Big Questions of Life: Has God Spoken?

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Ironically those who preach against there being a God, claiming that a real God wouldn't be so indifferent to our suffering, risk reinforcing not his non-existence, but His uncaring existence. And if God is uncaring, people reason, why should we be any different.

Read Part 1 first

In part 1, I shared thoughts on logic and faith in God.

The question there was asked, are we just here with no possibility of knowing why?

If the Creator has communicated with the created, how would we know?

Typically, those who've inferred a creator's existence admit lacking any inherent or definitive knowledge of him. Beyond gut-feelings and guesses, most don't consider themselves oracles of the divine. Instead we readily acknowledge the need to look outside ourselves for such revelation.

Our innate awareness of God spurs us to seek Him, but beyond that impetus it contributes nothing to the mystery of God's will and purposes.

For many, their confusion at this dilemma has led to scepticism. Afterall, If one accepts there is a God and sets out to seek him, why such conundrum? If God has a message to share, why not make it more obvious? Why allow us to become so confused with options; ideologies, philosophies, religions etc.?

However, once again, as with 'bad things not denoting the absence of a good creator', so too challenges to perceiving him do not denote His unwillingness to be perceived. In fact the challenges in seeking God may be due to reasons far removed from God's unwillingness. For example:

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  • Maybe there is something that cautions God from revealing Himself unequivocally.
  • Could it be that there is divine purpose in the challenge of seeking God that we too often fail to appreciate.
  • Perhaps faults inherent in ourselves prevent us from comprehending God more emphatically.
  • Or perhaps other entities exist opposed to God's will, dedicated to obstructing its discovery & distorting its relevance.

Like all things of great worth, God's message is vulnerable to human corruption.
Like all things of great worth, God's message is vulnerable to human corruption. | Source

Trust

Logically, if God wants His will to be known, he can be trusted to make knowing it possible.

It is illogical to claim that a God exists who both wants his will known but prevents everyone knowing it.

Further, if it is beyond our own power to apprehend what He wants us to know, he must be trusted to achieve what we would find impossible to achieve alone.

To Seek is to...

We are left with but one option:

To Seek God's will.

Though motives have varied and the means ranged from tragic to comical, it has been the soul-quest of billions since the beginning of time.

And vast tomes have accumulated on the subject; suggesting enlightenment via almost every means imaginable.

So where does one start?

Therefore the quest for divine revelation, begins when we trust God to help us find it.

Trusting God Equates to Having Faith

So we entrust our efforts to the blessing of Him who wants to be found. However, trusting that God can lead us to His message doesn't necessarily negate that we still have to seek it out.

We already know it's not that easy.

Much like a treasure hunt, God can be trusted to lead us to the next clue, but it's our feet that will have to carry us there, our determination to move them.

It is the very fact we trust God to lead us, that enables us to put the effort into pursuing. Doing so demonstrates the seriousness of our desire and heightens our eagerness to satisfy it. Like those seeking water that runs beneath a desert, the honesty of our thirst is both shown and honed by the digging for it. Ultimately, when finally found, its sweetness will be all the purer for the seeking.

© 2015 Richard Parr

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7 comments

moonfroth profile image

moonfroth 22 months ago from Rural BC (Canada) & N of Puerto Vallarta (Mexico)

Parrster -- You remain my most respected thinking online Christian. And I place the qualifiers only because I assume in the vast world of NON-online thinking Christians, there just might be one who is your equal. But I doubt anyone would surpass your honesty.

The argument you present in this post reminds me of 'playing' with the concept of the Null set, in math and physics and life. Let's take an example from life, because we all know something about THAT! How about "Female Presidents of the United States"--an excellent Null Set. Obviously, a null set is a class or category that has never been filled but COULD be filled at any time. We come to that conclusion through a rational process, based on our understanding of the components that comprise the null set. We have SEPARATE knowledge of the state of being 'female', we know what a 'President" is (and we know that's what the head of state of the US is called), and we know that never in US history has a female held that seat. THEREFORE (inescapable word/concept in logical analysis), when we put the components together, this legitimate process results in a verifiable Null Set.

You seem to be using this kind of process to arrive at your conclusion, which is--

"It is the very fact we trust God to lead us, that enables us to put the effort into pursuing. Doing so demonstrates the seriousness of our desire and heightens our eagerness to satisfy it. Like those seeking water that runs beneath a desert, the honesty of our thirst is both shown and honed by the digging for it. Ultimately, when finally found, its sweetness will be all the purer for the seeking."

I think it fair to say that your conclusion could be re-phrased thus:

"God--whom no one has ever seen--will guide us--though we have no real evidence this 'leading' is taking place--to find Him--whom no one has ever seen--and finding Him will be the sweeter because we have worked so hard and so earnestly in the quest--which is really led by Him to find Himself"

Apply such a process to ANY other activity, and we would pronounce this willingness to accept the unknown, led by an Unknown to discover himself........ as ludicrous, idiotic, insane, or perhaps just plain silly. We might protect such a 'questor' from sharp instruments, even place him in an appropriate facility for his own safety.

