In an increasingly secular world, is the existence of God doubtful, or even relevant? Can you know for yourself whether God exists? You can!
A famous April 1966 magazine cover asked, “Is God Dead?” What is the answer? can you Prove God’s existence for yourself?
TIME Magazine was not the first to inquire about—or even to strongly proclaim—the death or non-existence of God. German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, whose philosophy was not merely atheistic but was strongly anti-God, had boldly asserted more than 80 years earlier, “God is dead; but given the way of men, there may still be caves for thousands of years in which his shadow will be shown. And we—we still have to vanquish his shadow, too” (The Gay Science, Nietzsche, 1882, section 108).
Now, Nietzsche is dead, but his philosophy lives on to our day in the minds of millions who not only disbelieve in God, but who hate the very idea that God exists!
Some atheists will challenge, “If you say God has existed forever, why can’t we just say the universe has existed forever, and eliminate the need for God?” Well, according to the most up-to-date scientific theories, the universe has not existed forever! In the words of noted astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, “The universe has not existed forever. Rather, the universe, and time itself, had a beginning in the Big Bang, about 15 billion years ago.” Yes, modern astrophysics reveals that there was a time when the universe did not exist—and that there was a time when time itself did not exist!
Another researcher puts it this way: “All the great cosmological discoveries of the twentieth century fly in the face of materialist notions about the infinite, random universe. On the contrary, they support the fact of a finite beginning caused by and guided by a divine, personal, caring designer, who exists before and beyond the universe” (The Creation Date Controversy, Hugh Ross).
So, is there a living, caring God who was involved in the creation of the universe and the life within it—and who intervenes in human lives and world events today? Can you refute the critics who say, “God is dead”? Can you prove that God is alive? Yes, you can!
Scientists have tried to create life from non-life, yet they have utterly failed! The law of biogenesis states that life can only come from life. Is it reasonable to believe that life can arise from non-life, and that law can arise from lawlessness and random chance?
Scientists know there are intricate mathematical laws that determine the motion and expansion of the universe. What accounts for those laws, and for their expression in our universe? Scientist Patrick Glynn writes that everything had to be “‘just right’ from the very start—everything from the values of fundamental forces like electromagnetism and gravity, to the relative masses of the various subatomic particles, to things like the number of neutrino types at time 1 second, which the universe has to ‘know’ already at 10-43 second. The slightest tinkering with a single one of scores of basic values and relationships in nature would have resulted in a universe very different from the one we inhabit—say, one with no stars like our sun, or no stars, period” (God: The Evidence, p. 7).
Yes, the laws of physics existed from the very beginning of the universe. Scientists admit that this had to be so. And those laws are finely tuned to allow our universe to exist the way it does today—with us in it! Mathematically, it is beyond improbable that such a universe would randomly come into existence with just the right properties to allow human existence.
Consider this fundamental proof of God: The existence of natural law in the universe requires a lawgiver! Scientists depend on the predictability and reliability of natural law for their calculations and search for truth. When science examines the smallest particle to the expanding universe, what does it find? It finds predictable, natural laws in action. But it also finds intelligent design. Consider the human eye. Could such complexity evolve? Now scientists can examine structures small and large, near and distant, from quarks and DNA to quasars and whole galaxies. And what do we see? We see a demonstration of perfection and design.
Anti-God scientists, determined to come up with explanations that exclude divine creation, have invented fanciful theories to explain the complexity around us. Yet many of them require huge leaps of logic, or assumptions that a mathematically improbable event “just happened to happen.”
Even Charles Darwin, father of the modern theory of evolution, admitted that complex organs such as the eye would be difficult to explain in terms of his theory. Newsweek writer Jerry Adler described evolutionists’ attempts to “show how a series of small improvements could eventually build the complete organ. With the publication of ‘Darwin’s Black Box’ in 1996, biochemist Michael Behe moved the argument to the cellular level, using examples such as the immune-system response. They exhibit what he calls ‘irreducible complexity,’ meaning that all their parts are necessary for them to function at all. This, he says, is the hallmark of intelligent design” (“Doubting Darwin,” February 7, 2005, p. 48).
Perhaps you took a high school biology class, years ago, in which you learned that the cell is a very simple organism. In fact, however, as Discovery Institute Senior Fellow George Gilder points out in a Wired magazine interview, it is not so simple after all: “It’s a complex information-processing machine comprising tens of thousands of proteins arranged in fabulously intricate algorithms of communication and synthesis. The human body contains some 60 trillion cells. Each one stores information in DNA codes, processes and replicates it in three forms of RNA and thousands of supporting enzymes, exquisitely supplies the system with energy, and seals it in semipermeable phospholipid membranes. It is a process subject to the mathematical theory of information, which shows that even mutations occurring in cells at the gigahertz pace of a Pentium 4 and selected at the rate of a Google search couldn’t beget the intricate interwoven fabric of structure and function of a human being in such a short amount of time. Natural selection should be taught for its important role in the adaptation of species, but Darwinian materialism is an embarrassing cartoon of modern science” (“Biocosm,” October 2004).
