Is There A God?

Some of my thinking in this blog has been assisted by the writings of Swiss theologian Emil Brunner.

Is There A God?
The question is not necessarily easy to answer because the question itself is wrongly framed. The moment a person asks this question about God they are on the wrong track. The problem is the word “there.”

there: adverb in or at that place

The moment the question, “Is there a God?” is framed, a wrong assumption has been made — the assumption that for God to be He must be an object to which the adverb there can apply. Is there a God? In one sense I should answer, No, “there” is no God. God simply is. But not “there.”

I AM THAT I AM, spake the voice from the burning bush.

“There is” a cup of coffee sitting on the table next to me. “There is” a large sycamore tree in my back yard. “There is” a building called the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. “There is” a planet called Jupiter in our solar system. But in the sense of the cup of coffee, the tree, the Taj Mahal and Jupiter, “there” is no God. God is not an object to be found within the universe. You cannot find God as an astronomer finds a new galaxy in the heavens or as an entomologist finds a new insect in the Amazon. Quite simply, God is not an object that can be found in that manner. “There” is no God.

God is not an object in the universe. The universe is an object within God. Just as astrophysicists speak of the utter impossibility of knowing anything about other universes, so it is utterly impossible to know God from within the universe…unless He would will to reveal himself.


God reveals Himself to the heart. I don’t mean this in any sentimental way, but in the sense that God is known only by revelation.

(By “know” I mean “to perceive directly” as opposed to “be evidenced by.”)

“No one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.” (Matthew 11:27)

“You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)

“The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing.” -Blaise Pascal

God is not an object, and thus not an object of knowledge. Instead, it is only because of God that anything can be known. God stands silently behind every question and behind every pursuit of knowledge. God is the only possible answer to the ultimate question: Why is there something instead of nothing?

I know this about the pursuit of God from my own experience: God never reveals Himself unto idle curiosity. God will not be an object in any man’s curio shop. If you want to be objective with God, forget about it. Go collect butterflies or something. But if you will become subjective, part of the story, anxious in desperate inquiry, then you might get somewhere.

If you are anxious about there being a God, because of the truth that without a God existence is meaningless, then you are beginning to ask aright. But of course, in asking your question in this manner, you have already answered the question. If there is no Purpose (God), why (how!) would you (could you!) even have such a concern for purpose? Without God you could never raise a question about God. Without God there would be no concept of meaning and thus you could never become anxious about meaning.

(Were the Aztecs ever anxious about the price of gasoline?)

If there were no God, there would be no atheists.

(You can’t have an atheo without a theo.)

You want God because your heart knows there is a God.
You don’t want God because your heart knows there is a God.
Your heart knows.
Indeed, the heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing.

Some look at evil and think there is no God. But that you know good from evil shows that your heart already knows there is a God. Because your heart knows God is good, your heart protests the existence of evil.

To my atheist and agnostic friends I say this gently (I don’t mean it as an insult, but as an analysis): Atheism is a kind of insanity. And a modern insanity at that. Though God is not an object in the universe, He is the most obvious reality of existence. It takes an intelligent man to think God out of existence. But intelligent men can go insane.

Perhaps you think this is true: God is dead.

But this is undeniable: Nietzsche is insane.

You say, the one has nothing to do with the other. Perhaps.

But a mind untethered from that which by definition is the only Ultimate Reality may indeed be prone to lose touch with even ordinary reality.

Is there a God? The question is mis-framed and perhaps even dishonest. Though God is not an object in the universe, He has not left Himself without a witness. A multitude of realities from creation to conscience point us to Him who transcends the universe.

The question is not, is there a God, but, who is God?

And that leads us in another direction.

God is not an object in the universe.



Could the Incarnation be true?
Could it not be true?

Who is this Jesus of Nazareth?
You need to answer this question.
But only after some serious inquiry.

Recommended reading for the serious inquirer: The Gospel of John
Recommended reading for the non-serious inquirer: A Guide to Collecting Butterflies