Sunday, January 22, 2006

The Window to Truth

John 1:1-5 (New Living Translation)

“In the beginning the Word already existed. He was with God, and he was God. He was in the beginning with God. He created everything there is. Nothing exists that he didn't make. Life itself was in him, and this life gives light to everyone. The light shines through the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.”


I found myself still thinking about the Luigi Cascioli case this morning. I’m part amused, part sad when I think about it. I suppose it’s best to let it go. I’m not sure how things work in Italy, but here in the United States a man has the constitutional right to be a fool.

I also spent some time reading the first chapter of John’s gospel. It’s a section of Holy Writ that’s always fascinated me. I was struck, as I always am, with the portion of the chapter that describes the Word becoming flesh:

“So the Word became human and lived here on earth among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness.[a] And we have seen his glory, the glory of the only Son of the Father.”

What an incredible statement. Jesus was everything that God could ever say about Himself. There is no theological statement comparable to it. It was as if God was saying to the world, “Do you want to know what I’m like? Then, look at this man and you’ll see.”

Some who profess themselves wise stumble over it. It’s not abstract enough for them. They prefer the weightier matters of scholarship over the direct manner God communicated to the world in Jesus. But God, being wiser than the wisest of us, spoke to us through His Son. It was His way of making the abstract concrete.

As I said, there are some who consider themselves wise who stumble over the notion of God revealing Himself to the world in human flesh. They’d rather talk about the “nature and shape of illusion.” The reason they rarely connect with those outside their philosophical circles is that most of us don’t want to live our lives on the foundation of illusion. Jesus was a real man. He gave us more than Fidel Castro’s beard or Casper Weinberger’s jut jaw. He was the real thing.

I’ve heard it put this way. If one were to take a biologist and a child and ask each to describe a tree you would get two different approaches. The biologist would in all likelihood describe photosynthesis, root systems, and so forth. The child would take you to a window, point, and declare, “Do you see that? That’s a tree.” I think that’s what God did in Jesus. He took humanity to the window and said, “Do you want to know what I’m like?” Then, look out the window with Me and you’ll see.”

I believe. I’ve been to the window. I’ve seen that Jesus was, and is, the Word made flesh. I’ve seen what those who lived with Him saw. Jesus is God!

Luigi Cascioli and the skeptics need something abstract. That’s tragic. God has given them Jesus, a real man.

They question the authority and accuracy of what God has said. What more authority do they need? They believe many things on the authority of what someone else has told them. Why not the Gospel?

C.S. Lewis was once a skeptic who found his way to belief. He was taken to the window and saw for himself. I’ll close with his words now. Perhaps they’ll find a place in the heart of a skeptic or two reading this post:

“I have explained why I have to believe that Jesus was (and is) God. And it seems plain as a matter of history that He taught His followers that the new life was communicated in this way. In other words, I believe it on His authority. Do not be scared of the word authority. Believing things on authority only means believing them because you have been told them by someone you think trustworthy. Ninety-nine percent of the things you believe are believed on authority. I believe there is such a place as New York. I have not seen it myself. I could not prove it by abstract reasoning that there must be such a place. I believe it because reliable people have told me so…Every historical statement in the world is believed on authority. None of us has seen the Norman Conquest or the defeat of the Armada. None of us could prove them by pure logic as you prove a thing in mathematics. We believe them simply because people who did see them left writings that tell us about them: in fact, on authority. A man who jibbed at authority in other things as some people do in religion would have to be content to know nothing all his life.”

6 comments:

James Fletcher Baxter said...

Living in this great wide universe verifies the extent of my ignorance. Every decision humans make is based disproportionately on ignorance - not knowledge. A reasonable faith is not difficult.

Is it any wonder we "cannot please God without Faith?" He makes it plain He is not anti-knowledge; merely proportional in Reality.

To trust our human knowledge as ultimate truth is not the mark of an educated person. It is the sure & certain evidence of a fool.

Even then, the historical evidence for Jesus is greater than any other person of ancient or modern times. How could it not be so?

If He were pure fiction He would still be more worthy a godly-human paradigm than any other person who ever lived - or ever will live.

Make no eternal mistake of ignorant willful ego. He Lives and is soon to return. You bet your life... amen

Semper Fidelis

David Severy said...

I agree: "best to let it go". This foolishness is easier to endure that being thrown to the lions. Dave www.lambspoet.blogspot.com
www.lambalive.blogspot.com

Dr.John said...

I love the writings of C S Lewis. I was glad to see you quote him at the end of this article.

Ed Darrell said...

An arborist might say, "It's a magnificent red oak, probably 60 years old!" It's more specific than what the kid says, but it shows more appreciation.

Some biologists may have more respect for God than others. They have looked Him in the eye.

Orikinla Osinachi. said...

I don't argue God.
I believe God. Finis.

The Trinity?
1x1x1=1.

Phil Dillon, Prairie Apologist said...

Ed

You're about half right. I think there is a sense of adult appreciation the biologist might have, but there's something much more special, much more personal to the child's approach.

I think it's in part because the biologist too often has the sense of having mastered something while the child just basks in the glory of what he or she is seeing and experiencing.