THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
The fact of God's existence is both the scriptural and the logical starting-point for a systematic study of Bible doctrine. It is the scriptural starting-point because the first verse in the Bible apprises us of it. It is the logical starting-point because the fact of God's existence underlies all other Bible doctrines. Without the existence of God all other Bible doctrines would be meaningless.
John Gill, in his "Body of Divinity," (p. 1) remarks very appropriately: "I shall begin with the Being of God and proof and evidence of it; which is the foundation of all religion; for if there is no God, religion is a vain thing; and it matters not what we believe, nor what we do; since there is no superior Being to whom we are accountable for either faith or practice." In commenting on the first verse of Genesis, Prof. Herbert W. Morris, in "Science and the Bible," (p. 25) says: "Thus opens the Book of God with the announcement of a truth which no process of reasoning could have reached, and a declaration of fact which no philosophy could ever have unveiled. Nothing can exceed the grandeur of the thought, nothing surpass the appropriateness of the words, as an introduction to the sacred volume. Looking back across the wide waste of all the ages past, this sentence of divine sublimity, like a magic ARCHWAY, stands at the closing bounds of eternity past-beyond it are the silence and darkness of eternal night; out of it issue the periods, and scenes, and events of time."
1. THE EXISTENCE OF GOD IS ASSUMED IN THE BIBLE.
The Bible begins by assuming and declaring the existence of God, without undertaking to prove it. This is a noteworthy fact. Commenting on this fact, J. M. Pendleton, in "Christian Doctrines," says: "Moses, under divine inspiration, had, no doubt, the best of reasons for the course he adopted."
1. ISRAEL, FOR WHOSE BENEFIT MOSES WROTE PRIMARILY, ALREADY BELIEVED IN GOD.
2. THE EVIDENCES OF GOD'S EXISTENCE ARE APPARENT AND FORCEFUL
Thus it was unnecessary, even for the human race as a whole, that a practical discourse should deal with the evidences of God's existence. But our study is theological as well as practical; hence it is in place for us to note these apparent and forceful evidences.
"Some, because the being of God is a first principle, which is not to be disputed; and because there is one self-evident proposition not to be disproved; have thought that it should not be admitted as a matter of debate; but since such is the malice of Satan as to suggest the contrary to the minds of men; and such the weakness of some good men as to be harassed and distressed with doubts about it at times; it cannot be improper to endeavor to fortify our minds with reasons and arguments against such suggestions" (Gill Body of Divinity, p. 1).
These evidences come to us from-
(1) Inanimate Creation.
George McCready Price, author of "Fundamentals of Geology" and other scientific books, says: "The facts of radioactivity very positively forbid the past eternity of matter. Hence the conclusion is syllogistic: matter must have originated at some time in the past . . ." (Q. E. D., p. 30). Prof. Edward Clodd says that "everything points to a finite duration of the present creation" (Story of Creation, p. 137). "That the present form of the universe is not eternal in the past, but has begun to be, not only personal observation but the testimony of geology assures us" (Strong, Systematic Theology, p. 40).
Prof. Price says: "There is no ambiguity of evidence. So far as modern science can throw light on the question, there must have been a real creation of the materials of which our world is composed, a creation wholly different, both in kind and in degree, from any process now going on" (Q. E. D., p. 25). The origin of things cannot be accounted for on a naturalistic basis. Seeking to do this, Darwin was made to say: "I am in a hopeless muddle." It would be just as sensible to believe that books are written by forces resident in the alphabet and by the operation of the laws of spelling and grammar as to believe that the universe was created by forces resident in matter and the operation of natural law. "Thus the investigations of modem science, at whatever point of the horizon commenced, converge and unite in the grand and fundamental truth, that 'IN THE BEGINNING GOD CREATED THE HEAVEN AND THE EARTH'" (Herbert W. Morris, Science and the Bible, P. 30).
"Every thoughtful person believes in a series of causes and effects in nature, each effect becoming the cause of some other effect. Now, the acceptance of this as a fact logically compels one to admit that there must be a beginning to any series, that is, there could never have been a first effect if there had not been a first Cause. This First Cause to me is Deity, and because I cannot tell where the First Cause came from is not satisfactory reason for denying that He exists, else I might as well deny the existence of the millionth effect, which, for the sake of argument, might happen to be this world. You see, if I admit one cause as ever having existed, I am bound eventually by induction to arrive at the first cause" (R. A. L., in a tract, "The Reason Why," Loizeaux Brothers, Publishers).
