I first met Dr. Antony Flew in 1997. I invited him to debate Dr. William Lane Craig on the topic “Does God Exist” at the University of Wisconsin. He agreed, and the debate occurred on February 18, 1998. The events of that evening played an important role in Dr. Flew ultimately rejecting atheism and concluding God does exist. I was privileged to have a front-row seat as these events unfolded.
On a recent flight the person next to me asked, “Why do you believe God is a person?” Bob was an accomplished CEO and a very thoughtful person who had converted to Tibetan Buddhism. Over the next two hours I shared that I believe God is a person for five reasons, which I am summarizing in this series. The fourth reason I shared with Bob is the evidence that Jesus is God in flesh. Since Jesus is God, and Jesus is a person, God is a person. I offered a number of arguments to believe Jesus is God.
“Why do you believe God is a person?” asked the CEO sitting next to me on the plane. He was a convert to Tibetan Buddhism and thought it more reasonable to think of God as an impersonal force. Over the next two hours, I shared five reasons I believe God is a person—the same five I have been summarizing in this series. We now come to the third reason, which is that only a Person can be the cause of the moral values we all share (such as “Racism is wrong”).
Last Tuesday I lost one of my heroes. Christian speaker, author, and editor Jim Sire passed “from the land of the dying into the land of the living” to a great reward at age 84. He not only had a massive influence on me and countless others through his many books (such as The Universe Next Door, which is one of four books I suggest each parent read with their children before college), he was also a friend and mentor to me and so many others. We can learn at least three lessons from Jim’s life.
“Why do you believe God is a person?” I was sitting next to a very bright executive on a recent flight to the West Coast, and “Bob” asked me what I did. When I said I serve with a Christian ministry, this was his question. He no longer believed God was a person, but more of a force. He is one of more and more Westerners who are embracing this view, known as “pantheism.” This underlies all Eastern religions, such as Buddhism (Bob later identified himself as Tibetan Buddhist), which has become especially popular among progressives, youth in search of answers, and Hollywood.
It either happened this week 1,984* years ago or it didn’t. If it did, God came to earth and can provide the flourishing and eternal life He promised. If it didn’t, anyone who believes the Easter myth is a fool. The past four weeks I’ve responded to six common objections to Jesus’ bodily resurrection that first Easter morning. But there is a seventh objection worth considering…