Sunday, August 5, 2012
Jesus Is Evidence That God Exists
By J. Warner Wallace, Cold Case Detective
Special to ASSIST News Service
MISSION VIEJO, CA (ANS) -- Ever try to make a case for God’s existence with a non-believing friend or family member? I have. For some reason, I usually find myself beginning with the broader evidence for God’s existence. From the cosmological argument to the evidence from the fine-tuning of the universe, to evidence from teleology or the existence of transcendent moral laws, I usually begin by making a case for the existence of any God before I focus in on the evidence for the Christian God of the Bible. I typically take an “outside-in” or “macro-to-micro” approach: first argue for God generally, and then argue for Jesus specifically.
The Gospels Make A Case For God’s Existence
But the gospels resonated with my experience as a detective and demonstrated many characteristics of eyewitness testimony. I was quickly engaged in a forensic statement analysis of the gospel of Mark and it wasn’t long before I was taking what the gospels said seriously. I discovered:
* The gospels were written very early
I’ve written quite a bit about these issues and have archived the articles in the www.PleaseConvinceMe.com “Bible” and “Jesus” sections.
If the Gospels Are True, God Exists
The evidence for the reliability of the gospel eyewitness accounts caused me to reexamine the evidence for God’s existence in general. If Jesus rose from the dead, miracles are possible. If Jesus, claiming to be God, could raise himself from the grave, there was little rational reason to disbelieve any miracle attributed to God, including the miracle of creation. The gospel accounts became the foundation from which I examined the cosmological, axiological, teleological, ontological, transcendental and anthropic arguments for God’s existence (see more in the www.PleaseConvinceMe.com “Theism” section). I didn’t begin generally and then move to Jesus specifically, I began with Jesus and then moved “backward” to the broader evidence for God’s existence. As someone who worked regularly with cumulative circumstantial cases (as a cold-case detective), the connectivity of all the available evidence seemed obvious as I assembled the case. Any one of these pieces of evidence was sufficient to make the case for God’s existence, but when considered cumulatively, the weight of the evidence was overwhelming.
Jesus Is a Critical Piece of Evidence
Even though the life of Christ was a critical part of my personal investigation, I still find myself arguing for God’s existence, at least initially, as though I wasn’t a Christian at all! When sharing what I believe with skeptical friends and family members, I have to make a conscious effort to remember that Jesus’ life alone demonstrates the existence of God. If the gospels are true, none of us need any additional proof. Jesus is sufficient evidence that God exists.
J. Warner Wallace is a detective (currently working cold case homicides), a missions leader and a church planter. He earned a Master’s Degree in Architecture (UCLA) and a Master's Degree in Theology from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. J Warner is the director of Please Convince Me Ministries and hosts the www.PleaseConvinceMe.com website, blog and podcast. He can be contacted by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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This story is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of the ASSIST News Service or ASSIST Ministries.