Which God is “clearly seen” in creation?
On my previous blog entry, Dan made the following comment in an attempt to save us:
A common claim made by atheists/skeptics is that they do not have enough proof of God to actually believe, and that one doesn’t need absolute knowledge to deny the existence of a deity. Well, to be right, you do. You are, however, content with making absolute claims without absolute knowledge.
The atheist would likely then reply: “You seem to believe 100% that God exists without absolute knowledge to substantiate your claim.”
Let’s look at the following verse, which I’m sure many of you have read several times but now overlook: “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they [unbelievers] are without excuse.”
Essentially, this points out that proof of God is in the things he has created. Consider just how important of a statement that is. When you die, and if God (specifically, the God of the Bible) judges you, can you claim in all fairness that you didn’t believe because there was no proof of Him? Do not be fooled, you have been brought into existence and into this world for a reason. You have been shown God through the love you are able to feel, and the priveledges are able to have. You have clearly seen the universe He has made, as well as the beautiful world you have been provided so as to experience life. Consider that it was once possible for you to never exist. Do you honestly believe that all that you are, all that you are capable of, is the result of vibrating matter that somehow created itself?
For those looking for scientific proof of God, I highly recommend the following site – http://www.godandscience.org
Remember, you can still make the decision to follow Christ, either for the first time or again if you have turned away. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but all to come to repentance.
Dan, you spoke of creation being a declaration of God. Fair enough. I am often in awe of creation and sometimes find it difficult to wrap my mind around the evolutionary process. However, you then became specific and implied that God=”specifically, the God of the Bible.” Why?
Hinduism is the oldest religion. Why does God not equal the God of Hinduism? Why not Brahma (Creator), Vishnu (Sustainer), or Krishna (Love, destruction of evil)? What about Zeus, Apollo, Aphrodite, or Hermes? Why isn’t God one of the Greek Gods?
How about Allah? or Jah (he’s got cool music)? Why are they not the real God?
In addition, even if you were correct that God=God of the Bible, which God of the Bible are you referring to?
In Genesis 1:1, it says his name is Elohim. That’s a plural word. Does it mean God is a plurality? Is the “God of the Bible” you referred to Elohim since he is referred to as Elohim over 2,500 times in the Old Testament? Well, he’s also referred to as El (about 250 times), El-Shaddai, El-Elyon, and others. I guess it’s safe to assume we’re talking about the same God. Correct?
What is Elohim like? He seems quite personable. He walked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day. He chatted with Cain and Abel and came looking for Abel after he was killed by Cain. Enoch walked with him for 300 years. He gave Noah detailed instructions on building an Ark that would house millions of species :) . He came into Abraham’s tent for a visit and had a meal with him. He negotiated with Abraham before wiping out Sodom and Gomorrah with fire and brimstone. He wrestled with Abraham’s grandson all night. (Isn’t it impressive for a mere man to wrestle God for an entire night?) Overall, Elohim sounds like a very personal God.
However, the “God of the Bible” then goes through a radical transformation. He changes from this personal God to burning bushes, thunder and lightning from Mt. Sinai, you can’t see his face and live, and you can’t even touch the mountain where he is and live. Are we talking about the same God who was just hanging out with Abraham and company? Why did he all of a sudden become this impersonal, untouchable God?
Oh, and now he’s changed his name to Yahweh? Or Jehovah? Or a bunch of Jehovah-somethings? Are we still talking about Elohim? It sure doesn’t sound like it.
Also, a good summary of Yahweh’s character can be found in Richard Dawkins’ description of him:
“Jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”
Now, let’s look at the New Testament. God is now a loving father in heaven who so loves the world. He values me more than sparrows. He has numbered every hair on my head. He is compassionate, merciful and kind. He’s even taken on the form of a human.
I have to admit, I like this New Testament God. I can skip over the fact he killed a couple for lying and a few other minor atrocities but overall he seems quite cool.
However, I’d appreciate a bit more clarity on why we should choose the God of the Bible and then which God of the Bible is the real God. The personal Elohim or the untouchable Yahweh or the loving, compassionate Father God as described by Jesus or even Christ, the God-man himself? After all, who wants to perish?
– The de-Convert