A. Living Matter cannot Spring from the Non-Living.
Writing in the London Times, Lord Kelvin said: "Forty years ago I asked Leibig, walking somewhere in the country, if he believed that the grass and flowers which we saw around us grew by mere chemical forces. He answered, 'No more than I could believe that a book on botany describing them could grow by mere chemical forces." In an address before the Royal Institute of London, Tyndall candidly stated the results of eight months of laborious experiments as follows. "From the beginning to the end of the enquiry, there is not, as you have seen, a shadow of evidence in favor of the doctrine of spontaneous generation . . . In the lowest, as in the highest of organized creatures, the method of nature is, that life shall be the issue of antecedent life." Prof. Conn says: "There is not the slightest evidence that living matter could arise from non living matter. Spontaneous generation is universally given up" (Evolution of Today, p. 26). And Mr. Huxley was forced to admit: "The doctrine that life can come only from life is victorious all along the line" (The Other Side of Evolution, p. 25).
B. Since Matter is not Eternal Physical Life, which Involves Living Matter, cannot be Eternal.
The fact that matter is not eternal forbids the supposition that physical life is the result of an infinite series of begettings. And since, as we have seen, living matter cannot spring from the non-living, we are forced to accept the fact of a personal, non-material Creator. That this is a fact that even the theory of evolution cannot properly eliminate was frankly stated by such a thorough-going evolutionist as Professor Drummond, who said: "Instead of abolishing a Creative Hand, evolution demands it. Instead of being opposed to Creation, all theories begin by assuming it" (The Ascent of Man).
(3) Order, Design, and Adaptation in the Universe.
We behold marvelous order in the planetary system, where we find "not the disconnected and jarring results of chance," under which there would have been at least "a thousand chances against conveniency and safety for one in their favor;" but instead "we find the system as it exists free from all these dangers and inconveniences," with all "the planets moving in orbits that ensure perfect safety to all and the highest advantages to each." This has been brought about by "the most uniform and the most mathematically exact adjustment of number, weight, and measure in every part, exhibiting the most convincing evidence that the whole is the work of one Omnipotent and All-comprehending Mind" (Morris, Science and the Bible, pp. 309, 312).
The full import of the foregoing can be appreciated only when we take into consideration the mutual attraction of all the planets and their satellites, by which equatorial planes are shifted, north poles are made to wander, axes rotated, orbital speeds altered, and planets are pulled out of the smooth ellipse they would otherwise follow. Our solar system is so arranged that these perturbations are oscillatory or cyclical. "Now all this, as Laplace and Lagrange have demonstrated, is secured by three specific and distinct adjustments, namely, the motions of the planets being in the same direction their orbits being of small eccentricity, and those orbits being slightly inclined to each other" (Morris, Science and the Bible, p. 317). To these may be added three other adjustments, namely, the vastly superior gravitational force of the sun, the great distances between the planets, and the fact that no two planets come into opposition (form a line with the sun on the same side of the sun) at the same places in their orbits each time. "We thus see that the ecliptic is constantly modifying its elliptical shape; that the orbit of the earth oscillates upward and downward; that the north pole steadily turns its long index-finger over a dial that marks 26,000 years; that the earth, accurately poised in space, gently nods and bows to the attraction of sun, moon, and planets. Thus changes are taking place that would ultimately entirely reverse the order of nature. But each of these variations has its bounds beyond which it cannot pass" (Steele, New Descriptive Astronomy,. p. 112). "Who can contemplate this proof of the beauty and perfection of the planetary system, and not bow in reverence and adoration before the Omniscient Architect of the heavens, saying, 'Great and marvelous art thy works, Lord God Almighty; thou art wonderful in counsel and excellent in working'" (Morris, ibid, p. 317).
We see wonderful design in that the earth has been placed just the right distance from the sun to receive, under all the circumstances that prevail, the benign benefit of its life-giving rays and yet not be scorched by its unimaginable heat.
