Then Jesus said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”
When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that,
“‘they may be
ever seeing but never perceiving,
and ever hearing but never understanding;
otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’”
- Mark 4:9-12
I read the Wee Flea’s (David Robertson) letter to Dear Dr. John, an excellent letter and well worth reading, and I thought back to people that I have met who want to make the same argument, an education and atheism go together. Rev. Robertson argues against that.
I have often been asked, “You are an engineer with an advanced degree, how can you possibly believe in a God?”
I smile and start to say something. They interrupt before I say a word. They say, “Don’t start with anything involving the Bible or any of that garbage about intelligent design. I have heard all those arguments. Come up with something new.”
Has this happened to you before? Someone insults you. (Either I am poorly educated or just dim-witted for believing in Jesus.) Then they ask you to defend yourself. Then they set the ground rules, limiting you to basically grunting, while they have all their arguments, ready to load into the breach. When that happens, it is best to walk away. But if you work with this person every day, you might need a little help, or a lot of help, from the Holy Spirit. I have never given this response in its entirety, but over the years, I have responded in similar ways with bits and pieces of the following.
I answer his challenge by saying, “God loves you.” I then turn and walk away.
My assailant follows me down the hallway. “You can’t leave like that. You make a statement, a rather absurd statement, and leave? You have made no argument for your position at all.”
“Oh, but I have. I have given you three arguments, if you choose to think.”
“No, you said three words.”
“Yes, God loves you. First, God. You think that through your education that you have learned that there is no God, yet, when a physicist argues a specific theory, he often comes to a snag, a gap that does not allow him to unify all the forces. He then creates a new dimension to explain away the snag so that he can keep going. There have been highly touted physicists who have done so. At latest count, there are ten dimensions. Three dimensions define the seen world. We experience time as a fourth dimension, but then where did the other six dimensions come from? Can we see them? In what way, other than in the scientist’s mind, do they exist? If the physicist can dream up another dimension that cannot be seen but can be experienced in the gaps of his theory, then why not another dimension outside of space and time, maybe one that is already postulated, where God exists, the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. God is always the same for He is outside of time and space, but He can interact and manipulate anything within time and space. My argument for God is not complete under these circumstances, but it is impossible for you to refute my argument, other than to just say that I am wrong. The physicist does not have to prove the unprovable, but you have to prove the unprovable to say that I am wrong.”
“That’s not fair.”
“But you set the initial rules for my argument. Second, Loves. God is not just all knowing, outside time and space, but He is emotional. He is emotion Himself. He created humans on this earth to worship Him. We do not deserve that love, but He loves us. He sometimes communicates to us through our emotions. You have had an emptiness inside you, maybe long ago, maybe ongoing now. That is God proving Himself to you, if you had only listened.”
“That proves nothing…”
“But then there is the third argument, You. Do you exist?”
“Of course, I do.”
“It has been several decades since I took philosophy in college, but I remember one school of philosophy where the philosopher, who postulated it, said that this world, and all it contains, does not exist. I have forgotten the details of the school’s name or the philosophers who followed that school of thought, but there are those who have argued such. The idea is that we will, one day, wake up and find that all this was just a dream. You, sir, are just a part of that dream, not really real at all. Is it a good dream or a bad dream?”
“But that’s just confusing double talk.”
“Is it? C. S. Lewis wrote that the next world will be in technicolor, making this world seem a black and white existence. The old school of philosophy that I mentioned may not be that much off. Again, you cannot prove me wrong.”
I then turned and started to walk away, again.
“But you have proved nothing.”
“Yes, but you said that you were confused. When you are interested in discussing, not arguing, and you come empty handed, rather than setting the rules of the discourse in your favor, then I can go to those sources that you said were off-limits. Until then, we play by your rules. You must now prove me wrong on all three arguments.”
“But…” But there were no other words uttered.
Sadly, he never got back to me. Since this was a composite ‘argument’, none got back to me, but I showed love toward them. I did not argue as they were expecting, with their stacked deck in their favor. And with the Holy Spirit at work, as they walked away confused, thinking about what was said, maybe they started a different dialogue with Someone else. “Lord, I may not have everything figured out, but I believe in You. I trust You. Will You come into my heart? Only You can fill the void that I feel inside.”
Did they have that talk with God? I will know some day. They will either be in Heaven or they won’t.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.