Where did the Big Bang come from? For me, it helped to take a look at what I would see if I didn't start with presuppositions:
There are two different possibilities regarding God:
- There is no God. The Universe and space/time came out of nothing or a black hole and/or parallel universe and/or is a relic of a previous universe. This still raises some questions that scientists don't answer: where did the natural laws of the Universe come from? (see side bar) Even if they came from a previous Universe or a parallel Universe, where did they come from before the first Universe? OR
- There was a Creator/God who was above space-time and all natural laws. Some would ask what came before God, but the teaching about God is that he is eternal and above time and space. To be sure, it does bring up questions about why God didn't provide scientific proof.
There is no natural physical 'proof' for either option. True science does not address this issue. However, one of the things that helps make the idea of a God/Creator more reasonable is that there were so many things that seem so unlikely in a random universe.
Stage 2: If there was a God, what can logic tell you about him?
Again there are two main possibilities:
- God was essentially the creator but has virtually no interaction with his creation.
- God did have interaction with his creation. What sort of evidence would there be of his interaction?
a. Logic that says that it seems reasonable if God created advanced homo sapiens with full consciousness who could somewhat relate to God, then he might want to relate to them.
b. Religions, which reflect widespread beliefs in God, could be a human reaction to personal and/or scriptural evidences of God's interaction with humankind.
Stage 3: Further examination: If there was a God who interacted with humans, is there a religion that makes the most sense of being true?
There have been many expected gods over history, but there are only a small number widely believed today, particularly Islam, Hinduism, and Christianity. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have some common history with Abraham being a historical father.
- Judaism has been an amazingly strong tradition that held together a race through ancient history, but has nothing to say beyond Old Testament history and is now not widely practiced as a faith.
- Christianity is centered on a Jewish person, Jesus Christ, and went on to change the world, even the dating of calendars.
- Islam recognizes Jewish history to some extent and believes in Jesus as a great spiritual teacher or prophet, but doesn't accept the Christian belief that Jesus was the 'son of God.'
- Hinduism includes a diversity of ideas on spirituality and traditions, but has no ecclesiastical order, no unquestionable religious authorities, no governing body, no prophet(s) nor any binding holy book; Hindus can choose to be polytheistic, pantheistic, monotheistic, monistic, agnostic, atheistic or humanist.
Christianity is the biggest world-wide religion and seems to have a world view that most consistent with the world as we know it. In it:
- God is above space and time and created our Universe at a point in time.
- God is a God of love, who seems likely to have created humankind to have a free-will love relationship with him.*
- Because of that, he interacts with his creation and created humans with souls, but also free wills, which meant allowing an alternative: evil/sin.
- He inspired humans to write scriptures that convey spiritual meaning and some historical context to be collected in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible.
- He worked through the Jewish people to be his special representatives and through which he interacted with humans. There is an undeniable rich history of interactions that eventually dovetail with accepted human history.
- At a key point in history, God felt the need to relate to humans on their level, through part of him coming to earth in the form of Jesus Christ.
- Jesus transformed history away from an emphasis on Jewish law and towards inner purity and love of God and others.
- Most Christians believe that in a final dramatic act, God sacrificed his Son as a gift for the sins of all humans (or at least those who accept his gift) and then resurrected him to appear before his disciples and many others.
- Some doubt this story, but there is very little doubt that the disciples plus Paul dramatically changed the world with this belief. There is no evidence that any of them wavered in their belief. In fact, they pursued, in many cases suffering a painful death because of their belief. This is powerful evidence that Jesus was not just another 'false prophet.’ Also, his statements seem to rule out the option of being just a great teacher, since he made so many claims about his divinity and had many miracles to his credit.
- Christian beliefs also say that God gave his Holy Spirit as a help to them.
- Nevertheless, it is clear that like all humans, Christians are deeply flawed individuals who sometimes act as if they are above other humans. This is a similar pattern to one of the biggest themes in scripture: Jesus fighting against hypocrisy and pharisaism. Some today emphasize rules and their cultural traditions (which could be called Churchianity). Others de-emphasize ‘religion’ and emphasize their personal relationship with God.
- Most Christians are aware that there is very little evidence of provable miracles in this age but have observed that God prefers to work through subtle ways using natural forces and timing (some call these Type 1 miracles) including strong evidence in their own lives and others they know. Most also believe that there are times throughout history that he made exceptions to his natural laws to work in supernatural ways (which some call Type 2 miracles), particularly in relationship to the birth, miracles, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
- One argument against Christianity is the lack of scientific proof of his action in creation and the world, but Christians find that a reasonable expectation from a God who wanted humans to come to him through free will, not overpowering evidence.
Therefore, it seems reasonable to believe that:
- There is a creator/God
- That God would interact with humans, the only creatures that can intellectually conceive of God.
- That God would have interacted in a way:
a. That makes the most sense in what we observe
b. That has a high level of impact on history, in order for it to be considered a viable free will option for most people.
c. That has made a credible impact on people you know and see in Christian settings.
d. That has shown himself to you through personal evidence.
Because of this, for most people in the world (with the exception of the Middle - East, China, India and a few other countries), "faith" means Christian faith. So, for most people, that is what the "faith" in science and faith assumes, and the Old and New Testaments of the Bible are what "scripture" assumes.