Almost everything that is manufactured comes with a set of instructions. We call these ‘the maker’s instructions’; the more complex the item, the more detailed is the information. We may choose to ignore the maker’s instructions, but if we do, then we cannot blame the manufacturer when things go wrong. If they are not obeyed, then the product may be damaged and will not function properly. It is reasonable to expect that if there is a God who made everything, he must know best how it should all work. It is also reasonable to assume that he will have given instructions, and that those instructions will be reliable. For the most complex part of his creation – which is us – we would expect the most detailed information. Contradictory instructions would be absurd, therefore we cannot claim that all religious books will be equally helpful in locating the truth about life, death and eternity, because they each have very different messages. The human race should know how to live and how to get the best from life. Birds and animals know how to migrate and look after their young, and nobody gives them a set of written instructions. Humanity, with its superior intelligence and power of reason and conscience, should be able to chart a reliable course for peace, harmony and good-will for the benefit of all who live on this small but well-provided-for planet. However, this optimistic hope is clearly ill-founded, because humanity has not made a good job of managing planet earth over the past millennia. In a fallen world, we can still see the imprint of God’s order, design, and beauty, but the order and design are broken, beauty is tarnished, harmony is shattered, joy is compromised, and God’s bountiful provision is manipulated by the human race to its own destruction.
|Attribute name||Attribute value|