Yesterday, in my class at Lander, I was teaching on the cosmological argument for the existence of God. We are in the part of the semester where we are looking at sacred texts of monotheistic religions, and so I am presenting three of the major philosophical arguments for God.
The cosmological argument is an argument based on the cosmos – the universe, the bigness of the galaxy and such. Here’s how the argument is stated:
- Everything that had a beginning had a cause.
- The universe had a beginning.
- Therefore, the universe had a cause.
While you are probably thinking that doesn’t seem very profound or even have that much substance to it, we broke down all the implications of these phrases. 1. Science is a search for causes. 2. Scientific discovery after scientific discovery (Second Law of Thermodynamics, expanding universe, Big Bang radiation, galaxy seeds, Einstein’s theory on General Relativity, etc.) is pointing to the fact that the universe had a definite beginning. 3. Since the universe definitely had a beginning, there must be a first cause.
I got a lot of inspiration from Norm Geisler’s book, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist, and Louie Giglio’s presentation entitled “Indescribable.” As I began to show how little Earth is compared to other planets, how little the sun is compared to other stars, how little our galaxy is compared to others in the universe, I could tell that people were as amazed as me.
I was ending class when a student raised her hand to ask a question (a definite no-no to other students in college). She asked if I thought this universe was so big that it should allow for other life. I told her what’s interesting about the universe is it seems that the only place that can inhabit life is Earth. She then asked, “Well, doesn’t this universe seem awful big if it’s just for us?”
I almost came jumping over the podium in excitement.
“That’s the point. If this universe is for us, then it is way oversized. But if it is made for the glory of the Creator, its just the right fit. That’s why Psalm 19:1 states that the ‘heavens are declaring the glory of God.’ The Old Testament, which we are about to study, loudly portrays that the universe is meant to make mankind look at it and stand in awe of the Creator. We are not the center of the universe, he is. When we look at the universe and marvel at its bigness, it is intended to make us believe in a really brillant, powerful Creator. ”
I love this class.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.
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