A different brand of faith
Written by: Limbaugh, David Posted on: 04/10/2003
June 20, 2001
A different brand of faith
I often marvel at the leaps of faith required to allow one to believe that the miracle of human life,
let alone the wonders of the physical universe, just spontaneously evolved from nothingness. Ive
always believed that it would take far more faith not to believe that God created man and the
universe than to believe that He did.
Indeed, since becoming a Christian, I find affirmation of this truth in Romans 1:18-20. "The
wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men
who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to
them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world, Gods invisible
qualities -- his eternal power and divine nature -- have been clearly seen, being understood from
what has been made, so that men are without excuse."
Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias, in his book "Jesus Among Other Gods," gives us some idea
(in mathematical terms) of the magnitude of faith necessary to believe that the material world
resulted from some random process. Zacharias quotes Chandra Wickramasinghe, professor of
applied mathematics at the University of Cardiff, Wales, concerning the marvels of the human
Wickramasinghe "reminded his readers that the statistical probability of forming even a single
enzyme, the building block of the gene, which is in turn the building block of the cell, is 1 in 10
to the 40,000th power. The translation of that figure is that it would require more attempts for the
formation of one enzyme than there are atoms in all the stars of all the galaxies in the entire
known universe." Nevertheless, todays popular culture seems wedded to the bias that a
belief in God is born of irrationality. The conventional wisdom is that one must leave his reason
at the door in order to believe in God. Says Zacharias, "Unfortunately, for reasons justifiable and
unjustifiable, individuals hostile to belief in God often malign faith in Him as the lure of emotion
clinging to an idea with the mind disengaged." I have remembered Zacharias's words as I have
read the many articles written lately about the work of scientists who are researching the
relationship between the brain and religious experiences. The scientists are attempting to
understand the physiology of spiritual experiences, apparently believing that most religion is
based on these experiences, which they consider to be illusory. "Religion is a property of the
brain and has little to do with whats out there," says researcher Michael Persinger. The
Washington Post article chronicling this asks, "Could the voices that Moses and Mohammed
heard on remote mountaintops have been just a bunch of firing neurons an illusion? Could Jesus
conversations with God have been a mental delusion?"
Even more interesting is the researchers speculation that mystical experiences may be the result
of "decreased activity in the brains parietal lobe," which "creates the transcendental feeling of
being one with the universe." Doesnt this sound like Zachariass point about the "mind
disengaged"? It is amazing to me how simplistic this "scientific" approach to religion is. Just for
starters the researchers fall into two obvious errors. First, they lump all religions together, which
is unwarranted. For example, the Hindu concept of transcendentalism and becoming one with the
universe is foreign to Christianity, which holds to a belief in a personal God and the conviction
that each individual retains his unique personality never merging into the absolute. Second, the
researchers seem to assume that ones faith is wholly dependent upon mystical experiences. To
the contrary (regarding Christians, at least), many Christians will tell you that though their lives
have been changed since becoming Christians, they have never had a mystical experience at all
and, regardless, their faith is based on much more than mere feelings.
Christians cannot depend exclusively on feelings; otherwise they may wholly abandon their faith
upon encountering life's difficulties. They must rely on things much more immutable than
subjective feelings, such as belief in the Word of God and the finished work of Christ, to sustain
them through their various trials.
Like it or not, many of these researchers have an agenda, and that agenda is to discredit religion
in general and Christianity in particular, which they believe are responsible for most of the ills in
society, such as "religious wars, fanaticism and intolerance." How ironic is the degree to which
some scientists are willing to discard their scientific methods in pursuit of conclusions that
support beliefs based on their secular brand of faith.
David Limbaugh is author of Absolute Power: The Legacy of Corruption in
the Clinton-Reno Justice Department. Available through Amazon.com
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