A year ago on our 9th wedding anniversary we had lunch with a wonderful married missionary couple that introduced us to the church we eventually became so involved with and are now very much a part of. The Liles explained to us their absolute belief in the validity of the Bible, and what it meant to be born again. At the time I was what I would describe as quite a militant atheist. I'd lived my life under the belief that there was no God and that the Bible was entirely fictional. However, over the space of a few short weeks in the presence of Bible believing Christians I was convinced that the Bible was true and that I needed Christ in my life.
So what convinced me as a Bachelor of Science that this 2000 year old book was the truth and God is real?
I can point to a number of reasons as to why I was convinced that being born again was necessary in my life. However those are not evidence of my faith, only of my disillusionment with my secular lifestyle once I was exposed to the joy, safety and warmth of the lifestyle brought about by being born again; and an understanding that my personal view on morality is subjective, because conceptually God's morality is steadfast.
I can also point to the fact that I have personally experienced prayers being answered. Although I would have to admit scientifically that these are extremely subtle in their appearance and could easily be explained as an attentional bias.
My faith is truly based around my understanding of what God is and a metaphysical belief in that understanding. God's existence is in my view a scientific hypothesis that theorises that He is the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent creator of the universe. Not only did he create time and space, but He planned out the quantum state of every single particle at every single moment of time in the existence of the universe. This means that God has the power to conceivably do absolutely anything. If this theory is correct then it means it undermines the foundation that science is built on. If there is no control, because it can be manipulated on the subatomic level by God then it means that all scientific experimentation is meaningless. It means that God can create a virgin birth to send himself in the form of Christ. It means He can give everyone a soul at conception. It means He can have everything planned out and the same time give us freewill. It means He can grant us Grace from our sin. It also means He can give us eternal life if we have faith in Him. In my mind God can be thought of as causality, albeit an intelligent causality, but also as a being with emotions that we can relate to, with His love and His wrath both being absolute. All these things can be conceivable if this hypothesis is true, and everything in the Bible can be true.
While a metaphysical belief in a God hypothesis means that the Bible can be the truth, it still doesn't necessarily mean that it is the truth. So why do I believe that the Bible is true? Especially given there are so many other texts that claim to be the truth.
It is true to say that I have been exposed primarily to the Bible and not any other texts. However from my limited understanding of other texts the logic behind their fundamental reason behind our faith is being able to perform good deeds while we're here on earth. And then when we die we are judged based on the things we've done. The Bible gives an entirely different message from this. It says that eternal life is a gift offered to us by faith and faith alone because Christ died for us on the cross. This in my mind makes more sense because it emphasises the magnitude and disparity of our disposition in relation to God. Anything that claims our condition is effectively more powerful than God’s undermines the omnipotence of God and therefore does not correlate to the hypothesis of His existence.
I also have to look at the secular argument. As they move away from Biblical morality their motivation is to create and improve society that exists without God. They generally therefore attribute progressive liberalism to be an improvement to society. The main driving forces being concepts like equality and environmentalism are because they claim to know better than any ancient texts. After all what is the harm in sex without marriage for the purpose of procreation if God doesn’t exist? What is the harm in murdering babies in the womb if there is no soul to worry about?
This secular enlightenment movement really is a misdemeanour. There are consequences for actions even if they are under the illusion that there aren’t. Clearly we have so many more broken homes today in an age that supports single parenthood as a normal and morally unquestioned lifestyle. Clearly we undermine biological procreation if we allow for homosexual relationships to be morally the norm. Clearly we undermine nature if we interfere with IVF technology, contraception and abortion. We only need to look at the depopulation in Japan and their breakdown of nurturing children into healthy natural relationships to see the consequences of unhealthy sexuality in a society. Somehow they have manipulated society into believing that not only is this liberalism the way forward, but they have convinced an entire generation that there are no consequences for their actions. In less than two decades we have gone from a society in the UK that would have politicians forced to resign if they were caught engaged in sex outside of marriage in whatever form to a society that sanctions and welcomes that conduct.
This progressive secularism that atheists purport to be the way forward is fundamentally broken in concept and in reality. The idea that the way we have been doing things for hundreds of years is wrong, is laughable, because we wouldn't have been able to continue existence as a society if we had always thought of sex as merely a recreational pursuit.
Of course even the fact that in my mind secularism is philosophically and morally bankrupt it still doesn't answer the question of why I believe in God when so many others don't. When put simply the reason I think that I believe in God and the Bible is because I choose to do so. The choice to be made is believing in an old dead universe or a new living universe, that of being the optimist or the pessimist, to chose eternal life, or a short meaningless empty existence. I choose life, not because it has any more or less scientific credibility but because I can. And that wonderful ability is in itself a testament.