Highlights from THE CASE FOR CHRIST by Lee Strobel

Introduction

Lee Strobel was an atheist and an investigative journalist who seeks to discredit Jesus after his wife converted to Christianity. He studied up on the literature and cross-examines scholars by asking the tough questions. The following are the takeaways from the book he wrote, The Case for Christ, about his experience lasting “more than 600 days and countless hours.”

 

Can the biographies of Jesus be trusted? (Consulted expert: Craig Blomberg)

  • The biographies reflect eyewitness testimony and cannot be explained away as legendary invention because fundamental beliefs in Jesus’ miracles, resurrection and deity go way back to the dawning of the Christian movement.
  • Mark, considered as the earliest gospel, was the companion of the Apostle Peter.
  • Tradition has the author of “Acts of the Apostles” as Luke, the companion of Paul. Coincidentally, it doesn’t mention the death of Peter, thus it can be dated to before 62 A.D.
  • Do the biographies of Jesus stand up to scrutiny? The gospel writers intended on preserving reliable history were able to do so, were honest, and were willing to include difficult-to-explain material, and didn’t allow bias to unduly color their reporting. The harmony of the among the gospels on essential facts, coupled with divergence on some details lends historical credibility. The early church could not have taken root and flourished right there in Jerusalem if it had been teaching facts about Jesus that its own contemporaries could have exposed as exaggerated or false. In short, the gospels were able to pass all eight evidential tests.

Were Jesus’ biographies reliably preserved for us? (Consulted expert: Bruce Metzger)

  • Compared to other ancient documents there is an unprecedented number of New Testament manuscripts (more than 5,000 greek copies) and that they can be dated extremely close to the original writings. The modern New Testament is 99.5% free of textual discrepancies, with no major Christian doctrines in doubt.
  • The criteria used by the early church to determine which books should be authoritative have ensured that we process the best records about Jesus.

Is there credible evidence for Jesus outside his biographies? (Consulted experts: Edwin Yamauchi & Gary Habermas)

  • We have better historical documentation for Jesus than for the founder of any other major ancient religion. Sources from outside the Bible corroborate that many people believed Jesus performed healings and was the Messiah, that he was crucified and that, despite this shameful death, his followers, who believed he was still alive, worshiped him as God.
  • Habermas mentioned that one expert documented 39 ancient sources that corroborate more than 100 facts concerning Jesus’ life, teachings, crucifixion, and resurrection. Seven secular sources and several early creeds concern the deity of Jesus, a doctrine definitely present in the earliest church.

Does archaeology confirm or contradict Jesus’ biographies? (Consulted expert: John McRoy)

  • Archaeologist John McRoy said there’s no question archaeological findings have enhanced the New Testament credibility. No discovery has ever disproved a biblical reference. Further, archaeology has established that Luke, who wrote about a quarter of the New Testament, was an especially careful historian. Concluded one expert: if Luke was so painstakingly accurate in his historical reporting of minor details, on what logical basis may we assume he was credulous or inaccurate on his reporting of matters that were far more important, not only to him but to others as well, like, for instance, the resurrection of Jesus.

Is the Jesus of history the same as the Jesus of faith? (Consulted expert: Gregory Boyd)

  • Gregory Boyd said the much-publicized Jesus Seminar, which doubts Jesus said most of what is attributed to him, represents an extremely small number of radical fringe scholars who are on the far, far left wing of New Testament thinking. The seminar ruled out the possibility of miracles at the outset, it employed questionable criteria, and some participants have touted riddled documents of myth of extremely dubious quality. Further, the idea that stories about Jesus emerged from mythology about gods dying and rising fail to withstand scrutiny. Said Boyd, “The evidence for Jesus being the person who the disciples said he was is just light-years beyond my reasons that the left-winged scholarships of the Jesus Seminar are correct.” In sum, the Jesus of faith is the same as the Jesus of history.

Was Jesus really convinced that he was the Son of God? (Consulted expert: Dr. Ben Witherington III)

  • By going back to the very earliest traditions which are unquestionable safe from legendary development, Ben Witherington III was able to show that Jesus had a supreme and transcendent self-understanding.

Was Jesus crazy when he claimed to be the Son of God? (Consulted expert: Gary Collins)

  • Jesus exhibited no inappropriate emotions, was in contact with reality, was brilliant and had amazing insights into human nature, and enjoyed deep and abiding relationships. I just don’t see signs that Jesus was suffering from any known mental illness, he concluded. In addition, Jesus backed up his claim to being God through miraculous feats of healing, astounding demonstrations of power over nature, an unrivaled teaching, divine understanding of people, and with his own resurrection which was the final authentication of his identity.

