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Christian Evidences Series: Why We Believe in God

24 Aug

Studies in Christian Evidences by Waymon D. Miller

(This little booklet was developed in 1961 but is now out of print. For that reason, it is provided here for your use and edification in hopes that one more soul will come to believe today)

Introduction:
1. The premise of the existence of God is one of paramount importance to
man and religion.
(a) It would be frightful to imagine a world without a God, a universe
without a Creator, sinners without a Savior, and the human race without
eternal hope!
(b) It is instinctive for man to believe in the existence of a supreme
Being.
(c) Man is naturally religious, and requires an Object upon which to
bestow his worship.
(d) Faith in God is a fundamental requirement of the religion of the
Bible. (Hebrews 11:6)
(e) The moral and spiritual situation of man demands the existence of
God. So Voltaire stated, “If there were no God, it would be necessary to
invent him.”

2. There is need to examine the proof’s of the existence of God, even
for those who believe in Him.
(a) We live in an age of skepticism, and need to be able to
intelligently meet this issue.
(b) To examine afresh these matters will serve to strengthen our faith. 
“Let your hearts be strengthened in the Lord.” (Eph. 6:10. Conybeare’s
translation)
(c) We need to be familiar with the proof principles of the existence of
God for our own information.
(d) We will be able by such studies to see that belief in God does not
rest upon blind, unreasoning faith.

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I. KINDS OF UNBELIEF AND REASONS FOR IT:    
    
1. There are numerous classes and varieties of unbelief in the existence
and authority of God.
(a) Skepticism. A skeptic is one who possesses doubt and uncertainty of
the existence of God, and as a result does not believe in Him.
(b) Atheism. An atheist is one who so strongly disbelieves in God that
he denies there is a God.
(c) Infidelity. The infidel is one who rejects Christianity, and
occupies a position of disbelief.
(d) Agnosticism. The agnostic affirms that he does not know if there is
a God, and therefore does not believe in Him.
(e) Freethought. The freethinker asserts his right of freedom of
thought, independent of authority or revelation, to believe or disbelieve
in God.
(f) Theistic Infidelity. This is a species of infidelity held by
professed Christians who reject numerous fundamental truths of the Bible.
Among this group are the liberals and theistic evolutionists.
(g) The Willful and Untaught. Some are unbelievers because they
deliberately choose this, but others because they are untaught and have
had no opportunity to believe.

2. What are some of the reasons for unbelief in God? In his book,
Therefore Stand, Wilbur M. Smith lists the following as a number of
reasons for unbelief:
(a) Man has fallen away from God, and has a bias toward Him.
(b) The darkness of the mind of the natural man prevents his
appreciation of spiritual values.
(c) The pride of man, which resents dependence upon a Supreme Being. 
(cf. John 5:44)
(d) The determination to live without God.
(e) Educational influences that have by their character created the
attitude of skepticism.
(f) Increasing supremacy of the material and the subordination of the
spiritual.
(g) The affects of sin, and the sinner’s self-justification.
(h) Ignorance of the Word of God and of true Christianity.
(i) Some deliberately determine not to believe in God.

II. PHILOSOPHICAL ARGUMENTS:
1. Through the years rational and philosophical arguments have been
developed in support 
support of belief in God.
(a) These complicated arguments involve philosophical principles
unfamiliar to the average person.
(b) They will be briefly stated here so that some familiarity with them
may be gained at least.

2. The Cosmological Argument. 
(a) This argument approaches the issue of the existence of God from the
viewpoint of the existence of the world.
(b) The very existence of the world argues a beginning and an actuating
cause, which cause believers affirm is God.
(c) If the universe had an origin, there must have been some causative
force behind it, for there is no such thing as an uncaused beginning.
(d) “God is the infinite and perfect Spirit in whom all things have
their source, support, and end.”-A.H. Strong.
(e) Herbert Spencer speaks of “the absolute certainty that we are ever
in the presence of an infinite and eternal energy from which all things
proceed.”

3. The Teleological Argument.
(a) The object of this argument is to demonstrate and end or the purpose
of all things that comprise the universe.
(b) Simply stated, this argument affirms that order and purpose require
an intelligent cause, or that the design of anything in itself suggests a
designer.
(c) The presence of a beautiful building argues the work of an
architect, an engineer and a builder.
(d) The presence of the universe, therefore, wonderfully produced and
precisely arranged, argues divine intelligence behind it.
(e) We have evidence all about us of marvelous design: man, the
planetary system, flowers, animals, the chemical elements, principles of
physics, and the like.

