Solomon's Porch

Christian Vision

THE GIBBOUS >> compiled by Sean Bonniwell

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"LET ME EXPLAIN THE problem science has with Jesus Christ." The atheist professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks one of his new students to stand. "You're a Christian, aren't you, son?"


"Yes, sir."


"So you believe in God?"




"Is God good?"


"Sure! God's good."


"Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?"




"Are you good or evil?"


"The Bible says I'm evil."


The professor grins knowingly. "Ahh! THE BIBLE!" He considers for a moment. "Here's one for you. Let's say there's a sick person over here and you can cure him. You can do it. Would you help them? "Would you try?"


"Yes sir, I would."


"So you're good...!"


"I wouldn't say that."


"Why not say that? You would help a sick and maimed person if you could... in fact most of us would if we could...God doesn't."


[No answer.]


"He doesn't, does he? My brother was a Christian who died of cancer even though he prayed to Jesus to heal him. How is this Jesus good? Hmmm? Can you answer that one?"


[No answer]


The elderly man is sympathetic. "No, you can't, can you?" He takes a sip of water from a glass on his desk to give the student time to relax. In philosophy, you have to go easy with the new ones. "Let's start again, young fella. Is God good?"


"Er... Yes."


"Is Satan good?"




"Where does Satan come from?"


The student falters. "From... God..."


"That's right. God made Satan, didn't he?" The elderly man runs his bony fingers through his thinning hair and turns to the smirking, student audience. "I think we're going to have a lot of fun this semester, ladies and gentlemen." He turns back to the Christian. "Tell me, son. Is there evil in this world?"


"Yes, sir."


"Evil's everywhere, isn't it? Did God make everything?"




"Who created evil?"


[No answer]


"Is there sickness in this world? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All the terrible things - do they exist in this world? "


The student squirms on his feet. "Yes."


"Who created them?"


[No answer]


The professor suddenly shouts at his student. "WHO CREATED THEM? TELL ME, PLEASE!"The professor closes in for the kill and climbs into the Christian's face. In a still small voice: "God created all evil, didn't He, son?"


[No answer]


The student tries to hold the steady, experienced gaze and fails. Suddenly the lecturer breaks away to pace the front of the classroom like an aging panther. The class is mesmerized. "Tell me," he continues, "how is it that this God is good if He created all evil throughout all time?" The professor swishes his arms around to encompass the wickedness of the world. "All the hatred, the brutality, all the pain, all the torture, all the death and ugliness and all the suffering created by this good God is all over the world, isn't it, young man?"


[No answer]


"Don't you see it all over the place? Huh?" Pause. "Don't you?" The professor leans into the student's face again and whispers, "Is God good?"


[No answer]


"Do you believe in Jesus Christ, son?"


The student's voice betrays him and cracks. "Yes, professor. I do."


The old man shakes his head sadly. "Science says you have five senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Have you seen Jesus?"


"No, sir. I've never seen Him."


"Then tell us if you've ever heard your Jesus?"


"No, sir. I have not."


"Have you ever felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus or smelt your Jesus...in fact, do you have any sensory perception of your God whatsoever?"


[No answer]


"Answer me, please."


"No, sir, I'm afraid I haven't."


"You're AFRAID... you haven't?"


"No, sir."


"Yet you still believe in him?"




"That takes FAITH!" The professor smiles sagely at the underling. "According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your God doesn't exist. What do you say to that, son? Where is your God now?"


[The student doesn't answer]


"Sit down, please."


The Christian sits...Defeated.


Another Christian raises his hand. "Professor, may I address the class?" The professor turns and smiles. "Ah, another Christian in the vanguard! Come, come, young man. Speak some proper wisdom to the gathering."


The Christian looks around the room. "Some interesting points you are making, sir. Now I've got a question for you. Is there such thing as heat?"


"Yes," the professor replies. "There's heat."


"Is there such a thing as cold?"


"Yes, son, there's cold too."


"No, sir, there isn't." The professor's grin freezes. The room suddenly goes very cold. The second Christian continues. "You can have lots of heat, even more heat, super-heat, mega-heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat but we don't have anything called 'cold'. We can hit 458 degrees below zero, which is no heat, but we can't go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold, otherwise we would be able to go colder than 458 - You see, sir, cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat we can measure in thermal units because heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it." Silence. A pin drops somewhere in the classroom. "Is there such a thing as darkness, professor?"


