I would like $3 worth of God please

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Image by Jeff Jacobs from Pixabay

Elie Wiesel survived Auschwitz, barely. His faith in God was also shaken as the lives of those around him suffered and perished. Despite this, Wiesel felt that a wounded faith is stronger. He said, “My tradition teaches that no heart is as whole as a broken heart..”1Faith can find solidification from a wound, but make no mistake, a wounded faith is dangerous. Especially a faith that is asking hard questions and the answers are not satisfying or even visible. Why cancer, why Alzheimer’s, why divorce, why child suffering, why suicide, why Covid-19? 

So many youth today leave the church because questions are not answered. For many, their first doubts begin in their teens and continue well into their 20’s. According to the 2018 Barna Trends, a leading research organization focused on the crossing of faith and culture; nearly 70% of Christians have admitted to experiencing doubt, and just over 25% continue having doubts. Of those who have experienced doubt:

  • 30% stopped reading their bible
  • 46% stopped attending church
  • 24% stopped talking about their faith2

I see three categories of those that have questions about their faith. First, for some, these questions are thrust upon them because of the shocking and unexpected turn of events. After the initial trauma, the wrestling begins and a long journey of agony and attempts at understanding what took place. Second, others consider these questions because they are truth seekers. Something within them, (which was my experience from many years ago), inspires them to put on their hiking shoes, backpack, explorer hat, and they begin to search for accurate answers to difficult questions. Finally, some ask those questions, not for truth, but the endorsement of their particular worldview. They desire approval and justification by acquitting and absolving themselves of their lifestyle. They are only satisfied with answers that fit their specific worldview and allow them to continue to live the way they want to live. 

Asking the hard questions may come from a place of agony, accuracy, or approval, but many never really begin to ask any questions. Their posture toward God is skin deep; mine certainly was for many years. They would rather buy a Hallmark card then make one. Purchase the shine, but never lift the hood. Wilbur Rees wrote concerning this kind of faith, “I would like to buy $3.00 worth of God please. Not enough to explode my soul or disturb my sleep, but just enough to equal a cup of warm milk or a snooze in the sunshine. I want ecstasy, not transformation; I want the warmth of the womb, not a new birth. I want a pound of the Eternal in a paper sack. I would like to buy $3.00 worth of God, please”.3

Vincent Donovan shared in his book ‘Christianity Rediscovered’ about his experience in Africa. The Masai tribe in Africa has two words for ‘faiths’. One is a simple agreement with something and lacks any emotion, passion, or desire. It was likened to a white man hunter who pulls the trigger with no thought beyond the trophy to hang in his living room. A Masai elder described the other word for faith as something much more private or devoted. Much like an animal that hunts for its prey. Picture a mountain lion or Bobcat that stalk their prey. Sometimes hours of waiting with perfect stillness despite the nearness of the victim and almost overpowering scent fill the hunter-animal with lust for the kill. When the moment is right, it leaps on the unsuspecting animal and makes the prey part of itself.4

How many of us make our faith part of who we are? I have heard the question asked, if you were brought to trial, would there be enough evidence to convict you of being a Christian? Could others, friends, co-workers, family members testify that you have spoken of being a Christian, or seen ‘Christ-like’ behavior? Does your faith go beyond the cross hanging from your neck, the bible in your living room, the proverb poster framed on your wall? 

In the last couple of weeks, Luke 10:27 has been pressed upon my heart. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, Love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus then told him if he did this he will live. In that conversation with the expert on the law, Jesus never mentioned the word faith, but make no mistake; it is embedded in verse 27. Hebrews 11:6 says without faith it is impossible to please Him. Ephesians 2:8-9 says we have been saved by grace through faith. 1Timothy 6:12 says to fight the good fight of faith to take hold of eternal life. 

