Does God Exist: 1999 Brown Lecture Series
Does God Exist?
This lecture concerns the first of four serious questions.
Dr. Foster defines serious questions as having three characteristics:
First, they are momentous questions, in some cases life or death questions.
Second they are questions which cannot be ignored by any thinking person.
Third, the questions have live options as answers – either answer could be true.
I. First, a review of the development of atheism - the view that God does not exist:
A. No one has ever seen God.
B. The church was despised for evil acts in the name of God from the crusades to inquisition.
C. 19th century confidence the human mind could solve all problems – God was not necessary.
Three major types of atheism: (all originating in the 1800s)
- Anthropological atheism: Ludwig Feuerbach – God is simply a projection of human thought. The human species is the supreme being.
- Nihilistic atheism: Friedrich Nietzsche – God has become unbelievable and is thus dead. Human rationality has replaced Him.
- Scientific atheism: Sir Charles Lyell and Charles Darwin – science makes it clear that the biblical creation story must be consigned to myth. Scientific atheists believe no creator is needed and human freedom does not exist. Predestination is written in our genes.
II. Evidence that God does exist:
- The anthropologic argument for faith that God exists:
Anthropologic as well as archeological evidence makes clear that humans as a species have always worshiped. The universal presence of the idea of God and the worship of God, no matter the nature of that worship, is extremely powerful evidence that God is reality.
- How science might hint that God exists:As science has become more sophisticated, there is becoming more of a dialogue between science and religion. The more science discovers, the more complicated life is found to be – and the more mysterious. If the “big bang” description of the universe came from the Bible, rather than from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, it would be treated as a preposterous myth. The universe is simply too complicated to have just happened.
- There is Something or Someone behind it all.
God’s revelation about Himself and His demands:
In the end, humans experience God through revelation - - God’s own unveiling of Himself. The three categories of revelation are (1) nature, (2) human history and human testimony, and (3) the written texts – the Bible. The logos doctrine of John 1 says the Power that created the world enlightens every human who comes into the world.
So the answer comes to all - listen for the voice. The voice that says: I am the Lord, your God. Come to me, from whom you came. I will be with you. I will love you. And I will keep you in life and in death.
Does God exist? Yes.