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Lesson 10 of 10 Jesus Claimed To Be God: Is He Credible

Top-Ten Proofs of God’s Existence

Lesson 10 of 10: Jesus Claimed To Be God: Is He Credible?

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The last evidence for the existence of God is Jesus himself. He claimed to be God. Is this a credible claim? The answer is yes. 

First, let’s establish that he really claimed to be God. Some people say that Jesus did not claim to be God. Instead, they say that the idea that Jesus was God was made up 300 years after he died. However, that is not what the historical record shows.

The earliest account of Jesus’ life is the Gospel of Mark. The most common reference to Jesus in Mark is “Son of Man” (e.g. Mark 8:31 ). Was he merely claiming to be human, not divine? Hardly. In fact, it means the opposite–that Jesus was claiming to be divine. “Son of Man” is a reference to Daniel 7:13-14.

13 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

The Gospel of Mark also refers to Jesus as the “Son of God” in these passages: Mark 1:1, Mark 3:11, and Mark 15:39.

There are also three more revealing passages:

  • In Mark 14: 61-64 the high priest asks Jesus, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” Jesus answers, “I am,” and refers to himself as the Son of Man clearly from the Daniel 7:13-14 passage. (God gives reveals God’s name to Moses as “I AM WHO I AM” in Exodus 3:14.)  The reaction by the high priest was to immediately cry out “blasphemy” because he knew that Jesus was claiming to be divine.
  • In John 10:30 Jesus says, “I and the Father are one.” The reaction by the audience was to immediately pick up stones to stone Jesus for blasphemy because they said “…you a mere man, claim to be God” ( John 10:31-33).
  • In addition, Jesus accepted worship and forgave sins like God. When Jesus asked Peter who Jesus was, Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” ( Matthew 16:16 ).

Therefore, any serious Bible reader will acknowledge that Jesus claimed to be divine. Now, we must determine if his claim is valid. Here is the argument that Jesus is God:

  1. Jesus fulfilled many prophecies
  2. Jesus performed many miracles
  3. Jesus rose from the dead

Prophesies Fulfilled by Jesus

The prophesies fulfilled by Jesus provides proof that Jesus was God’s son and divine. In Lee Strobel’s book The Case for Christ, he interviews Louis Lapides, a Jew and Christian pastor. Lapides had attended a conservative Jewish synagogue as a youth but began a spiritual quest after his parents divorced. When instigated by a Christian pastor, Lapides began to investigate the Old Testament prophesies that point to a Messiah and Jesus. His was convinced and accepted Jesus as his Savior.

Here are just eight of the prophesies that led to Lapides conversion. According to Lapides, “the probability of just eight prophecies being fulfilled is one chance in one hundred million billion. That number is millions of times greater than the total number of people who’ve ever walked the planet.”1

  1. His suffering and death. (Isaiah 53:3-9, 12). Written 7th Century before Christ (in the 700 BC century).
  2. When He would live. (Daniel 9:25-26). Written 6th Century Before Christ (in the 600 BC century).
  3. Location of birth. (Micah 5:2). Written 7th Century before Christ (in the 700 BC century). Jesus was born in Bethlehem (Luke 2:4).
  4. Virgin birth and name. (Isaiah 7:14). Written 7th Century before Christ (in the 700 BC century). Mary was a virgin when she gave birth  (Matthew 1:18). The name Jesus in Hebrew is “Yehoshua,” meaning “Jehovah saves.” The name “Immanuel” means “God is with us.”
  5. Miracles He would perform. (Isaiah 35:5-6). Written 7th Century before Christ (in the 700 BC century) Jesus tells John the Baptist’s messenger, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor” (Matthew 11:4-5).
  6. His betrayal. (Psalm 41:9). Written 1015 BC.  Jesus was betrayed by his disciple, Judas Iscariot (Matthew 26: 14-15)
    (Zechariah 11:13). Written 5th Century before Christ (in the 500 BC century). Jesus was betrayed by his disciple, Judas Iscariot for thirty pieces of silver (Matthew 26: 14-15).
  7. Method of death. (Psalm 22:16). Written 1044 BC. (Zechariah 12:10). Written 5th Century before Christ (in the 500 BC century). In 1044 BC crucifixion hadn’t been invented. Jesus was crucified by the Romans (Luke 23:33).
  8. His resurrection. (Psalm 16:10). Written 1044 BC. Jesus rose from the dead on Sunday, the first day of the week (Luke 24:1-5).

Jesus was certainly no ordinary man. Prophesies written up to 1,000 years in advance foretold of Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection. For no one else in history has this occurred. Jesus was obviously unique in human history.

Miracles Performed by Jesus

What proof is there that Jesus was God’s son and divine? Some people believe that Jesus was just an ordinary man, merely a prophet or teacher that lived long ago. However, Christians believe that Jesus was extraordinary and divine. Why? Consider the many miracles that Jesus performed.

Jesus performed many miracles. We will look at just a few and place them in the following categories: creation of matter, alteration of matter, creation of biological life, creation of force, healing sickness, healing disease, healing paralysis, and healing eyesight. Only God could perform such a variety of miracles.

  1. Creation of matter. Example: Feeding 5,000 (Matthew 14:13-21).
  2. Alteration of matter. Example: Turning Water Into Wine (John 2:1-11).
  3. Creation of biological life. Example: Raising Lazarus From the Dead (John 11:38-44).
  4. Creation of force. Example: Stilling a Storm (Mark 4:37-41).
  5. Healing sickness. Example: Healing Peter’s Mother-In-Law (Matthew 8:14-15).
  6. Healing disease. Example: Healing Leper (Matthew 8:2-4).
  7. Healing paralysis. Example: Healing Paralytic (Matthew 9:2-8).
  8. Healing eyesight. Example: Healing Two Blind Men (Matthew 9:27-31).

Resurrection of Jesus

Next, we will examine that last proof that Jesus was God: that he was raised from the dead.  This claim is supported by 12 known facts that are believed by even the harshest critics of Christianity. This information comes from Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus MP3 Audio by Craig J. Hazen, Ph.D., professor of comparative religion and apologetics Biola University.

  1. Jesus died from crucifixion
  2. Jesus was buried in a tomb
  3. Jesus’ death caused the disciples to despair and lose hope
  4. The tomb was discovered to be empty three days later.
  5. The disciples believed they encountered the risen Jesus
  6. The disciples were transformed from doubters to bold proclaimers of Jesus’ death and resurrection
  7. The resurrection message was the center point of preaching in the early church
  8. The resurrection message was especially proclaimed in Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified and buried
  9. The church grew because of the resurrection message
  10. The primary day of worship was changed to Sunday, the day of resurrection
  11. James, a skeptic, was converted because he believed he encountered the risen Jesus
  12. Paul, an opponent, was converted because he believed he encountered the risen Jesus

Jesus is not merely an interesting figure in history or a noteworthy prophet.  He claimed to be God.  He backed up his claim.  He fulfilled the Old Testament prophesies.  He was raised from the dead.  This happened to no one else in history.  Believe and you will be saved.

