George Bowers Sr. : Fooling ourselves about God
“Your shoestring’s untied!” “Your shirt’s unbuttoned.” “There’s a fly in your soup.” You are likely to hear any of these on the first day of April as early risers seek to dupe those who fail to remember the Day of the Fool. Although practical jokers and pranksters have been around as long as humans, according to Wikipedia, April Fool’s Day didn’t become widely popular until the 1800s.
Since then, this first day of April has provided an excuse for creating circumstances that fool others and result in laughter and lighthearted fun. Even my mother enjoyed seeing how she could catch her family and friends on this day when innocent lying was legal.
Fools are often seen as carryovers from the court jesters of the middle ages who sought to produce lightness and frivolity for their monarchs who faced very sobering decisions routinely. Even today, our elected officials could benefit from a good daily belly laugh as they face difficult economic and social challenges.
Although there’s no Biblical reference to April Fool’s Day, many people are familiar with the verses that refer to those who reject God’s existence as fools. In our day the term is one of ridicule and mockery, but the Biblical word actually refers to one who is morally, rather than mentally deficient.
With advances in science and technology, however, failing to believe in God is increasingly foolish by either definition. In last week’s column, I referenced a book coauthored by Norman Geisler and Frank Turek, “I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist” In it, they methodically examine the scientific and historical evidence for the existence of God. They do not scorn nonbelievers, but rather show by factual evidence how it literally takes more faith not to believe in God today than it does to believe in him.
In the book, they highlight irreducibly complex organs and systems that could not have evolved gradually over time. Charles Darwin himself boldly claimed that, “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” Today we know that every living cell disproves his theory when judged by his own criteria. Most scientists admit that there is no possible way that the mechanisms in every one of the thirty some trillion cells in your body could have gradually evolved. If the tiny molecular machines such as ribosomes, Golgi bodies, and mitochondria had not been completely formed, they would be worthless and lost in the evolutionary process long before they could have become useful.
Rattlesnakes are another example. If the reptile had evolved poison before it had a way to deliver it, the toxin would have been discarded. Likewise, if the hypodermic fangs had grown before the venom, they too would have disappeared. They both had to be fully formed and functioning along with the appropriate glands and ducts in order for this complex system to work.
The bombardier beetle also demonstrates irreducible complexity. This small insect actually repels predators with explosive fire from his rear end. He holds in his abdomen two chemicals that ignite when combined. This critter would have blasted to smithereens if these components weren’t precisely segregated and regulated in their mixture and delivery. If one had existed without the other, it would have disappeared long ago and their gradual formation is impossible to explain. This system is much too complex to have formed in slow steps over time.
On April 22, one of these authors, Frank Turek, will speak at Antioch Church of the Brethren in Woodstock on this very topic. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., he will question the existence of truth and examine the Big Bang, the origin of life, and the validity of miracles. He will not begin by assuming the Bible is true but will consider the data we have to answer that important question as well. In addition, he has scheduled time for questions. No one will be ridiculed or mocked regardless of their beliefs or statements and those with doubts regarding Christianity are invited to come, listen, and ask whatever questions they may have. This free event is primarily designed for high school and college age youth, but no one will be turned away. The goal is to understand and appreciate God that we might not be found foolish or uninformed in April, or any other month. Come and bring a friend! Blessings, George
George Bowers Sr. is the senior pastor of Antioch Church of the Brethren and has authored eight books, including his latest, “Celebration Time, A Collection of Brethren Love Feasts.” He can be reached through www.georgebowersministries.com or at firstname.lastname@example.org.