Ten reasons why I believe in God
In the beginning God…” (Genesis 1:1). That’s the ground of my being, my hope, and my destiny. Without that solid foundation of belief in God, life is empty. Some find it difficult to believe in a living, personal God. Some find it odd to relate to God at a deep and meaningful level. Not me. For me God is real, as real as one could hope for—to guide, to correct, to lead in the journey of life. As I reflect on my faith in God, I can think of at least 10 reasons for that conviction.
1. I believe in God because of the great beauty most of nature still exhibits. Beauty of nature is unnecessary from an evolutionary survival point of view. Nature speaks of design with an eye for beauty.
2. I believe in God because of the order, complexity, and complementarity of nature. Most things in nature operate well together and seem made for one another, like a gigantic jigsaw puzzle. This reveals purposeful design, not chance occurrence.
3. I believe in God because of the numerous ways in which our planet’s ecology, surroundings, placement, and movements precisely meet the needs of life on earth, within very narrow limits. This, again, is far more likely the result of design than of chance.
4. I believe in God because of people like Albert Schweitzer, Mother Teresa, and unsung millions of other self-sacrificing human beings. Altruistic lives and impulses contradict the tooth-and-claw evolutionary “survival of the fittest.” Self-sacrifice witnesses to the existence of a good, loving Presence in the world and the universe, a Presence that influences many people to be loving and generous and help others quite apart from their own personal interests. There is no evolutionary advantage in so doing.
5. I believe in God because of the good character traits many people still have despite strong negative influences. I am referring to qualities, such as honesty, generosity, forgiveness, fairness, tolerance, balance, patience, determination, loving the unlovable, and so on. We admire all of these qualities because they are, in effect, divine qualities, modeled for us by God. Most of them are contrary to evolutionary principle, according to which dog eats dog. Many unbelievers, of course, have excellent characters; but isn’t that an unacknowledged manifestation of God’s influence in the world?
6. I believe in God because numerous people, myself included, have experienced many instances of providential protection against dangers and have had the satisfaction of seeing their lives turn out well and thrive against all odds, including extremely adverse circumstances. God, who created nature’s laws, is not their slave; He can certainly make exceptions to them. This is what “miracles” are all about.
I believe God is ready to protect, guide, and bless those who believe in Him and are ready to obey Him. Of course, there are those who consider themselves too sophisticated or independent to submit to a Supreme Being, and they may not accept this at all. But does that mean it can’t be true?
7. I believe in God because dozens of careful, scientific surveys have shown that committed believers enjoy numerous advantages over nominal believers as well as unbelievers. Committed Christians are happier, healthier, usually more prosperous, live longer, and avoid many social pathologies much better than nominal believers or unbelievers. I believe in God not in order to reap such benefits. With or without those benefits, I can affirm the positive effect of belief in God on my life, my thoughts and my actions.
8. I believe in God because the destructive effects of godlessness on individuals and entire societies are sadly evident. These effects include lack of purpose, moral decay, crime, substance dependence, and a major deterioration of society in general.
9. I believe in God because the alternative does not lead to what is good and joyful in human life. Independent reason is unreliable, and the brightest human minds cannot be trusted to produce constructive systems of thought. For example, Plato wanted to replace the family with the state! Among other “enlightened” thinkers, recent philosophers such as Nietzsche proposed a morally freed “superman.” The result was the “will to power” that manifested itself in the horrors of Nazism. Sartre and Heidegger promoted existentialism, whose atheistic stance leads nowhere except to despair and meaninglessness. All these only show that unguided human thinking cannot be trusted. It has at times yielded egregious distortions and the most terrible evils—even from thoughtful philosophers.
10. I believe in God the Creator because the alternative theory of origins—evolution—is full of logical anomalies and data gaps. Consider the following:
- While there is evidence of microevolution in nature (changes that involve adaptation to the environment within the same kind of organism), there is no evidence that organisms, left to themselves, become more complex and sophisticated. The opposite seems to be the case. Even mutations revert to their former entities.
- There is no evidence that organisms of one kind can become organisms of another major kind—either gradually or suddenly. No true intermediate fossils have been found. If the theory of evolution were true, many thousands of intermediate fossils should have been dug out by now. Quite to the contrary, the fossil record shows distinct species with few if any so-called intermediates.
- As for “punctuated equilibrium,” the hypothesis that rapid changes occurred in isolated places and then spread has not been backed by any evidence at all, as no such places have been found. It sounds more like a fancy explanation for the lack of fossil evidence than any application of the scientific method.
- The extreme complexities of the cell, the human brain, DNA, and even the simplest amino acid, just could not have arisen at random, even if given endless eons of time. This proposed “miracle of randomness” is wishful thinking by those who reject the idea of intelligent design. The statistical possibility of any such thing happening is so extremely small that it is impossible for all practical purposes. Given all the time in the universe, a strong wind blowing through a junkyard could not assemble a Boeing 747. Nor can a human brain or the genetic code simply “emerge” as a result of random natural forces.
To sum up these brief comments on the theory of evolution, it seems clear that people who aren’t determined to insist that the existence of God is out of the question would find it more logical, based on the evidence (or lack thereof) to believe in an Intelligent Designer than in that faulty theory. Belief in God isn’t necessarily a recourse of lazy minds. After weighing the pros and cons on both sides, it is more logical to see an Intelligent Mind operating in the universe than to accept the “scientific” house of cards of evolution.
The above 10 reasons seem more than sufficient to accept the idea of Intelligent Design—and of an Intelligent, Loving Designer, that is, God. While I cannot prove that God exists, from all of the above I conclude that He must exist and, therefore, I must not resist— His love, His guidance, His plan for my life.
Hector Hammerly (Ph.D., Ohio State University) teaches applied linguistics at Simon Fraser University, in British Columbia, Canada. His address: 2766 Daybreak Ave.; Port Coquitlam, BC; V3C 2G1 Canada.