The second in my new Sunday series on what the practical implications of theology are.
1. Is Theology Practical?
2. Why Believe in God?
Why should someone believe in God? To word it that way could give the mistaken impression that we really have a choice about whether God really exists or not. In reality, either God really exists outside ourselves or he doesn't. What we want to believe about his existence is irrelevant.
So the best answer to the question is "because he exists." People should believe in God because he is real and he exists.
Unfortunately, God's existence is not as obvious to the people of the world as it used to be. He does not come down to earth to do interviews on the news. He does not do miracles on demand. Most people find belief in God reasonable, but few people are convinced merely by some logical argument.
So it makes sense to say that someone created the universe. The idea that the universe just happens to be here continues to baffle the mind. What caused it to explode into existence when it did?
And there is an order to the universe. Quarks and electrons behave in certain predictable ways. Even evolution and chaos theory follow certain rules. Are those rules just coincidence? Our lives seem to have meaning. The world seems so beautiful. Is the universe really just accidental and coincidence, and my sense of them merely the interactions of chemicals in my brain?
None of these things prove God's existence. The path of the intellectual zealot who feels compelled to prove things is just as likely to hurt faith as to help it. Faith in God is reasonable, but God is more about faith than about proof.
Why believe in God? Because he's calling to you. Some Christians of course only believe that God calls a few privileged ones, the "elect," the "predestined." That is not the spirit of the New Testament. The spirit of the New Testament is 1 Timothy 2:4--God wants all people to be saved.
A more coherent theology believes that God gives light to everyone who comes into the world. At some point, he tugs on the heart of every person. Why believe in God? Because he is tugging at our hearts. When he tugs on your heart, believe.
God the Creator
3. God as Other
4. God as Timeless
5. God the All Powerful
6. God the All Knowing
7. God the Spirit
8. Three in One
9. God as Love
10. God as Just