Would you like proof that God is real? Do you want to be confident that God exists, that he loves you, and that there’s a purpose for your life? If so, this guide is for you.
This guide will give you practical knowledge that leads to confident faith in a loving God. It’s in a condensed and visual format, and the information is from some of the best scholars in the world. You’ll walk away knowing that God is real and that he made you for a purpose.
- Years of searching
- The most important question
- Section 1: Reasons to be confident God exists
- Every beginning has a Beginner.
- Where there is design, there must be a Designer.
- If there’s anything morally wrong, there must be a God who sets the moral standard.
- The laws of physics point to something much bigger.
- The mass of the universe is exactly right.
- The human body is incredible.
- Consciousness and intelligence are mind-boggling to even think about.
- Where do emotions come from?
- Why are we so creative?
- Section 2: Reasons to Trust the Bible
- Section 3: Reasons to believe in the Resurrection of Jesus
- How do we know Jesus existed?
- Is the eyewitness testimony reliable?
- What other evidence is there for the resurrection besides eyewitness testimony?
- The explosion of the Christian movement after Jesus died
- Did Jesus claim to be God in human form, or did people just give him that label as wishful thinking?
- What are we left with?
Do you feel like you’re just going through the motions?
Maybe you’ve found yourself caught in the same routine day in and day out without confidence and passion about why you’re alive.
Maybe you just wish you had a stronger sense of purpose.
Maybe you actually want to be confident in your beliefs so that you’re not shaken by every doubt you experience.
We all have beliefs that make us feel safe and comfortable, but too many people avoid truly believing anything. We live in a world of avoidance and middle grounds. We avoid the most difficult questions in life and dodge our doubts by sticking with safe answers.
Pew Research found that 9 out of 10 people in America believe that there is a God or at least a “higher power.” Yet only 28% of people say they talk to God, and God talks to them, and only 27% of people believe God is in control of their life all the time.[i]
In other words, almost everyone knows there’s something or someone out there, and some of us call Him God, but very few people actually trust or live connected to the one true loving God.
That’s a serious problem, and it’s exactly why most of us experience a chaotic internal existence with little to no genuine peace. This applies to both religious and non-religious people. It’s also no coincidence that at the same time, our society is experiencing an increase in mental illness cases and suicide.[ii]
Most live in a state of internal turmoil, and this is the root of the problem we face:
We know that at the very least, there should be a God, but we’re not connected to the one true God in a real way because we lack the confidence to do so.
Too many of us either convince ourselves that God isn’t really there or that He’s distant and uninvolved. Both of these worldviews lead to hopelessness at some point in our lives. The good news is, both of these worldviews are untrue.
I believe too many of us keep God in our minds as a crutch – something that makes us feel good – rather than our source of life.
Religious people love the idea of God because it makes them feel better when they do the “right” things and when other people do the “wrong” things.
“Spiritual” people love the idea of there being something bigger than themselves out there; they just don’t want to commit to Him because they’re afraid He might ask for something in return if they did.
People who claim not to believe in God at all actually believe in God; they just don’t label him as such. They call God names like “science” or “the universe” or “nature” or whatever label makes them feel comfortable. They use these labels because they think they don’t have to address something they won’t acknowledge.
The problem, of course, is that none of these views are true. Truth is based on the accumulation of evidence which establishes facts, and all three of these worldviews go against the evidence that supports a loving Creator.
The truth is, almost everyone is on the fence; most people just won’t say it out loud. In this article, I want to show you a different path – one based on facts – that doesn’t lead you to a mundane life based on what makes us feel good, which so many of us are leading.
I want you to be confident in your purpose and reason for existence, and I want you to know – actually know – the love of your Creator. Whether you’re religious, spiritual, or entirely without faith in God, you’ll see evidence in this article that serves as the foundation for confident faith in a loving God. More than anything else, you’ll see and know that God is real, and that kind of confidence can and will change your life.
With all of that said, this article is for three groups of people:
- People who don’t know God and are skeptical of God’s existence
- Religious or spiritual people who believe in God but lack confidence in their faith, and therefore they live like God doesn’t exist
- People who know God but simply want more confidence and boldness in their faith
The first two groups are what I would call hopeless. I know because I’ve been in both groups.
