We Exist

May 12, 2020

Hebrews 11:6

(6)  But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

 Human nature is such an extraordinary thing, unprecedented in the universe.

A writer named G. K. Chesterton said one of the reasons he became convinced about Christianity is because it captures the fullness and the mystery and the contradiction and the paradox of life…especially of persons. He says that when it comes to human nature, there are some approaches like Stoicism that are kind of pessimistic about human nature… “Don’t get your hopes up. Don’t expect too much.”  Then there are some approaches, certain forms of humanism that teach Man is the measure of all things and they have an exalted, optimistic view of human nature.

When it comes to human nature, Christianity is not just pessimistic or optimistic or blandly “middle of the road.”

It is wildly pessimistic:

Jeremiah 17:9

9 “The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?

And it is wildly optimistic and hopeful:

1 John 3:2

2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.

Naturalism says that human beings are just a collection of atoms. Some people believe that Darwin showed that human beings are different in degree, maybe, but not in kind from any other creatures.

The Bible says we are a different kind of being, and we are made in the image of God…possessors of a soul.

In our hearts, we know this to be true about ourselves. I’ll tell you one of the ways that we know this to be true. The illustration is a little bit odd, but I couldn’t think of another one.

One of the ways that we know that human beings are a unique kind of creature is: We never put an animal on trial. When someone is attacked by a lion or a bear we just say, “That’s nature. That’s the nature of a bear. That’s the nature of a lion. They can’t help it, nature has trained them to be that way, it’s just the way they are.

Human beings we put on trial, because we know they are not just products of instinct and training. Humans have reason. Humans have freedom. Humans are moral agents. What’s at stake here is nothing less than the notion of personhood: that there is something wondrous and mysterious and God-breathed and holy about a person. A person ought not to be enslaved.

Materialism, or Darwinism promote the idea people do not have a moral nature. They are not free. They are just products of causes and forces. It’s just that we don’t know all the details yet. But nobody raises a child like that. Nobody makes a friend like that. We know better. The existence of persons tells us there is a God.

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