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The Question

Chris Holland
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Chris Holland

Chris Holland is speaker/director of It Is Written Canada. 

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  • October 15, 2015
    10:00 AM
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It has stood the test of time. God's book. The bible relevant in today's complex world. It is written sharing messages of hope. Around the world. The North American moose. The largest species of the deer family strong majestic. Yet mysterious animals. Growing up I didn't live in an area where there are moose. I wanted to see one but never did. I went camping with my parents and often camped in areas where Moose should have been. But I never saw one. Later in life when I married my wife. She shared stories of seeing moose. It only increased my desire to see this animal. All the more. So I set out on a quest to see a moose. In the wild. I camped in one area that they said had moose. I went to places where there should have been moose. But all to no avail. I traveled another place. With the guarantee that I would see a moose. But nothing. Along the way I saw statues pictures. And even videos. But never a moose in the wild. I even saw a statue of a moose with wings. But never a moose in the wild. As I considered the situation. I began to doubt whether or not moose even existed. I said in my mind this is a fabricated story. The pictures have been photo shopped. And the videos edited. Moose don't exist. Now. I know it sounds absurd. But that is really what I thought I was unable to see it. So it must not be real people are even distorting the picture with a flying moose. Well the course of all of that changed in two thousand and thirteen. When I travel to Algonquin prevention. Park where I was virtually guaranteed a sighting. We came into the park on the west entrance and drove east. The weather wasn't perfect it was raining. But would I see this animal. That was continually scaping me. Well as we traveled we had almost arrived at the east and Durrance and hadn't seen anything. But my wife said Wait. Turn around. I turn the car around. And there it was. It was a moose. In real life. I shot some pictures and even posted it on Twitter. Even though I had settled the question of this mooses existence in my mind. I had a friend that said it was a tidy moose and therefore barely even a moose. But just one year later. In New Finland. I saw two bull moose. That left no doubt that moose. Are Real. My own experience with moose reminds me of the struggle that some people have a knowing whether or not God exists. And maybe it is a good question for us to ask. Does God or really exist. It is perhaps a strange question for. It is written to ask. Yet a recent Canadian census reveals that the percentage of those who claim. No religious affiliation grew from just four percent of the population in one thousand nine hundred seventy one to almost twenty five percent in two thousand and eleven. That is over a six hundred percent increase. And that is significant. Yet at the same time. The percentages of those who represent the largest religious groups in Canada. Namely Roman Catholics and Protestants. Experienced. Significant decline. The Roman Catholic Church decreased from forty seven percent of the population. To thirty nine percent. The most significant. And greatest decline. Occurred among Protestants who were at forty one percent in one nine hundred seventy one. But fell to only twenty seven percent of the population. In two thousand and eleven. And while there may be a variety of causes for these statistics. We cannot rule out the possibility that for many Canadians. The question of God's existence. Constitutes the underlying reason for these trends that are revealed by the census. There is no doubt about it. The fact is that science. Since the time of Charles Darwin. Has led many to believe that this world is not the result of a special creation by a divine being. But rather is the result of a chance mixture of the right amino acids. An atmosphere that eventually evolved through natural processes. Over millions if not billions of. Here's now because of this. Many scientists believe that random chance processes completely rule out creation and design by a Divine Being as an explanation for the origin of our world. And the universe. Thus this approach has created an unbridgeable chasm between science on one hand and religion on the other. And this is led many to question the very existence of God. It is interesting to note that many of the pioneers of modern science. Such as capital are Galileo Boyle. Pascal. Len A and Newton. All included the concept of God in their scientific outlook. Author Ariel Rauf points this out in his book. Science discovers God. They often spoke of him. And they considered their scientific investigations. As the continuing discovery of the laws that he had created. Those intellectual giants demonstrated how science. And an awareness of God can work together. As we study nature. And so for those pioneers of science. The existence of God and scientific methods were not mutually exclusive of one another but rather complementary. And in light of the chasm that has been created between modern science and religion. It is even more interesting to note the percentage of scientists who