01 Jun

One in a Trillion

Taken from the intimation sheet: 1 June 2014

Ultimately faith in Jesus is a gift from the Holy Spirit, we cannot simply reason someone into the Kingdom, but in these increasingly sceptical days it is helpful to be able to show that belief in God is not unreasonable.

It’s true to say that atheistic sound-bytes and internet memes are just convenient excuses for some people to hide behind – but undoubtedly we will all have friends and colleagues who genuinely believe that science and Christianity are incompatible. How sad. And what an opportunity for us to engage in what David Robertson calls ‘persuasive evangelism’.

On Friday we were able to take 400 people to see ‘God’s Not Dead’ at the Showcase Cinema, and this Saturday the Clyde Auditorium will be filled with people gathered for “in Concert with the Cosmos”:

“In Concert with the Cosmos will celebrate the wonders of the cosmos with magnificent  music but it has a deeper purpose: to pose the question ‘ Does this astonishing order look like the work of chance or of a creator?’

We are thrilled with the international and spectacular quality of the programme- orchestra, choir and even a NASA astronaut. We are delighted by the international broadcast interest in transmitting the concert programme in other parts of the world.  We are excited by the potential impact of the event on the understanding of the audience about science and faith.

For the sake of strengthening understanding of the case for a creator and the credibility of the church will you try to motivate  people from your church to attend and, if possible, add others from  among their families and friends who have swallowed the lie that you can’t have God and science? Many are concerned about these things. Here is a chance to do something about it!” (This Saturday 7 June, 7pm, tickets available from £15 on ticketsoup.com or SECC Box office 0844 395 4000

How thankful we should be for such events and for the abundance of resources printed to help us see and show that atheism requires more faith than Christianity!

From time to time in the coming months I’ll draw on the work of others to show why belief in God is not unreasonable in the light of modern science.

This week I want to highlight the ‘fine-tuning’ argument. Tim Keller says:

“The most fundamental characteristics and constants of our cosmos (eg. the relative strengths of gravity and the forces that operate inside atomic nuclei, as well as the masses and relative abundances of different particles) are perfectly calibrated to support organic life.

The odds against those fundamental regularities and constants happening by sheer chance are smaller than one-in-a-trillion.”

Christian and non-Christian scientists alike would agree with that. Francis Collins says:

“When you look from the perspective of a scientist at the universe, it looks as if it knew we were coming. There are 15 constants -the gravitational constant, various constants about the strong and weak nuclear force, etc.- that have precise values. If any one of those constants was off by even one part in a million, or in some cases, by one part in a million million, the universe could not have actually come to the point where we see it. Matter would not have been able to coalesce, there would have been no galaxy, stars, planets or people. That’s a phenomenally surprising observation. It seems almost impossible that we’re here. And that does make you wonder — gosh, who was setting those constants anyway? Scientists have not been able to figure that out.”

Stephen Hawking says:

“It would be very difficult to explain why the universe would have begun in just this way except as the act of a God who intended to create beings like us.”

Car and Rees state:

“several aspects of our Universe -some of which seem to be prerequisites for the evolution of any form of life-depend rather delicately on apparent ‘coincidences’ among the physical constants.”

The atheistic response would be to say that there may be trillions of parallel universes that we don’t know about, and we are in the one that just happened to ‘work’.

But which takes more faith to believe?!

Alvin Plantinga’s tackles this argument by asking us to imagine a poker game in which the dealer deals himself twenty straight hands of four aces. As the other players question him, the dealer says, “you can’t prove I’m cheating; there are a trillion parallel universes and we just happen to be in one where the chances of dealing twenty straight hands of four aces has been realised.”

What’s the more plausible explanation!?

God is not dead, we are not the product of coincidence or chance. Our hunger for truth and beauty and meaning and purpose can be satisfied – in Jesus Christ. In Jesus Christ we can truly know the Living God. What Good News we have to tell the world!

Jeremiah 10:10 But the LORD is the true God; he is the living God, the eternal King!

Yours in His service

Ross