I am writing on the fourth anniversary of the 7/7 suicide bombing attacks in London. In a chilling videotaped statement, one of the bombers, Mohammed Sidique Khan, explained that his motivation was inextricably linked with his Islamic faith:
I am often asked how I can believe in God when there have been so many wars caused by religion. The implication is that if only people would leave behind their convictions about the existence of a God the world would be a much better, more peaceful place.
The issue of free-will and predestination is one that has raised its head in every generation of Christians. Do we exercise choice, or has everything already been decided? The resultant mental gymnastics leave many feeling confused, and others feeling disappointed. Did you choose to read this article, or has God already determined that you will… or won’t?
It is amazing to think that some people actually believe they are good enough to get into heaven. Perhaps it is because we read so much bad news in the papers about others that we are quick to conclude that by comparison we are superior, and so deserving of a place in eternity.
The artist Damian Hirst who puts animals in Perspex boxes recently said this: “Why do I feel so important when I’m not? Nothing is important and everything is important. I do not know why I am here but I am glad that I am I’d rather be here than not. I am going to die and I want to live forever, I can’t escape that fact, and I can’t let go of that desire.”