And They Say There is No God

12 May

I spent today at Sea World, which is an interesting place to be. One of the amazing things I find is that every presentation, which talks about history and I have seen there, acknowledges God. While I wouldn’t necessarily base my theology on the material they turn out, they come as close as any big-time organization can (if they want to not catch the ire of the media) to having a pretty healthy view of a Creator who formed an orderly world and continues to look after it.

As much as I like to give credit (and I love to do so) to Sea World, I think it is somewhat obvious, when your job is to work with and train animals, that the universe is not random. It should be clear when you plan such precise shows that these talented animals have a Creator. It is apparent that through the intricate study of animals, God leads many to a better understanding of Him.

One of the television shows that Kelly and I enjoy watching is about how they can take the smallest of clues from the remains, like nicks in the bones or elements in the lungs, and turn it into evidence of what happened to that person immediately before they died. There are other shows where similar things occur, but one troubling thing about television is that often characters are not as concerned about why there is such order that can lead to clues from small things so easily. Therefore they neglect to find the One who gave us such order.

I’ve also been getting into my new Equipping Hour class (apparently a new century name for Sunday School) about church history. We are learning how through centuries people have tried to pervert the gospel. It is sad, but throughout the history of Christianity, people have attempted to explain away things that really only make sense with the presence of God.

I truly believe Colossians 2:3. Nevertheless, the problem is that we are blind to our own stupidity, and I am only hoping that the holes I have in my theology are quickly pointed out to me, so I don’t become like all the heretics we study in church history. At the very least, we can accept those things, which are obvious.

The reality is that we live in a world so orderly that to suggest it occurred by mere chance or without the benefit of a Creator is ludicrous. This is why studying any subject well is possible. The fact that we can continue to see patterns is telling. The fact that we ignore them is stupefying. I wonder when this era is looked back upon by the future, what will be those things that they see as the overarching heresies to which we lost people? I think the one, most obvious is that so many want to take God out of the Creation game.

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5 Responses to “And They Say There is No God”

  1. AskThePhatMan May 15, 2012 at 8:41 pm #

    It sounds as if your experience is with an entire segment of people who just don't care about facts, the truth, or anything else that much. You may just need to find a new group of friends or pick the proper things over which to argue. Clearly some people could be corrected on a regular basis, but the overall benefit gained is just not worth the effort. For example, while at Sea World, a maintenance man was attempting to be helpful, but he clearly just did not know the information we required. I could have told him the base information so that he became aware of his inadequacy, but to do so would have required him to put in a segment of time to merely learn more about something that was clearly outside his work wheelhouse. Now while one could clearly say some things are not that important, I think accepting that there is a Creator is not one of them. I would have to say whether or not there is a Creator is actually fundamental to the question of mankind and what decisions flow from that. And while you are saying that the Bible doesn't have enough data to draw a sound conclusion, I would merely say that on those issues where the Bible is silent (like age of the earth), reasoable minds can differ and those should not be points on which to base the availability of fellowship. I believe the discussion (or, as you put it, argument) is one of the ways to "vet" something. It is clearly acceptable to have an opinion, but to not consider the opposing viewpoint when it is presented is a little ludicrous. So, when things are discussed charitably, some may change their mind (and others perhaps should change their mind), but there are overriding concerns that should dominate these discussions. As it is important to search for truth, but the real basis for truth cannot merely come from our own logic (thought that is a part of it), as that would be ego-centric. And, regardless of what we feel on any issue, none of us is the center of the universe. This is where the Bible comes in. Now, as Martin Luther pointed out, sometimes our interpretation of it is flawed. For example, the whole discussion of Days of Creation must be met with an understanding that almost every interpretation before Columbus believed those days were part of a flat-earth system. Even if we want to use some of the same logic as those great men of history, we must understand and accept that they were in a flawed paradigm, just as I am sure we are on some things. That is why we should be cautious in picking our "hills to die on." Thanks for the thought-provoking reply!

