Nov 14 2011 ∞
“If the Bible and my brain are both the work of the same Infinite God, whose fault is it that the book and my brain do not agree?” - Robert G. Ingersoll
“In the beginning was the Word (Logos), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning turned towards God. Through Him all things were made, and without Him was made nothing that exists. In Him was life and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it…
The true light that enlightens every man entered into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto his own, and His own received Him not. But to all those who receive Him, who believe in His name, He has given power to become children of God… And the Word was made flesh and dewlt among us…” (John 1:1-5, 9-12,14)
I thought it would be interesting to include the way the Christian scriptures view this question/objection. So, this is not a philosophical response, but a response from Christian Revelation. A Christian Theological background is probably essential in order to grasp all the different elements at work here:
- The Analogy of the Word of God
- The Creation of Man in God’s Image and Likeness
- The Incarnation
- First note on the analogy of the Word of God: God did not create the Bible, the Holy Spirit inspired human authors with His Word. God has spoken only one Word, and it is this Word which is the perfect expression of the divine essence. This Word is the fruit of God’s contemplation of His divine essence. This Word is not simply an idea, or concept - it is a person. The Word is not simply the fruit of God’s contemplation, He (the Word) is also the Creator - the One through whom all things were made. The fruit of God’s intellect is the Word, the work of the Word is Creation.
- Note on the creation of man in God’s image and likeness: God’s image is His Word (the eternal Logos), and He is Spirit (intellect and will). Created in His image and likeness means created in His Wordand as a spiritual being. The “life” of the Word, is the “light” of our intellect. Our minds are sparks of light that issue forth from the glowing ember of the eternal Word. Even though human intellects share a bond with the eternal Word - the bond of a created intellect with its source - not all minds recognize or seek out that source. John talks about “receiving” the source of true light, “believing” in His name.
The phrase “believing in His name.” must be correctly understood too - I fear that many interpret this as some kind of magic formula. As if thinking the name Jesus (which has not been mentioned in the text up to this point by the way), in an arbitrary fashion, has magical and salutory effects. I prefer to try to break this down into parts: believing is an act of intellect and will (the merit of which depends upon many factors), and the act doing something “in someone’s name” means acting with someone else’s power, authority, or on their behalf. “Believing in His (the Word’s) name,” means, therefore, posing an act of intellet and will that leans on the source of our intellect - the true light.
Those who seek and/or recognize the source of their intellect and being (who receive Him) He gives the power to become God’s children - to be spiritually begotten by the source of spirit and being.