What prevents human reasoning from proving the existence or non-existence of God?
Human logic and reasoning are flawed and not infallible and are shaped by all kinds of reasons that do not accord with Reason. We are like people then trying to speak about something that lies outside of our complete ken—or like Plato’s cave dwellers.
But I shall never forget that day in the fall of 1972, when, in my first year of university, I sat down to prove the existence of God with pen and paper. I was new to the halls of academia and I was filled with the love of philosophy and philosophical books and the love of words and reasoning. I had gathered a small cache of books, maybe twenty–in them my world of thought was confined. And I often regretted that one day I would die and could peruse those books no more. Little did I know what awaited me that golden autumn. For that day, there in a room in a house off Richmond Street in London, Ontario, where I was boarding with a very elderly couple, before I could put pen to paper, I knew…I knew God existed. Oh, my world was changed. He existed.
I did not yet know him as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God who is as burning fire, the God of glory revealed in the face of Jesus Christ. But I was being turned from the confines of human reason to Truth above. I was starting on that road–rather, he was taking my hand down that road–that would lead to a church pew in Stanley Avenue Baptist Church, Hamilton, Ontario, where I heard the Gospel really for the first time and a one-room apartment in Toronto on Dundonald Avenue, where the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, my Maker, revealed himself in the fire of revelation and I came to the point where I could say, without any philosophical hesitation, Christianus sum.
I then knew, as I had never known before, the limits of reason and why I was alive and I was given a reason to live forever. To enjoy his presence and to bathe in his glory with the saints of his Church: philosopher saints like Augustine and Anselm and humble saints like Augustine’s mother Monnica.
“Who is this that hangs there dying while the rude world scoffs and scorns
Numbered with the malefactors, torn with nails, and crowned with thorns?
‘Tis our God who lives forever mid the shining ones on high
In the glorious golden city, reigning everlastingly.”
(William W How)