The Case for a Creator
The following is a summary of the sermon I preached at the Cornerstone Church on Sunday, April 23, 2017:
THE CASE FOR A CREATOR
Part 3 of The Case for Christ. Psalm 19:1-6.
The Cornerstone Church. April 23, 2017
Today, I want to provide an answer to the question, is there evidence for a creator? Is there any reason to think that the universe is more than an accident?
This is a contentious issue. I watched the prophet of the new atheism Richard Dawkins in a debate about the origin of the universe. If I understood him correctly, he believes that even if there were a creator - a god, or force, or prime mover or whatever - we can know nothing about “it”. We can’t speak about “it” with any sort of intelligence at all. In another debate, this time with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dawkins said that he is 6.9 out of 7 convinced there is no god at all. In his book the God Delusion, he wrote, “The only watchmaker is the blind forces of physics.”
I find Dawkins’ approach depressing. If we exist by accident, why bother existing at all?
But we don’t have to go down Dawkins’ dark path. There is evidence of a creator who can be known by us because he is always making himself kno
wn - especially in Christ. The creator is not silent:
“In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being” - Hebrews 1:1-3
That’s what I hope to prove to you today. Here’s how I’m going to do it:
Philosophers propose a creator.
Science points to a creator.
Scripture proclaims a creator.
A. PHILOSOPHERS PROPOSE A CREATOR - ACTS 17:18, 22-25
When the apostle Paul visited Athens, he debated with the ancient Greek philosophers on Mars Hill. Listen to the story in Acts:
“18 A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to debate with him … 22 Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus (like the city council) and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you. 24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.” - Acts 17:18, 22-25
The philosophers acknowledged the existence of a God they did not know. But Paul filled in the missing details for them. Their unknown God was their creator and sustainer. Paul went on to tell them that God revealed himself in Jesus Christ who lived and died and rose again.
Ancient & modern philosophers argue for existence of a creator. William Lane Craig is Research Prof of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology and he presents a classical argument called the cosmological argument. He calls the logic ironclad.
“Here’s a different version of the cosmological argument, which I have called the kalam cosmological argument in honor of its medieval Muslim proponents:
Everything that begins to exist has a cause (nothing comes from nothing).
The universe began to exist.
Therefore, the universe has a cause.”
Professor Lane goes on to argue philosophically that such a cause must be transcendent, powerful, and personal - an unembodied mind. The point is: the existence of a creator is logically plausible, even logically necessary.
B. SCIENCE POINTS TO A CREATOR
I’m not a scientist and I’m not qualified to speak with authority in this area. So, I want to be careful about what I claim. However, I have been reading and listening to presentations of evidence for design by scientists with credentials. Here’s a couple of things I’ve discovered:
Fine Tuning. The existence of intelligent life on earth depends upon a complex and delicate balance of initial conditions; for example: The world is positioned in the solar system exactly where it needs to be for life. The constants such as gravity are exactly what they need to be. The proportion of matter and anti-matter in the universe is exactly what it needs to be. Even a slight change in any of these factors would make existence of life impossible. Dr. Hugh Ross wrote that the probability of a life-supporting planet - such as the earth - occurring in our universe by chance is less than 1 chance in 10 to the power of 282 (million trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion).
That leads me to believe that God is a better explanation than blind chance for the existence of planet earth. (For more insights on fine tuning, go to www.reasons.org/articles/probability-for-life-on-earth and www.icr.org/article/3761.)
DNA: We all studied DNA in high school biology. DNA is amazing. In the nucleus of our cells are these strands of protein that control the life of the cell - every function and process. DNA is information or language or code - the code of life - roughly equivalent to the code in a computer operating system.
Bill Gates has said that DNA is much more complex software than anything we can write.
Richard Dawkins wrote: "The machine code of the genes is uncannily computer-like. Apart from differences in jargon, the pages of a molecular biology journal might be interchanged with those of a computer engineering journal." (The God Delusion)
I watched a presentation by Dr. Stephen Meyer, the author of the Signature in the Cell. He told a story of being at his daughter’s soccer game and talking with the coach, who it turned out was a software architecture engineer (i.e., a genius coder) at Microsoft. He said, “Do these Darwinists seriously want us to believe that DNA wrote itself?”
Believing that DNA is the product of random events takes much more faith than believing it was written by an intelligent designer. Which is what the Bible teaches us …
C. SCRIPTURE PROCLAIMS A CREATOR - PSALMS 19:1-7
Let’s read Psalm 19:1-7.
Note: The heavens/skies in verse 1 refers back to the creation in Genesis 1:1 - “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” It’s a reference to the universe as a whole - the overall act of creation.
These verses make three claims:
The universe is a communication device: Look at the words used: “declare, proclaim, speech, reveal, words, sound, voice”.
The universe communicates the existence of God - “the glory of God”.
The universe communicates the existence of God because it was designed by God - “the work of his hands”.
Romans 1 expands on Psalm 19:
“19 … what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made …” - Psalm 19:19-20
his is saying:
God is the creator - “God made it”.
God designed creation to be a communication device: “God has made it plain …”
Creation communicates in ways that can “understand” that there is a divine nature with eternal power. This can be clearly seen - if we are willing to see.
Scripture confirms philosophy and science. There is a creator who has purposely designed the universe as a communication device so that he can be known and understood by us.
He is here and he is not silent.
The Bible describes God as though he were a creative designer.
His personal involvement in design continues today in every human embryo. I told the students on Wednesday that we are made by God on purpose for a purpose. Psalm 139 says it this way:
”You formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. 14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well." - Psalm 139:13-14
The more science I read and the more I know about this amazing created world (cells, bodies, galaxies), the more convinced I am of this: it takes more faith to believe in an accidental universe than it does to believe in one designed by a personal creator God.
The Bible proclaims the Creator. Both philosophy and science agree.
God is here and he is not silent. I believe it. How about you?