Saturday, July 31, 2004

LT # 8 International Current Interest item:
On En-LIE-tenment
GEM 04:07:20

The Apostle Paul long ago counselled:

“Live as children of light . . . have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them . . . everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible . . . Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” [Eph 5:11 – 17]

In short, as the Psalmist said, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” [Ps 119:105]

But, ever since the great triumphs of Sir Isaac Newton in the late 1600’s, who discovered the laws of motion and gravitation, we have increasingly sought “enlightenment” through Science, education, and philosophy. Then in the 1800’s, the triumph of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution seemed to hammer home the last nail in God’s coffin. Even the leading Theologians began to explain the Bible in terms of man’s evolving religious ideas, rather than any so-called revelation from God. So, as Richard Dawkins sums up, it often seems that it is only the ignorant, stupid, insane, or wicked who reject the modern “enlightened” view of the world.

Q: Why, then, are there still educated people – such as us – who take God, the Bible and biblical morality seriously?

A: Because there is a big gap between how things may seem and how they actually are. That is, there is true en-LIGHT-enment, but there is also a deceptive (but ever so popular) en-LIE-tenment:

--> “Science” at most gives us provisional knowledge of the external natural and human world, based on experiments, observation and educated guesses as to the underlying laws. But, as “provisional” points out, science is open-ended; science is always subject to correction based on further research and analysis. For instance, over the past few decades -- as it has become ever more clear how finely and exactly tuned the laws and constants of physics have to be for life to be possible, and as the irreducible complexity of the mechanisms of life have been recognised – a growing number of scientists and philosophers have now seen that the most reasonable conclusion is that the universe and life have come from the hands of an awesomely Intelligent Designer, AKA God.

--> Also, the famous secular humanist Aldous Huxley (author of Brave New World, grandson of “Darwin’s Bulldog, Thomas H., and brother of the first leader of UNESCO, Sir Julian H.) gives away the game on philosophy, science and morality. For, in a famous quote, he confessed: “I had motives for not wanting the world to have a meaning; consequently I assumed that it had none . . . Those who detect no meaning in the world [e.g., that the complexity of life just discussed strongly points to God] generally do so because, for one reason or another, it suits their books that the world should be meaningless . . . For myself, as no doubt for most of my contemporaries, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation, sexual and political.” [Ends and Means, Chatto & Windus, pp. 270 – 273, parenthesis added.]

--> Finally, the decisive fact regarding the truth of the Bible and the Gospel is the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, for which there were over 500 eyewitnesses, most of whom were alive when the record was made. As Paul said to the Governor of Judaea when he was on trial for his life because of his testimony to the resurrection: “What I am saying is true and reasonable. The king [Agrippa] is familiar with these things, and I can speak freely to him. I am convinced that none of this has escaped his notice, because it was not done in a corner.” [Ac 26:25 – 26.] The king’s evasive reply, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?” and the silence of his accusers speaks volumes. So have the testimonies, transformed lives and impact of the many millions who have met God personally through faith in the risen Christ in the twenty centuries since.

So, then, we must choose in our day. Which will it be: Godly En-LIGHT-enment, or persuasive but ever so deceitful humanistic en-LIE-tenment?


No comments: