Friday, June 23, 2006

Christian Faith: The Basics, Part 21

In a recent post, I talked about how I once considered myself to be an atheist. I then explained the argument I made against God's existence back in those days:
Science shows us how life came into being and approximately when. Therefore, there is no God.
One doesn't have to be a logician--or a rocket scientist, for that matter--to see that my conclusion didn't follow from my premises. The questions science seeks to answer and often does answer are what I call mechanical questions:
  • What...does the universe look and act like?
  • How...does the universe work?
  • When...might it have come into being?
Those are important questions. But answering them, even if science one day answers them exhaustively and to everyone's satisfaction, won't answer two other questions:
  • Who...made this universe?
  • Why...does the universe exist and why are we part of it?
After I was exposed to people whose lives were clearly marked by the faith they had in the God they saw in Jesus Christ, I came to believe that my position as an atheist was based on far more nebulous grounds than their Christianity was.

They could point to a God Who had, over the course of many years revealed Himself to a people--the Jews--and nurtured them to become what Martin Luther called the crib for the Baby Jesus. He, in turn, by His life, death, and resurrection revealed Himself to be God. The Christians I became acquainted with could point to a real God working in the real lives of real people. (See here and here.)

I, on the other hand, could only assert, "All this universe, with all its incredible intricacy just happened." When I saw God working in the lives of the people of what became my church home, the late-Bethlehem Lutheran Church of Columbus, Ohio, my notions of the world being the result of some happy accident emanating from the cosmic ooze became entirely too implausible.

I realized that I couldn't explain where the cosmic ooze came from. It simply stood to reason, as the scientist who led the human genome research team who was cited in that earlier post concluded, that there was a Something or a Someone behind this world of wonders. As I put it in one of my songs:
Every cake must have a baker
Ev'rything made must have a maker
But who is the Maker? The first article of the Apostles' Creed, a confession of faith to which billions of people have subscribed, says that it's the God of the Bible. More specifically, it asserts that it was the First Person of the Triune God, although the other Persons, the Son and the Holy Spirit were involved: God the Father. But was all of this just made up?

No, in fact, I think this God has revealed Himself to us. More on that in the next post in this series.

[Note: By the way, not only did Canadian rocker Bruce Cockburn use the phrase, world of wonders, as the title of a great song, the late Canadian writer, Robertson Davies, wrote a novel of that name. Two other things the two have in common: they're extraordinary artists and both confessing Christians.]

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