 

References

  1. Lee Strobel, The Case For Christ (Grand Rapids, Zondervan, 1998).

Top-Ten Proofs of God’s Existence

  1. The Universe Began: What Caused It?
  2. Universe Is Complex: Who Designed It?
  3. The Universe Operates By Uniform Laws: Why Does It?
  4. The Human Body Is Complex: Who Designed It?
  5. Cells Are Complex: Who Designed Them?
  6. Moral Laws Exist: Who Created Them?
  7. Miracles Occur: Do Realms Outside Of Time/Space/Matter Exist?
  8. Beauty And Goodness Exist: Where Did They Come From?
  9. Historical Accounts Of God Exist In The Bible: Are They Reliable?
  10. Jesus Claimed To Be God: Is He Credible?
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Lesson 9 of 10 Historical Accounts Of God Exist In The Bible Are They Reliable

Top-Ten Proofs of God’s Existence

Lesson 9 of 10: Historical Accounts Of God Exist In The Bible: Are They Reliable?

Retrieved from http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/The-Measure-of-Genius-Michelangelos-Sistine-Chapel-at-500.html

Retrieved from http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/The-Measure-of-Genius-Michelangelos-Sistine-Chapel-at-500.html

God is mentioned over and over in the Bible. Are these historical accounts reliable?  For example, here are several accounts of people encountering God in the Bible:

  • Genesis 3: 8-9

    8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”

  • Exodus 3: 1-6

    3 Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.” 4 When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.” 5 “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” 6 Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.

  • 1 Kings 19: 9-13

    9 There he went into a cave and spent the night. The LORD Appears to Elijah And the word of the LORD came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” 11 The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

  • Matthew 3: 16-17

    16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

The Bible is a historical account of events. Is it reliable? The answer is yes.

  1. The Old and New Testament have archeological confirmation of many details.
  2. The New Testament has 24,000 manuscripts in existence compared to other ancient writings, such as 600 manuscripts in existence for Homer’s Iliad.

The Old and New Testament have archeological confirmation of many details.

Does archaeology support the Bible? Many recent archaeological finds have confirmed Biblical accuracy and refuted the challenges of unbelieving scholars. Grant Jeffrey, author of The Signature of God, states, “Scholars have not found one confirmed archaeological discovery that absolutely disproves a statement of Scriptures.”1 Jeffrey also quotes, Dr. Nelson Glueck, “the most outstanding Jewish archaeologist of the last century, who wrote in his book Rivers in the Desert ‘It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference.’”2 Here are some significant archaeological discoveries that confirm Biblical accuracy.

  • The Tel Dan Stele. For many years scholars claimed that King David in the Bible was fictional or merely a minor figure. However, during excavations in the ancient city of Dan in 1993/94 an inscribed basalt stone was found that contains the oldest reference to King David outside of the Bible. Being roughly a foot tall, it was written in the mid 9th century BC and is known as the Tel Dan Stele. A stele is an upright stone that is inscribed and used as a monument of an important event or achievement. On the Tel Dan Stele is carved on its stone face: “House of David.” This affirms that the United Monarchy under King David existed in history.
  • Walls of Jericho. The Biblical account (Joshua 6:20) of the walls of Jericho crashing down has been verified by excavations of Jericho’s ruins. They have revealed that the walls fell outward, forming a ramp against the 12–15 foot high retaining wall. This allowed the Israelites to merely climb up over the pile of rubble, up the embankment, and enter the city as described in the Bible passage. According to Joshua 6:24, the Israelites “burned the whole city and everything in it”. Once again, archaeology has verified the truth of this account. A portion of the city destroyed by the Israelites was excavated on the east side. Here, archaeologists found a layer of burned ash and debris about 3 ft thick. They also found many storage jars full of charred grain.
  • Dead Sea Scrolls. Prior to the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the earliest copies of the Old Testament were from the 10th Century AD. Then the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in Israel near the settlement of Qumran next to the Dead Sea between 1947 and 1956. They were written primarily in Hebrew on parchment (animal skin) and on papyrus (a paper-like material) 800 years earlier in c. 200 BC to AD 70 and represent the largest collection of ancient Biblical manuscripts ever found. All books of the Old Testament are included except Esther. In addition, other texts such as Biblical commentaries are also included in the collection. The Scrolls confirm the accuracy of the Old Testament.
  • Pontius Pilate Dedication Stone. Up until 1961, Pontius Pilate, known from the Bible as the one who condemned Jesus to death (Matthew 27), was considered a fictional character because there was no record of him outside the Bible. Then in June 1961, an inscription on a 32 inch limestone block, found at a Roman amphitheater in Caesarea Maritima, confirmed the biblical account. The block, originally made in c. 30 AD, was used as a dedication stone to a nearby temple. However, it had been subsequently reused for seating at the local amphitheater. The inscription in Latin read: “Tiberium Pontius Pilate Prefect of Judea.”
  • Crucifixion. Over the years scholars doubted the accuracy of the crucifixion of Jesus, citing the lack of evidence for the method. Crucifixion was a cruel form of execution for slaves and rebels. The condemned man was nailed or tied to a wooden frame, then left to die. The crucifixion of Jesus is described in Matthew 27. Not until recently was there any evidence of the practice. In 1968 the remains of a man who died by crucifixion was found in a burial cave in Israel. The nail used to pin the man to the cross was still lodged in the bones of his foot. 3
  • Many more archaeological discoveries confirm the accuracy of the Bible. Visit Answers in Genesis for a list of seven finds and the Bible and Archaeology – Online Museum for fifty finds. As believing Christians, we can feel confident that the Bible is an accurate account of history.

The New Testament has 24,000 manuscripts in existence compared to other ancient writings

In this Slideshare presentation The Word- Why Trust The Bible4 Robin Schumacher explains why we can trust the Bible.  The reliability of evidential material can be assessed by asking the following three questions:

  1. How reliable are the manuscripts and how early is the dating?
  2. Are the manuscripts free of contradictions and do the accounts match?
  3. Is there external evidence that corroborates with the manuscripts?

How reliable are the manuscripts and how early is the dating?

  • Paul references 500 witnesses to Christ’s resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:5-8)
  • Dating of New Testament books (very close to actual events):
    • Matthew AD 42
    • Luke AD 58-60
    • Mark AD 66-67
    • John AD 90
  • Most of New Testament books cited by early church fathers:
    • Clement AD 95
    • Ignatius AD 107
    • Polycarp AD 110
  • Most of New Testament books cited by early church apologists:
    • Justin Martyr AD 133
    • Ireneus AD 125
    • Clement AD 150-212
    • Origen AD 185-253
    • Tertullian AD 160-220
    • Hippolytus AD 165-235
    • Eusebius AD 265-340
  • There are many more manuscripts of the New Testament 24,000 than any other ancient work: (Plato 6, Caesar’s Gallic Wars 10, Homer’s Iliad 643)

Are the manuscripts free of contradictions and do the accounts match?

  • The New Testament books agree on all major doctrines and most minor points
    • There is a 92.2% agreement among the texts.
    • 7.8% variants discovered but only 1% considered “meaningful.”
  • A “meaningful” example is 1 Thessalonians 2:7 where Paul describes himself as gentle or as “little children,” a one letter difference between: “epioi” vs. “nepioi”

Is there external evidence that corroborates with the manuscripts?

