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Faith Meets Life: Three proofs that God exists

Michael Veenema | Interrobang | Opinion | October 1st, 2007



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Well, not proofs, but three fairly good clues.

Sometimes you can hear people talking as if the case against God has been decided. The prosecution, according to this line, has successfully argued its case and the jury have returned the verdict. The sentence: Banishment from our daily conversations and thoughts.

Here, I'm thinking about God in the sense that Christians have more or less thought of him for a very long time, Catholic Christians, mainstream evangelicals, the majority of Protestants and Orthodox Christians. Most of the people in those groups have a way of thinking about God that, as far as I can tell, stands up well.

I realize that it's conventional today to claim that God, or the idea of God really, is the source of violence and several other significant woes. There definitely is some truth there, but to paint all believers with that brush is not very convincing. It's not convincing for the Muslim or Buddhist worlds, and it's even less convincing for the Christian world, which has given rise to just about everything people want, from democracy to hospitals and the natural sciences.

Probably I've digressed a little, but for what it's worth (you can judge how much), here are three clues that God, as a truly good and astoundingly powerful being, exists.

First: Nature.
When I turn the pages of National Geographic or scan science articles in MacLean's I am taken aback with what I learn. From ocean microbes that produce oxygen, to the dating techniques that place Lucy at 3.18 million-years-old; from a physics which allows light and time to bend, to the human genome, the natural world is filled with one stupendous entity after another, each one leading to further mysteries and unresolved questions. Whatever the mechanics of this incredible world in which we live, however evolution and other processes contribute to it, it is something to behold. All this increasingly, not decreasingly, I think, suggests a Creator who is the source of complexity and the ability to experience beauty and awe.

Second: Hope.
Today I learned that Gwynne Dyer is touring the universities of Atlantic Canada warning that unless we turn to nuclear power in a very big way and make other deep changes, the environment will collapse. Our children and grandchildren will reap the whirlwind.

One-way or another, the world will devour our race. If not through our unfortunate handling of the environment, then through some combination of war, natural death, pandemic or asteroid collision. It seems that there ultimately is no hope. We're trapped in a universe that really doesn't care we're here. Actually, it doesn't know. So, give up hope, all ye who enter here. Unless there is a God who is not absent from the past, present and future.

Third: Justice.
There's a lot of injustice in the world. Kids born with fetal alcohol syndrome. Others abducted to become child soldiers. Some people wrongly convicted of crimes, and unlike Steven Truscott, never cleared. Some languish, Guantanamo Bay, and others are burned to death by suicide bombers. What recourse are there for those whose lives have been destroyed beyond our abilities to make restitution? Is there no restoration anymore, no possibility of life, for those millions who lived and died in misery? No, not without God. But with God there is a possibility for justice, beyond death.

As I suggested, these are but three clues. But I think they are worth pursuing.

Michael Veenema was a chaplain at the college for nine years and now lives near Halifax, Nova Scotia.
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