Tuesday, February 25, 2014

God is as Real as 1+1=2

People will rarely go on to see the value of math beyond a high school level. In class we memorize the multiplication tables, use formula sheets, and learn techniques such as algebra and calculus all for the sake of solving hypothetical math problems that are hardly practical in every day life. When are normal human beings going to need to use logarithms? Probably never. But just because math is not practical to the every day man does not mean that math is not practical at all. Engineers used calculus to put man on the moon, artists use the golden ratio in designs, and economists use statistics to create models and make predictions. Math is real and it produces real results. 

God may not seem real to us when we are spiritually uneducated. If all we know about religion is a couple bible verses and stories of Noah's ark, then God will be as real as someone buying 60 watermelons in a math problem. Not very real at all. But God, unlike math is a lot more practical because of the one practical reality we all face, death. We may not all build rockets as engineers but we will all eventually die and for that reason we all need to be Christians because there is a life after death and the only way we are going to experience it is through God. This sentiment of an afterlife may be hard to believe or seem unreal, but once we become expert engineers of Christianity, God will become more tangible to us.

God becomes real when we start applying him in our lives.

Math is not real to the average population because beyond addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division there is hardly a use for it in every day society. However, math becomes more and more real the more a person uses it, such as an engineer who uses advanced calculus to design remarkable products. All of a sudden these strange formulas and symbols become a tangible process that creates spaceships. If we never get to that level of math knowledge, then we will never know how practical and useful math really is.

Christian ideals are practical, but they must be applied. If we read the bible and simply reap the knowledge it will be the same as memorizing formulas and multiplication tables. There will be no use of our knowledge if we do not solve our problems with it. Knowing that we should forgive others is not enough, we must do it. Knowing we should not judge others is not enough, we must not do it. Knowing we should love others is useless if we still hate people. Once we start applying Christian knowledge in everyday life, we will begin to see the results, our problems become resolved and our faith becomes practical. God becomes real.
"In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead."
           James 2:17

Becoming an engineer and learning calculus is not easy. Nor is becoming a Christian. It will be discouraging. The knowledge will be overwhelming and difficult to digest. Often times it will feel like we are not making progress. Learning about the bible will be like learning about multivariable calculus. At times it may not seem practical and we may question whether being an engineer or a Christian is worth it, but faith is believing that it is. Happiness, peace, love, and an eternal life in heaven feel as far as the moon, but keep practicing your calculus, keep asking teachers for help, stick to your dreams and you will find yourself on a mission to Mars. God seems unreal, an idea or a belief that we can only hope to come true but the church can be our teachers. The bible can be our textbook. Keep praying and one day the big man himself will open our eyes..  
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."
          Hebrew 11:1

Even as a Christian who found God there are times I do not see it. I have doubts, I feel God may no longer be real. But in the end I have faith and it always brings me back to my belief. The reward is great. Becoming a Christian, being a Christian, is the hardest battle we will ever fight. The result of  wrestling with doubt, of risking believing in some fairy tale of a God that might be a 2000 year old folklore passed down through the ages, is a strong conviction in a higher truth that I and many Christians claim is a very real God.

Beliefs may not seem tangible because of a lack of practical application. Like math, we need to find ways to apply our knowledge of Christianity to real world settings. Once we see Christian ideals of morality and ethics are tangible things that apply we begin to realize that perhaps the central idea of Christianity, a God may be real. Even when doubt tries to convince us they are not, have faith and take action.


  1. Loving the analogy, brotha. Your words invoke in me thoughts I thought I never had, keep it up, as usual. You got yourself an email subscriber

    1. Awwwww yeeeeeees! Thank you. You are a gentleman and a scholar.

  2. I am cautious about this piece. If you replace the word, "Christianity," throughout this piece with another religion, the piece congruously reconciles to the essence of the writing, which highlights morality, ethics, experiencing God, etc. If Christianity was simply for the sake of these things to experience God, it's much better to be a, I.e. Buddhist or Hindi, for they are possibly some of most kind, humble and ethical folks in the world, through which they claim to be striving for intimacy/oneness with God. If doing these good things brings us to God or experience God, why shouldnt other religions or even nonreligous folks be able to? I think it's an incomplete logic if we're talking about Christianity. Not that the things mentioned in this piece are inferior matters in Christianity, but I think it's an absolute necessity to tie it back to the centrality and essence of the Cross: redemption, justification and reconciliation. Also, with the manifestation of the Kingdom agenda for His redeemed children. This helps us to remember/understand WHY the mentioned material is vital in application throughout our lives. Otherwise, what we believe in is merely synonymous to other religions.

    1. Dear Anonymous,
      I believe Dan is dealing with existentialism rather than that of essentialism. I don’t disagree with you on the centrality of the Cross but Dan is a Methodist and there is a Grace that comes before justification: Prevenient Grace. And this is what United Methodists experience during infant baptism. Perhaps this is where "people" will hotly debate on issues of faith and theology.

      I don’t think it’s much better to be practicing some other religion because they are more ethical/humble/kind people. I apologize if I have misread your assessment of Buddhists and Hindus walking on higher moral ground than us Christ followers. I didn’t really understand the purpose of the sentence other than to make that judgment call. I'm guessing you are trying get to the point of telling Dan to watch out for Panentheism. And yes, he should. But I think he knows.

      At this point Dan is a Christian who is a theistic apologist. But he will get to where you are challenging him to go. It’s all a process of answering “our calls”.



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