LEADER TIMES WEEKENDRELIGION ARTICLE FOR
October 24, 2015 byWilliam H. Scarle, Jr. 813-835-0129
It is time to wind up this series of articles on the nature of God from a Judeo-Christian or biblical perspective. This will be article seven in the series. Its intention has been to remind those who may have forgotten what the forefathers of these United States and the biblically faithful mean when they speak of God.God is personal, spiritual, moral, just and merciful. It is from this belief in God that our culture was built. Winston Churchill used to speak of “Christian civilization.”
The biblical God requires humanity, created in his image, to, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might (Deut. 6:5).” When the Jewish New Testament writers quoted this passage in Greek they understood that the Hebrew word for “soul” (nephesh) included the intellectual ability of human kind. As a result they added “mind”to the list. The God of the Bible encourages us to understand him as well as to be devoted to him.
This means that because God has revealed himself to humanity in his creation, in conscience, and in the written word we are able to apprehend him with our minds, although we cannot comprehend him.
God is beyond us but not unknowable. He knows everything (omniscience), he exists everywhere (omnipresence), and he is all powerful (omnipotence). If God were not beyond us he would not be God. If he was unknowable he would not be the biblical God who asks us to love him because he loves his creation.
It is not my intention to give a course in theology through these articles. This is the task of the church and synagogue. I am trying to point out acultural reality, namely our loss of the awareness of the God of ourfathers. It has come at a crucial time in our history.
Today most would agree that radical Islam is the most significant threat, in Churchill’s term, to Christian civilization. Many ask in confusion why they hate us so. Why the branding of the United States as “The Great Satan?” Why the cries of, “Death to America?” Why the mass killing of Christians in the Middle East and Africa? Secular moderns will not understand this mindset because it is theological. The Moslem terrorists do not keep this secret. The battle cry is “Allah Akbar,” or “God is great.”
The behavior of these Islamic warriors is driven and motivated by their theology. There is no secular answer to this behavior. The only answer is a theological answer. We, as a people, need to present a better andtruer idea of God. Whether or not we can do this depends on whether we, as a people, still have a faith in the biblical God who said to Moses “I AM WHO I AM.” That is I am the God who exists. The God’s of Egypt do not.
Secularism has sought for decades to bury theology in the cultural dump of irrelevancy. We have removed it from ourschools. We have removed it from the public square in the name of separation of church and state, which the educated, at least, know was simply directed at an established or national church. We have largely removed the God perspective from our moral thinking. And suddenly weare faced with a social order that is totally framed within a theology. Whether we will be able to counter that “jihad”will largely depend on our ability to recover “the city on a hill.”
(Bill Scarlecan be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org).END-whs