Existence of God

Apologetics for Teens

What is apologetics? In short, it is giving good reasons and evidence to believe that Christianity is true. Apologetics focuses on some big questions about the truth of Christianity, like “Does God exist?” “Who was Jesus?” “How do we know Jesus is God?” “Is the Bible even historically reliable?” Often, these questions can be hard to answer to a skeptical world, especially when being confronted with them for the first time. In this course, we seek to equip teens with the resources they need to navigate these issues. This course contains most of the same basic material from the “Intro to Apologetics” course, but it is presented at a high-school level.


Is Modern Science Compatible with Christianity?

A Review of Stephen M. Barr’s book Modern Physics and Ancient Faith

By Adam Lloyd Johnson, Ph.D.

Professor Stephen M. Barr has written an accessible yet scientifically in-depth book that shows how science, over the last one hundred years, has made several discoveries which strengthen the arguments for the existence of God. His book Modern Physics and Ancient Faith was published by the University of Notre Dame press in 2003. All citations below are taken from his book.

Barr explained that over the last few centuries there has been a brooding conflict between religion and materialism. He defined materialism as the philosophical view that nothing exists except matter (p.


Debate: Does God Exist?

On March 5, 2022, Adam Lloyd Johnson debated Dan Barker, an atheist and co-president of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, at FREEFLO, which is the biennial conference of the Florida Humanist Association held in Orlando, Florida. They debated the question "Does God Exist?"


Introduction to Apologetics

What is apologetics? In short, it is giving good reasons and evidence to believe that Christianity is true. Apologetics focuses on some big questions about the truth of Christianity such as the following: Does God exist? Who was Jesus? How do we know Jesus was God? Is the Bible even historically reliable? Questions like these often appear front and center in our culture where skepticism of religious claims is the norm. The lectures below can help prepare you to address these questions in a Biblical manner, giving a "defense for the hope that you have" in Christ "with gentleness and respect" (1 Peter 3:15). Follow along with Adam’s Introduction to Apologetics class to learn about the good reasons and evidence for God, Jesus, and the truth of the Scriptures.


A Cumulative Case that Jesus Is God

Anybody can claim to be God, but how do we know Jesus really was God? One of the ways we can know this, of course, is that He did miracles. That is probably the strongest piece of evidence we have for claiming that Jesus is God, but there are other pieces of evidence that can support this conclusion. Jesus is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, moral teachers. According to the historical sources we have about Him, Jesus seems to have lived up to the moral standards He taught. Jesus is one of the most, if not the most, influential persons in all of world history, and He accomplished this by merely being a poor, itinerant teacher for three years. Jesus also fulfilled many prophecies about a coming Messiah which we can confirm were written hundreds of years before He lived. Two of the most outstanding of these are the Messianic prophecies from Daniel 9 and Isaiah 53. Finally, Jesus was resurrected from the dead. Paul says that our entire Christian faith depends on Jesus’ resurrection. It is the key miracle which validates Jesus’ claim to be God. One of the ways to demonstrate Jesus’ resurrection is to use the “Minimal Facts Argument,” which puts forward Jesus’ resurrection as the best explanation of the well-attested historical facts about Jesus that many critical scholars affirm.


Whose Description of God Is Correct?

The first-cause, design, and moral arguments for God demonstrate that a supreme being exists. From these, we can infer that this supreme being is spaceless, timeless, immaterial, incredibly powerful, extremely intelligent, morally perfect, and personal. But who is this supreme being? Which religion or culture’s description of this supreme being is correct? The Greeks believed in a form of henotheism that recognized the existence of a supreme being behind the world, like Aristotle’s “Unmoved Mover.” The Persians held to a monotheistic religion called Zoroastrianism which affirmed a supreme being. Jewish culture was monotheistic as well and believed in the existence of Yahweh, a supreme being. Ancient Indian cultures, such as the Nyaya tradition, also posited the existence of a supreme being. Arabic thinkers, such as al-Ghazali, used philosophy to argue for the existence of a supreme being. However, whose description of this supreme being is correct? To determine this, we have to examine the evidence. Christians think that the strongest evidence seems to be that Jesus of Nazareth is this supreme bring; that is, He was God. By studying history, we see that Jesus actually existed, He claimed to be God, and He did miracles to authenticate His claim to be God.


