I'm not usually much for writing about current events.
However, a recent news item serves to underscore a very important point in the Christian's struggle against prevalent naturalistic worldviews.
Dr. Lawrence Krauss is a widely read astrophysicist and university professor, and is known publicly for his deep commitment to materialistic naturalism. Krauss makes no bones about his polemic stance against religion:
"Science is only truly consistent with an atheistic worldview with regards to the claimed miracles of the gods of Judaism, Christianity and Islam," he has remarked, which would be news to the scores of scientists who hold to these religious persuasions.
The New York Times recently reported that "Arizona State University has suspended Lawrence M. Krauss, a prominent theoretical physicist, while the university investigates accusations of sexual misconduct over a decade."
And while I certainly do not aim to highlight this egregious circumstance out of disrespect to the families involved, one cannot help but notice the irony in this situation--namely, that Krauss is well-known for (at least implicitly) advocating the existence of a moral standard despite his atheistic views.
Krauss is famous for his claim that "teaching creationism to children is child abuse." On his view, it is dishonest and immoral not to teach children about evolution. (Of course, many creationists do and should teach their children about evolutionism, so they become better-equipped to defend against it.)
For centuries, Christians have held that only on a theistic worldview is such a moral standard possible. But Krauss's own view is that we are the children of stardust!
He writes in his book A Universe From Nothing, "Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. And, the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics: You are all stardust. You couldn't be here if stars hadn't exploded, because the elements - the carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, iron, all the things that matter for evolution and for life - weren't created at the beginning of time. They were created in the nuclear furnaces of stars, and the only way for them to get into your body is if those stars were kind enough to explode. So, forget Jesus. The stars died so that you could be here today."
One must wonder how any objective source of moral values can be recognized on such a view? Moreover, if such objective values could be realized, one must further question what dutiful obligation we would have to hold to them!
It seems as though only if there is a transcendent Creator who has ordered the cosmos, given us an intelligent mind after His own, and given us specific commandments and directives should we be obligated to act in a moral fashion, and according to a moral standard.
Of course, as Christians, we hold to the doctrine of the Imago Dei--that is, that all of humanity is created in the Image of God. It is this which gives human life intrinsic worth and value. But on Krauss' evolutionary view we are the highest evolved form of animal--but an animal nonetheless!
Since we don't punish "lower-evolved" organisms such as bats and bacteria for infidelity of any sort, why should we be punished? Our culture argues for "human rights," but who has assigned these rights? If we are the result of myriad "unguided" processes, there is, by definition, no "guide" to give us the necessary basis for morality, rights or ethics of any sort!
The truth to be gleaned is this: Even Christians, who do have an objective moral standard, sin every day and fail their Lord. That Dr. Krauss has allegedly committed a serious crime is not "proof" that his worldview is wrong, nor is it the "fruits" of it, necessarily.
But what must not be missed or taken for granted is his inconsistency. He has responded to these allegations by denying their truthfulness. But on his view, why are the allegations wrong? If atheism is true, it seems just as reasonable that he accepts the charges and argue on the basis of an absent moral standard.
With no Creator to set the rules, there are no rules. Rather, to be consistent, he should contend that his choices are merely his preferences, but as he has already demonstrated, that will not be his play.
Instead, he will agree with our judicial system--which is ultimately rooted in the judgments and commandments of God--that it is immoral and disgraceful to harm another human being, and deny the charges against him.
Whether the allegations are true remains to be seen. What has been made clear, however, is that Romans 2:15 is still true--there is a moral law written in the heart of Dr. Lawrence Krauss, the same as is written in each of us.
Steve Schramm is a preacher, apologist, and writer. He helps Christians defend their faith with confidence and clarity while offering solid answers to religious skeptics on the toughest issues facing our culture. His first book, Truth Be Told: An Apologetics Primer for Independent Baptists, is due out early 2019.