What if God...?" which published in the neare announced.
WHAT IF GOD…?
…did not exist?
…had not revealed himself to humans?
…were not eternal?
…were not all knowing?
…were not love?
…were not truth?
…were not omnipotent?
…were not longsuffering?
This site contains substantial and complete sections from the book "What if God...?" which will be published in the near future. The publication date will be announced.
WHAT IF GOD DID NOT EXIST?
God is, and He is the Creator and Sustainer of all life; God is actively involved in human affairs and has a great plan of salvation for all of humanity. This is the heart and core of the Christian religion. This is the sure foundation upon which Christians have based their faith for almost two thousand years. This is the driving force that has led countless thousands to offer their very lives by refusing to compromise with their faith and abandon their God. This is what empowers many today as they tackle painful challenges, suffer persecutions and confront death.
But what if God did not exist? What if God were simply an illusion? What if atheists were correct in believing that the only thing that exists is an eternal universe that expands and contracts forever and ever, from which life emerged accidentally?
If atheists were to be correct, the cherished Christian belief in a loving God, who created everything and who reveals His will through the Bible, would be a grand illusion. Consequently, Christianity would be just a fraud; there would be no God-determined right and wrong; everything would be, indeed, relative.
Within a Godless society, each individual could choose his own set of principles that he could modify according to his convenience. The atheist philosopher, Jean Paul Sartre, expressed this disturbing reality quite eloquently, when he wrote the following: “On a shattered and deserted stage, without script, director, prompter, or audience, the actor is free to improvise his own part” (Killinger, 1960, P. 64). The improvisation Sartre refers to would be for many rampant immorality, unbridled narcissism and raging competition. The French philosopher Voltaire adds, in the same vein, “If God would not exist, then all things would be allowed” (Pomeau, 1995, P. 660).
Unfortunately, this reality has already prevailed in our world during the past century with horrific consequences. Leaders like Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini and Pol Pot have proven that human beings without God can turn into ferocious beasts bent on conquering, plundering and destroying. History has also shown that man without God can bring about the enslavement of countless millions under futile ideologies that will ultimately result in oppression, cruelty and national and international disasters.
Fortunately for all of humanity, God does exist. Proofs of God’s existence abound for those who are open-minded and for those who want to look at the evidence with a spirit of humility. What follows is a list of some of the main arguments that prove God’s existence.
God is the First Cause
Everything is in motion, from the galaxies in the heavens, to our Earth and Moon. Everything around us manifests energy, dynamism and changeability—that is motion. Back in time, all this motion had a beginning. Science refers to this beginning as “The Big Bang.” The one who created matter, energy and motion at the beginning is the First Cause: God.
Order and Design in Nature
Order abounds in creation. This implies that there is an “Orderer,” that is someone who is behind the amazing and wonderful order we see everywhere in nature. The natural world abounds in design and purpose. The multitudes of systems that operate and co-operate in the universe imply a Creator. Design abounds, even in the smallest of organisms. In the human body, organs are designed to perform specific functions and to cooperate with all other organs in incredible harmony. There is beauty, and stunning design even in the strangest of creatures. All order and design points in the direction of Someone who willed it and who maintains it: God.
Miracles have been a trademark of the Judeo-Christian God, since the beginning. Countless witnesses have testified to and have written about God’s mighty works as they are recorded in the Bible. In the New Testament, Christ witnessed to God’s power by performing great wonders and by bringing people back from the dead. Later, His followers continued manifesting God’s power by doing other mighty works, as recorded by totally faithful and truthful witnesses. As well, countless Christians, throughout the ages, have received miraculous answers to their prayers. The source of these great wonders is the all-powerful God.
The Bible abounds in fulfilled prophecies that point to God’s existence. For instance, God enunciated many prophecies relating to Israel, Judah and many other nations -- and they were fulfilled. The prophetic warnings of captivity for both Israel and Judah came to pass. The punishments prophesied against other nations, such as Babylon, and Assyria, were fulfilled as well. After a prolonged captivity, Judah was to return from exile -- and it occurred, as described in Ezra and Nehemiah. After two thousand years of Diaspora, the Jews are back in the Promised Land, as prophesied in the Old and New Testament. Only an all-powerful Being can foretell events hundreds of years in advance and then make sure they come to pass.
Jesus Christ’s First Coming
Many Old Testament scriptures prophesied, in great detail, the coming of Christ and many of the events surrounding his coming. All the prophecies relating to Christ’s first coming were fulfilled is astonishing detail. Christ was the promised Messiah and God in the flesh Who lived among men and manifested His great power before thousands of witnesses. Some such witnesses have faithfully recorded Christ’s great works, His death and His resurrection in the New Testament.
The Ten Commandments
Up to Sinai, humans were slaves to oppressive gods that demanded blind submission and offered no guiding moral law. The God of Israel revolutionized the ancient world with ten amazing laws that had the inherent potential to bring about mental peace, social harmony and freedom from the disastrous consequences of sin. No human mind could have ever conceived such concise, yet powerfully transforming package. The Ten Commandments are from God.
