Empirical Evidence for the Existence of God

            During the follow-up questions & answers period after a presentation given by a Christian apologist or after a public debate between an atheist and a Christian, invariably a person from the audience will ask some version of the question: “Is there empirical evidence for the existence of God?”

            In this modern 21st century, this has to be one of the most outdated questions a person can have.

            I place the blame for this partially at the feet of the scientific materialists of the second half of the 20th century and our current 21st century, for the atheism of their philosophical worldview of scientism that attempts to prevent anyone, based upon science, from considering a broader and more rational view of the natural world.

            Richard Dawkins in his 1987 book The Blind Watchmaker wrote: “Darwin made it possible to become an intellectually fulfilled atheist.”[1]

            But this only works today if Darwinian evolution is actually true.  If Darwinism is false then atheists would have to look elsewhere for their fulfillment.

            It is not difficult to show that the atheism of naturalistic materialism or scientific materialism does not hold-up under close examination.

            Let’s start with the hypothetical example of humans as physically material beings trying to produce a duplicate, identical, Plan-B backup planet to colonize. 

This new planet would complement our own earth as human overpopulation now critically stretches the natural resources to their limits available on this planet.

This Earth-2 planet must be placed precisely within the same “goldilocks zone” orbit, distanced from the sun to enable water to exist as a liquid. 

It would have to be orbiting at the same speed so the two planets would not collide with one another.

            First, we would have to find enough cosmic dust and gases that contained all of the fundamental elements of the Periodic Table. 

We would then have to bring this material in the right quantities to coalesce together into close-enough contact for gravity to condense this material into a habitable, non-star planet yet having a hot, molten-iron core like that of earth.

            We might do this by searching through the asteroid belt for free, loose material hopefully already in the form of what is called a debris disc.

            We could not use atomic bombs to break-off large pieces of other planets in our solar system, as this material would then be radioactive and unusable.

            We would then have to figure-out how to get this material from where it currently is to its new location within the same elliptical orbit of the earth around the sun.

We could then set it in motion four days travel out ahead of us or four days behind us in our orbital rotation, for example, at the right speed while it is condensing into a planet. 

This would take some currently unknown length of time discoverable only through trial-and-error.

            And we currently do not know how to accelerate this process of building a planet by altering the strength of gravity.

            Next, we would have to produce a similar moon like our own, having just the right size and distance from the new planet. 

We would need to tilt this Earth-2 planet to spin on its axis at the same 23-degree angle to produce seasonable, temperate climate.

            We would have to find somewhere enough nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide in the right quantities to form a comparable atmosphere, having enough carbon so that the gravity of Earth-2 could hold the atmosphere in place without drifting off into outer space.

And we would have to find enough hydrogen and oxygen to produce water to create oceans, lakes, and rivers.

            It would take unimaginable control over geography to duplicate exactly the size and shape of our continents on earth to successfully mimic our functional ecosystems. 

We would have to develop the technologies to get the crust of Earth-2 to be the same thickness as our planet, and to encourage the formation of plate-tectonics with geological uplift, to form higher elevations of dry land plateaus and mountains, and lower elevated depressions to form oceans, lakes, and rivers.

            The atmosphere that we created would have to consist of the exact same proportions of elements and have the same depth as on earth, to allow photosynthesis to occur. 

The HշO water we created out of hydrogen and oxygen would have to possess exactly the same properties of transparency to allow sunlight to penetrate to the same depths within the oceans, lakes, and rivers for fish to be able to see, and for underwater plant-life to flourish.

            Once we got the hydrological cycle functioning, starting with evaporation from the oceans, to clouds, to rain over the land, to the breaking-up of rock into soils, and the erosion that puts nutrients into the soil, then we could begin transporting land plants from earth to produce terrestrial life on the new planet.

            Then things get even more complicated.

            How large a percentage of each ecosystem of living organisms would be required to sustain an ongoing and self-sufficient environment on the new planet?  Would we copy exactly the pattern of the varied, living environments like the Amazon rainforest, the African savanna plains, the North American plains, the Sahara Desert, the Canadian tundra, the Australian Outback, or the mountainous regions of Tibet?

            This simplistic example of breaking-down into a bare minimum of details some of the coordinated steps needed to make a new planet Earth-2 using the universal dictum in biology of “like begets like,” reveals the extreme complexity of creating a life-sustaining planet earth.

We can so easily take this popularly for granted or as scientists, because our understanding always comes from looking backwards through the viewpoint lens of the existing orderliness and intelligibility currently in place.

            This example illustrates the obvious impossibility of a single living organism or multiple organisms in however large a number, existing as physically material beings, from a purely practical perspective even theoretically being unable to build planets, solar systems, galaxies, or a universe.

            This recognition narrows the field of possible candidates for the position of creator of the universe down to a non-physically material, thinking Spirit-Being.

This conclusion holds as long as we first eliminate as plausible candidates matter and energy as non-thinking entities being incapable of the organized complexity of self-design and self-assembly needed at the Big Bang beginning of the universe.

            But this real-world difficulty only becomes apparent when we take a fresh look from the direction of starting from scratch with nothing.

We need to look from the past to the present and from the present to the future, through the series of complex, sequential steps to reach function and fit for some particular phenomenon, like in this hypothetical example of humans creating a new and nearby planet Earth-2.

            Apply this looking-forwards approach to the creation of the universe or the creation of life on earth starting from scratch with nothing, and the same acknowledgment of the difficulties involved quickly eliminates naturalistic materialism as being hopelessly implausible as the causal explanation behind the existing order, function, and fit we presently recognize in the natural world.

            Acknowledging and discussing the realistic difficulties in creating a complementary, backup planet Earth-2 is not a God-of-the-gaps surrender to giving-up on scientific advancement.

