Biblical Answers to Challenging Questions
“Nothing Exists Except God”?
Question: I saw an interview with Sir John Marks Templeton in Robert Schuller’s Possibilities magazine. He is the man who awards the annual Templeton Prize for promoting an appreciation of the benefits of all the world’s religions. I was shocked to read in the interview that Templeton believes that “nothing exists except God.” I’m confused. I thought this was pantheism, yet there it was promoted in the magazine of a man who is looked up to as an evangelical leader. How can this be?
Response: It is pantheism. It is also a basic tenet of cults such as Science of Mind, Religious Science, and Christian Science. What they teach is basically the same as Peale’s positive thinking and Schuller’s possibility thinking, which explains why the latter would promote it in his magazine. Here is how “nothing exists except God” works in the mind science and positive/possibility thinking arena: God is good and God is all. Therefore, all is good. Thus, anything that isn’t good—sin, sickness, suffering, death, etc.—is not real but is a delusion of one’s negative thinking. The way to be delivered from these negative delusions is to become a positive or a possibility thinker.
The Bible, however, teaches that sin, suffering, sickness, and death are real indeed. “The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel:18:4) is the pronouncement of God’s just judgment and certainly treats both sin and death as real. Jesus healed the sick and raised the dead. He didn’t teach them to deny the reality of these things through positive thinking or possibility thinking. Such concepts are completely alien to the Bible.
Our deliverance from sin and death comes not by denying the reality of these evils through the power of the mind, but by faith in Christ, who suffered the agony of the Cross and paid the penalty that His own justice had pronounced upon sin. He died for our sins and “was raised again for our justification” (Romans:4:25). If sin and death don’t exist, then the death of Christ for our sins and His resurrection are merely allegories and not real events—contrary to the historical facts.
If “nothing exists except God,” then the universe is God, and we ourselves are all part of God and thus divine and perfect beings. Indeed, if “nothing exists except God,” then Satan, who is certainly presented in the Bible as real, is God. One could not imagine a greater delusion.
The God of the Bible is separate and distinct from His creation, which He made out of nothing. That creation is running down like a clock because it is separated from Him by the rebellion of His creatures (Satan and his minions joined by mankind), a rebellion that caused God to pronounce His judgment upon this entire creation. If God were the universe, then He too would be running down like a clock. That is not the God of the Bible!
— An excerpt from In Defense of the Faith (pp. 54-56) by Dave Hunt