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By David A. Prentice, M.Ed., M.A.S.T. WHY SHOULD I BELIEVE IN GOD?

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Presentation on theme: "By David A. Prentice, M.Ed., M.A.S.T. WHY SHOULD I BELIEVE IN GOD?"— Presentation transcript:

1 By David A. Prentice, M.Ed., M.A.S.T. WHY SHOULD I BELIEVE IN GOD?

2 “… be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” 1 Peter 3:15 “… be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” 1 Peter 3:15 BIBLE APOLOGETICS

3 NEWS FLASHES: Earthquakes and tsunamis hit Indonesia (2004), Haiti (Jan. 2009), Chile (late Feb. 2010), Taiwan (3/3/2010). Hundreds of thousands killed suddenly.

4 IS GOD UNFAIR? Or, How can a good God allow death and suffering: Hurricanes, tsunamis, plagues, famines, wars, etc.?

5 All the wars, famines, plagues, pestilences, etc. throughout human history have not changed the death rate one bit. The death rate is 100%. The FACT of death does not change, only the TIMING. All the wars, famines, plagues, pestilences, etc. throughout human history have not changed the death rate one bit. The death rate is 100%. The FACT of death does not change, only the TIMING.

6 Death is the fairest thing there is. It happens to rich, poor, black, white, American, Asian -- EVERYBODY. WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO GET READY FOR IT? Death is the fairest thing there is. It happens to rich, poor, black, white, American, Asian -- EVERYBODY. WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO GET READY FOR IT?

7 The Inescapable Fact of Human Existence: I, __________________ AM GOING TO DIE. ME PERSONALLY, NOT JUST EVERYBODY ELSE – I AM GOING TO DIE. I, __________________ AM GOING TO DIE. ME PERSONALLY, NOT JUST EVERYBODY ELSE – I AM GOING TO DIE. (fill in your name here)

8 1. Is there a God? 2. Could He communicate clearly if He wanted to? 3. Are there any books that claim to be a revelation from Him? 4. Is there a way to test any such books to see if they are beyond human capabilities? Impossible to know anything with 100% certainty Yes No WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? TEST THEM!!!

9 HOW DO YOU K NOW WHAT YOU K NOW? Or at least what you think you know? HOW DO YOU K NOW WHAT YOU K NOW? Or at least what you think you know? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

10 1. Personal Experience through the five senses. I know a bee sting hurts; I know how to ride a bike. 1. Personal Experience through the five senses. I know a bee sting hurts; I know how to ride a bike. 2. Reliance on Authority. I know the sun is 93 million miles away; Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. 2. Reliance on Authority. I know the sun is 93 million miles away; Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. 3. Logic. I know 2 million + 2 million = 4 million, even though I’ve never counted that high. I know I have a brain, even though I’ve never seen it. 3. Logic. I know 2 million + 2 million = 4 million, even though I’ve never counted that high. I know I have a brain, even though I’ve never seen it. 4. Feeling or Intuition. I know she’s the one for me; I know God has called me to the ministry. 4. Feeling or Intuition. I know she’s the one for me; I know God has called me to the ministry. 5. Wishful Thinking (you really want it to be true) I just know I’m going to win the lottery! 5. Wishful Thinking (you really want it to be true) I just know I’m going to win the lottery! 6. Bluffing (lying) - you try to persuade others for an ulterior motive. You should buy these tickets from me because I know this team is going to the Super Bowl this year; I know this car will give you years of faithful service! 6. Bluffing (lying) - you try to persuade others for an ulterior motive. You should buy these tickets from me because I know this team is going to the Super Bowl this year; I know this car will give you years of faithful service! WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO “KNOW” SOMETHING?

11 HOW DO WE KNOW THERE REALLY IS A GOD? 1. Very few people can claim to have actually experienced God through their five senses. 2. The Bible, our authority, tells us about Him. But what if someone doesn’t believe the Bible? 4. Many people base their eternal destiny on their “gut feelings” (intuition). But how do you know your intuition is right? 3. Skeptics who reject the Bible may still respond to LOGIC. Let’s look at a logical argument for the existence of God.

12 THE BASIS OF BIBLICAL LOGIC For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed [it] unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead… Romans 1:18-23 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed [it] unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead… Romans 1:18-23 It is obvious from nature that there must be some sort of God. It is obvious from nature that there must be some sort of God.

13 NECESSARY CHARACTERISTICS GOD 2. Established natural laws, so is not subject to those laws - SUPERNATURAL. 2. Established natural laws, so is not subject to those laws - SUPERNATURAL. 3. Preceded the universe - ETERNAL. 3. Preceded the universe - ETERNAL. 4. Influence extends throughout the universe - OMNIPRESENT. 4. Influence extends throughout the universe - OMNIPRESENT. 5. Directly or indirectly responsi- ble for everything that has ever happened - OMNIPOTENT. 5. Directly or indirectly responsi- ble for everything that has ever happened - OMNIPOTENT. 6. Nobody made Him - SELF- EXISTENT. 6. Nobody made Him - SELF- EXISTENT. 1. Only seen by what He does - INVISIBLE. 1. Only seen by what He does - INVISIBLE.

