Asking a Computer if God Exists

Asking a Computer if God Exists

Years ago, I heard a joke that went something like this. Scientists developed a massively powerful computer that could answer any question. The researchers asked the computer, “How did the universe begin?” The computer whirred, lights flashed, and out popped this answer: “See Genesis 1:1.” That joke originated when computers filled a large room, had spinning reels of tape and flashing lights, and used punch cards. Now, computers are small, use keyboards and monitors, have voice recognition, and speak in many languages. Soon we may have quantum computers with capabilities only dreamed of today. Have you ever tried asking a computer if God exists?

A topic that has received much publicity in recent months is artificial intelligence (AI). As computers become more humanlike with their ability to speak and answer questions, we are coming to depend on them more and more. Knowledgeable people suggest that the growth of AI will dramatically affect business, medicine, and entertainment. Other areas expected to face major changes because of AI are work, war, and education.

Recently, I have seen articles concerning a new AI development that worries educators. It’s called ChatGPT. This app can do more than answer questions. It can write essays. A student with an assignment to write a 500-word essay on a subject can input the topic and let ChatGPT write the paper. I decided this would be a good opportunity for asking a computer if God exists.

Going back to that old story, I asked the computer, “How did the universe begin?” ChatGPT responded with a 237-word essay on the Big Bang that agreed with current scientific theories. It was nicely worded, grammatically correct, and would probably satisfy a school teacher. However, it didn’t fully answer the question, just as the Big Bang theory does not.

Then I asked ChatGPT to write an essay about proving the existence of God. The result was 430 words that read in part:

“One of the most commonly cited arguments for the existence of God is the cosmological argument. This argument states that the universe had a beginning, and that everything that begins to exist must have a cause. Therefore, it is reasoned that the universe must have been caused by something that exists outside of the universe, and that this cause is God. This argument is based on the principle of causality, which states that for every effect, there must be a cause.
Another argument for the existence of God is the teleological argument. This argument states that the universe is complex and ordered, with many intricate systems and processes that work together in harmony. This complexity and order is argued to be the result of an intelligent designer, which is God. The design argument is based on the idea that the universe is too complex and ordered to be the result of chance, and that it must have been created by an intelligent being.
A third argument that is often used to prove the existence of God is the moral argument. This argument states that humans have a moral sense, and that this moral sense must come from a higher being, which is God. The moral argument is based on the idea that moral laws and values cannot be explained by natural causes, but must be the result of an intelligent and moral being.
Some people argue that the existence of God can be known through personal experience, through faith. They believe that God can reveal himself in personal experiences, such as through prayer, meditation, or other spiritual practices. They argue that the existence of God is something that can be known through a personal relationship with God, and not something that can be proven through reason or science.”

That summarized the arguments for God’s existence. Then, however, I decided to make the question more direct by asking a computer if God exists. So I asked ChatGPT, “Does God exist?” The answer came back in 195 words that concluded with:

“Ultimately, the question of whether or not God exists is a matter of personal belief and faith. It is important for individuals to form their own opinions on the matter based on their own experiences, beliefs and personal understanding of the world.”

Since ChatGPT never referred me to Genesis 1:1, I decided to ask, “What do we learn from Genesis 1:1?” I received this response:

“It teaches that God is the creator of all things, including the heavens and the earth. Additionally, it implies that God’s creation of the universe was a purposeful and deliberate act, rather than the result of chance or natural processes.”

I certainly can’t argue with that. I conclude that asking a computer if God exists will never result in a definitive answer to the question. Each of us must reach our own conclusion based on examining the evidence with an open mind.

— Roland Earnst © 2023

Reference: ChatGPT from OpenAI

Toward a Positive Relationship Between Science and Faith

Toward a Positive Relationship Between Science and Faith

Our mission is to show that science and faith in God are not enemies but exist in a symbiotic relationship. Unfortunately, it’s an uphill battle because both those who promote naturalism and promoters of religious fundamentalism are unwilling to think and work toward a positive relationship between science and faith. This is an old problem that has been detrimental to both science and faith in the past.

