Before Tom Hanks starred in dramas like Forrest Gump, Apollo 13, and Cast Away, he presented a heartfelt prayer in Joe Verses the Volcano to an unnamed god. (Clip below.) This prayer and the entire film beautifully portray how our intuition points to the existence of a higher power.
Many would define “God” as a powerful person who created the universe. While Biblical and historical Christianity agree with this description, they also portray God, as C.S. Lewis puts it, as “beyond personality.” Scripture identifies God as more than a person, but as truth and love itself. This raises the question: what do truth and love have to do with one another? In an unlikely way, the Star Trek: Enterprise episode “Chosen Realm” answers this theological question.
Have you heard the Good News, or Gospel, of Jesus before? Did it seem distant and irrelevant? How could some guy from 2000 years ago or an old-fashioned term like “sin” matter today? Looking at the preeminence of good and evil in our favorite stories and in the latest news coverage, we’ll conclude, however, that nothing can be more central to our lives than the message of Jesus.
When Isaac Asimov wrote the three laws of robotics, he did not simply describe fictional robots. He proposed a moral code for humanity. From his novel, I, Robot, and the Will Smith movie with the same name (spoilers for both), we see the benefits of these laws. At the same time, their insufficiency points us to a personal God. Continue reading How Three Laws of Robotics Point to God
In Dan Simmon’s novels, Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion, Sol Weintraub dreams that a voice tells him to sacrifice “your daughter, your only daughter Rachel whom you love”. As a Jewish ethics professor, he questions the morality of sacrifice and any god who would ask for it, whether in his case or in the story of Abraham and Isaac. While he raises typical objections, the events of the story change his perspective, giving us insight into sacrifice and the purposes of God.
In Plato’s dialogue Euthyphro, two characters discuss the nature of the divine. While Euthyphro considers himself an expert in pious living, Socrates dismantles his arguments. In so doing, he not only shows that Greek polytheism is internally inconsistent, but the logical extension of this reasoning gives multiple insights into the identity of God or gods, endorsing and discrediting various religious tenets. We find that the Trinity, perhaps uniquely, remains viable in the face of Socrates’s scrutiny.
Continue reading From Plato to the Trinity