9/19/2010 12:24:11 PM
The Existence of God
Stephen Hawking, recognized by the world as a brilliant theoretical physicist, is also one of the world’s foremost atheists. He was recently in the news as having reasoned away the necessity of God’s existence. His new theory is that the world spontaneously created itself due to natural laws such as gravity. But this leaves a variety of questions unanswered, such as where the natural laws came from, where matter came from, and what forces led to the “spontaneity” of creation. Even spontaneous combustion depends upon the right set of initial conditions. Hawking or any atheist for that matter cannot possibly account for the initial conditions. Biblically, we should expect this, because going as far back as we can before the foundation of the world and the existence of matter, there was only the existence of God. He was the initiator of creation, the author of the world, and the designer of everything. The arguments against theism are vain and desperate at best, and typically they are born out of a desire to erase God’s moral standards so that some sort of sin can be indulged in without guilt. Others are so bitter at God that they try to reason Him away. But it cannot work.
Two of the more commonly used arguments for God’s existence include the cosmological argument and the argument from religious experience. The cosmological argument says that, since every effect has a cause, going back infinitely, we must arrive at the first cause. More simply, since there was a beginning, there had to be God Who was the Beginner. This argument gets at where everything came from and what made things come to exist in the first place. There is no such thing as spontaneous existence, so this means that Somebody existed forever even before time and matter. This Somebody would be God (Revelation 22:13, Genesis 1:1, John 1:2-3). Another commonly used argument considers religious experience, that is, the testimonies of people who claim to have experienced life change as a result of a relationship with God. Their testimonies stand as evidence for God’s existence just as the eye witness accounts of the disciples who walked and talked with Jesus constitute evidence. When enough people tell the same story and when their lives show evidence of true change, this is indeed compelling evidence that should be taken seriously (John 13:34-35, John 17:21, Hebrews 12:14, 1 Peter 3:15).
In my opinion, the two most potent arguments for God’s existence include the design argument and the testimony of the human conscience, also called the argument from moral law. First, there is the design argument, commonly referred to as intelligent design. Psalm 19:1-2 says, “The heavens are telling of 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” (italics mine). Romans 1:20 adds, “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” (italics mine). As man makes scientific inquiry into the world around him using his senses and the mind that God has given him, it should become rapidly apparent that the creation has a Creator. Whether one studies a leaf on a tree, the human eye, or physics, for example, the wonder, intricacy, natural laws, and beauty, among other things, should clearly infer a Designer behind it all. The vastness of the universe, the balance of the solar system, the sustenance of life on this planet, and the ability of the eye to see and the brain to interpret are all evidences of God. Even the genetic code within every person shows evidence of divine engineering, being so much more than a product of mere chance or natural laws. Second, the argument regarding the conscience and its inherent knowledge of good and evil is based in Romans 1:18-19 and 32 which says,
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. And although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them” (italics mine).
The Bible is clear that God has given every person an innate awareness of right and wrong and of the consequences of not doing right. This is the testimony of the conscience within us. We are more than chemicals and electrical impulses, for we have a soul that is hard-wired to consider the eternal ramifications of the choices that we make. This internal compass is ignored and suppressed by humans until they submit to God and turn to Jesus Christ as Lord. However, the mere fact that it is there in the first place suggests a God Who put it there.
God set up this world and our very being so that we would see evidence of Him and know what He expects of us (Romans 2:15). As we seek out the truth, we ultimately find Jesus Christ, the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). As John 3:21 says, “But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” He is the One Whom we must seek for life, restoration, and forgiveness. He, after all, is both the beginning and the end. The question is, “What will we do with Him in between?”