Why Believe

WHY BELIEVE?  ENGAGING TOUGH QUESTIONS ABOUT GOD
Part 1 – How Can I Know God Really Exists? 
(Romans 1:18-20)

January 14 2018
Dr. Mark S. Hartman, Lead Pastor

 

“I have said from the beginning that I would always move to where the evidence was and now the evidence is overwhelming that God must exist.  So, I have changed my mind.” (Antony Flew, former atheist, There Is A God: How The World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind)

1. GOD HAS DEMONSTRATED HIS EXISTANCE AS THE UNCAUSED FIRST CAUSE.

A. “The inescapable inference is that everything had a beginning: somehow and sometime the cosmic processes were started, the stellar fires ignited, and the whole vast pageant of the universe was brought into being.”  (Lincoln Barnett, The Universe and Dr. Einstein)

B. The 1st Law of Thermodynamics implies that matter cannot just pop into existence or create itself.  Therefore, if the universe had a beginning, then something or someone external to the universe and unbound by its laws must have caused the universe to come into existence.

C. “(The origin of the universe is) the one place in the universe where there is room, even for the most hard-nosed materialist, to admit God.”  (Physicist, Paul Davies)

D. Romans 1:20-21  For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–His eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.  21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. (NIV)

E. So, what does creation tell us about God?  He is transcendent, meaning He stands apart and separate from His creation; He has unimaginable intelligence and power and He intended to reveal Himself to His creation.

F. That is the point of Romans 1:20  For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–His eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

 

2. GOD HAS DEMONSTRATED HIS EXISTENCE THROUGH THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE.

A. When the first spacecraft landed on the moon this picture became burned into our memory.   The beautiful blue and alive earth seen just above the horizon of the barren, lifeless moon.

B. The Anthropic principle states that in our own universe, there are an overwhelming number of seemingly arbitrary and unrelated values in physics that have one common denominator: They are precisely the values needed to produce a universe capable of supporting life.  Together, they demonstrate that the earth was fine tuned for life just as the Bible says.  We are here on purpose not by accident.

C. “The more I examine the universe…the more evidence I find that the universe in some sense must have known we were coming.”  (Freeman, Dyson, physicist and mathematician, Disturbing the Universe, p. 250)

D. “An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going.”  (Francis Crick, molecular biologist, Life Itself: Its origin and Nature, page 88.)

E. “If the universe appears to be tailor-made for life, the most straightforward conclusion is that it actually was tailor-made, created by a transcendent God.”  (Heinz Pagels, physicist)

F. “The mainstream scientific community has in effect shown its attachment to the atheistic ideology of the random universe to be in some respects more powerful than its commitment to the scientific method itself.”  (Patrick Glynn, Director at George Washington University, God: The Evidence – The reconciliation of faith and reason in a postsecular world.)

What does Patrick Glynn’s statement mean?  When the evidence disagrees with the atheistic ideology, many atheistic scientists will ignore the evidence.

3. GOD HAS DEMONSTRATED HIS EXISTENCE THROUGH THE AMAZING DESIGN OF DNA.

A. “Computers are being programmed to simulate the whole process Darwin described and they are finding that no matter how much time is given, the chance that what is now being discovered to be the complexity of the single cell just happening, is essentially zero.”   (Stanley Miller, From the Primitive Atmosphere to the Prebiotic Soup to the Pre-RNA World; http://reasons.org/explore/publications/tnrtb/read/tnrtb/2002/01/02/fyi-i.d.-in-dna-deciphering-design-in-the-genetic-code – see section: Can the Genetic Code Evolve?)

B. (please watch: YouTube – Unlocking the Mystery of Life – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzj8iXiVDT8)

C. “The DNA material has shown by the almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are needed to produce life, that intelligence must have been involved in getting those extraordinarily diverse elements to work together.  It’s the enormous complexity of the number of elements and the enormous subtlety of the ways they work together…(that demonstrates intelligence).  (Antony Flew, There Is A God, pg. 75)

D. Astronomer Fred Hoyle compares the chance of life just “happening” to be equal to 10 to the 50th power number of blind people, (ten with fifty zeros after it)  all being given a scrambled Rubik’s Cube, and finding that they all solved the cube at the very same moment.  (Fred Hoyle, The Intelligent Universe, page 11; Pastor Mark’s note: Fred Hoyle was an English astronomer and atheist but still recognized that mere chance cannot be the answer to the existence of life.)

 

Action Steps I will take this week …

° I will be back next Sunday as we address:  Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People?

° I will invite someone to come to church next Sunday.