Is There Scientific Evidence for God? An Atheist, Three Nobel Prize Winners, an Agnostic, and a Philosopher Weigh In
There are certainly some things that science cannot answer—things that we can't account for solely by using our reason, logic, and powers of observation. Atheists like Richard Dawkins believe that Christians are simply inserting "God" into these gaps in our knowledge, using His existence as a "catch all" explanation for the things science simply hasn't discovered or figured out yet. Are they right, or is there any positive evidence that might lead us to conclude God exists? Here are some insights from a diverse group of respected thinkers:
A few years ago, I taught my first apologetics class for the women's ministry at my church. Afterwards, a woman approached me, thanked me for the class, and then said something interesting:
I was a bit puzzled that she didn’t seem to connect the dots—that the faith she had handed down to her daughter was void of some important answers. And if she didn't think they were important enough to learn, why should her daughter? Since then, I have discovered that some of the toughest objections to the discipline of apologetics come from within the church itself. Time and time again I’ve heard claims like, “I don’t need apologetics because I don’t have any doubts,” or “I don’t want my intellect to get in the way of my heart,” or “You can’t argue anyone into the kingdom.”
Many Christians seem to be personally disconnected from the rich intellectualism, critical thought, and theological depth that defines our church history. R.C. Sproul said, “We live in what may be the most anti-intellectual period in the history of Western civilization.” In Forensic Faith, Wallace takes a helpful step toward turning that around.
Several years ago, my husband and I began attending a local Evangelical, non-denominational church, and we loved it. We cherished the sense of community we found among the loving and authentic people we met there, and the intelligent, "outside the box" pastor who led our flock with thought-provoking and insightful sermons. Sadly, the church started going off the rails theologically, and after about a year and a half, we made the difficult decision to leave. Today that church is a self-titled "Progressive Christian Community."
Back then I had never heard of "Progressive Christianity," and even now it is difficult to pin down what actually qualifies someone as a Progressive Christian, due to the diversity of beliefs that fall under that designation. However, there are signs—certain phrases and ideas—that seem to be consistent in Progressive circles. Here are 5 danger signs to watch for in your church:
It has happened to many of us. We post an encouraging Bible verse like Psalm 145:9 on Facebook: "The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made." By noon an atheist from somewhere in social media land has found the post and leaves a lovely comment:
The person who leaves comments like these probably isn't looking for a real conversation, but they are a great example of the abundance of bad logic waiting to be discovered in the dark corners of cyberspace. Here are the 5 most illogical people you will meet on the internet, and how to spot their fallacies:
In a previous post, I argued that Adam and Eve's historical existence is biblically affirmed and theologically necessary—but what about the evidence? Has science disproved their existence? Is the Genesis account just a quaint fairy tale invented by ancient Jews who were trying to figure out where they came from? What does the science actually say? First it must be noted that science doesn't say anything. Scientists do.
Scientists gather evidence and then interpret that evidence to form a conclusion. Each scientist has certain pre-conceived biases, assumptions, and philosophical commitments. This is why different scientists can come to such radically diverse conclusions, even though they are working with the same evidence. This will be important to remember as you read through this post. Let's look at 3 different pieces of evidence and see how they might interact with the biblical account:
Did Jesus Really Rise From the Dead? A Historian, an Atheist, a Skeptic, a Theologian, and an Ex-Con Weigh In
It's that time of year again—the time when Christians come together to celebrate the pinnacle of our faith, the resurrection of Jesus. It's also the time when news outlets like Time, the Discovery Channel, and Newsweek unleash their skepticism about Christianity, the Bible, and the resurrection. It can be confusing to wade through the various historical evidences, personal beliefs, and opinions floating around in scholarship and the blogosphere. Here are quotes from several sources who all have unique qualifications and an interesting take on the evidence:
In my previous post, I outlined how Jesus believed the Old Testament Scripture was the Word of God—authoritative, inspired, and historically reliable. If you missed that one, I recommend you read it before reading this one. Here are 4 more things Jesus believed about Scripture:
5. It is inerrant.
Considering what we've learned so far about Jesus' opinion of Scripture, how would He have responded if someone implied that it might contain errors? I think He would have been astonished at the suggestion.
What on earth are we to make of the Bible? Is it God's Word? A human cultural product that simply reflects the beliefs and observations of ancient people? Something else? This is the question du jour in Christian circles. Typically, conservative theologians maintain that the Bible is the inerrant, infallible, authoritative, and inspired Word of God. Progressive theologians tend to define those words differently, or abandon them altogether.
Some affirm that they take the Bible seriously but argue that we need to re-interpret it. In their view, the Bible condones immoral practices and teachings when taken at face value.(1) A couple of years ago, Rob Bell told Oprah Winfrey that the Christian church is "irrelevant when it quotes letters from 2,000 ago" to defend its moral principles.(2) In an excerpt from his upcoming book, What is the Bible?, Bell calls it "a profoundly human book."(3)
How do we wade through this amalgam of views and understand what the Bible actually is? I suggest we look to Jesus. The New Testament wasn't yet written when Jesus walked the earth, but we can certainly take a cue from His understanding of the Old Testament. What did He think it was? Here are 8 things the Gospel accounts tell us that Jesus affirmed about Scripture. (This post will deal with the first 4):
If you have ever been involved in religious discussion on Facebook or Twitter, you have probably come across some version of the comment below:
Although this assertion is largely rejected by scholars in all spheres of historical and biblical studies, it tends to pop back up on social media like a never-ending game of digital whack-a-mole. The truth is that Jesus is not only documented in the eye-witness testimony compiled in the New Testament, but He is mentioned as a historical person by several non-Christian sources within 150 years of His life. From those sources, we can learn 10 things about Jesus without even opening a Bible: