Category Archives: Existence of God

Is Jesus Really God? | If So, There is No Such Thing As Atheism

“Jesus Christ is God,” an astonishing claim for a person embedded in a monotheistic religion to even write about or suggest, much less to actually claim such a thing. Jesus is not just part of God or sent by God or related to God. Jesus is God. Jesus shows up one day, does all these miraculous things, makes these remarkable claims, like existing before Abraham or “if you’ve seen me you’ve seen the Father,” and then has the audacity to forgive sins. A Jewish person would never do this in his right mind. A Hindu might claim to be god. A pantheist might claim to be god. For a Jew to claim to be God, was outrageous, suggests C. S. Lewis.

Several years ago, Josh McDowell articulated some thoughts presented by C.S. Lewis in this regard. Jesus is either liar, lunatic, or Lord. We could say He was a liar but He came out of the grave like He said He would. Liar doesn’t fit the facts. He wouldn’t have laid down his life if he wasn’t telling the truth. If his claims were false and he knew they were false, then he was a liar. We could say that He was a lunatic, but all the other things He said were true. If Jesus thought he was God and he didn’t know any better, then we could call Him a lunatic.

The only viable option is that Jesus is who He claimed to be – fully God. He is Lord. He’s more than just a great moral teacher. The leaders of Jesus’ day did not seek His death because he was a good man or a liar or a lunatic. They charged Him with blasphemy for claiming to be God (Mark 14:61-64). Nevertheless, all the Messianic passages of the Old Testament came true in His life. He indirectly claimed deity and He acted as if he was God in the Gospels. He told the paralytic “Your sins are forgiven.” He gave a new commandment in addition to the Ten Commandments of Moses. He requested prayer in His name. He even accepted worship on at least nine occasions. He never rebuked their worship.

If Jesus is God, this means we must listen to Him and follow His teachings. If Jesus is not God, then Christians are idolaters because they have worshiped him as God since the first century. A mere 15 years after Jesus lived, Paul quoted a hymn in Philippians 2 that says Jesus was equal with God. What convinced these monotheistic Jewish people to assert such radical things? What must Jesus have been like, what character must He have had, what claims must He have made, and what incredible deeds must He have done, to convince these orthodox Jews that He was everything their faith said a man could never be? (Boyd, Letters, 114). It was the resurrection of a man who had already embodied God-like attributes that would move them to make such a claim. If His claim is true, then it is imperative that we become a Christian and worship Him.

Let’s not offer the patronizing nonsense of just a “good moral teacher” to echo a Lewisian line. This leads us to wrong conclusions. Here’s a common one. Jesus may have existed, but his story has been embellished by His followers. People have modified the story to fit their agenda. Here’s another: Jesus never really died. He survived the crucifixion, married Mary Magdalene, hustled off to France, and raised a family. Here’s another: Jesus was a magician. He could stage miracles and use slight of hand like David Copperfield to win an audience. Patronizing, non-historical nonsense.

The only viable option if we allow the biblical information to speak to the subject, is that Jesus is who He claimed to be. If this is true, then neutrality is not an option and atheism is a mute point. If you ignore Him, you’re ignoring God Himself.

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Filed under Atheism, Atheist, Christian Worldview, Christianity, Deity of Jesus, Existence of God, Jesus Christ, Theism

The Question For Atheists Is Not “How Do I Find God?” | The Question is “How do I Miss Him?”

While God is a hidden God and is surrounded by mystery (we will never totally understand Him – He transcends us), He also has revealed much about Himself in the world that He has made (cosmos) and in how He has made human beings with an in-built God awareness (conscience). This is what theologians call “Natural Revelation.” This in itself provides enough evidence for a reasonable belief in God and renders us without excuse.

In Romans 1:20, Paul states: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”

God has planted evidence of Himself throughout His creation so that we are without excuse. Even if you were a non-Jew without the Torah, according to Paul, you are totally responsible for your behavior and cannot plead ignorance of God or His ways because God has revealed Himself to us in what He has made.

Paul’s argument is this: If you looked long enough at what God has made, you would come to understand something of His beauty and nature. Glittering stars flung across a black heaven. The earth in perfect orbit around the sun – close enough to sustain life but far enough away to keep from burning up. Sculpted mountains. The earth’s crust carved into breathtaking canyons. Fish that glow in the blackest depth of the sea. A butterfly breaking free from a cacoon. The meticulously spun web of a gray spider. The growth of a child in the womb. Birth. God’s fingerprints are all over.

