I just finished a great book (I know it was good, because I had to read it while still keeping up with my reading for my classes) called The Case for a Creator by Lee Strobel. This is the first time I have read one of his books, although I have always heard good things about the other ones, and I was very impressed with the depth and breadth of the discussion and case that he developed. The takeaway from the book was twofold.
First, there is plenty of scientific evidence for God. This actually surprised me somewhat. In most of the discussions that I have had with atheists regarding Christianity, I have always sought to use historical proof (particularly of the resurrection of Christ) because it is such a strong line of evidence and reasoning. I have never considered the scientific line of evidence to be that useful, but I see now that is only because I had no idea how much evidence is out there. Early in the book, Strobel is discussing the kalam argument with William Craig. The kalam argument is pretty straightforward and is sound in logical terms. Here is the argument:
- Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
- The universe had a beginning.
- Therefore, the universe has a cause.
This argument has been around a long time. For most of its existence, the chief argument against it came at premise two by people who insisted that the universe itself was timeless and eternal. As modern scientific evidence has managed to demonstrate that the universe did in fact have a “beginning point,” the fight against this argument has now shifted to discredit point number one. This is ironic in the extreme as the modern “rational thinker” is now pitted against great minds of the past, that they would certainly otherwise admire, who thought questioning point one was quite foolish. For example, David Hume wrote, “I never asserted so absurd a proposition as that anything might arise without a cause.” Nevertheless, some of the “rational thinkers” of today try and argue just such an absurdity to get around this argument.
Of course there are those who say that this argument means that God must have had a “cause” as well, but the attributes of God don’t place Him in that category. The Bible asserts that God is eternal and did not have a beginning or and end, which places Him outside of the parameters of this argument and leaves Him instead as a good candidate for the “cause” of the beginning of our universe. Honestly, I am just scratching the surface of one section of the book, but hopefully you can get a sense of the depth of the conversation this book represents.
The other takeaway from this book for me is the awe of creation and its Creator. Reading about some of the scientific discoveries of the last 10 or 15 years and seeing how they point to God as He has revealed Himself in Scripture is truly awe inspiring. In my discussions with atheists in particular, I am always amazed at the lengths to which they will go to try and avoid even contemplating that God might exist. It is even more amazing as you see the amount of “faith” they have to have to believe some of the explanations that modern science has put forth for the evidence they have found. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in pursuing the truth and is willing to follow the evidence wherever it will lead them. If you aren’t willing to do that, why bother studying at all?