            It is not out of the question that human beings at some time in the future could develop the technologies to harness gravity to pull together the gases and particles needed to create a new nearby planet, having all of the qualities required to support ecosystems that are favorable to human colonization. 

            I think as difficult as this would be that it is not out of the realm of possibility in the far distant future.

            But I will go out on a limb here and say that humans as physically material beings, limited by the spatial realities of distance and time, will never create a galaxy like the Milky Way.

This is an excerpt from my book Pondering Our World: Christian Essays on Science and Faith.


[1] Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker (New York: Norton, 1987), 6.

The God of the Bible Cannot Abdicate His Throne

            God cannot relinquish His position of being God like occurs with term-limits in politics.

            What better response to rebuff the challenge of an unqualified contender using character assassination through deceptive half-truths and unfounded accusations, than to create a physically material universe that no one else could create, and to compose life-scripts for human beings that illuminate the real meaning within the knowledge of good and evil, that otherwise merely eating a piece of fruit could not possibly achieve?

            Jesus is recorded in Matthew 20:27-28 as saying: “And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant.  Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

            In Matthew 25:31-46, an account of Judgment Day is given in which the sheep ask Jesus the King when their good-works towards other people were equivalent to doing these good deeds to Him.

            Jesus the King responds by saying: “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Mt. 25:40).

            This presupposes that this large assemblage of sheep standing before the throne of God on Judgment Day acquired through their personal relationship with Jesus Christ some measure of His empathy and care for other people.

            If there is not evil and suffering in this world, how do disciples of Jesus Christ acquire the care and empathy for others that is designed to last an eternity?

            If there is not a bad Pharaoh in Egypt, how does the Passover, deliverance from Egypt, the Exodus in the wilderness, and the conquering of the land of Canaan ever occur for the Jews?

            If there is not an “evil generation” (Mt. 12:39) in power in Jerusalem during the ministries of John the Baptist and Jesus, how does Jesus possibly make it all the way to the utter rejection and death on the cross?

            If Saul/Paul does not run his full course all the way to the revelation on the road to Damascus that Jesus of Nazareth was and is the Christ that he entirely missed in the scriptures and in his contemporary society, resulting in actively persecuting the Christian church until that time, Saul/Paul cannot possibly acquire on his own the unprejudiced, enlightened tolerance needed to evangelize the Greco-Roman world.

            Finally, when the late Ravi Zacharias was asked in a radio interview where was God during 9/11, the astute answer given by Ravi Zacharias was that God was exactly where everyone wanted Him to be.

            The same can be said after the devastation following a hurricane, tornado, earthquake, exploding volcano, avalanche, mudslide, flood, tsunami, or the occurrence of a deadly virus outbreak.

            It is an absolute certainty that we all will face death at some point in time.

            The outreach of the God of the Bible is eternal salvation by grace through faith in Christ, offered freely to anyone willing to acknowledge His death and resurrection.

            Those people over human history not having access to the program of faith as articulated in the examples of journeys of faith in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, because of isolated distances in terms of geography and historical time-periods, I believe will be judged fairly and righteously according to a different standard (Acts 10:34-35).

            The reality of evil and suffering in this world does not argue for the non-existence of God or an incompetence on His part to create a world free of evil.

            The temptation in the Garden of Eden identifies the earliest example that the complexity in some portions of the broad array of moral concepts eternal in cognitive, sentient reality, need the participation of God like children need adults to beneficially warn them to look both ways before crossing the street.

This is an excerpt from my book Pondering Our World: Christian Essays on Science and Faith.

Neither God Nor Man Can Write Laws that Guarantee Good Moral Choices

            After his road to Damascus experience, Saul/Paul could have said to Jesus that yes, he had been entirely wrong and mistaken about persecuting the early Christian church, but that he was too offended that God had allowed him to go this far in error, to then step into this new mission-calling to preach Jesus as the risen Christ.

            After his exceptional education in Jerusalem under the acclaimed teacher Gamaliel, Saul/Paul could have complained to Jesus that God should have told him earlier about looking both ways before crossing the street, before being allowed to proceed in ignorance to create so much havoc in attacking the Christian church in Jerusalem.

            Saul/Paul could have reasonably responded to the new calling of Jesus to go out into the larger sphere of the Greco-Roman world to preach the gospel truth of a risen Christ, that he was both too mad at God and at the same time totally unable to forgive himself for being ignorant about the preeminence of faith in the biblical narrative stories, and in the proper role of the Law of Moses in Judaism.

            Saul/Paul could have justifiably complained that God should have given him the needed discernment upfront to be able to recognize Jesus of Nazareth as the Christ, without the extreme measure after-the-fact of a revelation by way of a blinding light on the road to Damascus, to learn this truth the hard-way.

            But this reveals possibly the whole point God is making in the creation of this physical universe, that in the Garden of Eden we were unable to parse the malicious half-truth that eating a piece of fruit from a specific tree would render us into gods having the knowledge of good and evil.

            God did not rescue us at that critical juncture because non-divine, free-thinking beings lacking timeless foresight are susceptible to the persuasively clever arguments delivered by a charismatic, outwardly beautiful liar…and this particular truth has to be demonstrated over time through human history in a variety of laboratory-type, empirically investigated lessons-learned.

            Whether it is Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Joseph Stalin, Jim Jones of Jonestown, Guyana, or Satan in the holographic guise of a beautiful talking serpent, in the vast eternity of reality some of the moral concepts in the knowledge of good and evil are difficult to nail-down without the benefit of first-hand field research. 

            The divine brilliance revealed in the method of the calling of Saul/Paul through the road to Damascus experience, was that God was able to flip Saul into Paul the apostle in a moment of time, creating in an instant an exceptionally qualified rabbinical Pharisee yet having the super-humility to engage with the Gentiles without looking derisively down his nose at their ignorance about God.

