Seeing Divinity in Biology

cross dna for website 300x293 - Seeing Divinity in Biology

Studying biology is a religious experience. That’s especially the case today, with the advent of 3D animated videos (available on YouTube) depicting what goes on inside and outside our cells. Such videos display the wondrous engineering within our bodies – engineering vastly more sophisticated than any human-engineered phenomena (such as a car engine). The fingerprints of God are everywhere.

Too bad those videos weren’t available when this reporter was in high school; I bet I would have taken biology a lot more seriously. I only was able to try to visualize what was going on by reading the printed word and looking at some pictures. My visualization efforts fell woefully short.

To say everything arose by chance is insulting to one’s intelligence. If it did arise by chance, where are all the 3D animated videos depicting how that chance process played out?

As associate professor of medicine and chief of scientific visualization at Yale University, Alexander Tsiaras and colleagues used new scanning technologies to see things about the human body “that just made one marvel,” he said in a TED talk. They were looking at collagen, which comprises much of the human body, a kind of rope-like structure that twirls and swirls. Collagen changes its structure in the cornea of the eye, becoming a grid formation in order to be transparent, as opposed to opaque. “So perfectly organized a structure, it was hard not to attribute divinity to it,” said he.

He also scanned the development of the fetus from conception to birth. The human heart at 25 days, he said, is like a magnificent origami.

Tsairas 300x157 - Seeing Divinity in Biology

Alexander Tsiaras (screen grab via YouTube)

“I look at this with marvel of how do these instruction sets not make these mistakes as they build what is us? It’s a mystery, it’s magic, it’s divinity.”

Regarding capillaries, “The complexity of building that within a single system is, again, beyond any comprehension or any existing mathematics today.”

He adds, “How does the woman’s body understand to have genetic structure that not only builds her own, but then has the understanding that allows her to become a walking immunological, cardiovascular system that basically is a mobile system that can actually nurture, treat this child with a kind of marvel that is beyond, again, our comprehension – the magic that is existence, that is us?”

That’s a strong case for the existence of God.

It’s also a strong case against abortion. How could anyone so unceremoniously snuff out such a marvel of Divine engineering?

Richard Dawkins Isn’t Being Rational

Richard Dawkins Not Rational 2x2 - Richard Dawkins Isn’t Being Rational

Lower right corner photo credit: Matthias Asgeirsson via Wikimedia Commons

If you were booked to fly in an aircraft, and the plane’s mechanic told you that it “probably” won’t crash, would you still board it?

Prominent atheist-turned-agnostic Richard Dawkins has a campaign proclaiming “There’s Probably No God.” The term “atheist-turned-agnostic” is appropriate because “probably” implies that you’re not sure there’s no God, and thus agnostic. Dawkins, who had been one of the world’s most famous atheists, is now one of the world’s most famous agnostics. He called himself an agnostic, admitting that he can’t be sure God doesn’t exist.

Richard Dawkins isn’t being rational. Just as if someone definitively told you your plane probably won’t crash or has a decent chance of not crashing, it wouldn’t be rational to board that plane. Even if someone told you it only had a 1 percent chance of crashing – meaning of 100 similar planes taking off that day, one of them will crash – you wouldn’t board it (unless it was some life-and-death matter where you really had to fly).

For an agnostic, the rational thing to do is to accept Pascal’s Wager: If God exists, then if you follow His teachings you have everything to gain in an afterlife, and everything to lose if you don’t follow His teachings. If He does not exist then if you follow His teachings, you have nothing to lose. (Well, one could argue that you could lose a little bit in this life, such as having to go to church on Sunday when you instead could be sleeping in, but actually, those who go to church on Sunday win in this life because churchgoers live an average of seven years longer than non-churchgoers.)

Richard Dawkins and other agnostics, atheists, and non-practicing believers are taking a tremendous personal risk. An irrational risk. They’re putting themselves in grave danger – especially considering the enormous circumstantial and eyewitness evidence for the existence of God. If it turns out they’re wrong, they’re in for a rude awakening the day they die. According to the best sources of information on what happens to us after we die, someone who doesn’t follow God’s rules (i.e. the Ten Commandments, as well as others) here on earth could be consigned to be eternally separated from God after he or she dies. That essentially means being a slave and victim of some fallen angel, for an eternity. Ouch. Rationally, you wouldn’t want to remotely entertain that possibility.

Assume you think there’s a 1 percent chance of there being a place of eternal separation – better known as hell. Then, just as with your decision not to board that plane when it has a 1 percent chance of crashing, the rational thing to do is ensure that you never wind up there – by repenting and by dusting off those rules referred to earlier. To do anything less is irrational.

“Imagine No Religion” Becoming Reality

Imagine no religion 2x2 - "Imagine No Religion" Becoming Reality

Illustration credit:

It’s symbolic – and ironic – that in Europe following terrorist attacks, the unofficial anthem of choice is John Lennon’s “Imagine.”

After the November 13, 2015 attacks in Paris in which 130 people died, a pianist attracted the attention of millions via the mainstream press and social media when he played Imagine outside one of the places of carnage, The Bataclan. The previous February in the aftermath of killings in Copenhagen by a radical Muslim, tens of thousands of Danes sang Imagine at memorials across the country.

“Imagine there’s no heaven …. No hell below us … And no religion too,” go the lyrics.

It’s symbolic because religionless is what western Europe has become. Churches are closing for lack of worshipers. Only about 5-10 percent of the French go to church regularly. That percentage is even less in Denmark.

So the ethnic Europeans (as opposed to ethnic Arabs there) largely have attained one of the sentiments longed for in the song: no religion. They have abandoned the Christian faith.

Are they better off without Christianity? The all-to-common terrorist attacks there, along with the growing incidence of crime, suggests they are not.

