(Photo: Saddleback Church)
LAKE FOREST, Calif. – Contrary to what many scientists believe, science points toward a creator of the universe instead of away from God, says best-selling author and Christian apologist Lee Strobel.
Speaking at a two-day Christian apologetics event at Saddleback Church in Southern California, Strobel kicked-off the series of weekend messages given by five different apologists by talking about The Case for a Creator.
"There are some scientists that will tell you that the evidence of science points away from a Creator. That it disproves the existence of a Creator," said the atheist-turned-Christian and former legal editor of The Chicago Tribune.
Strobel continued by giving an example.
"Jerry Coyne thinks so. He's a University of Chicago professor of ecology and evolution. He said in USA Today: 'Science and faith are fundamentally incompatible … Science helps religion only by disproving its claims.' But is that true? Does science point away from a Creator?"
He then explained to the more than 3,500 people in attendance at the church and an online audience: "I used to be an atheist just like Dr. Coyne is an atheist, but I came to a far different conclusion after my investigation of the evidence. I concluded that science, when done right, points powerfully and persuasively toward the existence of a Creator who just happens to look a lot like the God of the Bible.
"In other words, I believe that science affirms Psalm 102:25: 'In the beginning, you [God] laid the foundations of the earth and the heavens are the work of your hands,'" Strobel said.
Three areas of science have pointed "powerfully toward the existence of God," especially with discoveries made over the last 50 years, he said. The areas in which Strobel focused on during his message were cosmology (the study of the universe's origin), physics, and DNA.
"For centuries scientists believed that the universe always existed, it was eternal, it was always there. But thanks to persuasive, philosophical arguments and scientific discoveries just over the last several decades virtually all scientists are now convinced that the universe had a beginning at some point in the distant past," he said. "And even though alternative models of the universe have been proposed, the Borde-Guth-Vikenkin Theorem tells us that any universe that is expanding, on average, thru its history, like ours, must have space-time boundary in the past. In other words, it must have had a beginning at some point."
According to Strobel, one of the scientists that formulated the theorem, physicist Alexander Vilenkin, who is the director Institute of Cosmology at Tufts University, said, "With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. There is no escape. They have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning."
He then addressed the issue of why there might be a problem for some scientists trying to accept a "beginning to the universe."
"Well, you know what? It's only a problem if you are an atheist, because if there is a beginning to the universe it leads to a very powerful argument for existence of God. It's called the Kalam Cosmological Argument," Strobel explained. "It's very easy, it only takes three steps. First, whatever begins to exist has a cause.
"Can you come up with an example of anything that began to exist that doesn't have cause? Even David Hume, the famous skeptic said, 'I never asserted so absurd a proposition as that anything might arise without a cause.'"
The second step in proving the argument is that whatever begins to exist has a cause.
"The universe began to exist. Virtually every scientist now concedes that universe and time itself had beginning," he said. "So, whatever begins to exist has a cause. The universe began to exist. Therefore, the universe must have had a cause."
Strobel continued, "Now what kind of cause can bring a universe into existence? It must be uncaused, because it can't be an infinite regress of causes. It must be immaterial or spirit, because it existed before the material world. It must be eternal, because it created time. It must be very smart and very powerful, because of the precision and the power with the creation of the universe. It must have personal will, because it needed to have to make the decision to create … So think about this. We have an uncaused, immaterial or spirit, eternal, smart, powerful, personal, one-of-a-kind Creator – that's a pretty good beginning point for a description of God."
He pointed out that physicist Dr. Arno Penzias, who won the Nobel Peace Prize, showed that the universe had a beginning. Penzias said, "The best data we have (concerning the origin of universe) are exactly what I would have predicted, had I nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, and the Bible as a whole."
"So, cosmology goes a long way toward establishing the existence of Creator," Strobel said.
After discussing the other two areas of focus (physics and DNA), he concluded, by saying that science points toward God, not away from Him.
"The best news is that the Creator is not distant, detached, or some disinterested deity – he's not the God of deism – but that He's a personal God and that through Christ we can meet Him, we can know Him, we can experience Him and we can spend eternity with Him," he said. "He lovingly crafted the cosmos as a habitat for you and me. He sent His only Son to die for our sins that separate us from Him so that we can be reunited with him forever. That's the greatest news of all."
More information about Lee Strobel can be found on his website: LeeStrobel.com.