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Apologetics – Lesson 2: Does God Exist?

February 2, 2012

We continue our journey into apologetics with a basic question: Does it make sense to believe in God? This leads us, logically, to two questions, which are encompassed by the first:

  • Does it really matter what a person believes?
  • Does God really exist?

In Lesson 2 we will approach the second of these two questions.

An Age of Science

We live in an age of science and reason. In many ways mankind has ceased to look for the supernatural and has determined that science, logic, and reason can explain everything. This is not a bad thing in many ways. Superstition no longer rules people and our fear of ghosts, goblins, and witches is noticeably less than what it once was. I also suspect that most of us would be unwilling to give up many of the conveniences that modern science has given us. (If you don’t believe me try digging your own toilet.) However, this means that we, as apologists, have to deal with scientists’ explanations of the origin of the universe. There are those who will confidently claim that science that disproved the existence of God. But is this true?

The Existence of God

The Bible does not attempt to prove the existence of God. It tells us to look at creation and draw our own conclusions. This is the consistent message of Scripture. Creation reminds us that God exists and He is responsible for everything that is (Romans 1:20-21; Psalm 19; Isaiah 45:18.) It goes even further to say that it is the fool who says that there is no God (Psalm 14:1.) Basically it is obvious. Do why do we hear people consistently deny the existence of God and embrace a scientific theory to explain the origin of the universe? Scripture gives us an answer for this as well. People have a bias when it comes to this issue. Most people close their eyes to the evidence of creation because if they deny His existence they also avoid accountability. They know God exists but are suppressing that truth (Romans 1:18-19.) So they build a wall of presuppositions to prevent themselves from seeing the truth. This is not normally a conscious effort but it is an effect of the sinful nature. When we seek to defend the faith we must challenge these presuppositions.

Looking Up

Let’s consider the universe in which we live. Creation is all around us and we must look at it and ask ourselves which of the two competing theories (creation or evolution) takes more faith to believe. We live in a big universe. We cannot even rightly determine its size as it is measured in distances that are foreign to our way of thinking. To put it in a simple way, if our sun were scaled down to the size of a Ping-Pong ball our Earth would be 1/100th of an inch in diameter and the nearest galaxy would be 350 million miles away (3 million light years in actual scale.) And that, as they say, is just a drop in the bucket.

It is universally agreed (well, nearly so) that the universe had a beginning. At some point in time all that we know was not. The most prominent theory in our secular culture is the big Bang Theory. Basically there was nothing then there was a massive explosion emanating from an infinitesimal dot and from that all stars, planets, and life sprung and evolved. The Christian position is that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. All creation came into being when God ordered it to. If you are to favor the first theory then you have some important questions to determine:

  • Where has it been observed that something can come from nothing?
  • What scientific method was used to determine this theory?
  • Is it wise to accept an un-provable theory as evidence to deny the existence of God?

For the secular scientist the answer to this is normally time and chance. If we allow enough time (billions and billions of years) then anything is possible. We will look at that a little later but right now ask yourself if this is a statement of fact or faith?

Looking Around

Consider the Earth beneath our feet. Contrary to most science fiction, there is no place like this anywhere. This planet is just the right distance from the sun and just the right size to support life. Even if we accept a universe governed by random chance, probabilities and time, the odds of a world existing with the unique properties of our little blue gem is, quite literally, astronomical. The odds of this have been calculated by astronomers as 1 in 10129. I think it is safe to say that probabilities are not in favor of this.

We must ask ourselves which is the more plausible explanation. Is this just simple luck and the result of random events? Did life evolve out of nothing as a result of chance? The alternative is that this was a directed process conducted and ordained by a Creator (Isaiah 45:18.) Which view a person takes will depend greatly on his or her presuppositions. Do you allow for the existence of God or have you decided that there is no God and any evidence that points to Him must have another explanation?

Looking In

Consider the message of life. The complexity of life is truly fascinating. Many animals have unique abilities that make them capable of surviving and thriving in conditions that you and I would find quite deadly. Our own bodies are full of complexity from our anatomy to the cells that make up our bodies and we are learning more and more about the intense complexity and fragility of life. If one thing were out of alignment or control then life would not exist.

Again, we are faced with two options here. Whether this happened as a result of evolution through undirected mutation and survival of the fittest or is this the result of a Creator God who made it? Is it reasonable to believe that the process of macroevolution (changing from one species to another) can explain how life came to be?

Conclusion

Having looked at the evidence the question now is what we will do with it. Creation has spoken and we need to decide how we are going to respond. There is no room for neutrality here. As we have seen, there are only two options: 1) In the beginning there was nothing, 2) In the beginning there was God. There are ramifications for each.

If everything was created by nothing then we have to deal with a world where there is no God and interpret the evidence of creation as only having the appearance of order and organization. There was nothing, then there was something. There is no reason; it’s just the way things are. Despite the odds against it and the lack of clear proof you have to believe that purely by chance everything evolved into higher forms of life through mutation and natural selection. There is no purpose in life so eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die.

However, if God exists then He created all of this. In the beginning, the true and living God, who is eternal, uncreated and uncaused, chose to bring into existence all that there is and He created it with purpose and design. This means that we can explain the order and inherent design around us and that we have a purpose and meaning in our lives. This also means that there is a God to whom we are accountable. This is, I believe, the reason most people would rather embrace evolution and chance rather than God.

This is written with a Christian audience in mind so if you are not a Christian and reading this then I recognize that this is not likely to convince you of anything. However, I want you to recognize that there are presuppositions that we both bring to the argument when looking at the evidence of creation. If you come with the assumption that God cannot exist and the supernatural is impossible then you already have a barrier in place to see the evidence of creation. If that is you I ask you to consider that in light of an objective view of the universe around you. I have not attempted to answer all of the detailed questions and objections simply because others have already undertaken this task and done so very well. I refer you to the Answers in Genesis website where you will find a much more detailed and informative analysis and defense than I am able to present in this simple article.

Look at both viewpoints presented here and ask yourself, “Which one takes more faith to believe?” I believe that it takes far more faith to deny the evidence of God and construct a set of naturalistic presuppositions than to accept what the Bible says in Genesis 1:1. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

 

God bless.

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