Do You Believe in God?
By Mark Anderson
You’re sitting on your deck with friends on a lazy weekend afternoon, relaxing and shooting the breeze. You talk about a myriad of topics and, as it sometimes can, the subject of belief in God comes up. “What do y’all think?” someone asks. “Do you believe in God?” Suddenly, a pause adds a bit of tension in the air, as those of you brought up in church-going families might clash mentally with those who weren’t. But still, everyone adds their thoughts to the conversation.
Each of us has a personal view about belief, or non-belief, in a higher power. In the seventeenth century, Blaise Pascal, a French philosopher and mathematician, wrote down thoughts on this subject. Commonly called “Pascal’s Wager,” his argument said that all humans bet with their lives either that God exists or that He does not. He said that it is in one’s own best interest to behave as if God exists, since the possibility of eternal punishment in hell outweighs any advantage in believing otherwise.
Fast-forward four centuries to the present time: “Tampering with a theistic-leaning-agnosticism, I was open to the idea that God could exist, I only didn’t know if there were good reasons for accepting God’s existence,” writes Brian Chilton in a blog post. A former agnostic who now serves as the pastor of Westfield Baptist Church in Westfield, North Carolina, Brian has been in the ministry for over 15 years and is currently in the Ph.D. program in Theology and Apologetics at Liberty University.
In his blog “5 Reasons Why I Believe in God,” he asks, “Are there any good reasons for believing in God’s existence? Five major arguments led me to a strong belief in God’s existence. Counting from the fifth to the first, the following are the issues that led me to become a strong theist.”
5. Moral Argument
If morality is objective—that is, there are things that can be considered right and wrong—then there must be an objective lawgiver. If there are morals, someone must have set them in place.
4. Consciousness Argument
Consciousness argues for God’s existence, especially if the mind is shown to be separate from the body. If there is an immaterial self (known as the “soul”), then spiritual entities exist.
3. Design Argument
The universe is full of design. If something appears to be designed, it is logical to infer that its design and structure came from a designer.
2. Cosmological Argument
Cosmological arguments for God indicate that if the universe had a beginning, it is rational to imply that a Creator brought creation into existence.
1. Information Argument
Any process or program must contain information. Information requires a programmer. The universe contains programs and processes that require information. Therefore, the universe must have a Programmer—that is, God.
These are interesting arguments, don’t you think? As for me, I think the best argument for the existence of God is in the Bible: “ … because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:19-20, NASB) And that says it all.
Mark Anderson lives in Bluffton with his wife and one of his four children and attends LowCountry Community Church. The family recently moved from the Baltimore area, after Mark retired from a career with the federal government. He enjoys writing, walking on the beach, and spending time with new friends.