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Prof. Dr. Werner Gitt

The proof of God’s existence—through love

Gottesbeweise gewinnen in unserer Zeit eine ganz neue Bedeutung. Einige Gottesbeweise sind vom naturwissenschaftlichen Denken geprägt. So stellt sich die Frage: Gibt es vielleicht einen Gottesbeweis, der das Herz eines jeden Menschen erreichen kann?

Die Liebe ist das Phänomen, wofür jedes menschliche Herz empfänglich ist – sei es ein Urwaldbewohner, der nie etwas von Wissenschaft gehört hat, oder ein Physik-Nobelpreisträger, der versucht, die Urgründe der Materie zu erforschen.

Kann es sein, dass Gott sich in seiner Liebe offenbart hat und damit allen Menschen den Universalbeweis seiner Existenz und seines Wesens geliefert hat? In der Tat hat Gott das getan, und das soll in dieser Schrift gezeigt werden.

10 Seiten, Best.-Nr. 144-3

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The proof of God’s existence—through love

From antiquity already, people have sought to ‘prove God’. For example, through the well-known cosmological proof (or ‘argument’) of God’s existence, as well as the ontological and also the teleological proofs.[1] The whole idea of a ‘proof of God’ can readily be misunderstood, in that it can convey the idea that it is possible to make God subject to verification in all His fullness. This is not possible; for one thing because God’s thoughts and ways are far higher than anything we can conceive (Isaiah 55:8–9). So, with any form of such ‘proof’, one needs to always consider which characteristic of God’s it concerns.

It is also important to distinguish between hard and soft proofs. Hard proofs are based upon natural laws, and are thus irrefutable. With the help of the natural laws of information, it was possible to prove in hard form some of the attributes of God (e.g. His existence, His omniscience, and His eternal being).[2]

A special form of ‘God proof’ is the ‘prophetic-mathematical proof of God’.[3] This is based upon the number of fulfilled prophecies of the Bible, so this proof clearly goes beyond conclusions based on natural laws. It establishes the Bible as the book of truth, and in so doing, establishes the God of the Bible as the only one in existence.

In western countries, only a small percentage of the population can attest to having made a definite decision to turn to Jesus Christ as their Saviour, to gain eternal life. Former German Chancellor Willy Brandt (1913–1992) was typical of many when he said a few days before his death: “I don’t know if there is a God. I suspend judgement on that.”

In light of all this, proofs of God’s existence take on a whole new meaning in our time. The abovenamed proofs are characterised by mathematical/scientific thinking. So the question arises: Is there perhaps a proof of God which can reach the heart of every person?

Love is the greatest phenomenon, the one to which every human heart is receptive—be it the jungle-dweller who has never heard of such a thing as science, or the Nobel-Prize-winning physicist researching the fundamental properties of matter.

Could it be that God has revealed Himself by way of His love and, with that, has provided the universal proof of His existence and His nature—including to you, dear reader? Indeed, God has done just that, as the following intends to show.

What does someone in the
21st century imagine God to be like?

In his book, journalist Jan Roß describes how someone in our day might, without biblical revelation, imagine a God to be like:

“Probably like a comic-book hero enhanced to a supra­dimensional/superhuman level; a cosmic Superman, Batman or Spiderman—strong and indestructible, athlete and sheriff, a guardian of law and order for the whole universe.”[4]

We humans are confronted with a problem: How are we to believe in a God whom we have never seen, and whose character traits are beyond our comprehension?

What does the creation tell us about God?

Romans 1:20 explains to us that God’s “invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.” While the creation clearly points to a Maker of all things, it does not give us an unambiguous picture of Him. We observe immeasurably great intelligence and ingenuity in the design concepts of all living things, but we also recognise the other: beauty is paired with ugliness, good with evil, light with darkness, gentleness with violence, and love with hate.

From their observations of nature, many pagan cultures who don’t know God’s Word, and even evolutionary theorists, have come to the conclusion that God—if He even exists—must be an evil God. The fact that in nature, the stronger creatures brutally kill the weaker ones in order to survive, is a convincing argument for them. Man’s inclination to evil, albeit also to good, seems to confirm this.

Those who do not know the Bible know nothing of the Fall into sin. This plunged the originally very good creation into the maelstrom of its current fallen state. It changed the nature of man, as well as behaviour patterns in the animal kingdom. Without knowing of the Fall, people will automatically conclude that both good and evil must dwell in God’s heart as well. This distorted picture of God and creation is probably part of the reason for the many pagan traditions of human sacrifice.[5]

But what is the God of the Bible really like?

