This Week's Gospel Sermons
June 12 - 17, 2011 Gospel Meeting At Jackson Drive.
Speaker: Bob Hutto
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May 29, 2011
God and Man
Oddly enough, many peopleapparently don’t understand who man is and who God is. Many think that God just doesn’t matter. Many think that God just doesn’t exist. Many think that God exists, but only in the minds of men. David E. Comings, MD, in his book Did Man Create God?, “proposes that spirituality is genetically hardwired into a specific part of the brain … our rational brain created God.” A headline for a book review in Time of September 1993 simply states: “How Man Created God.” The book that is reviewed, A History of God, written by a former Catholic nun, is summed up this way: “it is clear the deity is a product of humankind’s creative imagination. God may well be our most interesting idea.” Of course, if one believes man is superior to, even the creator of, God, then one would need to believe also that His word is of man. This is the view of Dr. Coming — “man wrote all the sacred books.”
Strange isn’t it, that man, who has no “first” knowledge or experience with creation, spirituality, infallibility, or even morality, would develop these concepts. Where else in the universe do these concepts exist? I have experience with many different animal species. I have yet to observe any with a sense of morality or spirituality.
If man “created” God, would He not look like man? Would He not act like man? Would not His concepts and understandings of right and wrong mimic those of man?
Man is observant. We look around and see things that exist—things that we absolutely cannot bring into being—water, air, rocks, etc. Man can manipulate things to a certain extent, but not create. We observe things that we absolutely cannot control. As proof in point, note the AP headline following the great destruction from tornadoes in April and May of 2011: “Science Can’t Design Away Tornadoes’ Deadly Threat.” Man realizes that there are things beyond our knowledge and beyond our control. Human kind has indeed “made up” or “created” gods to try to satisfy that innate need to understand what is beyond our capabilities.
When man “creates” a “god,” indeed it does look like man. Think of the Greco-Roman gods. There shared the same ideas of morality (and immorality) with man. They had beginnings and endings like man. They looked like man and were frequently among men to engage in human activities for their own pleasure. They were not all-knowing. In short, they were obviously man-made. Though these “gods” were promoted as controlling things over which humans had no control, they were themselves controlled by their own frailty, faults, and immorality.
The word that claims for itself to be God’s word, that is the Bible, paints an entirely non-man outlook. God, as revealed in the Bible, is nothing like man. Clearly, man does not develop non-manlike concepts; it is impossible. Man, on his own, only thinks and experiences as a man. So, where do the Biblical concepts of God find their origin? The answer should be obvious, even to “mere humans.” Though man on his own cannot know all about God, God knows man. God knows this, that just as man can reveal things about himself and his nature to other men, so can God reveal things about Himself and His nature to man. This He has done for man.
In the following table, notice the contrasts between what God claims for Himself and what man’s knowledge of himself is through his own experiences.
Truly, it is as Paul inspired by God said in Lystra: “He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness” (Acts 14:17). Truly, it is as he again by inspiration said, “For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe” (1Corinthians 1:21).
Can any rightfully and honestly doubt the words of the Spirit? “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” (Psalm 14:1; 53:1).
-— S. Scott Richardson Sr.