How Do You Know There is a God?

Question in response:

Are you aware of all of the evidence that supports the existence of God?

One Minute Response:

1. There is a lot of scientific evidence that supports His existence. In fact many of the world’s greatest scientists are saying that some of the most recent discoveries in science are pointing toward the existence of a creator.

2. God has changed my life. Since receiving Jesus Christ into my life I have experienced … (meaning, forgiveness, joy, answered prayers).

3. There is a tremendous amount of historical evidence that supports the fact the Jesus Christ lived and died and rose again– proving that He was God. Many intellectuals who have set out to disprove the resurrection of Jesus Christ have in the process become His followers.

Here are some of the questions they faced about Jesus’ resurrection. If He did not rise, then how can we explain…

…the original testimony of the disciples (and 500 witnesses) and their faithfulness to it all the way until their martyrdom?

…the existence of the Christian church that originated in the same town in which Jesus was killed and was established upon the claim that Jesus rose from the dead?

…the inability of the enemies (Jewish and Roman) to put an end to Christianity in the cradle by producing the dead body?

…that the followers could inspire such a high level of morality despite their being wicked liars?

Prolonged Response:

Teleological/Design Argument

  1. Order and design do not spring from chance.
  2. Order and design come from an intelligent mind.
  3. The natural world is full of order and design.
  4. The world did not spring from chance.
  5. The world came from an intelligent designer.

Anthropic Principle/Cosmic constants–an example of design and purpose in the universe

Scientists have identified over 40 independent things (numerical constants like the rate of expansion of the universe, the strong and weak forces in an atom) in the universe that for no apparent reason are just the right size needed in order for this world or universe to be the sort of world/universe that can support life. This indicates that there must be some intelligent force behind the universe who designed it with the necessary precision for it to be able to support life. It has led many scientists arrive at conclusions like:

Sir Fredrick Hoyle in his book Intelligent Universe said,

“Such properties seem to run through the fabric of the natural world like a thread of happy coincidences. But, there are so many odd coincidences essential to life that some explanation seems required to account for them.”

R. T. Rood and J. S. Trefil, in their book Are We Alone, estimated the probability of life originating anywhere in the universe to be 1 in 10 to the 31st power. Trefil notes:

“If I were a religious man, I would say that everything we have learned about life in the past 20 years shows that we are unique and therefore special in God’s sight.”

Cosmological Argument for the Existence of God

The well known agnostic astronomer Robert Jastrow, founder of NASA’s Institute for Space Studies, put it this way in God and the Astronomers (p. 116):

“What is the ultimate solution to the origin of the universe? The answers provided by the astronomers are disconcerting and remarkable. Most remarkable of all is that in science, as in the Bible, the world begins with an act of creation…For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians that have been there for centuries.”

Resurrection

One of the greatest legal minds in America, Simon Greenleaf, (one of two men who put Harvard Law School on the map), authored the famous three volume set, A Treatise on the Law of Evidence (still considered one of the greatest works done on what constitutes good accurate evidence). He wrote a book entitled, An Examination of the Testimony of the Four Evangelists by the Rules of Evidence Administered in the Courts of Justice where he says,

“The resurrection of Jesus Christ is one of the best established events of history according to the laws of legal evidence administered in the courts of justice.”

Resources/Bibliography

Little, Paul. Know Why You Believe. Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 1988.

McDowell, Josh. Evidence that Demands a Verdict. San Bernadino, CA: Here’s Life, 1972.

McDowell, Josh. The Resurrection Factor. San Bernadino, CA: Here’s Life, 1981.

Moreland, J. P.. Scaling the Secular City: A Defense of Christianity. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1987.

Ross, Hugh. The Fingerprint of God. Orange CA: Promise, 1989.

Ross, Hugh. The Creator and the Cosmos. Colorado Springs, CO: Navpress, 1993.

Sproul, R. C.. Reason to Believe. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Lamplighter Books, 1978.

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