Wednesday, February 06, 2013

RC Sproul : Necessary Being - Defending Your Faith Part 21



General revelation and special revelation are both true. That which we can learn through a telescope is no less true than that which we learn from St. Paul. But while special revelation is settled in the Scriptures, general revelation is like a stream, forever changing as we scrape the surface of God's glory in creation. R.C. reports that current secular theories of surrounding creation are still woefully inadequate and suspiciously silent about the cause of their "Big Bang."


1. To be able to show the necessity of God's existence outside the universe, contra the immanentistic view.
2. To understand that philosophy and science have argued for the existence of a necessary power that has many qualities of the Christian God.


Logical Fallacy: Ad Hominem Abuse or Personal Attack. An argument that substitutes abusive remarks instead of evidence to prove their conclusion. An example would be, "Kim thinks homosexuals are going to hell, but she's just a know-it-all judgmental Jesus-freak. You can't believe her."
World Soul: A phrase used by pantheistic or New Age philosophers to explain that since the world creates and sustains life, it must have life itself, and a soul as other creatures. Also called panpsychism.


I. Explaining Reality

a) Illusion: Not an option
b) Self-created: Irrational
c) Self-existence: Something is self-existent, but is it the universe?
d) Created by self-existent being

II. The State of Nature

a) The Big Bang theory (not accepted as recently as the 1940s) affirms that 15-18 billion years ago, something existed. A singularity, a compaction of all matter, existed. It grew unstable and exploded, creating the universe as we know it, a movement from organization to chaos.
b) How did nature become organized in the first place?
c) The law of inertia says that things in motion (or not in motion) tend to remain as they are unless acted on by an outside force. How did the universe move from rest to activity?
d) Illustration: Golf in Motion
e) What cause the Bang? It is necessary to answer this question, and highly unusual that science would plead that this is an unimportant question. Since when did causality become unimportant?
f) Matter is mutable. It manifests contingency. Materialists will respond that the things we see are not immutable. They claim that the entity that makes matter is not transcendent, but immanent.
g) Materialists say that whatever causes matter is part of the universe or is the sum total of the universe. Some force pulsates through all things that forms a self-existent core, and this accounts for the causality of the beginning of the universe.
h) Thus: They argue that there is no need for a transcendent God. A self existent eternal power, yes. But not outside the universe.

III. The Answer to the Materialist Challenge

a) If you mean by "universe" all that is (and God is), then it is true that God is inside the universe.
c) But transcendence is not a geographical description. It is an ontological distinction. It says that God is a higher order of being, not that He is located elsewhere.
d) If there is some unknown, immeasurable, eternal being that transcends everything that is derived from it, then our argument is mere semantics. The materialist has won, but won for which side?

IV. The Unmoved Mover and the God of the Bible: What is the connection? The next two lectures will demonstrate this.

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