If there is a God then who is He, She or It and how to decide between the many contestants?
God or gods are many and varied, from local to universal. If there are many then the choosing between them becomes a virtual lottery with not much at stake. Get it wrong and what can happen? The probability is nothing will happen, the god you have chosen is likely to be an invention, a myth. Do all gods fall into this category, or are there a few who could be real, possibly watching or listening or taking an interest in us? So, could the list be fewer still? Three religions make the claim that there is one supreme God who created everything and everyone, including you and I. These three Gods can be reduced to two, since the God of the Jews and Christians are one and the same. The difficulty between Judaism and Christianity centres around the claimed divinity of Jesus Christ and the doctrine of the Trinity. Christians would claim that the God of the Jews in the Old Testament is the same as the God worshipped and loved in the New Testament. And that the Godhead includes Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Here is a brief understated message laying out the claims and character of this God.
Here is my answer to the Coronavirus. Faith! This video has a song we often sing at our church: this one comes with a testimony of a miracle.
‘Without faith it is impossible to please God.’
The full quote from the book of Hebrews in the New Testament is as follows.
So now to the main contenders. It may come as a surprise to you that Islam, the last of the three monotheistic faiths, claims the same God, but states that His name is Allah, and his prophet Mohammed. According to Muslims he was spoken about in the Bible as the last prophet, greater even than Jesus. On this religion I spend a lot of time because I believe it to be false from beginning to end. For Judaism I have great respect since Christian roots are sunk deeply into the religion of the Jews and we share the Old Testament.
All three of these global religions agree about one thing: God was the Creator of all things. He may have chosen to do it through the evolutionary method, guided the process or left it to its own devices. Or God may have done it as is stated in Genesis chapter one: by a series of spoken commands. That is what I believe, and I am not alone. Scientists and philosophers from both the past and the present hold this to be the Truth about Creation.
Science is the field of study concerned with discovering and describing the world around us by observing and experimenting. Biology, chemistry, and physics are all branches of science. Good science for centuries opened up the wonders of creation and was honoured for its services to mankind and for explaining what had for so long seemed inexplicable. Showed us how nature and the cosmos worked and defined the universal laws which underpinned all things, from the microscopic to a universe so large it beggared our imagination. The foundation upon which this was built can be summarised by the humble saying attributed to Johannes Kepler:
“Thinking God’s thoughts after Him.”
This German astronomer died in 1630. He calculated planetary orbits in great detail through careful observation and painstaking mathematical modelling. He used the scientific method shown above. He also said this:
“The chief aim of all investigations of the external world should be to discover the rational order and harmony which has been imposed on it by God and which He revealed to us in the language of mathematics.”
Kepler represents a large number of the greatest names in science: those who laid the groundwork for very close to all scientific endeavour were believers in God and His Son Jesus Christ. Gregor Mendel, the father of genetics was a monk. James Clerk Maxwell, a devout Christian, was the father of almost any modern electronic device you could name.
Over the last 150 years this heritage has been abandoned to be replaced by outright rejection of these roots of Western Science. This has been the work of scientists and philosophers, some of them having attained celebrity status through the media rather than their scientific contributions. Most of them, certainly the more humble among them, would no doubt freely admit they are minnows in comparison to Kepler, Mendel and Clerk Maxwell. And yet the God these three greats of science attributed everything to has been erased from the modern script by the lesser men. It is these who have promoted and broadcast the current version of science which now rules over explanations of nature and the universe.
Please do not misunderstand me, modern science has much to commend it, not least in areas of technology and medicine. But it’s attempts to draw deductions about prehistory and how creation came to exist in all its vast and wondrous variety is altogether another matter. My contention throughout has been that to abandon the Creator of all things as an explanation for life and the cosmos is like following Alice in Wonderland down the rabbit hole. It is madness and leaves an intellectual void filled by whatever can be found, and that has proved to be a problem. The explanatory well is dry to the point of aridity without the design intuition.
At the beginning of this article I spoke about there not being much at stake in getting the God question and the choices between true or false, or this god or that god wrong. Nothing could be further from the truth since nothing matters in comparison. Missing that truth and getting everything else right is not good enough. When it comes to the end you need to know Jesus and believe he died for your sins and rose from the dead. You have no excuse not to know that Jesus died because very few biblical scholars, whether believers or unbelievers, doubt that Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem around 30 AD. No-one escaped death from that form of execution. Jesus was brutally flogged before carrying his cross to the execution site. While nailed to the cross if you not push up with your legs at regular intervals for breath you died of suffocation. When a victim ceased these regular movements it was the end, faking death was not possible.
Don’t doubt, believe, because it really happened. What happened subsequently, the resurrection, is founded on evidence just as compelling.