Does a loving God exist? If in our discussion of such a profound question we are going to have any meaningful communication it is going to require that we do two things. First, we must define our terms and second, we must acknowledge that we all bring to the discussion certain presuppositions.
It is not solely the job of the believer to prove to us the existence of a loving God but rather it is incumbent upon each of us to supply answers that can be verified by our experiences and that can meet our needs in the real world. The non-believer has the tendency to sit back thinking that he has a wealth of evidence to support his non-believing position. But looking solely at material evidence will never shed complete light on this great spiritual issue. Some believers have the tendency to react defensively when asked fundamental questions about their faith. But, while many believers have not thought through their own credos there are those who have struggled and have found some solutions consistent with their belief system. The non-believer will equally have to struggle to arrive at solutions that are consistent with their belief system. Although the existence of evil provides the greatest objection to the Christian worldview, that objection does not bring the entire system into disrepute. The believer has some solid approaches to coping with this difficulty. By the same token, the non-believer will have to explain the presence of good and of beauty in a purely material world. In the non-believer’s world much is left up to “chance. " But the idea proffered that creation happened by chance is not reasonable to most minds. Scientific research shows us that there is tremendous design in this creation. We are compelled to ask the question, “By whom was it designed?"
All of us; doctor, lawyer, minister, or baker have a belief system and each of us builds that system from our presuppositions. Often those presuppositions are arbitrarily chosen and require a step of faith. If any discourse as to whether or not a loving God exists is going to have any meaning we need to realize that we all have to take that step of faith. The use of words like “god, " “love, " and “evil" can be meaningless - unless we are all using the same definitions. The non-believer very often starts with the presupposition that he is at the center and builds his system out from that point. He needs to understand that this choice is arbitrary and shaky at best because the center point is always moving, changing with each new experience. The believer chooses to use the Bible as his center point, a fixed source that does not change and contains a solution that more than a few believe to be credible. Both the believer and the non-believer need to exercise this step of faith in the choosing of their presuppositions. The non-believer needs to understand that he exercises faith to support his belief system just as much, or more so in the face of present evidence, as does the believer. Faith is not a concept solely within the purview of believers but a factor in all of our lives, believer and non-believer alike. The question then becomes from which point are we going to take our step of faith?
Paul Peixoto is an author, speaker and trainer with a background in Pastoral Ministry and Communications with 25 years of platform experience. The bulk of that time he spent in the non-profit sector, where he honed his ability to communicate and motivate. Currently as the founder and president of The Serra Group he leads a team of communication consultants that work with the group’s pharmaceutical clients. He is a member of ASTD, and a certified NLP practitioner, trained by its co-inventor, Richard Bandler. He has led 100s of professional development workshops and presented scores of keynote addresses throughout the USA, Europe, and Asia. You can reach him via email at email@example.com . Or visit his website http://www.paulpeixoto.com