The Problem of Evil

redchair Life on this planet has had, according to the Darwinist, millions of years, ages upon ages, to perfect itself and its functions. So, how is it possible that pain and suffering exist in our world in such pandemic? Life was supposed to be evolving into something increasingly better, more advanced, more fit. Yet somehow all the data, scientific and anecdotal, points to an increased debauchery and evil in our societies and cities.

We are becoming more violent toward one another instead of less. We are initiating more war between nations, not fewer. Our tastes and amusements have become more decadent and self indulgent instead of less. We’re valuing the life of others less instead of more. In short, we’re bringing more evil into the world every day instead of aiming to alleviate the suffering we’ve endured for ages, at our own hands and the hands of one another.

The scriptures foretell of our increasing trend toward moral decay. Paul warns the young pastor Timothy, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God…ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (2Tim.3:1-7)

“Without natural affection”.

If any one trait defines Western societies current personality this would be it. From the unrelenting voice of those who want to abort their unborn children to the inordinately high divorce rates that plague almost every Westernized society we have evidence to support the claim that we have largely lost the ability to maintain even the most natural of affections. A friend of my wife had a child in the NICU of their local hospital. Another mother delivered a premature baby that was also placed in the NICU. After that mother was released, she left the hospital and never returned. The child was placed in the care of the state and if not for the paid staff at the hospital no one would have been there to love and care for that baby.

It seems the Bible rings truer to what we see in life than do the theories of the evolutionary atheist.

It is this evil and suffering in the world that has caused many to question if God exists. It is when we see the pain of a poverty stricken family or the suffering of those with terminal illnesses, to which modern medicine as of yet has no remedy, that the voice of reasoning speaks up and questions how we could ever believe there to be an omnipotent, omniscient God.

We rebel against the evil and suffering not realizing that our rebuke of evil has a correlating effect of positing a standard of rectitude we believe the world ought to adhere to.

To say that something is evil is to identify its opposite effect as good. In short, to express outrage over evil and suffering is to acknowledge an objective system of morality whereby we measure good and evil. That something must represent reality, and not nonsense, and it must be greater in scope than whatever provincial ideologies we embrace. It must be a global morality, an omnipresent, omnipotent Goodness that is Supreme.

Our very outrage over evil demands there must be a God. We must reckon for the very idea of evil in our minds and our indignation at its presence.

The great thinker C.S. Lewis believed that the problem of pain was indicative of a God who desired through revelation and experience to commune and relate to His creation. C.S. Lewis makes the case that, “[Christianity] creates, rather than solves, the problem of pain, for pain would be no problem unless, side by side with our daily experience of this painful world, we had received what we think a good assurance that ultimate reality is righteous and loving.”

That one would believe suffering and evil are not as things ought to be indicate we have had a revelation concerning what life should be on the earth. When what we experience does not take that shape, rather than attributing it appropriately to the destructive nature of violating the designers plan, we childishly deny the designer altogether. Our protests speak volumes.

It indicates that we believe there is goodness and blessing available to us. From where do we gather the conceit to assert such a faith? Why would we ever believe, knowing what we know about nature and the world, that anything other than struggle and animal suffering is available to us on the Earth?

This planet is seemingly bent on havoc. There have been disasters for centuries on the Earth without any man made cause or intervention. From the Tunguska explosion to the 1958 Lituya Bay Megatsunami, the Earth has been a planet in turmoil.

Pompeii, an ancient city in western Italy, was buried by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius in ad 79. According to the New Oxford American Dictionary excavations of the site began in 1748 and revealed well-preserved remains of buildings, mosaics, furniture, and the personal possessions of the city’s inhabitants. Despite any efforts they may have employed there is simply no fighting a volcano.

The destruction of the city of Pompeii was not at the hands of invading marauders but rather at the hand of the Earth itself.

The tsunami of southeastern Asia in 2004, the hurricanes in the United States and the earthquakes in China, Haiti, and Chile, the Japanese tsunami of 2011, all point to the truth that, as far as the natural world would indicate, the balance of natures offering is violence and chaos.

