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By Dr. Hugh Ross
This article is an abbreviated summary of a white paper by the same title.
Today, the physical and historical evidence for the existence of the God of the Bible is so extensive and compelling that unbelieving skeptics are increasingly resorting to nonempirical arguments to defend their unbelief. That is, they appeal to what we do not yet know or cannot possibly know about the universe and insist that some exotic science might one day allow us to conceive of life existing apart from God.
Many years ago, I gave a talk to 300 nontheists at an event that was sponsored by Atheists United. Before I presented my scientific evidences for God I asked the audience these two questions:
1. How many of you would believe in God if you saw compelling scientific evidence for His existence and saw that evidence increase as we learned more about the universe and the record of nature?
2. How many of you here would not believe in God until the scientific evidence eliminated all other alternate conceivable explanations for the universe and life?
One-third of my audience answered in the affirmative for question one while two-thirds answered in the affirmative for question two.
Unbelievers in the first category can be reached through what we know and can know. We should not be surprised that unbelievers in the second category insist on taking the debate into the realm of the unknown and the unknowable. As long as they remain in that realm, we will not and cannot reach them for Jesus Christ.
Absolute Proof Trap
In presenting nonempirical arguments, nontheists lay a trap for Christian evangelists and apologists. Fundamentally, these nontheists are saying that Christians won’t possess a case for the existence of God until we are able to refute all the nonempirical arguments for God’s nonexistence.
This approach presents Christians with an impossible challenge. A Christian would need to acquire complete knowledge not only about the physical universe but also about everything that could conceivably exist beyond the universe. Neither goal is possible. Since our powers of investigation are constrained by the universe’s space-time dimensions, it is impossible for humans to ever gain a complete database about the properties of the universe, let alone about what lies beyond. Our inability to ever gain absolute proof, however, does not mean that we cannot attain practical proof.
For example, given the current state of knowledge scientists possess about…
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