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Necessary Being

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
June 25, 2022 12:01 am

Necessary Being

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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June 25, 2022 12:01 am

Our world cannot exist by its own power. The laws of nature demand a self-existent, eternal Being from whom and by whom all things come into existence. Today, R.C. Sproul reveals the necessity of God's existence.

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How did the world begin. If you're saying that there are some unknown invisible pole starting point for core within the boundaries of the universe that is self existent and eternal, from which everything else is generated. What you are saying is that there is something here that transcends everything else out here so you to send one argument for the existence of something they call the necessary power something and will store the University. The motion they say to them, Renewing Your Mind, Dr. RC Sproul will reveal that ironically the necessary power philosophers described looks strikingly similar to the God of the Bible. Again, we return now to our study of defending our faith through the science of apologetics and we been looking at the four alternatives to explaining reality as we encounter it now. Look first of all, the possibility that everything is an illusion and borrowing heavily from the arguments of René Descartes were eliminated that option and we spent quite a bit of time looking at various theories of self creation, all of which collapsed by their own weight because they are at the center of their thinking is irrational and anti-reason to get rid of that one and we notice that the two that are left.

Both contain the idea of self existence and in our last study. I pointed out that if something exists now, the idea of something that is self existent is not only possible but rationally necessary, and then I made the distinction between that which is rationally necessary and that which is ontologically necessary and I was saying that whatever it is that this is self existent eternal. Something must be not only rationally necessary but ontologically necessary as well and I said that squares with the Judeo-Christian understanding of the nature of God.

However I mentioned quite in passing that there are those who agree that something must be self existent and eternal. But they argue that that self existent eternal something is the universe and not God and I want to take a look at that briefly in our discussions today and it's certainly not a law of science, it still remains a theory, and the theories of origins of the universe tend to undergo changes and sometimes revolutionary upheavals from time to time when even in my own lifetime. We saw the advent of the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe which was not accepted at all when I was a high school student but now is pretty much won the day.

Although there are alterations within the scientific community with respect to views regarding the so-called Big Bang, but in simple terms, and please don't respond with more sophisticated said definitions of that because I realize there are more sophisticated definitions of the in simple terms what you often hear in terms of describing the Big Bang is that there was a time in past history, 15, 18 billion years ago, give or take a few billion that at that time, all that existed was what is described by some as a point of singularity, and this point of singularity involved the compaction of all matter and all energy that may currently be found in the universe. That is all of the stuff of reality, at least in its nascent form was compressed into this infinitesimal point of singularity, and that this point of singularity existed from all eternity in a state of organization that is, it was compacted in a steady, organized, stable way. And then at some point, 15 to 18 billion years ago. This point of singularity, for reasons unknown to us exploded that out of that explosion came, the combining together of certain gases and elements and so on to form other gases in the form the material universe as we know it today. Some have tried to trace the origin of the universe back to the last nano second of existence going right after the actual explosion itself and again. The theory is that the universe now is in a state where everything is moving from organization to this organization or equilibrium. Just as one something explodes and things move out from the center. They move away from their point of compaction or condensation into a equal Librium state of disorganization. That's why people say you know that the universe is wearing down them at some point will implode into some blackhole or some such thing. So the idea here is that at one time. Whatever was was in a state of organization, but now the basic laws of thermodynamics indicate that everything is moving towards a state of disorganization, will, and raises all kinds of questions. The first question is as if the state of nature is to move inherently towards this organization, you have to ask the question how it became organized in the first place and we would have to say that if it is moving toward disorganization that it is moving from organization and that organization was the original state of things, which is what the Big Bang suggests that a course, the other law that we have to wrestle with is the simple elementary law of inertia and the law of inertia teaches that things in motion tend to remain at motion unless acted upon by an outside force and things that are at rest tend to remain at rest unless acted upon by an outside force. This, for example, law of inertia is what makes golf so difficult and yet what makes golf possible. It makes it difficult because golfers are golfer I know always wants to find the secret he can hit the ball further than he currently is able to edit if he can hit a 200 yards of the team wants it at 220 V Institute 20 wanted to fit the needs of different he was building 312. What happens is the ball begins at rest's placed upon the T and the golfer himself is at rest and then he walks up to the ball and the first thing he does is address the ball.

He says good morning ball. Texas club and then he swings the club. He sets the club in motion and the club is in motion now on that which is in motion, hits that which is rest and propels it down the fairway.