Did Jesus fulfill the attributes of God? (Consulted expert: D. A. Carson)

  • While the incarnation—God becoming man, the infinite become finite—stretches our imagination, Prominent Theologian, D. A. Carson, pointed out that there is a lot of evidence that Jesus exhibited the characteristics deity. Based on Philippians 2, many theologians believe Jesus voluntarily emptied himself of the independent use of these divine attributes as he pursued his mission of human redemption. Even so, the New Testament specifically confirmed Jesus ultimately possessed every qualification of deity, included omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence, eternality, and immutability.

Did Jesus—and Jesus alone—match the identity of the Messiah? (Consulted expert: Louis Lapides)

  • Hundreds of years before Jesus was born, prophets foretold of the coming of the Messiah, or the anointed one, who would redeem God’s people. In effect, dozens of these old testament prophecies created a fingerprint that only the true Messiah could fit. This gave Israel a way to rule out imposters and validate the credentials of the authentic messiah against astronomical odds—one chance in a trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion Jesus and only Jesus throughout history matched this prophetic fingerprint. This confirms Jesus identity to an incredible degree of certainty.

Was Jesus’ death a sham and his resurrection a hoax? (Consulted expert: Dr. Alexander Metherell)

  • By analyzing medical and historical data, Dr. Alexander Metherell concluded that Jesus could not have survived the gruesome rigors of crucifixion, much less the gaping wound that pierced his lung and heart.
    • As a result of the Roman flogging, there is evidence that Jesus was in hypovolemic shock for the loss of blood.
    • Roman officials compelled a man named Simon to carry Jesus’ cross (Matt 27:32-33; Mark 15:21-22; Luke 23:26) probably because Jesus was too weak to continue on his own.  
    • The rapid heartbeat caused by the hypovolemic shock could have caused fluid to gather in the sack around the heart and the lungs (pleural effusion) which explains why, after they thrust a spear through his side, the Gospel of John states that both “blood and water” came out. (John 19:34)
    • Even if Jesus had somehow lived through the torture, his ghastly condition could have never inspired a worldwide movement based the premise that he had gloriously triumphed over the grave.

Was Jesus’ body really absent from the tomb? (Consulted expert: William Lane Craig)

  • There is striking evidence that the enduring symbol of Easter, the vacant tomb of Jesus, was a historical reality. The empty grave is reported, or implied, in extremely early sources Mark’s gospel and the 1 Corinthians 15 creed which dates so close to the event they could not have been products of legend.
  • The fact the gospels report that women discovered the empty tomb bolsters the story’s authenticity, because the culture of the time did not consider women as viable witnesses.
  • The site of Jesus’ tomb was known both to Christian and Jew alike, so it could have been checked by skeptics. In fact, nobody, not even the Roman authorities or Jewish leaders, ever claimed that the tomb still contained the Jesus’ body. Instead, they were forced to invent the absurd story that the disciples, despite having no motive or opportunity, had stolen the body. A theory that not even the most skeptical critic believes today.

Was Jesus seen alive after his death on the cross? (Consulted expert: Gary Habermas)

  • The evidence for the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus didn’t develop gradually over the years as mythology distorted memories of his life. “Rather,” said resurrection expert Gary Habermas, “the resurrection was the central proclamation of the early church from the very beginning.” The ancient creed from 1 Corinthians 15 mentions specific individuals who encountered the risen Christ and Paul even challenged first-century doubters to talk to these individuals personally to determine the truth of the matter for themselves. The book of Acts is littered with extremely early affirmations of Jesus’ resurrection, while the gospels describe numerous encounters in detail.
  • Concluded British theologian, Michael Green, the appearances of Jesus are as well authenticated as any in antiquity. There can be no rational doubt that they occurred.

Are there any supported facts that point to the resurrection? (Consulted expert: J.P. Moreland)

Final documentation of circumstantial for the resurrection:

  • The disciples were in a unique position whether to know if the resurrection had happened, and they went to their deaths proclaiming it was true. Nobody willing and knowingly dies for a lie.
  • Apart from the resurrection, there is no good reason why skeptics like Paul and James would have been converted and would have died for their faith.
  • Within weeks of the crucifixion, thousands of Jews began abandoning key social practices that had critical sociological and religious importance for centuries. They believed they risked damnation if they were wrong.
  • The early sacraments of communion and baptism affirmed Jesus’ resurrection and deity.
  • The miraculous emergence of the church in the face of brutal Roman persecution rips great hole history. “A hole the size and shape of resurrection,” as C.F.D. Moule put it.

