Does God Exist? - CA-004

There's probably not a thinking person who has not at one time asked the question, "How do we even know there is a God?" So we're going to look tonight at some answers to this sincere question. Remember that apologetics is not about winning arguments. It's not proving anything to someone. It is presenting the answers, and leaving the results to God the Holy Spirit. So here are some ways that you can answer the sincere question that someone asks, "Why do you even believe that there is a God?"

Theistic Proofs

So throughout history, these have been called theistic proofs, although it's questionable whether they really prove the existence of God to someone who's made up his mind not to believe in God. Nevertheless, they are of value.
  1. The Cosmological Proof

    The first one has been called the cosmological argument. That basically means that everything we know about is caused by something else. All effects have a cause. You notice that I didn't say, "Everything is caused by something." I said, "Everything we know about." And I said, "All effects have a cause." I didn't say, "Everything has a cause," because when you start off with that, someone will say," OK, I buy your argument. Everything has a cause. I know where you're going. So who caused God?" So you have to say, "All effects have a cause."

    Every contingent being (or everything that's dependent on something else) is caused by something else. You're here because you were caused by your parents. Your parents were caused by their parents. We go back to the original human beings who were caused by someone. Everything that is in effect (everything that is a contingent being) is caused by something else. Another way you could express this is by saying, "Everything has a cause except the uncaused first cause." That's where you're going. Everything is caused except God, who is the first cause. God is uncaused. He's not self-caused. God is uncaused. Nothing caused God to be.

    Science agrees totally with the cosmological argument for the existence of God (or the cosmological proof). Hydrogen, one of the elements in the universe, is slowly turning into helium. Every so many years, an atom of hydrogen turns into helium. The fact that there is still hydrogen in the universe (it hasn't all turned to helium) would indicate that there was a beginning when hydrogen was created, and it appears they were going toward an end when all the hydrogen will have become helium.

    The first and second laws of thermodynamics support the cosmological argument. The first law says that the energy cannot be created nor destroyed. Scientifically, this means that no one has ever observed energy being created or destroyed. So there must have been a time when all the matter in the universe and all the energy of the universe came into existence, or was created. The second law of thermodynamics says that the universe is running down. The physical universe just seems to be (to scientists who study it) just like a clock that is wound, and it's running down. So if it's running down, it points to a beginning when it was all wound up. If it's running down, it points to an end.

    So the cosmological argument simply says that everything we know about is caused by something else. So we believe there was a time when the uncaused first cause caused everything else, and we call the uncaused first cause God.

    The Anthropic Principle

    There's an interesting subdivision of the cosmological argument called the anthropic principle. "Anthropos" means man (human beings). And there's something about this planet earth that is ideal for human beings to live on. It just happens that human beings are the crowning glory of God's physical creation.

    Scientists and other people have been searching for many years for life on other planets; in other solar systems; and, on other galaxies. There is absolutely no hint of any evidence that would even hint that there is life on any other planet in the universe, let alone intelligent life such as man. So it seems like, on this earth, this is the crowning achievement and the crowning creation of God's physical creation. And human beings live on this planet. We refer to that as the anthropic principle. This planet earth is just ideal for human beings to live on. As far as we know, there is no other place in the whole universe where human beings can live. It looks suspiciously as though it were planned that way.

  2. The Teleological Proof

    That brings us to the next argument (or proof, as they're called historically). That's the teleological proof. Teleology means design. When you design something, you have a purpose in mind. A pen is designed for writing. A knife is designed to cut bread. When you look out at the universe, you can't help but see evidences of intelligent design.

    Paley, an apologist we talked some about in the last session, wrote several books on teleological proofs of the existence of God. One of his favorite illustrations is that you're walking through the woods with a friend, and your foot steps on a rock, and your friend says, "I wonder how long that rock's been there?" You say, "It's been there forever. There has never been a time when that rock did not exist. It just happens to be there." Your friend can't prove that you're wrong. But you walk on for a while, and you look down and there's a watch – a very fine, well-designed, precision, Swiss pocket watch. Your friend says, "I wonder how long that's been there, and how it got there?" And you say, "It's been there forever. It just happened to get there." There's no way in the world that your friend would believe you, because there is absolute evidence of intelligent design. Watches don't just happen.

