Comments about ‘Defending the Faith: Sometimes, God does intervene’

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Published: Thursday, Nov. 15 2012 5:00 a.m. MST

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Far East USA, SC

Depending on your prospective, you can either see God's hand in everything or nothing.

What I find is that when good things happen (lost child found) God gets credit and it is irrefutable proof that prayers are answered.

If that child, instead is found face down in a river, "God had other plans"

Good and bad things happen to good and bad people. Always has, always will.

Whatever helps you get through life.

Whos Life RU Living?
Ogden, UT

If you knew the date of someone arriving to the airport, but not the time and you were responsible to pick them up, what time would you be there?

Seems reasonable to show up early. Not sure how this gives credit to god, but as JoeBlow stated, "Whatever helps you get through life."

With superstitious individuals, it is guaranteed that superstition will always play a role in the occurrence of rare coincidences/occurences. Perspective is a huge factor.

Unwieldy Toaster
Bluffdale, UT

I have trouble giving credit to an anthropomorphic, white, bearded, pro-american God for intervening at all in my life. Especially when it would seem that God intervenes at the same rate as a coincidence. I dont understand why God would put one cancer patient in remission and not another. And why does God intervene in the mundane (lost car keys) but allows all sorts of atrocities and human suffering to occur. To me life can be explained with this simple statement: stuff happens.

Phoenix, AZ

Life itself is a mystery with amazing unknows and that is the nature of nature itself without the condition of an unknown superior or higher intelligence determining or forcing issues. Nature is god. If Mr. Peterson wishes to get deep into it he might ask himself why he even woke up that morning, much less why he went to the airport. It is a world of chance, numbers, probabilites and the unknown. And of course a little common sense can go a long ways toward understanding nature and its ways. It is interesting that Mr. Peterson works at a university but dosn't consult the psychology department for understanding of human intuition and other motivators.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

Attributing an intuition or coincidence to God (even if the more likely explanation is simply our own confirmation bias) is not all that troubling – as a previous post said, “whatever helps you get through life.”

The troubling part to me is when people extrapolate (by wild leaps in logic) from personal spiritual experiences, entire historical, theological and metaphysical worldviews complete with enough superstition and magic to embarrass Tolkien. Sad that 400 years of science has still not been enough to wake us out of our Iron Age stupor.

sandy, ut

The sudden thought at 6 am to go to the airport to pick somebody up cannot be equated to god. It is called your mind. It is similar to that sudden thought that can pop into your head out of nowhere "I left the stove on", or "I left the water running." I have actually done both of those. Most of the time I go down stairs to find that I was wrong, the stove is off. But once I actually did leave the stove on, and I suddenly awoke after midnight with that thought and went and turned it off. Nothing caught on fire, and we probably would have been fine. But I can't say that god or an angel woke me up, because what about all of the times I have been wrong and the stove already off? Your subconscious mind is an amazing thing. No god that is fair could intervene when I need my car keys and can't find them, but let children be killed or starve to death. Prayer only works when the outcome matches the prayer. Odds are the outcome would have been the same without the prayer in the first place.

Boise, ID

Reading the above comments shows a sad state of human behavior: come out of the woodwork to trash something precious that another has recounted whenever one doesn't experience it himself in the same way, personally, nor understand. No one is so blind as one who will not see. If this makes you happy in life, I feel sorry for you all. You're missing so much. But it's your choice and far be it from anybody else to trash your own shallow interpretations of life.

Bakersfield, CA

When you are connected to the God of the Universe, you know exactly when He is intervening in your physical life.

When you are hoping, musing and believing on a different God than the One revealed in His Word, you will wonder and write fluff pieces like this. You'll write and preach sermons about 8 ft. Quakers on the moon, polygamous men-god-evolved Dieties, and then write your own version of The Holy Bible.

And not a single verse quoted...

My people perish for lack of wisdom.

