Is the Big Bang Proof of God?

Is the Big Bang proof of God?

Of course not.

Nor is the genetic and fossil evidence proof of evolution.

Science does not deal in proofs. The way science works is that theory and hypotheses predict the experimental results. Even if this does not prove the theories and hypotheses are correct, it still makes it unreasonable to insist on beliefs to the contrary. It is like believing that the sun will not rise in the morning despite the fact that it continues to do so every morning that we live.

Thus as arguments for the existence of God go, the fact that theists correctly predicted that the universe had a beginning while scientists assumed that it was steady state is very much like the reasons we believe in scientific theories because they correctly predict the results of our observations and measurements. Thus the fact remains that this is one the theists got right when the scientists got it wrong.

THAT is not a God of the gaps argument any more than the genetic and fossil evidence is a gaps argument for evolution. Otherwise you open the door for them to say that you are stubbornly believing in evolution to fill in the “gap” of explanation of scripture for these things. And why shouldn’t they wait for God to explain these things while you are waiting for science to explain the big bang. That is what you get when you misuse this “god of the gaps” complaint – turning it back around on you.

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This is a well worn path I don’t care to take with you again, Dale. We disagree mostly because our perspectives and commitments are different. I’ve no interest in switching.

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There is some serious distortion in what you’ve quoted and I’d prefer you not chop up my sentences to put words in my mouth. This is slander.

This is the sentence from which you took that quote. Can you see how what I said did not concern all reasons for belief the way the sentence fragment you selected does?

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This statement overlooks the fact that the Big Bang Theory, like Darwin’s Theory.is a scientific theory. The reason why many scientists thought then that
universe did not have a beginning was because they accepted the view of the pagan philosophers that the universe is eternal. On the other hand an eternal universe means that it is infinite and self-created which conflicts with the Christian view of God…

Therefore the conflict was not between science and theology, but between philosophy and theology. Science in the form of the Big Bang seems to “prove” that theology was right. The universe did have a beginning.

Whether God is the Source of the Beginning or not, science cannot technically say, However as a theologian I would say that “God,” even if you call God by a different name, is by definition the Source of the universe.

If it were demonstrated that humans lived at the same time as the dinosaurs, then evolution as we know it would be seriously compromised. If it were demonstrated that the universe were eternal, God as we know God through Christianity would be seriously compromised.

Christians live by faith and not by sight or certainty. That means that our faith can be falsified, even though we do not think that it will be. Our faith is in God and not in our theology.

Okay, so “the best” reasons for belief have no strong rational justification, in your opinion. My point remains, however. I was merely contrasting feelingness with objectivity and emphasizing the difference, not trying to misquote you, and hardly slander.
 

It seems you were indicating that the justification for Maggie’s finding God (or being found of God) were because of feelings and not rational. No, there was objective and rational justification, empirical facts and manifest meaning. It is certainly understandable that you would want to emphasize feelings, though, making them “the best reasons”, and minimizing intellect, making it easier to justify unbelief.

The best reasons for belief are rational, though, because feelings are so ephemeral and easily manipulated, say, by TV evangelists. That is not at all to say that feelings are unimportant, because we are talking about the redemption of an individual’s relationship and love for the personal and fatherly Almighty God – it is not just a head trip. Maggie received that gift, an eternally significant one to be desired and sought after.

Dale, I respect you.

. I, myself, while I find Maggie inspiring, don’t find her argument convincing. There is way too much in the natural world that counterbalances and seems to explain it to me.

I mentioned once how I really struggled with a prof who asked me to question things–and told my dad, a very godly man, that I thought there were enough examples of miracles in the world to cement belief in God. He said, “No, that’s not the case. For some reason, God chooses to work in ways that are not provable as a miracle. When I was in college, I really struggled on how to base my belief in God. Eventually, I decided, like Kirkegaard, to make a leap of faith.” I related that to my skeptic prof, and he was stunned. He expressed respect for my dad.

There was a Harvard study that reviewed how many of us need (and don’t need) logic to come to a point of view. It’s interesting how we are made. I honestly feel the need to question things a lot. It’s not because I don’t want God to exist–rather, I know I am biased in that favor, and I try to be as detached and honest as I can. I fail in that a lot–and am learning quite a bit.

It seems that God knows exactly where we need to come from, and knows how much we struggle. Thank goodness! He’s a lot easier on people than I am

Thanks for the discussion.

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You don’t think winning five separate lotteries in a day and in the order that the tickets were bought isn’t a pretty good clue that something is rigged? I think it illustrates the individuality of our relationships with God. I’m quite certain that there is something miraculous, as your dad said, that happens in a life, subtle or stark, that brings a person to God.