Michael Horton, in his book Core Christianity, addresses those who are trying to live out their faith. “You may not always ‘feel his pleasure’ in your calling…You don’t just choose one calling. You choose many over a lifetime…Just be who God has called you to be right where you are, with the people he has called you to serve. You will make a difference, but life is not about making a difference. It is about doing what God has made you to do so that you can be a conduit of his love and service to others.”5

A. W. Tozer said, “A scared world needs a fearless church.”6

  1. Done, Dominic. “The Luchador.” When Faith Fails: Finding God in the Shadow of Doubt. By Dominic Done. Nashville, TN: Nelson, 2019. 154-55. Print. []
  2. Stone, Roxanne, and Alyce Youngblood. “Trending in Faith.” Barna Trends 2018: What’s New and What’s next at the Intersection of Faith and Culture, Baker Books, 2017, pp. 132 []
  3. Swindoll, Charles. The Inspirational Writings. New York: BBS Publishing Corporation, 1994, pg. 21, Print. []
  4. Donovan, Vincent J. Christianity Rediscovered. Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1978, Print. []
  5. Horton, Michael. “In The Meantime: Callings” Core Christianity. Zondervan. 2016 pg. 167 []
  6. Tozer, A. W. This World: Playground or Battleground? Chicago, Moody Publishers, 1989, Kindle edition, loc 103-118 []

Today on November 8th

Reading Time: 5 minutesEvery day at school I am asked questions. Some of the questions I know the answers to, usually because they have to do with the lesson I am teaching and the answer comes without any effort on my part. Others may require a bit of computation, and with a little work, my students and I are able to find the answer.

Other types of questions, history questions, may not involve the use of pencils and calculators, but reading. Like the math questions, I may know the answers to the history question because I have read about it before the lesson. Other history questions may require research on my part. Fact checking you might call it, a differing kind of effort than doing math. Research involving reading the work of others, and then comparing it to what you have heard, what you have read, what you have experienced, and if it fits your understanding of how the real world is.

Next week, my students have a history term paper due. Their work will require reading what others have written on their particular topic. For example, if a student was writing a paper on the Christian evangelist Billy Graham, or the Nazi Heinrich Himmler, or why bananas are yellow, I expect them to have looked up information on the Internet, in a book, magazine, encyclopedia, or to have interviewed someone about their topic. I also require my students to list in a bibliography, their sources. I want to know that they have not just made up the information in their term paper, but have read the work and research of others.

If a student writes a paper telling me that Billy Graham was a Nazi, I would question this because everything I have heard or read tells me Billy Graham was an Christian evangelist who lead untold thousands to Christ. I would then want to look into the student’s sources, to see how credible they are.

If a student told me that Heinrich Himmler was a Nazi and was responsible for building the extermination camps, and the slaughter of millions during World War II, I would not question this because it substantiates all that I have heard or read of Himmler.

If I student wrote a paper telling me bananas are yellow because yellow is the favorite color of the banana fairy, and all fruits have their own fairy who decide what color the fruit should be, I would think he or she has lost touch with reality. It goes against all that I have heard or read or ever experienced in my world. The truth is that bananas turn yellow because, as they ripen, the green pigment of chlorophyll is destroyed and replaced with yellow, which has nothing to do with fairies. There is your science for the day.

Peter Kreeft wrote, “So our faith does not begin with the Bible. But the Bible records the realities, the real events, that are the basis of our faith.” 1 It is not written by a single author over a period of 23 years like the Koran, but multiple authors over thousands of years. Thirty nine books in the Old Testament, and twenty seven books or letters in the New Testament. 2 Several authors in the New Testament recorded historical events and were witness to those events.

In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul talks about the 500 plus witnesses who have seen Christ after the crucifixion. He named not only the apostles, but Christ’s own brother James, and himself as a witness to his resurrection. John ends his letter by witnessing to the accounts he recorded. In 1 John, the author opens with his own witness of having seen, heard, and touched Christ. The Bible has multiple authors who confirm each others testimony, and if you doubted their accounts you could check it out with other witnesses.

Many who dismiss the Bible do so because they have heard it can’t be trusted. Some claim it was written hundreds of years later, and is about a man called Jesus we don’t even know existed. You may have heard Christ is not even mentioned outside the Bible, and it is simply not true. The evidence for the truth of scripture is overwhelming.