            Without Saul/Paul’s colossal blunder in persecuting the early Christian church in Jerusalem, within the environment of a world having evil and suffering, there is no Paul the apostle to the Gentiles, and no Paul a new creature in Christ beloved widely in the early Christian churches he was instrumental in founding, as revealed in Romans 16.

            This conversion story of Paul the apostle displays at the very heart of the matter our deep need for Jesus Christ to be “the way, the truth, and the life” in our lives, to approach the deepest meanings in the broad array of moral concepts at their end-points of understanding.

            These arguments are not subservient to the factual empiricism of science, but are humanly understandable to be at the higher level of ultimate and eternal reality.

            The reason why Jesus the Son of God and the Second Person of the Trinity, the humble God/man from the obscure town of Nazareth, was on the cross that fateful Friday as the Passover Lamb of God sacrifice for sin, was missed by everyone including His disciples.

            The fact that we all missed this as a group is one of the main points God is trying to make through the cross and resurrection of Jesus.

            We need God to tell us to look both ways before crossing the street, and to show us how to use the brakes on our bicycles.

            We need this broken world with all of its evil and suffering, for exceptional goodness and brilliant virtue to immerge.

This is epitomized in the cross and resurrection of Jesus that inaugurates at the highest imaginable level God sacrificing Himself so that we can embark on a guided research program into the knowledge of good and evil, through the lens of a fallen yet redeemed, imperfect moral character.   

Even Peter has difficulty with discernment as he tries to figure-out his right course of action at the night trial of Jesus (Mt. 26:34-35, 69-75).

Before Damascus, Saul/Paul could not conceivably have imagined a way that God could extend to the undeserving, totally misguided, polytheistic and idol-worshipping Gentiles, salvation by grace through faith.

This brilliant creativity of imaginative insight in crafting this life-script for the apostle Paul to enable him through super-humility to become the missionary evangelist to the larger Greco-Roman world at this time-period of the start of the Great Commission (Mt. 28:19-20), to my thinking is uncannily similar to the brilliance of the Big Bang creation of the universe, the origin of life, the nanotechnology inside living cells, and human thought that we examine through science.

            Saul/Paul made the right moral choice independent of the Law of Moses he knew so well, because the law that he revered so much had little to say about the right choice to follow Jesus Christ into an adventure of faith that was so profoundly at the outer edge of the knowledge of good and evil, beyond anything Saul/Paul could have previously imagined.

            Laws, rules, and precepts can only take Paul so far in contrast to the discernment of subtly shaded right and wrong in thinking he was in God’s will when he persecuted the early Christian church.

            Again, we need the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth including parsing the subtleties in the broad array of moral concepts contained within the knowledge of good and evil.

            The revelation on the road to Damascus that Jesus was the Christ was a priceless gift to Paul that was beyond the human perception of one of Jerusalem’s young rising stars within its tight rabbinical group.

            This need for God’s light in this critical area of discernment was not lost upon Saul/Paul as he took the gospel message out to the Greco-Roman world in the first-century, that Jesus as the truth active in our lives will set us free beyond our wildest imagination.

            People have to want to do the right things from the heart.

            Create humans with free-will choice, and the bent of the heart then becomes key.

            Paul the apostle is the epitome of the Christian salvation by grace through faith message to the world, because he more than anybody recognized that he should have known better, but missed it.

            This revelation on the road to Damascus eliminates forever for Paul the program of self-salvation through the effort of performing good-works, because with all of his education and knowledge about the Law of Moses, he lacked the needed discernment to see that Jesus of Nazareth was and is the Christ (Mt. 5:17).

The fundamental question having eternally cosmic implications is why isn’t reaching the truth much easier than it is?

This is why Jesus says to Nicodemus: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (Jn. 3:3).

This is why modern science is a search for truth regarding phenomena in the natural world.

This is why God-composed, adventure of faith life-scripts displace our ways with God’s higher ways and thoughts (Is. 55:8-9), a concept that is anathema to the philosophical worldview of humanism.

This is why, to be able to adjudicate the question of the competence of either Satan or God to be the King and ruler for an eternity of time to come, God has given to the believer the indwelling of His Spirit as a personally accessible PhD theology and life-coach professor, guiding believers through our research program into the knowledge of good and evil (Rev. 3:20; Heb. 11:6).

This is why there must be a fallen, broken world that contains evil and suffering, that with tragically unavoidable consequences is nonetheless necessary to separate-out the outcomes between self-sovereignty versus God-sovereignty, being the fundamental, primary issue within the broad array of moral concepts, first introduced at the temptation in the Garden of Eden.

The materialistic worldview has no explanation for the existence of good and evil in the human experience, and no explanation for the universal existence of imperfect moral character in every human person who has ever lived (with the exception of Jesus Christ), which the Bible calls sin, which is defined as missing the mark.

Redemptive salvation by grace through faith in Christ, that provides the impunity of being able to enter into a research program into the knowledge of good and evil, utilizing the lens of an imperfect yet redeemed earthen vessel to comprehend the subtle nuances contained within the broad array of moral concepts…to my thinking is the epitome of the concept of being an inference to the best explanation, based upon the evidence currently on the earth today.

            The cross and the resurrection of Jesus Christ enables believers to surgically investigate the knowledge of good and evil without ruining ourselves or the world.

            The bottom-line in the Bible is that we need God to craft life-scripts for us to lead and guide us into all truth (Jn. 16:13), assisted by spiritually born-again, new hearts and minds that have eyes to see and ears to hear (Jn. 3:3; Mt. 11:15).

            From the Christian viewpoint, this is one of the reasons why God created the universe. 

This is one of the seemingly inexplicable mysteries within human intellectual and moral reasoning for why some people succumb to the deceptive appeal of personality cult leaders (2 Sam. 15:6; Rev. 12:9). 

This is an excerpt from my book Pondering Our World: Christian Essays on Science and Faith.

How Does the Creator God of the Universe End-Up on a Cross of Roman Crucifixion?

