Monday, September 1, 2008

Prophecy or Pie in the Sky?

(Jesus said) "When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed... Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines..." (Mark 13:7-8)

Jesus' earliest followers were not only convinced that he had defeated death (mainly because His tomb was empty); they also believed He would come back again one day (mainly because He said He would)...

A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic on the level of a man who says he’s a poached egg, or else he would be the devil of hell; you must make your choice. Either this was and is God, or else a madman, or something worse. You can shut him up as a demon, or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God. But please don’t come up with any patronising nonsense about his being a great moral teacher. He hasn’t left that option open to us. He didn’t intend to.” C.S. Lewis ("Mere Christianity")

But Jesus is on record as having made a variety of other remarkable prophecies (as if predicting your own death and resurrection is not remarkable enough...), but I want to focus particularly on those issues that never seem to be very far from our news headlines these days; climate change, natural disasters, wars and famines, and so on.

I have often heard Jesus' prophecy of the increase of such things discounted by the argument that global satellite communications and the media revolution we have witnessed over the last 100 years, mean that we just can’t escape hearing about such events. Well, that may be true, but is it not also true to say that God must have known we would “invent” all this wonderful modern technology? Therefore, He knew his prophecy would come true. It’s a bit of a circular argument, but is nonetheless hard to counter.

So where does climate change fit into this argument? Well, some scientists argue that we’re heading for an Ice Age, many more fear the spectre of looming Global Warming. What seems almost certain is that the Earth’s climate is becoming more erratic and dominated by extremes of hot, cold, wet and dry. In the opinion of many, mankind’s activities are to blame. Well, can you guess, God knew we’d do that too! However, if that is too simplistic for you, try this:

Geologists have long realised that the Earth is unique amongst the planets in our Solar System. In recent years the realisation of just how unique our home planet may be has left many agnostic astrophysicists amazed! The vastness of the Universe is mind-boggling (only a very BIG God could have created it). Despite this, some Cosmologists say that we may yet be alone in it. That would truly make the Earth very rare indeed! Back on Earth though, geologists have now suggested that our climate and the processes that cause earthquakes are very closely linked: Instability in one will cause instability in the other.

So, it’s official! The increasing frequency of earthquakes is real, not imagined, and it is not a by-product of the fact that we live in an age of globalised communications!

No comments:

Post a Comment