This advantageous distance of the earth from the sun is seen to be exceedingly remarkable when we reflect upon the fact that it is maintained because it is here that the attractive force of gravity is exactly equalized by the antagonistic force of the earth's centrifugal impulse. The attractive force of gravity between the earth and the sun is dependent upon the sizes and densities (which determine the "masses") of both the earth and the sun, together with the distance between the earth and the sun. The centrifugal force of the earth is dependent upon the earth's mass, its velocity of movement in revolving around the sun, and its distance from the sun. Change the mass of either the earth or the sun materially, or change the velocity of the earth materially, and the distance of the earth from the sun would be materially altered automatically. "The distance of a planet from the sun, other things being equal, determines the amount of light and heat. If, therefore, the earth with its occupants, as now constituted, were placed much nearer the sun, or much farther from him, the change would be attended with fatal consequences. Were it transferred, for example, to move in the orbit of Mercury, our light and heat would be increased seven-fold, and the dazzling splendor of the sun would extinguish our vision, and the intensity of his beams would speedily dry up all the fluids in our bodies. On the other hand, were the earth driven away to revolve in the distant orbit of Saturn, our light and heat would be only one-ninetieth part of what we now enjoy, and the feeble and scattered rays of the sun would scarcely enable us to distinguish him from a star; nay, ere we could cast about to make such an observation, the immeasurable cold would transform us into a rock of ice. We see, then, that our globe might have moved at a hundred different distances too near the sun, and at a thousand other distances all too far from him, to be a suitable abode for its present inhabitants. But we find it placed in an orbit where the temperature is exactly adapted to the bodily constitution, and the degree of light precisely suits the visual organs, of its living tenants. To whom, then, are we to ascribe this striking coincidence, this happy and universal adaptation? To chance? or to the foresight of the Infinite Mind?" (Morris, Science and the Bible, p. 282).
We observe amazing adaptation in the fitness of the things that have been provided for man. Take the air we breathe as only one of the myriad examples. The atmosphere is composed of approximately twenty-one parts of oxygen and seventy-eight parts of nitrogen. (The other one part is made up of carbon dioxide, hydrogen, argon, helium, neon, krypton, and xenon, mixed with a variable quantity of water-vapor, dust, and organic matter.) These proportions of oxygen and nitrogen are exactly those which are best suited to man's needs. If the quantity of nitrogen were appreciably increased, all the functions of the human body would be performed with such difficulty and pain as to be brought eventually to a standstill. If the proportion of oxygen were considerably increased, all the processes of life would be accelerated to such a feverish pace that the bodies of all men and animals would soon be burned up. Certain other proportions of these gases would be transformed by heat into deadly poisons. In fact, out of a hundred possible proportions of oxygen and nitrogen, we have the only one perfectly adapted to the needs of both man and beast.
It is not amiss to note further the provisions that have been made for maintaining these proportions, under ordinary circumstances, without noticeable variation. When men and animals breathe they take much of the oxygen out of the air and give back the nitrogen. Furthermore the small amount of oxygen that is exhaled by men and animals is combined with carbon to form carbon dioxide, which is unfit for breathing. Much carbon dioxide is also poured into the air by the processes of combustion and decay. But the balance is maintained. Nitrogen is lighter than air. Consequently, when it is exhaled, it rises; never to return until it is once more mixed with the proper proportion of oxygen. Carbon dioxide is heavier than air, and therefore settles so as to become available for vegetation; which takes out the carbon to sustain its growth and returns most of the oxygen to the air. Also plant leaves, under the influence of sunlight, give off an extra supply of oxygen. Thus, by a nicely adjusted system of compensation, the air we breathe is kept suitable to sustain life. There is no natural explanation of this, since nitrogen and oxygen in the atmosphere do not enter into a compound but remain free.
All of this evidences an intelligent Creator. It is sufficient to convince all except those who are willfully blind. One might as well believe that it is only by accident that rivers in civilized countries always run by towns and cities as to believe that the universal order, design, and adaptation manifest in the universe are the products of a fortuitous concourse of atoms.
(4) The Human Conscience.
For practical purposes, conscience may he defined as man's power or facility of approving or condemning his actions on a moral basis. The Apostle Paul, one of the greatest scholars of his day, affirmed that the heathen who had not heard of God or His law showed "the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness therewith, and their thoughts one with another accusing or else excusing them" (Rom. 2:15). Paul thus affirmed that men who had not been taught an authoritative moral standard had a consciousness of right and wrong. Scholars of this day tell us that the most benighted peoples of the earth have conscience.
It cannot be said, therefore, that man has conscience because of the moral teachings he has received. It cannot be doubted that moral instruction sharpens conscience and makes its compunctions more pungent. But the presence of conscience in the untaught heathen shows that moral education does not produce conscience.
