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Seeing truly

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands... Psalm 19.1

... but what happens when you can't see it? Well, you don't appreciate it either and so its full impact is lost. This is what is frustrating about much scientific revelation. Many of those pioneering it ignore the evidence of divine activity behind what they are observing, so many believers interpret such agnosticism as hostility and reject the validity of the insights themselves. The upshot is that the signs of God's glory become the anvil of denial - on both sides of the faith divide.

The other night I watched the last in Chris Packenham's series Earth on BBC2. I was intrigued by the hype and in some ways the episode did not disappoint, with its breath-taking photography and Packenham's canter through millions of years of evolution and succinct account of humankind's late appearance and disproportionate impact, delivered with an enthusiasm which is infectious and a passion that is hard to ignore. Yet his omission of any reference to divine activity - even the belief of others that he might not share - left me feeling that his account was lacking to the point of losing the power of its punch at the end, when Packenham bears his soul and, surprisingly, expresses his faith in human ingenuity to fix climate change even at this 11th hour.

Without reference to God, to whom we are accountable and upon whom we depend and without whom we are lost, such noble aspirations sound arrogant and naive. God and we know that the world is in crisis but he has sent a Saviour and he has a plan for recovery. The only hope we have is to embrace both - the Saviour and his plan/ Way - and respond with all the urgency our predicament and his call demand. There is indeed wonder, beauty, power all around us - alongside danger, fear, threat. Making sense of it and responding effectively require our deeper appreciation of what we behold: the truth beyond the impression.



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