Not only is there evidence for God’s existence from biblical revelation but there are also the philosophical arguments supporting the concept of God’s existence. Admittedly, these arguments may not convince those antagonistic to the Christian faith of its validity. However, they do provide a thought provoking response to those who contend that Christianity does not contain any assemblage of reasoning or logical thought.
1 Peter 3:14–15 (ESV) says, “14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.”
What then are the philosophical arguments for God’s existence? They include the ontological argument, the cosmological argument, the teleological argument, the moral argument, the anthropological argument, the religious experience argument and the argument from the existence of miracles: most notably Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead.
The Anthropological Argument indicates that man is a unique creation by God. The Scriptures claim that man was created in the image of God.
Genesis 1:26–27 (ESV) says, “26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
Genesis 2:7 (ESV) says, “Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.”
The doctrine of God’s image in man is interpreted in the Scriptures as the spiritual image, not the physical image. Most interpret this as referring to man’s ability to think, feel, and make conscious and rational decisions. David speaks eloquently of his own creation in Psalm 139:13-16:
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them” (Psalm 139:13-16, ESV).
To a great extent, man’s behavior is learned while animals are bound by instinct. Characteristic of man alone is that he is a creature of reasoning intelligence who has the capacity of adapting means to an end, along with having a moral and spiritual consciousness.
The implications of this argument for God’s existence is that mankind as a whole, and individuals in particular, possess intrinsic value. However, it should be noted that man’s value is not self-existent. It comes from outside of him. Man’s intrinsic value comes from the self-existent God.
One author explains, “From a Biblical perspective, human beings do not have inherent or intrinsic dignity. In other words, our dignity (which is real) is not eternal or self-existent. Rather, we have dignity that is extrinsic—it comes to us from without. We have dignity because God assigns dignity to us. He has taken the initiative to stamp His image upon us.”
Humans bear the image of the God of glory. This is an unspeakable blessing. It also is a weighty responsibility. We were made to glorify God—to reflect the character of God. That duty comes in the divine mandate: “You shall by holy, for I the Lord your God am holy” (Lev. 19:2; I Peter 1:16).
What are the implications when the God of the Scriptures existence is denied, especially in the realm of man’s significance or value? This significant question is examined in our next post.
Have a blessed day in the Lord. May each of us reflect God’s image, for His glory.
Soli deo Gloria!