Some Concluding Statements of Strobel:

I’ll admit, I was ambushed by the amount and quality of the evidence that Jesus is the unique Son of God. As sat at my desk that Sunday afternoon, I shook my head in amazement. I had seen defendants carted off to the death chamber at much less convincing proof. The cumulative facts and data pointed unmistakably toward a conclusion that I was not completely comfortable in reaching. Frankly, I had wanted to believe that the deification of Jesus was the result of legendary development in which well-meaning, but misguided, people slowly turned a wise sage into the mythological Son of God. That seemed safe and reassuring, after all, a roving apocalyptic preacher from the first century could make no demands on me. But, while I went into my investigation thinking that this legendary explanation was intuitively obvious, I emerged convinced it was totally without basis.

After a personal investigation that spanned more than 600 days and countless hours, my own verdict for the case for Christ was clear. However, as a sat at my desk, I realized I needed more than an intellectual decision. I wanted to take the experiential step that J.P. Moreland had described in the last interview. Looking for a way to bring that about, I reached over to a bible and opened it to John 1:12, a verse I had encountered during my investigation. “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” The key verbs in that verse spell out with mathematical precision what it takes to go beyond mere mental assent to Jesus’ deity and enter into an ongoing relationship with him by becoming adopted into God’s family: belief + receive = become.

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A List of Anthropic Coincidences

The Anthropic Principle

The anthropic principle states that overwhelming scientific evidence demonstrates that the precise design and finely balanced fundamental forces governing our Universe argue persuasively that our Universe was either designed by a supernatural intelligence, namely God, or that there are an infinity of Universes that don’t support life and we just happen to exist in the only one that does. The claim by those who admit that our Universe was “fine-tuned” to “one in a trillion” to allow life, but who suggest that we should ignore this evidence, is laughable. If someone was to suggest in any other area of life that we should accept the theoretical (and inevitably unprovable) existence of an infinity of imaginary Universes of which we are the only one that accidentally allows human life, they would be rejected with derision. Their theory of an infinity of other (forever unprovable) Universes demonstrates their absolute determination to reject God, regardless of the evidence.

Professor Paul C. W. Davies, the author of God and the New Physics, wrote that powerful evidence from new scientific discoveries confirmed that the remarkable nature of the known Universe provided only two rationally possible conclusions: 1) a divinely created Universe, or 2) an accidental and randomly formed Universe within an infinite number of other randomly formed Universes that did not contain the conditions required for life. The atheistic scientists acknowledge that it is scientifically impossible to ever find evidence for the existence of a single additional Universe, let alone an infinity of other hypothetical Universes. This assertion of a belief in an infinity of untold trillions of other random Universes takes more faith than to believe in God as Creator. It reveals the pathetic intellectual desperation of those atheists who desire to escape the overwhelming scientific evidence that points to a Creator of our Universe.

Davies wrote:

Alternatively the numerical coincidences could be regarded as evidence of design. The delicate fine-tuning in the values of the constants, necessary so that the various branches of physics can dovetail so felicitously, might be attributed to God. It is hard to resist the impression that the present structure of the Universe, apparently so sensitive to minor alterations in the numbers, has been rather carefully thought out. Such a conclusion can of course, only be subjective. In the end it boils down to a question of belief. Is it easier to believe in a cosmic designer than the multiplicity of Universes necessary for the weak anthropic principle to work? It is hard to see how either hypothesis could ever be tested in the strict scientific sense. As remarked in the previous chapter, if we cannot visit the other Universes or experience them directly, their possible existence must remain just as much a matter of faith as belief in God. Perhaps future developments in science will lead to more direct evidence for other Universes, but until then, the seemingly miraculous concurrence of numerical values that nature has assigned to her fundamental constants must remain the most compelling evidence for an element of cosmic design. (God and the New Physics, pg. 189)

