Bertrand Russell described himself as an agnostic, bordering on atheism. He considered religion to be nothing more than superstition and blamed it for impeding knowledge and producing strife. On one occasion he was asked, “If you meet God, after you die, what will you say to Him to justify your unbelief?” Russell sharply replied, “I will tell Him that He did not give me enough evidence!” (Russell passed away on February 2, 1970, and while I cannot know what question God might have asked him on that occasion, I’m certain that his answer wasn’t so impertinent)
While I may feel somewhat amazed, (perhaps even offended) at Russell’s brisk answer, there is something that amazes me even more. I find it astonishing that millions, claiming to believe that God exists (in some form or another, in some religion or another) would be unprepared to challenge the famous British philosopher from yesteryear with the evidence that he said he was lacking! The question then is begged…is there enough evidence to believe in God? Russell admitted that he couldn’t disprove God. But can we prove Him?
It’s been suggested that belief in God requires the dismissal of our brains and a blind leap of faith. This should never be the case. On the contrary, we do not shelve our brains…we engage them. Throughout the Scripture, God encourages thoughtful consideration of His existence and His desire to interact with us; He says, “Come and let us reason together” (Isaiah 1:18). Believing in God requires not a blind leap of faith, but a thoughtful process, resulting in a decision to exercise our faith by believing.
While I cannot bring a snapshot of God, posing with me, I can point out a number of things that indicates that He is here. When we see a car, we don’t see the factory or the designer of the automobile, but we accept their existence; otherwise the car wouldn’t be there. Creation presents a manifold witness that there is a Creator. And creation reveals several things about the nature of God; design, order, beauty, power, etc.
We cannot see God. However, there are many things that we cannot see that we believe in. Gravity and oxygen are just two of them and they both play important roles in daily life and we accept their existence.
Personal experience, though admittedly subjective, is imperative. Thomas Aquinas, whose life goal was to reconcile the Christian faith with human reason, gave up on the process when he actually met Christ. Following his spiritual encounter with Jesus, Aquinas said, “I have seen that which makes all I have written and taught look small to me…”
“We may ignore, but we can nowhere evade the presence of God. The world is crowded with Him. He walks everywhere…” (C.S. Lewis)