One of the most confusing yet plain concepts is the concept of God. The Enlightenment period is a time in history when man-made groundbreaking discoveries about the earth through science (1685-1815). This period is also referred to as the ‘Age of Reason.’ The ideology then was that if something doesn’t make sense, you cannot believe it. And for something to make sense, you need to have as much data as possible that you have collected over a period of time about it so that you can reach a conclusion that makes logical sense.
Furthermore, this data must be verifiable, and it should be recurring, or the process can be repeated to produce the same result. That way, you can believe it. Immanuel Kant, a German philosopher, summed the entire period by these words “dare to know! Dare to use your reason”.
In this period, great minds like Isaac Newton, John Locke, and Thomas Hobbes came to light. Notable of all the minds was Voltaire, a French philosopher who analysed the bible and found what we Christians call today as perceivable contradictions. As such, he did not seek to reconcile them but concluded that the content in the bible was dubious. Voltaire and Emmanuel Kant are most vocal in this, and in my view, they were the fathers of what we know today as atheism. Their main ideology was that faith is accepting something without making sense of it. Therefore, faith threw away reason. They concluded that, in essence, faith should serve reason, not the other way round. As such, they denied the existence of God. According to them, you can only know God by faith.
Later on, unlike Voltaire and Kant, on the western side of the Atlantic was Thomas Paine. He has more Paine-fool discoveries. He thought that instead of God, there is a Nature god. He thought that God has never spoken to man, and he believes in a distant deity. Paine called Christianity “a fable” and denied “that the Almighty ever did communicate anything to man, by…speech,…language, or…vision.”
It Is Plain to Them
In the bible, we see this idea squeezed to death. Throughout scripture, God doesn’t take time to defend or argue as to whether he exists or not. But rather, he has plainly stated that the knowledge about him is irrefutable. The most shocking evidence the bible gives us about this is in Romans 1:19 “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.” Sinclair Ferguson, in his series on Romans, titled how do you know there is God. Comments that the second part of this verse says in greek that God has made it plain in them.
God has inscribed the knowledge about him in our hearts. To this, Blaise Pascal, the physicist, said, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied by any created thing but only by God the Creator, made know through Jesus Christ.” Denying this vacuum is setting your heart to a thirst that can never be filled. Therefore, it is now clear that the desire for God is a piece of unchallengeable evidence that God exist.
It is Plain Through Creation
Paul begins his arguments on the existence of God by pointing us to the psalm. Psalm 19 is a song praising God for his wonderful Creation and their purpose. The heavens, here is everything that we call the heavenly body, in other words, astrological bodies. These things declare the glory of God. The sky proclaims God’s handy work. Day to day, they pour out speech, and night to night reveal knowledge. The father declares that there is no speech nor words whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out throughout the earth and to the ends of the world (Psalms 19:1-6).
Romans 1:20 gives us what creations is saying about God. Everything created is speaking about God’s invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature. No wonder Neil Armstrong on the moon read aloud John 15:5, attributing that they could do nothing without God. The Vatican had them (Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin) send Psalm 8 and stick it on the moon that starts and ends with these words. “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth.” Have you ever wondered why when anyone sees a beautiful sunset or a breathtaking landscape, s/he wouldn’t only be bewildered by the scenery but always rejoices almost subconsciously on how amazing God is?
It Is In the Morals
Thomas Hobbes observed that man’s life in its primitive stage was lonely, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. Because of this, men came together, and each of them donated his power to form a governing body that would help make life flourish and more bearable. The jew thought that since they are the only people who God gave the law. Then the rest of humankind has no law whatsoever to preserve them. Paul argument is the same as that of Thomas Hobbes. He stated that even though the gentiles (non-jew communities) do not have the law, they by nature do what the law requires of them. Their conscience either excuses or accuses them; this demonstrates that God has written his law in their hearts (Romans 2:14-16). Whoever has a sense of good and bad, without being taught what’s good or bad, clearly makes a case for God’s exitance. There cannot be a moral law without a moral lawgiver.
“When you say there’s too much evil in this world you assume there’s good. When you assume there’s good, you assume there’s such a thing as a moral law on the basis of which to differentiate between good and evil. But if you assume a moral law, you must posit a moral Law Giver, but that’s Who you’re trying to disprove and not prove. Because if there’s no moral Law Giver, there’s no moral law. If there’s no moral law, there’s no good. If there’s no good, there’s no evil.”- Ravi Zacharias.
Paul ends this section of scripture by an indictment to all of us that we have no excuse because of the absolute revelation of God. In other words, we have no defence against the undeniable fact that everything we need to know about God is plain before us. The thing is, we only deny it, and by doing so, we seek to exchange the truth about him for images of things God created. Does this knowledge of God give us enough reason to have faith in God? Yes, only when we Harden our heart, then we won’t have faith in God. Only a fool says in his heart there is no God Psalms 14:1.