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. (Romans 1:20)
It’s a presupposition deeply rooted in our culture.
Most of us encounter it every week in some form, in some conversation, in some media article or interview. Sometimes it’s stated explicitly; often only strongly implied.
It goes like this: to believe in the God of the Bible is not only silly and mindless, but downright un-intellectual, anti-science and anachronistic.
When was the last time you were made to feel that although committed to following Jesus Christ and living by the principles of the Bible, you really had no answer or response to this so-called “intellectually superior” denial of God?
But it’s time we pushed back.
And one way we can push back is to use basic philosophy. (Yes, I know the very word gives some of you indigestion! But stick with me for 60 more seconds.)
The most basic – and yet profound – philosophical question is this: why is there something rather than nothing? And on this one, a thinking theist has a decided edge!
At the time of the 18th century Enlightenment – for the first time in human history – thinkers became convinced that this question could be answered without appealing to God. They said He was simply not a necessary answer to that question.
How so? Enlightenment thinkers began to embrace a concept that would later be called “spontaneous generation”. Although the thinking has been refined, the basic premise continues to gain traction today.
But what does it mean?
Essentially this: that everything that is came into being through its own power. The universe is self-generated, self-created.
That sounds reasonable – but only until you think about it for 5 seconds. Then the concept is rendered impossible – a logical absurdity.
For something to generate or create itself, it would have to be before it was. In other words, it would have to be, and not be, at the same time and in the same relationship.
Where I come from, that type of thinking is irrational (violating the formal principle of logic known as the law of non-contradiction).
Can I be so bold as to suggest that when scientists talk this way, they are moving away from science, and venturing into philosophy, religion, or superstition??
Which option requires more rational faith: to believe that Almighty God of creation designed His creation to operate according to His design; or that the functionality, beauty and order we see all around us was the result of the universe arbitrarily causing itself to begin and continue without purpose or intentionality?
Takeaway – is my personal belief in God as Creator rational? When necessary, could I mount a simple argument to push back – to demonstrate that if anything exists, Something must have power of being/creation within Himself?