Is God human?

By Gary Meredith

It is tempting to see the God of the Bible not as the Creator Who made us in His image (Genesis 1:26-27), but rather the imaginary Supreme Being we humans made in our own image. After all, a superficial reading of Scripture does show a God Who seems a lot like us in many ways, some admirable and some abominable. We are in awe of the Almighty's power, knowledge and wisdom, yet baffled or terrified by his jealousy, vengeance, and bloodthirsty rage.

If God were real, is this really what we should expect Him to be like? Isn't the Bible's God more likely the product of what psychologists call a "projection" of human emotions onto a cosmic blank screen in order to make sense of the world?

The question itself reveals a flaw in logic. If the ancient writers of Scripture are suspected of merely creating their own human idea of Who God should be, aren't modern doubters equally guilty of the same error? They, too, are mere modern humans telling ancient humans, "No, if God were real He wouldn't be like your idea, He would be like my idea."

An external, objective standard is needed to resolve this problem. That is exactly what the Bible provides, while welcoming any and all other reasonable tests of its validity and reliability (Malachi 3:10; Acts 17:11).

In its 3,500-year history the Bible has been the most studied, attacked, and vindicated book ever written, with no close second. Yet it was written by some 40 authors, rich and poor, king and shepherd, priest and layman, living over a period of 1,500 years, from different countries and cultures, writing in several different languages on life's most controversial subjects — all without a single error or contradiction! Imagine, if you can, 40 college professors all working in the same college department today, all from the same country and culture and language, writing on just one controversial topic, all in total agreement and correct.

This fits with the Bible's claim about itself: "Your word, O Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens" (Psalm 119:89).

All the other holy books in the world combined don't have even a tiny fraction of the Bible's evidence for being what it claims to be — the word of the Almighty Creator of the universe and of every human (Genesis 1-2; Nehemiah 9:6); that He is the only Being with the ability to create life (1 Timothy 6:13-17), and the right to take it according to his eternal plan (Psalm 139:16; Jeremiah 1:5; Matthew 10:29).

The Bible explains why our ideas differ from the Bible's about Who God is and what He should be like: "'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the Lord. 'As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.'" (Isaiah 55:8-9)

Here are just a few more of the many evidences against humanity's incorrect theory, supporting the case for a supernatural Author of the Bible.

Jesus — No person in all history was like Jesus, a human Who claimed not only to be the only true Creator God Almighty (John 1:1-3; 8:58), and the only Way to eternal life in heaven (John 14:6), but was also the only religious figure ever to base His claims on being killed and rising from the dead (Matthew 12:38-39; John 2:18-19). The only logical choices we have in deciding his claims about Himself are that He was either a liar, a lunatic, or Lord — God Almighty, come in the flesh, just as He said. There is not a fourth alternative. Now for you the real question that matters most is, "Who do you say that I am?" Fortunately the Bible, like the teacher's edition of a textbook, gives the answer: "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God" (See Matthew 16:14-16). And because He was Who He said, the predictions of this obscure preacher from a tiny nation have come true, that his Gospel would go out into all the world, cause great division, be falsely represented by many charlatans, and that his followers would be persecuted everywhere (Matthew 16:18; 24:4-27). Again, Jesus was either a lying or deluded ego maniac, or exactly Who He said He was. So ask yourself, did these grand things He predicted happen? From His death to His resurrection to the worldwide spread of the Gospel, all evidence says "yes!" Therefore, you may believe everything else He taught as recorded in the Bible.

Science — With no modern scientific instruments, the ancient authors of the Bible revealed astonishing scientific facts without any errors. For example, of all the hundreds of creation myths in the world, the Bible alone is the only scientifically defensible account of origins. Modern science caught up with the Bible — and eliminated the validity of many other religions in the process — by confirming that the universe did indeed have a beginning (Genesis 1:1), that it will have an end (2 Peter 3:10), that it came from nothing detectable by humans (Hebrews 11:3), that it is expanding, and that the earth is round (Isaiah 40:22), that heavenly bodies are not gods or living beings to be worshipped, (Genesis 1:16; Exodus 20:4; 2 Kings 23:4-5; Romans 1:25), and that the universe is filled with overwhelming evidence of having been designed by an intelligent Creator (Psalm 19:1-4; Romans 1:20). The Greeks and Romans, the Egyptians and Babylonians, the Indians and Chinese, and all the native peoples of Africa, and North and South America got all of it wrong — not even close. Only the Hebrews got it right — perfectly — more than 3,000 years before modern science! Some of us think it requires more faith to not believe that Moses got his facts straight from the supernatural Creator of the universe.

Prophecy — The Bible gives the simple test for a true prophet: "If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken" (Deuteronomy 18:22). Not only did the Bible provide testable prophecies about Jesus and the Jews, but also of the other nations, from Greece and Rome, to the Church, through Israel and the Antichrist in the very last days (Daniel 7-12; Revelation). How astonishing that the ancient writers predicted the technology such as television and the internet where everyone on earth could watch events happening (Matthew 24:30; Revelation 11:9-10).