But while the ball is moving, it is finding resistance from outside forces of the weight of the atmosphere the friction of arrogance that it lands on the ground and it won't roll forever because the friction of the ground, impedes the continued progress of the ball and so finally the ball comes to rest again now.

Fortunately, there are these outside forces working against our efforts to keep the ball in motion because if there were no outside forces, and we set the golf ball in motion the drive would go forever and it be the end of the game.

You'd lose the ball and there'd be no way of scoring in the game at all. So there's a sense in which the outside forces even though they are frustrating our efforts that the ball further. Nevertheless, because they frustrated through a finite degree makes it possible for the game to be played, but the idea again is things at rest tend to remain at rest unless some outside force is applied to it or once it gets moving it's going to stay moving unless is motion is retarded by some other outside force. Now the $64 million question about the Big Bang is what caused the by, and I've heard all kinds of people say we don't need to answer that question that goes beyond science and that goes into the realm of philosophy or theology or religion. Whatever mess I wait a minute when you're going to give an explanation for all of reality and you pin all of your hopes up on this concept of a big back.

Why don't you answer the question what causes the big scientific theory is innately concerned with matters of causality and this is the big question of causality on what causes the Big Bang. And it's a copout, academically and intellectually to say I'm not going to go there if you're going to postulate this thesis for the origin of everything, then you're begging the question what it is that is the outside force that causes this monumental change in your little point of singularity that causes this to move the cause reality to change from the state of organization towards this organization. Biblical Christianity has the answer to that readily available that this is exactly what is involved in the doctrine of creation that we have a self existent eternal being who has the power of motion who has the ability to move that which is not moving.

That's what Aristotle understood it all. Antiquity, when he talked about the on moved mover that he understood that there has to be an origin to motion and that which has the origin of motion must test the power of motion within itself just as it must have the power of being within itself and that's why we attribute these attributes to God. But again, we've answered briefly that objection.

But what about the idea that this matter that is compacted.

There in the Big Bang point of singularity. How about the matter itself or the energy itself being the self existent eternal being, because this is really what's assumed in materialism that the universe itself is not 15 to 18 billion years old. Only the present motion of the universe goes back to that point in time, but actually the ingredients or the stuff of reality is the eternal in a civil what is it in the universe that is eternal. Isn't this piece of chalk in its individuated form part of my car keys in the individual form is at the sun in its individuated form is me as a person in my individuated form and of course materialist will say don't be ridiculous. You know that those are all manufactured or things that came into being that I previously did not exist.

No were not saying that the sun is eternal were not saying that you were internal were not saying that the truck is eternal or that the car keys are eternal. We know that, and we know that in the material world. The chief characteristic of matter is its mutability changes in the changes from one state into another state so that it is not stable, eternally, and therefore it is in process. It is in the state of becoming, and not in a state of pure being, so anything that we find within the universe that is changing that manifest contingency that is dependent or derived from anything else and not be the ultimate core of being of the universe that were describing here in terms of self existent eternal something. But here's what the materialist will say they will say okay we grant that this eraser this piece of chalk is not the eternal reality that is self existent and it is made up of elements that are generated by a self existent eternal something, but that this self existent eternal something contrary to you religious people is not transcendent but rather it is imminent, that is, you don't have to appeal to something above and beyond this world to account for this world. And I mean by the world, the universe, because what Christianity teaches were Judaism teaches what Islam teaches is that outside of the whole realm of the creaturely universe stands this self existent and eternal being that we call God who is the creator of all things and in him all things live and move and have their being. And so we say that one of the chief characteristics about God is that he transcends the universe. Now the materialist comes along and says yes I understand that there has to be something that is self existent and eternal, but must have the power of being within itself.

I don't want to retreat as many of my colleagues to do an idea of self creation. I grant that that's absurd. So we have to have a self existent eternal something, but I'm not going to grant you a Christian that this self existent eternal something is God.

But he's a transcendent being rather he is part of the universe, or it is part of the universe or the sum total of the universe, but the sum total universe is present include this piece of chalk since Bartlett well if we can set sum total universe than we have to include the space chalk and we know this piece of chalk is not something as an eternal because this piece of chalk can disintegrate.

I can break it in half and reduce it.

