Not only do I LOVE that Paul McCartney song, but I am truly amazed for two reasons this week.
1. Ravi Zacharias, an internationally renowned apologetics speaker, was remarkable thursday night as he spoke to a packed out house at the atlanta civic center. i mean it. He's currently speaking with John Lennox on the question "is faith delusional?" Both are two of the most intelligent men on the face of the planet right now and debate the foremost thinkers and philosophers about religion and the legitimacy of Christ. While incorporating years of studies, books, debates, theories, models, and intellectual rhetoric into their talks, they somehow simultaneously maintain an incredible humility, groundedness, and universal connection with the simple ideas of faith and the simple/ complex listeners in the audience. People are absolutely captivated as they discuss and explain why it is quite delusional in this world to conform your mind to secular atheism, and combine faith and reason in such a seamless manner that you can't help but believe in the resurrection. Their two talks--so intensely and articulately conveyed--were so effective you could hear a pin drop as people listened, mused, took notes, and stared in awe. At the end, there was a Q&A session, where people (mainly non-believers) would get up and seek out answers to their many questions. There were a few quotes I took note of that blew me away:
"The New Atheists undermine their own arguments ironically with their stance on Reason: they claim that we developed from evolution, relying on instincts and survival, and somehow reason came from this need to survive rather than from any outside source of truth. How can a reason that came, not from Truth, but from human experience be trusted? and if so, how is that universal or logical?" Furthermore, "How can blind selection produce any oral conviction at all? How can basic survival result in the creation of a moral code by which one can reason?"
Both having multiple PhD's in the Sciences, they find that the question of Science or God to be ridiculous. They say, Science is a mechanism and God is an agent. Trying to explain the world in terms or either Science or God is like trying to explain the motor engine of a car in terms of either combustion or Henry Ford--the explanation requires both, and one is a mechanism of how the process works and the other is an agent, creating the motor and the process. Science and God, mechanism and agent, are on such different levels, different calibers, trying to compare them on equal footing is laughable, they say.
Furthermore, they explained that Scientists do have faith--they believe in Laws and they believe that there is a formulaic design or order to the world that can be explained and contained in scientific research--and that they, on some level, must believe in a Law Giver or Intelligent Designer... or else their research is no more significant than random actions without design.
Reductionism is a popular theory among Scientists right now that states that all complex things can be broken down into simple terms/ formulas and that those simple things can explain the larger complex things. John Lennox gave the example of language: words written on a page: r-o-a-s-t. Breaking that word down into it's elemental level--paper and ink--reveals nothing of the meaning of the complex version: roast. The meaning of the letters placed together cannot be deduced from the study of paper and ink. One Reductionist recently dumb-founded by this example surprised John with his answer: "it so obviously cannot explain the meaning of the complex; it requires an Author."
Another Reductionist example: you cannot take anything physical and section it, cut it up, dissect it to a point to determine or find the reason for its existence within itself. To discover the meaning behind anything, you cannot find it by studying the object itself, but it always points to Something Else for meaning/ explanation.
As one former Communist stated after the fall of the Berlin Wall: "We thought that you could, but you cannot get rid of God and keep the value of Man"--meaning without God, without purpose, without a Creator for all of creation, the value placed on creation, on human life, on human ability/ responsibility here on earth is non-existent.
Ravi even explained that most spiritual concepts are evident here on earth, for us to be able to better understanding. God the Father is apparent sometimes in the relationship between parent and child. Jesus the Bridegroom is evident in the way a man loves a woman. The Holy Spirit is in the gut feelings and instinct-like reactions we have within the relationships we have--like a maternal instinct or a 6th sense. And the Trinity is evident in the moment a woman conceives a child: she is 3 and yet she is 1; she contains three scientifically distinct DNAs--hers, her husband's, and the newly created baby--and yet she is still simply a woman--one physical organism as visible from the outside. She is both. It is incredible how the spiritual world is mirrored in this world, in nature, in all that surrounds us.
There's so much more that they said that touched my life and opened my eyes to rationality of our faith, though it is founded and grounded on the miraculous (I hope I have conveyed their ideas with a fraction of the clarity they did; if not, forgive me, they were incredibly clear in their explanations). And looking at the present state of affairs--in America, the economy, celebrity crap, AIDS, globally--why would you embrace the ways and thoughts of this world and expect any reasonable fulfillment? The only hope comes from Christ alone and in knowing that death is not the end but the beginning.
2. the second thing that amazed me was how many people in my office are Christians. We had a group go from EAL--the firm I work for. Out of 13 coworkers, 5 bought tickets and brought their spouses, and 8 are open with their faith. The other 5 are more veiled about everything personal, so it's hard to gauge their response to religion, but still. In the corporate world of downtown Atlanta, it is such an encouragement to work in this office with so many believers. I love it!!
God is good and He is faithful and in response, I am left in awe, grateful and satisfied.