Excursus on Acts 17:28 not Pantheistic

Acts 17:24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; 25 Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; 26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; 27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: 28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. 29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.

The context of the passage is Paul correcting pagan superstitions and errors regarding the nature of the creator. Elohim made all things, he made men and preordained their geographic boundaries. Therefore, to think that Elohim could be an idol that needed the constant upkeep of his own creation is absurdity.

“In him” is the Greek ἐν, which is a general preposition denoting fixed position, also translated:

in (1,902x), by (163x), with (140x), among (117x), at (113x), on (62x), through (39x).

Thus, the meaning does necessitate the idea of being “inside” God, but being of God created by his power. Thus, to the illustrious testimonies:

John Gill:

“The natural life which men live is from God; and they are supported in it by him; and from him they have all the comforts and blessings of life; and all motions, whether external or internal, of body or of mind, are of God, and none of them are without the concourse of his providence, and strength assistance from him; though the disorder and irregularity of these motions, whereby they become sinful, are of themselves, or of the devil; and their being, and the maintenance of it, and continuance in it, are all owing to the power and providence of God.”

Matthew Poole,

“In him we live, &c.; he is the God that made us, that preserves us, and not we ourselves; he keeps us as in the hollow of his hand, and compasseth our paths. Our breath is in our nostrils, and when we send it forth we have none to take in again, unless God furnish us with it, as out of his own hand.”

Henry Alford, Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

28. There is no justification for the pantheist in this.

“It is properly said only of the race of men, as being His offspring, bound to Him: proceeding from, and upheld by, and therefore living, moving, and being in Him:—but even in a wider sense His Being, though a separate objective Personality, involves and contains that of His creatures. See Ephesians 1:10, where the same is said of Christ. ἐν αὐτῷ must not be taken for ‘by Him;’ the subsequent citation would in that case be irrelevant.”

Albert Barnes,

“For in him we live – The expression “in him” evidently means by him; by his originally forming us, and continually sustaining us. No words can better express our constant dependence on God. He is the original fountain of life, and he upholds us each moment. A similar sentiment is found in Plautus (5,4,14): “O Jupiter, who dost cherish and nourish the race of man; by whom we live, and with whom is the hope of the life of all men” (Kuinoel). It does not appear, however, that Paul designed this as a quotation; yet he doubtless intended to state a sentiment with which they were familiar, and with which they would agree.”

Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, First Part, Question 18,

“Article 4. Whether all things are life in God?

Objection 1. It seems that not all things are life in God. For it is said (Acts 17:28), “In Him we live, and move, and be.” But not all things in Godare movement. Therefore not all things are life in Him….

Reply to Objection 1. Creatures are said to be in God in a twofold sense. In one way, so far are they are held together and preserved by the divine power; even as we say that things that are in our power are in us. And creatures are thus said to be in God, even as they exist in their own natures. In this sense we must understand the words of the Apostle when he says, “In Him we live, move, and be”; since our being, living, and moving are themselves caused by God.”

http://www.newadvent.org/summa/1018.htm

 

Another Argument Against the Eastern Orthodox – The Maximian Logoi, A Plenum Formarum?

The Eastern Orthodox tell us that their replacement for the Platonic forms, the Maximian Logoi,  are the arche’ of all creation, the eternal patterns of created forms. Oh, but this isn’t Platonism! Why? Because the Logoi are not ideas in God’s mind, they are energies external to God but uncreated, the Essence and Energies distinction! Really, so then there is an eternal Logoi for the Kiwi:

and don’t forget about the Kiwi’s vestigal wing:

Oh that’s right folks, in the eternal perfection of the floaty place there is a Logoi just for such degeneration! The section in Answers in Genesis completely avoids this issue:

“Kiwis

The five living species of kiwis are another unforgettable reminder that flightless birds have unique designs enabling them to thrive in diverse places. All are endemic to New Zealand (only found there). They have no tail, and their tiny wings (1.6–2 inches [4–5 cm] long) are hidden beneath their body plumage. New Zealand has no native land mammals, but surprisingly kiwis exhibit many mammalian features.

Kiwis are nocturnal but have poor night vision, contrary to evolutionary theory for nocturnal birds. Their senses of smell and hearing are keen, however, and more characteristic of mammals than birds. Unlike most birds, kiwis’ nostrils are at the tip of their flexible, 8-inch (20-cm) long bill that, along with their keen hearing, enables them to detect invertebrates in leaf litter and even underground.

Another exceptional mammal-like feature is the marking of their burrows and territories with their pungent droppings. Other unique features include a body temperature of 100oF (38oC) that is lower than that of most birds (which is around 102–106oF, again, more typical of mammals than birds), and 30% of their body weight is composed of subcutaneous fat (important when food is scarce).3

https://answersingenesis.org/birds/flightless-birds-alternate-plan/

Creation.com plays the same game not explaining why the vestigal wing even exists:

“A creationist perspective may be that the kiwi, and perhaps its ratite relatives, was created as a distinct bird ‘kind’, perfectly well designed for their ground-dwelling habitats and life styles. Two ancestors of the created kind would have been on Noah’s Ark. But how, then, did they get from the ark landing site to New Zealand?”

https://creation.com/kiwi

Or what about the Flightless Cormorant:

Yes, you see those decrepit appendages are in full blown participation in the divine attributes!

What does Answers in Genesis have to say? Nothing:

“Most rails, cormorants, and waterbirds can fly, but a few species are flightless. Their keels (attachment for flight muscles) seem to be in different stages of deterioration, possibly indicating progressive loss of flight.”

https://answersingenesis.org/birds/flightless-birds-alternate-plan/

I bet you’re thinking right now, hey Drake, they didn’t just end the article with that statement; surely there was further explanation!? Ans. Uh, yeah, yeah they did. Go to the link yourself if you don’t believe me.

Now, Creation.com actually says something of value to this point:

“Now we realize that this loss occurred through a mutation, or genetic copying mistake. Such a mutation would normally be harmful for a bird species, but may have been beneficial to the cormorants on that particular island.3

This would be similar to the case of flightless beetles on windy islands that are more likely to survive, while the beetles that can fly are more likely to be swept away.4 Or else it may simply have been a case of reduced selection pressure—with none of the mainland predators and plentiful food in the sea, loss of flight would be a less serious disadvantage, much like cave creatures that lose their sight over generations.5 However, this would not be an example of evolution; the mutation that caused the flightless cormorant to lose the ability to fly is an example of a loss of genetic information. Goo-to-you evolution would require changes that result in new genetic information.”

https://creation.com/galapagos-birds

Thus, Creation.com admits, at least at this point, the principle of devolution.

Now this leads us no doubt to the issue of the devolution of man and the many controversies involving Polygenism and Monogenism. To which we shall give attention to now.