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

Book Review: Cold-Case Christianity For Kids


Several years ago cold-case homicide detective J. Warner Wallace wrote the book Cold-Case Christianity. When Wallace first read the gospels, as an atheist, he noticed that they read like eye-witness accounts that he was used to analyzing everyday. He decided to conduct an investigation of Jesus' resurrection just like a cold-case. Cold-Case Christianity takes the reader through his investigation and encourages the reader to be the "jury" to evaluate the evidence. You can read my full review of it here: Book Review: Cold-Case Christianity.

That book has been quite popular and has helped numerous people to see the evidence for the truth of Christianity. Because of that, Wallace and his wife decided to take the content and adapt it for a younger audience. The result is the book Cold-Case Christianity for Kids.

Atheism: A Lack of Belief in God


I recently had a conversation on Twitter with an atheist. He held a particular view of atheism that made it quite difficult to have a productive conversation. This view has become more popular among internet atheists in the last few years, so I thought it would be worth addressing. 

What is Atheism?

This atheist immediately began our interaction by questioning my understanding of atheism. He claimed that atheism did not make the claim that God does not exist (as is the traditional understanding), rather it is neutral on God's existence; it does not make an ontological claim (if God exists) but rather an epistemological claim (if someone believes that God exists). He rationalized this untraditional understanding by saying that since theism is the belief in God, then atheism is the denial of the belief in God, but it is not necessarily the denial of God's existence. After I asked him a few clarifying questions, he claimed that no one could really "know" that God exists and we are all actually agnostics. He ultimately claimed that atheism is indistinguishable from agnosticism. 

Fazale Rana: Theistic Models for Origins Need Scientific Credibility


As a defender of the Christian worldview and a big fan of science, it is difficult to avoid the question of origins (not that I really try to on Faithful Thinkers). The Bible makes specific claims about how the universe, life, and humans came to be. However, Christians differ on how to interpret these claims. Many (if not all) of the interpretations are met with great hostility from skeptics and the scientific community. In his book, Origins of Life: Biblical and Evolutionary Models Face Off, biochemist Fazale Rana explains that:
 "Most investigators would rather confront the problems and frustrations of naturalistic models than consider any explanation for life's start that lacks scientific credibility, especially when it involves a divine Creator."

"Most investigators would rather confront the problems and frustrations of naturalistic models than consider any explanation for life's start that lacks scientific credibility, especially when it involves a divine Creator."- Quote from "Origins of Life: biblical and Evolutionary Models Face Off" by Dr. Hugh Ross and Dr. Fazale Rana

Why Bother With Scientific Credibility?

If Christianity is the true worldview, then its claims about origins must be correct. There is an interpretation that accurately reflects both the claims of the Bible and the findings in nature. Some models presented by Christians are so far off from the data from nature that they do not have any scientific credibility. When a skeptic sees models like these as the only alternatives, they will prefer to deal with the challenges of a model that possesses more scientific credibility. And unfortunately, they will toss the Christianity "baby" with the origins model "bathwater."

It is important to our defense of the Christian worldview that we are responsible in our presentation of a model for origins. If a scientifically-minded skeptic is to believe that Christianity is even possibly true and that the Bible is a trustworthy and authoritative source of truth, the claims of origins must match the data found in nature.


As we present Christianity as accurately reflecting reality (the true worldview), we must be prepared to deal with the issue of the origins of the universe, life, and humanity. If we present a model that is not in agreement with the data from nature, we cannot expect a scientifically-minded skeptic to take our worldview seriously. If we truly believe that Christianity is true, then perhaps it is time for us to change our model and present one that is both bibically and scientifically credible.

Recommended Reading for Further Investigation

Gentleness and Respect in Debate and Discussion

 Gentleness and Respect in Debate and Discussion- Introduction

As a defender of the Christian worldview, I get involved in many discussions with skeptics. These discussions often not only touch on the existence of God, but on the problem of evil, the nature of man, and ethics, which all overlap into politics during certain years. As many have experienced first hand, these discussions often get heated. There is a temptation that is difficult to avoid in these situations, but it must be resisted.

The Temptation

The temptation to become defensive in our attitude (especially when the other person already is) is not easy to avoid. Sometimes we permit ourselves some freedom in our rhetorical force combined with our aggressive posture, and before we know it, those freedoms have produced sarcasm, disrespect, belligerence, or dismissiveness. Many times justified as "passion."

While there is nothing wrong about being passionate about the truth and justifying its belief, we must always be careful that we articulate our points "with gentleness and respect." Christians are urged in scripture to do so (1 Peter 3:15b). But this is not merely an arbitrary command, it has real-world negative effects. 

If we do not present the truth in love, then people are less likely to accept it. And if we present the truth in a snide or condescending way, then people are likely to project that condescension onto the truth and be repulsed by it.  

There are two parties negatively affected by the uncontrolled rhetoric and posture: the defender and the skeptic. The defender is demonstrating the evidences that justify belief in Jesus Christ, yet he does so in a very unloving and unChrist-like way. This creates a contradiction in the defender's life: his actions do not seem to match what he professes. This walking contradiction causes the defender to lose credibility.

Hypocrisy in the Church is one of the big stumbling blocks to skeptics. When skeptics see a contradiction in a worldview, they know intuitively that they must question its truthfulness. And if the contradiction includes poor attitudes (as this particular one does), it makes that worldview appear less deserving of consideration and a commitment even if it is true.

Been There, Done That

So what can we do about this? For anyone who is constantly on the lookout for opportunities to share and defend the truth of the Gospel and the whole of the Christian worldview (that should be all of us), we always need to be in prayer that we will remain conscious of our level of rhetoric and postures. When we engage, we need to focus on the concerns of the person asking the questions. This will allow us to address the issue with truth but do so in a way that connects personally with the person. If (when) we find that we have crossed the line of passion into belligerence, we must backtrack- ask the person's forgiveness and permission to start over, reminding ourselves of something. I like the way that Greg Koukl puts it in his book "Tactics: A Gameplan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions":
"Being defensive and belligerent always looks weak. Instead, stay focused on the issues, not on the attitude."
"Being defensive and belligerent always looks weak. Instead, stay focused on the issues, not on the attitude."- Quote from "Tactics: A Gameplan for Discussion Your Christian Convictions" by Greg Koukl


Love, gentleness, humility, and respect in our discussions will go a long way. Whether we are discussing the truth of the Christian worldview with a skeptic, discussing theology, debating politics, or whatever, if these are not present we have no reason to expect our message to be persuasive. We can compromise neither truth nor character. We claim that Christ can transform lives; we need to allow Him to transform ours so we can be His hands and feet that people can see, hear, and touch in this physical world.