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 June 2012

In his book, Miracles, C.S. Lewis uses logic to critique the atheist’s idea that nothing exists outside of Nature. Then, he demonstrates that the rational way to make sense of the world we live in begins with an understanding that a Supernatural God, who exists independent of Nature, created the physical world. He writes:

To believe that Nature produced God, or even the human mind, is, as we have seen, absurd. To believe that the two are both independently self-existent is impossible: at least the attempt to do so leaves me unable to say that I am thinking anything at all… There remains, then, the belief that God created Nature. This at once supplies a relation between them and gets rid of the difficulty of sheer “otherness.” This also fits in with the observed frontier situation, in which everything looks as if Nature were not resisting an alien invader but rebelling against a lawful sovereign. This, and perhaps this alone, fits in with the fact that Nature, though not apparently intelligent, is intelligible—that events in the remotest parts of space appear to obey the laws of rational thought. Even the act of creation itself presents none of the intolerable difficulties which seem to meet us on every other hypothesis…

We should have to attribute to God the power both of producing the basic elements, of inventing not only colours but colour itself, the senses themselves, space, time and matter themselves, and also of imposing what He has invented on created minds. This seems to me no intolerable assumption.

It is certainly easier than the idea of God and Nature as wholly unrelated entities, and far easier than the idea of Nature producing valid thought.

I do not maintain that God’s creation of Nature can be proved as rigorously as God’s existence, but it seems to me overwhelmingly probable, so probable that no one who approached the question with an open mind would very seriously entertain any other hypothesis. In fact one seldom meets people who have grasped the existence of a supernatural God and yet deny that He is the Creator. All the evidence we have points in that direction and difficulties spring up on every side if we try to believe otherwise. No philosophical theory which I have yet come across is a radical improvement on the words of Genesis, that “In the beginning God made Heaven and Earth.”1

As the idea of God as the Creator of human beings and our world is attacked with greater intensity by atheists, materialists, and naturalists within our culture, Lewis reminds us that it is the Christians who have reason on their side. That should give us encouragement as we share with others our reasonable faith in Christ.

Thus says God, the LORD, who created the heavens and stretched them out,
who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath
to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it.

ISAIAH 42:5 (ESV)


1 C.S. Lewis, Miracles (New York: Touchstone, 1996), pp. 45–47

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