European society still retains some Christian values. They include compassion, humility, generosity, self-control, and helping the poor and downtrodden. But as Christianity retreats, so do those values.

To be sure, John Lennon wasn’t totally off base. Isn’t it reasonable to conclude that God would want us to worship him in one consistent manner, rather than a through a multiplicity of belief systems, all contradictory with one another? The latter could indeed lead to mayhem.

In addition to the practical consequences of declining Christian values, there are spiritual consequences. As is taught over and over again in the Old Testament, turning away from God invites less protection from God. He protects us from the evil one all the time. Without such protection, the whole of the earth would degenerate into one big slaughterhouse.

That’s what’s happening in Europe. As America turns further away from God, we too tread on more dangerous territory.

It behooves those in Europe, America, and other Western nations to return to their Christian roots. Otherwise, expect more terrorist attacks for a long time to come.


(Excerpts of the above originally published in Newsmax.)

A Weak Reason for Leaving the Church

A weak reason for leaving the Church Camille Paglia 2x2 - A Weak Reason for Leaving the Church

Illustration credit:

Some time ago America magazine interviewed social critic Camille Paglia wherein she discussed her abandonment of Catholicism.

“I asked the nun what still seems to me a perfectly reasonable and intriguing question: if God is all-forgiving, will he ever forgive Satan? The nun’s reaction was stunning: she turned beet red and began screaming at me in front of everyone. That was when I concluded there was no room in the Catholic Church of that time for an inquiring mind.”

Why doesn’t God forgive Satan? According to theologians, even if God did forgive Satan, he wouldn’t come back to God. Angels’ intellects are far superior to those of humans, and once they make a decision – which Satan (i.e. Lucifer) did when he chose to rebel against

512px Camille Paglia no Fronteiras do Pensamento São Paulo 2015 21601555036 150x150 - A Weak Reason for Leaving the Church

Camille Paglia. Photo credit: Fronteiras do Pensamento via Wikimedia Commons.

God – they accept and embrace that decision as final, with full knowledge of the consequences.

Moreover, God did not provide a plan of redemption for the angels (which includes Satan, a fallen angel) as He did for mankind.

It’s silly to leave the Faith because a nun couldn’t adequately answer that question.

One should not leave the Catholic Church based on personal preferences or based on dissatisfaction with a nun, priest, or other representatives of the Faith. One’s criteria for joining or leaving the Faith only should be based on whether the Faith is true – which it is.

By rejecting the Church, Ms. Paglia is taking an extreme risk. Best not to set oneself up for a rude awakening when it’s time to plop down on that judgement seat.

Zuckerberg, Go With What’s True

Zuckerberg go with whats true 2x2 - Zuckerberg, Go With What's True

Zuckerberg, Choose the True Faith (Zuckerberg photo credit: Guillaume Paumier.)

A while ago The Wall Street Journal featured an opinion article by Sander Tideman (“Can Mark Zuckerberg Find Enlightenment?”) urging Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to take up Buddhism, evidently because it would help him in business. Zuckerberg is said to be waivering in his faith in atheism.

If Mr. Zuckerberg adopts Buddhism then he’ll feel right at home as an atheist. Theravada Buddhism teaches the doctrine of nonsoul. It teaches there is no God, no Creator. It teaches that life is full of suffering – which Christianity teaches as well (as a result of the fall of Adam and Eve). Unlike Christianity, which teaches that one can escape suffering by meriting heaven, Buddhism teaches that the only way to escape suffering is by attaining the extinction of one’s existence.

Separately, the article promotes the fallacy that one should choose a religion based on what one likes – or in this case, what’s good for business. Instead, one should choose a religion based on which religion is true. There’s good evidence for the authenticity of the Gospels and divinity of Christ. There’s no evidence that Buddhism is true or that the Buddha was divine. In fact the Buddha allegedly even claimed he wasn’t a prophet or a god.

In the end, you want to go with the religion that’s true, not with the one that’s most pleasing to you. Otherwise you may come to regret that decision in the hereafter.

Believing in the Non-God of Nothingness

non god of nothingness 200x300 - Believing in the Non-God of NothingnessAtheists are people of great faith.

Yes, you read that right.

Atheists have amazing faith – in the power of spontaneous self-assembly.

It takes more faith to believe that the raw materials of the universe and that the laws of physics arose from nothing, and that those raw materials somehow self-assembled into stars, objects and living organisms, than to believe that they were designed by an intelligent agent. That’s particularly remarkable because such assembly happened in defiance of the second law of thermodynamics – that things naturally go from order to disorder.

Cup with your hands some empty space in front of you. Then imagine nothing is there – not even any molecules. If you lack faith in God, then you believe in the unbelievable notion that (1) the laws of physics somehow appeared on their own, (2) subatomic particles such as electrons and quarks somehow appeared, (3) those particles somehow self-assembled into atoms, (4) those atoms somehow bonded to form molecules, (5) those molecules self-assembled into inorganic matter, (6) they also somehow self-assembled into organic matter, namely amino acids as well as DNA, (5) those amino acids somehow self-assembled into proteins, all on their own, (6) those proteins somehow self-assembled into cells, and (7) those cells somehow self-assembled into bacteria, insects, plants, animals, and humans.

If you believe all that happened without the input of an intelligent agent, then you have a lot of faith in the impossible. You have faith in things for which there’s no evidence – not even circumstantial evidence. On the other hand, there’s a lot of circumstantial evidence for God. Just as a house is circumstantial evidence that it was created by a human or humans (not direct evidence because we didn’t directly see anyone building it decades ago), a tree or an animal is circumstantial evidence that it was created by an intelligent agent, i.e. God.

