I am sitting in a car with a good friend. We are returning home from a weekend music course. He is a scientist and tells me he is reading a book about dark matter.
– Is there dark matter? I challenge him.
– According to this book, there very likely is, although humans have not been able to observe it yet, he says cautiously.
– So its existence is a matter of faith? I continue my challenge
– There is no watertight scientific proof of its existence, but many surprising and indirect observations can be explained by assuming that it exists, he amplifies.
– We could use exactly the same argument for the existence of God – there is no scientific proof, but many surprising and indirect observations could be explained by assuming that He exists. Where is the difference? I ask.
– God cannot be observed, and His existence cannot be proved by scientific methods. It therefore remains a matter of faith. Scientific proof is always based on reliable observations, measurements, reproducibility of results, and mathematical modelling of data. Belief in God and science are therefore two different things, he adeptly responses.
Our discussion continues in congenial companionship. We move on to discuss the relationship between science and current reality as well as faith, including living faith.
We recently read front page news of a highly esteemed scientist who claimed that he was able to prove that no God was needed to explain the origin of the universe. The news report implied that the non-existence of God had thereby received conclusive scientific proof.
Referring to this piece of news, a young believer told the participants of a discussion evening at the rauhanyhdistys that her unbelieving classmates had been ecstatic about the news, wondering why she “nevertheless wanted to believe in God.” I would have liked to go and console her and say that no-one can scientifically prove either the existence or the non-existence of God, not now, nor in the future.
Many of the attempts to prove that God does not exist point out the mystery of suffering and evil and the lack of rational logic in this dilemma: ”If God is good and almighty, why is there evil in the world? If God promised to protect believers, why have there been big catastrophes where many believers have died?”
Another claim to support the non-existence of God is evolution: ”In the old times ignorant people tried to explain mysteries by the presence of God, but people have gradually found natural explanations for everything that used to be unexplainable.” There are also theories of God and religion as an elitist conspiracy against common people. And these are only some of the claims that have been made to prove that God does not exist.
In the same way, there are also arguments for the existence of God. The human mind can choose to accept either approach.
Many people picture God as a white-bearded old man sitting on a cloud, or some other human-like spiritual being, who controls mankind and the world according to his will and preferences. There is nothing wrong with imagining things, but anybody who does so based on their own view of a benevolent, omnipotent, and just God will end up with a major misconception.
According to the Bible, God is far from anything like that. He is: one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Eph. 4:6.)
As Paul says, God has created all things, governs all things, and is effectively present in all things. Hence He is not outside His creation but omnipresent in it. This helps us understand that not even a hair can drop from a person’s head without God knowing and permitting it.
The capacity of God to influence the events of life and nature is an interesting topic, but the ultimate issue is the question of existence itself. Why is there something instead of there being nothing? And we should not limit this question to merely material reality, but should include the entire idea, phenomenon, and potential of existence.
What can be known about God is manifest to people because God has made it manifest to them. His invisible attributes, namely His eternal power and divine nature, have been manifest and observable in His works since the creation of the world. So people have no excuse. Although they knew God, they did not honor and praise him as God. (Rom. 1:19–21.)
The basic question of existence cannot be answered by science. Just like a painting pre-requires a canvas to be painted on and a thought pre-requires someone to think it, so God is a necessary prerequisite for existence. God called Himself “I-who-am” or, if interpreted differently, “He-who-calls-everything-into-existence”, when Moses wanted to know whom he should name as the sender of the message to his people.
Thus, according to the Bible, the whole existing reality with its laws and regularities testifies of God, His work and His power. Everything has been visible to man ever since the creation. The only crucial question is whether man wants to believe and to acknowledge that all things have been created by God’s word.
Kesän 2020 Suviseurat järjestetään 26.–29. kesäkuuta radiossa ja netissä. Seuravieraat eivät kohtaa toisiaan nyt kenttäolosuhteissa, mutta kaikki voivat kuunnella Jumalan sanaa ja Kesäseuraradion ohjelmaa yksin tai läheistensä kanssa. Ohjelma lähetetään pääosin SRK:n toimistolta Oulusta.