l. Testimony of the Scriptures which speak to the human heart as they describe the evils engulfing the human race and the plan of God to restore mankind to original goodness.
2. Testimony of goodness coming to one's own life and to the world through organized religion, in spite of the failures of some Christians and some of the hierarchy.
3. Testimony of other people, lives of the saints,etc.
4. Testimony of other religions as they hunger for ultimate love and seek out the Creator and the love for which all men hunger.
5. Testimony of one's own life experiences and the miracles one has experienced from God in one's life
6. Testimony of "Order in Universe," in life, in the human body, in scientific principles, etc.
7. Testimony of evil and suffering as a reality in the world. The all-powerful life destroying reality of suffering without God. The life-giving, transforming power of suffering embraced for the love of God.
8. Testimony of lives of nations and people who, having rejected God, show forth the failure,emptiness and despair of life without God.
9. Testimony of one's own life in its destructive and negative dimensions and attitudes, and one's experience of dynamic positive change as God is embraced and the power of God and goodness transforms one's mind, attitude, and mental life.
10. Testimony of failure of all philosophies, political, and social systems to make sense of life without God and to satisfactorily explain its purpose and meaning.
ll. Testimony of depth of evil capable by human beings, without God, as seen in the scandal in the world of ongoing warfare, holocausts, torture, greed, hatred, racism, etc.,
12. Testimony of individual human life without God expressed in addiction to alcohol, drugs, sex, power, money,greed,hatred of fellow man, etc.
13. Testimony of Love as all manner of evil and suffering in the world provide a catalyst for mercy , and show the depth, power and riches of the mystery of love as it rises up, overcomes, and transforms the evil of the world into a source for greater love, mercy, and compassion. Realization that a world without challenges and suffering would be a dull place to live.
14. Testimony of prayer as it produces blessings in one's life and the capacity for unselfish love.
15. Testimony of Science, as each certainty is replaced by a new one, and as it demonstrates its incapacity to explain life at the natural, materialistic level. The failure of social sciences to provide any but the most superficial answers to the infinite needs and longings of the human soul.
16. Testimony of one's day-to- day experience of life wherein God says there is a special dignity and rationality to humankind, which places it above the animals and plant kingdom, and one finds it to be obviously so in the world. One searches in vain for animals or plants who are reading books, building computers, traveling to the Moon and Mars, or wondering about their reason for existing. And again, God, as compared to some philosophers and psychologists, says man has free-will, and so one finds it to be in one's own life. One can raise or lower one's arm or blink one's eyes or shout one's name freely and whenever one pleases.
17. Testimony of a Godless world. When one looks in the world for the power of love, one does not find it. One rather sees mankind caught up in a survival frenzy, based on keeping up with the Jones', which more and more reduces human existence to requirements of machine-like regularity- required to do this and required to do that and required to do the other thing in order to maintain the status quo and keep from falling behind. And the stress generated by this system and the fear of failure, produces rage, addictive behavior, psychosomatic illnesses, family breakdowms, hatred, suicide, etc. There is no time or room for God or love in such a cruel lifestyle . There is no room for older people, sick people, problem people, young people,poor people, and people of other races. Is it any wonder the people caught up in this system say there is no God. For this is the "Spirit of the world" condemned by Christ.
18. Testimony of Beauty. The world shows forth traces of the divine footprints in the face of a child, in the color of a rose, in the beauty of a sunset.
19. Testimony within one's own consciousness and the "peace of mind" found by oneself and others who live with God , seeking good and avoiding evil.
20. Testimony of the power of Unselfish Love in the world to heal lives broken by the evils of crime, drugs and alcohol,and every manner of addiction, to make life meaningful and to give joy and gladness to the human heart.
21. Testimony of design and purpose in life, as we see the design of organs such as the human eye by which we may see, and how far short of the mark natural theories fall in their attempts to explain the sophisticated intricacy of design and purpose in life.
22. Testimony of the strength, regularity and constancy of the laws of life, in a universe supposedly the result of chance forces, and the minor role that chance actually plays, compared to our own decision making, in our day-to-day living and experience of the universe.
23. Testimony of our reason which tells us that something less doesn't produce something greater than itself, such as human consciousness coming from the materialistic Big Bang, but rather a greater Consciousness and Mind is required to design a universe producing a lesser consciousness and mind.
