Last time I outlined the formal, deductive argument for the existence of God called, “the Kalam Cosmological argument.” But just knowing the premises and the conclusion for the argument isn’t sufficient to answer the real question, does the Kalam cosmological argument “prove” the existence of an Omnipotent, Omniscient, and all encompassing moral being exists? Well, in and of itself, no, and in fact some facts about God can only be known if He chooses to reveal Himself, as Christians believe He has. But this does not make this, or any of the other arguments for God’s existence far from. I believe the Kalam Cosmological argument has three uses for the modern Christian.
It Implies the existence of God
A distinction must be made from arguing that a single, deductive proof makes certain that God exists and the fact that they imply His existence. If the universe has a cause, then this cause most precede the existence of universe itself, which means that the cause of the universe cannot be matter or energy interacting within time and space. Additionally, it needs to be able to explain how time began when it did, which implies a “personal cause” (that a person with the ability to exercise will); in other words, the cause of the universe must be able to explain why we do not have an infinite regression of causes (which would be impossible), and currently a personal cause seems to be the best (but not necessarily the proven) possibility.
In this vein, the deductive arguments from God, along with the argument from design (an inductive argument with deductive elements) are like individual pieces of evidence in a court trial. A GSR test doesn’t prove someone was a murderer, it proves he fired a gun. A ballistics test match doesn’t prove that the defendant is the killer, it proves that the gun involved probably fired the fatal bullet. The defendants finger prints on the gun also don’t prove he is the murderer, but it proves he held the gun. Finally, the hair of the defendant at the murder scene doesn’t prove the defendant is a murderer, but it indicates he was present at that location. When we take, however, a ballistics test match of the fatal bullet to a weapon with the defendants finger prints, a GSR test proves the defendant fired a gun recently, and his hair at the murder scene, well, we either have a fictional murder (in which the kinds of conspiracies that never seem to actually work in real life exist), or a high probability that the defendant is a murderer. It is my contention that two of the Cosmological arguments along with the argument from design, along with the arguments from mankind’s experience strongly implies the existence of a Creator.
It Demonstrates that the Christian worldview is consistent with the Universe
As I have noted elsewhere, Christianity doesn’t begin with the assertion that the Bible is inspired. I am not denying inspiration or inerrancy, but these are later steps in the theological process, they are important supporting branches of the Christian tree, not the roots. Yet, that does not mean the Bible is unimportant in the discussion of Christianity. When discussing the Bible with unbelievers, we do not begin by proclaiming our view on inspiration (these are conclusions that require assumptions they reject), rather we begin with treating the Bible as a historical record of man’s interactions with God. As I noted above, we can only know so much about God from the natural world, just as I learn about a limited amount of material about an engineer when he builds a bridge (I may certainly come to understand something of his competency with mathematics, physics and materials, something perhaps of his style since there are artistic elements on some bridges, but the bridge builder’s political opinions, preferences in food, humor, how he interacts with his children, etc can only be learned by interacting with that man or woman). Similarly, with God there are some elements that can only be learned by meeting Him on a personal level, and some of those who have wrote their experiences down.
Christianity is built on experiences with the Creator. Naturalists will preclude them without actually working through the testimony itself, and so such testimony, if we are making the argument that Christianity is true, needs corroborating facts and suppositions – why should I simply take Isaiah and Moses word and trust my essential self to the belief that their experience is not a delusion? My answer in large part is the resurrection on the one hand, and the fact that the Christian worldview is consistent with reality as we can understand it, on the other.