The ignorance of science in America today continues to be appalling. Here are some examples: 26% of all Americans believe the Sun revolves around the Earth, 60% believe that dinosaurs died out sometime in the last 10,000 years, and 33% believe dinosaurs were on Earth 100 years ago. I had a brilliant student with great science aptitude in science in my high school physics classes. He was the son of a religious figure in South Bend, where I taught for 41 years. At the end of the school year, I asked him where he would go to college and what would be his science major. I hoped it would be physics. He smiled and told me he wasn’t going to college because he didn’t want to give up his faith.

We want to work toward a positive relationship between science and faith. We encourage Christians to go into science because science needs a moral compass. Ninety-five Nobel Laureates were recognized between 1901 and 1930, but only four were Americans. Europeans dominated the winners of the Nobel Science awards. In the 1930’s Americans did somewhat better, taking 28% of the Nobel prizes in science. From 1943 to 1958, Americans won 46% of the Nobel prizes, and since 1959 the number has risen to 57%.

The dictionary defines science as knowledge, and God is the source of all knowledge. Not only has the war between science and faith eroded great talent from the growth of science, but the collateral damage of the war between science and faith has damaged the Church. In 1940, 96% of Americans believed in God, and 75% were church members. Today, 62% of Americans believe in God, and only 47% are members of a church. Thirty percent say they have no religion at all.

If you believe in God and His Word, true science (knowledge) can’t be in conflict with your religious beliefs. If you have a conflict, you either have bad science or bad theology, or both. The lesson of history is that there has been a lot of both. We must work toward a positive relationship between science and faith to advance knowledge for everyone’s benefit. Educating people about God and biblical moral values can benefit everyone. Join us as we work toward that goal. Naturalism cannot tell us why we exist, how we should live, or what our future is. God’s Word answers those vital questions.

— John N. Clayton © 2023

Data from Skeptic Magazine, Volume 27 #4 2022, pages 4 -5.

Utah Lighthouse Ministry Closing 

Utah Lighthouse Ministry Closing 
Jerald and Sandra Tanner

In 1959 Jerald and Sandra Tanner began the Utah Lighthouse Ministry to help people struggling with Mormonism. The Tanners had come out of Mormonism and saw the conflicts between Mormon Church (LDS) teaching and the Bible. They wanted to help others by presenting accurate historical data and explanations of current Mormon practices. 

The Tanners have published a periodical called the Salt Lake City Messenger for years. In the December 2022 issue, Sandra Tanner announced that effective March 1, 2023, she will retire, and the ministry will cease to exist. Jerald passed away in 2006.

The Tanners also operate a bookstore with literally hundreds of hard-to-find titles on the Mormon Church and books on other subjects indirectly related to Mormonism. We have used materials from the Tanners when faced with apologetic issues concerning LDS

You can find various resources on the Utah Lighthouse Ministry’s website For a list of book titles, go to Starting February 1, 2023, they will have a closeout sale on all books. You can see a bibliography of materials published by the Tanners at They have online books available at this link Also, you can purchase digital books at 

Mormonism is a dangerous cult with a horrible history. The Tanners and Utah Lighthouse Ministry have provided a unique source of information on LDS teachings and practices throughout the years. 

— John N. Clayton © 2022

The mailing address is Utah Lighthouse Ministry, PO Box 1884, Salt Lake City, Utah 84110-1884.

How Can You Believe in Angels?

How Can You Believe in Angels?

“How can you believe in angels when so many horrible things are happening in the world today?” That is a typical comment we receive from skeptics. Islam emphasizes the angel Gabriel, and Mormons credit the angel Moroni for their scriptures. A Catholic website claims that all people have guardian angels “to rule and guide.” Around the Christmas season, we are exposed to many stories, movies, and songs based on angel involvement in human affairs. So what is the truth about angels?