14 What if there is no God? Then the universe would have to be the result of a series of forces, processes, and events operating with no particular purpose for billions of years. IF THERE IS NO GOD, THEN WHAT? We could call the whole series “evolution,” “quantum fluctuation,” or “accident.” Let’s use the term “Random Chance,” with the under- standing that it represents the whole multibillion year series of forces, processes, and events. What characteristics would Random Chance have to have? What characteristics would Random Chance have to have?

15 NECESSARY CHARACTERISTICS GOD 1. Only seen by what He does - INVISIBLE. GOD 1. Only seen by what He does - INVISIBLE. 2. Established natural laws, so is not subject to those laws - SUPERNATURAL. 2. Established natural laws, so is not subject to those laws - SUPERNATURAL. 3. Preceded the universe - ETERNAL. 3. Preceded the universe - ETERNAL. 4. Influence extends throughout the universe - OMNIPRESENT. 5. Directly or indirectly responsi- ble for everything that has ever happened - OMNIPOTENT. 5. Directly or indirectly responsi- ble for everything that has ever happened - OMNIPOTENT. 6. Nobody made Him - SELF- EXISTENT. 6. Nobody made Him - SELF- EXISTENT. RANDOM CHANCE 2. Established natural laws, so is not subject to those laws - SUPERNATURAL. 2. Established natural laws, so is not subject to those laws - SUPERNATURAL. 3. Preceded the universe - ETERNAL. 3. Preceded the universe - ETERNAL. 4. Influence extends throughout the universe - OMNIPRESENT. 5. Directly or indirectly responsi- ble for everything that has ever happened - OMNIPOTENT. 5. Directly or indirectly responsi- ble for everything that has ever happened - OMNIPOTENT. 6. Nobody made it - SELF- EXISTENT. 6. Nobody made it - SELF- EXISTENT. THERE IS NO POSSIBILITY THAT GOD DOES NOT EXIST! 1. Only seen by what it does - INVISIBLE. 1. Only seen by what it does - INVISIBLE.

16 WHAT ABOUT THOSE WHO STILL REJECT GOD? For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed [it] unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed [it] unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools... Romans 1:18-23 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools... Romans 1:18-23

17 GOD OR RANDOM CHANCE? The Bible says that God loves you so much that He gave His only Son to die for your sins. 1.If you believe in the God of the Bible and you are right, you at least have the po- tential to spend eternity in heaven with Him. 1.If you believe in the God of the Bible and you are right, you at least have the po- tential to spend eternity in heaven with Him. 2. If you believe in the God of the Bible and you are wrong, you’ll never know -- so it doesn’t matter. 2. If you believe in the God of the Bible and you are wrong, you’ll never know -- so it doesn’t matter. 3. If you believe in Random Chance and you are right, nothing matters anyway. 3. If you believe in Random Chance and you are right, nothing matters anyway. 4. If you believe in Random Chance and you are wrong, you are headed for an eternal hell. 4. If you believe in Random Chance and you are wrong, you are headed for an eternal hell. Which step of faith makes more sense?

18 1. Is there a God? 2. Could He communicate clearly if He wanted to? Impossible to know anything with 100% certainty Yes No

19 Before Jesus took the form of a man, he existed as a spirit with infinite intelligence. Therefore it would be more correct to say that that we believe in an “invisible intelligence” that made the universe. Skeptics ridicule Christians because we believe in an “invisible man in the sky” that made the universe. Silly, right? What is the atheists’ alternative? They believe in an “invisible non-intelligence” that made the universe. They believe in an “invisible non-intelligence” that made the universe. In what way is it any more scientific to believe in non-intelligence than intelligence? Either way, it’s a step of faith. In what way is it any more scientific to believe in non-intelligence than intelligence? Either way, it’s a step of faith. INTELLIGENT DESIGN

20 WHAT IF THERE IS EVEN ONE THING IN NATURE THAT REQUIRES GOD? “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species

21 MATERIALISM: NO GOD ALLOWED! "We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. “It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counterintuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.” Richard Lewontin, Billions and billions of demons, The New York Review, p. 31, 9 January 1997 "We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. “It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counterintuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.” Richard Lewontin, Billions and billions of demons, The New York Review, p. 31, 9 January 1997

22 EVOLUTION: Natural Processes Only! "Even if all the data point to an intelligent designer, such a hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic." Immunologist Scott C. Todd in a letter to Nature magazine, Sept Immunologist Scott C. Todd in a letter to Nature magazine, Sept “... the theory of evolution itself [is] a theory universally accepted not because it can be proved by logically coherent evidence to be true but because the only alternative, special creation, is clearly incredible.” D.M.S. Watson, “Adaptation,” Nature, Vol. 123 (1929), p.233

23 IS INTELLIGENT DESIGN UNSCIENTIFIC? Intelligent Design (I.D.) is a broad concept that allows for the possibility of either direct creation or theistic evolution. Courts nationwide have bought into the atheistic claim that since the presence of a designer cannot be tested, therefore I.D. is unscientific. True, we cannot scientifically prove the EXISTENCE of a designer. But the judges have overlooked an ob- vious question: what sort of scientific test could you perform to prove the NON-EXISTENCE of a designer? In what way is teaching the IMPOSSIBILITY of intel- ligent design any more scientific than teaching the POSSIBILITY of intelligent design?

