Anyone who knows me knows that faith didn’t come easy for me. After months of studying the Bible and debating with William, Tim and Marilyn Paul, I was baptized into Christ by Terry Paul. (God bless the Paul family and all that they’ve done for His Kingdom.)
My doubts, however, weren’t washed away in the baptistry. They kept bubbling up.
Finally, I told my wife, “I’m going to figure out why I believe what I believe or quit believing it.” That’s when I started studying Christian apologetics—the defense of the faith against skepticism and competing truth claims.
Over the years, I’ve catalogued some of the reasons why I believe that God exists. (Download my chart below.) These features of reality defy explanation (or satisfying answers) if God does not exist. Let’s take a quick survey of these.
Here’s a simple way to approach topics. Ask this question: “If God doesn’t exist, then what about…?”
Origin. How do we account for the origin of the universe?
The universe is the space-time continuum. It’s the natural realm. Whatever started nature must be beyond nature. God certainly fits the bill.
Fine tuning. How do we account for the fine-tuning of our universe? Our universe is balanced on a razor’s edge of physical constants that make its existence and life possible.
These physical factors didn’t have to be the way that they turned out to be. They are vastly (that’s with a capital “V”) too improbable to have arisen by chance. Who or what’s behind them? God fits the bill.
Mathematics. Why does math (a purely mental discipline) so beautifully describe the natural world?
Albert Einstein said it best: “How is it possible that mathematics, a product of human thought that is independent of experience, fits so excellently the objects of reality?” In some cases, mathematicians have remarkably predicted aspects of the physical universe long before they were discovered! How is that, unless the physical realm is the product of Mind to begin with? God fits the bill.
Let’s push a little further into the scientific realm and consider organic (living) matter.
Life. How do we account for the origin of life itself apart from God?
The more research that’s done, the more science is discovering that there’s absolutely no natural pathway to bring life from non-living matter. Dr. James Tour does an excellent job of explaining this in his videos on YouTube. Check him out.
We do, however, know that life can create life. Again, God fits the bill.
Information. What about the information that’s found in DNA? How did it get there in the first place?
If we see “John loves Mary” etched into the sand along the seashore, we don’t think that it got there by accident. We know someone was behind that. Why? Because of the information found in message in the sand.
Within the DNA molecule, we find information—so much information that it prompted Bill Gates to write: “DNA is like a computer program but far, far more advanced than any software ever created.”
Who put the information there in the first place? Another Lover. God fits the bill.
Complexity. What about the vast complexity of even the simplest living cell?
Michael Denton writes: “Molecular biology has shown that even the simplest of all living systems on the earth today, bacterial cells, are exceedingly complex objects.…each is in effect a veritable micro-miniaturized factory containing thousands of exquisitely designed pieces of intricate molecular machinery, made up altogether of one hundred thousand million atoms, far more complicated than any machine built by man and absolutely without parallel in the nonliving world” (Evolution: A Theory In Crisis).
How can we account for such complexity? God fits the bill.
Diversity. Since the days of Darwin, evolution has served as the go-to explanation for all life’s diversity. But there’s a problem with that.
As science advances, it’s discovering that the two main mechanisms of evolution—random mutation and natural selection—are not sufficient to account for novel body plans with unique features.
How, then, do we account for the diversity of life? God fits the bill.
Finally, consider this.
Consciousness. If there is no God and if there is no cause to produce effects other than the material forces at work in nature, then how do we explain consciousness?
You see, there’s a part of me that not even the smartest neuroscientist can know regardless of the diagnostics at her disposal. That’s what it’s like to be me.
I transcend matter. I am conscious. How do we account for that? God fits the bill.
Next time around, I’ll talk about the aspects of human experience that lead me to believe that God exists.