PROOF OF GOD: WHAT TO EXPECT BEFORE YOU START LOOKING
At the very outset, we want to affirm that any investigation that genuinely seeks to confirm or deny a purported reality is good practice. To verify the truth of specific claims (whether scientific or religious or anything else) is to undertake due diligence; this is necessary if we are to gain accurate knowledge of the world around us in order to live our lives in safety and to flourish. Hence, to seek evidence for the existence of a Creator God is a good thing because it is to gain an understanding into the truth and reality of our own origins as a species. Of course, the assumption here is that our seeking is genuine i.e. we are looking for evidence with a pure motivation of coming to a clear understanding of truth.
Now, before we can undertake such an investigation, we must acknowledge the nature and characteristics of our subject (i.e. the Creator God).
CLARIFYING THE SUBJECT OF OUR INVESTIGATION
The God who created you is an eternal, infinite, immaterial and invisible Being (amongst His infinite other attributes and characteristics), and is completely and utterly different from you and everything else He has created.
It’s important to clarify these characteristics of the Creator because this reality of Him has at least 5 implications for our investigation
If you want visible, tangible, material evidence of the eternal, infinite, immaterial and invisible reality of this Creator you are asking for evidence that you have no ability to evaluate. After all, you are a mortal, finite, material and visible creature. Which means that the very nature, structure and constitution of your being prevents you from grasping the reality of your Creator who exists in a shape and form that is impenetrable by your intellect and utterly beyond your senses of perception.
Since the reality of this Creator is totally different from every other created thing/ being that has existed, exists now, and will ever exist, there is no way that you can even begin to learn the truth about Him in totality. After all, how can you even begin to correctly think about a Being who is so unique that no other type of Him has ever existed since even before the dawn of time? Sure, you can make inferences and informed guesses as to the nature and character of this Creator, but there is no way that you can be certain about the accuracy of your reasoning.
Unless, of course, the Creator Himself reveals His reality to you.
In a way that you can understand and comprehend.
Both physically and intellectually.
Since the creature’s knowledge of the Creator depends on the Creator’s revelation of Himself, the creature is in no position to dictate (or negotiate) the shape and form in which this revelation is to be given and received. Reason being, beggars can’t be choosers.
The eternal, infinite, immaterial and invisible reality of the Creator implies that He is a supernatural Being who transcends the natural dimension. Therefore, to seek evidence of the supernatural is to presume that the supernatural exists, or at least, that it is possible for the supernatural to exist. What this means is that if you are predisposed to thinking that the supernatural cannot, or does not, exist, then to seek evidence for the existence of God is to seek evidence that you are not willing to accept i.e. you are not really seeking evidence. What you are seeking is confirmation of your own bias and presupposition. That’s not helpful in any investigation.
What this also implies is that you cannot dismiss the evidence for the Creator as being illogical or unreasonable. After all, what might seem illogical and irrational in the natural sphere might be completely logical and rational in the supernatural sphere. And, like we mentioned in Implication #3, the creature is not in a position of passing judgment on the quality of evidence provided by the Creator.
The immaterial, invisible, intangible nature of the Creator means that He is a Spirit Being as opposed to humans who are fleshly beings. In other words, the reality of God is a spiritual reality. It stands to reason therefore, that the reality of God cannot be determined without spiritual truths. Which means that if you are seeking evidence of God, you must either affirm the existence of the spiritual realm, or, at the very least, be open to the idea of the spiritual realm. In other words, you cannot have a prior commitment to naturalism or materialism and still expect to find evidence of God. Simply because at their core, the ideologies of naturalism and materialism reject the existence of the spiritual and/ or the supernatural. So if you’re someone who affirms naturalism and/ or materialism, and simultaneously seeks evidence for God, you either don’t know what you’re talking about, or you’re being deceitful.
Keeping these things in mind, we can now look at the tangible evidence of Himself that the Creator has given His creatures in a way that they can grasp despite the finite, mortal, limited framework of their reality.
The material, tangible, visible evidence that the Creator has provided is not an object but a person; His own Son, Jesus Christ.
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. … And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. … No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known. — John 1:1-3, 14, 18
There you have it. The Jesus who was born as a human baby actually existed as God long before the dawn of time. The Apostle John calls Jesus “the Word”, or Logos, which is the essence of all life. And that’s completely logical — the essence of all life would have had to existed prior to human life coming into existence. What’s more, everything that exists actually came into existence via Jesus. John is not the only one who says this; the Apostle Paul says pretty much the same thing.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. … in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell … — Colossians 1:15-17, 19
If God were to take a selfie, Jesus is what we would see. That’s what this passage means. Jesus is the visible image of the invisible God. Not only that, the totality of God took residence in the body and person of Jesus. In case you are wondering how that is possible, remind yourself of Implications #3 and #4.
Then there are the words of Jesus, recorded by John:
He who has seen Me has seen the Father — John 14:9
So Jesus Himself testifies that He is the visible evidence of the reality of the Creator’s existence. Jesus is the Creator’s evidence of Himself to His creatures. And this evidence has been provided in a shape and form which can be accepted and appreciated by everyone who lives in the natural, physical, material sphere. John states it like this.
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life– 2 the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us– 3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. — 1 John 1:1-3
So John is bearing witness to the evidence sent by the Creator. John is saying that he has seen this evidence with his own eyes and heard it with his own ears and touched it with his own hands. In other words, the intangible, invisible Creator has provided tangible, visible evidence which can be evaluated by human senses. Or, to state it differently, the supernatural Creator provides evidence of Himself using natural means. And the evidence of this is the testimony of not just John and Paul, but also Peter, the other disciples as well as 500 other people.
I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. — 1 Corinthians 15:3-6
What this means is that the people to whom Paul was writing (i.e. the church at Corinth, Greece) were free to verify for themselves what Paul was saying about the death and resurrection of Jesus from the people who saw the risen Christ by themselves. Again, more evidence of the supernatural reality of the Creator that’s available and verifiable in the natural sphere by a third party.
So there you have it.
Evidence for God exists for those who care to examine it with sincerity. Being sincere means recognising that if there is a Creator, then He is the one who sets the agenda in terms of how He wants to give evidence of Himself. In other words, sincerity of investigation requires intellectual humility.
… he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. — Hebrews 11:6
But that’s only logical, isn’t it; knowledge can only be increased by acknowledgement that one isn’t all-knowing.