The answer to this question depends greatly on what is meant by “conclusive” proof. Can we reach out and touch God or see Him in the same way that we touch and see people? No. But there are countless ways one can know assuredly that God does exist, that He is real, and He is who He says He is. We will look briefly at three ways of proving His existence using both science and the Bible.
1. The Law of Cause and Effect. This law of science states that every cause has its effect and every effect has its cause. This law is the basis of all science. As such, this law bears a relationship to the origin of the heavens and the earth. In fact, scientists agree that the universe has not existed forever, that it had a beginning at some point in time.
The theory of relativity, which is almost universally accepted among scientists, has certain implications for this Law of Cause and Effect. One is that the universe, defined as time, space, matter, and physical energy had a beginning, that it is not eternal. And it is through Einstein’s equations that scientists can trace the development of the universe back to its very origin, back to what is called the “singularity event” when it actually came into being. Science has proven that the universe really did have a beginning. This means that if the universe had a starting point in history, then it obviously began to exist, and it must have a cause for its existence.
Therefore, if the universe needs a cause for its coming into being, then that cause must be beyond the universe—which is time, space, matter, and physical energy. That cause must be something similar to what Christians call “God.” Even Richard Dawkins, probably the most prominent proponent for atheism in our time, admitted in a TIME magazine article that “there could be something incredibly grand and incomprehensible and beyond our present understanding.” Yes, and that is God!
We can best summarize this cosmological evidence with the following statements:
(1) Whatever begins to exist must have a cause for its existence.
(2) The universe began to exist.
(3) Therefore, the universe must have a cause for its existence.
(4) The attributes of the cause of the universe (being timeless, existing outside of space, and so on) are the attributes of God.
(5) Therefore, the cause of the universe must be God (Genesis 1:1).
2. The Law of Teleology. Teleology is the study of design or purpose in natural phenomena. This law of science essentially means that when an object reflects a purpose, goal, or design, it must have had a designer. Simply put, things do not design themselves. This holds true for the things in the universe, which proves that it had to have a Designer.
For example, the earth in orbiting the sun departs from a straight line by only one-ninth of an inch every 18 miles—a very straight line in human terms. If the orbit changed by one-tenth of an inch every 18 miles, it would be vastly larger and we would all freeze to death. If it changed by one-eighth of an inch, we would be incinerated. The sun is burning at approximately 20 million degrees Celsius at its interior. If the earth was moved 10% farther away, we would soon freeze to death. If it was moved 10% closer, we would be reduced to ashes. Are we to believe that such precision “just happened”? Think about it: the sun is poised at 93 million miles from Earth, which happens to be just right. Did this happen by chance or by design? It’s no small wonder that the psalmist alludes to God as the grand designer: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. . . . [The sun] rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other” (Psalm 19:1, 6).
3. The Laws of Probability and Fulfilled Prophecy. There are 1,093 prophecies in the Bible that refer to Jesus and His Church, and each one of those prophecies was fulfilled! The Old Testament contains 48 prophecies that pertain to the crucifixion of Jesus. When applying the laws of probability to calculate the likelihood of several events taking place at or near the same time, all probabilities have to be multiplied together. For example, if the probability of a single event occurring randomly is 1 chance in 5 and the probability of a separate event occurring is 1 chance in 10, then the probability that both events will occur together or in sequence is 1 in 5 multiplied by 1 in 10, which yields 1 in 50.
In considering the fact that several different prophets who lived in separate communities over a span of a 1,000 years made predictions of Christ 500 years before His birth, the odds against these prophecies coming true are simply beyond our wildest comprehension. For example, the chances of one man (Jesus) fulfilling just 8 of the prophecies attributed to Him are one in 10 to the 17th power (that’s a number 1 with 17 zeroes).
Consider this: imagine covering the entire state of Texas with silver dollars to a level of two feet deep. The number of silver dollars needed to cover the whole state would be 10 to the 17th power. Mark one silver dollar with an “X” and drop it from an airplane. Then thoroughly stir all the silver dollars all over the state. Then blindfold a man and tell him he can travel wherever he wishes in the state of Texas. Then somewhere along the way, he is to stop and reach down into the two feet of silver dollars and pull up the one silver dollar that has been marked with the “X.” What are the chances of his doing this? The same chance the prophets had of eight of their prophecies being fulfilled in any one man in the future (based on the work of Peter W. Stoner and Robert C. Newman in Science Speaks: Scientific Proof of the Accuracy of Prophecy and the Bible [Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1963, pg. 101-109].)
The Bible with all its fulfilled prophecies proves the existence of God. Through the law of probability and the mathematical odds of prophecy being fulfilled, we can know assuredly that there was a divine Designer and Author of the Bible. The same One who brought the universe into existence. “You may say to yourselves, ‘How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD?’ If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously” (Deuteronomy 18:21-22).
Finally, God, the Creator of the universe and Author of our salvation tells us, “Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please” (Isaiah 46:9-10).