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Why I Believe in Christ ( Notes from the Seminar)

By Pastor Norman Wise

A Testimony

The Apostle Paul’s Perspective

[Rom 1:18-20 NASB] 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

The Testimony of Things Seen


The Options

From Nothing Came Everything

  • Problem:  Basic Logic 0=0
    • Nothing really has to be absolutely nothing

From Eternal Energy came Everything

  •  From impersonal to personal
    •  From thinking to non-thinking
    •  Not enough time: Sir Fredrick Holye and the Intelligent Universe – 747

From an Eternal Person came Everything

LOGIC LEADS US TO GOD

Everything in existence in the universe had a beginning, is not a self “caused” and has limits .

The entire universe is limited in size and space and is expanding and is not eternal so it cannot be an explanation for its own existence

Both time and space had beginnings so are not eternal or self “cause”

For anything to exist there must exist an eternal sufficient “First Cause” that is great enough to explain all that is in the universe and sustains it.

How to think about God – Mortimer Adler

I Believe in God


Because of Jesus

[1Jo 1:1 NLT] 1 We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life.

If the best explanation for the historical resurrection of Christ Jesus from the dead, it that God raised HIM from the dead then God must exist.

If Jesus of Nazareth is God incarnate, then HE is the ultimate evidence of God’s existence.

The Witness of the Existence of God from within

“The God Gene”? 

The overwhelming majority of Americans believe in God; this conviction has existed since the beginning of recorded time and is shared by billions around the world. In The God Gene, Dr. Dean Hamer reveals that this inclination towards religious faith is in good measure due to our genes.

Note:  Dr. Dean Hamer is not working from a Christian worldview at all.

World View Matters

Image result for Christian fall redemtion restoration

The Witness Within: Morals

“But the most remarkable thing is this. Whenever you find a man who says he does not believe in a real Right and Wrong, you will find the same man going back on this a moment later. He may break his promise to you, but if you try breaking one to him he will be complaining ‘It’s not fair’ before you can say Jack Robinson. A nation may say treaties do not matter, but then, next minute, they spoil their case by saying that the particular treaty they want to break was an unfair one. But if treaties do not matter, and if there is no such thing as Right and Wrong—in other words, if there is no Law of Nature—what is the difference between a fair treaty and an unfair one? Have they not let the cat out of the bag and shown that, whatever they say, they really know the Law of Nature just like anyone else?

It seems, then, we are forced to believe in a real Right and Wrong.”

Where there is a law there is a lawgiver    –   C.S. Lewis – Mere Christianity 

Immanuel Kant – 1724-1804

“Kant held that a rational, moral being must necessarily impliy “the highest good,” which consists of a world in which people are both morally good and happy, and in which moral virtue is the condition for happiness. The latter condition implies that this end must be sought solely by moral action. However, Kant held that a person cannot rationally desire such an end without believing that moral actions can successfully achieve such an end, and this requires a belief that the causal structure of nature is conducive to the achievement of this end by moral means. This is equivalent to belief in God, a moral being who is ultimately responsible for the character of the natural world.”

[Rom 3:6 NLT] 6 Of course not! If God were not entirely fair, how would he be qualified to judge the world?

A Moral Recorder

[Mat 7:2 NLT] “2 For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged” 
 Messiah Jesus

Suppose that every moral judgment you made on someone else was recorded

At judgment day, God plays this back, and says by what judgment you judged others so will you be judged.   –  Is that fair?

Existential – Experience Argument

[1Jo 1:1 NLT] 1 We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life.

“Once one has seen God, what is the remedy? Once one has been seized up”    Mystic By Sylvia Plath

The Big Question: How then Evil & Pain

There are philosophical answers to the problem of pain & evil, but the best answer is Immanuel Jesus in which we see that God HIMSELF voluntary suffers in order to show HE cares about our suffering.

The Ultimate Answer is Jesus

“Jesus’ entire mission was to take evil on and end it. But, as we have seen, evil is so deeply rooted in the human heart that if Christ had come in power to destroy it everywhere he found it, he would have had to destroy us too. Instead of coming as a general at the head of an army, he went in weakness to the cross in order to pay for our sins, so that someday he will return to wipe out evil without having to judge us as well. He will be able to receive us to himself because he bore our judgment himself on Calvary.”
― Timothy Keller, Walking with God through Pain and Suffering

A Revelation

“I believe like a child that suffering will be healed and made up for, that all the humiliating absurdity of human contradictions will vanish like a pitiful mirage, like the despicable fabrication of the impotent and infinitely small … mind of man, that in the world’s finale, at the moment of eternal harmony, something so precious will come to pass that it will suffice for all hearts, for the comforting of all resentments, for the atonement of all the crimes of humanity, for all the blood that they’ve shed; that it will make it not only possible to forgive but to justify all that has happened.”

― Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

Conclusion:  There is sufficient reasons to believe that the God of the Bible exists.

Books to Read:

The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism – by Timothy Keller

The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith by Timothy Keller 

Walking with God through Pain and Suffering by Timothy Keller

Making Sense of God: Finding God in the Modern World by Timothy Keller 

How to Think About God: A Guide for the 20th– by Mortimer J. Adler

How to Prove There Is a God: Mortimer J. Adler’s Writings and Thoughts About God by Mortimer Adler (Author), Ken Dzugan (Editor)

The Universe Next Door: A Basic Worldview Catalog by James W. Sire

Four Views on Creation, Evolution, and Intelligent Design (Counterpoints: Bible and Theology) by  James Stump (Editor), Stanley N. Gundry (Series Editor), & 4 more

The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus by Lee Strobel

Evidence That Demands a Verdict: Life-Changing Truth for a Skeptical World by Josh McDowell  & Sean McDowell 

More Than a Carpenter by Josh D. McDowell (Author), Sean McDowell (Author)

Miracles by C. S. Lewis

Miracles: What They Are, Why They Happen, and How They Can Change Your Life

by Eric Metaxas