June 21, 2012
What came first, the chicken or the egg. For Christians, obviously, the chicken. For evolutionists, the egg, or some “non-chicken” life development process based on chance mutations. Both are hard to believe but one is based on ultimate intelligence and one on ultimate chance. Normally, it´s not intelligent to bet on chance.
My problem is that we humans have never seen somthing come from nothing without an intelligent cause. Never. Not once. Maybe the creation of the world is different, but the Big Bang seems to rule that out. We did come from nothing, apparently.
Also, we have never seen order come from chaos (or chance) in this world without an intelligent cause. Never. Not once. And yet here we are living in an ordered universe and we have the intelligence to recognize it and appreciate it. I find that significant.
Until we have better scientific answers, I can choose to have faith that science will one day figure it out. Or I can take the intuitive leap of faith that takes a chance on intelligence rather than squander my intelligence on chance.
Is it risky? Yes, but at least it´s consistent with life as we know it. It isn´t mindless or unreasonable, but, yes, it is risky because once I open the door to the possibility of intelligence behind life as we know it, personality must also enter and I am faced with the existence of God.
Now the arguments for the existence of God and religion in general come into play. Now I have to sift through various religions all the while acknowledging that the philosophical, historical, scientific and literary evidence points clearly in one direction. Intelligence, creativity and design demands a self-aware personhood for God that excludes most Eastern religions. That demand is based once again on our own experience which excludes a non-personal intelligence (even computers) that acts with purpose.
Further study of the character and person of God leads to the Judeo-Christian God of the Old Testament. Only in that place is there a solution to the problem of man that is rooted in the necessary perfection of God (grace based on justice, not in spite of it). The Jews will give you law but only Christ will give you grace.
Yes, it is risky because once you let God exist, really exist, independent of your own ideas and approval, than you must ask a further question. What does He want…….with me?
If the chicken came before the egg, God exists. If God exists, it´s a game changer. He has something to say. He has a purpose. He has rights. I may have obligations, not just morally, but relationally. My whole world is at risk. My life has been turned upside down.
There is a new level of danger (or safety) that I need to understand and assess. I need to get to know Him and find out what He wants (especially with me). I need to understand his point of view on the world and on mankind (and me). What´s His agenda? What is His character like? If he is just (He would have to be, wouldn´t He?), am I in trouble? What is His standard? Can I live up to it? How will I know? Has He spoken? Has he done anything? Will He do something to me?
I suppose, then, that eternity is a real possibility as well. Does that mean I have to be concerned now about later? If so, why? Why can´t I wait for confirmation that God exists with my own eyes? Why does He insist that I turn to Him in faith, not by sight? Why does he remain hidden? If I see Him as He truly is, in all of His glory, will my fear overwhelm me and leave no room for love? Will I be so concerned for my safety in the light of the obvious danger to my eternal soul that any possibility for a voluntary, uncoerced love will disappear?
Did He really have to die on a cross to save me? Isn´t that a bit extreme? Am I really so bad? Can´t love just overlook our imperfections? Why is He also a just God? Is justice really so necessary and so strict? Or would that make Him arbitrary, capricious and self-serving? Would that make Him, in fact, the Devil? God forbid.
Why must love fulfill justice rather than simply overlook faults? Does it give significance to moral choices and value to the people who are hurt every day by those choices?
The more I ask these questions, the more sense it makes and the more questions it raises. But there is a direction. It is intelligent, rational and true to life.
The problem is that I may not like the answers I get. I may come to some conclusions about myself that will break my self-confidence, destroy my self-image or diminish my sense of self-value. Why must I be destroyed by the perspective of eternity to find life in a new relationship with God?
Where is my intrinsic value as a human being? Is that value in my abilities, my self-awareness, my humanity or is it in a primal, necessary relationship with my Creator first of all? Is my nature relational? Is my identity rooted in my nature? Is my purpose dependent on a higher, larger purpose? Is my significance related to my role in life? Is the meaning of my life determined by what I do with the truth rather than with circumstances?
Am I asking too many questions, the right questions, or questions that have no answers if this proposed Diety does not show up and act, speak, and empower.
I suspect that He must be involved in this world in deep and significant ways. He is the unified field theory of science. He is the ultimate reality we all look for and, yet, fear.
If He is there, and I suspect that He is, then He will also answer these very questions if they are heartfelt and searched out and thought through on the basis of His perspective on life. He must be involved. His opinion counts. My opinions and interpretations of life must bow the knee to His truth, his intimate knowledge of me and of mankind, of the past, the future, of all things and His goodness, his character, his behaviour, his intentions. In that place of humility, questions can be asked and answers will be given.
Only then, will the truth set me free.
The Desert Warrior
Reflections by Bert A. Amsing.
Copyright © 2012 by vanKregten Publishers. All rights reserved.
June 21, 2012