    Here's another example. If we're out walking, and you see some markings, say, on a cliff, and you can sit there and say, "You know, that looks kind of like a human face, doesn't it?" And your friend says, "Yeah, it's interesting how these things in nature just kind of happen to look like pictures. It looks like a face." But then you turn and look at Mount Rushmore, and you see the portraits of these four presidents, and you say, "Now that just happened." One of these mountains has the face of Lincoln; another of Roosevelt; and, so on. There's no way anybody would buy that. That is intelligent design, or teleological design.

    Modern science would have never come into existence if it hadn't been for Christianity. Many unbelieving philosophers of science agree to this. They don't believe in Christianity, but they say that without Christianity and the belief in an intelligent Creator, there never would have been scientists who said, "OK, there are laws in the universe, and that implies a Lawgiver. So, as Newton said, "Let's think God's thoughts after Him. Let's discover what the intelligent designer of the universe had in mind. Let's discover how He put this thing together."

    The planet Uranus was discovered because astronomers noticed an irregularity in the orbit of Pluto. They said that it's just not normal. It doesn't go along with the laws of nature for this orbit to have this irregularity. So there must be another planet beyond it that is exerting a gravitational pull. Sure enough, as telescopes became more powerful, they discovered the planet Uranus. They believed in intelligent design; they went with it; and, they were right.

    Intelligent design (or teleology) says that if you have an explosion in a salvage yard, all the pieces are not going to fall together and form a brand new Cadillac. Or if you have an explosion in a print factory, the result is not going to be the complete works of Shakespeare.

    The Bible, in Genesis 1, doesn't explicitly teach the cosmological argument (or the teleological argument), but both are implicit in it. This is the way it all began. Then in Matthew 5:45, Jesus said, "God makes it rain on the just and the unjust." These laws of nature are out there working because an intelligent designer put them together. Whether you believe in Him or not, they still work. So intelligent design (or the teleological argument) is a strong reason to believe in a Creator.

  3. The Moral Argument

    Then there's the moral argument. C.S. Lewis really did a lot of work on this in convincing unbelievers that there was at least some truth that they should consider. He said that you hear unbelievers who say they don't even believe in God, but every day they appeal to people's sense of morality. You hear people say, "Give me a piece of your candy. I gave you a slice of my orange." Or they might say, "Hey, leave him alone. He's not doing anything." People just have a sense of oughtness – a sense of some things being right, and some things being wrong. In other words, even if someone doesn't believe in God, they tend to pretend that Christian theism is the truth, at least when it's to their advantage.

    Did you know there has never been a society discovered by anthropologists that does not believe in some kind of god or gods? They have never discovered a society that doesn't have some kind of morality. Their morality may be perverted, but they have a standard of right and of wrong. And there has never been a society which has said that it's good to betray the people who've been kindest to you, and so on. Every society ever studied has a system of morality, and every human being has a sense of right or wrong, and a sense of guilt. I mean, that's how psychiatrists make their fortunes, because people feel so guilty. Everybody has a sense of right and wrong, and a sense of not measuring up to some standard. So we say that the fact that everybody feels that there's some standard they should be measuring up to, indicates that there is an absolute standard.

    Jean-Paul Sartre (who we talked about in a previous session) was a French philosopher who had talked himself out of believing in God because when he was a child, he had stolen some candy, and he said God made him feel guilty. So he just denied that there was a God. He came out back in the 1960s strongly against America's involvement in the war in Vietnam. I would like to have asked him, "If you believe there is no God, and if you believe there is no standard of right or wrong, how can you point your finger at someone and say, "This is wrong? You shouldn't be doing that." And that's a good question.