            The God of the Bible pays us the deepest compliment on our value and worth by engaging with us on a personal level, because God-composed journey of faith life-scripts are not easy, by necessity and design.

            This is comparable to the universal experience of young children going to school, with all of its challenges but also with all of its eventual upside benefits.

            The timeless foresight of God knows upfront that we are big enough to handle the challenges to be confronted within God- composed adventures of faith, long before our callings enlist us into the mission-plan destinies of our lives.

            Not a single positive person of faith in the Bible quits or gives-up early before fulfilling the overall purpose of their calling.

            God knows before we do that we are “man” or “woman” enough to persevere when the going gets tough, that believers encountering evil and suffering in their lives can press forward to be overcomers with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to help us, like Jesus was an overcomer in His uniquely targeted life-script.

            But God also knows from eternity past that some aspects of the knowledge of good and evil are too difficult to divide and parse at their deepest subtleties, without some experiential examples actualized through life-events to provide illumination and understanding.

            Simply stated, we need experiential data through actual life-events to provide the discerning judgment to close the gap between the limits of normal, everyday human wisdom and the farthest end-points of each of the broad array of moral concepts as divinely understood by God…at the top of the vertical spectrum-line of brilliant pure light and absolute goodness.

            This is why in the biblical narrative stories of faith God displaces our ways with His higher ways (Isa. 55:8-9) through life-scripts we could not imagine or orchestrate.

            And the God of the Bible is too virtuous and honorable to ask us to do something difficult through basic field research into unraveling the mysteries of good and evil, that He is not also willing to do Himself by first leading the way.

            Solve this question of why the Creator God of the universe Jesus Christ is on a cross of crucifixion on Calvary Hill in first-century Jerusalem, and we will have partially come a long way towards figuring-out why there is evil and suffering in this world.

            One standard answer satisfying biblical orthodoxy for why Jesus is on the cross is that He is the singularly unique, morally perfect Passover Lamb of God atoning sacrifice for our sins.

            But digging deeper, the research into the material workings of the natural world through scientific investigation is similar to the basic field research into the knowledge of good and evil through God-composed journeys of faith life-scripts as patterned for us in the Bible, because both research protocols are difficult to chart a navigational course that reaches absolute truth.

            Some of the broad array of moral concepts extended-out to their end-points are too subtle for us to perfectly discern and parse, in the same way that the mysteries of life, death, gravity, energy, the independent decision-making of human thought, and time are currently too profound for us to perfectly unravel through the reach of normal scientific inquiry.

            The realization that some realities require digging deeper than mere surface appearances, in both the physically material natural world and in the abstract, non-physical world of ideas and moral concepts, may be part of what is meant when Jesus is quoted as saying: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (Jn. 8:32).

            The remarkable thing about this statement by Jesus that the truth shall make us free, is that in another place in the gospels Jesus tells us that He is “the way, the truth, and the life.” (Jn. 14:6).

            We shall know the truth that shall make us free when we have Jesus in our lives, because He is the source of truth in every field of knowledge progressing forward in past centuries leading-up to today.

            If there is a genuine God-of-the-gaps, it exists between the limits of human reasoning capacity as non-divine sentient beings, and the divine reasoning capacity of God.

            This is evidenced through modern science today that reveals the easily discernable differences in the organized complexity in the workings of the natural world compared to the brilliant yet far simpler manufactured creations by human ingenuity.   

            The bottom-line lesson from modern science, philosophy, and biblical theology at the fundamental level of ultimate reality, may be that at every level of human existence we need to not impulsively jump at the first thing that sounds good on the surface, but to apply some amount of critical thinking and questioning, dig deeper, and research the facts whenever and as far as we can.

            Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden did not have to impulsively go with the option being presented by Satan in the beguiling, spiritually holographic apparition of a talking serpent.

            They could have answered simply by saying that what was being proposed sounded appealing, but that they next wanted to dig deeper by asking God in person why He told them not to eat this fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

            The entire program behind the creation of this universe may be simply to provide an empirically experiential environment for human beings to discover that we need the divine expertise, wisdom, and knowledge of God as an active participant in our lives (Heb. 11:6)…and that pushing Him away in rebellious self-sovereignty leads to chaos and mayhem.

            Jesus Christ is on the cross at Calvary because that is the one and only way for Him to extend justified immunity from condemnation for us, taking our place of punishment in divine non-rebellion for our obstinate rebellion, to be able to embark on a genuine research program into the knowledge of good and evil while inhabiting the earthen vessel (2 Cor. 4:7) of a fallen yet redeemed, imperfect moral nature.

            Some skeptical atheists have referred to the cross and the resurrection as being petty.

            This response to evil and suffering through the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ is anything but petty.

            There is more to reality than physically material things we study through science.

            I would again submit here that the mere existence of this discussion over the origin and causation of evil and suffering being debated by intellectual and moral reasoning human beings, must argue for the existence of God outside of and transcendent above the matter and energy universe.

            I would suggest that the question of why does God allow evil and suffering in this world, should be turned around to the question of how is it that there is exceptional goodness and brilliant virtue exhibited in human nature and in human history?

            Can exceptional goodness and brilliant virtue immerge out of an environment that does not have evil and suffering?

            How much evil and suffering would we choose to moderate if this also carried a corresponding reduction in the potential for exceptional goodness and brilliant virtue to actualize in response to evil and suffering?

            It is part of Christian theological orthodoxy that the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, displays absolute goodness at the highest imaginable level of intellectual and moral reality.

            What quality of madness would eliminate through Roman crucifixion a person capable of multiplying a few small fish and loaves of bread to feed a multitude of people sitting on a hillside, or is capable of instantly calming a dangerous storm at sea?

            What quality of poor judgment would eliminate through Roman crucifixion a person who is healing a large number of sick people in and around Jerusalem from serious illnesses, diseases, and physical injuries?

