RE: 2001's gospel message

rice@mcc.com
Mon, 8 Nov 1999 10:39:05 -0600

On the question of God's fingerprints - there seems to be an insistence that such "fingerprints" be physical, tangible things- an insistence on concrete, visual evidence - stone tablets, orbiting crucifixes, whatever. My questions is why should we think of God's marks on the universe as something physical?

Looking at mankind as a whole, even without a Calvinist view point, it is not a pretty picture. And yet individuals are capable of acts of selfless courage - why? Where does that impetus to risk one's life or property or sanity for a stranger come from? Why would a family choose to adopt four or five children because they are siblings and need a home, why would two guys driving to work and seeing smoke from a house run in and get the people there out to safety or strangers rush to a burning car to save the occupants? Why would a wealthy man in a city fork over a couple of hundred thousand dollars to keep a center for crippled children open when nothing they do affects his family? Why do we show kindness to people outside our family or our close community at all - there's no logic to any of those behaviors - nothing that furthers one's own survival. And yet such things do happen. It has always seemed to me that such acts ARE God's fingerprints on the world.

Having said all that I'll happily agree that this view comes from a basically theistic standpoint. But what I am curious about is why when there is a dialog with non-theists, the argument seems to focus on physical fingerprints with no consideration that both sides might be looking for the wrong type of fingerprints. I would also be curious about opinions from those more educated than myself as to what clues, if any, scripture gives for what "God's fingerprints" would be.

Janet Rice
rice@mcc.com