Do You Expect God to Match Up With YOUR Specifications?

"God isn't real if I don't believe in him"
"I can't believe in a God who lets X or Y happen"

The above are sentences which are heard frequently.  Curiously, these people seem to think that if God doesn't match up to THEIR specifications, He can't be real.  I think the root of this is the lack of ability we humans have to 'prove' or see the existence of God (or from the opposing viewpoint, to prove a lack of existence).

The difficulty with which we can detect spiritual things compared to the ease with which we can detect the physical world makes it very easy for us to think we make the rules and that if God doesn't appear to follow 'our' rules (expectations), He can't be real.

Consider a hypothetical creature of spirit visiting Earth for the first time.  This creature has no way of directly measuring anything physical.  Although unable to sense gravity itself, it realizes from reading minds that humans have measured gravity on Earth to be 9.8 meters per second squared. 
A second creature of spirit comes to converse with the first one. 
"Those humans are ridiculous for believing in gravity", he says. "I haven't been able to notice any of this gravity you speak of."
The first one responds: "Well of course you haven't noticed it; that's because we can't sense it, and that's why it doesn't seem real to us."
"Aha! Then how do you know it exists?", asks the second triumphantly.  "The humans believe it exists, but that doesn't mean we need to follow along blindly."
"You can't prove gravity doesn't exist", retorts the first.
"No.  But I don't believe in it, therefore it's not real", says the second creature.
"Well, what do you think of the fact that humans have measured it to be 9.8 then?" asks the first.
"This gravity you speak of is supposed to be 9.8?", says the second incredulously. "Why, that kind of gravity could result in people falling to their death! That is too cruel.  I could never believe in a gravity of 9.8 ! I am only prepared to believe in a less cruel gravity of around say 2.5".

There is much danger in having pre-made expectations about things we can't measure.

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  1. Hi Ver. Thanks for your comments on my blog (Thinking Christian). My blog is intended to be one in which a Christian thinks about movies and books, specifically, but about other interesting stuff at times. I don't think a thinking Christian needs to always make everything overtly religious - just that, when we discuss anything, we acknowledge we do so from a Christian perspective. I had a quick look at your blog... very interesting and you're obviously not afraid to tackle some big issues!

  2. Hi Steve. Thank you for stopping by & for telling me a bit more about your blog that I visited. I especially like it how you seem to be updating it fairly regularly.


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