Christ Church Central Sheffield

A church for people who don't go to church

Sundays at 10:30am & 4:30pm

How Do We Know That God Exists?

BILL FEARNEHOUGH

A Russian astronaut who came back from space, was asked ‘did you see God?’ Of course his answer was ‘No’, which delighted the atheists. Another astronaut, who believed in God, was asked the same question. He answered, ‘I saw his handiwork in the creation of space and the universe, but I didn’t see God himself’. The tragedy isn’t that this man didn’t see God, but that man can’t find God by his own resources. The Bible tells us that no man has seen God at any time. Science has tried and failed.

Science has failed

Many scientists would like to rule God out of any equation because they want investigate things in a way that can be quantified, measured and compared with other things, and fitted into a scientific system. God, if he exists, created that system. He cannot be fitted into it. God exists outside and beyond any framework which man can create for scientific investigation. The scientist says that if you can’t see God, then there is no scientific proof that he exists. We must leave that to the realms of philosophy.

Philosophical reasoning has failed

Many philosophers have tried to prove the existence of God, and some of them are pretty convincing, like the argument from order and creation. But they are not 100% watertight. When one philosopher puts forward a case, others proceed to pick holes in it, and these philosophic attempts at proof tell us very little about the true nature of God because they are limited by the thinking processes of the men who created them. God is being created by man in a philosophical image.

Mysticism has failed

Some people will say, ‘I know God exists because I have gone through an experience which makes the presence of Him very real to me’. There has been a very natural reaction against both scientific definition and philosophical theorising. Some call it spirituality or mysticism; something that cannot be reasoned or scientifically quantified but meets the spiritual needs of people. Can we find God, if by mystical meditation we come to an understanding, an enlightenment, which Buddhists and mystics claim they can achieve. The big question which mystics find hard to answer is ‘How can I be sure that my experience, which goes beyond rational explanation, is not a self-generated hallucination?’ Is it just another form of drug culture? Is God to be found in the molecules of cannabis and their effect on the brain, or the chanting of a mantra?’ You can’t find God by mysticism. There must be another way. But how?

Truth or spin

We know how difficult it is these days to get to the truth through the media. Everyone has their own spin, and wants to use the story their own way. If we could only get to the real facts we’d be satisfied, but how do we know what they are? You can read a limitless number of opinions about how people think about God, most of them skewed by personal agenda, but it would be very hard to come to an objective conclusion by so doing.

God: You tell us

So how about saying, ‘God, you tell us what you are like. You tell us if you exist’. If God does exist, he could do that! And that’s the conclusion that most of us here have come to – that although it is impossible for us to discover God by our unaided efforts, we can see how God has actually shown himself to us by looking at his self revelation. That verse in the Bible that says ‘no man has seen God at any time’, ends by saying, ‘but Jesus has revealed Him’. If God has revealed Himself, in a way which men can understand, then surely it is worth examining the evidence.

It is possible to investigate the documentary evidence of the life and sayings of Jesus first hand, and we are planning to offer a course at this church called Christianity Explored, where you can explore the evidence that God has given us.

And one thing we hope to do in Christ Church Central is to make these the kind of presentations where people can come along and raise questions. We often don’t have time during the service for long drawn out debate, but it is good to raise questions and maybe talk these things over in one of the coffee bars after the meetings. The Bible says ‘No-one has ever seen God, but Jesus has made Him known’. Jesus said, ‘ I am the way and the truth and the life, No-one comes to the Father except by me’. How can we prove that God exists? There is a way…