A couple of weeks ago I watched a debate between Bill Nye, engineer, entertainer, scientist, and most notably creator of his own show, Bill Nye, the Science Guy and Ken Ham, president/CEO and founder of Answers in Genesis, president of the Creation Museum, and a young-earth creationist. The debate, live streamed from the Creation Museum in Kentucky, centered on origins, more specifically “Is creation a viable model in today’s modern, scientific era?” Your basic creation vs. evolution debate. Admittedly, I’m not well versed on the arguments of an evolutionist. I know that their worldview is much different from mine. I know they believe that the earth and life as we know it is the result of a cosmic boom, a boom that happened millions of years ago. And I realize most of them are obviously atheists.
What struck me most during the debate was a statement Bill Nye made and one I’ve been pondering ever since:
“Mr. Ham and his followers have this remarkable view of a worldwide flood that influenced everything we know now. A 500-foot wooden boat, eight zookeepers, 14,000 individuals, every land plant in the world under water for a full year. I ask us all, is that really reasonable?”
I could counter with is it really reasonable to believe that I am a result of a boom somewhere far out in space? Both are an issue of faith when you get right down to it. Frankly, I don’t have any more faith to believe this view than the average evolutionist does to believe that we are the result of intelligent design. The debate that night, like all the others before it, left the two sides at an impasse.
But the question that has haunted me everyday since then is this idea of reason. Is God reasonable? Is Jesus reasonable? Is Christianity reasonable? Is it reasonable to believe that, not only are we the result of intelligent design, but that this Creator craved a relationship with humans so much so that He created them and a world for them to live in with the knowledge that they would disobey? Is it reasonable to believe the Son of God would willingly come to earth only to have His stay ended in one of the most savage forms of death in human history because of this disobedience?
A couple of months ago a mom from school called me and asked if I would be interested in getting our daughters together for a night of dinner and hanging out by the fire. She’s Italian, and she was cooking. All I had to do was bring Abigail and an appetite. I think we all know what my response was! We settled on a date that worked for both of us and decided to keep it as a surprise for the girls.
What I didn’t know is that God had put my daughter on that mom’s mind to pray for her. She didn’t know why, but she sensed that Abigail needed it. She ended up turning that night into a celebration of Abigail’s upcoming 16th birthday complete with homemade lasagna, roasted garlic, homemade bread, salad (for which she apologized for not having time to make her own dressing) homemade tiramisu, gourmet coffee with fresh whipped cream and chocolate shavings. After dinner, in a stupor of carbohydrate drunkenness, we lumbered over to the fireplace where they presented my daughter with 16 gifts for her 16th birthday. They weren’t big expensive gifts, but each one was exactly something Abigail would have purchased for herself-her favorite snacks, a twelve-stone necklace representing the twelve tribes of Israel, hair and beauty products, and a devotional. Each one spoke her language. I’ve known this mom and her daughter since our girls were in preschool together, but it’s not as if we have spent hordes of time together. We haven’t. So it was stunning, to say the least, to have this amount of kindness poured out on us because “we just wanted to bless you.” Mission accomplished.
If reason is about applying logic and making sense of things, coming to a conclusion based on logic, then no, nothing we believe is reasonable. Though I had known this mom for years and believed her to be kind, I didn’t know her well enough to believe it reasonable for her to lavish us with such love and kindness. I had no collected data to support any idea that she would behave this way.
Here are my thoughts on reason and proof:
1). The merits of engaging an evolutionist/atheist with sound apologetics cannot be overstated. However, if it’s proof the other side wants, then I would ask us as believers where our actions fall in this category. James 2 is very clear about backing up our words with actions. Anybody can say anything, but if our claims aren’t backed up by actions it’s about as impressive as a failed science experiment.
2). The battle cry of the evolutionist has always been “show me the scientific proof!” If it cannot be proven by science than it’s unreasonable to call it truth. First, there is no amount of scientific data that can explain the loving actions of a person moved by the Holy Spirit. This doesn’t mean the kindness doesn’t exist. Second, what Christians forget and atheists don’t acknowledge is that the science the evolutionist holds so dear to their cause as proof, has been authored by the same Person we use as our proof. Oh the irony.
3). Is Jesus unreasonable? To the human mind, yes. We trip ourselves up every time we try to explain or understand Him from a human perspective. We forget that we are made in His image, not He in ours. As soon as we can’t explain the “why” of a situation, we write Him off as unreasonable. The only unreasonable thing about Jesus was His willingness to die for a race of depraved people for the sole purpose of having a relationship with them. I don’t know about you, but I don’t love anyone enough to go to a cross for them especially an entire planet of pagans! But I see glimpses of His reasoning through the loving acts of the Body of Christ like my friend and her daughter.
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable” (Isaiah 40:28, NASB).
Is Jesus unreasonable? Yes. Humanly speaking, Jesus is unreasonable.