I made some comments on Facebook about the importance of using time wisely and making sure it fits in with the glory of God. “The Glory of God” is a good and true way to sum up the final goal of history.
In response to my statement there was a question. It went like this, “Is reading Facebook in line with the final goal of history?” This might be a long answer to what could be a short answer, “yes.” I might not have understood the question or what the author was looking for but here are some reasons for why time spent on Facebook is connected with God and His history. Some of you will recognize my Dutch friend who I have tried to bring along to help me.
First, the final goal of history is connected with history at every point. I don’t know how it is possible to disconnect the goal of history from anything within time. In every historical moment there is a connection with the goal of all history. Time is not a neutral thing it is a connected thing. It is connected with God’s ultimate view and purpose for time. So while on Facebook I am either relating to God in rebellion, like the first Adam or I relate to Him in submission like the second Adam (Christ).
The first verse in the Bible tells us, “In the Beginning God created the heavens and the Earth.” We also learn that “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.”
I think many people put things and ideas like these in the area of the “common” or the “natural.” “Common” is a very special thing in God’s world. The things in the common or natural realm are not neutral for they belong and exist in the God created universe. Therefore they are connected with God. Common things like studying for quizzes or looking at flowers are things that take place in the unique and special universe made by the Triune God. Plants and computers do not belong to the chaos universe. Rather, they declare His glory. All in the universe, space and time, are in relation to God their Creator either in rebellion and curse or in redemption and blessing.
We live in a personal universe because a Person created all things. Therefore all of time and space is relational or personal. All things are important…whether it is my children’s speech or their kicking a soccer ball around. Our bodies move and run and function because God created them that way. Neither the foot nor the ball belongs to empty space and time. All reality is “Coram Deo” reality. Bugs and tests and computers are connected to the true metaphysical reality in which they exist.
God is the final reference point for creation and man at every point. He could not just be the final point for some things. He is related to all or nothing. There is no point in His Creation that is totally man-centered or thing-centered. It cannot be because man did not create the Universe.
Furthermore, the fact that we are thinking when we use Facebook declares the glory of God. The fact that we communicate ideas through Facebook does the same. The minds and geniuses that created Facebook declare that there is a God. They were made in the image of God and therefore their minds actually work and work well. The fact that our fingers touch the key-pads because our brain tells them to declares something. Any fact of Creation must be directly related to God because He is the creator and sustainer of the universe in which things like facts are possible.
There is rationality involved in Facebook which proves and assumes that rationality exists. This relates to the true God because in the chaos universe rationality could not exist. In the chaos universe that doesn’t exist we wouldn’t be trying to communicate ideas on Facebook. It would have never come into being. So if that were our universe Facebook could not exist. The very fact that Facebook is used proves that there is a God. Any use of time on Facebook is at least in that way related to God.
Facebook is something outside of the human and installed on a machine outside of the human knower. In a chaos universe or a ? universe the human knower could know nothing about things outside of himself because it’s not him. How could he know it? How could he even know that it exists and is not a phantom? Apart from the Biblical reality we would not be able to know if when we touch the pads of the keyboard the keyboard is really there or not. If God is not the sustainer and creator of both the subject and the object the subject could not know the object. If we did think we knew something out there apart from God it would be an irrational leap of faith in a dark and chaotic universe that does not exist.
The fact that we are talking about Facebook proves that there is a God because it is impossible that a bare unconnected fact can exist. If it did exist it would only be connected to chance or ? and that would make irrationality the mother of us all…which is irrational and therefore pointless to talk about.
When we are on Facebook we are admitting a change of information is happening. This can be done only if we already assume that there are foundational principles in place that undergird knowledge. If we really thought that all of reality, including Facebook, was irrational then we probably would not spend time on it. But we do assume that knowledge is possible and this can only be true because there is a God of knowledge behind and undergirding all other types of human knowledge. If this was not assumed even by unbelievers then Mark Zuckerberg would never have attempted to invent Facebook. Facebook, in other words, proves the existence of God. In the chaos universe or in the ? universe or in the all is One universe, Facebook would never have come about. In the “In the beginning God created…” universe, the only universe that exists, Facebook can and has come about. So in this sense, Facebook declares the glory of God. When we use it we are declaring that we know God to exist and that knowledge is possible. Chance or chaos does not give a foundation for knowledge to exist.
Everything in the universe, thus, is ultimately related to Him. Things do not drop into God’s universe or appear there without Him knowing about it. We may not understand how it is that God allowed such and such into His universe but one day we can ask. He knows. He will be able to explain it. There is mystery in life but that is explained for the Christian in that God transcends our limited capacities. He knows it even if we do not. That makes sense. The unbeliever on the other hand knows a very limited amount about the universe and history. He has a finite mind and even though he can be very intelligent he can at best know a tiny portion of the created universe. He is shrouded in mystery and yet has no explanation for why mystery exists. He wants the Christian to be shrouded in unexplainable mystery as well so that therefore all can declare independence from anything absolute. People don’t like the absolute and they are absolutely sure we Christians shouldn’t either.
Our hearts motivation for being on Facebook is directly related to God as well. What we look at and think about on Facebook as well as how much time we spend on Facebook is all related to God. God will judge all things including my time on Facebook. My heart is related to God so everything I do in time and in my soul is related to God inescapably. Facebook is a part of Creation and what I do with it is a part of providence so it is connected to God in these ways as well. None of this would be true if “all is God (monism)” because then we would not be able to distinguish anything as good or evil thus making the whole point of discussion mute.
The whole of Biblical reality must be assumed if we are to be on Facebook honestly. Apart from what the Bible reveals to us about the nature of reality man is at a total loss to know anything or even if knowing is possible. I am glad that smart dudes like Mark Zuckerberg are very inconsistent people. He suppresses the truth but at the same time the truth is inescapable and he has to live in the rational world that God created. He is made in the image of God and therefore he borrows from the Biblical universe and creates pretty useful gadgets. We can thank God that even unbelievers are a mixed bag.
So, finally, is reading on Facebook in line with the glory of God? Yes, Facebook proves by its assumption and by its function that this universe is orderly and functional.
So Facebook, being in a rational universe as opposed to a vacuum universe makes total sense and should be enjoyed within the proper ethical limits established by God’s Word. Then we can be assured that our use of Facebook will be in line with the ultimate goal of history.