  • Confirmation of details by:
    • Josephus’ History of the Jewish War and Antiquities of the Jewish People
    • Tacitus’ Annals
    • Pliny the Younger’s Letters
    • Lucian of Samosata’s The Works of Lucian of Samosata
    • Celsus
    • Jewish Talmud Sanhedrin 43a
  • Archaeological confirmation:
    • Jesus’ brother James (martyred in AD 62) coffin found in 1955; inscription reads “James son of Joseph, brother of Jesus”
    • City of Nazareth uncovered in 1955
    • Inscription to Caiaphas found in 1990
    • Name of Pilate found in 1961
    • Luke’s names of rulers found in Delphi, Corinth and other sites
    • Luke’s details in Acts have been mapped to many excavation findings
    • Crucifixion victim found in 1968
    • Name of Erastus, city treasurer of Corinth, (Romans 16:23) found in 1929. A Corinthian pavement stone had the label “Erastus, curator of public buildings.”
    • Lazarus’ sarcophagus found in 900s (Lazarus had fled Judea to Cyprus and became bishop at the church of Larnaca). Inscription on Sarcophagus reads, “Lazarus, bishop of Larnaca. Four days dead. Friend of Jesus.”

We have sound evidence that the Bible is reliable and that the historical accounts of God are true.

References

  1. Grant R. Jeffrey, The Signature of God 2010 (Waterbrook Press, 2010), 57.
  2. Ibid, 56
  3. Insight for Living, Insight’s Archaeology Handbook (Insight for Living, 2008), 87.
  4. Robin Schumacher, The Word: Why Trust the Bible (Slideshare: Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/schumacr/the-word-why-trust-the-bible-1638014.

Top-Ten Proofs of God’s Existence

  1. The Universe Began: What Caused It?
  2. Universe Is Complex: Who Designed It?
  3. The Universe Operates By Uniform Laws: Why Does It?
  4. The Human Body Is Complex: Who Designed It?
  5. Cells Are Complex: Who Designed Them?
  6. Moral Laws Exist: Who Created Them?
  7. Miracles Occur: Do Realms Outside Of Time/Space/Matter Exist?
  8. Beauty And Goodness Exist: Where Did They Come From?
  9. Historical Accounts Of God Exist In The Bible: Are They Reliable?
  10. Jesus Claimed To Be God: Is He Credible?
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Lesson 8 of 10 Beauty And Goodness Exist Where Did They Come From

Top-Ten Proofs of God’s Existence

Lesson 8 of 10: Beauty And Goodness Exist: Where Did They Come From?

outdoor_photos_Medium

(Retrieved from http://www.outdoor-photos.com/)

Where do goodness and beauty come from? Are they merely conditioned responses from eons of survival or do they reveal something more?

Ralph O. Muncaster asks, “Exactly what is pleasure? Why is there pleasure? How do we measure it?”1 Evolutionists say pleasure is a conditioned response from acts necessary for survival. For example, sex is pleasurable because it encourages reproduction. Muncaster questions why those impulses couldn’t have arisen as instincts, like eating and drinking, to stay alive. Where did the pleasure come from? He suggests that someone wants us to experience joy.

Timothy Keller explains that our response to goodness and beauty is actually a clue that God exists.  The impulse is for something that is real.  For example, the impulse hunger suggests that food exists. He states:

Isn’t it true that innate desires correspond to real objects that can satisfy them, such as sexual desire (corresponding to sex), physical appetite (corresponding to food), tiredness (corresponding to sleep), and relational desires (corresponding to friendship)2.

He suggests that the longing evoked by beauty qualifies as an innate desire like hunger. Why does a great nature landscape photograph, such as the one provided above, affect us so? Why does it inspire a deep longing for something that is not of this world? Great art and beauty makes us feel that there is real meaning in life. Why?

Keller explains,

We want something that nothing in this world can fulfill. Isn’t that at least a clue that this “something” that we want exists? This unfulfillable longing, then, qualifies as a deep, innate human desire, and that makes it a major clue that God is there3.

He goes on to explain that if evolutionary biology explains that religious and moral intuition were merely conditioned responses formed over eons to help our ancestors to survive and if those intuitions really aren’t true, then we can’t trust any of our beliefs. That includes our beliefs in evolutionary biology. “If there is no God, we should not trust our cognitive faculties at all,” Keller points out4.

But we do trust our cognitive abilities. We do see beauty and have a deep longing for something that beauty evokes. That longing is for God. Hunger means that food exists. Beauty and goodness mean that God exists.

References

  1. Ralph O. Muncaster, 101 Reasons You can Believer: Why the Christian Faith Makes Sense (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2004), 62.
  2. Timothy Keller, The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism(New York, NY: Riverhead Books, 2008), 139.
  3. Ibid, 139.
  4. Ibid, 145.

Top-Ten Proofs of God’s Existence

  1. The Universe Began: What Caused It?
  2. Universe Is Complex: Who Designed It?
  3. The Universe Operates By Uniform Laws: Why Does It?
  4. The Human Body Is Complex: Who Designed It?
  5. Cells Are Complex: Who Designed Them?
  6. Moral Laws Exist: Who Created Them?
  7. Miracles Occur: Do Realms Outside Of Time/Space/Matter Exist?
  8. Beauty And Goodness Exist: Where Did They Come From?
  9. Historical Accounts Of God Exist In The Bible: Are They Reliable?
  10. Jesus Claimed To Be God: Is He Credible?
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Lesson 7 of 10 Miracles Occur Do Realms Outside Of Time Space and Matter Exist

Top-Ten Proofs of God’s Existence

Lesson 7 of 10: Miracles Occur: Do Realms Outside Of Time, Space, and Matter Exist?

Miracle_Light

Do miracles really happen or are they just myths easily explained away today? The answers may surprise you. If miracles really happen, then there must really be a God. As Dr. Craig S. Keener has written a heavily researched and cited two volume book, Miracles: The Credibility of the New Testament Accounts 1. He states“…today hundreds of millions of people claim to have witnessed miracles”2.

Most of these people are  located in Third World countries. We in the West consider those accounts to be from ignorant or superstitious people, an attitude Keener attributes to elitism and even racism. His exhaustively researched book contains many accounts verified by the author’s personal contacts with people he trusts. Keener states,

One Western researcher in the Philippines interviewed people who were prayed for to see if any of them felt better and was astonished to learn that 83% of them actually reported that they had experienced some dramatic healing from God in their bodies. The complaints healed in the reports ranged from cancer to tuberculosis, ulcers, heart trouble, tonsillitis, wounds and punctures, and a dislocated shoulder3.

CNN has reported several controversial studies about prayer helping cardiac patients. The studies claim that many doctors believe prayer makes a difference in healing (although detractors were noted as well), and that many family doctors believe that religious faith can help patients heal4.

Television stations have reported that increasing numbers of physicians pray with their patients. Business Wire reports that 73 percent of doctors believe that miracles can happen today, and that more than half pray for their patients and have seen miraculous results5.

Keener has also researched individual accounts of miracles and recounts hundreds in his book. Here are some very reliable accounts from people Keener knows and trusts.

