Category Archives: Creation

The Question For Atheists Is Not “How Do I Find God?” | The Question is “How do I Miss Him?”

While God is a hidden God and is surrounded by mystery (we will never totally understand Him – He transcends us), He also has revealed much about Himself in the world that He has made (cosmos) and in how He has made human beings with an in-built God awareness (conscience). This is what theologians call “Natural Revelation.” This in itself provides enough evidence for a reasonable belief in God and renders us without excuse.

In Romans 1:20, Paul states: “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.”

God has planted evidence of Himself throughout His creation so that we are without excuse. Even if you were a non-Jew without the Torah, according to Paul, you are totally responsible for your behavior and cannot plead ignorance of God or His ways because God has revealed Himself to us in what He has made.

Paul’s argument is this: If you looked long enough at what God has made, you would come to understand something of His beauty and nature. Glittering stars flung across a black heaven. The earth in perfect orbit around the sun – close enough to sustain life but far enough away to keep from burning up. Sculpted mountains. The earth’s crust carved into breathtaking canyons. Fish that glow in the blackest depth of the sea. A butterfly breaking free from a cacoon. The meticulously spun web of a gray spider. The growth of a child in the womb. Birth. God’s fingerprints are all over.

After all of this, how could we ever come to the conclusion that we can live life any way that we want; that there is no God; that life is all about my glory, not His. From the greatest feat of forming a beautiful cosmos out of nothing to the intricate details of the smallest little insect or cell, each act of God in creation serves as a missionary in miniature form. They are sermons without preachers; they are biblical texts without Bibles. And while general revelation is not adequate to explain the Gospel, it renders all mankind without excuse and calls for a response.

God is everywhere, yet invisible. God is a hidden God. God has given us just enough evidence so that those who want Him can have him. Those who want to reject Him can do that as well. Think about it. It’s the only way a relationship with God could not be forced. If He was here in visible form, ruling with great power, would anybody choose differently? Evil melts away in his presence. So God must hide and self-limit in order for a free-will world to be possible. The direct presence of God would inevitably overwhelm our freedom. God gives everyone the room to either choose or reject. He’s a hidden God and He will not force love.

What you will find in your spiritual journey, is that it’s not so much that you find God; He finds you. And you realize you knew Him all along, but you suppressed knowledge of Him in your life (Romans 1). So don’t so much focus on “How do I find God?” Turn it around. “How has He already found me?” He brought me to this blog. He’s communicated via the Bible (Special Revelation). He’s placed me in an intelligently designed world that operates according to natural laws. He’s used crisis, confrontation, catastrophe, and even some fantastic blessings in life, like friends, baseball, family, and a day at the beach to get my attention and to cause me to tune in to Him.

Many former atheists have come to this conclusion: “God has found me! He’s known me all along and has never lost me, even though I’ve suppressed knowing Him. If I would have just looked at things close enough, I would have seen Him looking back at me. I don’t want to suppress Him anymore. I want to see and know Him.”

“How do I find God?” you ask. I reply: “How do you miss Him?” Look closely, and the very fact that you’re looking indicates this startling reality. He already found you.

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Filed under Agnosticism, Atheism, Atheist, Christian Worldview, Conscience, Creation, Earth, Existence of God, First Cause, Free Will, Hidden God, Intelligent Design, Theism, Truth

Atheist – How Would You Run the World?

Most people are going to answer this question by saying that it would be a world without suffering, accidental death, and disease. No one would ever get old and it would be a world of amazing kindness and fairness and love and everyone would get along.

Amazing enough, this is precisely the kind of world that God made! But there’s one thing that most people are going to leave out of their “ideal” world, but that God also included. It’s called human free-will. God created mankind with the ability to love or reject Him and the beautiful world that He made. We chose to reject the world that God made and to run the world on our own terms and the world we now have is the result.

So, atheist, how would you do it? How would you run the world? Would you take free will away? Would you make everyone a robot, not allowing them to freely choose what they want in life, but enforcing the universal good by the inability to choose bad?

For God to neutralize the possiblity of suffering and wrong, He would have to neutralize the source of suffering – human free-will. If we are not free to choose either good or evil, then we are robots, not humans. And we have no real choice.

But, the atheist will contend. “Why doesn’t God just destroy the really bad people?” But who is to define what “bad” is? Aren’t we all sometimes bad? Does this mean we should all be destroyed? See the dilemma that we create with this rationale.

No. God created a free-will world where a legimate ability to choose is the right of every human being. If you run the world and take away this critical component, you’ve just destroyed the good world that you seek to create. If we live in a world run by you and you take away the possiblity of choosing contrary to what you wish, we would all be slaves to your pre-programming. There would never be true love, only a regurgitation of computer code that satisfies the one listening – yourself. No one would want this kind of world. And not even God wanted this kind of world.

How would you run the world? Precisely the way that God is running it now – with an authentic choice to choose the good or the bad and to live witht the results of that decision, otherwise all of creation is sabotaged and obedience is merely perfunctory because it pays well.

You and I have a choice and that’s what makes the world beautiful.

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Filed under Atheism, Atheist, Christian Worldview, Creation, Free Will

What’s the Deal with Genesis 1-3? | Myth or Fiction?

Is Genesis, chapters 1-3 really true? Did God really create everything? Or, is it mythology, with talking snakes and a tree of knowledge and a God who walks? To use a concept by C.S. Lewis, I would say it is “true myth.”

When we talk about myth in the Genesis Creation story context, we are not talking about “fiction.” Rather the literary genre of myth is simply a symbol filled story about a reality that is beyond our comprehension. What we must keep in mind, is that no one actually saw the Creation of the Universe. But, through ancient writers, who possessed a rich and accurate oral tradition, we have a Creation Story that sets against a constrasting backdrop of lesser creation story accounts (such as the Enuma Elish Babylonian creation story where the gods are fighting, one is slain, and man is created out of the discarded god-material).

