Summary: In this five part apologetics series, based heavily on the work of William Lane Craig and Reasonable Faith, five arguments are presented in favor of the existence of God: the evidence of Cosmology, Creation, Conscience, Christ, and Conversion.
The Case for a Creator (2)
Scott Bayles, pastor
Blooming Grove Christian Church: 4/14/2013
I like the story of a little boy who was asked if he believed in God. He answered, “Well, yes I do.” When asked why, he said, “Well, I guess it just runs in the family.”
Not everyone’s story is like that, though.
When C.S. Lewis, who many of you may recognize as the author of The Chronicles of Narnia, came to Oxford University he was an atheist. He had lost his mother at age nine and the rest of his life was spent in boarding schools. He had no use for God in his life and no faith whatsoever. But, while attending Oxford, he met a man who became his best friend—J.R.R. Tolkien. You know him as the author of The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien, along with some other friends challenged Lewis to investigate the evidence for God’s existence and the Bible’s inspiration. So Lewis did. It was from that investigation and the encouragement of friends like Tolkien that Lewis moved from atheism to a deep Christian faith. He went on to become one of the most influential theologians and most successful Christian apologist of the twentieth century.
Unfortunately not everyone has a friend like J.R.R. Tolkien. An increasing number of people in America and around the world don't believe in God. As I mentioned last week, the Pew Research Center reports that more and more Americans, especially ages 18 to 25, identify themselves as non-religious, agnostics or atheists. That’s why it’s more important than ever for all of us to be able to able to articulate the reasons why our faith makes sense! Remember what the Bible says: “Always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. However, do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15-16 HCSB).
Maybe you have a friend or family member that thinks science has proven there is no God. Or maybe there’s a co-worker who is always challenging or making fun or your faith. Or maybe you’re skeptical about God’s existence yourself. Maybe you’ve got some doubts of your own that creep in from time to time and you’ve been afraid to admit it.
Over the next few weeks—using philosophy, physics, history, personal experience, and a little common sense—I want to give you five good reasons to believe in God. I want you to think of these as a series of lights that, when lit, can illuminate the path to personal faith in God. They are:
1. The Light of Cosmology
2. The Light of Creation
3. The Light of Conscience
4. The Light of Christ
5. The Light of Conversion
Last week we focused on the light of cosmology. Cosmology, of course, is the study of the cosmos and it teaches us that the universe had a beginning. And, since everything that has a beginning has a cause, we know that the universe must have a Cause. Like the Bible says, “Every house is built by someone, but the builder of everything is God himself” (Hebrews 3:4 NCV). Based on our knowledge of cosmology, we can reasonably conclude that the Cause of the universe is a transcendent, timeless, spaceless, unimaginably powerful, personal Creator.
Picking up where we left off last week, let’s talk about the evidence, or the light, of Creation. The Bible makes this remarkable claim: “Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made” (Romans 1:20 RSV). From the earliest times, philosophers, like Plato and Aristotle, wholly apart from the Bible, have concluded that God must exist, based on what they perceive in the things that have been made.
In other words, creation itself is evidence of a Creator.
This is what the Intelligent Design movement is all about. The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an Intelligent Designer, rather than random undirected processes. The classic illustration is the Watchmaker analogy. If you stumbled across a watch in a field, even if you had never seen a watch before, you could discern from its inner workings and intricate design, that there must be a watch-maker. Similar tell-tales signs of design are discernible all throughout the created world. Design necessitates a Designer and creation demands a Creator.
Because creation is so vast there are myriad examples of design in everything from micro-biology to the mass density of the universe. So I want to give you another logical argument based on the fine-tuning of universe. This fine-tuning argument will show that the existence of intelligent life anywhere in the cosmos depends on a Creator. Any additional design arguments based on the origin of life, irreducible complexity or biological information will simply layer on even more evidence for a Creator.