A Series: Christian Theology–Answers to Questions: Three: Can God’s Existence Be Proved?

Roger E. Olson | 1/27/2020 | Staff
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A Series: Christian Theology—Answers to Questions: Three: Can God’s Existence Be Proved?

Christian theology often begins with what is called “prolegomena”—“things that go before”—and that often includes some discussion of “natural theology”—what can be known about God before and apart from the special revelation Christians believe God has given in Jesus Christ, the Hebrew prophets and earliest Christian apostles and in scripture. Natural theology has had its “ups” and “downs” in the history of Christian theology. Here I offer some points about it without offering any definite conclusion about its value. I will just say that I agree with those Christian theologians who are wary of it because of its tendency to predetermine the nature of God—apart from God’s self-revelation. At the same time I am not willing to throw it out as having no value at all. So here, for now, I simply offer some “talking points,” as it were, about the so-called “arguments (or proofs) for the existence of God” which usually form the core of natural theology. I am of the opinion that this knowledge should be acquired by all mature Christians. It’s just good to know. I don’t think there is anything crucial to Christian identity in forming an opinion about the subject. But to ignore it completely is to diminish one’s potential for understanding Christianity. So here are my “talking points” about it—following the usual disclaimer.

Argument

The “Cosmological Argument”

Why is there something rather than nothing? The universe does not explain its own existence. Various evidences point to a beginning of the universe. The universe is not necessary. There must be a necessary being “behind” the existence of the universe—a “first cause.” Not necessarily “first” in time (“before”) but first in order of causation—something or someone that is eternal and powerful enough to bring into existence the universe...
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