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Posts Tagged ‘God’s Existence’

An April Fool or any Day of the Year Fool

An April Fool or any day of the year Fool, is one who denies God’s existence.

<To the chief Musician upon Mahalath, Maschil, A Psalm of David.>

Psa 53:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good.

Psa 53:2 God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God.

Psa 53:3 Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Psa 53:4 Have the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread: they have not called upon God.

Why Philosophy Matters for Christians

October 20, 2014 3 comments

This is a guest post by Vern Poythress, professor of New Testament at Westminster Theological Seminary. He is the author of Redeeming Philosophy: A God-Centered Approach to the Big Questions.

 

Answering the Big Questions

To many people, the mention of “philosophy” brings up an image of gray-haired intellectuals endlessly debating irrelevancies. There is some truth in this image, especially the part about the endless debate.

But philosophy matters for Christians because many of the debates are about the “big questions” of human existence.

•Does God exist?
•If he does, what kind of God is he?
•What kind of world do we live in? Is the universe nothing but….

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

God’s Eternality and Self Existence

April 2, 2014 1 comment

calvin.jpg_7MA21605611-0015The attributes of God as described by Moses, David, and Jeremiah. Explanation of the attributes. Summary. Uses of this knowledge.

2. There are certain passages which contain more vivid descriptions of the divine character, setting it before us as if his genuine countenance were visibly portrayed. Moses, indeed, seems to have intended briefly to comprehend whatever may be known of God by man, when he said, “The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation,” (Ex. 34:6, 7.) Here we may observe, firsts that his eternity and self existence are declared by his magnificent name twice repeated; and, secondly, that in the enumeration of his perfections, he is described not as he is in himself, but in relation to us, in order that our acknowledgment of him may be more a vivid actual impression than empty visionary speculation. Moreover, the perfections thus enumerated are just those which we saw shining in the heavens, and on the earth — compassion, goodness, mercy, justice, judgment, and truth. For power and energy are comprehended under the name Jehovah. Similar epithets are employed by the prophets when they would fully declare his sacred name. Not to collect a great number of passages, it may suffice at present to refer to one Psalm, (145) in which a summary of the divine perfections is so carefully given that not one seems to have been omitted. Still, however, every perfection there set down may be contemplated in creation; and, hence, such as we feel him to be when experience is our guide, such he declares himself to be by his word. In Jeremiah, where God proclaims the character in which he would have us to acknowledge him, though the description is not so full, it is substantially the same. “Let him that glorieth,” says he, “glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth,” (Jeremiah 9:24.) Assuredly, the attributes which it is most necessary for us to know are these three: Loving-kindness, on which alone our entire safety depends: Judgment, which is daily exercised on the wicked, and awaits them in a severer form, even for eternal destruction: Righteousness, by which the faithful are preserved, and most benignly cherished. The prophet declares, that when you understand these, you are amply furnished with the means of glorying in God. Nor is there here any omission of his truth, or power, or holiness, or goodness. For how could this knowledge of his loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness, exist, if it were not founded on his inviolable truth? How, again, could it be believed that he governs the earth with judgment and righteousness, without presupposing his mighty power? Whence, too, his loving-kindness, but from his goodness? In fine, if all his ways are loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness, his holiness also is thereby conspicuous. Moreover, the knowledge of God, which is set before us in the Scriptures, is designed for the same purpose as that which shines in creation, viz., that we may thereby learn to worship him with perfect integrity of heart and unfeigned obedience, and also to depend entirely on his goodness.

John Calvin-Institutes of the Christian Religion-Book I-Chapter 10-Henry Beveridge Translation

Some things about God can be learned from the course of nature

calvin.jpg_7MA21605611-0015Conclusion from what has been said, viz., that the omnipotence, eternity, and goodness of God, may be learned from the first class of works, i. e., those which are in accordance with the ordinary course of nature.