Walk into a factory. Tell someone that all the components and functions of that factory randomly and coincidentally fell into place over time. Absurd, right? It’s the same idea with the cell – a factory vastly more complex than any factory man could ever build. (For a flavor for that, watch the trailer at

Take a pile of of Lincoln Logs. Watch them during the course of your lifetime and see if they ever self-assemble into a log cabin. Or add a stimulous – keep throwing them up in the air over the course of your lifetime and see if they ever land on the floor in the form of a perfectly assembled log cabin.

It’s much harder for the above-mentioned particles to self-assemble into the above-mentioned complex objects than it is for Lincoln Logs to self-assemble into a log cabin.

(It also takes a lot of faith not to believe in the divinity of Christ and authenticity of the Gospels. As former atheist Lee Strobel said, “In the face of this overwhelming avalanche of evidence in the case for Christ, the great irony was this: it would require much more faith for me to maintain my atheism than to trust in Jesus of Nazareth!” For more info read his book The Case for Christ or see his videos obtainable here.)

So to reiterate, given the abundant evidence of an intelligent creator, it takes more faith (in the non-god of nothingness?) not to believe in Him than to believe in Him.

When Protestant Ministers Turn Catholic

Protestant to Catholic 2x2 - When Protestant Ministers Turn Catholic

From Protestant to Catholic. (Illustration credits: SimpleIcon, Pixabay)

In recent decades hundreds if not thousands of Protestant ministers have left their vocation to join the Catholic Church. It’s enough of a frequent phenomenon that there’s even an organization, called the Coming Home Network International, dedicated to helping them with the practical aspects of having to abandon their career and transition to Catholicism. It’s a tough decision, which is why it’s likely that many ministers don’t go through with it even though they may have come to realize that the Roman Catholic Church is the church established by Jesus Christ 2,000 years ago. They often have to give up their jobs, their health insurance plan, and their status in the community, and may be abandoned by friends and even family members. But as the Coming Home Network intones, “At the same time, a sense of joy and discovery permeates every journey. Drawing closer to the Catholic Church means drawing closer to Jesus, our Lord and Savior.”

Coming closer to Jesus is certainly what happened with the former Protestant ministers whose conversion stories are featured below. A common thread throughout their stories is that at some point in their careers or education they were compelled to study the early Church Fathers – i.e. those who led the Christian Church in the first several centuries after the apostles died. Church Fathers include Ignatius of Antioch (d. A.D. 110), Clement of Rome (d. 97), Polycarp (d. 155), Justin Martyr, Irenaeus (d. 202), and Cyprian (d. 258). An in-depth study of the New Testament can additionally prompt a person to embrace Catholicism. Usually the decision boils down to coming to appreciate the importance of the Eucharist and the real presence of Christ within the Eucharist.

Home to Rome

Probably the most well-known former Protestant minister turned Catholic is Dr. Scott Hahn. He’s is a prolific author and prominent speaker on the Catholic lecture circuit. Currently a professor of Biblical theology at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, he’s a former Presbyterian minister and was a militant opponent of the Catholic Church. He converted to the Catholic faith in 1986.

His powerful conversion testimony is the most widely distributed Catholic audio recording of all time, “Why a Protestant Pastor Became Catholic”.

Hahn is a scholar on the Bible and early Christianity, able to read the original texts in ancient Hebrew and Greek. While at Presbyterian seminary, that helped enable him to delve deep into the literature of that time period.0ea31156fa52a7419bce3abcd8ce32a6 - When Protestant Ministers Turn Catholic

As a Protestant he was of the school of thought that a person is saved by faith alone rather than by both faith and good works. Sola fide – faith alone – and sola scriptura – the Bible alone – were the battle cries of the Protestant Reformation. Luther based sola fide on a passage in Romans 3:28, which to him indicated that faith is all you need for salvation.

Luther’s German translation stated that man is justified by faith alone. But while reading the book of Romans in the original Greek, Hahn saw that something was missing in the Greek – the word “alone”. It said men are justified by faith, but not by faith alone.

Nevertheless he put that out of mind and became a Presbyterian minister in the Washington, D.C. area.

He began to share with his parish all that he had been discovering in his studies in college and seminary. He started to understand and appreciate the concept of covenant, and noted that Jesus only used the word covenant on one occasion, when he instituted the Eucharist. So Hahn’s church started having the Eucharist along with the sermons.

Then he started teaching a course on the Gospel of John, and got stumped when it came to John 6 verse 53. Jesus said, “Truly truly I say to you unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood you have no life in you.” He and his fellow Presbyterians had been taking that figuratively. It doesn’t mean it’s literally his flesh and blood, Hahn had always thought. But as he read the Greek texts, he discovered that Jesus nowhere indicates that it was just a figure of speech. Four times Jesus says to a crowd, eat my flesh and drink my blood. Most of the crowd left – except for the 12 apostles – because that concept was so difficult to accept. Had Jesus just considered it a symbol, Hahn recounts, he would have said so and called them back. But he didn’t. That prompted Hahn to realize that it’s more than the Lord’s Supper, it’s the Eucharist. It’s more than a symbol, it’s reality. It’s more than a figure of speech – Jesus really expects people to eat his flesh and drink his blood.

Another eye-opener came when, during a class Hahn was teaching, one of his students asked him, where exactly does the Bible teach sole scriptura? Hahn was stumped because the Bible doesn’t seem to indicate that Holy Scriptures should be the only authority. This implies sacred tradition can be an authority as well. In second Thessalonians chapter 2 verse 15, Paul tells the Thessalonians, “Stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.”

After some time Hahn began attending Mass, just as an observer. He couldn’t believe how much of the Bible he was hearing – three readings of Scripture. Then during the liturgy of the Eucharist he heard for the first time in his life the words of consecration, “This is my body.” And when the priest elevated the consecrated host, he felt the last drops of doubt draining out of his heart. Said he, “I felt like an orphan who finally found my way home”.

