H as anything ever had a dramatic effect on your life? Perhaps meeting your future spouse, perhaps knowing - in one, sudden dramatic moment - what your future career path would be, maybe a certain vocation, a certain calling. Maybe your heart being convicted - suddenly, unexpectedly - by the Lord Jesus Christ. Have we not all had such dramatic, revelatory moments? I think that we have.
I remember first meeting my wife on a blind date, spending about an hour with her, and knowing that I would eventually marry her - all within the space of that one hour! (I didn't tell her lest it put her off me completely). Before that momentous day, there were other 'magic moments' (for the want of a better phrase) in my life, such as:
Hearing Beethoven's incredibly beautiful 'Egmont Overture.' I had previously been quite heavily into jazz, mainly modern jazz, but I heard that overture one day and I was completely stunned! In that instant I fell in love with classical music - now a big passion. Just hearing Beethoven's 'Egmont Overture,' did that to me (by the way, I am still fond of jazz but it now has a smaller place in my life). I was infatuated, bowled over, completely knocked out by the delicious harmonies in that sublime overture. Never heard it? Make sure you do, then listen to it a few times and there is every chance that you too will be 'swept off your feet' by those supremely enticing harmonies, those luscious chords.
We all have these enthusiasms, thoughts, passions, sudden and unexpected convictions, maybe we can even call some of these things 'revelations,' some of these almost mystical 'knowledges' and experiences may even decide the course of our lives.
Did you know that modern science, having firmly tied its colours to the mast of naturalistic Darwinism, cannot explain these things? Oh, they understand about the brain, no problem there. They can tell you which parts of the brain generally govern which class of thoughts and so on. But consciousness, the realm of the imagination, the area of mental longing and planning, the grand sweep of the mind, the way we can even compose quite complex music in our minds, the breadth of human memory.....these things are not explainable within the confines of Darwinism. Oh - make no mistake - they will try hard to cover up this Darwinist deficiency, but leading scientists have always admitted that whereas the brain can be explained, consciousness, and the incredible flexibility of the human mind remain a mystery which currently lies beyond what can be scientifically explained.
Geoffrey Madell has stated that, "...the emergence of consciousness, then is a mystery, and one to which materialism signally fails to provide an answer." (Geoffrey Madell, 'Mind and Materialism,' Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1988, p. 141).
Naturalist Colin McGinn claims that its arrival borders on sheer magic because there seems to be no naturalistic explanation for it: "How can mere matter originate consciousness? How did evolution convert the water of biological tissue into the wine of consciousness? Consciousness seems like a radical novelty in the universe, not prefigured by the after-effects of the Big Bang; so how did it contrive to spring into being from what preceded it?" (Colin McGinn, 'The Mysterious Flame,' N.Y.: Basic Books, 1999, pp. 13-14).
According to the teaching of Darwinist evolution, human mental abilities and capacities should be roughly equal to a whale or an elephant. Of course, none of us can ask a whale, dolphin or elephant whether they can compose symphonies but I think we all know the answer. Animals have instinct, they do have a certain class of awareness, of course, for, to a degree, they can know, they can plan, but planning which things to eat or which things to kill for food hardly demonstrates the incredible mental capacity of the great poets, scientists, architects, or composers! For sure, God seems to have given animals the ability to note, and to respond to, the kindness of human beings, that is good. We all like befriending an animal and seeing them gradually respond to kindness. But 'incredible and all-encompassing mind power'? No, they don't have it. Obviously it's not all about brain size, there has to be another dimension somewhere. Humans have it, animals do not.
The Amazingly Creative Power of Human Imagination...
Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770-1827).
Only people made in the image of God can truly 'think outside the box.'
How can mankind, with smaller brains than some large animals, nevertheless, be the only 'beasts' with advanced and intelligible language? How can men and women compose complex treatises, grand architecture, symphonies, great works of art, great poetry, master works of drama?
How could Shakespeare, Milton, Michelangelo, William Blake, John Donne, John Bunyan, William Wordsworth, Tolstoy, Ibsen, Dostoevsky, Bach, Haydn, Brahms and Tchaikovsky ever have been born into the human family?
How can it be that the human family can use vision and plan for the future? How can human beings not only have a sense of an omnipotent God, but even discuss aspects of His eternal being (theology)? Why is there an undeniable sweep of eternity within the human mind?
All of this is because our true parent is a Divine Being and, in creating us within His own image, He has imparted certain traits of divinity within us. Evolutionary theory can offer no explanation for the human mind but must insist that human beings are roughly equal in intelligence to whales, dolphins and elephants!
A Christian, of course, has no problem with the incredible magnitude, spaciousness and dexterity of the human mind. The true answer to the dilemma is recorded for us in Holy Scripture:
Then God said, "Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground." (Genesis 1:26-28).
Made in the image of God, mankind is not truly capable of only having a physical perspective on life but seems literally impelled to consider the eternal and, at the levels of poetry, music, the arts, architecture and certainly religion, mankind inevitably has had a perspective on immortality and eternity - he cannot but help it, for we must submit that men and women were truly fashioned for eternity. Modern science may dismiss such things as an evolutionary trick of the mind even while they themselves cannot explain the obvious presence of a vastness and eternity within a human consciousness which is truly beyond their capacity to explain.
Writing back in 1956, theologian Loraine Boettner wrote about how there are certain things within the human mind and human experience which cannot help but point to eternity and to immortality:
"If human life consisted only of the time that lies between birth and death it would be but a truncated and largely futile thing. The broken column, resting on a base but reaching nowhere, is a fitting symbol to express the incompleteness of life in this world. The present life, even at its best, does not satisfy...the truth is that from the richest mansion to the poorest hut each person has his own peculiar combination of worries, fears, sorrows, toils, sicknesses and disappointments. Man, who was created in the image of God and who therefore has endless possibilities, surely was destined for something better than this..." (Loraine Boettner, 'Immortality,' London; Pickering and Inglis, 1958, p67).
The miracle of human consciousness and the human mind, and its plain superiority over animals with brains of equal, or even greater, size cannot be contained within any godless Darwinist theory; it is only satisfactorily explainable by the human sense and perspective of eternity being a fruit of 'homo sapiens,' having originally been the 'grand construct' of an omnipotent God. Like it or not (and evolutionary science generally has a real problem with it), the mental capacity of a human being towers way above and beyond even the largest and grandest creature within the animal kingdom.
The present life is but a training ground for eternity. Deep within every human culture which has ever been discovered is a teaching on God and on an eternity which lies ahead but Christianity alone is the Faith that starts to fill in some of the details. Jesus Christ is the door to eternity and is Good Shepherd to all His called and faithful human sheep.
Robin A. Brace. November 3rd, 2011.
There is a very good book which considers the problem (for evolutionary science, that is) of human consciousness and strongly suggests that it can only point to God. It is called 'Consciousness and the Existence of God: A Theistic Argument,' by J.P. Moreland. It is good, but frankly much of it is a difficult 'read.' It was published in 2008, ISBN-10: 0415962404, ISBN-13: 978-0415962407. Frankly, the book is currently too expensive but this may improve when a paperback version comes along.