"That's a dumb question, son. What is night if it isn't darkness? What are you getting at...?"


"So you say there is such a thing as darkness?"




"You're wrong again, sir. Darkness is not something, it is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light but if you have no light constantly you have nothing and it's called darkness, isn't it? That's the meaning we use to define the word. In reality, Darkness isn't. If it were, you would be able to make darkness darker and give me a jar of it. Can you...give me a jar of darker darkness, professor?"


Despite himself, the professor smiles at the young effrontery before him. This will indeed be a good semester. "Would you mind telling us what your point is, young man?"


"Yes, professor. My point is, your philosophical premise is flawed to start with and so your conclusion must be in error...."


The professor goes toxic. "Flawed...? How dare you...!"


"Sir, may I explain what I mean?" The class is all ears.


"Explain... oh, explain..." The professor makes an admirable effort to regain control. Suddenly he is affability itself. He waves his hand to silence the class, for the student to continue.


"You are working on the premise of duality," the Christian explains. "That for example there is life and then there's death; a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science cannot even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism but has never seen, much less fully understood them. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life, merely the absence of it." The young man holds up a newspaper he takes from the desk of a neighbor who has been reading it. "Here is one of the most disgusting tabloids this country hosts, professor. Is there such a thing as immorality?"


"Of course there is, now look..."


"Wrong again, sir. You see, immorality is merely the absence of morality. Is there such thing as injustice? No. Injustice is the absence of justice. Is there such a thing as evil?" The Christian pauses. "Isn't evil the absence of good?"


The professor's face has turned an alarming color. He is so angry he is temporarily speechless. The Christian continues. "If there is evil in the world, professor, and we all agree there is, then God, if he exists, must be accomplishing a work through the agency of evil. What is that work, God is accomplishing? The Bible tells us it is to see if each one of us will, of our own free will, choose good over evil."


The professor bridles. "As a philosophical scientist, I don't view this matter as having anything to do with any choice; as a realist, I absolutely do not recognize the concept of God or any other theological factor as being part of the world equation because God is not observable."


"I would have thought that the absence of God's moral code in this world is probably one of the most observable phenomena going," the Christian replies. "Newspapers make billions of dollars reporting it every week! Tell me, professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?"


"If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, young man, yes, of course I do."


"Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?" The professor makes a sucking sound with his teeth and gives his student a silent, stony stare. "Professor. Since no-one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you now not a scientist, but a priest?"


"I'll overlook your impudence in the light of our philosophical discussion. Now, have you quite finished?" the professor hisses. "So you don't accept God's moral code to do what is righteous?"


"I believe in what is - that's science!"


"Ahh! SCIENCE!" the student's face splits into a grin. "Sir, you rightly state that science is the study of observed phenomena. Science too is a premise which is flawed..."


"SCIENCE IS FLAWED..?" the professor splutters. The class is in uproar. The Christian remains standing until the commotion has subsided. "To continue the point you were making earlier to the other student, may I give you an example of what I mean?"


The professor wisely keeps silent.


The Christian looks around the room. "Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the professor's brain?" The class breaks out in laughter. The Christian points towards his elderly, crumbling tutor. "Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor's brain... felt the professor's brain, touched or smelt the professor's brain?" No one appears to have done so. The Christian shakes his head sadly. "It appears no-one here has had any sensory perception of the professor's brain whatsoever. Well, according to the rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science, I DECLARE that the professor has no brain." The class is in chaos. The Christian sits... Because that’s where the chair is.


Beyond These things


What I'm about to propose goes beyond the truth as it is conspicuously revealed in the Word of God, the handbook for survival on earth. I've never heard this hypothesis — I've never read it — and it's never been insinuated to me by theological inference except in the context of certain Biblical passages. It evolved from a revelation inspired by the question why; why are we here.


The ego will not easily acquit that which it considers confrontational to its self-image, but the opportunity to redefine yourself is at hand — if for a moment you can instruct it to stop dictating exclusivity, personal uniqueness, and all distinctions of personality that set you apart from humanity. Haven't you said to yourself I don't deserve this. I didn't choose to be alive, and if there is an all-loving Creator, why would He make me who I am and then condemn me for it? Wasn't I born innocent? The world is the way it is. I do the best I can. It's dog eat dog down here. There's only one rule: Do unto others before they do it to you... Close your eyes for a moment. Take a deep breath. Open your mind.


