Often times, Christians are intimidated by apologetics and philosophy. They don’t believe they can know enough to demonstrate God’s existence. While there are depths of knowledge and information that one would have to master to be able to debate atheistic philosophers, the average person on the street just honestly wants to know if it is rational to believe in God. Anyone can provide that type of evidence. One of the easiest to understand, yet very effective methods is called the Kalaam argument.
|Photo by me, taken while driving down the road. Please don’t try this in your car!|
Be very careful that you call it the Kalaam and not Kazaam. Kalaam demonstrates how believing in a Creator God is entirely rationale. would be an argument against God’s existence. A wretched movie staring Shaquille O’Neal as a magic genie appearing from a boombox does not point to an intelligent designer.
The Kalaam argument a very simple, three-step argument. (Make sure you say Kalaam and not Kazaam. One is evidence for God’s existence. The other is a box-office bomb staring Shaquille O’Neal which could be used as evidence against God’s existence.) Kalaam is an argument that most people get intuitively which demonstrates the rational nature of a Creator God. The argument is as follows:
Whatever began to exist has a cause.
The universe began to exist.
Therefore, the universe has a cause.
Again, simple but effective. Most people understand, recognize and accept the two premises (whatever began to exist has a cause, the universe began to exist). However, some refuse to accept the conclusion (the universe has a cause) because they know that the cause would naturally be God.
Because most people cannot argue with either of the premises and thus cannot refute the conclusion, they try a simple diversion trick. Ever heard, “Oh yeah, well who created God?” To which you respond, “No one did. God is uncreated.” And then the skeptic retorts, “Well if God can be uncreated, so can the universe.”
Has the atheist defeated your argument? No, but they may have won the debate if you don’t know how to respond. So how do you respond to their assertion that if God can be uncreated the universe can, too?
Look at the first premise of your argument. “Everything that begins to exist has a cause.” What about that argument applies to the universe, but not to God? The universe began to exist. Science has shown us that the universe had a beginning. What about God, did He have a beginning? Not according to the Christian concept of God. He is timeless and immaterial. That lines up with the type of cause that the universe would require.
No one caused God, but that does not violate or disprove your first premise because we understand God as having no beginning and therefore not needing a cause. Many atheists will still simply assert that the universe can be uncaused, if God can be uncause. However, at that point they have demonstrated that they are holding on to their belief system despite what logical evidence demonstrates.
The Kalaam argument cannot overcome someone’s faith in atheism. Only God working in their life can do that. However, the argument can remove a barrier and it can be part of process which God uses to bring someone to Him. Perhaps just as importantly, it can insulate Christian students facing difficult philosophical questions from teachers and professors.
In the past, the church could get by with not knowing philosophy and logical arguments for God’s existence. Not today. We live in a post-Christian culture that needs Christian who can articulate both biblically and philosophically about God. You do not have to know everything, but you do need to know something. The Kalaam argument is something that virtually any question can know and articulate.