The Bible is not a self referencing book. The Bible is not true because the Bible claims it is true; the Bible is true because it is the inspired word of God and what is written within can be checked by other sources. The Koran for example, is a self referencing book to its truth. The Koran is true because Muhammad says it is true, and Muhammad speaks truth because the Koran says he does.

The Bible is not a science book, but some things in the Bible have been confirmed by science. In his book, Because God is Real, Peter Kreeft wrote, “The Bible does, however, speak about real people, places, and events. It makes many claims about historical events that can be checked out by science – more than any other religious book does. Other religious books, like the scriptures of Hinduism, Buddhism, or Islam, mention very few historical events. They teach timeless theological truths, (or, perhaps, falsehoods), and moral principles and speak of private religious and mystical experiences, but science can’t prove or disprove any of those…”3

Think about how the Bible can be researched for truth more than any other religious document. The book of Mormon for example, was written in 1827 by Joseph Smith, who translated it from golden plates that were given to Smith by the angel Moroni. 4 The plates have never been found. In India, Sikhism was founded in the 1400’s and had ten successive gurus, each adding to their religious scriptures. One of their beliefs is that all religions are equally true and can lead to God, or Ik Onkar, the soul of the universe. So, if the Muslims believe Jesus was just a man, and Christians believe He is the Son of God, who is right? All religions can’t be true.

All the authors of the New Testament are witness’s to the claims and testimony of the other authors. They worked, slept, ate, and traveled together with the sole purpose of sharing the news of Christ and what He has done for us. With the exception of John, it is likely all of them were martyred for their outspoken faith. Michael Patton wrote in his article, “This may sound odd, but I thank God for bringing about the apostles’ deaths. They sealed their testimony in the blood of martyrdom, providing a firm foundation for our faith in the risen Christ.” 5

It is true that martyrdom does not make a religion true. Even the 911 terrorists killed themselves for what they thought was true. The significant difference was the apostles were martyred for what they were a witness to, what they knew to be true. All others, throughout the centuries, who have been willing to give their life to their religion, gave it because it was what they believed was true.

So if I told you that both Billy Graham and Heinrich Himmler were born on November 8th, (today’s date as I write this), and both changed the lives of millions, both were raised in conservative religious homes, and both enjoyed fencing, would you believe all of it? None of it? Some of it? Well, they both were born on today’s date of November 8th. Both changed the lives of millions, both were raised in conservative religious homes, but it was only Himmler who enjoyed fencing.

It might be interesting to know what is similar about the lives of those two men; two lives whose paths went completely different directions, but there are better questions to ask. Questions, when asked and answered, can change your world view and how you live your life.

Sources:

  1. Kreeft, Peter. Because God is Real. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2008, Print.
  2. “About The Bible.” Christian Answers. Films For Christ, 2014. Web. 7 November 2014.
  3. Kreeft, Peter. Because God is Real. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2008, Print.
  4. “How is the Book of Mormon different from the Bible?” Mormon.org. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 2014. Web. 8 November 2014.
  5. Patton, Michael C. “What Happened to the Twelve Apostles? How Do Their Deaths Prove Easter?” Reclaiming The Mind. Reclaimingthemind.org, 10 April 2009. Web. 8 November 2014.

 

Creative Commons License
Today on November 8th by James Glazier is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://www.dev.christianapologetics.blog/category/blog/.

44 Questions Christian’s can’t answer

Reading Time: 5 minutesWhy do innocent children have to suffer with terminal diseases such as cancer? What part of ‘God’s plan’ is this exactly?

The question of evil and why there is suffering in this world is something we all struggle with, especially if you believe, (as I do), in an all knowing, and all powerful God. Romans 8:28 explains that everything works together for the good of those who love Him and are called by Him.

Well that sounds great, but to the unbeliever who has lost a parent, friend, or child to cancer it does little or nothing to comfort them. R. E. Pucket has a list of difficult questions you can find here, and this is number 6 on the list.

Some of the questions are legitimate, and others frankly seem silly, nevertheless I am working through them. The question of children suffering with painful and lengthy diseases such as cancer, and finally yielding to the illness, with a supposed purpose in mind, can be difficult for anyone to understand.

