This fourth in a series of “notepad” posts is my attempt to navigate quickly to the heart of an issue in apologetics.
Question: Must we prove God to justify our belief in him?
Two common responses from Christians:
- “Yes, of course. Even though I can’t provide such proof I’m sure other Christians smarter than me have done so. I’ll trust them to take care of it.”
- “I don’t need proof. I have my own experience to rely on; no one can argue with that. I’m happy as is.”
I’d like to suggest a third response: It has to do with evidence, not proof.
That is, there’s plenty of evidence from philosophy, history, science, psychology and all the disciplines that God is there. I wouldn’t call this aggregate of evidence “proof” per se, but rather, a “VGC” — very good case for God.
But what if someone came along and said that mere “evidence” isn’t good enough? You must have proof.
That’s what happened to me one day at lunch with Larry, an atheist science professor. His point was that religion by its nature can’t be proven, and that science is a much better tool for acquiring knowledge because its methods are observable, testable, and repeatable.
How would you respond to Larry? Is he correct that science is superior to religion in discovering truth — the implication being that science makes God irrelevant?
Next, I share what happened as my conversation with Larry the science professor unfolded.