Four Possibilities Of Reality
Many believe that what someone thinks about religion is his or her personal opinion, nothing more. Today, ideas about God are viewed as ultimately subjective, with no evidence supporting them, only bare feelings, intuition, or experience. In this study, Dr. Sproul makes it clear that not only are there reasons for God's existence, but if put together in a Biblical and logical fashion, there is proof for God's existence.
1. To be introduced to a means of proving the existence of God.
2. To gain confidence in doing apologetics.
3. To review the four possibilities that may explain reality.
QUOTATIONS AND THOUGHTS
Logic is the study of argument. As used in this sense, the word "argument" means not a quarrel (as when we "get into an argument"), but a piece of reasoning in which one or more statements are offered as support for some other statement. The statement being supported is the conclusion of the argument. The reasons given in support of the conclusion are called premises. We may say, "This is so and so (premises), therefore that is so (conclusion)." Premises are generally preceded by such words as because, for, since, on the ground that, and the like. Conclusions, on the other hand, are generally preceded by such words as therefore, hence, consequently, and it follows that. (S. Morris Engel)
I. There are several methods of establishing the existence of God.
II. Classical Apologetics: The First Steps
a) This method is influenced greatly by St. Augustine, who tried to establish a sufficient reason for the existence of God. This is done through a process of logical elimination.
b) We start with four possibilities to explain reality.
i. Illusion: Reality is not real.
ii. Self-Created: Reality came into existence through itself.
iii. Self-Existent: Reality exists by its very nature.
iv. Created: Reality is created by a self-existent being.
c) The simplest argument for the existence of God is, "If anything exists, God exists." That is, if something anywhere exists, then somewhere, there must be a self-existent being to make that so.
d) Illustration: Is the chalk here or not? How do we give sufficient evidence for this?
e) The first option is rarely held. The second option is the most popular option.
The third option is rarely held, but more so than the first.
f) Reason demands the existence of some kind of self-existence.
g) The classical argument attempts to go beyond mere probability to proof.
This will be a rational proof that compels a rational person to surrender to a rational proof.
III. Proof versus Persuasion
a) Proof is objective.
b) Persuasion is subjective.
c) Illustration: Charlie is dead.
IV. Not a Neutral Question
a. Unbelievers have an enormous vested interest to deny, deny, deny.
b. We are not called to persuade people, but to give good reasons for God's
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