Looking For God
Entertainer Ricky Gervais said in an interview about 10 years ago, “I don’t believe in God because there is absolutely no scientific evidence for his existence and from what I’ve heard the very definition is a logical impossibility in this known universe.” Gervais is correct to an extent in saying (1) there is no ‘scientific evidence’ and (2) it ‘is a logical impossibility.’ If, by ‘scientific evidence’ he means some physical evidence or any eyewitness who observed Him with their physical eyes, then, no, there is no ‘scientific evidence.’
The ‘scientific method,’ however, may lead us to draw some inescapable conclusion about the existence of God. [May, if one is willing to consider alternate theories or explanations for what cannot be explained by science.] For example, one cannot see gravity, but one can see the effects of gravity, and from that observation draw some reasonable conclusions. It would be reasonable to conclude that a force we call gravity is working on an object; it would not be reasonable to conclude that an invisible monkey acted on the object.
In the same way, one may observe numerous life forms, rock formations, and the universe as a whole and as its constituent parts and draw several conclusions: (1) it has always existed; (2) it came into being be cause of a large explosions billions of years ago; or, (3) there is a powerful entity we will call ‘God’ who created it all. The next step is to put these conclusions/theories to the test to see if they hold up.
The first theory [physical, material elements and things have always existed] fails because of the first two laws of thermodynamics. The first law states, “energy cannot be created or destroyed,” but only transferred. Relative to that, the second law states, “as energy is transferred or transformed, more and more of it is wasted,” and, “there is a natural tendency of any isolated system to degenerate into a more disordered state.” The first law precludes eternal existence of material objects [i.e., something does not come from nothing]; if we simply ignore the first law of science, the second law would also negate its likelihood, since our universe and all complex objects and systems [living or inanimate] are not degenerating at a rate that would be consistent with the existing theories about the age of the universe. If material objects and elements have just ‘always existed,’ then there would be either be evidence to show extreme deterioration or much of the known universe would not exist.
However, if one is willing to consider that what cannot be explained because of direct observation, or explained by human knowledge, we might see there is another reasonable explanation: God.
As a believer of God, I accept that the Bible is God’s revealed word [space does not permit a reasonable defense here]; as such, I believe it was written by men by His Divine direction. That means some of the information included within that book could not have been witnessed or observed by any man [for example, anything before and up to the creation of man], but because God is eternal (Psa. 93:2; Rom. 1:20), He was there when matter came into existence. [God is eternal because He is non-material and spiritual in nature; (John 4:24).] He, in fact, is the origin of all matter (John 1:3).
The very first verse of the Bible, in fact, includes the basic requirements for man being able to know anything — requirements for our very existence. Consider these simple words and the powerful content: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). In that one verse, we find time [“the beginning”], a force [“God”], energy [“created”], space [“the heavens”], and matter [“the earth”]. The fact is, “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible” (Heb. 11:3). Science cannot explain how something came from nothing, but God can, and has.
Despite the evidence — yes, evidence — that God has provided, some will reject God anyway, but it is not because there is no evidence. Paul, in recounting the digression of man, noted that, at one time, man had knowledge of God because “God has shown it to them,” but “they did not glorify Him as God” and professed themselves ‘wise’ [Sounds like that could have been written today, doesn’t it?], and started down the spiral into more and more moral degradation as they got further and further from God (Rom. 1:18-32). But Paul was also clear on the matter of knowing God existed: “Since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Rom. 1:20).
So, if someone says there is no evidence for God, don’t let that false statement go by without correction. If someone says that, it is more likely that they don’t want to see the evidence, or will not accept it as evidence. But, rejection of evidence simply because we do not like where it will lead us is pure and simple dishonesty. British philosopher Antony Flew once argued for evolution simply on the basis of where belief in God as a Creator would lead us, rather than on a lack of evidence. [He argued it would imply He is supreme authority, a standard of morality would exist, and we would be accountable to Him, and Flew did not want that. At least he was honest.] It should be noted that this man has now changed his mind, and now says the evidence has led him to conclude there is a God and Creator, and acknowledged that it is where the evidence led him.
Let’s be clear here, for those who may still believe that faith is ‘belief without evidence’; that may indeed be a dictionary definition, but that is not how God defines faith; God defines faith as “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). By God’s standard, faith demands substance and evidence [or conviction, as some translations say]. God wants us to consider the evidence, consider its credibility, and draw a conclusion from the evidence. He even wants us to count the cost of believing (cf. Luke 14:26) before we choose to follow Him!
So, if you are honestly looking for God, don’t believe all the naysayers who are out there; some have an agenda and like Flew once argued, they know that accepting that God exists means accepting His authority on moral issues. Because of this, they will reject God in spire of evidence rather than for a lack of evidence. If you are willing to examine His Creation, you will find he has left plenty of evidence that points us to Him. Don’t accept that “all scientists agree” on the most popular theories and conclusions from existing geology, paleontology, and biology; it is quite common for dissenting views to be suppressed and the dissenters silenced and blackballed. The evidence is there for those who want to see it.
And once you have considered His Creation, consider His word, the Bible. In it, you will find a God who does indeed have a moral standard, but one who also is merciful, patient, loving, and forgiving. You will find a God who is patiently waiting for you to see the truth and come home, too (Luke 15:20).
Are you looking for God? You can’t see Him, but He can be found! — Steven Harper