Paul Gould at the University of Toronto: Does Jesus answer life’s biggest questions?

(72 minutes)

A friend of mine sent me a link to this lecture, and he says the Q&A is dynamite.

Here’s the description:

What is the meaning of my life? What is my purpose? What happens after I die? How do I know what is true? How should I live? Why? What does Jesus have to do with my everyday life? Does he answer life’s biggest questions? If he does is there evidence for this?

On Feb 12, 2015 at the University of Toronto, Dr. Paul Gould gave a compelling case for why Jesus answers life’s biggest questions and he also answered a number of tough and interesting questions in the Question and Answer Period.

This lecture is part of a series called “God + Reason: A Christian Perspective” (

In this series professors, thinkers, academics, or graduate students give reasons why they trust in God and address objections to trusting in God.


Dr. Paul Gould is a philosopher, a scholar, a teacher, a husband, a father, and a follower of Jesus Christ. He believes that Jesus is humanity’s greatest need and our highest good. As C.S. Lewis, puts it:

“God wills our good, and our good is to love Him (with that responsive love proper to creatures) and to love Him we must know Him: and if we know Him, we shall in fact fall on our faces.”

So, God wills our good–and our good is to love Him–and to love Him is to know Him. His passion in life is to present to the world Jesus–in all his brilliance and beauty.

He received his MA in Philosophy of Religion and Ethics from Biola University and a PhD in Philosophy from Purdue University.

Dr. Paul Gould is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Christian Apologetics at Southwestern Theological Seminary.

He is married to Ethel and has four wonderful children.


Mark Sutherland received his BEng in Engineering Science from the University of Toronto and is currently a masters student in Applied Science (Computer Engineering) at the University of Toronto.

My friend also noted that Dr. Gould has an article up on his web site on the same topic as the lecture that lays out all the questions he covered in the lecture.

It says:

Is there a God? Yes, and he loves and pursues you.

What is the nature of Reality? It is enchanted, a world of rich physical, aesthetic and moral beauty.

What is the purpose of the universe? For God to spread his joy and delight and love and you to find happiness in creaturely response.

What is the meaning of life? Ditto.

Why am I here? Because God created me.

Does prayer work? Yes, God is ever present and involved in your life, even when you don’t know it.

Is there a soul? Is it immortal? Yes, you are essentially a soul that has a body, you will live forever.

Is there free will? Yes, we are self-determiners of our action and our character.

What happens when we die? We enter into eternal life, either with God in heaven or without God in hell.

What is the difference between right and wrong, good and bad? There is objective morality, the right is what God commands and the wrong is what God prohibits; the good is that which God has created, the bad that which sin has corrupted.

Why should I be moral? Because it is good in itself and for what it brings (as Plato puts it in the Republic).

Is abortion, euthanasia, suicide, paying taxes, foreign aid, or anything else you don’t like forbidden, permissible, or sometimes obligatory? There is a moral law, not everything is permissible, nor is everything forbidden.

What is love, and how can I find it? Love is the one thing that can never hurt anyone, although it may cost dearly.

Does history have any meaning or purpose? Yes, there is meaning and purpose to everything.

Does the human past have any lessons for our future? Yes, and we’d be wise to listen to them.

Paul Gould is one of my favorite Christian scholars – he comes from a business background and has a real heart for evangelism. We also agree that the “top-down” approach to having an influence is the correct approach, and therefore we both see impacting young people when they are at the university as absolutely vital. There are a lot of things that are worthwhile for Christians to do, but the university is the place that creates the next generation of influential people. We have to make our stand there, whether we like it or not. Whether it feels good or not.

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