Big God Questions - Part 2
So where are answers to Big God Questions found? Who even has the credentials to answer such questions? Science has worked from its many varied angles to answer the How? questions about life but has a totally “hands off” attitude about the Why? questions. Actually, one of the problems is that the answers science comes up with for the How? questions frequently clash with the philosophical answers we’ve derived for the Why? questions!
In an interesting paperback entitled Life Without Limits, the author, Clifford Goldstein gives this viewpoint.
Though science has, in many ways, improved our lot, we’re now in a century in which science far from offering us the hope of a better future—can make that future look pretty scary. … Science is probably as much of, or even more of, a threat to our existence than a means to make it better.
… For all the hope it supposedly offered, science has been unable to answer the hardest and most fundamental questions about life. What is our purpose here? What reasons do we have for living? What is the meaning of life? of death? How can we find happiness? How should we act? What is moral or immoral? What does the future hold? Science might be able to help keep the dying alive a bit longer, but it offers no answers on why we shouldn't pull the plug.
Yet answers are out there, answers to questions about the purpose and meaning of our existence, about how we should live, about death, about suffering, and about the future. Answers full of hope that take us beyond what we can see or ever figure out on our own through test tubes, field experiments, and computer-generated mathematical equations.
And not only are answers out there. You can have good reasons for believing them too.
Although the philosophers may be expending the most brain energy on deriving answers to the Why? questions of life, religion proudly claims to have the only true answers. Religion in today’s world is a very broad spectrum of human spiritual beliefs and therefore can tend to produce more confusion than focus into the search for answers.
Note this Sunday morning scenario from Chris Blake's book, Searching for a God to Love:
For some reason, I felt like getting up. This isn't my typical early Sunday feeling, but that morning, instead of bringing in the plump newspaper for a browse, I entered our dark family room, located the remote, and turned on the television.
During the first seven seconds, only sound emerged. A man was speaking—shouting, actually. His voice rose and fell as the screen's thousands of red, blue, and yellow pixels summoned the image of a televangelist.
Never before had I actually watched this show. The speaker paced the platform like a caged cat in a sleek blue suit, stalking and prancing, rumbling and wooing. With emotion he told how "government and the media" collaborate in one evil conspiracy. He equated God's interests with America's interests, knew precisely God's plans and desires—the most intricate, God-smudged blueprints, the throbbing heart of life's great pulse—and claimed that everything happens "according to God's will." He carried God in his pocket.
At first I was merely amazed by the vastness of his narrowness. Slowly, though, my anger began to bubble. The sermon crawled with glittering generalities and yawning inaccuracies, quotations ripped from their context, opposing views clustered and characterized in the vilest light. Was his cause so good that he could behave so badly?
Following a crescendo summary, the preacher delivered an eyes-scrunched prayer that seemed directed toward the viewing audience. A moment after the "Amen," numbers galloped across the screen: "Call 1-800 ..." Send money to "this address" to receive "a free gift." Visa, Discover, and MasterCard logos appeared. An announcer with a voice like dark syrup supplied details.
The speaker returned to personally urge viewers to "give abundantly and be blessed abundantly." In conclusion, he looked out and with polished sincerity appealed that "the Lord would come right now into your heart.
At this point, a surprising conviction hit me. Even if you're right about what you're saying, even if everything you say is true, I thought, I don't want it. I flicked off the set. The screen flashed and spit black.
It’s true. We have traditionally put the job of answering life’s big questions “out to bid” with the science, philosophy and religion experts but usually receiving uncomfortable, unacceptable, unbelievable and unlivable answers in return.
And so we come to the underlying premise of the Is God? God Is! web site. There are singularly, correct answers to life’s big questions that are personally knowable by each one of us. As Goldstein puts it, “… not only are answers out there. You can have good reasons for believing them too.” But this requires focusing first on answering the Big God Questions.
We would like to help. Are you ready? We would urge you to start with “Does God Exist?”