This broadcaster has 1101 podcast archives available on-demand.
Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.
November 24, 2021 12:01 am
We know God exists because creation exists. Today, R.C. Sproul winsomely responds to the common claim that the question of God's existence is an unsolvable mystery.
Get the Digital Download of R.C. Sproul's series 'Objections Answered' and 'Defending Your Faith' for Your Gift of Any Amount: https://gift.renewingyourmind.org/1968/objections-answered
Don't forget to make RenewingYourMind.org your home for daily in-depth Bible study and Christian resources.
Coming up next on Renewing Your Mind. The guns of skepticism have been so vigorously trained. Upon the idea of creation because the skeptic understands this, that if he can do away with the rational concept of divine creation than the whole structure of Christian faith collapses in the first chapter of Romans, the apostle God tells us that we know God exists because creation exists.
But philosophers through the ages he disagreed. They say we can never rationally know that God exists today on Renewing Your Mind. Though Dr. Strobel take another approach and believe it or not, will prove God's existence with one shoe and simple logic.
As we continue our study now with the most common objections raised against Christian truth claims we recall that in our last program. We looked at the crisis brought to the church by this massive critique of the traditional arguments for the existence of God which critique was made by the philosopher Immanuel Kant, and if I may review it for you or if you've missed that particular program. You will notice that Kant argued that reason cannot move through the use of cause-and-effect from the physical universe that we perceive to the conclusion that above and beyond this physical universe, there is a nonphysical reality named God and we see a collision course here between the teaching of the apostle Paul and the teaching of Immanuel caught and I just want us to understand this at the outset that if can't is correct that you cannot know the invisible God from visible objects in this world.
If Kant is correct, then manifestly Paul is wrong when he says that the invisible things of God are known through the things that are made on the other hand, if the apostle Paul is correct, then Kant must be wrong. The great scandal of modern Christianity is that the church today seems to want to have its cake and eat it too. They want to affirm the truth of what Paul is teaching and yet roll over and play dead before the feet of Immanuel Kant, and so we've seen in the last 200 years or so, a vast decline in the church's attempts to prove the existence of God, surrendering to the skepticism that says it can't be done when there different kinds of skepticism at this point, one argues that even if we could prove the existence of God. The only God that we could prove would be a nameless, faceless, uncaused cause some ultimate being who has the power of creation within himself and that wouldn't necessarily correspond to the Christian God, whose name is Yahweh who reveals himself in history and who redeems us in Jesus Christ and so on and so that all we could get to through our rational argumentation would be this sterol empty. They could concept of an Aristotelian un-moved mover and certainly God is much more than a first cause he's the father he's the Redeemer. He's all these things that we are concerned about in biblical revelation while I'm sensitive to that concern. And yet I want to caution my friends who come to the conclusions they can just keep this in mind that one of the primary tasks of apologetics. As we saw in our first session is to give an answer to the hope that is within us and it is always been the church's responsibility to give a reasonable reply to the skeptic and the guns of skepticism have been paying for the last 200 years. At one basic concept that is absolutely essential to Christianity and that is the idea of creation whatever else God is he is the create tour and the guidance of skepticism have been so vigorously trained. Upon the idea of creation because the skeptic understands this, that if he can do away with the rational concept of divine creation than the whole structure of Christian faith collapses because Christianity is married to the assertion in the beginning God and that in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. Now I don't go to church to worship Aristotle's unmoved mover I go to church to worship the God of Abraham and Isaac, and Jacob. I don't go to church to worship a abstract philosophical principle. But I do go to church to worship a God who among every thing else that he does also happens to be. Create tour and ice very important for us to Chicago the necessity of a creator is even though that doesn't prove the full nature of God. What it does answer is the objection that is leveled at this most critical point. Now how do we then endeavor to do this.
I once had a discussion with the philosopher of professional philosopher. He made his living teaching philosophy and he said how can you supposed to argue cogently for the existence of God, give me some proof some real proof that God exists.
And I said okay and I had a pair of loafers on my feet and I took off one loaf room one shoe and I held up the shoe and I showed him my shoe and I sit here this shoe proves conclusively that God exists and he lacked sent all the crew submit neatness that you have a shoe in gear and commitment suggests doesn't necessarily prove it RC but is suggesting that the one whose ultimate shoe is not all there. How in the world can you say that that shoe proves the existence of God and I said well I'll back off for a second and now I'll take retreat. You've left me to scorn us.
