Thursday, September 4, 2014

Seeking a God That Makes Sense

The past several mornings, I've been reading through the various laws of Deuteronomy (trying to keep ahead of the Torah portion). With conversations of apologetics settling in the back of my mind, I found that many of the laws don't really make a lot of sense. This leads to me wonder, Does God make sense?

At no time does this struggle become more evident than when we pray. As we pour out our hopes and dreams, our fears and doubts, we come before our God with one simple request--for God to make sense. Day by day we are confronted with the contradiction between what we see and what we believe. We simply want to understand it, and thereby have a sense of control over it. All too often we come to prayer seeking control rather than surrender.

Given a God who is unpredictable and self-contradictory, any normal person will do one of two things: force Him into their own little box or reject Him. When we find our little box beginning to tear at the seams, Atheism starts to look mighty tempting.

By nature, we are conquerors. Wherever we go, we seek dominion. We crave a kingdom of our own. When life goes awry, we turn to whatever we can to regain a sense of control--even if it is only an illusion. The universe is fathomable. The universe is finite. We can take control over it through understanding, through science. This is a place where we can rest easy, knowing the world makes perfect sense, that it runs according to a fixed set of predictable laws, and thus we can conquer it.

Yet, when I look around, I must admit, the universe does not really make sense. Take the extravagant beauty on display throughout creation (and our ability to appreciate it). Or the ability to declare something right or wrong with authority. Or just the simple ability to consciously think. Why should light have a dual-nature that boggles the mind? Why should an apple be red and a banana yellow? Why should any of this exist at all? Wherever I look, I find a world beyond my understanding. And if the universe should be incomprehensible, how much more its Creator?

One might claim that I am over-spiritualizing everything, that science really does have all the answers. The world acts according to a series of physical laws. Love is a chemical reaction. Morality is the result of evolutionary biology. Consciousness--well, we haven't figured it out yet, but we will. All these explanations are well and good, but they contradict another principle--our need for wonder.

As a normal self-contradictory human, I find in myself not only a desire for control, but a desire for wonder--a need to be caught up in something greater than myself. Many scientists attempt to reintegrate this wonder back into their work, but in doing so they contradict materialistic Atheism. By definition, a sense of wonder implies something intrinsically greater than myself. And this is the beginning of a concept of God.

I cannot accept a philosophy that elevates man as the greatest thing there is. Much less, a worldview that worships something that man has created, whether it be gods of wood and stone or a cause or society or whatever. The ancient pagan traditions faltered by worshiping the work of our hands--today we worship the work of our minds.

Does God makes sense? Not always. His ways are higher than our ways, His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. God is the one thing we cannot conquer, the one thing that will not submit to our will or our understanding. But this is exactly the way it should be. If we could fit Him into our own little finite box, He could not be infinite. If we could understand Him, He would not surpass understanding. Anyone who has become comfortable with God has not truly encountered God. That is the nature of faith.

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