John Shuck, A Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Pastor confesses his faith thus :
“No deity exists. Not Jesus Christ, not Yahweh, not Baal, not Marduk, not Allah, not Zeus, not the Flying Spaghetti Monster, not the Wizard of Oz. None of them exist. All figments of imagination. They are fun. But none are worth the spiritual violence they cause.”
And it is faith because philosophically speaking there is neither an absolute proof for God nor an absolute proof that there is not a God. Of all the proofs that exist Anselm’s ontological proof is perhaps the nearest one to proving the existence of God, that is, if you believe that existence is an attribute. A perfect being that you conceive in your mind would then have to exist because your idea of a perfect being would include existence (and that existence must be a reality for it to mean anything) and therefore God must exist.
But then the scripture would need to fill in all of the details about such a God including the Incarnation and his redeeming grace.
But the truth is (and yes this is about truth) Anselm himself believed that one must have faith before he could really know any true thing about God. One of his prayers’s ended:
“I do not seek to understand so that I can believe,
but I believe so that I may understand;
and what is more,
I believe that unless I do believe, I shall not understand.”
So in one sense John Shuck is right, he is writing about Lee Strobel’s little booklet “The case for Easter” and insisting that no one can reason another person into believing in God or the resurrection. And we can’t. Only the Holy Spirit can and will do that. Only the Father will draw us to his Son. Only the Son will show us the Father.
As John Calvin puts it concerning the Scriptures, “”it is foolish to attempt to prove to infidels that the Scripture is the Word of God. That it is cannot be known to be, except by faith.” Jesus speaks about the light that the eye receives which gives a person knowledge about the world around him. He says that through the eyes that are good the whole body is filled with light. But then he goes on to speak of that light with these words:
“Then watch out that the light in you is not darkness. If therefore your whole body is full of light, with no dark part in it, it will be wholly illuminated, as when the lamp illumines you with its rays.” (Luke 11:34-36)
In other words we can know all about the world about us, even about our inner self, but this light or knowledge can be darkness if we deny the true light which is Jesus Christ.
Jesus, speaking to his own generation, calls himself a sign like the sign of Jonah. Jonah was only in a large fish; he didn’t really die but the Ninevites believed his word from God. Jesus was in the earth, and truly dead, yet he, because he was both God and man was bodily resurrected. Jonah came from the sea and the fish undoubtedly trailing sea weed. Jesus came from the tomb trailing heaven's glory.
Jesus says that the Ninevites will rise up in judgment against his generation. Jesus’ generation is the whole of the church age from the time of his appearing. What will it be like to stand facing not only a holy God but a whole nation of ancient cruel Ninevites who repented at the preaching of a man who probably still had sea weed hanging from his ears?