Okay it is that you first of all, you agree with me that I was holding a shoe severe. I'll give you that and would you agree that the shoe is something they said yes. It's not nothing has to because if that shoe exists with my shoe exists. I can only think of for possible explanations for this. You want is that it's an illusion of fig Newton of my imagination and of yours, but we'd already gotten past that because he suggested that he agreed with me that there really was something there that I wasn't in the tender grasp of nothing. He said this is something shoe, I said, we agree that the shoe is not an illusion. And even if it were an illusion were not stop there because if my friend what is that I don't even believe in your shoe and not to mention your God. I don't believe that you're holding a shoe in your hand. I think that's an illusion that's okay solution of what's having the illusion is the illusion real as well. I guess we have to say that if there is an illusion.
Some things having an illusion. You can't have an illusion of illusion without having something having the illusion agree with that. Is it okay that really boils it down out of three possible explanations for this shoe and they are these this shoe that he agreed exists is not illusion is either self existent and eternal, that isn't this shoe that I have on my foot is an eternal show. It wasn't made it wasn't manufactured. It didn't grow it wasn't born but as long as there's been anything or time before time. This show exists when I take it to the shoemaker he says I want to be at the service of our space should been in a long time ago there so damaged he may think that my shoes been on my foot forever, but I have never found the shoemaker yet who believes in eternal shoe but I said let's allow that is a possibility that the shoe is self existent and eternal.
The other possibility is that the shoe created itself out of nothing.
One day I was walking down the street, barefooted. Suddenly, magically, mysteriously shoe popped out of thin air.
When on my foot possibility number two that that object created itself in the third possibility is that the shoe has been made by someone or something other than that shoe itself.
So we really have three options now, and eternal shoe shoe that creates itself or a shoe that is created by something else and I've talked about this before philosophers before scientists and I keep asking for other alternatives and every alternative that is ever been suggested to their agreement has always been able to be subsumed under one of these three kata soured on the three categories of self existent eternal shoe self-created shoe for a created ship. Now what we can do by logic alone without any microscopes without any telescopes without any empirical investigation, but by the sheer power of logic and rationality is eliminate one of those three options and I have to say in parentheses that it is the option most frequently presented by those who deny creator and that is the idea of self creation.
This shoe cannot create itself because ladies and gentlemen, nothing can create itself. That is a logical rational impossibility. Why, because the idea of self creation violates the most basic law not only of philosophy but the most basic law of science, which is the law of non-contradiction and the law of non-contradiction teaches that something cannot be a and nine a at the same time and in the same relationship thing cannot be what it is and not be what it is. At the same time and in the same way. Now how does that relate to my self-created shoe Lucy simple for a shoe to create itself what would it have to do it would have to be before what before it was for the shoe to do the job of creating the shoe they would first have to be shoe before was even a shoe rack the beer she would not be shoe at the same time the same relationship by giving you a headache that's good. Consider yourself fortunate that you're still with the and sanity. You understand that something cannot be and not be at the same time and in the same relationship now most people who argue against the idea of a creation do not do so in such crass, silly categories essay the shoe creates itself by itself rather becomes more sophisticated, will save that the universe, for example, was created by chance on the times you heard that I talked to a professor at Harvard University who looked me straight in the eye and said he believed that the universe was created by chance, and he wasn't talking here about the collision of present molecules in some kind of pattern that was on discernible, but followed somewhat vague mathematical possibilities.
What he was talking about was that once there was nothing and then blue. There's something in the agent that brings something out of nothing is chance and I reminded this professor that chance is not a thing. Chance is a word we use a perfectly good word a valid word to describe mathematical possibilities.
Poker players are very familiar with the people at the racetrack understand odds and probabilities and chances.
They understand all that, and when they say that the horse runs eight. The one they don't mean that the odds makes the horse run just talking about not knowing who's going to be running the fastest on the day they make bets on the basis of the odds I talked about the flipping of a coin. I said I'll flip a coin here. What are the odds of a dozen statement it says that this coin comes up heads or tails and everybody says 50-50, isometric, the odds are that'll come up heads or tails hundred percent what are the odds it comes up heads 50%. Now do the odds make the coin come up heads are now chance has no influence on the actual event because chance has no power to influence anything.
