Summary: God is unknowable, yet there are clues in the world around us to his existence if only we'll look. The existence of God is the simplest explanation for what we find there.
This is a series based on and heavily dependent on Timothy Keller’s Best Seller "The Reason For God" for which I’m deeply grateful. It uses much of his argument though with various additions by myself or the other preachers of the series.
“I have seen the business that God has given to everyone to be busy with. 11He has made everything suitable for its time; moreover he has put a sense of past and future into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” (Eccl 3:10-11 NRSV) So writes the author of Ecclesiastes. He sees that there’s something in the human mind that knows there’s more out there than we can grasp; there’s more than the now. He goes on: “14I know that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it; God has done this, so that all should stand in awe before him.” There seems to be an innate recognition in the human spirit that there’s a God who works in the world. Yet he’s a God that we’re unable to comprehend.
It’s this unknowable aspect of God that confuses so many people I think. Because we’re so tied to the idea that reality has to have a material manifestation we can’t get our heads around the idea of an unknowable God.
Yet at the same time we do all we can to find an explanation for the unexplainable. We ask ourselves if there’s a God what is he like? Is he a he? Or a she? Or an it?
If you sit down with a group of non-Christians and ask them what they think God is like you’re likely to get a whole range of answers and in the end no-one will be quite sure they’ve got it right. Some might even question whether they’re wasting their time. Perhaps God doesn’t exist at all. Perhaps this searching after God is just an attempt to find someone else to blame for the troubles of this world. Others might argue as we saw last time, that science has proved that God doesn’t exist.
They’d argue that all there is, is the material world that we can explore and examine.
Still others will say that unless they hear a rational argument for the existence of God they couldn’t believe in him anyway.
Well, let me ask you, how do you know that God exists? Is what you believe rationally provable? My guess is that it’s not? The reason most of us believe is connected with a subjective experience of God supported by historical records or other observations that may or may not constitute a form of proof. But if that’s the case is it a problem? Is our modern desire for rational proof in fact rational? Do we have to have a rational proof before we believe something? As someone who’s been married for nearly 40 years I can tell you without a doubt that my wife loves me. Do I have a rational proof for that statement. No. She may just be a very good actor. It may all be a delusion on my part. She may just be putting up with me for my money, or my collection of Peter, Paul and Mary records. I may just be the lesser of two evils. But does the fact that I can’t prove it decrease my level of belief in her love? Of course not. I know she loves me for a host of reasons.
The same goes for my belief in God. I can’t prove that he exists. But I have a host of reasons for believing that he does. Let me suggest some of those reasons. These aren’t proofs, they’re just clues for the existence of God, of a being who’s beyond us and who’s responsible for the creation and sustaining of the universe.
Clue 1: The Mysterious Bang
When we begin to think about our universe one of the questions that arises is “Why is there something rather than nothing?” Most cosmologists are agreed that our universe began some 15 billion years ago, give or take a century or two, with what’s been called the Big Bang. It seems that the universe is expanding from its beginning in a single, infinitesimally small point. That immediately raises the question, was there nothing there before? In which case, where did it all come from. The universe can’t have created itself. So who did?
If the scientists are right and every thing is part of a long chain of cause and effect, what was the first cause? What made the big bang happen? It could only have been something that’s outside of nature: supernatural, that is.
As I said, this is only a clue. It tells us nothing about the nature of this supernatural being except that he’s not part of nature itself. It certainly doesn’t equate with the personal God of the Bible. But it is a pointer, a clue, to something that looks a lot like the God of the Bible.