Nice video about the Kalam Cosmological Argument

Just a quick post… I posted a new video I came across on our local congregational website concerning the Kalam Cosmological Argument for God’s existence. I have commented on that argument before here on the blog (specifically, here: “The Kalam Cosmological Argument and Unwin’s Pursuit of P(G)”), and I thought the video by Dr. William Lane Craig’s organization was very well done. It’s concise, it gets the point across without getting lost in minutia, and it is pleasantly and professionally produced.

Feel free and watch it for yourself. And you might use it as a spur to do what I recommended to my congregation: Take advantage of this Sabbath to ask someone why they personally believe that God exists and share your own reasons, as well.

The video is here, below. (And, as with all such links and embeds, the standard caveat applies.)

(And for those who have never read it, please consider our booklet: “The Real God: Proofs and Promises”)

18 thoughts on “Nice video about the Kalam Cosmological Argument

  1. I very much enjoyed this video; thank you for sharing it. To answer your question how do I know God exists; the same way I know that I have a biological father. I’ve never met him, don’t know his name but I wouldn’t be here if it were not in part, because of him. While my biological father has never held me, spoken calming words or provided for me, God my Heavenly Father has. I look around at the world He created for me to live in, play in and work in and there is no way to deny Him. Prayer is the greatest proof of God our Father; we pray and He answers. When we are quiet and still and clear our minds, one can almost feel the Spirit hold and comfort us. Atheists are spiritually deaf and dumb. What a pity!

  2. Is it ever, Dear Sir? 😀

    I may be off-base on this, but it seems to me that no matter who we are, unless both our human spirits (functionally our “egos”) and our moral consciences surrender to God, the rest of our mental faculties can’t surrender either. (My new pastor and I, partially on his initiative no less, talked about what makes some people he deals with so hard to deal with and this is what I answered.) Thus the Eternal’s plea to Israel to gain “a new heart and a new spirit” – the “heart” meaning different things including, so it seems to me, all the cognitive faculties of the brain, but often focused on the moral conscience.

    People of my temperament aren’t always theists, far from it, but they are “natural believers” and more apt than some to fall into the trap of “Thinking in the service of Feeling” (distorted logical judgment justifying self-serving value judgment). It’s easier for one of us to laugh at an atheist if he’s an atheist who makes that obvious mistake. We know how that works, instinctively; like so many of us, he simply believes what he wants to believe and I suspect the authors of the video are in this class. It’s when an atheist is one of your temperament – one who is a “natural skeptic or rationalist“, one who actually makes logical sense most of the time with standards of proof comesurate with such – that I, at least, find the sleight-of-hand more difficult to track and more disturbing when I try.

  3. For me the two most meaningful proofs of God’s existence (as opposed to what I’d consider the “strongest”) would be the “renewing of my mind” which came at baptism and has never left me (I can actually perceive “where it is” in my psyche, like a sun shining on and illuminating my thoughts); and recently some very deep study and meditation on the source, pronuncation (according not to speculation but to the Masoretic reading tradition) and meaning of Yehawweh. He is the Eternal Creator God as His name shows, but much of what that Name shows about how He created all things can be paraphrased both accurately and poetically as “Undying Song” (there are mathematical and acoustical as well as linguistic reasons for this paraphrase).

  4. Robert Petry

    Yes, this is a nice short and to the point video.

    As to atheists being impressed by it, I don’t think so. I deliberately spent a year arguing with atheists on various sites. They cannot see, cannot understand, or grasp arguments like this. Their minds have been deliberately blinded. I saw many atheist responses to using this particular law. They try to refute it in multiple ways. One being the use of the other laws of thermodynamics. And, asking, in order to make a “Bible Thumper” look stupid, how many laws of thermodynamics are there.

    What are proofs of some Divine Being existing? We have read and seen the booklets called the “Seven Proofs….” However, there are several others as sub-categories. Here are a couple:

    1. This one most people never think of, yet it is clear in the Scriptures. The ATHEISTS themselves are proof of His existence. In fact, one of the most interesting verses has this to say: “because that which may be known of God is manifest IN them;…” Rom. 1:19

    Some translate this verse as “among” them. However, the Greek word is EN, with the primary meaning of IN, not among. Atheists are witnesses to the existence of the One who inspired that verse to be written.

