Tuesday, August 10, 2004

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Monday, August 09, 2004

God and Nature

Just got back from our annual family vacation down at beautiful Table Rock Lake, in southwestern Missouri. Absolutely gorgeous weather, and being on the lake again was fantastic. I'd live down there, if I could figure out how to earn a living from that spot...

There is nothing like being out in the middle of the wonders of Nature to draw your thoughts toward all things MetaPhysical. Whenever I'm enjoying Nature, I'm always struck by the realization that every single one of us is compelled to assimilate a FAITH for ourselves.

It's never a question of "Science" versus "Religion", as post-modernism would have us believe; it's a matter of which FAITH (system of beliefs, World View, etc.) we subscribe to. On the one hand, we are free to believe that the Universe began as some cosmic explosion, the result of a collision of volatile gasses which had "always been there", and that intelligent Life somehow "morphed", over time, from less complex forms to increasingly complex forms... This FAITH says that the Universe -- including intelligent Human life forms -- is a cold, faceless reality of deep Space, and that it's all without any purpose. This FAITH also sees Man as his own "god", and that all our systems of Morals and Laws and Ethics are self-imposed, mostly for our own survival.

On the other hand, Theists and (especially) Christians believe that a superior Intelligence -- which also had no "beginning" and which will have no "end" -- purposefully created the Universe (and I have no problem with something like a "Big Bang", the resulting materials having then been used by God to create Life forms) and then created, enlivened, and placed Humans inside this Universe, incorporating into their consciousness His own sense of Morality and ability to Reason. In this view, the Universe DOES have a purpose, and the glorious Nature we see is a foreshadowing of the kind of Glory He has in store for those who seek Him and find Him.

The point is that BOTH of these World Views require FAITH (especially as that term is taken to mean choosing one view despite the good arguments of the other side, and continuing to hold that view despite changing affections).

I cannot understand how someone who takes a Naturalistitc/Humanistic World View can get any real pleasure or satisfaction out of Nature: It's like enjoying beautiful book covers only to find out that the pages are all blank! The Christian World View gives its faithful the very deep satisfaction that *behind* the wonders of Nature that we enjoy exists a Mind that made them, and that one day we shall not only encounter that Mind but we will also be given the ability to enjoy natural and other profound wonders -- Glories -- in a far more immediate sense.

So really, which of these two World Views takes more FAITH?? Seems to me that the
Christian World View does a far better job of explaining these and other great mysteries than the weak substitutes conjured up by anti-theists; it certainly gives us a whole lot more *substance* than any of these others...

Greg K