This theory could be further supported by watching a simple documentary on the wilderness of Africa or the jungles of South America. The persistent violence and bloodshed in the animal kingdom is a stark reminder of the ferocity with which nature meets itself.

Philosopher and Theologian William Lane Craig aptly states, “given an atheistic worldview, picking out human flourishing as morally special seems to be arbitrary.”

Most can hardly watch as the crocodile attacks the watering gazelle and thrashes it about in its final moments, drowning it before it enjoys its meal. We cringe as we see the injured zebra desperately evading the pursuit of a ravenous lion.

If we are nothing more than a highly evolved beast of the field then why would we ever assume anything better is available to us than what all other animals on Earth experience? From where do we gather the hubris to assume our experience should be any different?

C.S. Lewis weighs in again with the question, “If the universe is so bad, or even half as bad, how on earth did human beings ever come to attribute it to the activity of a wise and good creator? Men are fools, perhaps; but hardly so foolish as that. The direct inference from black to white, from evil flower to virtuous root, from senseless work to a workman infinitely wise, staggers belief.”

There is either a congenital madness that affects the whole of man-kind or else we have had truth revealed to us from the source of that goodness. C.S. Lewis offers, “It is either inexplicable illusion, or else revelation.”

The inescapable implication of the presence of moral certainty in the hearts of men is that it could not exist without the recognition of a supreme lawgiver. Morality would not exist and indeed is meaningless without God. As author Richard Taylor, an atheist and ethicist concedes, “To say that something is wrong because … it is forbidden by God, is … perfectly understandable to anyone who believes in a law-giving God. But to say that something is wrong … even though no God exists to forbid it, is not understandable….” “The concept of moral obligation [is] unintelligible apart from the idea of God. The words remain but their meaning is gone.”

The word ‘evil’ came out of hiding on September 11th, 2001. We had long forgotten what evil was and what it looked like. Yet when faced with the atrocities before us that day we were able to clearly identify it once again.

We did not watch the footage of the tragedy in New York City and declare it to be illegal, though it was. It’s illegality was not what made it so horrific. It was the conspicuous presence of evil in the heart of men that caused September 11th, 2001 to be such an awful moment in the hearts of most Americans.

The anti-theist, incapable of positing meaning, purpose or an eternal soul in humanity, cannot ascribe the events of that now infamous day as evil. He can call it illegal, and indeed it was, but he has denied himself the capacity to call it evil, tragic, or even a shame.

Evil descends from understandings of morality, not legality. Morality has to do with accepted and unacceptable human behavior regardless of the laws that pertain in any given republic.

Laws spring from mens ingenuity. From where does morality spring if not from God? How do we account for some of the same acts (i.e. murder, theft, lies, adultery, infidelity) being considered immoral or unacceptable in nearly every civilization and culture in any place or era? There must reside within us a universal standard of morality that measures and defines the affairs of mankind.

The fact that the word evil exists and has definition indicates a faith residing in the soul of mankind that such things ought not and need not be. It indicates we believe there is goodness available to those who live on earth. We would not be repulsed by suffering and give tireless effort to diminish it’s influence if we did not believe goodness was possible.

This faith does not come from the empirical data we gather from the natural world, a world full of sorrow, inequity and death. A world full of volcanos and hurricanes, meteors and tsunamis, of hungry lions and slow zebras. It must come from somewhere and something else. The Hebrew word for this “something else” is “qadash”. In English we would say it was something ‘Holy’.

Again, William Lane Craig says, “if God does not exist, why think that we have any moral obligations to do anything? Who or what imposes these moral duties upon us? Where do they come from? It’s hard to see why they would be anything more than a subjective impression resulting from societal and parental conditioning.” In short, without a moral lawgiver, there is no obligation to honor a moral law.

The great tragedy of the skeptic’s denial of God is the loss of objective morality. For if there is no God to establish and maintain laws of what one ought, or ought not, to be or do, then it becomes thoroughly subjective, flights of fancy, to ascribe virtue or vice to any thought or act of man.

When shaking off the reality of God we lose more than the moral inhibitions that have restrained our hedonism. We lose the ability to define virtue when we cease to define vice.

