There once was a God, several professors admit, but that God is now “dead.” In what celestial mortuary column they read this startling news, we cannot even guess, but we suspect that God must be amused over a report that His death has brought to an untimely end the career that created earth, the sun, the stars, the moon and the heavens.
Mark Twain once said: “The report of my death is slightly exaggerated.” Twain, a mere mortal, died later, of course, but the first report was somewhat premature by a number of years.
Is God dead?
The God who watches over me and also watches over the sparrows? We think that one can be discounted without trouble. Were God dead, who would see to it that the sun gets up every morning, bathes us in its beneficent rays, then sets every evening, giving place to the moon, which orbits the earth in imitation of astronauts?
Were God dead, the orderly pattern of the universe would become one grand chaos, for His hand on the control is responsible for the smooth and regular operation of everything.
The rumor was once spread that Santa Claus didn’t exist. After all, you couldn’t see him. He visited only after the children had gone to bed, and the only proof of his existence was a pile of presents Mom and Dad just as easily might have provided.
But a little girl took the problem to a wise New York editor, who reassured her that Santa really did exist, so long as little children believed in him.
Many years ago this week, the late Otis Brumby Sr., nationally known publisher of the prize-winning weekly Cobb County Times, dropped the “Yes, Virginia,” story on my desk with the comment: “Print this every Christmas week. It’s my favorite Christmas story.”
“Why?” I asked.
“Because we all must have faith,” he said. “You’ll learn to appreciate ‘Yes, Virginia,’ more and more as you grow older.”
How true! The “Yes, Virginia” letter is printed once again in today’s Marietta Daily Journal.
It seems to us that one professor has sort of plunged off the deep end.
One thing is certain: If God is dead, we might as well close up shop, gather on a mountaintop and then sit down and wait for the big bang that will mark the end of everything.
Somehow, we are convinced, God still is very much alive — as alive as He was when He set up this mortal coil on which man shuffles.
In the first place, as we see it, God is a spirit, a supreme being, an all-knowing, all-powerful immortal who knows death only as one of his instruments. The God who can breathe life into the cosmic dust is a God who cannot die.
If you persist in probing the infinite, you come up with conclusions that rock the brain.
Who or what created God? What is life?
What was before the beginning?
And if there’s an end to the universe and God, what comes then?
The answers to such questions are incomprehensible.
Even the greatest brains on earth have only guessed at the vastness of the infinite.
We feel one can reconcile the tenets of science with the teachings of the Christian faith.
Not just the unlearned believe in God.
No one has ever seen God in mortal form, but these representations have been idyllic — mere symbolic figures to represent an idea. Not even Adam saw the face of God, who came to Adam in his sleep and took a rib to create Eve.
But who can doubt that God exists when all around, you see His handiwork in the flowers, in the rain, in the sunshine, in the storms that spray forked lightning over the earth?
Like Mr. Brumby told me years ago, there are some things you have to take on faith alone.
This we will take.
He is not dead.
He will live forever, or whatever time forever may be.
Bill Kinney is associate editor of the Marietta Daily Journal.