09232015InvestigatingAndDefendingTheGospels#3DonRuhl


Investigating and Defending the Gospels #3 

Using Circumstantial Evidence 

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • August 19, In the year of our Lord, 2015

Prelude

  1. Two Kinds of Evidence: 
    1. Direct
      1. Proves something by itself
      2. Witnesses
    2. Circumstantial (Indirect)
      1. By itself does not prove anything.
      2. Joined with other pieces of evidence points to a particular conclusion.

Persuasion

  1. The Universe Had a Beginning 
    1. Even atheists acknowledge this truth.
    2. However, what triggered it?
      1. Whatever caused it,
      2. set in motion an amazing chain of events!
        1. Do you realize how many things fell into place
        2. from that beginning to enable you to be present today?
    3. Is it feasible that the universe could have caused itself to be?
      1. Have we documented anything that caused itself to come into existence?
      2. Truly, an uncaused first cause has to exist.
        1. Do you understand the awesome power that it must have had?
        2. If at one time, nothing existed,
          1. why are we even here now?
          2. “Why is there something rather than nothing?” (Gottfried Leibniz).
    4. Is the following reasonable?
      1. Anything that exists had a cause.
      2. The universe exists.
      3. Therefore, the universe had a cause.
        1. The cause had to be greater than the universe,
        2. making the cause eternal and uncaused.
          1. God is the most reasonable explanation
          2. as the uncaused first cause.
  2. The Universe Has the Appearance of Design 
    1. That design: To support life
    2. The universe, especially Earth, shows design for supporting life.
    3. Can you name some?
    4. How could the universe, especially Earth,
      1. accidentally bring so many forces together,
      2. working harmoniously to support life?
        1. Is it possible? Yes.
        2. Is it reasonable? No.
    5. Truly,

      15 May you be blessed by the Lord,
      Who made heaven and earth.
      (Psa 115.15)
    6. Remember The Anthropic Principle.
  3. The Universe Has Life 
    1. Does the human body exhibit design?
      1. Think of the body’s numerous systems and
      2. that they all work together to give us life.
        1. We have invented robots that can
          1. stand,
          2. walk,
          3. run,
          4. jump, and even
          5. ride a bicycle.
        2. Can we say that intelligence made such robots?
          1. Does the human body, or any living specimen, surpass
          2. the ability of modern robots?
        3. See Psalm 139.13–16.
    2. What is DNA?
      1. It carries all the genetic information your body needs to make you.
      2. Is it possible to have
        1. a self-replicating information system
        2. without an intelligence that designed it?
  4. The Universe Has Objective Morality 
    1. Can we say that law is greater than any one person?
    2. What is that law?
      1. From where did it come?
      2. If God does not exist, who came up with this law?
        1. Under what law were—and sometimes still are—Nazis prosecuted?
        2. Someone might say, “International Law.”
          1. But from where did we get International Law?
          2. Eventually we come down to belief in God.
    3. If evolution is true,
      1. what determines what we do and don’t do?
      2. It is nothing more than chemical processes.
        1. This destroys free will.
        2. It also destroys accountability.
          1. Some have come up with an evolutionary basis for rape.
          2. Think about it:
            1. atheism and evolution have taken over society.
            2. Society is getting more into the treatment of criminals
              1. rather than repentance.
              2. Why is that?

Conclusion

  1. We cannot really say that one argument makes the point, but 
    1. we put them all together and
    2. they all point to the existence of a power and intelligence
      1. that supersedes the universe, and
      2. who created the universe.
  2. This is circumstantial evidence, 
    1. which can be stronger than direct evidence, or witnesses.
    2. Peter makes this argument in Second Peter 1.16–21.
      1. See the marginal note on verse 19 of the NKJV.
      2. Why is it that the word of prophecy is more sure than seeing?