IS ANYONE OUT THERE? THE BIBLE HAS AN ANSWER

The Lagoon Nebula, shown in a photo taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope (from here).

In is anyone out there?,violetwisp gives four reasons for her Atheism.

I can’t deny that there’s a tiny, tiny chance that one of the other religions in the world is true. But there are four main reasons it’s logical to dismiss them all without spending the rest of my life trying to find out for sure:

1. Even with a basic understanding of just a few religions, we can be fairly sure that they developed to fill gaps in our knowledge and their existence can logically be explained by our need to assign agency. They are essentially superstitious stories that developed structure over time.

2. The stories demonstrate some common themes (invisible powers making things happen that we can’t explain, thinking outside of ourselves) yet have enough differences to show they don’t come from a unique external source.

3. On the 0.01% (or near) chance that the above is wrong and there are creator gods out there, it would be clear from what we have in front of us that there are natural explanations for everything here – that must be part of the ‘design’. It would also be clear from the mess of assorted religions that have developed that the gods don’t really care about sending a useful or even coherent message.

4. So many people have spent so much time dedicated to these questions and all of them have come to different conclusions. Either there is no truth, or the truth doesn’t need to be found.

When I read ‘s post, it occurred to me that not so long ago I could have written something much the same. Therefore, I thought it might help if I addressed her four main reasons.

1. Christianity stands out as unique, not as just another gap filler. One reason for that is that the Bible is not something men would have written unless God inspired them to do so. It does not flatter us, not at all, but it does tell us of our sins and our need for a savior.

As a historical figure, Jesus’ influence is unsurpassed. Given the claims made for Him in the New Testament, that’s no surprise, not if He is who He said He is. Given the affect Jesus and the Bible have had on Western Civilization and the rest of the world, no one can rightly call themselves well-educated unless they have carefully studied the Bible.

2. God is not unique, external source? The real problem with miracles is separating the “miracles” performed by charlatans and our over-active imaginations from those we can only attribute to God. Nothing of that sort is ever easy.

3. There are natural explanations for everything here? Actually, science doesn’t have answers for the most important questions. The Bible does.

  • Why am I here?
  • What is right and wrong?
  • What brings me meaning
  • What happens to a human being when I die?

Ravi Zacharias (an expert in Christian apologetics) says there are Four Questions To Answer In Life.

Science does not have the tools to deal with those questions. Scientists are just human; they cannot experiment with God.

We can observe the miracle of birth. We can fret over the decay of death, but what happens to that spark — that soul — that made someone special to us? Where did it come from? Where has it gone?

4. The fact that different people come up with different answers for those four questions doesn’t mean that we should not seek the Truth. The fact that we come up different answers just means God did not make us with a cookie cutter. Yet if we don’t want to know the Truth, it does help if we do not look for it, and that is one of the answers we come up with.

If there is a God (I believe we can know something about Him through Jesus.), then we exist for His purposes, not our own. We are His creations. We did not create ourselves. So what are God’s purposes? If there is a God, how would we know? Would it not depend upon what He wants us to know? Would it not depend upon how He wants us to learn? The Bible provides some answers, but no one knows the mind of God.

What do we know? Soon after we begin to perceive it, we begin to comprehend Creation as beautiful, marvelously complex, and outrageously big. The notion someone made Creation is astounding. The notion that Creation just is — that it just happened — is absurd. Hence, Atheism is not a good answer.

29 thoughts on “IS ANYONE OUT THERE? THE BIBLE HAS AN ANSWER

  1. Inspiring Tom.

    Now if only people would take the time to think about the four questions, rather than a whole host of other things they engage their time, this world would be a better place.

    However, based on the articles of news I read daily, there is not a whole lot of people thinking period. If I sound negative, I am not really. I believe God has a plan by allowing us to make choices .

    Just think, if the world was a better place, what reason would God have had for wanting us to live to be rewarded in heaven or cast into a hell?

    Jesus gave us an example how to live with love, that included suffering and dying.

    Unfortunately, too many believe they have a better and wiser plan that only includes only rewarding themselves in their lifetime without thinking about any plan or thought for another life when the die.

    Regards and goodwill blogging.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. @scatterwisdom

      Inspiring? Me? Well, I will gladly accept the compliment, but those four questions belong to Ravi Zacharias. He helped me to think about them, and I am just passing them on.

      You observation is spot on. Not enough people think. Frankly, I think we have put people in charge of our education system who actively discourage thinking. So instead of seeking answers, people are either terrified by those questions or just fatalistic.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are right about fear by teachers of the school voucher systems.