What degree of insanity would eliminate through orchestrating the crucifixion of a person who might otherwise be interviewed as to possible measures to improve international trade, or to even broker a deal with Rome that would lead to Jewish autonomy without going to war?

There is no stronger argument that evil and suffering are needed as factors in the equation of reality in this world, that the demonstration of the subtlety of parsing truth from error within the broad array of moral concepts requires discernment at an advanced level…than the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in the capital city of Jerusalem in the first-century.

Jesus Christ on the cross not only provides for forgiveness of sins and the impunity to embark on a God sanctioned research program into the knowledge of good and evil, but equally important Jesus on the cross demonstrates in actualized empiricism what went wrong for human beings in the temptation in the Garden of Eden.

What is so dangerous about Satan in the holographic, spiritual form of a beautiful talking serpent, is that what he is asserting in this temptation in the Garden of Eden is partially true.

God does know that if we eat this fruit we shall become as junior gods knowing good and evil.

But this is a half-truth, placed somewhere between absolute light at the top of the vertical spectrum-line of moral goodness and absolute darkness at the bottom.

Satan as a fallen angel is not absolutely evil.  There probably isn’t anything or anyone that is absolutely evil.  Evil is a corruption of goodness, a degrading of brilliant pure light into lower shades of gray still having some measure of light.

At the outer limits of the broad array of moral concepts within the knowledge of good and evil, our discernment needs a booster shot of divine wisdom to be able to accurately parse and divide right from wrong, and truth from error.

This is the strongest rebuke to the false notion that we are capable of going it on our own according to the worldview of humanism, without the divine wisdom and council of God (Isa. 53:5-6), because we can be deceived by the false narratives of half-truths.

That the way, the truth, and the life…that the eternal Word of God is crucified at Calvary…tells us that the discernment of good versus evil is a component that needs addressing within the context of this world, if eternal life is to proceed through voluntary self-government by the personal choice of virtue rather than rebellion and chaos.

God does not want a kingdom for eternity wherein He has to impose virtue from without to keep everyone in check.

Virtue, like love, cannot be imposed by force.  To have any meaning love has to be freely extended and reciprocated from one person to another.

Virtue stems from the highest form of self-imposed government wherein people voluntarily choose to do the right things, because they believe in virtue as the best possible way to live.

Nothing illuminates the need for people of good-will to know the truth that will set us free than the utter human failure of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ the Son of God.

This is an excerpt from my book Pondering Our World: Christian Essays on Science and Faith.

Evil and Suffering in this World…Revised

            One of the universally puzzling questions facing all of mankind from the dawn of human history, is why is there evil and suffering in this world.

            This question overlaps into science, philosophy, and religion because it intersects with the pursuit of human beings to discover purpose and meaning in the universe and in our lives.

            Evil and suffering are puzzling because they are totally at odds with the human inner drive to seek life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…being the major impediments that seemingly spoil this pursuit of happiness.

            Do away with evil and suffering, and we naturally think that an ideal paradise on earth is within reach.

            Why then would God allow evil and suffering to exist in this world, if He is able to prevent them?

            More broadly within the scope of a book on science and Christian faith, if modern science today is revealing an Intelligent Designing Agent this precise in crafting the natural world, then if God’s main response to the evil and suffering in this world is to merely compose life-scripts and orchestrate journeys of faith that do not altogether remove evil and suffering, then this seemingly partial solution needs explaining.

            If the response by the God of the Bible is to initiate research programs into the knowledge of good and evil as articulated in this book, now better understood through the lens of the modern scientific method, this still leaves the common complaint that if God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and everywhere, why then doesn’t He remove evil and suffering?

            The argument that the presence of evil and suffering renders God weak and incapable of providing an entirely safe and optimized environment for humans, presupposes that there is not a more important, underlying reason for God allowing evil and suffering to exist on the earth.  

            The straightforward approach in all avenues of inquiry in science, philosophy, and theology is to dig deeper for some answers.

The biblically honest answer starts by saying that of course the God of the Bible allows evil and suffering to exist in this world.

Then the question is why?

            This is a topic that deservedly comes up in every existence-of-God discussion, and should be addressed head-on at the beginning of this book.   

            One simplistic answer understood by everyone is the reason why parents teach their young children to look both ways before safely crossing the street.

            There is an existing reality of the dependent relationship between mature adults who possess the survival information about this world, and developing young children who do not.

            The reality of the facts possessed by the mature adults is that the residential streets abutting houses and schools have automobile traffic that poses a danger to uninformed young children.

            Looking both ways before safely crossing the street does not apply unless there are automobiles, buses, and trucks driving down the street.

            We could make streets, highways, and major freeways safe for children to play on tomorrow if today we eliminated all cars, trucks, and buses from existence, inaugurating walking as the sole means of travel.

            But we do not choose to do this because of the positive utility of cars, trucks, and buses for travel, and assume the risk that somewhere a young child will run out into the street chasing after a ball without first looking for cars, and get hit.

            Another simplistic answer is that my first bicycle had additional “training wheels” on each side of the rear tire to prevent me from falling over sideways, but I can still remember coasting down our gradually sloping driveway without knowing yet how to use the brakes to stop, with my father chasing after me to catch me before I ran into the garage door.

            The training wheels thankfully kept my bicycle upright, but someone in-the-know had to show me how the brakes worked.

            A simplistic, starting explanation universally known around the world in every family having young children, and every school having children of all ages, and even on college campuses, is that younger people need adults to supply the information to help them grow into adulthood.

            Age, experience, and knowledge give adults the basic position of authority to beneficially pass along to younger people the human do’s-and-do-not’s…being a role that no one else can perform…in a world that has at its extreme edges the potential danger for right and wrong outcomes, and for good and evil to take place.

            This is a basic and universal concept that everyone understands.

