So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Galatians 3:24

I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. Philemon 1:6

FRONT PAGE - here you will find the last 20 postings about recent conversations. Please pray for these people!

Big Picture

7/10/15                                      Patrick                                 about 30 young man at Starbuck’s named Patrick told me he is an atheist because he can’t believe in a god who would allow so much evil in the world.  Actually, I can’t say I blame him.  Based on the unbiblical understanding of God he grew up with, I would probably be an atheist too.  The problem is, it wasn’t an obscure or uncommon belief he grew up with, it actually was based on the Bible, but it was a false assumption based on an incomplete belief. 

Patrick grew up being taught the same things about God that the majority of Americans are taught – that God made man in His image and that when he made us we were “very good”, but the false assumption is that therefore God must love all people equally and completely and forgive us when we make mistakes.  Focusing on our creation in Genesis 1 and 2 and ignoring the fall of man from a right relationship with God in Genesis 3 puts man as the center of attention and God in the position of owing us happiness.  

With that basic belief as a foundation, the rest of the Bible really doesn’t make much sense.  It stands completely vulnerable to the self-righteous accusations of hypocrisy in God’s failure to live up to our standards.  One is left rejecting the Bible as a whole or picking and choosing which portions to accept and reject based on whether God is acting “loving” or not in them, according to the reader’s judgment.  Instead of God being the judge, we judge God, and those who are honest find this man-centered version of God so completely arbitrary it is unbelievable.  Because man determines what is true about God rather than God’s self-revelation in the whole of scripture, he is forced to have not only a blind faith to believe in Him, but a willingness to deny the obvious and awful reality around us, which is something our science-idolizing culture cannot accept.  In fact, atheists see themselves as morally superior for being honest about the terrible injustices of this world.  

I talked to Patrick about expanding his understanding of God to include the whole story – not just the creation but the fall, not just the love but the wrath, not just the curse but the possibility of redemption.  The Bible as a whole contains a basic meta-narrative – the “Big Story”- the God-glorifying story of creation, fall, redemption, and restoration, and if one can see the parts of the Bible within that larger framework, one can actually begin to make sense of God’s purposes for evil.  Ultimately, we can’t “prove” the truths of the Bible, for “Without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11), but let’s share the whole story of the Bible, and turn what seems to be a very illogical and unreasonably blind faith into a very reasonable faith indeed.

No comments: