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My Faith: The danger of asking God ‘Why me?'
August 4th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

My Faith: The danger of asking God ‘Why me?'

Editor’s note: Timothy Keller is senior pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York and author of The New York Times best-selling book "The Reason for God." His book for church leaders, "Center Church," will be published in September.

By Timothy Keller, Special to CNN

(CNN)–When I was diagnosed with cancer, the question “Why me?” was a natural one.

Later, when I survived but others with the same kind of cancer died, I also had to ask, “Why me?”

Suffering and death seem random, senseless.

The recent Aurora, Colorado, shootings — in which some people were spared and others lost — is the latest, vivid example of this, but there are plenty of others every day: from casualties in the Syria uprising to victims of accidents on American roads. Tsunamis, tornadoes, household accidents - the list is long.

As a minister, I’ve spent countless hours with suffering people crying: “Why did God let this happen?” In general I hear four answers to this question. Each is wrong, or at least inadequate.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

The first answer is “I guess this proves there is no God.” The problem with this thinking is that the problem of senseless suffering does not go away if you abandon belief in God.

In his Letter from Birmingham Jail, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. said that if there was no higher divine law, there would be no way to tell if any particular human law was unjust. Likewise, if there is no God, then why do we have a sense of outrage and horror when suffering and tragedy occur? The strong eat the weak, there is no meaning, so why not?

Friedrich Nietzsche exemplified that idea. When the atheist Nietzsche heard that a natural disaster had destroyed Java in 1883, he wrote a friend: “Two-hundred-thousand wiped out at a stroke—how magnificent!”

Because there is no God, Nietzsche said, all value judgments are arbitrary. All definitions of justice are just the results of your culture or temperament.

My Take: This is where God was in Aurora

As different as they were, King and Nietzsche agreed on this point. If there is no God or higher divine law then violence is perfectly natural.

So abandoning belief in God doesn’t help with the problem of suffering at all.

The second response to suffering is: “While there is a God, he’s not completely in control of everything. He couldn’t stop this.”

But that kind of God doesn’t really fit our definition of “God.” So that thinking hardly helps us with reconciling God and suffering.

The third answer to the worst kind of suffering – seemingly senseless death – is: “God saves some people and lets others die because he favors and rewards good people.”

But the Bible forcefully rejects the idea that people who suffer more are worse people than those who are spared suffering.

This was the self-righteous premise of Job’s friends in that great Old Testament book. They sat around Job, who was experiencing one sorrow after another, and said “The reason this is happening to you and not us is because we are living right and you are not.”

At the end of the book, God expresses his fury at Job’s ”miserable comforters.” The world is too fallen and deeply broken to fall into neat patterns of good people having good lives and bad people having bad lives.

The fourth answer to suffering in the face of an all-powerful God is that God knows what he’s doing, so be quiet and trust him.

This is partly right, but inadequate. It is inadequate because it is cold and because the Bible gives us more with which to face the terrors of life.

God did not create a world with death and evil in it. It is the result of humankind turning away from him. We were put into this world to live wholly for him, and when instead we began to live for ourselves everything in our created reality began to fall apart, physically, socially and spiritually. Everything became subject to decay.

But God did not abandon us. Only Christianity of all the world’s major religions teaches that God came to Earth in Jesus Christ and became subject to suffering and death himself, dying on the cross to take the punishment our sins deserved, so that someday he can return to Earth to end all suffering without ending us.

Do you see what this means? We don’t know the reason God allows evil and suffering to continue, or why it is so random, but now at least we know what the reason isn’t, what it can’t be.

It can’t be that he doesn’t love us. It can’t be that he doesn’t care. He is so committed to our ultimate happiness that he was willing to plunge into the greatest depths of suffering himself.

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Someone might say, “But that’s only half an answer to the question ‘Why?'” Yes, but it is the half that we need. If God actually explained all the reasons why he allows things to happen as they do, it would be too much for our finite brains.

