By Grant B. Caldwell
It would seem obvious that one of the most important questions ever investigated by man is that of the existence of God. Is there in reality a Supreme Being who knows all, understands all, possesses all power, and abides in all places? All of this and much more is included in the question we ask. Our purpose in this writing is not to analyze all of the characteristics of God, but to see if we cannot come to some reasonable conclusion concerning His existence. Does God exist??? The question is of prime importance because “Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he that cometh to God must believe that He is. . . .” (Heb 11:6)
We cannot know God apart from that which He has revealed to us. Those to whom the scriptures have not gone have “no hope” and are “without God” (Eph. 2:12), because by human wisdom, we cannot know God (I Cor. 1: 2 1). But rather than argue the point, the Bible simply accepts the fact of the existence of God. The first verse says, “In the Beginning God…” and from that point treats of His relationship to man. Whether or not this claim it; true cannot be proved in the proverbial “test tube,” but may be, discussed in terms of the evidence presented on either side of the question. Thus, the question actually is, “Is it more reasonable to believe in the existence of God, or is it more reasonable to believe that He does not exist?”
Schools of Thought
There are three basic positions or schools of thought taken in reference to this question. 1. Theism: This is the belief that God does in fact exist; that there is in truth intelligence higher than ours known as Deity. 2. Atheism: This belief denies the former and would establish all as material. 3. Agnosticism: The agnostic argues that it cannot be known and cannot be shown to be true, one way or the other.
For our purposes, we are going to eliminate this third position. The agnostic will give up all belief simply upon the basis that he does not have “test tube” proof. It is a non-committal position that leaves the advocate free to agree or disagree with anyone at anytime. It should be noted, however, that the agnostic does not simply say, “I dont know.” He believes that it cannot be shown one way or the other. He, thus, gives up all because he cannot be shown.
Types of Proof
There are two types of proof commonly accepted in scientific fields that we would like to use in this discussion. One is what is generally called Deductive Reasoning. It is widely used in the proving of mathematical theorems. It reasons from the more general to the specific. Mathematicians use axioms to prove conclusions. Similarly, we might consider:
Something cannot come from nothing — axiomatic.
Something is — axiomatic.
Therefore, something always was — conclusion.
Now, what was that something?
The other type of proof argues from the specific to the more general. This type of reasoning is called Inductive Reasoning. By using the lesser things we know, we can establish a greater principle. This is the type of proof used by Paul in Rom. 1: 19-20.
Look now at the evidence as to the existence of God and determine in your own mind which is more reasonable to believe. We make but three arguments in favor of the existence of God. These can be broken down into more detailed proofs which we will notice to some extent as we continue.
The Existence of Matter
The very fact that there is a material world testifies to the existence of God. The universe, the world, chemicals, vegetables, flesh, blood, bones all exist. The question is “How did these material elements come into existence?” There must be some source, but what is it? The Atheist says that it is matter –matter is eternal. The idea being that all existing matter has come from pre-existing matter. The most frequently preached facet of this doctrine is Evolution.
Consider, though, that matter does not have knowledge or understanding. Matter by its very definition is “inanimate” and “lifeless.” While there may be life associated with matter, the matter itself is not the life (compare a body without life.) Matter does not have intelligence. It does not control, direct, or modify. There are too many substances in existence for them to come from another substance that has no ability. And too, it has been shown that matter is not eternal.
The Theist, on the other hand, believes that God (supreme mind and intelligence) brought matter into existence. Mind has knowledge and understands. It is intelligence, it does control, direct, and modify. Mind is likewise eternal. Not just any mind, but Supreme Mind. Which is more reasonable to believe in as the cause of existing matter?
As we notice the material creation, we that it does have and shows great design and purpose. Observe the size of the universe, and yet, notice its design. From the universe itself to the smallest atom, everything has its laws, its design, its mathematical principles and precisions. And even though billions upon billions of miles are involved, scientists can tell you to the minute such things as when the sun will eclipse, though years from now. John H. Gerstner illustrated it in this way in his book Reasons for Faith:
“Take but one illustration of the teamwork of the universe, a raindrop. The raindrop falls on the earth and provides the soil with various necessary elements. It is taken up into the trees and flowers and herbs by their various root systems. There the water, by a process called photosynthesis, is transformed into things useful to plant life and released to the air in a gaseous form, ultimately to visit the earth again as a raindrop” (page 33-34).