4. The Moral Argument.
(a) The fact that man possesses moral concepts of right and wrong, which
are not of human origin, also argues the existence of a Supreme Being.
(b) The fact that these moral laws, unvarying from generation to
generation, so frequently condemn man shows that man is not the author of
them.
(c) Sophocles speaks of “the unwritten laws of God that know not change;
they are not of today or yesterday, but live forever.”
(d) Immanuel Kant, the philosopher, was so strongly impressed with the
strength of the moral argument that he was willing to rest the case of
the existence of God on it.

5. The Ontological Argument.
(a) the ontological argument asserts the existence of God from the fact
that man has a concept of Him.
(b) Since man does possess a concept of a Supreme Being, from what
source is this concept derived?
(c) The fact is that man’s concept of a Supreme Being is received
through inspiration, and is of divine origin.
(d) Man also possesses ideas of the infinite and supernatural-a
supernatural Being that possesses the attributes of infinite goodness,
perfection, justice, holiness, power, wisdom, and authority. These
attributes are the very ones that are distinct qualities of God.

III. LOGICAL REASONS FOR BELIEF IN GOD:
1. There is universal belief in a God who created, sustains, and governs
all things.
(a) All peoples everywhere, regardless of religion or culture, have a
consciousness of a Supreme Being.
(b) Cicero said, “There is no nation so barbarous, no race so savage, as
not to be firmly persuaded of the being of God.”
(c) How de we account for this universal consciousness of God, and what
is its origin, if there is no Supreme Being?

2. There also exists a universal consciousness of God, and what is its
origin, if there is no Supreme Being?
(a) The most primitive tribes, as well as cultured men, possess a
conviction that a Supreme Being must be propitiated and answered to.
(b) This universal concept is that the Supreme Being is infinite, holy
and just, and calls man’s misdeeds to judgement.
(c) From what source is this sense of accountability derived if there is
not Supreme Being?

3. The hand of God is clearly seen in the creation.
(a) All of the speculative theories concerning the origin of the
universe are far from conclusive and satisfactory.
(b) There is convincing evidence, however, that the material things of
the world could not have existed from eternity in that all matter is
subject to change and decay.
(c) All things of the universe exhibit wonderful design, and they could
not have originated by chance since chance does not require purpose and
design.
(d) In that there is design in all things, the things that exist did not
form themselves or occur spontaneously.
(e) It would be preposterous to imagine that a rock falling from a
mountain could burst itself into a sculptural masterpiece. It is also
absurd to imagine that the universe originated in any such accidental
manner.
(f) The physical law of cause and effect argues the existence of a great
Cause of the universe.

4. The order and government of the universe also argues the existence of
a Governor and Author of these laws.
(a) Our material world is governed by an infinite number of natural
laws. If no supreme Governor exists, where did these natural laws
originate?
(b) The precise position and movement of planets, seasons, temperature,
moisture, animals, and plants are regulated as to make man’s earthly
existence possible.
(c) Consider the arrangement of our planet to accommodate life: such
important factors as the size and mass of the earth designed to retain
essential gasses, the length of day caused by the speed at which the
earth rotates on its axis (1,000 m.p.h.), the precise tilting of the
earth on its axis of 23 degrees to govern temperature and the seasons,
the proper distance of the moon from the earth to regulate the tides, the
proper distance of the earth from the sun to govern temperature, and the
relation between water and land masses which regulates the supply of
oxygen essential for animal life and carbon dioxide and oxygen essential
to plant life.

5. Man possesses a conscience to regulate his moral conduct.
(a) Animals possess no such sense of moral judgment. Where did man
receive it, and how are we to account for it?
(b) Why is man filled with fear and remorse even when committing secret
wrongs?
(c) If there are no principles of right or wrong, or if there is no God
to whom we must answer, why this merciless condemnation of conscience?

