Tag Archives: existence of god

Apologetics for kindergarteners

My daughter came home from school the other week and while talking with my wife about her day she mentioned that one of the boys in her class told them that God doesn’t exist.

As much as I wanted to lay out for her the intricacies of the cosmological argument, the moral argument, the teleological argument, the historical argument, and a whole range of other evidence that points to the existence of God, I knew that my 5 year old, brilliant as she is, would not be able to comprehend them.

So what should I do to 1. combat this challenge she has received to her fledgling faith and 2. strengthen her faith?

The first thing I did was to address the absurdity of the claim that God doesn’t exist. The exchange went as follows:

Daughter: My friend told me that God doesn’t exist.
Me: That’s silly, that’s like me saying that since I didn’t catch God in a glass jar he must not exist.

The purpose of this exchange was to, quite simply, make the assertion that “God doesn’t exist” appear as absurd as it actually is. Universal negatives require omniscience and I have yet to meet an atheist who meets that criteria so it is safe to dismiss that notion outright.

This also helps to teach my daughter that all propositional truth claims require evidence and sound reason in order to be properly substantiated.

Me: Why does your friend think that God doesn’t exist?
Daughter: I dunno.
Me: Probably because his father told him.

I want my daughter to learn how to follow ideas back to their source. In this case its a pretty safe bet that the source of her friend’s belief is his parents. Just like the source of my daughter’s beliefs are her parents. I won’t/can’t provide the reason her friend’s parents’ disbelieve in the existence of God, but I want to whet my daughter’s appetite and let her know that her trust in us is not without warrant.

So I finished our short conversation with.

Me: How do you know that God exists?
Daughter: I dunno, how?
Me: You know God exists because you trust your mommy and daddy. And how do you suppose we know that God exists?
Daughter: How?
Me: We’ve examined the evidence and arguments from both sides and have found the evidence for God’s existence to be overwhelming.

Like I mentioned above, I’d really like to go into the specifics on the plethora of evidence and reason we have to believe that God exists and, more specifically, that Jesus is the promised messiah. Instead I planted a seed. I intend to water it as she grows, but for now I only want to accomplish two things:

  • Introduce her to apologetics, the need to defend her faith
  • Provide her with a basic answer/reason/foundation for her fledgling faith

How to prove God exists: Kalam cosmological argument

Ok, I admit that “prove” here won’t be in the Cartesian, 100% without-a-doubt, sense that many empiricalists in our culture think is required before we can reasonably be said to “know” something is true. However, this time-tested argument will help you show your non-believing neighbor that your belief in God is not an irrational leap of faith.

This argument is simple and based on natural revelation which means it doesn’t require the other person to accept the authority or validity of the Bible beforehand. Interestingly enough, this also means that this argument isn’t the exclusive domain of Christianity. While it doesn’t point to a specific God, it does help establish the basis for the belief in God which is one of the biggest barriers to belief in our postmodern, philosophically naturalistic culture.

Kalam Cosmological Argument

This arguement has origins with Aristotle‘s arguement of the Prime Mover and as omnious as it may sound the arguement is quite effective, in part, for its simplicity. The general argument goes as follows:

1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause

2. The universe began to exist1

3. Therefore the universe had a cause

That’s it! There are obviously points to be made at each step to support and bolster each claim, but the general outline ought to be enough to answer a fundamental question of human existence that philosophical naturalism is at a loss  to answer which is: Why is there something rather than nothing?

This argument is heavily promoted by Dr. William Lane Craig and has been used with devastating effectiveness in many debates. For further reading on the subject I highly recommend visiting his site, reasonablefaith.org, for his free, in-depth, lectures. I also recommend his book “Reasonable Faith” where, in addition to the Kalam Cosmological Argument, Dr. Craig also explores several variations on the parent Contingency Argument and refutes some objections raised by noted theoretical astrophysicist,  Stephen Hawking.

Happy debating!

  1. This premise used to be a matter of pure speculation. However now it is bolstered by hard science. Specifically with the discovery of the Cosmic Red Shift and Cosmic Background Radiation []