One might ask, if what we believe about God determines our ultimate destiny, shouldn’t the evidence [for God’s existence] be more obvious and available? If knowing God is so important, why does he remain so hidden? Space doesn’t permit us to explore all the answers to these questions here, but allow me to address two ways in which God’s supposed hiddenness reveals something profound about us and about God’s character.
1. Our demands for obvious and undeniable evidence reveals quite a bit about our attitudes toward evidence.
What qualifies, exactly, as “undeniable” evidence for God’s existence? A giant golden cross in the sky greeting us every morning would do the trick, some would say. Or seeing an eye grow back in its socket after prayer—that might suffice. But is there such a thing as undeniable evidence no matter what subject we’re examining? Or do we find ways to deny strong evidence when it challenges our perspectives or desires?
I’ve often thought of the phenomenon of smoking. The evidence that smoking causes cancer and is addictive is overwhelming. And yet each of us knows (or is) someone who knew that evidence and chose to start smoking anyway. Undeniable evidence, it seems, doesn’t always matter after all. In fact, intelligent and informed people are quite willing to put their lives at risk despite knowing the evidence. Sometimes we tailor our beliefs and actions to fit the evidence. And sometimes we tailor the evidence (or ignore it altogether) to fit our beliefs and actions. Blaise Pascal said that God has provided enough evidence in this world to make belief in him quite reasonable, but he has withheld enough evidence to make belief in him without faith impossible. The fact that we ignore that evidence says more about us than it does about God.
2. The fact that God hasn’t spoon-fed us all the answers reveals something wonderful about his character.
God has orchestrated the universe and our existence to foster a sense of wonder. He has given us the pleasure of pursuing our wonder through discovering things that aren’t so obvious.
When my son was very young, he showed a fascination with letters and numbers. My wife and I responded to his affinity in typical first-time parents fashion: we bought him nearly every letter and number toy we could find. One was a Spider-Man laptop (really a simple speak-and- spell disguised as a laptop to fool toddlers into thinking they have a computer). It displayed letters so he could memorize their sounds and short words to eventually read. With his “laptop” open, he sat at the kitchen table with me and my wife. As Nicole and I talked, my attention was diverted when I heard a short word emerge from my son’s mouth. “Ffffaaatt,” he said. I turned to look at the screen and sure enough, it displayed the letters F-A-T. “I think he just read something!” I exclaimed to Nicole. I hit the “next” button and three more letters appeared: C-A-T. “C-C-Caaat,” my son said. I must have pressed that next button a dozen more times, looking for three-letter words that rhymed with fat.
I was beaming. My wife was beaming. My son was squealing with the kind of delight that comes when a child “gets it.” But Nicole and I were rapturous. Any parent reading this knows what it is to revel in their child’s discoveries even more than the child does. This is what we read in the Bible about how God reacts to our discoveries:
It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out. (Prov. 25:2)
God has concealed things in this world so that we can experience the glory and delight of discovery. Perfect solar eclipses illustrate this so well. Our moon “happens” to be exactly four hundred times smaller in diameter than our sun. And our sun “happens” to be exactly four hundred times farther from us than our moon. This allows for perfect solar eclipses in which the disk of the moon perfectly conceals the disk of the sun. During that concealment, aspects of the sun’s corona become visible, allowing us to learn more about the corona, the sun’s atmosphere, and solar flares. In fact, perfect solar eclipses have allowed us to confirm Einstein’s theory of general relativity, including his conclusion that massive gravitational objects like our sun bend space, which in turn “bends” light. During a perfect solar eclipse in 1919, astronomers measured the light from distant stars located in the line of sight just outside our sun (but aren’t visible under normal conditions due to the sun’s brightness) and confirmed that the light did in fact “bend” around the sun.
This is a kind of fulfillment of Proverbs 25:2. God in his sovereignty has perfectly concealed the sun with the moon so that we can discover things about the universe. Is that not evidence that God not only sows within us the desire to explore but also feeds us with opportunities to fulfill that desire? That’s the glory of kings in searching things out. The glory of God in concealing things is his rejoicing over our discoveries just as a parent rejoices over a child’s learning.
How to Use This Book
Are members of your church struggling with issues of sexuality, identity, and morality? Feelings and preferences have replaced facts and truth in our culture.
Author Abdu Murray will help guide your church-members back to a path of truth and help them find gospel-based clarity on issues including:
sexuality, gender, and identity
science and faith
Lee Strobel writes, “This is a book you’ll be telling all of your friends about!”
Sean McDowell adds, “I wish every Christian…would read, study, and discuss this book.”
The Emotionally Healthy Church
Peter Scazzero and Warren Bird