Mark Mittelberg said of Romans 8:28, “This is one of the most encouraging verses in the Bible – and also one of the most abused. First, it does not say that everything that happens is good. Rather, it acknowledges the reality that many things that happen in our lives are bad, but it assures us that God can use them for good or bring good out of them.” 1

Furthermore, God does not promise us an explanation for the suffering we see and experience. For those of us who are, or have been, parents of little children, we do the best we can to explain why they have to get a shot at the doctor. Yet despite our comforting and explanations, the tears still flow, and until they are older, much of the discomfort they experience at the hand of a doctor or dentist is beyond their understanding.

After hearing of the death of his wife, C.S. Lewis wrote, “The more we believe that God hurts only to heal, the less we can believe that there is any use in begging for tenderness. A cruel man might be bribed – might grow tired of his vile sport – might have a temporary fit of mercy, as an alcoholic have fits of sobriety. But suppose that what you are up against is a surgeon whose intentions are wholly good. The kinder and more conscientious he is, the more inexorably he will go on cutting. If he yielded to your entreaties, if he stopped before that operation was complete, all the pain up to that point would have been useless.” 2

Finally, Romans 8:28 does not promise that all the bad we experience will bring forth good, but only those, “who love God and are called according to his purpose” can share in that promise.

Mittelberg supplies us with a short list of some of the good that can come out of suffering.
1. God can use pain to deepen our character.
2. He can use pain to reshape us as his sons and daughters.
3. He can use pain to give us a more spiritual and eternal perspective.
4. He can use pain to protect us from ourselves.
5. He can use pain to grab our attention and teach or redirect us in ways that will be important.
6. He can use pain to lead us to himself. 3
7. He can use pain to demonstrate His sacrifice for us.

I added number seven to the list because, without suffering, we would have no idea or understanding of Christ’s suffering on the cross for our salvation. Too many nominal believers have this concept of God as someone who does not want us to suffer. Their view is more like that of humans and their pets, as if the purpose of our lives is to be happy, while God just feeds us and takes care of us, when our actual purpose in life is to know God.

William Lane Craig put it this way, “One reason that the problem of suffering seems so puzzling is that people naturally tend to assume that if God exists, then His purpose for human life is happiness in this life. God’s role is to provide a comfortable environment for his human pets.” 4 The purpose God has for us in this life is not limited to what we experience here on earth. How our experiences in this life affect the life we have beyond this is anyone’s guess, but for the Christian, it is a comforting thought that cannot be shared by an unbeliever.

Just dwelling on that should give us as believers a sobering perspective. I recall years ago an old Star War episode when Darth Vader had captured Han Solo. They tortured him for a period of time and then returned him to his room. Han Solo’s comment was, “They never even asked me any questions.” If they had wanted some information, he would have at least seen a purpose to his suffering.  Suffering for a purpose gives us all strength to endure, and those who see no purpose in suffering struggle in ways many of us cannot imagine.

Craig wrote, “The ‘health and wealth’ gospel and the gospel of positive thinking that are being proclaimed in various megachurches and denominations are false gospels…”5 He is right. Can you imagine preaching that message in the Middle East in the presence of ISIS or the Muslim brotherhood? It is a false gospel, as hollow and dry as an empty snail shell at the end of summer. The first moment of outside pressure will crush the thin shell of that lie. Craig went on to say, “If it won’t preach there, it isn’t the true gospel. We need to understand that God’s plan for human history may involve terrible suffering for us, whose point or reason we can’t expect to see. Our hope lies not in worldly happiness but in that day when God will wipe away every tear.” 6

Jeremy Begbie gave a lecture in the Veritas Forum at the University of Berkeley exactly one month after the 9/11 attack. He is a multimedia lecture-performer and actually specializes in the the interface between theology and music.