The first is unsure if there’s a purpose to their existence, which is hopeless. You might be able to find a false sense of happiness through complacency and avoidance, but you won’t find hope there.
The second has grown up religious, but now they’re miserable because their life isn’t going the way the Bible says it should. They’re not sure why they believe, they doubt the God they claim to believe, and they’re too afraid to admit it out loud. That’s also hopeless.
For both of the first two groups of people, the skeptic and religious, all they know is here and now, and they simply wish for the best in the future. They’re both living in equally hopeless scenarios and desperately need to know why they’re on this Earth.
Regardless of which group you’re currently in, if you’re eager and open to finding truth, this article will be a breath of fresh air. If you’re longing for a deep-rooted, securely grounded, and boldly confident faith, then the information in this article is for you.
My hope is that this article will open your eyes and lead you to experience life like you never have before. I firmly believe that this information will light a fire in your mind that digs deep down into your heart and changes who you are at your core for the better.
If you open your mind to the bigger picture that is painted throughout the pages of this article, I believe it will stir something inside of you that’s been longing for fulfillment all your life. That’s what this information has done for me, and I’m confident it will do the same for you.
Years of searching
I spent roughly 15 years searching for purpose and doubting God’s existence. I grew up in church, but I never had a deep understanding of who God is. All of my years going to church and going through the motions as a child did very little for my faith, and by the time I hit my teenage years, I had all but given up on God.
Deep down, I thought God was too good to be true. The Bible sounded like a fairy tale, and frankly, when you grow up hearing the children’s version of Bible stories, they can start to sound like fiction. And that’s slowly how I started to see God.
I pictured God sitting on a throne somewhere in the clouds looking down on Earth with a huge staff in His hand. I’m not sure why, but in my mind, God looked like Ariel’s dad in The Little Mermaid. You know, the big, old, bearded white guy. Now I can look back and laugh about it, but that shallow and uncertain view of God was leading me on a path towards overwhelming insecurity, fear, and hopelessness.
When I was in middle school, my older sister died suddenly in a car wreck at age 15, and my entire world was shaken. For the first time, I was forced to face the reality of death head-on, and it was terrifying. The blind faith I had been taught as a child was useless in that moment of harsh reality. When I desperately needed something real to cling to, all I had was a religion that had been handed down to me.
From then on, God became someone I only talked about when it was convenient and ignored the rest of the time. I started thinking that God was just a concept Christians clung to so that they didn’t have to face the reality of the world around them, but I didn’t ask many questions because I was too busy enjoying my life.
Then, at age 17, a close friend of mine died from an overdose on prescription drugs. Once again, just like five years prior, my world was shaken. And once again, my insecure beliefs led me further down a path of avoidance and hopelessness. For the next eight years, I mostly avoided God, but I went to church from time to time when it made me feel better. That all changed when I got married, had a child, and was forced to grow up. Life’s rough like that. You can’t avoid the hard stuff forever. Eventually, you have to answer the hard questions.
When my wife and I had our first child, our son Jackson, I remember a few thoughts hit me almost immediately like a ton of bricks:
- Life really is a miracle.
- I don’t know very much at all about how real-life works.
- I need some serious help figuring this thing out.
- And what in the world am I going to do when this kid grows up and asks me if God is real?
The last thought is the one that kept me up at night. Deep down, I had always been afraid to face that question for a couple of reasons: If I found that God wasn’t real, life would be very depressing. On the other hand, if I found that God was real, that would be the end of all fun in my life. I’d have to move to Africa and dedicate myself to a life of khaki pants and Birkenstocks.
Either way, I knew I couldn’t avoid it anymore. I had to figure out what I believed about God, and I had to make a decision fast. After all, I wasn’t just responsible for my own eternal future anymore; I was responsible for the next generation’s as well.
I knew that one day, my son would look to me for guidance. One day he would want to know why he’s alive and what’s going to happen to him when his life on Earth is over. I knew that eventually, he would face the same uncertainty that I had experienced, and I wanted him to be able to face it with confidence.
So, I dug in. For the next three years, I researched, read books, watched lectures, studied articles, took notes, and agonized over whether or not God was real. What I learned during that long period of intense research forever changed my life. At the end of it – after scrutinizing God from every angle I could find – I found myself giving in to the facts and trusting what had proven to be true.
