"Men despise religion. They hate it and are afraid it may be true." - Blaise Pascal
That we live in a systematic universe is obvious to the casual observer.
Our world is supported upon an axis; our planet and those in our solar system move in predictable patterns. The air of our planet cycles from equator to the poles and back again. From the grand universe to the micro workings of a cell we can know and predict outcomes. Our bodies process food, distribute energy and dispose of waste. Our mind which is mere flesh absorbs data, turns it into information, stores it accordingly and pulls the file as needed.
Living in a universe of systems, why then is faith removed from the "knowable" and dismissed as an invalid system when it speaks to all of life? If we can know matter and its workings, why have so many dismissed faith and its workings that apply to matter?
There is a FACT / VALUE split in all modern cultures ("Total Truth" Nancy Pearcey). As such small creatures we decided what can be known and what cannot be known and segment our minds and lives. Despite our poor efforts and division however, purpose and morals can only be answered in a faith system. Dead men and rocks contain no eternal authority.
Even the most angry of atheist, Richard Dawkins, can't stick to belief in no faith system when he writes, “It could be that at some earlier time, somewhere in the universe, a civilization evolved by probably some kind of Darwinian means to a very, very high level of technology— and designed a form of life that they seeded onto perhaps this planet. … And I suppose it’s possible that you might find evidence for that if you look at the details of biochemistry, molecular biology, you might find a signature of some sort of designer.”
The signature is a loud beacon in the minds and hearts of men that has been silenced by self elevation and self want. The system of life is known to all men, just denied as it requires us to admit difficult truths about our personal self.
Francis Schaeffer wrote, "Christianity is the greatest intellectual system man has ever known."
Made in the image of God we are given the opportunity to know and understand the universe and He has given us the opportunity to know Him. To know Him as a matter of fact.
The Bible gives the answers to purpose. It provides a measurement for morals and values. It shows how our selfish choices throw off the systems of God, and how following His plan keeps the system on the best track for all of mankind. It provides the answers to the system of life: birth, living, death and eternal life. It defines our purpose and our value.
Without systematic Christianity there is no basis for: belief in purpose, to treasure a spouse or to love a child. If Darwin is dead-right then I merely need to ensure my seed is spread as much as possible. If the post-modern is right, then I can put my faith in a frog, and demand that you allow me to sacrifice my children to it. If other religions are right, then all I can do is try to be good enough before I die. Any normal man knows he is not that good. These fail as systems. They are not intellectual systems, have no connection to the universe and its workings, and do not answer life's most important questions.
Atheism and post-modern "belief" is based on no system - it spits in the face of the scientific method or even common sense. At least Descarte had some understanding of this, however flawed.
Evolutionist stand on their theory as full truth with none of the evidence demanded to support it.
This Easter I share with you that Jesus Christ is no, over-glorified historical figure. He was spoke of in great detail thousands of years before His arrival. He was God and a part of the system He designed. And, as any good designer, He saw his plan through with perfect execution.
He reveals Himself in such simplicity. "For his 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. So they are without excuse." Romans 1:21
If you are not the programmer, you don't get to decide how the code is written, you are subject to the code and how it works. And as men that live 70 years and die, while we are designers, we are clearly not worthy of being called the lead programmer.
God designed the universe and you. "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalms 139:14.
Like the designer we were given the opportunity to design. "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.." Gen 1:28 We were given free will as God has free will, but the designer said to stick to his system as it was perfect. But a creature with free will can make choices, and as common life shows us, choices have consequences. At tines, we all have chose our own way, what we thought would work better in the system. We all try to create systems that make us centric.
God created His system for His pleasure. In the first ever written book of the Bible, Job, we have God speaking to a man about the system He created:
“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.
5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
6 On what were its footings set,
or who laid its cornerstone—
7 while the morning stars sang together
and all the angels[a] shouted for joy?" - Job 38:4-7
As God enjoys His system, so He made it possible for us to enjoy it. Oh how we despise the things we are given for our good.
From our first rebellion, God who knew His system would be spat upon, prepared a way to repair and reboot, Jesus Christ, Himself in the flesh to satisfy the code of his system in a way men could comprehend. A way where those seeking would find Him, and those not seeking or rejecting, would be without excuse.
You didn't get to choose how matter was designed, how the universe would work, or how life would be conceived, and you don't get to choose what you want God to be. He is who He is. Moses asked, who shall I say has sent me, and God responded with, "I am."
The Bible provides the answers to how the system of faith works.
I would be a lousy friend if I did not share with you the most important thing I have learned in life. I know God designed me and you, gave us a choice, we choice to break the program, yet He repaired me and those that confess Him and seek Him. and will restore His system to perfection through Jesus Christ. He has revealed himself in nature, our conscience, the Bible and in the person of Jesus who is God Himself.
Men of the faith were dealing with all kinds of heresy in the second century and so they wrote a few simple lines to explain systematic Christianity.
10,000 years ago the system was unveiled, 2,000 years ago the system was redeemed, and in the future the system will be restored to its complete perfection. The system is the universe and all that is within it, the system's purpose was God in relationship with man. To be in harmony with the system and to know it requires a relationship with the creator, Jesus. Faith is a part of the system and what drives it. Jesus is the missing piece in the lives of people at war with the system and its designer. There is peace and life everlasting - but in Christ alone.
Happy Systematic Christianity Easter.