A Sister Outwits a Megachurch Pastor

Allen Hunt, author of Confessions of a Mega-Church Pastor, once led one of the largest Methodist churches in the world, serving more than 15,000 people each week.

After finishing seminary at Emory University, he got into the PhD program at Yale University on New Testament early Christian history.

While at Yale a fellow student in that program who was a Catholic priest introduced him to a cloistered monastery of Dominican nuns in North Guildford, Conn., where Hunt and the priest lectured for several weeks. While there, Hunt had “unwittingly stumbled into the most providential experience of my life.”

At the end of a lecture during Q&A, he got into an exchange with a particular nun there. She asked him why he wasn’t part of the Catholic Church. He said the main reason was communion. It’s a symbol, he said. A metaphor.

She said, “You’re a New Testament scholar, right?” Then she said, “You remember where Jesus said in the Gospel when he gathered his disciples together for the Last Supper, and he took the loaf and said this is my body and took the cup and said this is my blood. What don’t you understand Allen?”

316de25d8ba64f2aaae4a11b62d14a87 - When Protestant Ministers Turn CatholicBut the sister wasn’t done yet. They had just got done studying first Corinthians where Paul passed on what he received from the disciples, who received from Jesus that this is his body, this is his blood. He doesn’t say this is like my body. He doesn’t say this is like my blood. He says plainly this is my body, this is my blood.

The nun continued, “Let’s open to John chapter 6. In verse 53, 54, 55, and 56 it says, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.’” Four times in a row. She again asked, “What don’t you understand?”

Afterward Hunt started to do some reading about people in the early Church – the first, second, third and fourth century Christians. Reinforcing the point of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, Hunt found that those early Christians were willing to die because they believed it is literally the body and blood of Jesus. (If one is puzzled as to how bread and wine can be changed into the real body and blood of Jesus, it certainly can be done, now that Jesus is in spiritual form. In spiritual form, he could change himself into the tree outside your window if he wanted to.)

All Christians until the 1500s considered the altar and the Eucharist as the centerpieces of worship. Hunt imagines time traveling back to the first millennium, and taking some people from that time to the 21st century and attending a Protestant worship service. Those first-millennium people would hear some good music, hear some excellent sermons and meet some really kind people, and then walk out and say, “When are we going to church? There’s no Eucharist. When’s church?”

While still a non-Catholic, during his vacations, Hunt started attending Catholic masses. He explained that had he attended a Protestant worship service inside an unfamiliar church in an unfamiliar town, he wasn’t sure whether it would be a good service. He didn’t want to waste a Sunday. By going to a Catholic church, he knew what he was going to get. He’d get the liturgy, focused on the altar – which has been the same for 2,000 years. It would be exactly the same no matter where he goes in the world, even if he doesn’t understand a single word.

One morning Hunt went to Mass on the feast day of Saint Thomas Aquinas. The priest told the story of Aquinas, probably the greatest thinker and scholar of the church, who became dumbstruck one day as he elevated the host and began to speak. He was rendered speechless as he held the precious body. He was so dumbfounded that he placed it back on the altar, sat back down and didn’t finish the Mass. That night in his journal Aquinas wrote something like this: “At that moment I was so overwhelmed by the Providence, the Love and the Grace of God and at his mercy and giving himself to us in such an intimate way that I realize that everything I have thought, everything I have preached, and everything I have written is like straw compared to that.”

Hunt prayed that moment and said, “God, forgive my unbelief.”

A New Testament Worship Service is a Catholic Worship Service

Deacon Alex Jones was an African-American Pentecostal minister in Detroit from 1975 to 2000, and is now an ordained permanent deacon in the archdiocese of Detroit. Not only did he convert to Catholicism, but he brought 54 members of his congregation with him into the Church, entering it on April 14, 2001.

Jones’ journey started one Wednesday in 1998. Always wanting to be innovative and creative, that evening he asked his congregation, “Would you like a New Testament worship service?” He was seeking to give them most genuine experience of the early Christian Church. They said yes. He said give me 30 days to study up, and after that we’ll do it the way the early Christians did it.

So he delved into the texts of the apostolic fathers. “In those 30 days of reading and searching,” recounted Jones, “my whole life was transformed.” He came face to face with the truth, says Jones, as he began to read the Church Fathers. He saw a different Christianity compared with what he was used to. The Church was liturgical. In other words they had a systematic way of worship that was uniform and universal. Great preaching wasn’t the center of the worship service back then. It was the Eucharist. Not only that, but they considered the Eucharist Christ’s real body and blood. Jones previously was under the mistaken impression that that concept arose duriac38990edd9e256ff2c9649a48d07c8c - When Protestant Ministers Turn Catholicng the Middle Ages.

He found that the early Church was not only liturgical, but also hierarchical – with bishops, presbyters and deacons. The bishop presided in the place of God and the presbyters did so in the place of the council of the apostles.

“The most telling thing in my reading of the Fathers was that the whole spirit of the apostolic and post-apostolic Church was totally different from the Christianity that I saw around me,” he intoned.

At Jones’ Pentecostal church, everybody wants to be blessed. Everybody wants to receive.  Everybody wants God to do something for them. They want a new house, a car, a good job. But Jones didn’t see that in the apostolic church. He saw a desire to serve Christ to the point of giving up one’s life. He saw a dedication to holiness and to holy living.

Many things that Jones previously believed he found not to be true, such as sola scriptura and rejection of tradition, discussed above.

What mainly prompted Jones to join the Catholic Church were two truths. Number one was the Mathew 16:18 passage when Jesus says, “You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it.” He was giving the church perpetuity.

Number two was when the Holy Spirit, post-resurrection, breathed on the apostles as they gathered in the upper room, leading and guiding them into truth. That told Jones that the Church that the Lord initiated in the upper room would never become corrupted and that the Holy Spirit will be with it forever. There’s a clear line from what happened in the upper room to the present, and that line is manifested in the Catholic Church. “It seems the Holy Spirit branded that into my mind and heart,” thundered Jones.

