Any attempt to remain neutral in relation to God’s existence is automatically synonymous with unbelief. It is far from a simple clear cut question, for if God does exist, then nothing else really matters; if He does not exist, then nothing really matters at all. If He does exist, then there is an eternal heaven to be gained (Hebrews 11:16) and an eternal Hell to be avoided (Revelation 21:8). The question for God’s existence is an extremely important one.
One might wonder why it is necessary to present evidence for the existence of God. As Edward Thomson so beautifully stated it: “… the doctrine of the one living and true God, Creator, Preserver, and Benefactor of the universe, as it solves so many problems, resolves so many doubts, banishes so many fears, inspires so many hopes, gives such sublimity to all things, and such spring to all noble powers, we might presume would, as soon as it was announced, be received by every healthy mind. Some, however, contrary to their higher interests, have refused to have God in their knowledge and thus have become vain in their reasonings and foolish in their philosophy (Romans 1:21,22,28). They do not see the folly (Psalm 14:1) of saying there is no God. The Christian has not only the bligation to “give answer to every man that asketh you a reason concerning the hope that is in you… ” (I Peter 3:15), but an obligation to carry the Gospel message to a lost and dying world (Mark 16:15-16, et al. ).
There will be times when carrying the Gospel message to the world will entail setting forth the case for the existence of God. In addition, we need to remember that Christians are not agnostics. The agnostic is the person who says that God’s existence is unknowable. As difficult as it is to believe, some Christians take that same stance in regard to God’s existence. They assert that they believe” there is a God, but that they cannot know it. They state that God’s existence cannot be proved. Is God’s existence some “blind leap into the dark” as so many have erroneously asserted?
If we do attempt to prove that there is a God, we do not mean by the word “proved” that God’s existence can be scientifically demonstrated to human senses as one might, for example, prove that a sack of potatoes weighs ten pounds. But we need to be reminded (especially in our day of scientific intimidation) that empirical evidence (that based solely upon experiment and/or observation) is not the only basis for establishing a provable case. But an important question which serves as a “preface” to the case for God’s existence is this: “From whence has come the idea of God in man’s mind? The inclination to be religious is universally and peculiarly a human trait. If, therefore, man is incurably religious–and has the idea of God in his mind–and if we assume that the world is rational, it is impossible that a phenomenon so universal as religion could be founded upon illusion. The question is highly appropriate therefore: what is the source of this religious tendency within man? The idea of God has not come from reason (skeptics hold, of course, that the concept is nreasonable), and that it has not come from revelation.
The idea of God has simply come through imagination. David Hume, renowned in the secular of philosophy, stated that the “creative power of the mind amounts to nothing more than the faculty of combining, transposing, augmenting and diminishing the materials afforded to us by sense and experience. ” The imagination, it turns out, has ‘no creative power’. Neither reason nor imagination create. Reason, like a carpenter’s yardstick, is a measure, not an originator. Imagination works only on those items already in the mind; it does not “create” anything new.
Sigmund Freud, German psychoanalyst of the first part of the 20th century, attempted to explain God’s existence by stating that man had indeed formed the “heavenly father” from the idea in his mind of his “earthly father. ” But this idea will not suffice either. Is the God of the Bible the God man would “invent” if asked to do so? Look around at the “god” man invents when left to his own devices–the “god” of hedonism, epicurianism, subjectivism, or the “god” of “if it feels good, do it. ” The God of the Bible is not the God man would invent, if left to his own devices.
Freud’s attempt to explain the idea of God in man’s mind failed miserably. The idea of God in man’s mind could have come through revelation. So is the concept of God a traceable communication between the Creator and the creature? An argument against this can be posed in the following question: “If the idea of God is basic to human nature, we would not be able to deny it; we do deny it, however; therefore it is not intuitive. ” It is sufficient to observe in rebuttal to such a claim that man, under the enchantment of a deceptive philosophy, can deny the most obvious of things.
