Dedicated to the devotional, exegetical and philosophical study of theological paradox in Conservative, Thoroughly Biblical, Historically Orthodox, Essentially Reformed theology . . . to the glory of God alone!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Was God Invented?

"We invented god out of our inability to understand the complexity of the universe."
~James Lynne, in a written debate over the question, "Is God an invention of man's mind or a true being?"
This is a contemporary restatement of the classic "God of the gaps" argument. I have two responses:
1. Doesn't a universe so complex as to warrant "invented" explanations point to an intelligent Creator? This argument against God would seem to lead us right back to God.
2. This argument may work well if God is containable, fully definable, and ultimately controllable. But that's not the Biblical vision of God - a God Who is beyond our understanding, shrouded in mystery and yet self-revealing. Far from solving the mysteries of the universe, belief in this God introduces us to an entirely new set of mysteries. Finite man in search of answers would never arrive at a belief in a transcendent, all-knowing, perfectly righteous, totally sovereign, absolutely just, terrifyingly good, relentlessly kind, inexplicably merciful, unfathomably wise and unknowably pure deity if he wasn't made to.
I use the term, "made to" in three senses:
"made to" - meaning God surrounds us with so much evidence that His existence is self-attesting.
"made to" - meaning God is the active cause of our belief in Him.
"made to" - meaning God created us for this very purpose.
Later in his article, Mr. Lynne makes this statement:
"Since the beginning of history most cultures have conceived gods for themselves. We are a creative lot, we humans. Our ability to scheme, devise, and create is apparently boundless."
Several questions come to mind. Where did we get such amazing creativity? Doesn't the existence of vastly creative beings living in a complex universe lead us back again to the conclusion that we have been created by an intelligent Being? If one posits that we use this creativity for the purpose of self-deception (and I would strongly affirm that we do), doesn't that imply a core moral problem within us (i.e. total depravity)? Does the possibility of self-deception exist because there is no divine source of truth, as the atheist would argue - or because there is a Source, and we are disconnected from Him?
We can agree with Mr. Lynne that man is in the habit of self-deception. However, our belief in the Biblical God is not a result of this habit. Rather, it is the effect of God's merciful decision to lead us back into truth and rescue us from the lies we have told ourselves about the world, about others, about ourselves, and about Him.

We didn't invent God - He invented us!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to respond to anything written in the posts, or to the comments left by others. All comments are reviewed before they are published.

Please be charitable. If you disagree, do so with grace. Keep your words positive, focused, and on-topic. We don't expect everyone to agree, but we do expect everyone to treat everyone else with respect and grace, speaking the truth in love.