Thursday, 19 August 2010

Hidden Where Everyone Can See

I finished my last post with a quote from Jesus about how, paradoxically, God often hides truth from the "wise and learned" (or at least, from those who think they are). I also commented that I don't think any amount of scientific investigation will ever prove irrefutably that God exists. That's not to say though, that I don't think there's any evidence!

It's often been said that the best place to hide something is in plain sight, because people often have a tendency to miss things that are right under their noses. It seems to me that the evidence for God's existence is everywhere - it's completely obvious whilst also being quite easy to ignore. The apostle Paul takes a similar line in the New Testament book of Romans:

"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse." - Romans 1 verse 20

No-one really knows - ultimately - how the universe came to be. For every scientific answer we can give there will always be another question, e.g. "why did that happen?", "what was before that?", etc. God as the final answer doesn't really solve this problem because it just raises similar questions, e.g. "where did God come from?", "how did He come into being", etc. Perhaps the main difference with the God answer though, as the final answer that ultimately underlies all other good and true answers, is that it includes the conviction that this question will never be answered. God is the final answer by definition - He is, among other things, that which always was and ever will be.

The universe and our world appear to be full of "co-incidences", without which life as we know it, and probably life of any kind, would not be sustainable (see and To me these are markers of God's providence, but for sceptics there will always be other possible explanations.

Apart from being full of "co-incidences", the universe is also full of awe - wonder and beauty. There is so much out there to delight and astound us. Why is it all so wonderful? Why does it affect us in this way? Why is there even an "us" to be so affected? Some people think these reactions can (at least potentially) be explained by evolution, which in turn is governed entirely by the need to survive. To me though, this is evidence of the spiritual side of life and the existence of something higher of which we are a part.

The Biblical creation story (which I take as metaphor, rather than as literal scientific truth), says we were made in God's image and put here as stewards - to look after His world. If instead we did get here purely by evolution, then in my view evolution still has a lot of explaining to do. Somehow we appear to have broken the mould - the system has produced something which has broken out of the system and now has the formidable power to destroy it!

And finally, there is love. From a purely logical and personal point of view it doesn't make any sense. Why should I put someone else's welfare before my own? Why should I value another person, unless I personally benefit from this transaction? And yet we all need to be loved - for who we are and not just for what we can contribute - and we all know that if we could all love each other, the world would be a far far better place!

The Bible teaches that God is love. Love comes from God and we are all loved by Him. God showed His love to the ultimate, by sacrificing Himself / giving up His Son (it reads both ways) - demonstrating that He really meant business. This is a God we can trust - not one we need to rebel against. A God who really does have our best interests at heart and will go to any lengths necessary on our behalf. The way of love though, is the way of sacrifice, and not the way of power that we all crave. It means laying down all our petty power and control strategies and learning to trust. I'll let you know when I get the hang of it… :-)

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