Hearts don’t change due to reasoning alone, and stony ones don’t soften themselves. They can be prepared, however, by reason and circumstance. It was God’s providence – timing and placing, that put Lydia and Paul in Philippi where and when they were. Likewise Maggie in her desperation, but there was no one distinct miracle (or set of them :slightly_smiling_face:) in Lydia’s life.

Changed hearts can stagnate or continue to grow (in a nonliteral healthy sense :slightly_smiling_face:), I think. Bonhoeffer’s hermeneutic comes to mind.

Yes and no. Yes, make sure it wasn’t rigged by actual person s because people can and sometimes do behave badly. But no, not by a supernatural agent. Even if you believe in such beings, what would be the motivation? Do you think God engages in brinksmanship regarding His hiddenness? Does he look for little ways to convince each one of His special children so as not to broadcast it to the deficient ones? None of that seems appealing or likely to me.

I think if there is anything like salvation it comes from engaging life more with your heart and less with your head. Ideally we’d use both, but as a culture we put reason on a pedestal and distrust feeling and intuition - not for the better. The trouble with reason is that we’re really bad at not acting for narrow, self serving ways. Those who tell themselves it is all a matter of rationality are probably adrift where salvation is concerned no matter how hard they work to chart an endgame to paradise.

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Make that singular.
 

Love.
 

Was there any in Lydia’s case? (Or mine.)
 

The heavens declare the glory of God,
    and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
    and night to night reveals knowledge.

 
Psalm 19:1-2

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
 
Romans 1:20

Nothing is hidden except maybe by motivated reasoning?
 

No charting required, just the humble acceptance of a gift with love.

Suggesting that in Maggie’s case is pretty far fetched! (Maybe you need to reread it?) Or Rich Stearns’ (and his was not about charting any endgame, just the next chapter of his life).

The only one talking about Maggie’s case is you. I have nothing to say about that.

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I guess you were not aware that you were talking about Maggie’s case.

No, I wasn’t but it isn’t pertinent to anything I’m talking about.

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We were talking about rational vs. emotional reasons for belief.

Would it not seem rather presumptuous to bring up Maggi’s example to the thousands and millions of women who lost their children to starvation and illness because of poor medical care, in Africa in the famines of the '80s; and then in the centuries before, when people cried to God for salvation from plague. Prior to 1900, even in Europe, half all children died before the age of 5. How can we point to Maggi when a young mother loses her life to a chance tree limb that falls on her head while on a walk? Did she deserve saving more than these? And the countless trillions of examples of lives lost, parasitized, and tormented by the ages of evolution–what shall we say of them?
Rauser points out that the apologist who acknowledges that the problem of evil and suffering alone is reason for some to lose faith in God, is the one to listen to.
All of us Christians --even Mother Theresa–have gone through “nights of the soul,” when we cry for God, and, like C S Lewis lamented, only the sound of a door being bolted, and double bolted, responds.
How are we to judge others of bad faith, when we ourselves are a knife’s edge from loss?
One of the things that keeps me in the faith is the belief that if God exists, then He must be just; and if I were to become an atheist, He would know exactly my heart better than anyone else. If He were not just and would blame me, I could not believe in Him. More, I hope much more of Him–that more will come clear when we meet Him. At present, all is not clear.
So, I think that we have no right to question someone’s heart. It seems that we can only discuss Aslan as we can–from our hope.
Thank you.

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Indeed. I didn’t and wouldn’t. It seems like your argument is one massive red herring or straw man (I can never decide which is the more appropriate).

We were talking about rational vs. emotional reasons for belief, and also bad arguments.

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I am again reminded of the woman in Tim Keller’s church… you have seen this before:

During a dark time in her life, a woman in my congregation complained that she had prayed over and over, “God, help me find you,” but had gotten nowhere. A Christian friend suggested to her that she might change her prayer to, “God, come and find me. After all, you are the Good Shepherd who goes looking for the lost sheep.” She concluded when she was recounting this to me, “The only reason I can tell you this story is – he did.”

Tim Keller, The Reason for God, p.240

 
Believing in God or not is not just an academic exercise or a decision about merchandise to purchase. He is personal and he is “in the room” as we are talking about him. Reflect on his feelings for a moment and consider whom we are ‘deciding about’. There are true seekers and there are the just casually interested in entertaining conversation. It is about our hearts’ desires, and we kind of need to be desiring him. If we are not, maybe we should be asking why.
 

The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
 
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.

 
Matthew 13:44-46

 
Maybe God does need to use some brinksmanship and bring some of us to desperation before we will seek him. As I have noted before, temporal contentment is quite dangerous.

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  Spurgeon 9/3 a.m.

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