DEISM’S absentee and unconcerned God makes the deist deny the possibility of the miraculous. He therefore denies the possibility of a Divine revelation, and therefore rejects Christianity, which has much of the miraculous connected with it. Although the deist claims that miracles violate the laws of nature, we contend that their operation is along the lines of nature’s laws controlled by knowledge. For example, a hundred years ago it would have been said that it is contrary to the laws of nature to see and converse with someone on the other side of the world. But we have learned to manipulate certain laws of nature to supersede the operation of other laws of nature that were supposed to make it impossible to see and converse with someone on the other side of the world.
For example, Jesus performed miracles of healing in a way unknown to us, but known and enacted by Him, and in harmony with various laws of nature. He changed water into wine, not by violating the laws of nature, but by using certain of these in a way we do not understand. Again, it is a law of nature that each structure has its rate of vibration, and another law of nature that if the same rate of vibration acts sufficiently from the outside on that surface, the latter will break down. This fact enables us to understand several of the strangest miracles of the Bible, such as the fall of Jericho’s walls by trumpet blasts and shouts. Undoubtedly when science has sufficiently advanced in its knowledge of manipulating certain of nature’s laws, we will learn to explain every Biblical miracle along the lines of higher laws of nature displacing lower laws of nature and thus accomplishing the miracle.
The Deist’s God Falls Far Short of the Christian’s God
The deist’s God comes far short as a character developer and a piety producer in us. Such a God can arouse belief in His existence, but not the kind of faith that trusts God as an unfailing Friend and Father, reliable Helper and Deliverer, and steadfast Stay and Comforter. Thus, He can call forth little appreciation toward Himself, and no sympathetic oneness and sacrifice. He cannot elicit from us whole-hearted consecration of ourselves to Him as a reasonable, wise, just, and energetic service. He cannot empower us to exercise duty love, not to mention disinterested love to the brethren, the world of mankind, and our enemies. And surely, He cannot develop in us the other graces. Hence, the deist’s God is not the kind of a God that fills the requirements of a satisfactory God for the Church or World.
Such a God is not a prayer-heeding and prayer-answering God because He is an absentee and unconcerned God. Our hearts crave and cry out for fellowship with God, but the deist’s God is incapable of entering into a relationship with us. His aloofness estranges us from Him so that we do not feel drawn toward Him in prayer, for a prayer-eliciting God must be one who has the good will and the ability to help us.
But when we contrast such a God with the God of the Bible, the incomparable superiority of the true God as able to fulfill all man’s needs is apparent. He stands forth as the God that the universe needs. He is the Preserver and the Governor in His domain, though He temporarily permits a rebellious and evil condition in a part of it, for the ultimate good coming from it. He made the laws of nature and is their intelligent Manipulator and Regulator, using them to accomplish His good will toward man. He has the power to communicate with man and does so through the Bible, His revelation. He elicits the good in mankind for character development, supplies the good mankind lacks, and prompts him to reformation. Moreover, He is so gracious as to invite man to approach Him in prayer, is able to supply his needs, promises to supply them, and keeps His word of promise to do so.
(to be continued)