The reason it has no power to influence anything.
Beloved is because chance has no beginning for something to do something, it must first be something for something to exercise power or force or energy must first be, and chance is not a thing. Chance is not an entity and has no matter it has no energy and has no being. It is nothing. So when someone says to you the universe.
By chance, in this sense, what they are saying, fundamentally, is what Stephen Hawking finally said that the universe comes from nothing by itself that we have the second fundamental law of science violated with a vengeance and that law is stated in Latin X knee pillow knee he'll fit out of nothing. Nothing comes, nothing cannot produce something because, again, to weary you. Nothing is not any thing, and thing can't do something to produce anything because it is nothing I want you to think about this. I don't have time in these short lectures to go into a complex discussion of all the salient points here, but the fundamental point.
I want you to understand is this, try to imagine if you will that there once was a time when nothing was absolute nothingness, not just no trees, no planets, no gas, no energy, nothing. No God, no point of singularity absolute nothing but you don't have to be a rocket scientist to answer this question if there ever was a time when there was nothing what could there possibly be now absolutely nothing. So that's why I said to my friend if you grant the reality of my shoe then you must admit there is never been a time where there was nothing there is always had to be something or nothing could be now. Some people call this the cosmological argument rather than the ontological argument, but it's basically an argument from being if something is now something somehow, somewhere, must have the power to make whatever is here be here in shorthand terms.
Again, something must have the power of being in that which does not have the power of being is nothing, nothing, snowplow or to be itself, let alone to make anything else be so what I'm saying is that reason doesn't just suggest or hint or bear witness of what I'm saying is that reason absolutely demonstratively demands that it is impossible that if something exists now that there ever could have been a time when there was absolutely nothing and self creation of the universe presupposes that the universe came into being out of nothing by nothing, through the power of nothing and that is manifest nonsense unworthy not only of theology is unworthy of philosophy and most emphatically it's unworthy of any serious science but still we haven't proven the existence of God always thrown so far is that with respect to my shoe. If it's not an illusion. The one thing we know for absolute sure is that that shoe did not create itself. Nothing can create itself were still left with two options. One is that it was made by something other than itself or that it is and will look at those options. In our next program and we will look forward to that. Using a shoe and simple logic.
RC Sproul has proven the existence of God today's message or of Renewing Your Mind is classic RC Sproul. He had such a winsome way about him and you know even when he was disagree with someone they knew that he enjoyed being with them and and talking about these things.
Those of us who have the privilege of working with RC really since that gentleness when we hear messages like this one.
Thanks for listening to Renewing Your Mind is Wednesday. I believe web in all week. We have been pleased to feature RC series objections answered is given his helpful answers to some of the more challenging questions about the Christian faith we will be airing all the messages this week but we like for you to have the entire series for your personal library will provide you a digital download eight lectures in all. When you contact us today with your donation of any about to later ministries.
We also want to equip you even further, so including Dr. Sproles comprehensive series on Christian apologetics titled defending your faith in 32 messages. He helps us see that there are many levels on which to defend the faith and shows how apologetics brings comfort and confidence to Christians of all ages so requested digital downloadable series today when you contact us with your donation of any amount. Our offices are closed for the holiday but you can give your gift to make a request email@example.com and before we go today. Dr. Sproles with a final thought for us in our quorum Deyo thought for today.
Let me say to you that many of you may not ever think about these things may even think that such discussions are a waste of time and why don't we just take the matter of God by faith and not worry about people who were trying to argue against the existence of God. Beloved again.
What is the difference between nothing and the eternal God of the universe. There is nothing more important to the Christian then they bold affirmation and assurance of the eternal being, God himself. There's nothing more basic, more foundational to our faith than that there is one school of apologetics called presupposition to listen that does assert this primary truth, namely that the existence of God is so important that it is the supreme article that defines every bit of truth. We never seek to understand.
And they're right about that, absolutely foundational to everything that we believe and that foundational assertion. The first assertion of sacred Scripture is not something that we want to take lightly, so I hope you'll bear with me and look carefully at these questions as we continue in our next session and since God is the central supreme article that defines all truth.
Everything that we see and experience must come from him tomorrow will continue Dr. spell series with a message titled something is eternal.
I hope you'll make plans to join us for Renewing Your Mind