The Jews — God promised Abraham his descendants would bless the entire world (Genesis 12:2-3) and, though small in number, so they have, from Moses to Jesus to Jews living today. For example, though less than half of one percent of the world's population, they have won over 20 percent of all Nobel Prizes. The Bible predicted the history of Israel, which would be unlike any nation on earth. It would become a great nation (Genesis 18:18), would rebel against their God and be scattered by Him throughout the entire world (Deuteronomy 28:64). Yet they would be the only nation in all history to retain their national identity without a homeland, then return to that place and once again become the nation of Israel (Deuteronomy 30:3; Isaiah 43:6; Ezekiel 34:11-13; 36:24; 37:1-14). They would always have fierce enemies, from the Arabs (Genesis 16:12) to the nations of the whole world until the end.

Christians — 1) First Century: Christ's disciples were terribly persecuted; all but one of the Apostles were brutally tortured and murdered for their faith. Plenty of people will die for a lie — Muslim jihadists, for example — but only because they believe it to be true. The disciples all knew for a fact whether or not Jesus died and rose from the dead. All could have saved themselves great suffering and death just by denying their story. None did. 2) Later Centuries: It's true that we Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven (Luke 1:77; 1 John 1:8-10). And certainly many who claim to be Christians are not. But Jesus said we could tell the difference between true and false Christians by their "fruit" or deeds (Matthew 7:15-23). And more than any other group by far, Christians feed the starving, heal the sick, rescue orphans and widows, build hospitals and schools, and sacrifice their time and money and even their lives to serve the poor, suffering people all over the world.

Alternatives — If Christianity is not true, then which other faith or religion is? A religion whose Founder states, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me" (John 14:6) does not leave room for any other religion. There are only three possibilities when it comes to the core doctrines and major claims of the world's many religions: 1) Either Christianity is true and all other religions false, or; 2) Christianity is false and one or more other religions true, or; 3) All religions are false. They cannot all be true because their doctrines directly contradict each other.

So which other religion? Buddhism with its quiet faith in the irrational, self-contradiction of reality? Hinduism, with its many provable scientific errors? Islam, with its dreadful fruit by which we know it? Taoism or Confucianism, with no claim as a way to heaven? Animism of Africa, with its world full of strange spirits and unappeasable deities? The nature religions of the Americas' aborigines? A modern cult founded on antichrist heresies, such as Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses or Baha'i? Modern pseudo-nature religions such as Wicca, witchcraft, or Gaia worship? Astrology, which is easily disproven by comparing the lives of any twins? Or what about the philosophies that make the same claims on our allegiance as religion: Agnosticism, which by definition, offers you an unshakeable faith in ignorance? Existentialism, with its mockery of divine planning and its insistence on creating our own purpose within an ultimately meaningless existence? Communism and its many godless mutations, each claiming to be the way to utopia — a way paved with tens of millions of slaughtered bodies? Atheism, with its easily debunked Bible of Darwinism (all his tests for his own theory have failed, e.g., the fossil record was not filled with transitional species and organs, nor with single organisms gradually evolving into millions; rather we see sudden massive appearances of fully formed species).

These are the main alternatives available for to Christianity for all people to to consider. All are easy enough to refute, whether by pointing out their holy books — unlike the Bible — are filled with provable errors, or their self-contradictory claims and inconsistencies, their lack of testable (falsifiable) claims, their lack of fulfilled predictions, their fruit of wickedness and misery, or their inability to answer the tough questions and provide satisfying solutions to all mankind's deepest problems. In some cases, all of the above!

In fact, they seem to me they represent the vast array of human and demonic errors, the darkness and hopelessness and misery, that God sent his Son to rescue the world from. Most appear to fit the Scripture: "They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity..." (2 Peter 2:19) One can see why Christianity alone has survived for 2,000 years intact, and received such a miraculous welcome — despite intense persecutions — wherever it has been preached. It is the only valid prescription for what ails our sick world, and you are invited by your loving Creator to accept the cure by faith (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9), follow the plan He made for you alone for your life (Jeremiah 1:5; Psalm 139:16; Ephesians 2:10) and spend a glorious eternity with Him (Daniel 12:2-3; Romans 8:28-30).

So when the Bible also tells us the way — the only way (John 14:6; Acts 4:12) — to eternal life and joy in heaven, we can believe it! According to the Bible, every sin against God we have ever have committed or will commit — past, present, and future — is forgiven (Matthew 12:31) when we repent and believe (trust) God. It's a free gift of God's mercy and grace, not from any good work we've done (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 1:16-17; Galatians 3:1-13), paid for in full by the blood of Jesus shed for us on the cross (Romans 3:22-25; 2 Timothy 1:9; 1 Peter 1:18-20; Revelation 13:8). When we believe, we are permanently adopted into God's family as His own dearly loved child (1 John 3:1). We can then look forward for the rest of this life to our future eternal home filled with unimaginable joy and glory (Daniel 12:3; Matthew 25:21; 1 Corinthians 2:9; Revelation 21-22).

This is why for thousands of years people have been grateful to hear and believe the supernatural (not human) plan for their lives as the Bible reveals!

Published 1-23-17