King's Business - 1920-03

W h y I A m a Christian Notes on an Address Delivered Before A n Infidel Club in Chicago BY DR. A. C. DIXON

same attributes. A philosopher like .Herbert Spencer calls his idol “ the great unknowable/’ The Christian opens his Bible and reads in its first verse “ In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” The God of Genesis is not to be compared with the fetich of the bushman, the idol of the Chinaman or the unknowable of the philosopher. There is a majestic roy­ alty about this creator-God of the Chris­ tian which awes and captivates me. It is the difference between HIM and IT; a thinker and a thing. I am a Christian, again, BECAUSE I AM A RATIONALIST, willing that sound reason should have its proper place, and sound reason is modest and honest enough to admit that it is not in­ fallible or even sufficient as a guide. There is no such thing as universal rea­ son. What appears reasonable to one is utterly unreasonable to another. There are degrees of reason from the half idiot to the philosopher. Reason may be diseased and is more or less controlled by passion and ignorance. Even a healthy reason may go wrong, unless it knows everything, for if there is ignorance in the premises there will be a flaw in the conclusion. My own reason is modest enough to sffimit that it is a very fallible and im­ perfect guide, and, believing as I do in a personal God who cares for His crea­ tures, my reason leads me to expect that He will reveal Himself through some other channel. Agnosticism, which is a sort of science of ignorance concerning God, is a strong witness in favor of a revelation of God in some direct way, for, if it be true that man cannot discover God by looking into his

AM a Christian BECAUSE I AM A THINKER. Not nec­ essarily a profound thinker, but my thinking machine is so constructed that, if I will let it work, it compels me tc believe in a God who reigns

in His world. In an Arizona desert I saw the leaves of the greasewood cov­ ered with an oily substance designed, evidently, to prevent evaporation of sap during the long drought. I saw the mesquite bush with its large long roots evidently designed to store sap during the brief rainy season and keep in touch with the underground streams that the branches above ground might be sup­ ported during the drought. I saw the giant cactus with its storeroom for water, which is filled during the rainy season and preserved for its own use and the use of man and beast during the drought. Now the naturalist says that. “ Nature” does these things for a specific purpose. And as I stood among these evidences of design in the desert, I asked the question,. “ Is Nature a thing or a thinker?” If Nature does not think, how can Nature design? And if Nature thinks, Nature is not a thing but a personality. My mental machin­ ery is so made that thought compels me to infer a thinker and design a de­ signer. intelligent result compels me to infer intelligent cause. Every man, therefore, has his god, the thinker behind the thoughts ex­ pressed in Nature, the designer behind the design, the intelligent cause behind the intelligent result. The bushman of Africa gives to his fetich the power to think, design and act. The Chinaman gives to his, idol in human shape the

Made with FlippingBook - Online magazine maker