This week we continue examining reasons why it is reasonable to believe that God exists. Last week we looked at the moral argument. This week we will look at the three other reasons traditionally given that help prove God’s existence. The cosmological argument notices that everything in the universe has a cause – nothing occurs without something coming before it. The argument then seeks to follow this chain of causes all the way back to the beginning and says that in the beginning there must have been something that had no cause and started everything going. For some people this uncaused something was some form of ‘matter’ that exploded in a big bang and created the universe. But was this ‘matter’ really capable of bringing about all that we see today? It is actually more rational to believe that some intelligent being caused the universe. This is because we see that the universe is intelligible and so whatever caused the universe must have been intelligent as well. This intelligent being is God. ‘To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are his.’ (Job 12:13)

The teleological argument argues that because the universe shows evidence of an intelligent purpose there must be an intelligent and purposeful God behind it. When you find a wrist watch on the beach you don’t think isn’t the ocean clever in making it, instead you recognise it as an object that has an intelligent designer. So it is when we look at the human body or any other part of creation, we are compelled to think that some all powerful intelligent being made it. This is what is meant by ‘The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.’ (Psalm 19:1).

Finally the ontological argument says that God must exist because nothing greater can be imagined. It then argues that the being must exist as it is greater to exist than not to exist.

These four arguments (moral, cosmological, teleological, ontological) may make sense to you or may not, one may really grab you but the others may not. They are all attempts to show how reason can point to the existence of God. But they have one big problem. They point to the existence of a god, not simply the Christian God. They can be used by Muslims, Mormons, Christians or anyone else who believes in a god. It is only in the Bible that we truly know who God is. Over the next few weeks we’ll look at how it is reasonable that the Bible must be the words of an eternal powerful God who is so much greater than us.

Joel Radford.