6. Let each of us, therefore, in contemplating his own nature, remember that there is one God who governs all natures, and, in governing, wishes us to have respect to himself, to make him the object of our faith, worship, and adoration. Nothing, indeed, can be more preposterous than to enjoy those noble endowments which bespeak the divine presence within us, and to neglect him who, of his own good pleasure, bestows them upon us. In regard to his power, how glorious the manifestations by which he urges us to the contemplation of himself; unless, indeed, we pretend not to know whose energy it is that by a word sustains the boundless fabric of the universe — at one time making heaven reverberate with thunder, sending forth the scorching lightning, and setting the whole atmosphere in a blaze; at another, causing the raging tempests to blow, and forthwith, in one moment, when it so pleases him, making a perfect calm; keeping the sea, which seems constantly threatening the earth with devastation, suspended as it were in air; at one time, lashing it into fury by the impetuosity of the winds; at another, appeasing its rage, and stilling all its waves. Here we might refer to those glowing descriptions of divine power, as illustrated by natural events, which occur throughout Scripture; but more especially in the book of Job, and the prophecies of Isaiah. These, however, I purposely omit, because a better opportunity of introducing them will be found when I come to treat of the Scriptural account of the creation. (Infra, chap. 14 s. 1, 2, 20, sq.) I only wish to observe here, that this method of investigating the divine perfections, by tracing the lineaments of his countenance as shadowed forth in the firmament and on the earth, is common both to those within and to those without the pale of the Church. From the power of God we are naturally led to consider his eternity since that from which all other things derive their origin must necessarily be self existent and eternal. Moreover, if it be asked what cause induced him to create all things at first, and now inclines him to preserve them, we shall find that there could be no other cause than his own goodness. But if this is the only cause, nothing more should be required to draw forth our love towards him; every creature, as the Psalmist reminds us, participating in his mercy. “His tender mercies are over all his works,” (Psalm 145:9.)

John Calvin-Institutes of the Christian Religion-Book I-Chapter 5-Henry Beveridge Translation 

The human body is proof of God’s glorious existence

calvin.jpg_7MA21605611-0015This more especially manifested in the structure of the human body.

3. Hence certain of the philosophers have not improperly called man a microcosm, (miniature world,) as being a rare specimen of divine power, wisdom, and goodness, and containing within himself wonders sufficient to occupy our minds, if we are willing so to employ them. Paul, accordingly, after reminding the Athenians that they “might feel after God and find him,” immediately adds, that “he is not far from every one of us,” (Acts 17:27;) every man having within himself undoubted evidence of the heavenly grace by which he lives, and moves, and has his being. But if, in order to apprehend God, it is unnecessary to go farther than ourselves, what excuse can there be for the sloth of any man who will not take the trouble of descending into himself that he may find Him? For the same reason, too, David, after briefly celebrating the wonderful name and glory of God, as everywhere displayed, immediately exclaims, “What is man, that thou art mindful of him?” and again, “Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings thou hast ordained strength,” (Psalm 8:2, 4.) Thus he declares not only that the human race are a bright mirror of the Creator’s works, but that infants hanging on their mothers’ breasts have tongues eloquent enough to proclaim his glory without the aid of other orators. Accordingly, he hesitates not to bring them forward as fully instructed to refute the madness of those who, from devilish pride, would fain extinguish the name of God. Hence, too, the passage which Paul quotes from Aratus, “We are his offspring,” (Acts 17:28,) the excellent gifts with which he has endued us attesting that he is our Father. In the same way also, from natural instinct, and, as it were, at the dictation of experience, heathen poets called him the father of men. No one, indeed, will voluntarily and willingly devote himself to the service of God unless he has previously tasted his paternal love, and been thereby allured to love and reverence Him.

John Calvin-Institutes of the Christian Religion-Book I-Chapter 5-Henry Beveridge Translation

William Lane Craig-Online Debate

January 28, 2013 2 comments

purdueDebate1

February 1-2

IS FAITH IN GOD REASONABLE?

WILLIAM LANE CRAIG VS. ALEX ROSENBERG

LIVE DEBATE ONLINE

West Lafayette, Indiana and online

=============================================

What hath Jerusalem to do with Athens? Or what hath faith to do with reason? Drs. William Lane Craig and Alex Rosenberg will debate this all important and pervasive question concerning the reasonableness of faith in God. The nature of the question in this debate is no mere academic matter. The question of God is the most important question. One’s answer to it will impact nearly all other beliefs one holds from common notions of morality to politics and from our interest and investigation of our world to what we take to be our purpose(s) in life. Is “faith” foolish? By this, should it be understood to be blind? Or is it reasonable and, if so, by what measure and to whom is it foolishness?

For many, Mark Twain is right on the mark when he said that “Faith is believing something you know ain’t true.” Yet the great thinkers of Judaism and Christianity like Philo, Moses Maimonides, Thomas Aquinas, and John Calvin considered faith to be an extraordinarily important virtue (moral and/or intellectual)! Indeed, it is not only the condition by which salvation is appropriated in these Abrahamic faith traditions (which are taken by insiders to actually be knowledge traditions), but it is the basis for movements from Mother Teresa’s compassion and our concern for the poor to Isaac Newton’s inspiration in science in light of God’s creation of the world and man being made in God’s image. Is faith in God reasonable? Ought we to have faith in God?

VIEW DEBATE ONLINE:

February 1, 2013

Friday, 7 9:30 pm EST LIVE or 7-9:30 pm PST DELAYED

Sign up online at www.biola.edu/debate

ATTEND A LIVE DEBATE SCREENING:

Join a group in your state or country!