    Even today, people who are unbelievers point their fingers at us Christians when we talk about censoring books; censoring TV; or, what's taught in public education. We may say, "You know, some of these things are kind of bad." We really shouldn't be doing them." They point their fingers at us and say, "You're censoring. That's not right. It's wrong. It's evil. It's wicked for you to censor. You're trying to be like Hitler." Oh, they love that one. "You're trying to be like Hitler and be another SS." Well, if there's no standard of right and wrong, who are you to say Hitler was wrong? Why can you say that I'm wrong to say that what you're doing is wrong? Why do you say it's not right for me to judge if there's no standard of right or wrong?

    I use the example of a college student who said, "How can I make my professor believe that there is a standard of right and wrong?" And somebody said, "Steal her stereo, and then she'll say, 'No that is wrong. You shouldn't have done that.'"

    That's like the teacher who had a student who was writing a paper in class on why I believe there is no standard of right or wrong, and that all morals or relative. The teacher handed back the paper to the student with a big "F" written on the front of the blue cover. The student said, "That's not fair. It's not right. I worked hard on this paper; I did a lot of research; and, I turned it in on time. You're wrong. Why did you give me a failing grade on this paper?" And the teacher said, "I don't like blue folders. You turned it in in a blue folder. If there's no standard of right or wrong, then I came up with my own standards, and I don't like blue folders." Well, the teacher did change the grade, but he had a reason for dealing that way with the student. He wanted to give the student something to think about in order to prove that the student was wrong.


    Some people carry this further into the study of axiology. Axiology means the study of values. Another name for the moral argument could be the axiology argument. Axiology studies all kinds of values, and you can't place a value on anything unless there is an absolute standard. In art; in music; in morals; or, in society, you can't say that anything is right or wrong unless you have a standard to go by. A gradation implies an absolute. If I say a color is light green, then there has to be green and dark green. So if you say that anything is right, and anything is wrong, then that's an argument for the existence of God.
  4. The Anthropological Proof

    Then there is the anthropological argument. That is simply that human beings exist. Human beings are different from any animal. "Anthropos" means man. The Bible tells us that human beings are created in the image of God. That is not the physical image, but we have intelligence, emotion, will, conscience, and consciousness. We're self-conscious, and we have a conscience. Even animals have these. Animals have intelligence; animals feel emotion; and, animals have wills – they decide to do certain things and not to do other things. They have a conscience. An animal can learn. You can train an animal that they'll be punished if they do certain things, and they'll be rewarded if they do other things, but the most intelligent of animals does not have any of these characteristics anywhere near a 5-year-old child, or even a 3-year-old child.

    Human beings are uniquely different in their intelligence; emotions; will; consciouses; and, also in their ability to think abstractly. Animals cannot think abstractly. If you worked really hard, like some scientists have done with apes, you can teach an animal to think abstractly to some degree. But this is nowhere within light-years of a human being. This is true with abstract thinking and speech. You can train animals to communicate with a few words; to recognize a few words; and, so on. But no animal comes anywhere near the capacity for speech that human beings do. So human beings bear the image of God.

    Also, human beings are religious. As I said a while ago, there is no society that hasn't believed in God or in gods. You may be thinking, "Well, what about Soviet Russia and China?" Well, remember that the Soviet Union tried to do away with belief in God, so they replaced it with the state as God, and with Marx and Lenin and Engels as their saints. They just replaced one religion with another. Even today, people who lived under communism will tell you, "Yes, I believe in someone out there. I've always believed in God."

    When Jimmy Carter was negotiating with Brezhnev about the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, Brezhnev was said to have told Mr. Carter through an interpreter, "We've got to do this. God will never forgive us if we fail." Jimmy Carter asked the interpreter, "Have him to repeat that again." And when he repeated it, when he said it the second time, he said, "History will never forgive us if we fail." But we might say that Brezhnev made a Freudian slip. He showed that he believed there was someone that can be called God out there.

