We were finishing dinner when the conversation took an unexpected turn. “I never would have imagined that you would be sitting here talking about church and God.”
Me neither, at least not back when we first met, all those decades (decades?) ago. Oh my goodness, how do I explain that?
I was never a true atheist. In college, I kind of subscribed to my own theology. I knew there was a God somewhere, and that he had set this whole thing in motion. I was sure he had a sense of humor, otherwise, he would have given up on the human race long ago; at the same time, I was convinced he was no more interested in me than I would be in any individual ant in my kids’ ant farms.
From God the Giant Ant Farmer to evangelical Christian. How do I explain the journey from there to here? I might just as easily explain why I continue breathing: I never think about it; I just do it.
I have always believed in God. Someone had to light the fuse on the Big Bang. I never understood how scientists who base their lives and their careers on evidence and experimentation could simply decide all of this just popped into existence from nowhere. That defies all logic. And it is only human hubris that insists there must be an answer—other than a Creator—that we, in our infinite wisdom, will uncover any day now. (Yes, I am being more than a bit sarcastic here.)
So for me, the question never was, is there a god? Of course there is. The only logical explanation for the universe we live in is that there is something or Someone totally other than and outside of creation with the power to set the whole thing in motion and keep it cranking.
For me, the question has always been, and still is, who is this God? What is he up to? How does she feel about me? What does he expect of me? What can I expect from her?
That’s why I read the Bible. Not to get accurate, scientific information about when and how the world was created, not to understand the historical evidence for Adam & Eve, Noah’s Ark or the Ark of the Covenant. I read the Bible because I want to know the Author.
“Do you think the Bible is true?” Which part? The poetry? The wisdom literature? The stories about Joshua and the sun standing still, or Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego surviving the fiery furnace? The injunctions against homosexuality (every liberal atheist’s favorite hot topic)? Do I believe the Bible is literally, word-for-word true? That the universe was created in exacty six 24-hour periods?
Does it matter?
There is truth and wisdom in the Bible. If you are willing to look for it, if you are open to the possibility that there may be a God who is smarter than you are and wants you to shine, there is life, and hope, and joy, healing and redemption—everything you need to know to live well now and for eternity. What more can you ask of one book?
Thank you, my friend for asking. I have much to ponder.