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Proclamation Index

Evidence for the Existence of God, Part I

This month and next we respond to what is perhaps the most basic and important question that any human being could ever ask: "How do I know that God exists?" In each part of this two-part series we present two of the four classic arguments for the existence of God - that is, whether God is, not who or what God is - along with a few other relevant addendums. The cosmological argument. Based on the principle of causality, this argument begins by recognizing that for every effect there is a corresponding cause. Since the universe obviously exists, there must have been, and there must be, a great Cause-a Primary Mover-behind it. To put it another way, things exist. People exist, rocks exist, music exists, happiness and loneliness exist, and awareness exists. Things exist-something is really there. Since there is no natural explanation for something coming from nothing, there has to be a supernatural explanation-a Creator, an Ultimate Source, a Final Cause, a God. Someone may say, "Well, if God made the universe, who made God? Who caused the Causer?" To which we would respond: "No one caused God, because God is-by definition-a necessary Being, self-existent and self-sustaining." Human personality indicates that God is also personal, since personality is never known to flow from the impersonal. While this line of reasoning quickly moves into a consideration of not just the existence of God, but the attributes of God as well, it does also provide rather convincing ground for concluding that a personal God exists. The bottom line is that there is either a self-existent God or a self-existent universe. Since even secular scientific studies indicate that the universe had a beginning and is now running down (energy is dissipating and heat is being diffused), there is certainly no viable basis upon which to conclude that the universe is self-existent. Therefore, the best evidence points to a supernatural God. And that is the essence of the (cosmological) argument from creation. The teleological argument. Probably the oldest, and certainly one of the most easily understood and therefore popular arguments for the existence of God, this line of evidence is based on the high order and intricate design readily discernible in our universe. Just as a finely-tuned watch could and would never assemble itself by mere chance, but is evidence of a watchmaker, so the highly complex nature of life in this world is unmistakable evidence of an Intelligent Designer-God-who brought it all about. A million monkeys typing on a Macintosh would never write Paradise Lost. That took a John Milton. Can you imagine anyone in their right mind looking at Mt. Rushmore and saying, "Wow-what an extra-ordinary rock formation, eroded by natural environ-mental forces to resemble four of our presidents!" Life on Earth is itself evidence for the existence of God-just the right balance of light and heat to sustain life, resulting from just the right size, rotation, tilt of our planet on its axis, and distance from the sun. Yale University physicist Harold Morowitz once calculated the probability of generating a single bacterium by mere chance as being just "one in ten to the 100 billionth power-that's a 10 followed by 100 billion zeros." Michael Behe calls life "irreducibly complex." Bill Glass once said, "You've really got to have a lot of faith to be an atheist. You've got to believe that no one times nothing, plus blind chance, equals everything." The teleological argument is so powerful and convincing that the Bible says no man has any excuse when it comes to sufficient evidence for His existence. Any man anywhere in the world who has ever looked at the stars or considered the human body and mind has all of the evidence for God that they'll ever need. "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse." -Romans 1:20 Chris Halverson, writing in the November 3, 1997, edition of Perspective, says: "Either God is or God is not! If God is, nothing is more import-ant than finding Him. If God is not, nothing is more forthright than forgetting Him. "The stakes are too high to sit on the fence: Is there a God? Or is there no God? Our answer literally has eternal consequences as well as a profound effect on life here and now. If there is evidence upon which to rest our faith, given the gravity of putting faith on either side of the issue, it is only reasonable for those who are uncertain to make a diligent quest for God." "Call upon Me and ... pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:12-13 Chris Halverson, writing in the November 3, 1997, edition of Perspective, says: "Either God is or God is not! If God is, nothing is more import-ant than finding Him. If God is not, nothing is more forthright than forgetting Him. "The stakes are too high to sit on the fence: Is there a God? Or is there no God? Our answer literally has eternal consequences as well as a profound effect on life here and now. If there is evidence upon which to rest our faith, given the gravity of putting faith on either side of the issue, it is only reasonable for those who are uncertain to make a diligent quest for God." "Call upon Me and ... pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:12-13

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