Conscience, then, apprises us of the existence of law. The existence of law implies the existence of a lawgiver. Hence the human conscience attests the fact of God's existence.
The reference here is not to the testimony of the Bible concerning the existence of God. It is illogical to give Bible authority as proof of God's existence, for Bible authority implies God's existence. Such a course amounts to begging the question. But the reference is to-
A. The Nature of the Contents of the Bible.
It has been well said that the Bible is such a book that man could not have written it if he would and would not have written it if he could. It reveals truths that man, left to himself, could never have discovered. A fuller discussion of this fact will come in the next chapter. And if man could, why should he write a book that condemns him as a sinful, failing, rebellious creature, deserving the wrath of God? Is it like human nature thus to condemn itself?
The detailed fulfillment of scores of Old Testament prophecies is recorded in the New Testament, which bears the internal evidence of a reliable history. The fulfillment of prophecy evidences a supreme being that inspired the prophecy.
C. The Life of Jesus.
Accepting the testimony of the gospels as possessing the credentials of a reliable history, we see in Jesus a unique life. Neither heredity nor environment, the only two natural forces in the formation of character, can account for His life. Thus we have evidence of a divine being who indwelt Jesus.
D. The Resurrection of Jesus.
Proof of the resurrection of Jesus: After hearing a conversation on a railroad train between two men who were discussing the possibility of being deceived about the resurrection of Jesus, W. E. Fendley, a lawyer of Mississippi, wrote an article that was published in the Western Recorder of December 9, 1920. He approached the matter as a lawyer, and he gave the three following reasons for denying the plausibility of the suggestion that the body of Jesus was stolen: (1) "It was not a good time for stealing the body." The fact that three Jewish feasts came at the time of the crucifixion makes it certain that the streets of Jerusalem would be full of people. For that reason, Mr. Fendley says that it was not a good time for stealing the body. (2) "There were five penalties of death attached to the stealing of the body, and not one of those penalties was imposed or carried out." The penalties are given as being: first, for allowing the seal to be broken; second, for breaking the seal; third, for stealing the body; fourth, for allowing the body to be stolen; fifth, for going to sleep on duty. (3) "I deny the allegation again on the ground of premeditated and unpremeditated testimony." And then he shows how the soldiers came from the sepulchre and told that an angel had driven them away from the tomb; and that, when bribed by the Pharisees, they told that the body of Jesus was stolen while they slept.
(1) "They must believe that sixty-four Roman soldiers, under the penalty of death, all slept at once." (2) "They must accept the testimony of sleepers." (3) "They must believe that the disciples who were so afraid, all at once became tremendously bold." (4) "Again they must believe the thieves took plenty of time to fold up the grave clothes, and place them neatly to one side." (5) "They must also believe that those disciples would risk their lives for a dead imposter, when they would not for a living Saviour."
This is given as the third reason that justifies the course pursued by Moses in assuming and declaring the fact of God's existence without offering any proofs. It may also be taken as further evidence of God's existence. The few that deny God's existence are insignificant. "The lowest tribes have conscience, fear death, believe in witches, propitiate or frighten away evil fates. Even the fetish-worshipper, who calls a stone or a tree a god, shows that he has already the idea of God" (Strong, Systematic Theology( p. 31). "The existence of God and future life are everywhere recognized in Africa" (Livingstone). The great Plutarch summed it all up in the following famous quotation from him: "If you go over the earth, you may find cities without walls, letters, kings, houses, wealth, and money, devoid of theatres and schools; but a city without temples and gods, and where is no use of prayers, oaths, and oracles, nor sacrifices to obtain good or avert evil, no man ever saw." Cicero says quite truly: "The consent of all nations in anything is to be reckoned the law of nature," and he refers to notions about God as implanted and innate.
Men instinctively feel the existence of God. Why, then, do some deny it? Is it because of lack of evidence? No; it is only that this feeling is not pleasing to them. It disturbs them in their sinful course. Therefore they conjure up arguments to erase the thought of God from their minds. Every atheist and agnostic labors mainly to convince himself. When he presents his arguments to others it is partly through a desire to test them and partly in self defense. It is never through a feeling that his views can be of any help to others.