        Someone needs to tell the teachers that if they are qualified, they have nothing to fear.
        Private schools will need teachers and competition and demand for teachers will result.

        For example, in Catholic Schools, there are no longer nuns to teach. The only difference will be the curriculum in a private Catholic School will include morals and discipline.

        What teacher would object to teaching students morality and improve discipline in their classroom?

        I remember having to read in religion time. Reading religious subjects help teach us both reading skills and morals.

        Regards and goodwill blogging.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. @scatterwisdom

          We have put people in charge who for all apparent purposes are secularists. Their actions say they want the discussion of religion swept out of the public square. Hence, starting with the Bible the public school system ignores the classical literature of Western Civilization, which is chock full of a discussion of those four questions. Instead of reading the literature of the times, the public schools teach from agenda ridden text books. Instead of teaching from history, the public schools teach a politically correct version of history.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. If Violet had a brain that could think on its own she would realize that her objection to God is really an objection to religion.

    During a university level astronomy class I gave a talk and presented “The God Equation.”

    “The God Equation” is a calculus expression that defines God.

    The Professor and most of the students almost soiled their panties.

    I asked who among them thought I was talking religion. Nearly everyone raised their hand.

    Apparently, atheism is really a war on religion, specifically Christianity.

    Like

    1. @silenceofmind

      Let’s not insult Violet. It just gives her an excuse to shut her eyes and ears.

      What Euler’s Identity indicates is a degree of order that is highly improbable unless God exists.

      Will the fact of Euler’s Identity prove to everyone that God exists. Ever heard of Stephen Hawking? Can’t say the man doesn’t understand mathematics.

      We carry the Gospel to others. If others are willing, God changes their hearts. If others are unwilling — too proud — all we can do is keep our eyes on Jesus, knowing the prideful will adamantly insist upon making everything about them and what they want to believe.

      Like

        1. Citizen,

          The problem in Western Civilization today is mass indoctrination.

          Being indoctrinated means not having a mind of your own.

          I am not being mean. I am simply telling the truth.

          Like

        2. @silenceofmind

          Not exactly correct. Indoctrination is a form of education. The subject still has a mind. That is what is indoctrinated.

          When we indoctrinate someone, we instill a set of assumptions. If those assumptions are drastically incorrect, then the subject of our indoctrination may have a very serious problem.

          That is really the issue Christians and Atheist debate. Whose assumptions about the Truth are correct? What I think we should resent, however, is the deliberate attempt the Atheists have made — and quite successfully — to secularize the education of everyone’s children, not just their own.

          Like

        3. Citizen,

          I am exactly correct and you are exactly wrong.

          Children in the public schools have no choice since the human being is born empty.

          I am angered greatly that while Western Civilization collapses, you and your deluded Christian brethren are more interest in correct behavior.

          Wake up and smell the coffee!

          We are at war.

          In that war, as with every war, the well behaved will be annihilated.

          Dead, well-behaved men can help no one.

          And how is the barbarian to comprehend his barbarity unless civilized men express their indignation?

          Like

        4. @silenceofmind

          We are not born empty. Read Romans 2:12-16. Doesn’t Romans 1:18-32 tell that we should know of God just by the fact of His Creation? Don’t the characteristics of a creation tell us much about the character of the one who made it? Doesn’t Romans1:20-21 tell us we are WITHOUT EXCUSE?

          Therefore, even if we are badly taught, we still have a responsibility to know God and to love Him.

          Still, we each have a responsibility to spread the Gospel.

          Isaiah 52:7 New King James Version (NKJV)

          7 How beautiful upon the mountains
          Are the feet of him who brings good news,
          Who proclaims peace,
          Who brings glad tidings of good things,
          Who proclaims salvation,
          Who says to Zion,
          “Your God reigns!”

          When we bring people the Gospel — when we set an example by being Christlike — we make it easier for unbelievers to believe in God and receive the Holy Spirit. When we allow Jesus to show through us, we allow unbelievers to see God and to love Him.

          So what about your question?

          And how is the barbarian to comprehend his barbarity unless civilized men express their indignation?

          A couple of thousand years ago Christians fought a war such as this. They did so with little ability to seek justice in the courts. They had no weapons. Often, they had no way to even give voice to their complaints. Still, they won, and here is how.

          Romans 12:17-21 New Living Translation (NLT)

          17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.

