4 Reasons Why I Believe in God: #2

Is faith in God blind? Vince Vitale takes us through four reasons why he believes in the existence of God, and contrasts them against counter-arguments for a robust discussion on this topic.

When I was young, I thought faith had to be blind. I thought you couldn’t give reasons for God. I thought belief was something you simply had or you didn’t. I didn’t become a Christian until university and that was partly because, for the first time in my life, friends were able to show me that their faith was not blind–that they had strong reasons for believing in God.

Over the course of the next few weeks, I’m laying out four reasons why I believe in God, and then I’ll place those reasons side-by-side with alternative beliefs so that we can judge what is most reasonable. First, we saw a reason for God by looking back. For the second reason for God, let’s look up. And what we find is that the universe is incredibly finely-tuned for life.

Looking Up

Imagine you take out a deck of cards and start playing poker with Amy Orr-Ewing. In the first twelve rounds, Amy gets twelve straight royal flushes (If you’ve never played poker, that would be like winning the lottery twelve times in a row). What should we think? That’s right… Amy’s cheating! Why? Because even if she’s a very honest woman, it’s so incredibly unlikely for someone to get twelve straight royal flushes just by chance that someone must be messing with the cards.

Over the last 35 years, the Fine-Tuning Argument has suggested that we should come to a similar conclusion with respect to God. The universe we live in could have taken many different forms, and scientists agree–not just Christian scientists, but scientists in general–that there are dozens of features of the universe that needed to be precisely as they are for life to be possible…not just life on the planet Earth or life as we know it, but any form of life anywhere in the universe.

To take just one example, the explosive force of the Big Bang had to be within 1 part in 10^60th of what it actually was. In other words, the percentage difference that you could have while still accommodating the possibility of life is a 0, followed by a decimal point, followed by 59 zeros, followed by a 1. If the Big Bang had been even the slightest bit weaker, gravity would have made the universe collapse back in on itself almost immediately, far too quickly for any form of life to develop. If the Big Bang had been just the slightest bit stronger, particles would have dispersed into thin air. They would have dispersed so quickly and wound up so far from each other that all we could have got would have been cold, simple molecules, nothing like the sort of complex chemistry required for any embodied form of life. That’s just one example, and there are dozens more.

How are we to explain this amazing “coincidence”? How are we to explain the royal flushes turning up hand after hand throughout the universe? We should come to the only rational conclusion:

The universe is not the result of randomness. Someone ordered the cards; someone designed the universe.

And this is just what the Bible claims in Romans 1:20:

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”

In the following weeks, we’ll look at the final two reasons for why I believe in God, and we’ll place those reasons side-by-side with alternative beliefs so that we can judge what is most reasonable.

4 Reasons Why I Believe in God: #1

Is faith in God blind? Vince Vitale takes us through four reasons why he believes in the existence of God, and contrasts them against counter-arguments for a robust discussion on this topic.

When I was young, I thought faith had to be blind. I thought you couldn’t give reasons for God. I thought belief was something you simply had or you didn’t. I didn’t become a Christian until university and that was partly because, for the first time in my life, friends were able to show me that their faith was not blind–that they had strong reasons for believing in God.

Admittedly, Christianity asks us to believe some extraordinary things: The entire universe was created by an invisible, immaterial being; that being then intricately designed the universe, so that human life would be possible; then that being came and lived among us as a human being, he died, and three days later he literally, physically rose from the grave, and then for weeks afterwards he appeared to hundreds of people.

Christianity makes some big claims, but here’s a phrase I want you to remember: Criticism without alternative is empty. If someone wants to say your faith is blind or based on ignorance, ask them in turn what they believe in. Ask them if they live by a better alternative for making sense of the world. At which point, you can put the alternatives side-by-side and see which beliefs make more sense.

Criticism without alternative is empty.

Over the course of the next few weeks, I’m going to lay out four reasons why I believe in God, and then I’m going to place these reasons side-by-side with alternative beliefs, so that we can judge what is most reasonable. We can see these reasons for God by looking back, looking up, looking down, and looking in. In this article, we look back.

Looking Back

Let’s look back, all the way back to the beginning of the universe. A hundred years ago, most scientists assumed that the universe had no beginning–that it had just always existed. But one of the most significant developments in science in the last 100 years is that the majority of scientists have now come to believe the universe had a beginning. Scientists are now able to detect that the universe is actually expanding in size in all directions. The picture that results from this, if we trace back the expansion, is a universe that began with an utterly dense point, and then, like a firework, exploded into the universe at the Big Bang. The Cambridge physicist Stephen Hawking said this:

"All the evidence seems to indicate, that the universe has not existed forever, but that it had a beginning, about 15 billion years ago. This is probably the most remarkable discovery of modern cosmology. Yet it is now taken for granted…"

The universe had a beginning. As a Christian, I think that beginning is explained when I open my Bible and read, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1).

If you don’t believe in God, what is your alternative? The alternative is to say that the universe just popped into existence from nothing, for no reason whatsoever. Here’s one depiction of it that I saw recently:

“ATHEISM: The belief there was once absolutely nothing. And nothing happened to the nothing until the nothing magically exploded (for no reason), creating everything and everywhere. Then a bunch of the exploded everything magically rearranged itself (for no reason whatsoever), into self-replicating bits, which then turned into dinosaurs.”

That’s having a bit of fun, but it’s also making a reasonable point. Things don’t just pop into existence out of nothing and for no reason. If the universe began to exist, there must be an explanation for its existence. And the best explanation on offer is that God created it.

In the following weeks, we’ll look at the next three reasons for why I believe in God, as well as their corresponding counter-claims.

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