Saturday, October 23, 2010

What Nonsense!

This week I have been reading The Problem of Pain by none other than C.S. Lewis (I know, shocker of the century, I am yet again reading another Lewis work).  The first time I read this book, I was entirely too young, too stupid, and my brain not yet fully formed, so I understood probably next to nothing in it.  This time around though, I have my highlighter set to stun, because I am literally coloring in almost every page as Lewis waxes on.  

Sharing with you a bit of the second chapter - Divine Omnipotence, Lewis writes:

"If you choose to say 'God can give a creature free will and at the same time withhold free will from it', you have not succeeded in saying anything about God: meaningless combinations of words do not suddenly acquire meaning simply because we prefix to them the two other words 'God can'. ... It is no more possible for God than for the weakest of His creatures to carry out both of two mutually exclusive alternatives; not because His power meets an obstacle, but because nonsense remains nonsense even when we talk it about God."

I'm going to try my hardest not to turn this blog post into a gush on how much I LOVE LEWIS and his wonderful words, instead I want to point out the utter simplistic genius of Lewis statement - "nonsense remains nonsense even when we talk it about God."  

Dr. Hawking, a man much smarter than myself and most of the lowly human life forms on this planet, recently published a new book, The Grand Design, in which much hoopla was given over him stating: "Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the Universe going."  

Clearly, I am no mathematician, scientist or physicist - if anything I probably belong to that wing of the world called "Philosophy" which Dr. Hawking insists in this very book that it is dead.  So, being a part of the world that is dead, I am going to start off by taking offense.  A very good friend and deeper thinker than myself wrote a wonderful response to this already, please read it here.  Dr. Hawking has vast contradictions in his statement, something cannot come from nothing.  The universe cannot cause its existence unless something was there to cause it.  Come on, that's Philosophy 101.  It also should be a part of Logic 101 in the wonderful world of Mathematics, but whatever; let's get to the point of this blog.

The fact of the matter is that sometimes we say wild and crazy things and think that they are immensely intelligent and universe shattering all because we begin the sentence with "If God can" or "What if it was possible to."  But let's face it, nonsense is still nonsense.  The very laws of science do not allow for the fantastical "what ifs" that we dream up.  Just because my brain imagines a world where every time I put my hands in the air I, and only I, am able to grab a beautiful, brilliant rock called a diamond that is worth millions of dollars does not mean that this is possible.  

We become indignant and full of self-righteousness at times, saying that God should have done this to change the world, or that God should have created this world without certain people or things if he was really all powerful, all loving, all knowing.  That's the rub though, we try so hard to talk about creating a perfect world according to our own standards and thoughts, but what if (yep I said it) our own thoughts and standards are evil to someone else in the world.  We would be creating what is supposedly perfect, but yet would still be harmful to someone else.  

That is the wonderful and amazing thing about God.  This world may not be perfect, but He is and He was - living in this world as the God-man Jesus.  So, while we try to imagine a perfect world that God should have created, He is sitting there offering you abundant life in this fallen world now, and a perfect eternity to come in the new heaven, new earth.  It might sound "crazy."  It might sound entirely stupid to you, but it's the only thing that is not nonsense, because the Creator, the Perfect God, has said it.  Instead of constantly putting the blame on God for this world and the harms it has done to you, try learning more about who God is, why He loves you even though you have done nothing to deserve it, and why He is even now preparing a place for you that is, for all intents and purposes, something that would be nonsense in this world.  

1 comment:

  1. "It might sound entirely stupid to you, but it's the only thing that is not nonsense" Profound and true!