6. The natural laws of the universe evidence such mathematical precision
as to imply divine intelligence behind them.
(a) Some of these laws are fixed and unalterable. For instance, 2 + 2 =
4. This is a fixed rule. No other answer is possible.
(b) Chemical combinations also show this mathematical precision and
fixedness. For instance, two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen always
make water.
(c) In the universe all things are constructed of a proper combination
of the 96 basic elements, and the same combination always produces the
same thing.
(d) The infinitely precise laws regulating our solar system enable
scientists to accurately predict with accuracy a solar eclipse. What or
Who established these marvelous laws of our solar system?
(e) In the realm of natural law, everything is seen to reproduce after
its own kind. This again illustrates the uniformity of natural law and
precludes chance.

7. The instinctive religious disposition of man requires the existence
of an Object upon which he can bestow his worship.
(a) Man possesses an instinctive religious nature. It has been aptly
expressed that “man is incurably religious.”
(b) The most primitive and the most cultured people have their religion,
though it may range from the superstitious and crude to the most cultured
and refined.
(c) This religious disposition has been found to exist universally in
all races and throughout all ages.
(d) Is it possible that man could possess a misguided instinct? Could
his religious nature be reasonably thought to be his only deceptive
instinct?
(e) The great masses have always, through this natural religious
feeling, accepted the idea of the existence of God, and of man’s need to
worship Him.
(f) Since all men everywhere possess this religious disposition, how can
this be accounted for except that it was implanted in man to cause him to
“fear God and keep His commandments”?
(g) Thus the whole human race gives testimony to God, and of man’s need
to worship Him.

IV. BELIEF IN GOD MEETS THE DEEPEST HUMAN NEEDS:
1. Since man is seen to possess a tenacious conviction of the existence
of a Supreme Being, God is the fulfillment of that conviction and need.
(a) The spiritual needs of man are as real and insistent as any of the
other needs of man.
(b) It is as natural for the soul to crave God as it is for the boy to
crave food, water, clothing, or rest.
(c) To stifle religious impulses will distort the personality of the
whole man. The needs of the soul cry out for satisfaction.

2. Belief in God creates a sense of well being and calm confidence
obtained in no other manner.
(a) When the life of man is deprived of the compass of religion, man is
adrift upon a constantly uneasy sea.
(b) The unbelieving soul is devoid of this sense of well being, and has
instead feelings of fear, guilt, doubt, and apprehension.
(c) Only the believer in God can possess a sense of inward well being
and a peace that “passeth understanding.”

3. Belief in God is necessary for man to find himself, to know himself,
and see himself as he really is.
(a) The believer in God sees himself as an infinitely frail and unworthy
creature who is dependent upon the forgiving mercy and sustaining grace
of God.
(b) The believer divests himself of all self-trust, realizing his
insignificance and worthlessness, and how completely dependent he is upon
God.
(c) When man is made to see that he lives, breathes, and has his
existence in God, he is the more impressed with his reliance upon Him in
all things.
(d) Belief in god enables man to see the infinite holiness and goodness
of Jehovah, and the infinite worthlessness of himself.

4. Belief in God enable man to properly appreciate the greatness of
human dignity and the purpose of human life.
(a) To believe in God enables man to see who he is, why he is, where he
is, where he has been, where he is going, what he is, and what he by
God’s grace can become.
(b) Knowing himself to be fashioned after the image of God, he
appreciates the divine aspect of his being, and that the grand purpose of
his existence is to glorify God.
(c) To the believer, life has purpose. It is not merely animal
existence, but he lives for spiritual purposes as well.
(d) The idea that we are God’s creatures and objects of His love gives
the highest possible meaning to life, whereas unbelief has never achieved
meaning or moral good.
(e) No other person has as much to live for as the believer.

5. Belief in God enables man to live in communion with the infinite.
(a) The believer is lifted above the meaningless reality of the material
things, and vies them as but means to the end of heavenly things.
(b) While in this life he prepares for a heavenly citizenship, and he
realizes that one’s life is not determined so much by what he has as Who
he has.
(c) The believer has constant communion with God, walks with the
Creator, and his soul reaches into the infinite.

6. Belief in God imparts hope beyond this earthly experience.
(a) The Christian life is begun on earth and completed in the endless
realm of eternity.
(b) By faith we look beyond the tragedies of life to the triumphs of
glory, and an existence of eternal bliss.
(c) No philosophy of life is so richly rewarding for time and eternity
as that of belief in God

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2017 in God

 

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