Remember when you were very young. Everything was “Why this?” and “Why that?”. Children just naturally ask such questions. “Why is the sky blue? Why is grass green? Why do we drink water? Why does Daddy have to go to work? Why do I have to clean my room?” Any mother knows the best answers to that last one is, “Because I said so, that’s why!” Or, “Because I’m the Mommy!”
“Why?” is a big question, maybe the biggest of all, because it always implies a reason for something happening. And, by definition, anything having a reason must have someone that created the intention. In all of the history of human thought two really big issues beg the ultimate question: “Why?”. The first question leads inevitably to the second. In this article we examine them and suggest reasonable answers to both.
The First “Big Why” Question
Years ago comedian Bill Cosby had an album titled, “Why is There Air?” Good question, and it leads to the first big “WHY” question: “Why does anything exist?” Or to say it another way, “Why is there something rather than nothing?”
If you are in the same room with someone as you read this, reach over and take his or her hand (careful, you may get a strange look). Now reach over and touch a table or chair nearby. Then take a deep breath. Have you ever thought about why those things even exist. Why are there people, trees, stars, planets, earth, animals? Even more challenging is to ask, “Why do I exist?” (Some might even ask, “Do I even exist?”) When we consider this question we must admit there are only two possible answers.
The first possible answer is that everything has always existed and was not created. This is the perspective of the naturalistic worldview. However, those who hold this view cannot escape a number of major problems with it if true.
If the universe, and everything in it has always existed in some form and had no creator the following implications are inevitable. It means there is no meaning to the universe. There is no absolute truth. There is no absolute basis for right or wrong. There is no hope for life after death. There is no real human free will, it is only a self-delusion. Ultimately the universe and world will grow cold and die forever.
The biggest problem for those who deny a creator is that modern science has established that the universe is NOT eternal and had a beginning from nothing. For more than four decades, physicists and astronomers have found increasing amounts of evidence that the whole universe and everything in it, including time, space, matter, and energy, suddenly sprang into existence out of pure nothing. So, that being the case, they have no explanation where anything came from.
The only other possible answer to this first big question, and only one that solves the problems above, is that everything was created by a Supreme Personal Intelligence (God). If that principle is true, then the universe has meaning. There is a basis for truth. There is an absolute basis for ethics and morals. There is hope for life after death. Humans actually may have free will. And the universe and world will not have to end.
Those are really the only choices. Either everything has always existed or someone (God) created it. This leads us to the second big question.
The Second “Big Why” Question
The second big question that we all must face is, “Why should anyone believe in God?” Surveys indicate that more than 90% of Americans believe in God. That may be so, but it still means a lot of people don’t believe or aren’t sure. Some of them exert a lot of influence on our kids and college students. In any case, most people who say they believe actually live as if God does not exist.
Of course, the Bible answers that God does exist and it was He who created the universe out of nothing (Gen. 1:1-2; Colossians 1:16). But, are there any good reasons to accept that as true other than pure blind faith? There certainly are. Below are four reasons why we can and should believe in God.
1. The first reason, simply, is that the universe does exist! Logic says that for every effect there must be a cause. Since the universe exists, something (or someone) must have caused it to exist. As we have seen, whatever or whoever it is must be unimaginably powerful and exist outside of the universe. Only God fits that profile.
2. The second reason to believe is because the universe has a design. This means that, since the universe exhibits purpose, order, and design, it must have had an intelligent designer. Think of it like this: Suppose you were walking in the in woods and found a small mechanism on the ground. You pick it up and notice that it keeps the time. Would you think that it was made totally by chance? Of course not! You would naturally assume it had a designer – an intelligent watchmaker.
Now look at your hand. It is made up of millions of cells, each one far more complex than any watch or other manmade mechanism. The point is that all life shows the evidence of design. Furthermore, the odds of life existing on Earth by natural causes are incredibly small. Astronomer Hugh Ross and his team have calculated the chances for all factors necessary for life to exist anywhere in the universe at 1 in 101038. That’s 10 followed by 1038 zeroes. Those are such impossible odds that many atheistic scientists now say life must have come to earth from space. Of course, that does not really resolve the problem.
The only real reasonable solution to this problem is that there is a God who created the universe and everything in it, including human life.
3. The third reason to believe in God is that nearly everyone, even atheists, acknowledges that some things are right and some things are wrong. In other words, all people recognize the moral difference between what is good and right and bad and wrong. Thus, there must be an absolute personal basis for moral values and law, otherwise nothing can be regarded good or bad, right or wrong. If that is the case, we cannot honestly say that even the most horrible crimes are objectively wrong. Unfortunately, in recent history we have witnessed the consequences of what happens when atheistic regimes who understood that fact gained power. Both Nazism and Communism were founded on the concept that there is no God for which they were accountable.
The Bible says that everyone intuitively knows there is a God who holds them accountable. Sadly, though, people can deny and suppress that knowledge. As the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 1:18-25:
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.
Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. (NASB)
4. The last, but certainly not least, reason we can believe in God is through His divine revelation in His Word and through Jesus Himself. The only way we know what God is like by Him telling us Himself. The Bible, through divinely inspired prophets and other writers teaches that there are attributes that are true about God and records the great events in history in which He worked. The ultimate revelation, of course, was Jesus Christ Himself. As the writer of Hebrews put it:
God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. (Hebrews 1:1-2: NASB)
So, these are the two “Big Why” questions. First, why is there something rather than nothing? As we have seen, the only reasonable answer has to be God. Nothing else explains why the universe and anything in it exists. But also, we ask, why should we believe in God and why is that so important? It is not just an academic issue. If God does not exist then we have no real basis for meaning in our lives except to delude ourselves into believing it matters.
However, if God does exist, and we have good reasons for saying He does, then it means we were made by God for a purpose. We really matter! We are not just here by chance! It also means God wants to have fellowship with us because, as a personal being, He loves us!
Nonetheless, God holds us accountable for our actions because right and wrong exist and we are capable of knowing it. But, since we have sinned, God has made salvation possible thru Jesus Christ. When we understand and receive that life changing experience, we truly know God!
© 2011 Tal Davis