This post is by RJS
Part two of Tim Kellers’ The Reason for Godbegins discussion of the reasons for faith. Chapters 8 and 9 form one whole, dealing with clues for the existence of God – within nature and within ourselves. There is no logically incontrovertible evidence for the existence of God – but the preponderance of the evidence can be persuasive.
What are these clues for the existence of God?
1. The origin of the Universe – did the Universe simply flash into being? All of the scientific evidence points to an origin for the universe in a flash of energy from an infinitesimally small point. Before that – we know nothing.
2. The tuning of the universe for life. Life is rare in our universe – and dependent upon an exquisite balance of conditions. The “odds” for us to exist are small, some claim infinitesimally small.
3. The regularity of nature.
4. Beauty. Art, music, nature … Are beauty, love, and longing simply biochemical responses inherited to increase survival probability? We may,therefore, be secular materialists… But in the presence of art or even great natural beauty, our hearts tell us another story. (p. 134)
5. The desire for God, for meaning. This can be rationalized – but an evolutionary explanation is a tacit acknowledgment that there is ultimately no meaning or purpose.
6. Moral law, moral obligation. We are told that all moral values are relative – live and let live. But do any of us actually believe this? The presence of moral law, moral obligation, and altruism are capable of evolutionary explanation – and such an instinct may well provide a survival advantage to the species. Of course – now that we have evolved and learned enough to know that morality is nothing but instinct why should we care? If there is no God there is ultimately no rationally demonstrable distinction between moral and immoral or amoral behavior.
Keller frames the ultimate question like this:
If a premise ( “There is no God”) leads to a conclusion you know isn’t true ( “Napalming babies is culturally relative”) then why not change the premise? (p. 156)
Secular materialism is bankrupt—but…where do we go from here? Well that starts in the next chapter and the next post of course.
How about you? What do you find to be convincing evidence for the existence of God?