Why Isn’t God More Obvious?

lonely-tree-psychotherapy-counselling-manchester11.The search is valuable too. It’s good to seek, venture, explore, and study. If God bypassed all that, we’d lose vast intellectual riches.

2.There are many values at stake here: knowing God is but one value.

3.God’s magnitude/nature might be too much to handle directly.

4.We mistakenly demand to know him on our terms instead of His.

5.In some cases, God could be plenty obvious, we’re just that thick.

(a) It’s presumptuous to assume that the billions of believers in the world are all flatly deluded. It’s unrealistic to think that not even one of them has justified, true, God-belief.
(b) Causes can be inferred from their effects.
(c) Dozens of arguments for God’s existence; numerous (claimed) evidences of intelligent design, irreducible mind, transcendent moral standard, etc.
(d) Miracles, direct revelation, fulfilled prophecy etc.

6.In other cases, God could be respecting our wishes: like rebellious teenagers, we are liable to wish our parents would leave us alone.

“I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers.  It isn’t just that I don’t believe in God and, naturally, hope that I’m right in my belief.  It’s that I hope there is no God!  I don’t want there to be a God; I don’t want the universe to be like that. My guess is that this cosmic authority problem is not a rare condition and that it is responsible for much of the scientism and reductionism in our time.”    Thomas Nagel (Last Word [Oxford, 1997], 130-1).

7.Knowing that God exists (impersonal assent) is less important than believing in God (personal trust). It could be that many people would refuse to trust God like that so he allows them to stay in the dark.

8.Knowing God is a two-way street: We can damage our capacity for knowledge through our own devices (i.e., addiction, pride, delusion)

9.In Abrahamic theism there’s the Imago Dei doctrine—man is God’s image bearer. We ourselves are a key to understanding God (Consciousness? Morality? Creativity? Intelligence?). In that way, God is patently obvious, though by indirect witness.

10.What are we doing with the proofs/evidence he’s already given us? Are you demanding he prove himself or humbly seeking after him?

11. “God gives us enough information so that those who are willing to believe can be justified in believing, and those who don’t want to believe don’t feel forced to feign loyalty” Clay Jones

12. God’s been obvious before, and people still rejected him. (Crucifixion)

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4 thoughts on “Why Isn’t God More Obvious?

  1. Has anybody considered that God might be hiding himself (somewhat) from us in order to save us? “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

    1. Good point. I think part of the shallow/insincerity of atheist’s conceptions of God is from an unwillingness to imagine a God whose perfection and justice qualify him as the Supreme judge over all. His very presence is terrifying condemnation when we’ve directed our lives against him, and against even the little moral law we’ve left unscathed in our conscience.

  2. That we are submitted to God on His terms (rather than at the point of our cognitive/spiritual margins) is the ongoing epicentre of our sanctification.

    I was struck powerfully again this week by thinking about how to respond to a mate who has abandoned a literal understanding of the bible, including hell…Jesus’ words in John 6 reverberate and His question, “does this offend you?”

    Perhaps one of the most common points of our offense at Jesus’ leadership is His timing…as in John 7 and the feast of taberncles.

    Many thanks!

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