What we truly need is what little children need. They can’t understand most of what their parents allow and disallow for them. They need to know their parents love them and can be trusted. We need to know the same thing about God.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Timothy Keller.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • God

soundoff (3,664 Responses)
  1. 2357

    In heaven there is no controversy, no confusion, no more BS. No atomic decay, no cloud of probability, no imperception. That's reason enough to want heaven, namely Lifting of the Curse. We have little idea what the universe is like apart from the Curse. We can only go by witness of He who levied it.

    August 5, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • Rocket Surgeon

      You wish.
      There is a name for your problem. It's called An'al-Retentive Syndrome.

      August 5, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • Post Menstrrual

      The curse, what curse, lost that years ago. You lost me, please explain.

      August 5, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • Name*why me? Continued

      I believe the curse being referred to is SIN. It was brought into this world originally when Eve, tempted by Satan, disguised as a serpent, convinced her to partake of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The bible also states the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
      There has been a curse on all mankind since the original sin which has brought evil into the world through Satan.

      August 5, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • David

      God kicked Adam and Eve out of the garden of Eden before they could eat from the Tree of Life. So actually, he robbed mankind of eternal life because of a tantrum spawned of selfish egoism.

      The serpent was more of a friend to man than God.

      Of course, you would have to actually READ the Bible to know that.

      August 5, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • Reason122

      @Name*why me? Continued

      So God punished Adam and Eve for seeking knowledge? So God considers seeking knowledge SIN?

      Pure insanity.....

      August 5, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
    • Name*why me? Continued

      Lol! No it was a tree of knowledge of good and evil. Once they ate of it, they were aware they were naked, they had knowledge of evil, that they didn't have before that. There was a law by God not to eat the fruit of that tree and Adam and Eve sinned because they ate it although they were forbidden to, that was the sin. Since then, humanity continually believes they are smarter than God and know better than He does:) One day I will shed this corruptible body and put on the immortal, when I get to heaven. This is the HOPE we have as believers.

      August 5, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
    • Reason122

      @Name*why me? Continued

      So you are seriously saying God does not want man to seek knowledge?

      So God wanted Adam and Eve to remain ignorant then? And Adam and Eve were supposed to make a "good" decision to obey God without ANY knowledge of good and evil?

      The only choices Adam and Eve had then were to remain ignorant or get punished.

      A lot of believers seem to be afraid of reason, so you are saying God doesn't want man to

      August 5, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
    • Reason122

      @Name*why me? Continued

      A lot of believers seem to be afraid of reason, so you are saying God doesn't want man to reason?

      August 5, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • Reason122

      Name*why me? Continued

      "Once they ate of it, they were aware they were naked, they had knowledge of evil, that they didn't have before that. There was a law by God not to eat the fruit of that tree and Adam and Eve sinned because they ate it although they were forbidden to, that was the sin. Since then, humanity continually believes they are smarter than God and know better than He does"

      So, you think humanity believes we are smarter than God because we have knowledge of good and evil? You must believe in a really stupid God.

      August 5, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
    • I Don't Get It

      It'd be nice if you believers would get your fantasy stories coordinated. The other day on the Aurora massacre story several believers were going on about how "God" allows bad things to happen so that we will appreciate the good things.

      August 5, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
    • Name*why me? Continued

      Just like Moses told Lazarus( the rich man who never gave to the poor beggar) after he was in torment.... He wanted to go back and warn his brothers not to come to hell, but Moses said no, they have the propHets and the teachings, even if someone came back from the dead, they won't believe. Good luck to those of you who don't believe.

      August 6, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • What IF

      Name*
      "even if someone came back from the dead, they won't believe."

      Try us!

      Sounds like the author of that story (Luke?) hadn't been briefed on the Strawman fallacy.

      August 6, 2012 at 12:12 am |
    • Name*why me? Continued

      Ok for starters, JESUS came back from the dead! Lol My grandma on her deathbed saw heaven and told her son. Lots of people have had what they call "near death experiences" where they saw God. Now do you believe? Didn't think so.

      August 6, 2012 at 12:16 am |
    • What IF

      *Name,

      An omniscient "God" would know *precisely* what proof is acceptable to each and every one of us individually.

