I still remember way back in my undergraduate college days of first hearing this type of question posed. My philosophy professor asked us a two-part question with a promise and a condition attached.
“Well, let’s take the promise first,” he said. “There is an “A” waiting for anyone who could prove the second part of the question, and your semester would be over. The condition was your answers had to be hand written and you could only use the front side of one sheet of paper.”
We had one week to work on those questions. The two-part question was this: “Does God exist, and can you prove it?”
Now that was 40 years ago, and a whole lot of living has taken place since then, but I do remember thinking this will be the fastest “A” I ever get in college. One reason was because it didn’t involve math (I was not a fan of anything statistical, algebraic or mathematical.)
Here I am at a Catholic College on a basketball scholarship being asked a simple philosophical question. I loved philosophical questions, so I was sure to “ace” my first college class in one week. This is the “64 thousand dollar question for the ages!” So, I sat off to answer this question with my Bible, one piece of paper and a pencil. Yes, God exists, that was the first answer part a. That came kind of easy. But proving God’s existence—well, a week later I felt like I was going crazy. I asked several friends and things just got worse. To make a long story short, by the time we got back in class the following week, the whole class had to take a whole semester of philosophy. It was a long semester but what I learned back then has help me to think critically about not only philosophical things but spiritual things as well. (Just so you know, I graduated with a degree in Business and Finance—go figure!)
Now in today’s world, it seems everything is being questioned or redefined, from man, marriage, gender and history for that matter. But for the sake of this short article let’s stick with the original question at hand. Does God Exist and can you prove it? Well, does the Bible tell us to prove the existence of God? Is there a scripture or two that we could point to and-- presto! prove positive, there is a God!?
In the Old testament, God used plagues, signs and wonders, miracles and other manifestations as evidence who He is. He spoke from a burning bush to Moses and then sent him back to the Pharaoh with a series of plagues as “evidence” of how powerful He was. It is the evidence of God that is overwhelming, if God will allow those to see it.
So we aren’t to try prove God’s existence, but we are to point people to the evidence of His Word, His Creation and transformed lives and His miracles . It is God, by His Spirit Who moves on a person’s life, that then they will have eyes that see and ears that hear.
This evidence needs to be shared through an intentional relationship as in I Timothy 1:5, “But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”
1 Peter 3:15, “but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;”
This evidence is overwhelming. His fingerprints are all over nature. And speaking of nature, it is our sinful nature which blinds us to His evidence. God has given us His Gospel, to share and pray that God will draw that person, convict that person and convert that person.
Romans 1:18-21 “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness. Because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.”
This says they are without excuse and the Bible says He has put His truth in us. So, God’s attributes have been clearly seen through what has been made. Therefore, just looking at the world, you can see God and his Divine nature.
What sin allows us to do within the providence of God is to suppress the truth…but only for a time.
We no more can prove the existence of God than we deny His existence. In fact, the bible tells us that “a fool says in his heart there is no God.” -Psalm 14:1
In the late 1970’s, Josh McDowell wrote books called “Evidence That Demands a Verdict” and “More Evidence That Demands a Verdict” which dealt with the evidence surrounding the death and resurrection of Jesus. His conclusion of both books is that this evidence, so overwhelming and conclusive, demands a verdict of the heart.
What we are to do then is simply repent and believe. God will do the rest. After the resurrection as Jesus appeared in the upper room, Thomas, who the Bible says would not believe until he saw the nail scars in His hands, was gently rebuked by Jesus.
John 20:26-29, “After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ 27 Then He said to Thomas, ‘Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.’ 28 Thomas answered and said to Him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ 29 Jesus said to him, ‘Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.’”
If an atheist is being honest, he can only deny the evidence about God, not the existence of God. So, if we just look at something bad that happens or there is a death, pain or some sort of mass tragedy and conclude there is no God, are we truly being honest? You just can’t jump to a conclusion like that. We have a judicial system: lawyers judges, juries, witnesses, defendants, and testimonies to access and evaluate evidence.
For finite humans do not have the capacity, intelligence or wisdom to access and evaluate the existence of an omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God.
Our logic is limited, our reasoning is resistive, our thoughts are toxic and our ability to communicate is confined to a finite system of 26 letters wrapped in a language called English.
God has given us His word the Bible, creation, and transformed lives as evidence of not only what He can do, but who He is. A blood stained cross and an empty tomb are proof beyond our understanding yet able to be believed when we submit to Him. He is the Truth, Life and Way and you can experience Him through faith, hope and Love. You can Know Him, Grow in Him and Go for Him, to your neighbor, across the street or around the world.