Friday, March 20, 2009

Lent '09 - Day 21: He has made himself plain

In the beginning of Romans, Paul discusses the state the world has come to and that God's judgment amongst the depravity is just. He makes a statement that God has made himself plain even to those who were not his chosen people (the Israelites) through his invisible qualities - divine nature and eternal power. I don't know exactly what Paul means by this, but I assume he's referring to the created world (as I think he does later in Romans).

Part of me agrees with Paul statement. The more I learn about this world, the more I see God. Hearing scientists share about their discoveries is as if if I'm being educated about God's museum. My field of writing software blows my mind. There have been millions if not billions of man hours to get us to the point we're at now. The tiny transistors that our processors are built on rely on some amazing natural properties. And we can't forget the ingenuity that man has had to see this potential, persevere with it, and it to others so that it could grow. Where did these capabilities in our earth and in ourselves come from?

I find the evolution debate irrelevant. If you hold to the big band theory, that's fine. But your bang had to come from somewhere. We know that something doesn't come from nothing. Whether the earth was made in 7 days or 7 billion years, it was till made. If God is eternal, time becomes irrelevant. I don't think either time period makes much difference to him. And if he's all powerful, then creating a world in 7 days wouldn't be out his capabilities, but nor would setting off an incredible chain-reaction that would take reasons to unfold. The Biblical writers were not scientists. They also were not from a science-based culture. That said, they were people still faced with many of the same questions/problems we face today: why am I here? what's my purpose? is there justice? These questions seem to be timeless, and thus even stories from a few a few thousand years ago could be relevant today.

Part of me disagrees with Paul. Surely there are some who don't want to see God. If you see God and learn that he wants to be be involved with your life, it's a lot harder to be the boss of your life in clear conscious. It's better just to create a worldview where he doesn't exist so that one can remain in control. But then there are those who I bet would want to know him he's really as good as the Scriptures make him out to be be. But due to life circumstance (e.g. war, upbringing, cultural influences) one's humanity has been deadened in such a way they don't come alive to God. This for me is where Paul's statement is tough, and I wonder how God will reveal is justice to these people. In the span of a life, I trust that God provides glimmers of himself to all, that he gives everyone a fair change to choose him.

So what to make of these thoughts? One is that I have to remember for myself that God may not always reveal himself the way I'd like him to, but that doesn't let me off the hook. It's like the parable of Lazarus, where the rich man begs Abraham to send Lazarus back to his family to warn them about where their decisions will lead them. And Abraham replies, "if they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead" (Luke 16:31). There's also necessity of taking up Christ's charge to be his witness, so that more glimmers of God would be revealed in this world.

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