Although the existence of God has been debated throughout the years, there are some very good arguments which have developed. The following are the most popular.
Cosmological Argument – Since the world exists and something cannot come from nothing, God must exist. Teleological Argument – Since the world is ordered and logically arranged, there must be an intelligent organizer. There must be a master architect since the world evidences intelligence, purpose, and harmony. Ps 8:3-4; 19:1-4 testify that creation itself speaks of God. The idea that this kind of organization could happen by accident (as Evolution proclaims) is like a tornado ripping through a junkyard and assembling a Boeing 747.
Anthropological Argument – There are things within man (intellect, sensibility, will, conscience, and inherent belief in a creator) which could never have found their origin in some “blind force,” therefore God must exist. Man is not simply a physical being, but he is emotional and spiritual – this speaks of God.
Moral Argument – If man is only biological, why does he have a sense of right and wrong? It must be from God. Man is different from all the rest of creation in this way. Recognition of moral standards are found in every culture, yet could never be attributed to any sort of evolutionary process.
Ontological Argument – This one isn’t as strong as the others, but it basically suggests that since every culture (all men) have had an awareness of God, then God must have placed that idea in humanity. Therefore, He exists. Anselm (1033-1109) was the first proponent of this view.
How does this affect me? As a youth minister, I get these kinds of questions/challenges all the time. I’d say it’s actually one of the favorite topics, among our students. I enjoy these conversations because these arguments are pretty strong and they can lead into some great evangelism-type situations.
(Info from “The Moody Handbook of Theology” by Paul Enns, pg 183-185)
Here are the basic views for how humans came into being:
Atheistic Evolution – You guys know this one. It comes from Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species which says that given enough time, a combination of atoms, motion, time, and chance will produce a huge variety of lifeforms like we have today. Weaker species are eliminated through a struggle for survival and evolution occurs. This would mean that there is no God for man to be accountable to or any moral absolutes. Survival is the ultimate goal regardless of the consequences to anyone else.
Theistic Evolution – God used an evolutionary process to bring about all that we see in creation. This theory is an attempt to reconcile evolution with the Bible, but it is strongly rejected by both evolutionists and biblicists. This argument breaks down with the analogy between Adam and Jesus in Romans 5:12-21 because it simply doesn’t work if Adam was not a real person. Genesis 1:1-2:4 must also be read allegorically and the statement in Genesis 2:7 doesn’t fit if humanity came from a non-human ancestor.
Progressive Creationism – This theory is also called the “Day-Age Theory.” The idea is that each of the 7 days of creation recorded in Genesis actually refers to a geological age. Most progressive creationists believe that God directly created man and animals, but that some evolutionary processes are still possible within a certain species. Exodus 20:10-11 uses an analogy between God working 6 days and resting and man working 6 days and resting on the seventh. This demands a literal interpretation. Also, if this theory were true, then people must have died before the fall of man. Genesis is clear that death did not enter the world until Adam’s sin.
Gap Theory – This theory places a long period of time between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. This allows for an old earth. They also believe that there was another creation which fell with Lucifer’s fall causing the earth to become chaotic. “Formless and void” in verse 2 describes this chaotic earth. Unfortunately, the grammar in Genesis really doesn’t allow for this gap to exist at all.
Literal 24-hour days – As the Bible describes, God created everything in 6 days and rested on the 7th. Geological formations which seem to indicate an “old” earth can be explained by Noah’s flood. Scripture seems to indicate that this is the best approach to the origin of man. The more we study, there also seems to be more and more information/science which validates this viewpoint.
How does this impact my life? This particular issue is at the center of the main attack on Christianity today. I have taught and will continue to teach a Biblical standpoint on this issue to the students in our church. As much as we try to accommodate both the Biblical record and evolution, it simply is not possible without compromising the Scriptures. I will continue hold to the Scriptures over any theory regardless of its popularity. Considering the lack of evidence for the evolutionary theory, I’m actually surprised at its popularity. I guess it doesn’t matter how ridiculous something is – people will believe anything that allows them the ability to ignore God.
(Info from “The Moody Handbook of Theology” by Paul Enns, pg 301-304)
Here’s the info I spoke on last Sunday Night. I got it all from a DVD sermon by Louie Giglio – the founder of the Passion Worship movement.
1 – milky way galaxy
Psalm 19:1-4 – New Living
“The heavens tell of the glory of God.
The skies display his marvelous craftsmanship.
Day after day they continue to speak;
night after night they make him known.
They speak without a sound or a word;
their voice is silent in the skies;[a]
yet their message has goneout to all the earth,
and their words to all the world.”
The stars are shouting God’s praises – day after day they’re telling us what they know! The stars are like a billboard telling us everyday about His glory and how great He is.
