Sunday, March 15, 2009
Casting Doubt on a Miraculous Conspiracy
In my last blog, I spoke about the existential arguments for God. In this one, I turn to the propositional arguments for God. These arguments point more to WHO God might be.
If we accept the existential arguments for God, then we have to ask who is God? Is God a He, a She or an it? Is God simply everything in the universe or is God separate from creation? (see Why the Earth is Not our Mother)
Is God all powerful and all knowing, or is God limited in some ways? Is God a personal God who cares? Can God be known? Or is God impersonal, more like the force of Star Wars?
Just as technology authenticates science, miracles authenticate prophecy.
E=mc2 was authenticated when the atomic bomb was created.
Knowledge TRULY is power!
I believe in the existence of good and evil. Every axiom can stand when tested against its own claims, so use such a test.
I've read many agnostics/atheists who reject the notion of good and evil. But inevitably, in the same breath even, I find them "preaching" against faith worldviews based on moral grounds. It doesn't take but one Google search to turn up atheists/agnostic/skeptics who reject the existence of evil, claiming that religious worldviews are evil.
Ravi Zacharias (www.rzim.org) tells of a man who held such a view. As Ravi engaged the man in a dialogue following one of his lectures, he asked the man if someone were to take a newborn infant and slice it up, could the man call this act evil. The man replied that he wouldn't like this act, but he could not call it evil.
I would challenge the man to go and find out why he would have such a visceral reaction. Why does such a repulsion exist in our natures and what does it mean?
So if we can agree in the existence of good and evil, then we are left with the question of WHO defines their terms (Does this very posting not demonstrate my aphorism of "Continue to ask "Why?" until you are forced to ask "Who?".)
If man defines the terms, than good and evil are limited by the bounds of a nation's legal system. Exterminating Jews in Nazi Germany was not evil because it was legal. Slavery in antebellum times was legal and therefore not evil or immoral.
In such a world all kinds of atrocities could be justified with the wrong vote.
Good and evil can only transcend the boundaries of nations, cultures and ages if it is defined by God. Only God is transcendent. Everything else dies.
If good and evil are defined by God, then clearly God is good. This is easily established simply by definition. The definition of good is what ought to be. Evil is what ought not to be. In such a world God determines what ought to be.
If good and evil exist and God has declared what ought to be, then this gives us good reason to believe that He is a personal God who actually cares how we treat others. This gives us reason to believe that we are known by Him.
Living in a world of "ought" means we live in a world of purpose. Nothing smells like purpose more than a story. Propositions only tell us what exists, but only a good story tells us why they exist.
Thus I would expect God to be revealing Himself in a story of some kind. Is there any greater story of God's love than the story of Him being born in a manger, living life on earth in the form of a man, teaching, loving, performing miracles, giving His life as a ransom for us all in the name of love and rising again?
But how do I know this story is not a myth? How do I know that men didn't make it up?
This brings us back to authentication. This story was written by multiple authors; Mathew, Mark, Luke & John. If they made these things up, then we are looking at a conspiracy because they share too much agreement. What was their motive?
Was it to sell books, gain money and go on the talk show circuit?
Was it to gain power?
A historical examination of their lives reveals that they suffered and died for their claims.
Why would they willingly give their lives for something they knew not to be true?
While I hear skeptics express their rejections of the Bible, I have never heard one of them explain away what would alternatively have to be nothing less than a miraculous conspiracy.
And in this sense, they have more faith than I do.
This is why I believe....