• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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  • May 2023
    M T W T F S S
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Without God

Dostoevsky is credited with saying that “Without God, everything is permitted.” So without God, doing something immoral would be an illusion – even nonsense, or something merely unfashionable. All moral statements would be arbitrary. Atheists cannot escape the problem that without God, whoever has the most political power determines what is moral. As put by William Lane Craig, “Thus, if atheism is true, it becomes impossible to condemn war, oppression, or crime as evil. Nor can one praise brotherhood, equality, or love as good.”

Who Created God?

Logic and Christianity:

Skeptics sometimes ask, “Who created God?” The answer is that no one created God because He is eternal. A rule of logic states that every effect must have an antecedent cause. God, however, is not an effect; He is the cause. The logic here is simple but compelling. Since something exists and something cannot arise from nothing, and the universe itself has proved not to be eternal; something outside of the universe (the uncaused Cause) must be eternal. An infinite creator God must be that something. Time and space had a beginning, but God exists outside of time and space, which He created.

The Accident of Birth: Why I Believe in God – Part Two

From the writings of Rev. Cornelius Van Til, Ph.D:

We are frequently told that much in our life depends on “the accident of birth”. In ancient time some men were said to spring full-grown from the foreheads of the gods. That, at any rate, is not true today. Yet I understand the next best thing happened to you. You were born, I am told, in Washington, D.C., under the shadow of the White House. Well, I was born in a little thatched roof house with a cow barn attached, in Holland. You wore “silver slippers” and I wore wooden shoes.

Is this really important for our purpose? Not particularly, but it is important that neither of us was born in Guadalcanal or Timbuktu. Both of us, I mean, were born in the midst and under the influence of “Christian civilization.” We shall limit our discussion, then, to the “God of Christianity.” I believe, while you do not believe or are not sure that you do believe, in this particular kind of God. That will give point to our discussion. For surely there is no sense in talking about the existence of God, without knowing what kind of God it is who may or may not exist.

So much then we have gained. We at least know in general what sort of God we are going to make the subject for our conversation. If now we can come to a similar preliminary agreement as to the standard or test by which to prove or disprove God’s existence, we can proceed. You, of course, do not expect me to bring God into the room here so that you may see Him. If I were able to do that, He would not be the God of Christianity. All that you expect me to do is to make it reasonable for you to believe in God. And I should like to respond quickly by saying that that is just what I am trying to do. But a moment’s thought makes me hesitate. If you really do not believe in God, then you naturally do not believe that you are his creature. I, on the other hand, who do believe in God also believe, naturally, that it is reasonable for God’s creature to believe in God. So I can only undertake to show that, even if it does not appear reasonable to you, it is reasonable for you, to believe in God.

I see you are getting excited. You feel a little like a man who is about to undergo a major operation. You realize that if you are to change your belief about God, you will also have to change your belief about yourself. And you are not quite ready for that. Well, you may leave if you desire. I certainly do not wish to be impolite. I only thought that as an intelligent person you would be willing to hear the “other side” of the question. And after all I am not asking you to agree with what I say. We have not really agreed on what we mean by God more than in a general and formal way. So also we need not at this point agree on the standard or test in more than a general or formal way. You might follow my argument, just for argument’s sake. (“Why I Believe in God”)

To be continued later this afternoon. . . .

Faith In Not Having Faith

From the writing of humorist Frank J. Fleming:

“Richard Dawkins says he can’t be sure God doesn’t exist. Well, you know what I do when I’m not sure about something? I go on a big crusade about it and write a bunch of books on the subject. No, wait, that sounds more like what someone with a mental disorder would do. That’s one of the crazy things about lots of atheists: Their whole movement is supposed to be about being logical and reasonable, yet they tend to rail against religion in a very mindless way that doesn’t seem to serve any more purpose than a tantrum. Perhaps I just don’t understand their strong faith in not having faith.”

The Arguments Against Atheism

Thomas Aquinas

There are a number of arguments against atheism which are worthy of consideration if you are witnessing to an atheist. The first is the teleological argument that says, “The universe exhibits overwhelming evidence of deliberate, intelligent, purposeful design, which implies an intelligent designer.” The fulfillment of Bible prophecy in history is another.

Then there is the cosmological argument. The premise of this argument is that every event in our universe necessarily has a cause. However, it is impossible that there should be an unending chain of causes going back. Therefore, there necessarily must be a cause distinct from the universe as we know it which is capable of causing all things and is itself uncaused.

Ontological arguments are arguments, for the conclusion that God exists, from premises which are supposed to derive from some source other than observation of the world — e.g., from reason alone. There are also historical arguments for the existence of God. For example, arguments stemming from historical accounts such as Christian historical apologetics are helpful. Christian legal apologetics and archaeological evidence such as Bible archaeology are also very useful.

We also find that there are experiential arguments for the existence of God. These arguments are based on personal experience and human intuition. Belief in the existence of God is a belief not based on inference from other beliefs but is rationally justified due to one’s circumstances of immediate experience of God. The presuppositional argument, however, does not use evidences in the traditional manner. By the traditional manner, it means using evidences as an appeal to the authority of the unbeliever’s autonomous reasoning. The problem is, of course, that the unbeliever cannot reason autonomously. Without God, there would be no possibility of reason. And so the reality of the matter is that every time the unbeliever attempts to reason, he is borrowing from the Christian worldview. That is, he is being inconsistent with his stated presuppositions. And that is the crucial point. Ultimately the intellectual conflict between believers and unbelievers is a matter of antithetical worldviews. The essence of the presuppositional argument is the attempt to show that the unbeliever’s worldview drives him to subjectivity, irrationalism, and moral anarchy. And so the presuppositional argument calls for the Christian and non-Christian to set side by side their two worldviews and do an internal examination of them both in order to determine whether or not they are consistent even within their own framework. Since God does exist, and since Christianity is true, then any worldview which denies these truths is false and can be demonstrated to be so.

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