  1. The strong nuclear force: Astronomer Sir Martin Rees noted in his book, Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces That Shape the Universe, that the strength of the fundamental strong nuclear force, which expresses the strength of the electrical force that holds atoms together, was precisely balanced and calibrated to the force of gravity to allow the existence of the Universe.
  2. The weak nuclear force: Sir Martin Rees also commented on another fundamental force in the Universe, the weak nuclear force, that was also precisely calibrated to allow our Universe to exist and humanity to flourish. If the nuclear weak force were even slightly stronger than the expansion force at the moment of Creation it would have burned up all of the hydrogen atoms in the Universe to leave only helium—a result that would have prevented our present Universe and life from ever existing. Rees wrote: Another number, E [the Weak Nuclear Force], whose value is 0.007, defines how firmly atomic nuclei bind together and how all the atoms on Earth were made. Its value reflects the power from the Sun and, more sensitively, how stars transmute hydrogen into all the atoms of the periodic table. Carbon and oxygen are common, whereas gold and uranium are rare, because of what happens in the stars. If E were 0.006 or 0.008, we could not exist. (Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces that Shape Our Universe, pg. 2)
  3. The gravitation force and electromagnetic force: The extraordinary precise balance between another two fundamental forces, the gravitation force and the electromagnetic force, allows stars like our Sun to exist and radiate energy. The gravitational force holds the star together while the electromagnetic force energizes the star to radiate its energy. The physicist Brandon Carter determined that if the gravitation force were even slightly stronger or weaker, then our Sun would be a red dwarf star or a blue giant, neither of which could provide the energy to sustain life on Earth. Professor Carter calculated that even a tiny adjustment in gravitation force by one part in 10^40 would eliminate the possibility of life on Earth. (Davies, pg. 188) There is an incredible balance and interplay between the fundamental universal forces that govern the nature of atoms, stars, and galaxies. The science writer John Leslie wrote in Universes about the remarkably delicately balanced ratios between these forces. Important, too, is that force strengths and particle masses are distributed across enormous ranges. The nuclear strong force is (roughly) a hundred times stronger than electromagnetism, which is in turn ten thousand times stronger than the nuclear weak force, which is itself some ten thousand billion billion billion times stronger than gravity. So we can well be impressed by any apparent need for a force to be ‘just right’ even to within a factor of ten, let alone to within one part in a hundred or in 10^100—especially when nobody is sure why the strongest force tugs any more powerfully than the weakest. (John Leslie, Universes, pg. 6)
  4. The amount of matter in the universe: Professor Rees wrote about the significance of the amount of matter existing in the Universe: The cosmic number Ω (omega) measures the amount of material in our Universe—galaxies, diffuse gas, and ‘dark matter’. Ω tells us the relative importance of gravity and expansion energy in the Universe. If this ratio were too high relative to a particular ‘critical’ value, the Universe would have collapsed long ago; had it been too low, no galaxies or stars would have formed. The initial expansion speed seems to have been finely tuned. (Rees, pg. 2) Rees wrote about the astonishing qualities of the Universe that together allowed our present human inhabited Universe to exist. These six numbers constitute a ‘recipe’ for a Universe. Moreover, the outcome is sensitive to their values: if any one of them were to be ‘untuned’, there would be no stars and no life. (Rees, pg. 4)
  5. The elements hydrogen and oxygen are essential: The biologist Dr. Lawrence J. Henderson wrote about the remarkable appearance in our Universe of the absolutely essential elements necessary to the existence of our Universe and human life—hydrogen and oxygen—and the incredible odds against these particular elements being formed by random chance rather than through intelligent design: There is, in truth, not one chance in countless millions of millions that the many unique properties of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, and especially of their stable compounds water and carbonic acid, which chiefly make up the atmosphere of a new planet, should simultaneously occur in the three elements otherwise than through the operation of a natural law which somehow connects them together. There is no greater probability that these unique properties should be without due cause uniquely favorable to the organic mechanism. These are no mere accidents; an explanation is to seek. It must be admitted, however, that no explanation is at hand. (Lawrence J. Henderson, The Fitness of the Environment: An Inquiry into the Biological Significance of the Properties of Matter, p. 276.) Of course, to anyone who considers this situation objectively, an obvious explanation comes to mind: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth.” Oxygen is absolutely essential to life. It is one of the most reactive elements in that it will quickly combine chemically with other elements. It is the most abundant element on our planet, making up almost 46 percent of the Earth’s crust, as it is found combined with other elements in rock. The rest of the oxygen is found combined with hydrogen in water and making up 21 percent of the atmosphere. (Nitrogen forms virtually all of the rest of the Earth’s atmosphere.) The theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking acknowledged that the fact that the proton in the atom is precisely 1,836 times heavier than the electron is essential to the formation of molecules that are the building blocks of all life. The precise ratio between the proton and the electron is a fundamental number governing our Universe. Hawking stated, “The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life.” (Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time—From the Big Bang to Black Holes, pg. 125)
  6. The curious nature of water: The astronomer John D. Barrow has written about the significance of the anthropic principle in his book The Anthropic Cosmological Principle. He noted that water, one of the most vital elements in the existence for all life, is an incredibly unusual and unlikely element to have formed in our Universe unless it were purposely designed by God. Professor Barrow wrote: Water is actually one of the strangest substances known to science. This may seem a rather odd thing to say about a substance as familiar but it is surely true. Its specific heat, its surface tension, and most of its other physical properties have values anomalously higher or lower than those of any other known material. The fact that its solid phase is less dense than its liquid phase (ice floats) is virtually a unique property. The fact that ice floats allows aquatic life to exist in cold temperature zones. These aspects or the chemical and physical structure of water have been noted before, for instance by the authors of the Bridgewater Treatises in the 1830s and by Henderson in 1913, who also pointed out that these strange properties make water a uniquely useful liquid and the basis for living things. (John D. Barrow and Frank J. Tipler, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, p. 524) If water as a solid (ice) were not less dense than as a liquid, ice would not float. Without this unique quality marine life would die as water would freeze from the bottom and kill all aquatic creatures in cold climates. Water is the most abundant substance on the Earth’s surface and is essential for all life. The proteins and nucleic acids in DNA that govern all life could not exist without the unique qualities of water.
