a) The Argument from Cause: Cosmological.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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