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Posted: March 12, 2010 12:01 a.m.

Parson to Person: No man has seen God

Last week I began a series of articles on the subject of evidences for God. While "no man has seen God" (God the Father that is-John 1:18), that doesn’t mean that we cannot know that there is a God. (Psalm 19; Romans 1). Indeed that verse in John 1:18 goes on to say, "No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known" (John 1:18, ESV).

The supposed piece de resistance among those who seek to disprove God is the question, "Where did God come from?" They think that by this question they have successfully shown the foolishness of belief. But have they? The argument of "where did God come from?" is a counter to the cosmological argument for God. The cosmological argument is an argument from effect to cause. It goes like this: The world could not exist on its own, so there must have been a first cause that brought it into being. This first cause is God. Or put another way, the universe could not just exist on its own — someone or something must have made it. This cause of the universe is God.

Those who argue against this line of reasoning generally do so from one of three positions. One they argue that matter is eternal therefore there is no need for an Eternal being. Or two, they argue that if everything must have a cause, what is the cause for God (that is, back to our question: where did God come from?) or three, even if we admit that there is a uncreated being behind the universe, that being is not necessarily the God of the Bible.

By definition, the God of the Bible claims to be eternal. By eternal we mean he always existed and always will exist. In reality then the question "Where did God come from?" is itself a nonsensical question since what you are asking is for me to tell you when the Being who always existed, didn’t exist. Now one may disagree with the idea that there is a Being who always existed, but one cannot hold logically that such a being if he does exist, must have somehow come into existence.

Words are important. By definition something that is eternal displays two qualities. Number 1, as discussed above it always exists. Number 2, there is in the true definition of eternal a changeless quality. Thus when I argue for the existence of an eternal God, I at least am being consistent within the parameters of the definition of the word. If you want to argue that it is just as plausible to believe matter is eternal as it is to believe that there is an eternal God, you immediately have a problem. If matter is eternal, then it cannot change. If it changes, it cannot be eternal. The very basis of arguing that our present universe somehow evolved from matter that somehow existed from nothing, coming from nowhere, but is in fact eternal, is an illogical argument since the change of evolution would in fact destroy any concept of the matter being eternal. Now, you may disagree with my line of reasoning, but you cannot correctly contend that such a line of reasoning is self-contradictory.

Is believing that there is in fact an uncreated creator a step of faith? Absolutely. There are some things our minds cannot grasp or understand fully. But let me be quick to add that such faith is not blind faith nor is it illogical. One of the key ingredients of faith as it is defined in the Bible is belief based on an examination of evidence. What I see in the world, and what I read in the Bible has convinced me that there is ample evidence both for the reality of God and for the accuracy of his self-revelation through the written word (the Bible) and through the living word (Jesus Christ). Based on the things I see, I have chosen to make a step of faith believing that the evidence I see is more than enough to convince me of the things I don’t understand.

When I look at the complexities of the universe and realize that if one thing were different by as little as one degree, life as we know it would have been impossible. To me, it is a much smaller step of faith than to believe in the Designer than it would be to believe that this perfect design is a product of random chance. Oh, and by the way, to the scientists who claim that they have no room for anything invisible behind the universe, can you please tell me what chance looks like?

Dr. John Pearrell is pastor of Gateway Community Church in Covington. He can be heard Thursdays on the radio on WMVV 90.7 (FM) at 8:30 p.m.

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