Thus far in our discussion, I have presented proof to establish the existence of an Intelligent Designer/Creator. The question I now present is whether it is reasonable to believe such a Being is the God of the Bible rather than Allah of the Qur’an or some other polytheistic or pantheistic existence upon which competing religions are centered?
In order to make that determination, we must first assemble all of the evidence we can readily and intuitively know that defines the character of the Creator. In later discussions we’ll compare those characteristics to the nature of the God described in the Bible, as well as to the deities of other religious texts that portray a divine being, to what we determine here. Let’s start that process by pulling together the facts we can know that reveal the Creator’s traits.
The first question we must ask is “What do we understand about the nature of the Creator?”
From the act of creation and the resulting gift of life, it’s reasonable to infer that a Creator would be, out of necessity: a Timeless Being (If He is the first cause, He pre-existed the Universe), Infinite (If He created space, He would not be bound by it), and All-powerful (for obvious reasons).
We may also assume that if He created the Universe and placed us in it, He would have a purpose for having done so and would want us to know something about Himself and about His purpose. It would be reasonable then to conclude that He would reveal these things to us both generally and specifically.
It is logical to look for evidence of both types of revelation and test them using the standard of Truth we’ve established to govern all our inquiries (i.e., convincing beyond a reasonable doubt). In this installment, let’s look at what is revealed generally.
Proof 1. We sense the Creator’s general revelation internally.
Pascal (of Pascal’s Wager fame) once said “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every person, and it can never be filled by any created thing. It can only be filled by God, made known through Jesus Christ.”
We’ll discuss later how God is made known through Jesus. For now, it’s important to recognize that this internal vacuum gives rise to that feeling of incompleteness we all have. It is this void which gnaws at us until we discover what fills it. Some of us turn to relationships, others to success. We buy, we sell, we create facades. We pursue greater personal significance in our effort to close the hole Pascal has observed. And still we search.
Our intelligence, emotions, the beauty of the natural world that surrounds us, all suggest something other than a mindless, random existence. Everything that “is” points to a greater Being. Not wanting to concede a transcendent power, we pursue other possibilities, asking more and even deeper questions of ourselves, and others — all to satisfy our internal curiosity without having to acknowledge the supernatural.
If our quest is to be genuine, however, we must eventually consider whether the vacuum we’re trying to fill was in fact, created by God for the singular purpose of causing us to seek Him. Having tried all else, shouldn’t we consider if it is He who can fill our vacuum?
Proof 2. We sense the Creator’s general revelation when we recognize that we possess an internal, almost universal morality (sometimes called conscience).
Have you noticed that all throughout history, regardless of nation or creed, what is right and what is wrong remains essentially the same? Murder is murder. Theft is theft. Lies are lies. Isn’t it odd that diverse peoples of widely dispersed societies, for the most part, possess a similar ethic? What’s the reason for the internal social compass that guides the laws different cultures write? All of them seem to produce a similar end. Rather than dismiss this as coincidence, we must consider if God is behind this phenomenon.
Anything that is created is inherently embedded with a piece of the one who created it.
If we study the tendencies of an artist, we can identify them in his paintings. It makes sense then that if we are created by a single Being, we would collectively possess a sense of morality that reflects the nature of our Creator regardless of our personal knowledge or degree of relationship with him.
As I will establish later in our conversation, there’s no question whether or not an atheist can be a moral person. Most are, and they point to their inherent moral nature as a reason not to need God. Ultimately, however, we all need a transcendent God to explain why we choose to be moral and why the morality we choose seems to be universal in its application.