Those deluded, for example, by “Christian Science” religion deny the existence of matter and death. Some today deny that the earth is spherical or that man has ever been to the moon. But a denial of facts does not automatically negate the facts. Man’s attitude toward Truth does not. Dr. E. A. Maness once remarked, “If the word God were written upon every blowing leaf, embossed on every passing cloud, engraved on every granite rock, the inductive evidence of God in the world would be no stronger than it is. ” When the writer of Hebrews stated that, “… every house is builded by someone… (Hebrews 3:4), he suggested the well-known principle of cause and effect. Every effect must have an adequate cause. Further indicated is the act that no effect can be qualitatively superior to or quantitatively greater than the cause. The universe is here, and is a tremendous effect.
Hence, it must be explained in terms of an adequate cause. There are four possible explanations for the universe. (1) It is but an illusion, and does not really exist. This is not a logical consideration. (2) It spontaneously arose out of nothing. This view is not highly likely. No material thing can create itself. 3) It has always existed. This theory, though held by many atheistic scientists of our day, is scientifically untenable. Every moment reveals that the stars are urning up, the sun is cooling off, the earth is wearing out, etc. Such facts indicate that the universe had a beginning; otherwise it would long ago have already reached a state of deadness. The essence of the strange developments is that the Universe had, in some sense, a beginning–that it began at a certain moment in time. According to the second law of thermodynamics, when applied to the Cosmos, indicates that the Universe is running down like a clock.
If it is running down, there must have been a time when it was fully wound up. The astronomer comes to a time when the Universe contained nothing but hydrogen–no arbon, no oxygen, and none of the other elements out of which planets and life are made. This point in time must have marked the beginning of the Universe. In effect it must have been 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 a force, to what this force is depends on your beliefs.
Was there a God in involved? There are an estimated one billion galaxies, and most of them contain billions of stars (the Milky Way galaxy in which we live, for xample, contains over ‘100 billion stars’). It is so large that traveling at the speed of light (186,317. 6 miles per second) it would take you 100,000 years to go across just the diameter of the galaxy. Our nearest neighboring galaxy is the Andromeda galaxy, which is an estimated 2,000,000 light years away. That’s so far that a radio wave which goes around the earth approximately 8. times in one second would require over 1 million years to get there, and a return message would take another 1+ million years. The observable universe has an estimated diameter of 20 billion light years. But it isn’t simply the size of the universe hat is so marvelous. The size is important, of course, but so is the ‘design’. The earth, for example, in orbiting the sun, departs from a straight line by only one-ninth of an inch every 18 miles–a very straight line in human terms. If the orbit changed by one-tenth of an inch every 18 miles, our orbit would be vastly larger and we would all freeze to death.
If it changed by one-eighth of an inch, we would come so close to the sun w e would all be incinerated.. Are we to believe that such precision “just happened by accident”? The sun is burning at approximately 20 million degrees Celsius at its interior.. If we were o move the earth ‘away’ 10%, we would soon freeze to death. If we were to move the earth ‘closer’ by 10%, we would once again be incinerated. The sun is poised at 93 million miles from earth, which happens to be just right–by accident? The moon is poised some 240,000 miles from the earth.
Move it in just one fifth, and twice every day there would be 35-50 feet high tidal waves over most of the earth’s surface. The distance of 240,000 miles happens to he just right–by accident? And consider these facts: the earth is rotating at 1,000 miles per hour on its axis at the equator, and moving around the sun at 70,000 miles per our (approximately 19 miles per second), while the sun with its solar system is moving through space at 600,000 miles per hour in an orbit so large it would take over 220 million years to complete just one orbit.
What would happen if the rotation rate of the earth around the sun were halved, or doubled? If it were halved, the seasons would be doubled in length, which over most of the earth would cause such harsh summer heat and winter cold that not enough food could be grown to feed the world’s population. If it were doubled, no single season would be long enough to grow the amount of food necessary to feed the world’s opulation. The fundamental law of science, we repeat, is the Law of Causality which states that every effect must have an adequate cause. There is no known exception.
The universe is admittedly a known effect. The Universe and everything that has happened in it since the beginning of time, are a grand effect ‘without a known cause’. ” The question is: ‘What is the adequate cause? ‘ The atheist/agnostic has no answer. The Christian does. ‘God is the First Cause’, and has left the evidences of His existence so evident that they are incontrovertible. Men go abroad to wonder at the height of mountains, at the uge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars; and they pass by themselves without wondering.
