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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Where does the world lead?

For some 60 years Antony Flew has been one of the most prominent atheists in the world. In 2004, to the surprise and horror of his colleagues and many admirers, Flew announced that he was no longer an atheist. He said the biochemical design of DNA and the incredible complexity of living cells convinced him of a supreme intelligence.

Design in the world, of course, has always pointed to the reality of God. Romans 1:20 says: ‘For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made … ’.

But who is the designer? And why are there so many bad things in this world? Science cannot answer these questions. But the Creator himself has spoken to us through his prophets (Hebrews 1:1–2) and given us answers in the Bible.

Jesus himself connected the action and love of God with events in the 'natural' world (within the creation: the idea of 'natural' itself, I think contains a pagan isolation of space-time from God). Jesus thus adopted an approach to preaching that is akin to any who harness events or processes in the world to refer to God.

I don't think that modern biblical creationism does what the early modern natural theologians did: that is take an aristotelean view of nature up to the Scriptures. They do the inverse, I think and look at the manifest complexity in the real world and find nothing in that world that could give rise to the complexity: quite rational, really. It is materialism that sustains an irrational position: it blathers on about the material world explaining itself, with no evidence, and not even a good story, only question begging circularity!

The counterpoint to this contra-positive apologetic is what we find in Romans, where Paul clearly teaches that the real world points to God. It is our job to explicate this connection. Not to deny it and succumb to godlessness by joining its vain and finally empty view of the world with the God who speaks, loves and rescues.

Luke 12:
22And He said to His disciples, "For this reason I say to you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; nor for your body, as to what you will put on.

23"For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing.

24"Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds!

25"And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life's span?

26"If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters?

27"Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.

28"But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith!

29"And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying.

30"For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things.

31"But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you.

32"Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.