In my last post, I explained how—like most Christians—there are times I have doubts about God. I wonder why tragedies happen and why certain things are in the Bible and why God isn’t more responsive at times to my prayers for healing for people in the midst of tremendous suffering.
However, in the midst of my confusion and doubts, I find myself returning again and again to some core reasons why I still believe God is alive and is who the Bible says He is. In the last post, I discussed how the wonder of creation–especially the complexity of the human body and even the most basic living cell– point me to a belief in a Divine Creator. While some may look at our bodies and conclude, “How awesome the process of evolution is”, I look at these things and feel my heart stirred toward gratitude and praise to God.
But it is not only the complexity of creation that helps root my faith. A second reason for my belief in God is that the story of humanity as presented in Scripture squares with reality as we know it. I know of no other world view that can so deftly diagnose what we see happening all around us.
The story begins with creation—Adam and Eve created in the image of God, enjoying the perfection of the Garden of Eden, enjoying an authentic, completely vulnerable relationship with each other, and enjoying the task given them to tend creation. In this wonderful beginning, we see the dignity of each and every human being—(ie why killing is wrong). We see why humans long to do something of significance to make the world a better place. And we see why we long for relationships in which we don’t have to hide but can be real with each other. Why is it each and every human being feels these things at some deep level?
Are we just the product of chance mutations, or is there a deeper meaning in our existence? The creation account in Genesis answers this question for me in a way that squares with the reality I observe. People long for value, for meaning, for purpose, for intimacy—and Genesis shows us why that is. We are created in God’s image.
A second part of the story occurs in Genesis 3. Even though the initial creation account was all good, something went very wrong. When Adam and Eve rebelled against God, the curse of sin was unleashed on our planet. Evil came to reside in us as humans. This explains how as humans, we are capable of writing beautiful poetry and achieving amazing medical advancements, and yet we are also capable of the most horrendous acts of violence and petty acts of self-centeredness.
Genesis 3 explains why addictions are rampant in our society today. Addictions make no rational sense, when you think about it. Why would someone gamble their entire savings away, or continue to pop pills knowing it will rob them of their family, their livelihood, their joy? Addiction is a vivid picture of how sin works. Sin is not about a simple choice between good and evil. It is a power that resides within us and influences most everything we do.
An honest look at the state of humanity reveals that something is very broken. Something is very wrong. The Bible offers an explanation as to why that is—an explanation that makes sense. Greek mythology can offer an explanation, but none of us are buying it. It is too implausible. But the Biblical account is, in my mind, extremely plausible. It explains both the goodness of humanity and how we can do such evil things. It explains why we long for freedom, and why we freely choose an addiction that destroys us.
Why do I believe in God? Because the Story He offers fits with the reality I see all around me and that I experience within.