Purpose of this Session
To give consideration to the various arguments that point clearly to the existence of God and a higher reality.
i. The Universal belief argument
All mankind has some idea of a Supreme Being. This argument has often been challenged but never refuted. In all cultures, civilisations, throughout all ages, the idea of a Supreme Being has been unshakeable. The conception of this “being” differs greatly from culture to culture, but nevertheless the idea remains.
ii. The Cosmological Argument (Cause and Effect)
The cosmological argument looks at the world (Greek: “cosmos”) and argues that every effect must have a cause. Mankind knows of nothing in this world that does not have a cause behind its existence. When we trace all things back to their original cause, we conclude that God and God alone can be that Source.
Similarly, the Biological Argument contends that all our scientific experience proves that life cannot derive from matter alone. Life always proceeds from pre-existent life and energy. The conclusion of this train of reasoning leads us back to the Source of original and underived Life – God Himself.
iii. The Teleological Argument (Design and Purpose)
This is the argument from design and purpose. The intricate and purposeful design we witness in creation indicates a Purposeful Designer and Creator behind their existence. Can there be intelligent order, which does not proceed from an intelligent Mind? Can there be a build without a builder, a watch without a watchmaker?
Robert Culver in his book, “The Living God” reports a conversation between Sir Isaac Newton and an unbelieving friend:
“One of the great names of British science, mathematics, and philosophy is Sir Isaac Newton.
Sir Isaac had a miniature model of the solar system made. A large golden ball representing the sun was at its centre and around it revolved smaller spheres, representing the planets—Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, and the others. They were each kept in an orbit relatively the same as in the real solar system. By means of rods, cogwheels, and belts they all moved around the centre gold ball in exact precision. A friend called on the noted man one day while he was studying the model. The friend
was not a believer in the biblical doctrine of divine creation.
According to reports, their conversation went as follows:
Friend: ‘My, Newton, what an exquisite thing!
Who made it for you?’
Newton: ‘That’s right! I said nobody! All of these balls and cogs and belts and gears just happened to come together, and wonder of wonders, by chance they began revolving in their set orbits with perfect timing!’
Of course, the visitor understood the unexpressed argument: ‘In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.’”
As quoted in Willmington’s Guide to the Bible
iv. The Anthropological and Ontological Arguments (the existence of man, and man’s inherent recognition of the existence of God)
Mankind is the masterpiece of God’s creation. No animal, not even the most exquisite ape, can even closely compare with the intelligent wonder that is mankind. Intelligent man is one of the most forceful arguments for an intelligent God. Evolutionary theories are simply man’s attempt to escape from the accountability and responsibility that belief in a Supreme Being demands.
“because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.” (Rom 1:21-23 NKJV)
The ontological argument asserts the fact that mankind has an intuitive knowledge of God’s existence. It is not a result of cultural conditioning. It is intuitive for us to believe in a Supreme Being, and this intuitive belief indicates the existence of such a Being. This instinct drives mankind to worship someone or something.
Mankind is also a moral being. The only adequate explanation for our conscience, and our inherent awareness of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, is the existence of a law-giving moral Being who planted such an awareness in us.
v. The Bibliological and Christological Arguments (The historical fact of the Bible and of Jesus Christ)
The surpassing nature and content of the Biblical Scriptures cannot be explained any other way than the existence of an intelligent and Supreme God who mastered their writing. The Christ of history is also a fact that cannot be explained apart from the existence of God. All He is, said and did attests to the reality of God’s existence. He is the strongest argument of all for the existence of a very real and very personal God.