believe in God may not only as a supreme being that creates and sustains nature. But also as a personal God to whom one may pray. In the prestigious journal Nature. A survey was conducted and. They picked one thousand individuals from the listing of scientists in the American men and women of science. The results revealed that about forty percent of the scientists said they believed in the type of god that. Answers their prayers. Yet forty five percent did not. Interestingly enough this survey which was conducted in one thousand nine hundred six. Was principally the same survey as one done. Eighty years earlier with a sensually the same results. Yet for many Canadians. And for many people around the world. For that matter. They are still asking that question. Does God really exist. So for the next weeks and months. I would like to explore with you. What some say is the ultimate question of life. That is. Does God really exist. How can we be sure that God does in fact exist. Do many who believe just operate under the assumption of God's existence. Furthermore does the evidence. Only lend itself to those who belong to some religion. Or is there some criteria that one can apply. Regardless of whether want to scribes to religion or not in order to try to find an answer to these questions. And the big question of God's existence. We need to construct a test. A test that only God Himself could pass. It must be a test that anyone could administer regardless of whether or not. One is religious. Now before we begin we need to establish one important. Ground rule. And that is the importance of maintaining a proper attitude in answering this question. Now according to Dr Saab would punch it. A scholar and researcher of world religions. Each of us has a blend of three attitudes in us that we can switch to at any given moment. Each of us are inherently either believers. Skeptics or inquirers. And here is the major difference between them. A skeptic decides against a claim. Prior to thorough investigation. A believer on the other hand. Decides to accept the claim prior to thorough investigation and enquire holds verdict. Until the investigation is done. In addition a skeptic focuses on the question. To the exclusion of the evidence. Whereas a believer. Focuses on the evidence to the exclusion of the question. While in enquire focuses on the weight of the evidence. All the while a skeptic disbelieves in the face of reasonable evidence. However believer. Believes while big questions remain. And in enquire excepts reasonable evidence. Even if some question still remains. So I must ask. Which of these attitudes is the most critical to demonstrate in any given investigation. Of course. The answer is that of an inquire. Beginning with the attitude of the skeptic will lead to skewed results in understanding. It in the same way. If I start with the premise of a believer. I will undoubtedly make flawed decisions of naive a team by founding my attitude as an Enquirer. It will lead to the best possible results of a decision based on the evidence. Stablish in a well balanced and grounded. Belief system. And so with that understanding of how important it is of having the attitude of an inquire. We now need to describe the method we are going to use in order to analyze the question of God's existence. In other words. We need to construct a test that only God Himself could pass the method we are going to construct must be able to examine two things first. What is knowledge. And second how can we determine whether our knowledge is certain from these two questions we will construct the test. And then apply it to the question of God's existence. So then that's began by asking that question. What then is knowledge. It is yet another question for the ages. It is one that philosophers have analyzed and scientists to have assumed in there are hypotheses. And so let's first evaluate several sources of knowledge. In order to determine whether or not we can use any of these sources. In order to construct our method. The first source of knowledge is that which is derives from our senses. Now. It is true that we can learn a lot by simply observing how things work. If there are two problems with knowledge different. Derives from our senses. The first is that our knowledge of what there is to observe is limited. Take for instance our knowledge of the stars. Recently scientists pointed the Hubble telescope. In the direction of a tiny dark spot in the constellation for an X. a dark spot. Which for years has been assumed to be empty space. This tiny spot is so small it's like staring at a dime. Seventy five feet away. The camera of the Hubble telescope. Took eight hundred shots between September the twenty third two thousand and three and January the sixteenth two thousand and four. Giving the total exposure time. Of eleven point three days. The picture of this dark. Supposedly empty spot. Revealed. Ten thousand galaxies. We didn't even know existed. This tiny dark spot. Which seemed to reveal a spot of nothingness. Revealed vast expanses of discovery. Not known before this discovery. Also demonstrates our limited ability to obtain knowledge. Only through our senses. By the way. With just that understanding alone. We discover that our limited ability to observe reality. Demonstrates a real lack for the basis of arguments that state is a fact that God is nonexistent. Now here's