24. Testimony of Light in our lives, where Scripture says that "those who walked in darkness have seen a great light." We find light and purpose in our lives as we live with God's companionship. We find those living without such companionship living lives without hope, dependent on addicive pleasures and immediate gratification, and bathed in darkness as they long for the appearance of E.T. to make sense of it all.
25. Testimony of the human heart which is seized by longing for an unseen beauty and goodness and which finds its desires fulfilled only in God.
There are those who, through the power of reason conclude that a Being called God does not exist. On the other hand, there are men and women of reason, of all professions and experience, who are convinced of God's existence. Like attorneys at a trial, people of integrity and reason take the same set of facts, the same evidence, and reach different conclusions. And sometimes the same person, convinced one way by the evidence at one point in life, is convinced the opposite way by the same evidence at a later point in life. So, what are we to do?
After all, what is this thing called "Belief in a Personal God." While Reason and common sense experience can put me on the path leading up to it, only an act of Faith(loving trust) is capable of fully participating in it. For reason, while valid for knowing truths, is not sufficient by itself for knowing "Truth." And belief in God is not the same as "knowing a fact." For "the wisdom of man is foolishness with God." As the Lord tells us in Isaiah, "I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known; I will make darkness light before them." For the ways and paths of God are darkness to man until they are seen in the power of the Spirit, through the light that comes when one makes an act of loving Faith.
Moreover, Faith is not just about something you look forward to in a next life. It rather falls into the category of a here and now experience, a "Love Affair," in which you are overwhelmed by an encounter with the most wonderful Being imagineable, who tells you they love you. And this relationship then becomes the central fact of your existence. It becomes the most important thing you care about. And you are aware that it will continue to be the central fact of your existence even after death. Therefore, the things that happen to you in this life, and even death itself, lose their power over you as they have no power to alter this relationship.
In everyday life, reason can be used to deduce that someone we don't know exists. But it is quite another thing to meet them and to get to know them...and to fall in love with them. For in true love, there is a joining of two spirits. And for this joining to take place, each must seek the other in a loving manner. And so it is with man and God. When we seek God with love in our hearts, we find Him. And, as we have already mentioned, what we find is not in the category of a new "fact." It is rather in the category of a new "relationship," which overwhelms us with Joy and Happiness. With the same certainty by which we know and experience our own existence, we now experience the existence of God. And,in the face of this life-changing reality, arguments for and against God's existence become somewhat beside the point. We know from human relationships that none of us wants a love that is coerced or not freely given. In like manner, God does not force Himself on any of us. We seek in vain for signs, wonders, and absolute proofs that destroy our freedom to believe. Rather, He reveals His Love for us in a myriad of ways, and invites us to love Him in return. We find Him in the Beauty and wonder of Creation, in the Scriptures, in the testimony of the lives of the saints, in the strength for living provided to mankind through organized religion, in the lives of Believers down through the ages, and, not least of all, in our personal encounter with Him in our own lives and in our hearts,as He comes again and again seeking our love.
Those who participate in this Faith-Love Affair are aware that their life has suddenly changed for the better. They are aware of a loving companionship that gives them a new sense of direction and "being at Home" in the universe. They are aware that their Reason has become enlightened so as to understand the Wisdom of the "strange" ways of God, and to penetrate the Truths of the Scriptual commandments as they provide a structure and guide for living and warn us away from those behaviors that destroy Love.
And this relationship stands the test of time and abides with us through all manner of mishap and misfortune. And our lives become better in every way, and we are grateful as our lives are filled with the blessings and promises made to those who Believe. And all of life's legitimate pleasures are still there for us to enjoy and they take on a new charm as we see them as God sees them, and as gifts from the One who loves us. For we are like the man who found a secret treasure in a field and went out and sold all that he had in order to possess that field. And we join the saints as we cry out in joy, "God Mine, and all things are mine!"
And so, in the matter of God's existence, it would seem we must each decide for ourselves. For we live in a world where the evidence of reason alone produces people drawing different conclusions from the same evidence. And if one comes along who says, "Come away from such things, I have proved by Science that God does not exist," we can respond, "I know many who by the same Science can prove that God does exist." And more to the point, we can tell them, in the words of St Paul, " You by your Science... while ever learning... never come to knowledge of the Truth!"