I just watched another one of those “Biblical mysteries explained” documentaries where they explained how the cities of Sodom and Gommorah were actually destroyed as the result of an asteroid hitting Europe and the subsequent fallout.
The science was interesting, and the show seemed to take an almost apologetic approach toward the faithful as if to say, “hey, no hard feelings. Go on believing in your stories if they make you feel good, but we’ve just uncovered the truth behind your myth.”
I’m always frustrated at the incredibly simplistic view people take of the “could there really be a God in light of all that science has taught us?” As if a) human beings have a monopoly on all the there is to know and b) just knowing how something happened somehow explains everything.
First, let me say that you won’t get a typical creationist type of argument from me. You know, the kind that gets Christians ridiculed for checking their brains at the door. Nor will you find me trying to counter what science has uncovered, as though facts could somehow be ignored.
No, I believe that phenomena can be explained given enough investigation, and that there is no such thing as magic. Which is why I don’t have a problem with evolution, dinosaurs or the big bang. Because they’re all based on investigative fact.
What I do have a problem with is the seeming checking the brains at the door of athiests who can’t see beyond causation to consider the possibility of intent. I mean there is obviously a natural order of things. We can observe it in the world around us, and read about its nuts and bolts in textbook after textbook. But we seem to forget that as humans, we also harness, play with, modify, adjust, manipulate and use that natural order for all sorts of things on a regular basis.
For example, we are able to manipulate materials to form a wing which creates lift in order to adjust the natural order of things and make humans fly. 747s aren’t any more natural than an irrigation system. We play a part in their inception because of our intent to accomplish something.
This is my point if view. That there is a God, who intends to do certain things and uses the natural universe and all of its properties to fulfill that intention. In other words, if God wanted to destroy Soddom, he’d very likely cause a meteor to strike the earth, or a volcano to explode, etc… “Ah,” you say, “those are all just natural phenomena that occur on their own.” And you’re right. Except for one thing, timing.
Moses’ plagues on Egypt have been explained as being the result of either an algae bloom in the Nile or volcanic activity that set off a chain reaction resulting in the plagues. Except that, wouldn’t it have sucked if it had happened a month after Moses tried freeing the Israelites? Similarly, most if not all of God’s interventions in the Bible are foretold by someone either issuing a warning, like the angels disguised as men who visited Lot and told him to take his family out of Soddom or Moses warning of the plagues that would come. I mean really, so they’ve shown that is wasn’t the Red sea, that it was the much shallower Reed sea, which would make it possible for a wind to push its waters aside. Sure, that’s cool. I just find it an an incredible stroke of timing on Moses’ part to know exactly when that extremely rare phenomenon would occur, and to make sure to be pursued by an army of Egyptians at that very moment in order to take advantage of it and make it look like God did it.
The list goes on and on of things being foretold before they happened, or things happening at just the right time. The same happens today. I’ve personally had things happen at just the right time for me to question if they were really coincidence. Of course it isn’t to say that God intervenes on a regular basis. How often, when and why are his prerogative.
I just call it like I see it.
Read more from the archive.