So many people fail to see one of the most powerful arguments possible for God’s existence–their own selves. Consider, for example, the human body. It is composed of 30+ different kinds of cells, totaling over ‘100 trillion’ cells when all added together to make up the human adult.. These cells come in all different sizes and shapes, with different functions and life expectancies. For example, some cells (e. g. , male spermatozoa) are so small that 0,000 would fit inside a capital “O” from a standard typewriter, each being only 1/20th mm long.
Some cells, put end-to-end, would make only one inch if 6,000 were assembled together. Yet all the cells of the human body, if set end- to-end, would encircle the earth over 200 times. Even the largest cell of the human body, the female ovum, is unbelievably small, being only 1/100th of an inch in diameter. Yet each cell is composed of a lipo- protein membrane lining (lipids/proteins/lipids) which is approximately 6/100-8/100 fm (4 atoms) thick. Yet it allows selective transport outside the cell of those things that ought to o out, and selective transport into the cell of those things that ought to go in.
Inside the cell’s three-dimensional cytoplasm there are over 20 different chemical reactions going on at any one time, with each cell containing five major systems: (1) communication; (2) waste disposal; (3) nutrition; (4) repair, and; (5) reproduction. The endoplasmic reticulum of the cell serves as a transport system. The ribosome produce protein, which is then distributed around the body as needed by the Golgi bodies. The mitochondria (over 1,000 per cell) are the “powerhouses” of the cell, producing the energy needed by the ody.
The nucleus, of course, carries the genetic code in its DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). Red blood cells (there are approximately 30 trillion of them) live about 120 days; white blood cells (the blood’s defense system) live about 13 days; platelets (which help blood to clot) live about 4 days; nerve cells may live over 100 years. In any given 60-second period, approximately 3 billion cells die and are replaced in the human body through the process we call ‘mitosis’, whereby the standard chromosome number (in the human, 46) is faithfully reproduced.
A single cell contains a strip of DNA (placed in the ucleus in a spiral-staircase configuration) which is about one yard long, and which contains ‘over 6 billion biochemical steps’. Every cell of the body contains such DNA–over a billion miles total in one human. How powerful is the DNA? It provides, in coded form, ‘every physical characteristic of every living person’. How many people are there on the face of the earth? There are a few more than 5 billion. It took two cells (a male spermatozoa and a female ovum) to make each one of these people.
If there are roughly 5 billion people on the earth, and it took two cells to make each of them, that’s approximately 10 illion cells (remember: this is the DNA it took to give every living person every physical characteristic he or she has), and that DNA would fit into no more than ‘1/8th of a cubic inch’. Are we to then understand that this kind of design came “by accident”? Consider the skin of the human. It is a nearly waterproof layer, enclosing the body’s contents, almost 60% of which is water. It prevents the exit or entrance of too much moisture, and acts as a protector for the rest of the body.
At the same time it is both a radiator and retainer of heat, helping to regulate the body’s temperature in conjunction with he two hypothalamus glands in the brain. Skin may be as thick as 5/16th of an inch (e. g. , the eyelid). The skin contains over 2,000 sweat glands which form one of the most ingenious air-conditioning systems ever known to man. Skin acts as a barrier to protect the sensitive internal organs, and even has the power to regenerate itself. Consider the skeletal system of the body. It is composed of 206 bones, more durable and longer lasting than man’s best steel.
Each joint produces its own lubrication and the system as a whole is able to provide not only structure, but great protection (e. g. , the 24 ribs guarding the internal iscera). There are 29 skull bones, 26 spinal vertebrae, 24 ribs, 2 girdle bones, and 120 other bones scattered over the body. The bones range in size, from the tiny pisiform bone in the hand, to the great femur (over 20 inches long in the thigh of an average man). Yet in a man weighing 160 pounds, the bones weigh only 29 pounds. And consider, of course, the muscles.
There are over 600 of them in the human, with the function of contraction and release. From the smile on the face of the newborn baby to the legs of the marathon runner, the muscles are in charge. They are placed, however, into two systems–the voluntary system’ over which you have control (reach out and grab a ball), and the ‘involuntary system’ over which you have little or no control (try stopping a kidney). Are we to believe that the skeletal and muscle systems, in all their complexity, “just happened”? No one could ever convince you that, for example, a Cadillac limousine “just happened.