He contrasted that with his own church, which began in 1982. Where was his and the thousands of other Protestant churches before the 16th century?, he asked.

His conversion cost him much, such as many friends and brothers with whom he had walked for the previous 40 years. But he thanks God that he’s home at last.

Making Sense of the Bible

David Currie was raised in a devout Protestant family, his father a fundamentalist preacher. Growing up, he had never wanted to be anything other than a fundamentalist preacher. He studied in the Masters of Divinity program at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, but after a long and arduous journey Currie entered the Catholic Church with his family in 1995.

While at seminary he started to make a mental list of Bible verses that had no answer or that were not understandable in any Protestant tradition. He says there are a lot of them, and they started to nag on him.

He had no doubt that somewhere he would find the theological system that made the whole Bible makes sense – that took into account all of the verses of the Bible. He did find that but it was the very last place he ever expected: the Roman Catholic Church.

df6ef8332520d474f251f5fcefeea327 - When Protestant Ministers Turn CatholicCurrie had gone through seminary without ever reading first-hand about the Church Fathers. He finally did that, and found that everybody who said anything about the Eucharist or about the Mass for the first thousand years of the Church assumed the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

The verse he couldn’t get around was John chapter 6 verse 51, where Jesus says, “I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” He had always thought that Jesus was speaking in symbolic terms. But after studying the early Church Fathers he realized Jesus didn’t give us that option. Currie knew there was only one church that consistently and faithfully taught the meaning of that verse.

He even spent a month trying to find one teaching of the Catholic Church that was verifiably the absolute antithesis to what Scripture taught, but he couldn’t find one.

Currie had always believed in the Apostles Creed, but only after tremendous research and soul-searching became convinced that the Catholic Church is the church of which this Creed speaks.

The more he studied the Bible, the more he found the truth in the Church. Currie and his wife became convinced that the Catholic Church really is the church that Jesus Christ founded 2,000 years ago, and for this reason he didn’t have any choice but to give it all of his loyalty and support.

The Catholic Church is to the Bible as the Supreme Court is to the Constitution

Additional reasons Protestants convert to Christianity include the realization that there needs to be a pope. Among other things, that’s based on Jesus telling Peter that upon him – Peter means Rock – he will build his Church and give Peter the keys to the kingdom. As Scott Hahn explains, Jesus was referring to the Old Testament book of Isaiah 22 verse 15 which says keys are the symbol of authority to the House of David – and the House of David is a reference to a dynasty that lives on with succeeding generations, with offices that become vacant and that need to be filled. That of course is reflected in the succession of popes after the death of Peter.f232eb3bacff9e5fd82ccbe254084e95 - When Protestant Ministers Turn Catholic

The early Church did recognize the Bishop of Rome as having that supreme authority. William Jurgens’ The Faith of the Early Fathers examines the early fathers and the many things they said indicating recognition of this authority.

The doctrine of papal infallibility is a favorite punching bag of Catholic naysayers, but Catholic converts come to see its necessity. Most Protestants readily accept the Bible as being infallible. Why would God stop there? Hahn explains that rejecting papal infallibility implies that once Jesus gave the Christian Church this infallible scripture, there was no need anymore for infallible interpretations of scripture. That’s like saying once the Founding Fathers gave us the U.S. Constitution, there was no need for any court of final appeal to interpret, enforce, explain and proclaim the truths therein. Confusion and disarray would prevail. That is why there are some 35,000 denominations of Protestantism today.

There are of course numerous other reasons why Protestants convert to Catholicism. Good books on that subject include Scott Hahn’s Rome Sweet Home and Patrick Madrid’s Surprised by Truth, a three-book series in which the author recounts stories of dozens of converts to the faith.

Other good sources are audio CDs (and MP3s) produced by Lighthouse Catholic Media, from which this article was derived. They are Scott Hahn’s “Why a Protestant Pastor Became Catholic” and “Why Do We Need a Pope?”, Allen Hunt’s “Confessions of a Mega-Church Pastor,” Alex Jones’ “No Price Too High”, and David Currie’s “Quest for Truth: A Convert’s Perspective.”

Listen to them. Your salvation could depend on it.


Further Reading:

Rome Sweet Home: Our Journey to Catholicism

The Faith of Our Fathers

Surprised By Truth: 11 Converts Give the Biblical and Historical Reasons for Becoming Catholic


From Atheism to Catholicism: My Conversion Diary

Also click on graphics above.


Science and Circumstantial Evidence for the Existence of God

Whittaker Chambers was an American who spied on behalf of the Soviet Union during the 1920s and 30s. He stunned the world after he abandoned communism and outed Alger Hiss, a high-level U.S. government official who was a communist agent.

What made Whittaker Chambers abandon Communism? It was a newfound belief in God, given that Soviet Communism prohibited religion. What made him start believing in God? His daughter’s ear.

He wrote in his book Witness,

“My daughter was in her high chair….My eyes came to rest on the delicate convolutions of her ear – those intricate, perfect ears. The thought passed through my mind: ‘No, those ears were not created by any chance coming together of atoms in nature (the Communist view). They could have been created only by immense design.’ The thought was involuntary and unwanted. I crowded it out of my mind. But I never wholly forgot it or the occasion.”

To Whittaker Chambers, his daughter’s ear was evidence of God’s handiwork, such compelling evidence that it prompted him to believe in God, become a Christian, and abandon Communism.

The prevailing assumption is that evolution designed the human ear. Everything can be explained by science, or so it seems. Back in pre-modern times, people attributed unexplainable or seemingly miraculous things to God or gods. They didn’t have the concept of evolution or chemistry to explain life and the origin of life. Then beginning around age of the Enlightenment in the 1700s, people frequently questioned the Church and the Bible in terms of explaining the natural world, and instead use science to do so.