After all of this, how could we ever come to the conclusion that we can live life any way that we want; that there is no God; that life is all about my glory, not His. From the greatest feat of forming a beautiful cosmos out of nothing to the intricate details of the smallest little insect or cell, each act of God in creation serves as a missionary in miniature form. They are sermons without preachers; they are biblical texts without Bibles. And while general revelation is not adequate to explain the Gospel, it renders all mankind without excuse and calls for a response.

God is everywhere, yet invisible. God is a hidden God. God has given us just enough evidence so that those who want Him can have him. Those who want to reject Him can do that as well. Think about it. It’s the only way a relationship with God could not be forced. If He was here in visible form, ruling with great power, would anybody choose differently? Evil melts away in his presence. So God must hide and self-limit in order for a free-will world to be possible. The direct presence of God would inevitably overwhelm our freedom. God gives everyone the room to either choose or reject. He’s a hidden God and He will not force love.

What you will find in your spiritual journey, is that it’s not so much that you find God; He finds you. And you realize you knew Him all along, but you suppressed knowledge of Him in your life (Romans 1). So don’t so much focus on “How do I find God?” Turn it around. “How has He already found me?” He brought me to this blog. He’s communicated via the Bible (Special Revelation). He’s placed me in an intelligently designed world that operates according to natural laws. He’s used crisis, confrontation, catastrophe, and even some fantastic blessings in life, like friends, baseball, family, and a day at the beach to get my attention and to cause me to tune in to Him.

Many former atheists have come to this conclusion: “God has found me! He’s known me all along and has never lost me, even though I’ve suppressed knowing Him. If I would have just looked at things close enough, I would have seen Him looking back at me. I don’t want to suppress Him anymore. I want to see and know Him.”

“How do I find God?” you ask. I reply: “How do you miss Him?” Look closely, and the very fact that you’re looking indicates this startling reality. He already found you.

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Filed under Agnosticism, Atheism, Atheist, Christian Worldview, Conscience, Creation, Earth, Existence of God, First Cause, Free Will, Hidden God, Intelligent Design, Theism, Truth

Lesser Known Arguments for God’s Existence

There are primary arguments for God’s existence, such as the Cosmological (First Cause) Argument, the Teleological (Design) Argument, and the Moral (Conscience) Argument. But are there others?

While there are many lines along which a person may argue for the existence of God, here are a few secondary arguments that tend to work on a quiet street of our thinking.

“I believe because it is absurd.”
This was proposed by a follower of Christ several centuries back. When considering the notion that man made-up or created the Christian religion, he asserts that we couldn’t or wouldn’t have created it like it is. We would not have demanded the perfection or righteousness requirements that God demands of human beings. We would have been much easier on ourselves, and softened the requirements. We would not have demanded such a high moral life if we had authored our own religion. That’s absurd – to set a standard that no one could reach as our religion. Man would never create that kind of belief system; it’s absurd. Besides, it doesn’t make sense for a Jew to claim to be God in a purely Monotheistic Judaism. It’s absurd for us to think that mankind created his own religion. If we were to make up our own god, why would we create one with such harsh discipleship and self-sacrifice demands? Why have God creating imperfect people then punishing them for imperfection? It doesn’t make sense – if humans created this religion.

“The universe is expanding.”
This comes straight from Einstein (General Relativity). The universe is expanding from a single point in the past. The universe is not eternal, but had a beginning. This means that something or Someone caused it. It presupposes a force strong enough to create such an explosion of existence, that continues to move away from us. As the components of the universe get farther away, gravity becomes progressively weaker in its ability to slow down the expansion. Humans are living in a “window of opportunity” to observe the past. Eventually, the past will be beyond our reach, with things moving faster than the velocity of light. But for now, human life seems to be placed here at just the right time to access the information needed to answer the question of God and our origins.

“It’s so beautiful.”
The presence of gratuituous beauty argues for God’s existence. The world has an abundance of beauty that reaches far beyond mere utilitarian purposes. It’s simply there because Someone is expressing themselves and has endowed a created human being to have the presence of mind to capture it in art and other forms.

“That’s not fair.”
The only way that statement can be made is for some standard of fairness to exist that we can compare it too. While the Moral Argument addresses this in full, it is sufficient to say that you can’t know what’s unfair until you know what’s fair. How did you get this idea of fairness?

“I’m always longing for something more.”
In reaching out and desiring more, people demonstrate that something more exists; it presupposes that a something or Someone can meet that longing, much like a person who is hungry presupposes the existence of food.

“God damn it!”
The idea of God is the highest thing we can conceive of. It’s the logical ends of our speculations. We couldn’t even conceive of God unless He had given us the ability to do so, even in profanity.

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Filed under Atheism, Atheist, Christian Worldview, Existence of God, Worldview