Bakersfield, CA

Those of us who left the altered universe begun in 1830 feel your pain, too, Dr. Petersen. It's more than a far away galaxy in which you reside.

Come check out the real Universe, fully described and revealed in God's original Word. Let's keep that fact clear while you commiserate. And that is the very reason that you are befuddled and musing. Get anchored and you'll be grounded by the One Who holds you in His hand, "And no one can take them out of My hand."

He Who holds all things together also sends His messengers/angels (Malachim-Hebrew).

All the answers are found on the profound Book of Colossians.

Bill in Nebraska
Maryville, MO

Only The Cross and Brahmabull: A wagon train arrives at Hauns Mill traveling from Ohio on its way to Far West, Missouri. They stop at Hauns Mill for the purpose of resting before travelling on. Before they are able to rest a mob of over 200 men attack killing men and young boys. One of those killed is Sardis Smith along with his father Warren Smith. They are survived by two brothers, mother Amanda Barnes Smith and three daughters. The youngest boy Alma has been critically wounded with his entire him basically shot a way.

Amanda looks into the eyes of her son and sees no fear. She asks him if he believes the Lord can make a new hip he says yes. In the process she prays to know what to do to heal her son. It is cold, damp and pretty much in the middle of no where. She receives knowledge to make a mud pack and use of moss to clean and dress the wound. She has no knowledge of such things as stated in her own journal. He will walk into the Great Salt Lake with no limp. Coincidence.

layton, UT

RE: Defending the(Christian) Faith: “Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it.(1 Peter 3:15 NLT) In context it should be Christ centered Apologetics, not Mormon.

I do not know the meaning of all things True, Paul in context, For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then Face to Face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. (1Cor 13:12)The Christian will know the Lord to the fullness extent possible for a finite being, similar to the way the lord knows the Christian fully and infinitely. This will not be true until the Lord returns.
Verse 13, And now these three remain: faith, hope and love(agape). But the greatest of these is love(agape).”As translate correctly”. See, Moroni 7:45-47 . "But charity(s/b,love) is the pure love of Christ”. Poor KJV translation.

sandy, ut

Bill in Nebraska - That is a great story. How about this one: A woman in one of my mission areas had cancer. She asked for a blessing from the AP's to heal her. The gave her a blessing and commanded that she be healed. She died 3 days later. Or this one: A family in my home stake prays to be safe on their road trip to st. George. They get by another driver and their mini van rolls and takes the lives of 3 of them. Concidence?

Gracie - your hateful attitude towards those of a different view than you is astonishing, but not surprising. One of the main reasons I don't go to church aside from not believing in it anymore is because people there exibit such un christlike attitudes to those who don't believe. You claims that everybody who doesn't believe in god's hand in all things good is living a "shallow interpretation of life." That is pretty sad that you think that, and it isn't true. I look at things different, and anybody is free to disagree with me. Calling people shallow is kind of juvenile.


I am an engineer, and I once worshipped at the altars of math and science. I saw religions as did Marx – the opiate of the otherwise hopeless masses. It took a long time for me to realize that I wasn’t denying God, but rather rejecting the many well-intentioned falsehoods I had heard about God.

It is hypocritical and arrogant to demand honesty and then presume to tell others whether or not their personal experiences were real or imagined based upon whether or not you have had similar experiences yourself. There are experiences that bear a witness of God, a witness so powerful that it would be nothing less than cowardice and dishonesty to deny it for what it was.

Why would God touch our lives in seemingly random ways? Sometimes strong faith requires believing, and sometimes it requires trusting. Making a leap of belief does not come easily to me, but I have learned to make large leaps of trust. I accept as genuine those undeniable witnesses of God I have received, while at the same time leaving it up to God’s wisdom to intervene, or not, in whatever way seems best.

Tooele, UT

Re: "I have trouble giving credit to an anthropomorphic, white, bearded, pro-american God for intervening at all in my life."