      An omnipotent "God" would be able to provide it.

      An all-loving "God" would do so, with no misunderstandings, misinterpretations nor guessing games.

      August 6, 2012 at 3:34 am |
  2. Name*why me? Continued

    I read an excellent, difficult book on this subject. Ita called "when God weeps" and I believe the author was in a wheelchair. For any of you who believe there is a God and wonder about how human suffering can be biblically addressed, I would say read this book When God Weeps, but be prepared for a deep thought provoking and sometimes painful read. The truth hurts, but it will set you free.

    August 5, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • OOO

      and what, preytell is this truth?

      August 5, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • Name*why me? Continued

      What is the truth? Read the book. I can't explain the whole truth on a CNN post. If you don't want to, don't. I'm not in the mood to shoot the crap with anybody about if there is a God or not. Lol I've got serious problems of my own to worry about. Just thought some people may decide to read this book which explained a lot to me about suffering and how God works.

      August 5, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • OOO

      I read the reviews on amazon. Some people thought it completely depressing and threw it in the garbage. Nobody had a synopsys of wht it was about.

      August 5, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • Name*why me? Continued

      Went straight to the reviews that were the worst huh? Well don't read it then, it is depressing. Life is often depressing. The book uses the bible and real life tragedies to explain how God
      Works through our heartache and it's a lot better to me the
      The annoying teachings some televangelists teach that walking with God is a bed of roses. Psalms 84:6 says it best "when they walk through the valley of weeping, it will become a place of refreshing"
      Again this book is NOT for the faint of heart.

      August 5, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
  3. Jameson

    This blog restores my faith – not in God, but in CNN.

    August 5, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • Watch

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7b0gRzJbe8s&w=640&h=360]
      SO much truth to this link watch it if your wondering why we suffer don't blame no one but human beings

      August 5, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
  4. JeramieH

    > Likewise, if there is no God, then why do we have a sense of outrage...

    Two possibilities: mirror neurons, which cause us to experience the pain of others around us... and social contract, meaning we voluntarily sacrifice some freedoms (to kill each other, etc) because we gain greater benefit from being the member of a stable society.

    To require a god is to say that we, as adults, are incapable of thinking and behaving ourselves without a supernatural enforcer.

    August 5, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
    • Repent and believe in Jesus and you will be saved.

      You are incapable of existing without a supernatural creator.

      August 5, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • tallulah13

      You have that backwards: The lack of evidence for a supernatural creator shows that the only likely way one is possible is if people like you make one up.

      August 5, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • Repent and believe in Jesus and you will be saved.

      Your ability to communicate (however feebly) is evidence of God.

      August 5, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
  5. ME II

    @Timothy Keller,
    "The problem with this thinking is that the problem of senseless suffering does not go away if you abandon belief in God."
    The problem with that thinking is that senseless suffering does not have to be explain if you abandon belief in God, it makes "sense" that suffering would not fit with any pattern of good and bad, but would follow more of, but not completely, a random distribution. Not completely random because people don't do things completely randomly.

    While this does not 'prove there is no God,' it does seem to be inconsistent with what we would consider a just and loving God.

    August 5, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • ME II

      p.s. Using such a quote from Nietzsche is just a cheap ad hominem attack, or more specifically 'poisoning the well'. After all, who wants to be associated with Nietzsche, therefore, of course that's bad.

      August 5, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @ME II,

      Rev. Keller also used Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as evidence of misplaced athesist thinking. Hardly a reputable source on atheists I would think.

      Using Friedrich Nietzsche is indeed a cheap shot. The author equates athesim with nihilism, which is willfuly wrong.

      I expressed a very similar idea to yours (at the top of p28).

      August 5, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • David

      LOL. What's next, Heidegger?

      You know that we atheists are secret card-carrying kitten killers.

      August 5, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • Repent and believe in Jesus and you will be saved.

      We don't get to decide who God is. He wrote a book to tell us who he is.

      August 5, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • David

      "He wrote a book to tell us who he is."

      You would be referring to the Upanishads, I take it?

