The Romans One Test
Romans 1:18-22 "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities- his eternal power and divine nature- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools...."
Romans One indicates that the existence of God and something of His nature are so apparent from the things He has made that those who fail to recognize it are "without excuse." In fact, the passage states that they are actually "suppressing the truth." In what ought to be frightening to those who are doing it, Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, writes that this places the offenders under "the wrath of God."
Now, of course, atheists think they have nothing to fear since they do not believe in God. Romans One, however, tells us that God does not believe in atheists - at least honest atheists - because He states that the evidence for His existence, eternal power and divine nature is plain in creation, and only avoided by active suppression.
Yet there are Christians - who ought to know better - that still endorse a cosmology indistinguishable from that of an atheistic thinker. In other words, they agree with everything mainstream materialistic science comes up with but simply say, "God did it like this."
Some call this the "totally competent creation," meaning they believe God caused the Big Bang, knowing that what came out of it would spontaneously become galaxies, stars, planets, living things and ultimately human beings. They think it a greater act for God to do than "tinker" by creating light, then water, then land, then sea and air creatures then land animals, etc., whether in 6 days or 4 billion years. This posture, incidentally, also comes in handy for deflecting criticism in the highly conformist world of academia.
But their view fails the Romans One test, because the unbeliever can say, "You claim God did it but I see no need." "But," responds the Christian-in-protective-coloration, "you can't account for the cosmic egg." "It was just a quantum fluctuation of nothingness," says the atheist. And the closeted Christian, undoubtedly believing in quantum fluctuations, has no reply.
But would God really be angry if suppressing the truth only consisted of whether or not one accepts quantum fluctuations versus supernatural intervention at time zero of the Big Bang? I don't think so.
Romans One does not restrict the application of this principle to any particular group. The existence of a Creator is intended to be obvious to common people as well as scholars, the ignorant along with the educated, the brilliant as well as the simple. And any attempted reconciliation of scientific opinion and Biblical truth that fails the Romans One test needs to be seen for what God calls it, "suppression of the truth."
Ross S. Olson