So the quest for God can't even make it into a Null Set.

The bottom line of every argument for the existence of God comes down to two assertions and two only (as far as I know}:

1] God works in mysterious ways, his wonders to unfold (I don't think I've got that quite right)

2] All doubt evaporates, as long as you have FAITH

St. Augustine agonized over his doubt, and wrestled with questions such as those above, throughout his magnificent tome, "The City of God" (about 1100 pages, most editions), and still failed to prove anything. Faith is all. Thomas Aquinas, same process, same failure. Faith is all. John Donne, same process, same failure. Faith is all. John Milton announces in the encomium to "Paradise Lost" that his poem will join that "great argument" and that it will "justify the ways of God to man." The poem then soars for 12,000 lines and fails to justify the ways of God to man. Faith is all. I am not for an instant knocking these magnificent thinkers, nor am I disparaging the quest for God and the presumed eternal life that faith will bring. I mean, what a marvelous idea! What I AM throwing out to you Parrster, with the deepest respect, is a simple question, given that ALL Christian arguments for the existence of God are built on a foundation of Faith--which is both the opening condition and the closing assertion--......................................why bother?


parrster profile image

parrster 22 months ago from Oz Author

@ moonfroth ~ I always appreciate your responses, and no less this one.

I think the 'agony of doubt' can be found both in believers and unbelievers, each seeking for a certainty of conviction as to their chosen beliefs.

I have come to understand that such conviction can only come as one proves the truth of ones convictions by living according to them.

As a Christian, my faith grows in its certainty as I trust (in obedience) what God has said. As E.P.Dickie wrote, 'God's revelation is a unity: every obedience brings clearer insight into His will.'

In other words: To know if there is a God, live as if there were. To know if there isn't, live as if their isn't.

To seek certainty concerning ones convictions, while failing to live according to those convictions, is to remain shackled to doubt concerning them (both for believers and unbelievers). I know many who claim faith in Christ, but by their lifestyles and choices deny such. Likewise I know those who claim atheism, but do not reflect such in their lifestyles and choices.

As to your last question: Why bother?

Well, ultimately, God cannot exist and not exist, Jesus was who he said he was, or he wasn't. We'll never be certain by simply trying to reason it out in our heads, we have to exercise some trust and put His words to the test by obeying them. God speaks to reason to say that which is above reason; and reason must be ready to be called upward.

God is true to His word, if you choose to trust Him. Unless you know someone better to trust?


moonfroth profile image

moonfroth 22 months ago from Rural BC (Canada) & N of Puerto Vallarta (Mexico)

Oh you cunning devil, you, re: your closing comment--"unless you know someone better to trust?"--it's after midnight here, and I must to bed. But, like Gen. Macarthur, "I SHALL RETURN!"


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 5 months ago from Shelton

You know, I have no religion, but I do believe in God, and I love religion Philosophy, but this hub gave me pause.. kind of made me think differently.. What I am saying is it did what you set out to do.. awesome :)


parrster profile image

parrster 5 months ago from Oz Author

@~Frank. Hope the "pause" this article gave you will spur you on to seeking God more intimately. Appreciate you stopping by, and appreciate your story telling skills.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 weeks ago from The Caribbean

Good message that if we are serous about finding God (seeking with all our heart), He will reveal Himself. I agree that connecting with Him is satisfying.


moonfroth 2 weeks ago

Frank -- the principles, well, most of the principles of Christianity, are noble, honourable, decent, and enlightened. They embody a good way for an individual to live a life, and a good way for societies to work together in harmony and dignity. The 10 Commandments enshrine all of that, and that is the way I live my life. But I am an atheist, so I draw the line at those Commandments that pertain to God directly. That's another story. My quarrel is not with the principles of Christianity but with the CHURCHES--all the Churches--that purport to have an inside track from your sin-laden husk to sitting at the feet of God in Heaven. In human history it is not the Christian religion but the bombast and righteous proselytizing of the Churches that have led to the deaths of tens of millions of people whose primary 'sin' was failure to obey the dictates of a specific set of dogma. So when you say you love 'religion' and 'philosophy' I assume it is the exploration of these larger principles that interest you, not the dogma of the Churches. Parrster is such an intelligent and interesting man to debate because he never entrenches in the narrow beliefs of a specific Church; rather he focuses on the larger issues, always.

Parrster, if I may quote King Lear: "the wheel is come full circle. I am here." I was reminded of that by MsDora's comment--"if we are serious about finding God . . .he will reveal Himself". With all respect, is not that reasoning somewhat circuitous.? I mean, the "finding" whether characterized as emotional, perceptual, or intellectual, it is internal--OF the person--unless we're talking about revelations or dreams, like the Vision of Ste. Theresa, Again, it's a matter of \Faith.

Primarily, in this post, I just wanted to go on a bit about the distinction between religion and the Churches.

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