In this article, I’ll share with you what I learned over those several years of research. I’m not an expert, I’m just a writer and researcher who desperately needed hope and purpose, and I found them. This article is my way of simplifying it for you so you can find them, too. Read on, and if you’re bold enough to keep an open mind, you’ll find that there truly is a strong foundation for belief in something much larger than your circumstances and faith that’s grounded and cannot be shaken.
The most important question
The reason people don’t believe in God has very little to do with facts and everything to do with their intellectual or emotional discomfort with uncertainty.
It’s not that they know God doesn’t exist, it’s that they’re just uncertain that He exists, and it really bothers them that they can’t be more certain.
After all, there’s no way to know for sure that God exists; therefore, it makes more sense to trust in what we can see and measure and know for certain, right?
The problem is, certainty is an illusion. It doesn’t exist.
The thing many people – especially skeptical people – fail to realize is that they’re typically not willing to address the uncertainty that comes with every aspect of human life, especially the field of science. Yet we put our faith in it.
Don’t get caught up trying to use science to explain the origin of the universe and life. It just causes confusion. Science is great, but they can’t tell us very much about the most important questions of our universe.
What you have to understand is that scientists don’t have a crystal ball that allows them to look into the future (or the past, for that matter). They’re simply observing the world around us and telling us what they think happened based on their observations.
That’s what a theory is – it’s a way of explaining something we don’t or can’t know with complete certainty. A theory is not an absolute fact. It’s an idea based on what scientists know at that particular moment in time. It’s not like scientists are out to fool everyone – the work they do is valuable and essential to the quality of life we all enjoy – but sometimes scientists get over-eager and exaggerate their findings to try to explain much more than they probably should.
If there’s one thought that sums up scientific and human progress as a whole, it’s this one: We’re always certain about what we think we know until we don’t know it anymore – then we’re certain. In other words, we’ve always thought we had life figured out. That is until we learned something new. So, we must understand that flawed theories are normal.
For the origin of life on Earth, for example, last I checked, there are at least seven different theories on how it might have happened. And all of those theories come from well-meaning but limited people making educated guesses and giving possible scenarios.
Let me reiterate the point: Science is uncertain. Very uncertain. Considering how uncertain science is, it might be worth at least looking at the God of the Bible (which is the one book that claims to give us all the answers).
Because either way – science or God – you’re going to be putting faith in something. You might as well know all your options before choosing.
So, the most important question is this: What
are you putting your faith in?
Section 1: Reasons to be confident God exists
Now that we’ve seen that faith exists wherever certainty is absent, and certainty is always absent, then it’s time to go through some reasons you can believe with confidence that God is real and that He’s with you.
After all, you’re putting your future and your faith in something right now, so you might as well open your mind to something bigger than yourself – and this section will help you do so with confidence.
Every beginning has a Beginner.
Scientists now believe that the universe had a beginning. That’s a problem for people who deny there’s a God.
Science tells us our universe is traceable back to a beginning, and several places (at least nine places) in the Bible speak about this beginning from nothing.[i]
The Bible is unique in that it actually speaks about the beginning of the universe as the beginning of space and time itself. Eastern faiths say space and time are eternal, and God creates within space and time, while Biblical faith says God is the Creator of space and time.
As we’ve covered already, space-time theorems tell us that any universe that expands on average has a space-time beginning, implying a Causal Agent outside space and time who creates space, time, matter, and energy.
In other words, there is now scientific knowledge that essentially proves that there was a cosmic beginning, which implies a “Someone” beyond space and time, which must have created the universe.
There are more than a few scientific facts regarding the beginning of the universe that point to the reality of God.
Frank Turek[ii], author of the book I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist, lists a few of the main ones using the acronym SURGE:
- Second law of thermodynamics
- Universe is expanding
- Radiation afterglow
- Great galaxy seeds
- Einstein’s general relativity
Each one of these five pieces of scientific evidence all supports the idea that the universe had a beginning. With evidence now pointing to our universe having a beginning, we’re running out of reasons to avoid the One who started it.
Robert Jastrow, who founded NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies and is a self-proclaimed agnostic, said that “the astronomical evidence leads to a Biblical view of the origin of the world.”[iii]
He also said that the essential elements in the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis are the same.[iv] And this is coming from a world-renown agnostic astronomer.
