Lately I have been asked a recurring question by various individuals. The question is, "Can you prove there is a God?" Generally my first response to such a question is, "I can certainly give you the evidence for why I believe there is a God, but before I do that, I need to know, what evidence are you prepared to accept?"
In times past, people were open to what we call the classic arguments for God, these being the Cosmological Argument (the argument that every effect has a cause), the Teleological Argument (the design suggests a designer), the Ontological Argument (we can conceive a perfect being therefore he must exist), and the moral argument (the idea that universal moral principles exist and, therefore, is like a compass that points back to a moral law giver).
It used to be that people would at least consider arguments such as these — today if you suggest something like this, people look at you like you’ve lost your ability to think. For example, let’s just take the argument from design. Many brilliant scientists (Michael Behe and others) have, in my mind at least, presented powerful arguments against the Darwinian concept of slime plus time plus chance equals what we now observe in the universe.
The Bible says, "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world" (Psalm 19:1-4, ESV). Also it says, "for the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse" (Romans 1:18-20, ESV).
If I were to suggest to you that you could not assume from looking at the watch on my wrist that there must be a watch-maker behind it, you would question my sanity. Let’s go simpler than that, the totally inanimate ring on my finger, if I were to suggest to you that you could not assume from looking at that ring, that some unknown jeweler had made it, you would take me for a fool. However, if I look at the complexity of the universe and conclude that there must be a designer behind the grand design, there are those who would call me delusional. I am considered normal if I look at my watch, and thank a watch-maker for the convenience such a time-piece affords me, but if I take that same tact to the grander scale of the universe, I’m not using my mind.
One Web site I checked out as I prepared this article stated categorically that an appeal to a Creator from the evidence of creation is the sign of weak-minded simplicity which has no concept of the reality of the Big Bang theory. By the way, let me sum up the essential teaching of the Big Bang theory for you. The Big Bang Theory is the belief that there was nothing and nothing happened to nothing but then suddenly this nothing exploded and for no reason created everything there now is. Intelligent people expect you to believe that. OK, not exactly the theory, but humorously close. The actual belief is the term Big Bang generally refers to the idea that the universe has expanded from a primordial hot and dense initial condition at some finite time in the past. Many modern scientists disavow this theory holding to other theories of origins.
Sadly many, like Darwin, desperately desire a world in which there is no ultimate accountability to a cosmic being that no amount of reason will convince them of any other possibility. Richard Dawkins puts it nicely when he admits to Ben Stein, that he "chooses to believe that life on this earth was seeded by little green men," rather than ever even allowing the possibility that there might be a God ("Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.")
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.