Saturday Sermon: Learn to use critical thinking
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Our recent Sunday School quarter dealt with the fallacious thinking of men like Darwin and certain atheists, agnostics and secular scientists.
Many have made statements that were contradicting without realizing it. In this life, one of our greatest responsibilities is to use the brain God has given us. The Bible may seem difficult to some, but it contains truths that are workable and lead to eternal life.
It seems to me that those who fail to develop a spiritual life have just not taken the time to think through the matter. Even though many are caught up in the pursuits of this world, they surely could take some time to meditate on eternal matters. We all tend to procrastinate, putting off things which we are reluctant to attend to at the moment.
Poets, philosophers, engineers, inventors and problem solvers take time to develop their ideas. Those who are successful have been those who stayed with the problem until it was solved. We want especially to concentrate on giving sufficient thought to the idea of God and his creation. There is a great amount of evidence to consider, evidence that includes order, design, predictability, utility, morality and beauty. Someone has said that it is a great adventure looking for signs of God.
Several eminent scientists, who were previously atheists or agnostics, have considered the evidence and have acknowledged the Creator God or have at least acknowledged intelligent design.
Many other scientists are professing Christians. Science can take us only so far, but a serious thinker comes to the conclusion that the evidence for God is compelling.
All the great men of history have been deep thinkers. That's what made them great.
We are reluctant to think much about death, but this is one thing that can give us a wake up call under dire circumstances. Blaise Pascal (1623-62) writes, "Which is easier, to be born or to rise again?"
The poet's greatest assets are a mind that sees beyond the boundaries of our human existence and his or her ability to put into words "Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears," as William Wordsworth writes.
As a man seriously considers the wonders of God's creation, the more he is convinced of the reality of God and his love and provision for us. His handiwork is everywhere one looks if one is alert to such signs. Elizabeth Barrett Browning writes, "Earth's crammed with heaven, and every common bush afire with God; but only he who sees, takes off his shoes. The rest sit around it and pluck blackberries."
When doing serious religious thinking, try to avoid any prejudices about church or religion you may have. Learn to think critically, examining all the evidence, using logic and reasoning.
Paul the apostle writes in Philippians 4:8, "Whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things."
Raymond Smith is an area minister.