An atheist is a man who, through love of sin, has tampered with his mind and has brought it into a state of war with his heart, wherein the mind attacks the heart and tries to wrest the feeling of God from it. The heart counterattacks the mind and seeks to compel the mind to retain the thought of God. In this warfare the mind, therefore, is constantly looking for arguments to use as ammunition. As it finds these arguments, it fires them at the heart with the loudest possible report. This is why an atheist likes to expose his thinking. He is at war with himself and it gives him confidence when he hears his guns exploding.
There is much evidence that the mind of the atheist is never fully victorious over his heart. "The number of real speculative atheists have been very few, if any; some have boldly asserted their disbelief of a God; but it is a question whether their hearts and mouths have agreed; at least they have not been able to maintain their unbelief long without some doubts and fears" (Gill Body of Divinity, p. 3). Shelley, who was expelled from Oxford for writing a pamphlet on the "Necessity of Atheism," delighted in thinking of a "fine intellectual spirit pervading the universe." Voltaire is said to have prayed in an Alpine thunderstorm, and, when dying, said, "O God-if there be a God-have mercy on me?" Therefore we conclude with Calvin: "Those who rightly judge will always agree that there is an indelible sense of divinity engraven upon men's minds." There is no rational explanation of this "law of nature" except on the hypothesis that God exists.
Before passing it is deemed well to note the sources of this almost universal belief in the existence of God. There are two sources of this belief; viz.,
Chronologically, our belief in God comes from tradition. We receive our first ideas of God from our parents. No doubt this has been true of each successive generation from the beginning. But tradition is insufficient to account for the almost universal acceptance of the fact of God's existence. The fact that only a few ever disavow this acceptance (it is doubtful that any ever fully reject it) shows that there is an inner confirmation of the traditional belief in God's existence. This points us to the second source of this belief, which is-
Logically, our belief in God comes from intuition. Intuition is the immediate perception of truth without a conscious process of reasoning. A fact or truth so perceived is called an intuition. Intuitions are "first truths," without which all reflective thought would be impossible. Our minds are so constituted as to evolve these "first truths" as soon as proper occasions are presented.
A. Proof that the Almost Universal Belief in God Proceeds Logically from Intuition and not from Reasoning.
(a) The great majority of men have never tried to reason out the fact of God's existence, and are not capable of such reasoning as would serve to strengthen their belief in God's existence.
(b) The strength of men's belief in God's existence does not exist in proportion to the development of the reasoning faculty, as would be the case if that belief were primarily the result of reasoning.
(c) Reason cannot fully demonstrate the fact of God's existence. In all our reasoning about God's existence we must begin with intuitive assumptions that we cannot demonstrate. Thus when men accept the fact of God's existence, they accept more than strict reason would lead them to accept.
B. The Existence of God as a "First Truth."
(a) Definition. "A first truth is a knowledge which, though developed on occasion of observation and reflection, is not derived from observation and reflection,- a knowledge on the contrary which has such logical priority that it must be assumed or supposed. Such truths are not, therefore, recognized first in order of time; some of them are assented to somewhat late in the mind's growth; by the great majority of men they are never consciously formulated at all. Yet they constitute the necessary assumptions upon which all other knowledge rests, and the mind has not only the inborn capacity to evolve them so soon as the proper occasions are presented, but the recognition of them is inevitable so soon as the mind begins to give account to itself of its own knowledge (Strong, Systematic Theology, p. 30).
(b) Proof. "The processes of reflective thought imply that the universe is grounded in, and is the expression of, reason" (Harris, Philosophic Basis of Theism). "Induction rests upon the assumption, as it demands for its ground, that a personal, thinking deity exists . . . It has no meaning or validity unless we assume that the universe is constituted in such a way as to presuppose an absolute and unconditional originator of its forces and laws . . . We analyze the several processes of knowledge into their underlying assumptions, and we find that the assumption which underlies them all is that of a self-existent intelligence" (Porter, Human Intellect). "Reason thinks of God as existing. Reason would not be reason, if it did not think of God as existing (Domer, Glaubenslehre). It is for this reason that God has said in His word: "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God" (Psa. 14:1). Only a fool will deny God's existence. Some such fools are illiterate; some are educated. But they are fools nevertheless, because they have not or, at least will not acknowledge, even the beginning of wisdom, the fear of the Lord. See Prov. 1:7.
