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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: Does the God of the Bible Exist?

Don Stewart :: Why Do Some Believers Think the Traditional Arguments for God's Existence Should Not Be Given?

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Why Do Some Believers Think the Traditional Arguments for God’s Existence Should Not Be Given?

Does the God of the Bible Exist? – Question 12

It must also be noted that there are a number of believers who do not believe that any of the traditional arguments should be given to prove God’s existence. A number of points have been made.

At Best, the Traditional Arguments Only Show That Some God May Exist

The traditional arguments are limited in what they can do. They can only demonstrate that some type of God exists but it can do nothing more. It is true that attempts to prove the existence of God through these traditional proofs seldom, if ever, causes someone to believe in Him. Indeed, all they would do is convince a person that some type of God exists. However, it would not show them which God exists.

Special Revelation Is Necessary to Know the Identity of This God

The traditional arguments do nothing to explain who God is, who we are, and what the meaning of our existence consists of. At best, they can only tell us that some God possibly exists. However, His identity is not revealed. We need so much more than the traditional arguments.

The Bible Says the Unbeliever Has a Sinful Nature That Does Not Want to Know God

There is something else we need to remember. The Bible clearly says that unbelieving humanity is not seeking after the truth about God. To the contrary, he is running from the truth. The desire is not to know the God who created all things but rather to deny what is evident to all of us. This attitude is a result of the spiritual blindness caused by sin.

The problem is that sinful humanity, completely on its own, cannot have correct knowledge about God, or know God personally. Special revelation is needed for that.

Paul wrote to the Corinthians about the preaching of the message of Christ which is necessary to have true knowledge of God.

For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. (1 Corinthians 1:21 NASB)

Therefore, it is only through the preaching of the message of Scripture that humans can know any specifics about the God who exists. Elsewhere, we are told that unbelievers have a spiritual blindfold that keeps them from seeing the truth. Paul wrote to the Corinthians,

If there is anything hidden about our message, it is hidden only to someone who is lost. The god who rules this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers. They cannot see the light, which is the good news about our glorious Christ, who shows what God is like. (2 Corinthians 4:3-4 CEV)

Because humanity is in a darkened state due to sin, some believers think it is improper to argue for God’s existence to those who have no capacity to understand. God’s existence should be merely assumed and proclaimed to these people, it should not attempt to be proven.

However, there are many other Christians who believe that arguments for God’s existence should be presented to unbelievers. As we find in the Book of Acts, the early Christians reasoned with unbelievers through the Scriptures and presented evidence that Jesus was the promised Messiah.

Scripture Says Unbelievers Are Already Aware of God Apart from Any Rational Arguments

Finally, the Bible says that unbelievers are already aware of God’s existence. They are not ignorant that He exists. Through the internal testimony of the conscience, as well as the external evidence from the nature of the created universe, humans already know that there is a God.

Therefore, it is the job of believers not to prove God to the unbeliever but rather to tell them which God it is that does exist. This is the God of the Bible.

Summary – Question 12
Why Do Some Believers Think the Traditional Arguments for God’s Existence Should Not Be Given?

There have been a number of arguments that have been brought forward to show that the existence of God is not something irrational, or contrary to the facts. They include the following.

The cosmological argument says everything must have a cause. The teleological argument argues that the intricate design of the universe shows intelligence and purpose. The anthropological argument points out the fact that human beings are unique. There is also the fact of the universal belief in a supreme being.

The moral argument observes the fact that morality is found in every culture. The biological argument states that life does not come from non-life. Finally, the ontological argument, the idea of a perfect being such as God must mean that He exists.

Each of these arguments has their strengths and weaknesses. While none of them are decisive, in and of themselves, together they show that God’s existence is certainly not irrational. However, these arguments do not tell us who that God is, or how we can get to know Him. This can only be understood through special revelation, the truths which God has revealed in Scripture.

From the Bible we find that unbelievers are not seeking after God. Indeed, they are running from Him. Furthermore, there is a spiritual blindfold which keeps them from understanding the truths of God. Only the work of the Holy Spirit, through message of the Word of God, can remove this blindfold.

These facts have caused a number of people to question the value of any arguments put forward for God’s existence. If the unbeliever has on a spiritual blindfold and is running from the Lord, then all the intellectual arguments in the world won’t make a difference.

However, others believe that it our responsibility to provide whatever arguments we can for the Jesus as Messiah. This is in keeping with what the New Testament believers did.

There is one last thing which should be noted. According to Scripture, everyone knows that God exists. Nature makes this clear. However, we need the Bible to tell us which God it is that does exist. This God, of course, is the One who is revealed in the Bible.

What Should We Conclude about the Traditional Arguments for God's Existence? ← Prior Section
What Does Nature Tell Us about the Existence of the God of Scripture? Next Section →
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