In a world without absolutes nothing is ugly but nothing is beautiful. Nothing dies but then, nothing lives. Nothing is evil but nothing is good. We can never be told our actions are selfish, wrong or unjust but likewise we can never be told we have shown integrity, sacrifice or love.

We lose both vice and virtue in our attempt to free ourselves from the fetters of moral absolutes.

No longer can a preacher approach a congregation and declare adultery, murder or abuse to be a moral transgression. However, the eulogist also loses the ability to point to the courageous service of a fallen soldier and call him a hero.

We lose more than the shackles of a Puritan worldview and the liberty to appraise acts and ideologies as evil, we lose the ability to recognize and name goodness. Life becomes, what William Lane Craig describes simply as, “absurd”.

The skeptics objection is often presented as the apparent inequity between faith in an Omni-potent, omni-benevolent, omniscient God and the evil and suffering that we so regularly encounter in our world.

What the skeptic fails to consider is that, in the Christian worldview, God’s omni-benevolence, meaning His good will towards mankind, extends beyond time into eternity. God’s great desire is relationship with mankind and, as such, is not preempted by, but often served by, temporary sufferings on the earth and in time.

Paul asserted that if you were to place all the sufferings this world brings on one side of a scale and, on the other side of the scale place all the glory of knowing God here and the promise of spending eternity with Him there, that the suffering was no comparison to the hope we possess.

He said, “I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (Rom. 8:18).

In short, if God, in His omniscience, chooses to allow temporary suffering to bring me an eternal reward then He is, above all, being good to me!

We understand this dynamic when we take our children for stitches, or when we admit a loved one for open heart surgery, yet somehow we miss it when God is the loving parent and we are the child.

Any denial of His existence, predicated upon the existence of evil or suffering, is the byproduct of human reasoning misunderstanding the claims of faith regarding God and man on the Earth. What we are saying is, if we were God, we would not allow sufferings to exist. Since suffering does exist we declare there must be no God or else a God who is either impotent, uncaring or both.

All because He is not acting in His office as God in the way we believe we would if we were God. Nonsense.

We assume, with all the faculties of a finite mind, that we understand the cosmic complexities inherent to the work of an infinite God. Pure intellectual arrogance.

Our understanding of evil is testimony to the reality of every man’s “measure of faith” in a Holy God. We must realign our worldview with that of the revelation of God in the scriptures.

The real wonder is not that there is evil in the world, or that there is pleasure in the world, but that the world maintains pleasures even amidst the presence of evil.

What we have felt all these centuries is the echo of truth in our souls. Evil is a deviation from God’s plan. Suffering was not the original design and goodness is indeed available to mankind. The way things are is not the way things ought to be. This we know all too well. The good news is there is an answer to the question.

How could a loving God suffer all the evil and pain that is so capriciously rampant in the world? He can’t. That’s why He was manifested and walked among us. It’s why He refused to pick up the sword and establish a natural kingdom. It’s why He refused to become intoxicated on the cross. He felt every pain, every torture, every pang of hunger and every whip of abuse. He took all the evil and suffering of the world on Himself at Calvary. He made a way, through His own suffering and death, to eliminate the effect of evil on the earth. He became the answer to the question of evil and the problem of pain.

That seems to be a great reason to believe.

The Problem of Pleasure

pews stained glassIf there is one absolute truth it is that life isn’t fair. I was raised on the South side of Chicago and though I cannot recall a specific moment when it occurred to me that the world was not fair it was something of which I was acutely aware.

My older brother and I were raised by a single mother. She worked hard to give us everything we needed but sometimes it was still not enough. My father left our young family months before I was born. My brother is six years older than me and we have different fathers. Neither of us knew our own father though, ironically, he knew mine.

In our extended family we can find drug abuse, addictions, suicide, bankruptcy, disease, sudden deaths, poverty, homelessness, imprisonment, as well as physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Members of my family tree were drunkards, liars, drug abusers, whoremongers, thieves, murders and adulterers. A large percentage of the marriages in our extended family have been visited by divorce.

