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The salvation God offers

“Thy great deliverance is a greater thing

Than purest imagination can foregrasp;

A thing beyond all conscious hungering,

Beyond all hope that makes the poet sing.

It takes the clinging world, undoes it’s clasp,

Floats it afar upon a mighty sea,

And leaves us quiet with love and liberty and thee.”

George MacDonald (1880)

A Moving Response to the Prosperity Gospel

I came across this video today – an excerpt of a sermon of the American Pastor John Piper on how he feels about ‘the prosperity Gospel’ (the “trust-Jesus-and-you’ll-get-health-and-wealth message” often preached in America). Moving and thought-provoking stuff.

 

 

2 Sets of Questions Which Point to God

Here’s two sets of questions I came up with to highlight two of the many, many things which point us to the existence of God. The first set of questions deals with morality; the second, biology.

 

MORALITY

Do you think killing people for fun is wrong?

o Yes
o No

Do you think killing people for fun is wrong, regardless of whether people think it’s wrong?
(note – what I’m trying to get at is this: do you think killing people is truly, actually wrong – or do you think this idea is nothing more than the product of, say, our culture, or how our brains happen to have evolved?)

o Yes – I believe killing people for fun is truly, objectively wrong
o No – I don’t believe killing people for fun is truly, objectively wrong

If you answered yes to the above questions (I do hope so), you recognise that some actions are truly wrong, regardless of what people think or how we might have evolved.

But this can only be true if we are designed to live a certain way.

If we are designed to live a certain way, it follows that there must be a Designer.

If you answered no, are you sure? Can you honestly say that if, for fun, someone killed you or someone you love, it wouldn’t really be wrong, in any objective sense?

 

BIOLOGY

Do human beings look designed?

o Yes
o No

If you answered yes, continue to the next question.

If you answered no, are you sure? Even people who passionately refute the idea that we’re designed admit that we look designed. As the famous sceptic Professor Richard Dawkins has said: “Living objects…look designed. They look overwhelmingly as though they are designed.”

Is it theoretically possible that we look designed because we are designed?

o Yes
o No

If you answered yes, continue to the next question.

If you answered no, are you sure? Even those who scorn the idea that we’re designed admit that it’s theoretically possible. As Professor Richard Dawkins clarified: “I think the probability of a supernatural creator existing is very, very low”.

Is there any coherent way of explaining why we look designed, other than the explanation that we are designed?

o Yes
o No

If you answered no, continue to the next question.

If you answered yes, are you sure? The theory of Darwinian Evolution is sometimes appealed to here, but this is only a theory about how certain life-forms could have developed into more complex life-forms. The overwhelming appearance of design that is seen in all life-forms – from single-celled bacteria to human beings – is something for which we still have no coherent explanation, other than design.

In the absence of any other explanation, isn’t it very reasonable to conclude that we look designed because we are?

o Yes
o No

If you answered yes, it follows that there must be a Designer of some kind, a purposeful Creator.

If you answered no, why did you answer as you did? The existence of suffering is sometimes appealed to here, but this doesn’t negate the evidence of a Creator (there might, for example, be some reason why a Creator would allow suffering).

 

CONCLUSION

There are many other questions we could ask which point towards the existence of a personal Creator. For example, why are we aware of being alive? Why is the universe so extraordinarily fine-tuned to permit life? The questions we asked above are just two among many.

If we doubt the existence of a Creator, it’s not for lack of evidence, it’s much more likely that the Creator makes us uncomfortable. Perhaps, for example, we don’t really like the idea that we’re designed to live a certain way. Perhaps we know we haven’t always lived the way we should.

My own refusal to acknowledge God wasn’t overcome primarily by thinking about all the evidence of his existence – though it helped! – but by the life of Jesus. Jesus persuaded me that this Creator of ours is not only good, but better than any of the good things he created. I hope that this little article might encourage you to look at his life for yourself, and to see what you think.