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Does God exist and why does it matter? Neil Shenvi Duke Intervarsity 7/13/12.

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Presentation on theme: "Does God exist and why does it matter? Neil Shenvi Duke Intervarsity 7/13/12."— Presentation transcript:

1 Does God exist and why does it matter? Neil Shenvi Duke Intervarsity 7/13/12

2 Talk outline Which God? Does God exist? – Kalam Cosmological Argument – Cosmological Argument from Contingency – Argument from Fine Tuning – Existential argument from longing – Moral argument Does it matter? – God is our king – God is our sustainer – God is our healer – God is our judge – God is our redeemer

3 Which God are we talking about? Self-existent Omnipotent Unique Creator Transcendent Omniscient Personal Compassionate Holy Loving Judge Sustainer The God who reveals himself in the Bible Good

4 Kalam Cosmological Argument P1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause for its existence P2. The Universe began to exist C1. Therefore, the universe has a cause for its existence What are some properties of the cause of the universe? What is the most plausible candidate?

5 Cosmological Argument from Contingency Contingent entities are entities which could have failed to exist. Necessary entities are entities which could not have failed to exist.

6 Cosmological Argument from Contingency P1. All contingent entities have explanations for their existence external to themselves P2. The universe is a contingent entity C1. The universe has an explanation for its existence external to itself What is the most likely explanation of the existence of the universe?

7 Argument from Fine Tuning The standard model of physics includes a number of independent, fundamental constants which determine the nature of the physical universe If some of these constants were changed even a fraction of a percent, intelligent life would not be possible anywhere in the universe The probability of all the constants falling into the life-permitting range is astronomically small What is the best explanation for the observed fine tuning of the fundamental constants of physics?

8 Existential argument from longing Almost all of us experience a deep longing for something that we can’t identify This longing is not fulfilled by entertainment, success, career, money, sex, romance, or family Our longings generally correspond to some real object We experience this longing most deeply in both our most sorrowful and most joyful moments What is the best explanation for the existence of this longing, its persistence, and it universality?

9 Moral argument P1. If God does not exist, then objective moral values and duties do not exist P2. Objective moral values and duties do exist C1. Therefore, God exists

10 P1. If God does not exist, then objective moral values cannot exist If God does not exist, then there is no ultimate standard of value, meaning, or goodness If God does not exist, then human beings are merely complicated chemical reactions.

11 P2. Objective moral values do exist Your own experience shows that you recognize the existence of objective moral values Your own actions show that you recognize the existence of objective moral values

12 Why does it matter?

13 God is our king “Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” – Mark 1:14-15 “[Jesus’] disciples came to him, and he began to teach them. He said: Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” - Matt. 5:2-10 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

14 God is our sustainer “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”– Matt. 5:43-45 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? – Matthew 6:25-27

15 God is our healer “And a leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.” And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean.” – Mark 1:40-42 Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ – John 7:37-38

16 God is our judge “[If] your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire…And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’” – Mark 9:43-48 [Jesus said:] “ No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”– Luke 13:5

17 God is our judge “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.” – Mark 7:20-23 The paradox: is God for us or against us?

18 God is our Redeemer Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. – Matthew 26:26- 28 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. - John 3:16

19 God is our Redeemer The King who became a servant. “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” – Mark 10:45 The Sustainer who was abandoned. “Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, … My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” – Matt. 27:46 The Healer who bore our diseases. “the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” – Is. 53:5 The Judge who was judged – “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” – Is. 53:6 Jesus is the answer to the paradox


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