Pastor Chris Has the Last Word

This is the next-to-last installment of a series in which I debate with myself about the topic, Resolved: That a Personal God Created the Universe. When I make this presentation I wear an ecclesiastical stole as “Pastor Chris.” As the atheist “Dr. Schriner” I doff the stole and put on glasses. Dr. Schriner has just offered his final remarks, so here is the pastor once again. He begins by commenting on the fine-tuning argument for the existence of God. (For more on fine-tuning, see the October 2 post.)

As a religious person I get laughed at for believing in fairy-tale mythologies. But when scientists dream up wild stories about there being an infinite number of undetectable universes, all the secular humanists solemnly nod and agree. There is only one reason these bizarre multiple-universe scenarios get any press. People see that if this is actually the only universe, then it looks like some great creative power intended for us to be here.

When I try to think about the universe reasonably, I reject the idea of existence without any deliberate cause. This is not a faith-based argument. The idea of a godless cosmos offends my intelligence. And my belief is also based on direct experience. I can feel God here with us now, just as clearly as knowing there’s a ceiling on this room. It’s not exactly like seeing, of course, but it’s a definite sensing, a clear and tangible kind of contact.

When Schriner presents evidence that believers are often immoral, it makes me sad but it is completely beside the point. Perhaps the human tendency to be selfish and unloving is so strong that religion has not overcome these faults in most people. But those who truly open themselves to God’s presence are changed for the better. I’ll again quote the atheist, Daniel Dennett, who says that from a sincere theist’s point of view, “God is the greatest thing that could ever enter our lives. It isn’t like accepting a conclusion; it’s like falling in love.”* Those who are open to God’s love do become better persons. The tragedy is that so few of us fully accept this boundless grace. But we always have the freedom to open our hearts to redemption, and perhaps some who are here today will embrace this possibility. At least I hope you will agree, based on a preponderance of the evidence, a personal deity did create the universe.

*Daniel C. Dennett, Breaking the Spell, p. 250.

I’ll complete this series in the next installment.

Roger Christan Schriner

To subscribe to Theists & Atheists: Communication & Common Ground, click the “Follow” link on the upper left.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Pastor Chris Has the Last Word

  1. You say:

    “Pastor Chris Has the Last Word
    Posted on December 6, 2015

    This is the next-to-last installment of a series in which I debate with myself about the topic, Resolved: That a Personal God Created the Universe. When I make this presentation I wear an ecclesiastical stole as “Pastor Chris.” As the atheist “Dr. Schriner” I doff the stole and put on glasses.”

    Suppose we two you Schriner and I talk about this topic, namely:

    “The default status of things in the world is that there is existence.”

    First, of course, we have to know what is the sentence above all about.

    But as I read about your background, I am sure you understand what I am talking about in the sentence above.

    Just the same, to make sure that you and I are connected, perhaps you can do me the favor of telling me briefly what I am into.

    • There are several ways of referring to that which exists. Existents can be called entities, processes, properties, etc. Let’s say we call them entities. Then I interpret this statement:

      “The default status of things in the world is that there is existence.”

      as meaning:

      As a default assumption, we can say that entities that exist do exist.

      However this just means:

      Some entities exist.

      Perhaps you were intending to say more than that.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s