So, in Genesis 1 through 3, we have an author who is not writing primarily as a historian, who is preoccupied with a strict chronological time-line. The author is not writing as a scientist, who is preoccupied with how everything came into existence from a physics standpoint alone. What we have is an author, who is endeavoring to answer the question of Who it is that stands behind the work of unwitnessed creation.

The author organizes the Creation Story along the metaphoric lines of a work week. We work six days and rest; God worked six days and rested. This suggests that the writer himself is nested within an organized social structure when this Creation Story was written. It comes well after the fact of Creation, but through an oral tradition, the Creation story was preserved by a community of people who would not allow inaccuracies into the story.

Genesis 1-3 is a Creation Story that explains what happened from a distinctively monotheistic, Hebrew frame of reference. But allow for the freedom of the writer to borrow from the literary genre of myth to tell the story; allow the author to use symbols that point to a reality beyond our human comprehension.

Let’s grant that there really was an Adam and Eve; that there really was a talking snake; that there really was a tree of life and of the knowledge of good and evil. But, let’s not stop there. Let’s make the application in light of true myth. That Adam and Eve stand for all of us; that the talking snake represents something very evil in our world; that the tree of knowledge of good and evil represents a choice that we always have to make. You see, we have all been created by God and are in His image. We all face a force and personality of evil in our world. We all have a free-will choice to make regarding God and our relationship with Him. In Adam and Eve, we all sinned even. That put in the very same place, you and I would have done exactly the same thing.

Don’t bog down on literal days versus periods of unspecified time. Don’t bog down on whether or not the talking snake is real. Don’t bog down on why God even placed a tree in the Garden to be tempted with. Rather, look to the realities that these Creation Story details point to. Our universe came from God, who made man in His image with free will. Man chose to disobey at the prompting of an evil presence and the entire creation fell under a curse. But even in this, there is hope planted for a New Adam who would restore a sabotaged creation (Genesis 3:15), One who would come that would thwart any serpentine attempts to de-create our lives (Paul calls Jesus Christ the Second Adam in Romans).

Genesis 1-3 is true myth, but not fiction. It points to realities beyond our human comprehension, like all mythological stories do. Only this mythological story is true.

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Filed under Atheism, Atheist, Christian Worldview, Creation, Eden, Free Will, Genesis 1-3, Larger Story, Myth, The Fall

What went wrong in our Universe? A Theist Answers

Eons ago, the earth was a wasteland, a cosmic garbage dump. Everything was sort of floating together in a formless mass. It was a swamp. Some would contend that this was Satan’s doings. He makes a garbage dump of what God had made up until this point in this specific area of the universe. Wherever Satan rules, he creates chaos. Earth was a “Silent Planet” in a vast universe that echoes cosmic praises. Earth was a place in God’s great universe that refused to sing anthems of praise to our one true God. The universe awaits how the one true Trinitarian God, full of love and grace, justice and righteousness, will respond to the rebellion. What will he do with this Satanic holding area known as Earth?

Here’s what God does. God stepped into the chaos of Satan’s earthly realm in Genesis 1 and does the unthinkable. 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” It’s as if He said to Satan, “I am going to create a creature of less beauty than you Satan and even though this creature (mankind) doesn’t have your angelic ability or power, if he lives in a trusting, obeying relationship with me, he/she will be far greater than an angel who chose to rebel against me. A lesser (man) living in dependence upon God is greater than an angel (Satan) who is living in independence of God. God announced to Satan in Genesis, “Satan, in your realm, in your house where I allow you to exist and operate, I am going to create something beautiful out of the chaos. Furthermore, I will put man in charge. He will rule your house – the birds and fish of the sea that I will create will sing my praise in your house.” “Satan, I’m going to clean up your garbage dump. I’m going to make it beautiful and demonstrate my glory there. I’m going to create mankind, and they will rule your house!” The planet Earth will be silent no more. No longer will it be a place where Satan and his angels are constrained to a formless, dark mass. This place will erupt with life, my kind of life. The planet will be silent no more because I’m giving it over to God-glorifying human-beings (for more see the book by Tony Evans).

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Filed under Creation, Satan, The Fall, Uncategorized, Universe

A “Just Right” World – Created by a Someone

The earth is a sanctuary of life. We live on a visited planet. It’s fine-tuned for life. Earth is the only planet we know of that contains an atmosphere that can support human, animal, and plant life. The earth has all the marks of an artist hand. Our Earth is perfectly designed for life. It is “just right.” If gravity was slightly less, we would explode off the planet. If it was slightly more, we would implode into the ground. Its size and corresponding “just right” gravity force hold a thin, but not too thin, layer of gases to protect us and allow us to breathe. The Earth is also placed at a “just right” distance from the sun and the other planets in our solar system. If we were closer to the sun, we’d burn up. If we were farther away, we’d freeze. Because Earth’s orbit is nearly circular, this slightly elliptical shape means that we enjoy a quite narrow range of temperatures, which is important to life. The speed of Earth’s rotation on its axis, completing one turn every 24 hours, means that the sun warms the planet evenly. All of these values are just precisely what is needed to sustain life. Modify one of these things just slightly, and like a house of cards, our world collapses. Someone took great care in building our earth and it’s balanced on a razor’s edge. The dials are set too precisely to have been random accident. Somebody has monkeyed with the physics to make it work. I would wager to say that it’s not a “fairy.”

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Filed under Atheism, Creation, Earth, First Cause, God