  7. The size of the Sun and Earth: The size of the Earth is vital for life to exist. A much smaller planet would not have the gravitational pull to retain the water and atmosphere essential to life. A smaller Earth would produce a much thinner atmosphere that would diminish our protection from the thousands of meteors that daily assault our planet. The thinned atmosphere would produce less protection from the Sun, causing the temperature to rise till life could not flourish. A much larger planet would have a much more powerful gravitational field that would greatly increase the weight of every creature, making life almost impossible. If planet Earth were twice as large, the effect of increased gravity would make every organism on it’s surface weigh eight times what it weighs today. This increased weight would destroy many forms of animal and human life. In addition, if the magnetic forces within our planet were significantly stronger or weaker, life could not exist.
  8. The distance of the Earth: from the Sun If our Earth were located much farther away from our Sun, we would experience temperatures such as the minus 70°F measured on the planet Mars, and we would freeze. If the Earth were much closer to the Sun, then we would have temperatures like the extremely hot surface of Mercury or the 860-degree temperature on Venus, and we would burn up. Our Earth’s circular orbit is very unusual and it makes life possible on our home planet. All of the other planets in our solar system have elliptical orbits that take them much further away from the Sun for part of their orbit and much closer to the Sun for the other part of their orbit. If our Earth followed an elliptical orbit as the other planets in our solar system do, life would be impossible because it would be too cold for part of the year and far to hot the other part of the year. Our unique circular orbit keeps us 93 million miles from the Sun, precisely the right distance to maintain the temperature range conducive to life.
  9. The 23-degree inclination of the Earth: Our Earth is tilted from an upright position at a 23-degree inclination. This tilt provides for the seasonal variation that allows such a wide variety of crops to feed life. This 23-degree tilt prevents the North and South Poles from becoming too cold and moderates the high temperatures at the Equator. It has been estimated that almost half of the Earth’s surface would become uninhabitable without the tilt of the Earth. Without the tilt, less than half of the present land used for cultivation of crops would grow vegetables.
  10. The rotation speed of the Earth: Our Earth rotates at 1,002 miles per hour, which allows our planet to rotate completely once every twenty-four hours. If our planet did not rotate, then one-half of the stationary Earth facing the Sun would become so hot that no vegetation or any other life could possibly survive. The side of the non-rotating planet facing away from the Sun would be so cold that life could not exist. Why does everything in our Universe, from galaxies to our solar system, orbit at precisely the correct velocity to perfectly counterbalance the force of gravity? If the velocity of our solar system’s planets or our massive, revolving Milky Way galaxy, with its 300+ billion stars, was slightly less than the force of gravity, then the various components would rapidly be drawn by gravity toward the center of the system. This would result in each system’s collapse and destruction. If the velocity of each orbiting system were slightly greater than gravity, the components would fly apart into space, thus destroying each system. When we consider the remarkable balance between velocity and gravity that exists in billions of systems throughout the Universe, we are forced to admit that there is no reason why this elaborately tuned and balanced system should exist unless a divine Creator supernaturally designed it. A precise controlling power is thus demonstrated to be holding together every astronomical system throughout the known Universe.
  11. The balance of gasses in Earth’s atmosphere: The atmosphere of the Earth is composed of precisely the right gasses necessary for life to flourish. In addition, these gasses exist in precisely the correct ratio to facilitate the complex biological processes that are essential for the enormously complex demands of plant and animal life as well as for humans. The atmosphere is composed of: 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen, a small amount of other gasses, and water. Sigmund Brouwer wrote, in his book The Unrandom Universe (pg. 64), that the odds against this essential atmosphere together with the water cycle forming on Earth by random chance alone are approximately one chance in a hundred trillion trillion.
  12. The existence of carbon: All life systems on Earth are based on the existence of the element known as carbon. However, scientists discovered that it is extremely unlikely that carbon could have come into existence by random chance in the beginning of the Universe. Professor Steven Weinberg wrote about the absolute necessity of carbon for life to exist at all. Life as we know it would be impossible if any one of several physical quantities had slightly different values. The best known of these quantities is the energy of one of the excited states of the carbon 12 nucleus. There is an essential step in the chain of nuclear reactions that build up heavy elements in stars.  (Steven Weinberg, “Life in the Universe,” Scientific American (October 1994) p. 49) In the first fraction of a second following the Big Bang, the Universe consisted only of hydrogen and helium. However, the collision of a helium nucleus with another helium nucleus produced an extremely short-lived and very unstable new element called beryllium. Another helium nucleus then collided with the beryllium nucleus, producing a new element: carbon. All of this took place in the first second of God’s Creation. A Harvard University astronomer, Robert Kirshner, wrote, “A delicate match between the energies of helium, the unstable beryllium and the resulting carbon allows the last to be created. Without this process, we would not be here.” (Robert Kirshner, “The Earth’s Elements,” Scientific American (October 1994), pg. 61) The incredibly unlikely creation of carbon also resulted in the formation of all of the other heavy elements in the Universe that are essential for life to exist, including nitrogen and oxygen. The astrophysicist Sir Fred Hoyle admitted that, when he considered how totally unlikely it was that the element carbon could have been formed by accident, his atheism was shaken to the core. He wrote, “A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super intellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.” (Fred Hoyle, “The Universe: Past and Present Reflections,” Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Vol. 20, 1982, p. 1–35, 16)

