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THE EXISTENCE OF GOD

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During this class we have looked at a wide range of theories about God from the creation of the universe to the theory of being reborn and life after death. What this all comes down to is whether God exists or He doesn’t. There is no middle ground. Any attempt to remain neutral in relation to God’s existence is automatically synonymous with unbelief. It is far from a “moot” question, for if God does exist, then nothing else really matters; if He does not exist, then nothing really matters at all.

What follows are some of my views on the existence of God. Also thrown in are some amazing facts I found during research I did during this class.

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One might wonder why it is necessary to present evidence for the existence of God. How can we sit here and pretend that logic in any way applies to religion? Everyone’s talking about faith vs. intellect and one can’t really expect them to cross much more than your own introspection.

Christianity never claimed to have all the answers. Christians profess a God infinitely beyond our comprehension, since having neither parts nor limits he bears no relation to us. If Christians were to attempt to answer everything, they would not be keeping their word. The very lack of answers shows they do not lack sense. What they can do, however, is try to clarify issues.

If you take a look at the Bible this is a resounding YES for the existence of God. The Bible contains 66 books, written by an enormous variety of authors over a period of 2000 years in 3 languages. All the writers tell the same story. They all had the same view of God, the same understanding of human nature, the same view of Jesus Christ, and the same hope.

The Old Testament: The transmission of its text is extraordinarily reliable. The Dead Sea Scrolls, found in 1947, give the Hebrew text of a number of Old Testament books. Written between 150 BC and AD 70 they are 1000 years older than any other Hebrew manuscript of the Bible previously know. But the text is practically identical.

The New Testament: the text of the New Testament is so sure nobody makes hypothetical alterations for fear of being laughed out of court. We have so many manuscripts of the New Testament, written so near the events themselves that we can be sure of having the correct text. The interval between the date of the original composition and the earliest extent evidence becomes so small as to be negligible, and the last foundation for any doubt that the Scriptures have come down to us substantially as they were written has now been removed.

Can we trust what the Bible contains? Although the subject in the Bible is complex, it is true that no books in the world have been so minutely examined as the Bible, over two and a half centuries of scholarly criticism, and yet their credit stands today as high as ever.

Can God’s existence be proven? Can we `know’ God exists? The answer is a resounding “YES!” The psalmist said, “Be still and `know’ that I am God” (Psalm 46:10) as he echoed the Creator’s sentiments to man. The allusions to the manifestations of Deity in the created world are profuse. David exclaimed, “O Jehovah, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth, Who has set thy glory upon the heavens?” (Psalm 8:1). In the same psalm, the inspired writer was constrained to say that the heavens are “the work of thy fingers” and the moon and stars “thou hast ordained” (Psalm 8:3). Later David was to utter the beautiful words of Psalm 19:1–“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth his handiwork.”

The most common mistake is to think that evolution contradicts the design argument. There are four possible explanations for the universe. (1) It is but an illusion, and does not really exist. This is hardly worthy of consideration. (2) It spontaneously arose out of nothing. This view is absurd, and cannot be entertained scientifically. (3) It has always existed. This theory, though held by many atheistic scientists of our day, is scientifically untenable. (4) It was created. This is the only remaining alternative and the only reasonable view of the origin of the universe. Since our finite, dependent (and contingent) universe (of matter/energy) did not cause itself; it was obviously caused by an infinite, independent, eternal Mind. The argument simply states that everything in the world fits together so well that there must be something behind it, and we can call that God. Evolution states that everything fits so well together because, through the survival of the fittest, organisms adapt to their environment. Where’s the problem? So God set everything off from the stage of bacteria and watched them all evolve. God knows what’s going to happen whether it’s random and by chance or not, just like he knows what choice we’re going to make before we make it even though we exercise free will. He knew, before they evolved, just what species would make it, and was happy with that. Had he known what species would evolve and not liked the results, before they happened, he would probably have chosen a different mechanism to evolution. But he designed evolution to produce a world that runs smoothly and keeps the universe in balance.

Infinite regress. Interesting concept. Imagine we trace the causes back to the world. Contradictory to what has been proposed, the world must have had a cause because we have a scientific estimate of how old the world is. The world has not existed forever. The big bang is an option for the world’s cause, but what caused the big bang? And what caused whatever it was that caused the big bang? The answer is that we don’t know. It seems to me, however, that as we really don’t have a clue, it’s just as likely that it was God and that there was a beginning as it does that there is an infinite regress. It is just as hard to imagine infinite regress as it is to imagine a God that started the whole thing off. Take your pick. If the universe had existed forever unlikely events would have happened the same total amount of times as likely events and all events would have already happened, even the destruction of the universe. We are led to foolish conclusions. I chose to believe that God was the ultimate creator of our universe.

Which is greater (more real); the God that exists only in my mind or the God that exists both extramentally and intramentally? If I offered you an intramental 500bf note and an extramental 500bf note which note would you take? You would take the real one. There is something about actually existing, outside of a mind, which seems qualitatively better than mere intramental existence. The Ontological argument does not, however, allow us to argue anything into existence. For God to exist in a persons mind they must have the faith and spirit in their mind and heart. This is hard to explain to a non-believer.

