Creation Provides Evidence For God’s Existence

In regards to the existence of God, the apostle Paul in his epistle to the Romans esteemed creation as adequate evidence to condemn unbelieving mankind for pretending that such a God does not exist. For he writes,

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse” (Rom. 1:18-20).

Firstly, we see that God’s wrath abides on those who, in unrighteousness, “suppress the truth.” “For,” Paul declares, “what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.” According to God, creation itself is ample testimony of His existence. This conclusion falls into the category of what scholars call General Revelation and is expounded upon using the Cosmological Argument. This argument uses the cosmos, or the universe, as strong evidence for God’s existence. One form of this argument reasons that the universe had a beginning effected by a transcendent caused simply by observing that something is never created by nothing.[1] Another form of the cosmological argument states that there had to have been an uncaused first cause that brought the universe into being. That first cause must be independent of all necessary causes and be self-sustaining.[2] A third form of the argument asks the simple question: Why is there something rather than nothing?[3] These three forms of the Cosmological Argument employ critical thinking based on the evidence of creation, as is argued for in Romans chapter one.

Secondly, many object that because God is invisible it is impossible to prove that He exists. However, Paul argues that God’s “invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made” (v. 20a). Another reading of “ever since the creation of the world” can be, “clearly perceived from the creation of the world.”[4] What Paul is saying is God’s invisible attributes, though unseen by the naked eye, are actually put on display via the created universe. Therefore, through general revelation, mankind is able to deduce that God is eternally powerful and is divine in nature, and is “without excuse” for not believing in His existence.

So then, if man is without excuse for not knowing there is a God, why do so many refuse to believe? The answer is found in Paul’s elaborate insight into the cause and effect of man’s condition. He stated in verse 18 that the reason for unbelief is the suppressing of truth in general revelation. This is the cause. Thus, the effect of the wicked suppressing what they know to be true results in a continual refusal to acknowledge the truth and an embarking down a path of spiritual degradation. The rest of chapter one paints this bleak picture. As a result of suppressing general revelation a person develops an ungrateful heart and refuses to give glory to God. His mind becomes darkened, foolish, and futile. Thus, he creates idols to replace the glory of the immortal God. Idolatry ensues and lust drives them to sexual impurity, homosexual sins being the apex. With this comes a whole gamut of sins: covetousness, malice, envy, murder, strife, deceit, gossip, slander, hating God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless, and more.

As Romans chapter one declares, there is no lack of evidence for the existence of God. The problem lies in man’s continual suppression of the truth and is therefore given over to a darkened mind that skews his ability to see the light and receive the truth.

Those who do not believe God exists rarely, if ever, accept scriptural references as the basis for the theist’s argument. To the non-believer, quoting Scripture is often seen as circular reasoning and insufficient at best to provide proof since he or she rejects the presupposition that God exists. However, rather than giving up at such a prospect, the believer can employ natural theology to make the cumulative case for God’s existence. As referenced above, Paul the Apostle declared, “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse” (Rom. 1:19, 20 ESV). So then, the theist can find confidence in general revelation as an effective apologetic tool.

Allow me to briefly elaborate the Cosmological Argument a bit further. There are various forms of cosmology, one of which is the horizontal argument known as the Kalam Cosmological argument. The major premise of the kalam argument is that the universe had a beginning (temporal) caused by a transcendent cause, for “something cannot come out of nothing.” This fundamental observation reveals that the universe is finite and must have had a beginning. Knowing this, it follows that there cannot be an infinite regress of moments before this present moment. The second form is the vertical argument of which Thomas Aquinas is credited for. He argued that there had to have been an uncaused First Cause (rank) that is responsible for the universe coming into being. The reason is because there cannot be an infinite regression of contingent beings, but rather there must be a First Cause to account for all finite effects. Furthermore, he argues that the First Cause is also the sustaining cause for the universe and thus God exists today just as He always existed. Aquinas furthers his argument with Motion, Efficient Causality, Contingent Beings (mentioned above), Gradation of Perfection, and Design (teleology). Each of these lines of reasoning follow the rule that there is a First Principle that is responsible for all that is created, and that this First Principle is a necessary Being.

Another convincing argument is the scientific second law of thermodynamics. This law states that the universe is in a closed system and is currently expanding and developing. It also shows that it will eventually come to a stagnation known as the heat death of the universe. It will result in a convergence of the universe into one black whole never to reemerge. If it has been scientifically shown that the universe is winding down then the implication is that it must have been wound up some finite time ago. And if the universe was wound up some finite time ago, then the next question is who or what wound it up in the first place? From this law it is known that the universe is not eternal because if it were then it would be at the point of heat death now and thus in a perpetual black hole. So then, if the universe is not eternal then it had a beginning, and if it had a beginning then it is contingent. And we know that all contingents (finite causes) must have an uncaused First cause.

A third argument comes from Teleology, or design and purpose. The universe displays order and design and purpose. For example, the planets operate in clock-like fashion; the tides ebb and flow as they should; earth’s atmosphere is ideal for the circle of life; the bodies of animals, humans, and plant life all display master craftsmanship. Just as Leibniz once asked, “Why is there something rather than nothing?”, one might also ask, “If the universe exploded from nothingness, then why is there order rather than chaos?” After all, mind produces order and systematic functions necessary for working machines. Furthermore, societies do not function with chaos, they function with order. If mankind can recognize this on a basic level such as economy and criminal law, then why is it difficult for some people to apply the same reasoning to the universe? Additionally, it is not only order and design that point to a Creator, but purpose, or the end, of a natural agent that also argues in favor for God’s existence. For it is evident that there is an intelligence guiding natural agents to fulfill their purpose. Plant life, for example, demonstrates that it exists to provide nutrients for the animal kingdom and man. There are many more examples like this, but space does not permit.

One last argument to consider is the Moral Law. How is it that mankind in general knows that it is wrong to murder, lie, steal, and commit adultery? Regardless of how sensitive one’s conscience is, it is unmistakable that man senses that there is an “ought-ness” to the world. People know things are not as they ought to be. Yet, even then, by what standard are we judging this “ought-ness”? C.S. Lewis, a former atheist, when pondering this very issue, wondered how he knew what a crooked line looked like if there was no straight line to compare it to. From this he concluded that there must be a moral law Giver from whom we understand what right and wrong is. Otherwise, relative truth ensues and what is right for me is wrong for you, and vice versa, and there is no telling what kind of chaotic environment that would foster.

In conclusion, utilizing these few arguments helps build the cumulative case for God’s existence. There are many more proofs to consider, but these presented here definitely help to demonstrate the reasonableness and credibility for believing in a Creator God who designed this entire universe with a purpose. Much can be learned about God from general revelation and, to be sure, there is ample evidence so that no man is without excuse.

[1] I.e., The Kalam Cosmological Argument.

[2] I.e., The Thomist Cosmological Argument.

[3] I.e., The Leibnizian Cosmological Argument. (The reader must recognize the limitations of this argument; for it concludes that everything must have a reason to exist, but God does not need a reason to exist; He just exists).

[4] Alternate reading in the footnote of the English Standard Version.

*Featured photo retrieved from http://www.nationalgeographic.com.au/tv/cosmos-a-spacetime-odyssey/

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