By Tom Flannery
Does God exist?
According to several authors of current best-sellers, the answer to that question is a resounding “No!” These authors – Richard Dawkins (“The God Delusion”), Christopher Hitchens (“God Is Not Great”), Sam Harris (“Letter to a Christian Nation”), etc. – make the same fundamental argument. In short, they say the non-existence of God can be proven by the absence of evidence for His existence. Or, as Hitchens puts it, “the absence of evidence is evidence of absence.”
Well, as someone who has personally written dozens of newspaper, magazine and Internet pieces over the past several years, done hundreds of TV and radio shows and speaking engagements, outlining the positively overwhelming evidence (from history, science, archaeology, etc.) that God exists, that Jesus is God and that the Holy Bible is His authoritative, immutable Word, I must say that I find this argument rather amusing. Truth be told, only the most woefully uninformed or intellectually dishonest could ever affirm or accept it.
God has in fact given us definitive proof not only of His existence, but of His identity. He has done so in myriad ways, but most powerfully in the area of biblical prophecy. Indeed, in Isaiah 46, God proclaims through the prophet: “For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done.”
In other words, God tells us that He has written history in advance in the pages of Scripture. And that’s exactly what we find when we examine this claim carefully.
For instance, there are all of the many Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament which were fulfilled hundreds and in some cases thousands of years after they were recorded – specifically and uniquely in the birth, life, earthly ministry, death and bodily resurrection of Christ. These prophecies about the coming, promised Messiah foretold that He would be the Son of God (Psalm 2:12, Proverbs 30:4) who is both equal to and one with God (Isaiah 9:6), that He would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14), that He would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2), the precise timing of His public unveiling as Messiah (Daniel 9), the specific details and purpose of His execution (Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53), that He as God would be the progenitor of a New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31), and so on.
Concerning the future of Israel and the Jewish people, God’s Word revealed to the world thousands of years ago that in the latter times Israel would be revived as a nation (Ezekiel 37:11-12), the Jews would return to their homeland from around the world (Jeremiah 31:8-12, Ezekiel 36:24), God would restore the land when they returned and revive the once-dead Hebrew language (Isaiah 27:6, 35:1-2; Zephaniah 3:9), and the other nations of the Middle East region would despise Israel and be devoted to her destruction (Zechariah 12:2-3). All of this and more has been fulfilled precisely as it was all recorded so long ago concerning the modern Jewish state.
It must also be noted that it is historically provable that the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Old Testament, was translated no later than 150 to 200 years before the time of Christ, so none of these Messianic or historic prophecies were recorded any later than that.
This is why God could challenge the purveyors of false religions and skeptics alike, daring them to do the same: “Let them bring forth and show us what will happen; let them show the former things, what they were, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare to us things to come” (Isaiah 41:22). It’s a challenge that has never been answered, nor will it.
Thus, the question is not why we don’t have any evidence for the existence of God (a ruse!); rather, it is this: With all the incontrovertible evidence we have, from the fulfillment of prophecy and so much else, why are the skeptics still so implacable, hostile and unwilling to accept it?
While I’m at it, here are a few other questions for the worshippers of their own intellects (“The Brights,” as Dawkins would have us call the irreligious like himself), these high priests of science and reason.
- How did the apostle John foresee the advent of satellite technology back in the first century? (See Revelation 11:9)
- How did the apostle Paul know, some 2,000 years before the AIDS epidemic, that homosexual behavior would in time produce death within the bodies of those who practice it? (See Romans 1:27, 32)
- How was the prophet Zechariah, hundreds of years before the time of Christ, able to describe a future military attack involving what can only be nuclear weapons (See Zechariah 14:12)? And how did Jesus know that man would one day have the ability to destroy the whole world? (See Matthew 24:22)
- How did Isaiah know some 2,500 years before the time of Columbus that the earth is a circle? (See Isaiah 40:22)
- How did Job know, thousands of years before the time of Christ, that the moon does not give off its own light? (See Job 25:5)
- How did Job know back then that God “hangs the earth upon nothing,” a perfect description of gravity? (See Job 26:7)
- How did Moses and Jeremiah know thousands of years before the invention of the telescope that the stars in the sky cannot be counted by man (Genesis 15:5, Jeremiah 33:22)?
- How did the Bible authors reveal these and numerous other scientific and medical truths so many hundreds of years before these truths were “discovered” by science, if they were not inspired by an all-knowing God?
- Regarding the theory of evolution, how exactly did life emerge from non-living materials in the first place? In light of the fact that we’ve known this to be an impossibility from the time of Pasteur’s experiments about a century ago, how do you explain it? Moreover, if evolution is the proven fact that we keep hearing it is, can this life-from-non-life proposition be demonstrated in any laboratory or anywhere else in the world and shown now to be possible?
- On the Big Bang (the unguided version advanced by atheists), what other time in all of recorded history has any explosion resulted in beauty, order and complexity? Much less produced an entire universe characterized by beauty, order and complexity? Yes, I know there are defects throughout, but the Bible explains them as the result of the Fall and tells us this is why creation itself groans in eager anticipation of the Lord’s return and the restoration of this world (Romans 8:22).
- Furthermore, what exactly exploded in this unguided Big Bang? If your answer is energy, then where did that energy come from? Nothing times nothing does not equal everything.
The evidence for God is plentiful, yet the Bible tells us the problem that the skeptics have is not one of the mind. It’s a defect of the heart, the scourge of original sin. John 3:19-20 declares: “And this is the [unbeliever’s] condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.”
There simply isn’t enough evidence in the world for someone who refuses to renounce the sin that so dominates his thoughts and desires, and consumes his soul.
Tom Flannery writes a weekly political column called “The Good Fight” and a continuing religious column called “Why Believe the Bible?” for a hometown newspaper in Pennsylvania. His opinion pieces have appeared in publications such as Newsday, the Los Angeles Times, and Christian Networks Journal. He is a past recipient of the Eric Breindel Award for Outstanding Opinion Journalism from News Corp/The New York Post, in addition to winning six Amy Awards from the Amy Foundation.