All our human imaginings of what God might be like are grasping in the dark. The immense number of different ways in which the various religions worldwide portray God, and just so all philosophical treatises on the subject, amply establishes this. This is why God Himself portrays Himself to us. Though He says:

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord” (Isaiah 55:8),

He nonetheless names, in a manner everyone can understand, character traits of His that are not deducible from the creation:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life(John 3:16).

“My salvation will be forever, and my righteousness will never be dismayed” (Isaiah 51:6).

“His mercy is everlasting” (Psalm 100:5, KJV).

“You are God, and your words are true (2 Samuel 7:28).

“Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds“ (Psalm 36:5).

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you” (Jeremiah 31:3).

“For God is ... [a God] of peace (1 Corinthians 14:33).

“Blessed be ... [God] the Father of mercies (2 Corinthians 1:3).

Who could ever claim that even a single one of these characteristics of God applied to themselves? Even the love that flares up in many human hearts is often just a flash in the pan, gone after only a brief time. Among humans, everlasting goodness, and faithfulness ‘reaching to the clouds’, is only found in fairytales. Peace repeatedly reveals itself to be a glittering mirage in the desert of a warring world. Not to even mention wisdom—how else could even Nobel laureates propagate an idea which maintains in all seriousness that the unimaginable complexity of life is merely the outcome of a game of dice with matter?

There is a special word for divine love—agape. It is unconditional, kind, just, respectful, compassionate, gentle, peaceful, grounded in truth, and eternal. The difference between human love and godly love can be stated as follows: ‘Human love loves another, because they are how they are. But godly love loves another regardless of how they are.’

Where does love come from?

If, then, love is a phenomenon humans cannot replicate, where does it come from? No scientist can explain that. Those who claim that the world and all life arose by evolution must then also assume that love just happened to arise in the course of that evolution. This would mean that love was no more than a random interplay of particles of matter.

However, just as the DNA information of cells cannot have originated by itself from matter, but needs an originator with mind, love also requires a source from which it springs. There is only one option: It was created by a wise Creator. And this Creator tells us that He Himself is the source of love, and that it describes His very essence: “God is love” (1 John 4:16).

How has God revealed Himself?

1. God Himself comes to us

No religion claims that any of its various named gods has come to live among us.[6] Only the God of the Bible has done that—He Himself left His heavenly realm and sought us in the form of a human person.

“ ... though he was in the form of God, [Jesus] did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:6–7).

In Jesus, the Son of God, God Himself came to us. In His total power over the forces of nature, over every disease, and even over death, He showed himself in an unmistakeable and inimitable way to be God. He helped all who came to Him. To needy sinners, He gave forgiveness. When a blind man called out to Him, He restored his sight. If someone had a disease that was incurable from a medical perspective, He healed them nonetheless. In the light of these deeds, it seems incomprehensible to us that He was still rejected.

Alluding to that in a parable, Jesus tells of the people saying: “We do not want this man to reign over us” (Luke 19:14).

In Luke 7:33–34, Jesus Himself laments the offhandedness and rejection with which He was treated:

 “For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’”

Whatever the way God shows Himself to us—most people are dismissive or remain indifferent. We can observe that, right up to the present day, this has not changed. How would we have reacted in Jesus’ place? “Well, they’ve rejected me, so I’ll go back to my Father in Heaven.” But not so Jesus—He stays and does the extraordinary:

2. He always does that which He teaches us to do

Such a concept is unknown to us. No founder of a religion has ever complied with everything he taught others. Even believers in Christ can’t always adhere to what is taught in the Gospel. Here Jesus is unique!

Romans 12:15 says: Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” Jesus did that too: At the wedding in Cana he celebrated with the wedding guests. But after Lazarus had died, and He saw how Mary and the Jews around him wept, Jesus wept with them too (John 11:33–35).

The Bible teaches that we should not sin. And yet all of us have done that: “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). Whatsoever the Bible requires of us, Jesus has complied with it in every way. He never sinned: Jesus “in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).

Peter asked the Lord Jesus in Matthew 18:21: “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Whereupon Jesus answered him in Matthew 18:22: “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.” Some other versions translate the number as “seventy times seven”. With that Jesus was not just saying ‘77 (or 490) times’, but ‘always’. If Jesus requires of us to always be willing to forgive, then we can firmly rely on this: if we turn to Him in repentance and faith—or even after our conversion to Him—then He will likewise give us the forgiveness we seek.

