Ever wonder how a Christian apologist might argue for the existence of God?
I've watched and listened now to two presentations of Christian Apologist William Lane Craig's arguments for the existence of God, both found at his website www.reasonablefaith.org. He used the same five foundational arguments in both debates.
Here, in sketch form, they are:
1. The argument from existence. The universe is here. The universe's existence is finite (due to inherent problems with infinity). This purely philosophical argument is supported by current science. The Big Bang hypothesis postulates a universe that (exploded into being from nothing. The best answer for the sufficient cause of the universe is a creative being. This creative being is God. Effects require sufficient causes. The sufficient cause is not "nothing"; it is God.
One atheist did not address this argument; the other argued "well, it just is" and also suggested multiverses as a possible alternative.
2. The argument from fine-tuning. Not only does a stable universe exist, life also exists, including us. The conditions required to support life are improbable beyond our comprehension. God is a much easier and more probable response than "chance" -- especially when built upon argument one.
One atheist did not address this argument; the other argued "well, we're just here"; "it's a brute fact, and there is no need for further explanation". O-K.
3. Objective morality. Man has a seemingly built-in moral sense; atheists acknowledge this, and many of them also agree that there is, objective right-and-wrong, good-and-evil (although some, with logical consistency, deny this). But objective morality can only exist if there is a source for moral authority outside of man.
Both atheists asserted that morality can exist without God, but did not offer foundational reasons why morality as it exists would have objective validity. One suggested that morality might simply be a product of darwinian evolution or perhaps socialization of young children.
4. The resurrection of Jesus Christ. Secular historians and NT scholars acknowledge that Jesus existed and died a death of crucifixion. They also agree about three facts concerning what occurred after his death: a) the tomb was empty, b) the disciples experienced post-resurrection appearances of Jesus, and c) the disciples came to believe in Jesus' resurrection despite no predisposition to do so, and continued to believe and proclaim Jesus' resurrection at the cost of their lives. The miracle of the resurrection points to the existence of God.
Both atheists simply discount the witness of the New Testament writers. One in particular put his own spin on the origin of the New Testament, stating authoritatively that Jesus had no messianic self-identity and the apostle Paul invented Christianity. He did this without providing any kind of "proof" or even evidence that this was the case even though he stands 2,000 years away from the events reported by men who were willing to lay down their lives for the gospel's truth.
(On a personal note, I would add that it was specifically the compelling, eternal character of the words of Jesus that convinced me that he was alive and accessible today. I did not become a Christian because of the apostle Paul; I became a Christian because of the record of the life and words of the man Jesus Christ! Nothing that I have experienced since I made my faith commitment has caused even a ripple of doubt about this; the Holy Spirit the living Lord promised, I have received; I have a rock-hard conviction that Jesus Christ rose from the dead, is Lord, and saves everyone who calls on his name. I am more certain of Jesus Christ's existence than I am of my own; I am negotiable; He is not.)
5. Personal Testimony. The statement (not formal argument) that God is personally accessible and personally knowable today.
Both atheists simply dismissed this statement out of hand.