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Where is God? With Rice Broocks

Dr Daniel Amen and Tana Amen BSN RN On The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast

One of life’s most enduring (and confounding) questions is this: If there is a God in this world, why does he allow evil to happen? In this episode of The Brain Warrior’s Way Podcast, Dr. Daniel Amen and Tana Amen are joined by Rice Broocks, author of “God’s Not Dead”, to discuss some of life’s most interesting questions, and weigh in with their own theories and discoveries.

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Dr Daniel Amen: Welcome to the Brain Warrior's Way Podcast. I'm Dr. Daniel Amen.
Tana Amen: And I'm Tana Amen. Here we teach you how to win the fight for your brain to defeat anxiety, depression, memory loss, ADHD, and addictions.
Dr Daniel Amen: The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast is brought to you by Amen Clinics, where we've transformed lives for three decades using brain spect imaging to better target treatment, and natural ways to heal the brain. For more information, visit amenclinics.com.
Tana Amen: The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast is also brought to you by Brain MD, where we produce the highest quality nutraceutical products to support the health of your brain and body. For more information, visit brainmdhealth.com. Welcome to the Brain Warrior's Way Podcast. Welcome back. So we are still here with our friend, Dr. Rice Brooks, and he's the author of God's Not Dead. We're having an amazing time talking to him. He is so brilliant. And we want to go after this question this week of, where is God? So sometimes it feels to me like, what are we doing? As a society, as a country, as a people, what's going on? I mean, where is God, right? And I want you to touch on that. So where's God when it hurts? Where is God when the world feels crazy? Where is God for people who don't believe?
Rice Broocks: Yeah. Well-
Dr Daniel Amen: Or even for people who do believe.
Tana Amen: Yeah, sometimes we-
Dr Daniel Amen: It's like, how does it make sense?
Tana Amen: Sometimes we feel like, how does this make sense?
Dr Daniel Amen: The insanity.
Rice Broocks: When I hear that question, and again, we take the message of God's Not Dead, and I travel to campuses around the world, and do a multimedia presentation, and students come. At the end we have Q&A. I normally have a physicist, which I highly recommend traveling with a physicist. It's good to have that as a backup guy. Anyway, but eventually beyond the scientific arguments, or the philosophical arguments, it comes down to this question, of why would God allow evil? If there is a God, then why would God allow such acts to happen? And so, the first thing I do, as a pastor, I stop and I want to know, is this personal? Is something happened to you? Because I don't want to be glib, or give some philosophical answer if you've lost your family, or you've had some tragedy. It's like when you hear ... Or you want to first of all know, what trauma is going on here that has caused this kind of reaction? But many times you get to, it's more of a theoretical question. People are mainly using that argument, not because they've personally suffered, but because they've got this thought that maybe this proves that God doesn't exist because there's evil.
Tana Amen: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Rice Broocks: And now the short answer is simply this, and since we're under ... I'll do the fast break Los Angeles Laker offense here. If there is no God, there is no evil. You see, if we're-
Tana Amen: I like that.
Rice Broocks: In other words, you can't even explain the world we live in without borrowing the biblical terms to make sense of it. In other words, if we're just animals, then when animals kill other animals, it's not a crime scene.
Tana Amen: Right.
Rice Broocks: It's like Geico, it's just what animals do.
Tana Amen: Right.
Rice Broocks: That's just what they do. And so, why is it then in all of existence, here are these agents, humans, that are distinct, we have the ability to think. To not only think, but to think about thinking, metacognition. We can think about our thinking.
Tana Amen: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Rice Broocks: And we've been given this ability to make a choice. So, unlike animal which kind of acts out according to their DNA, I mean, if we're just acting out according to our DNA, then you wouldn't be morally responsible for that. That's just who we are. Like we said. But because we are created in God's image and we have choices to make, so there is a choice. So what you see in the world today are people acting out their choices. Now, God said, don't do it. God's given ... God has said, God's against evil. He came to Earth as a man in Christ to deal with it personally. So no one encountered the evil to deal with it, and then ultimately was the victim of it than Christ.
Tana Amen: Yeah.
Rice Broocks: So this is not a distant God sitting up in Mount Olympus.
Tana Amen: No.
Rice Broocks: Casually looking over the banisters of eternity to kind of see how his lab experiment's going.
Tana Amen: Well, he reminds me of a really good parent when you ... For those of us who do believe, we sort of have a spoiler alert of why all this is happening. But, without even aside from that, when I look at the scripture, it's like, it reminds me of a good parent. It's like, I'm not going to tell you, you can't do it. But if you do it, these are the consequences.
Rice Broocks: Right.
Dr Daniel Amen: Well, but some of the people listening have been molested. So, as a psychiatrist-
Tana Amen: I can relate to that.
Dr Daniel Amen: In a child psychiatrist, some people listening have really experienced-
Rice Broocks: Trauma.
Dr Daniel Amen: Evil.
Rice Broocks: Yeah, evil.
Tana Amen: And I'm one of those people.
Dr Daniel Amen: And awful things happen to them. And the question comes, if there's a loving God, why did he allow that to happen?
Tana Amen: I think that-
Dr Daniel Amen: Or I have a granddaughter who is handicapped. And she's born with a very rare genetic deletion. And even at the age of seven, she's still not talking. And she had wicked seizures. And so, many people go, if there is divine creation, that's not divine.
Tana Amen: So, if I'm understanding you, to make this-
