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The Clear Word 

A Ministry Of Mid-State Bible Fellowship 

 

SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY
Page Three

The Argument

 
 a) The Argument from Cause: Cosmological.
When we see a thing we naturally ask for the cause of that thing. We see this world in which we live, and ask how it came to be. Is it self originating, or is the cause of its being outside of itself? Is it's cause finite or infinite?
 
That it could not come into being of itself seems obvious; no more than nails, brick, mortar, wood, paints, colors, form into a house or building of themselves.  No more than the type composing a book came into order of itself. When Liebig was asked if he believed that the grass and flowers which he saw around him grew by mere chemical forces, he replied: "No. No more than I could believe that the books on botany describing them could grow by mere chemical forces." No theory of an "eternal series" can account for this created universe. No matter how long a chain you may have, you must have a staple somewhere from which it depends. An endless perpendicular chain is an impossibility. "Every house is built by some man," says the Bible.  So this world in which we live was built by a designing mind of infinite power and wisdom.
 
So is it when we consider man. Man exists; but he owes his existence to some cause. Is this cause within or without himself, finite or infinite? Trace our origin back, if you will, to our first parent, Adam; then you must ask, How did he come into being? The doctrine of the eternity of man cannot be supported. Fossil remains extend back but 6,000 years. Man is an effect; he has not always existed. Geology proves this. That the first Cause must have been an intelligent Being is proven by the fact that we are intelligent beings ourselves.


 
b) The Argument from Design: Teleological.

A watch proves not only a maker, an artificer, but also a designer; a watch is made for a purpose. This is evident in its structure. A thoughtful, designing mind was back of the watch. So is it with the world in which we live. These "ends" in nature are not to he attributed to "natural results," or "natural selection," results which are produced without intelligence, nor are they "the survival of the fittest," instances in which "accident and fortuity have done the work of mind." No, they are the results of a superintending and originating intelligence and will.
 


c) The Argument from Being: Ontological.

Man has an idea of an infinite and perfect Being. From whence this idea? From finite and imperfect beings like ourselves? Certainly not. Therefore this idea argues for the existence of an infinite and perfect Being: such a Being must exist, as a person, and not a mere thought.


 
d) The Moral Argument:  Anthropological.

Man has an intellectual and a moral nature, hence his Creator must be an intellectual and moral Being, a Judge, and Lawgiver. Man has an emotional nature; only a Being of goodness, power, love, wisdom and holiness could satisfy such a nature, and these things denote the existence of a personal God.
 
Conscience in man says: "Thou shalt," and "Thou shalt not," "I ought," and "I ought not." These mandates are not self-imposed. They imply the existence of a Moral Governor to whom we are responsible. Conscience, there it is in the breast of man, an ideal Moses thundering from an invisible Sinai the Law of a holy Judge. Said Cardinal Newman: "Were it not for the voice speaking so clearly in my conscience and my heart, I should be an atheist, or a pantheist, when I looked into the world." Some things are wrong, others right: love is right, hatred is wrong. Nor is a thing right because it pleases, or wrong because it displeases. Where did we get this standard of right and wrong? Morality is obligatory, not optional. Who made is obligatory? Who has a right to command my life? We must believe that there is a God, or believe that the very root of our nature is a lie.


 
 e) The Argument from Congruity.

If we have a key which fits all the wards of the lock, we know that it is the right key. If we have a theory which fits all the facts in the case, we know then that we have the right theory. "Belief in a self-existent, personal God is in harmony with all the facts of our mental and moral nature, as well as with all the phenomena of the natural world. If God exists, a universal belief in his existence is natural enough; the irresistible impulse to ask for a first cause is accounted for; or religious nature has an object; the uniformity of natural law finds an adequate explanation, and human history is vindicated from the charge of being a vast imposture. Atheism leaves all these matters without an explanation, and makes, not history alone, but our moral and intellectual nature itself, an imposture and a lie.
 


f) The Argument from Scripture.

A great deal of our knowledge rests upon the testimony of others. Now the Bible is competent testimony. If the testimony of travelers is enough to satisfy us as to the habits, customs, and manners of the peoples of the countries they visit, and which we have never seen, why is not the Bible, if it is authentic history, be enough to satisfy us with its evidence as to the existence of God?
 
Some facts need more evidence than others, we know. This is true of the fact of the existence of God. But the Bible history is sufficient to satisfy every reasonable demand. The history of the Jews, prophecy, is not explainable minus God. If we cannot believe in the existence of God on the testimony of the Bible we might as well burn our books of history. A man cannot deny the truth of the testimony of the Bible unless he says plainly: "No amount of testimony will convince me of the supernatural."