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Professing to be wise, they became fools (Romans 1:22)
"Let me explain the problem science has with Jesus Christ," the professor of philosophy said as he paused before his class. He then asked one of his new students to stand. "You're a Christian, aren't you, son?"
"So you believe in God?"
"Is God good?"
"Sure! God's good."
"Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?"
"Are you good or evil?"
"The Bible says I'm evil."
The professor grinned knowingly. "Ahh! THE BIBLE!" He considered for a moment. "Then here's one for you. Let's say there's a sick person over here and you can cure him. You can do it. Would you help that person? Would you try?"
"Yes sir, I would."
"So you're good...!"
"I wouldn't say that."
"Why not say that? You would help a sick and maimed person if you could...in fact most of us would if we could... God doesn't."
There was no answer.
"He doesn't, does he? My brother was a Christian who died of cancer even though he prayed to Jesus to heal him. How is this Jesus good? Hmmm? Can you answer that one?"
There was no answer.
The elderly professor appeared sympathetic. "No, you can't, can you?" He took a sip of water from a glass on his desk to give the student time to relax. In philosophy, you have to go easy with the new ones. "Let's start again young fella. Is God good?"
"Is Satan good?"
"Where does Satan come from?"
The student faltered. "From... God..."
"That's right. God made Satan, didn't he?"
The elderly man ran his bony fingers through his thinning hair and turned to the smirking, student audience. "I think we're going to have a lot of fun this semester, ladies and gentlemen." He turned back to the Christian. "Tell me, son. Is there evil in this world?"
"Evil's everywhere, isn't it? Did God make everything?"
"Who created evil?"
There was no answer.
"Is there sickness in this world? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All the terrible things - do they exist in this world? "
The student squirmed on his feet. "Yes, sir."
"Who created them? "
There was no reply.
The professor suddenly shouted at his student.
"WHO CREATED THEM? TELL ME, PLEASE!"
The professor closed in for the kill and climbed into the Christian's face. In a still small voice he asked: "God created all evil, didn't He, son?"
There was still no answer.
The student tried to hold the professor's steady, experienced gaze and failed. Suddenly the lecturer broke away to pace the front of the classroom like an aging panther. The class was mesmerized. "Tell me," he continued, "How is it that this God is good if He created all evil throughout all time?" The professor then swished his arms around to encompass the wickedness of the world. "All the hatred, the brutality, all the pain, all the torture, all the death and ugliness and all the suffering created by this good God is all over the world, isn't it, young man?"
There was no answer.
"Don't you see it all over the place? Huh?"
There was a pause.
The professor leaned into the student's face again and whispers, "Is God good?"
Again, there was no answer.
"Do you believe in Jesus Christ, son?"
The student's voice betrayed him and cracked. "Yes, professor. I do."
The old man shook his head sadly. "Science says you have five senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Have you seen Jesus? "
"No, sir. I've never seen Him."
"Then tell us if you've ever heard your Jesus?"
"No, sir. I have not."
"Have you ever felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus or smelt your Jesus...in fact, do you have any sensory perception of your God whatsoever?"
Still there was no answer.
"Answer me, please."
"No, sir, I'm afraid I haven't."
"You're AFRAID... you haven't ?"
"Yet you still believe in him?"
"Now that, takes FAITH!" The professor smiled sagely at the underling. "According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your God doesn't exist. What do you say to that, son? Where is your God now?"
The student didn't answer that question either.
"Sit down, please."
The Christian sat down. He was defeated.
Another Christian raised his hand. "Professor, may I address the class?"
The professor turned and smiled. "Ah, another Christian in the vanguard! Come, come, young man. Speak some proper wisdom to the gathering."
The Christian looked around the room. "Some interesting points you are making, sir. Now I've got a question for you. Is there such thing as heat?"
"Yes," the professor replies. "There's heat."
"Is there such a thing as cold?"
"Yes, son, there's cold too."
"No, sir, there isn't."
The professor's grin froze. The room suddenly became very still.
