What You Get May Be What You See
How you see the world depends on how you look at it. And what you think of the world depends on what you think you see when you look at it. Consider, for example, what a materialist sees when he looks at the bald fact of the universe: he sees something that just is and was not created (i.e., by a Creator), something that just came into being either out of nothing and nowhere or out of an infinitely regressing "multiverse" (see "Nothing to Go On").
Another materialist looking at the cosmos in more detail sees only atoms and particles, bits of matter in motion: 98 percent hydrogen and helium atoms (see "Lost & Found"), plus some heavier elements, randomly coalescing into stars, planets, and something called life.
Another materialist who is also a biologist looks closely at life, a minuscule speck in the material universe, and sees it as a feature that has emerged by chance from interactions between particles of matter following chemical and physical laws. If he notices any signs of design, he chalks them up to mere appearances.
To the materialists, the origin of the universe, its current features, and life itself have no purpose, meaning, or spiritual significance. The idea of spiritual significance is rejected by materialists as fantasy. They vehemently deny what Paul the Apostle claims in Romans 1:20: God's "invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made."
Paul doesn't stop there. A quotation from his sermon to the Athenians adds another dimension: God "gives to all life, and breath, and all things," and is "not very far from us," being the One in whom "we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:25-28). There can be no place where God is not near.
God is not simply the most Supreme Being among other beings; he is the cause, or ground, of existence itself. He revealed himself to Moses as "I am that I am." Just as there can be no being apart from him, there can be no thought or mind that is hidden from his direct sight. The atheist who thinks otherwise is like the toddler who thinks we can't see him when he closes his eyes.
Unfortunately, many who accept Paul's gospel message are not informed by his teaching about the natural order. Under the influence of secularist education, they assume that the universe and all matter are entirely separate from God, who is an unnecessary hypothesis for its study.
Too many Christians have surrendered science to the materialists, being content to hold their religious beliefs as private opinions that have little to do with scientific discoveries. They're missing out on exciting evidence of creation, forfeiting signs of God's "eternal power and divine nature."
To maintain intellectual maturity, we must refuse to look at the world through secular lenses that filter out any signs of God's work or purpose. From the cosmos to the smallest living cells, nature is marked by signs of intelligence. Indeed, the word "cosmos" is from the Greek and means order or pattern, a world. It is not a random collection, but ordered to an end—by Someone.
So read closely the articles on the cosmic picture—the clear evidence of the Big Bang—and the small picture—the facts about life that can't be explained without design. Reading them may help you see in material creation the meaning from which materialists wish to distract you. This may help confirm what Paul insisted is true and lead you to thanksgiving. By broadening what you see when you look at even the details of life, you just might increase what you get out of the life you've been given. Salvo is here to help you do that.James M. Kushiner
is the executive editor of Salvo and Touchstone magazines.This article originally appeared in Salvo, Issue #48, Spring 2019 Copyright © 2022 Salvo | www.salvomag.com https://salvomag.com/article/salvo48/divine-in-the-details