I can change it goes through process. We say right its individuated particular existence right now is contingent, and all that but underlying it somehow is some universal or elemental pulsating force that is the cause of the existence that everything that is in this is this little as yet undiscovered core or pulsating center of universe that is self existent and eternal. This is the part that accounts for the explosion of that point of singularity and all of the power of being is compacted and compressed into this little point and then everything else later on ultimately is generated through the power that comes from this pulsating sort and notice I use the word here generated. That's why the first book of the Old Testament is called Genesis coming from the Greek word canal which means to be to become or to happen to make something come into existence is to generate it to cause it to be so here we have this isolated hidden unknown point within the universe that is the pulsating core of all reality that generates everything from the beginning. And so the point is, there is no God who lives outside the universe whose above and beyond the universe, but that this self existent eternal generating power is part of the universe itself. That's the imminent testing view that's very popular in certain circles in science and philosophy today that yes there is a self existent eternal power, without which there can be nothing but why do we say it has to be outside the universe. That's the challenge.

They come to us why did they say it has to transcend the universe. Why can it be a part of the universe itself in my answer to that is, it can be a part of the universe itself.

Depending on how you define universe if you mean by universe by the word universe. All that is. And if God is then God would be subsumed under the term universe because it describes all that is if you mean by universe. The created universe, then obviously you can't subsume God into the meaning of the term universe, but you have to distinguish between God and the universe and the distinction that we make in theology about God is that God transcends the universe. But what we mean. And this is critical that you get this what we mean by transcendence is not a description of God's location. Transcendence is not a geographical description were not saying that God is transcendent in the sense that he lives somewhere out there, east of the sun and west of the moon.

What is meant by transcendence in philosophy and theology is something is a higher order of being that is rather than transcendence.

Being a geographical description beloved.

It is an ontological description. When we say that God is transcendent, we mean to say simply.

He is a higher order of being than Wheeler. He is a higher order of being than this chalk is he's a higher order of being than the sun is, he's a higher order of being than pure energy is that's what we mean by transcendence that God is a higher order of being. We don't care where he dilutes if you're saying that there is some unknown invisible immeasurable pulsating point for core within the boundaries of the universe that is self existent and eternal, from which everything else is generated.

Ultimately what you are saying is that there is something here that transcends everything else out here because you must distinguish between this being and all the derivative dependent derived contingent things that are generated by and from now were just arguing over its name. Whether the name of it is backs or Yahweh.

But no matter how you slice it, you're forced back to a self existent eternal being from whose being and from whose power all things come into existence. Now many Christians object at this point and will say to me okay we grant that philosophy and reason argues and demonstrates that you have to have a self existent eternal something, but how do we get from that to the God of the Bible.

So far all we have is Aristotle's unmoved mover. All we have so far is an abstract idea of self existent eternal being. You haven't come yet to the God of the Bible and what is the connection is raised in the solution question between the God of the Bible and the God of the philosophers. As you know most of what I've been saying in the last several lectures about this question of the existence of God has been based more on philosophy than on biblical exegesis and I grant that in my burden that I have now for the Christian community will be what burden I will address in our next session about the relationship between the God of the philosophers and the God in first Kings. Elijah gathered the people at Mount caramel and said if the Lord is God, follow him.

But if Bill can follow him. We face a similar crisis in our world today, the way God has ceased to be the creator the minds of many. That's why Dr. RC Sproul series defending your faith is so important. Each Saturday here on Renewing Your Mind.

We returned to our seas overview of classical apologetics with the goal of equipping you to make a sound defense of the truth claims that we find in the Bible. We dared more than 20 of the 32 messages in the series and if you missed any. Along the way would be happy to send you the entire series for your gift of any about just request the 11 DVD set when you call us at 800-435-4343 or when you go online to Renewing Your It was the culture appears further from the truth of Scripture.

It can be tempting for us as Christians to try away from defending the truth.

It's unpopular. We are called to give an answer for the hope that is within us.

That's why we hope you'll continue your study by requesting the series again.

It's titled defending your faith or phone number again is 800-435-4343 in our online address is Renewing Your before go today. Let me remind you that you will also find helpful. Teaching 24 hours a day on ref net that's her 24 hour Internet streaming radio station you'll hear many faithful Bible teachers and pastors including Alastair Begg, Stephen Lawson Sinclair Ferguson and of course Dr. RC Sproul will also hear music and audiobooks. You can listen any or when you download the free ref net out as well as you heard RC say in next week will start drawing together the threads of what is taught.

So far so join us for the message titled God of the Bible versus God of philosophy. That's Nick's editing here on Renewing Your Mind

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