Begbie spoke about a time he was in a black South Africa township. He was told that just before the service a house around the corner had burned to the ground, the night before a teen who was a member of that church was hunted down and killed, and a week prior a tornado came through destroying homes and lives. The pastor began in prayer asking why these things were happening. Groans from the congregation could be heard with each question. When the prayer ended they began to sing. Begbie wrote, “They sang and they sang, song after song of praise – praise to a God who in Jesus had plunged into the very worst to give us a promise of an ending beyond all imagining. The singing gave that congregation a foretaste of the end. Christian hope isn’t about looking around at the state of things now and trying to imagine where it’s all going. It’s about breathing now the fresh air of that ending, tasting the spices and sipping the wine of the feast to come.” 7

 

Sources:
1. Mittelberg, Mark. The Questions Christians Hope No One Will Ask. Carol Stream: Tyndale House, 2010. Print
2. Craig, William L. Hard Questions Real Answers. Wheaton: Crossway, 2003. Print
3. Mittelberg, Mark. The Questions Christians Hope No One Will Ask. Carol Stream: Tyndale House, 2010. Print
4. Craig, William L. On Guard. Colorado Springs: David C. Cook, 2010. Print
5. Ibid.
6. Ibid.
7. Willard, Dallas. A Place For Truth. Downers Grove: IVP Books, 2010. Print

Creative Commons License
44 Questions Christian’s can’t answer by James Glazier is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.dev.christianapologetics.blog.

Two and Out

Reading Time: 5 minutesTwo and Out. That is a wrestling term I have learned since my son Jed started wrestling in High School. It is referring to wrestling tournaments in which a wrestler who has two losses is out of the tournament. The past couple days were both a two and out for he and I. We both went to Sacramento for wrestling, but I also went to visit some Hindu temples in Sacramento to chat with the Pandit, (priest), and inquire about their religion, beliefs, practices, and how it compares to Christianity.

We were up about 4 AM and I drove him early to school. The team left before 6 AM, but I left a few hours later, after a relaxing morning with some coffee and some time spent Googling the location of a couple Hindu temples. The first one was the Laxmi Narayan Mandir Temple on Elder Creek Rd in South Sacramento off of Highway 99. Laxmi Narayan Temple

When I arrived, the parking lot was about empty, and it looked like there was some construction work going on in the back of the temple. I walked up to a side entrance where a door was slightly ajar. I also noticed quite a few pairs of shoes and sandals outside the door. I quietly opened the door and peered in to a very large carpeted room. Toward the front of the room was a large gold statue, (Vishnu, one of their main gods), very ornate and decorated. Several people were near the front in some kind of ceremony, so I quietly shut the door and retreated.

I walked around the building in the hopes of finding an office or someone I could ask about talking to their head Pandit, but no luck. After walking around, the only activity was in the large room that I first peeked into. So I returned, took off my shoes, and walked in.

What had been going on seemed to be over and I only saw two gentlemen in Hindu garments sitting across the room on a raised platform. I walked across the room smiling and asked if there was someone here I could ask some questions of about their religion. One of the men got up and walked toward me with a rather guarded expression on his face. I stuck out my hand, smiled, and introduced myself. He walked up to me, facing me squarely, and said, “Yes?” while crossing his arms, letting me know he had no intention of shaking my hand. His expression? Probably the same you would give a stranger who just walked up to your child and offered them some candy and ride in their car: angry distrust. My hand was left hanging for a moment and I dropped it. My expression must have changed as we were looking at each other for a long moment, when suddenly he folded his hands together as if in prayer and gave a couple quick, short bows. “Yees, yees” he said. “Pleased to meet you, pleased to meet you.” In a very heavy Hindu accent.

I thought I might as well just spell it out so as not to waste any time. I replied, “I am a Christian and I would like to talk to someone here about this temple and the Hindu religion.” He explained in a very heavy Hindu accent that if I came back Sunday, I could talk to someone who spoke better English. I explained that I lived a couple hours away and would not be back any time soon. He replied that he could answer my questions and just stood there looking at me, arms folded across his chest again. Since I was not planning on a short interview, I asked him if we could sit down and I motioned to some chairs along a wall. I was trying to look as non-threating as possible, since he had left my handshake hanging in midair. I am sure my expression was not one of loving kindness, and I had some ground to make up. He agreed and we sat down, his arms still folded across his chest.

