A Dozen Proofs for God's Existence
By Paul Robison

This modern parable came out a few years in the London Observer: “Imagine a family of mice who lived all their lives in a large piano.  To them, in their piano-world came the music of the instrument, filling all the dark spaces with sound and harmony.  At first, the mice were impressed by it.  They drew comfort and wonder from the thought that there was Someone who made [music and made them]—though invisible to them—[outside], yet close to them.  They loved to think of the Great Player whom they could not see.  Then one day, a daring mouse climbed up part of the piano and returned very thoughtful.  He had found out how the music was [really] made.  Wires were the secret; tightly stretched wires of graduated lengths which trembled and vibrated.  They must revise all their old beliefs: none but the most conservative could any longer believe in the Unseen Player.  Later, another explorer carried the explanation further.  Hammers were now the secret, numbers of hammers dancing and leaping on the wires.  This was a more complicated theory, but it all went to show that they lived in a purely mechanical and mathematical world.  The Unseen Player came to be thought of as a myth.  But the Great Pianist continued to play.”  Is that parable to far-fetched?  Listen to what a professor at a theological seminar had this to say about 40 years ago: “For contemporary theologians, God is a dimming concept. ... In the future, Christianity may not conceive God as [a] being – which means, literally, that God does not exist since existence is a property of beings only” (Dickson citing Criswell).  Has the professor prediction come true?  Listen to what a recent professor in a seminary said in 2002: “Questions about the existence of God are irrelevant” (Sheehan).  Someone has noted that the entire premise of the Bible can be found in Hebrews 11:6: “But without faith it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”  The premise is: faith that believes in God's existence and rewards.  Today, we'll quickly examine a dozen proofs for God's existence.  

First of all, the universe shows intricate design, so there must be a Designer.  Psalms 19:1-2 proclaims: “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows His handiwork.  Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge.”  Our earth is an amazing planet with regards to the support of life: it has the proper distance from the sun to have temperatures that can sustain life, it has a proper atmosphere to protect its inhabitants from many objects, it has a proper gravitational pull to keep things from floating off into space, it has a proper speed of rotation to sustain life, it also has a proper amount of water to sustain life, it has a proper land surface to raise crops that will support life, and on and on we could go.  Could all this correctness merely be the results of chance?  No, such intricate design bespeaks a Designer, a mind that planned it all.  Look at our bodies.  We know that we are composed of various systems—there's the respiratory system, the digestive system, the skeletal system, the circulatory system, the reproductive system, and on and on.  Now we're not talking about just a single part of the body, but about multiple parts that must all function together in harmony in order to keep us alive.  Even a single cell contains many systems in themselves.  Could all this complexity be the result of a materialistic evolutionary process?  No, such complex design bespeaks a Designer.  As King David affirms, “I will praise You God, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalms 139:14).  Someone puts it this way: “This world of our common experience is world of pervasive order and intelligibility. ... And what has the expansion of our horizons revealed?  Always the same thing: more—and not less—intelligibility; more—and not less—complex and intricate order.  Not only is there no reason to believe in a surrounding chaos, there is every reason not to [believe in it]” (Kreft and Tacelli).  Yes, the universe shows intricate design, so there must be a Designer.

Secondly, things exist (an effect), but there must be an Uncaused Existence (a cause).  Hebrews 3:4 affirms: “For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God.”  The house is an effect, but what is its cause?  A builder.  Our world is an effect, but what is its cause?  At this point we really have only two options—naturalism or supernaturalism.  Naturalism basically affirms: “Matter is the only source from which the present world comes” (Dickson).  Supernaturalism basically affirms there is a mind from which the present world comes.  In naturalism, the pipes, wires, boards, nails, doors, windows, shingles somehow put themselves together to make the house.  In supernaturalism, a builder acts upon the materials.  Our common experience shows us which of these two options is more reasonable.  Here's another way to think about this idea.  We exist, but our existence came from our parents, and grandparents, and great grandparents, right on back to the first couple.  But from where did their existence come?  They are an effect, but what is their cause?  Someone has noted: “Existence is like a gift given from cause to effect.  If there is no one who has the gift, it cannot be passed down the chain of receivers. ... If there is no God who has existence by His own eternal nature, then the gift of existence cannot be passed down the chain of creatures, and we can never get it.  But we do have it; we do exist.  Therefore, there must exist a God: an Uncaused Being who does not have to receive existence like us” (Kreft and Tacelli).  As Moses proclaims in Psalm 90:2: “From everlasting to everlasting, You are God.”  Things exist (an effect), but there must be an Uncaused Existence (a cause) Who has given us that gift of existence.