While my family tree may shock some the reality is that such an inventory is no longer uncommon. The world is an ugly place. It is full of heartbreak, pain and suffering. Life is simply not fair. To be clear, most of us do not mind an imbal- ance in the grand scheme of things as long as that imbalance weighs in our favor. It is when inequities appear that do not favor us that we begin to cry foul.

When we get a large sweet tea at the drive- thru window, though we only paid for a small, we don’t refuse it because it would be unfair, even though it is. We welcome it! If we get more that what we paid for we smile and enjoy our good fortune, but if we get less than what we paid for we demand immediate rectitude, even though both circumstances are, by definition, unfair. We’re not upset when life isn’t fair, as long as it’s not fair in our favor. It’s when life is unfair and it effects us negatively that we object.

So let us dispel with the idea that it is a cosmic imbalance in justice which disturbs us. That’s not it. It is not inequity that we are troubled with but rather inequities that bring us pain and suffering. What makes the suffering of such pain and evil in our lives so troubling is, not so much the pain itself but rather the indiscriminate manner in which it visits us. There is a maddening capriciousness to the pain and suffering that exist in the world. It seems that pain visits the good with the same random abandon that fortune visits the wicked.

We examine all of this while looking through the lens of our families and friends and conclude that life simply is not fair. The fates are not judicious in the dispensing of pain. We judge, in our finite knowledge, that our family and friends are made up of “good people” and they do not deserve this evil treatment from the cosmos. It’s simply not fair.

The problem of evil in the world has plagued thinkers for centuries. They’ve pointed to it as evidence that God must not exist, or at least not in the way many have believed Him to exist. The Epicurean philosophy is that either there is no God or He must be powerless or careless to deal with the evil that plagues what we believe to be His creation. He assuredly cannot be a good God, both of love and of power, else what keeps Him from stopping all the pain and suffering that plague the world?

Philip Yancey describes the problem of pain as “the question mark turned like a fish hook in the human heart.” Life is not fair, but if He indeed exists, it is ultimately God who is not fair and not good.

Yet I cannot help but consider that amidst all the pain and suffering that really does exist in the world there is also much pleasure in life. How else could we know pain, and furthermore learn to despise suffering, if we did not know great joys and pleasures? Could we fully appreciate the sweetness of sugar if we had not tasted the bitterness of the tea?

While I can recall sleepless nights in my childhood of fear and hunger, when we had no home, food or money, I am also able to recall days of great joy, safety and fullness. How can the two exist along side one another?

How does the skeptic, shouting about pain in the human condition, make equity of the fact that humans alone enjoy the great joys and pleasures of this natural world? Some species grow by merely absorbing what is in their environment. Many protozoans, certain algae, bacteria and amoeba all grow by simply assimilating proteins from their environment. How do we account for the fact that humankind gains pleasure from nourishment? Food tastes good! Many species of animals survive on other, smaller animals, dead carcass meat, plant life and water yet we enjoy the likes of Cherry Garcia, Cinnabon’s, and, if you’re lucky enough, an Italian Beef sandwich from Portillo’s in Chicago!

Most of the great beasts on land enjoy a steady diet of hay and grasses yet we, unique in nature, have created great monuments to food and the pleasure we derive from it. We enjoy a rainbow of color and zest in our diets, able to create and enjoy a myriad of pleasant and appetizing flavors and sensations while we are nourishing ourselves.

Our ability to enjoy food has reached such proportions that we will often place the enjoyment of the taste even above it’s ability to nourish us. This can be evidenced quite simply by the popularity of the Hostess and Little Debbie line of products. Mankind takes such pleasure in what we eat that we have become imbalanced in it on a scale represented in no other species.

What purpose is there that humankind should enjoy what nourishes him when we see this reflected nowhere else in nature? The question here is not one of pain but of pleasure.

Some species reproduce by simply splitting into two. Some creatures even kill or are killed following copulation. Other species copulate in a mere function and the two mating partners never engage with one another again in any kind of meaningful or responsible relationship. In the least, when we see fidelity in the act of reproduction in the animal kingdom it is without the profound meaning that human reproduction carries.

