Conscience: Miracle of the Moral Law

A crowning achievement of modern man’s cooperation was Neil Armstrong setting foot on the moon on July 21, 1969. Months later, my high school literature class was assigned to read William Goulding’s fiction novel, “Lord of the Flies” (1954), a dismal tale of the failure of civilization over savagery. A group of preadolescent, British schoolboys were stranded on an island in a remote part of the Pacific Ocean. Surviving a crash of their evacuation plane, against the backdrop of a world war, they agreed to have fun, survive, and constantly maintain a signal fire for their future rescue. Things fell apart shortly thereafter. End fighting resulted in the killing of three of their own before being rescued. Goulding’s depiction of the “darkness of the human heart” contrasts with a more recent (2020) article by Rutger Bregman appearing in theguardian.com — The real Lord of the Flies: what happened when six boys were shipwrecked for 15 months. Like their movie counterparts, these six boys had left school (1965) and had become stranded on a remote Pacific island (‘Ata), but these were merely bored and plain misfortunate. Unlike the movie, these boys cooperated and physically thrived until their signal fire brought about their rescue. Two different scenarios depicted human conscience and moral law with different outcomes. But, “what does Scripture say” (Romans 4:3 NIV) about moral law and conscience?

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Judgment: Miracle of the Flood

No doubt much of the public fascination over the possibility of an Extinction Level Event (ELE) has come from a Cold War consciousness of the risk of thermonuclear holocaust, as well as, the scar of a comet or asteroid strike off Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula; but, all of that pales by comparison to the worldwide flood of epoch proportions described by Moses in Genesis. “God said to Noah, I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth” (Genesis 6:13 NIV).

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Masterpiece: Miracle of Creation

If creation is the act of producing or causing to exist, and a miracle is an effect or event considered as a work of God, then Creation is a miracle. Creation is the Masterpiece of God. When a magician pulls a rabbit out of a hat (6:36), the audience responds with enthusiastic applause. But, when God creates the universe ex nihilo — out of nothing — the applause stops, and both scientist and theologian begin a forensic discussion of how God did not do it, how Genesis was never intended to be but a figurative story, or how God needed more time and process to accomplish such a feat.

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We Need A Miracle!

The universe is expanding, but energy is running down. Humankind experiences cycles of advancement in knowledge, productivity, and longevity; but continually, cycles of selfishness, greed, and destruction diminish our limited planet. Man’s capacity to build and replenish is far too often outstripped by our tendency to tear down and subjugate. It takes a far greater faith to believe in a natural and growing goodness of humanity to establish justice in the earth than to hope for the supernatural intervention of an infinite God performing miracles in the affairs of humankind. The way I see it, we need a miracle!

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