1. GOD'S EXISTENCE NOT DEMONSTRABLE MATHEMATICALLY
In regard to all the arguments for the fact of God's existence Strong says: "These arguments are probable, not demonstrative (Systematic Theology, p. 39). We read again: "Nor have I claimed that the existence, even, of this Being can be demonstrated as we demonstrate the abstract truths of science" (Diman, Theistic Argument, p. 363). Strong quotes Andrew Fuller as questioning "whether argumentations in favor of the existence of God has not made more skeptics than believers;" and then adds: "So far as this is true, it is due to an overstatement of the arguments and an exaggerated notion of what is to be expected from them" (Systematic Theology, p. 40).
2. GOD'S EXISTENCE YET MORE CERTAIN THAN ANY CONCLUSION FROM REASON
Let the student read over again the quotations given to show that the existence of God is a "first truth," a truth that is assumed by all in the process of reason. "He who denies God's existence must tacitly assume that existence in his very argument, by employing logical processes whose validity rests upon the fact of God's existence" (Strong, Systematic Theology, p. 33). It is an axiomatic truth that that which is the foundation of all reason is more certain than any conclusion from reason. "We cannot prove that God is, but we can show that, in order to the existence of any knowledge, thought, reason, in man, man must assume that God is" (Strong, Systematic Theology, p. 34).
Descartes, (1596-1650) who distinguished himself in physics and revolutionized the study of geometry and philosophy, perhaps has never been excelled in stating the case for the existence of God. In his Discourse on Method he wrote as follows: "Finally, if there still be persons who are not sufficiently persuaded of the existence of God and of the soul, by the reasons I have adduced, I am desirous that they should know that all the other propositions, of the truth of which they deem themselves perhaps more assured, as that we have a body, and that there exist stars and an earth, and such like, are less certain; for, though we have a moral assurance of these things, which is so strong that there is an appearance of extravagance in doubting of their existence, yet at the same time no one, unless his intellect is impaired, can deny, when the question relates to a metaphysical certitude, that there is sufficient reason to exclude entire assurance, in the observation that when asleep we can in the same way imagine ourselves possessed of another body and that we see other stars and another earth, when there is nothing of the kind. For how do we know that the thoughts which occur in dreaming are false rather than those other which we experience when awake, since the former are often not less vivid and distinct than the latter? And though men of the higher genius study this question as long as they please, I do not believe that they will be able to give any reason which can be sufficient to remove this doubt, unless they presuppose the existence of God. For, in the first place, even the principle which I have already taken as a rule, viz., that all things which we clearly and distinctly conceive are true, is certain only because God is or exists, and because he is a Perfect Being, and because all that we possess is derived from him; whence it follows that our ideas or notions, which to the extent of their clearness and distinctness are real, and proceed from God, must to that extent be true. . . .But if we did not know that all which we possess of real and true proceeds from a perfect and infinite being, however clear and distinct our ideas might be, we should have no ground on that account for the assurance that they possessed the perfection of being true."
"The most unreasonable people in the world are those who depend solely upon reason, in the narrow sense" Strong). "Belief in God is not the conclusion of a demonstration, but the solution of a problem" (Strong); and that problem is the problem of the origin of the universe. "The universe, as a great fact, demands a rational explanation, and . . . the most rational explanation that can possibly be given is that furnished in the conception of such a Being (as God). In this conclusion reason rests, and refuses to rest in any other" (Diman, Theistic Argument). "We arrive at a scientific belief in the existence of God just as we do at any other possible human truth. We assume it, as a hypothesis absolutely necessary to account for the phenomena of the universe; and then evidence from every quarter begins to converge upon it, until, in the process of time, the common sense of mankind cultivated and enlightened by ever accumulating knowledge, pronounces upon the validity of the hypothesis with a voice scarcely less decided and universal than it does in the case of our highest scientific convictions" (Morell, Philosophic Fragments). Therefore, we may say; "God is the most certain fact of objective knowledge" (Browne, Metaphysics).
111. THE EXISTENCE OF GOD, THEREFORE, MAY BE TAKEN FOR GRANTED AND BOLDLY PROCLAIMED.
The foregoing facts should make the preacher bold in his proclamation of the fact of God's existence, fearing not to proclaim it confidently to the worldly-wise. We are on safe ground in proclaiming this truth. No man can successfully gainsay our message. There are times, perhaps, when the preacher in the pulpit should discuss the evidences of God's existence; yet, as a usual thing, he should assume it and declare it as Moses did. And when he does deal with the evidences of God's existence, let him not overstate them so as to leave the impression that the validity of the fact of God's existence depends upon a strict rational demonstration.