Monk vs Ford Mondeo

It’s a dark night. The wind is whistling round the showroom of a cheap and run down second hand car dealership. There’s a sudden and shocking crack of electricity. But there’s no one there to jump at the sound.  A bright flash of light pulses across the darkened compound.

Suddenly…a person appears.

He’s fully clothed – and he’s not a cyborg sent from the future. He’s dressed as a Monk from the 12th century. Judging from the look on his face as he stares at the cars in the dimly lit car lot…this IS a man who has fallen through a rip in the fabric of space time. He’s arrived in the present…but he has come from the past.

Can you imagine the sort of problems such an individual would face? Let’s not worry how he might fit into the modern world. Instead, let’s imagine he survives…and thrives…and becomes obsessed with  CARS.

He stands at the side of the road…watching people drive them. He walks to the petrol station and watches people refueling them. Finally – he strikes it lucky and someone picks him up and gives him a ride in one.

It’s a Ford.

The driver looks nervously at the out of place Monk sitting beside him…wishing he had never stopped to pick him up. The Monk speaks.

“It says Ford on the back of this shiny cart.”

The driver nods. “I like Fords.”

The monk thinks for a moment. “Is Ford the name of the horse that makes the cart go?”

The driver looks confused. Why’s he referring to his car as a cart? And who said anything about a horse being involved!

But if you think about it…our friends question is not completely unexpected. The 12th Century is his home; horses pulled carts around there. These cars look like shiny carts…so there must be a horse around somewhere to make them go! Makes sense to a 12th century mind – right?

Eventually the driver stops to drop the Monk off…and he decides to open the bonnet of his car. “Look in there. No horse in there – that’s an internal combustion engine. That’s what makes the car go.”

The Monk’s mind is blown.  What does it all mean?

Months have passed now. He’s managed to sign himself up to a local college course on “Car Maintenance”.

The course lets him spend time investigating the workings of the car,

  • removing the engine from the bonnet.
  • dismantling it piece by piece.
  • learning about the ignition system
  • the combustion chambers
  • the exhaust manifold.

There’s not a real horse in sight. But slowly…the Monk  grasps the basics of motor engines. And he dismisses the notion that there’s a horse under the bonnet of every 21st century shiny metal cart. There’s an engine under that bonnet.

Our time travelling curate has learned so much! He has experienced amazing progress in his understanding.

Ford isn’t the name of a horse; rather, Ford is the name of the builder; the designer; the manufacturer.

He has come such a long way. But there’s one thing our friend will NOT do. He will not dismiss the belief in a manufacturer of the car. Not at all – “Mr Ford” or his employees were responsible for constructing this car and fitting the pieces into place to make it go.

Today, so many 21st century evolutionary biologists are delving not into the future…but the past. They are trying to work out how life started. They are studying dizzying cellular mechanics, more sophisticated than any engine, and they are applying their limited knowledge to the wonder of it all.

BUT… by and large…they have done precisely what our Monk instinctively knew not to do.

They have confused the mechanism with the agency that designed it. They have decided that because they now understand something of the workings of the engine…that “Mr Ford”…or a super intelligent designer… or God…does not exist.

This is a shame – because we are made in God’s image. His badge of quality is all over us!

Let’s face it – it’s not just the complexity of a machine that proves someone designed it.  When someone claims responsibility for the design…surely THAT clinches the answer to the question?

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. Psalm 139:13-14

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