Friday, October 15, 2010

Affirming Divine Being

As we consider the history of the Jews described in the Pentateuch, we may experience frustration at the unbelief and unfaithfulness of the Chosen People. They witnessed many transcendent events including the miraculous parting of the waters during their departure from Egypt, the lengthy provision of manna, and the divine inscription of the stone tablets.

The New Testament era populace witnessed the transcendent miracles of Jesus and the apostles. Notwithstanding, there were relatively few believers. Some of us in the modern era may scorn such persistent unbelief in the face of these miraculous manifestations. Jesus himself said, “Believe the miracles, that you may learn and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father” (John 10:38 NIV). In the story of Lazarus and the rich man (Luke 16:31) Jesus repeated the sad truth that many people will not believe “even if someone rises from the dead.”

Modern era people no longer witness the transcendent miracles experienced by the ancient Israelites or New Testament Palestine. Discoveries of reality in the realm of physical and biological systems, however, amount to “miracles” of a different order. Residents of several millennia past had no concept of the precision of physical constants, predictable operation of the laws of science, or the beauty and complexity of body cells in their structure and function. Had they been able to preview the future, perhaps they would also have concerns about us. Why do so many of our contemporaries fail to appreciate the role of a designer? And why are so many indifferent to searching for the Designer/Creator’s plan for mankind?

God has revealed himself in the flow of various events throughout history. These events have been recorded by reliable witnesses. Modern man possesses not only the trustworthy written record of transcendent miracles to affirm the reality of the Divine Being, but also plentiful recently uncovered scientific knowledge of the operation of the Creator heretofore hidden. If the Psalmist could exclaim, “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me” (Psalm 139) when he considered God’s omniscience in knowing his thought life from afar, and recognized God’s ability to knit him together in his mother’s womb, how much more meaningful are such statements in light of discoveries of modern science?

Thoughtful reflection about design in our environment leads us to consider the various ways God has chosen to make his Divine Being and work known to man. Old and New Testament miracles and today’s knowledge of apparent design and function in the natural world can be (1) denied, (2) recognized but dismissed, or (3) accepted and embraced as one of many ways God chooses to reveal himself to humanity. The choice among these three options has been available to man from the day of his creation.