The first words of the Bible are so well known that almost anyone can quote them. “In the beginning, God…” It’s interesting that the Scriptures never attempt to prove the reality of God. From the very onset, they assume the Deity’s existence. There is no questioning of that detail, no arguments put forth, or no waffling around the issue. God is… Period…
I suppose that’s as it should be. All arguments that God exists are futile—and there are many. If someone has not had their eyes opened to that possibility, they will never see the truth of it, nor will they understand who He is.
In his book, Wishful Thinking, Frederick Buechner wrote the following.
“It is as impossible for man to demonstrate the existence of God as it would be for even Sherlock Holmes to demonstrate the existence of Arthur Conan Doyle.
All-wise. All-powerful. All-loving. All-knowing. We bore to death both God and ourselves with our chatter. God cannot be expressed but only experienced.
In the last analysis, you cannot pontificate but only point. A Christian is one who points at Christ and says, “I can’t prove a thing, but there’s something about his eyes and his voice. There’s something about the way he carries his head, his hands, the way he carries his cross—the way he carries me.”
I don’t think I could express it any better.
In seminary, they taught us all forms of arguments for the existence of God. There is the teleological argument, the ontological argument, the cosmological argument, and (of course) the philosophical argument. There are arguments from experience, from design, and from morality. I saw a book advertised online recently called, “36 Arguments for the Existence of God,” but the subtitle is “A Work of Fiction.” I’m not sure what that’s all about.
The simple fact of the matter is that it’s all quite straightforward in the end. Either you believe in God or you don’t. Either you’ve heard His call or you haven’t. Either you bend the knee or you turn your back. Nothing I, nor anyone else, can say will ultimately change your position. That’s between you and the Lord.
Jesus used to use an interesting phrase. As He concluded a teaching, He would add, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” He didn’t argue with them. He didn’t hang around and attempt to convince the skeptics. He just laid out His tenets and let them speak for themselves.
Sometimes, as Christians, this is our big mistake. We think we have to argue, cajole, and convince everyone we’re right. We may want to check the Scriptures on that one. It’s the task of the Holy Spirit to convict and convince hearts of God’s love and presence—not ours. We certainly have the high privilege of being a part of what God is doing, but each of us is only a small spoke in a much larger wheel. We would do well to remember that and act accordingly.
[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and currently resides in Aldie, VA.]