Thirdly, things change (there’s movements), but there must be an Unchanging Source (there’s a mover).  Mao Tsetung once said; “There is nothing in the world apart from matter in motion.”  Matter in motion—indeed.  Nothing apart form it—absolutely wrong.  Think about it this way.  You've changed over the past few years.  What has helped to bring about that change?  Well, there are plants and animals that you've eaten, there's air that you’ve breathed which weather has affected, there's a good bed that you've probably put to good use, and there's many other variables that would enter into the picture as well,  In other words, you are not just acting on your own alone.   Other movements are acting upon you.  And then other movements are acting upon those things that act upon you.  “No matter how many things there are in [this process], each one needs something outside itself to actualize its potential for change. ... Therefore [there must be some Force outside of matter, space, and time, a Mover that started all the movements, an Unchanging Source that set all the processes into motion.  Genesis 1:2 declares: “And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”  Things change (movements), but there must be an Unchanging Source (a Mover of it all).

Fourthly, man's intelligence points to a Greater Rational Being.  Let's suppose for just a moment that I'm an atheist.  What will be my task?  My task will be to convince you with argumentation and evidence that God does not exist, right?  But take note of something here.  If I'm an atheist I must affirm also that mind is the result of eternal matter that somehow organized itself on its own into a complex mechanism.  The point is that if I set out to deny God, then I'll end up accepting concepts which will deny my own rationality.  And you could rightly say, “Well, all your arguments are irrational because you don't even believe that their exists a mind over and apart from matter.  If all has evolved from matter, then all your logic has no substance.  It's your matter against my matter when all is said and done, and your arguments against God would be no more logical than my arguments for Him because all our arguments are simply molecules in motion!”  That idea may have been a little hard to understand, but here's an easier way to grasp the point.  When God speaks to Job from a whirlwind, note what he asks him in Job 38:36: “Who has put wisdom in the mind?  Or who has given understanding to the heart?”  Only a Mind can give wisdom.  Isaiah 55:8 affirms of God: “'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,' says the Lord.  “My thoughts” shows that God is a Rational Being.  In fact, note how the apostle Paul praises God for His wisdom using the passage in Isaiah that was read just a few minutes ago; Romans 11:33-34 exclaims: “Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!  For who has known the mind of the Lord?  Or who has become His counselor?”  Man's intelligence points to a Greater Rational Being Who gives wisdom, has thoughts, and has a great mind.

Fifthly, man's ability to do good points to an Ultimate Good.  Jesus reasoned in this way in Matthew 7:9: “For what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?  If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”  Jesus shows that we, as humans, are capable of doing good, but how much more capable of doing good is God!  C. S. Lewis, a former atheist himself, put it this way: “My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust.  But how had I got the idea of just and unjust?  A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. ... Thus, in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist—in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless—I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality—namely my idea of justice—was full of sense.”  Here is another idea along the same line: “... in what exactly is our moral good rooted?  Moral obligation can hardly be rooted in material motion blind to purpose. ... One sees that real moral obligation ... is rooted in the [truth] that we have been created with a purpose and an end [by an Ultimate Holy Being capable of doing and commanding good] (Kreft and Tacelli).  Man's ability to do good points to an Ultimate Good.

