Monday, March 1, 2010


So, haven't done a post in more than a week, time to get back to it. I was driving home last Friday, thinking about the rain that Biola had recently experienced, and also about C.S. Lewis and G.K Chesterton, and this note is the result of that train of thought.

I love the rain. If I'm walking to class in the rain, I won't put my hood up just because it feels like I'm missing out on the experience of the rain. As I was walking in the rain (and thinking about it later), I realized something- rain is water falling from the sky. Separate this from all scientific explanations and physical causes we've discovered, and try and see rain in the way that we used to see it–water falling from the sky. It's no wonder that in O.T. times, rain was clearly seen as an act of God. We, however, know better; we (by which I mean, people other than myself who know sciency stuff) know that this rain is the natural result of naturally occurring phenomena, like cold fronts and high pressure systems and stuff like that. The question I was thinking about on my way home was this: do these physical causes of an event make it any less an act of God?

This is where C.S. Lewis comes in. In his Screwtape Letters, he says, via the demon Screwtape, that if a prayer (for instance, a prayer about the weather) is answered, the human who prayed will undoubtedly be able to see some of the physical causes which led to this answered prayer, and therefore arrives at the conclusion that "it would have happened anyway." I think that this bears consideration. Do we do this? Do we ever make the mistake of thinking that, merely because we can see what physically caused an event to happen, that the event occurred independently of God? We shouldn't. Lewis says of this particular instance (the weather) that men's prayers today are one of innumerable coordinates by which God harmonizes the weather of tomorrow. Included in his explanation is a bunch of crazy-awesome stuff about eternity and time and the relationship between the two, which isn't really necessary to dwell on for this note.

Back to the point. Isn't that crazy? The point of this, and how it relates back to my original thoughts of rain, is that rain is water falling from the sky, an instance that was easily recognized by O.T. people as a miracle, an act of God. They were right in this recognition. It is we, with all of our knowledge, who are ignorant, and confuse the physical cause with the ultimate cause. Matthew 5:45 tells us that God sends the rain on the righteous and the wicked; the physical causes we have discovered and learned to recognize do not change this. And I thank God for sending the rain to all, because I am most definitely not righteous. And rain is something to be thankful for.

1 comment:

  1. “Ptah, rain… something divine?!” part of our culture seems to scoff, claiming our insanity. Interestingly, the culture has rejected the idea of a final cause if a complex mechanical cause can explain something. Such is basis of deism, atheism, and naturalism. There is another paradigm to consider, so as not to blindly assert that something with one level of explanation may not have another deeper. A boiling pot of water may be completely explained by combusting hydrocarbons, but it is still insufficient when another more pertinent answer is required—“We’re making tea.”
    Our perspective on rain changes greatly when taking a step back and seeing the big picture. Our paradigm certainly changes if the most reasonable cause for personality, information, free will, and matter, is Something with greater Personhood, Intelligence, Sovereignty, and Substance. Since the world is not eternal, this being(s) is (are) to be responsible for the creation and coherence of things. Every blessing experienced in Creation was divinely/purposefully placed within the capacity of creation waiting to be found and enjoyed.