Does believing in God require blind faith? Do we have to choose between science and faith? Is God real? It’s the most important question to answer in life. If He doesn’t exist, we can carry on the way we are. If He does exist, our eternal home hangs in the balance. One thing is clear though, burying our heads in the sand doesn’t make it true or untrue — it just makes us uninformed.
Come on, let’s explore the evidence. Stick with me, this is going to blow your mind!
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My story: A skeptic turned apologetic
I myself am a natural skeptic turned apologetic. When I say apologetic I don’t mean I’m sorry or regretful of Christianity. In this sense it means defender of the faith. Its logic, intellect, philosophy that helps us engage with those who have questions about the Bible.
I was baptized at my hometown church at the age of 14, but walked away in my 20s. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe in God anymore, I just wanted to do my own thing. My youthful ignorance thought it would be more fun. Of course it wasn’t. I always felt the Holy spirit had hold of my heart though. He never let go.
When I was 24 or 25 years old, I stood at the beach, crying, and asked God if he was real. I asked for a sign.
A couple days later someone at the office asked me if I would be interested in going to a Bible study. I didn’t know my coworker well and it made no sense for him to invite me apart from the Holy Spirit. That was the sign I needed and I went! It was the beginning of turning my life around.
If you’re not sure if God exists, ask him. But don’t forget to look for His answer! He rarely answers how you expect. He longs for you to come to him and He WILL hear your prayer.
Jeremiah 33:3 says: Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.
I paid a price for distancing myself from him, even though he never left me. I must have broken his heart ignoring him like that. My time away from the Word, away from church, away from growth left me stagnant and led to a period of great skepticism. If I was going to believe in a God I can’t see, I was going to have to do some digging.
I joined one Bible study, then another and another. I was a Bible study addict, but my faith and knowledge grew with each one. All of the sudden the Word came alive. Finding answers to my questions in the Bible filled me with joy I never had before.
I used to think that my natural skepticism held me back in my faith. Now I understand that if I don’t stop at only asking a question, but take the next step of actually seeking answers, my relationship flourishes with God. In fact, he invites my questions and provides answers in unexpected ways — a random book someone lends me, a sermon on the radio, a passage in the Bible, a nature program I watch with the kids.
As my questions have been answered over the years, I have changed the essence of my questions from “Do you exist and are you good?” to “Lend me your wisdom, Lord. I can’t wait to learn more about you and your creation.” I wrote this post to share what I’m learning and to encourage people to dive below the surface of everyday routines, chatter and entertainment to see something bigger.
So back to our question: Is there proof God exists? Does believing in God require blind faith? Do we have to choose between science and faith?
It’s the most important question to answer in life. If He doesn’t exist, we can carry on the way we are. If He does exist, our eternal home hangs in the balance.
This is a four-part series:
We’ll start by looking at the big picture and then narrow the focus each step of the way. First, we’re going to get our science on and then talk about the accuracy of the Bible. In order to contain these topics to one blog post I have to be ridiculously brief, but I’ve tried to offer extra resources if you’d like to dig deeper.
This is not over your head, try to soak it all in with a clear mind. I promise this will get you thinking in a fresh way. I’m so excited, let’s go!
PART 1: PLANET
Is our home planet the result of cosmic happenstance? One thing everyone can agree on is that the planet Earth is not ordinary. It is the only known planet able to sustain life. Let’s see what makes our home so special.
There are at least 30 parameters for a life-sustaining universe. If you wipe out one, there can be no life. The laws of physics are balanced on a razor’s edge for life. Here are a just a few powerful examples:
Gravity, as we know, is what pulls matter together. Without it, there cannot be planets, stars or complex organisms. If you change the force of gravity within one inch, anything larger than the size of a pea would be crushed.¹
“Imagine a ruler divided into one-inch increments and then stretched across the entire universe a distance of some 14 billion light years. … The setting for the strength of gravity could have been anywhere on the ruler, but it just happens to be situated the right place so that life is possible.” — “A Case of A Creator,” film by Lee Strobel
The cosmological constant is the expansion speed of space. Space was once thought to be static, but now (thanks to Hubble and Einstein) most scientists agree that it is ever-expanding. If space expands too quickly, the universe (galaxies, stars, planets) can’t form. The cosmological constant is fine tuned to 1 part in 100 million billion billion billion billion billion. Did you take that in? ¹
“The precision is as if one could throw a dart across the entire universe and hit a bulls eye one millimeter in diameter on the other side.” — Michael Turner, astrophysicist
An inhabitable planet
There are about 20 characteristics of a planet that can sustain life, such as these:
- an oxygen-rich atmosphere
- liquid water
- large continental land masses
- a home star of the right temperature and mass
- an orbital path that is neither too far nor too close to the home star
- a moon large enough to stabilize the tilt of planet’s axis and its tides
- a magnetic field strong enough to deflect the sun’s radiation
The chances of all the necessary factors to sustain life appearing at the same time on the same planet are ¹
Here is a PDF of the discussion guide if you would like further reflection or to do it as a group.
Next: Is life an accident? >>
That’s just a tiny sample of our environment’s fine tuning. Next week let’s look at life itself.
Could we have come from a fish? Apes? How did we get a conscience? What defines right and wrong for us?
We’re even going to talk about the golden ratio that is found in the shells, sunflower, pinecones, the galaxy, a hurricane, an unfurling leaf, petals, even the ocean waves!