But let’s think about the alternative. Why couldn’t nature have started itself?
We covered this briefly already, but everything we see functions on the principle of cause and effect. Nature is the effect; therefore, it cannot also be the cause. Before the universe existed, there was no nature – no space, time, or matter. There was nothing.
So, one of these two must be true:
Either NO ONE created something out of nothing
SOMEONE created something out of nothing.
There is no third option; it really is that
simple. So, which is more reasonable?
Where there is design, there must be a Designer.
Aspects of the universe – such as the laws of nature – are so fine-tuned that if you were to change any one of these aspects even slightly, there would be no life here on Earth.
Stephen Hawking said if the expansion rate of the universe were different by one part in a hundred thousand million million a second after the Big Bang, the universe would have collapsed back on itself or never developed galaxies.[v]
Our current expansion rate – sometimes called the cosmological constant – is fine-tuned to 1 in 10 to the 20 (1 with 20 zeros). The gravitational force is fine-tuned to 1 in 10 to the 40 (1 with 40 zeros). If it were altered, the sun wouldn’t be here, and neither would we.
Imagine taking a tape measure and stretching it across the entire known universe, then setting the gravitational force at a particular inch mark on that tape measure. If you were to move the strength of gravity one inch in either direction, we wouldn’t be here. There are only three possible explanations for this extreme precision:
- It happened out of necessity. This is farfetched at best. Any of these fine-tuned aspects of the universe could have been different by a little or by a whole lot.
- It happened by chance. I don’t have enough faith to believe that it just happened to arrive there by chance. And by the way, “chance” isn’t a cause or force in nature. Chance is just a word that scientists use to explain mathematical possibilities. What they really mean is that they don’t know.
- Somebody designed it.
Our solar system also seems to be fine-tuned with us in mind:
- If our planet were a little closer, we would burn up. If we were a little further away, we would freeze. It’s just right where we’re at.
- If the axial tilt changes just a little, we wouldn’t exist.
- If the rotation of the earth changes, we wouldn’t exist.
- If the size and distance of the moon were different, we wouldn’t exist.
- If the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere (21%) were any different, we wouldn’t exist. 15% and we all suffocate. 25% and spontaneous fires break out.
- If Jupiter were not in its current orbit, we wouldn’t be here. Its gravitational force is so strong, it attracts meteors and other space junk to it and away from Earth. In fact, Jupiter has comet fragment strikes that are bigger than the Earth. Thank God for Jupiter.
- The average distance between stars in our galaxy is 30 trillion miles. That distance is needed for the Earth to exist in its current life-supporting condition. If it were much different, gravitational forces would cause us to not stay in orbit, and we wouldn’t be able to live.
If you traveled the speed of a space shuttle – roughly 5 miles per second – it would take you about 200,000 years to get from the sun (our star) to the nearest star in our galaxy. There are approximately as many grains of sand on all the beaches of the earth as there are stars in the universe, and going from one star to another star would take about 200,000 years. That should give you a picture of how large our universe is, yet without this expansive universe of ours, without its mass being just right, life as we know it wouldn’t be possible.
Psalm 19:1 says, “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.” Look to the heavens, and you’ll have an idea of an infinite being.
You can also see evidence of God in a microscope when looking at a “simple” form of life.
A cell is like a factory, and in these factories, there are very detailed and specific messages being used to make certain things. We know that messages only come from intelligent beings.
For example, if you walked in your kitchen and on your table, there laid a knocked-over box of alpha-bits cereal, and the letters spelled, “Take out the trash – Mom,” you wouldn’t assume that the box fell over on its own and spelled that.
There are only four known forces of nature: gravity, electromagnetism, strong nuclear force, and weak nuclear force. The laws of nature describe the things these four forces do repetitively, but they can’t explain a message in the cell.
These messages are called DNA, which is the 4-letter genetic alphabet that every living thing has. But where does it come from?
Your genome is 3.5 billion letters long, and all the letters are in just the right order, or you wouldn’t be here.
There’s no known chemical, physical, or biological force that can explain why the letters up the spine of the DNA molecule are in the order they’re in. A goes with T, and C goes with G, but there’s no reason or force that can explain the order in which they go.
literally a program, and whenever there’s a program, there must be a
For the sake of conversation, let’s say life started simply, like in an amoeba.