            But we can extend this basic and universal concept even farther by asking why as young children do we attend school?

            Learning to read and write, acquiring a full vocabulary, mastering basic arithmetic, studying history and geography, putting into practice the social skills required in a group, and developing the discernment that will be needed to select the right partner to marry for life and successfully raise a family…these are all things that define the essence of what it means to be human.

            Something in this remarkable process of human development into maturity should be a tell into the underlying purpose and meaning behind our universe and why we are here.

            Like the questioning of the existence of God because of the presence of evil and suffering in this world, mankind could also question the trial-and-error successes and failures that are inescapably a part of human life, and wish for an ideal existence that did not have broken hearts, broken marriages, alcoholism, and the regret of missed opportunities.

            But if one other thing is equally certain alongside death and taxes, it is that human beings are incapable of being anything other than what we are…intellectual and moral beings in pursuit of truth.

            This reality I would submit eliminates naturalistic materialism as a viable worldview, based upon the mere fact that the line of reasoning in this essay is too complex for matter and energy alone to bring into existence and clear focus.

            The brilliant Mind who created this universe also put into human beings this capacity for intellectual and moral reasoning, for a definite and deliberate purpose, and not through random chance, impersonal happenstance.

This is an excerpt from my book Pondering Our World: Christian Essays on Science and Faith.

Self-Governing Through Individual Virtue

            In Numbers 11:14, Moses complains to God: “I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me.”

            Nowhere in the Bible does God say that serving as King for “time without end” is too heavy.

            But Jesus Christ the sinless and blemish-free Son of God says and does all that the Second Person of the Trinity would say and do in a human body on earth…and He is crucified.

            Do we really think that God would want this same rebellion imported into heaven for all eternity?

            This complaint of Moses in Numbers 11:14 occurs at the start of the Exodus.

            When the time comes that Joshua is to lead the Israelites into the military campaign to conquer their Promised Land of Canaan, the people have been tempered by the 40-year wandering in the wilderness.

            The people are now able to exercise the self-government of voluntarily chosen virtue, so that Joshua does not have to “carry them” (Num. 11:12) as they order for battle.

            Joshua did not have to field complaints and murmurings from the people, determined themselves to do the right thing.

            There is something deeply right about giving God the benefit-of-the-doubt by releasing some aspects of self-rulership and placing some initial, beginning faith and trust in the God of the Bible…to give Him a trial period of testing to see if He is real and reliable.  

            There is something fundamentally wrong with staying stubbornly in the self-sovereignty of sitting atop the thrones of our lives as supposed junior gods, if for no other reason than that we do not have access to the final end-points of the broad array of moral concepts to perfectly inform our choices and decisions.

            The most brilliantly loving thing God could do for us is to set-up a program of salvation by grace through faith in Christ, wherein we could develop through first-hand life-events the discernment to be able to effectively govern ourselves through our voluntary choice to value and pursue virtue, being a kingdom of people God could and would gladly rule over for an eternity.

This is an excerpt from my book Pondering Our World: Christian Essays on Science and Faith.

How Do You Get a Perfect Person All the Way to the Cross?…Revised

            Skeptics and critics of Christianity raise the question of why Jesus Christ is not more prominent in the secular histories of the first-century, outside of the New Testament gospels.

            One observation that can be made historically about the Roman Empire during this time-period is that it was relatively tolerant of the diverse religious beliefs of the geographies and peoples it controlled, as long as this tolerance did not encourage political unrest.

            The New Testament gospels record as early as the ministry of John the Baptist that some Roman soldiers came to listen to his teaching (Lk. 3:14), and presumably participated personally in being water baptized, without risk or harm in any way to their careers in the Roman army, in the same way that soldiers in Ephesus might attend temple services honoring the goddess Diana (Acts 19:27-28), without jeopardizing their military careers.

            The gospel of Matthew records early in the ministry of Jesus a Roman centurion asking Jesus to supernaturally heal a servant sick of the palsy (Mt. 8:5-13; Lk. 7:1-5).

            Early in the ministry of Peter, another Roman centurion named Cornelius in the city of Caesarea is described as being a devout man who was a Gentile “God-fearer” along with all of his house, who sent for Peter to come and preach to them about Jesus and the Holy Spirit. (Acts 10).

            It can be reasonably assumed that some Roman soldiers were assigned to all large gatherings of Jews in Jerusalem going out to hear Jesus teach outdoors, and would have witnessed first-hand and up-close the miracles of multiplying the few fish and loaves of bread to feed thousands of people gathered on a hillside (Mt. 14:15-21, 15: 32-39).

            So, what would it have taken to get a contingent of Roman senators to travel all the way from Rome to the distant and unimportant province of Israel to view the supposed supernatural activities of an obscure prophet in the city of Jerusalem?

            What magnitude of notoriety would produce such international acclaim as to capture the interest of the world-at-large in the first-century, within the broad cultural tolerance of religious beliefs allowed to be practiced in the Roman Empire, that would generate more than only the small notice and slight concern over events occurring in Jerusalem, for the governing body then in Rome? 

            Even Pontius Pilate the Roman governor of Judea saw no threat in the ministry of Jesus, and proclaims after his first interview of Jesus: “I find in him no fault at all.” (Jn. 18:38).

            The fundamental point here for why the life of Jesus Christ is not a biography splashed all over the secular histories of the day, is that the humanism of going our own way (Isa. 53:6) that is central to worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…does not and never will mix with the concept of God displacing our ways with His higher ways in picking-up our crosses to follow God into journeys of faith.

            At the close of Paul’s ministry, as he awaits his trial in Rome, the local Jews who come to visit Paul say: “But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest: for as concerning this sect, we know that everywhere it is spoken against.” (Acts 28:22).

            This raises one of the most profound questions regarding the rise of Christianity in the first-century, of how do you get a perfect person all the way to the rejection of the cross of Calvary?

