Choose Your Strangeness

christ-9f-copy-2It’s true: The Christmas story is humanly strange. A young Palestinian virgin miraculously conceives a boy-child whose Father is God, the Creator of the universe. This boy-child is born in ironic ignominy, yet heralded by a miracle star and angelic hosts, greeted by shepherds and Persian astrologers, and hunted by a homicidally paranoid king.

The strangeness continues through Jesus’s sinless life, miraculous public ministry, his betrayal and horrible crucifixion, and then his resurrection from the dead. This is followed by his ascension after he affirms his promise to return and commissions his small band of followers to preach his gospel throughout the world. His followers carry out this commission and launch the most influential and multi-ethnic religious faith the world has ever seen.

Christianity forms a coherent belief system, but it admittedly sounds foolish to non-believers (1 Corinthians 1:23–25). And atheists are like, seriously?

Atheists Believe Strange Things Too

But to be fair, atheists also embrace wildly far-fetched, strange beliefs of their own.

To be an atheist is almost certainly to be a materialist (i.e. only matter and laws that govern matter exist). And materialists also believe in a miraculous conception and birth — of the universe. They eschew the term “miraculous,” since miracles “don’t happen.” But call it what you wish, they believe at some point in the ancient past the universe (or universes) was born without a parent(s). This wasn’t merely a virgin birth — the universe gave birth to itself, completely unintentionally.

earth-4-copyPerhaps the universe was born from nothing, which is quite a thing to believe. In the beginning, Nothing created the heavens and the earth. However many billions of years you tack on to it, the impossibility of existence coming from non-existence does not become more possible. Such a doctrine makes the incarnation tame in comparison.

Atheists often point to the existence of evil as a conundrum for Christians. But the existence of existence is a bigger conundrum for atheists. The origin of evil presents God-sized questions. But still, nothing producing something is far more improbable than something going bad.

Atheists might cry foul. There could have been something that existed that caused the universal Genesis which they just don’t know about yet. Okay, so some non-intelligent, non-living thing eternally existed and somehow unintentionally exploded into everything that exists resulting in our contemplating this right now. That too is quite a thing to believe. If that doesn’t sound at least as improbable as God existing and undertaking the plan of human redemption that we call Christianity, we really haven’t thought it through.

–Jon Bloom,
Christianity and Atheism: Choose Your Strangeness

Does evil exist?

Professor class 2The university professor challenged his students with this question. Did God create everything that exists? A student bravely replied, “Yes, he did!”

“God created everything? The professor asked.

“Yes sir”, the student replied.

The professor answered, “If God created everything, then God created evil since evil exists, and according to the principal that our works define who we are then God is evil”. The student became quiet before such an answer. The professor was quite pleased with himself and boasted to the students that he had proven once more that the Christian faith was a myth.

Another student raised his hand and said, “Can I ask you a question professor?”

“Of course”, replied the professor.

The student stood up and asked, “Professor, does cold exist?”

“What kind of question is this? Of course it exists. Have you never been cold?”

The students snickered at the young man’s question.

The young man replied, “In fact sir, cold does not exist. According to the laws of physics, what we consider cold is in reality the absence of heat. Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy. Absolute zero (-460 degrees F) is the total absence of heat; all matter becomes inert and incapable of reaction at that temperature. Cold does not exist. We have created this word to describe how we feel if we have no heat.”

The student continued, “Professor, does darkness exist?”

The professor responded, “Of course it does.”

The student replied, “Once again you are wrong sir, darkness does not exist either. Darkness is in reality the absence of light. Light we can study, but not darkness. In fact we can use Newton’s prism to break white light into many colors and study the various wavelengths of each color. You cannot measure darkness. A simple ray of light can break into a world of darkness and illuminate it. How can you know how dark a certain space is? You measure the amount of light present. Isn’t this correct? Darkness is a term used by man to describe what happens when there is no light present.”

Finally the young man asked the professor, “Sir, does evil exist?”

Now uncertain, the professor responded, “Of course as I have already said. We see it every day. It is in the daily example of man’s inhumanity to man. It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are nothing else but evil.”

To this the student replied, “Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is not like faith, or love that exist just as does light and heat. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God’s love present in his heart. It’s like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light.”

The professor sat down.

–Source unknown
(The student mentioned has sometimes been identified as Albert Einstein. This cannot be confirmed.)