I Can't Prove That God Exists

And neither can you!

We spent last week's chat talking about this, and we'll likely continue to work out the implications when we meet again on the 24th.

I think the best way to think of Christianity is to recognize that it - like every other worldview that proposes to explain the past, that gives meaning to the present and that predicts the future - is first and foremost a story to be believed.

Christianity is much closer to being a Broadway play than it is to being a microbiology class. But a part of me seems always to try and make it a science.
"If I go to church faithfully, and give 10% of everything I have, and pray this way, and sing that way, and on, and on and on - then that's when I'll 'break through' to some new plane of existence..."
That kind of thinking tries to turn Christianity into something it was never meant to be - indeed, that it can never be!

For instance, if I were to stand on my deck, and hold a rock out over the edge, and let 'er go - I know beyond a shadow of doubt that the rock will fall to the ground. How do I know this?

I know this because I've proven such a hypothesis time and time and time again under all kinds of circumstances.

But I've never seen God. He's never appeared to me, or spoken audibly to me. Never - not once in all these years. In fact, I don't even know anyone that's seen God, or spoken with him face to face. :)

So I don't "know" that God even exists. At least not like I "know" what will happen when I drop that rock off my deck.

And though Jesus' existence is pretty much a given, I still can't be 100% sure that he and his followers did everything the Bible says they did. And further - unless you've been hiding something from me all these years - you can't be sure of any of it either. :)

And the point of all this is - that's OK. It's "par for the course". It's just as it was meant to be.

Because neither the macro-evolutionists with all their data, nor the Buddhists with all their meditations nor the Hindus with all their vedas nor even the postmoderns with all their....nothingness (!) - none of them can prove their worldviews to be "right" either!

All those worldviews are "faiths" - just as Christianity is a faith.

So my friends - stop beating your heads against the wall trying to make Christianity a "sure thing" - like dropping a rock off your deck. It's just not. It was never meant to be.

But that doesn't stop me from believing in God, in Jesus, in the Christian worldview and in the kingdom to come.

Let's just relax and enjoy exploring the world through our chosen lens - the lens of the Judeo-Christian worldview.
"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for,
the conviction of things not seen."
- Hebrews 11:1

6 comments:

Angela said...

I really appreciate your post. It's very well-written and something I (and many other people f diferent religious affiliations) can identify with.

It's hard to avoid wanting your belief to be shared by everyone, no matter what the faith, but sometime's it's much more important to concentrate on what you believe in your heart than convincing others to do the same.

Mike said...

Thanks for the kind words, Angela!

I do indeed believe and live the Judeo-Christian worldview - I do so because to me it makes the most sense of the past and of the present, and it promises an absolutely awesome future.

But I also fully understand that there are other worldviews to choose from, and that many many others have made choices different from my own.

I do enjoy comparing and contrasting worldviews, as well as challenging long-cherished assumptions. That, I suppose, is one way I proselytize.

But while I'm at it, I also try as best I can to remain respectful of the well-thought-out decisions of others that disagree with my own. That's the primary reason this site exists.

Thanks again for your thoughts!

Bruce said...

Can you even prove that anyone else exists outside of your own mind, much less a god?

Mike said...

That's a very good point, Bruce. The answer to your question lies in what we deem "proof".

Phenomenalists, or Solipsists in the extreme case, hold the view that "only I exist" or "only sensations exist".

While I can vaguely see how a person could get to a place where they might hold such a view - I can't see it being a very useful or helpful position in any way.

My personal viewpoint is that of "critical realism". So unlike the phenomenalist - I take it as given that reality exists outside myself. However, unlike the logical positivist - I recognize that my perception of that reality is inevitably colored by my background, my upbringing, my training, etc.

So I thus try to remain teachable and reasonably open to new perceptions - realizing that I surely have a "few things wrong". This view allows me to believe in certain things, and not in others - to make value judgments and to take decisive action.

I do these things, though, without an ultimate sense of absolute moral authority because I'm not entirely sure that I've got it all nailed down just yet.

Thanks for the comment!

JW said...

Great post and comments. I don't have much to add or a grand epistemological statement to make, but I can say this: I can't prove that God exists or that Christianity is the one true religion... but I can't prove I'm happy either. I just know that I am happy and would like to share it.

Mike said...

Thanks JW!

I'm saying "I've found a belief system that explains past, present and future in a more satisfying way than any other I've yet run across."

Maybe that's just my weird way of saying "I'm happy". Thanks alot for the comment!