Is God dead?Throughout history, those who struggle with belief in God have sometimes suggested that "God is dead." In modern times, the person most influential in this claim has been nineteenth-century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. His intent was to challenge traditional Christianity because he believed it was nothing but an attempt by religious leaders to control the unthinking masses. In Nietzsche's view, the idea of God was no longer necessary. Therefore, he declared the idea of God to be passé; God was now dead.
However, the allegation of God's demise stands in strong contrast with the teachings of the Bible. From its first verse, the Bible teaches the existence of God: "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1). The Bible does not argue God's existence—it assumes it. The apostle Paul noted, "In him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28). Without God, there would be no universe and certainly no people on the earth.
The very definition of God as a perfect Being implies that He cannot die. Death indicates imperfection. The Bible teaches that God is eternal: "The eternal God is your dwelling place" (Deuteronomy 33:27). Any God worthy of the title would have to be.
Psalm 14:1 states, "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God.'" There are several logical problems with the idea of God being dead. Among these are
1. God is, by definition, eternal; He cannot be born or die.
2. God's death would necessarily end all known life since He sustains all things.
3. If God were dead, we could not speak of it since we would not exist.
An interesting sidebar is the fact that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, did die on the cross. "Being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross" (Philippians 2:8). However, it was Jesus' flesh that was put to death; the eternal Son of God never ceased to exist. In fact, He raised up His physical body on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:4). No one can kill God.
God is eternal and has revealed Himself through Jesus Christ. Jesus died for our sins, yet rose again to conquer death and validate His claim as Messiah. Some, in their hopelessness, declare, "God is dead." We proclaim, "He has risen!" The God who is alive compels us to give a reason for the hope within us (1 Peter 3:15) and to take the message of His love to the ends of the earth (Matthew 28:18-20).
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