Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Intelligent life

NPR once asked William F. Buckley to comment about the existence of God. His response was a bit intellectual, but basically he had this to say:

This I believe: that it is intellectually easier to credit a divine intelligence than to submit dumbly to felicitous congeries about nature. As a child, I was struck by the short story. It told of a man at a bar who boasted of his rootlessness, derisively dismissing the jingoistic patrons to his left and to his right. But later in the evening, one man speaks an animadversion on a little principality in the Balkans and is met with the clenched fist of the man without a country, who would not endure this insult to the place where he was born.

So I believe that it is as likely that there should be a man without a country, as a world without a creator.

Not exactly a ringing testimony but nevertheless there's the take from an intellectual, and a good man.

A great many people think that the 'intellectual' route is to not believe in something as 'unlikely' as God. But people like the William F. Buckleys and the Neal A. Maxwells of the world showed that, even though the best way to know God is spiritually, it is clearly intellectually feasible as well.

Said Maxwell:
C. S. Lewis pointed out that some people are angry with God for His not existing, and others for His existing but for failing to do as mortals would have Him do. Instead of such childishness, we are urged to know God and to learn of His attributes.

All of this is not to say that discovering God intellectually is the best way or the preferred way-it isn't. But I know of a great many people who, if they're going to arrive at a belief in God at all, will only open the door from an intellectual angle. That's probably where I was about back in high school or college for a time. I certainly firmly believed in God, but I had a know-it-all desire to have it all make intellectual sense.

The funny thing is that the force of will required to blot out evidence of God all around us is almost overwhelming. It's sheer idiocy to think this all happened by accident. I see the Lord in everything, everywhere, every day, every minute of the day.

My brother gave my wife a bowl of flower bulbs for Christmas, and they bloomed this week. I stared at the blooms for a while and was very much taken in by how they could have only been created by an intelligent being. So deliberate-totally crazy. And that's just flowers-don't get me started about mountains or outer space or dogs or minerals or the ocean or, well, every person on the planet.

This is just the first in a series of posts I'll have about the intellectual angle to the gospel. Stay tuned for post #2.


Hillary said...

Carl Weathers, you done it again.

I missed having another unicorn post, but this will get me by for the time being.

Heidi said...

Very heartening. Thank you.

Shannon said...

I'm looking forward to more, with or without unicorns.

Hillary said...

Just a little reminder - you never posted your review of The Jazz Singer from your weekend of musicals. I think we need a cartoon and in-depth look at Sir Laurence Olivier's finest hour as Cantor and father to Yussel Rabinovich, aka Jess Robin, aka Neil Diamond.

This is one of the better purchases I've made with my income.

"His story will make you cry. His music will make you sing. His triumph will make you cheer."