    Also, when Mao Zedong, the communist dictator of China, was sick as an old man, a visitor came to see him. Mao Zedong told him, "I shall soon be in the presence of God." We would definitely question that if he really did believe what he said he believed. But nevertheless, he showed that he had a concept that there was someone out there.

    I heard about a lady who was on a plane, and she was a communist from Russia. The man sitting next to her was an American and a Christian. They flew through some turbulent weather, and they almost crashed. When they saw that they were safe, and they were going to make it, this communist atheist lady said, "Boy, I was really doing some hard praying." And the Americans said, "Oh, you were? Who were you praying to?" And she said, I don't know, but I was praying to someone." So even the modern Soviet societies of Russia and China, that claim they have no God and that they have eliminated God, are really not atheistic. They just replaced one God with another. They still haven't been able to stamp out the belief in someone out there.

    So there has never been a true atheistic society. Everybody everywhere has believed in God or gods. And human beings bear the image of something or someone that's totally different from all the animals. We know that as the anthropological argument.

  5. The Ontological Proof

    Then this is a tricky one: the ontological argument. This falls out of favor every few years, and then somebody comes along and revives it. I think it has some value, but it's tricky, and kind of confusing. "Ontos" is from the Greek meaning "being." So what this is basically saying is that you've got to define God before you can deny Him. You've got to say what kind of god you don't believe in before you say you don't believe in Him. And once you have defined God, it's too late. You've got to believe in Him.

    For example, if you're not going to believe in the Creator of all things, you can't not believe in the Creator of all things. If you're going to say, "Well, sure, I believe that everything had to have been created," that would have meant that there is a Creator – a necessary being, and you can't not believe in a necessary being.

    Let me give you an example. Imagine that you don't exist. How in the world are you imagining that you don't exist? Who's doing the imagining? If you don't exist, then who's imagining that you don't exist? You are a necessary being, so you can imagine that you don't exist.

    Let me give you another example. Have you ever been talking with your spouse about something that you did years ago, and your child said, "Where was I?" And you say, "Well, you weren't born yet." And he says, "Huh? Where was I? Was I in heaven?" You can't imagine that you don't exist. When you imagine that you don't exist, what you're imagining is that you're somewhere (in heaven or somewhere) looking down and seeing your seat and it's empty. But you're not imagining that you don't exist because you can't imagine that you don't exist.

    The reason is you are a necessary being for your own existence. And once you define God, God is a necessary being, and His non-existence is inconceivable. In other words, if you have imagined that there is an all-powerful being who has created everything, then He's the one who must have put the thought in your mind, because you could have never dreamed it up yourself. So once you've admitted that God might exist, you've admitted there is a God.

    As I say, there are many different forms of the ontological argument. I believe Anselm was the first one (we talked about him in the last session) who had formalized this. Then Thomas Aquinas did some work on it, and figured out two or three different approaches to it. The Frenchman Descartes used it also. As I say, it will make you dizzy if you think about it too long. But it just basically means that if you're not going to believe in God, define who it is that you don't believe in. Then once you've defined Him, you can't not believe in Him. That's the ontological argument.

  6. The Existential Proof

    Another argument (for lack of a better word) is called the existential argument. What this means is that, "Yes, there is a God. I believe there is a God." Someone may ask, "Why?" The reply is, "Well, just because. I just do. That's all. There can't not be a God." When we think there is no God, then life is utterly meaningless. There is no standard of right or wrong. Nothing really makes sense. It wouldn't be fair. There's got to be a God. So maybe I can't tell you why. Maybe I can't go through all the proofs. Maybe I can't give you scientific proof. But there has got to be a God. My existence is not worthwhile if there's no God. There is a God because there is a God – just because. I think Augustine probably summed it up better than anybody. He said, "Our souls are restless until they find their home in You." So the existential argument just means that life has no meaning if there is no God.
  7. Mysteries

