Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Great Debate

Last night I had the opportunity to watch a man of Christ debate a man of evolution. Ken Ham, an Aussie, defended Christianity and the Bible, while Bill Nye spoke of science.

It was really worthwhile for me to watch this debate. It was odd, in a way, because I remember watching Bill Nye's silly science videos in eighth grade. I grew up watching this man make learning look cool. I laughed at his jokes; I adored his whimsical bow ties. But it was devastating to watch a man of such knowledge simply miss the truth.

This morning I sat down with a bowl of oatmeal and my Bible and read from 1st Timothy chapter six. In it, the apostle Paul writes about false teachers and those who abandon the truth for a love of money. This passage doesn't exactly apply to Bill Nye, because he is not a believer, but he, like those who walk away from the faith, eschews a walk with God and instead fills his need with something else.

Philip Seymour Hoffman, a beloved actor (check out Cold Mountain for his performance as a hilarious, offbeat reverend), died at age 46 this week. The Tampa Bay Times reports that Hoffman "was found dead with a needle in his arm in the bathroom of his Greenwich Village apartment."

Why would this truly gifted actor turn to drugs? Why would anyone turn to drugs? The answer, it seems, is found in the book of 1st Timothy. When we run from God, we're not satisfied. That's why we pursue other ways of feeling good: some people drink, or get into drugs; others turn to sex and relationships to fill the void. Philip Seymour Hoffman was a man in pursuit of fulfillment. He wanted a high that would truly satisfy his soul.

But only God can give that to us, because He made us.

Here's a fun fact: Bill Nye was created. 

My pastor made the great point that if we stumbled upon a watch in a field (or any unfamiliar mechanical device, for that matter), we wouldn't wonder, "Hmmm....I bet this item evolved over time. It probably just grew out of nothing and then slowly became something else." 

Instead, we'd say "I wonder who made this. What does it do? Who created it, and what is its purpose?" We'd assume intelligent design because we see the care and detail of the object. We do the same thing when we look at great art: we marvel at the creation before us, the glorious brushstrokes of Vincent van Gogh's Starry Night. We don't imagine that something that well-thought out just happened. It was designed.

Yet Bill Nye, the bow tie man, the humorous educator, the scientist I'd always admired, puts his faith in science, in evolution. Because ultimately, whether we are atheists or Christians or scientists: all of us do put our faith in something -- whether that be ourselves, our possessions, or legalistic, self-centered religion. 

During the debate, Bill Nye didn't have an answer for some questions. He admitted that his own lack of knowledge drove him to continue the search for truth, through scientific investigation. It saddens me that he completely missed that Truth in his search for scientific explanation.

Ken Ham, however, had the answer. He pointed to Christ and creation as the ultimate something that Bill Nye, and Philip Seymour Hoffman, and every soul is so desperately searching for. We are here for a reason. We were created. 

Only One being can satisfy us, folks. 
Not drugs, not the search for knowledge. 
Know God, know truth. 

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