Sermon Illustrations

I want to begin with the most famous logical argument ever posited for the existence of God taken from St. Thomas Aquinas Suma Theologiae. So, we begin with “The Five Ways of St. Thomas Aquinas”.

First, we have the argument from motion. This argument speaks to the issue of creation. Most scientists today suggest that the world and universe as we know it began with a big bang at precisely 10-43 second. I don’t know who was there with their stop watch to make that calculation, but that’s the argument they begin with. At the heart of this idea is that a whole bunch of nothing that was no where began to swirl around very fast. Furthermore, this nothing that was no where began to get really hot as it spun until it exploded. At the point of this explosion this nothing that was no where suddenly became something that was some where. This is what they want us to believe as the reason for our existence. However, this pitiful argument doesn’t even make pretty good sense. Not to mention that it goes against the very laws of nature that govern the universe which these same scientists hold dear. This contradiction is revealed in St. Thomas’ argument from motion. Simply put the argument from motion states that if something is moved there must be a mover. In other words if there is an effect there must be a cause. In this case the effect is the creation of the universe and the cause is a prime mover which we understand as God. Aquinas suggests that if you take away the mover then you have no motion. His argument is validated by the laws of motion as outlined by Sir Isaac Newton which state: 1.) A body remains in motion or at rest with a constant velocity unless acted on by and outside force; 2.) The energy sum of the forces acting on the object equals the product of its mass acceleration which Einstein expresses as E=MC2; 3.) For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. In short, the argument from motion states that there must be an unmovable prime mover.

Second, we have the argument from the nature of efficient cause. The concept is that every effect has an efficient cause. Therefore, since there is no know case of anything to be the efficient cause of itself there must be an ultimate efficient cause. In other words the universe could not have come into existence without an efficient cause. We understand that cause to be God. If you take away the cause there is no effect.

Third, we have the argument from possibility and necessity. This one can be a little tricky here is the logical argument from possibility and necessity: A thing or a being has the possibility to either exist or not exist. If a thing or a being has the possibility of non-existence then there must have been a time when it did not exist. If all things are possible to exist or not to exist then at one time nothing existed. If at one time nothing existed then it would be impossible for anything to exist. Therefore, in order for anything to ever exist there must be a self-sufficient necessary being which we believe to be God.

Fourth, we have the argument from gradation. This argument states that in nature there is a gradation among things and begins. Some things are hotter or less hot, more beautiful or less beautiful, more true or less true. This gradation argues for any standard to which things or beings are measured and compared. So it is for all beings there is a standard which we understand to be God.

Fifth, we have the argument from governance of the world. This argument states that creatures which lack knowledge act out of instinct towards an end. These creatures act repetitiously achieving better and better results to achieve this end. However, things that lack knowledge do not receive the end by fortune, but by designed. They are guided by a being that is endowed with knowledge as the arrow is guided by the archer. Therefore, some intelligent being must exist that guides all natural bodies to their end. This is also known as the argument from design. It is just as absurd to suggest that there is a computer with out a computer maker as it is to suggest that there is a world with out a world maker.

My friends the “fool has said in his heart there is no God.” I don’t think there are any fools in this room today. As Abe Lincoln put it, “I can understand how a man can look at the ground and be an atheist, but I do not know how a person can gaze into the heavens above and say there is no God.”

Related Sermon Illustrations

Related Sermons

Browse All Media

Related Media