      August 5, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • ME II

      Although, at least the King quote was relevant and showed the logic King was using, even if it is also mistaken, IMO. Nietzsche's is not even relevant as it shows no argument, but is just one person's quote-mined response to an event.

      August 5, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • Repent and believe in Jeebus

      Oh wait. I just realized humans wrote that book.
      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3FnpaWQJO0&w=640&h=360]

      August 5, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • ME II

      @GOPer,
      Yes, I agree with your point on p28, although I think rather than claiming Keller used the wrong sources, his very argument is fallacious.
      In essence, when he claims that the problem of senseless suffering doesn't go away without God, he is in effect begging the question that 'the problem' is the suffering and not believing in God does not reduce suffering. Which is true, it would not. However, the "problem", under consideration is the senselessness of the suffering, which is solved by there be no God, no omni^3 God anyway, as there is no sense or benevolence to be expected.

      Although, to your point, the "more reasoned thinkers" you referred to probably said it better than I.

      August 5, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @ME II,

      yes the argument is fallacious. Even stipulating the 'free will of evildoers' there is plenty of God-delivered misery in terms of disease, disaster and accident that befalls the innocent and the 'wicked' alike. So much for the theory of the loving God.

      Here's what I really don't get: Stipulating that God loves us and wants us to be with him, why does he send us to earth to test us of our worthiness to be with him? Why not go straight to the answer – 'go straight to paradise, do not live on earth, do not collect $200' without all the miserable, tedious mucking about in between?

      The whole concept makes no sense at all.

      August 5, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
  6. Repent and believe in Jesus and you will be saved.

    Apart from God there's no reason anything should exist. Design screams designer

    August 5, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • lol

      3rd rate troll post screams 3rd rate troll

      August 5, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
    • David

      Give me Pierre Paulin or Charles Eames any day. There are real designers for you.

      August 5, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
    • Repent and believe in Jesus and you will be saved.

      You scream "I'm gay"!

      August 5, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Repent etc,

      So "Repent, etc", are you gay?

      August 5, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      Perhaps evolution is the designer. Don't you find it interesting that humans are becoming increasingly faster, smarter, stronger, and more in control of our world with a nearly exponential rate of progression?

      August 5, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      A fundamental flaw in the concept of 'intelligent design' is the total lack of understanding for the process of design.

      When humans engineer something (ie design) we inevitably make mistakes and make things that are non-optimal.

      Think of airplanes for example. Compare and contrast the earliest airplanes to those of today. When they crashed we figured out why and made changes so that the next design doesn't crash. We came up with incremental changes in materials and powerplants.

      What does this "design" process remind you of? There's a very good word that describes "design" changes over time. Let me give you a hint. Airplane designs evolved.

      Of course I forgot that God is supercalifragilistic and doesn't make mistakes. How silly of me.

      August 5, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
  7. DeeCee1000

    "God did not create a world with death and evil in it."

    False. Animals have always eaten each other for food, long before human beings evolved. We kill all kinds of animals for food as well. True that we can blame things like global warming and the extinction of many other species on human beings as a collective for being ignorant, greedy, selfish, and many other things I'm sure, but to say that this world was somehow a "paradise" before human beings evolved is simply false. If you believe that humanity's "sins" are what keeps this world in a less than "paradisaical" existence. . .then wouldn't lying and refusing to accept obvious truths such as evolution factor into your less than paradisaical existence? I don't see this author doing anyone favors by continuing the lie that his "God" or any other "God" created this world as a "paradise" when the fact is death, suffering, killing and other similar things have existed since the beginning.

    August 5, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
  8. SK

    Timothy Keller writes, When I was diagnosed with cancer, the question “Why me?” was a natural one".
    My question to him is "Why not you?". Why does he think he can not be the one? What is special about him?

    August 5, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
  9. lol

    the author is so full of sh!t his face is swelling, making his eyes into little slits.

    August 5, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
  10. Lizzy10

    The question to ask is "Why not me"? Many people who are better than I have suffered and died, so "Why not me"?

