And he said this plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. -- Mark 8:32
Monday, December 14, 2015
The fuller exchange between Peter and the Lord is found in Matthew 16, but Mark gives us the idea. Recently, after yet more senseless murders, a newspaper headline declared that God would not fix our problems. Others mocked and ridiculed those who offered prayers for the victims and their families after the attack. Man always thinks he can tell God how to do things. Blind, ignorant, and corrupt politicians know better how to run the world than the God who created it. Many, if not most, anti-God arguments start from the assumption that what a particular person or culture considers good also constrains God.
Napoleon was a master of maneuver warfare because he could almost instinctively grasp the strategic points of the ground on which the battle would be fought. The soldiers sent forward to capture a particular position might not have understood the significance of what they did or failed to do. All they knew was the blood and horror of the battle around them. They braved the enemy’s fire or they failed to advance. The individual knew only the risks of his own situation. He could not see, especially during the battle, the part it played in the grand strategy of his general. His line might be the feint, or it might be the main attack. He might be the pawn sacrificed to draw the enemy away or he might the hammer which crushed the opposing force.
I don’t think we have all that much understanding of how the world really works. I think we are arrogant in our ignorance. We have developed some cool technology and some interesting toys over the last hundred years or so, but we are fools if we think we can control the forces of nature or that we comprehend the mysteries of the universe or of our own existence. Shakespeare is a lot closer to the truth than the science popularizers, the academics, Keynesian economists, and such: There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophies.
It doesn’t mean we should not strive or learn or that we can’t ever know some things. It means that we ought to humbly acknowledge with Browning, “Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?” The modern and the post-modern have eliminated heaven, and we know the agonies and destruction wrought to bring about their childish utopias of nihilistic hopelessness.
No one in this world is ever going to eliminate suffering and evil or so much as explain why they have to exist. Atheists can’t explain it any more than Buddhists, Muslims, or Christians. The day after some horrific event, disaster, or excruciating personal loss, we all, regardless of philosophical view or religious faith, have to get up and make it until the end. The difference is not in what I know but who I know. God knows, and I trust Him.