Reject the existence of a loving God and you’re stuck trying to explain kindness, goodness, love and humanity, unselfishness and gentleness. Where did they come from? Wipe out all evil… and where would we stand? Would not humanity be destroyed? We ourselves are the problem of evil. And if a simple wipe out of evil were the answer, we would have no hope.

Christianity doesn’t offer a knock-down solution at a philosophical level, but the Bible does give ground to stand on as one tries to live in a world where suffering is real.

God did not create evil and pain, as we read in the story of Adam and Eve in Genesis. It wasn’t part of his plan. The world he made was utterly good until humanity turned against him, but God does not attempt to control our minds. If he did we could never truly love him or anyone else because it wouldn’t have been our choice. There is a war between the forces of good and evil – we all suffer from that same war in our head on an everyday basis.

Although God did not create evil and suffering, and although he does not will it, nevertheless he can and does use it. The presence of evil in the world has led many to strive for good. The presence of suffering in the world has produced qualities of character that would have been impossible without it – courage, endurance, self-sacrifice, compassion… God uses pain in a profound way to draw us to him when normally we will not listen. In our pleasures he whispers. In our suffering he shouts. He took personal responsibility for all our wickedness. It cost him unspeakable suffering. It cost him hell.

If you jump off a bridge you should not get too upset with God when you hit the bottom. Alcoholics can expect to have problems getting their brains to function properly in old age, people who smoke can expect to have lung problems, etc. If we abuse ourselves, we cannot be angry with our Creator for not stepping in and helping us avoid the consequences of these things. It would be unreasonable to expect God to stop us from hitting the bottom when we jump off a bridge. Man, as he did from the very beginning, still has the responsibility to take care of the world. Much of the suffering and tragedy man experiences is because he has not discharged this responsibility. In California, there is an area where there are a tremendous number of cracks, and geologists have warned the builders in that area that this is a place where they need to be extremely careful not to build tall buildings etc. Yet at this time a hospital, of sixteen stories tall and no earthquake provisions of any real consequence in it, is under construction. Who will get the blame when an earthquake rolls through that area, knocking down the brand new hospital and perhaps killing ten million people, including everybody in the hospital? Who is going to get the blame? Well, I will guarantee you that there will be those people who will say, “If there was a God that wouldn’t have happened”.

There are some; for example, who suggest to us that pain is something that should not occur if there is a God. And yet, physical pain and other types of pain are absolutely necessary if we are to survive in a physical way. Pain is our warning signal, our alarm when something is wrong. If it weren’t for physical pain we would all be dead by the time we were 10 years old from numerous possible accidents. This same type of thing is true in the emotional sense. What kind of man would it be who could not experience guilt and sympathy and compassion and who could not relate to the needs of fellow human beings? What if one were to marry such a person? Would he be able to relate to your needs? Would he relate to your feelings? Would he have compassion for what you need in life? And when you fail, would he be sympathetic and understanding? If God had created a society where there was no emotional pain, there would be no intimacy, no communication or meaningful relationships.

A Christian ought to be able to look at life much more positively because of death. As an atheist, a person has to look at life with all of its problems, with all of its suffering, with all of the pain, with all of the terrible things that one has to endure as the absolute best that he is ever going to experience. And yet a Christian can look at life with all of its joy, with all of its beauty, with all of the wonderful things that we all enjoy as the absolute worst that he is ever going to have to endure. Christianity unashamedly looks beyond this life for the final solution to the mystery of evil and suffering. Christians don’t waste their time going out of their minds trying to account for it all.

The critics of most of the proofs for the existence of God tend to be the mathematicians, the physicians, and those who are so totally concerned with the material world, sometimes without even realizing it, that they need a proof – a touchable, measurable proof – for anything and everything. God is neither touchable nor measurable. He does not aim to be. He does not need to be. If he were easy to prove, less people would try to find him and even less would genuinely worship him – for it would be so easy and not true. If science could prove God, it would then try to prove something greater, as science by definition does not stop. But there is nothing greater than God, by definition. Science with its fancy measurements and formulas claims to be something more than philosophy, and people trust numbers, not people. That is where the problem lies. The problem doesn’t lie with God.

The arguments from historical fact are additional proof that there is a God, and He is not silent. That Christ existed cannot he doubted by any rational person. His miracles and other works are documented, not only in biblical literature, but in profane, secular history as well. The empty tomb stands as a silent but powerful witness that God does exist (Acts 2:24; Romans 10:9) and that Christ is His Son. The Bible exists; therefore, it must be explained. The men who wrote it were either deceivers, deluded, or telling the truth. What do the evidences say? The internal and external evidences are enough to tell the story of God’s existence, and the fact that He has spoken to us from His inspired word. Additional evidences are available at every turn. Little wonder Paul stated that “in him we live, and move, and have our being…” (Acts 17:28). Moses’ statement still stands as inspired testimony to the fact of the existence of God: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). Enough said!! I am a very firm believer that God exists and this class has opened my eyes to the faith that I had lost in him.

Cite this THE EXISTENCE OF GOD

THE EXISTENCE OF GOD. (2018, Jun 28). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/the-existence-of-god/

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