Yet, a man and a woman share arguably the greatest physical delight in the human experience in the act of reproduction. So much so that rarely is sex viewed by most moderns as a reproductive act. It is considered foremost to be an act of pleasure between a man and a woman and most would agree it to be the greatest of creational gifts mankind enjoys.

Once again, we enjoy the goodness of this pleasure to such a degree that we have become imbalanced in regard to sex. We have almost entirely divorced its purpose from the act and have pursued sex for the simple end of sex itself.

C.S. Lewis asked the question, “suppose you come to a country where you could fill a theatre by simply bringing a covered plate on to the stage and then slowly lifting the cover so as to let every one see, just before the lights went out, that it contained a mutton chop or a bit of bacon, would you not think that in that country something had gone wrong with the appetite for food? And would not anyone who had grown up in a different world think there was something equally queer about the state of the sex instinct among us?”

How is it that we can, not only enjoy our reproductive act but, enjoy it to such a degree that we can actually become imbalanced in it?

Our other senses, beyond our appetite for food and sex, are equally as unique among the earth’s creatures in their ability to absorb pleasure from their function.

We can view the spectrum of the rainbow and the hues of the color wheel while canines live in a monochrome world. We can stand at the base of the Rocky Mountains in the western United States, drink the heights of the Sierra Nevada’s, or camp at the foot of the Alps in France, and appreciate their beauty and greatness. Yet snakes, birds and scorpions scurry in, over and around Arizona’s Grand Canyon every day without a hint of understanding as to it’s size, significance, and wonder on the planet they share with humans beings.

Allow me to understate the case by saying we enjoy sounds. We are daily inundated with music, singing and instruments. We have radios in our car, our home, our work place and enjoy it as an outlet in our recreation and entertainment. While there are certain species of birds and whales that seem to sing for pleasure there are certainly none that enjoy a song to the degree and extent that we humans have created and enjoy. While the dolphins may enjoy their sonar song they have nothing that compares to Handel’s “Messiah”.

We’ve been able to drink in breathtaking photographs and views from space as well as the depths of the seas. We’ve explored our world and begun to explore worlds beyond and yet amidst all this pleasure, goodness and wonder we still find ourselves shaking our fist at the heavens and demanding, “What doest thou?”

For all of our pain and sufferings, all the injustices and challenges, for all that’s ugly and unwelcome, for all the things in life that we would petition for God to change, we have so very much more to be thankful for.

Like Adam and Eve in the garden we’ve listened to the tempters offer to focus on the one thing we don’t have rather than see all themany pleasures we have been granted access to. We are quite literally missing the forest for the trees.

We’ve found it within us to ignore all the wonderful pleasures we enjoy every day and focus on the things that bring us the most discomfort, calling it proof that an omnipotent God could not and indeed does not exist.

Is not our logic failing us in this regard? If pain and evil, according to Epicurius and his adherents, point to a random, meaningless universe, void of a designer, or at best a handicapped deity, then to what does pleasure point? Where does all this goodness and pleasure in the human condition come from?

How is it that mankind stands alone on this great planet as the sole recipients of its pleasures and joys? Why does mankind deserve to experience the myriad of pleasure that plant and animal will never know? Furthermore, how is it that Earth stands alone in our Solar System, perfectly positioned and chemically balanced to be inhabited with life in such a robust manner?

Stuart Clark, writer for New Scientist magazine, asks the very same question when he says,

“We know that [Earth’s] distance from the sun provides the right amount of heat and light to make the planet habitable, but that alone is not enough. Without the unique mix of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulphur that makes up living things, and without liquid water on the planet’s surface, life as we know it could not have evolved. Chemically speaking, Earth is simply better set up for life than its neighbors. So how come we got all the good stuff?”

In his view, all the planets in our solar system “formed from the same cloud of gas and dust that surrounded the sun more than 4.5 billion years ago” yet Earth alone is perfectly suited for plant, animal and human life. Are we simply the winners of a cosmic, even galactic lottery, or are we living on a planet, positioned and crafted by a designer for the purpose of life?

If the skeptic believes pain is evidence to God’s non-existence then, following the same logic, doesn’t pleasure and great privilege indicate the existence of a loving and benevolent giver of life?

