Thursday, May 30, 2013

How to Prove God's Existence

If God exists, then he must matter to life. He must show up in lives and in the world. I do not doubt that he shows up in lives, however few...

The question is, does he show up in the world enough to say that he is a personal, good, wise, powerful God? This is to ask whether he shows up in ways that are separable from how he shows up in people's lives particularly as a personal, good, wise, powerful God.

This morning I overheard people saying that both the God of the old testament and new testament were both good and angry. Well sure! And you can point to verses to support each statement. But what if I want to know whether God is both a good God and an angry God? I have not seen God avenging his people, or rescuing the oppressed. Certainly, you can spiritualize it, but then God appears to have become weak! Can he no longer work in the world in physical ways? Is he not the creator of the world, both physical and spiritual?

The problem of evil would not be a problem if we could see that it was a good God who hated sin who was in control of the whole world who we were dealing with. Then the problem would be, "Weird, what is he up to?" and not "how could there possibly be such a God?" since we would see that God. So this is the real problem: not the problem of evil, but the problem of the hiddenness of God. And for those who have faith the problem is "weird, what is he up to?" Faith solves problems, because faith is the assurance of God, and particularly Christ.

This problem is to say "whatever happened to miracles?" It is also to say "the change which you say God has brought about in your hearts is not so great." And this latter is a problem for Christians. The change which must be brought about is a change to a sort of love which is impossible apart from God--how else could it be the way that the world can tell who is Christ's disciple? I have seen it here and there, but if Christians are salt and light, then the part of the world I get to see needs more salt, and we're working with candles over here (or I'm just cranky). And this love which is to prove God by being shown in Christians, it must not be faked--it cannot be faked--it must be real, genuine, not forced. It cannot be something learned, in the way that one learns to follow the rules, rather it must become a real part of one's character so that it is what comes out when one drops all inhibitions--drunk Christians should still be loving (which is not to say that Christians should get drunk, since it is hard to see how one would get rid of one's rationality in a loving way).

Miraculous love: love the unlovable without hesitation. I don't care if it does not happen often with you, but that is the love of God you say has been put in your heart. Is it really there or not? Don't lie. Lying won't fix this problem, it is counterproductive to fixing this problem.

I can guess what people might want to say to defend themselves from this: "but we are all broken, right?" Well, yeah, but you could at least try to be honest about it. Or at least be honest about your dishonesty! Can you at least say "we are all broken, but we really aren't showing each other as much as we should be..." and mean it. And by mean it I mean, be distressed by the fact that you are dishonest and hiding your brokenness. Besides, you don't talk like God matters, or like he is personally involved in your life. And when you do? It sounds cliche a lot of the time, it sounds fake usually (and I don't doubt that it is usually fake). What kind of Christians do you think fake being good and talk about God as an abstract ideal, or as a model of right behavior to be followed? I thought he lived in you! I thought he was with you! Act like it, or admit he isn't. Faking it is ugly, and it sometimes makes me think "well, if they have to fake it, God must not be with them at any rate."

I do believe that Christianity is true. I'm just not sure I know many people who know Christ.

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