Posted on Feb 9, 2008
My guest column in the Newport News Daily Press appeared again today, under the headline “God answers it all.” It’s on Charles Colson’s provocative assertion that “Christianity is the explanation for everything.”
(The above link will disappear in 1-2 weeks, after which you may still access the article in PDF form here.)
Because of limited space, I could not address all the questions I knew my article would raise. My focus was not so much on whether Colson’s statement was true, but on what it means. To summarize: God, through His self-revelation, has given us a structure of knowledge and a background of information by which we must interpret and understand everything.
Whether this is true obviously matters, too, though; so I wrote:
This is but one brief illustration of what Colson was getting at….
But was his statement true? Is Christianity really the explanation for everything? Again, space will not allow me to address that question here the way it deserves (though I’m happy to do so at www.thinkingchristian.net).
Real Knowledge of God Makes All the Difference
The question surely comes down to this: did God create the universe, and did He reveal His ways to us through the Bible such that we can understand what He has said? Do we have real knowledge of the Person and purpose by which the world was made and we humans came to be the way we are? If so, that knowledge must make all the difference.
This does not mean that we do not live in a natural world where ordinary things happen in ordinary ways. It means rather that we have a different perspective on those ordinary things: they can often have extraordinary significance under God. Every choice matters.
It also does not mean that we ought actually to use the word “God” in every explanation, as for example (using Ohm’s Law for electricity),
Voltage equals current times resistance, because God made it that way (and we hope He doesn’t change His mind too often!).
No, for when we’re looking in the natural sphere, natural explanations are generally quite sufficient for the purpose. In the background, though, we can bear in mind that all this came from a Person who created a world where we can count on natural events happening predictably in natural ways. Francis Collins, Director of the Human Genome Project, provides a great example of that mindset:
As a scientist who is also a believer, virtually everything that we uncover day after day about the human genome and how it works is also a glimpse of God’s mind. My work is a celebration of our understanding of nature, but more importantly a celebration of what God has done.
Open For Questions
Again, though, do we really have knowledge of God and His purposes? The controversy on this is undeniable. My position is that God has given us considerable and very sufficient evidence that He is real, through the record of the Bible, through His work in history, through what He has created, and through His work in the lives of many, many followers.
There’s a space limitation here in this blog, too, but in the right-hand column of this web page you’ll see a link for “Evidences,” which will refer you to much additional information on this (or just click here). There is also another set of evidence-oriented blog entries you can reach from the right-hand column here, the former home page of this blog.
And to save you the trouble of searching for specifics, the comments section below is open for your questions.
(Thanks to Mark D. Roberts for the Francis Collins link.)