By Devon Dick
RECENTLY, ELTON Lowe, medical doctor, engaged in reasoning about God in an article titled 'So many gods, so little reason' (August 15). Lowe argues/asks, "… Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, gush repeatedly the mantra: 'I would like to thank God.' Tough luck on VCB (Veronica Campbell-Brown) and the other competitors. FP is presumably blessed. Maybe the others didn't pray, or didn't pray hard enough. Or, God has played favouritism. … Naturally, victorious Muslim athletes will be singing their praises to Allah … . So, who is the true God? So many gods, so little reason." Lowe has raised many issues in this one thought.
Lowe did not notice that Campbell-Brown gave God thanks for coming third in the 100m. Therefore, it is not for first place only that one can give thanks. At the Beijing Olympics in 2008, Richard Thompson seemed more ecstatic than Bolt in the 100m when he came second. And in the previous Olympics, Aileen Bailey was overjoyed that her fellow Jamaican and competitor, Campbell-Brown, won the gold medal.
There is a concept of giving thanks to God for everything because there is always something for which to give God thanks. And notice that many athletes give thanks to God because they are injury free and healthy after a race - even if they did not win. So it was not tough luck on Campbell-Brown, but rather an opportunity for her to thank God that she was in another final at the Olympics.
It should also be noted that Christians have different understandings of God and different interpretations of the Bible. This diversity will lead to differences in how we worship God and engage in God's ministry. This diversity does not discredit the belief system.
Similarly, in the medical field, there are many diverse views on the efficacy of certain medicines prescribed by doctors. Some of what doctors said a hundred years ago was beneficial to patients has, with more research, been discredited. And even today, one doctor will prefer a certain medication while another doctor will prescribe another for the same ailment. And a medication can have many side-effects - even cause death, as we have heard and read in advertisements. But no-one asks who is a true doctor and if medicine is a genuine science.
Because God grants favour on someone by facilitating that person winning a race does not mean favouritism. It could mean that God is His wisdom allows that person to be alive and so wins the race for His glory and purpose. And, as humans, we make similar decisions with our children and co-workers and it does not necessarily depict favouritism.
FAITH OF ATHEISTS
Then Lowe adds, "As the erudite evolutionary biologist and atheist, Richard Dawkins, is fond of saying, 'We are atheist to all the gods who have gone before … some of us only go one god more.'"
He fails to quote any erudite theologian who is a Christian. It is fascinating that atheists give the impression that atheism is a reasoned position and as if there is no element of faith. But when you ask atheists about the origin of the world, most claim that it started with an atom. In other words, the atom brought itself into being. The atheist is giving god-like qualities to an atom. And that is indeed a faith statement because the atheist cannot prove that the atom was the first thing which had an uncaused cause.
Christians believe that God brought Himself/Herself into being. It seems to make eminent sense to believe that a being, rather than a thing, brought all other beings and things into being.
Lowe's reasoning on God was below par.
Devon Dick is pastor of the Boulevard Baptist Church in St Andrew. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org