Gary, here are some excerpts from Matt Slick’s article entitled HOW DO YOU KNOW THE GOD OF THE BIBLE IS REAL AND NOT FICTION? from Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry:
“Answering the question of how we can know God is real and not just a fictional character in the Bible, is inherently difficult because it deals with the subjective opinions of people. What would constitute sufficient information or evidence to determine that God is real can vary between people. Thus, a critic of Christianity can reject each answer as being insufficient – because it doesn’t satisfy his subjective preferences for determining what to believe regarding the God of Christianity…”
“Biblically speaking, we don’t determine that the God of the Bible is real. We discover that he is real. God is not the same thing as an object in the universe that is hidden on a planet, floating around in interstellar space, or hidden between atoms. He is different than the universe and the things in it. Normally speaking, to determine something’s existence means we find it or produce an experiment to test its existence, or develop a methodology by which we can verify if something is or is not there. But again, this is an approach based on a materialistic worldview that seeks to determine something’s existence by experimentation on physical things and their characteristics…”
“If the God of the Bible exists, then he exists in a way that is different than the universe. After all, he created it. I am writing this article (creating it), and I exist differently than it does. The article depends on my existence, not me on its existence. Doing an experiment on the word patterns and repeatability of style would not prove that there’s an actual person named “Matt Slick” who wrote it. Is there an experiment that can determine my existence based upon what is found in an article? Or, will the subjectivity of the examiner conclude that “Matt Slick” does not exist, even though the article says it is written by me? One may agree I’m real, where another one may not. Again, we are talking about subjectivity because how a person interprets evidence is subject to that person’s worldview and subjective preferences.
If the God of the Bible exists, then he is independent of the universe, transcendent, and answers to no one. Therefore, unless an experiment can be devised based on materialistic principles that conclusively prove there’s a nonmaterial transcendent being outside the universe (which is problematic as mentioned above), then we are left with the conclusion that the only way to know God exists is if he discloses himself.
Biblically, the process for determining whether God is real is to trust the work of Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. He discloses himself to those who seek him in response to the conviction of the Holy Spirit upon them, where people recognize their sinfulness and also their need for being delivered from the lawful consequences of breaking God’s law.”
Your statement can be boiled down to this: Yahweh (the God of the Bible) cannot be proven to exist by the process of examining evidence as is done for every other truth claim in our universe. The only way to know Yahweh exists is to experience warm fuzzy feelings about him and to experience answered prayer.
Here’s the problem with this belief: Members of every religion on the planet experience warm, fuzzy feelings about their god/gods, so intense feelings do not help us determine the existence or identity of “God”.
And what about answered prayer?
As a former evangelical myself, I can tell you that evangelicals pray about EVERYTHING. Evangelicals pray about which job offer they should accept; which house they should buy; whether they should send Johnnie and Susie to summer camp; that God will bless them financially; that Aunt Bessie will be healed of her sinus infection, etc.. So the fact that once in a great while one of your prayer requests comes true is NOT proof that an invisible being worked up some magic and made your dream come true. It is called a COINCIDENCE. And coincidences happen to everyone, including atheists.
Your warm fuzzy feelings and your occasional “answered prayers” do NOT prove the existence of the ancient middle-eastern god Yahweh.