Sixtly, man's ability to adore greatness points to a Supernatural Greatness.  As humans, we adore greatness.  We admire others who have achieved greatness—whether it be a politician, a business tycoon, or an athlete.  Now if we can admire others around us, could there not exist a greatness beyond our world that is worthy of our adoration?  Many people from different eras and widely diverse cultures would respond, “Yes, we believe there is such a Supernatural Greatness worthy of adoration and that Being's existence has radically changed our outlook on life and our conduct in life.”  Moses speaks of the excellence of God’s greatness (Exodus 15:7), Paul writes of the power of God’s greatness (Ephesians 1:19), and David’s description of God’s greatness in Psalms 145:3 is really awesome: “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; And His greatness is unsearchable!”  Yes, man’s ability to adore greatness points to a Supernatural Greatness.

Seventhly, man’s  conscience is derived from a Greater Conscience.  You know, even when postmodernism preaches that all is relative, there still seems to be a moral absolute for everyone—“Never disobey your conscience!”  Now where did our conscience get such absolute authority?  There’s only 4 possibilities: from ourselves, from something less than us (matter), from something equal to me (us), or from something above us (God).  It couldn’t have come from ourselves because we am not authorities on morals, and it couldn’t have come from matter because molecules in motion don’t provide any authority, and it couldn’t have come from society since even a majority can be wrong.  Thus, the only source of absolute moral authority left is something above us, which would be God.  One writer states it this way: “God is the only adequate source … for the moral obligation we all feel to obey our conscience.  Conscience is thus explainable only as the voice of God in the soul.  The Ten Commandments are then divine footprints in our physic sand” (Kreft and Tacelli).  Apples come apples trees, and man’s conscience is derived from a Greater Conscience.

Eighthly, man’s desire for joyful immortality comes from a Joyful Immortal Reality!  We have natural desires like hunger, weariness, sex, and friendship.  For hunger, there is food.  For weariness, there is sleep.  For sex, there is our spouse.  For friendship, there are other people.  It is interesting that “no one has ever found one case of an innate desire for a nonexistent object.”  Now King Solomon wrote about another desire that men have: there is the desire for eternity within our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11).  We want to live forever, but not only that, we want it to be a joyful eternity.  What object will fulfill this desire?  If there is no experience in this world that can satisfy this desire, then the most probable explanation is that there is only something in another world that can fulfill it, and that something is really a Someone, a Joyful Immortal Reality known as God, Who also offers us a joyful future existence called heaven with Him forever!  Revelation 21:3-4 proclaims: “And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people.  God Himself will be with them and be their God.  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”  Man’s desire for joyful immortality comes from a Joyful Immortal Reality!

Ninthly, man’s appreciation for beauty is the fruit of a Supreme Artist.  The beauty of a sunset, the grandeur of a rose, the masterpiece of art, the music of a symphony fill us with wonder and inspiration.  We experience the joy of giving, the warmth of kindness, and ecstasy of victory.  From where do these inspirations, emotions, and sensations come?  Matter does not supply “a satisfactory answer for such aesthetic instincts.  Matter [itself] is not aesthetic [so] how could it [evolve such beings which are]?  Is not the materialist calling for a greater miracle here than the [Christian]? … The only satisfactory answer would be that [people have these qualities invested in them] by [a Supreme Artist] who has the power to originate such qualities.  That One is God” (Dickson)!  God is certainly the Supreme Artist as His creation around us declares, but He has made another masterpiece according to the apostle Paul.  Note what he affirms in Ephesians 2:10: “For we [that is Christians—those living transformed lives]—are His workmanship [or His masterpiece], created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”  Yes, the brother or sister sitting next to you this morning is God’s masterpiece!  Please, let’s don’t downgrade or speak badly about it!  Man’s appreciation for beauty is the fruit of a Supreme Artist.

