I could have started with the question, “Is the bible still relevant?” but there is a deeper cause for concern in our society today. People have argued away the credibility of the scriptures and are out to dispute, “Does man really need God?”
There is a seeming lack of need for God with the advancements of technology (post-modernism) in communication, wealth increase, health care accessibility, education, protection and mental well being. I have an appreciation for technology, without it you would not be able to read this article! However, all these things seems to replace the relevance of God for some people. The world exclaims, we don’t need God therefore, He is irrelevant.
I don’t pretend to know how to answer this question holistically. This is rather the very basic aspects of defending our faith from a philosophical perspective. I urge you to do further studies. The rest of the article will be defending this sentence; God is relevant because He is the source of all life and without Him, we have no answers, no meaning.
Although from as far back as thousands of years ago, people have argued and accepted that a ‘god’ does not exist. Recent developments of the atheist argument came to the scene, through the thoughts of Richard Dawkins. He wrote in 2006 a very popular statement, “To be an atheist is a realistic aspiration, and a brave and splendid one. You can be an atheist who is happy, balanced, moral, and intellectually fulfilled.” (Excerpt from the God Delusion, pg. 1) Let me hasten to say, I partly agree with him on his last sentence. We don’t need to believe in God to be moral only on the basis that we listen to our conscience and ignore the One who made it. An evil man can do good things. Ravi Zacharias, a modern day apologetic says, “God hasn’t called us to be good, He has called us to life. We are dead.” I have started reading the book and it seems Mr. Dawkins talks in a very ‘matter of factly’ way that religion has been the major causes of wars, e.g. Holocaust with Hitler and the Jews who also alludes to the present Middle Eastern War. Therefore, the nonexistence of a god is better than its existence. My attempt to dispute this is, non-religious wars are grossly higher than that of religious wars. In World War 2 over 50, 000,000 people died.
As I listened to the audio book I saw where He was puzzled by the Trinity and I can understand why, it doesn’t make sense . I am led to wonder if he had heard about this One God message if it would have been clearer to him.
We can contrast Richard Dawkin’s position with that of C. S. Lewis who was an atheist but then became a Christian. He writes this when He comes to the light, “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”
My question is this why would he believe? Why would anyone of us believe in a unseen God, (not being born in the time of Jesus) who has such great love, high demands and high rewards? Who does so many things that are questionable to the human mind? Why does He even make us?
Ravi Zacharias says in a presentation titled, ‘Four Criteria for a Coherent Worldview‘, that there are four things that make up our world view, origin, morality, meaning and destiny. He states that Christianity is the only belief system that provides all consistent answers without leaving more questions and I agree with Him. Let’s examine the three institutions that forms a worldview namely; philosophy, religion, science.
Science answers poorly our origin as it doesn’t state our beginning. It starts where chemicals are already present that had time+chance +matter to equal the universe. My question is, where did the matter and the ‘chance’ or any other element of the equation come from? Additionally, let’s consider we don’t know the beginning but we have evolved and are here. Where did this morality come from ie. intrinsic value? Most argue from our environment and parents but where did they get that from? We could trace it back to the first man then what? He adapted? He learnt what was acceptable, but from whom? Another position would be to argue from the perspective that if man is moral then there must be a moral law. Then who is that law giver? Who is in charge of humans? Who is our government? We could go on and on but I think we understand that it just leaves more questions.
In 2013, 72.6% of western philosophers denies the existence of God. One of the most famous of atheistic philosophers is Fredrich Nietzsche. He coined the phrase, “God is dead.” Not that He has somehow died but because of his enlightenment the idea of God has become undesirable. I will use an excerpt to labour this point.
“And why is belief in God undesirable? Because God’s death frees us to become gods ourselves.
God Doesn’t Die Alone
To put the point plainly, God doesn’t die alone. When he dies, meaning, morality, and reason die with him.
First, if God does not exist, life has no meaning. Where there is no author, the story has no point; indeed, where there is no author, there can be no story. Moreover, if God does not exist, morality turns out to be illusory, and moral judgment becomes mere interpretation, corresponding to nothing more than personal taste.
Second, Nietzsche illustrates the fictive nature of morality by inviting us to consider predatory birds and the sheep on whom they prey. When birds feed on sheep, what they do is neither morally bad nor good. The birds simply act according to their nature; morality is irrelevant.
So while the sheep’s “condemnation” of the birds surprises no one—except, perhaps, the birds—their judgment corresponds not to some moral fact but to their understandable preference to not become bird feed. Of course, as Nietzsche points out, the birds see the situation differently. But in neither case do moral categories apply—and as it goes for birds and sheep, so it goes for us as well. Moral judgments express our personal preferences; they don’t refer to objective realities.” (Douglas Blount, The Gospel Coalition 2016)
Religion is multifaceted, having over 4300 different faiths to date. I am not able due to the focus of this article to share why I believe all others are insufficient in answering the world view issue, I will do so in upcoming articles. However, I believe Judaeo-christian is the only one that forms a world view that doesn’t contradict it self. Let’s examine it.
My God is’ uncreated’ and has created everything, therefore we have an origin. We are made for worship, meaning. We are guided by principles of the bible, (love your neighbor as yourself)- morality. Our destiny is to live in blissful eternity in rewards of a life lived in honor of Him.
You may ask, where does God come from? That is a very limited question, limiting my God. Our God is beyond this world, beyond our thinking, beyond our measurements. A God that is understood and confined to my finite mind is not worthy of my praise. This man explains it beautifully in a few minutes.
My last point on this article is this, say I entertain the thought that there is no God and I don’t need one, what alternative do you give me? A meaningless less origin, meaning less reason for living and a meaningless death. Then man loses his worth being no better than a mosquito that can be swatted without consequence and our feelings are not validated, death nor life then means nothing. If that is the case, everything is permissible- even the murder and rape of a child. You see, the wisest man understood this, he says hear the conclusion, serve God and keep his commandments. This precious, is the duty of man. Without a god, we are without purpose, without an identity.