Rick Warren in this chapter makes both points that are profoundly true and points that are questionable. First the profoundly true:
“You are not an accident.” This is the thesis statement of the chapter. Many of us live like we are accidents. Not only do we not matter in the light of eternity, we think we don’t even matter in the light of this week. According to the bible, however, “God never does anything accidently, and he never makes mistakes.” He has a purpose for each of us.
“While there are illegitimate parents, there are no illegitimate children.” Some of us may have made a mistake when we “chose” our parents. That may have done a rotten job with us – led us to see ourselves as accidents – but God got the first word with us and will get the last word.
“If there was no God, we would all be accidents.” What he means here is (a) without God, it would only be random chance that brought us here, and (b) we would lack any purpose larger than ourselves.
He quotes Dr. Michael Denton of the University of Otago in New Zealand: “All the evidence available in the biological sciences suppots the core proposition… that the cosmos is a soecially designed whole with life and mankind as its fundamental goal and purpose, a whole in which all facets of reality have their meaning and explanation in this central fact.” This is a strong statement of what is called the Anthropic Principle.
What do I find questionable? Warren presents a strongly controlling God, pictured as actively planning everything that is. “God prescribed every single detail of your body. He deliberately chose your race, the color of your skin, your hair, and very other feature.” Including your disabilites and defects. Do you have any congenital defects? God prescribed those also. It sure reads like everything is the way it is because God planned it that way. When I read scripture, I see that something AREN’T the way God wants them to be. Sometimes God is disappointed in the way things are. God made us not only for a purpose, but to be freeling willing and acting beings. Our free actions have consequences, not merely in our own lives but in the lives of the people around us.
So what’s my alternative? How would I explain the defects we experience in our bodies? First, I would make a simple admission: Not everything we consider a defect is a defect in God’s eyes. Our values and valuations are warped by sin and our limitations. Second, because of sin we live in a broken world. This brokenness, which is not God will, affects us on many levels, even the genetic and biological. Brokenness is not only outside us, but within us.