            How is it that the long-awaited Messiah of the Jews must be the person who is crucified for the sins of the world, and resurrected to be the brazen serpent for salvation fore-glimpsed by Moses in the Exodus in the desert (Num. 21:5-9; 2 Ki. 18:4).

            What this demonstrates for people today, is that the same Creator God in the Bible who utilizes prior fitness throughout the geological eras in natural history, to set-up prior conditions for living organisms to flourish, can also coordinate human moral reasoning capacity, the broad array of moral concepts, and the divine life-script for Jesus Christ the Son of God, and moderate all of these factors to get the Messiah to also be the Passover Lamb of God atoning sacrifice for mankind’s sins.

This actualizes into real-world experience the saying: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (Jn. 8:32).

            For people to know the truth they need to first have the intellectual and moral reasoning capacity to recognize truth, next the broad array of moral concepts active and in-play within human relationships, and finally “the way, the truth, and the life” demonstrated in the life of Jesus Christ the Son of God incarnate, all coming together in the first-century.

This is an excerpt from my book Pondering Our World: Christian Essays on Science and Faith.

God-Sovereignty Exemplified on the Cross…Revised

            One area therefore where we can clearly and unambiguously authenticate the divine nature of Jesus Christ is in His perfect compliance with the biblical concept of God-sovereignty, in His life-script and performance.

            On the cross, Jesus is demonstrating God-sovereignty actualized to absolute perfection in staying within His God-composed life-script calling to become the Savior of the world.

            On the cross, Jesus exemplifies purely consistent, non-rebellious, sinless unity-of-purpose within the Godhead of the Trinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

            The divinely brilliant, creative originality of the cross is that Jesus is experiencing the most acute outward display of worldly failure, while at the same time achieving the greatest single accomplishment for mankind in all of history as the Passover Lamb of God atoning sacrifice for sin.

            God combines on the cross two contrasting elements: extreme worldly failure and brilliantly divine success, on the broadest possible range of human experience because the cross at Calvary involves the divine Son of God in a human body (Isa. 7:14, 9:6-7) the breadth of which no human literary writer could ever imagine or invent.

            Jesus Christ on the cross as the Passover Lamb of God sacrifice for mankind’s sins in perfect demonstration of God-sovereignty, is such a brilliantly divisive yet subtle issue surgically separating truth from error, that many modern Jews even today use this perceived failure of Jesus to be the expected Moses, Joshua, or King David type Messiah ushering-in world peace…as still serving as the main reason for why they reject Jesus Christ as Messiah, disqualifying Him on these grounds alone.

            Many Jews in the first-century and today would say that their Messiah would never suffer the indignity of being crucified by the Romans, of being a curse “hanged on a tree.” (Dt. 21:23; Gal. 3:13).

            Yet redemptive salvation by grace through faith in Christ creates the singular brilliance of a joint-venture with God into the exploration of the knowledge of good and evil, utilizing the research vehicle of our fallen yet redeemed imperfect nature.

God-composed journey of faith life-scripts starting with Abraham anticipate by roughly 3,500 years the scientific method of basic field research inaugurated at the start of the Scientific Revolution.

            As we ourselves stand at the cross looking up at Jesus, we either see the Passover Lamb of God performing His God-composed life-script in perfect God-sovereignty, or we see the worst failure of a person that can be imagined in life, the utter humiliation of first being scourged, then afterwards ending their lives through the shame and defeat of Roman crucifixion.

            This is the most modern, up-to-date, sophisticated use of the broad array of moral concepts at the outer edge of their real-world, practical utility.

            As we look up at Jesus hanging on the cross, we either see a life-script that was perfectly written to match the unique capacity of the God/man Jesus Christ to take upon Himself the sins of the world as foreshadowed centuries before at the start of the Exodus[1],[2] (Ex. 12:21-28).

            Or we see a life-script that falls so far short of the positive ideals and aspirations of the American Dream ancient or modern, that our best option then is to choose to go our own way in a journeyof self, according to the tenets of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking, and reject Jesus Christ altogether.

            The insightfully piercing dichotomy between the perfect God-sovereignty of Jesus Christ, and the self-sovereignty of going our own way of the religious elites and political rulers in Jerusalem, at the cross is exposed by God alone as no human literary genius could of being as wide apart as the Grand Canyon.

God alone has the ability to highlight on that one day atop Calvary Hill, the huge contrast between self-sovereignty versus God-sovereignty…to perfection.

            This is a key element that separates-out for us amidst the sea of multiple competing narratives the singularly unique, divine quality of the biblical narrative in today’s modern world.

This is an excerpt from my book Pondering Our World: Christian Essays on Science and Faith.


[1] 20161030 The Oldest Yahweh Inscription 2 Kings Joel Kramer, published on Oct. 30, 2016, by Lighthouse Church-Twin Falls on YouTube…at Joel Kramer Archaeologist.

[2] Historical Evidence for the Exodus from Egypt (with Titus Kennedy), published on Jul. 19, 2022 on the YouTube channel Dr. Sean McDowell.

The Broad Array of Moral Concepts are In-Place and On-Time for Human Consideration…Revised

            In Galatians 5:22-23, Paul lists some of the positive fruits of the Spirit: “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

            Earlier in Galatians 5:19-21, Paul lists some of the negative “works of the flesh”: “Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like.”

            To these two lists of moral attributes and characteristics we could add the concepts of truth, honesty, dignity, loyalty, friendliness, honor, humility, dedication, forgiveness, mercy, compassion, humor, flexibility, empathy, forbearance, consideration, self-sacrifice, gratitude, persistence, commitment, discernment, rationality, logical thinking, being organized, being a peace-maker, fairness, generosity, passion…and a number of other distinct and precise words that describe finely differentiated moral characteristics.

            This list could be expanded further by adding their negative counterparts.

            Why is this important in a Christian book about science and faith?