As humans on earth we can by no means experience now. Try it. Snap your fingers and say "NOW." Try it again. Every time you do, now has passed into then! The concept of now is always "then" to we who live in this dimension of time. About the only thing we can be sure of is that time moves forward, and does so I might add with such design as to pass into the future by way of the past. This is why now exists only in non-time. This is where God is.


He created time, and so is transcendent — apart from all dimensions of time. Everything blessed with life "lives" on a time line within a time dimension, and all that does designates a perception of now. God may intervene on any time line, or all time lines — any time dimension or all time dimensions — simultaneously. He can be with all of us in the past, in the present, and in the future; only God exists in now.


The choice of preparing for tomorrow is in the miracle of each morning, the hope of each new day we are privileged to live, and it's in choosing to require of ourselves that we make our decisions according to God's will that gives birth to faith. Confidence in God's love for us — in the unwavering certitude of it to redeem the time and integrate our personal history with the history of all mankind — is how we glorify His name. This brings us full circle to the one great mystery of all mysteries; the passing of time into a future that for God, has already occurred.


If we could travel beyond the speed of light toward a star whose radiance had ceased to be, would we come to the time when the star died? Would we then go passed it into the future? So what is the future if the light we see in the galaxies no longer shines and we see it, the past?


All the cosmos has been propelled away from Now; the moment when Christ spoke as the Word, and it became. In that sense the universe is the same age as earth. From our point of view it's older than the earth, but if it took billions of light years for the earth to become, then it's older from the point measured when the universe was born. That's not the whole of the problem, the definitive brain-twister is that all time ceases at the speed of light.


Our understanding of time is so finite as to be of no use for scientific research faithless to God's creation. This is exactly why we have not been given the relevant data on the moon samples collected decades ago; they don't conform to the evolutionary scale. Nothing in the universe conforms to the model. Ultimately, what they're asking — insisting we believe, is that the perfect order of the cosmos came from non-intelligence, and that life came from nonexistence: Nothing. The question they should be trying to answer is where did time come from, and why did it begin.


Consider that which the science of astrophysics has verified as fact by way of the Hubble telescope: if the universe, with its intricate design and balance of proportional vastness had been created just slightly smaller, or just slightly larger, the starship earth could not provide a stable habitat for life as we know it to be; a singular wonder — but there is more. The Hubble found stars 15 billion years old, and a universe only 12 billion. Supernova activity and the red dwarfs not found in predicted numbers, are just two of many new realities diametric to a scientific model constructed by theory relying on an infinite universe. The new computations attend a model that measures atomic elements as younger than infinity. Calculated from the point at which the universe was three and a half minutes old, astrophysicists now have irrefutable proof from which they acknowledge an astonishing discovery; the universe had a beginning, but by the first and second laws of thermodynamics (everything's in a state of sequential decay) it should be lifeless, having run its course: this means that even the speed of light has decayed, and so the universe is younger by billions of years.


All we see and measure, the galaxies, the stars, the immensity of the cosmos, was created by the Word: He who spoke and the universe was: "In the beginning was The Word, and The Word was with God, and The Word was God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made." He is the Alpha and the Omega: The beginning and the end. Man has numbered the ages at Christ's first coming from the point of zero. Our calendar of History has been predesignated B.C. and A.D. because the time has been redeemed. The decision to accept Him is made by the heart, not by the mind, and you can make it in the time it takes to snap your finger.


The accounts of creation found in John 1, and Genesis 1, are no longer at odds with astrophysics, and time relativity — in conjunction with what the Hubble measured — portends a model of the universe that necessitates an interrelationship designed by transcendence. "I am the Light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness". (John 8:12) If He made the heavens and the earth in His time of non-time ("A day is as a 1000 years, and a 1000 years as a day"), then the Bible only hints at the relativity of Now, when He spoke and the universe became. For the age of the earth is not the same as the universe, and by looking into time for its past we find a future that "was" created by a Savior who lives in now:


All of it was spoken when the Word of life was heard.


All of it was said and done before it did occur...


All of it by perfect love for time to save the lost:


He formed stars and then the world...


for a moment on the cross.