Big bang – there probably was a big bang when God created it all! Science and Christians are all seeking to find the truth in this mystery of creation.
God said “let there be light.” Of course – when God asks for something, that’s what He gets.
We don’t even know how big the universe is – the telescope isn’t big enough. God is laughing at us – He enjoys when we discover more, but He has so much more for us.
Habited planets? If the universe is just for us, then it’s way oversized. What if it’s primary purpose isn’t to give us a home, but to show off the glory of God? Then it’s probably the right size.
Light Speed is 186,000 miles/second – a beam of light could circle the earth 7 times every second.
Psalm 33:6 – “By the word of the LORD were the heavens made,
their starry host by the breath of his mouth.”
We live in the subdivision called the milky way universe. Consists of billions of stars. Scientists say there are hundreds of billions of other galaxies in the known universe.
Light year = 5.88 trillion miles/year
2 – milky way galaxy
If we were to count just the stars in the milky way galaxy one/second, it would take 2,500 years.
25 “To whom will you compare me?
Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.
26 Lift your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one,
and calls them each by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing.
We’ve got to right-size Him tonight. He is not our size. He doesn’t think like we think. He is working on a canvas bigger than anything we ever imagined. The heavens are telling us that, and they’re telling us that we are really really really really small.
3 – milky way galaxy
4 – milky way galaxy
The Milky way galaxy is a bard spiral galaxy which is 100,000 light years across. (remember a light year is 5.88 trillion miles)
5 – milky way galaxy with earth
Where’s earth? We’re not even in the center of our own subdivision – it’s not about you, it’s about God. You don’t wanna live in the center anyway – it’s scary there. It’s also scary in the bands surrounding the center – we live between them about 2/3 of the way out. Our solar system is too small to even put on this picture. Scientists say that our solar system is the size of a quarter and the milky way galaxy is the size of the North American Continent.
06 – earth
Earth – you don’t see any people, cities, countries. . .you don’t see the great need, the poverty, the strife, the pain, the glory, the glamour – as you step back you get this feeling that maybe we aren’t so big after all. We know the one who made this world must be huge. Maybe we aren’t as important as we thought. Maybe our plans aren’t so grand at all.
Neil Armstrong – first man who walked on the moon said, “I remember on the way home on Apollo 11, it suddenly struck me that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the earth. I put my thumb up and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out planet earth, but I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very very small.
3 When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
4 what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?
Voyager was launched 1977 – to take pictures. In 1990, Voyager is 3.7 billion miles away from the earth traveling 40,000 miles an hour away from the sun. It takes 60 pictures, with 640,000 pixels in each image. It takes 5 and a half hours for each pixel to make it back to earth from 3.7 billion miles away. – talk about a dial-up problem.
07 – pale blue dot
Do you see earth in that one? It’s there. The “Pale Blue Dot” picture was taken – the suns rays reflected off voyager (4 billion miles away) to create the bands you see. Earth is the dot.
Famous astronomer called it a “mote of dust suspended on a sunbeam.” Our huge lives are all played out on a “mote of dust.” Not trying to make you feel small – I want you to see that you are small.
But it’s significant, insignificance ’cause as tiny as we are – we are prized my majesty. Who sent for us and knows us and loves us even though we are just tiny little specks in this vast universe that He made. Just as He can call the stars by name, He can start in this room and call each of us by name. And not only that – He could even tell you how many hairs are on your head and what you’re thinking right now and if you secretly desire to be sitting next to someone else right now. He knows us!!!!! And Is aware of us!!! And Loves us!! And Invites us into a relationship with Him that will never ever end!!! It’s amazing to think how big He is and that He still knows and cares for us.
Lets go on a journey now.
10 – sun
93 million miles out to the sun.
It burns you up. Raging ball of fire. Not the smiley face sun like we drew it as kids. 10,000 degrees on the surface. It’s like billions of nuclear explosions going off every second. It takes 8 seconds for light from it to go the 93 million miles from there to your skin. It came out of the mouth of God – He is not some kind of wimpy God. He is intense, powerful, ferocious, holy, and full of radiant splendor – He opens His mouth and stuff like this just come out. The sun is 100 times the diameter of earth.
11 – earth/sun comparison
That’s why you wanna thank God in your bed tonight that we are 93 million miles away from the sun.
12 – close up of sun
Close up of the sun from the Swedish solar institute – they’re doing studies of the sun – raging fire. Scientists say, it would take the gross national of the United States for 7 million years for our local power company to run the sun for one second – and it’s just one star out of billions in the milky way – which is only one galaxy of billions of known galaxies in the universe that God has made.