The accumulated evidence supporting the intelligent design of the Universe and the anthropic principle is convincing many leading scientists to abandon atheistic, materialistic worldview and accept the fact that our Universe is the purposeful creation of God. Dr. Chandra Wickramasinghe, one of the most eminent scientists in Britain, has stated that the anthropic principle strongly supports the theory of God’s special creation. When he was asked if his scientific research proved that Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution was fatally flawed, he agreed. When asked how he would evaluate the scientific arguments of the Creationists, who suggest that only God could have created the Universe and life itself, Professor Wickramasinghe responded, “You mean the arguments that are justifications of their position? I think they have a very good case by and large.” (Chandra Wickramasinghe, The Intellectuals Speak out about God, (Chicago:Regnery Gateway, 1984), 36) Significantly, the most respected physicist in the world, Stephen Hawking, summarized the implications of his remarkable discoveries about the Universe’s first moments.

The odds against a Universe like ours emerging out of something like the big bang are enormous.… I think clearly there are religious implications whenever you start to discuss the origins of the Universe. There must be religious overtones. But I think most scientists prefer to shy away from the religious side of it. [Stephen Hawking, quoted by John Boslough, Masters of Time-Cosmology at the End of Innocence (New York: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1992), p. 55]

 

[Information from Chapter 4 of Creation: Remarkable Evidence of God’s Design, by Grant R. Jeffery. The information presented is for non-profit, educational purposes only.]

Water Lillies and Intelligent Design

Excerpt from Grant R. Jeffrey’s book, Creation: Remarkable Evidence of God’s Design. (Ch. 2)

The flowers we encounter everyday when we walk in the city or the country are taken for granted, despite the incredible perfection of their design. Unfortunately, most people fail to recognize the miraculous nature of these flowers because they are so common. If we examine an uncommon and unfamiliar flower from a distant part of the world—the Amazon water lily from the jungles of Brazil—we may awaken to see the evidence and wonder of God’s design. 

Amazon water lilies first start to grow in the thick mud at the bottom of the Amazon River. However, since these plants require sunlight to live, they quickly begin to grow up to thirty feet toward the surface of the river. When the water lilies finally reach the water’s surface, they cease their upward growth and begin to grow round buds with thorns. The buds of the lilies grow into massive leaves on the water’s surface, reaching a diameter of up to six feet in as little as a few hours. As the lilies grow to cover the water’s surface with very large leaves, they use the sunlight during daylight hours to perform the essential chemical process known as photosynthesis. If the lilies failed to reach the river surface, they would die due to the lack of sunlight and oxygen. Thus, it is vital for the plant’s survival that the water float these leaves from these stems that can grow up to thirty-five feet tall and carry the oxygen between the leaves and the roots below. The water lilies curl the brims of their huge leaves upward to prevent them from sinking below the water’s surface. 

In order to successfully reproduce, the water lilies need the cooperation of another living creature that will carry their pollen from their leaves to another water lily. This reproduction system depends on the actions of a water beetle, which was created by God with a powerful attraction to the color white. Despite an abundance of beautifully multi-colored flowers that are found throughout the Amazon River, these white water lilies exert a compelling attraction to the water beetle that causes these beetles to ignore all other flowers except the white water lily. 

