Can God Be Proved To Exist?
Firstly, it should be understood, that God, within the context of both man’s and God’s reason, has no need for man or his approval of God, or his recognition of God’s existence. For those who don’t believe in God’s existence, they have chosen to believe that everything that exists is by chance with no purpose behind it, and no originator of designer of it all. That is one leap of faith that permeates the conscious thought of a very large percentage, if not a preponderant percentage, of the world’s population throughout the recorded history of man.
Secondly, there is the Bible which is claimed to be the “Word” of God by the writers, readers and believers in that book. There, of course, are those who would disagree with the authenticity, validity and authority of the Bible. Therein lies the main “rub”
If the Bible is, in the mind’s eye of any man, not authentic, valid and authoritative, then the case for God becomes irrelevant. The first four words of the Bible are “In the beginning God…”, and therefore anyone who does not accept that declaration need not read the rest of the book as true and authoritative. As one person who claims to have read the Bible (once); “It is a nice story.” If that is all it is, then put it on your shelf with all of your philosophy books, or history books, or law books, or books on ethics etc. It need not have a prominent place in your life.
It should be noted, the Bible does say that every man knows there is a God, but that he suppresses that truth in unrighteousness. So how is that possible, and how can it be proved? For millennia, man has debated the existence of God, and nobody has proven His existence or His non-existence. There is a good reason for that. God exists infinitely, and therefore, man cannot comprehend that attribute, as man is finite. There, I just made a claim with which people will argue – no, not that man is finite, but that God is infinite.
Can God be “proved” infinite? First, we must have some idea of who, or what unbelieving man thinks God is. You will find millions if thoughts and ideas that have no consistent and unified definition of who God is. So, if man cannot come up with a consistent and unified definition or description of who and what God is, then who can? God can. How? He communicated with man from the beginning of all oral tradition of history, and through His written word when He commanded Moses to write it all down.
Oh, but now we’re making assertions that can’t be proven. Maybe not, but what we are saying is that there are thousands of years of history that make claims not only of a God who revealed himself to man, but Who actually took part in the lives of men and nations in ways that could only be explained as “supernatural”. A “natural” event would include the birth of a baby, a tornado, the revolution of the earth bringing night and day on a regular and predictable basis. On the other hand, a supernatural event is one that cannot be explained by “science” or “reason” or even “logic”. Supernatural events are, as a rule, not repeated.
So, what would be an example of a “supernatural” event. The creation of all that exists would be, and that will not be repeated regardless of the “Big Bang” theory, which happens to conform to the Creation story with one major exception, and that is that the “Big Bang” theory is explained as nihilo ex nihilo (nothing from nothing). To believe that is a true leap of faith. It also contradicts the first law of Thermodynamics of physics which says that it is impossible for something to come from nothing. That “first law” seems to contradict the “Big Bang” theory, and yet, if you put a source of power behind the “Big Bang” theory, you get a supernatural event – a onetime event that cannot be duplicated – at least not so apart from God’s (or that source) will and action.
Who was around for the Creation? Nobody (save God according to the story), and therefore, we have no documentation apart from the Bible (which is portrayed as God’s Word). Of course, we still have those who don’t believe in God or His Word, so, let’s move on. Man appeared on the earth at some point in time. That point, between carbon dating, archaeology, and the Bible is all in dispute. What is less in dispute is the fact that there are historical accounts in the Bible going back for several thousands of years which are not in dispute from a reasonable standpoint.
What is a reasonable standpoint? If the unbelievers are willing to accept as authentic the writings of the Sumerians in 2600 B.C., Egyptians 2400 B.C., Akkadians 1950 B.C., Hittites 1600 B.C., Rigveda 1200 B.C., Babylonian Theodicy 1050 B.C., Chinese Classic Poetry 1000 B.C., Greek Trojan War and Sanskrit 800 B.C. and at that time Moses etc., then it is reasonable to expect that they would accept the writings of the Biblical authors. Additionally, if the unbelievers are willing to accept as legitimate, the writings of Cicero, Julius Caesar, Lucretius, Plutarch, Josephus, Tacitus, Petronius etc., then they should be willing to accept the writings of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, St. Paul etc. from the New Testament era. If the unbelievers are not willing to accept (I’m not saying believe) those writings, of the Bible, then they are lying, hypocritical intellectually dishonest people.