            When anyone who is a born-again Christian, Bible college student, Christian theologian, atheist, skeptic, or curious truth-seeker begins an examination of the perfect and sinless life of Jesus Christ, they are acknowledging the existence of the very tools of the sophisticated and varied concepts available that precisely define moral characteristics, that make such an examination possible.

            Without this complete and exhaustive tool-kit of concepts by which to judge moral characteristics, a personal decision for or against accepting Christ as Savior would fall short of being meaningful, would not have all of the richly differentiated criteria to support a valid decision, one way or the other.

            The three complimentary categories: the existence of the broad array of moral concepts, our capacity for intellectual and moral reasoning, and the divinely composed life-script for Jesus Christ, must all be fully developed and fully functional in-time for the appearance of Jesus Christ into this world in the first-half of the first-century A.D.

            This discussion opens the door into a better and fuller understanding of the uniqueness of the cross and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, validating the life of Jesus to be at the top-most point of moral perfection.

This is an Excerpt from my book Pondering Our World: Christian Essays on Science and Faith.

God-Composed Journey of Faith Life-Scripts are Too Deep for a Naturalistic Explanation for Their Origin…Revised

            The recent modern recognition in philosophy is that the human mind when reduced down to only a materialistic “brain” alone, made up of circuits and neurons, devolves into nonsensical relativism.

            The radical reduction into materialism undermines confidence in the reliability of all human thought, and thereby destroys rationality, scientific investigation, and even worldview philosophies such as atheism itself.

            Yet by simply asking the question and examining the evidence, this in and of itself declares at the outset that Jesus Christ the person we are investigating is in fact within the zone of moral perfection and sinless virtue by reason of the question being seriously entertained at all. 

            We would not even open such an investigation into the life of any other exceptional person past or present, because we already correctly acknowledge that only one person in all of history has made a credible, serious claim to have lived a perfect life, and that one person is Jesus Christ.  

            No sane person in all of recorded history has made a viable and well-substantiated claim to embody and demonstrate the moral attributes of brilliant pure light, absolute goodness, and perfect virtue, of being, speaking, and acting like a Deity.

            Jesus Christ as Messiah is proactively anticipated for centuries in the biblical Old Testament messianic prophecies fulfilled in the life, teaching, and ministry of Jesus Christ recorded in the New Testament gospels.

            This raises the probing apologetics question into the divine origin of the composition of the Bible, Old Testament Judaism, and New Testament Christianity, of how in the first-place we would “come by” the capacity to accurately judge whether the life and ministry of Jesus Christ exhausts the extent of the possible outer-limits of moral perfection.

            How would we determine that our current tool-kit of known virtuous characteristics, of well-defined moral attributes, is absolutely exhaustive, adequate, and complete enough for the in-depth moral reasoning needed to evaluate the life of Jesus Christ? 

            How would we know whether there are not some additional, outstanding moral characteristics that we are unaware of, in this current earthly context, above and beyond those demonstrated and exemplified in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ that would raise the bar higher?

            How would we know there are not some missing moral attributes in our reality that might call into question the impeccable qualifications of Jesus to be the blemish-free and sinless atoning sacrifice for our sins?

            The point here is not whether God has some additional, divine characteristics applicable in heaven that would not concern us presently, that are not relevant here on earth, but whether or not Jesus the Son of God in a human body (Isa. 7:14, 9:6-7) exhausts the limits of moral perfection as the God/man in order to qualify as the Passover Lamb of God, one-time atoning sacrifice for sin.

            The question is how this full and varied palette of moral concepts had an origin and came into existence within the reality of human life, to be able to make this assessment.

            The important point in this discussion is the fantastic notion that we would have the moral reasoning tools in terms of human mental capacity, but also in the complementary existence of the broad array of abstract moral concepts defined through the language of discrete and distinctive words, to be able to make a valid decision for or against salvation faith in Jesus Christ at this highly advanced level.

            The connection between the human capacity for intellectual and moral reasoning, with an external array of independent moral concepts is similar to what is called prior fitness in the scientific study of how biodiverse living species fit-in, in-the-moment to complex, pre-existing, environmental ecosystems.

            This connection that we so easily take for granted, argues compellingly for a human mind capable of recognizing and parsing the subtleties of informational concepts, that transcends above a mere, materialistic brain.

            But this well-timed connection in history between human capacity and an external array of independent moral concepts, also argues compelling for the presence of intelligent designing agency having the foresight to bring these two realities into existence at the same moment in time.

            Dr. John Lennox, Oxford mathematician and author suggests in some of his interviews and discussions online on the Internet, that the sudden immergence of human intellectual and moral reasoning capacity might be considered another example of being a singularity, in the same manner as the Big-Bang creation of the universe and the sudden immergence of life on earth can be understood as singularities.

            The mental capacity to technologically problem-solve at the advanced level to take us to the moon in 1969, and the moral reasoning capacity to differentiate and comprehend complex moral concepts, are two realities that define the essence of human beings.

            The point here is that human beings possess a complete and exhaustive array of tools within the broad assortment of moral concepts from which to make an intelligent and reasoned judgment as to the divine quality of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ.

            Just as orderliness and intelligibility are indispensably coordinated with our human capacity to conduct successful scientific investigations of the natural world, it would be pointless to be presented with the decision-making imperative regarding the truth-claims of Jesus Christ regarding His qualifications as Savior, King, and eternal Ruler if humans did not possess the incredible capacity to make an informed decision.

            It is therefore plausible to recognize that the origin of the entire array of moral characteristics appearing suddenly and fully defined in scope, that this recognition represents a sharp, near-instant vertical upwardspike on any conceivable graph-line for the time-duration of the human race.

             This is not anything remotely like incrementally gradual, small-step, evolutionary development.

This is an Excerpt from my book Pondering Our World: Christian Essays on Science and Faith.

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