Questions Christians Hope No One Will Ask
- Monday, October 18, 2010
Unlike the atheist, the Christian has a solid basis for objective moral values, for in the Christian view, God exists as a supreme, transcendent, divine person—the Creator of the universe and everything in it. Goodness flows from God's very nature; moral values are not invented by human beings. They are discovered by human beings, but they are grounded in the very nature of a good, loving, personal God who made us in his image, implanted a sense of right and wrong in our hearts, and told us to live as imitators of him (see Eph. 5:1). Interestingly, this is also what the Bible tells us in Romans 2:15: "They demonstrate that God's law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right."
This is powerful evidence for God. We can put this evidence in the form of a simple argument:
1. If God does not exist, then objective moral values do not exist.
2. But we know that objective moral values do exist.
3. Therefore, God does exist.
I'm not saying that atheists cannot recognize moral values or live generally moral lives. I'm certain they can. But recognizing something and even living by it does not mean that one has a real basis for it. The "moral" atheist is simply left hanging in midair on this issue, without any solid footing. Christians, on the other hand, have a rock solid foundation on which to build their beliefs and to live their lives. Our universe is morally good, and it's good because a transcendent and good God created it that way.
As we saw at the beginning of the chapter, God is like the virtue of love in this way: while we can't see love directly, we can often see evidence for it. The same is true about God. In addition to our own experience of him—which is important to talk about—we have looked at three kinds of evidence for him. These arguments provide solid reasons to believe in God: the existence of the universe, the amazing fine-tuning of the universe, and the reality of objective goodness. While each of these points to the existence of God, taken together they provide strong confirmation of his existence. We could sum it up like this: the cumulative case for God's existence is more than sufficient for an open-minded person to believe that he really is there.
God doesn't force his reality on anyone, but if our friends are interested in real evidence and answers, he has not left them wanting. God's fingerprints are dispersed throughout the cosmos. Maybe that's part of why Jesus told us so boldly in Matthew 7:7 to "keep on seeking, and you will find."
Summary of the Answer
Question 1 asks us, "What makes you so sure that God exists at all—especially when you can't see, hear, or touch him?"
We believe in many things that we don't see or directly experience with our senses—the virtue of love being a great example. Yet we see evidence of love through its effects. Similarly, we can't see God, but we can believe in him based on his work in us and in the universe around us.
One of the ways we can know that God is real and active in our world is that he's real and active in our lives—he's our friend! If that's true in your own experience, then talking about him will be a natural part of your answer to people who ask you this question about God's existence.
Evidence #1: Whatever has a beginning has a cause. Science shows us that the universe had a beginning. It therefore had a cause—one that's outside of itself and is therefore beyond time, space, matter, and physical energy. In other words, that cause has the characteristics of the God of the Bible.
Evidence #2: Our universe is fine-tuned, with astounding "just-so" precision, in ways that make it a place that can support life. The odds of this happening on its own, by sheer chance, are vanishingly small and thus point powerfully to an intelligent designer—One whom the Bible calls God.
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