One of my favorite books that I’ve read in the last ten years is There is a God by philosopher, Anthony Flew. He writes of his journey from atheism to theism. He died three years after the book was written, and I am not sure if he ever became a Christian, although in the book, he speaks of Christianity as being quite compelling.
While he was an atheist, he liked to share a parable that explained why he was an atheist. The parable goes like this:
Two men stumble upon a beautiful garden in the midst of a dense forest. The two men logically assume that there must be a gardener. They wait for a long time, yet no gardener ever appears. The first man concludes that no gardener exists even though the flowers are set out in neat, well-kept rows; this garden, he contends, is simply the consequence of an unknown natural process, an aberration in the natural scheme and contrary to the principal of entropy. The second man urges patience, arguing that there must be a gardener; how else could the garden remain in such tidy order?
The gardener must be invisible, the second man surmises. Deciding to test this new premise, they surround the garden with an electric field that will set off an alarm and reveal the presence of this invisible gardener. They wait for quite some time, yet again, no gardener appears. They now reach the conclusion that, even though an orderly garden exists, there is no gardener to be known because one has not appeared.
Mr. Flew applies this illustration to our world and states that, just as there is no gardener in the story, there must be no God for us to know; He has failed to make an appearance.
Ravi Zacharias, however, puts an altogether different spin on the conclusion. “Mr. Anthony Flew, in his story of the garden, has, in effect, nailed the coffin shut on every major religion in the world, except Christianity. In Christianity the gardener has appeared in the person of Jesus Christ.
When my son, Dixon, was around eleven years old, he asked me why I believe in God. I told him that there is a great deal of evidence that points to the existence of a divine being. However, I told him that the main reason I believe in God is Jesus. God sent Jesus into the world as divine revelation. The only way we could know who God is and what He is like is for Him to reveal Himself to us.
We are told by Paul,
“For in Him all the fullness of deity dwells in bodily form.” (Colossians 2:9)
The writer of Hebrews tells us that Jesus
“is the radiance of God’s glory, the exact representation of His nature.” (Hebrews 1:3)
We celebrate at Christmas the incarnation, because it is the foundation of our faith. And on that first Christmas morning, the Eternal stepped into time, and we beheld His glory.