I asked him some personal questions first. Things like:
-Have you been a Hindu all your life?
-Is everyone in your family a Hindu?
-Were you born and raised in India?
After just a few questions like that, he visibly relaxed. I was genuinely interested and did not have to feign a curiosity for him and his life. I am sure he sensed that and was quite willing to share with me, but I had a very difficult time understanding most of his replies. He was born in India and had been raised in a Hindu family. He had been a Hindu all of his life and so was everyone in his family. There was more, but I could not understand him.

I motioned to the statue in the front of the room, and asked if that was one of their gods. He said it was Vishnu and explained to me that they had one god, (this surprised me), but gave an analogy to explain what he meant. He said that some people wear gold earrings, some people wear gold bracelets, some wear gold necklaces. They are all made of gold, but all are different items. This, he said, was the relationship of Vishnu and the other gods. He also explained that they come several days a week to pray to Vishnu and to other gods and that is what they had been doing. He spoke on this for two or three minutes, but unfortunately, I could not understand most of what he said. I can’t complain since his English was a whole lot better than my Hindi.

When he was done, he got up and I thought he was probably more comfortable standing, but I had been concentrating so hard on what he was saying, I had not seen several people come back into the room, preparing for more prayers. It was time for me to go. I thanked him for his time and left with the stares of several people following me out.

My 2nd attempt at locating a Hindu temple the next day took me away from the wrestling tournament. After driving around for well over an hour, I located the Vrindavan Dhaam, but it was not a temple. It was a residence. Unfortunately, the parking was non-existent and I had already missed several matches and was pressed for time to get back. I drove around looking for a place to park, but each cookie cutter house had only one spot in front for a parked car and they were all taken. I was done. Two and out. I am planning on returning for another go, but this time I will call ahead and try to chat with someone ahead of time and set up an appointment.

My son Jed won his first two matches, but then lost the next two, so he was out. I returned and pick him up and we headed home.

Why am I visiting some Hindu temples? With all I have been reading about my Christian faith and the evidence for it, I want to talk to others about their religions and see what evidence they have, what beliefs they hold, what answers they have for some of the tough questions religions have to answer and share it here.

God’s Not Dead

Reading Time: 5 minutesThe News Boys have a popular song titled God’s Not Dead, in response to the German Philosopher Nietzsche who proclaimed “God is dead.” Time magazine asked the question in 1966, “Is God Dead?” The article was written by John Elson, who passed away in 2009 and now has an answer to that question. This article and cover gave Time magazine its best sales in 20 years, and prompted a response that resulted in 3500 letters to the editor.

Is God Dead

Supposedly, over 300 interviews were conducted for this article, and Time had over 30 correspondents work on it. Mr. Elson wrote in his article, “Secularization, science, urbanization — all have made it comparatively easy for the modern man to ask where God is, and hard for the man of faith to give a convincing answer, even to himself.” 1

Now, nearly 50 years later, books such as The God Delusion, The End of Faith, Freedom Evolves, The God Argument, Why I Am Not a Christian, The Blind Watchmaker, and God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, can be found on book shelves all over America. Not only found, but many are best sellers on Amazon, and their authors enjoy hundreds of thousands of followers on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

On a recent podcast from Ravi Zacharias, he asked the following questions of atheists:

How does something come from nothing?
How does life come from non-life?
How does a non-moral beginning through an immoral process end up with moral reasoning? 2

Atheists don’t have answers for these questions. Even Richard Dawkins has admitted he does not have an answer as to how you can get life from non-life. Some of you may remember the experiment that took place in 1953 by Stanley Miller. This now discredited experiment, which supposedly created life from non-life in the lab, has inundated our high school text books for 50 years. In 2007, Miller, like Elson, has passed away and now has an answer to how you get life from non-life.

One of my favorite quotes is from Francis Crick, who is the co-finder of the human DNA strand. “Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.” 3 His obvious predisposition toward evolution speaks for a large contingent in the scientific community. They are unwilling to pursue truth no matter the cost. Even conceding the slightest possibility that life could have emerged from something that can’t be tested empirically is out of the question.

