Forest or tree? E-mail
Opinion
Thursday, 09 May 2013 09:23

By L&T Columnist Gary Damron

A relative of ours was having troubles with his ankle, and blamed it on faulty design. Not pretending to know much about anatomy or engineering, I didn’t argue with him. But it could have been said that someone his age shouldn’t have been jumping over a fence as he’d done when injuring the ankle. 
Modern science, as well as history and other disciplines, discounts creationism and intelligent design and seeks to explain the origins of humans and our world as happenstance events. 
Creationists criticize intelligent design folks because, though they address the improbability of chance, they fail to ascribe the name God to the designer. At the same time, atheists and evolutionists alike have problems with asserting that the order of the universe indicates that something gave it order. 
I spent a week ruminating about speakers at a recent conference who belittled the intelligence and faith of anyone who disagreed with their premise of evolution. My wife is a nurse, and she said in studying obstetrics and fetal development it was amazing – actually, miraculous – that we’d had five healthy babies, blissfully unaware of all that might have gone wrong during the pregnancies. 
I’m not a scientist, or much of a theologian, but I am a strong believer in a Creator who designed, spoke the word of creation, and every second undergirds our universe with his power.  Purpose and design seem so much more plausible than mere chance. 
Some believers have anthropomorphized the creator, fitting him into a manageable form or maybe even seeing the man Jesus as limiting to the power of an Almighty God. While it is wonderful to feel close to a savior, if we look at him too closely, what we’re got could be just a tree to hold on to in an entire forest of strength and power. 
On the other end of the spectrum, a local ethics class has been discussing philosopher Benedict de Spinoza, a 17th century Jewish man born in Amsterdam. An old Quaker teaching is that, “there is that of God in everyone,” with the Light and the Voice of God residing in humans. Some discount both Spinoza and Quakers for straying into pantheism, as they explain the intertwining of God and Nature. 
However, as I recently studied the Catholic catechism on creation, a solid, detailed, theological explanation of the essence of God in creation was evident. 
In Scriptures Jesus is referred to as “upholding all things by the word of His power” (Hebrews 1:3) and that, “by Him all things were created … He is before all things, and in Him all things consist” (Colossians 1:16-17). 
After struggling with being talked down to as an ignorant Christian, I found encouragement and empowerment in God who spoke the world into being, is upholding and sustaining it each moment, and furthermore who has a plan for bringing all things to fruition. 
He not only “does” miracles, but He is miraculous. All of life is a miracle created by one who continues to enfold us as a baby in a womb, wrapped in his love and creative sustenance and bringing us to a new life.  

 

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