Tom Pittman's WebLog

2011 October 10 -- I Believe In God

My friend told me, "There is still a part of my mind that doesn't want to believe in the Exodus and Gospel miracles." With a scientific education in the atheistic edu-factories of this country's established religion, it's understandable that he might feel that way, perhaps even after confessing Jesus as Lord. But did God really raise Jesus from the dead? Believing it in your heart is part of the formula for who is a Christian. Unless you are prejudiced against it, the evidence for the Resurrection is pretty compelling.

More than that, what I don't understand is the prejudice against miracles among some theists. I guess I have a problem understanding anybody willing to believe there is such a thing as God, who cannot also recognize that a Supernatural -- even puny Greek or Roman deities -- can do anything He wants to do, nevermind laws of physics. Such a deity might be constrained by some physical laws of his own supernatural realm, but inherent in the term "supernatural" is the implication that the laws of nature -- this universe He created and we only live in -- do not apply to God.

Consider myself as a parable. I'm also a creator: I write computer programs, and I get to define what the "laws of physics" are for those programs. Every game programmer gets to do the same thing explicitly in his game world. So do fiction authors, particularly fantasy and sci-fi, for their fictional worlds. Unlike the authors, I also get to go in and tweak the created universe (bits in memory) independently of those rules. I just did that recently. My program was misbehaving (unlike Yahweh God, who gets His creation right on the first cut, I make mistakes; mostly I repair the rules and run it again, but this is a 2-hour compile), so I just opened up the program and hacked some instructions in a bit editor. Think of it as "miracle" since it violated the rules laid out for the program by my own software. I both invented the rules by which the program must operate -- representing the "laws of physics" -- and I violated those rules when it suited my purpose. God can do that. Any creator can do that to his (in this case, my) own creation. Even fiction authors can do it, but we generally frown on the practice as "deus ex machina" (playing God with the machine).

So I have a problem understanding people who say they believe in God, yet deny or doubt that God can do any miracles He wants, at any time or place He chooses. I cannot define them out of existence because I find them distasteful.

On the other hand, if there is no god, then everything is miracle, because there are no rules for "laws of physics" to follow. In fact, there can be no laws of physics. Everything is chance, a "quantum fluctuation." Did you ever notice that there is no significant science apart from religion? Modern science came out of the very Christian worldview of the Renaissance. There was some scientific activity in the earlier Muslim and Greek cultures, but they were all theists. Modern atheists manage to do science, but their presuppositions are already interfering with the science. Furthermore, the pursuit of scientific careers is dying out in the USA because of the atheism taught in the public schools. Science just doesn't make any sense if there is no God and no rules.


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