Christian apologetics began with the need to defend our faith, from those who would challenge it. The word comes from the classical Greek word ‘apologia’. It is a legal term used by the defendant for a rebuttal, when the prosecution delivers the ‘kategoria’, or the charge. Sadly, Christian apologetics are necessary in a world that denies the very existence of God.
‘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.” Rom 1: 20
This recent discovery makes an excellent apologia for any artist – both indisputable and breathtaking, for sheer genius.
Suppose I gave you a creative design challenge. Your job is to design an object able to withstand enormous pressure (the equivalent of 1600 elephants standing on Mini car.)
This object must not not only withstand constant, intense pressure, but also impenetrable darkness and frigid temperatures.I’ll make it easy for you – you do not have to make it a living organic thing, needing to be fed and sustained! Just tackle the pressures and the temperatures. Then give it some mechanical eyes to see.
The best minds in the world did succeed at this challenge. They created a sturdy camera pictured designed to travel deeper than man had ever explored. This camera descended 4.6 miles below the surface of the sea. The flesh and blood designers stayed safely above, watching with curiosity – yet not really expecting to discover much.
Their flesh would be crushed, if they dared travel so deep. If they were somehow successful and attempted to resurface again, their fragile bodies would explode. But with this heavy-duty camera, they could now view the bottom of one of the deepest trenches of the ocean.
Fully understanding their limitations, their imaginations only stretched to the possibility of finding frail and listless creatures, if they discovered anything at all.
“We thought the deepest fishes would be motionless, solitary, fragile individuals eking out an existence in a food-sparse environment,” says Professor Monty Priede, director of Oceanlab.
In contrast to the heavy, metal camera that represents the best of their engineering abilities, what they discovered were delicate, active fish that were social and energetic!
If I were blessed with even a smidgen of such talent, I would have created blind, armor-plated, gigantic creatures with rock hard bodies that moved ponderously along the ocean floor!
Yet these look like fragile, albino catfish. But they are different – possessing unique vision in deep darkness, along with the ability to withstand pressure and cold. Imagine the challenges of sustaining such creatures - few shrimp and carcasses of other sea creatures, being their only dietary fare!
Amazingly, there they are, five miles below sea level - active, energetic, delightful creatures, flaunting the sheer genius of their Maker.
Using the familiar form of a fish, God has created countess complex variations that confound and delight, these fish being just one example. This is artistic genius that does not have to debate if "form follows function"! Both criteria are met with finesse.
These fish demonstrate the genius that feels no compelling need for applause. These incredible creatures, hidden from human eyes for eons of time, are an excellent example of a compelling Christian apologetic.
This Creator of unparalleled genius, rejoices when man, the only created being made in His image, comprehends the unique challenges of such creativity. God delights when we uncover His genius. Yet we dare to challenge His very existence. The created world is full of unimaginable creativity, hinting at the presence of God. Everywhere there is creativity, beyond randomness or human comprehension. Its depth and complexity leaves us breathless.
Why are we so reluctant then, to acknowledge our Creator?
"And these are but the outer fringe of His works; how faint the whisper we hear of Him! Who then can understand His power?" Job 26:14
That, my friends, is Christian apologetics of the artistic kind. If nothing else, take away a reverent awe of One so remarkable, that even the depths of the ocean proclaim His genius.