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MOVIES: A common sense look at 'Religulous'

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (BP) -- In 2008, comedian/atheist Bill Maher made the documentary "Religulous," in which he proclaimed, "Religion must die so mankind can live."

The film continuously crops up on cable, declaring to a new batch of viewers with each airing that all faith is faulty. As I passed a recent telecast, I was reminded of the film's draconian nature. But I had to admit, from a secular perspective it can be argued that the Creation is impossible.

This Creator, this Higher Power whom we never see or hear (at least audibly), somehow, out of nothing, formed everything. Then His Son entered the world through a virgin birth. This same Son, who died a horrible death, rose from the grave three days later. That's impossible, secularists say.

But if it is impossible, that leaves us with other possible explanations for our existence, such as the Big Bang theory and evolution.

The Big Bang theory contends that eons ago a massive explosion began a series of cosmic accidents that led to the forming of the universe and life. But what was there to explode? Interstellar gas? How does gas come from nothing and what was the matchstick causing it to suddenly ignite? Certainly, there are those who can defend this explanation, but their arguments never suitably answer this galactic phenomenon. The speculative data all sounds a bit too sci-fi. No matter the amount of time that's passed, how did our planet adjust itself in such a manner that if it tilted just the slightest one way or the other, we would all be toast or icicles? And according to this concept, not only did the celestial bodies begin to align, but life also began forming in such a way that creatures who could see, hear, taste, smell and process thought came into existence. No matter the amount of passing millennia, how could all these coincidences combine? That's an awful lot of miracles for a Creator not to be involved. It's simply impossible.


Evolution, according to the Webster's New American Dictionary, is a "theory that the various kinds of plants and animals are descended from other kinds that lived in earlier times and that the differences are due to inherited changes that occurred over many generations."

To evolve, life had to begin at some point. What did we evolve from? Oh, that's right, fish from the sea or monkeys in the trees. But where did they come from? And if we evolved from fish in the sea or monkeys in the trees, then why are there still fish in the sea and monkeys in the trees? What, are they underachievers? There's no solid evidence that we evolved from another species. No, it's impossible.

So, it would seem that how we got to be is impossible. Yet, we be.

Somehow, the impossible became possible.

I realize this is a rather simplistic approach to the topic, and from one who reasons with a faith-based worldview. But secularists are allowed their scientific theorems, and aren't their resolves also a form of faith in the unknown? After all, who of us was around a gazillion years ago to verify today's scientific theories?

The dictionary defines theory as "abstract thought; a plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle offered to explain observed facts; hypothesis, conjecture."

Despite reluctance by those who eye-rollingly dismiss any conclusion other than one mandated by prejudicial academia, the very definition of theory allows us to venture into the realm of Intelligent Design. But that classroom term sounds noncommittal. Is it really such a stretch to suggest that this intelligent designer has a name? God. Maybe this ethereal being isn't impossible.


Could it be, and this is a question, not an accusation, that the proponents of evolution or things that go bang lean in those directions due to a hope that there is no God? After all, if there is no God, no Creator, then our destiny surely belongs solely to us; we are the gods.

The Bible says, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1).

Heavenly undertakings don't compute for those dominated by earthly understanding. I guess it comes down to what or who you want to have faith in -- man's theories or God's promises.

Is it wise to depend alone on man's intellectualism? "They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them" (1 John 4:5).

As God said in the book of Job, "Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? ... Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation?"

Yes, how we got here does seem impossible. Only an intelligent designer -- God -- could make the possible out of the impossible.

There, now that we've got that cleared up, which did come first -- the chicken or the egg? Well, you got me there.

For a film that argues the plausibility of Intelligent Design, view the DVD "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" (review: Also, "The Genesis Code" is a compelling film that offers the theory that what science teaches us about creation and the Story as told in Genesis are both true and in perfect accord (


Phil Boatwright has reviewed films from a spiritual perspective for nearly 25 years. He is the author of the book, MOVIES: THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE REALLY, REALLY BAD available on He also is a regular contributor to "The World and Everything In it," a radio broadcast of World Magazine's World Radio.

Copyright (c) 2012 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press


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