I have written about seeking truth, so lets talk about how to seek the truth about the most fundamental question, which is about God.
One way we can know about God is by looking at creation. If the universe was created by God, then it should tell us something about him. We can tell something about an artist or author by looking at their work, so if God is an artist, he should be reflected in his work. The Bible supports this idea that we can know about God through creation.
The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard; yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. (Psalm 19:1-4)
This psalm says that the vast beauty of the sky tells us about the glory of God in a non-verbal way. Everyone is awed when they ponder the sky, but we don’t always make the connection with God. Why is that?
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of men who by their wickedness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse; for although they knew God they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man or birds or animals or reptiles. (Romans 1:18-23)
St. Paul says that we have no excuse for not knowing about God through creation, but some do not recognize God because their minds were darkened. God, as our creator, imposes an obligation on us, and we often want to avoid it. One way to avoid God is to come up with alternate explanations for the glory of creation so that we can just say he doesn’t exist. We go through a process of darkening our minds, all in the name of education, so that we become insensitive to the truth about God. This is why you will probably find more faith among the less educated. That is not to say that science and education are wrong, but we must be careful of the trap of thinking that because we know a lot about the mechanics of the universe or human psychology, that we have no need of God. None of these things disprove the existence of God.
Because of this problem, Christians educated in philosophy and science have gone to great lengths to show the educated man that belief in God is rational and compatible with science. Indeed, philosophy does not make sense without God as a starting point. I won’t go into these arguments right now, but I will point out the best single book of this kind that I’ve read lately. It is Who Designed the Designer? by Michael Augros.
This way of knowing about God is called “natural revelation”. The good thing about natural revelation is that it is available to everyone. However, there are limits to what we can know this way, so God gave us more, which I will discuss in the next post.