          19 Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,

          “I will take revenge;
          I will pay them back,”
          says the Lord.

          20 Instead,

          “If your enemies are hungry, feed them.
          If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.
          In doing this, you will heap
          burning coals of shame on their heads.”

          21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.

          Consider any sin. Reflect upon what that sin requires of the sinner. Understand that the sinner is enslaved by his sin. Understand that the sinner is damned by his sin. Sin contains the seeds of its own punishment. Therefore, we should pity sinners and do our best to save them.

          Are we at war? Yes. Do we have a responsibility to do our best to protect our fellow Christians and every child we can from this era’s paganism? Yes, of course. Still, this war still remains a war of ideas, and we can only win this war if we understand what we believe and live what believe.

          See Ephesians 6:10-18. Contemplate what it means to die for the faith. Be glad we have yet to reach that point in America.

          Liked by 1 person

        5. Citizen,

          If what you say were true, everyone in the world would worship Jesus.

          But that simply isn’t true.

          And I recommend that you read the Gospels and Acts where Jesus, Peter and the Apostles are confronted by establishment Jews.

          Even in the face of miracles, they simply have no interest in the truth.

          Like

        6. @silenceofmind

          If what you say were true, everyone in the world would worship Jesus.

          But that simply isn’t true.

          Look back at what I wrote. Did I suggest everyone would choose to worship Jesus? Every knee will bow, but not every knee will bow willingly.

          In the heart of each man, woman, and child, battle rages. Into some hearts Jesus will not be accepted, and those hearts will have no peace. Into some hearts Jesus will be accepted, and those hearts will know joy.

          You speak of the Gospel and Acts. Here we are given examples.

          In Gospels the example of Simon who became Peter stands out. He was an ordinary fisherman, full of bravado; he denied Jesus three times. As Peter he became the rock of the church and humble.

          In Acts the example Saul who became Paul stands out. He was a brilliant scholar, bold, ambitious, and violent. He pursued and killed Christians. As Paul he became selfless; he gave all he had to the spread of the Gospel.

          Who changed the hearts of these men? Jesus. Who changed our hearts? Jesus.

          Peter and Paul did take up the sword. The welded the Gospel of Christ, and they waited patiently upon Jesus to change hearts.

          We must do what the apostles did. Before we obey men, we must obey God. We must live as our Lord expects and spread His Gospel.

          Like

        7. Citizen,

          It is human nature to worship a higher something.

          If man where in tune with his nature like all other creatures are theirs, then man would know the one, true God and his Son, Jesus.

          But we are born, broken and empty, knowing nothing of our human nature.

          Like

        8. @silenceofmind

          What does humility require of us? Doesn’t humility require us to seek the Will of God, put His desires above our own, and to be obedient to Him? Isn’t there a certain assumption? He knows what He is doing. We don’t.

          We are His creations. Somehow, some way He will make it all work out for the best. Have faith. Romans 8:28.

          Like

  3. Indeed Tom, you propose the philosophical questions that I’ve been addressed by great minds like Thomas Aquinas. The trouble with the materialist is that they have no use for philosophical questions and their metaphysics. For example, Aquinas’ 3rd way–in a very generic explanation– Why is there something instead of nothing? Why are there contingent beings? Furthermore, we have to explore a more developed notion of Aquinas’ 5th way and the proper ordering and design of nature of these contingent beings.

    For example, consider an archer who, with routine success, directs his arrows towards the animals he is hunting for food. However, these regular actions of the arrows, which are made of wood, do not represent the natural actions of wood. Instead, they represent something imposed on the wood of the arrows by the archer.

    We can apply the analogy to electrons because human intelligence cannot explain why an electron has, within its own nature, an inclination to be attracted to protons because electrons exist prior to humans and humans could not exist without electrons already having these natural inclinations.

    In our attempt to explain why electrons, as non-intelligent beings, have a natural inclination to be attracted to protons, which makes life possible, we have ruled out the material aspect of the electron, chance, biological evolution, and human intelligence.

    Therefore, there must be some non-human intelligence that is responsible for the natural inclinations of electrons.

    This non-human intelligence cannot achieve this by imposing activity on the electron in a manner similar to a puppeteer or a watchmaker. Instead, this non-human intelligence must be capable of endowing an electron with its being and nature.
    Conclusion: We call this non-human intelligence God.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have to agree with Scattered and say this is an inspiring post. You’ve well articulated the answers to many questions I’ve struggled with myself. Well done Tom.

    Liked by 1 person

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