Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Can Christians Be MEGA SURE of God's Existence? Part 1
Why is there something rather than nothing? Have you ever considered this question? Why is there something rather than nothing? Why are we here? Why is the earth here? Why is the universe here? Why is there something rather than nothing. Every world view has to answer these questions. Not just the Christian. Not just the theist, but the pantheist, the polytheist, the agnostic, and the atheist. We all must try to determine why there is something rather than nothing. Once one gives an answer, they need to answer one more question: is my conclusion the most reasonable answer.
Atheist philosopher Bertrand Russell who said that “The universe is just there, and that's all". In other words, it just exists. It always had. It’s a brute fact. Is this reasonable?
As Christians we would say “God” is the answer. But is that the most reasonable answer. Some would say, it doesn’t matter. It’s a matter of faith.
But I ask you, is such a blind faith badge of honor for us as Christians? There was a time where it may have been, but today I say “no.” Christian philosopher JP Moreland said, “In Scripture, faith involves placing trust in what you have reason to believe is true. Faith is not a blind, irrational leap into the dark. So faith and reason cooperate on a biblical view of faith. They are not intrinsically hostile.”
Isaiah 1:18 says “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord” The word “reason” is the Hebrew word that means to judge or decide. Warren Wiersbe describes it as a decision or judgement made in court. It’s the process of examining evidence in order to make a right determination. God here is appealing to human reason. This ability to reason allows us to research and see God’s existence, His goodness, the reality of Christ’s resurrection, and the existence of a good God in a world with evil.
So now it’s time to reason and to engage our brains. Between this blog and the next, we will tackle a huge question: “Does God Exist?” “If so, how can we be sure?” We will look at two reasons for God’s existence. And I’m convinced that you will be MEGA SURE of His existence.
The first line of evidence is the Teleological Argument for God's Existence.
The teleological argument goes like this:
1: Every Design had a designer.
2: The universe has a highly complex design.
3: Therefore, the universe had a Designer.
We are going to look at each premise. If premise 1 and 2 are true, our conclusion should be sound.
Premise 1 is every design had a designer. Whenever we see something with the appearance of design, we need to determine if the cause was natural or intelligent and with purpose.
It’s obvious when things are designed by an intelligent designer. No one looks at an iPhone and goes it’s it amazing what time, plus matter plus chance can do? No. It’s clearly intelligently designed with purpose.
Even the natural world around us displays intelligent design: our bodies – we go from breathing embryonic fluid to air. Amazing. Our world our universe gives the appearance of intelligent purpose and design. It’s everywhere. So premise 1 is self-evident.
What about premise 2? The universe has a highly complex design. First of all, what doe sthe Bible have to say? Does the Bible promote such intelligent and complex design? Does it teach God had a purpose in His creation?
Colossians 1:16-17, “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” God is the creator and sustainer of all things. He has put the laws of nature in place with purpose and design. They are for His enjoyment. It brings glory to Himself.
King David wrote this about his very existence, “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother's womb” (Psalm 139:13). You and I are designed with intelligence and purpose. Genesis tells us we are made in God’s image. Now that’s some design.
But does science confirm the Biblical view of intelligent design or does it contradict it?
Science has discovered that the universe balances on a "razor's edge" for life to exist. This razor’s edge represents the fragility of life on Earth and its dependence on the fine-tuning of the universe. There are fundamental constants and quantities that are essential for complex physical life to exist. This is known as the anthropic principle.
The anthropic principle recognizes the rich amount of evidence that the universe was finely tuned for human life to exist. Baylor Professor Walter Bradley argued, “Evidence for an intelligent designer becomes more compelling the more we understand about our carefully crafted habitat.” Complex life requires very specific conditions.
So what some of these anthropic constants? You can remember them by the Acronym MEGA. Remember we are desiring to be MEGA SURE of God’s existence.
The first anthropic constant is Moon-Earth Gravitational Interaction. This is involves the relationship between our moon and the earth. If the interaction were greater than it currently is, tidal effects on the oceans, atmosphere, and rotational period would be too severe. If it were less, orbital changes would cause climatic instabilities. Both would result in the impossibility of life on earth.
The second anthropic constant is Exact Oxygen Levels. On earth, oxygen comprises 21 percent of the atmosphere. That precise figure is an anthropic constant that makes life on earth possible. If oxygen were 25 percent, fires would erupt spontaneously; if it were 15 percent, human beings would suffocate.
The third anthropic constant is gravity. If the fine tuning of the universe were like a ruler spanning the galaxy, marked in inch long increments, there would be billions of inches for tuning. These inches control the strength of gravity, the weakest force, and the strongest force. If you moved the dial from our present fine tuning to one inch left or right, the results would be catastrophic.
The gravitational force has catastrophic impact with even less alteration. If the gravitational force were altered by .00000000000000000000000000000000000001 percent, our sun would not exist, and therefore, neither would we!
Anthropic constant 4 is Axil Tilt. The 23-degree axil tilt of the earth is just perfect. If the tilt were slightly more or slightly less, the surface temperatures on earth would be too extreme and physical life would cease to exist.
These are just 4 anthropic constants. There are more than 100 very narrowly defined constants that suggest an intelligent designer. So premise 2 that the universe has a highly complex design too seems very reasonable.
That’s our MEGA in our pursuit to be MEGA Sure of God’s existence.
So that leaves us with our logical conclusion: the universe had a Designer. Astrophysicist Fred Hoyle said this, “A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super intellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.”
There is no reason to think that a universe so intelligibly designed with purpose happened by chance. The only option is a grand designer. This designer had purpose for our universe and also displays the highest level of intelligence. Who fits this description of such a designer? I believe the answer is God.
King David wrote, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork” (Psalm 19:1 ESV). The Teleological argument has again shown a reasonable and the most plausible case for God’s existence. It’s MEGA good.
In the next blog, we'll look at the SURE acronym in our MEGA SURE for God's existence.