Michelangelo's "God Touching Adam" segment of the Sistine Chapel Ceiling

Proving God?

Read Romans 8:20-25; Hebrews 11

ALSO IN SCRIPTURE

“Those who trust in their own wits are fools; but those who walk in wisdom come through safely.” (Proverbs 28:26)

Michelangelo's "God Touching Adam" segment of the Sistine Chapel CeilingI once read a book by a prominent atheist named Richard Dawkins.  The book was entitled, “The God Delusion” and it put forth the proposition that anyone who believes in God is delusional and ignorant because they choose to believe in God despite what Dawkins believes to be overwhelming evidence that points to a reality in which God does not exist. In it, Dawkins writes, “If all the evidence in the universe turned in favour of creationism, I would be the first to admit it, and I would immediately change my mind. As things stand, however, all available evidence (and there is a vast amount of it) favours evolution” (The God Delusion, 19).

It should suffice to say that Dawkins, while a brilliant Evolutionary Biologist and scientist, definitely overstepped his brilliance when he entered into the world of philosophy and, especially, theology.  Dawkins pretty much falls into the trap of logical fallacies as he builds religion (namely Judaism and Christianity) into a straw man that he can easily knock down, presuming that Judeo-Christian beliefs are, in reality, exactly as he sets them up to be. Some Christian theologians, such as Alister McGrath, countered Dawkins by pointing out the weaknesses of his arguments, his lack of theological understanding, and his misrepresentation of religion in general.

Unfortunately, though, many Christians fall into Dawkins’ trap by entering into the world of “evidence” with him.  In fact, Christians have tried to “prove” the existence of God long before Dawkins was ever born. People like Anselm and Aquinas tried to come up with logical proofs that God exists. The debate over evidence of God’s existence has carried into our modern times as well. In front of me I have sitting the “Evidence Bible”, published by Bridge-Logos, that claims to give “irrefutable evidence for the thinking mind” and claims to “prove God’s existence.”

Not only is trying to “prove God’s existence” a losing venture, it is a senseless one too. Ironically, the very Bible which supposedly gives “evidence” of God’s existence teaches us not to be worried about such things.  Paul writes in Romans 8:24 that we are saved by hope (aka Faith). Paul says, “hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen?” And, honestly, that is a very poignant question.  If we empirically KNOW something exists, if we have physical evidence proving the existence of God, what do we need faith for?

Physical evidence does not prove or disprove anything beyond what is in the physical/material world. As believers, we “KNOW” God exists in our hearts (not our heads) because we have experienced God in our lives. Rather than getting caught up in futile attempts to engage people in an intellectual match of wits on the “evidence” of the existence of God, why don’t we show people the hope that we have experienced ourselves by loving others the way God has loved us.  That will have more far-reaching effects than both Dawkins’ book and the “Evidence Bible” combined.

God is not calling us to prove something that can be experienced all around us (Romans 1:20); rather God is calling us to be agents of hope, healing and wholeness in the world. If we don’t get distracted by fruitless arguments and debates, if we don’t get pulled away from our task, we can be a witness of the true presence of God in the lives of those around us. There is certainly nothing delusional about being love in the lives who need it!

THOUGHT OF THE DAY

“Faith is not something that goes against the evidence, it goes beyond it.” ― Alister E. McGrath

PRAYER

Lord, you have not called me to prove you exist, but to bear witness to your presence in me through my love in action. Guide me to be a blessing in the lives of others without getting distracted by trivial pursuits. Amen.

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