Reasonable Faith: Cosmological Evidence

Extract from, Christianity For Skeptics, Dr. Steve Kumar, Life Foundation, Auckland, 1987. Chapter 1: DOES GOD EXIST?

“The question of our time is not communism versus individualism, not Europe versus America, not even the West versus the East: it is whether men can bear to live without God.”
-American historian, Will Durant

“The mathematical precision of the universe reveals the mathematical mind of God.”
-Albert Einstein

“I shall always be convinced that a watch proves a watch-maker, and that a universe proves a God.”
-Voltaire

Is it reasonable to believe in God? Can God’s existence be demonstrated logically without referring to the Holy Scriptures, religious experience or a leap of faith? How can I be sure there is a God? What certainty is there for God’s existence?

Time magazine, in an interesting article, “Modernizing the case for God,” reports “in a quiet revolution in thought and argument that hardly anyone could have foreseen only two decades ago, God is making a comeback.”¹ A generation ago there were few intellectuals in academic circles providing logical arguments forthe existence of God, but today the situation has altered. As Time puts it, “Now it is more respectable among philosophers than it has been for a generation to talk about the possibility of God’s existence.”²

I. Conclusive Cosmological Evidence

According to most Christian philosophers, the greatest proof for the existence of God is the cosmic evidence. One of the most profound philosophical questions that has caused many debates and much discussion among philosophers through the centuries is “Why is there something rather than nothing?” There is hardly a philosopher worth his salt who has not struggled over this question. Everyone faces it, some ignore it, others deny it, but few answer it. Philosopher John Hick writes: “For when we try to think about this infinitely fascinating universe in which we live, we find that we are faced in the end with sheer mystery — the mystery of existence, of why there is a universe at all.”  Norman Geisler observes: “The existentially undeniable experience of contingency is not an arbitrary model superimposed on experience. It is an essential model that arises out of an analysis of the modality of our being in the world.”

John Warwick Montgomery, the popular American apologist, argues with splendid insight, “Nothing in this world is able to explain its own existence; thus, there must be a God in order to explain the world in which we find ourselves.” Therefore, the most rational alternative to the reality of the universe is God. Without God there would not be any universe in the first place.  Edward Sillem insists, “Man cannot find the ultimate explanation of his own being anywhere but in God himself.” In the same vein, philosopher Frederick Copleston asserts, “What we call the world is intrinsically unintelligible apart from the existence of God.” It is no wonder that Voltaire echoed the obvious maxim, “If God did not exist it would be necessary to invent him.” Speaking about the universe, Colin Brown, the British theologian writes, “Are we to regard it as the product of pure chance, and believe that everything happens at random without rhyme or reason?” No! This would be mental suicide. Even a radical skeptic such as David Hume admitted the force of this argument when he wrote, “I never asserted so absurd a proposition as that anything might arise without a cause.”

The weight of the cosmological argument is further strengthened by the confirmation of the majority of scientists today. Dr. Robert Gange, a research scientist, in his excellent book Origins and Destiny provides ample scientific evidence for the beginning of the universe. [goes on to describe Big Bang, 13-15 billion years ago.]

Robert Jastrow, director of NASA’s Goddard institute for Space Studies and author of many important studies in astronomy, comes to a similar conclusion. Writing in the New York Times, Jastrow poses the question, “Have Astronomers Found God?” and suggests that they have, or are very close to it. Dr. Jastrow, altough not a believer himself, argues that the evidence from astronomy demonstrates that the universe had a beginning at a certain moment in time. He declares, “Now we see how the astronomical evidence leads to a biblical view of the origin of the world.” He notes, “The details differ, but the essential elements in the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis are the same: the chain of events leading to man commenced suddenly and sharply at a definite moment in time, in a flash of light and energy.” [He then concludes:]

“This is an exceedingly strange development, unexpected by all but the theologians. They have always believe the word of the Bible. But we scientists did not expect to find evidence for an abrupt beginning because we have had until recently such extraordinary success in tracing the chain of cause and effect backward in time….at this moment it seems as though science will never be able to raise the curtain on the mystery of creation. For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock and he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”

The apostle Paul speaking to the Greek philosophers of his day argued that the existence of the universe depends on the existence and the sustaining power of God:

The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else….’For in we live and move and have our being.’ As one of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ (Acts 17:24,25,28)

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech, night after night they display knowledge. (Psalm 19: 1,2)

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