At the very least the pleasures we enjoy, the gravy of life, the sweet tea, maintain an existential balance of the bitter mixed with the sweet. There is pain and suffering in the world. There is also joy, gladness and great pleasures.

Life is not fair. Sometimes that works in our favor and other times it does not. Neither are reasons to reject God. They are the balanced result of the human condition in a fallen world.

The pleasures in life that we are free to enjoy are one of the many reasons I continue to believe.

Respecting The Paint

yellow stripes roadAccording to the United States Department of Transportation there are almost 247 million registered motor vehicles navigating over 5 million miles of roadway in America. That’s an average of 50 cars per mile.

I willfully try not to think about these numbers, nor the caliber or condition of individuals operating these motor vehicles, while I am on the road. The next time you take a trip across town try not to think about the hundreds of careless, teenaged, distracted, medicated and inebriated drivers piloting tons of high speeding steel all around you and in oncoming lanes!

Considering all this most American drivers wouldn’t dare venture into this potential tumult of vehicular chaos. Amazingly however, we do, every day, and with great confidence.

We’ve come to know, through experience, that driving a car is not as dangerous as it sounds or potentially could be.

The U.S. Department of Transportation confirms that finding by reporting a mere 1.75 million vehicle collisions each year. Though the number itself is large it amounts to less than 1% of all vehicles on the road and fails to fulfill the previously discussed potential for mayhem.

The truly amazing thing, is that all this is made possible by paint. On very few roads in America and on most highways there are little to no barriers preventing vehicles from colliding into each other much less keeping them from erratic and reckless behavior. The only thing maintaining order and preventing chaos on the interstates, highways and Main Streets of The United States are six inch stripes of yellow and white paint.

The rules of the road are among the few remaining absolutes western civilization still respects. We’ve been taught from the beginning of our driving careers to respect the rules of the road and, if all drivers would do so, it will guarantee safety as we travel. Previously cited Department of Transportation statistics demonstrate that the majority of American drivers respect the paint.

Recently the state highway passing through our town was repaved with expected government speed and efficiency. There were a few days, as they were completing the project, when there were no stripes on the fresh asphalt. Yet there were no accidents or collisions during those few days. It wasn’t that the road was less driven or easier to navigate. It was actually more difficult to drive that highway because it was reduced to one lane in many places. In the absence of stripes however, drivers knew where the lines should be and piloted their vehicles accordingly.

There was a time in western thought that the lines and stripes of God’s law and order were the prevalent worldview. Even in their absence we could act accordingly. No longer is this true. We’ve lost the ability to navigate life with even a remembrance of where the lines were and what they meant. We no longer respect God or His order as worthy of our consideration.

We’re expected to take for granted that reason and logic have stepped into the discussion and proven God to be an unreliable theory. The prevailing notion today is that science has laid to rest the naive simplicity of faith in God.
As a result of our cultures rejection of God we’ve become thoroughly secular. We allow no room for the sacred in our culture or families and we reject moral absolutes choosing rather to embrace moral relativism. The only time we allow for moral absolutes is when we perceive an injustice against ourselves and only then will we claim there to be anything morally definite.

We accept the notion that there is no objective moral standard nor a moral lawgiver that any man is required to live by until an athlete or an actor violates his contract, uses narcotics or is caught in a lie and then we are incredulous! There is no such thing as a moral compass until a state governor commits adultery, misappropriates funds, or lies under oath and then we find ourselves asserting once again that there indeed is a moral order to life that we must follow.

We have lived as if there were no stripes on the road and then, when chaos follows, we scratch our heads and wonder aloud, “what’s wrong with the world?”. We are paying a high price for rejecting God.

I believe the analogy of a striped road is a good example of the inequity that exists in popular thought towards God. Our practice betrays our logic.

Why do we obey the rules of the road? Because a book told us we should? What does that book know about where I’m going and how I’m going to get there? It was written by men who are nothing like me and printed years ago by people that don’t understand how I drive and where I need to go.

Times have changed! We have GPS now, backup cameras and parking assist controls. We don’t need to be burdened with our grandfathers’ outdated ideas of how to pilot a vehicle. That may have been what they needed to safely drive their old Studebakers and trucks but we don’t live in that world anymore.