Critics sometimes call this a “God of the gaps” explanation—their criticism is that because we do not understand something complex, we attribute it to God. Yet this criticism ignores the fact that even when scientists present an “explanation” for something complex such as the human eye, their explanation may rely on supposedly random mutations or adaptations, which according to probability theory would not occur in trillions of trillions of years—in our merely 14–billion–year-old universe!
Materialist evolutionists, faced with the phenomenon of human consciousness, find many of their assumptions challenged. Dr. John Searle, author of the book The Mystery of Consciousness, says this about human consciousness: “We don’t know how to explain it. Compare consciousness to physics. We’re doing pretty well in physics, even though we have some puzzling areas, like quantum mechanics. We don’t have an adequate theory of how the brain causes conscious states, and we don’t have an adequate theory of how consciousness fits into the universe” (“What Is Consciousness?,” Closer to Truth, p. 6).
Dr. Searle points out that the traditional explanations for consciousness are dualism and materialism. He states, “So the big choice today is between dualism, which says that we live in two separate worlds, a mental world and a physical world, and materialism, which says no, it’s all physical” (ibid.).
Dualism relies much on the belief in the idea of an immortal soul. Yet, as regular readers of this magazine know, the Bible teaches that human beings are living souls—and that souls can die, as they are not inherently immortal (Ezekiel 18:20). Is it possible that the Bible can explain the questions that trouble scientists such as Searle? The answer is: Yes!
Not only is the dualist wrong in his belief, but the materialist is also wrong, because he denies the existence of the non-physical dimension, the existence of spirit. What does the Bible reveal? The Apostle Paul discusses the relationship of spirit to humans, asking, “For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him?” (1 Corinthians 2:11). Paul is not discussing an immortal soul, but the human spirit. The human spirit enables humans to know “the things of a man.” Animals cannot know “the things of man.” Animals cannot think on the human level. The qualitative difference between human mind and animal brain is enormous. Animal instinct is often remarkable, but only human beings can conceive of multiple physical dimensions beyond the visible. And if scientists can theorize about 10 or 11 invisible physical dimensions, how hard should it be for an objective observer to consider the spiritual dimension?
Physicists use massive instruments such as the Large Hadron Supercollider to understand physical dimensions beyond our view. What do we need to understand the spiritual dimension? We need the Spirit of God! Only then can we truly and deeply understand “the things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:11). So, how do we receive the Spirit of God? On the day of Pentecost, when the New Testament Church began, the Apostle Peter preached to thousands. He proclaimed to his audience, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).
Yes, God’s existence is sure, and He has revealed to us the way we can know it and understand it. We can know that God is alive! The Apostle Paul wrote that those who deny the evidence “are without excuse” (Romans 1:20). Yet evolution cannot explain, and often even denies, the existence of spirit—even though the greatest reality is not material existence, but the existence of spirit. We read, “For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18). The Apostle John also proclaims this truth, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24).
Many who puzzle over the physical creation of the universe are missing out on the most astounding aspect of God’s creation. Not only has God created the physical universe; He is creating in human beings the spiritual masterpiece of His creation—His very own holy and righteous character, which becomes the character of humble, yielded, genuine Christians. Not only has God created finely tuned physical law to form the universe; He has given spiritual law to form the character of Christians. Jesus gave the two “great commandments” in Matthew 22:37–39; these magnify the Ten Commandments given in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5. These spiritual laws are just as real as the physical laws that govern the universe.
We are created in God’s image for a great and awesome purpose. God wants us to think like He thinks. He wants us to become like Him in nature and character. And so He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to give us an example of godly life and character, and to save us from our sinful nature. God wants us to be conformed to the very loving image and nature of Christ (Romans 8:29).
Philosophers claim that God is dead. But many of those philosophers themselves are dead, and God is alive. Psalm 14:1 gives us a clear perspective on that reality: “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’”
Can you prove that God exists? Yes, you can! Not only can you know God exists, but you can “know that you know” that He is alive! How can you have this certainty? “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments” (1 John 2:3). You can prove God’s existence by living the way of life He has revealed through the Bible, and through the Son of God, Jesus Christ. You can know for yourself that God is alive, and He rules supreme—not only the vastness of the universe, but also over the tiniest details of our lives (Matthew 10:29–31).
Finally, there is another very important aspect to proving God’s existence for yourself. “But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deuteronomy 4:29). Seek the living God with all your heart and with all your soul, and you will find Him!