2015-04-11 Natural Theology
ACH Study Groups
Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders
7659 Gingerblossom Drive
Citrus Heights, CA 95621
April 11, 2015
This is a letter to our friends –
“What can man know of God, Given:
Only his environment and himself?”
Kudos to friend, Winkey Pratney, for asking me that question four decades ago.
To illustrate, I made up a fiction story about a 16 year old boy named Kim. Kim lives in the deepest darkest jungles in Africa. He was orphaned at birth, nursed by a she-wolf, (Its my story. I can put wolves in my jungle!) and miraculously survived. Kim has never seen another human being. What can he know of God?
Pause and think about “Kim”. Is Kim able to think and reason? Is he healthy? He has survived to his 16th year! Is he groomed? (Mom’s don’t judge by boys you know!) He observes animals grooming themselves. Is he lonely? Does he wonder about things?
Observation and reason lead to discovery of natural laws. “A product requires a producer.”
One balmy night, Kim is on his back in a pleasant meadow. He thinks of the sky as a “product”. What can he discover about the producer by observing the sky?
He is very big or very fast!
He is interested in order. (movement of the stars)
He uses color. (each star seems to have a different color)
He has great power. (a meteor streaks across the sky)
Next day Kim looks at sunlight through a leaf. The leaf is a product.
Producer designs utility. (veins distribute nourishment & add strength to leaf)
Producer designs tiny things. (leaf has tiny cells)
Producer has purpose. (leaf is food for animals)
Kim sees his reflection in a pool of water. He thinks of himself as a product.
Kim has two eyes. (depth perception)
He is “fearfully and wonderfully made”.
Kim is too warm. (he swims in the pool)
Kim is hungry. (he eats fruit)
Kim discovers there is a wholesome means of fulfillment for every need he has.
The producer is concerned for him.
Kim discovers he has desires, can make plans, has emotions, has a personality.
If the product (Kim) has these non-physical attributes, the producer must have them also.
One morning Kim wakes to watch Hal, the industrious monkey, gather bananas for breakfast. Larry, the sneaky monkey, swipes some of Hal’s bananas, crosses the clearing and begins to eat. Hal comes unglued!
Kim follows Larry’s example – but – now Kim has a problem – conscience. He tries to give back the banana, but Hal won’t accept it. Kim has a discord in his gut. If he remembers that everything in his environment teaches him there is a wholesome means of fulfilment, he will seek for and find the solution. (The producer has many ways to guide him.)
Rather, Kim carves a face on a stick and worships it. No help! So he switches to a face on a rock. Then a bigger rock. Deep inside is a voice, “Help! Its not working.” Kim thinks, “No, its going to work. I’ll Build a fire in front of the rock. Maybe toss in a monkey or two.”
That is dumb! Each face Kim carved was uglier than before. He was carving a face in his own image. — The bottom line – ALL MEN ARE “KIM”. Every man has his environment macro and micro. Every man has his own person physically and extra-physically. Every man has a conscience until it is violated so much that it is lost.
Think about this. –
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man …” [Romans 1:18–23a]