Now, although nobody was around at the time of Creation (with the exception of God if the Bible is to be believed), there were people around for many “supernatural” events that were recorded for all posterity. The Bible is replete with scores, if not hundreds, of supernatural events, but let’s just examine a few. Moses was, according to the Bible, a prophet of God. Now to the best of this writer’s knowledge, no credible unbeliever will deny that a group of people known as Hebrews lived in slavery under the Egyptian rule. They may want to deny the supernatural events that took place at the time of the Exodus (departure of Hebrew slaves from Egypt). Their enslavement and exodus both were prophesied many centuries before by Abraham
In the Exodus, there is a narrative of 10 plagues that God put upon Egypt in order for Pharaoh to let His people go at Moses’ request. When the Hebrews departed Egypt, the Egyptians pleaded with them to take their wealth. All of that was prophesied by Abraham as well. The narrative continues with the parting of the Red Sea, the destruction of Pharaoh’s army, manna from heaven, Korah’s rebellion and destruction being swallowed up by the earth and so on. Through all of this, God is speaking with and guiding Moses in how to lead the Hebrews politically, morally and spiritually. It is through Moses that America has an appellate court system to name just one significant benefit that has come from the Bible. So, the unbelievers can deny the veracity of the plagues and miracles of Moses time, but they can’t deny that Moses wrote about them. Moses’ writings establish the first documented debate about the existence/reality of God and His power and influence in the life of man. That all goes back three millennia. So, we have an established declaration of the existence of God for at least 3,000 years.
Have there been debates before and since then about God’s existence? You bet! Are there any reasons to believe in God’s existence? Yes, but for those who do not want to accept recorded history that does not comport with their preconceived notion or with the “scientific” record as provided by unbelievers in authority, there will be no reason to believe.
St. Paul was a man who persecuted Christians and even murdered them. So, what caused him to change and become the greatest champion of God and Jesus Christ that history has known? He even authored the lion’s share of the New Testament and established its theological underpinnings. That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense from a “natural” perspective, but it makes marvelous sense from a “supernatural” perspective. The bottom line, as it is recorded in the Scripture and on Paul’s testimony from his personal experience, his heart was changed, and Christ instructed him in His ways and His word.
One also has to ask themselves, “Why would someone suffer torture and the most miserable of deaths in the process of defending and adhering to their beliefs? “Deny Christ” and have your life preserved, or affirm Christ and suffer and die a miserable death. The choice seems pretty obvious for the unbeliever that denying Christ is preferable; why should they risk harm for something or someone they cannot see, talk to or know?
Now, comes the really torturous “rub”. It’s the doctrine of “election”, and it angers everyone who is not a believer, and even some who profess belief. What is “election”? It is the teaching that God chooses whom He will. In other words, nobody becomes a believer unless God changes their hearts by His choice and good pleasure. Jesus told His disciples that He chose them, they did not choose Him. The Bible teaches that God loved Jacob, but not his brother Esau. That determination was made, according to the Bible, before either of the two brothers was born! In other words, before Jacob and Esau were born, God determined that one would be a believer and one would not. One would spend eternity in Heaven with God upon his death, and the other would spend eternity in Hell apart from God after his death. How could that be?
David says in the Psalms that God’s ways are too high for us who can know them, and His thoughts are too high for us who can know them? God tells us that he does all things for His glory and good pleasure. That’s our answer to how and why God makes the decisions He does make. If you don’t like, it, St. Paul in the book of Romans says in most polite terms “TOUGH”! Jesus also makes it clear that In John 6:44 “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.”
So, can we prove God exists? No! Can we demonstrate with a high degree of reason and historical evidence that God exists? Yes! Will those who do not believe ever become believers? Yes, some will, and others won’t. Of those who will, it will be because God has changed their hearts to believe. How does He do that? It’s supernatural. There are those who will acknowledge that God exists, and yet, they do not believe. Why is that? It’s because He has not changed their hearts, and may never – who knows? Know this that God is sovereign and in control. He rules from Heaven and nobody can stay His hand; otherwise, He would not be God.
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