He is personally acquainted with Eleanor Sebiano, a pastor in the Philipines who works among the poor in the mountains. She knew a welder, David Dominong, who was electrocuted. Dominong was instantly healed at a church meeting. He was electrocuted in October 2002 and was hospitalized one month with third to fourth degree burns. Doctors told him that it might be 3 to 5 years before he would be able to walk. He was wheelchair bound6.

Dominong was considering amputation, but his sister convinced him to attend an evangelistic crusade in December 2002. Some men carried Dominong from the car to the stage. The preacher prayed for him and told him to walk. By faith David walked about 20 meters with no crutches. He was astonished. The next day people who knew him, including some who had not been healed at the crusade, visited his home to see how he was doing. They found him walking outside his house. He embraced the Christian faith of his wife and sister and “from then on I attended church every Sunday,” he said, “because I have proved that God is a miracle working God”6.

Dr Keener also knows Dr Ivan Satyavrata, a leader of the Assemblies of God church and ministries in Kolkata, India. Satyavrata holds a Ph.D. from the Oxford Centre for Missions Studies and has been a professor at the Assemblies of God Seminary in the United States. He provided written accounts of miracle healings from two people7.

In 1992 Nivedita Ghost was treated for final stage brain cancer. Surgery and radiation destroyed her salivary glands and ability to talk and eat. Doctors estimated that she had 5 months to live and would she not be able to speak. When Nivedita was nearly unconscious, a Christian prayed for her. To the family’s astonishment, Nivedita was able to speak. After the family threw away their deity statues and talismans and became Christians, Nivedita was able to swallow within a month and became normal within 6 to 8 months. The neurosurgeon tested her and could not even find scars where he had operated7.

Similarly Lydia Singh was diagnosed with advanced uterine cancer and given at most a month to live. After concerted prayer she recovered and after seven months was fully recovered. Astonished doctors tested her and found that she was cancer-free7.

Dr. Keener also become acquainted with several reliable people in Cuba as he was teaching a group of pastors there. Mirtha Venero Boza is a medical doctor and had a very personal story to share. The hand of her baby granddaughter was severely burned by a hot iron. The hand was swollen, and the skin was peeling off. Mirtha prayed for about a half an hour, and the baby’s hand was restored completely without medical intervention, as if it had never been burned. Because Mirtha is a medical doctor, who would recognize the severity of burns, her observations are credible8.

Dorka Rojas Cruz is the rector of the Elim Bible Institute. She also has an especially personal story to share of a healing in her home church of Las Tunas, Cuba. In 1956 Felipe Rojas Rojas was too weak even to sit after 43 days of fever. Doctors felt his condition was hopeless and sent him home to die, giving him five or six days to live.

Dying and desperate, he begged his mother to invite two women known for prayer, Maria Manchin and Gisela, to his home to pray for him. On the way to his home, the women felt that he would be healed. Without even praying they simply told Felipe’s mother that God would raise him up. A few seconds later, before they could even leave the house, Felipe was healed, and he quickly became a Christian. He is now 73 years old, and is Dorka’s father9.

Miracles are real. They are unexplainable by modern medicine and science. They transcend our concept of time, space, and matter. Who exists outside of time, space, and matter? God.

References

  1. Craig S. Keener, Miracles: The Credibility of the New Testament Accounts Volume 1(Grand Rapids MI: Baker, 2011) Academic.
  2. Ibid, 209.
  3. Ibid, 268.
  4. Ibid, 427-428.
  5. Ibid.
  6. Ibid, 272.
  7. Ibid, 282
  8. Ibid, 345
  9. Ibid, 347-348

Top-Ten Proofs of God’s Existence

  1. The Universe Began: What Caused It?
  2. Universe Is Complex: Who Designed It?
  3. The Universe Operates By Uniform Laws: Why Does It?
  4. The Human Body Is Complex: Who Designed It?
  5. Cells Are Complex: Who Designed Them?
  6. Moral Laws Exist: Who Created Them?
  7. Miracles Occur: Do Realms Outside Of Time/Space/Matter Exist?
  8. Beauty And Goodness Exist: Where Did They Come From?
  9. Historical Accounts Of God Exist In The Bible: Are They Reliable?
  10. Jesus Claimed To Be God: Is He Credible?
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Lesson 6 of 10: Moral Laws Exist: Who Created Them

Top-Ten Proofs of God’s Existence

Lesson 6 of 10: Moral Laws Exist: Who Created Them?

Murder_2

Why are rape, cruelty, and child abuse wrong? In the animal kingdom there are no such moral laws. A new alpha male in the cat family will kill infant offspring of the previous alpha male. Why is that unacceptable behavior for humans? As Dr. William Lane Craig states, moral values can’t be merely the byproduct of biological evolution and social conditioning. Why? Certain moral values are binding and true. Deep down we know that rape, cruelty, and child abuse are moral abominations and unalterable laws. Some things are really wrong to us. 1

If it were not so, then groups like the Nazis would be justified in their mass killings to purify and perpetuate their race. Yet, how many people around the world support the Nazi atrocities? Most people in the world just believe that certain things are wrong.

Timothy Keller in his book, The Reason for God, explains that hostility to outsiders of one’s group should be as acceptable as acceptance to insiders of one’s group, but it’s not:

An individual’s self-sacrificing, altruistic behavior toward his or her blood kin might result in a greater survival rate for the individual’s family or extended clan, and therefore result in a greater number of descendants with that person’s genetic material. For evolutionary purposes, however, the opposite response-hostility to all people outside one’s group—should be just as widely considered moral and right behavior. Yet today we believe that sacrificing time, money, emotion, and even life—especially for someone “not of our kind” or tribe is right2.

Why? Why are there universal moral standards? Where do they come from? William Lane Craig has an explanation: God. Craig reasons:

  1. If God did not exist, objective moral values and duties would not exist.
  2. Objective moral values and duties do exist.
  3. Therefore, if follows logically and inescapably that God exists. 3

References

  1. William Lane Craig, Is There Evidence For God? William Lane Craig vs. Lawrence Krauss (Reasonable Faith, 2011) Available at: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/the-craig-krauss-debate-at-north-carolina-state-university#ixzz1uIT936fc (May 11, 2012).
  2. Timothy Keller, The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism (New York, Riverhead Books, 2008), 133.
  3. William Lane Craig, Is There Evidence For God? William Lane Craig vs. Lawrence Krauss.

Top-Ten Proofs of God’s Existence

  1. The Universe Began: What Caused It?
  2. Universe Is Complex: Who Designed It?
  3. The Universe Operates By Uniform Laws: Why Does It?
  4. The Human Body Is Complex: Who Designed It?
  5. Cells Are Complex: Who Designed Them?
  6. Moral Laws Exist: Who Created Them?
  7. Miracles Occur: Do Realms Outside Of Time/Space/Matter Exist?
  8. Beauty And Goodness Exist: Where Did They Come From?
  9. Historical Accounts Of God Exist In The Bible: Are They Reliable?
  10. Jesus Claimed To Be God: Is He Credible?
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Lesson 5 of 10 Cells Are Complex Who Designed Them

Top-Ten Proofs of God’s Existence

Lesson 5 of 10: Cells Are Complex: Who Designed Them?

