Welcome! So if you read my last post you will know that Apologetics is today’s topic, and will be the topic every Thursday. If you missed it and want to check it out, click here!
In the last post, I mentioned that Science, History, Philosophy, and Experience are the four ways we will be approaching the, is God real, question.
In time we will take a look at what each one has to offer. But today we will focus on how our experience reveals the reality of God.
Before we dive into today’s topic I would like to ask a question. How do we determine if something is real? Wellone of the ways we can know, is by experiencing it. Webster defines the word “real” as something, “occurring or existing in reality”. So if something is real then we should be able to find it in reality. Once we find it, consequently, we experience it. Simple right? Lets take it a step further. Things that are real can be experienced in one of two ways, directly and indirectly.
An example of direct experience would be, meeting a bear in the woods. One moment you were unaware of its existence, the next you were very aware. Indirect experience would be, finding bear droppings on a path or claw marks on trees. These are things which can only exist if a bear does. Using our experience as a method of distinguishing reality from fantasy, although not perfect, works quite well and is very powerful. Which is why we have the saying, “seeing is believing”.
So… if things that are real, are things that can be experienced both directly and indirectly. Then logically If I look around for something and don’t experience it, either directly or indirectly. Then there is a good reason for me to believe it doesn’t exist.
This is the line of thought that Richard Dawkins references when he says that believing in God is just like believing in a flying spaghetti monster. Effectively he is saying that because God cannot be seen or interacted with, directly or indirectly (just like a flying spaghetti monster). We shouldn’t believe he exists in reality. This thought is more clearly stated by the late Christopher Hitchens:
“That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.”
So can we experience God in reality?
Well, the answer is yes… yes we can. Both indirectly and directly.
One of the ways we can, indirectly, experience God is through the design of our world. Think about it, If God created the universe, then the universe should have the qualities of something designed. And when we look around, we find that the world does appear to have these qualities. Therefore God exists. This is known as the Teleological argument. This was rejected as evidence for the existence of God after the Theory of Evolution came out. Which, at that time, seemed to prove that nature only has the appearance of design, but is actually just a random chain of natural selection and luck. However, in recent years, scientists have found lots of things in nature, which can only be explained by an intelligent designer. For instance, the parts of a cell which are irreducibly complex. These findings, and others like it, have been reshaping how many scientists see God.
For instance, take a look at what the infamous Atheist philosopher Antony Flew concluded near the end of his life:
“I now believe that the universe was brought into existence by an infinite Intelligence. I believe that this universe’s intricate laws manifest what scientists have called the Mind of God. I believe that life and reproduction originate in a divine Source . . . Why do I believe this, given that I expounded and defended atheism for more than a half century? The short answer is this: this is the world picture, as I see it, that has emerged from modern science. Antony Flew, There is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind
Intelligent design is a big reasons why many brilliant scientists are Agnostic and not Atheist. However it’s not the only one, there are many more things in reality that speak to the existence of God. Some indirectly like intelligent design and others directly, like morality or miracles. Which we will talk about later.
But for now, it appears to me that because nature points to an intelligent designer as the reason for its existence. Christians do, in fact, have a reasonable and logical reason, experienced in reality, to believe in a creator God.
Know it’s important to note that this does not, automatically, mean that Christianity is true. All it does is show us that our world was created by an intelligent being. However…. it is the starting place.
“Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.” Hebrews 11:6
The journey from Deism to Christianity is a little longer. If you know anyone who is on that journey remember to be patient. Do your best to answer their questions, or look up the answer. But most of all keep them in your prayers. Lord willing, in the next few posts, we can talk about some more of the things I learned on that journey.
But until then, thanks for reading! I hope you liked this post and found it interesting. If you did then follow above and like bellow!