Yet something infinitely greater in design and structure– the human body–we are asked to believe “just happened. ” What kind of incongruous logic is that, to reach such a conclusion? One does not get a poem without a poet, or a law without a lawgiver. One does not get a painting without a painter, or a musical score without a composer. And just as surely, ‘one does not get purposeful design without a designer. ‘ Consider, for example, the human ear and the human eye. The average piano can distinguish the sounds of 88 keys; the human ear can distinguish over 2,500 different key tones.
In fact, the human ear can detect sound frequencies that flutter the ear drums as faintly as one- billionth of a centimeter (a distance one-tenth the diameter of a hydrogen atom).. The ear is so sensitive that it could even hear, were the body placed in a completely oundproof room, the blood coursing through the veins. Over 100,000 hearing receptors in the ears are sending impulses to the brain to be decoded and answered. The human eye is the most perfect camera ever known to man.
So perfect is it that its very presence caused Charles Darwin to say, “That the eye with all its inimitable contrivances… ould have been formed by natural selection seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree. ” Darwin also commented: “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, light modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. ” The eye, as it turns out, is such an organ, and Darwin’s theory, as such, has broken down. Each human eye is composed of over 107 million cells with 7 million cones (allowing the eye to see in full, living color) and 100 million rods (allowing the eye to see in blacks, whites, and greys).
The eyes are connected to the brain by over 300,000 nerves, and can detect light as feeble as 1/100 trillionth of a watt. How is the eye supposed to have “evolved”? What “intermediate state” between no eye and a perfect eye could nature have “selected” to be passed on to successive generations? There are so many systems in the human body that could be discussed, but since space precludes discussing them all, it is now to the brain that we turn our attention. The brain, of course, regulates the rest of the body. It contains over 10 billion nerve cells, and 100 billion glia cells (which provide the biological “batteries” for brain activity).
These cells float in a jellied mass, sifting through information, storing memories, creating what we call consciousness, etc.. Over 120 trillion connections tie these cells together. The brain sends out electrical impulses at a speed of 393 feet per econd (270 mph), and receives nerve impulses being produced at a rate of over 2,000/second. The brain receives signals continuously from 130,000 light receptors in the eyes, 100,000 hearing receptors in the ears, 3,000 taste buds, 30,000 heat spots on the skin, 250,000 cold spots, and 500,000 touch spots.
The brain does not move, yet consumes 25% of the blood’s oxygen supply. It is constantly bathed in blood, its vessels receiving 20% of all the blood pumped from the heart. If the blood flow is interrupted for 15-30 seconds, unconsciousness results. If blood is cut off to the brain for longer than 4 minutes, brain damage results. Four major arteries carry blood to the brain as a sort of “fail-safe” system. And, the brain is protected from damage by not one, but three major systems: (1) the outer skull bone; (2) the ‘duramater’ and; (3) the absorbing fluid, which keeps the brain from hitting the inner skull.
With the brain properly functioning, all the other body systems (hormones, circulatory, digestive, reproductive, etc. ) can be overseen and controlled. An accident in a universe that created it could not have had us in mind in the first place. Or, are we created “in the image of God” (Genesis 1:26,27)? In order to get a poem, one must have a poet. In order to ave a law, one must have a lawgiver. In order to have a mathematical diagram, one must have a mathematician. A deduction commonly made is that order, arrangement, or design in a system suggest intelligence and purpose on the part of the originating cause.
In the universe, from the vastness of multiplied solar systems to the tiny world of molecules, marvelous design and purposeful arrangement are evidenced. In the case of man, from the imposing skeletal system to the impressive genetic code in all of its intricacy, that same design and purposeful arrangement are evidenced. So has this all been purposefully designed by an Intelligent Cause. Could this cause have been God? This examination of whether God exists has not even touched upon the “historical” arguments which come to bear on the case.
For example, the historical Christ, the resurrection, the Bible, the system of Christianity, and other such arguments are equally as important. The arguments from historical fact point to the existence 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 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. 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). So do we take these as factual and accept them as the final “truth” and the existence of such a God? As in all things, you are entitled to your own opinion.