Can a Rational Person Believe in God?

By: Molly Maxwell

I can’t remember a time in my life that I wasn’t wondering about most everything. What are stars made of? How many different dinosaur species were there? What are atoms and why do they matter? (was that pun intended?) What is light? The answers to these questions satisfied a deep craving for knowledge and truth that I had from a young age. Discovering scientific realities invigorated me and stimulated new inquiries.

As time went on though, I began to ask different kinds of questions. Why are we here? Where did we come from? Is there a God? What can we know about God?

I decided that I would not blindly align my convictions regarding reality and the nature of human existence to a position that could not hold up to scientific and rational scrutiny. Thus, began my investigation of spirituality. I studied other worldviews and read books discussing the evidence for the existence of God and the validity of the Bible. What I found was that there were reasonable and compelling answers to my questions.

I cannot retrace every line of evidence here, but I will briefly introduce two. First, consider the Bible’s claim that the universe sprang forth as a creative act of God. In short, the universe had a beginning. This belief was held by the ancient Jews long before empirical evidence could be used to support it. Up until the 20th century, most scientists believed that the universe had always existed. However, the laws of thermodynamics, cosmic background radiation, Hubble’s discovery of an expanding universe, etc. convinced scientists that the universe certainly had a space-time beginning at the Big Bang. The Bible’s claim of a historical creation event was empirically validated.

For scientists, this brought more questions than answers. If space, time, matter and energy sprang into existence at the Big Bang, they could not be causal factors for its occurrence. How then could its cause be understood? Certainly not by the physical laws that didn’t exist before space-time began. The question that we are forced to answer is this: is it more reasonable to believe that something created something or that nothing created something?

Though such reasoning doesn’t prove God’s existence, it demonstrates that it is not unreasonable to conclude that something created everything. Though this conclusion doesn’t necessitate belief in the Christian God, it is compelling that the Bible described creation as ex-nihilo (out of nothing) long before anyone else.

Secondly, history affirms the validity of the Bible through the fulfillment of countless biblical prophecies. The Bible records predictions concerning the nation of Israel, historical figures such as Alexander the Great, and the life and death of Jesus Christ. Carbon dating has demonstrated that these predictions were written long before they were fulfilled, meaning they weren’t written in after the fact. Many of them are incredibly specific, and their content can be understood by the average reader.

These lines of evidence, along with countless others, persuaded me that belief in the Christian God is a reasonable conclusion to my rational inquiry.

The best news of the Bible is that this God does not require strict adherence to a set of guidelines to please him. Rather He longs to be in a personal relationship with each person that can be started by simply acknowledging your need and asking for His gift of forgiveness. This God does not ask for blind faith, but has provided evidence that points to his existence and his desire to communicate with humanity.

My call to you, reader, is to ask questions and seek answers. Don’t settle for a worldview, religious or non-religious, simply because it makes you comfortable, or because it’s easier to ignore big questions than ask them. Be sure you have a solid basis for what you believe, one that can stand up to intellectual scrutiny.

If you’re interested in other materials, some books that were influential to me were The Case for a Creator and The Case for Christ. These provide a compelling case for the existence of a God and the truth of Jesus Christ’s claims.

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