Monday Musings for April 23, 2018

Good morning, Musers,

I believe the Bible to be sufficient in all matters of faith and practice. I also believe that it is the inerrant word of God. Furthermore, I believe that God was proactive in its creation and propagation — if for no other reason — than that he wanted us to have the information it contains. So, although I did not state this formally, you probably understand that I also believe in God… because a person who believes all those things about God’s “product” must first believe that God exists.

Let’s flip that around. We can’t expect people who do not believe in God to believe in words that he ostensibly authored. So, we shouldn’t be surprised if when we argue for God’s existence using Scripture that they consider that a waste of time. First, they would see the information source — the Bible — as spurious. But second, even if we got through that, they would see any resultant arguments as circular.

Now, it’s no problem that God and the Bible point to each other. That’s not the type of “circular” that will draw a challenge. In fact, we’d expect the Bible to do that! But for people who do not believe in either God or the Bible, we can’t use the Bible to argue for God 1 … so what do we do? Do we have something for these people?

I often talk about “the big four” — the four most commonly used extra-biblical arguments for the existence of God. They are the Ontological, Cosmological, Teleological and Anthropological arguments. (Click here to see my treatment of them.) But I’d like to introduce you to another especially useful one — the Transcendental Argument for the Existence of God — aka TAG.

TAG relies on the premise that logic is “above” the physical creation. That is, logic is both absolute and transcendent. You may be more familiar with the argument from morality. It works the same way except that the moral argument focusses on morality rather than logic as the entity that is absolute and transcendent. Here’s how it all works.

First, no one really argues that logic and morality do not exist in the world. In fact, their ubiquity is the bane of the physicalists. You see, if logic and morality are indeed absolute and transcendent, then natural processes cannot account for them… and natural processes are all the physicalists have to work with!

But here’s the best part. God either exists or he does not. There is no third option. So, if logic and morality exist at all in this world (and they demonstrably do) and if natural causes cannot explain them (and they philosophically cannot) that knocks any non-God explanation for their existence right out of the argument… and it’s kind of like being king-of-the-hill at that point. God exists because he’s the only one left standing.

You see, only an absolute and transcendent being is sufficient to explain the presence of absolute and transcendent entities like logic and morality here on earth, yet today’s seeker challenges TAG as being circular… and I don’t really see where that comes from. But it deserves a response… and respond, I do.

To read the article referenced above, visit the link below.

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Note 1. Like every one of my Monday Musings, this one has a limited scope. Its purpose is to explore the apologetics value of TAG — but where you can’t rely on a purportedly spurious source to argue for the existence of its author. I am not saying that people can’t be brought to the knowledge of God through the Bible alone. In fact, that happens all the time. First, people may respond to God’s drawing at any time (John 6:44). Second, one of the Holy Spirit’s jobs is to convince people that Scripture is true (John 16:13)…. but remember, Scripture and the universe will still always be reasonable.

Note 2. I reference a sister ministry called CARM in this article (The Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry). I recommend them unreservedly.