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Monday, June 12, 2006

Not Seeing God in Nature

They will not, therefore cannot, do not know him.
Nothing they could know, could be God. In sooth,
Unto the true alone exists the truth.
They say well, saying Nature doth not show him:
Truly she shows not what she cannot show;
And they deny the thing they cannot know.
Who sees a glory, towards it will go.
- George MacDonald, A Book of Strife in the Form of The Diary of an Old Soul (Public Domain, 1880) entry for June 12.

I have previously posted on this topic, pointing out that the Bible says, in Psalm 19:1-2 and in Romans 1:20, that God has revealed Himself in nature. The latter verse says "20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse." (ESV) Paul implied, as MacDonald does, that seeing God in nature is only possible to those who believe in His existence, or at least who are willing to have an open mind on the issue of His existence. Nature cannot show God to those who will not look. As Hebrews 11:3 puts it: "By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible." (ESV)

The dwarves, in C. S. Lewis's The Last Battle, could not see the glory that was around them, because they wouldn't, and Aslan himself couldn't make it visible to them.

I am posting weekly excerpts from MacDonald's Diary (Click on the George MacDonald label below, or see the sidebar, and look for Diary of an Old Soul) and thought this section was worth re-emphasizing. Other portions of it are, too.

Thanks for reading.

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