what I mean. In order for that statement of God not existing to be true. One must know. Every part of the universe. And the knowledge that is available in it at the same time. Which of course is impossible. After all if God does exist. He must be somewhere. And he must have the ability to move from one place to another. Now the second problem with knowledge derives from our senses. Is that our senses can mislead us. For instance for many years many of the inhabitants of this earth. Believed in an earth centered universe. They base that belief on their everyday observations. However that all changed when. Copernicus finally settled the issue. Through investigation. And substantial evidence. Then concluding that the earth in fact. Revolves around the sun and not the other way around. Therefore we cannot use knowledge derives from our senses. In order to construct our test. The second source of knowledge is reason. The ancient Greek philosophers. Socrates and Plato. Used to reason in order to establish truth. And certainty in their debates with the Sophos who did not believe that truth was absolute. They also understood as we just discovered that knowledge. Derived from the senses. Produces opinion and not truth. In other words. According to Socrates. A beautiful woman is not beautiful because of information that comes from our senses. She is beautiful because she partakes of the concept of beauty. What he meant was that the concept of beauty has an existence that is separate from the woman. Thus the woman is beautiful because she is a copy of the concept of beauty. Now. Don't be confused by that. Here's a simpler example. Take this piece of paper for instance. It is not white. Because of what our senses are telling us. It is white. Because the paper is a duplications of the concept of whiteness that has an existence. In a world where there is no time or space. Now if that seems confusing here's what I mean a white piece of paper was white before I ever saw it and it will continue to be white. Even after I see it. It is white. Because it is white. I don't need to sense it. In order for it to be wide. Yet. It is also possible to use reason. In such a way that appears logical. Yet we know that it's false. Someone might say that lots of people are buying this movie or music album. So therefore it is good. Of course. This is false reasoning. Therefore the use of reason. Which has its basis in things for which there is no empirical evidence. Cannot be used to construct. The test. Another source of knowledge is intuition and feeling. These are known to be very personal and ever changing. They certainly can be true. Yet it is almost impossible to establish them as objective criteria for God's existence. Now the fourth source of knowledge is experience. One can learn many things through the experiences of life whether one zone or someone else's experience. However like intuition and feeling. The experience of one person can be diametrically opposed to another. Thereby making experience an insufficient source of knowledge. For our question. It is in that same way a similar problem exists. When it comes to history. I want you to notice. Lewis got shocks perceptive. Observation. He states. Only a part of what was observed in the past was remembered by those who observed it. Only a part of what was remembered. Was recorded. Only a part of what was recorded has survived. Only a part of what has survived has come to the attention of the historian. Only a part of what has come to his attention is credible. Only a part of what is credible. Has been grasped. And only a part of what has been grasped can be expounded or narrated by the historian. Experience may be true but it can also be easily mistaken. Now another source of knowledge is knowledge that comes to us from the experts. This may come in the form of philosopher scientists. Technicians doctors lawyers or teachers. Just to name a few. And although we have gained a lot through the experts. There is one major problem. Knowledge is increasing at an alarming rate. For example. The small and exciting field of nanotechnology is doubling every two years. And clinical knowledge is doubling every eighteen months. Another example is The World Wide Web. In one thousand nine hundred one. There was one Web site today. Over one billion Web sites. The growth of knowledge is staggering. Thus. What an expert claims to know about any given subject is certainly going to change very soon. In some cases. This new knowledge is simply adding more details. But in many other cases. What we thought we knew. Needs to be completely revised. For example in the late eight hundred doctors would prescribe the smoking of cigarettes. To cure bronchitis. Arsenic. As a health supplement. And mercury. As a cure for many diseases. Yet in the twentieth century. All of them would found. Be found to be poisonous and toxic to individuals. Knowledge changes constantly. And although all of these sources from which we can gain knowledge. Have their place. There is a high probability of error when using them as tools to determine whether God really exists. Therefore if reason. Sensory Perception. Intuition feeling. Experience. History and the experts are not sufficient to construct the test to apply to the existence of God. Then what is it. That will work. You know God makes a bold statement. As a matter of fact in the book of