October 21, 2009
For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. . . . no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 1:16; 20b-21
I admire the faith of French-British anthropologist Maurice Bloch.
Bloch, of the London School of Economics, believes that of all the animals, humans alone practice religion. They practice religion because humans alone have evolved imagination.
Bloch further believes our imagination evolved about some 50,000 years ago. This newly evolved imagination allowed people to believe in things like an eternal soul and other imaginary things -- like God.
Finally, Bloch also believes that "Once we realize this omnipresence of the imaginary in the everyday, nothing special is left to explain concerning religion. . . . "
That's just a nice way for Maurice to say that all the things I believe in are a figment of my imagination -- or a lot of people's imaginations.
Truly, I admire Bloch's faith. I don't agree with any of it, but I admire it. I admire it because, in his eagerness to explain away all that is spiritual, he is willing to make one giant leap of faith after another.
As for me, all I have to do is believe the Holy Spirit-inspired, eyewitness reports of the disciples. Long before Bloch and his doubts were ever born, the Holy Spirit inspired Peter to write, "we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. . . . "
So, if I understand rightly, the choices are these:
1. I can believe Maurice Bloch who, without any tangible proof, is telling me what happened 50,000 years ago.
2. I can believe the disciples who lived less than 2,000 years ago and wrote down what they had seen.
Yup, I admire Bloch's leap of faith, but I think I will believe and follow the holy men of God who spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
THE PRAYER: Dear Father, if it be possible, let the wisdom and the creativity of the world be redirected to promoting the Savior rather than tearing Him down. This I ask in the Name of Jesus. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries