Sunday, February 11, 2018
- The issue of God’s existence always comes down to an issue of evidence.
- Couple myths:
- Myth 1: Christianity is unreasonable.
- Myth 2: Only religious people have faith.
- The evidence being uncovered in science and philosophy is making it MORE rational, not LESS, to believe in the existence of God.
- “I do not regard true philosophical atheism as an intellectually valid or even cogent position; in fact, I see it as a fundamentally irrational view of reality, which can be sustained only by a tragic absence of curiosity or a fervently resolute will to believe the absurd,” – Philosopher David Bentley Hart
- Antony Flew / Oxford professor, atheist / debated Christians / Christianity and theism are dumb / for philosophical, scientific, and psychological reason you shouldn’t believe in God
- Years later / There is a God
- “Atheism is no longer a logical, tenable, or defensible position to hold.”
- When evidence points in a certain direction, our challenge is to adjust our lives in light of it
The person known as the “greatest living philosopher” is a man named Alvin Plantinga, has said that there are two dozen or so proper evidences for the existence of God, but we’re going to summarize them into three evidences…
- Morality and the Universe (cosmology)
- “the moral law within and the starry hosts above.” – Emanuel Kant (18th century)
- Plato: “There are two things that lead men to believe in God: the argument from the existence of the soul, and the argument from the order of the motion of the stars”
EVIDENCE: MORALITY – the evidence that you and I believe in the difference between right and wrong.
- They say things like this: “How’d you like it if anyone did the same to you?”—“That’s my seat, I was there first”—“Leave him alone, he isn’t doing you any harm”—“Why should you shove in first?”—“Give me a bit of your orange, I gave you a bit of mine”—“Come on, you promised.” People say things like that every day, educated people as well as uneducated, and children as well as grown-ups. Now what interests me about all these remarks is that the man who makes them is not merely saying that the other man’s behavior does not happen to please him. He is appealing to some kind of standard of behavior, which he expects the other man to know about. . . . It looks, in fact, very much as if both parties had in mind some kind of Law or Rule of fair play or decent behavior or morality or whatever you like to call it, about which they really agreed. – CS Lewis in Mere Christianity
- The question that arises the minute that you and I agree that there are things that are right and wrong is: Where did you get that idea?
- Called: Objective moral values
- Philosophers: If objective moral values exist, there has to be a MORAL LAW GIVER
14 Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it. 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. – Romans 2:14-15 (858)
- Evolutionary theory doesn’t have a good explanation for morality – comes from decisions we had to make when we were animals – somehow, we evolved a conscious
- If all our morality came from evolutionary development, you’d never come to that conclusion
- The natural conclusion would be the opposite. Genocide makes sense in evolutionary development. Eliminate the competition. Make sure your tribe, your people, your race gets everything it needs to get to the next generation.
- But we don’t agree with that – why?
- Debate Richard Dawkins vs. Justin Bryerly / Bryerly: When you make a value judgement, don’t you immediately step yourself outside of this evolutionary process and say that the reason this is good is because it’s good? / Dawkins: Yes. But my value judgement itself could come from my evolutionary past / Bryerly: So then it’s just as random as any product of evolution / Dawkins: Yes you could say that, but nothing about that makes it more probable that there is anything supernatural, that there’s a God / Bryerly: Ultimately your belief that rape is wrong is as arbitrary as the fact that we’ve evolved five fingers rather than six / Dawkins: You could say that, yes.
- You have to take a worldview to its sociological implications. If I believe this, what does it mean?
- “How could that trait have come down by a process of natural selection? Such people would have been less likely to survive and pass on their genes. There is some supernatural standard of normalcy apart from nature by which we can judge right and wrong.” – Pastor Tim Keller
- Bible / Genesis 2 image of God / Romans 2 stitched into us (rational explanations)
EVIDENCE: Cosmology – Evidence of the Universe
- Causality – if something begins to exist, it has to have a cause (Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas)
- “I would never say such an absurd proposition that something began to exist without a cause.” – David Hume, 18th century Scottish skeptic
- 1929 / Hubble / 100” telescope / universe was expanding
“The number of stars involved in this galactic dispersal suggested an astoundingly vast universe…Some galaxies were millions of light years away…Hubble noticed that planets and entire galaxies were hurtling away from one another at fantastic speeds. Moreover, space itself seemed to be getting bigger. The universe was not expanding into background space…Incredibly, space itself was expanding along with the universe.’
“Scientists realized right away that the galaxies were not flying apart because of some mysterious force thrusting them away from each other. Rather, they were moving apart because they were once flung apart by a primeval explosion.”
- We know the universe began to exist. And whatever begins to exist must have a cause, therefore the universe has a cause.
- The universe has a birthdate / It had a cause / It can’t be matter, because matter can’t create mind, mind has to pre-exist matter
- Genesis, 1, John 4 – God is Spirit…
- Second law of thermodynamics – universe has a finite amount of energy – it’s running down like batteries in a flashlight
- It was the scientific community, not the church, that originally pushed back against the Big Bang
- Scientists did not want to “…give into the Judeo-Christian idea of a beginning of the world, [and] it seemed to have to call for an act of supernatural creation…It took time, observational evidence, and careful verification of predictions made by the Big Bang model to convince the scientific community to accept the idea of a cosmic genesis…a successful model that imposed itself on a reluctant scientific community” – J.M Wersinger, associate professor at Auburn University
- Theists looked at Big Bang (force, matter, energy, time all had a beginning) – Of course – Genesis 1:1
If not God, how did this happen?
- Nothing hypothesis
- What created the Big Bang? Nothing
- Nobody x nothing = everything is not an equation to build your life on…
EVIDENCE OF DESIGN
- “The equivalent of 20 million books is inside the heads of every one of us. The neurochemistry of the brain is astonishingly busy, the circuitry of a machine more wonderful than any devised by humans.” – Carl Sagan
- Too complex and detailed to happen randomly. Over time things get more random, not less.
- Our brain chemistry, our biology, the fine tuning of our universe cry out for a designer
- Millions (6 zeroes) / Billions (9 zeroes) / Trillion (12 zeroes)
- 122 factors / Mathematicians: 1:10138 (138 zeroes)
- # of seconds in history of the universe: 1017 (17 zeroes)
- # of atoms in the universe: 1070 (70 zeroes)
- Astrophysicists: 122 factors, if one was off by even one part in a million millionth…
- “If the rate of expansion one second after the Big Bang had been smaller by even one part in 100 thousand million millionths, the universe would have re-collapsed before it ever reached its present size into a hot fireball. The odds against a universe like ours emerging out of something like the Big Bang are enormous. I think there are religious implications.” – Steven Hawking
- You have a faith position – everyone does. What are you going to actually believe?
- Multiverse theory: multiple universes bubbling up (no evidence, infinite unproved metaphysical with no supporting evidence) – Christianity: Just believe one that there is evidence for.
19 They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. 20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. 21 Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. 22 Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. 23 And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles. – Romans 1:19-23 (857)