Do You Believe in God?
A common question, but one that often results in frustration and confusion
and arguments! Consider an entirely different approach to the matter!|
This does not matter whether a person has any "deep understanding"
or any understanding whatever regarding the precise text of Genesis,
or of any religious subjects! This approach is "non-religious"
It is a "challenge!"
It involves a sequence of logical exercises, and YOUR logic and YOUR
interpretation of any and all facts.
- I first give you an assignment to compose a simple one-page
"history of sports". I give you the names of 14 common and
popular sports: Baseball, football, soccer, tennis, golf,
basketball, rugby, cricket, field hockey, ice hockey,
archery, gymnastics, track and field, and wrestling. You are
to write a brief history where the beginnings of those sports are
put in the correct historical order. Easy? Prove it!
Prove to me that you can generate a correct sequence of the 14 sports
on a piece of paper, WITHOUT any usage of any textbooks, encyclopedias,
the Internet, or any other resources.
- PAUSE ... while you complete your assignment.
- Now we can examine the statistics involved to see how likely it was
that you succeeded in accomplishing that goal.
Which sport do you think was first? You start out with 14 choices to pick
from. Then, which was second? You have 13 left to pick from, so you
already have 14 * 13 or 182 different possible storylines for just the
first two sports!
It turns out that you have a total of 14!, what is called 14-factorial
possible sequences to choose from. That number happens to be
87,178,291,200 possible sequences. So you have quite a chore ahead of
you, and you must realize that, without the added help of a computer
or an encyclopedia, the chance that you get the sequence exactly
right is not likely to be much better than one in 80 billion!
Yes, we recognize that you can make certain GUESSES to eliminate
a few of the possibilities. But think about the situation was where
all those sports began far, far, long ago, where it might have been
harder to rule out many possibilities.
- We now notice that Genesis 1 in the Bible MENTIONS a number of events,
IN A PARTICULAR SEQUENCE. The English translations of the Bible slightly
affect this matter, but in my examination of the Ancient Hebrew wording,
I find a total of 14 specific events mentioned. Light was first.
Mankind (Adam) was last.
- Consider applying what you learned from the sports experiment to those
events. A person living 3,300 years ago did NOT have access to computers
or encyclopedias or any other such resources. Actually, even written
language had not quite yet been invented (which only occurred
around 200 years later).
So reflect on how likely it was that any person of 3,300 years ago,
would have or could have listed those 14 events in the SEQUENCE in which
they actually occurred. Light first? Hilarious, right? Mankind last?
Equally unbelievable. Would any person of 3,300 years ago have even dared
to claim either of those statements?
It seems likely that to try to present a credible story, the author
would certainly have mentioned Adam near the start, so he could SEE
all the rest happen. To have Adam as last means that he could NOT
have witnessed any of it! And Light being first? Before even solid
How about that person also claiming that plants existed before any
animals, and then fish being the first animals? And then land
animals? Wild speculation? It would almost have to be.
- Now research the fact that within just the past one hundred years,
science has developed dating methods for each of those events which
are mentioned in Genesis 1,
- Feel free to now locate the sports dates and put them next to your
entries in your sequence listing, to see how you did there!
- In the second experiment, the sequence that science has RECENTLY found
happens to be amazingly identical to the sequence that was historically
presented in Genesis 1, 3300 years ago, whether by Moses or anyone else.
It would appear that Genesis 1 somehow beat the odds of at least
40 billion to one!
- Explain how that is possible.
(A Christian would say that there is only one explanation, that
God must have existed, and that He provided the necessary data.)
Notice that there is NO "religious content" in that reasoning
whatever. The ONLY reference to anything religious happens to be that
the very well known and very old text of the Hebrew Bible includes a
historically accepted sequence of events.
And THAT is the whole point. It does NOT allow any Atheists to ever focus
on God or any issues that they are well familiar with. It FORCES them to
have to explain HOW a specific sequence of historical text could have been
written, so very long ago. Explain how any writer could beat
such astronomical odds!
Note that this approach does NOT require you or anyone else to have any deep
understanding of science or anything else!
In fact, it very specifically NEVER addresses religious issues at all. Even
if someone would try to claim any (English translation) day/night or any
other issue, they certainly have to agree that LIGHT was first and MAN was
last of the events mentioned. That alone, even if everything in between was
wrong, would require beating odds of 14:1 times 13:1 or 182:1. If you
concede that plants were before fishes and them before land animals,
(and light and mankind) and everything else was assumed wrong, that
still is STATISTICALLY around 220,000:1 odds.
LET ANYONE try to argue over things like day/night! And without even
arguing, what if I concede that they might be right. And then point out
that they have reduced the odds from 87 billion to one down to around
6 billion to one. Big deal.
In other words, LET the skeptic use ANY Bible they happen to find and MAKE
THEIR OWN LIST of events. Then THEY find out when science thinks those
events occurred. Without having to accept anything I or anyone else says.
And since I show them how to calculate the odds, do it. Yes, an Atheist
might feel that he can get the odds down to 10 million to one by selectively
interpreting the phrases in (the English translation of) Genesis 1. Does
10 million to one mean that they "win"? Not at all. In fact
THEY will have proven that they have been wrong! And THAT is the idea.
Of course, it is commonly estimated that we each have about a-million-to-one
odds of being struck by lightning today!
They will NOT need to believe or accept anything that any Christian
might try to say, or anything that I might say as a Minister. But if
THEY examine the text and write down their own listing and check ANY
science books they wish, they are certain to come up with extremely large
odds. Then they wind up having to EXPLAIN IT.
The REASON this approach has such value is that it allows skeptics to use
their own methods and ANY interpretations they wish! A Christian will never
convince a diehard Atheist of any religious argument for the Existence of
God, But THEY would be able to convince themselves! By their own rules!
Notice that "logic and reasoning" is all that is used in
those seven points above?
Sadly, the REASON why there are so many Agnostics and Atheists seems
to be BECAUSE of many Christian Churches! Most modern Christians DO
seem to assume that science is "evil" and so they are willing to
believe any words that their own Minister says, over all books in the world.
And when that Minister tells them that scientists believe that a dog
suddenly becomes a horse, they never consider questioning such a statement.
If their Minister said it, it MUST BE true. So logic and facts are of no
value and no importance at all to most Christians. Sad.
It is understandable that thoughtful people in such a Church would see
such a Church to be total silliness. And the Minister impressively
ignorant. So anyone who is aware of the rigid methods used by
the Scientific Method, and sees that the claims that science makes
are usually extremely well-based in facts and solid logic, how could
it seem odd if Members of such a Church might decide to dis-believe
EVERYTHING of Christianity and become Atheists?
But it is not because Christianity or the Bible was wrong! Instead,
it was because that Minister was so arrogant in his belief of
"knowing all, perfectly", that he insists that all of that
Church's Members simply accept his statements as unchallengeable.
As though he was as smart as God is! He happens to be wrong about
This concept was first developed in late 1965.
This presentation was first placed on the Internet in Sept 2009.
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Carl Johnson, Pastor,
A Christ Walk Church