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adamporter
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« on: February 24, 2004, 04:46:09 PM »

Listen More; Scoff Less
by Adam Porter
atlasmag(dot)com

Who or What is God? What is his nature? Purpose? Will? Is he really out there or just a figment of my speculation? Does he wish to be found or to remain safely anonymous? Does he even care? Can I even answer any of these questions or should I just give up and go on with my life? If I do will there be a reckoning when it’s all said and done. How can I know what the outcome will be?

This series of questions can be endless and man through the ages has addressed them all in one way or another. Some of the solutions were absurd and others so benign and noncommittal as to not really answer anything. Religion has always attempted to define God by man’s standards. Is it really possible that God has spoken to man directly as the Jews insist or interacted bodily as Christians assert? Does the evidence measure up to the speculation? In other words, can the preceding questions truly be answered?


Some people claim that devotion to God, or even the belief in Him, is out-dated, a system of lifestyle as obsolete as the Commodore 64 and the horseless carriage, treating Him as a quaint idea or whim of childhood fancy. Others scoff at “absurdity of it all”, leaving God to the snake handlers and snake oil salesmen of the world. Most claim a belief on God but stop short of admitted dependence on Him. These even shrink when some “learned man” postulates that God can not exist, preferring to believe both than to make a decision themselves. Their lifestyles are exercises in self preservation with one hand on a rabbit’s foot…until someone knocks down a couple of buildings. Then the rumblings of the assumed war between the supernatural and natural, God and science, are heard again.

It has been postulated that between God and science an unbridgeable gulf exists. If science is the study of the natural world, the search for its ways and means, and history is the search for facts of those that have lived and died within it, then these are pursuits in which God would take much delight. How much more appreciation for His creation can we show than to revel in it, to leave no stone unturned or cave unexplored? In our search to discover the secrets of ourselves and the world we live in, we unwittingly pay a great homage to its originator.


It is neither God nor science that has declared war on the other, but the ignorant men who line up on either side of their imaginary line and claim expertise in worlds far beyond their assumed intellect. No pastor or theologian can answer to all the designs of the Divine any more than a scientist could predict the next natural disaster or dread disease. In both of these fields we can only take what we have been given and examine it, search for truth among the clues we are offered. Scientists see the world around them and find it worth discovering. Theologians see God’s hand in it and find that worth examining. In the marriage of the two we would find the greatest wisdom, but instead we keep them at arms length. It might prove easier to convince Arafat to treat with Sharon than Gould and Hawking to parlay with Graham and LaHey.


The fault of this sad state can be first lain at the foot of the Church, both because it has a clear call to proselytize and in its pious ignorance has clung to church tradition than to read and study the Bible itself. Many of the Church’s misconceptions about the natural world over the centuries are clearly revealed by even a cursory glance through the Scriptures. Science, however also must shoulder the blame. Chagrined and embittered by the Church’s rejection of Copernicus and Galileo, modern scientists treat the Bible as if it were some horrible communicable disease. If they would, like many of their archaeological colleagues these past hundred years, consult the Scripture they would find that many of their “discoveries” we accepted as fact millennia ago.

The myth that science should and will replace faith in the mind of the wise and educated man has been the mantra of the day since the Industrial Revolution. If we could listen more and scoff less we would find an incredible common ground. As it stands we are no better than politicians who vote and think for the sake of their party’s ideology and not for the good of the world and its people.
God has given us evidence of Him and written to us of His desire to meet and dwell with us. We are His creation and He wishes to glory in us like a father with His children. Yet we stare at Him across the party line, some of us wishing He was not there and others that He would step to our side while all He wishes is that we would come to Him.

Adam Porter
atlasmag(dot)com
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