3. God offers Himself up totally

In order to touch the unbelieving hearts of His own human creations, God went even one step further. Jesus, the Son of God, went to the Cross of His own free will, without setting any conditions on mankind’s part. He did so purely out of love and grace, to save His creatures from eternal lostness. At the Cross, Jesus took the penalty which we would have deserved on the basis of our sin. Jan Roß wrote very aptly about the humiliation of God on the Cross:

“The image of a dying or already dead human body nailed to a cross is the total opposite of might, power and perfection. The contrast to our usual concept of the divine could not be more glaring and disturbing ... . The God who was born in a stable and died on the Cross, who involved Himself deeper than all others in the mundane and temporal, is thus paradoxically least at risk of being a self-made cult idol to His followers. No-one would have sought out or thought up such a one.”[7]

Just as a father reminds his child not to play with fire, so God constantly urges people to abandon the way to eternal lostness. The wonder of the love of God—as He showed it to us through Jesus—should actually make every stony human heart butter-soft, and bring us to the point of accepting the gift of Heaven. In a largely godless world, God holds fast to His loving invitation: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household” (Acts 16:31).

Natural laws and God’s love

We know from physics that natural laws are formulated so as to be falsifiable in principle. They must however withstand all attempts at falsification. After they have passed their ‘ordeal by fire’ in the hard testing furnace of reality, we are justified in holding them to be valid without exception.

The Word of God was likewise formulated to be falsifiable and able to be tested against reality. Analogous to the laws of physics, the love of God also has the status of a natural law. In Song of Solomon 8:6 we find a prophetic word about the love of God:

“For love is strong as death ... . Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the Lord.”

This passage is falsifiably constructed. It can be refuted in principle. The Cross of Jesus was the acid test of this law of God’s love.

Jesus had fully lived out this love. He never dealt egotistically. Whatever He did was undertaken in selfless love for mankind. Would this love extend so far, that it would not even halt in the face of death? At the Cross, the temptation was great to cause this law of unconditional love to fail. The first attack occurred through the rulers of Israel:

“But the rulers scoffed at him, saying, ‘He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!’” (Luke 23:35).

This was an attempt to bring about the downfall of the love of God. Had Jesus stepped down from the Cross, the abovementioned law would have been falsified. Shortly thereafter came the second attack attempting to falsify the love of God, which is as strong as death:

“One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, ‘Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!’” (Luke 23:39).

The third test: “And those who passed by derided him ... ‘Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross that we may see and believe’” (Mark 15:29, 32). This also failed to falsify God’s love! Jesus could have stepped down from the Cross, but He didn’t. The love of God here shows itself to really be stronger than death! Only because Jesus stayed on the Cross can we be saved through His shed blood (1 Peter 1:18–19).

Proofs of God and salvation

Acknowledging a proof of God as valid is an important step. Following this, though, there needs to be a further step, that of saving faith. After we have understood that an almighty and all-knowing God exists, one who has reached out to us in boundless love through the Lord Jesus, we can accept Him with all our heart. Jesus, the Son of God, wants to be our Friend, our Saviour, and our Lord. Accept Him today, for He stands before you in invitation:

“Behold, I [Jesus] stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20).

I have written a detailed, practical explanation of how you can do that: wernergitt.de/turning

Jesus has firmly promised that He will receive anyone who makes their way to Him: “Whoever comes to me I will never cast out” (John 6:37).

Director and Professor (retired)
Dr Werner Gitt Ph.D.

 _________________

[1]   wernergitt.de/proofs-of-God

[2]   See Gitt, W., with Compton, R. and Fernandez, J., Without Excuse (Information: the key to life), 2011, creation.com/s/10-2-577. This contains a detailed exposition of the information laws and how they function as a ‘hard proof’.

[3]   Chapter 9 of ref. 2 also contains an exposition of this prophetic-mathematical proof. For a brief summary, (also a summary of the information law article) see the tract Why as a scientist I believe the Bible, at wernergitt.de/scientist-believes

[4]   Jan Roß, Die Verteidigung des Menschen—Warum Gott gebraucht wird [The Vindication of Man—Why God is needed], Rowohlt Berlin, 2012, p. 93.

[5]   en.wikipedia.org/wiki/human_sacrifice

[6]   It is generally agreed that the Hindu concept of avatar falls short of being a parallel.

[7]   Jan Roß, ref. 4, pp. 94, 102.




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