    There are hundreds of verses in the Bible that describe the atheist and his actions. They cannot avoid doing what they have been PROGRAMMED to do by the Father, thus leaving us a very fine example of a major proof. They cannot deviate from the “script” the Bible shows they MUST follow. I’ve written so far a partial paper on these verses and how they relate to the atheist being proof positive.

    2. Conversion is another proof. Watching a person change overnight from a carnal nature to a spiritual nature is a miracle and an amazing thing to behold.

    There are lots of other proofs from Scripture, but none of them can be understood by the atheist. Proverbs has an interesting take on “correcting them” and other unbelievers. “He that reproveth a SCORNER getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot.” The opposite to that is…”rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.”

  5. Thanks for your thoughts, Mr. Petry. I agree that there are lots of approaches to providing evidence. I don’t know, though, that I would too easily lump everyone who does not believe in God into the category of “unconvincable.” To be sure, most are not interested in the idea, it seems, and C. S.Lewis has pointed out (at least I had heard that he did) that belief always involves an act of will and is never merely an examination of facts. One must have the will, for instance, to accept where the facts lead and the will to understand them in the most reasonable light. Actually, C. S. Lewis, himself, is an example of someone who moved from atheism to belief in a God (though I would not say that he understood the truth by any stretch of the imagination). And someone I knew once who had been a staunch atheist, in the time I knew her, moved from atheism to agnosticism due to mounting evidence in the physical world that she saw which seemed to suggest the possibility of a Creator as its most reasonable explanation.

    And concerning the Kalam Cosmological Argument — no, I would not say “impressed” in the sense of winning thousands over. But “impressed” as in “seeing the argument to be robust enough that some have gone to embarrassing lengths in attempting to negate it”? I would say that.

    Paul saw his mission as involving “all men” (1 Cor. 9:19-23), and, to be sure, we don’t get to exclude atheists from that mission.

  6. Robert Petry

    I agree with you that Paul made himself “servant unto all,…” He also stated in verse 22 that “I might by all means save some.” Some few atheists have changed their ways, but that is as I described in my discussions, a miracle. Atheists, in particular, and other non-believers have had their minds blinded to the truth. Therefore, not many of them are in this age called and changed. Otherwise there would be no “small or little flock.”

    II Cor. 4:4 is one of the mind constraints the Father has permitted. I submit also, among many others, I. Cor. 2:14-15.

    Rom. 1:18-32 gives an interesting insight in that the Father “gave them up to…”, etc. etc
    And professing themselves to be wise they became fools. v. 22

    What I am suggesting is that these and other verses have shown that the Father has blinded them, darkened their mind, “gave them OVER to a reprobate mind, ” and more, so that they cannot do otherwise in their conduct. Of course, this is not only atheists, per se, but all. The atheist is the one declaring there is no Creator, Psalms 14:1 thus becoming what verse 22 says.

    I’ve dealt with atheists for 20 years while on public access TV since 1986. Even had them help on our shows, plus having helped with theirs. They without fail follow what the verses above tell us.

    As to the Kalam Cos. Arg. I could quote some of the atheist responses to it. What can be said is, they aren’t impressed by it.

    My point is not to say the Bible negates telling the world about the evangel, or the Messiah, etc. at all. But, to present what one is up against when dealing with atheists and others. Most of them I suggest will not be called in this present age, and the Bible is clear about why. But, the end result of the evangel to the world now is that when the time comes they will then be without excuse, and then, will repent.

    Because they are today, for the most part, “locked into” what the Scriptures say they will do and be, and since Scripture cannot be broken, they are a perfect proof the Bible is true and cannot be broken. When they say, for instance, “there is no God”, they can’t do otherwise. When they say, “where is His coming?” they can’t do otherwise because Scripture tells us they will do that. When we see or hear them do things like this, all we have to understand, and even tell them, “You just proved the Bible is true, and God exists. You just did what HE said you must do, and you can’t do otherwise, without a miracle in your life. Thanks for proving once again that He exists and His Word cannot fail.”

    Rom. 11:8 shows what was done to Israel, even to our time so far. If He does that to Israel, then it is clear He had done what He said about atheists in particular.

