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Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Three (Good) Reasons to Believe in God

The problem with God...
According to the New Atheists, faith in God is no longer necessary and dangerous. No longer necessary - because scientific explanations have filled all the gaps in our knowledge -and dangerous because it causes war.

Dear reader if you truly believe those two myths, you really are out of date.

Reason 1: I believe in God because of the universe
There is simply far too much grandeur and complexity in the universe to believe it came about without a great Mind and great Power. The fine-tuning of the universe (cosmology) reveals a Creator. The very fact that we walk around on the surface of the earth without a space suit, but would instantly die 10 miles above the earth is testament to the very rare conditions - many of them - that conspire to make the earth habitable. Distance from the sun, temperature, atmosphere, size, tilt and moon are all prescribed precisely to produce conditions suitable for life. What is more the very laws of nature are tuned finely. Many physical constants (numbers) that have to do with the forces and particles of matter are so finely tuned that any small change would result in no universe and no life. How come all these factors come together except that a great Mind and Power designed it like that. systems like the cell require a Designer (biology). The unbelievable complexity of one single "simple" cell demands a Designer. Each cell is a suite of chemical factories which then has the ability to reproduce itself. Can you imagine a suite of chemical factories on an industrial estate all working together and then having the corporate ability to build another suite of chemical factories just like itself? Such complexity requires a great Mind.

But perhaps it could all come about by chance? Not at all. Law and Chance can take us only so far (physics). Law and chance left to themselves can give us tornadoes, crystals, wind dunes and snow flakes but they cannot give us cells. The probabilistic resources of the whole universe are insufficient to produce even one protein, let alone a whole cell, according to Stephen Meyer.

Reason 2: I believe in God because of you and I
Human beings are absolutely remarkable. We tower above the animal kingdom in our minds, language, creativity and so on. Our biochemistry is the same but our minds are in another galaxy. In every area of comparable activity human beings are infinitely greater. And the question is, why the gap, the infinite gap?

Could evolution have come up with the items in the gap? The answer is no! None of the things which make us human are necessary for survival - indeed they could hinder survival! To think about whether to run from a lion or to take a stand is not an advantage, when running could save your life. Art and maths are a precious waste of energy if you are a hunter.

The only explanation for our grand differences is that we were made in the image of God.

Reason 3: I believe in God because of Jesus Christ
There is no other explanation for his birth, life, miracles, teachings, death and Resurrection than his own witness to who he was, "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father" (John 14:9). The question is not really is there a God? but what is God like? And Jesus Christ has come from God to reveal to us what God is like. A God full not only of truth but of grace and compassion.

Of course in addition to reason, we need the gift of faith. Human resistance to God is so great that even when presented with all the facts, we don't want to believe in God, because then our lives will by definition have to change - for if God is, then God is God, and we prefer to go our own sinful ways rather than to submit to God.  Faith is not anti-reason, faith is another way of knowing something in addition to reason, but never contrary to it. Faith is a gift of God, a free gift God gives to those who ask him.

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