2.01.2008

Evidence, please.

I had a fishbowl question the other day at Bible study that's got me started on creating my teaching time for our next game night, in two weeks. The question read:

"(Please don't call me atheist.) Does God exist?"

I respect and admire whichever kid was open and honest enough to put this question in there, and since I tend to tackle basic bits of faith on game nights (when we gather socially for the first hour, then wrap up with our regular teaching time and prayer time) I though I'd put it on the docket for February 13.

The approach I'm taking is that I won't be mathematically or scientifically "proving" God, since science and maths don't actually do that in the first place, and since God is too much of a mystery to nail down with any specific arguments. But I want to be able to present a compelling set of clues, some evidence, that Christians cite when we're involved in this discussion, that leads us to believe in God's reality.

What are some good clues I can present, and/or ways you've presented said clues to groups? Your help is much appreciated!

4 comments:

Ceci said...

No one has commented, so I thought I would chime in. Which is kind of funny, when you think of it, me giving proofs of God. I'm not saying these don't have huge gaping holes, which I can point out to you if you'd like.

# TELEOLOGICAL ARGUMENT (I), a.k.a. DESIGN ARGUMENT
(1) Check out the world/universe/giraffe. Isn't it complex/beautiful?
(2) Only God could have made them so complex/beautiful.
(3) Therefore, God exists.

This is the one that convinced the character in _Witness_ that God existed and therefore he should not be communist. In his case, the object in #1 was a child's ear.

Some other points that may help:

* Discoveries in astronomy have shown beyond a reasonable doubt that the universe did, in fact, have a beginning. There was a single moment of creation.
* Advances in molecular biology have revealed vast amounts of information encoded in each and every living cell, and molecular biologists have discovered thousands upon thousands of exquisitely designed machines at the molecular level. Information requires intelligence and design requires a designer.
* Biochemists and mathematicians have calculated the odds against life arising from non-life naturally via unintelligent processes. The odds are astronomical. In fact, scientists aren't even sure if life could have evolved naturally via unintelligent processes. If life did not arise by chance, how did it arise?
* The universe is ordered by natural laws. Where did these laws come from and what purpose do they serve?
* Philosophers agree that a transcendent Law Giver is the only plausible explanation for an objective moral standard. So, ask yourself if you believe in right and wrong and then ask yourself why. Who gave you your conscience? Why does it exist? For instance, in every culture in every point in history throughout the world it has been 'wrong' or 'illegal' to steal something to which you do not have a right from a member of your own tribe and to kill without provocation another member of your own tribe. (Notice how specific I was - there are some cultures where things are held to be communally owned so no possibility of theft because you *do* have a right to the item - there are some cultures with very loose definitions of what is considered sufficient provocation - and in both cases there are cultures where it is perfectly acceptable to steal/kill people *not* of your own tribe)
* People of every race, creed, color, and culture, both men and women, young and old, wise and foolish, from the educated to the ignorant, claim to have personally experienced something of the supernatural. So what are we supposed to do with these prodigious accounts of divine healing, prophetic revelation, answered prayer, and other miraculous phenomena? Ignorance and imagination may have played a part to be sure, but is there something more?

Finally, some helpful websites:

http://www.allaboutcreation.org/proof-of-god.htm
http://www.proofthatgodexists.org/

waynester said...

Isaac;
Hard to be brief on this one--or is this a yes/no question? The follow-up question is probably "How does one conclude whether God exists or not?" Before I get to anything else I will post 3 sites that Google supplied: www.everystudent.com/features/isthere.html, www.existence-of-god.com/problem-of-evil.html which is an interesting point made on that web site www.existence-of-God.com, and www.allaboutphilosophy.org/does-god-exist-c.htm. This question would be good to get every one to discuss and opine. Some may share their faith--which is really the best "proof" there is...

Isaac, The Rookie said...

It's definitely not as simple as a yes/no question; what happened was that a kid just left the question one night; didn't sign it or tell me who left it, and so I wanted to go into some of the ways people have been explaining God's existence through the history of His people. This week will be a beginning point for a much longer conversation, and I will be asking the group to share; the nice thing about this particular Bible study is that it has some kids who have been raised Christian, a few others who started out that way and are now struggling with it, and a couple who have never had a church home. So the responsibility attached to answering questions like this is pretty huge for me. Thanks, everybody!

Anonymous said...

It's hard to prove it until you first build a relationship with that individual. THey need to see the love, acceptance, & forgiveness in your own life before they will be interested in any more.

David