    August 5, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
  11. Schreck

    I did see a 17 yrs old schoolmate of mine becoming a Nietszche fan and a nihilist. I definitly wouldn't follow that way. Martin Luther King Jr. i have no idea about, must read..., but for the short: maybe Einstein said, we can't solve the problems with the same way of thinking, that we created them. Personally i like the idea, that if there is a christian type of god, then he is atheist...:)

    August 5, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
    • David

      I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own - a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotisms.

      – Albert Einstein, obituary in New York Times, April 19, 1955

      I do not believe in immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it.

      – Albert Einstein, Albert Einstein: The Human Side

      August 5, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Schrek,

      yes, I don't find nihilism to be very helpful, nor Nietzsche – except as an academic excercise.

      August 5, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • swisscottage

      So David – Einstein is an expert on the supernatural because...?

      August 5, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @David,

      Einstein believed in the Spinozan God – a subtle and complex philosophy and unsurprising for such a man. It nicely expresses the trancendant aspects of the universe without all the tedious contradictions of Judeo/Christianity.

      August 5, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • David

      Nietzsche is a fine philosopher. He was actually known to have been a very caring person.

      August 5, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      David, that's your problem....with you only ONE thing is possible. With Athiests and agnostics, nearly everything is possible.

      August 5, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • David

      @swisscottage The OP (Shrek) mentioned Einstein. Why don't you read before commenting, or do you need a priest to interpret for you?

      August 5, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • David

      @exlonghorn Since I am an atheist, I rather like your appraisal.

      August 5, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      Sorry David...misidentification, my friend. Peace. 🙂

      August 5, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
  12. David

    At he end of the day, worms will not discriminate between people of different religious persuasions, nor will the dirt give one cra.p what rules you have obeyed or allegiances you have promised.

    Living in a fantasy world is a perversion; it prevents you from actually appreciating the magnificence of the world in which we live. Justifying cruelty and disease removes the impetus to rid humanity of them.

    August 5, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
    • swisscottage

      "Living in a fantasy world is a perversion; it prevents you from actually appreciating the magnificence of the world in which we live. " Perhaps that's how you feel when you visit your fantasy world (I won't ask what, or where, that is). Being a person of faith gives me immense appreciation for the immensity, complexity, and beauty of the universe.

      August 5, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • Repent and believe in Jesus and you will be saved.

      You atheists consider yourselves so openminded but in fact you are taking quite a leap of faith by ignoring the obvious fact that anything created in fact has a creator. Even you.

      August 5, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • David

      You are foolishly assuming a) that there is a creator, and b) he has taken a personal interest in you.

      I prefer a little dose of evidence before arriving at epistemological conclusions.

      August 5, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • David

      @swisscottage Sorry, wrong again. Being a person of faith just makes you a gullible ass.

      August 5, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • JeramieH

      > obvious fact that anything created in fact has a creator

      Who was God's creator?

      August 5, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • JWT

      O agree it was obvious – but in fact I had two creators – I call them mom and dad.

      August 5, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
  13. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    @Chad,

    and don't give me the new covenant verus old covenant rhetoric on slavery.

    If "Christians" only focused on the new covenant, we wouldn't have any questions around gay marriage.

    August 5, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Sorry, this post is out of context. It belongs on p28.

      August 5, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
  14. Franz Anton Mesmer

    "If there is no God or higher divine law then violence is perfectly natural."
    Survey Says .... #1 answer.

    "If God actually explained all the reasons why he allows things to happen as they do, it would be too much for our finite brains."
    No, the reasons things happen as they do is too much for our finite brains, therefore we create religion & gods to bring about a semblance of sanity & comfort, even though it is false.

    August 5, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
  15. DeeCee1000

    Death and "evil" or the predatory animals eating or killing other animals has always existed. It would be great if the popular religions would incorporate today's knowledge of the natural world with what they try to teach their followers. Most of what I see are large groups of either very confused or very ignorant followers. This planet, has always been a very violent place, but yet life has been able to survive and evolve because this planet is also more hospitable to life as we know it than most known places in our own solar system. Every atom in your body and in fact every atom that makes up everything you see around you was created within exploding stars with unimaginable forces involved including unimaginable gravity and heat, millions of degrees of heat. I the author of this article is actually trying to seek the truth, which I highly doubt, he would have realized long ago that this creation and the very planet we live on are violent places to live in and have always been that way. If the millions of cows we humans kill everyday knew human beings were in the business of killing them for food, would they call us "evil"?