So now science explains everything. Or does it? Actually things are coming full circle. Science is has progressed so much that we’re finding out extraordinary things about the natural world that science can’t seem to explain. It’s really intriguing stuff; the deeper you delve into the science of it, the more it seems that a super-intellect was involved in not only the creation of the universe, but of biological life.

To be sure, these sorts of scientific discoveries, or more accurately scientific inferences, aren’t required to form the basis of one’s faith in God; after all, billions of people are and have been strong believers even though they’ve never heard of such scientific developments. And should scientists sometime down the road produce convincing evidence that the universe and/or biological life originated through purely physical processes – which is highly unlikely – then that should by no means shake one’s faith in God. But still, for believers and nonbelievers alike, these developments in the world of science are very, very intriguing.

Custom-Designed Big Bang

One of those developments involves what they’re finding out about the Big Bang and how exquisitely fine-tuned it had to be in order to produce a physical universe that can support life.

bigbangcreation iStock 688608994 300x116 - Science and Circumstantial Evidence for the Existence of God

iStock/Getty images

To be sure, let me put to rest the notion that the Big Bang is “just a theory”. Physicists, astronomers and cosmologists now almost universally agree that the universe started about 13.8 billion years ago with the Big Bang. There’s plenty of evidence to support that, including Edwin Hubble’s discovery 90 years ago that the universe is expanding and Penzias and Wilson’s discovery 50 years ago of the cosmic microwave background radiation or CMBR, which scientists think only could have come from the Big Bang.

Prior to the Big Bang theory, scientists from Newton to Einstein accepted the so-called steady state theory in which they thought the universe always existed and was infinite. That theory clashed with the biblical account that the universe had a beginning.

But with the confirmation of the Big Bang, evidence was overwhelming that the universe actually did have a beginning – just as was stated in the Bible.

Robert Jastrow was a renown astrophysicist who called himself an agnostic but who struggled with his agnosticism. Here are some quotes from him:

“Now we see how the astronomical evidence supports the biblical view of the origin of the world. The details differ, but the essential elements in the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis are the same: the chain of events leading to man commenced suddenly and sharply at a definite moment in time, in a flash of light and energy.”

“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 mountain 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.”

“That there are what I or anyone would call supernatural forces at work is now, I think, a scientifically proven fact.”

But what is most extraordinary about the Big Bang is the incredible fine-tuning that went on. Scientists discovered that the rate of expansion during the first seconds of the Big Bang was so finely tuned that had that rate been even one quintillionth of a second slower or faster, the universe either would have collapsed in on itself into a black hole, or expanded too rapidly for stars and planets to form.

And the rate of expansion was just one of many factors that had to be exquisitely exact in order for the universe to develop and life to eventually form.

Physics expert and Catholic priest Robert Spitzer, in a talk titled “Science, the Origin of the Universe, and God”, discusses some of these factors.0f9161c7b28190262f3c329fab9ef007 - Science and Circumstantial Evidence for the Existence of God

One is that you need a so-called low-entropy universe. The odds of this happening as a result of the Big Bang is on the order of one in 10 raised to the 10 raised to the 123, which is for all practical purposes infinitely remote. Other factors that had to be finely tuned include our physical constants or laws of physics. They include the force of gravity, the speed of light, the strong and weak nuclear forces, and the electromagnetic force. The value of these constants could have been anything as a result of the Big Bang. But they just happened to be the exact amount in order for life to develop.

It’s truly extraordinary that all of these laws of physics happened to be exactly right for life to develop. That this happened by chance is, to take an oft-used analogy, like saying a monkey can type the entire corpus of Shakespeare in two weeks just by randomly tapping the keys. Of course that’s highly, highly unlikely – essentially impossible. The obvious conclusion is that there had to have been a superintellect, i.e. God, who designed the Big Bang.

Sir Fred Hoyle is a famous scientist who went from atheism to theism after finding that something called resonance levels in chemistry had to be an exact amount in order to have carbon bonding. Achieving that amount was highly improbable through random chance.

6d7584b2e1128fc4c7454e8cc55f29c1 - Science and Circumstantial Evidence for the Existence of God

iStock/Getty images

Hoyle compared the development of life in the universe by pure chance to a tornado sweeping through a junkyard assembling a Boeing 747 ready for flight, and I may add, complete with the Boeing logo painted on.

Most scientists acknowledge this fine-tuning of the universe, and to come up with a natural, as opposed to supernatural explanation, they’ve proposed the multiverse hypothesis, in which ours is one of zillions of universes. Their reasoning is that if you have enough universes popping into existence, then there’s a chance that among quadrillions and quadrillions of bubble universes, each with different laws of physics, then one of them may just happen to have the right laws of physics suitable for life. But that theory is speculative, and as physicist Paul Davies quipped, “To invoke an infinity of other universes to explain one is surely carrying excess baggage to cosmic extremes.” And besides, a multiverse would need a creator, too.

Bio-Engineering the Primordial Soup

So the field of cosmology reveals strong circumstantial evidence of God. There’s strong circumstantial evidence of God in the field of biology as well.

f3a82e97f7c8c1be2b4b05f3c49a82ea - Science and Circumstantial Evidence for the Existence of God

iStock/Getty images

I’m no scientist. I was a history major and studied economics after that. But I’ve been delving into biology a lot lately. And the more I learn about it, the more fascinated I become with the amazing biological processes that go on within the cell. It’s truly stunning, especially with regard to DNA and cell replication. To get a flavor for what I’m talking about, you can see a great 5-minute animation at

Think of a factory, such as a snack cake factory or a bubble gum factory, and the complex automated processes used to mass produce those products. Human ingenuity is truly amazing.