Vibrio cholerae

Cells are protein-based biological machines that are a million million times smaller than the smallest piece of functional machinery everything ever constructed by man. Who designed the cell?

According to Ralph O. Muncaster1, the human body consists of approximately 75 trillion cells. Each cell, typically about one-thousandth of the size of a period in a sentence, performs like a modern factory. A single cell

  • generates power
  • manufactures products
  • designates how products relate
  • guides the products’ distribution
  • provides packaging
  • manages information transfer
  • assures quality control
  • disposes of waste

How is this done? Consider the following cell diagram:

Cells are like a factory

  • The nucleus is the control room where DNA resides. DNA is a library containing 3.2 billion base pairs of information. If all the DNA were stretched out in the human body, it would extend beyond the solar system. RNA transfers DNA information to the “production floor” to create proteins.
  • Ribosomes are the “production floor” where proteins are manufactured based on the information the RNA brings.
  • Mitochondria are the “energy plants” providing power.
  • Lysosomes are the waste removal systems.
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum provides the transportation network.
  • Golgi Apparatus is the packaging center.

According to Dr. Michael Behe, 2 “We’ve learned the cell is horrendously complicated, and that it’s actually run by micromachines of the right shape, right strength, and the right interactions.” He continues3, “The cell is not simply a bag of soup, with everything sloshing around.” Cells have compartments, like rooms in a house. Each compartment is sealed off by a membrane.

The ribosome is the factory’s production floor. It “can synthesize any protein that is instructed to make by DNA. Given the correct genetic information, in fact, it can construct any protein-based biological machine, including another were ribosome, regardless of the complexity…. [It] is of the order of several thousand million million times smaller than the smallest piece of functional machinery ever constructed by man.” 4

DEOXYRIBONUCLEIC ACID (DNA)

DNA_Language_of_God

DNA is found in the nucleus of each of our 75 trillion cells. Each nucleus contains 23 pairs of chromosomes, which are parcels of coiled DNA. The DNA stretched out would extend over six feet in length. Every cell in our body contains more information than the entire thirty volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica. The rungs of the DNA contain sequences of four nitrogen bases—adenine (A), thymine (T), cytosine (C), guanine (G), which combine as “words, sentences, and paragraphs” to communicate information to the cell. The sequences are not repetitive like a crystal or snowflake with low information content. The sequences are complex and contain high information content, suggesting intelligent design. DNA contains coded instructions for making everything the body needs, especially proteins, the “building blocks of life.” 5

The four nitrogen bases (A, T, C, G) that form the rungs of the DNA function as alphabetic characters in a written language. First a molecular machine unwinds the tightly wound strands of DNA. Then, another machine copies the original DNA instructions to form a messenger molecule called RNA (ribonucleic acid). The RNA exits the nucleus and passes through a “factory” called a ribosome, the site of protein synthesis. As the RNA passes through the ribosome, the process of translation begins. A mechanical assembly line builds a chain of amino acids from the instructions on the DNA transcript. The sequential arrangement of the amino acids determines the type of protein constructed. More than 150 different types of amino acids are found in cells, but only 20 of these are commonly used to make proteins. A protein is formed when the different amino acids are placed together in a very specific and unique order and are transported into a barrel shaped “machine” that folds the amino acid assembly into a precise shape depending on its function. Then the protein is released and guided by another molecular machine into the cell to do its job. 6

Consider the following two molecular machines. Like machines built by man, machines require a design for the components to work together. Molecular machines were designed by God.

Molecular machines are “irreducibly complex.” All components must be present at once for the machine to work. It is impossible for Darwinian sequential small incremental changes to produce an irreducibly complex machine. All component parts would simultaneously have to mutate together, but there would be no reason from the beginning for the components to be together or to form separately. They had to be designed to work together from the beginning. This is today what is termed “intelligent design.”

Cilia

cilia

Cilia are like hairs on the surface of cells. The cilia move fluid across the cell surface. For example, we have cilia lining our lungs. Every cell has about 200 cilia. If we breathe in little foreign particles, the cilia beat together to sweep mucus toward our throats to expel the particles. Other cilia, found on sperm cells, can row the cells through a fluid. The sperm cells are propelled forward by the row action of cilia. 7

Flagellum

Flagellum_Diagrams_Smaller

While cilia act like oars to move cells, each bacteria has a rotary propeller called a flagellum. Only bacteria have them. “The flagellum ‘s propeller is long and whiplike, made out of a protein called flagellin. This is attached to a drive shaft by hook protein, which acts as a universal joint, allowing the propeller and drive shaft to rotate freely. Several types of proteins act as bushing material to allow the driveshaft to penetrate the bacterial wall and attach to the rotary motor” 8

“…the flagellum ‘s propeller can spin ten thousand revolutions per minute…. the propeller can stop spinning within a quarter turn and instantly start spinning the other at ten thousand rpms…. it [is] the most efficient motor in the universe. It’s way beyond anything we can make, especially when you consider its size…”A flagellum is on the order of a couple microns. A micron is about 1/20,000 of an inch. Most of its length is the propeller. The motor itself would be maybe 1/100,000ths of an inch. Even with all of our technology, we can’t even begin to create something like this” 9.

If information is inscribed on DNA, where did the information come from? Can complex information come from natural processes? Can natural processes develop irreducibly complex “machines” and “factories”? The answer is that only a designer could produce complex information and complex organisms. Who is that designer? “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1 NIV).

References

  1. Ralph O. Muncaster, Why Are Scientists Turning to God? (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2002), 29 – 31.
  2. Lee Strobel, The Case for a Creator: A Journalist Investigates Scientific Evidence That Points Toward God, (Grand Rapids MI: Zondervan, 2004), 197.
  3. Ibid, 207-208.
  4. Ibid, 208.
  5. C. B. Thaxton, DNA, Design, and the Origin of Life, in Darwinism Under the Microscope: How Recent Scientific Evidence Points To Divine Design, J.P. Gills and T. Woodward, Editors (Lake Mary, FL: Charisma House, 2002), 69.
  6. S. Meyer, Journey Inside the Cell (Produced by Illustra Media: 2009), Available at http://www.signatureinthecell.com/.
  7. Ibid, 201-202.
  8. Ibid, 204.
  9. Ibid, 205.

Top-Ten Proofs of God’s Existence

  1. The Universe Began: What Caused It?
  2. Universe Is Complex: Who Designed It?
  3. The Universe Operates By Uniform Laws: Why Does It?
  4. The Human Body Is Complex: Who Designed It?
  5. Cells Are Complex: Who Designed Them?
  6. Moral Laws Exist: Who Created Them?
  7. Miracles Occur: Do Realms Outside Of Time/Space/Matter Exist?
  8. Beauty And Goodness Exist: Where Did They Come From?
  9. Historical Accounts Of God Exist In The Bible: Are They Reliable?
  10. Jesus Claimed To Be God: Is He Credible?
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Lesson 4 of 10 The Human Body Is Complex: Who Designed It

Top-Ten Proofs of God’s Existence

Lesson 4 of 10: The Human Body Is Complex: Who Designed It?