When this water beetle lands on the leaf surface, the water lily immediately closes its leaves to imprison the creature for one night, forcing it to become exposed to its pollen. In the morning, the water lily opens its leaves to allow the water beetle to escape to go visit other water lilies and pollinate them. However, the original water lily, having succeeded in transferring its pollen to the beetle, now quickly changes its color to a beautiful pink to prevent that beetle from bringing its own pollen back to it. This remarkable cooperative symbiotic reproductive system involving two species provides compelling evidence of God’s intelligent design.

[Only for educational purposes]

Monarch Butterflies and Intelligent Design

Excerpt from Grant R. Jeffrey’s book, Creation: Remarkable Evidence of God’s Design, connects the life-cycles of monarch butterflies to proof of intelligent design. (Ch. 2 “Wonder’s of God’s Creation”)

Monarch butterflies are among the most gloriously beautiful and ingenious of the millions of insects who migrate across great distances in the course of their lives. However, the life and migration pattern of the monarch butterfly is significantly more complex than that of most other birds, fish, or insects. 

There are four generations of butterflies in the course of a year. The first three generations of butterflies only live for up to six weeks from the time they develop out of the caterpillar stage till death. During the annual cycle of the monarch, three separate generations live their short lives in Canada during the spring and summer months.

The fourth generation that will migrate from Canada three thousand miles south to the mountainous plateaus of Mexico and home again are born in the late summer and will live for eight months. Hundreds of millions of monarchs from across Canada begin their remarkable, 3,000-mile-long migration on the night of the autumn equinox—September 21—when the amount of day is precisely balanced by the amount of night. The monarchs finally arrive in Mexico on the plateaus and ridges of volcanic mountains almost two miles above sea level. These butterflies now survive on water alone for four months, from December till March. When their fast ends toward the middle of March, the monarchs begin to feast on the abundant nectar of the tremendous number of flowers available on the mountains, building the fuel reserves they will need for the long flight ahead. The butterflies will mate in the middle of March just before setting out on their extraordinary migration back to Canada. 

On the night of the spring equinox—March 21—the enormous colony of millions of monarch butterflies ascends from its southern Mexican home into the heavens to begin the epic migration back to Canada. When it arrives back in Canada, the whole generation of monarchs give birth to the next generation of their species. Then the complete fourth generation of butterflies dies. The new first generation of the new cycle born in Canada will live six weeks. This will be followed by the second and third generations, each of which will live only approximately six weeks. 

This remarkable situation raises a number of questions: How can the genetic code of the monarch instruct the fourth generation to live over six months longer than the other three short-lived generations? How can the fourth-generation monarchs know to migrate three thousand miles to arrive at a plateau in Mexico when the other three short-lived generations do not have these DNA migration instructions? How could an evolutionist ever explain how the fourth generation knows to begin its long southern migration on the night of the autumnal equinox and to begin its northern migration on the night of the spring equinox? The only reasonable explanation is that the Creator has programmed the beautiful monarchs to follow these precise instructions since their original creation.

[Only for non-commercial, educational purposes]

Honey Bees and Intelligent Design

The following is a fascinating excerpt from Grant R. Jeffrey’s Creation: Remarkable Evidence God’s Design about honey bees that leaves evidence of divine design. (Ch. 2 “The Wonders of God’s Creation”)

​The honeybee is an absolute wonder of God’s Creation. Bees construct their hive into a complex honeycomb structure using beeswax produced from their own bodies to house a colony of up to 75,000 insects. All honeycombs found in the hive and in all hives throughout the world are constructed to the same precise engineering specifications. The hexagonal structure of the honeycomb has intrigued scientists for a century because mathematicians have calculated that it is the best possible geometric structure to maximize storage. It is the most efficient storage structure possible and uses the least amount of beeswax in its construction because each cell utilizes the walls of surrounding cells.

The honeycomb is constructed with cells inclined precisely thirteen degrees on two sides to prevent the honey from escaping the mouth of the cell. One of the most astonishing aspects of a hive is that the tens of thousands of worker bees simultaneously begin construction of their hive from three different starting points and directions. The completed hive has thousands of individual cells that are precisely joined together with hundreds of separate angles, forming a perfectly engineered hexagonal comb structure that rivals anything produced by computers and human engineers. To have the final structure so perfectly engineered, the bees would have to know at the very beginning and throughout construction the precise distances between each starting point, and adjust the construction accordingly. However, it would take a computer to do the calculations. Engineers have wondered how the bees can possibly accomplish this marvel of construction. The only logical conclusion is that the tens of thousands of bees are receiving instructions from a single source—the Creator. 

