My Rational Journey To Faith Part III
I discussed in previous posts ( Part I and Part II ) how certain occurrences in science classes in middle school and high school played an important role in my rational journey to faith. Specifically, as I came to understand the implications of the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics, I realized that science was proving true what the Bible had claimed for thousands of years. But the logical foundation of my Christian faith was not just formed in science classes.
It was in a philosophy class where I first encountered the ramifications of what was taught to me as the fallacy of infinite regression (the logical requirement that every series must have a beginning). Discussions around the topic led to the point that if there is any material thing, something eternal must exist. In other words, if something exists, either it must be eternal or something eternal in the past was its ultimate cause. Because even if something non-eternal caused it to come into existence, something had to cause that to come into existence and it is a logical fallacy to think that that series of causation continues back infinitely. Logic dictates that at some point going backwards there had to be an initial catalyst which had always existed (what the ancient Greek philosophers called the Prime Mover or First Cause).
While I was academically working through my understanding of this information, I read the verses in Romans 1: 19 – 20. Those scriptures explicitly state that God’s eternal power and nature are obvious through all the physical things that exist. Paul was stating what Aristotle and thousands of philosophers after him had proven and what my philosophy teacher had taught me was a rational imperative – if anything material exists, then something eternal must exists as a first cause or prime mover.
As mentioned in the last post, I had already come to realize that the Bible and the Second Law of Thermodynamics suggested that the universe was not eternal. What then was the eternal force that began the series of actions which put our universe in place? Paul was boldly stating in those verses in Romans chapter 1 that God’s eternal nature and power were the obvious answer to that question.
As I pursued the logical ends of my academic studies with as much intellectual honesty as I possibly could, God was slowly but surely building my faith block by block.
Andy’s book, Clear Vision: How The Bible Teaches Us To View The World, can be purchased here.