How would you address the question "Why is God not more obvious?"

I’d be curious to know the gist of your “If God exists why is he not more obvious” talk.
My form of that question has been “Why doesn’t God manage his organizations better?”
I think the answers lie in the topic of free will, and also in the value to God of us learning to walk in faith, not by what is obvious.

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@Narphi

Greetings! Thank you for taking the time to write a question. I am a little unsure of what you mean by “Why doesn’t God manage his organizations better?”, but I can at discuss what my talk is about.

Because most of my talks are geared toward evangelism, I don’t necessarily approach that talk by trying to unpack different theories of God’s hiddenness. Rather what I talk about is the fact that I do think that God is partially hidden, but that He also reveals Himself because He desires for us to know Him. One reason why He partially hides Himself is because if His presence was too forceful and we could experience His majesty (ie. Exodus 33:12- 34:7), we wouldn’t be able handle it. Further, it just might interfere with our free will ability to say no. Even with Moses, God only shows a part of Himself. I think when people say they want God to show up and show Himself, it shows the lack of understanding of who God really is.

However, I think we do see evidence of God’s existence in His creation (see Romans 1:20) and specifically through the life of Jesus. In the life of Jesus we can know fully who God is because Jesus is the image of the invisible God. He is God himself. This is very important because it means not only through Jesus’ miracles and resurrection can we know God exists, but we can also understand God’s character through what we learn of Jesus is life here on earth!

For most people, when it comes to lack of belief, I really don’t think the issue is that God is hidden, I think the issue is that many of us do not want to believe. People will choose to say that God has not revealed Himself enough, or that there is no evidence for Him, as an excuse to not believe. The reason I say this is because often when people say to me that they need more evidence of God’s existence to believe, I offer them evidence. However, instead of accepting and being amazed and what evidence there is, they find another way to explain the evidence as insignificant or they don’t accept the evidence as credible. For example, if I speak to people of a miracle that has happened, let’s say that someone was paralyzed but can now walk, I’ve had people say to me that it wasn’t God that healed the person, but rather that the brain was able to fix their body and make it better. In other words, no matter what I say, people will not accept that God did it and was therefore giving evidence of himself.

I think free will is very important, and I think God’s hiddenness has a whole lot to do with Him protecting our free will. But keep in mind, God did make Himself very, very, very known, and people who saw still did not believe. How did God make Himself so known and clear? Once again, through Jesus. People saw Jesus raise the dead, heal the sick, speak with incredible wisdom, and still they refused to believe. Why do people assume they would respond differently if Jesus was walking the earth today? I think even if God was so obvious and in our faces, we would still not always want Him.

In summary, God reveals enough of Himself so that there’s enough evidence for us to believe in Him, but He hides enough of Himself so that if we choose to not believe we can.

One last thing, you are not implying this, but often I hear people say that Christians just believe by faith as if there isn’t something to back up that faith. Many people define faith as just believing in something when there is no evidence. But Christianity defines faith as placing your trust in a being because of the evidence! The clearest and most known evidence being the resurrection of Jesus! Faith in Christianity is the response one has to God when they’ve decided to bow their knee to the God and Savior who created and loved them and who proved Himself true.

Blessings,
@Alycia_Wood

Thanks for answering. That is good to remember people frequently don’t want to respond to God so they neglect or ignore things they know of.

To explain what I meant by “Why doesn’t God manage his organizations better,” I thought of an illustration. Imagine in a smallish town there are two McDonalds’ restaurants. In one, the menu hasn’t changed since the 1970s, still nothing but burgers and fries. In the other, it is all the modern new choices, no burgers and fries. Furthermore, if you get to know the two managers , they each despise the other and suspect the other is secretly working for Burger King to make the McDonald’s name look bad.

Now this illustration seems all too familiar in what churches can be like, but in terms of businesses it seems odd. Part of why it seems odd is we would expect the McDonalds organization to step in and do something, give these two managers a severe talking to and then fire each of them if they didn’t mend their ways. But an intervention like that from God when churches are in conflict seems rare.

I conclude like you say, God reveals enough of himself so there is reason to believe but hides enough of himself that those who choose not to believe can do that. Also, I think God hides himself so that our commitment to believe requires faith, choosing to be convinced by some evidence when we cannot see every evidence we would like. Hebrews says faith is the conviction of things unseen, so that means some things have to remain unseen.