Human_Body_Complex_Design

The human body is more complex than anything man can build. A complex design requires a designer. Who designed the human body?

Consider the following:

  • The human skeleton is flexible with hinges and joints that allow movement. However, just like man-made machines, moving parts must be lubricated to reduce harmful friction. Man-made machines are lubricated by outside sources; we have to pour oil into a car. In contrast, the human body lubricates itself by manufacturing a jelly-like substance in the right amount at every place it is needed. 1
  • The body has a cooling system much more complicated than the cooling system of a car. The human body has an automatic thermostat that keeps the body temperature at about 98.6°F. When the body senses over-heating, drops of perspiration form from millions of tiny sweat glands in the skin. 2
  • The body has a chemical processing plant far more intricate than any processing plant that man has ever built. The body’s chemical processing plant changes the food we eat into living tissue, such as flesh, blood, bones and teeth. It even repairs the body when parts are damaged by accident or disease. 3
  • The body has a sensing system more intricate than what man can build.  On every finger humans have thousands of touch sensors. 4
  • Human communication requires many complex design features in the body. A central processing unit is located in the brain. A long throat, agile tongue, fine lips, and precise vocal cords combine to make speech possible. Up to 100 muscles work during communication, while the brain is processing information at an immense rate. The human face has 50 facial muscles and the unique ability to make 10,000 different facial expressions. 5

Speech Processing_small

  • Our bodies can pass on to the next generation the programmed information required to form another person from simple chemicals. 6

Let’s discuss some of the major pieces of intricately designed equipment that are found in the human body.

Human Brain

brainstructure_Small

The control center of the human body is the human brain. It is by far the most complex information-processing in the universe. The human brain simultaneously processes an amazing amount of information: colors and objects we see, temperatures around us, pressures of our hands and feet against objects, sounds around us. 7 The body’s computer system computes and sends billions of bits of information throughout the body. This information controls every action and sub-system in the body. “The human brain consists of 10 to 100 billion neurons if stretched end to end would circle the earth four times. These neurons make about 1000 trillion complications per second.” Just as information is carried by wires and electronic parts in computer systems, nerves carry information in the human body. 8

Human Eye

human_eye_diagram_small

The human eye is a more complicated system than modern cameras, which operate on the same basic principle as the eyes.  However, the focus and aperture are adjusted automatically in the eye. 10 The eye can distinguish among seven million colors and can handle 1.5 million messages simultaneously. 11 Light passes through the lens of the eye and hits the retina where light-sensitive cells convert the information into pictures for the brain to interpret. This takes place in 127,000,000 rods and cones in the eye. The retina’s photocells require only about 1 to 2 photons to trigger a visual signal. 12  In one second of sight the human optical system (the eye, optic nerve and brain) perform computations that would require 100 years of nonstop computer time on the Cray supercomputer page 13

Human Ear

ear-diagram-labeled-small

The human ear is an incredible sound processing system. Sound waves go down the auditory canal and are carried by the bones of the middle ear to the cochlea, which is filled with liquid. Transferring sound waves from air to liquid is one of the most difficult problems known to science. In the human ear three tiny bones called the ossicles do the job. 14

Human Heart

Diagram_of_the_human_heart_(catalan)_Small

The human heart is a muscular pump forcing blood through thousands of miles of blood vessels. Blood carries food and oxygen to every part of the body. 15 Oxygen is vital to every living cell, and there are between 10 and 100 trillion cells in human body. How on earth does oxygen get to each of those cells?

When we breathe, oxygen comes into contact with capillary walls that allow oxygen in the blood stream. The oxygen dissolves in tiny red blood cells in the bloodstream. The red blood cells deliver the oxygen throughout the body via tiny capillaries only the width of a single red blood cell. The network of blood vessels and capillaries together equals about 60,000 miles, which would circle the earth two and a half times. 16

The heart beats 100,000 times a day or two-and-a-half billion times in a lifetime pumping about 60,000,000 gallons of blood. There is no down time to perform maintenance on the heart. If the heart has a problem, it repairs itself by replacing damaged cells with new ones. 17

Conclusion

These fantastic organs in the body all controlled by a central processing unit are more complicated and intricate than anything designed by man.  A design requires a designer.  We call that designer God.

Psalm 139:14 “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

References

  1. Joseph Paturi ,The Human Body-God’s Masterpiece, (Answers in Genisis,http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/cm/v20/n4/humanbody, 1998).
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Stuart Burgess, Humans: Purposely Designed(Answers in Genisis, http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v2/n3/humans-purposely-designed, 2007).
  5. Ibid.
  6. Joseph Paturi ,The Human Body-God’s Masterpiece.
  7. Marilyn Adamson, Is There a God,( EveryStudent.com, http://www.everystudent.com/a/is-there-a-god.html, n.d.).
  8. Joseph Paturi ,The Human Body-God’s Masterpiece.
  9. Ralph O. Muncaster, 101 Reasons You Can Believe: Why the Christian Faith Makes Sense, (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2004), 113.
  10. Joseph Paturi ,The Human Body-God’s Masterpiece.
  11. Marilyn Adamson, Is There a God.
  12. Ralph O. Muncaster, 101 Reasons You Can Believe: Why the Christian Faith Makes Sense, 89-90.
  13. Ralph O. Muncaster, 101 Reasons You Can Believe: Why the Christian Faith Makes Sense, 149.
  14. Joseph Paturi ,The Human Body-God’s Masterpiece.
  15. Joseph Paturi ,The Human Body-God’s Masterpiece.
  16. Ralph O. Muncaster, 101 Reasons You Can Believe: Why the Christian Faith Makes Sense, 78-79.
  17. Ralph O. Muncaster, 101 Reasons You Can Believe: Why the Christian Faith Makes Sense, 130.

Top-Ten Proofs of God’s Existence

  1. The Universe Began: What Caused It?
  2. Universe Is Complex: Who Designed It?
  3. The Universe Operates By Uniform Laws: Why Does It?
  4. The Human Body Is Complex: Who Designed It?
  5. Cells Are Complex: Who Designed Them?
  6. Moral Laws Exist: Who Created Them?
  7. Miracles Occur: Do Realms Outside Of Time/Space/Matter Exist?
  8. Beauty And Goodness Exist: Where Did They Come From?
  9. Historical Accounts Of God Exist In The Bible: Are They Reliable?
  10. Jesus Claimed To Be God: Is He Credible?
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Lesson 3 of 10 The Universe Operates By Uniform Laws Why Does It

Top-Ten Proofs of God’s Existence

Lesson 3 of 10: The Universe Operates By Uniform Laws: Why Does It?

Math_Equations

Why do the laws of nature never change? Why is the universe so orderly? Why isn’t it a swirling random maelstrom? The reality is that the universe is governed by the “laws of nature” that never change, and those laws even possess an order that can be expressed mathematically. Why? If there are laws, there must be a law maker.

