Following up on yesterday’s post, I’m starting an occasional series called “Why I’m Not…” Here’s the first installment.
I have a lot of doubts about God, even about the existence of God. I am blessed, and cursed, with a highly rationalistic faith. I’ve written here before about my doubts, and I even expressed them in a sideways manner at Fuller Seminary this winter, in a way that got me in some hot water.
And the USA Today ran a profile on physicist/theologian/priest John Polkinghorne:
Polkinghorne doesn’t know for sure that there is a God. And yet, when he was at the top of his game in physics at Cambridge in 1979, he left the laboratory studying one unseen reality for the seminary to study another unseen reality. He became a priest in the Anglican Church. In addition to believing that quarks exist, he believes in a God who is driven by love to continuously create a world that is beautiful. For him, the theories that have God in them work. But he doesn’t really know for sure. And he’s OK with that.
Dean Nelson concludes the piece on Polkinghorne with this:
As for belief in God, “It’s a reasonable position, but not a knock-down argument,” he said. “It’s strong enough to bet my life on it. Just as Polanyi bet his life on his belief, knowing that it might not be true, I give my life to it, but I’m not certain. Sometimes I’m wrong.”
That’s about where I land. It seems to me quite reasonable, if not an iron-clad certainty, to believe in God.
In the end, Pascal’s Wager is very compelling to me. When faced with evidence both for and against the existence of God, I choose to believe in God. Too many good, noble, and brilliant people have believed for me to ignore their witness to God’s existence.
Why do you believe — or not believe — in God?