Out of the minds of babes.
Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength … Psalm 8:2.
As a child my theology initially developed as follows: “If all people are loved by God, but almost all, are going to
Hell, because of their actions and their unbelief, then why doesn’t God publish a convincing proof of His existence
so that people will have a much better chance of being saved?” Rather than feeling angry against this possibly cruel
or powerless god, I simply concluded that there could not be a scientific proof of God’s existence. At the same time,
if a proof that He didn’t exist was available then this was also worth looking for as it would save a lot of wasted
time going to Church etc. Either way looking for God was going to be an interesting life time adventure. This was the
point from which my subsequent scientific career developed.
Let me refer back to my childhood determination that the existence of God is unprovable; this domain is easily enlarged
from ‘God’ to include all things ‘spiritual’. A logical positivist or scientific reductionist would respond that things
unprovable are also meaningless. Fine, that is their definition and they can live with it. A scientist would argue that
according to the principle known as Occam’s Razor there is no need to introduce extra or unnecessary modifications
to any theory of reality. Again this is true for science, but not true for our understanding of how the world around us works.
But do we lump God in with Fairies and Goblins, is he just a mythical creation? This is a good question; a short answer
would be that we should keep an open mind to these possibilities and respect the reality constructions of those
around us. We have no right to
wade in and force our viewpoint on other souls.
I further propose that the spiritual realm lies outside of space and time. In particular; spiritual understanding, or
revelation, does not necessarily improve with time, nor is it superior in any particular country or culture.
We retain our myths and legends because they are spiritually important. Our ancestors were moved to write and record
their deepest concepts and ideas. These scriptures have become a powerful source of revelation for us today.
Not withstanding our obvious respect for these scriptures, these should be carefully
scrutinised and analysed so we can apply the fundamental truths and shape our lives and actions accordingly. At the same
time we must acknowledge the mistakes of the past. It is this style of analysis that I consider to be spiritual analysis
and it depends critically on the inspiration of the external Holy Spirit. Let me quote two of these scriptures.
John 14: 26. But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, [even] the Spirit of truth, which
proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
John 16: 13. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of
himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.
Now that I have made my point and quoted the bible the reader might think that I am through, and so I am. You can stop
reading here. But there are two contrasting trains of thought that I need to address in more depth. One, I feel I should
deal more deeply with the question of scientific proof and ultimate reality. Two, I feel the need to point out that many
practising Christians take a very different view of spirituality.
Return to the religious issues index here.