Many of the greatest philosophers and theologians have spent much of their life and life’s work contemplating this question, but those of us who are privileged to live in the early twenty-first century no longer need to trouble ourselves about it. Augustine, Aquinas, Dostoyevsky, C.S. Lewis, all were dunces compared to the intrepid actors and comedians we’ve been blessed with—those like Stephen Fry, Ricky Gervais, and Seth Macfarlane, who have come to liberate us with the force of their unprecedented insights from the tyrannous stupidity of believing in God…or so they think.
This came to mind recently when watching one of Father Robert Barron’s excellent Youtube segments. This one is a response to Stephen Fry’s remark that if he found out after dying that atheism was wrong then his question for God would be “What about children with bone cancer?”
Along these lines, in his book 90 Minutes in Heaven (which is not figurative), Don Piper talks about the way his deep grief over the unexpected death of his 19-year-old friend, Mike Wood, instantly resolved upon seeing him in Heaven. Keep in mind this takes place in an hour-and-a-half period during which Piper had been covered with a sheet and presumed dead by professional EMTs.
"We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written:
'What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived” --
the things God has prepared for those who love him--
these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.' " (1 Corinthians 2:6-10)