For someone who was an atheist when he was young, then an agnostic, which I still am, it came as a surprise to me recently that I also believe in God.
This happened one day last fall as I was driving north from Toronto one morning on Highway 400, listening to Joan Baez sing the Steve Earle song “I Believe in God” (in her 2008 album, Day after Tomorrow, which was produced by Earle).
For those who don’t know, it begins with some straightforward religious statements. But these ideas are modified as the song advances, the singer demonstrating that what they actually know about ‘God’ and/or the world that gods inhabit, is next to nothing.
Yet, in spite of this unknowing, or maybe because of it, they believe in God.
For example, one line says, in so many words, that whether you believe or don’t believe doesn’t matter, that God doesn’t care what you think, you receive the benefits or don’t receive them regardless. That is a huge statement, contrary to what Christians have been saying for a long time.
But that doesn’t necessarily contradict Christianity. God’s rebuke to Job in the Bible, says, more or less, “Who are you to think you know, or can know, anything about me?” The Jewish and Muslim stances against images of God are also founded in the unknowability of God.
In my own case, some events/experiences in my own life (I may detail some in future posts) have convinced me that there is something more present than what is immediately obvious – call it the spirit world or whatever you want – that there is something larger than us operating with intelligence vastly superior to ours. In other words, I know something more is there, but I don’t know what it is.
That’s all I know, but I realize now that that is all I need to know to be able to say that, despite remaining an agnostic about almost all the details, I believe in God.