Talk 2: Where are you?

One of the favourite games that my young grandsons love to play is hide and seek. The familiar call “where are you”? echoes in whatever areas the game is played as the seeker looks far and wide to find where the hiding places are.

“Where are you?” is a question that resounds through the corridors of time as humans seek to find God who can’t be seen in this vast universe.

This is no trivial question, for the answer to the quest ‘Does God exist – what is He like?” determines the answers to the questions of identity, origin, destiny and morality.

In our culture atheists say that because God’s existence cannot be proven empirically then He does not exist. In the eyes of the naturalist, science is the only way to truth. “There is no reason to suppose that science cannot deal with every aspect of existence” (Atkins, 1995, p. 125). The end result is “that in a universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor justice … DNA neither knows or cares. DNA just is. And we dance to its music.” says atheist Richard Dawkins (1995, p. 133). Nature is seen as a giant machine to be explored and mastered. The way of nature pursues power and success. But the Bible sees a different world, that of creation which is more alive – revealing something of what God is like (Romans 1:20).

God asks Job “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundations … while the morning stars sang together…?” (Job 38:4,7)

The creation is a kaleidoscope of splendour and design from the micro-organism through to the wonderful arrangement and harmony of the cosmos. Heavens that declare and skies that proclaim (Psalm 19:1-3) and trees that clap (Isaiah 55:12). What a celebration of beauty and wonder!

The questions concerning God’s whereabouts need to be explored as students journey through the curriculum.

A worldview needs to explain the totality of human existence and that its beliefs are coherent and able to be lived consistently in the reality of everyday life.

What are the assumptions built into the worldviews that are shaping their learning? How do we equip them to critique these?

How would Dawkins view of the world shape the kind of people our students are becoming?

In tracing the wonder and wisdom of God’s design through exploration in the teaching and learning, students can think more deeply about their world, the relationship between the spiritual (the unseen) and the material (the seen) world and the rationality embedded in the design of the universe and the experience of life.  Life is not just a meaningless dance to one’s DNA, but as Christ’s image-bearers, each student’s life has intrinsic worth and purpose. Each one is created to be in relationship with the living God and to live God-glorifying lives in their bodies. Life is not a blind product of chance. It frees them from being masters of their own destinies, who have the task of making their own meaning.

God’s people also struggle with the question “where are you?’ especially in times of pain and suffering. The Psalmist cries out ‘Why do you hide your face and forget our affliction and our oppression?” (Psalm 44: 23-24) How can a good God allow evil and suffering to impact his world?

The naturalist can only say life is what it is, it’s the luck of the draw. For the pantheist it is karma. This leads to a deep sense of hopelessness which is the opposite of true happiness. How can we teach our children for tears? For Christ has entered into our human experience through his Cross and resurrection, and our students are invited into an inheritance that is ‘imperishable’ (1 Peter 1:4). Therefore, we will not be cynical or triumphal but embrace both celebration and lament.

This engenders hope as they experience an identity that is received not achieved and meaning that suffering cannot take away.

Our identity as teachers is a gracious gift from our Lord who has provided us with a true story in which to dwell. By God’s grace, we have been set free to re-imagine our educational task.

The Christian and the Materialist hold different beliefs about the universe. They can’t both be right. The one who is wrong will act in a way which simply doesn’t fit the real universe” (Lewis, 2014, p. 110).


Grace and Peace

The Team
The Excellence Centre





  1. Atkins, P. (1995). Nature’s Imagination: The Frontiers of Scientific Vision. Oxford University Press
  2. Dawkins, R. (1995). River out of Eden: A Darwinian view of Life. Basic Books
  3. Lewis, C.S.(2014). God in the Dock. Eerdmans Publishing