But, you apparently have no trouble at all insisting that others must adopt a sophomorically narrow, wildly improbable view of the universe, based on nothing more than imprecise and uninformed observation of a laughably infinitesimal fraction of 1% of it?


Mathematically, the probability that a Being with the characteristics we attribute to God does not exist somewhere in our unimaginably huge, infinitely diverse, inconceivably old series of universes is vanishingly small.

Olympia, WA

You miss the whole point of this article, one of which is that no one can understand the mind of God and no one can fully understand why some prayers are answered and some are not, why some bad things are prevented and why some are not. Those who don't believe in God, or who are doubtful of miracles, will tend to doubt them no matter how miraculous or extraordinary they may be. This is why people don't often share miracles with the general public, especially those miracles that are sacred to them, as they know that it is wasted on those who are doubtful of such things. I see it as unfortunate that you have lost your faith, but am grateful to God for my own. It has been a huge influence for good in my own life, and my life would be very lacking in direction and meaning without it. We can't expect to be able to explain everything that happens, and yes it does seem like alot of stuff appears to be random, but we also need to focus on all the good that happens as well.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

After years of trying faith, skepticism became the rock on which I built. Now I see inherent pitfalls in either extreme. There’s no shame or weakness in admitting that there is much we don’t know.

sandy, ut

dt lenox - I don't discount other peoples experiences, and I don't criticize. I just don't attribute those good things that happen to god, just as I don't attribute bad things to satan. Miraculous things happen all the time, I admit that. But miracles don't have to be because of god. It can be luck, circumstance, or a combination of alot of other factors. I fully admit that I may be wrong about all of this, but it is what I believe at this point. My reasoning can't accept that god will make miracles for some, while others suffer. Doesn't make sense. Never has, never will. Innocent kids being killed is pretty serious, and I can't see god allowing that to happen while he focuses on answering prayers of those who need to find their car keys. I am happy that some people do believe it, and there is no problem with that.

Danbury, CT

Why can't we just allow people of faith to believe in something they can't see without having to insult their ability to also grasp the world of science and reason? I think there is ample room for all of it. Reason and spirituality can co-exist.

Similarly, I don't have to diss the person who doesn't believe but allow them also their freedom and leave the door open for them to join me someday if they wish.

As for the "True Christians": I don't believe God "tricks" us and will not allow us into your same heaven if we worship unintentionally "another God". My readings of the NT show that the only ones Christ condemns are the hypocrites. Strangely the ones who put him to death were the ones holding strictly to the Mosaic law, not accepting anything new, and claiming that Christ had a devil.

Boise, ID

"My reasoning can't accept that god will make miracles for some, while others suffer. Doesn't make sense. Never has, never will."

It isn't "hateful" to suggest that the above statement is a shallow premise. Who is so omniscient as to be able to come to that lofty conclusion? That anybody would try results in what I consider "shallow interpretations of life." There's no character assassination in pointing out that Someone infinitely greater than ourselves exists and is able to make His presence known, but faith that He will do this when He sees fit is required for us to get the greatest benefit. If one believes a Creator exists, and I do, then ascribing miracles only to coincidence, scientific understanding, freaks of nature or whatever is actually a very shallow conclusion, like teenagers who think they know more than their parents. Things of greater worth don't come so easily, including understanding of deep import. You can blame God for not fixing everything now or discount him for that. It takes faith to believe that He *will* fix all things at the most appropriate time. His creations aren't the best judges of when that is.

layton, UT

RE: Eastcoastcoug,As for the "True Christians": I don't believe God "tricks" us and will not allow us into your same heaven if we worship unintentionally "another God". Wrong,

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.(14) The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. (John 1:1,14).

Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us(1John 3:16)God on the Cross.
And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto(Exodus 3:14)
I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I(ego) am(eimi) he, you will indeed die in your sins.” (John 8:24) Jesus quotes from Exodus saying he is God.
Howbeit in Vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men(JS).(Mark 7:7)

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