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Posts Tagged with “quotes”

The Only Safe Place

The recent and unexpected death of young Christian made me ponder again why “bad” things happen to believers.

It’s easy to question God’s plan in our own ignorance. The Bible clearly says, “we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.1” We often lack the perspective to understand what is good in God’s eyes, but we can trust him and seek to be in his purposes, not ours. There are two quotes I love on this subject. William MacDonald said, “We know that He answers every prayer in exactly the same way we would if we had His wisdom, love, and powers.”2 Betsie ten Boom, who died at the hands of Nazis in a concentration camp, told her sister Corrie,

There are no ‘if’s’ in God’s world. And no places that are safer than other places. The center of His will is our only safety – Oh Corrie, let us pray that we may always know it!3

  1. Romans 8:28 []
  2. My Heart, My Life, My All, William MacDonald, 2001. Chap. 5 []
  3. The Hiding Place, Corrie ten Boom, 1974 []

Hints for the Lord Almighty

The following quote is attributed to King Alfonso X of Castile, sometimes called “Alfonso the Wise” and “Alfonso the Astronomer.”  It is said that he made these comments in the 13th century while being taught Ptolemaic astronomy:

If the Lord Almighty had consulted me before embarking upon Creation, I should  have recommended something simpler.

Likewise, Richard Dawkins said the following in an interview with The Oregonian:

The recurrent laryngeal nerve is a remarkable piece of unintelligent design. The nerve starts in the head, with the brain, and the end organ is the larynx, the voice box. But instead of going straight there it goes looping past the voice box. In the case of the giraffe, it goes down the full length of the giraffe’s neck, loops down one of the main arteries in the chest and then comes straight back up again to the voice box, having gone within a couple of inches of the voice box on its way down. No intelligent designer would ever have done that.

It seems to me that King Alfonso and Dr. Dawkins are saying the same thing, though Dawkins concludes his longer quote with an unhelpful logical fallacy.

The interesting point here is that Ptolemy was wrong and, consequently, so was Alfonso. It wasn’t poor Alfonso’s fault that period science had the sun in the wrong place, but instead of blaming Ptolemy, Alfonso critiqued God.

Dawkins is doing the same thing. Instead of blaming the shortcomings of modern science, he instead critiques God. As with Alfonso, the period scientific conclusion has ended up being at fault, not the creator. In fact, the shortcomings of evolutionary theory have become a “god of the gaps” in their own right. If the design isn’t understood, blame it on random processes. Of course they’ll be messy! But time and time again these “unintelligent designs” have been shown to be rather clever after all. It’s the process of discovery, not the Designer, that has stumbled through the centuries.

Bergman, J. 2010. Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve Is Not Evidence of Poor Design. Acts & Facts. 39 (8): 12-14

“Simple morality dictates that unless and until someone can prove the unborn  human is not alive, we must give it the benefit of the doubt and assume it is (alive). And, thus, it should be entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”