    Hope your week is very profitable for the work you are doing!!!

  7. Thanks, again, Mr. Petry. Of course, “without a miracle” covers everyone, not just the atheist. John 6:44 is true of the drawn atheist as well as of the drawn theist as well as of the drawn polytheist. No one who knows the truth of God knows it because he was smart enough to figure it out (cf. 1 Cor. 4:7). The gospel message Jesus Christ brought from the Father must go out to the entire world–all nations–and God calls people to its truth from many walks of life, including from atheism. However, it is definitely true that some initial states of mind are more detrimental for beginning that relationship with God, and there is a reason the Bible never speaks of a large congregation in Athens. Yet, it did not deter Paul (who provided the insights into the ancient Greco-Roman world that were mentioned) from not only diving in wholeheartedly with all the tools at his disposal but also from being used of God to reach some in that very culture, however few, and to bring them into His family.

    And, of course, just because someone is an atheist at a certain point in his life does not mean he is, at that time, already “given over” by God forever, nor does it profit God’s Work to assume so too generally. I would much rather give a man the benefit of a doubt until he has removed that possibility from me, and I see nothing in the Scriptures that would advise me to do differently. Quite the contrary.

    Better to be a fool, which an atheist is (Psalm 14:1), than one who is right in his own eyes (Prov. 26:12), and I have seen many a “believer” who was trapped in a state where he was constantly right in his own eyes. The former has more hope than the latter.

    And then there are the “undecideds”–also, a group not to be overgeneralized. Arguments such as the Kalam can be very helpful, putting the lie to the claim many of them have heard that atheism is the only “reasonable” alternative for thinking people or that science has explained that God is somehow not necessary for the universe’s existence.

    Christ didn’t abandon Thomas in his unbelief but, rather, met him with what he needed to address his doubt. Sources of doubt vary greatly from person to person, and the Kalam is one manner of equipping oneself to help address doubt — applicable to some but not to all.

    And, again, I am not saying that all atheists are “impressed” by the argument. I have seen many of their responses before — even responded to one on YouTube, which is rare for me. I am saying that some have recognized that it is a solid argument — not the same thing as agreeing with it, mind you, but saying that it is a worthwhile argument that should be addressed rather than ignored. I’m afraid that saying, “I have looked at what many atheists have said about that argument and they are not impressed,” is a little like saying, “I have looked at what many (mainstream) Christians say about explanations concerning the Sabbath (or God’s law, or the Gospel, or the Old Testament, etc.) and they are not impressed.” Any truth present in generalizations about such ideas and generalizations about blocks of people is often irrelevant in comprehending the value of such ideas in actual and specific application and conversation with individuals. If we judged the worthiness of actions based on what impressed people on the Internet, we would commit our lives to making humorous pictures of our cats. And none of that, of course, negates God’s ability, at His own discretion, to work through a well-placed word, comment, logical argument, or explanation to accomplish that “miracle” you mention — the miracle He must accomplish in order to call anyone, atheist or not. Satan has blinded not only the atheists, but the whole world (Rev. 12:9). Every calling–whether of an atheist or of a theist, of an Israelite or of a Gentile–is an exception to the rule.

    Thanks again for sharing your opinions, and I hope you have a pleasant week.

  8. Lance Reece

    I have enjoyed Mr. Craigs debates and presence for years now. I often wonder if William Lane Craig, have heard of us, or even H.W.A. for that matter, and what his thoughts were, as I understand him to be a Methodist…why? I mean I understand what you are saying Mr. Smith that none of us just brained it out to come unto the truth, but this is a very intelligent fella, I wonder how much of a role the free will argument between Calvinism and Arminianism has confused/distorted or possibly impeded his understanding (if in that area he is confused at all I do not know what he personally believes but I think I understand Methodist to have a primarily Arminian approach).
    I personally am of only average intelligence, maybe the back end of average at that, but I know I needed the Church of God to help me with that argument because I saw it as two book ends with the true answer potentially somewhere in the middle, but I did not realize that there was even a 3rd option. How could I, until God brought me into contact with His church, because no one teaches the 3rd REALITY only the Church of God has this understanding basically to my knowledge. And how can one know unless he is taught.