  2. Jack Pelham May 15, 2012 at 9:58 pm #

    ====It sounds as if your experience is with an entire segment of people who just don't care about facts, the truth, or anything else that much.====Yes, that is generally the nature of our entire society. This is NOT the view they hold of themselves, of course, but it is the reality of their paradigms. They will tell you that they love and seek the truth, but you can observe carefully and see that they often let things slide without ever checking them out. Is this in dispute?====You may just need to find a new group of friends or pick the proper things over which to argue.====This is no mere group of friends that I'm writing about; it's our entire culture. As to "pick the proper things", are you suggesting that Christians who say wrong things about doctrine ought to be left alone?====Now while one could clearly say some things are not that important, I think accepting that there is a Creator is not one of them.====I hear your point, but just to be clear, I didn't say that this question is unimportant. ====And while you are saying that the Bible doesn't have enough data to draw a sound conclusion,====I didn't suggest that the Bible does not have enough data on the question of there being a Creator. On the contrary, perhaps no other topic is as well covered as this one!====I would merely say that on those issues where the Bible is silent (like age of the earth), reasoable minds can differ and those should not be points on which to base the availability of fellowship.====Ah, but I don't have any beef with "reasonable" minds; it is those who assert things without proper "reason" that I take issue. For example, a "water canopy" guy has taken up a position that is not warranted by the very Bible he professes as the standard for all his beliefs. I can't see how I could responsibly gloss this over as a "reasonable" difference of opinion. It is instead, a matter of whether fact, logic, and sourcing exist sufficient to demand that the "water canopy" model must necessarily be the right model.====I believe the discussion (or, as you put it, argument) is one of the ways to "vet" something. ====Agreed. It CAN be an excellent way to arrive at the truth.====It is clearly acceptable to have an opinion, but to not consider the opposing viewpoint when it is presented is a little ludicrous.====I take issue with you on two points here. First of all, I reject the given that it is "clearly acceptable to have an opinion." Indeed, what does opinion have to do with matters of fact? Opinion is for issues such as whether the walls should be painted green or blue. It is not for matters such as whether today is Tuesday or Wednesday. Nor is it for matter such as my example of the source of the flood waters. It is NOT acceptable to "have an opinion" that is contrary to the facts of a matter. Such would be an exercise in irrationality.(continued below….)

  3. Jack Pelham May 15, 2012 at 10:04 pm #

    (continued from above)Secondly, you wrote: "…but to not consider the opposing viewpoint when it is presented is a little ludicrous." OK, but you do realize, don't you, that this is how a GREAT many people behave regularly? For instance, I mentioned in passing in my reply to you that the "ambassadors for Christ" moniker is misapplied to non-apostles. Do you know how many emails I've received from people who were troubled by that statement and who want more information?None. And nary a word about the "water canopy" and the "firmament", either. These examples speak to my point about the great incuriosity and lack of care in our society—even in the churches. Here's a guy who claims to know better—whether he's right or wrong about the claim—and nobody writes to ask more. This is NOT what you'd expect from a culture that claims to be all about truth (and I'm talking about the Christians here).====So, when things are discussed charitably, some may change their mind (and others perhaps should change their mind), but there are overriding concerns that should dominate these discussions.====What do you suppose is more important than the truth of a matter, Matt? Is not truth a fundamental facet of the Christian religion? Take a quick glance at these occurrences of the word truth and tell me it's not a fundamental and undeniable theme: http://www.biblegateway.com/keyword/?search=truth&version1=50&searchtype=all&wholewordsonly=yes&spanbegin=47&spanend=73If I am right about this, then at what point is the truth dispensable between Christians? At what point does it no longer matter, or at what point does it become less important than something else?I think you are awfully close to suggesting a false dilemma here—as do those who say that the truth is not important unless there are plenty of hugs and kisses present. (One popular expression of this general idea is "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.")(continued….)

  4. Jack Pelham May 15, 2012 at 10:16 pm #

    (….continued)====As it is important to search for truth, but the real basis for truth cannot merely come from our own logic (thought that is a part of it), as that would be ego-centric.====OK, so what should be the "real basis for truth"? Someone ELSE's logic? Someone else's assertions or beliefs? Tradition? Doesn't it always have to come down to fact, logic, and sourcing, Matt? ====For example, the whole discussion of Days of Creation must be met with an understanding that almost every interpretation before Columbus believed those days were part of a flat-earth system.====Huh? First of all, I know of no flat earth reference in the Bible. Secondly, is anyone arguing that the "Days of Creation" (your phrase) would be different on a flat earth than on an oblate spheroid?====Even if we want to use some of the same logic as those great men of history, we must understand and accept that they were in a flawed paradigm, just as I am sure we are on some things. That is why we should be cautious in picking our "hills to die on." ====Lots of problems here, Matt. First of all, if you're assuming that some of the Bible writers believed in a flat earth, this is not a matter of "logic", but of fact (or more specifically, of non-fact). Nor is it really a "paradigm" in the normal sense of the term. Your conclusion, therefore ("…that is why…") is a non sequitur. You have not demonstrated the "why" that you assume. I will be very interested to hear your list of proper reasons for not addressing the errors in a Christians beliefs, practices, and teachings. I will also be interested in hearing how you justify taking on a different habit from that exhibited by the apostles, who seemed always to be about the business of correcting error and informing the ignorant.Jack

  5. Jenni May 12, 2013 at 6:12 pm #

    Wow.

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