Tuesday, February 27, 2018

God is Not Scientific?

Science is considered to be the only constant we know of in the universe. It is a process of making observations and forming conclusions. If all knowledge were lost, science would inevitably get us back on track. Right?

God is recognized by many religions as the entity that started everything. He has no beginning and will have no end. He was once thought to be the storehouse of all wisdom, until the scientific method was invented and taught mankind how to interpret the natural universe. Through the scientific method, God can neither be proven nor disproven. So, how can a being that cannot be seen, heard, touched, or felt be considered a part of reality? In addition, how could God, who is considered to be all powerful and all good be in control of the universe, that is not all good? Perhaps a God that is not scientific is no God at all.

Have you ever been stumped by propositions like these? God doesn't meet the same criteria as everything else in the universe. He is the ultimate reality, who wrote the laws of the universe, and who keeps it in motion. His existence is independent of our universe. The entirety of creation is a testimony towards his existence.

There are times when God must defy the laws of nature through miraculous works to achieve his ultimate plans. The Bible makes it clear that God shows mercy on some people and he brings his wrath upon others. He makes his rain to come down on the crops of both the righteous and the wicked. He is a free being that works all things out for good for those who love him and are called according to his purposes. The judgment that awaits the wicked and the glory that awaits the righteous far outweigh the temporary comforts or sufferings of our short-lived lives.

With this in mind, from an objective standpoint, one must remember that not all gods are the same. The God of the Bible is not like the god of the Koran. The god of the Koran is not like the gods of the Greeks. The gods of the Greeks are not like the Norwegian gods. The Norwegian gods are not like the Great Spirit of the Native Americans, and so forth.There is a way to disprove each set of gods that are discussed. It can be done by judging whether or not their stories represent reality.

In this sense, the Biblical God rises to the top because the Bible, which asserts that it's the Word of God. The Bible is a book that accurately describes the world in which we live. The people described are real and can be verified through archaeology. The way that it describes the natural world is consistent with the way that science defines it, from a purely objective perspective. Its description of human nature is several millennia ahead of its time, and we are still just trying to catch up to its wisdom concerning how to correct the ailments of mankind. When the truths of the Bible are put into practice by a nation, that nation prospers. When a nation departs from the ways of the Bible, that nation falls apart, piece by piece.

Science, as we now know it, falls short of defining truth. It is a collection of observations through which we devise conclusions. The observations will not change, but the conclusions are always changing. A false premise, leads to false conclusions. Historically, these are some examples where science has gotten it wrong: genetics, astrophysics, metaphysics, vestigial organs, junk DNA, earth's location in the universe (which was affirmed through observation, not religion), the affects of second hand smoke, nutrition (which changes daily), human sexuality, gender identification, and just about any theory that exists today once existed in a less perfect form in previous generations. Science is always changing; sometimes for better and sometimes for worse.

Is God scientific? He is the author of all science. He exists beyond the universe of scientific observations but can be proven through a holy text that rightly defines reality. His miracles that have been observed throughout history defy the laws of nature. And, up to this day, there has been no book that has been correct by every objective standard, as the Bible has been. "The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever" (Isaiah 40:8).


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Seeking the Truth or Just an Excuse?

Have you ever experienced frustration in trying to share your faith with other people? Sometimes it feels as though I make all of the right points, cite the correct Scriptures, and sufficiently answer any questions that a skeptic might have only to be questioned one more time. What makes matters worse is that the same people ask the same questions, time and time again, after already having received an answer that should satisfy the most skeptical of minds. Like myself, you probably just want to throw up your hands and say, "Enough!" At moments like this, it is important to realize a very troubling and even more frustrating truth: not everyone is interested in the truth.

It's true! Not everyone who engages you in a conversation about the existence of God, no matter how sincere he or she comes across, is truly interested in having his mind convinced. A lot of people are only looking for one more excuse to not believe in God. Let me give you an example of a conversation you may have had with a skeptic.

Skeptic: If someone provided me with scientific evidence that God exists, I would consider the possibility.

You: Actually, there is a lot of scientific evidence that points to God's existence. First and foremost, the universe had to have come into existence through supernatural processes because science has never observed a universe coming into existence through natural means.

Skeptic: You can say that all you want, but I believe in the Big Bang. The Big Bang proves that there is no God.

You: Whether or not you believe in the Big Bang, it is unscientific to say that everything came out of nothing for no reason. Everything comes into existence as a result of something else.

Skeptic: Well, where did God come from then?

You: God is supernatural. He is not like anything in nature. But time, space, and matter had to have come from somewhere and nature could not have brought them into existence before nature existed.

Skeptic: That's ridiculous! Every time I ask for scientific proof from you, you just say, "God did it and that's good enough for me." It's religious zealots like you who were responsible for the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, and the Holocaust.

You, in this instance, presented scientific evidence that God exists. The Skeptic follows up by asking some more questions  that appear fairly reasonable. After You sufficiently answer the Skeptic's follow-up questions, the Skeptic expresses his absolute disdain for the belief in God by then saying you have not brought up any evidence that is worth thinking about. It is maddening, but the Skeptic has made it clear that he doesn't really care about having his mind changed. He is only looking for an excuse to not believe and to convince you that your belief in God is stupid.

But how do you know that you are not guilty of the same intellectual crime? Are you open enough to hear the skeptic out and allow for the possibility that you might be wrong?

The difference that I observe most of the time is that the believer focuses on answering questions and commending the skeptic for good points he might have. It is not that you are 100% open to having your mind changed; nobody wants to have his mind changed! Someone who is truly open to having a conversation will not deflect a person's answers by mocking the points of the person they are debating. An honest seeker might ask more questions that are relevant to the conversation. They might also bring up counter points that are directly related to the topic you are discussing. Notice that in the above conversation, the Crusades have nothing to do with the creation of the universe.

If a skeptic is genuinely concerned with evidence, he or she will focus the conversation on evidence. When the conversation deviates from the topic and moves into a plethora of accusations, it is safe to assume that your friend is not really interested in having his mind changed.

Not every reasonable person is going to have a change of heart after one conversation. The goal is to be respectful, honest, and open to what your friend says. And don't get discouraged if your friend is seeking an excuse instead of the truth. Some of the most persuasive believers are people who rejected the truth of God for many years of their lives.