The so-called “laws of natural” govern everything from the motion of the planets to the revolution of electrons around atoms. According to Ralph O. Muncaster:

Physicists indicate that a proton is 1836 times more massive than an electron. If this ratio varied only slightly, the required molecules for life would not form—there would be no chemistry and no life at all. Did this precise ratio of atomic particles come about by accident? After all, it could have been any number at all. It is so amazing that even an agnostic physicist, the esteemed “Newton’s chair” professor Stephen Hawking, believes it is almost beyond coincidence. He notes, “The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life” 1

These laws of nature do not arbitrarily change from time to time or from location to location. This is one of the most basic assumptions in science. Otherwise, science would not be possible. Christians believe the Bible provides the answer. God created the universe and sustains it consistently. God does not change, and neither do the laws of nature He created.

Jeremiah 33:25 states, “This is what the LORD says: ‘If I have not made my covenant with day and night and established the laws of heaven and earth,…”

What are some of these consistent laws of nature that make science possible? According to Dr. Jason Lisle 2:

  • The Laws of Chemistry. The laws of chemistry give different properties to different elements. The properties of elements are not arbitrary. In fact, the elements can be logically grouped into a periodic table. This periodic table did not happen by chance. Elements in a vertical column have the same outer electron structures. These outer electrons determine the physical characteristics of the atom.
  • The Laws of Planetary Motion. Planets in our solar system obey three laws of nature.
    1. Planets orbit around the sun in ellipses.
    2. Planets speed up as they get closer to the sun within their orbit.
    3. The exact mathematical relationship between a planet’s distance from the sun (a) and its orbital period (p) can be express mathematically as p2=a3.
  • The Laws of Physics. Some laws of physics describe how gravity operates, how mass moves through space, and many other phenomena. The laws of physics can be expressed mathematically, such as E=mc2. The simple formula F=ma shows how an object with mass (m) will accelerate (a) when a net force (F) is applied to it. Every object in the universe consistently obeys these rules.
  • The Laws of Mathematics. Mathematical laws and principles include the rules of addition, the transitive property (If a = b and b = c, then a = c.), the commutative properties of addition (a + b = b + a) and multiplication (a x b = b x a), the binomial theorem ((a+b)0 = 1; (a+b)1 = a+b; (a+b)2 = (a+b)(a+b) = a2 + 2ab + b2; etc.), and many others.

The laws of mathematics must be true but are not part of the physical universe (they are not material). The secular naturalist cannot account for the laws of mathematics since mathematics is not a part of the physical universe. However, the Christian understands that there is a God beyond the universe, and that mathematics reflects the thoughts of God.

According to Dr. Robin Collins, “In physics, we see an uncanny degree of harmony, symmetry, and proportionality. And we see something that I call ‘discoverability.’ By that, I mean that the laws of nature seem to have been carefully arranged so that they can be discovered by beings with our level of intelligence”3  

Intelligent laws can only be created by an intelligent being. We call this intelligent being God. He exists outside of time and space. He created a universe and populated it with people to discover His creation. As the Apostle Paul writes in Romans 1:20 “For since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”

References

  1. Ralph O. Muncaster, 101 Reasons You Can Believe: Why the Christian Faith Makes Sense (Eugene, OR, Harvest House Publishers, 2004), 74.
  2. Jason Lisle, God & Natural Law (Answers in Genesis, August 28 2006, Retrieved from http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v1/n2/god-natural-law).
  3. >As cited in Lee Strobel, The Case For A Creator (Grand Rapids, Zondervan, 2004), 147.

Top-Ten Proofs of God’s Existence

  1. The Universe Began: What Caused It?
  2. Universe Is Complex: Who Designed It?
  3. The Universe Operates By Uniform Laws: Why Does It?
  4. The Human Body Is Complex: Who Designed It?
  5. Cells Are Complex: Who Designed Them?
  6. Moral Laws Exist: Who Created Them?
  7. Miracles Occur: Do Realms Outside Of Time/Space/Matter Exist?
  8. Beauty And Goodness Exist: Where Did They Come From?
  9. Historical Accounts Of God Exist In The Bible: Are They Reliable?
  10. Jesus Claimed To Be God: Is He Credible?
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Lesson 2 of 10 The Universe Is Complex Who Designed It

Top-Ten Proofs of God’s Existence

Lesson 2 of 10. The Universe Is Complex: Who Designed It?

the-earth-moon-and-sun
 

Most people believe there is a God, but why? Must we depend on the Bible for our proof? Of course you can, but there is an extra-biblical reason to believe that God exists: the complex design of the universe.

COMPLEX DESIGN of the universe

The universe is fine tuned. For example, Stephen Hawking has estimated that if the rate of expansion one second after the Big Bang was smaller by one part in a hundred thousand million million the universe would have collapsed. The fine-tuning is so precise that the change in the force of gravity by only one part in 10100 would have prevented a life-permitting universe. What could explain this remarkable fine-tuning?

As Dr. William Lane Craig explains the fine tuning of the universe could be cause by 1) Natural law, 2) Chance, or 3) Design.  He will argue that it cannot be due to either natural law or chance. Therefore, it must be due to design.

 

As Dr. Craig examples, in recent decades scientists have discovered that initial conditions of our universe were fine-tuned with a precision and delicacy that defies human comprehension. This fine-tuning is of two sorts:1

  1. Certain mathematical constants, like the gravitational constant, exists. These constants are not determined by the laws of nature. This precision defies human comprehension and is necessary to create and sustain intelligent life. According to Francis Collins, “There are 15 constants – the gravitational constant, various constants about the strong and weak nuclear force, etc. – that have precise values. If any one of those constants was off by even one part in a million, or in some cases, by one part in a million million, the universe could not have actually come to the point where we see it. Matter would not have been able to coalesce, where there would have been no galaxy, stars, planets or people”2. This has been called the “Fine-Tuning Argument,” that the universe was prepared for human beings.
  2. Certain arbitrary quantities put in as initial conditions on which the laws of nature operate, like the amount of entropy in the very early universe.

All of these constants and quantities fall into an extraordinarily narrow range to permit life. Were they altered by even a hair’s breadth, the life-permitting balance would be destroyed and life would not exist.

  There are three possible explanations of this fine-tuning:

  1. Physical necessity
  2. Chance
  3. Design.

Since the mathematical constants and arbitrary quantities are independent of the laws of nature, they can’t be due to physical necessity.
Since there is a given pattern to mathematical constants and arbitrary quantities, they can’t be due to chance.  After all, scientists are able to distinguish a signal from outer space from random noise due to a pattern. The fine-tuning of the universe exhibits just that combination of incomprehensible improbability and an independently given pattern that are the earmarks of design.

We can also formulate this reasoning into a simple deductive argument:
1. The fine-tuning of the universe is due to either physical necessity, chance, or design.
2. It is not due to either physical necessity or chance.
3. Therefore, it is due to design.
Thus, the fine-tuning of the universe implies the existence of a Designer of the cosmos.

UNIQUENESS of EARTH FOR HUMAN LIFE

 Lee Strobel in The Case for a Creator: A Journalist Investigates Scientific Evidence That Points Toward God interviews Robin Collins, Guillermo Gonzales, and Jay Wesley Richards3.  They explain that the design of the planet earth is unique to permit life.