The second Christian continued, "You can have lots of heat, even more heat, super-heat, mega-heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat but we don't have anything called 'cold'. We can hit 458 degrees below zero, which is no heat, but we can't go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold, otherwise we would be able to go colder than 458. You see, sir, cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat we can measure in thermal units because heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it."
There was silence. You could have heard a pin drop in the classroom. "Is there such a thing as darkness, professor?"
"That's a dumb question, son. What is night if it isn't darkness? What are you getting at...?"
"So you say there is such a thing as darkness?"
"You're wrong again, sir. Darkness is not something, it is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light but if you have no light constantly you have nothing and it's called darkness, isn't it? That's the meaning we use to define the word. In reality, Darkness isn't. If it were, you would be able to make darkness darker and give me a jar of it. Can you...give me a jar of darker darkness, professor?"
Despite himself, the professor smiled at the young effrontery before him. This would indeed be a good semester. "Would you mind telling us what your point is, young man?"
"Yes, professor. My point is, your philosophical premise is flawed to start with and so your conclusion must be in error...."
The professor went ballistic. "Flawed...? How dare you...!"
"Sir, may I explain what I mean?" The class was all ears.
"Explain... oh, explain..."
The professor made an admirable effort to regain control. Suddenly he became affability itself. He waved his hand to silence the class, and for the student to continue.
"You are working on the premise of duality," the Christian explained. "That, for example there is life and then there's death; a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science cannot even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism but has never seen, much less fully understood them. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life, merely the absence of it."
The young man held up a newspaper which he took from the desk of a neighbor who has been reading it. "Here is one of the most disgusting tabloids this country hosts, professor. Is there such a thing as immorality?"
"Of course there is, now look..."
"Wrong again, sir. You see, immorality is merely the absence of morality. Is there such thing as injustice? No. Injustice is the absence of justice. Is there such a thing as evil?" The Christian paused. "Isn't evil the absence of good?"
The professor's face turned an alarming color. He was so angry that he became temporarily speechless.
The Christian continued. "If there is evil in the world, professor, and we all agree there is, then God, if he exists, must be accomplishing a work through the agency of evil. What is that work God is accomplishing? The Bible tells us it is to see if each one of us will, of our own free will, choose good over evil."
The professor bridled, "As a philosophical scientist, I don't view this matter as having anything to do with any choice; as a realist, I absolutely do not recognize the concept of God or any other theological factor as being part of the world equation because God is not observable."
"I would have thought that the absence of God's moral code in this world is probably one of the most observable phenomena going," the Christian replied. "Newspapers make billions of dollars reporting it every week! Tell me, professor, do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?"
"If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, young man, yes, of course I do."
"Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?"
The professor made a sucking sound with his teeth and gave his student a silent, stony stare.
"Professor. Since no-one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you now not a scientist, but a priest?"
"I'll overlook your impudence in the light of our philosophical discussion. Now, have you quite finished?" the professor hissed.
"So you don't accept God's moral code to do what is righteous?"
"I believe in what is - that's science!"
"Ah! SCIENCE!" the student's face split into a grin. "Sir, you rightly state that science is the study of observed phenomena. Science too is a premise which is flawed..."
"SCIENCE IS FLAWED..?" the professor spluttered.
The class went into an uproar. The Christian remained standing while the commotion subsided. "To continue the point you were making earlier to the other student, may I give you an example of what I mean?"
The professor wisely kept silent. The Christian looked around the room. "Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the professor's brain?"
The class broke out into laughter. The Christian pointed towards his elderly, crumbling tutor. "Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor's brain... felt the professor's brain, touched or smelt the professor's brain?" The Christian paused and shook his head sadly. "It appears no-one here has had any sensory perception of the professor's brain whatsoever. Well, according to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science, says the professor has no brain."
The class went into chaos. The Christian sat down... Because, after all, that is what a chair is for.
That was an email I got.
"What I do today must be important because I am exchanging a day of my life for it."