The Greatest Minds Believed
Unlike what many atheists propagate, most of the greatest intellects of the past reached the same conclusion: God exists. The fathers of Science, such as Newton, Galileo, Kepler, Gilbert, Copernicus and Einstein held a firm belief in God and openly professed their belief (Caputo, 2000). The 20th century greatest scientist, Einstein, declared that “the harmony of natural law…reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection@ (Albert Einstein, in Iain, 1982, p. 57).
The greatest writers, philosophers, artists and musicians also expressed total assurance in the existence of a higher power, and many lived very devout Christian lives (Caputo, 2000). The greatest human minds looked at the evidence and concluded that there is a Mind greater than their own who created and sustains all things.
Thousands of years ago, an omnipotent Being introduced Himself forcefully, and reassuringly, into the affairs of men as the “I AM.” (Exodus 3:14). Consistently, since then, He has given undeniable evidence that He is absolutely. He also asserts that He creates and sustains all things, and that He, and only He, determines right from wrong, and that, because of His love for humanity, life has great meaning. Lastly, this great Being promises a new Heaven and a new Earth as the eternal inheritance for all humans who are willing to submit to His will.
This is the first and grand truth of life. This is the sublime and reassuring reality affirmed by the Bible, supported by Philosophy and Science, testified to by dozens of truthful men who witnessed God’s presence and power, who wrote faithfully about it and who willingly died for it. This is also the glorious truth accepted by most of the greatest minds that ever lived. God IS and, because He is, our life has great meaning and our future holds in store great promises of eternal life and glory.
WHAT IF GOD WERE NOT ETERNAL?
God is an eternal being without beginning and without end. The human mind has trouble grappling with the concept of eternity, as we are finite beings who can only relate with that which has a beginning and an end. Yet, the eternity of God is a fundamental tenet of the Judeo-Christian faiths, and all believers believe in faith that God is eternal.
What if God were not eternal? What if God did have a beginning?
The obvious implication of this hypothetical idea would be that, if He had a beginning, He had to have been created. If so, another Creator, or multiple creators, would have preceded Him. Thus, throughout eternity, an endless multitude of creators would have existed, and we would have had no idea as to who the first father god really was. If there was a first Father God, then He had no beginning and, thus, He would be the Supreme Being.
A created god being implies finite qualities. It is difficult to conceive of infinitely great characteristics in a being that had a beginning. Eternity, on the other hand, implies infinite qualities. The greatness of God becomes totally grand, when framed by a context of eternity. Only an eternal Being can be infinitely wise, infinitely powerful, infinitely knowledgeable, etc.
Fortunately, this problem does not exist for us Christians, as the one-and-only God Himself addresses it: “I am He, I am the first, I also am the last ”(Isaiah 48:12). In other words, there is no other God, and He, and only He, has been God forever: “Beside me there is no other” (Isaiah 44:6).
Our great God has been forever and will be forever and ever. Unlike the gods of many religions of the past, the Christian God is not a created being. There are no multitudes of gods, making it impossible to know whom the Universal Ruler truly is. The true God is one and eternal. He is totally wise, totally powerful and totally glorious, and He alone is worthy of awe and worship. He “inhabits eternity” (Isaiah 57:15), and he invites us, the created, to join him forever.
WHAT IF GOD WERE NOT LOVE?
Christians take great comfort in the New Testament teaching that God is love. Such a Being has His creation’s well being at heart and does all for the best of His children. Christians, therefore, feel enveloped by God’s Divine love and are deeply reassured by the fact that their divine Father wants their best at all times.
But what if God were not “Love”? What if He were a self-centered, self-absorbed, Creator?
If this were true, can we conceive how horrific human existence would be? Such a sadistic god would create only for his own pleasure; existence would be a stage conceived to only satisfy His every whim; he would have no reason to create humans for any higher purpose, and he would have no desire to share eternity with anyone. If such a god had created humans, it would have been to simply get sadistic satisfaction from controlling them and abusing them.
We humans are blessed to be a part of an existence conceived and orchestrated by a Being who is totally motivated by love. The Bible assures us that God is love (I John 4:8,16); that He is a God who delights in and “exercises loving kindness”(Jeremiah 9:24); and who is “plenteous in mercy” (Psalm 86:5). Everything about His essence is goodness and other- centeredness, and no selfishness is to be found in Him.
From the beginning, He made everything in the universe with love, with the ultimate aim that it would all be “very good”(Genesis 1;31). That “very good” creation was to be a special world for His last physical creation; a special gift of love for his children, made in His very image: man and woman. The earth is “full of the goodness of the Lord” (Psalm 33:5), yet it is only a token of the future world God is planning to give to spiritually transformed humans that will, by far, surpass anything imaginable in beauty and glory.
Lastly, humans were not simply created to exist for a period of time, experience
life, suffer and then die. He created humans as His supreme masterpiece with whom he wants to share all
things (Romans 8:16-17). To accomplish this great aim, He sent His son to die a most excruciating death, as
supreme evidence that He wants humans with Him in His Kingdom forever. As the Apostle John reminds us,
“God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him should
not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
Let there be no doubt, therefore, that our God IS love and only love, and that His aims are good and only good, at all times. Let all of creation be fully reassured and exult in this awesome truth.
© Copyright, Michael Caputo, 2004