Last month the Times' front page screamed: "God did not create the universe" - reporting on the new book co-authored by Stephen Hawking in which he asserts a spontaneous creation. What I most enjoyed about the piece was a ringing endorsement from Richard Dawkins. Among other things he made this revealing comment:
“I know nothing of the details of the physics but I had always assumed the same thing.” (ht)
Isn't that brilliant?!
Actually that's how we all reason. All of us. All the time. But it's hilarious to see it so plainly in Dawkins.
Here's a guy who claims to be a child of the Enlightenment, he doesn't know the details, he's in no way qualified to pass judgement, it's not even remotely his field, but he'd always assumed something like this must be right because it fits with some other stuff he also believes and is very much committed to... so... it floats his boat and he gives it his full assent (whatever it is, he's not entirely sure) and, carried away by the necessity of its truth, he wants you to be carried away by it too, that we might all give allegiance to this grand vision (whatever it is, let's not get too hung up on the details).
But you know what? That's how we all "reason".
And it's not just inconsistent atheists. It's just how human beings work. Our hearts are captured by a bigger vision and our minds catch up.
Christians tend to hate the Wet, Wet, Wet line "My mind's made up by the way that I feel" - even as much as the song itself. Many times I've heard preachers denounce such an idea - Our minds aren't made up by our feelings! Or at least they shouldn't be. Feelings don't boss us around. Our minds need to tell our feelings where to get off.
Now "feelings" are indeed fickle things. Perhaps even as fickle as thoughts! So let's substitute "heart" for feelings. And let's also acknowledge that our hearts should not be given free rein. Something certainly needs to control our hearts. But that the something is God's Word. That's what shapes the heart. And the heart shapes the thinking. (Gen 6:5ff; Prov 4:23; Matt 12:34; Matt 15:19; Heb 4:12).
That feels right to me anyway. What do you think? And why?