I am posting a study guide for Tim Keller’s The Reason for God that I created to lead my small group through. I hope it is a blessing.
Reason For God Chapter 8
The Clues of God.
- What was your favorite part of this chapter?
- What made you struggle in this chapter?
- What did you learn about God in this chapter?
- What did you learn about yourself in this chapter?
- Great question by Jean-Paul Sarte – what is the point of existence?
- How do you believe in God? There can be no strong rationalism proof of God. Instead what we have are clues that point to God. Individually they do not prove God but taken together there is strong evidence for God.
The Mysterious Bang.
- Why is there something rather than nothing?
- There is evidence that the universe is expanding explosively and outwardly from a single point.
- Francis Collins: The very fact that the universe had a beginning means that someone was able to begin it. And it seems to me that had to be outside of nature.
The Cosmic Welcome Mat.
- 15 main universal constants that have precise values. They are fine tuned for the world to exist as it is.
- If the world was different at all, there would be no life on planet Earth.
- Steven Hawking: The odds against a universe like ours emerging out of something like the Big Bang are enormous. I think there are clearly religious implications.
- Although organic life could have just happened without a creator, does it make sense to live as if that infinitely remote chance is true?
The Regularity of Nature
- Why does the world stay the same? There is no reason for this.
- Science cannot prove why the rules that we observe around us continue. It must take it in faith that they will. (Mike: in fact it is faith that we believe everything will stay the same in the very next minute. The miraculous actually may be more normal than everything staying the same.)
The Clue of Beauty
- Why does art move us? Why does music move something within us? Why does something ring true when we hear or see great Art or music?
- If there is not God then the only reason you think something is beautiful is because there is something in your past evolving that associated good things for humans when it was present.
- However when we see beauty that has nothing to do with survival instincts and are moved we realize that something out there must define what is beautiful and we resonate with it when we perceive it.
- We have deep longings for beauty, love, joy that can’t be fulfilled by food, sex friendship, or success. These longings within us point to a creator.
The Clue Killer
- Influential school of thought that claims to have answers to the clues: this is the school of Evolutionary Biology.
- Evolutionary Biology believes that everything can be explained by a function of natural selection.
- Basically everything that we value and love and desire is because it was coded in us to be able to survive. This coding was passed down to us by our ancestors.
- This is why we believe in God. Belief in God made our ancestors happier and more unselfish which made their tribes succeed.
- Big admission by Richard Dawkins: since we are the product of natural selection, we cant completely trust our own senses. After all, evolution is interested only in preserving adaptive behavior, not true belief.
- IN other words: Paranoid false beliefs are often more effective at helping you survive than accurate ones.
- Evolution only gives us things that we can survive, but not true ideas.
- Doesn’t this mean then by Evolutionists own admission that you cant trust what they say?
- They cant have it both ways, to think that they can determine what is true about the world but say that religious people cant figure out religion because it is only something programmed into our DNA.
The Clue Killer Is Really a Clue
- Because we can trust our ability to reason and interpret the world we can believe that there is a God. We can read the other clues and come to a belief in God.
- If you don’t believe in God, the clues of God are inexplicable and troubling.
- The theory that there is a God who created the world makes more sense than the theory that the world has occurred by natural selection and chance.
Beyond the Clues
- He will demonstrate in the next chapter that you already know that God exists.
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