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Thursday, 18 September 2014

God - and the Archbishop!

The headline immediately attracted my attention.  

"Archbishop Welby: Sometimes I wonder if God really exists."

Thinking that it was one of those deliberately misleading headlines, designed to encourage me to read the full article, I did just that!  The headline, it would appear, is absolutely accurate!  In what was offered as a direct quotation, we are informed: "The other day I was praying over something as I was running and I ended up saying to God ‘Look this is all very well but isn’t it about time you did something, if you’re there’ – probably not what the Archbishop of Canterbury should say." (emphasis added). That final comment must surely be viewed as something of an understatement!  

So, if the spiritual leader of the Anglican Church has occasion to doubt the very existence of the Creator God, is it any wonder that so much appears to be wrong within that particular communion - at least in the 'western' world?

Of course, the existence of God is on of those hoary old chestnuts that is pulled out, time and time again, by the sceptical, secular, humanists of the world.   And it must be admitted that, in the sense of laboratory experiments, that existence is something that we cannot prove!  Nor, indeed, should we expect to be able to do so!  If I was able to reduce God to the confines of a test-tube, then I would be greater than God.  In that case, the God Whose existence I had now 'proved' would not be God at all, as one definition of God is "the creator and ruler of the universe and the source of all moral authority: the supreme being." (Oxford Dictionary).  If I have reduced this being to something the existence of which I can 'prove', that I am certainly superior to that Being - and it, whatever else it may be, is not God! 

This is not to say that there is no evidence for the existence of God - but note my use of the word 'evidence'.  Evidence is not scientific proof.  In a criminal investigation, for example, the detectives who are involved in the case will gather evidence from the crime scene and elsewhere.  They will put together a case, and present it to the Office of the Procurator Fiscal (in Scotland), or to the Crown Prosecution Service (in the rest of the UK).  It will then be up to the legal experts to decide whether, or not, the case as presented is likely to persuade a jury that the accused is guilty of the crime as charged!  There is no 'proof''.  It has all to do with the burden of evidence - "beyond reasonable doubt"!

The topic is too large for me to deal with in just one post on this blog.  Anyway, I deal with it, to some extent, in the second volume of my book series (Foundations of the Faith) that I hope to have published by the end of the year, or early next year.  However, permit me to share a few thoughts.

1. Creation  I would contend that any unbiased, impartial, observer would accept that this amazing universe in which we live out our mortal lives is not the result of a long series of random accidents. To use an unoriginal example, if I see a Boeing 747 sitting on an airport runway, I do not conclude that it resulted from an explosion in a junk-yard!  (We won't go into the origin of the junk-yard, or the cause of the explosion!).  Design demands a Designer, and the creation demands a Creator to Whom, in the English language, we give the nomenclature "God".

2. DNA  Okay, I suppose that after Creation, everything else is merely a sub-section!  Having said that, DNA is amazing!  What is it?  Well, I am no micro-biologist, but I know that it is a code - a code made up of four chemicals identified by scientists as A, T,G, and C.  These are arranged in the well-known double helix.  Every human cell has no less than three billion of these 'letters' in its code. They are, effectively, the instruction manual for the cell.  An instruction manual, basic logic tells us, requires a writer who deliberately, and intentionally, prepares it.  We call that writer, God!

3. The human 'heart'  No, not the organ that is pumping blood around your body as you read this post - although it is a remarkable piece of engineering in its own right!  I'm referring more to the human psyche - the inner person that makes me different from you, and you different from everyone else. Suppress it as we may, there is something inside us that 'knows' that there is a superior Being.  I read an article just a few months ago that claimed that this "sense of God" is innate to humanity.  Our 'default' position is, apparently, that we accept the existence of God.  It is a secular society, that does not want to be answerable and accountable, that then 'teaches' us that the whole idea is nonsense. However, even then, there is truth in the words of Augustine that "Thou hast made us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee"; or, in a more contemporary form: "There's a God-shaped blank in every heart that only God can fill".

I doubt that the Archbishop of Canterbury reads this blog, but I trust that someone will advise him that he need not doubt.  Almighty God has not left Himself without witness. Our God is totally dependable; totally trustworthy; totally believable.  

Because you have seen Me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (Jn.20:29). 


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