David said, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handywork.” (Psalms 19. 1) Paul said, “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead.” (Rom. 1: 20) Again, the Hebrew writer said, “Through Faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” (Heb. 11:3) The theist believes in God because the existence of matter displays marks of intelligent causation. If matter is so finely engineered, is there no Engineer? If scientific laws are so precise, is there no Lawgiver? If we see such amazing design, can we suppose there is no Designer? There is mathematical exactness and yet no Mathematician? Which is more reasonable to believe???
The Existence of Life
As noted earlier, the Theory of evolution is the Atheists most frequently preached doctrine. This theory (and it should be thoroughly understood that it is just a theory) says that inanimate matter, being acted upon by natural forces, gave origin to minute “living organisms.” (See tract God or Evolution, Luther Blackmon, page 5-available from Truth Magazine Bookstore) One of the most complex, and certainly the most avoided, subject known to the evolutionist is the origin of life. It is a subject to which he cannot give a scientific answer. He may preach evolution all day long, but as to how this process began, he will be as silent as Washingtons tomb. It is a “no-no” to mention origins to an evolutionist.
“Spontaneous generation,” as it is frequently called, will not and cannot explain the cause of fife. Which was the first life and what was the natural force (or forces) acting upon it?
However you might wish to look at it, there must be a Prime Cause. There must be a cause that had no cause. If man came from a lower form, from where did the lower form come? If from still a lower form, how far back can you go? Eventually something will have to be without came.
The Atheist says that he knows there must be a first or prime cause, but denies it to be God. He then admits that it was lifeless matter which violates every scientific principle known to man. i One fundamental scientific law is that everything produces after its own kind. Science has never known actual life to come from non-life matter. In Man does Not-Stand Alone, by Morrison, we read, “So many essential conditions are necessary for life to exist on our earth that it is mathematically impossible that all of them could exist in proper relationship on any one earth at one time by chance. Therefore, there must be in nature some form of intelligent direction” (p. 13).
Which is more reasonable to believe? Is it more reasonable to believe that life began in a natural way by violating every principle of nature, or to believe that God created life? Volumes could be and have been written on the subject of evolution. Our purpose is not to resolve this question, but rather that of the existence of God.
There is man whose body has fascinated the greatest of minds. Compare his heart with the giant pumps of industry. Compare his eye with the telescopes in our observatories. Compare his hand with the tools of construction. All of the machinery mentioned has definite originators. Is it reasonable to suppose there is no originator for man?
And then, there is the insect kingdom and the plant Idngd6m and the animal kingdom and the undersea kingdom … and every one is just as amazing as the one before it . . . But is it reasonable to suppose there is no King?
The Existence of Mind
The fact that man possesses a unique nature is an undeniable truth. Man is different. He possesses mind or intelligence, the ability to reason. This is not simply animal intelligence, the ability to associate, but is reasoning and calculation. Where did man obtain this difference? The Atheist says that it just happened to evolve in the process of time. Again, we say that this is an unproved and improvable theory. Evolution has no continuity and is constantly talking about the missing link, when we wonder if there is a chain at all. It makes no account for mans unique nature, his rational thought.
Man has a moral sense. He has always felt a deep sense of that which is right and wrong. Animals do not feel such morality. We have laws based on the rights of man and when these laws are violated, the violator is properly prosecuted by the courts of our land. Why, if his nature is no different from that of the animal?
Man has rational thought. Thousands of colleges and universities educate our young men and women. Public schools teach our children. Why? Is it not because of our ability over the animal creation to learn? Account for mans superiority.
Man is esthetic in nature. Which animal would appreciate a Rembrandt or the beauty of nature? Mans religious nature, his conscience, etc., all show the unique nature of man. How does man come to have this nature?
The Theist answers all of these questions in simple basic terms “God did if!” Which is more reasonable to believe? The Atheist whose “proofs” have all fallen, or the Theist who has never been given a morsel of proof to show the absence of God???
The Bible teaches that we can see that God is in existence from that which He has done. We are not left to grope about wondering. I believe in God because I cannot explain what I know to be true without Him. Can you? If you think you can, there is a standing challenge by men of accepted academic qualifications to openly discuss this matter with any scientist who will affirm otherwise.
Which is more reasonable to believe? “In the beginning the heavens and earth just happened,” or “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” (Gen. 1: 1)
TRUTH MAGAZINE, XVI: 29, pp. 5-7
May 25, 1972