Furthermore, how do I know I can trust the men who striped the roads themselves? Are they not men, capable of mistakes and failures? I don’t think I want to submit myself to some random officials anachronistic idea of how and where I should drive. I’ll drive where ever and how ever I want to drive.

While any clear thinking individual would find these lines of thinking laughable, not to mention reckless, we employ the same faulty logic and vacant objections towards faith in God.

When a drunk driver speeds all over town, running red lights and stop signs and eventually slams into a school bus killing several children we are shocked and horrified. Yet when we ignore the principles God has established to maintain blessing and health in our life we see no connection between our behavior and its result.

Marriage is not held sacred, life is treated cheaply, we abuse our bodies with drugs and alcohol, we maintain carnal and selfish lifestyles, subsidize poverty, avoiding God, His Word and His order and then shake our fist at God when things go wrong and blame Him for all the evil in the world. We’ve ignored the stripes He painted and then claim the disaster that’s come from our reckless behavior proves God can’t be real, good or both.

In short, we’ve asked God to let us do whatever we want and then we blame Him for the consequences or worse, claim the results prove His vacancy. We deny the viability of faith in God based, not upon experience or reason but rather, upon the choices and actions of men.

Those who have faith in God and in His Word have been plagued for centuries by questions meant to erode their faith through reason and logic. Some call themselves atheists, some agnostic others simply adopt the benign term “skeptic”.

Whatever they may be called, their questions have been around as long as faith has been professed. A faith in God and the Holy Bible as His Word does not allow room for indifference or neutrality. The demands and claims of the Bible concerning God and His laws require action and response. It is my belief that most people who deny God do so, not because of some logical or rational exercise, but rather because they are simply not willing not respond to the call of scripture.

Reason does not stand in the way of faith. In fact, now more than ever before, philosophy and the sciences point with increasing uniformity to a world that is complex, orderly and bears the fingerprint of a designer. From the anthropic principle to the fine tuning of the cosmological constants such as gravity, our world resonates with the echoes of a designer. It’s as if every blade of grass and drop of water is preaching, “There is a God!”

It was the Apostle Paul who said, “the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things which are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20). He went on to say that once they knew God yet did not honor Him their hearts were darkened and “professing themselves to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:22).

Our society mocks faith in Christ and the Holy Bible as God’s divinely inspired Word as illegitimate and unfounded while at the same time expressing blind faith in the world that surrounds us every day.

I learned many interesting things in the two and a half years I worked as a pharmacy technician. One of the most commercially successful pain relievers on the market is acetaminophen, often branded as Tylenol. It was approved for use in 1951 but remarkably, after over 60 years of use the “mechanism of action remains unknown”. We know that acetaminophen works, we simply do not know how. Yet our ignorance of exactly how this drug works has not hindered us from taking it or giving it to our children. We’ve found it works when we use it so we trust our experience more than the argument.

We trust a chemical into our bodies that the people who produce it and regulate it admit they do not know exactly how it works. Yet when asked to trust centuries of experience and reliability in the laws of God we become incredulous.

Our logic is failing and we know it. We have reasoned our way out of God’s order and consequently the benefits it brings.

I believe we have reached a time in history when this is becoming increasingly clear. The way we’ve been living isn’t working. We’re ready for a change. The question is, do we have good reason to believe?

Why is it okay to engage in every imaginable alternative lifestyle and count all belief systems and ideologies valid and acceptable except Christianity? Why is Christianity singled out as the only insufferable faith?

If pain is such a problem in human existence how is there so much goodness in the world? How can we even understand evil without the existence of God?

Why do so many people have a problem with Christianity in specific? How does the atheist account for Christianity’s survival through the centuries?

What about the believer’s personal testimony? Are all people of faith guilty of perjury by default or is there any merit to their testimony? Have we reached a point, intellectually and spiritually, where we must rethink everything we know?

We’ve driven on unstriped roads for too long. I believe these questions, among others, are worthy of our consideration. I believe if we ask enough questions we will eventually find that we do indeed have reason to believe.