Thought for the Month (May 2009)

Dear Friends,

I am sure you will have heard about the 'God Debate' posters, 'God probably doesn't exist' displayed on some London buses, and the counter poster 'God probably does exist' put up by some Christian groups. The Advertising Standards Agency wisely refused to rule on this matter, saying 'The existence, or not, of God, is outside our remit' and their decision just underlines the fact that you cannot 'prove God' in any legal way.

You cannot prove God through Science because Science deals only with the material world, and God is outside that. Neither can Science tell you anything about the true nature of the universe but only how each part of it relates to the other (i.e., matter is made of atoms, which are made of sub-atomic particles, which are made of wave packets and force-fields. Wave packets and force fields are generated by the vibrations of subatomic particles which are etc. etc. Or everything is a form of energy, which is just another property of matter, and so-on).

All scientific proofs are circular because they can only define things in their own terms. The same is true of Philosophy. Whether you hold to a philosophy which boils down to 'The Universe is real, so we must get on with it as best we can' or a philosophy which says 'It's all an illusion anyway,' philosophical arguments can only describe our manner of thinking in terms of their own making. And there is no philosophical argument for or against the existence of God which cannot be stood on its head by a skilled debater. Seen from this standpoint any attempt to prove or disprove the existence of God in mere human terms is doomed to failure.

So this is why we have Belief. Belief is not just a blind faith; there is more to this world than meets the eye. Belief is based in millennia of human experience, and proof through Belief is just as valid as proof through Science or Philosophy. Generation upon generations of humanity have felt that they have experienced God. The effect of this 'revelation by insight' on human affairs is so great that it can only be ignored by the narrow academic mind which has no longer any place for normal human understanding.

So do not let yourself be worried by the pundits, and stick to your Christian belief. God in His wisdom does not give us any philosophical or scientific proof of His existence, for to have done so would have made Him less that this Universe of His creation. Instead, through Jesus, He says to us that all we have to do is to believe in Him, and to love Him and keep His commandments. And He also says that He will not leave us alone, but send us His spirit, the comforter, the 'maker of strength', who will lead us in all truth. What other proof do you need?

May the Holy Spirit of God be with you in all strength this Pentecost, now and for always.

Bob Webb

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Tunbridge Wells United Reformed Church