The problem with that theory is that programs don’t evolve. If anything, they deteriorate over time.
If you took any program and randomly mutated the code over time, it wouldn’t work very long. Even when left alone, programs don’t fare well. Just try not updating your iPhone for a few years and see how well it works.
Richard Dawkins – one of the most famous atheists in the world – said that in one amoeba, a single-celled organism, there’s the equivalent of 1,000 volumes of an encyclopedia.[vi]
And you could fit several hundred amoebas in one inch.
To believe that resulted from natural forces is like believing the Library of Congress resulted from an explosion in a printing shop.
I don’t have enough faith to believe that.
According to Dr. Frank Turek, when you were conceived, you beat approximately 300 million other sperm in order to be born.[vii] Your “soldier” was 20-30x smaller than a grain of salt, yet it contained half of the genetic information that makes you who you are.
Your mother’s egg was about the size of a period at the end of a sentence in an average book, and it contained the other half of the genetic information that makes you who you are.
And when those two came together, a 100% new genetic human being was created.
You have not received any more genetic information from that point until right now. Time, air, water, and food were the only things that separated you from adulthood at that moment.
Genetically you were the same as a two-year-old or a full-grown adult.
From that moment until now, an astonishing construction project has been taking place. According to Dr. Turek, from the moment of your conception, cells began multiplying at an astonishing rate. Some became heart cells, some lung cells, some brain cells.
How do they know how to do this? We don’t know.
Right now, your body makes 2 million red blood cells per second, and you do it without ever thinking about it. Aristotle calls this final causality, which points out that the entire created order is goal-directed. It’s going in a direction.
Why is an embryo goal-directed to become an adult? Why does an acorn always become an oak tree instead of something else? Because they’re goal-directed to become those things.
Why do the planets circle the sun? Why is gravity consistently doing what it’s doing? Because it’s goal-directed.
Why can we build a rover and launch it to
another planet 60 million miles away with absolute precision? Because we can
depend on the forces of nature being consistent and precise because they’re goal-directed.
In order to be goal-directed, there must be an external Intellect directing them. Somebody is holding the universe together right now, directing it toward an end – both living and nonliving.
Here’s what I mean…
Scientists have manipulated fruit fly embryos to see what will happen to them, but the embryo makes heroic efforts to get back on track to becoming a fruit fly.[viii]
When scientists do this, they always get one of 3 outcomes:
- A normal fruit fly
- A mutant fruit fly
- A dead fruit fly
They never get a different type of fly, much less anything else beyond that. Yet we have theories in science now that claim these species can blur the lines between one another over long periods of time, and when we try with all our intelligence to blur these lines to go from one species to another, we can’t. But we’re led to believe that non-intelligent processes can do it?
No matter what you believe about evolution, there must be an external intellect holding together the natural forces of nature that allow all life to occur. Even if you hold to the belief that macroevolution is true, you still can’t get rid of the need for an external intellect, i.e., God.
Darwinians believe life looks as though it was designed; they just refuse to believe that it was. Instead, they say it has been guided by natural selection and random mutations. Darwin thought that nature could do the selecting and guiding of adaptations instead of God. In his opinion, it’s nature just doing what nature does.
[Side note: What’s very interesting is that the term “nature” is simply a label for a collection of observable truths around us. Replace the word “nature” with the name “God” and you have the exact same facts, just crediting God. It doesn’t change the truth. Back to DNA…]
When Darwin developed his theory, it was thought that the cell was simple. But now we know that the cell has immense informational complexity.
Inside DNA, we’ve discovered a 4-character digital code that Bill Gates says is like a computer program that’s far, far more advanced than any we’ve ever created. We now know that the information in DNA directs the construction of other complicated molecules called proteins, which do all the important functional jobs in the cell, including the construction of machines.
Proteins are made up of subunits called amino acids. There are 20 different kinds of these, and the arrangement of these 20 different kinds of amino acids determines the shape the protein will form. The shape of the protein determines its function, so the arrangement of the amino acids has to be correct for the protein to accomplish its job inside the cell.
How does all this happen? Instructions on the DNA molecule are directing the production of those proteins, and it’s incredibly complex. The average protein is about 300 amino acids in length. Some have thousands of amino acids, all linked together with precision.
