Thursday, April 29, 2021

Validating Christianity Through Deductive Reasoning

statue of thinking man
Being a Christian who never actively sought the truth through God's written word, life became dull and somewhat depressingmany times I even doubted God's existence. 

It compelled a search for knowledge lasting nearly 3 years. All true converts of Christianity doubt at one time or another, but because of my hefty tendency to avoid bias, it took so long.

Using deductive reasoning, I started on the long journey of restructuring my belief system. If a premise can be proven true, then certain other truths must logically follow, regardless of whether or not we like them or believe them. e.g., If there is a shadow, it can be deduced a light source is shining behind it.

In the end, being satisfied with the findings, I broke them down in the following way. First I'll provide evidence God exists regardless of who specifically God is. Afterward, I'll provide evidence God is indeed the Christian god.

Physics and Entropy

Observing what physicists universally recognize as the laws of entropy is quite telling. In layman's terms, there are two facets of entropy. One deals with the finite amount of usable energy in the universe. The other deals with the evident reality all things are moving from order to disorder. 

Regarding the former, the fact energy in the universe is finite and running out is proof the universe had a beginning and did not exist eternally—that is, if the universe was eternal, then the energy in the universe would have already run out a long time ago. Therefore, we can deduce the universe had a beginning. 

But what was the beginning like? To answer, we turn to the second facet of entropy— the paradigm of order. In life, we consistently see things moving from order to disorder. 
Everything wears out. Plants and trees grow, then they wither into disorder. Buildings grow old and degrade, clean houses become messy and dust-riddled and our bodies grow unhealthy (into disorder) if not maintained. 

The fact life and inanimate objects in the universe are moving toward disorder is proof macro (Darwinian) evolution is impossible—structures and life cannot spontaneously evolve toward order out of chaos with no guidance—it would contradict this second facet entropy. 

Therefore, the only option left is a transcending being created life and nature in the exact forms we see them in today, at some point in the finite past. In summary, God created in the beginning and he created all things just as we see them — there was no macroevolution.

Does God Care?

The question begged at this point is, does God care about us — and can we know without referencing the bible? There is evidence God does indeed care about us. Our bodies heal — we have built-in, natural mechanisms for healing. When cut, wounds heal.

A variety of other ailments naturally heal, as well. Though we cannot regenerate organs and limbs like some other lifeforms for whatever reason  God did instill in our bodies said healing mechanisms. He most certainly cares about us.

sign pointing to right way and wrong way
Our conscience, the natural sense of right and wrong, although marred by our natural inclination for self-centeredness — evidenced by behavior as infants  shows God cares. 

Different people in different geographical locations, living at different times, all had moral laws and codes. Without laws, people could not have flourished, but instead would have destroyed themselves in anarchy. Societies need laws to thrive. 

There were penalties and negative consequences for lying, stealing, murdering, and committing adultery, just as there are today. Where did the laws, being immaterial in nature come from  and why are they universal? The first people created could have received the laws directly from God — who then passed them down verbally — or the laws could have been instilled directly into us by God. In Either case, the universal moral code is another proof God cares about us.

Does the Holy Bible Reveal the True God?

We've established God's existence and that he is indeed a caring God The next question begged is, which faith (or religion) reveals the true God? Not all religions can be totally correct. Somebody on some point must be wrong. There is sufficient evidence Christianity yields the description of who the true God is. 

By far, fulfilled prophecy takes the cake. I'm not talking about events coming to pass only referenced in the bible. I'm talking about events that can be known by referencing world history and current events. The power to tell the future must rest in a supernatural ability. Therefore, if events foretold in the bible are fulfilled accurately, it's logical the bible speaks the truth about who God is.

Materialists (and folks who "lack" a belief in God) — those who believe nothing exists beyond what we can measure with our five senses, generally assert bible prophecy as a fallacy — it's the only conclusion their presuppositional worldview allows. Logically, and for all practical purposes, if no transcending, supernatural authority exists, then the power to predict the future with perfect accuracy cannot exist. 

Instead of allowing evidence to carry wherever it may lead, materialists cling to the presupposition no such power can exist, which is why there exists a variety of colorful (and absurd) arguments against true prophecy  to say nothing about the existence of God.

The following are fulfilled bible prophecies that can be verified by referencing recorded world history and archeology:

  • Daniel 9:25-29, written about 550 years before the coming of Jesus, tells of many prophecies that any rational person must consider. 1) The specific amount of time between the command to restore Israel (who was in exile at the time) and the coming of Jesus — was given and fulfilled perfectly. 2) Jesus' death was foretold and fulfilled. 3) The destruction of the rebuilt temple (that hadn't even been rebuilt yet) was fulfilled. 4) The scattering and desolation of Israel were foretold and fulfilled. 5) The timing of Jesus' crucifixion — that it would happen before the destruction of the temple, was accurate. 
  • Ezekiel 38 tells of Jews returning to their homeland and the gradual restoration of it. In 1948, over 1900 years after Israel was scattered (coinciding with the destruction of their temple in 70 AD), they were once again declared a nation. Jeremiah 31:38-40, and Deuteronomy 29 also tell of the rebirth of Israel in the last days.
  • Jeremiah 31:38-40 predicted Edom, a once beautiful and bountiful land, would become unfruitful. The land became barren and remains so to this day.
  • Nahum 3:13 predicted the fall of Nineveh, by fire. In the 1800s, archeologists excavated Nineveh in ashes.
  • Malachi 3:1 predicts a forerunner to Jesus, who turned out to be John the Baptist. The 1st-century historian Josephus wrote about John the Baptist. 
  • Daniel 12 predicts that in the days just before Christ's return, there would be a revolution in transportation and knowledge. "But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased" (King James Version). This is a compelling verse when considered in the context that before about 100 years ago, people got around by foot, ship, and horses — now, there is high-tech travel of varying colors. Moreover, within the last 15 years, we've developed technology that enables instant knowledge accessible from the palm of our hands — via the internet and smartphones. 

Still Not Convinced?

While said fulfilled prophecies indeed help, the hiddenness of God today tends to throw people. Many ask why God isn't more visible so we can know without a shred of doubt he exists. There is another biblical prophecy that occurred before Jesus' coming, shedding much light on the subject and should bring closure. 

Joel 2:28 says, "...And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh..." (King James Version). This predicts the coming of the Holy Spirit. Before Jesus came, the Holy Spirit played a different role in relations with humans and God was more "visible" — today, the Holy Spirit indwells us directly (if you trust Jesus). The apostle Peter quoted from Joel on the day the Holy Spirit came, spoken of in Acts 2. 

When the thought, "Where's God at these days" comes to mind — remember, since all those bible prophecies came true, the coming of the invisible Spirit of God spoken of in Joel also came true — if other biblical prophecies come true, it's logical that all the others have or will come true. 

There are other scriptures alluding to the hiddenness of God. Jesus exists just as much today as he did when the bible was written. 

John 20:29 tells of when the disciples saw Jesus risen, and how Thomas doubted the resurrection. But when finally appearing to Thomas, Jesus said to him, "...because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed" (King James Version). 

Jesus is implying here there are people who aren't going to see Him, going forward, which should not be an excuse for disbelief. Moreover, 1 Peter 1:8 says, "Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory..." (English Standard Version).