I was sitting in the hot pools at Mt Maunganui talking with some Christian millennials and a similar aged Maori with a strong belief in Maoritanga decided to join the conversation.
I was talking about Christian worldview that an impenetrable gap exists between polar opposites such as right and wrong, good and evil, light and dark, sickness and health, male and female and the increasing syncretism or blending of these opposites that is happening throughout society today, such as a non-binary viewpoint of sexuality, but also in many other religions, exemplified by the Ying and the Yang symbol of Taoism.
My Maori friend strongly disagreed with me and said he believed that each of these opposites were all part of the same whole, that darkness, for example, was just part of light and that the supreme god of the Maori spirituality, called Io (pronounced ee-aw) was both personality and not personality, the space and darkness between the stars and the creator of everything.
Just focusing on his statement regarding darkness and light, I explained that, scientifically, darkness is an absence of light. Light is not an absence of darkness. Light is antagonistic to darkness; it drives away darkness but darkness never drives away light. So darkness doesn’t exist as an entity in its own right. In the eternal world of heaven, there will never been any darkness, any shadows, because there will never be an absence of complete and total light everywhere because it will radiate in its totality from God who is Light (1 John 1:5). This is why his Supreme god Io cannot be like our God, because darkness is part of Io’s being. Besides, it is impossible to be both personality and inanimate at the same time. Like light and darkness, they are mutually exclusive.
He struggled with the understanding that darkness wasn’t an entity in itself and that light dispels darkness and not the other way around.
Another way to describe it is considering the two opposites nakedness and covering. Nakedness is an absence of clothing. Clothing completely removes nakedness but nakedness can never ‘remove’ clothing. Nakedness can only exist when clothing is not present.
I also talked about the uniqueness of Jesus and his existence independent of the Bible. We left with a friendly handshake and he wanted to know if I would be back to continue the discussion. The Christian audience were intrigued at the logic of the arguments and defensibility of Christianity. I recommended the book, “I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist” by Norman Geisler and Frank Turek, which in my opinion should be standard issue reading for every christian and part of every Christian school curriculum after the Bible.