Recently, I joined a group of students who were asked to share about Christianity in an “Interfaith Dialogue” with a group of about twenty Buddhist monks at a nearby temple in Chiang Mai, Thailand. An interesting discussion developed as the lead monk explained the Buddhist foundation for morality.
His moral foundation was not unlike that of many, if not most, Americans today. This discussion led to the students sharing four supporting reasons for biblical faith, beginning with morality.
God: Implanting Morality
When pressed for a basis to determine his moral actions, the monk repeatedly referenced an inner sense of approval or disapproval attached to the action. He was not able to link his sense of ethics to any overarching theme or moral law giver. However, the presence of a universal inner moral code suggests a common Source for ethics.
Religious groups did not independently establish moral guidelines which universally condemned such things as beheading newborn babies, rape, or stealing another’s belongings. Rather, these prohibitions are written on the moral fabric of every heart before any philosophy or theology is learned. This is called the Morality Argument. The Author of Scripture only expands and builds on the moral code that He implanted into His creation.
An especially powerful illustration was the fact that these young male students could affirm to the monks that they were all virgins due to embracing the morality outlined in Scripture. Their lives have not brought guilt and anger to themselves nor any young ladies due to violating God’s moral law. This was quite surprising to our Buddhist friends who have not been scrupulous in their moral behavior.
God: In the Beginning
The lead monk’s next question led to the second defense of the existence of God. He asked where our children came from: God or us? When we affirmed that they came from both, he chuckled and wondered what we meant. Unknowingly, he took the discussion to the Cosmological Argument.
Yes, my children came from my wife and I, I came from my father and mother, dad came from grandpa and the line goes on back in time. In 1910, against his own previous understanding, Albert Einstein formulated a very complex Theory of Relativity which gave substantial evidence that matter, time and space are not eternal. There cannot be an infinite regress of current causes. Therefore, there must be a cause that is the source of all causes that we currently observe.
This is similar to what you would expect to see when you overtake a moving railroad train on level ground as you are driving down a parallel highway. You overtake the caboose and a series of freight and box cars that are rumbling along.
You would be shocked and incredulous if, when you got to the front of the train, you found no engine. This is not only a violation of intelligence, it is illogical.
There must be an engine! It is ludicrous to think that something came from nothing. If there ever was a time when nothing existed, then nothing would exist today. Therefore, we only have two options for an “engine.” Either matter is uncreated and eternal or there is a Creator who is uncreated and eternal.
God: Creating Beauty and Complexity
This easily brought our discussion with the monks to the third evidence for the existence of God. While evolutionists proclaim that anything is possible given infinite time and eternal matter, they cannot rationally explain how the beauty and complexity in our world came to exist from inanimate matter.
This reality has been called the Teleological Argument or the “Watchmaker Analogy.” We asked the monk what the odds would be for him to send 124 monks into a room in the exact same order we had randomly listed their names on a piece of paper.
It was explained to him that the “chance” of that happening is 1 to 1040,000 which is also true of the exact arrangement of the 124 amino acids that make up one enzyme, which is the building block of the cell which is the building block of our human body. This is only a bare beginning of the critical order of human life.
Add to that the complexity of all the systems that must operate in our bodies for life to happen. Beyond that are all the living organisms of plant and animal life. This beauty and complexity is so incredible that to believe it all evolved from non-living matter is only to embrace foolishness.
As one person said, “Evolutionists are not born, they evolve”. Rejection of a Creator in the face of such complexity is a spiritual problem, not an intellectual one. Experts assert that any phenomenon with a probability of over 1080 does not happen by random chance. Organizing those amino acids by “chance” is 1040,000!
God: In Christ
These arguments for faith in God are not complete without the most important evidence, the Christological Argument. The historical account of the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is incredibly well-documented. We certainly embrace the fact that the Scriptures are inerrant and infallible in what it records about the life, death and resurrection of Christ.
But even in addition to the Scriptures, one can clearly establish the historicity of the resurrection more than any other event of ancient history. Christ’s prophecies, the multiple written records, the obviously empty tomb, the strict Roman guard, the arrangement of the burial clothes, the post-resurrection appearances of Christ, the dramatic change of character of the disciples and the emergence of the Christian Church are undeniable evidences of this ultimate victory over death.
The Right Question
God has given us evidences of Himself through Christ and creation, but we have to start with the right question. To ask, “Where did God come from?” is to ask a flawed question. It is like asking, “Why don’t airplanes have ducklings?” God is not in the category of the created. He breathed out the creation as recorded in Psalm 33:6, “By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.” The moral foundation of mankind, the “engine” that pulls the “train,” the beauty and order of the natural world, and the historical record of Christ all point overwhelmingly to the existence of a loving Heavenly Father who has acted upon and spoken into His creation.
With a bit of knowledge about these four arguments, we can lovingly confront our Western, godless culture by laying seeds of thought in the minds and hearts of those we interact with and trusting the Holy Spirit to awaken in them a search for answers. God promises that those who seek Him will find Him.
This was guest written by Val Yoder.