Summary: This week we explore the reasons to believe in a God like the Theistic religions believe in, all powerful, eternal, omnipresent, and personal.
How I met
3. Fingerprints for God
This week, we want to make the case for God. If you talk to the resident agnostic in your life, they will tell you they think the case for God is weak. Or, to put it another way, the case against God is very strong. Open and shut. Which reminds me of a story, told by Lee Strobel - former journalist for the Chicago Tribune.
He tells of a time he was reporting on the attempted murder case of James Dixon. Here’s what happened: Dixon, armed with a gun, was heard arguing with his girlfriend. The police were called. When the police arrived, the girl’s father came out, but was attacked by Dixon. When the policeman tried to break it up, he was shot in the chest. Just then, backup came and took Dixon to jail.
When the case finally came to trial, the evidence was overwhelming.
- Dixon’s gun, with his prints all over it, was found in the bushes a short ways away, with one bullet having been fired.
- And the cop’s shirt had powder burns showing he’d been shot at extremely close range.
- Dixon had a record and to cap it off, he confessed he had shot the cop.
o An open and shut case. Or was it?
Two days after opening arguments, Strobel got a call from an informant. He spoke quietly:
“word is, the officer involved had a pen gun, a .22 caliber pistol that’s made to look like a fountain pen. It’s also illegal for anyone, including policemen, to carry. The policeman shot himself accidentally with his own gun in his shirt pocket. He framed Dixon to avoid trouble for carrying an unauthorized weapon!”
Strobel took this tip and reopened the case. Suddenly, things no one had considered came to light. For example:
before the policeman arrived, witnesses reported seeing Dixon pounding on the door with the heel of his gun. The gun had gone off in a downward direction. Strobel found a chip in the pavement to back that up – this also accounted for the bullet that was missing.
new witnesses said they saw Dixon throw his gun into bushes before the police arrived.
After a little CSI work, the powder burns in the policeman’s shirt were concentrated inside the pocket.
And finally, when pressed why he pleaded guilty, Dixon said, he was told he’d get only one year if he pleaded guilty. He had already spent 360 days in jail waiting for trail. If he just confessed, he’d be out in a few days. But if he pleaded not-guilty and lost, they’d throw the book at him.
When this new evidence came to light, Dixon was exonerated and the policeman, who had received a medal for bravery was fired from the department.
So, I wonder how many people in this room, have ever made assumptions about the state of the evidence for a some spiritual claim? Or had your filters affect how objectively you examined that evidence? Remember, we said we want to find a worldview that best corresponds to the evidence in the world, right?
So with our time today I want to examine three lines of evidence that constitute the Case For God, reasons to believe the God hypothesis is truth. We’re not going to show irrefutable proof, but the plausibility of God, given:
- FINE TUNING
- FIRST CAUSE
1. (SLIDE) FINE TUNING
As it turns out, the universe we live in extremely fine tuned for Life. Imagine someday we’re exploring in space and we come upon a bubble just floating in space. Inside the Bubble there’s all kinds of life forms thriving, and you’re amazed. But then, on the side of the Bubble, are a series of knobs and dials. And you realize that each of these dials controls some part of the environemtn in the Bubble:
- One controls the temperature
- One controls the barometric pressure
- One controls the humidity
- One controls gravity, the amount of radiation, the amount of light etc.
Each dial can have a bunch of settings, so it’s amazing that someone has set this biosphere up, with presciely these conditions to make the life inside viable. So you wonder to yourself, what if I tweak the knobs and dials. That’s when you discover something else about those dials.
You find out that moving any one of them, ANY amount destroys life in the Biosphere.
Not only are they tuned, just so, to work together, any adjustment to any of them, would devastate the biosphere, it would collapse and everything dies.
The universe, we are finding, is just like that biosphere, only more so. And these dials we’re talking about, are not about clunky stuff like temperature or air, these dials control the guts of the universe at the level of Physics. If you need another illustration, the dials are the software of the universe, not the hardware. The programs running the physics of the universe, which affect all matter in the universe.