Does God Exist ? – A Defense of the Faith

Filed in Thought For The Week by on 22 August 2013

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Does God Exist ?Today maybe more than in other times, truth has become relative. Yes, the fact of God’s existence needs to be defended sharply by all believers we are to give and account of the hope that we have.  There are at least three useful approaches that we can use in conversation and evangelism to break down the arguments of atheists and evolutionist alike. Why would we do this ?  1 Peter 3:15 says plainly “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts:  and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear".

These approaches assume that the person or persons it is addressing has no respect for the Bible as the Word of God and therefore a more philosophical approach is pursued to engage the mind of the enquirer on their own playing field.

1. WHY BELIEVE IN GOD – ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENT

The first approach  is the  Ontological Argument . Fist penned by St. Anselm (11th to 12th centuries A.D.) In a priori fashion, Anselm's Ontological Argument attempts to prove the existence of God. The arguments start by deeming God the greatest thought of which could be thought. Therefore, God exists as an idea in any individual subject. However, an idea that also exists in reality is much greater than a mere subjective idea. If we confine God only to the mind, then we can think of something greater than God. Since no thought is greater than God, it necessarily follows that God must exist.

2. WHY BELIEVE IN GOD – COSMOLOGICAL ARGUMENT

Then there is the Cosmological argument for the existence of God that looks something likes this.

 Everything that began to exist has a cause. The universe began to exist. Therefore from the universe has a cause.

However, at this point we notice that this argument doesn’t actually say anything about whether a God actually exists or not — it just says something about the universe. But when you are evangelizing a unbeliever who has no point of reference greater than the nose on his face. This a good place to begin. Francis Schaeffer a Christian philosopher who lived in the last century said that “today’s people regard themselves as a point of reference, but this can never be, just a look at the created universe will show you plainly that man can not do this, because is a part of created order, he is not above it”

Cosmology of this kind shows us that the fact that something that has come into being, that has a first cause. It can therefore be safe to say any cause of the universe must have existed prior to the universe, or anything that existed prior to the universe cannot be part of the universe it is above the created order and cannot be equated to the physical order. God in this argument is the primary cause for the created universe coming into being and therefore the primary cause of it.

To solve this, some theologians have filled in some additional premises, which I will summarize as follows:

Anything that existed prior to the universe cannot be a part of the universe. Since the created universe is a physical entity. We can safely say that whoever made it in the first place was a non-physical being.

The matter of the universe and the maker of the universe are not of the same substance. Therefore the universe is not physical and its Maker is of another kind.

At this point we identify God as our Maker and point out that only God, who cannot be equated with His creation, can cause the universe to exist. No nonphysical object except God can cause a universe to exist. God caused the universe to exist.The logical deduction from this line of thought is that God exists.

I remember trying to explain this idea to a budding agnostic. Who acknowledge that  somehow that there had to be a God, but he was not sure he was any relevance. This way he could be shown that not only does God exist, He caused everything that does exits and therefore has ownership of all He made.  

3. WHY BELIEVE IN GOD – TELEOLOGICAL ARGUMENT

The next argument for the existence of God is called the”Teleological argument” This argument or defense for the existence of God is the premise that if there is a design there has to be a designer, nothing creates itself out of nothing. There has to be a an intelligent designer behind the order in wee see in the universe. The name “the teleological argument” is derived from the Greek word telos, meaning “end” or “purpose”. When such arguments speak of the universe being ordered, they mean that it is ordered towards some end or purpose. The suggestion is that it is more plausible to suppose that the universe is so because it was created by an intelligent being in order to accomplish that purpose than it is to suppose that it is this way by chance.

The teleological argument was used by St Thomas Aquinas as one of his Five Ways of knowing that God exists, but the most cited statement of the argument is that of William Paley. Paley likened the universe to a watch, with many ordered parts working in harmony to further some purpose. Just as the complexity, order, and purpose of a watch implies intelligent design, he suggested, so too the complexity, order, and purpose of the universe implies intelligent design.

It is useful to have a knowledge of at least the basics of these approaches in proving the Existence of God when speaking to those who deny the Scriptures as the Word of God.  There are at least three questions that most thinking people ask at some time or other. The one is a) Does God exist b) If He exist what is He like? c) If God exists what Has He said? This short intro is meant to give an evangelist edge when speaking to those who query the first.

Please leave a comment I want other views on this subject too  smiley

Simon ThomasAuthor: Simon Thomas

First Published: 17 July 2013 at  http://simonthomassays.blogspot.com/2013/07/does-god-exist-defense-of-faith.html

(Published here with slight modifications)

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