More info: http://live.biola.edu/locations/

ATTEND DEBATE LIVE:

February 1, 2013

Friday, 7 9:30 pm EST

PurdueUniversity

Eliott Hall of Music

West Lafayette, IN

Cost: FREE

More info: www.apologeticsevents.com

FOOLISHNESS OF FAITH CONFERENCE:

February 2, 2013

Time: Saturday, 9:30 am – 3:45 pm

Location: PurdueUniversity

West Lafayette, IN

Cost: FREE

More info: www.apologeticsevents.com

Two things a man must believe to please God

September 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Here are two things that a man must believe before he can ever please God. First, he must believe in God’s existence. He must believe that He is. He must believe in that existence as God represents it. And then he must believe that God will reward or help or give to him what the believer’s soul desires or what he wants.

B. H. Carroll—The Faith that Saves—Triumphant Faith

 

The Very Existence of God Proves Immutability

August 9, 2012 2 comments

Thus having taken a great deal too much time, perhaps, in simply expanding the thought of an unchanging God, I will now try to prove that he is unchangeable, I am not much of an argumentative preacher, but one argument that I will mention is this: the very existence, and being of a God, seem to me to imply immutability. Let me think a moment. There is a God; this God rules and governs all things- this God fashioned the world he upholds and maintains it. What kind of being must he be? It does strike me that you cannot think of a changeable God. I conceive that the thought is so repugnant to common sense, that if you for one moment think of a changing God, the words seem to clash, and you are obliged to say, “Then he must be a kind of man,” and get a Mormonite idea of God. I imagine it is impossible to conceive of a changing God; it is so to me. Others may be capable of such an idea, but I could not entertain it. I could no more think of a changing God, than I could of a round square, or any other absurdity. The thing seems so contrary, that I am obliged, when once I say God, to include the idea of an unchanging being.

Charles H. Spurgeon-The Immutability of God- A Sermon January 7, 1855

William Lane Craig vs. Keith Parsons

March 29, 2012 2 comments

Today I listened to a debate between William Lane Craig and Keith Parsons on “Why I am / am not a Christian”.

The debate began well with Craig opening up with arguments for God’s existence while at the same time giving his testimony about how the Lord saved him. Also Craig offered arguments for the resurrection of Christ during the testimonial part of his argument.

I have to hand it to Keith Parsons because compared to all the others that I have listened to the past week, Keith came out of the corner swinging. I mean he was driving home argument after argument of why he wasn’t a Christian and why the resurrection wasn’t true. He used arguments such as mass hallucinations, the wrong tomb, etc…..

The problems with Keith’s arguments were that they were not original, but actually were laid down by skeptics in the nineteenth century. The bad thing about it for Keith was that these same arguments were refuted, not by theist, but by skeptics of the nineteenth century.

So again Craig offered a more plausible defense for the belief of God, the Resurrection, and the Christian Faith.

You can download this debate here.

This debate took place in 1998.

Do Atheist have Common Sense?

March 29, 2012 7 comments

I ran across a blog over the weekend called ‘Common Sense Atheism’ that gives atheist pointers on how to debate William Lane Craig. In this post the writer argues that the reason that William Lane Craig wins his debates, isn’t because his arguments are sound, but because William Lane Craig is a skilled debater. Yet after that statement he goes into listing Craig’s credentials and tells his readers, Oh yea, by the way, Craig is also a “Ph.D. philosopher and encyclopedic historian: an expert on the two subjects he debates, the existence of God and the resurrection of Jesus.”

All I really wanted to point out was the inconsistent statement of the one who wrote this post. He first states that Craig’s arguments are not sound and he wins because he is a skilled debater, but then states that Craig is an expert on the two subjects he debates. Well it seems to me if one is an expert on the subject they are speaking on, then certainly their arguments would have to be sound or they wouldn’t be an expert on the subject of which they are debating.

Anyway to the credit of the one who wrote the post, he does go on to state that there is no one in the atheistic world that is able to debate Craig and win. This writer even names, names of those who are not capable.

 

How to Debate William Lane Craig by Luke Muehlhauser

Andrew at Evaluating Christianity has put up some excellent posts of advice on how to debate William Lane Craig (one, two, three, four, five). The reason Craig wins all his debates with atheists is not because his arguments are sound, but because he is a masterful debater. Craig has been honing his debate skills literally since high school. Not only that, but he is a Ph.D. philosopher and encyclopedic historian: an expert on the two subjects he debates, the existence of God and the resurrection of Jesus.

Let me repeat. Craig has done 20+ years of Ph.D+ level research in the two fields he debates, has published hundreds of academic books and papers on both subjects, and has been debating since high school.

Read more here.