The Bible does not suggest that angels are good people who have left this life or that they are robotic agents of God. Angels are beings created by God and not limited to our dimensions of time and space. Being outside of time gives them both abilities and limitations. In Matthew 22:30, Jesus did not say that we will become angels when we die, but we will become like angels with respect to marriage. The Bible tells us that angels can sin and rebel against God. (See 2 Peter 2:4, Galatians 1:8, John 8:44, and Jude 6.) However, angels cannot repent of sin because repentance requires time. If an angel chooses to reject God, there is no turning back – it is a one-way street. Once we leave this physical existence, we will be out of time, and the same will be true of us. We will have no time to change your eternal destiny.

How can you believe in angels? The bottom line is that a war between good and evil is going on that involves both spiritual and physical dimensions. The purpose for our existence is to achieve victory in that war. The book of Job clearly shows that our physical struggle involves spiritual forces. The only recourse for skeptics and atheists is to deny that evil exists, but doing that eliminates the purpose for human existence.

Angels can choose to sin, and the Bible makes it clear that this has happened. (See Revelation 12:9 and 2 Corinthians 11:3-4.) While angels can do what God commands, they cannot remove a human’s ability to choose between good and evil. They also cannot prevent the consequences of bad human choices. (See Galatians 6:7). However, the Bible promises us a way to overcome temptation if we choose to use it. (See 1 Corinthians 10:13.)

Angels are real and have served God’s purpose in the war between good and evil throughout history. (See Genesis 18-19 and Judges 6:11-27.) So how can you believe in angels? They have done things we see as miracles as they serve a purpose in God’s plan. Skeptics can deny the reality of God and angels because they have freedom of choice, as all humans do. But wrong choices carry eternal consequences and remove any real purpose for human existence.

— John N. Clayton © 2022

The Gifts God Offers for Free

The Gifts God Offers for Free

We live in an age of skepticism about religion in general and specifically about the “church.” There are many churches in America, and their messages frequently contradict one another. At the same time, we are inundated with vast numbers of messages about attractive alternatives to the Church. The word “church” is “ekklesia” in the original language, and it means “the called out.” It does not refer to any denomination or human-made religious body. It refers to individuals who reject the alternatives the world has to offer. The biblical teachings about the “called out” cannot be improved upon, and neither can the gifts God offers to us. Here are some that specifically deal with finding the best life possible.

The word of God cannot be improved. The Bible has been tested over the centuries, primarily by people who were trying to prove it wrong. Having been one of those people, I can testify to the futility of that attempt. As 2 Peter 1: 16-21 tells us, the Bible is not a bunch of fables. It contains prophecies that can be confirmed. The Bible includes just enough history to verify its integrity and just enough science to show it is beyond human knowledge for its day. The philosophy of the biblical narrative has proven to lead to a high quality of life, mentally and spiritually. The problems come with what Peter calls “private interpretations” and when humans try to find a way to make money with it instead of just letting it guide their lives.

God’s instructions on how to live cannot be improved. Take the teachings of Christ in Matthew 5:21 through chapter 6 and think about what kind of world it would be if everyone lived by those teachings. As you read those verses, you will see that this wisdom contradicts what you hear from politicians and secularists. Next, read Galatians 5:19-23 and think about what has caused the misery we see in the world around us. The gifts God offers are free, and all alternatives to God’s instructions fail.

God’s instructions for salvation make sense. Being lost means a relationship has been severed–be it a marriage, a business, or a life. All the pop psychology in the world won’t repair relationships because it has no power. God created us pure, but the world corrupts us, rupturing our relationship with Him. Repairing that relationship is beyond all human efforts. God knows how to restore us (2 Peter 2:9), and Romans 6 tells us how to become a new person with God’s Spirit living in us. This is the ultimate gift of God because it is eternal. Go to a quiet place and allow yourself to think about the gifts God offers. Accepting God’s gifts and living life God’s way works, and it’s the ultimate solution to the human dilemma.

