The Reason for God
During our first night of Theology on Tap, an open night for people to ask questions about Christianity, we discussed the reason for God. I've reposted some of the notes here. These are highly adapted from a talk that Tim Keller gave at Google a few years ago.
We discuss God first because we need to be able to prove his authority apart from Scripture. Meaning that Scripture is a product of God (his word) so we must understand his existence apart from it firstly.
Why does it matter?
When we come into contact with people who have differing world views, such as skeptics or atheists, it either has the effect of pressing into our doubts or, conversely, bolstering our faith and further convincing us of the reality of God.
How does the reasoning for God work?
There are generally three ways we reason through the reality of God: Intellectually, Personally, and Socially. We must be honest about these perspectives up front. We all use reason and intellect in seeking to understand how things work but this is not the only thing we use - background and experiences to shape and color what we believe to be true about reality. Just as someone can be diagnosed with a terminal disease and turn to God, so to can someone reject God because of the same experience. We also base our beliefs about God on who we want to be impressed by us, and whom we are impressed by. People are drawn into social circles which they admire and wish to be like. So also, some of our beliefs are shaped by the views of others without much investigation.
What are the reasons:
1. You recognize it takes as much to disbelieve as it does to believe.
2. You begin to recognize it takes more faith to disbelieve.
3. You make a commitment to belief in God.
4. You recognize that all the arguments against the existence of God fall flat:
a. The Problem of Evil - just because evil exists doesn't mean God does not, it just means you don't know why He allows it to exist.
b. We all see part of the elephant - you choose to take a higher position of seeing things more clearly than others, how do you know about the elephant?
c. People who believe in God commit the most violence - just because people take a good worldview and philosphy and make it violent doesn't disprove God, it just proves that people are capable of evil.
5. You begin to accept that there are convincing arguments for God's existence.
a. Human morality and human rights have the best explanation for their existence from the existence of God.
b. The fine tuning of the universe has its best explanation in God's existence and design of the univserse.
6. Bottom line is that I can’t prove God to you, but He doesn't have any qualms doing that Himself.