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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

11 February 2015: Jon Piper, Hope Church

Walking Away From Goodness

A video of Stephen Fry is currently one of the most commonly recurring posts amongst my friends on social media. The subject is not Fry's remarkable oratory talents, his stunning polymath knowledge, his insightful comments on mental health or his recent marriage. Instead, the video shows Fry expounding his thoughts on God.

Unusually for Fry, the content of his conversation is not particularly remarkable. Granted, he declares his lack of belief in God, calling the Christian God 'capricious, mean-minded, stupid'. Fry points out that the world is evil and that a God who created a place so defined by evil must be evil.

These words are all fairly unremarkable for Fry. He is a modern Atheist, who speaks openly and eloquently. He tends to be unafraid about treading on the toes of others around him, particularly those of Christians.
What does make these words interesting for me is that Fry's reasons for disbelieving the Christian claims about God read very similarly to my reasons for believing in the Christian God.

The Bible points out that God created everything, including humans, perfectly and with a purpose. That purpose is relationship - with each other, with everything else and with God. Since the very beginning, humans (and everything else) have been walking away from those relationships and making a mess of them.

When the world walks away from what is good, it finds itself immersed in evil.

This is the reason why we suffer, why even the genetic make-up of life is mauled, why we grieve, why children contract bone cancer, why I'll be hitting the 29th anniversary of the death of my mother this week.

This is also at the centre of the Biblical message. Jesus' job is to go as far from goodness as possible - even into death itself - and to make a way back again.

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