Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Conversation with Sarah (Part 3)

You can read Part 1 of my conversation with Sarah, here. And you can read Part 2, here.

To Sarah:

Hi, Sarah. :-)

It was a busy weekend. And things are going to be pretty busy for me the next few weeks, as I am traveling to San Jose this coming weekend, and then I’m off to London for two weeks.

I hope you had a nice weekend and, as before, I hope this email finds you well.

I would like to address a couple things you wrote in your last email. I will address one, now; and the next one in my, well, next email. :-)

You wrote:

“I understand the concept, about a building needing a builder; and a painting needing a painter. However, when I look at the world around me, I don't see it through the same eyes as you do. I suppose, it could be a suppression of some sort, but I don't think I am suppressing anything. I try to see things logically, and intellectually. For me, my belief is logical. However, I'm not 100% sure on anything anymore, so yes, I could be wrong.”

I would like to talk about logic. I understand what you are saying—that you want to look at and see things through a logical and intellectual lens. But I would assert that you cannot do so apart from the reality of God. And here is how and why I can make such a claim.

Let’s look at the characteristics of logic.

  1. Logic is immaterial. You cannot go to your refrigerator and pull out a stick of logic. Logic is not something you can touch, see, or quantify in some intelligible way.
  2. Logic is absolute. Logic is not limited by restrictions or conditions. Logic is independent of any outside influences. Logic must be perfect in quality or nature, and it must be complete, or, by definition, logic becomes illogical.
  3. Logic is universal. Logic affects everyone, everywhere. The various laws of logic apply in the United States, exactly as they do in Canada, Mexico, and a grass hut in some remote region of the world.
  4. Logic is eternal. There is not beginning or end point of logic. Logic exists outside of time.
  5. Logic is unchanging. Logic is constant. They are unchanging.
  6. Logic is impartial. Logic is unbiased and unprejudiced. The laws of logic are not subject to the opinions or whims of men. While men are influenced by the laws of logic, men have no influence whatsoever on the laws of logic.
  7. Logic is transcendent. The laws of logic are preeminent. They are supreme. Nothing can legitimately undermine or circumvent the laws of logic.

Now, let’s look at some of the characteristics/attributes of God.

  1. God is immaterial. The Word of God declares that God is Spirit (John 4:24).
  2. God is absolute. God is perfect (Deuteronomy 32:4; 2 Samuel 22:31). If God was imperfect, He would immediately cease to be God.
  3. God is omnipresent/universal (Psalm 139:7-10).
  4. God is eternal. He has no beginning or end. He is outside of space and time (Isaiah 57:15).
  5. God is immutable/unchanging (James 1:17).
  6. God is impartial. He cannot be bribed (Deuteronomy 10:17).
  7. God is sovereign/transcendent (1 Timothy 6:13-16).

You see, Sarah, without God there can be no logic. Logic is, by its very nature and design, a reflection of the character and attributes of God.

Apart from God you (and no one else, for that matter) can give no accounting for your ability to reason.

Without God, we would live in an utterly random, illogical, unintellectual, unreasonable universe.

Evolution can give no legitimate accounting for logic, intellect, or reason. They have to take from the Christian worldview in order to do so—in order to argue against the Christian worldview. According to theoretical atheistic evolution, we are merely the byproduct of chance encounters of meaningless particles in a chaotic, disorderly universe, which, in and of itself, cannot give an explanation for the obvious intricacies of the design and order of the universe.

And, again, I submit to you, Sarah, that you do see what I have just shared with you, in the world and universe around you. I greatly appreciate your honesty regarding your uncertainty. The problem is you are trying to apply logic and reason to your thinking while denying the One who not only created logic and reason, but gave you the ability to think logically and reasonably…God. It is an impossible task to remove the Great Logician from one of the very things that testifies to His magnificent character…logic.

In addition to reading this, which I know you will, I hope you will also take time to read the Scripture verses I referenced. Barring a change in direction, which I welcome (I’m here to serve you), in my next email I will address why you find the Bible strange and not compelling.

Have a great day, Sarah! Praying for you!

From Sarah:

Good morning Tony,

I hope your trip to London is a safe one, and that you have a good time.

My family & I are doing well.

I cannot deny that I do see what you are saying, and I read the Bible verses.

We have talked about our oldest daughter, and we have pictures of her all around the house. What my daughter said to me really made me think, and then you tell me about logic.

My daughters were invited to VBS this week, and that is where they are now. Yesterday, my one girl brought home a paper; on this paper she had simple drawings...flowers, trees, and in the center was what looked like a hand to me, and in this hand was what looked like a baby. She said, "Look Mommy! Look what God made!" I said, "That's very nice. I like it. Is that a baby?" My daughter said, "That's my sister, and you know what? God made her Mommy, God made her! He made trees and flowers and birds, too! I think God has my sister in his hand, 'cause if he can make flowers he sure can make a baby."

What words from a 6 year old!

I kind of sat there for a minute and didn't have much to say. I read your email last night, and it all kind of hit me at once. I guess, in some ways, I borrow from the Christian worldview. Never thought about it, and certainly never really thought about logic. Yes, I cannot give an account for our ability to reason. I can't say anymore, that I don't see proof for God. Kind of strange, because I've always believed I never did. Simple drawings, and a little bit of real logic changed the picture for me.

I think I can't account for alot of things.

Part of me, doesn't like writing this email. I've always been comfortable in what I believe, and truthfully, this does not make me comfortable.

With that said, I won't stop emailing. I'll continue to be honest in what I type. I don't have any arguments against what you emailed.

I guess with that said, I don't know what to ask next.

Thank you, Sarah. :)

To Sarah:

Sarah,

I could not help but rejoice and thank God after reading your email. All though it is still early here, in California, I can honestly say you have made my day. :-)

Thank you so very much for sharing your little girl’s story from VBS. It takes me back many years to when my girls were that age. They are now 25, 22, and 17.

The Bible speaks much about children and the innocence and simplicity of faith. We grown-ups have a tendency to complicate things. Sometimes, contrary to what many think, we can become too smart (at least in our own minds) for our own good.

Regarding children, Jesus said:
Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” ~ Luke 18:15-17 (see also Matthew 19:13-14; Mark 10:13-14)

And he said to his disciples, “Temptations to sin[a] are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! 2 It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin.[b] 3 Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, 4 and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” ~ Luke 17:1-5
Sarah, I understand your discomfort in writing your last email. I remember feeling the same way when, as an unbeliever, my ideas about God and myself were being turned upside down as a Christian friend challenged my thinking. My prayer for you is that the internal turmoil continues until God reconciles you to Himself, extending to you the free gifts of repentance, faith in Jesus Christ, and salvation. It is not that I want you to suffer in any way. On the contrary: my prayer is that you receive the freedom, peace, joy, forgiveness, grace, and mercy only Jesus Christ can give. I want the very best for you.

As far as where we should go next: if it’s okay with you, I would like to continue with my plan to address what you shared in your previous email regarding your questions/misgivings regarding the Bible. I will try to do that in the next day or two.

Praying for you and your family.

From Sarah:

Yes, that is fine and I do appreciate it. Thanks for your patience! :)

~~~~~

Stay tuned for Part 4 of my conversation with Sarah.