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  • Eric Kampmann

Keeping God Out

Do not be quick with your mouth,

do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God.

God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.

As a dream comes when there are many cares,

so the speech of a fool when there are many words.

—Ecclesiastes 5:2–3


In my first year in college, I took an anthropology class that attempted to provide a comprehensive definition of man as distinct from all the other species on the earth. I remember reading of several definitions such as “tool maker,” but the one that seemed to work the best was the concept that man was a “word maker.”


Since this was a science class, no one pointed out that the Bible supported this idea—except for causation. For in the Bible, the Word first comes from God: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). So when God created man in His own image, He gave man the gift of the word as well as the responsibility to name the creatures of the earth (Genesis 2: 19–20).


My science class arrived at the right definition of man; they just left out the reason why the Word is central to our human nature. The mystery of the origin of the Word was beyond the scope of this science class because it was assumed that all causation could only rise out of the forces in the natural world. It would be considered scientific heresy to suggest that the Word originated before nature.


C.S. Lewis says, “Does the whole vast structure of modern naturalism depend not on positive evidence but simply on an a priori metaphysical prejudice? Was it devised not to get in facts but to keep out God?”


—Eric Kampmann, Signposts

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