At Student Life we believe there are plenty of reasons why you don’t have to leave your brain at the door to believe in the existence of God. But before we try and answer the question does God exist, it begs two questions; 1) what sort of evidence would you need to see? And 2) if you saw satisfactory evidence, would you do anything about it? If yes, sweet as: keep reading. If not, why bother?
Does God Exist?
The argument from cause/effect
Many scientists are convinced that our universe began with a big bang; one enormous cosmic explosion of energy and light. This was the singular start to everything that exists: the beginning of the universe, the start of space, and even the initial start of time itself. But why? Scientists have no explanation for this sudden explosion of light and matter. This is somewhat worrying. An effect without a cause? Is that even rational? William Lane Craig puts forth a cosmological argument for the existence of God, which in it’s most basic form says:
- Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
- The universe began to exist.
- Therefore, the universe has a cause.
So if the universe exists, and has a cause, what was it caused by? There are two options here; either there was nothing, or there was something. If originally, bazillions of years ago there was absolutely nothing, how is it that there so many ‘somethings’ here now? Nothing cannot cause something.
If absolutely nothing existed back then, then absolutely nothing could exist now… However, something exists. Actually, many things exist. You, for example: your very existence is proof that absolutely nothing never existed.
Does change prove God?
The material world we know is a world of change. I am about 5’3’, but thankfully for my mother, this was not always the case. Similarly, An acorn has the potential to grow into a giant oak tree. Although it can be what it will become, it is not yet what it will become. The acorn is incapable of producing the change (into a tree) by itself, it needs to be acted upon by external factors such as sunlight, good soil and water. Nothing changes itself.
If there is nothing outside the material universe, then there is nothing that can cause the universe to change (or to even begin). But it does change; the whole universe is in the process of change. For example, by observing red-shift in the light from distant stars, we know that the universe is expanding. We know that stars will eventually fade and collapse. Therefore there must be something outside of the material universe that sets these changes in motion. This unchanging source of change is called God.
The argument from history; Jesus Christ
One of the greatest evidences for the existence of God is the reality of Jesus Christ. Jesus existence is referenced by people who lived around His time on earth. Much of the New Testament is first hand eye-witness accounts of such. But maybe what is equally as significant is the evidence from those who were not out to propagate trust in Jesus or His message:
Convened the judges of the Sanhedrin and brought before them a man named James, the brother of Jesus who was called the Christ, and certain others. He accused them of having transgressed the law and delivered them up to be stoned. At this time there was a wise man who was called Jesus. And his conduct was good, and [he] was known to be virtuous. And many people from among the Jews and the other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. And those who had become his disciples did not abandon his discipleship. They reported that he had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion and that he was alive.
FLAVIUS JOSEPHUS, Jewish Historian, AD 38-97
Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilate.
CORNELIUS TACITUS, Roman Historian, AD 55-120
The fact that such sources cite the existence of Jesus, as well as verify that a ton of events in the New Testament actually happened, is evidence that maybe, just maybe history and Christianity aren’t so antagonistic after all? The implications of that are pretty huge…