Earths_Unique_Design_3

  • The earth’s atmosphere is unique, filtering out harmful ultraviolet radiation while working with the oceans to moderate climate by storing and redistributing solar energy.
  • The size of the earth is just large enough so that its gravity retains the atmosphere and yet just small enough not to trap too many harmful gases.
  • The earth has a nearly circular orbit, which prevents ice ages due to temperature shifts on the surface of the planet.
  • The earth’s distance from the sun is ideal for life, right in a safe distance range of +/- 5%.
  • The liquid iron surrounding earth’s core creates a dynamo that generates the planet’s magnetic field, shielding us from low-energy cosmic rays.
  • The earth contains valuable ores deposited near the planet’s surface, enabling mining for technological development
  • The sun is one of the 10% most massive stars in the galaxy and emits the right colors of light, with a balance of red and blue, varies its light output by only 1/10 of 1%, and prevents wild climate swings on earth. (p. 177)
  • The moon is large compared to earth, something unique in the inner solar system. The moon stabilizes the tilt of the earth, preventing major temperature swings.
  • The moon also increases earth’s tides (the moon contributing 60% and the sun contributing 40%), flushing nutrients from the continents to the oceans, which keeps them nutrient rich and maintaining large-scale ocean circulation, which keeps the higher latitudes relatively mild. (p.179)
  • The earth is ideally positioned for galaxy exploration.
    • The sun is 400 times larger than the moon but is also 400 times farther away, which is a perfect match to view a total solar eclipse, yielding important scientific discoveries, like the many that the sun’s color spectrum is produced used to interpret the spectra of distant stars and confirmation that gravity bends light, predicted by Einstein’s general theory of relativity.
    • The earth is in in an excellent position to detect the cosmic background radiation, confirming the Big Bang theory.
    • The earth’s atmosphere is transparent and allows the science of astronomy and cosmology to flourish

The universe possesses an order and mathematical preciseness that defies human comprehension.  The earth is situated in the universe in an ideal position to explore the universe.  To say that it is all due to chance is absurd.  To say that God exists and designed the universe is logical.  What other cause can it be?

References

  1. William Lane Craig, William Lane Craig vs. Lawrence Krauss (Retrieved from  http://www.reasonablefaith.org/the-craig-krauss-debate-at-north-carolina-state-university#ixzz1uIT936fc).
  2. Lee Strobel, The Case for a Creator: A Journalist Investigates Scientific Evidence That Points Toward God (Grand Rapids, Zondervan, 2004), 134.
  3. Ibid, 177-179.

Top-Ten Proofs of God’s Existence

  1. The Universe Began: What Caused It?
  2. Earth Is Complex: Who Designed It?
  3. The Universe Operates By Uniform Laws: Why Does It?
  4. The Human Body Is Complex: Who Designed It?
  5. Cells Are Complex: Who Designed Them?
  6. Moral Laws Exist: Who Created Them?
  7. Miracles Occur: Do Realms Outside Of Time/Space/Matter Exist?
  8. Beauty And Goodness Exist: Where Did They Come From?
  9. Historical Accounts Of God Exist In The Bible: Are They Reliable?
  10. Jesus Claimed To Be God: Is He Credible?

 

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Lesson 1 of 10 The Universe Began What Caused It?

Top-Ten Proofs of God’s Existence

Lesson 1 of 10: The Universe Began: What Caused It?

Big_Bang

According to the Big Bang theory, the universe began. Therefore, what begins must have a cause. What is the cause? Could the Big Bang have occurred out of nothing, what scientists call a “singularity” (compression of the universe’s matter into a point with zero volume but infinite density)? Could space, time, and matter have come from nothing and by nothing? On the contrary, Dr. William Lane Craig explains that the Big Bang theory confirms creation by God and the existence of God.

  1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause;
  2. The universe began to exist;
  3. Therefore, the universe has a cause.

Lee Strobel in his book The Case for a Creator 1interviews Dr. William Lane Craig, who provides a summary of the impressive scientific support for the Big Bang.

  1. In 1915 Albert Einstein developed his general theory of relativity but was shocked to discover that according to his equations the universe should either be exploding or imploding. To hold the universe steady, he had to put a fudge factor into his equations.
  2. In the 1920s a Russian mathematician and a Belgium astronomer predicted the universe was expanding. This meant if you went backward in time, the universe would go back to a beginning, called thereafter the Big Bang.
  3. In 1929 astronomer Edwin Hubble discovered that the light from distant galaxies appears to be redder than a should be and this applies to light from all the galaxies in the sky. Hubble concluded that the redness is attributable to the fact that galaxies are moving away from us at enormous velocities.
  4. In the 1940s astronomers predicted that if the Big Bang really occurred then the background temperature of the universe should be warmer than absolute zero by a few degrees. In 1965 scientists measured the universe’s background radiation to be only about 3.7° above absolute zero.
  5. Lastly, scientists have provided more evidence for the Big Bang because of the existence of light elements. Heavy elements like carbon and iron are synthesized in the interior of stars and then exploded into space. But light elements like deuterium and helium could not come from stars because the heat is insufficient to create them. These elements must have created by the Big Bang with temperatures of billions of degrees.

Dr. Hugh Ross in his book The Creator and the Cosmos 2 states, “The Bible’s prophets and apostles stated explicitly and repeatedly the two most fundamental properties of the big bang, a transcendent cosmic beginning a finite time period ago and a universe undergoing a general, continual expansion.” He continues,

Of all the holy books of the religions of the world, only the Bible unambiguously states that time is finite, that time has a beginning, that God created time, that God is capable of cause and effect operations before the time dimension of the universe existed, and that God did cause many effects before the time component of our universe existed. 3

Ross provided the following scriptural verses as support.

  • God created the universe at a point in time.
    • Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
    • Isaiah 40:26 Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.
  • God created the universe from nothing.
    • Hebrews 11:3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
  • God exists outside of time and space.
    • Colossians 1:15-17 15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together
    • 2 Timothy 1:9 He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,
  • God caused the universe to expand (“stretch out”)
    • Isaiah 40:22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.
    • Job 9:8 He alone stretches out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea.
    • Psalm 104:2 The LORD wraps himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent

Science now claims that the universe hasn’t eternally existed. It had a beginning and is expanding. However, science does not have an explanation for the beginning, terming it the Big Bang. Only the Bible can provide an explanation: time had a beginning, God created time, God exists outside of time and space. The universe began to exist. It had to have a cause. God is that cause.

Top-Ten Proofs of God’s Existence

  1. The Universe Began: What Caused It?
  2. Earth Is Complex: Who Designed It?
  3. The Universe Operates By Uniform Laws: Why Does It?
  4. The Human Body Is Complex: Who Designed It?
  5. Cells Are Complex: Who Designed Them?
  6. Moral Laws Exist: Who Created Them?
  7. Miracles Occur: Do Realms Outside Of Time/Space/Matter Exist?
  8. Beauty And Goodness Exist: Where Did They Come From?
  9. Historical Accounts Of God Exist In The Bible: Are They Reliable?
  10. Jesus Claimed To Be God: Is He Credible?

References

  1. Lee Strobel, The Case For Christ (Grand Rapids, Zondervan, 1998), 105-106.
  2. Hugh Ross, The Creator and the Cosmos (Colorado Springs, Navpress, 2001), 23-24.
  3. Ibid, 109.

 

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