Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Deus Ex Machina

"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?"
— Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion)

Yes, it is. The problem is, as emotionally imbued people we seek to understand the tugs at the heart which are created by that very beauty. In so doing, we are searching for the Maker, knowing the reaction of our heart is to recognize the source of created beauty; to give credit due and honour to the One Who designed and caused the garden to exist.

If it wasn't fairies, it would be something else which we would believe resided in the garden. We believe inherently in the mythological, the magical, the supernatural because we are wired to seek God. Beyond that, we are wired to have relationship with God. It is how we are created.

John 6:5,6 "Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, "Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?"

Prior to this event news had come to Jesus of John's death. (Matthew 6:11-13)

What a great question asked of Phillip.

Why did the people come out to see Jesus? What did Phillip believe?

Deus Ex Machina means "god out of the machine"; it is also a plot device which has relative significance to the theme of this Blog Post, that being:  "any resolution to a story that does not pay due regard to the story's internal logic and that is so unlikely that it challenges suspension of disbelief," or, "a contrived solution to a problem, relying on an agent external to the situation".

People search and strive for understanding, we must make sense of what knowledge we have. Sometimes acceptance of an illogical, miraculous, contrarian, absurd, nonsensical view or solution to a dilemma, whether it be of circumstance or faith, is difficult to resolve. What would be the obvious is not the apparent. This creates a controversy and the mind always defining the reasonable, logical and palatable view to understanding will have difficulty accepting an experience not justifiable. We go through life attempting to determine for ourselves a belief system of life's experiences, which can resolve itself into decisions and choices complicit with personal peace. We must make that which we do not understand tolerable to what we can believe and what we choose to believe must fit the within the constraints of what we can understand.

Richard Beck has identified a suite of beliefs that are associated with a deus ex machina theological configuration and put them into a rating scale by which we can measure our unconscious motivations regarding belief in God.

Deus Ex Machina Beliefs as Assessed by the Defensive Theology Scale

Special Protection: In the face of a hostile universe, the belief that God will especially protect the believer (and loved ones) from misfortune, illness, or death. The universe is existentially tamed.

Special Insight: In the face of difficult life decisions, the belief that God will provide clear guidance and direction. God’s guidance reduces the existential burden of choice.

Special Destiny: In the face of a life where meaning is fragile, the belief that God has created a special purpose for one’s life, a “destiny” that makes life intrinsically meaningful.

Denial of Randomness: In a life full of random, tragic, and seemingly meaningless events, the belief that God’s purpose and plan is at work. No event, however horrific or tragic, is existentially confusing or disconcerting. All is going according to plan.

Divine Solicitousness: The belief that the omnipotent God is constantly available and interested in aiding the believer, even with the mundane and trivial. God is an “eternal servant,” our Cosmic butler.

With all due respect for Dr. Beck I see a dichotomy created between parts of each statement which are mutually exclusive. (Note; highlighted) The conclusion drawn from the proposition is not supported as the truth and meaning declared in the highlighted words.
At work in life and faith is the God-factor, when the question is asked, "Where am I to buy bread?". When faced with a situation or circumstance beyond my ability to comphrehend or to fathom the outcome, the hope and faith I have is to rely on God Who is able and by not limiting what God in my life does by assuming what is and is not possible. God will do the miraculous; trust in Him to provide.

No comments: