During his presidential campaign, President Obama published a book entitled The Audacity of Hope. I love that title. It’s one that could be used to describe Christianity, but I’m afraid that instead of “rejoicing in hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:1-2) we have, by and large, become a religion that has become audacious in our certainty.
This is great when it applies to the security of our salvation through Christ (John 10:27-30), the reliance on God to keep His promises (II Peter 3:9), or trusting in our faith as the only evidence we need (Hebrews 11:1). The problem is that we have a tendency to extend this audacity of certainty to our own interpretations of God’s word (I was reminded of this fact many times in preparing for the 20 Entrepreneurial Lessons from Creation series).
The Great Struggle Between God and Science
There is a great cosmic battle between the church and science. Each is out to destroy the other. Agreement with science is a blasphemy against God while agreement with God is a blasphemy against reason. Really? Says who? Yes, there are those on both sides with agendas so some of these arguments are valid; however, is God at odds with science? I think not.
God wrote the laws of science. He is not at odds with them, but neither is He bound by them. True science is discovery via the scientific method. A scientist’s job is to observe and explain within these confines. When a scientist says that there is no evidence to suggest or confirm an assertion from the Bible is true, why do so many Christians take offense at that?
Throughout the history of Christianity there have been powerful members who have opposed scientific ideas as blasphemy, and then proceeded to do some of the most horrific acts in the name of Christianity to silence these ideas. It turns out that the earth does rotate around the sun, the world isn’t flat, and on and on. It also turns out that the Bible never disagreed with these findings either.
Biblical Creation Versus the Big Bang and Evolution
Compared to the debates roaring today, those disputes between the church and science were small potatoes. It’s a little terrifying to think about what they would have done with people like Stephen Hawking proclaiming the universe created itself or Richard Dawkins declaring that God is a delusion.
Science has taken on its own audacity in recent years sounding more and more like a religion in its own right. They have gone far beyond the scientific method, and are now openly attacking the Bible, Creation, and the very existence of God. Sadly, Christians have taken the bait and staunchly defend their ideas of Biblical science. Are they defending what the Bible really says though?
Is the universe only 6,000 years old? Were the days in Creation only 24 hours long? When did dinosaurs roam the earth? Are there gaps between the days in Creation? Has this planet been populated before us? Is there a case for Biblical evolution? There are so many different “Biblical” views about Creation, but which is correct? Isn’t there some audacity is saying your account is the right one?
I Don’t Remember Seeing You There at Creation
The Bible simply says that God created the universe and everything in it. He did it in an orderly fashion, on purpose, with the crowning glory of His Creation being us. Everything else is conjecture, speculation, and frankly unprofitable for us, as Christians, to spend much time pondering – let alone debating.
If you’re still determined to have the audacity to try to explain God’s Creation then I would invite you to read what He tells Job when Job has the audacity to question Him. Here’s just the opening from Job 38 …
1Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, 2Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? 3Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. 4Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. 5Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? 6Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; 7When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? 8Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb? 9When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it, 10And brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors, 11And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?
God continues to ask Job question after question for the next few chapters. What Job quickly realized, and what we should realize, is that our understanding and knowledge is so small compared to the reality that God knows.
The Role of Audacity in Marketplace Christianity
There’s a saying that people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. People are not attracted to God through the audacity of our beliefs. They are attracted to God by the audacity of our actions. This attraction is what’s known as the glory of God. It is a reflection of Him coming forth from what He’s doing in us.
There are many skirmishes being fought in the name of God that will never bring a single person to Christ. How that must break His heart. He does not need us to fight His battles. He needs us to show His love. We can spend our time proving to a dying world that they are wrong, or we can have the audacity to show them Christ’s love in our actions every single day.
Paul put it this way when writing to Titus.
8This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men. 9But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. – Titus 3:9-10
Have you been drawn into a debate with a coworker over a Biblical truth? When is it appropriate to defend the faith? How do you turn a debate into a conversation that results in sharing Christ’s love with a coworker? I’d love to hear your about your experiences.