  9. Robert Petry

    Mr. Smith, thanks for your replies. I really appreciate and enjoy them.

    John 6:44 helps prove the point, no one can come to the Father …

    Yes, the miracle I mentioned is conversion which can only happen under the scenario of John 6:44. In this age it is a rarity.

    Not every person is an atheist who refuses the Messiah or His Father, or the Bible. They just don’t believe in those particular divine beings, or book of teachings. However, they do believe in others. The atheist is different, and is in Rom 1, and elsewhere specifically described. All the world is deceived by Satan, and their eyes are blinded, but not everyone of those people are atheists.

    Atheists say there is no God. The interesting thing is, this is only a modern day form of atheism, which the Bible spoke of before it showed up.

    In the beginning Romans and others called those who believed in the Messiah, atheists. Why? Because the meaning then meant only one who did not believe in your god, not a person who believed in no god. Today’s atheists are an end result of fulfilled prophecy, another proof the Bible is true.

    Pro. 26:12 is true. So is Pro. 1:28 speaking of those in verse 22 who are scorners and fools.

    Verse 28 is another verse where atheists prove the Bible true. One of their big arguments is “there is no such thing as answered prayer.” Why would they say that? They don’t pray, and if they should they won’t get answers. So, everytime they say no such thing as answered prayer, they have once again proved “Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer…”, is true. The Father keeps His promises, which is not to answer their prayers. And, that is the result they illustrate with their “no answered prayer” shtick.

    Of course, this applies to all unconverted, but it is the atheist who yells the loudest. They are the proof the Bible is true. Everything they write or say is right out of the Bible. Healing is another one. They cry to the heavens there is no healing! Why? They don’t get healed. Another proof the Bible is true. The Bible says they won’t get it.

    There are a minimum of 149 ways like this that the atheist proves the Bible true. But, it seems, no one has ever noticed this before. I say 149 because I have not finished with the whole Bible yet. Almost everything the atheist does or says is found in these verses describing what they will say or do. Written thousands of years ago.

    Anyway, Pro. 1:22 (mentioning the fool), 29-32.

    AC-63

  10. Mr. Petry: Thanks, again. I am pressed for time this morning and will try and be brief, simply saying that while I am glad we both understand John 6:44, I do not completely agree with the manner in which you apply some of the Scriptures to which you refer, nor with how you use the word “proof.” Concerning the latter, that the prayers of atheists are not answered cannot be construed as “proof” that God does exist because they would also not be answered if He did not exist. It is only a “proof” if we wish to abandon what is generally meant by the word. Such a fact may yet be another manner in which God’s Word is true, as it always is, but it wouldn’t provide “proof” of God’s existence if its truth is consistent with other, contradictory possibilities (false, in the end, though they may be). Plus, in most of my experience (not all, but most), atheists are staking their claim on the fact that the prayers of those who believe are not answered — for healing, etc. — not their own prayers.

    Mr. Reece: I am glad you are familiar with his work, as well! He seems to me a first rate logician. Actually, I heard him in one of his podcasts refer very briefly to Mr. Garner Ted Armstrong in a comment that was actually about Mormonism. He was explaining how he understood the approach to deification that the Mormons teach is wrong (which is most certainly is) and was confusing what we teach with the same doctrine (which it most certainly is not). So, clearly he has only a passing familiarity. Yet, even if he had more, John 6:44 is still true, and it takes more than strong reasoning skills to come to the saving knowledge of the truth. 1 Cor. 1:26-29.

  11. Robert Petry

    Mr. Smith, Actually, there is a lot we agree upon. Just like you my teachers were men you are familiar with. So, I hope my responses don’t appear to be argumentative.

    As to prayer and the atheist. Yes, the atheist mostly always speaks of the prayers of others not being real. As I said, I spent a full year, virtually daily “debating” them. Only a very few would admit to ever having prayed. Why, I asked don’t you pray? Often the answer was a combination of, prayers won’t be answered because “god(s) don’t exist. The end result is still the same, they cannot have answered prayer. Most atheists seem to read the Bible in order to find the loose brick. So, they know from that that they won’t get answers even if they did pray.

