There Is A God, He Is Alive: Examining the Evidence for God's Existence
One of the three (major) reasons people reject belief in the existence of God is because they feel “faith” is intellectually defenseless (or unable to stand the test of reason and logic – see the endnote for the other two). This has been the long-standing portrayal of “religion” by atheists and agnostics: Friedrich Nietzsche, a 19th century German philosopher, once said, “Faith means not wanting to know what is true,” and American politician and orator Robert Ingersoll alleged, “Our ignorance is God; what we know is science.” Even the American Heritage Dictionary defines “faith” as “belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.” These unfair claims should not go unanswered. As Christians, we must always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks us a reason for the hope that is in us (1 Pet. 3:15, NKJV).
It is reasonable (or rational) to believe that God exists. Real faith is not blind belief as described in the above quotations but is “firm conviction” that rests on truth and evidence. Jesus Himself did not expect people to believe in Him with proof. He said, “If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father” (Jn. 10:37-38, NASB). Even though we are nearly 2,000 years removed from Jesus’ earthly ministry, we have the opportunity to examine the evidence for ourselves so that we might believe (cf. Jn. 20:30-31). Though Biblical faith is beyond mere human wisdom and logic, it never contradicts (nor is it contradicted by) observable truths, because “the faith” is factual (cf. Jn. 17:17). Even if some dismiss it quickly and reject it with prejudice, by scrutinizing the proofs for the existence of God we can determine if the claims are valid.
1. “The Cosmological Argument” (or “The Argument from Cause and Effect”): One argument for the existence of God is “The Cosmological Argument.” We all recognize that, according to natural law, anything that begins to exist has an adequate (sufficient), antecedent (prior) cause that produces the effect. (If this were not the case, the cosmos would be chaos—objects popping into existence without warning.) Since the universe is not eternal—this has been proven scientifically—there must have been a cause behind it. This fits perfectly with what the Bible has already stated, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). God is the Cause! Which makes more sense? The theistic worldview that a cause (the eternal God) created this universe, or the atheistic concept that everything came from nothing? (Similar to “The Cosmological Argument” is the “The Biological Argument”—from “The Law of Biogenesis” which states that life comes from life, not non-life.)
2. “The Teleological Argument” (or “The Argument from Intelligent Design”): Another piece of evidence is “The Teleological Argument.” Every design has a designer. This simple rule is accepted by everyone everywhere—that is, until some come to the most highly complex design in existence, the universe itself. Yet, from the simplest organisms to the incomprehensible intricacies of the world, this cosmos shows evidence of intelligent design. If we consider also “The (Strong) Anthropic Principle”—that chance alone cannot account for the exact “constraints” needed for life—it is reasonable to belief that the design of the universe requires a designer. The Bible reveals that the Designer is God: “By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible” (Heb. 11:3). The Lord is the all-wise Designer of everything. It is just more reasonable to accept an intelligent God producing this highly-complex world than to say that we and everything around us are merely the product of non-intelligent, naturalistic forces at work by chance.
3. “The Moral Argument”: Finally, a strong indication that God exists is found in “The Moral Argument.” Every law has a lawgiver. This is true without exception, but another practically undeniable reality is that there is an objective, universal moral law—though it is sometimes ignored and distorted. We all have within us an almost innate sense of right and wrong, and we expect that in life some moral code should be observed. It follows, therefore, that there must be a moral lawgiver—if we recognize the existence and necessity of moral law. The Bible claims that God, the Holy and Righteous One, is the Pattern and Giver of this code. The Scriptures also indicate that the Lord has revealed moral law(s) from the beginning—though the means by which He has communicated has not always been the same (cf. Heb. 1:1-2). There is a moral Lawgiver—God—and He expects us to live by His standard.
Faith in God is not unsubstantiated. It is based on evidence—strong evidence! If we will look at the facts, they will point us to God. But saving faith is more than mere mental assent of theism. It requires that we accept the facts, internalize these truths, and continually seek the Lord: “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him” (Heb. 11:6). There is a God, and He is alive! If we want to live, we must believe in Him and obey His words (cf. Rom. 10:13-17).
Endnote: The other two major reasons for rejecting belief in God (see the first paragraph) are volitional and moral motivations. Though the evidence may be rational and compelling, some will continue to ignore the Lord because (1) they will themselves to disregard Him or (2) they want to practice certain acts of immorality and do not desire to change.