Questions & Answers

  • Nermeen M Murad

    Nermeen M Murad asked in Humanities 8th Apr '13:

    Why is it that we need to believe that God exists?

    Eddie Bhawanie replied 19th May '13:

    How can we be sure that God exists?

    There can be no position of neutrality when it comes to the question of the existence of God; either one believes that God exists, or one don't believe in God's existence.

    Part I

    How can we be sure that God exists? The existence of God is part of ones cultural belief system --all over the world. When it comes to believing in the existence of God, what do some people believe in? Some people believe in the existence of God as:

    (i) Some higher power above. (ii) An abstract God, but an abstract God is an idol. An abstract God leads to a silent atheism. (iii) A mystical God, or some impersonal force. But a force has no personality. Volcanoes, Earthquakes, Hurricanes, Typhoons, etc., these are all forces of nature, but they have no personality. (iv) As a transactional God, namely, relating to Him for things, and expecting things such as; (wealth, fame, materialism, etc.,) from Him. And (v) a God who can be known through the feeling and through the senses. But the great danger here is; all questions about the existence of God are raised in the context of feelings and experiences--and not through revelation; that is, God speaking for Himself in revelation.

    What is the proper starting-point for thinking about the existence of God?

    The existence of God, and the knowledge of God is not a problem of obscurity to Man. The knowledge of God can be detected, and understood by Man, and God's knowledge is not an esoteric mystery. The knowledge of God can be known because it has been made plain. This knowledge of God is not hidden, or concealed, but it is manifested. The knowledge of God has been made clear and transparent for all to see.

    The evidence for the existence of God has been inlayed in the fabric of all mankind. In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul wrote: "Because that which may be made known of God is manifested in them; for God has showed it unto them" (Romans 1:19). God created man with five senses, and they are:  seeing, smelling, tasting, feeling, and hearing. Additionally, God also created man with two spiritual senses; and they are: reason and morality.

    The things that are created in this Cosmos are clearly seen, and they are seen and understood  in the created order of things, namely nature. The cumulative effect of the knowledge of God is clearly seen, and it leaves Man without any excuse. Paul went on to write: "For the invisible things of Him [God] from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even the eternal power and Godhead; so that they [Men] are without excuse" (Romans 1:20). 

    Man finds God in his cognitive reason and rejects God. In rejecting God, man does that further by burying, consciously suppressing God's revealed knowledge, "Because when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened" (Romans 1:21). Paul makes the point, Man knows God by reason, and by revelation, and therefore, he rejects Him, because what he knows about God, he hates it!

    There is clearly a bent in Man, a propensity, a proclivity, in the heart of man to bury that which he knows about God. Therefore, how can God hold man accountable, or responsible if man did not know and understand this knowledge --about God, which is clearly seen, and understood in the created order of things?

    God also implanted the knowledge of right and wrong within the heart of Man, and every Man knows when he does right, and what he does wrong. Notice again, what Paul wrote:  "For when the Gentiles, which have not the Law, do by nature the things contained in the Law, these having not the Law, are a law unto themselves. Which show the works of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing one another (Romans 2:14-15).

    The words of C. S. Lewis rings true to this passage: "First, that human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and cannot really get rid of it. Secondly, that they do not in fact behave in that way. They know the Law of Nature; they break it. These two facts are the foundation of all clear thinking about ourselves and the universe we live in."  (C. S. Lewis: Mere Christianity, p. 13).

    Part II

    One cannot prove the existence of wooden beams underneath a floor, if by proof we mean, that they must be ascertainable in the way that can see the chairs and tables sitting in the room. But the very idea of a floor as the support of tables, and chairs requires the idea of beams that are underneath the floor.  So it is, there is absolutely certain proof for the existence of God, and the Truth-claims of the Christian Faith.

    If there is a God, then, how has He revealed Himself? Where do we go to find the evidence that He [God] exists? How did God reveal Himself?

    The God of the Bible has revealed Himself in the context of: (i) an objective, belief-system, (ii) in a relationship, (iii) in language--words, and (iv) in facts derived from God Himself. The proof of the existence of God is not a matter of rational deduction. Rather, the proof of the existence of God comes from a profound inner institution that makes Man aware of God.

    The Bible claims that God created all things (Genesis 1-2), and that God has revealed Himself in the Cosmos; has not been disproved by the critics and doubters of creation. It was Francis Schaeffer who said about the existence of God: "There is no use having a silent God, and that is the reason why man knows something about God. God has told man truths about Himself."       

    It is important to show the necessity of a Creator. This necessity answers the objection of God as Creator, and gives proof that God exists. The question, how was the universe created? Is an important question, and it also points to the existence of God. When Man denied the existence of God then, Man is shut up to relatively four possibilities with respect to the creation of the universe:

    (i) this universe came out of nothing, and it is a figment of Man's imagination.

    (ii) this universe is an illusion, or it is impersonal.

    (iii) this universe created itself by chance, and

    (iv) there is a Self-existent, and Eternal Being who created all things in the universe.  

    How can we get something from nothing? Can we get mass, matter, energy, the worth of a person, etc., out of nothing? Remember, that nothing means no-thing! And where does no-thing live? How does no-thing come to be some-thing?

    If something, this universe came out of nothing, then, this is a contradiction of the laws of science --out of nothing comes nothing! This is not science, it is stupidity! Yet, so many people fall for this argument.

    How can this universe come from that which is impersonal? There is also a problem with this argument, and it is this, how can Man have a personality, if he came from all that which is impersonal?

    How can this universe come from chance? Chance has no power, no force, chance has no influence over anything. For something to exercise power, force, or influence, it first has to be something. Chance has no being! Something must have the power of Being to exercise force and influence, and that Something is the Being of God--the Creator! Reason demands that creation came from Someone -- a Being, and that Being is God.

    The Christian worldview makes the bold affirmation that God exists. The existence of God is the supreme article of the Bible and its revelation. The Bible claims:  "The heavens declare the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge" (Psalm 19:1-2), and this is fundamental to creation, revelation, and the existence of God.

    Can Man move from observing the visible creation, and can he come to know something of the invisible nature of God? Yes. God who is invisible, can be seen through His invisible creation. There is a causal connection between what we see (the sun, the moon, the stars, the order of creation, etc.,), and what we don't see. The creation itself is unimpeachable evidence that points back to a Creator --a Maker of the universe!

    If there is no God, then how can one explain this universe, and its specific form, order, balance, beauty, and harmony? How then, do we explain Man and his ability to speak, man's personality, man's nobility, and man's cruelty--his taking of human life? So in the real sense, the question for this present generation is; how can Man find any worth and value? Man's worth has to come from a Being  who values him--over all else in creation.

    The Christian worldview presents the existence of God in a belief-system which is based on observable facts, and there is no tension in the Christian worldview. On the other hand, secular, human philosophy fails to make sense of the value of Man in this world.

    Conclusion:

    In the created universe, there is a relationship between the things that are created; there is unity, there is balance, and there is objective order in all that we see. How can someone, anyone, explain the unity and order in all that we see --without an Architect, which points to the existence of God, and the need to believe that God exists!

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