This information has to be formed exactly right, or it won’t form with the right shape, and the protein won’t do its job. And it’s the information on DNA that gets it exactly right.
So, DNA directs the arrangement of amino acids in just the right way to form just the right proteins that do just the right jobs.
J. Warner Wallace, in his book Cold Case Christianity, puts it this way:
“The building blocks of life (proteins, ribosomes, enzymes, etc.) are formed at the direction of specific nucleotide sequencing in DNA, the largest molecule known. In humans, DNA contains as many as 10 billion atoms. The adenine, guanine, cytosine, and thymine bases in DNA are linked in a particular order to form the genetic code containing the master plan for every organism. The information in DNA guides and instructs the formation of proteins; without it, protein formation would be a haphazard, hit-or-miss proposal. The nucleic sequence in DNA is informational.”
Inside every cell in you is a three-billion-letter DNA structure that belongs only to you. 99.9% of your DNA is similar to everyone’s genetic makeup. What makes you unique is the fractional difference in how those three billion letters are sequenced in your cells.
Dr. Francis Collins, director of the Human Genome Project (that mapped the human DNA structure), said that one can “think of DNA as an instructional script, a software program, sitting in the nucleus of the cell.”[ix]
He also said:
“It is humbling for me and awe-inspiring to realize that we have caught the first glimpse of our own instruction book, previously known only to God.”[x]
More evidence for God can be found in the miniature machines inside cells.[xi]
The cell is the smallest unit of life. Yet even in single-celled organisms like bacteria, we find exquisite machinery.
Dr. Stephen Meyer, who received his Ph.D. in the philosophy of science from the University of Cambridge and now directs Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, says this about one of these cellular machines:
“[A bacterial flagellum motor] is a rotary engine, and it turns at 100,000 RPM in some bacterial species. It has a rotor, a stator, a u-joint, a propeller-like tail that allows the bacterium to propel itself through liquid; it’s hardwired into a signal transduction circuit which allows the bacterium to change directions on a quarter-turn of the rotary engine to chase down the food supply. It’s an extraordinary piece of high technology in low life.”
Meyer says that systems like this are very difficult to explain by Darwinian evolution. Natural selection is a mechanism that selects for functional advantage. Therefore, variations that offer advantages are passed on to the next generation.
The problem is, the origin of systems like this can’t be explained by natural selection, because these systems have no functional advantage until many different independent parts are all brought into close functional integration.
For example, according to Meyer, a bacterial flagellum motor is made of roughly 30 protein parts. If you knock out one of those protein parts, you disable a gene for building one of those parts, and the “one-part-less” version of that motor doesn’t work. It doesn’t provide propulsion or a functional advantage.
If you’re trying to build up a motor like this gradually in Darwinian fashion, there are big gaps where there’s no functional advantage in getting from point A to B.
This is not the kind of system that can be explained by natural selection. It’s an appearance of design – it’s a rotary engine – and it cannot be adequately explained by gradual natural selection and random variation.
Michael Behe, Professor of Biological Sciences at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania and a Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, calls molecular machinery like this an example of “irreducible complexity.”
Whenever we see this irreducible complexity and trace it back to its source, we always come to a mind or intelligence. And there are dozens of these types of molecular machines inside of biology and inside living cells. A few examples include:
- Sliding clamps
- Information recognition devices that control the flow of information in and out of the cell nucleus
- Turbines called “ATP synthases” that are responsible for generating the information that cells use in the process of metabolism
These all require the integration of many separate parts and are therefore very difficult to explain by Darwinian evolution.
In his book Darwin’s Black Box, Dr. Behe says, “Biochemistry has, in fact, revealed a molecular world that stoutly resists explanation by the same theory so long applied at the level of the whole organism.”[xii]
If there’s anything morally wrong, there must be a God who sets the moral standard.
If there is no God, then the Holocaust was just a difference of opinion – the world’s opinion versus Hitler’s opinion. But we know that’s not right. We know the Holocaust was objectively morally wrong.
If you saw two versions of a map of Scotland, how would you know which one was correct or which one was better? You would have to have a real, unchanging map of Scotland to compare each of them to. If we compare Mother Teresa to Hitler, how do we know which one was better? We have to compare each of them to an ultimate, unchanging standard. That standard is God.
