Does God Really Exist?
That is the fundamental question, isn't it, Creosote? There are three basic 'proofs' and we discuss each briefly.

CREOSOTE asks: Does God really exist? How do you know? I have to write an essay about this for my class
Question about A General Question: Existence of God
Motivation - Student: Class discussion
Bible view - Nothing special - [question 5, Friday, 20-May-2011]

Of course, the Bible says that God exists. Look at the first verse of the Bible: 'In the beginning God ...' The Bible implicitly assumes that God exists, and it does so from its very beginning to its very end. But Creosote wants scientific evidence about God's existence, not biblical evidence. He doesn't want faith-based answers, he wants secular, logical answers.

There are three basic logical proofs that God exists. These are proofs in the scientific sense, where a hypothesis is put forth and evidence is gathered to confirm or deny it. The hypothesis is 'God exists' and the evidence comes in three forms:

  1. Mankind's universal inner sense of God
  2. Nature
  3. Reliability of the Bible

Evidence from Mankind's Universal Inner Sense

How can a person know if God exists or not? The Bible is not very gentle with people who deny the existence of God. It call such people fools:

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.
- Psalms 14:1 [KJV]

A universal sense that God exists is built into most, if not all, people.
A universal sense that God exists is built into most, if not all, people. This is Ganesha, a widely worshiped Hindu deity.

That is not very flattering to the millions of people worldwide who hold non-theistic views. However, with thousands and thousands of churches, shrines, mosques, temples, and primitive worship centers everywhere, worldwide, it is safe to say that multiplied millions of people believe in some type of God. As I understand it, a recent poll claims that 95 percent of Americans believe there is a God. This does not mean Americans believe in the God of the Bible, but it indicates that many people have a built-in sense of some type of supernatural Being.

Thomas Edison, the great inventor, was not a believer. A web site about atheism quotes him as saying:

Incurably religious, that is the best way to describe the mental condition of so many people. Thomas Edison, quoted by Joseph Lewis from a personal conversation

Edison was acknowledging a universal, personal, private, inner sense that God exists and that He is worthy of some type of religious expression. Even though he did not subscribe to it himself, Edison acknowledged a very real pattern in the fabric of humanity. Believers like to call this a 'God-shaped hole' in everyone's heart. Check to see if you have one!

In the Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson asserts 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.' In the Declaration, Jefferson appeals to self-evident inner knowledge, not to the Bible or any other religious text.

These are examples of a believer (Jefferson) and a non-believer (Edison) recognizing the universal nature of mankind's inner sense of the reality of God. It is one piece of evidence, albeit weak evidence, that supports the hypothesis that God exists. Other evidences are stronger than this one.

Evidence from Nature

In addition to the ubiquitous but mysterious inner sense that God exists, the Bible points to nature as concrete evidence of His existence.

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
- Psalms 19:1 [KJV]

outer space declares the glory of God.
According to the Bible, outer space declares the glory of God.

My favorite verse about this is Psalms 19:1, shown in the box above, about how the heavens tell people about God.

Psalms 19:1 points to outer space (the heavens) and the sky (the firmament) as direct evidence of God's glory. For many, just looking up to the sky inspires awe at the magnificence of this universe, and brings to mind that it might, in fact, come from intelligent design.

There are many more verses that say God reveals Himself in nature. Theologians call this general revelation because one does not need anything specific (like the Bible, for instance) to be convinced that there is a God. Nature does a good job all by herself. The Bible says that our response to general revelation is important. In the verses below, the book of Romans emphasizes nature as evidence of God's existence, and then goes on to describe what happens to those people who reject this evidence.

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
- Romans 1:20ff [NASB]

Rejecting nature as evidence of God causes darkness to settle into the heart. If you have lived for a while, and have experience with both religious and non-religious people, you know that faith usually comes early in life. The longer people live, the less likely that they will engender faith. Romans 1, the verses above, says that this is normal. It is how things work.

If you reject general revelation, you will certainly reject special revelation, i.e., the Bible. Evidence that the Bible is true is the most direct and compelling evidence that God exists.

Evidence from the Bible

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness
- Romans 1:1 [KJV]

When you try to use the Bible as proof that God exists, you immediately run into the classic question 'Which came first, the chicken or the egg?' You can be caught up in circular reasoning, and circular reasoning is logical fallacy. One cannot assert that God exists because He wrote the Bible, or that the Bible is true because God wrote it. However, first proving from outside sources that the Bible is true, and then concluding that God exists, is not circular reasoning. It is valid, logical progression. If the Bible is true, then God exists. (BTW, the Bible says the chicken came first!)

Plenty of real-world, rationale, non-mystical evidence points to the Bible as a book of truth.
Face the facts. Plenty of concrete, real-world, rationale, non-mystical evidence points to the fact that the Bible is true.

There is much rationale evidence that the Bible is true. This evidence generally falls into four specific categories:

1. Influence - The Bible has influenced the course of human history more than any other book, and it continues to improve lives of millions of individuals to this day.

2. Literary Excellence - The Bible has majestic beauty and profound depth; some people acknowledge the Bible as unique in the world of literature.

3. Historical and Archaeological Detail - The Bible is filled with historical details, many only recently ratified by large bodies of historians, such as the Israelites making brick without straw in Egypt, and the walls of Jericho falling down and out. Several thousand archaelogical sites have been discovered that pertain to the Bible. A good summary appears on this Wikipedia page.

4. Predictive Prophecy - The Bible contains much predictive prophecy. The Old Testament has 2000 predictive prophecies that are incredibly specific, and many of them have already been literally fulfilled. Buddha, Confucius, and Lao-tse have no predictive prophecy. Mohammed has only one (that he would return to Mecca). A summary of Bible prophecy appears on this biased Wikipedia page.

We have more comprehensive article on the reasonableness, rationality, and overall validity of the Bible. You can find it at this AFTB link.

Summary

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
- 1 Corinthians 2:14 [KJV]

In the end, you must decide for yourself whether or not you believe that God exists. There is plenty of evidence that He does, but God is a Gentleman, He will not force Himself on you. Revelation from your inner self, from nature, and from the Bible must somehow resonate within your thought process to make a final decision. The verse in the box to the right says that this happens supernaturally, by the Spirit of God.

It is an important decision to make; one to base your life on. Either God will be your ultimate authority, or something else will be that authority, or nothing at all. Those are the three choices you have.

Mon, 26-Jun-2017 03:44:47 GMT, unknown: 642325 ABbfKrS0yJ0Ko
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