Everyone has faith. Stay with me, here. Facts are important, but can only take us so far. Faith simply connects what we know with what we don’t know. Let’s be honest. No one can perfectly know every fact and no person has absolute knowledge. There is always room for some doubt. Even our legal system recognizes this. Have you ever stopped to consider what it takes for a person to be convicted of a crime? Once all facts have been considered, a conviction does not require absolute knowledge with zero doubt, only no “reasonable doubt.”
If you are reading this while sitting in a chair you have no absolute proof it will hold your weight. But the evidence available to you makes that belief reasonable. You drive on the road trusting those around you to stay in their lane. You have “faith” and reasonable belief to trust what you don’t know based upon that you do know. Faith is always acted upon. So, you sit in a chair and drive your car.
What about faith that God exists? Some claim such a belief is foolish and demand absolute proof. But those who require absolute proof are asking for criteria they do not use for anything else! Belief in God’s existence is fully justified based on the evidence around us. Just as a police detective investigates the clues of a scene to theorize what most likely occurred, we must examine the information available to us. I believe there are two important clues, which if investigated fully, point to God’s existence as the most likely conclusion.
The first clue to consider is creation. Everything that begins to exist has a cause. We know the universe had a beginning, and therefore a cause. Everything could not have come from nothing. God is the first Cause. Consider the laws of nature which don’t change. Laws point to a Law-Giver. Math and science lead to discoveries. You see, truth is not created but uncovered. There is order, predictability, and design all around us. Our DNA is a perfect example. Design points to a Designer. The universe is moving and expanding. There must be an unmoved Mover.
Some argue against creation by pointing to evolution through long-term natural processes. Even if those claims were true, where did the original substance and alleged processes come from? If we lived in a purely natural universe we would expect constant change in the laws of nature, but we don’t see that. We would expect only living organisms that have evolved over time, but where did non-living things like planets and stars come from? The human body is too complex to have resulted from millennia of mutations. Mutations are harmful, not helpful.
The second clue to consider is human conscience and morality. Every person has a strong inner sense of right and wrong, of truth and justice. We strive to protect the vulnerable and innocent, and hold accountable those who do wrong. In a purely naturalistic universe we would need no judicial system, but excuse behavior on the basis of biology. We’d also expect the strong to survive, having no reasonable impulse to have hospitals, nursing homes, or care for the weak, disabled, or helpless. Right and wrong cannot be rooted in what society says because there are times when society is wrong. Truth and justice cannot be rooted in biological impulses, but in a Source. That moral source is an objective standard, God Himself.
Everyone has faith. What are you setting your faith upon? Will it hold up under scrutiny?
Dr. Chris Larmoyeux is the pastor at First Baptist Church Maumelle. He and his wife, Tonya, live in Maumelle with their three children. You can email Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org.