    August 5, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
  16. Repent and believe in Jesus and you will be saved.

    It takes a lot of faith to be an atheist

    August 5, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • David

      Reject your neurotic delusions of bearded fairy kings and you will spared a life of embarrassing ignorance.

      August 5, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • Repent and believe in Jesus and you will be saved.

      You sir will be a very unhappy camper a millisecond after you stop breathing.
      That said, I hope that you repent and believe in Jesus before that happens.
      It's not Gods will for you to perish, but it currently seems to be yours.

      August 5, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      Actually it takes no faith whatsoever. We know what we know, and we know there are things we do not yet know. It's as simple as that. Faith is not required.

      August 5, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      Repent,

      You have nothing to back up your fantastic claims. You are no different than PT Barnum.

      August 5, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
    • Repent and believe in Jeebus and you will be put in a 401k

      Not if you took a science class.

      August 5, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
  17. The lord thy god

    As an omnipotent god, I find it a little embarassing to say that the vicar of christ on earth is in need of a little more cash from the faithful and has set up a special fund, much like the poor box, to pay for the legal exspenses and setlements for our pedophile brothers, sh*it happens. Give till it hurts.

    August 5, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
  18. 2357

    Apart from the existence of God, there is no reason why coherent communication should exist in the universe.

    August 5, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
    • David

      There is if you want to band together for safety from the big cats or to take down a woolly mammoth so everyone can eat.

      August 5, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
    • Repent and believe in Jesus and you will be saved.

      Apart from God there's no reason anything should exist.

      August 5, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      My family, friends, and interests are reason enough to exist. I don't know what your problem is.

      August 5, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
  19. 2357

    A line consists of an infinite number of points between two points. All of mathematical reality is founded upon the notion of the Point. But is there material proof of the existence of the Point? No. It's existence is semantic and therefore spiritual, not material. Quantum physics treads a similar boundary at the threshold of the material universe.

    "And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called" – Isaiah

    Our entire existence is a mere figment of God's infinite glory. While your existence is increasingly improbable as time passes, God's existence grows exponentially until the final consummation. Know that your invisible rebellion is written into your spiritual destiny.

    August 5, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Actually, you have that backwards. There is no evidence that your god is anything other than a figment of believers' imaginations.

      August 5, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      The definition of the point is an axiom. You might consider it philosophical, but it is not spritual.

      It is just as axiomatic as 1 + 0 = 1 and 1 + 1 = 2. These are foundational to mathematics, and while certainly conceptual, they are absolutely not spiritual.

      Thought is not divinely created.

      August 5, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
    • David

      Do you believe in everything for which no evidence has been provided, or are you selective with your your fantasies?

      August 5, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • 2357

      I questioned everything I ever learned from anyone. I found myself in a dark and terrifying place alone with God.
      In the judgement each of us will stand truly alone and absolutely exposed. There will be no audience for mockery and wit.

      August 5, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      "It's existence is semantic and therefore spiritual"

      WRONG. You cannot make that leap. Math is the greatest universal truth because it simply IS. It was here before humans...it will be here after. It governs the universe in ways that religion can only envy. Math is not open to the shortcomings of God and man. it cannot be jealous, spiteful, arrogant, or even dismissive. It simply IS. I'm kinda surprised it hasn't become a religion in it's own right. Differential equations always seemed a bit miraculous to me.

      August 5, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
  20. johnthebaptist

    I'm with those who think the kindly pastor's arguments are a bit thin. He seems to be saying that god (God?) created us for his own amusement and that he tests us and then rewards us if we pass the test. Seriously? I imagine we could come up with a good evolutionary reason for us not liking mass murderers or mass killings. We do live in communities after all, and our individual fates are somewhat tied to the fates of others.

    August 5, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.