Sometimes, it’s good to be reminded that we’re the head and not the tail in this world, just as the Lord promised His children (Deuteronomy 28:13). On Christmas 2014, Eric Metaxas penned the unofficial ‘most popular article in Wall Street Journal’s history’, titled ‘Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God’.
In it, Metaxas rips open an Oz-like curtain where ‘scientists’ frantically try to keep some pesky facts silent. He wrote, ‘Today there are more than 200 known parameters necessary for a planet to support life – every single one of which must be perfectly met, or the whole thing falls apart … The odds against life in the universe are simply astonishing. Yet here we are, not only existing, but talking about existing.’
The reaction to his article inspired Metaxas to begin a seminal work, recently-published and titled, ‘Is Atheism Dead?’ I’ve just finished the book and offer some of my takeaways here. The title is meant to challenge the audacious title ‘Is God Dead?’ which appeared on the cover of TIME magazine on April 8, 1966. This was a convoluted attempt by a consortium of ‘scientists’ and journalists to bury God once and for all. That’s been tried before!
Metaxas points out that the hounds let loose in 1966 have lost their scent. They’ve been outfoxed … by mounds and mounds of new and contrary evidence! So, despite their foolhardy blustering, it’s time to ‘fess up – God’s still breathing after all! With dogged tenacity, Metaxas follows the science into the fields of physics, astronomy, chemistry, biology, and archeology.
He discusses the vastness and complexity of the universe and quotes from Dr. James Tour, the world’s premier nanoscientist, about the solar system-like characteristics found in a single cell.
He also quotes from famed debater Christopher Hitchens who conceded that the most troublesome subject for atheists is what’s formally known as the ‘fine-tuned argument’. Precisely because of science, their attempts to refute the facts and math of the intelligent design features of our world have atheists swimming in a shark-infested sea of contradictions.
Take, for example, Stephen Hawking’s ‘confession’: If the overall density of the universe changed by even 0.0000000000001 percent, no stars or galaxies could be formed (p. 56). Or how about the admission by astrophysicist Hugh Ross: “The entire mass of the universe could not deviate by the mass of a single dime”? (p.60) Metaxas points out that ‘density’ and ‘mass’ are only two of a whole string of math-boggling aspects of our fine-tuned universe.
He cites a long list of immutable conditions about earth being calibrated just right for life to exist like at least 22 elements (oxygen, hydrogen, iron) being needed for life to be possible. We ‘just happen’ to have all of them and in the exact amounts and proportions needed to sustain life.
Life would be impossible if the earth was even minutely smaller or larger, nor could we survive without the moon being exactly as it is in size, distance from us, etc.
How fascinating to learn as well that we’d be doomed – demolished by asteroids – if Jupiter was not exactly as (and where) it is, too. Metaxas digs into the arguments from archeology, where ‘the Bible is confirmed by every turn of the spade’ (p.120).
Catastrophically-disconcerting for naysayers, the evidence from virtually every archeological site has conclusively supported the Biblical account, so much so that James Agresti, who set out to disprove the Bible, was soundly persuaded instead.
The nail in the proverbial coffin for him was the enormous mound of evidence unearthed by gravediggers. He mused, “I’ve yet to encounter archeological evidence that shows any part of the Bible to be inaccurate” (p.120).
Chapter 18 on the details of the excavation of the 3,700 year-old city of Sodom, including recovering shards of pottery glazed at temperatures exceeding 820 degrees Celsius, was the most compelling for me.
Finally, yet another agnostic scientist, Robert Jastrow, surrendered to the tsunami of evidence for a Creator that has been amassed since Time’s ill-timed ‘Is God Dead?’ article. He wrote, ‘For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak.
As he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries’ (p.34).
As we embrace the new year, I encourage you to ‘listen to the science’, and love the Lord ‘with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind’. Matthew 22:37