Tenthly, we assign degrees of quality, so there must be a Perfect Superiority.  We say that happiness is better than sadness, prosperity is better than being in debt, being healthy is better than being sick.  Our existence as people is better than that of a stone, a flower, or an earthworm.  Now if we say there are better situations, “then there must also exist a ‘best,’ a Source and Real Standard of all perfections that we recognize belong to us as beings.  This absolute perfect being—this [best] Being of all beings, this Perfection of all perfections—is God” (Kreft and Tacelli).  The Bible calls this Perfect Superiority the supreme god and lord: “Oh give thanks to the God of gods and to the Lord of lords, for His mercy endures forever” (Psalm 136:2-3)!  We assign degrees of quality, so there must be a Perfect Superiority.

Next, our idea of God as Holy Perfection can only come from a Being of Holy Perfection.  Alright, most of us would agree that something living is better than something dead.  So when we have this idea of a Holy Perfection, it must also include something, or better Someone, that is alive.  Our idea of Holy Perfection would include its existence.  But how can we formulate such a concept if we are only the product of matter and can only process information through our five senses?  If all is just matter in motion, then how has matter produced such a concept of Holy Perfection among so many cultures?  We have conceived of a Being that is above our senses, so where did we get this idea?  “Would we not have to answer that [we] got this idea from a God that revealed Himself to the senses of man sometime in the past” (Dickson)?  The writer of Hebrews states it this way in the opening verses: “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things” (Hebrews 1:1-2).  Our idea of God as Holy Perfection can only come from a Being of Holy Perfection Who has revealed Himself through prophets and Jesus.

Lastly, the Bible is a divine book, so it points to a Divine Author.  The apostle Peter wrote in 2 Peter 1:21 that holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.  The Bible claims it is a divine book, and fulfilled prophecies, mighty miracles, and supernatural forces all show that this book’s claims are justified.  But this divine book, written over 1600 years by 40 men and basically recognized by Christians as authoritative by the end of the second century, has one Divine Author.  The apostle Paul affirms in 2 Timothy 3:16 that all scripture is given by the inspiration of God.  Patriarchs, kings, prophets, and apostles contributed to its contents, but its ultimate author is a Divine Being.  Jesus called the Old Testament “Scriptures” in John 10:35, Peter called Paul’s writings “Scriptures” in 2 Peter 3:15-16, and early church leaders like Polycarp, Ignatius, and Clement were calling most of the books in our New Testament “Scriptures” by the end of the second century.  One of our brothers wrote: “As to the New Testament books, not long after, they were being read in the church assemblies.  They were held in high esteem by early Christians—the words of Jesus and His apostles could not be less authoritative than the Scriptures of the Old Testament.  In this way, the books of the New Testament as they are known today had been collected and constituted the supreme authority for the primitive church” (Lightfoot).  Why was the New Testament seen as the supreme authority?  Because its ultimate Divine Author was seen as the supreme authority!  The Bible is a divine book, so it points to a Divine Author.

Now we’ve covered much territory in trying to establish God’s existence.  We’ve looked at a dozen reasons for God’s existence.  Someone once remarked that the best proof of God’s existence is what will happen if we deny it (Sullivan cited by Dickson).  If there is no God, our world will continue to become more chaotic, more violent, more dehumanized, more dictatorial, and more filled with madness, because without God, all evil will prevail!  But the real question beyond God’s existence is this: How relevant is God in your life?  Is He alive or dead as far as you are concerned?  Many churches this day of Easter emphasize the resurrection of Jesus.  But is GOD alive to you?  You see, if God is alive to you, then Jesus’ resurrection will take care of itself.  “Do we live, play, procreate, [work,] govern, and die as though He doesn’t exist?”  Are we like those mice who had just turned God into a myth?  Do you still hear the Great Pianist music?  Do you believe in His rewards?  Won’t you think serious about your relationship with God?
Roger E. Dickson. The Fall of Unbelief.  Winona: Choate Publications, 1982.
Peter Kreeft & Ronald K. Tacelli.  Handbook of Christian Apologetics.  Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1994.