Another great article in Creation Magazine 2023, Vol 45, Issue 2, this time by Peter Howe Dip. Th., B.Th., M.A. A trained primary school teacher, Peter pastored several churches as an ordained minister in the Wesleyan Methodist Church of Australia.
Evidence of design
Flicking through a magazine one day as a child, I came across a photograph of Mount Rushmore, South Dakota, with the unmistakable likenesses of four American presidents carved into the rocks. Knowing nothing of how these came to be there, I remember thinking, “How strange! These can’t have happened by accident.”
Precisely! No one could seriously suggest that these shapes resulted from wind or rain or glacial erosion. These carved faces are clearly the result of creative design and effort.
Though not professing a commitment to anything like the God of the Bible, Paul Davies, former professor of theoretical physics at The University of Adelaide, writes in his book The Mind of God:
“Through my scientific work, I have come to believe more and more strongly that the physical universe is put together with an ingenuity so astonishing that I cannot accept it merely as a brute fact … I cannot believe that our existence in this universe is a mere quirk of fate, an accident of history, an incidental blip in the great cosmic drama.“
The humblest believer in God as Creator must exercise far less credulity, and has far less explaining to do, than the most ardent evolutionist materialist.
Of course, fallen humanity has devised many increasingly sophisticated speculations of how nature could nonetheless have made itself. Ministries like CMI provide people with specific answers to such challenges. Even so, it pays to step back and contemplate the ‘big picture’ of what is claimed, and its affront to common sense itself.
The evidence within
Another signpost is human nature. We have been made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). Thus, we have spiritual capacities that cannot be explained apart from God. Language, reason, ambition, creativity, humour, wonder, worship—all these have no counterpart in the natural world. These qualities mark us out as different from the rest of God’s handiwork. This is another way of saying that our Creator has endowed us with the capacity to relate to Him at a personal level.
Within human nature, conscience is another sign pointing to God. Proverbs 20:27 says of the human spirit that it is “the lamp of the Lord, searching all [man’s] innermost parts.”. Our conscience is responsible for our intuitive knowledge of right and wrong, good and evil. The Apostle Paul states that even those who don’t have God’s law in written form still have a conscience that commends them when they instinctively do what it commands and accuses them when they don’t (Romans 2:14–15).
Even without a ‘book of rules,’ we know it’s wrong to lie, steal, covet, and murder. Conscience ‘puts a pebble in our shoe’ whenever we violate it. The standard it sets and the guilt it inflicts point us to God—the Source of all good and the Judge of all evil.
Eternity in our hearts
Our longing for eternity is another pointer to God. Somehow, we know and feel that this life is not all that there is. Archaeologists have discovered how carefully and elaborately the ancient Egyptians prepared for the afterlife, and they had no Bible to tell them about a life to come. Where does this longing for eternity come from? Everything on Earth is subject to change and decay:
“Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away, but you are the same, and your years have no end.” Psalm 102:25–27
These ‘immortality longings’ we all feel at various moments are pointers to the God who created us in His own image.
Hunger of the soul
Another signpost to God is our longing for meaning and purpose. We always knew when our cat Simba was hungry and wanted to be fed. (Any cat owner knows that dogs have masters, but cats have staff!) He would eat his prescription dry food and go away content; his next meal seemed to be the limit of his horizon. But we can’t live at that bare, subsistence level—at least, not for long. We crave meaning and purpose in our lives; we long to enjoy significant and satisfying relationships.
This sense of longing is often called ‘the homesickness of the soul’—and rightly so, for that’s precisely what it is. The true object of our longing is God. The words of the psalmist reflect this truth:
“As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?” Psalm 42:1–2
Of all the signposts pointing to God, the Bible is by far the clearest. When a British monarch is crowned, he or she is given a copy of the Bible, and told, “This Book is the most valuable thing that this world affords. This is the royal law; these are the lively oracles of God.” When we read the Bible with a humble and teachable attitude, we find it to be a source of supernatural wisdom and power. The psalmist prayed: “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law” (Psalm 119:18). Paul reminded his young associate Timothy that Scripture provides the wisdom and instruction that leads to “salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15).Scripture’s major theme is Jesus Christ, God’s only Son. As “image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15), Jesus is the clearest and most compelling witness to the existence and greatness of God the Father. Jesus Himself said: “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). He is the perfect transcript of what God is like.
But the supreme demonstration of God’s love and care is the sending of His Son into the world to suffer death on the cross, to save us from our sins, and to reclaim us for Himself. The Cross is more than enough to convince us that God loves and cares for lost people (Romans 5:8). Jesus Himself said that He came “to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).
To help us find our way to God, there are signposts everywhere, but the most vital one is Jesus. He said: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).