Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Christianity is ‘Revealed Religion’

Last week I discussed a recent visit to my cardiologist. While waiting in the exam room, I noticed posters on the wall that show the complexity of the human cardiovascular system. I wondered how a doctor possibly could be an atheist, given his or her knowledge of the intricacy and precision of biological life. It is impossible for life to have developed on this planet by accident without any outside guidance or design. There are simply too many interconnected systems within living organisms, all working in perfect unison. The formula for atheism is: Chaos + Chance + Time = Intricate Precision. That just doesn’t add up. Therefore, there has to be a supernatural Creator behind it all.

I quoted from St. Paul’s letter to the Romans: “God’s eternal power and divinity can be understood by what He has made” (Romans 1:20). Paul is correct. By what God has made, particularly living organisms, we can understand that He is powerful and intelligent and supernatural. But we can’t know much else about Him. We know He exists and He created the world, but we don’t know His personality, His plan, or His purpose.

That’s why Christianity is described as “Revealed Religion.” After creating the world, God took the extra step of revealing Himself to us, that is, communicating with us so we could know His personality, His plan, and His purpose. God’s revelation also answers the deep and philosophical questions we have about ourselves: Who are we? How did we get here? Where are we going?

There are many people nowadays who do not believe in divine revelation. Oh, they accept that God exists—they are not atheists—but they do not accept that the Creator God has ever communicated directly with mankind. These people are known as deists. The basic belief of deism is that God created the Universe, and mankind in it, and then went on vacation. He had no further interaction with His creation.

But if you think about it, deism doesn’t really make sense. Deists acknowledge that God created mankind, which means He created us with distinct personalities and with the ability to communicate. (And if you’ve ever stood in line behind a group of high school girls, you’d say the COMPULSION to communicate.)

We know by logic and reason that the created being cannot be greater than its Creator. In other words, if we humans have the ability to think and to use words, then it’s impossible for our Creator not to have these same abilities. So, we can reasonably deduce that God has a personality and He has the ability to communicate.

Now, here’s the question we have to ask: What are the odds that God, after going to all the trouble of creating beings with the ability to communicate—the same ability He possesses—would then choose NOT to communicate with His creatures?

The only thing that makes sense it that the God of all Creation, who made the heavens and the earth, did NOT create mankind and then go off on a permanent vacation. He made us because of His love, and He loves us too much to abandon us. That is exactly what God’s revelation tells us: He created us to be in a loving relationship with Him, and He “will never leave us nor forsake us.”

The pinnacle of God’s revelation was the Incarnation, when the second person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ, became one of us in order to fully reveal God’s will.

If we ponder what exists in our world—for example, the human cardiovascular system while waiting for the doctor—we can know that God is real and that He is powerful and supernatural. But that’s about it. To know the rest of the story, God had to reveal Himself to us. Thankfully, He did just that. As a result, we can know His personality and His plan. We also can know our true identity, our purpose in life, and our ultimate destination.

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