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Cnr of Park Rd and MacMahon St, Hurstville Sundays at 9:30 am and 6:30 pm

The Watchmaker

There is an old view of God that thinks of him as a watchmaker, that runs like this: God made the world, wound it up, and left it to tick away without having to hang around to check on either the time or the occupants. The view is called Deism, and is one of those worldviews where you can ‘have your cake and eat it too’: the ‘cake’ of explaining a universe that works with incredible precision, and the ‘eat it too’ of having a God who’s not in your face to tell you what to do.

It doesn’t take a lot of faith to believe that Someone made the world, for the clockwork precision of the universe is compelling. For instance, the next total solar eclipse viewable from Sydney is predicted to occur at 2pm on 22 July 2028. That’s pretty impressive, compared with my old watch whose reliability is proof of its assembly by a pair of human hands evidently eager for an early weekend.

However, it does take a lot of faith to believe that the Divine Watchmaker is still around and constantly checking the time. For there is suffering and human misery to be explained. And wars, and atrocities, and famines and plagues. But then, on the other hand, there is this: A Man who knew all about human suffering and misery. A Man who showed great love for the world by dying on a cross. A Man whom many believed was the Watchmaker’s Son.

DM 16th May 2017

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