Isaiah. Isaiah Chapter forty six verses nine in ten. This is what the Bible says. Remember the former things of old. For I am God and there is no other. I am God and there is none like me. Declaring the end from the beginning. And from ancient times. Things that are not yet done. God says that he is God in there is no other. Then he states. They knows the end from the beginning. He knows things that are not yet done. In other words. The future. God has made himself completely. Testable. This is why the Bible says in first US alone eons five twenty one test all phases hold fast. What is good. God has opened himself to be test. A VAT is why we begun this journey. So then how is it that we will test him to know with certainty whether he exists or not. Well that's why you have to tune in again next week. It is in Nacho that we will continue to answer. One of life's greatest question. Does God really exist. Let's pray. Heavenly Father we thank you that you have given us opportunity to test you to see if you really exist. And as we continue our study as we go about looking. We pray that you would reveal to us the answers. And not only reveal those answers but help us to understand the answers. And then help us to make decisions based upon those answers. Please encourage us along in this journey we pray in Jesus name Amen. Hi everyone. When you're traveling it. Do you find that it's difficult to eat as healthy as you'd like when you're on vacation do you usually return home with five extra pounds of the reminder of your trip. Let me share some tips with you for healthy eating. While you're traveling. First. Whatever your mode of transportation pack of meals when you both have to purchase. Less than nutritious food at the airports. Or at gas stations. Only to pay things like sandwiches. Dried and fresh fruits and nuts. Next plan A where you're going to eat. There's a wonderful website called Happy couch. We can search for a healthy vegetarian vegan or raw food restaurants practically anywhere in the world. You can also search for health food stores. And they've got lots of information I'm vegetarian nutrition. The website address is happy cow dot net. And there's even an app for your smartphone. Here's another idea. When you're on vacation. There are a part minsan condos you can rent to it's fully equipped kitchens. That way you can enjoy shopping for a great local produce to cook your own healthy delicious low cost meals. Or if you prefer staying in a hood sale. Get a room with a fridge and stock it with things like non-dairy milk. High fiber cereal. Whole grain bread Hama's fruits nuts and bottled water from a local grocery store. I find when I'm traveling it's often difficult to get a good healthy breakfast in the hotel. But keeping a stash of healthy food in your room. Is a great convenience. Also eat with the local people eats. You're likely to find a little hole in the wall kinds of restaurants with great local food at really affordable prices. At restaurants. If there are no vegetarian choices. The chef is usually more than happy to prepare a lovely platter of just vegetables for you. Whenever I've done that everyone else. Always looks at my place with envy. You also add a restaurant or to the entrees that are steamed. Broyles or baked avoid foods. They're fried. Deep fried or a swimming in creams or have you foxes. Ask for your pizza. Without cheese. And nice whole grain crust pizza with just grilled vegetables. Equals delicious restaurants. Are you know it's Hari As for the amounts of salt and sugar they use. Stay away from the story's sauce and anything pickled salad is usually our friends. But not when it comes smothered in cheese. Lots of jesting. Or a bacon bed. Instead of ask for a piece of lemon to spring on your is salads. In fact. Don't be shy about asking your waiter to substitute or delete ingredients from your order. Remember when you're traveling. Be good to yourself. Of course you can have a few treats along the way but overall eat healthy live healthy next time. Dear friend God has invited us to take a journey to test him to see if use real to see if he really exists or to offer you this week to discover Bible guides which will lead you want to journey of discovering who God is and how to have a personal relationship with him. Here's the information you need to get. Today's offer to request today's offer. Just log on to W W W dot. It is written canada dot ca. That's W W W dot. It is written canada dot ca for Canadian viewers. The author will be sent free and postage paid for viewers outside of Canada. Shipping charges will apply. If you prefer. You may call toll free at one eight hundred eight Paul I.I. W. That's one eight eight eight. Call I.I. W.. Or if you wish. You may write to us at. It is written. Box twenty ten. Our show Ontario. L one age seventy four. Does God really exist. One of the great questions of life. In fact it's one of the most important questions that we could answer here on. It is written. I'm glad that you took the opportunity to join us on that journey today. You won't want to miss it next week as we continue to ask that question. Does God really exists. Thank you again for joining us today. Join us again next week and tell then remember. It is written. Man shall not live by bread alone. But vice everywhere that proceeds from the mouth of God.

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