The famed British philosopher Bertrand Russell was known for being an outspoken atheist and social critic, in addition to his many contributions to the fields of mathematical logic and analytic philosophy. (You may have heard one of his most famous quotes: “No one can sit at the bedside of a dying child and still believe in God.”)

As the story goes, at Russell’s 90th birthday party, a female acquaintance approached him and, noting that he was one of the world’s most famous AND oldest atheists, asked him a pointed question: “What will you do if it turns out you were wrong? What if, when the time comes, you should meet Him? What will you say?”

Russell pointed a bony finger toward the sky and said, “Why, I should say, ‘God, you gave us insufficient evidence'” (from Bertrand Russell on God and Religion).

Though I am not an atheist, as a believer I find Russell’s answer to be compelling. I have a lot of doubts, but so many of them could be answered if the evidence was just a little bit clearer. If God wants us to know him and have a relationship with him — as Christianity teaches — then why has he made his presence in the world ambiguous, at best?

(Note to all of you who might say, “But just look at the glory of a sunrise! That’s proof of God right there!”: I realize that a lot of people look at nature and see God’s presence in it. But just as many others look at nature and see only…the natural world. If you start talking about the glory of such-and-such as proof of God’s presence and design, then they will counter with something like the guinea worm: What kind of loving designer would design such a horrible parasite? Thus: the evidence for God is ambiguous.)

So here’s the question I want you to answer today:

For believers: You have the opportunity to ask God for a deeper explanation about something that doesn’t quite seem clear enough. What would be your question?

For non-believers: In the same vein, what question should believers be asking God (or about God)?

Post your question in the comments below…


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