One night, forty-five years ago, I dropped to my knees in agony. I was staring into the void. The existence of God did not seem “plain to me.” Through tears, I said, “Jesus . . . I don’t think I can believe in you anymore.”
What brought me to that point? My love for science, the dawning realization that faith mattered, and challenges from my history teacher, I would suppose.
Romans chapter one only made things worse: “What can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible [things], namely his eternal power and divine nature (divinity), have been clearly perceived ever since the creation of the world in the things that have been made.”
Recently I saw a news report about a young line cook, named Jermarcus, who cut open an eggplant (something that’s been made) and discovered the word “God” clearly spelled out in the seeds of the eggplant. —That’s what I had wanted in 1978!
If every time we cut open an eggplant and the seeds spelled “God,” would we believe in God or just believe that this is just the way that eggplants have evolved?
If every time we said a little prayer, the seeds in the eggplant spelled “God,” would we believe in God or believe that we were God, or at least controlled God—in which case “god” would not be God?
Scientists who worship science and religious people who worship themselves can’t read the Word of God in an eggplant; they can’t read the “sign.”
“What can be known about God… His eternal power and divinity, have been clearly perceived ever since the creation of the Cosmos in the things that have been made.”
Scientists now say that the Cosmos—all space and time, all known cause and effect—had a Beginning, a “Big Bang.”
Philosophers have long postulated that everything that has been caused must have been caused by an “uncaused cause.”
Scientists now also postulate that there is something in people more fundamental than spacetime and matter—they call it “consciousness.”
Philosophers and theologians have long postulated that the “observer,” the “I” that observes “me,” must not be the “me” that is observed; it must be somehow eternal—like breath of God in a jar of clay or a temple of stone. They often call it “spirit.”
There’s something in you that’s like the something “beyond” the Big Bang. Perhaps it’s “Eternal Power” to perceive “Divinity”? After all, you are one of the “things that have been made.”
“God is Love.” And “God alone is good,” said Jesus. That means that God is the good in everything that’s anything, and love—real love—is God.
“I am the way, the truth, and the life,” said Jesus, the Word (the logos) of God. That means that any real progress, truth, or life is Jesus, and Jesus is the logic of Love who is God.
What is truth, logic, or reason? There is no reason for reason; reason is unreasonable. It takes faith to reason or trust that truth is true. Logic (logos) is like an uncaused Cause.
What is love? Real love is not the survival of the fittest but the sacrifice of the fittest. It’s a logic foreign to this world and judgment upon this world.
What is life? Isn’t it a communion of love? We can’t make it, only give birth to it. And why do we think it’s good or beautiful?
What is beauty? What is the Good? No one seems to know, but everyone assumes that everyone does know . . . as if everyone were listening to a voice.
When my firstborn son was born, he knew my voice. The nurse placed him in my arms as he screamed and wailed. But the instant I spoke, he stopped crying—he was home.
How did he know my voice? He must have heard it in that womb world. Every night, I’d speak to my wife’s belly. I was not “a thing” in his world. I could not be explained by anything in his world. But when I spoke, everything in his world would move; everything would vibrate to the sound of my voice—the Father’s Voice.
If he could’ve reasoned at the time, he might have wondered, “What are these ears for? What are these hands for? What are these eyes for?” Do you ever wonder: “What is faith for? What is consciousness for?” Perhaps they are “eternal powers” preparing you to meet “Divinity” in another world. If you trust the Voice of the Father here, perhaps you will rest in his arms there, not “a thing” in your world, but the person who made your world and you within it.
Perhaps goodness, life, love, and truth are “what can be known about God,” but God is far more than a “what;” he is a “who,” who loves you.
Once he did come to our world, we saw that he was “good for food and a delight to the eyes and to be desired to make one wise,” and so we took his life on the tree, and everything died. Perhaps he’s coming to our world all the time?
What is truth, love, life, and beauty to you: things to be used or your Lord to be loved?
In worship, we come back to the tree and discover that even before we took the life of Love, he fore-gave his Life to us; we fall in love with him who is Good and give birth to faith.
What can be known “about God” is that He is Good, and we have been evil.
Faith is NOT “what can be known about God;” Faith IS being known by God.
Life is knowing him—not a “what,” but the “Who.”
Jermarcus could read the Word in the Eggplant, for he read the Word in every eggplant and heard the Word of the Father all around him all the time.
It didn’t occur to me for decades, but when I told Jesus that I didn’t think I could believe in him anymore, I was speaking to the one who I thought I didn’t believe in.
He had been whispering to me from behind a curtain in the depths of my soul—“Faith to faith,” “Spirit to spirit”—whispering, “Seek ME as I AM always seeking you.”
He is not only “what can be known about God”; He is God knowing you.