    Then there is the existence of mysteries, including miracles; things that cannot be explained by science; and, that there's something out there that transcends nature. So for this, many honest people say, "Yes, I think there must be a God, because there are so many mysteries that we just can't explain any other way."
  8. Rationality

    Then there is the very fact of rationality. People can reason, like we're doing here. We're going through some reasonable, rational evidences and answers to the question, "Why do we even believe in God?" The only reason that this is rational is because there is a rational being who gave us the capacity to reason. So things have to make sense. If I use my reasoning capacity to prove that there is no God; there is no rationality; and, nothing has to make sense, then why should I even trust my rational capacity? If I prove that reason is not even valid, then why should I even trust my reason, because it was my reason that proved that reason was not even valid? So we're going around in a circle. As I told you last week, it was this line of thinking that led C.S. Lewis to think deeply and seriously that maybe God does exist. It was this line of thought that led him to Christianity.

    Natural Revelation

    The average reformed apologist would say, "Forget about the truths." Some of them use these proofs or arguments, but on the whole, reformed apologists say, "Look, you either believe because the Bible says to believe, or you don't." However, I think that these proofs do have a value. As I said, C.S. Lewis was thinking about reason and how he couldn't use reason to prove that everything was unreasonable and nothing had any meaning. So it was this line of thought that got him to thinking about spiritual things. Also, concerning the teleological argument, you might have heard of Brother Lawrence. He has been dead for several hundred years, but he was a monk who worked in the kitchen of a monastery. He seemed to always just have this great peace with God. So some of his colleagues asked him how he could explain that. He said, "Well, I practice the presence of God." And they asked him to write it in a book. So he wrote a book about practicing the presence of God.

    This guy seemed to know how to be in fellowship in spite of the fact that he was a Roman Catholic. Sometimes I read about some of these guys: St. Francis, as the Romans called him; Brother Lawrence; or, St. Katharine. And I think, "Man, you know, sometimes these people really have some deep insight. If they had had sound doctrine, no telling what they could have taught us." But anyway, Brother Lawrence said that as a young man, he was a soldier and he had been wounded. As he was recuperating from his wound, he looked at a tree. This was in wintertime, and the tree was bare. And he got to thinking, "In just a few months, some green buds will be growing on this tree; they'll mature into leaves; then they'll turn brown and gold; then they'll fall; and, it will be like this again." He got to thinking about the cycle of the seasons, and he began thinking, "You know, this didn't just happen. Somebody planned it like this." As a result, he began to think more and more about God, and he became a Christian.

    We're not really trying to use these proofs to win people to Christ. Remember that apologetics is pre-evangelism. We're just trying to show people that it's not ignorant; it's not dumb; and, it's not unreasonable to believe in God. Here are some very good reasons to believe in God. But even if they accept these and say, "Yes, that tells me that there's somebody out there," we still haven't proved the Christian God – the God of the Bible. We've just proved that there is someone out there who is really intelligent; who is really moral; and, who really has some standards, and this being has set it all in motion. So sometimes, like C.S. Lewis or Brother Lawrence, this is all they need to click into the right mode and go for the truth. But usually we don't win people to Christ by going over these proofs. We just show them that it is rational and reasonable, and it's not dumb to believe in God. These are what we could call naturalistic (natural) revelation.

    Supernatural Revelation

    Then there is, of course, supernatural revelation. The first one is the Bible, the Word of God. Just the fact that the Bible exists today tells us that there is something remarkable about this book. How many of you have another book that was written 2,000 years ago that you carry around with you and read every chance you get? I have tried to read some stuff from other religions – some of the myth myths of Babylon and Mesopotamia. It's not only dumb and ignorant, but it's almost impossible to read. You may read some of the myths of ancient Greece, and there are some good moral lessons that you can teach your students and your kids and learn from them. But, you know, it's just something to read every once in a while and to talk about. But people take the Bible seriously, and you should. Year after year, it's the bestseller. If anybody wants to have a bestseller, all you have to do is write another translation of the Bible. People are hungry for the Word of God, and they're going to be snatched up off the shelves. So just the fact that the Bible is an ancient book; people still read it today; and, people take it seriously, that tells us something.

