More on “How Do We Know God Exists?”

More on the question “How Do We Know God Exists?” (week 2 of Tough Questions, Jan. 25, 2015)

Link to essay by Peter Kreeft, Twenty Arguments for the Existence of God HERE

Link to debate (video) between Richard Dawkins and John Lennox HERE

Link to debate portion (video) “Has Science Buried God?” between Richard Dawkins and John Lennox HERE

Link to “Is Anything Worth Believing In?” John Lennox at Yale University HERE

 

Outline of talk:

HOW DO WE KNOW GOD EXISTS?

How do you know God exists? ______________________________________________

I. Today’s challenges to Belief in the Existence of God.

Scientism: for example, Carl Sagan (Cosmos). Scientism is not science. It is a reduction of knowledge to data alone. The known data about the universe does not require God, and the idea of God is far more complicated than naturalism.

Popular atheism: for example, The American Atheists

The New Atheism: for example, Sam Harris (The End of Faith); Christopher Hitches (God is Not Great); Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion). “The New Atheism” says that religion is not only nonsense, but dangerous, and so should be countered, exposed, and discredited.

Practical atheism: living as if there were no God, sometimes claiming “agnosticism”

NOTE: Malcolm Muggeridge said that if God is dead, something is going to take His place; it will either be megalomania or erotomania—the drive for power or the drive for pleasure, the clenched fist or the phallus, Hitler or Hugh Hefner.

II. Basic Arguments for the Existence of God:

NOTE: Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “A God who let us prove his existence would be an idol.”

1 The cosmos is evidence of God. Design implies designer. Cause assumes first cause.

Ps. 19:1-4 “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. . . . Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.”

2 The fact that we want to believe. How can we even have a concept of God if there is no God?

3 Our moral sensibilities. Where does the sense of “ought” and “ought not” come from?

III. Twenty Arguments for the Existence of God

From The Handbook of Christian Apologetics by Peter Kreeft and Fr. Ronald Tacelli, SJ (Intervarsity Press, 1994)

1The Argument from Change

2The Argument from Efficient Causality

3The Argument from Time and Contingency

4The Argument from Degrees of Perfection

5The Design Argument

6The Kalam Argument

7The Argument from Contingency

8The Argument from the World as an Interacting Whole

9The Argument from Miracles

10The Argument from Consciousness

11The Argument from Truth

12The Argument from the Origin of the Idea of God

13The Ontological Argument

14The Moral Argument

15The Argument from Conscience

16The Argument from Desire

17The Argument from Aesthetic Experience

18The Argument from Religious Experience

19The Common Consent Argument

20Pascal’s Wager

IV. The Lord’s Prayer as a Theistic Manifesto

(chapter 8, I Want to Believe)

God Is  “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name . . .”

God Wills “Your kingdom come, your will be done . . .”

God Gives  “Give us this day our daily bread . . .”

God Forgives  “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive . . .”

God Protects “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil . . .”

God Rules “Yours is the kingdom, power and glory . . .”

V. Doubts and Excuses

Doubt is not the opposite of belief—it is simply the horizon between what we know with certainty today and what we hope becomes clearer in the future. (see chapter 6, I Want to Believe)

And then there are excuses…

NOTE Romans 1:19-22

“What may be known about God is plain to them [human beings], because God has made it plain to them. 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 men are without excuse. 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.”

So, what are our excuses? (see chapter 14, I Want to Believe)

“I Don’t Know If I Can Believe in God When I See All the Suffering in the World.”

“I Think There Must Be Many Paths to God, So I Don’t Know Whether I Can Commit to One Way.”

“If God Wants Me to Believe, He Should Show Himself.”

“I’m Not Bad Enough to Need God.”
“I’m Not Good Enough to Deserve God.

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