If there is no God:
- The Nazis were not wrong.
- Love is no better than rape.
- There are no human rights.
- Tolerance is no better than intolerance.
- Religious crusades are not wrong.
- We can’t complain about the problem of evil because evil can’t exist unless you have some idea of what good is. You can’t know a line is crooked without having a straight line to compare it to.
In other words, the shadows prove the sunshine. You can have sunshine (good) without shadows (evil), but you can’t have shadows without sunshine.
When you look around at the universe we live in and the complexity of life on Earth, it’s very difficult to come up with an alternate logical explanation. In fact, in an interview with Ben Stein, well-known atheist Richard Dawkins said that even he believes in intelligent design.[xiii]
His exact words were:
“It could be that at some earlier time somewhere in the universe a civilization evolved by probably some kind of Darwinian means to a very very high level of technology and designed a form of life that they seeded onto perhaps this planet. Now that is a possibility, and an intriguing possibility, and I suppose it’s possible that you might find evidence for that if you look at the details of biochemistry, molecular biology, you might find a signature of some sort of designer. And that designer could well be a higher intelligence from elsewhere in the universe.”
Then he says:
“That higher intelligence would itself have had to have come about by some explicable, or ultimately explicable process. It couldn’t have just jumped into existence spontaneously, that’s the point.”
Apparently, at least in Richard Dawkins’ mind, the evidence is so strong for intelligent design that he has to come up with a random and unsupported theory of aliens bringing life to Earth. And even that theory just puts the question back one step. The next question would be, who created the aliens? Like Dawkins said, “it (life) couldn’t have just jumped into existence spontaneously.” Of course not. Not without a Creator.
As Ben Stein said, Richard Dawkins isn’t against a designer, just certain designers, such as God.
Why is Dawkins against the idea of an
intelligent God but not intelligent aliens? Because God brings morality and
accountability with Him, and aliens don’t.
Dawkins also says that God is “hidden,” or hiding Himself, but that’s just another example of worldview changing the way we see the evidence. What more could God do to reveal Himself?
He came to Earth in human form (Jesus Christ) and did miraculous things to prove that He is who He says He is. Then we killed him. (We’ll cover that later on in the book.)
He’s given us intelligence to understand this amazing universe we live in.
He’s given us the ability to study DNA and molecular machines and all kinds of other amazingly complex things to show us just how orchestrated life is.
He’s given us morality, emotions, imagination, and creativity to set us apart from other animals and to show us that we’re different – and we can’t explain where these things came from.
He’s given us love, which by itself should show us that life is much bigger than what we see in front of us.
But instead of taking all of this evidence as evidence for God, some people would rather come up with unsupported theories to try to explain it away.
It’s not a matter of evidence. It’s a matter of stubbornness. It’s a matter of pride.
Evidence for God is everywhere:
- The beginning of the universe
- The fine-tuning of nature
- Life itself
- Jesus Christ doing miracles and rising from the dead
- And more
Skeptics like Richard Dawkins simply fail to
accept it for what it is – overwhelming evidence of a designed universe.
The laws of physics point to something much bigger.
You may not think about this very often, but the world around us is extremely consistent. Think about it: We live in a universe that is so dependable we can actually predict when the sun will rise and set every single day of the year. The timing changes ever-so-slightly each day, yet we can predict that timing with precision because the universe is so incredibly consistent.
Over the course of history, scientists have observed this consistency in nature and recorded what they’ve found in the form of laws. These laws of nature, or laws of physics, describe what scientists repeatedly see without fail in the universe.
The Bible says that the more we study nature, the more evidence we will uncover for the handiwork and the attributes of God (see Job, Psalms, and Romans). So, what do the laws of nature tell us about God?
First, the Bible tells us to look at the laws that govern the heavens and the Earth, because as they don’t change, God doesn’t change. In other words, the more we study the laws of physics, the more we see just how much they point back to the unchanging God described in the Bible.
Virtually every feature of the laws of physics reveals overwhelming evidence for fine-tuning design. According to Hugh Ross, starting in 1991, there were 17 features of the universe and laws of physics that showed a high level of fine-tuning design, but now there are over 200 features that we know must be fine-tuned.[xiv] The more we learn, the more evidence we see for God’s handiwork and attributes.
