Losing God in the Forest

Last Word

When talking to others about our God, we don’t have to get caught up in miniscule details that supposedly prove His existence—the Creator has made His glory obvious for all to see.

For some people, this may come as a surprise. The Creator is alive and well, and we can find evidence of Him any time we walk out into the forest. In fact, we can find His handiwork anywhere we look. That’s the message of “Seeing the Forest amid the Trees,” p. 60.

The problem was not their inability to see Him but their rebellious hearts.

“The Creator is clearly seen,” Paul explained to the Romans (1:20). Yet despite all their intelligence and scientific skills, the Gentiles refused to acknowledge the Creator. The problem was not their inability to see Him but their rebellious hearts, which “suppressed the truth in unrighteousness” (1:18).

This is one of the most helpful truths I learned while working with creationists at the Creation Museum several years ago. God is revealing Himself everywhere, all the time. He’s not just whispering but showing Himself clearly for all to see, in an infinite number of ways.

Sometimes we get so focused on finding evidences of “irreducibly complex” designs to prove God—like the microscopic motors on bacteria’s flagella—that we lose sight of the big picture.

God’s revelation is not limited to a few engineering tricks that only specialists can see. No, He has plainly revealed His nature and glory throughout the universe so that no human would miss them. Indeed, we were made to look for emanations of His glory and to glorify Him.

Psalm 19 suggests the universality of God’s revelation through nature. The Creator communicates His glory without regard to language or intelligence; it is not restricted to—or even primarily understood by—science. Even a child can intuitively see God’s beauty, harmony, love, and order.

That was the purpose of the “Forest amid the Trees” article. It restates the theme of the museum’s culminating “design” exhibit, called Communities. God’s wonders are clearly seen, not just in the design of natural laws, the elements, the stars, DNA, cells, or individual species but also in the fully functioning systems and relationships necessary for life. A watch’s beauty lies not just in the individual metal parts but in how well it runs.

We Christians need to be careful not to get lost in the details. When we talk to others about our Creator and Savior, it is a mistake to assume they don’t know about God (Psalm 14:1). They don’t have to be “wowed” with obscure scientific facts. Everywhere they turn, creation shouts God’s glory (see Psalm 98:7–9).

In a sense, we simply need to remind people about the things they already know. As Paul reminded the Athenians, they were already aware that God made them and they owed their lives to Him (Acts 17:23–30). God made us to worship Him (John 4:23), but we have suppressed our knowledge of Him, choosing to worship the trees instead of the One who made them (Romans 1:23–25). We are without excuse, deserving the Creator’s wrath.

That fact sets the stage for sharing the gospel. God knew we would turn from Him, so He delivered up His sinless Son to hang on a tree, suffering His wrath in our place. Our primary job as Christians is not to prove God’s design of trees and other created things. Our goal is to point sinners back to the Creator who became the Savior.

Mike Matthews is the editor in chief of Answers magazine.

Answers Magazine

July – September 2012

It’s impossible to explain how even one creature could evolve by chance, but in fact all life needs a complete community of other organisms to survive. The web of life had to be in place from the very start for any of us to exist. What an amazing testimony to the Creator! Also learn about animals that seem to come back from the dead, robotics, and how archaeology in Jordan confirms the Bible’s history.

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