Lie: God doesn’t exist.
Truth: God lives.
I was at this time, like so many Atheists or Antitheists, in a whirl of contradictions. I maintained that God did not exist. I was also very angry with God for not existing. I was equally angry with Him for creating a world. — C S Lewis
This lie is perhaps the most audacious of all. But no one seriously questioned the existence of God until the modern era, that is, until Charles Darwin conceived the first grand vision of the world’s origins thought worthy to compete with the creation story in Genesis. People always presumed that, as Paul said: “[God’s] invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.” (Rom 1:20). Most people believed that the created order’s immensity, complexity, beauty and order demanded a Being worthy of it. But the question was, ‘Who is this Being?’
The trouble with rationally trying to prove the existence of God is that, unless God shows us, we really have no idea who or what it is we’re trying to prove exists. The truth is that we walk about in such a transcendent world that we cannot begin to imagine the Being that created it. We are like the otter that plays oblivious at the edges of the ocean’s depths. Even as humans, assuming we can imagine this Being is like standing on the beach and mistaking the horizon for the ocean’s end. But our ‘mistake’ would be of immense proportions.
Trying to prove God’s existence is like an ant trying to prove the existence of humans by citing to his six-legged brethren: “Don’t you hear that massive thudding and the constant shadows that play over us; and how on earth do you explain the fact that Bob was totally flattened yesterday?! — what else could have done that?” The ant may be brutally aware of human existence, but he has no idea what a human is, just that they exist. And so we too have reduced God to a bare existence, since we do not have the powers to conceive or imagine what such an existence could be.
This human-divine gap – this insurmountable chasm – is what we would expect if we take seriously the transcendence of God. The good news is that this transcendent God has chosen to reveal himself to us humans, and he has done so in a variety of ways. This would also be expected of a benevolent God who desires to relate to his creatures. This God would not be content to simply exist, but would want to be known as a person.
Those who doubt the existence of God, yet sincerely want to know one way or the other, should first count the cost – they should be careful what they wish for. God is no ordinary subject like transportation or meteorology or linguistics. Once you realize, through the mass of evidence that continues to pile up – especially in the sciences, the domain that more than any other has tried to eclipse him – that he does exist, you will find he encompasses and pervades every subject, including the subject of you. You will find that before and while you were pursuing him, he was pursuing you. He pursues us by constantly revealing himself to us, often in such ways that are personal and specific to us. He pursues us, even as we try to ignore his persistent voice.
First, he reveals himself through the multi-layered and interlocking created order – physics, minerals, plants, and animals. Then in history through the people of Israel and the prophets, and finally, in the fullness of time, he revealed himself in the Incarnation, Jesus. The writer of Hebrews says:
God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. — Hebrews 1:1–3
And now God reveals himself to every person through the word of God, the Spirit and through the body of Christ, the church.
But to perceive this revelation for what it is, we must be willing and actually want to see it. Just as we do not immediately ‘reveal’ ourselves, that is, until we know that a person truly wants to know us, so too God does not reveal himself to just anyone; he reveals himself to those who want to know. So it comes back to us. Do you really want to know the truth, whatever that may mean and wherever that may take you?
God woos us over time; he knows it’s a scary proposition to trust him. So he melts us with a sunset, a caress, the wonder in a child’s eyes. However it happens, we start to see and feel the heartbeat of God. He does exist and wants you to know him, the real him.
See also the Introduction, Lies attacking the nature of God.