The social organization of the bee colony involves different groups of bees following entirely different duties to serve the hive. One group of worker bees stays at the entrance and fans their wings to ventilate the hive and maintain the proper humidity and keep the temperature at precisely 95°F. If the hive temperature rises or lowers more than a few degrees, the precious honey will spoil and lose its nutritional qualities. Some worker bees are tasked with protecting the hive from contamination from harmful bacteria or other insects. As soon as the guardian bees detect a problem, they alert the rest of the hive to begin a mass attack on the intruder. If any intruder actually succeeds in getting into the hive and is too large to remove, the worker bees actually embalm the object with their very effective antibacterial bee resin (propolis) to protect the integrity of the colony. 

The bees collect flower nectar during the summer months and combine this with chemicals secreted from their body to produce honey, one of the most perfect foods on Earth. The bee marks the flower that it has visited with a small drop of scent that tells every other bee to ignore it, as the pollen is already consumed. This unusual action is very efficient because it saves other bees from wasting time on an empty flower. 

The bee locates pollen from flowers in an area up to half a mile from the hive. The bee that finds the flowers returns to the hive to let its fellow workers know precisely where they must fly to locate the food source. Incredibly, rather than lead the others back, the bee instructs the other bees where to find the pollen through the means of a very complex dance. Biologists have determined that the precise information regarding the direction, distance, and amount of pollen is conveyed to the other bees through a repeated zigzag dance following a figure-8 pattern. The precise line between the Sun’s position and the hive and the angle between the zigzags of the dancing bee provides the exact location of the food source. Other body movements include wagging its bottom and producing air currents through wing movements. For example, to communicate to the other bees that the pollen is located five hundred yards from the hive, the bee will wag the bottom of its body twenty times per minute. 

There is an apparent problem in providing precise orientation to the other bees in that, during the time taken by the bee to fly home to the hive, the Sun’s position keeps changing. Every four minutes the Sun moves one degree of longitude. However, the bee has remarkable eyes composed of hundreds of microscopic hexagonal lenses that focus on a narrow beam enabling the bee to identify the Sun’s position based on the time of day. As the minutes pass, the bee alters its precise dance to adjust its instructions to compensate for the Sun’s movement. Experiments that upset the bee’s time sense by altering its internal clock with artificial light changes proved that this also interfered with its ability to calculate the Sun’s correct position. Only the Creator could have formed such a masterpiece of engineering. 

God’s gift to mankind, honey, is one of the most complex foods produced in nature. The primary components of honey are sugars including fructose and glucose. It also contains vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and C, as well as minerals including calcium, sodium, chlorine, sulfur phosphate, magnesium, potassium, and iron. The products of the honeybee are remarkable in their nutritional and disease-fighting powers. It is well known that honey, bee resin, and royal jelly are all extremely helpful in the cure of many diseases. It is very unusual that the bees that use honey for a food source for the bee colony during the cold months of winter actually, produce a great abundance of honey, far beyond their own needs. Why? It appears that this overproduction is part of the Creator’s plan to provide a perfect food source for humanity. This phenomenon of over production beyond the species own needs is also seen in cows that produce amounts of milk far beyond that needed for its calves. We also see this in chickens, which daily lay eggs.

[Only for non-commercial​, educational purposes]

Mary, Did You Know?

Mary, did you know that your baby boy will one day walk on water?
Did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you’ve delivered will soon deliver you.

Mary, did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with His hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when you kiss your little boy you’ve kissed the face of God

Mary, did you know?
The blind will see, the deaf will hear, and the dead will live again;
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak: the praises of the Lamb.

Mary, did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Did you know that your baby boy will one day rules the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you’re holding is the Great I Am.

Words & Music: Mark Lowry & Buddy Greene


The text and music from this song cause the listener to reflect on the miracles and the humble birth of the Christ Child. As you reflect you can feel the truth of the words. My favorite part is were is says, “This child that you’ve delivered will soon deliver you.”

There has been many renditions of the song since it was recorded in 1991. Here is the original recording by Michael English from his debut album.

Christmas in the Heart

I used to be a Grinch or perhaps a Scrooge, not that I hated Christmas, I just despised that it was commercialized and driven by consumerism.  I wished that the world would remember the true meaning of Christmas.

The Sunday after Thanksgiving I put some Christmas music on, the Christmas spirit entered into my heart. Suddenly I realized: Even if the world is taking Christ out the magical month of December, I will celebrate the birth of the Redeemer of the world. 

The decorations all around the community became a part of a month long celebration of the birth of the Son of God. The lights remind me that He is the light of the world. The occasional star or angel reminds me of His divinity. The displaying of evergreen trees reminds me of everlasting life granted through His grace.

So, even if the world will not outwardly commemorate the birth of the Savior, my heart will rejoice. The heart of the Holiday Season is Christ and Christmas can dwell in the heart.

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.

John 14:26