Practical Agnosticism

I was 17 years old and sat in Philosophy 101 (or some class like that) at my neighborhood Community College when the professor introduced me to the Big Bang theory. From what I can recall his presentation went something like this:
Since we really can't scientifically explain the origins of the universe then lets just say that there was a "Prime Mover" that started it all.. and let's call that "God".
Now that really made an impression on this impressionable teenage boy and for the next 10 years gave me cause to be a practical agnostic. Interesting enough I still went to the Episcopal Church with my mom every week. It really didn't bother me to go because I still believed in God.. just not a personal God.. not a God that heard prayers.. not a God that really made any difference.. just this "Prime Mover" that got things going.

Years later when I was 27 I came in contact with a different "God".. you can read that story here.. but until that weekend I lived a life of practical agnosticism. Unlike many agnostics, who simply say "I do not know if there is a God", I believed there was a God (albeit a Prime Mover sort of deity). This belief in God did not however make any difference in the way that I lived my life. When my first wife went blind when I was 22 years old I did not pray.. why would I do that.. Prime Movers don't hear or answer prayers. I can remember crying about my wife's blindness.. I was in a boatload of pain.. but had no one in my life to talk to.. I spent most of my evenings with six of my best friends.. their last names were the same - Budweiser.

I think that many people share my story.. even ones who call themselves "Christian". They look around and see the logic in the idea that something or someone intelligent had to have designed it all but cannot come to grips with the idea that this entity is still involved with the creation. They see all of the pain and heartache in the world and in their lives and cannot come to grips with a God that is still involved. They exclude this kind of "God" because it just doesn't make sense to their heads.

On a cognitive level I am yet one of those people.. but my heart was changed some 33 years ago and my spiritual eyes were opened to a God who came to earth and poured His life out for me. Pain and heartache still don't make sense to my head.. I still hurt when people I love so much suffer so much.. but somehow I have been given the ability to filter this pain through my heart instead of my head. And when I am crying the most I find myself remembering that beautiful Man who died for me.. and everything is different.

I am no longer a practical agnostic.


  1. Thanks for this post, Bob. This is a beautiful testimony of your faith and how it's made a difference in your life.

  2. Thanks, Bob, for sharing another part of your story.

    It is interesting that for practical agnostics (like Deists), the evidence of a "Big Bang" is enough to convince them that there is a "Prime Mover", albeit an impersonal one. Yet with regard to a God that remains "involved with creation", it surprises me that the question wouldn't be raised as to how all this stuff stays in place and order, and doesn't fall apart. :) Wouldn't that suggest that the Prime Mover was still involved?

    I know the Scripture says all this; I'm just approaching the question from the standpoint of one who might not go to Scripture for the answer. Just chewin' on it... :)

  3. So many "Christians" believe in a historical Jesus, the same way they believe in Abe Lincoln or Christopher Columbus. It is so wonderful when we finally meet the REAL JESUS and we can never be the same. I'm glad you met HIM, Bob.

  4. last week our class held a similar discussion on this subject and you show something we have not covered yet, thanks.

    - Laura


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