Thursday, July 5, 2018

Reasonable Faith

Every year as my daughter’s birthday approaches, I cannot help but give thanks to God for all the blessings in my life. I know many people will read this and think “great, here goes another Christian dragging God where he does not belong”, and some might even be thinking “how dare he exploit his daughter to encourage delusional fairytales.” But as I look back over the course of my life, and particularly the past nine years, it is evident how God has been working all things together for good (Romans 8:28), and it all cannot be explained naturally.

Nine years ago, there was nothing natural about the day my daughter was born, or the weeks, months, or years leading up to it. There were just too many things being orchestrated perfectly behind the scenes. Was it random that my then-wife and I could not have children? Was it random that every surgery, medicine, or attempt to have children failed? Was it random we were hundreds of miles from home in Philadelphia when I picked up a magazine that had a small segment about adoption? Was it random that we had exactly enough money and not a penny more to cover the adoption expenses? Was it random that just a few hours up the road at that exact same time there was a young girl trying to find a home for her unborn baby? Was it random that this young girl had absolutely no logical reason to choose us to parent her child? Was it random that every single moment on the day that my daughter was born could not have been scripted more perfectly? How many adoption stories do you hear where the birthmother’s family insist on you being in the room so you do not miss a moment of your daughter’s life? How many adopting fathers were the first person to ever hold their daughter?

As I look back to the days leading up to July 7, 2009, I remain in awe at the myriad of events that went into the birth of a beautiful 6-pound 12-ounce 20-inch baby girl. I cannot think of any more reasonable explanation than an all-loving and all-sovereign God. To look at the birth of any child as merely random is simply closing our eyes, ears, and minds to self-evident facts. Are we really to believe that human beings can be reduced to unintended byproducts of time, matter, and natural laws? Are we really to believe that there is no reason or purpose for any of it? Are we really to believe that we can look into someone else’s eyes and think anything is more reasonable than that person being created in the image of God, whose very definition is love (1 John 4:8)?

I recently asked my daughter what she thought about the Bible, and whether she thinks it really happened or was made up. She thought about it for a second and said, “I don’t think anyone could make up a story like that.” She is nine. But she gets it, and I am thankful she does, because I know she is part of a bigger story and that her life has meaning and purpose (Psalm 139:13-18). I could never adequately express the gratitude I have for a loving Father that entrusted this beautiful child into my care for now. I hope each and every one reading this takes the time to appreciate their blessings and uses it as an opportunity to give thanks back to the one from whom all things come (Romans 11:36; 1 Corinthians 8:6).

If you are one of the ones wondering why I am putting God where He does not belong, I respectfully remind you that I am simply keeping Him right where He has always been. Choosing not to believe or ignoring it altogether does not change the facts. As they say, you are certainly entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own truth. As someone who has examined the evidence, I encourage you to do the same, to objectively study your worldview and the Christian worldview, examine the evidence, and follow it all the way to the truth (John 14:6). You will find that the Christian faith is a historical, testable, and intelligent faith and does not depend upon blind faith. You will find that the Christian worldview shows the universe was created with order, logic, design, and truth, by a God powerful enough to create something out of nothing, with purpose and precision. What created your nothing? What is your purpose? No matter how hard we try, we simply cannot reasonably and consistently explain our existence away with randomness, evolution, naturalism, or another hybrid worldview. Will there be questions along the way? Absolutely. But that is why it is so important to ask the tough questions and work through them. Did God really create the universe? Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people? How do know we can trust what the Bible says? Did Jesus really rise from the dead? You may not find the perfect answer to every question, but if you are honest with yourself, does your worldview provide every answer to every question with sufficient evidence, or are you staking your eternity on waiting for answers to randomly present themselves? I believe it takes more faith to reject or ignore the evidence than it does to conclude that the Christian worldview is the most reasonable explanation.

If you are struggling with questions like this, I hope you will consider digging deeper and joining me for Reasonable Faith this fall at Emmanuel Church in Greenwood. Reasonable Faith aims to provide an intelligent, articulate, and uncompromising yet gracious Christian perspective on the most important issues concerning the truth of the Christian faith, such as: the existence of God, the meaning of life, the objectivity of truth, the foundation of moral values, the creation of the universe, intelligent design, the reliability of the Gospels, the uniqueness of Jesus, the historicity of the resurrection, and the challenge of religious pluralism. If you are interested in attending please reach out to me for more details.

I may not know you personally, but I am praying for each and every one of you. “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26).