Rice Broocks: I'll pick that up.
Tana Amen: To sort of boil down what you're saying is, without pain, we can't know joy. So I mean, it's almost like what you're saying ... I mean way, way more intensely, way more in depth you're saying, if there were no evil, there would be no God. I mean, to some extent we're almost saying without one, there's not the other.
Rice Broocks: Well, C.S. Lewis would say this, I know a line is crooked, but how do I know what a crooked line is if I don't know what a straight line is?
Tana Amen: If I don't know what a straight ... That's what I'm trying to say, yeah.
Rice Broocks: So, I'll try to make a simple statement. The existence of evil doesn't point to the absence of God from the world, but from his absence from our lives. So here is ... God is basically, his word is clear about the things that you would say are evil. To not do that. The punishment that we will ultimately stand and account for. So whoever committed something is not getting away with it. Maybe they think they get away with it in this life, but there will be an accountability. And that's kind of hard for some people to get their head around. But the bottom line is, that one day we will all stand before the ultimate audit, if you will. If you fear an IRS audit, well guess what? There's one coming.
Tana Amen: Right.
Rice Broocks: So, I think that the fact that there is this ... The real reason is, what's wrong with us? And when writing this book, I was in the home of a man named Francis Collins. And Dr. Collins he's the head of the NIH, or he has been, and was the head of the Human Genome Project. He kind of broke down the DNA molecule and taught us how to read it. So within the human molecule, within the DNA is just long sentence. I mean really it's 3 billion letters long. The information inside of us. If you've got a text from somebody that you knew they sat on their phone, you know then they could never do a pocket text and do a complete sentence. What about 13 billion letters long? So you know as a scientist and as a doctor that, that genetic code that the environment, the choices, other people's choices can actually have an impact on our genes.
Tana Amen: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Rice Broocks: That correct my, if my science gets off, because you're the scientist, I'm not. So, we are living in a world that's been damaged by evil. You scan my brain today, and I'd had had a car accident, and you knew it. I could have not told you that. And you could have said, something happened.
Dr Daniel Amen: I would have known it.
Rice Broocks: Well, if you scan the soul, there's something wrong. This proclivity, this brokenness inside of us. 2010, the largest oil disaster in American histor, the BP oil disaster out off the Gulf of Mexico. 200,000 gallons of oil dumping into the Gulf for 89 straight days. You could try to clean up the mess, but ultimately you had to stop evil. You had to stop by giving my punch line away. You had to stop the thing in its source. And this is what the Gospel says. The Gospel says that God didn't stay at a distance but became a man in Christ. He lived a life we should have lived, meaning he lived morally perfect. Broke religious laws, but never broke the moral law. He died the death we should have died in our place. Three days later, he rose from the dead, which that gave the validation of who he is. A lot of people ... I met two people at Berkeley, California out there, and one day they told me, one said he was Moses, the other said he was Jesus.
Or, I met a woman on a plane that told me she was God. And I looked at her, I said, if you're God, I got a lot of questions for you. So, just claiming you're God doesn't make you God. So Jesus's claims could have just been like one of those I mentioned. But his resurrection validated it. But what the Gospel, the good news of Christianity, is that the Gospel can go to that source of evil, within the human heart and deal with evil and injustice at its source. That's why Atheism doesn't take away the pain, when people react to pain with skepticism, or I'm going to say goodbye to God. I say, Atheism doesn't take away the pain. It just takes away the hope. Or, one woman who had seen-
Dr Daniel Amen: Say that again.
Tana Amen: I like that.
Dr Daniel Amen: Atheism doesn't take away the pain.
Rice Broocks: It just takes away the hope.
Dr Daniel Amen: It just takes away the hope.
Rice Broocks: So-
Dr Daniel Amen: That's powerful.
Rice Broocks: I know. I hate to rush. I feel myself rushing, because I know this shortness of time. But I interviewed a woman on Christian television who the next day Dr. Field did, who had seen both of her parents shot and both eventually died. One died on the spot. The other died later. The man was put away, got out in 20 years. But 20 years after, basically a double murder, he's released. And this woman gave him a Bible. And can you imagine, you see as a seven year old your parents shot in front of you. You identify the murderer, the assailant.
Tana Amen: That's horrible.
Rice Broocks: And she said to me, she said, I was mad at God. She said, but I needed God more than I needed to be mad at him.
Tana Amen: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Rice Broocks: So when we look at a world with pain, when we look at people that do bad things, God's not the one that did it. God's the one that's not only saying don't do it. There's so many ... In fact, the fact that things get exposed, that the fact that we can be healed. It's like when you looked at me and said, hey, you've had a brain injury here through your wreck, but I got good news for you, you can get better. I mean, there's no better sound than someone saying you can get well. And that's really what Jesus said. You can be well.
Tana Amen: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Rice Broocks: I'm not the author of that. I didn't ... That was not my will. But I have come to give you hope, and to give you healing, so I hope that's a-
Tana Amen: That was great.
Dr Daniel Amen: Where is God? Stay with us. We're going to explore this further. Or, on our supplements at brainmdhealth.com. Thank you for listening to the Brain Warrior's Way Podcast. Go to iTunes and leave a review, and you'll automatically be entered into a drawing to get a free signed copy of the Brain Warrior's Way and the Brain Warrior's Way Cookbook we give away every month.