5.88 trillion miles is a light year – 440 light years out we find:
13 – plieades
The Pleiades constellation.
“Can you hold back the movements of the stars? Are you able to restrain the Pleiades or Orion?
14 – vela pulsar
Vela Pulsar – 1000 light years away
what’s a pulsar? A star explodes into a supernova and can collapse back into itself into a magnetic intensity – it’s a highly magnetized neutron star – it’s center occilates 11 times a second – it sends out this intense signal:
A radio telescope captured this recording of the Vela Pulsar
The vela pulsar didn’t wanna miss out on the worship – it’s screaming “He’s Big!! He’s bigger than you think He is!! God is Awesome!!”
15 – hourglass nebula
8000 light years away – hourglass nebula – just beautiful – God is watching us.
16 – helix nebula
17 – star dust ring
28 million light years out (28 million X 5.88 trillion miles) – sombrero galaxy
18 & 19 – sombrero galaxy
Sombrero galaxy – not just a cool little frisbee thing – its 50 thousand light years wide – trillions of miles thick – why is it there? Just to glorify God – to give a small example of who He is. Showing off the greatness and majesty of God.
20 – hubble telescope
Hubble hangs out 353 miles above the earth.
21 – whirlpool galaxy
31 million light years away – grand design galaxy – hundreds of billions of stars – pink areas are star-forming incubators – every second a new star is born in our universe – God is naming them all and putting them where He wants
Let’s go far far far out! Indescribable how far out it is
22 – christ
He made everything we’ve seen tonight – and yet He chose to be hung on a tree that He himself created. The maker of the entire universe came to that pale blue dot –
6Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
23 – x structure at core of whirlpool galaxy
The world – the universe is all about God. Not us, but God. And He has decided to ask you and I to be a part of His big big story. It doesn’t matter how big your situation seems, God is bigger and He loves you! Nothing can shake you out of God’s hand as He holds you.
Love so amazing so divine, demands our my soul my life my all.
Here’s a pic of my and my brother diving in Cozumel. I’m the one waving at the camera.
It’s been quite a while for me, but one of my favorite things to do is scuba dive. Quite a few years ago I went on a diving trip with Brenda (my sister), Roger (my brother), Kathy (My sister-in-law), and Kim (Kathy’s sister). Anyway, we went to Cozumel which is known for some of the best scuba diving in the world. The area surrounding the island is an international wildlife area or something so no fishing is allowed. Because of this – the fish and reefs are beautiful and full of all kinds of tropical fish. While there we saw lots of cool things. I swam just above the shell of a sea turtle. We saw sand sharks, eels, lots of cool tropical fish, stingrays, and lobsters so big that could pinch your head off.
We also went on a night dive – that’s when the lobster and other fish come out from their holes. Also during the night dive we wore glow sticks. That way in case anyone got lost everyone else could see ’em. Our dive master led us to an area near the ocean floor where we could just float – it’s called neutral buoyancy. Anyway, he took one of the glow sticks and cut it open and let the little droplets of glowing liquid float around us – pretty cool – it felt like we were in space. We were weightless floating around with glowing “stars” surrounding us.
All the dives in Cozumel are what they call “drift dives.” Part of the reason Cozumel is such a good place to dive is because the water has a current that naturally cleans the reef. This current can also be tough for a diver ’cause it’s hard to swim against. Due to this problem the dive boats simply drop you off in one area and then while you’re underwater, they follow your bubbles to know where to pick you up. As a diver it’s pretty cool cause you get to see the reef without working very hard (or using much of your oxygen) trying to swim around – you simply let the current carry you along the reef and try to swim to the areas that most interest you. On one of our dives I decided to completely surrender to the current. I spent those 40 minutes underwater focusing on praising God for His creation. It was pretty easy considering the things I was getting to see. Anyway, I wonder how my life would be if I completely surrendered to the currents that God blows my direction? Some might think a life like this would be out of control – maybe it is out of my control – but don’t you think God would still be in control?
I think about the opening scene of the movie Forrest Gump. The feather is blowing all over the place and finally settles on Forrest’s shoe. That movie is all about two things – 1. “Life is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re gonna get.” and 2. Lt Dan’s “Destiny.” Which is more descriptive of life? Happenstance or Destiny? I think the feather is the perfect answer – it’s both. What seems like happenstance to us can still be destiny to God. I wanna be a feather on God’s wind – by the way, Jesus describes the Holy Spirit like the wind. In the same way that I surrendered to the current while I was diving, I wanna surrender to the Holy Spirit each day. My life may seem out of control to you, but I’m gonna trust God that He knows what He’s doing.
Here’s a video from our Cozumel Scuba Diving Trip: