Question: I am a frequent debater and a Bible-believer. One person that I have debated has made the claim that "Since there is no evidence for God, I do not see why I should believe in something that does not have evidence to support it." I replied to him, saying that by very definition, God cannot have evidence to support his existence unless he were to interact with us right now. I claimed that God did not exist within the laws of nature, and that he could not have evidence due to this. However, he replies back to me stating that there is no reason to believe that God is above the laws of nature, and no evidence that anything above nature exists. I'm in a bind and I was wondering if you could show anything that I could learn from in order to address him. Thank You.
Answer: Thank you for taking on such a deep subject in the name of God!
Why is it that so many humans insist on paring God down to an understandable size? Any God worth having is, by definition, beyond the ken of his creatures. This is not to say that we are in the dark about him—quite the contrary. He is in the revealing business more so than the concealing business, and he has given us sufficient empirical evidences to justify spending our lives glorifying him. So, be cautious with statements like, “I claimed that God did not exist within the laws of nature.” I think I know what you mean by this, but the omnipresent God exists everywhere—inside and outside of creation—and all at the same time. So, he does indeed exist within the laws of nature, and he is discoverable there (Rom 1:18-20), removing any excuses. That being said, God’s own word, philosophy and theology are potent revealers, and people who dismiss supernatural events a priori are blind to the richness of their possibilities.
Both the Bible (God’s special revelation) and the physical creation (his general revelation) give testimony to a transcendent God—an infinite being that does indeed exist outside of time and space. By way of contrast, mythologies always produce more understandable Gods—and why not? They were merely humans on steroids—and with our flaws amped-up to match! But the true God is not like that at all. He is unapproachable in holiness and truly infinite in all his ways. As such, he does indeed live outside of our perception…and that is my first point. Why would such a God bother with creation? Yet, here we are!
The fact that we exist at all points to a transcendent creator who created us (and all the physical creation) for his own glory. This is the testimony of Scripture, of course, but our extraordinary capabilities point to a created excellence with the purpose. We can learn a lot about God by studying his creation—and particularly human beings. Atheists and Materialists must account for human soulishness through matter and energy alone. This is counterintuitive to say the least. Therefore, the argument from anthropology can be effective…unless your opponent is comfortable with a discrediting his own intelligence. We are made in God’s image for a reason…and God’s image is inescapable in us. But God did this, as he does all such things, as a transcendent being—out of sight…but not out of mind.
The Christian worldview is the only one that makes sense of everything we see…especially the human paradox. Why are we humans so evil…yet so good? You will find an overview of this and three other extra-biblical arguments for the existence of God at the following link:
In my opinion, the Kalam Cosmological Argument (KCA) will give you the most traction with the person in your description. Christian philosopher and apologist William Lane Craig of Reasonable Faith ministries uses this argument masterfully in his debates. Plus, his site has many supporting materials, and for a person with your interest in apologetics, it is well worth a visit.
The KCA is simply stated as follows:
1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
Does anyone believe that things which began to exist caused themselves to come into existence? That would be a logical stretch.
2. The universe began to exist.
Most Materialists subscribe to some version of the Big Bang theory. This carries with it the necessity that the universe began, and everything that began has a cause.
(Some people will argue against this, and those counter-arguments become a little technical. I cannot cover everything here, so I will point you to more help for that.)
3. Therefore, the universe has a cause.
You probably realize that these arguments speak merely of a “cause” and not the fully developed God of the Bible (whom we know to be the cause!) And we should be careful to keep these concepts separated when using close logic.
Josh Hickok has developed an approachable overview of the KCA. This is a great place to begin fleshing-out your argument. Visit the following link.
I’ll pray that you find some new “inspiration” by considering these few offerings. God bless you.