God's Existence, Science and Faith, Suffering and Evil, Jesus' Resurrection, and Book Reviews

10 Quotes From Dr. Hugh Ross on Why The Universe Is The Way It Is

This is a collection of my favorite quotes from the book Why The Universe Is The Way It Is by astrophysicist Dr. Hugh Ross. My full review of the book may be read here. For more information about the work of Dr. Ross, please visit Reasons to Believe.

Investigating Reality
"Humans...wonder about everything: tangible and intangible, tiny and huge, near and far, the past and the future as well as the present- the how and why of everything both in this universe and beyond. Human curiosity knows no boundaries, and many individuals will pay any price, even lose their own lives, to satisfy it."

"I'm firmly convinced we can know enough. Not enough to end all questions, but enough to make sense of our lives. We can build a cosmic perspective solid enough to remain firm yet flexible enough to absorb the impact of new discoveries."

Problem of Evil
"Nothing seems to perplex humanity as much as the subject of evil. Some say the existence of evil is a paradox wrapped in an enigma enshrouded in mystery embedded in riddle implanted in a puzzle inside a giant maze."

"From the moment spiritual death (autonomy from God) invaded creation physical death became a blessing, an avenue through which God could temper the outbreak of evil and suffering."

Teleology (Design)
"Astronomers' observations show that in the context of the laws of physics, the Earth, Moon, solar system, Milky Way Galaxy, and Local Group- indeed the entire universe are all perfectly designed to provide a wonderful, bountiful home for humanity."

"Many conditions necessary for human existence and beneficial to quality of life are also time critical. The fact that these features...all converge simultaneously at the moment human beings arrive on the planet defies realistic probability. One favorable time window's alignment with even one other window might be considered an astounding coincidence. But the lineup of so many independent time windows with the brief human moment on the cosmic calendar speaks powerfully of purpose."

"The optimization of cosmic darkness and of Earth's location within the dark universe that sacrifices neither the material needs of human beings nor their capacity to gain knowledge about the universe reflects masterful engineering at a level far beyond human capability-  and even imagination. It testifies of a supernatural, superintelligent, superpowerful, fully deliberate Creator."

"If the universe were any smaller or larger, younger or older, brighter or darker, more or less efficient as a radiator, and if human observers were located where most stars and planets reside, the view would be so blocked as to give few (if any) clues about what lies beyond."

"This degree of fine-tuning is so great that it's as if right after the universe's beginning someone could have destroyed the possibility of life within it by subtracting a single dime's mass from the whole of the observable universe or adding a single dime's mass to it."

"Innumerable conditions must be exquisitely optimized for the support of humanity and of civilization. Many of them are highly time variable. Evidence showing that a wide variety of independent conditions all reached optimality during the identical narrow epoch when human beings appeared on the cosmic and terrestrial scene testifies of supernatural design and purpose rather than mere coincidence."

More quotes from Dr. Ross may be found here:
13 Quotes From Hugh Ross on Biblical Inerrancy, Interpretation, and Authority

Are Nature and Scripture Compatible?

The debate about the proper interaction of science and theology is raging as much as it has ever been. Hot tempers fly that result in ice-cold relationships. For as much discussion and debate that takes place, it seems that nothing is being accomplished. For those caught in the middle, questions still remain unanswered:

  • What do we do when science contradicts our theology or our theology contradicts science? 
  • Are they allowed to contradict? 
  • If not, which should I choose?
  • Can't they just agree to disagree? 
These are all questions that shaped my spiritual struggle several years ago. I was constantly told that I could not trust science because it contradicted my theology, and at the same time I was told that I could not trust theology because it denied science. I felt like I had a choice: live a double life- allowing one source of truth (religion) in one area of reality, but not allowing it relevance in the other areas. Or I could completely deny one of them as a valid source of truth, giving up my theology completely, or giving up science completely.

How could I live what I do not believe, and how could I deny what I know to be true? These further haunting questions demanded answers yet seemed unanswerable. Neither hypocrisy nor denial are very appealing traits. Unfortunately these are often presented as the only options available in our search for the true worldview. In this post, my goal is to present a compelling alternative that grants that science and theology are valid sources of truth that often overlap in the aspects of reality that they claim to explain. I will also put forth a method for dealing with conflicts in the overlapping areas and explain the liabilities of not dealing with such conflicts.

Book Review: The Message Behind The Movie

Book Review: "The Message Behind the Movie: How to Engage With a Film Without Disengaging Your Faith" by Douglas Beaumont


Movies are an interesting part of today's culture. They address hot issues by connecting to people through the arts. They are the products of fallen people created in God's Image thus they will contain both good and bad elements, with imbalances on both sides. Many Christians do not think very deeply about these realities of this form of entertainment, so they often take extreme views of either over-indulgence or avoidance, and few see movies as open opportunities to discuss the Gospel with skeptics.

In his book "The Message Behind the Movie: How to Engage With A Film Without Disengaging Your Faith" (Paperback and Kindle) Doug Beaumont attempts to address these issues. He divided the book into three "Acts" that deal with cinematic theory, evangelical application, and personal application. The book is subdivided into eleven chapters and is a mere 159 pages. This review is intended to be a chapter-by-chapter summary to give the potential reader a taste of the book's content.

Is Theism Well-Defined Enough To Be Scientifically Testable?

Science and the Bible


In February 2014 philosopher William Lane Craig and theoretical physicist Sean Carroll debated the rationality of believing God exists given the evidence in cosmology (the video can be found here). On several occasions Carroll observed that "theism" is not well-defined, and thus does not lend itself to scientific testing by putting forth falsifiable predictions. William Lane Craig (both at the beginning of the debate and at other times) affirmed that he was not putting forth God as an alternative to naturalistic models, but was scientifically defending the truth of premises in an argument with theological significance. Both debaters seemed to misunderstand one another regarding this. Craig did not give any indication of understanding the scientific concern of Carroll's observation by dismissing the idea that God was even a feature of a competing model, while Carroll did not seem to understand the philosophical insignificance of his charge or the fact that Craig was defending a mere theism that only identified God as "Creator" and "Designer."

I have heard Carroll's challenge on several occasions from scientifically-minded people who are critical of cosmological and teleological arguments for God's existence. Since they dismiss Christianity (and theism, in general) as an unscientific hypothesis, my intent with this post is to investigate the scientific perspective that is responsible for this complaint, the philosophical significance and insignificance of the complaint, and the proper response that theists (and Christians, specifically) should provide to remove the validity of the charge of being "unscientific." I will conclude the post with a challenge to both naturalists and Christians, and I will revisit the debate in light of this discussion.