Francis Crick also said, “To produce a really good biological theory one must try to see through the clutter produced by evolution to the basic mechanisms lying beneath them, realizing that they are likely to be overlaid by other, secondary mechanisms. What seems to physicists to be a hopelessly complicated process may have been what nature found simplest, because nature could only build on what was already there.” 4 This quote really gets to the heart of the matter. My question to him and others is, if nature could only build upon what was already there, then where did we get what was built upon?

He suggests that we started with some kind of structure and mechanism. Where did this structure and mechanism come from? He said himself it must have already been there. Who put it there? Have you ever considered where our universe came from? Why do we have a laws of gravity, laws of motion, and laws of thermodynamics? If you have laws, then there must be a law giver. These laws do not exist necessarily any more than our universe exists necessarily.

Some have suggested that earth has been ‘seeded’ from space aliens in the past and that is how life began on earth. In my opinion, these kinds of speculations require more imagination than some of the movies Hollywood has produced in recent years. Even if it were true that earth was seeded from aliens millions or billions of years ago, it just pushes back the question of who created the aliens? It is just another form of the common response some may ask when Christians say God created the universe. A skeptic may ask if God created the universe, then who created God. You may then ask who created the God that created God and on we go endlessly pushing back the question.

Darrel Falk, in his book, Coming To Peace With Science, used an analogy that may speak to some. If we could go back in time and observe Leonardo da Vinci painting the Mona Lisa, we could empirically prove why the paints are certain colors, why the paint sticks to the canvas and explain the chemistry involved. We could examine the brush strokes of the painter, the composition of the brushes, their dimensions and how they react to the paints and canvas. We could consider the temperature and humidity of the room and analyze how it would effect the paints, canvas, and drying time. 5 We spend untold billions of dollars every year investigation why things work the way they do when the real miracle is that we ‘can’ investigate how things work.

God created time when he created the universe. Along with time, he created these laws that we just take for granted. These laws not only aid us to explore his masterpiece, but allow us to get a glimpse of just how powerful he is. Gravity, for example, is a law we understand. We can even use calculations of expected outcomes to find other planets that we can’t see, but know they are there because of their gravitational effect on nearby planets within a solar system.

Physicists can only speculate on gravitons, (tiny massless particles that emanate gravitational fields), and how they tug on every piece of matter in the universe, but can’t find them. 6 Hard to imagine something that not only surrounds us, but is within us, and we have to answer to it every day of our lives when we stumble, drop a cup of coffee, or jump out of airplanes. Interesting. Surrounds us, within us, and we have to answer to it. Sounds suspiciously like God to me.

I am looking forward to this movie, God Is Not Dead, which is to be released in the Spring of 2014.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90PWFEeRApA
I have read several reviews that were grumbling about the atheists being put in a poor light. If this is true in the movie, it is not the spin I would have put on it, but after years of the ‘Christians’ being the Bible thumpers, intolerant, homophobe, prude, self righteous, bigoted, and abusive characters, I will not lose any sleep over it.

Maybe a few of us can go together, and while we are sitting there enjoying the movie in comfortable seats, we can not only appreciate the movie, but the miracle that our bag of popcorn is not floating away, spreading popcorn all over the theater along with sodas, candy, and patrons who can’t believe in a God that surrounds us, lives within us, and we answer to. Just like gravity.

Sources:

1. Grimes, William. “John T. Elson, Editor Who Asked ‘Is God Dead?”. New York Times. Nytimes.com, 17 September 2009. Web. 30 October 2013.
2. Zacharias, Ravi. East and West Part 1 of 2. Let My People Think, 2013. MP3.
3. Crick, Francis. Science Quotes by Francis Crick. Today in Science. Todayinsci.com, 1999. Web. 2 November 2013.
4. Ibid.
5. Falk, Darrel R. Coming To Peace With Science. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2004. Print.
6. Mosher, Dave. Greatest Mysteries: What Causes Gravity? Live Science. Livescience.com, 2007. Web. 2 November 2013.

Pin It on Pinterest