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Volume 30 - Page 50 of 179 Index | Zoom | |
Fruits of Fundamental Studies.
"What I believe."
pp. 5 - 7
A popular London daily newspaper some time ago published a series of articles,
entitled "What I Believe". The usual endeavour was made to get a "representative" set of
opinions, and the writers included an agnostic, a Jesuit, a poet, a playwright, and
a professor. Apart from two of the articles, or at most three, the views expressed would
have been better headed: "What I do not believe." Anyone in trouble or despair, reading
the series, would be justified in echoing Job's words: "Miserable comforters are ye all."
One article, however, was particularly striking by reason of the fact that it so
completely missed the mark, and so completely justified the opening chapters of Genesis.
The article concerned was written by a Professor of Industrial Relations, whose intense
humanity and wise counsel have made him both loved and respected by a large number
of wireless listeners, and by the many readers of his articles and letters of advice.
This is the way in which he opens his article:
"Do I believe in God? I don't know. If I could only grasp the question--but I can't.
Ask your Sealyham if he believes in Time-Space. He'll bark or growl because he'll
know you're making those noises humans make. But it won't mean anything, because
the question was beyond his ken."
At first sight one might be pardoned for saying that there is some truth in the
Professor's simile. God is infinite, God is spirit, God is invisible. Who are we, that we
should talk of knowing Him or believing in Him? There is, however, a fundamental
fallacy here that we do well to recognize. It is obvious that the Sealyham would not have
the remotest conception of Time-Space, and any appearance of intelligence in this
connection would be misleading. Let us set the argument out in syllogistic form. The
reader will probably perceive that we need more than one syllogism to make a perfect
presentation of the argument, but for our present purpose, this will suffice.
A Sealyham cannot understand Time-Space.
God is even more difficult to
understand. Therefore man cannot understand God.
Even the untrained mind will perceive the weak point here, but let us pass on to the
sequel. The assumption is that man is no more capable of understanding the idea of God
than a dog is capable of understanding the idea of Time-Space. But is this so? The Book
of Genesis goes out of its way to draw attention to the creation of man, marking him off
from all other creatures, and emphasizing one feature in particular that renders the
Professor's argument valueless. If Genesis be true, man was made in the "image and
likeness" of his Creator. While recognizing the immense gulf that separates the Creator
from His creatures, we must also remember that God has instituted a relationship between
man and Himself of such a character that God and man may use similar terms. They can