    Then when we think of how many people have tried to destroy the Bible over history, doesn't that tell you something too? In the first place, what do they have to fear? Why do they want to destroy the Bible? If it is just a book of fairy tales, why do they even fear it? So many people throughout history, even up to now, have had such a hatred for the Bible, and they have tried to destroy it. Yet the more they try to destroy it, the more popular it becomes, and the more of a demand there is for it.

    Remember Voltaire, the French agnostic, back in the 1700s. He said that within 25 years, there would be no Bibles, because he and other philosophers had done such a good job of proving that there was no truth in it. Well, they used to build houses a lot better than they do today. About 100 years after he made that statement, the International Bible Society bought his home in France to use as one of their houses to distribute the Bible.

    The Bible is like the fence that an old farmer built. He said that he built his fence five feet wide and three feet tall so that when somebody knocked it over, it would just make it higher. If you knock it over, it'll be taller than it was. That's the way the Bible is. The more people have tried to destroy it, the more people demand it.

    Recently, I told a couple of stories about Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. The communists and the Khmer Rouge tried to wipe out Christianity. The more they tried, the stronger it became. One of the stories is of an American who visited a church in Cambodia, and he met the pastor of the church and he said, "You sure have a nice church here. I bet you really had a hard time when the Khmer Rouge was trying to destroy Christians." He said, "No, to tell you the truth, I had a pretty good time then, because I was the general in charge of burning churches and destroying Bibles." The American said, "Oh, really? Well, how did you become a Christian?" He said, "Well, I just started a bonfire of Bibles, and as I was walking away, one of the burning pages flew in my face. I grabbed it, and I put the fire out and dusted it off and looked at it, and I couldn't believe the words. It said, 'Heaven and earth will pass away, but My word will not pass away.'" He said, "There I was – an atheist. I thought, 'Oh, no, I'm trying to destroy the Word of God and it can't be destroyed.'" To make a long story short, he became a Christian, and now he's pastor of a church.

    So just the fact that the Bible exists is proof that it has a supernatural origin. It exists and it's powerful.

    Do you remember the story of The Mutiny on the Bounty? These people took over a ship, and they ended up living on an island by themselves. They were English people, and this was based on a true incident. As the people lived on this island away from Western civilization, they really sunk low morally, and they began to kill each other. There were murders taking place among these English people. Finally, one of the men said, "This has got to stop." So he looked in the stuff they had taken from the ship, and he found the Bible. And he started reading the Bible to them daily, and they were transformed.

    There are many other stories. A true story that I heard when I was at Dallas Seminary a few years ago was told by an Indian man. He was from India. He said over in India, one day he lost his Bible. So he put a notice on the bulletin board, "I have lost a Bible." He described the Bible and said, "If you find it, please let me know, and I'll pay you a reward." So he waited and waited and nobody said anything, and he forgot about it. Finally, a couple of years later, someone contacted him and said, "I know where your Bible is, and I will take you to it." He said, "Well, can't you just bring it to me?" The man said, "No, I want to take you to this Bible. I want you to see it." So he came and picked him up on a scooter, and they went out in the deep jungle to a village. In this village, there was a nice church – a new church building. The story that he was told was that this man had found the Bible, and he had taken it home to his village and started reading it. And other people began to read it, and they became born again. They thought, "Now that we're Christians, we should have a church." No missionaries came there. Nobody witnessed to them – just the transforming power of the Word of God.

    I could tell you more and more stories if time would permit us. But the fact that the Bible says that it is alive and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and it is (it stands behind that promise) is evidence of a supernatural origin.