    Prayer, along with other claims of the atheists is proof. Why? Because these provisions were written thousands of years ago before any modern militant atheist ever appeared on the world scene. And, they do exactly what those words say they will. Only a divinely inspired book could have written that, and only an existing divine being could make it come to pass. If man alone had written the Bible then the multitude of descriptions could not come to pass.

    Be that as it may, the other points atheists MUST do, and do because they can not do otherwise, adds to the fact that atheists are proof the Bible is true. The way for them to prove the Bible untrue is to do the opposite of what the Bible says they will do. That is an impossibility.

    John 6:44 and 65, especially, shows the Father is in charge even of whom He calls. That being true, atheists will be atheists until the Father calls them. Until then they are locked in to doing what He says they will do.

    Are they the ultimate proof? Hardly. But, they are a living proof that the Father is in control, and they are doing His directions, just as Pharaoh did.

  12. Mr. Reece: “Ask not how smart you are; ask how you are smart” (Howard Gardner, behavioral scientist, Harvard U.). You are a fellow Ne’fi (ENFP-preference in perceiving and deciding) and I know you face-to-face. Never underestimate what God has given you and what God can do through you, nor make the reverse mistake of becoming a SAP – either of which we all can do if we compare ourselves unwisely to each other as certain SAPs (or rather SAAs, Self-Appointed Apostles) did in Paul’s day:

    (2 Corinthians 10:12 RSV) Not that we venture to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another, and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.

    You and I aren’t equipped to run Mr. Smith’s plays on the ball field, either spiritually or mentally. And that’s good, not bad! Each of us are gifted according to the measure of God’s Spirit and of the natural talents He also gave us. One difference between me and too many I’ve known in the world, in the end, is that like the fictional Paul Atreides in Frank Herbert’s DUNE, the first thing I learned is that I could learn. Long after, when I came into God’s Church, I learned from our old AC Bible Correspondence Course that the man with “few” talents can receive as great a reward in the Kingdom as the man with “many” talents – if he tries as hard! And that has always encouraged me to run like a banshee with its tail on fire 😉 toward the goalposts of whatever play the Great Quarterback sends me out on.

    As for the rest, we don’t believe apart from evidence, for God demonstrates His existence through nature and through other means; but we do believe in axioms, that is, articles of faith. If “the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom/knowledge”, then at some point we must take that fear – which Scripture shows is identical to faith and to walking humbly with God – as axiomatic, logically speaking, without further need of evidence. Oh yes, we keep on gathering evidence, but this is to confirm the faith we already have from God. Otherwise, people like you and me can fall into the trap of always trying to rely on our brand of quicksilver intuition, or on the slow turning of our formal logic, in place of the faith which only God can grant as a gift (Ephesians 2:8).

    John 6:44. 65 and its context is all about how we come to that faith and keep it. It’s on God’s initiative and our perception and decision-making responds, or not, to that initiative, that “drawing” to Him and Jesus Christ. Neither our human spirits nor our physical brains can make us come to God on their own, no matter how much evidence we look to, and if they could we’d only be self-righteous rather than righteous in God’s sight.

    1 Corinthians 1:17-31 (written by Paul, a fellow Ne’fi from all the signs) is good to consider in this light.

  13. That’s fine, Mr. Petry, and I think you’ve made your opinions clear. A response from me would simply be a restatement of what I have already said, and it seems better to me to let things end here. Thanks.

  14. Norbert

    I believe Jesus is Lord, that the written record of His life, death and resurrection is true, that His gospel of the Kingdom of God is true. I’m not one to have a larger intellect and pretend to be on par with Dr. Craig, John W or Mr. Wallace. I could only provide an adequate reason using science and on my best day only pretend to be brilliantly logical.

    I’ve seen a number of debates between Dr. Craig and numerous atheists on youtube and in my opinion he is among, if not the best advocate arguing for Creationism.

  15. Your words are very kind, Norbert, and I don’t know that I deserve them, but thank you. I suspect that you owe yourself more credit; at the same time it is refreshing to hear on occasion someone who isn’t seeking more credit than he is due. 🙂 And I agree, Dr. Craig is a fine apologist. I particularly admire his ability to be so gracious to his opponents, even when they do not return the favor. Working on that myself. Thanks, again!

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