The English poet, Thomas Hardy, wrote a most extreme poem sometime between 1908 and 1910 in which he imagined himself attending God’s funeral. The editors of “The Fortnightly Review” first published the poem in March 1912. It was later included in the “Lyrics and Reveries” section of his November 1914 collection entitled “Satires of Circumstance, Lyrics and Reveries”, where it followed his poem “A Plaint to Man” which deals with a similar theme, namely Hardy’s contention that God is a mad-made concept which mankind would be best advised to abandon. This poem surfaced just after a time that many historians have called the Age of Doubt, in which those of the Victorian Era questioned what they had been taught about morality and God. Leading nineteenth-century intellectuals such as Robert Chambers, Anne Brontë, Charles Darwin, and Thomas H. Huxley battled the Church and struggled to absorb radical scientific discoveries that challenged everything the Bible had taught the Western world about reality (Christopher Lane, The Age of Doubt, Yale University Press. 2011). The claws of deism, humanism, and atheism ripped through the cultural minds of American and European society. The dramatic adjustment of Victorian society has echoes today as technology, science, and religion grapple with moral issues that seemed unimaginable even a decade ago. In the academic and intellectual world of the twenty-first century, Christians must be ready to answer the question, “How do you know there is a God?” Peter wrote, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15). If Christians cannot explain how they know God exists, they will lose all credibility within the world higher reasoning.
While it is true that God is a spirit (John 4:24), and people cannot prove His existence using the five senses, believers can use other intellectual means, such as logic and reason, to prove God’s existence. There exists a plethora of logical arguments to show the existence of God: the cosmological argument, the teleological argument, the anthropological argument, and those are just the beginning. This series will examine and explain the first three, but for the beginning of the series the cosmological argument will be the focus.
The argument starts with the question, “From where does the universe emanate?” There are only three options: 1) it is eternal, 2) it created itself from nothing, or 3) it was created. The evolutionist Robert Jastrow admitted, “The lingering decline predicted by astronomers for the end of the world differs from the explosive conditions they have calculated for its birth, but the impact is the same; modern science denies an eternal existence to the universe, either in the past or the future” (Jastrow, Robert, Until the Sun Dies, New York: W.W. Norton, 1977, p. 30). If the matter of the universe was eternal then it could not be dated because that which is eternal exists outside of time, it has no beginning or end; the scientific dating system only works by showing the decay of an object in order to mathematically reverse the decaying calculation and estimate a beginning. If it decays or ages, then the object has an end, and it had a beginning. Ultimately, the first possible beginning of the cosmos could not be true. The material world cannot be eternal.
In consideration of possibility number two, any sane, unbiased scientists will further admit that it is impossible to suggest that something came out of nothing. No scientific law or research suggests that life can come from non-life, much less something from nothing. In 1995, NASA astronomer John O’Keefe declared, “We [humans] are, by astronomical standards, a pampered, cosseted, cherished group of creatures…If the universe had not been made with the most exact precision we could never have come into existence” (O’Keefe, John, as quoted in Show Me God, ed. Fred Heeren. Wheeling, IL: Searchlight Publications. 1995, p. 200). One of the greatest proofs of God’s existence is that humans exist (Psalms 19:1-2).
Matter is not eternal, and it does not create itself, so matter had to have had a creator. The only rational explanation for all that people see around the world, all the order and the beauty, comes from the idea that an intelligent power created the universe. Advocates for the Theory of Evolution and the Big Bang would have people believe that everything in existence emanated from a big accident. Such order and intrinsic design do not come from chaos any more than the Oxford English Dictionary comes from an explosion in the print shop.
- Q&A WITH THE PREACHER (Part 7: The unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife?)
- Q&A WITH THE PREACHER (Part 6: Do You Have to Get Everything Right?)
- Q&A WITH THE PREACHER (Part 5: The Kingdom and the Church are the Same?)
- Q&A WITH THE PREACHER (Part 4: Biblical Versions)
- Q&A WITH THE PREACHER (Part 3: Is Baptism Really Necessary?)