Vicar’s Reflection: Ordinary Sunday 6, 16th February 2020
Someone once challenged me with the question: “Can you prove the existence of God?”; implying that if I could then he would believe. As often happens with questions like this, the way it is framed creates a problem. As in the question: “have you stopped stealing?” If you answer no, then clearly you are a thief. If you answer yes you are not absolved since you were a thief. The question ignores the possibility that you may never have stolen. Two words in the question about God cause problems. Firstly, the word ‘prove’. Proving something involves trying to gain accurate knowledge of something unknown (God) by comparing it with things that are known. Christians believe all things that are known have come into being through the creative work of God and that God is beyond all that is known. Any understanding of God from this process would be a much-reduced distortion. The other problem word is ‘existence’. All things that exist are objects within the universe. God is not an object, and the universe itself is God’s creation. Perhaps a better question would be “Is there evidence for the reality of God?” When asked this way there is abundant evidence from the order and beauty of the universe, and most especially from God’s self-disclosure in Jesus. There are no instruments or measures for proving God. The best evidence for God is the gift of His Son, and the measure of God’s love is the cross. This is all the evidence I need.