Not only do these discoveries point us to a
Designer, but astronomers and physicists also can’t help but notice that when
you look at the universe and the laws that govern it, it’s clear that it was
designed for the specific benefit of human beings. It’s also clear that
the Creator intended to redeem billions of human beings. Here’s what I mean…
Of all the laws of physics, the Bible focuses mostly on the law of decay.
It says in Romans, chapter 8, that the entire creation is subject to the law of decay. It says the whole creation “groans” and that creation itself will one day be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. But what is it about the law of decay that helps bring about the freedom and glory of the children of God?
Here’s the cool thing: According to Dr. Hugh Ross, we actually live in a universe that has the optimal physics for the defeat and removal of evil and for willing human beings to receive redemption. That applies to every law of physics and every dimension of space and time. It’s all been designed to bring about the removal of evil and suffering and the redemption of billions of human beings.
When it comes to the law of decay, Ross says the decay rate is not so high as to discourage productive work and not so low as to let evil go unrestrained. If we could do something and have it last forever with no decay, there would be no restraint against human evil.
In Genesis, chapter 3, when Adam and Eve sinned, God said they would experience more pain, work, and wasted time.
God made the law of decay so neither our work nor our bodies would last forever, serving as a constant reminder that we need God’s help. Without His help, life is nothing but pain, work, and wasted time.
God intended that work and the sense of touch would be pleasurable. But because of human sin and evil, we now experience more pain, more work, and more wasted time.
Sin leads to more pain, work, and wasted time, and because we all despise these things, they act as powerful motivation for us to avoid evil, and it teaches us that we can’t avoid these things (and sin) without help.
If we look at the universe, we realize that
God is all-powerful and all-loving, and we can’t deliver ourselves from the
consequences of our sin and evil. But because of God’s power and love, He
provided a way out.
The mass of the universe is exactly right.
According to Ross, we need exactly 50 billion trillion stars for life to be possible. He says we wouldn’t be able to get carbon and oxygen unless the universe has a highly fine-tuned total mass.[xv] So, the fact that the universe is massive doesn’t make us insignificant. As it turns out, it’s all necessary for us to live.
The human body is incredible.
We covered DNA, but the rest of the human body is also amazingly complex. For example, a team of neuroscientists from MIT found that the human brain can process entire images that the eye sees for as little as 13 milliseconds.[xvi]
And consider the human eye, which works like a camera. Similar to the shutter of a camera, the iris and the pupil control how much light to let into the back of the eye. When it’s dark, our pupils get larger to let in more light. And just like the lens of a camera is able to focus on objects using mirrors and other mechanical devices, the lens of our eye helps us focus in coordination with other parts of the eye. It’s all working together in an incredibly intricate and complex way.[xvii]
In fact, everything in our bodies seems to exist for a purpose, and each part works together to keep us alive. The question is, how did our bodies get this complex and perfectly put together?
Consciousness and intelligence are mind-boggling to even think about.
This one’s kind of deep, but stick with me. Have you stopped to consider where consciousness and awareness of ourselves and our surroundings come from?
If we truly are nothing more than the product of a fortunate series of chemical reactions, isn’t it odd that we’re now aware and intelligent enough to be able to understand how it all works? That seems more than a bit unlikely to me.
The more reasonable conclusion is that
consciousness and mental capacity for reasoning must come from an external
force capable of such things.
Where do emotions come from?
Where do emotions come from? In many ways, they get in the way of evolution. Jealousy, anger, envy – these all do more harm than good most of the time.
Anger can be used for survival, but it’s far from necessary. It actually clouds your judgment and causes you to make mistakes more often than not.
Love causes people to make stupid decisions. You can have sexual desire (lust) without love, so what evolutionary purpose does love serve?
Why do we love people even when they turn their backs on us? If love is just a product of evolution that only serves to further our species, it’s doing a terrible job of it.
Disgust (an emotion) makes almost everyone dislike food that is good for them and enjoy food that will actually kill them over time. Why is that? That should be the exact opposite in an evolutionary worldview. If healthy food makes us thrive, why do we hate it so much after all these years?
Why are we so creative?
Why are we so creative? Where does imagination come from? Did it evolve somehow, too?
Where do art and music come from? They serve no purpose at all from an evolutionary or naturalistic standpoint. All of these points together build a cumulative case for a Creator.