Well those complex automated processes that humans set up pale in comparison to the complex automated processes that go on inside the cell, especially with regard to DNA and cell replication. You mean to tell me that no one conceived of or set up all of that sophisticated engineering? That everything randomly fell into place over the course of millions of years? That’s what Darwinists believe. To be sure I’ve always been a strong believer in evolution and still am, but I’m finding out that there are limits to evolution. It doesn’t explain everything, such as how DNA and protein production originated. It’s like saying all the components of that snack cake factory gradually and randomly just fell into the right place over time.

The way DNA creates new proteins is remarkably similar to CAD-CAM processes – computer-aided design and manufacturing. A 3-D model of a part, for example an automobile part, is created on a computer screen, and that information is stored with binary code. Then another computer program translates that binary code into a machine code. That in turn directs the machinery such as a robotic arm to make the part. It takes a lot of intelligence to set up a process like that, wouldn’t you agree? Well the similarities between that process, and the process by which DNA makes parts for the cell (i.e. proteins), are striking.

Doug Axe of the Biologic Institute recounted a story where in college and grad school he first studied engineering and then switched to biology. He remembers a professor in a lecture hall describing an elaborate control circuit on how the cell turns on and off a chemical called tryptophan. In a very clever way it switches a suite of genes on if it doesn’t have enough and off if it has enough. Having studied control systems theory at engineering school, he remembers sitting there and being blown away. “I realized I was looking at the product of engineering – remarkable engineering.” While things like this were given a Darwinian explanation, he didn’t find that at all compelling.

8ea5ca69f29fbf10ea32025e3a889793 - Science and Circumstantial Evidence for the Existence of God

iStock/Getty images

Scientists have attempted to explain what gave rise to such biological processes from a scientific perspective. But based on what I’ve been reading, their explanations fall woefully short. Just as the Big Bang needed a designer, so did life on earth. Biologists including Michael Behe of Lehigh University and Stephen C. Meyer of the Discovery Institute are putting out some very compelling stuff on intelligent design. For a good overview of the ideas here, watch The Case for a Creator or other DVDs available at Illustra Media. If you’re willing to get into the nitty-gritty of cell biology, read Stephen Meyer’s book Signature in the Cell.

And then there’s question of how life originated in the first place. One of the most famous scientific experiments was the Miller-Urey experiment in 1953, in which Stanley Miller and Harold Urey tried to recreate the primordial soup of the early Earth to see if it would lead to life. It didn’t – it only lead to some amino acids, which are among the building blocks of life but by themselves are woefully inadequate to lead to life. Statistically, as detailed in Signature in the Cell and elsewhere, the odds of amino acids coming together to form functional proteins are infinitely remote.

Even Francis Crick, the co-discoverer of DNA and a committed atheist his whole life, recognized this. He wrote in his book Life Itself,

“An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears to be a miracle, so many are the conditions which have had to have been satisfied to get it going.”

So did that shake Crick out of his atheism? No. He proposed that the seeds of life were sent here on a spaceship by some alien civilization.

Scientifically Unexplainable Phenomena

Apart from cosmology and biology, yet more proof of the existence of God, of an afterlife, and of higher dimensions are near death experiences (NDEs), which we’ll only lightly touch on here but of which there is vast literature including many peer-reviewed academic papers. Whereas the other categories can be viewed as circumstantial evidence, NDEs and other such accounts can be viewed as eyewitness evidence.

Evidence of the Afterlife: The Science of Near-Death Experiences by Jeffery Long examines NDEs from a scholarly/scientific perspective. The book lays out nine lines of evidence of the afterlife, based on evaluating NDEs from thousands of people. They are:

  1. It is medically inexplicable to have a highly organized and lucid experience while one is unconscious or clinically dead. Blood doesn’t flow to brain, and brain activity stops.
  2. NDEs may involve seeing and hearing actual earthly events in an out-of-body state, and what they perceive is nearly always accurate.
  3. NDEs often occur during anesthesia when no form of consciousness should be taking place.
  4. Blind persons who’ve had NDEs described actual visual objects and colors in earthly physical locations.
  5. Life reviews are often associated with NDEs, in which the person recalls events completely forgotten.
  6. Virtually all beings encountered during NDEs are deceased, and most are relatives.
  7. The striking similarity of children’s and adults’ NDEs strongly suggests the content of NDEs is not due to preexisting beliefs.
  8. There’s a remarkable consistency of NDEs around the world.
  9. Those who’ve had NDEs often are transformed in many ways for life.

In addition to NDEs, there are many reports of other types of mystical experiences, such as seeing apparitions of the Virgin Mary or seeing Jesus in a dream. Former Clinton administration official Kirsten Powers claims that she saw Jesus in a dream, in which he said, “Here I am.” That helped prompt her to go from being an atheist to a Christian. She describes her experience in an article in Christianity Today.

You Won’t Believe What People Believe

So what does the atheist comedian Bill Maher say about these miraculous or extraordinary phenomena? You may have heard of the website Beliefnet. He has a website called Disbeliefnet where he mocks believers. The website has the tagline, “You won’t believe what people believe.”

Here are some extraordinary things that people believe.

Some physical entities can:

  • go through solid walls,
  • be invisible,
  • travel through time,
  • communicate instantaneously with other things that are a billion light years away,
  • exist in many more dimensions beyond our own, and
  • a single entity can be in multiple locations at the same time.

Sounds like what we associate with angels and the supernatural, right? Yes, but that also describes quantum physics, which looks at how subatomic particles behave. So if hot-shot Ivy League scientists verify that such things happen in the quantum physics world (and they admit they can’t explain how it happens), then it’s not a stretch to believe that such things happen involving the spiritual world.

