faith q & a

McClatchy Newspapers

Q. What’s the best argument for believing in God?

Pastor Emeritus Raymond Davis Jr., Greater Corinthian Church of the Christ, Kansas City, Mo.:

A. The best argument for believing in God is the central argument of the Scriptures — God’s love, especially as spoken about in the New Testament. The Bible’s essential premise is stated in the context of God’s love for mankind, and God’s love is always an act on behalf of the world of mankind. Consider “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son.” “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (John 3:16 and 1 John 4:10)

God gives the believer the advantage through this faith value, and all those who will believe are established. The believer is persuaded to have faith in God because of what Scripture has to say about those who believe in God. For example, God said to a person in authority that to believe is to be established. To not believe voids one’s being established. (Isaiah 7:9)

To be established means that no matter the things that are designed to shake or even destroy one’s faith will not prosper. Consider “No weapon formed against you shall prosper.” (Isaiah 54:17a)

Not believing in God is stated in the Psalm 14:1 and Psalm 53:1.

Lama Chuck Stanford, Rime Buddhist Center & Monastery:

A. From the Buddhist perspective your question of whether God exists is a moot point. One of the key distinctions of Buddhism from other religions is the lack of any kind of supreme deity who created the universe. The Buddha himself did not consider himself any kind of god, savior or even prophet. He was merely a mortal human who went on a spiritual search and through his efforts attained enlightenment.

The lack of the acceptance of a creator may call into question how the world began. From the Buddhist perspective there is no real starting point for life. In Buddhist cosmology, life is seen as a continuous cycle of birth, death and rebirth again. This is happening on a macro level (multiple galactic universes), and on the micro level (each of us dies and are reborn again) and this occurs in an unending cycle.

All religions have some concept of ultimate reality. For monotheistic religions, it is the concept of God. For Buddhists, ultimate reality is Dharmakaya or the Buddha’s enlightened mind that is free from the limits of conceptualization and empty of inherent existence.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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