Christians believe that God is the most powerful being imaginable, and yet we can’t see him, and many people say there is nothing tangible to show he’s there at all.
But has God left any clues for us to read?
Leave presuppositions behind
Some people start with their presupposition of how God (if he exists) “ought” to behave. And so they argue that if God exists, then he “should” have left more evidence. But starting with presuppositions is not usually helpful. Better is to start with facts and see how they can be interpreted.
The fact is that God isn’t obvious to most people; he seems to be playing hard to get. So let’s accept that and look at the evidence and see how strong it is. (Why God hasn’t made himself so obvious to our senses is the subject for another day.)
And the evidence seems to me to be in the form of clues.
Clues? What clues?
I think we can see God’s footprint in the universe and his fingerprints in us humans. (That’s pretty much what this website and blog are all about.)
The universe and God
Astronomy and cosmology have made enormous progress in the last century and scientists have discovered a lot about the universe we live in. We know how old the universe is, how it is expanding and how delicately balanced is the physics of our universe – if things were a little different, we wouldn’t be here, and probably neither would the universe.
But we don’t know how the universe started, how it got here, nor how it came to be so finely balanced and “tuned” for life. If God exists, this could explain all this. Is this a clue to God? Check it out at The universe and God.
Life on earth
The earth is just one of many planets, but it is just right for life to evolve. Is this unusual, and does it tell us anything for or against the existence of God?
It seems that the earth may be unusual, possibly quite rare in the universe, though there is no agreement on this. But this is not really inexplicable like the “fine-tuning” of the universe is. In fact, as we all know, the evolution of life on earth is seen by many as a negative for belief in God.
Check out an assessment of the implications of evolution and DNA for belief in God at Life on earth
The human race
After more than 2.5 billion years, life has evolved to produce the human race, the most intelligent (allegedly!) and adept of all species. We think, we feel emotions, we love, we are conscious of ourselves, we make choices, we have ethical values and we value human rights.
But we don’t always stop and wonder how this happened. For if biological evolution alone brought us here, why would we be any different to animals, why would life be valuable? If this was so, would we be conscious, would we have the ability to choose, would anything be really right or wrong?
But if God worked through evolution to produce us, this might explain all these characteristics of human life. Could the human race be further clues to God?
Human experience of God
Some people say God has spoken to them, healed them, appeared in a vision or guided them. Can we believe any of this?
Most of the reports are impossible to verify, and doubtless some are urban myths. But some have been investigated and in many cases the reports elude natural explanations. Something appears to be going on. Do we see more clues to God in people’s experiences?
God’s experience of being human
God may have left us with only subtle clues, but christians believe he showed himself in a very tangible way in the person of Jesus. This belief raises significant questions, which I address in Jesus – image of God?
Truth and evidence
What would constitute good evidence for God anyway, and how can we stay open to whatever the truth may be? Think about these foundational questions in Truth and evidence.
Reasons to disbelieve in God
Atheists point to the evil and suffering in the world, especially that caused by religion, and argue that this shows there’s no God at all. These too are clues we need to consider, which I do in Reasons to disbelieve in God.
One clue to the truth of an idea is how it works out in practice. In Road tests I look at these two conflicting views of life – theism and atheism – to see how they compare.
Philosophers have taken some of these facts about the universe and developed the classical philosophical arguments about God. I’ve tried to find the best forms of some of these arguments in Philosophical arguments.
A cumulative case
I think that, while each of these factors may not be convincing on their own, they add together to make a strong case that God really is there. If we read the clues, we can feel confident of this, and live our lives accordingly.
Check out the all-new Clues
I am slowly updating this website, and I have recently finished the largest section – Clues – giving it a new design and a new structure. Please take a look, perhaps starting at either Why believe? or Is there a God?