Why isn’t there just one indisputable proof for the existence…
Why isn’t there just one indisputable proof for the existence of God available in a convenient, easy to wield soundbite? I mean, wouldn’t that be a great weapon to use in our debates with atheists, something they just can’t deny?
And what should that proof look like? Since God is a supernatural being, not beholden to the physical laws of nature, should it be a supernatural feat or sign of some sort? Who should decide what evidence is acceptable or sufficient?
I asked Dean, a self-described atheist, what evidence he would deem acceptable, and he said he would like to see just such an indisputable, supernatural proof.
But no such proof exists. Instead, we are left with an overwhelming amount of “clues” as to God’s existence, which, if taken individually, aren’t always that undeniable. But when we take the time to explore them, to consider their implications, to meditate on such things as the origins and order of the universe, the universal belief in morality, beauty and a higher personality to which we are accountable, and thoughts of eternity; taken together, the clues for God’s existence are so convincing as to be all the evidence we need.
Paul assures us that, in effect, the clues are indeed undeniable when he wrote “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.” He was saying that there really is no such thing as an “atheist”, because the Creator is evident in the creation. Instead of passively living in unbelief, Paul would say that atheists are actively living in denial of the obvious.
Problem is, the clues for God are not so obvious that they can all fit into a quick soundbite or even a half-hour conversation. The mountain of clues are out there, even to be able to say ours is a reasonable faith, but they require humility, patience, and perseverance to work through. Instead of a quick slogan to silence our opposition in one slam dunk, the many clues require time and effort and communication in order for us to build our case.
And that requires a willing audience.
How can an atheist be a willing audience, patiently working through the many clues that make a case for God’s existence, especially if it only leads to the hard truth that if God does exist they will be held accountable to Him?
They can’t. Although the knowledge of God is evident in His creation, the God denier doesn’t see it, but lives in denial of the obvious. Instead, Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 2 that God uses us as believers “…to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere.” Just as there are many pleasant and foul odors we encounter in life, this “aroma” can either draw people in or drive them away, because “…To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life.”
And maybe it’s those quick slogans we look for to win debates that cause us to smell of death. Maybe if we are less concerned about winning debates and more concerned about winning hearts through patience, mutual respect, and active listening, we might just have the aroma of life.
I hope I did just that in my dialogue with Dean, and would appreciate any comments positive or negative as to how I came across. either with the aroma of life, or the aroma of death. (sit in on our conversation at https://youtu.be/tecXT4PmXRA)