Cumulative Case for Christian Theism’s Explanatory Power
|Cosmology||The universe had a singular beginning (big bang cosmology); there was a beginning of time.|
|Astrophysics||Nature’s laws appear fine-tuned to allow for human life (anthropic principle); so do the universe’s content and systems (galaxy, stars, planets, etc.).|
|Biology / Chemistry||Life systems yield evidence of having been intelligently designed.|
|Anthropology / Psychology||Human beings are richly endowed intellectually but morally flawed.|
|Neuroscience||Humans possess consciousness and a capacity for intentionality and rational reflection.|
|Math||Mathematical theories correspond with physical reality.|
|Logic||As abstract entities the laws of logic are universal, invariant, and independent of human conventions.|
|Ethics||Moral absolutes seem intuitively authentic, and moral relativism is self-defeating.|
|Religion||Religion is a universal phenomenon, and religious experience seems intuitively real and consistent with biblical revelation.|
|History||Credible historical reports corroborate the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.|
|Philosophy||Human beings crave meaning, purpose, and immortality.|
— Kenneth Richard Samples, from A World of Difference, kindle location 3170
Theistic arguments shouldn’t be considered in isolation from, but in combination with, one another. Bracketing the ontological argument (for a maximally great Being, whose nonexistence can’t be conceived), each successful theistic argument suggests various features about God:
Cosmological argument: A very powerful personal Cause of the contingent universe exists; the fact that the universe began to exist a finite time ago suggests a personal Agent who brought something from nothing.
Teleological argument: An intelligent designing—and thus personal-Agent exists, who intends certain ordered ends for creation. Though not every aspect of creation is orderly, such as the quantum world, order can incorporate and accommodate randomness.
Moral argument: A personal, intrinsically good Being exists-rather than a impersonal monistic “One” beyond all distinction and beyond good and evil.
Argument from consciousness: A supremely self-aware Being exists—rather than some abstract principle or force.
Argument from reason: A truthful, rational Being exists.
Argument from beauty: A beautiful and alluring Being exists.
Argument from religious experience: A transcendent, awe-inspiring Presence exists whom many persons have encountered, further reinforcing the weight of other theistic arguments.
Argument from miracles: An engaged, concerned personal Agent exists. If certain events—say, Jesus’ resurrection—are better explained within Israel’s religious context of divine activity rather than within a naturalistic one, we have reason for believing in the triune God. Although this is technically “special revelation,” we can still appeal to such miracles as publicly accessible and worthy of historical investigation.
— Paul Copan, from Loving Wisdom, kindle location 1073
Physicists and philosophers persuasively argue that the universe sprang into existence at the Big Bang. Either it all came from nothing, without a cause, or something outside the universe called it into being. Divine creation is surely more reasonable than chance origination because, as the ancients knew, “from nothing, nothing comes.” Continue reading
… there are a number of arguments and pieces of evidence that make belief in God more reasonable than disbelief. Some of this evidence actually comes from science:
- the fact that the universe had a beginning based on the Big Bang theory and the second law of thermodynamics,
- the existence of biological information in DNA that is closely analogous to intelligent language and that cannot arise from the accidental collisions of physical entities according to laws of nature,
- the reality of the mental and free will according to a number of emerging psychological theories of the self,
- the delicate fine-tuning of the universe,
- and so on.
— J. P. Moreland, from Jesus Under Fire, p. 10
Belief in the God of Christian theism explains well the vast array of realities in human experience. These realities extend to the universe (its existence, order, and uniformity), abstract entities (numbers, propositions, and the laws of logic), ethical principles (universal and objective moral values), human beings (their existence, consciousness, and rationality), and religious phenomena (the miraculous events of Christianity). Continue reading
One of Christian theism’s greatest strengths is the scope of its explanatory power. The historic Christian viewpoint accounts for the array of realities in nature and in human experience, including: Continue reading
Scientists, historians, and detectives observe data and proceed thence to some theory about what best explains the occurrence of these data…. We find that the view that there is a God explains everything we observe, not just some narrow range of data. Continue reading
Only the Judeo-Christian view of life conforms to reality, to the nature and character of the human condition as we actually experience it. Only the biblical view creates a sustainable and rational and truly liberating basis for human life. This becomes abundantly clear when we examine Christianity and naturalism from several perspectives: compatibility with the scientific evidence, human dignity, the ultimate meaning in life, our destiny, and service to others.
— Charles Colson and Nancy Pearcey, from How Now Shall We Live?, p. 130