The Evidence.

Numerous creation science organizations today seek to prove the existence of God. It’s a constant search for “evidence of God” in the natural world around us, and it has turned from a cottage industry into big business. And for the Intelligent Design crowd, any god will do, as they take great pains not to mention the God of the Bible. But they all have the same goal: find the evidence, offer proof. Christian educators are demanding the evidence, and creation science companies are happy to deliver the wares. Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on books, magazines, videos, museums devoted to finding the evidence of God. A prominent creation science organization calls itself “Reasons to Believe”. The organization is led by a godly man. I do not doubt his character and motives. But let me ask you this: Do we really need scientific “reasons to believe”? There are enough reasons to believe, reasons which are actually described in the Bible, without having to wedge weak scientific explanations into the picture. The Apostle Peter wrote that we should “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” This verse has been abused many times to defend certain styles of apologetics. But Peter is not speaking of reasons from science or logic. He is speaking of the great hope that we have because we believe in the resurrection of Christ. In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus said, “A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” Throughout the Bible, God calls for our faith.

Jesus teaches us that we must have the faith of a child. Yet, when you talk about God with the smallest of children, they don’t say, “prove it.” They accept it. It’s only as they grow older that you encounter questions like “How do I know that God really exists?” It’s fair enough to respond, “Just look at the awesome splendor of the world around you.” But as children grow yet older, even that response will not be enough. We will need to start teaching them a deeper faith. They need solid food, not milk.

In the gospels, we see how Jesus’ disciples loved Him and followed Him in His earthly ministry to the very end. Yet we learn that even after eating, walking, and living with Him and seeing miracle after miracle, many still did not have faith that He was the Son of God! They were expecting a very different king and kingdom. Numerous times, Jesus chided the disciples for their lack of faith. They had all the proof they needed: visible, tangible proof. However, they still lacked sufficient faith that He really was Who He said He was. Don’t get me wrong; their souls were not lost (with one exception). They loved Him, and except for one, they are now sharing everlasting life with Him. It is human nature to have doubts about things that seem extraordinary. Jesus was kind and patient to those who were. But more than any other sin in their lives, Jesus called out their lack of faith.

Hebrews chapter 11 teaches us that “by faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” By faith, not by scientific evidence. In his letter to the Hebrews, the apostle Paul writes that “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” His demand for our faith is a single unifying theme that weaves through the Old and New Testaments. Nowhere does God ask us to prove His existence. Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, “A God who let us prove his existence would be an idol.” God desires our faith. And He doesn’t ask for much! Faith as small as a mustard seed. Can we muster it?

All that Jesus asks of us is that we believe He is Who He says He is, and that we live our lives accordingly — that we turn over our lives to Him. In order to do that, we have to understand who we are in relation to our God, and this is what Genesis teaches us. We are sinners, and without Christ, our sin leads to death. Contrary to what many creation science proponents teach, the entire gospel message does not rest on a literal interpretation of every verse of Genesis as a scientific treatise of how God created us. Without Christ, we are guilty of our own sins. Adam and Eve were simply the first ones to do it. We know that they were also the first ones to have a God-breathed soul and to bear His image of morality and spirituality. This tells us that all of humanity has the ability to have a relationship with God, but that all of us also have a sin nature, no exceptions. This is the foundation of the gospel. It has nothing to do with the age of the universe or the process by which the human race was formed.

Clearly we are to give God the glory for His creation of the natural world and for His revealed miracles. The Bible instructs us to do so, and if we are moved by the Spirit, we will do so with exuberance, as exemplified by David in so many of the Psalms. But this is a far cry from the relentless hunt for signs of God in the minutiae of the created order. Contrary to what several creation science organizations teach, we aren’t going to find this evidence of God by looking for proof of Noah’s flood, digging through rock strata on mountaintops across the world, hypothesizing that all the fossils across the globe were created in a single deluge lasting a year. We aren’t going to accomplish anything productive by teaching our children to find evidence of God in some bacterium that couldn’t possibly have had a predecessor in the tree of life because of the way its flagellum turns about. And when the evidence speaks the loudest in ways that contradict a literal interpretation of a handful of verses in Genesis, we aren’t going to “prove God” by wishfully demonstrating in Creation Museums how mankind and dinosaurs coexisted peacefully six thousand years ago. And we won’t show God’s glory to the world by fabricating explanations that some time after creation, God capriciously changed the speed of light and other laws of nature He had originally willed into existence, so as to explain the universe’s apparent perceived age.

No, we won’t “find the evidence” in any of the aforementioned places. If we really want the evidence of God, we’ll be far wiser to seek it in our own lives as we apply what the Bible is really teaching us. And if we claim that Christ lives in us and we believe and live out what we preach, we will find the evidence that we earnestly seek:

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” (Matthew 25:34-40)

That is the evidence of God we should all be seeking.

Are you finding the evidence? I know this is the evidence that I’ll be looking for in my own life.

I’ll leave you with A.W. Tozer’s treatment of this topic:

“True faith rests upon the character of God and asks no further proof than the moral perfections of the One who cannot lie. It is enough that God said it, and if the statement should contradict every one of the five senses and all the conclusions of logic as well, still the believer continues to believe. “Let God be true, but every man a liar,” is the language of true faith. Heaven approves such faith because it rises above mere proofs and rests in the bosom of God.

“In recent years among certain evangelicals there has arisen a movement designed to prove the truths of Scriptures by appeal to science. Evidence is sought in the natural world to support supernatural revelation. Snowflakes, blood, stones, strange marine creatures, birds and many other natural objects are brought forward as proof that the Bible is true. This is touted as being a great support to faith, the idea being that if a Bible doctrine can be proved to be true, faith will spring up and flourish as a consequence.

“What these brethren do not see is that the very fact that they feel a necessity to seek proof for the truths of the Scriptures proves something else altogether, namely, their own basic unbelief. When God speaks unbelief asks, “How shall I know that this is true?” I AM THAT I AM is the only grounds for faith. To dig among the rocks or search under the sea for evidence to support the Scriptures is to insult the One who wrote them. Certainly I do not believe that this is done intentionally; but I cannot see how we can escape the conclusion that it is done, nevertheless.”

–A.W. Tozer

For more on this subject, please read my main article, “On Matters of Faith and Science”.