There are many ways to look at our lives and the universe we live in, but the following are the most opposite: 1) there is no supernatural realm and 2) there is a supernatural reality. Or, in other words, nature is all there is or there is a supernatural world beyond the natural world.
If we believe there is no supernatural kingdom, that rules out much of what is described in the Bible. It also determines how we look at the Bible. For those who reject the supernatural, the Bible is nothing more than a book full of fantasies. For example, the Bible clearly teaches that Jesus is the Son of God who was murdered and raised from the dead. Those who believe there is no supernatural reality dismiss the story of a miraculous resurrection from the dead and believe it to be just a primitive myth.
This is called an anti-supernatural presupposition (a belief that is held before examining any evidence). I became a believer in the reality of the supernatural realm in graduate school in college. Before that, I didn’t believe there was a supernatural side to life. My minor was biology. To the best of my recollection, every course I took in biology was taught with an anti-supernatural bias. And that’s how I saw my life and the universe at that time.
This anti-supernatural vision is summed up in the following statement: “the present is the key to the past”. This view is called “uniformitarianism” – if there are no miracles in the present, then no miracles have ever happened.
The title of this article is “It’s all in how you look at it.” Back when I was in college, I never really thought there was another way to see life. The possibility that there is a supernatural realm has rarely occurred to me. But is it fair to rule out the possibility of a supernatural realm without even considering it a possibility? Is there evidence that there is a God and that he wants to know us personally?
Consider this illustration. You are abandoned on an island in the South Pacific. You haven’t seen anyone in a year, so you assume you’re on your own. Then, as you walk along the beach, you see etched in the sand: “Hi! But, you know you’re alone on the island, so you don’t know what you saw in the sand. Later, you see a half-eaten burger. Yet you are sure you are alone, so you once again ignore what you see.
Is there clear evidence that we humans are not alone? Could there be damning evidence as clear to us as “Hi!” in the sand that there is a Creator God who wants to know us? Listen to what a Bible verse has to tell us. “For from the creation of the world the unseen qualities of God – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20)
Listen to some of the many “Hi! 2) Could the delicate balance necessary for our survival and that of all of life have occurred? (just the right distance from the sun, just the right oxygen in the atmosphere, just the right balance of plant and animal life, and many more)
If you reject the existence of a supernatural, I challenge you to look at anything that allows plants and animals and us to survive and reject the possibility of Someone saying “Hi!” ours. Also, read the Bible with an openness to the possibility that its authors were guided by God. And, finally, consider the possibility that you will discover as I did over 50 years ago that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died to pay the price for our sins so that we can all have eternal life. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
“It’s all in how you look at it!”
Larry Cory is discipleship director at Chestnut Street Baptist and pastor and assistant pastor at Ellensburg.