Are you certain?

WE have a human craving for certainty. It’s what encourages some people to become atheists exhibiting a religious sort of zeal. They can’t be certain that God exists and therefore conclude He definitely doesn’t.

Seeing is believing but it works the other way too. Believing is seeing. Knowing God is simply the progressive realization of the presence within us.

God does not ask us to ignore questions or disregard our doubts.
Real faith is learning to live in ambiguity with paradox and with questions for which there may be no answers in this temporal world.
Whatever happens in our lives – good or bad or just ordinary – can be the occasion for connecting deeply with the divine.

Professor Sir John Polkinghorne, one of the world’s most renowned particle physicists, insisted that there was no lack of evidence of God. “I believe God reveals his nature in many ways,” he said.
“They’re not demonstrations that knock you down, but they are very striking things about the world that are best understood as the work of God.”

Stuart Burgess, a spacecraft specialist who designed solar panels for US satellites, said “the most moving evidence for Christianity I have seen is when a person with a broken life puts their trust in the Lord Jesus and finds healing, peace and purpose.”

It’s lives radically changed by an awareness of God that will always be the greatest evidence of a loving creator.

When lives are genuinely redeemed there’s no need for faith to degenerate into a kind of meaningless religious performance, duty, obligation or ritual.

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23 thoughts on “Are you certain?

  1. Bryan :-They can’t be certain that God exists and therefore conclude “””He””” definitely doesn’t.
    So Bryan how are YOU CERTAIN it is a “””HE”””
    I am just pointing out the utter absurdity of such statement .
    “HE ” !!!

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    • It’s not absurd…your thinking is too small. The Bible has been referring to God as “He” since the beginning when Moses wrote Genesis. God actually identifies with both genders, as our Heavenly Father, and as a mother (Isaiah 49:15) and like a mother hen (Matt 23:37). When God created human beings in His own image, it says God created them male and female.

      So then why is God called a “He”? Well, a simple answer is that God HAD to choose a gender to reveal himself to us. A prime example is Jesus. Jesus, in order to be a real person, could not be genderless. In order for God to reveal Himself as a personal God, He had to choose.. because human beings have no concept of genderless persons.

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      • Gee that,s great !
        Of course man is chosen !
        How convenient to man not woman .
        With the benefit of women being down trodden .
        Gee it even throw into the broth massive variants to divide the species even further .
        And to top it off !!
        Trying out different religions all over the planet and throughout time .

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      • You’re not making much sense today mate. I’ll leave with this to ponder

        There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians)

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      • The fault is in human language, English or otherwise, which demands personality should have a gender. A genderless person is not an it, nor yet a he or she – we do not have a word.

        In the same sense as ‘dog’ is the word for all canines, and is also used for the masculine animal, so ‘man’ is used for mankind, male or female. It then follows that ‘he’ is used for a person without gender. Which leads to misapprehensions in our understanding. :-/

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    • Bryan,
      I’m gratified to see that you are not knocking ‘doubt’ too much there. I’m just reminded of a headline quote in a book in my library on Gnosticism. It has become one of my key aphorisms, although it demands that one do a bit of hard and critical thinking.

      Certainty divides us, and doubt unites us.

      Rian.

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  2. Stuart Burgess, a spacecraft specialist who designed solar panels for US satellites, said “the most moving evidence for Christianity I have seen is when a person with a broken life puts their trust in the Lord Jesus and finds healing, peace and purpose.”

    Bryan how do you manage to ignore the fact that people have been claiming that for every religion

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    • As someone who entered the world of Christianity viewing all the God-speak as metaphors, I was able to connect with concepts presented and found them very helpful in helping bring me a deeper understanding of things. The idea of putting your trust in Jesus is more a device to connect people with such understandings, from how I see it. Jesus knew his stuff, regardless of if he was God, human, or a fictional character.

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      • Yep.

        Now I don’t believe he was just a great psychologist. I believe he was vital to God’s plan. Others might think that plan has gone astray, but surely we can’t guess the purpose behind some things, as we see them in the short term and not in an eternal perspective.

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  3. I’ve heard it said that very few people are genuinely atheist. Even Richard Dawkins and American physicist, Lawrence Krauss admit that they “don’t know” whether God truly exists.

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  4. God is neither HE or SHE. It is spirit which includes all that is ans all that is not. To frame god into any image is just human invention going back to beginning of Universe. I repeat again, if the Jews had anything right, it was the law not to make an image of god.
    Am I certain about the existence of god? I am very certain, I have experience god within me. The all encompassing presence, oneness with all there is. Don’t look for god outside you, awaken god inside and you will see god in everything there is, Without the awakened god inside you will search in vain.

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    • Interesting Fossall,
      just a short time back, a Christian consensus on this blog suggested that to put the God inside one is New Age and wrong. It was stated that on the contrary one actually experiences the contact with the Divine to be like something coming from outside.

      I of course coming from the Gnostic/Pantheist tradition totally agree with your thesis here.

      Cheers and blessings,
      Rian.

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      • “Christ could be born a thousand times in Bethlehem – but all in vain
        until He is born in me.”

        From’ ‘Messenger Of The Heart: The Book Of Angelus Silesius, With Observations By Frederick Franck

        There is a more modern similar quote that I can’t trace – something like ‘It were in vain for Jesus to be born in a manger if he were not born within our hearts.’

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      • Yes Strewth,
        i’ve been familiar with that verse from Angelus Silesius for many years. The translation I’ve got reads…

        Though Christ be born a thousand times anew,
        Despair oh man unless he’s born in you.

        I think he was also the originator of this one that ran like this in the English

        ‘Hell-fire can ne’re be quenched; say you? Then hear.. –
        Repent and quench it with a single tear.

        Angelus Silesius was born into a Lutheran family early in the 17th century, but about the age of 29 he converted to Roman Catholicism. He was ordained to the priesthood, and though inclined towards a Christian Mysticism, as many of his beautiful little verses indicate, he proved to be violently opposed to the Protestant churches.

        These and hundreds of other inspirational quotes from all over, are in a couple of books of wonderful spiritual quotes compiled by Victor Gollancz, the head of the famous publishing house.. It’s been a treasured book of mine for 50 years or so, and the books are titled A Year of Grace, and the follow up – ah in my library two of them. A New Year of Grace, and From Darkness into Light. I often quoted from them in my long gone days of preaching some 45 years ago. A marvellous source of quotes and Jewish spiritual tales. As I explained several months back, in my more recent (last three or four years) contact with a church, my efforts were illustrated lectures and not sermons.

        Rian.

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