March 2023

"It is as impossible for man to demonstrate the existence of God as it would be for Sherlock Holmes to demonstrate the existence of Arthur Conan Doyle."

~ Frederick Buechner, theologian

Good morning,

In Dr. Stephen Unwin's book, The Probability of God, the noted PhD and statistical analyst from Cambridge University determined that "more than likely, God exists."

I'm sure that God, more than likely, was pleased to hear that.

But first, the back-story…

In the eighteenth century, Thomas Bayes, an English Presbyterian pastor and mathematician, devised a statistical calculation known as the Bayesian Probabilities Method. Bayes hoped to use the system to prove the existence of God … mathematically. Unfortunately, Bayes died before he could publish his findings.

Two hundred years later, Dr. Unwin decided to resurrect Bayes' theorem and take the test himself. He felt confident he could provide an unbiased position because, in Unwin's mind, the question of God's existence wasn't a theological issue, but rather a matter of statistics.

Unwin began by assigning a 50% probability that God exists — allowing an equal 50% that God doesn't exist.

Next, the good doctor used the same determining lines of evidence from the Bayesian system, supplying percentages to each response. He admitted his answers were somewhat subjective, but felt he had remained as neutral as possible.

The Bayesian determining lines of evidence included…

  • The recognition of goodness — or, do acts of kindness suggest there is a God?
  • The existence of moral evil — or, do acts of evil suggest there is no God?
  • The existence of natural evil — or, do earthquakes and human suffering suggest or deny an all-powerful God?
  • The intra-natural miracles — such as, if we pray for someone who's ill, and that person recovers, does that suggest a God at work?
  • The extra-natural miracles — such as, if someone has died, and then brought back to life, should God be given the credit?
  • Religious experiences — such as, if a person commits himself to God, and then his life and behavior changes for the better, does that imply the existence of God?

Unwin added up his percentages and concluded a 67% chance that God exists.

The debate over God's existence has been raging for millennia. When confronted, we typically use one of the following arguments to support our position…

  • The Cosmological Argument — Things don't just appear for no reason. For every effect, there must be a cause. And since there was a beginning to everything, there had to be a Beginner who caused it.

  • The Teleological or Intelligent Design Argument — All designs imply a designer who has the intelligence and ability to produce that design. Since the universe exhibits incalculable design, there must be a Master Designer behind it.

  • The Complexity Argument — Our enormously complex universe displays infinite organization. Even the simplest single-cell bacterium, with its vast storage-filled DNA, can’t possibly be explained away by random chance.

  • The Moral Argument — The naturalistic world-view of atheism denies the existence of God and His divine purposes. However, that would mean that atheism also denies absolute, transcendent morals. So, where did humans get their moral values?

  • The Historical Argument — Jesus claimed to be the Son of God. On 16 different occasions, He foretold His death and resurrection. He then proved His claims by rising from the dead. For forty days following that event, hundreds of people saw Him alive.

These arguments are compelling, and they should be. The evidence is overwhelmingly conclusive. We have "many infallible proofs" (Acts.1.3) to support our beliefs.

However, even with these arguments and proofs, many will choose not to believe. Friedrich Nietzsche, the famed atheist who launched the God is Dead movement, said, "It is our preference that decides against Christianity, not arguments."

However, truth is still the truth, and the way to the Father is still the way. "For he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." (Heb 11.6)

We've been sent to deliver a message. Don't let the faithless keep you from it.


Ron Walters
Ron Walters
Salem Media Group

© Copyright 2023 by Ron Walters

Ron Walters