Summary: 2 part sermon that ask if it is reasonable to believe in God, and then if Christianity is the best picture of that belief in God.
God is Dead??? (Is it reasonable to believe in God) by Brian A. Moon
Story – It was my first year at Palm Beach Atlantic College when a person I latter became good friends with ask me questions that I had never thought of growing up in the church. They ripped my faith apart with their arguments and questions, and left me saying can I really believe in God? It took me down a long and sometimes painful road, and tonight I would like to share some of my travels with you.
From the time man has left written records of their existence, there has been two questions that have been asked in every generation in every time period.
These questions have been dealt with and answered in various ways, but they are: Why am I here, and is their something outside of our world, like a god?
These philosophical questions have been the main topics of discussion since the time of Aristotle and Plato, through the middle ages and up to present day philosophers. Even the many debates in our world today, like is evolution true, all come back to one basic question… Is it reasonable to believe in God? The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche answered this question with the statement, “God is dead.” Tonight we will take up this question though and hopefully come to some kind of answer for ourselves. Then if we do come up with the conclusion that it is reasonable, is Christianity the best picture of that belief? This is no easy task and I will not even pretend to have all of the answers tonight, And it is impossible to cover all of this issue in a mere message, but my hope is that we all can become more educated in our faith and able to make a defense of why we believe what we believe. I would love to spend time sharing with you why this is of importance for us, why we need to even be concerned with why we believe what we believe, but this verse in 1 Peter says it best.
1 Peter 3:15 “Always be ready to make a defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you…” NRSV
1. So is it reasonable to believe in God?
When we try to decide is anything is reasonable we take the evidence for it, and we take the evidence against it, and compare them logically. If there is more evidence for it to be true, then we say it is reasonable to say that this is the case.
If there is more evidence against this being the case we say it is not reasonable to believe in that. For a long time people believed that the world was flat, but we know today that it is round. Today we would say that based on the evidence it is not reasonable to believe in a flat earth. This is our task tonight, and it is lengthy so lets begin.
The Arguments For God’s Existence
There are four main arguments for the existence of God in the way that we understand him, that is: Only one God who is the creator of the universe, and who is all powerful, all perfect, and all loving. The first one is from the Christian theologian Anselm who lived from 1033 – 1109.
It is commonly called the Ontological Argument for God’s Existence
We can come up with an idea of a being that there is none greater,
By that I mean one that is the greatest in everything you can think of, he is all powerful, all perfect, and so on.
This being that none greater can be thought of cannot by definition exist only in the mind though.
Suppose it only existed in our minds, then it would not be the greatest being you could think of because,
A being that existed outside of your mind would be greater than the one that only existed in your mind, because it is greater to exist, than not to exist.
Greatest Being Greatest Being
(only in the mind) (in the mind and in reality)
Which is greater
Therefore, this being which none greater can be thought of must exists in reality and in the mind, or God exists.
This argument is an argument in the mind, it is a logical argument, but to this date it has been the one that has been the least challenged.
However, this is a sometimes-hard argument to wrap our arms around, so to speak, Because we live in world that says, “Show me with something I can see or touch and then I will believe it.”
So, the following argument was developed by St. Thomas Aquinas, it is commonly known as the Cosmological Argument for God’s Existence.