Living with Questions: Is God There?
I. Introduction: Review of last week
A. But How Do We KNOW?
1. TRUTH is when an idea about something links with the real world
2. KNOWLEDGE comes when we have REASONS for believing an idea links with the real world.
3. Therefore, KNOWLEDGE is dependant upon REASON
B. Five Tools for Knowledge
1. Perception – It is FREAKING cold outside! How do I know that?
2. Reason – Can you put a square peg into a round hole? How do you know that?
3. Introspection – How much do you enjoy Skyline chili? How do you know that?
4. Testimony – Why is Epiphany Sunday so important to our church? How do we know?
5. Memory – Where did you go for vacation this past Summer? How do you know that?
C. So Where Does Faith Come In?
1. The Chair Illustration: state the facts, then how do I put my trust in those facts?
2. Faith is believing in the facts to the point of entering into relationship of trust with the facts
3. Jesus said that he was “the truth”, not “the faith”. Faith is when we enter into relationship with Jesus trusting that what he said is true.
4. Faith is NOT the opposite of evidence or reason or truth.
5. Faith IS what happens when I choose to follow the evidence to its proper conclusion.
6. Faith is the OPPOSITE of pride, distrust and fear.
II. Living with Questions: Is God There? Does God exist, NOT as a religious idea, but as fact?
What is our goal today? To try and prove the existence of God WITHOUT the Bible! The Bible is what we call God’s SPECIAL REVELATION in how he revealed himself to us. But there is also GENERAL REVELATION of God all around us. It is through this type of revelation we want to explore!
A. Show clip from Bruce Almighty where Bruce answers everyone’s prayers with a yes.
B. Using the tools of Knowledge to Prove the existence of God
1. Perception: using the tools of science cannot prove one way or the other of God’s existence. This is the tool of knowledge that many use who do not believe in God.
2. Are there other tools of knowledge to detect spiritual things? Introspection, Reason, Testimony and Memory
C. Using our REASON and INTROSPECTION answer the question: What do we expect God to be like? If we pray to him what is he like that he could hear all of the prayers, consider them all and respond?
1. He is not bound by PLACE
2. He is not bound by TIME
3. He is SPIRITUAL
4. He is STRONG and SMART
D. Is JUSTICE real?
1. What are the things that drive you crazy that make you wish for justice?
a. People talking, laughing or texting obnoxiously during a movie
c. Sexual Harassment, predatory or selfish sexual advances
f. Adults who stereotype teens
2. Read the illustration on page 82-83. How would you want to deal with that situation?
3. Where does the concept or origin of JUSTICE come from?
4. Read the Martin Luther King, Jr. quote on page 84.
a. Where did this sense of justice come from?
b. Does society make up justice? NO. That is exactly what MLK was fighting against!
c. Where did his moral sense of justice come from then?
1. Does science give it to us? No. It is not something we can study under a microscope.
2. Does society teach us? Not necessarily. MLK, Gandhi and Jesus all went against society
3. Do our instincts give it to us? Sometimes. Often there are two competing instincts within us!
4. Do our families give it to us? Sometimes.
The law of right and wrong is deeper and larger than science, society, instincts or my family. The best explanation is that the spiritual, smart, strong being is also the Justice-Giver. We call this being God – and God has built a moral law within us.
This is the one thing that all of the major religions of the world can agree on based on reason, introspection, testimony and memory: God is the Justice-Giver.
The Question for next week: Is God GOOD? Does He LOVE me?
Thursday, May 08, 2008
Living with Questions 3
Living with Questions: Is God There?