— John N. Clayton © 2022

A Negative Attitude Toward Christianity

A Negative Attitude Toward Christianity  - Turn to Positive

“Religion” is a bad word in the world today. Many religions are violent, abusive, dishonest, and the source of war, waste, and murder. When I gave my lectures on science and faith in England, Ireland, and Scotland, I found that people were very interested in what I was presenting, but if I used the words “church” or “religion,” they were repulsed. In many countries today, telling someone you are a Christian invites a very negative response. Why do people have a negative attitude toward Christianity, and what can we do about it?

People have seen destructive actions by people who claim to be Christians. If you take a history course, you will learn about the Crusades, religious wars, slavery, racial hatred, and racial abuse, from the Tulsa tragedy to lynchings in the south. In modern times, we have seen people robbed of their money, their property, and their virginity by people who claimed to be Christians. There is no defense for that behavior. It is wrong and flies in the face of what Jesus Christ taught and lived. Furthermore, those actions create a negative attitude toward Christianity.

Surveys in the last ten years have shown that more and more people are rejecting “religion.” Religion is usually defined as human attempts to reach God. According to recent surveys, when asked if they believe the Bible is God’s Word, 20% of Americans say “no.” A substantial percentage of Americans cannot tell you anything about the Bible except what they have heard critics say. They also admit that they doubt God’s existence and reject the Bible’s moral teachings. The answer to this situation is education about Christ and His teachings.

If we are to change the trend away from God and the negative attitude toward Christianity, we must start at the very bottom. We must assume the world around us knows nothing about God, Christ, or the Bible. Unfortunately, that is the situation for many people today, and starting with the basics is necessary. Here are some basic places to begin:

1) How do we know there is a God? What is the evidence?
2) What is God, and how do we know that the spiritual world exists? Naturalism teaches that the material world is all there is.
3) What are the properties of God, and how are they relevant to humans?
4) What is a human, and why are humans special? What uniquely sets us apart?
5) Why do the teachings of Christ make sense, where do we find them, and are they reliable?

We address all of those questions on our websites and in our free materials. However, as long as preachers and religious leaders spend their time, money, and energy attacking each other and promoting emotionalism and entertainment, a negative attitude toward Christianity will continue. We must share our faith in love.

— John N. Clayton © 2022

Significant Decline in Christianity

Significant Decline in Christianity

The Pew Research Center has released data on studies of the number of Americans identifying themselves as Christians or having no religious affiliation from 1990 to 2020. The data shows a significant decline in Christianity.

The number of Americans identifying themselves as Christians dropped from 90% in 1990 to 64% in 2020. At the same time, the number of Americans who say they have no religious affiliation rose from 16% in 2007 to 20% in 2020. More recent data has shown these numbers to be conservative. Atheist and skeptic numbers put those claiming to be Christians at well under 50% and those claiming no religion at over 40%.

There is an adage that says, “Figures don’t lie, but liars figure.” Of course, we can argue about these numbers, and the sampling techniques need to be defined. However, the fact is that there is a significant decline in Christianity as the number of Americans who claim to be Christians is rapidly shrinking, while those who claim no religion is growing.

The message to those involved in Christian preaching and teaching should be clear. We need to provide church members, visitors, and others with evidence for faith in God and the validity of the Bible. Ignoring skeptics’ claims and not answering the questions of seekers and church members is a destructive practice.

This ministry has been dealing with the challenges to belief since 1968. Our materials are free and available for all ages. We welcome questions sent to or our mailing address at 1555 Echo Valley Drive, Niles, MI 49120. In addition to this website, has information, links, and a catalog of materials. You can also find our daily postings on Facebook

We can know why we believe what we believe. We must take the instructions of 1 Peter 3:15 seriously, “Always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and respect.”

