Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Don't Check Your Brains At the Door...

This week we started our new series: DON'T CHECK YOUR BRAINS AT THE DOOR.

Over the next eight weeks we will attempt to answer some of the biggest questions regarding the Christian faith. We will also be equipping our students on how to respond to questions they receive from others.

Our first week proved to be a lively discussion as we tackled the topic: "IS THERE A GOD?"

While I think we brought up more questions than we answered, I believe it was a good start to what will be a very useful series.

Each week, I will post a recap of the main message points (and the things we didn't get to) in a blog post. That post will then be followed with a post answering any additional questions we received in the Question Box at our Resource Table. Feel free to join in the discussion or post additional questions in the comments section of either of these posts.

Now for the week one recap:

There are four main arguments for the existence of God.

1) COSMOLOGICAL: This is the idea that science and faith both believe that the universe is not infinite, so it must have a beginning. If it has a beginning, then the question that follows is "What started the Universe". Science has several theories but the most widely known is that of the Big Bang. However, over the past several years, scientist's understanding has changed. That change is probably best summed up by physicist Stephen Weinberg's quote:

"In the beginning there was an explosion. Not an explosion like those familiar on Earth...[It was] an explosion which occurred simultaneously everywhere, filling all space from the beginning with every particle of matter rushing apart from every other particle."

This sounds an awful lot like "God said, 'Let there be light and there was light.'" (Genesis 1)

2)TELEOLOGICAL: This speaks to the thought of created things showing that they were created with an "end" in mind. William Paley proposed this with his analogy of walking along and finding a watch on the ground. Because of its SPECIFIED COMPLEXITY it tells us that it was created by an intelligent being with an end purpose in mind.

3) ONTOLOGICAL: This is the thought that if we can think it or desire it, it must be. C.S. Lewis puts it like this: "Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exist. A baby feels hunger, well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim, well, there is such a thing as water. Men feel sexual desire, well, there is such a thing as sex. If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world."

Now, so far, all of these arguments could lead one to believe in a god, of which there are many proposed options. But it is with the last argument that we get specific to the God of the Bible.

4) MORAL ARGUMENT: This comes from the understanding that all people and cultures have a basic understanding of right and wrong. There are no evolutionary reasons that satisfactorily explain this phenomenon. As Romans 2:14-15 points out: "For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them".

I would love to hear your thoughts and comments on this post.

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