Does the Problem of Evil Prove There Is No God?

The problem of evil is something we probably all struggle with at one time in our lives. If there really is a good God out there, then why is there so much pain and suffering in this world? There are two ways to look at the problem of evil: the logical version and the probability (or evidential) version. The logical version argues that if God is all powerful and all good, then evil wouldn’t exist because God can and would want to eliminate it. Thus, since evil does exist, it is impossible for God to exist. In response, Alvin Plantinga has proposed the free-will defense, which says that God allowed human beings to have free will, and no matter how God could have created us, there would always be a way we would choose to do evil. This is known as “transworld depravity,” and it sufficiently responds to the logical problem of evil. But since all this evil exists anyway, isn’t it the case that God probably doesn’t exist? This is called the probability version of the problem of evil. Christians have offered various explanations, called “theodicies,” of why God would allow evil. Examples of these include the Greater Good theodicy or Adam’s own Divine Love theodicy, which says that God allowed evil because he wanted to create beings who could love like He does, but love requires free will. In order to allow His creatures to truly love Him and love each other, they had to have the free will to do so. God can’t force us to love, because then it’s not truly love.


The Moral Argument for God’s Existence

The moral argument for God’s existence says that God exists because He is the best explanation for the fact that there are objective moral truths. Unlike the first-cause and design arguments, the moral argument is not based primarily on scientific evidence. Rather, it is based on the premise that objective morality is self-evident – we intuitively know that some things are right and others are wrong. Objective morality means that there are moral truths that exist beyond anybody’s own individual preferences, beliefs, or opinions. So, if morality is objectively real, what’s the best explanation for it? Where does it come from? Morality seems to be of a personal nature, and so it would make sense that morality comes from a personal source, but some atheist philosophers like Erik Wielenberg now argue that even though morality is objective, it doesn’t need a personal source. However, Adam believes that the description of God as a trinity in loving relationships provides the best explanation for the existence of objective morality.


Does Evolution Prove There’s No God?

Some people claim that evolution has defeated the argument for God’s existence from the design found in life, but has it? Evolution is the idea that all of life can be traced back to a common ancestor and that natural selection of random mutations can explain all the diversity in life. We know that natural selection is simply a scientific fact, but how powerful is it? Can natural selection produce new types of organisms? One scientist, Michael Behe, has argued that natural selection is not powerful enough to produce new species. Based on the evidence from studying fruit flies, malaria interacting with sickle-cell anemia, and HIV, Behe says that there seems to be a limit to what the evolutionary process can produce that falls short of new species. If this is true, then it indicates that evolution, on a large scale, is false. If evolution is false, then certainly it can’t prove that there is no God. However, even if evolution is true, it still doesn’t prove that there is no God. It might weaken the design-of-life argument somewhat, but evolution still can’t explain the origin of life in the first place. Plus, there are many other good arguments for God’s existence that aren’t related to evolution at all. The existence of God and evolution are not mutually exclusive beliefs.


The Design Argument for God’s Existence

The design argument for God’s existence, also called the “teleological argument” or the “fine-tuning argument,” says that God exists because the universe, earth, and life all look like they have been designed. This type of argument has been around for thousands of years, being formulated by figures such as Socrates, Plato, and even Hindu thinker Adi Sankara. Through empirical observation, we can see that every design has a designer. We’ve never observed design coming from any other source than from an intelligent mind. How do we detect design? When something is both complex (it has multiple parts) and specified (the parts are not randomly arranged), it can be said to be designed. One way we notice design in the universe is by the fine tuning of its physical constants. We also notice design in the way that the earth is very specifically situated in our galaxy and solar system to allow life to exist. Finally, we notice design in the way life itself is put together and in the information it contains in its DNA. All of this evidence of design points to the existence of a designer, an intelligent supreme being like God.