24 THE SEARCH FOR DESIGN: A Normal Part of Science! THE SEARCH FOR DESIGN: A Normal Part of Science! NASA Space Flights / SETI Airplane Crash Investigation Arson Investigation Investigation of Suspicious Deaths Archaeology

25 But if even one physical phenomenon has a supernatural cause, then all of evolutionary logic is unreliable. But if even one physical phenomenon has a supernatural cause, then all of evolutionary logic is unreliable. Methodological Naturalism, or Everything must be explainable by purely natural processes. It only takes one non- barking dog to show that “All dogs bark” is false. THE FOUNDATION OF EVOLUTIONARY LOGIC:

26 THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM Biochemist Michael Behe, a theistic evolutionist, likens much of mod- ern biological re- search to a group of detectives inves- tigating a flattened body. As they search for clues to the cause of death they have to keep stepping around the ele- phant in the room. However, because they have agreed in advance that there is no such thing as an elephant, none of them is will- ing to say, “Maybe the elephant did it.” Rather than go against the majority view and be labeled incompetent or supersti- tious, they keep searching for other explanations. BEHE’S POINT: LET’S QUIT OVERLOOKING THE POSSIBILITY OF DESIGN! BEHE’S POINT: LET’S QUIT OVERLOOKING THE POSSIBILITY OF DESIGN!

27 WHO NEEDS FACTS WHEN YOU CAN MAKE UP STORIES? Darwin said, “To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of Spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree...” “Reason tells me, that if numerous gradations from a simple and imper- fect eye to one complex and perfect can be shown to exist, each grade being useful to its possessor, as is certain the case; if further, the eye ever varies and the variations be inherited, as is likewise certainly the case; and if such variations should be useful to any animal under changing conditions of life, then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, should not be considered as subversive of the theory.” So did he give up? NO! He made up a story! SINCE WE CAN MAKE UP A STORY, THEREFORE OUR STORY MUST BE TRUE! SINCE WE CAN MAKE UP A STORY, THEREFORE OUR STORY MUST BE TRUE!

28 SOME OF THE MADE-UP STORIES OF EVOLUTION: Origin of matter and energy How a Big Bang could have worked Origin of the chemical elements Development of an orderly universe from a disorderly explosion Origin of stars Origin of the solar system Origin of life Origin of RNA/DNA/genetic code Origin of homochirality “Pathways” to the development of various genes and structures Origin of error-correcting mech- anism in cells Development of increased gen- etic information by copying mistakes Development of irreducibly complex structures & systems throughout nature Origin of every major type of living thing Origin of sex Origin of humans Origin of consciousness, morality, religion, humor etc., etc. And since evolutionists make up good stories, we are supposed to shut up and believe the stories are true!

29 WHAT IF THERE IS EVEN ONE THING IN NATURE THAT REQUIRES GOD? “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species Biblical creationists are working from a position of strength, not weakness! If ANY ONE of the thousands of evolutionary stories is wrong, then all of evolution is unreliable. Biblical creationists are working from a position of strength, not weakness! If ANY ONE of the thousands of evolutionary stories is wrong, then all of evolution is unreliable.

30 1. Is there a God? 2. Could He communicate clearly if He wanted to? 3. Are there any books that claim to be a revelation from Him? Impossible to know anything with 100% certainty Yes No

31 “HOLY BOOKS” Only three of the world’s “Holy Books” specifically claim to be divinely inspired: Only three of the world’s “Holy Books” specifically claim to be divinely inspired: Every other religion is based only on the wisdom of the “Ascended Masters” with NO CLAIM of divine revelation. Every other religion is based only on the wisdom of the “Ascended Masters” with NO CLAIM of divine revelation. The Bible The Qu’ran (Koran) The Book of Mormon The Bible The Qu’ran (Koran) The Book of Mormon

32 Contradictions All the “Holy Books” contradict each other. All the “Holy Books” contradict each other. If any one of them is right, all the others have to be wrong. If any one of them is right, all the others have to be wrong.

33 1. Is there a God? 2. Could He communicate clearly if He wanted to? 3. Are there any books that claim to be a revelation from Him? 4. Is there a way to test any such books to see if they are beyond human capabilities? Impossible to know anything with 100% certainty Yes No WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? TEST THEM!!!

34 FOR MORE INFORMATION: or FOR MORE INFORMATION: or


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