“There is no reason in the established truths of science to suppose that God cannot reach us and be with us in order to guide and communicate with us.” Dallas Willard on God Can Communicate with Us…
One of the densest parts of the book so far has been Chapter 4 when Dr. Willard tries to confront science.
In simple words, he takes on a knowledge system that refuses to acknowledge God because the system cannot prove His physical reality.
Is this proof necessary?
I guess it is for people who deal with hard sciences. Hard science is science based on methodology, exacting measure and objective thought. Natural science is often labeled a hard science because it requires statistical confirmation for any idea to be accepted. If you don’t have that, your idea is not proven.
Which leaves us with God.
How can we prove God?
How can we prove that God communicates with us?
For most of us, it is not necessary to prove God beyond a shadow of a doubt. We know what we know and we have faith to cover the rest of it. However, for a “scientist” this is not enough.
For a scientist, God does not even have to be a part of the scientific world; in fact, many scientists don’t even figure Him into their worldview at all. Natural matter is in a constant state of evolution and God is not part of it at all.
What is the effect of this on ordinary man?
Some ordinary people may question God’s existence because of the influence of these learned scientists.
To make this personal, I have an educational degree with many years of exposure to science. I did not major in “hard science” yet I did have a well-rounded education that exposed me to these types of people in the classroom.
Besides being exposed to “hard science” professors in my education, I also had exposure to other religious worldviews, one of which was Buddhism. I did not feel compelled to become a Buddhist because I found the Buddhist deity too distant and the road to improvement to be too self-centered. After a dalliance with Buddhism, I returned to Christianity, or at least a feeling that the Christian Church was where I belonged.
One thing I do recall from those days which seems to bridge the gap between Christianity and science is the Buddhist idea that all matter is in a state of change. All matter is in a process of growth and then decay and after decay, matter takes on a new form. I found that idea very appealing at the time but I have never considered it to be a Christian idea. I don’t feel the need to cling to this idea as a way to explain Christianity.
Matter is the main problem that Dr. Willard is tackling in Chapter 4. How can he prove that God is matter? How can he prove that God communicates to us through matter?
Then he speaks of Jacob and I can see a parallel. Jacob is asleep on a rock in a desert ravine in Genesis 28: 16-17. He goes to sleep seeing only a physical landscape. In his dream [it is not clear if it is a dream or not] he begins to see that God is interacting with the place where he has fallen asleep. He sees a stairway to heaven with angels ascending and descending on it. God tells him that he will be blessed as well as his descendants. In fact all people on earth will be blessed through Jacob’s offspring. Jacob awakens to see the world through different eyes. He says “Surely the Lord is in this place—and I did not know it! …How awesome is this place! There is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.” [Genesis 28: 16-17].
Is our God in matter?
Is our God capable of communicating through matter?
What do these two questions do to the hard scientist who has to prove God through rigid methodology, exacting measure and objective thought?
When one ponders what happened to Jacob, the doubts become meaningless because Jacob sees that God is a part of it all.
Most of us have a hard time grasping that and truthfully, I would rather not think that God has to be in my water glass, the book I am reading and the pencil I am writing with.
But maybe Jacob has it right.
God is in everything; just as he awakened to see God in the place where he was, we can awaken to see God everywhere. He has control. He permeates reality.
Does God exist in matter? Of course He does.
Does God communicate through matter? Of course He can.
Why don’t “hard scientists” see this?
They may one day, if only they could have the dream of Jacob.