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The Word on the Week

God is.

No there is no missing word the heading is complete! Any addition distorts. Our knowledge of the infinite can only come if the Infinite reveals it to us. That is why Christianity is a revealed religion. God’s self revelation comes to us through his word – the Bible.

This week the answer to the concluding question made by Stephen Fry in a TV interview with Gay Byrne was viewed on the internet 5 million times! The question was “What would you say if you came face to face with God?” It’s the sort of question an avowed atheist such as Fry should pass but like most atheists he became a theist and vented his spleen on the God he didn’t believe in!

What made his outburst interesting was the fact that he was not ill informed. He had read the Bible. He exhibited a brilliant literary mind. He knew what theodicy was (the vindication of God in the face of evil). He acknowledged that science could also be used for evil. So why the rage?

Was it because he knew that God has the ability to reverse the ravages of the fall – but doesn’t? Or was it the need to destroy the creditability of God in order to quieten conscience and live with self on the throne of his life?

Certainly he wouldn’t be the first to pour the acid of reason over the voice of conscience, disabling God’s ally within. Were there echoes of Felix, the governor of Judea who was the judge at St Paul’s trial? He listened to St Paul as he spoke of faith in Jesus Christ. As Paul discoursed on righteousness, self-control and the judgement to come Felix was alarmed and said “Go away for the present. When I get an opportunity I will summons you” (Acts Chapter 24 verses 24/25). We never read of Felix summonsing St Paul again!

There is little doubt in what St Paul preached regarding faith in Jesus. He tells us it was “Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom and the weakness of God stronger than man’s strength” (1 Corinthians Chapter 1 verses 23/25).

Jews and Greeks? The Jews were the religious ones and the Greeks were the intellectuals of their day. Perhaps Stephen has never seen that the cross caters for all sins. It’s the only thing we have to present to Him and it’s what we need to leave with Him at the foot of the cross and then to look to God to grant the faith in Jesus that produces new life within us.