  9. Fulfilled Prophecy

    Then, of course, there is fulfilled prophecy. In our salvation booklet, Dr. Danish tells about Tyre and Sidon. They were the two biggest cities in the world, and they were prophesied to be places where fishermen would dry their nets. That would be like today standing up and saying, "New York City and Los Angeles will be totally wiped out and deserted." People laughed when those prophecies were made. But within years (within even centuries), the prophecies were fulfilled down to the most minute details.

    Just look at the life of Jesus Christ. Just look at all of the fulfilled prophecies, even to the place of birth, and the actual time of birth. The fact that He would be born of a virgin woman; that He would die by crucifixion; and, that He would be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver are all indications that the Bible is of supernatural origin, which strongly implies the existence of the God of the Bible.

  10. Jesus Christ

    Then, of course, there is the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ was born, and that He lived on this earth. Isn't it interesting that the evangelist (the gospel writer) who wrote the most about the virgin birth was the scientist, Dr. Luke, a medical doctor? He didn't have any problem accepting that miracle.

    There is the fact that unbelieving historians don't know what to do with Jesus. They look at Him, and they say, "This man claimed to be from God. He was strong and manly enough to walk into a temple and run the money changers out. Yet He liked to get a group of people on the side of a mountain and show them flowers, and take little children on his knee. He claimed, 'Go ahead and kill Me. I'll rise from the dead.'" There were people then (very sensible, intelligent people, such as the apostle Paul) who said, "Yes, He rose from the dead. He's alive today. I've seen him. Oh, yeah, and there are about 500 other people who saw him physically after He rose from the dead." Then there are people today (like people in this session) 2,000 years later who believe that He exists; who call upon Him; who worship God in His name; and, who sense His presence. There are millions of people like us all over the world and throughout history. There are people who believe this so strongly that they're willing to die for it when called upon to do so.

    So Colossians 1:15, says, "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation." John 1:14 says, "The word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory; the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."

    Then John 1:18: "No one has ever seen God at any time. The only begotten son who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him." The Greek says, "He has exegeted Him." And "ex" means "out." To exegete means to bring the truth out of something and to explain something. It's a word Dr. Danish used to use because he exegeted the Word of God. John 1:18 says that, "Jesus exegeted God." Jesus, by His very being; His very behavior; and, His words showed us what God is like. Do you want to know what God is like? Then look at Jesus.

Yes, there is a God. 1 Timothy 6:6 tells us, "He alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light whom no man has seen or can see. To whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen."

Psalm 14 begins by saying that, "It's only the fool who says in his heart, 'There is no God.'" And if you notice, "there is" is in italics. That means that it's not in the original. The original Hebrew just says, "The fool has said in his heart, 'No God.'" We're not absolutely sure whether or not that's emphatic. We don't know whether it means, "I am absolutely sure there is no God." or whether he's addressing God and saying, "God, I know you're there, and I know what you want me to do, but the answer is, 'No.'" The person who says this is a fool. Atheism begins with this kind of negative relationship to God. The word "fool" here is "nabal," and it doesn't mean someone who is ignorant or simple, but someone who is spiritually negative – spiritually stupid and stubborn by their negative volition. So it begins with negative volition, and ends with a denial that God even exists.

Now I'm going to read Romans 1:18-24. This tells how people become atheists: "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of man who suppress the truth." They hold back the truth. They try to ignore the truth in unrighteousness. "Because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world, His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and deity, so that they are without excuse."

So Paul is saying, "Anyone who says that there is no God is without excuse, because, for one thing, just look at the theistic proofs. Just look at those principles that we looked at about the cosmological; the teleological; and, the ontological. Anybody can look out and see there's some design in nature. There's got to be a designer.

Continuing: "Because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man, birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things. Therefore, God also gave them up to uncleanness in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves."

Leon Adkins, 2003

Back to the Advanced Bible Doctrine (Philippians) index

Back to the Bible Questions index