— John N. Clayton © 2022

Reference: Pew Research HERE and HERE

The Christian Concept of God

The Christian Concept of God from the Bible

We have been examining the Christian concept of God for the past several days. The Bible tells us that God is beyond time, space, and matter/energy because He created them. As science goes deeper into understanding the structure of matter/energy, it becomes increasingly evident that there are forces beyond our familiar physical laws. Quantum mechanics and studies of the nature of matter show that creation has not been merely a physical process.

Heaven and hell are not physical places with physical rewards or punishment. When we die, our soul, that part of us created in God’s image, will no longer be limited by time. All the bad things that time brings will be gone, “…there will be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying. Neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).

We struggle to understand metaphors in the Bible that use physical pictures of things that are not physical. The result is that when we approach them with a physical understanding alone, we become confused. If we understand the biblical Christian concept of God, these metaphors become much clearer, and our freedom as Christians is greatly enhanced. Christ’s promise of life after our physical life is over gives us joy and comfort beyond physical understanding. We can rejoice in knowing that the things that afflict us in this life will be gone, and our future will be secure and filled with joy in spiritual union with our Creator.

— John N. Clayton © 2022

An Earthly Kingdom

An Earthly Kingdom in Jerusalem?
Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives

For the past few days, we have been looking for the biblical Christan concept of God. We have observed that atheists, and even people who call themselves Christians, fail to understand what God is. We are familiar with the physical world, so we look for God to bring a physical earthly kingdom.

The New Testament calls for us to understand that Christians serve a God who is not a man—or woman. Galatians 3:28 tells us that “there is neither male nor female” in Christ’s kingdom, the Church. This same message appears in Romans 10:11-13 and Colossians 3:11. In John 18:36-39, Jesus told Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world,” making it clear that He was not bringing in a physical earthly kingdom. Yet, even today, some Christian groups interpret Christ as a military leader who will defeat all other belief systems and establish a physical kingdom in Jerusalem.

This struggle to understand God goes back to Genesis 1:1, describing the creation of time, space, and matter/energy. When Peter describes the end of the world in 2 Peter 3:3:10-12, he says that time will end and the physical cosmos will “dissolve in fervent heat” (verse 12). God is in a higher dimension than time or the material cosmos. He created the human soul in His image–not our physical bodies.

In 1 Corinthians 15:35-55, Paul conveys the concept of a kingdom not of this world. People in that day didn’t understand it, and still today, many Christians don’t understand it. The fact that Christ’s kingdom is not an earthly kingdom makes it, unlike any human system. That brings us back to the biblical Christian concept of God, and that is where we will conclude tomorrow.

— John N. Clayton © 2022

The Things We Pray For

The Things We Pray For

Yesterday, we said that understanding what God is and what He desires for us can help us understand the meaning and importance of prayer. There is nothing wrong with praying to God for our physical needs. You can see that in the model prayer, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). However, it is illogical and unbiblical to get upset when God doesn’t answer our physical requests in the way we desire. Failure to receive the things we pray for is rooted in a failure to understand what God is and what He desires for us.

When I was an atheist playing football in high school, one of my teammates asked God for victory in every game. We played a team from a Christian high school late in the season. One of their team members told me that he knew they would beat us because they had prayed to God for victory. Unfortunately, we lost that game, and my teammate, who had been praying for us to win, decided he needed to be an atheist like me because, clearly, God didn’t answer prayer.

There have been wars between cultures that worshipped the God of the Bible. Examples are the American Civil War and the Irish wars between Catholics and Protestants. Both sides prayed to the same God for victory. However, winning a victory would mean killing people who were Christians on the other side of the conflict.

When I gave my lectures in Ireland, people expressed great interest in my message that science supports belief in God. However, many people wanted nothing to do with the Church because of the history of religious warfare. A Catholic priest in full clerical garb attended one of my lectures and informed me that he was an atheist. He was still conducting mass because that was the source of his income, but he didn’t believe in God. The things we pray for reflect our concept of God.

It becomes clear that even “religious” people often do not understand the Christian biblical concept of God. We will continue with that thought tomorrow.

— John N. Clayton © 2022