If the news about Jesus (the Christ) is good news, it is because he embodies the most brilliant evidentiary manifestation of God in human history. God is before Jesus comes into the world, incarnate as a child at Advent, athwart the usual social and familial responsbilities, authoritative among religious and political leaders of His day. The Judaic system of justice founded on Law reveals God and men still sense God's mystery in Torah law. The Prophets of old asked the Covenant People to return to the God of the Law long after the people had misplaced the Law and forgotten the God of Law.
Yes, God is and is recognizable prior to the coming of the Christ. The Incarnate Expression of God (Jesus) demonstrates in one document (life) the whole program of God (historic intent and action), accessible to all users by one simple click on the Christ Icon (the Cross/Resurrection event). Jesus is the express image of God, the source of our most intimate discovery of the Person of God.
The knowledge of God is difficult (in large part because all human language is symbolic, while God is actual or real) but available. The knowledge of God (personal relationship) requires translation from the symbolic to the actual, for God is Universal Spirit and those who worship (know God in intimate relationship) worship Him actually, if at all, in spirit and (so) in truth. Matter rearranges or is rerranged by external forces, while energy exhibits consistent specificity. In the same way, humanity redistributes its own vitality, while God continually demonstrates the kind of consistent specificity remarkable to energy, as we have said.
Since this is true, the knowledge of God (revealed religion, actual, apprehended by man and so expressed symbolically) can be critically examined and made to stand the test of free, continued inspection. One can inspect the symbolically expressed claims of God critically without prior partiality to God. If the least fairness is to be applied, however, doubters will have to do more than say, "No, I don't accept the proofs of history, philosophy and science for the existence of God," as though post-modern skepticism settles the inquisitive issue.
Creation, as we said repeatedly in this series, insists on an Intelligent Designer. To move off that designation, even to focus on the Creation itself as the exhibition of Intelligent Design, misses the point and surrenders valuable ground to the skeptics. The crucial point of creation is its complexity, which the Religious insist cannot be the product of itself, or of chance or of fortunate accident. Religion does not argue for Intelligent Design, not really, but for the existence and interest of The Intelligent Designer. Creation declares God's Glory, which is His purpose and plan, His nature and knowledge. If we want to understand Creation, we have to see where it comes from and where it is going.
Then, there is the miraculous. Creation proceeds in intense regularity, until it does not. There are times and places in time and space where God intervenes in history, interrupts human/nature interaction and redresses energy to reform matter. The few beneficiaries of the miracle soon forget its power. The masses who do not benefit directly either criticize God for His intervention or shrug their shoulders and move on as ever.
God never intervenes in history to please man. God is not a man-pleaser. God is a man-mover. Miracles are God's pleasure to contribute instantly with the intent to save eternally. Miracle works demonstrate in reality what God wants for us, hence, they show us what life will be like for us when God's Kingdom is fully operative. What will life be like then?
There will be plenty of wine at the wedding and it will be good. Lepers will be clean, the blind will see, the deaf will hear, death will be dead and life will be durable. Is that not a life you would want for all men? Is that not the life you intend for your lover and your children?
Tomorrow, God being our help, we will look some more at the knowlege of God and how to inspect it critically without showing our narcissistic human foolishness.
Opinions expressed here are mine alone, not those of any other person, organization and institution.