Seekers and scoffers
Published: 11 November 2012 (GMT+10)
Today’s correspondence illustrates some of the reasons why CMI exists: to help seekers understand the truth of the Bible, and to stand as a public challenge to scoffers. Dr Don Batten and Dr David Catchpoole respond.
Desi P. from the United States writes in response to article: Who created God?:
I’m a 13 year old girl curious about “God”. Though I’ve always wondered, “Who created God? And if he wasn’t created by himself, then how did he create the world?” last year in my history class (ancient history) we learned about Egyptian Gods and other gods around the world, but some of their stories do make sense. So I wondered, were we really created by a god? Could we have slowly been brought together piece by piece by random particles and a change in the atmosphere brought those particles together and created us?????? Another one of my curiosities is how can the bible be true? I have read many different bibles and some of them say things that r completely opposite than others.
Please, will someone help me get a better understanding?
Dr Don Batten responds:
Thanks for getting in contact. And good on you for thinking about these things!
As my article argued, something had to be eternal (that is, with no beginning). It cannot be the universe or anything else made of matter/energy because all matter/energy ‘decays’ over time and therefore must have had a beginning. The eternal ‘first cause’ must therefore be non-material (super-natural) or spiritual. All the characteristics required for such a first cause match the Creator revealed in the Bible, so it is reasonable to believe in the One revealed there.
The other gods you hear about are usually just ‘superman’-style beings with serious flaws; many are even mortal. These are a pale shadow of the reality, although often rightly reflecting that there must be a supernatural dimension. Some cultures preserved the knowledge of God from the beginning (Genesis 1–11) better than others. Few, if any, were atheistic, for good reason (the principle of causation, that anything that has a beginning needs a sufficient cause). For a response to the idea that the Bible borrowed ideas from other religions, which does not ‘stack up’, see Pagan copycat thesis refuted.
You are right to question the idea that life just ‘made itself’. Other than believing that the universe ‘made itself’, this would have to be the most unreasonable proposal of all. As you learn more about the complexities of life, you will see more and more how life must have been created by a super-intelligent Creator who is far superior to us in intelligence. Daily, new scientific discoveries are confirming that life was created; more knowledge only strengthens the case for a Creator. For a little window of understanding on some of this, see: Fantastic voyage.
The Bible? There is actually only one Bible, written in Hebrew, a little Aramaic, and Greek. There is little doubt as to what the original writings were; there is nothing in doubt that changes the Bible’s teaching. Today there are many translations and paraphrases (i.e. loose translations), especially in English, but there is not much difference between ones that are genuine attempts to convey the original meaning (e.g. New King James Version, New American Standard Bible, English Standard Version, New International Version, etc.). It is important to avoid deliberately mistranslated versions such as the New World Translation, which was produced by the Jehovah’s Witnesses to try to downplay the Bible’s teaching that Jesus is God revealed in human form (God the Son). See Holy books.
In all this the purpose of the Bible and the evidence in the world around us is to lead us to faith in God, not just knowing about God. We are not just to have an intellectual belief but a personal commitment to Jesus as our Savior and Lord. Such a trust goes beyond the evidence, but it is consistent with the evidence. The Bible promises that if we seek Him sincerely, we will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13). See Good News.
I hope this helps.
‘K L’, presumably from Australia, wrote to us under the fake email address “email@example.com” in response to Time to think.
Food for thought David If your children or yourself is dangerously ill, do you pray to your lord, or do you go and seek medical help? Do you get flu shots that are the working results of science? That very same science that has proven time and time again that evolution is real? If a God sent us disease or punished us for our sins with disease why would he “bless” us with the scientific knowledge to cure most of these diseases? Science has also proven many of Jesus’ miracles to be a ‘right place at the right time’ moment for an example, turning the water into wine. When they poured the water into the wooden barrels which originally held the wine, the wine which had soaked into the wood mixed with the water which produced a weak yet still delicious beverage. You mentioned the ‘ape-men’ and various fossils however did your lord create and extinct this species when the only contribution they have left for us to see is their link between ape and man? If we are all the result of Adam and Eve then wouldn’t our skin be the same as theirs? From Darwin’s proven theory of ‘survival of the fittest’ in layman’s terms, our very features that define as are a result of adaption to our climates, not because any spiritual being chose us all to be different. If science and evolution of man did not exist, then how would did you travel on that plane and meet ‘Edwin’? Did a mystical bless us with the knowledge or did man work it out using the scientific laws of gravity and aerodynamics? Most of the food, transport, all medication and clothes that you wear are a result of science so how can you mock that very same science by saying Genesis was correct? Bon appétit.
Dr David Catchpoole responds:
Dear ‘K L’,
Yes, The Lion King is a great movie. One of my daughters prefers it to all others in that ‘animated film’/Disney Pixar/Dreamworks-genre, describing it as “an absolute classic”. The movie’s plot has a nice parallel with our own real-life Mufasa-Scar conflict, too. (What sane person wouldn’t want to choose good over evil, truth over deceit?)
But as far as I’m aware my daughter hasn’t turned her appreciation for The Lion King into a personalized email address behind which she can anonymously send Christian ministries distracting rhetorical questions that she really doesn’t want to hear an answer to.
Just in case that one day you really are looking for answers to the kinds of ‘objections’ to belief in Christ that your comment incorporates, you’ll find that the search box on our website will be of enormous help to you. E.g. it would help you locate articles such as these:
- Sound bites vs sound science
- ‘It’s not science’
- Does science need evolution?
- Swine flu—Is it evidence of evolution?
But you’ll have to want to be genuinely seeking answers, and be bearing in mind Jesus’ reassuring statement that whosoever seeks Him will indeed find Him (Luke 11:9). And I pray that you, too, will find the food that Jesus spoke to His disciples about (John 4:31–34).
Now that’s the sort of food about which I could sincerely say to you the same words you offered to me: “Bon appétit!”
David Catchpoole, CMI-Australia