions make a banquet of him?
    Will they apportion him among the merchants?
    7 Can you fill his skin with harpoons,
    Or his head with fishing spears?
    8 Lay your hand on him;
    Remember the battle—
    Never do it again!
    9 Indeed, any hope of overcoming him is false;
    Shall one not be overwhelmed at the sight of him?
    10 No one is so fierce that he would dare stir him up.
    Who then is able to stand against Me?
    11 Who has preceded Me, that I should pay him?
    Everything under heaven is Mine.
    12 “I will not conceal his limbs,
    His mighty power, or his graceful proportions.
    13 Who can remove his outer coat?
    Who can approach him with a double bridle?
    14 Who can open the doors of his face,
    With his terrible teeth all around?
    15 His rows of scales are his pride,
    Shut up tightly as with a seal;
    16 One is so near another
    That no air can come between them;
    17 They are joined one to another,
    They stick together and cannot be parted.
    18 His sneezings flash forth light,
    And his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning.
    19 Out of his mouth go burning lights;
    Sparks of fire shoot out.
    20 Smoke goes out of his nostrils,
    As from a boiling pot and burning rushes.
    21 His breath kindles coals,
    And a flame goes out of his mouth.
    22 Strength dwells in his neck,
    And sorrow dances before him.
    23 The folds of his flesh are joined together;
    They are firm on him and cannot be moved.
    24 His heart is as hard as stone,
    Even as hard as the lower millstone.
    25 When he raises himself up, the mighty are afraid;
    Because of his crashings they are beside themselves.
    26 Though the sword reaches him, it cannot avail;
    Nor does spear, dart, or javelin.
    27 He regards iron as straw,
    And bronze as rotten wood.
    28 The arrow cannot make him flee;
    Slingstones become like stubble to him.
    29 Darts are regarded as straw;
    He laughs at the threat of javelins.
    30 His undersides are like sharp potsherds;
    He spreads pointed marks in the mire.
    31 He makes the deep boil like a pot;
    He makes the sea like a pot of ointment.
    32 He leaves a shining wake behind him;
    One would think the deep had white hair.
    33 On earth there is nothing like him,
    Which is made without fear.
    34 He beholds every high thing;
    He is king over all the children of pride.”

  12. Isaiah 27:
    1 In that day the Lord with His severe sword, great and strong,
    Will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent,
    Leviathan that twisted serpent;
    And He will slay the reptile that is in the sea.

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