I had a philosophy professor in college named Steve Evans, and although I often couldn’t keep up with him, he made one statement I have never forgotten: one of the greatest proofs of the existence of God is banana cream pie. It’s kind of a shorthand version of the claim that we can reason from the existence of creation to the existence of a Creator.

What is convincing to me about that is not simply the complexity of creation. I know some people argue that the complexity of, for example, the human eye can only be explained by a creator. For me, complexity does not get to the root of the matter. And I get a little concerned about a “God of the gaps” approach that requires science or natural selection to be unable to account for something in order to prove God. What if down the road science figures it out?

No, what is convincing to me is not so much the complexity of creation as the goodness of creation. If there is no God, then it really doesn’t matter if anything exists or not. But there is another way of viewing things: “God spoke, and it was so, and God saw that it was good.” Even the ugliness we see — cancer and pollution and slums — are painful precisely because creation is so good when it is right. The goodness of creation is a reason to believe. But it is not the greatest reason.

John Ortberg, Know Doubt: Embracing Uncertainty in Your Faith (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2014).

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