In fact, given the similarities between quantum physics and supernatural experiences, much has been published on the convergence of science and religion. See YouTube videos such as Quantum Physics Debunks Materialism or The Simulation Hypothesis. Also see YouTube lectures by Professor Keith Ward on quantum physics, as well as “Does Quantum Physics Make it Easier to Believe in God?” by Stephen Barr.

So in a sense, science has come full circle. Previously, science explained away popular religious conceptions, such as what causes the sun to travel across the sky or what causes differences in species. Now, as our knowledge of science becomes even deeper, science is leading many to religion, such as those scientists shaken from their atheism or agnosticism, referred to above.

Let me conclude by recounting a mystical experience described by Whittaker Chambers, which took place in his Baltimore home after coming down his stairs. Here’s how he described it in Witness.d5afe26dde43f0325134de47b5214f1f - Science and Circumstantial Evidence for the Existence of God

“Then there came a moment so personal, so singular and final, that I have attempted to relate it to only one other human being, a priest, and had thought to reveal it to my children only at the end of my life…One day…I found myself stopped. A voice said with perfect distinctness: ‘If you will fight for freedom, all will be well with you.’ What was there was the sense that, like me, time and the world stood still, an awareness of God as an envelopment, holding me in silent assurance and untroubled peace.”

And later he writes,

“Henceforth, in the depth of my being there was peace and a strength that nothing could shake. It was the strength that carried me out of the Communist Party, that carried me back into the life of men. It was the strength that carried me at last though the ordeal of the Hiss Case. It never left me because I no longer groped for God; I felt God. The experience was absolute.”


Further Reading:

New Proofs for the Existence of God: Contributions of Contemporary Physics and Philosophy

Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution

Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design


Information Enigma

The Privileged Planet

Unlocking the Mystery of Life (trailer)

Atheism and Religion In The Quantum World



Science, the Origin of the Universe, and God

Answering Atheism

Audio booklet:

Why There Is Almost Certainly a God

Evidence for the Divinity of Christ and Authenticity of the Gospels

Transfiguration bloch 300x239 - Evidence for the Divinity of Christ and Authenticity of the Gospels

Transfiguration of Jesus, by Carl Bloch, 1875

Nonbelievers often dismiss the Gospel accounts of the life of Jesus as myths. Some say he never even lived and/or that the Gospel accounts were fabricated. Others say he did live and that he was a great teacher, but that none of the miraculous events described in the Gospels took place. They say that legends developed and that the observations of the disciples became amplified and distorted over many decades or even hundreds of years after the life of Christ.

According to a survey conducted in 2000, about 17 percent of the U.S. population considers the Bible as a collection of legends and myths, but among university professors that percentage is more than 50 percent. This is serious, because so many young people lose their faith during the college years. The number of Christians who end up falling away from the faith in college or even high school is alarming. So is the number of non-college bound young people and of people in general who fall away from the faith. The growing number of children who are never exposed to Christianity because they come from atheistic or agnostic families, is alarming. And millions of former Christians end up embracing other faiths such as eastern or new-age religions. It’s largely because they never were exposed to the strong evidence of the existence of God, of the divinity of Christ and the authenticity of the Gospels.

Writes Christian philosopher William Lane Craig, “As I speak in churches across the country, I continually meet parents whose children have left the faith because there was no one in the church to answer their questions. For the sake of our youth, we desperately need informed parents who are equipped to wrestle with the issues at an intellectual level.”

It’s one thing to accept the Gospels based on blind faith, which of course is fine. But it should be a duty for those who accept the Gospels on blind faith to become familiar with the historical evidence thereof anyway, because of pressing need to convince others of the importance of embracing Christianity in order to achieve salvation.

C.S. Lewis wrote, “Christianity is a statement which, if false, is of no importance, and, if true, is of infinite importance. The one thing it cannot be is moderately important.” Given the abundant evidence of the truth of Christianity, embracing it is of infinite importance for everyone. And in today’s day and age, when “show me the evidence” is a common refrain, Christians had better be equipped to present that evidence.

Let me touch on some of that evidence. I’m drawing from several books on this topic. A seminal book that came out in 1998 is called The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel, who was a Chicago Tribune reporter and an atheist. When his wife became a Christian he got so troubled over that prospect that he decided to put his reporter skills to use and start investigating the claims of the Gospels, and prove his wife wrong. To his astonishment, he concluded she was right. After a two-year investigation, he found the evidence overwhelming in favor of the authenticity of the Gospels and of the divinity of Christ – the primary evidence of that divinity being His resurrection from the dead.

Another book on that topic, published in 2013, is The Cold Case for Christianity by J. Warner Wallace. Formerly a police detective, he put his detective skills to use in investigating the claims of the Gospels and, like Lee Strobel, went from being an atheist to a committed Christian. The latest book on the subject is Jesus on Trial: A Lawyer Affirms the Truth of the Gospel by David Limbaugh. He also was a skeptic. He started to have second thoughts when a friend of his once showed him a Bible, and how versus of Old Testament Scripture were tied to New Testament scripture in content and theme with remarkable frequency.

Considered Divine Early On

There’s an oft-heard refrain that the Gospel accounts were written too long after the life of Christ for them to have validity, or that the miracle accounts and particularly the resurrection crept into the written record generations after Christ, long after any eyewitnesses were alive. Skeptics often invoke the “telephone game” in which case each time a story is re-told, copied, or translated, the substance of the story changes until it’s practically unrecognizable from the original story.

Bloch SermonOnTheMount 267x300 - Evidence for the Divinity of Christ and Authenticity of the Gospels

The Sermon on the Mount
Carl Bloch, 1890

Yet it turns out that not near enough time went by for legend or mythology to corrupt the historical record of Jesus. Biblical scholars point out that the four Gospels were written ranging from the late 40s or mid-50s AD, to around 90 AD, with Mark believed to be the first Gospel written and John being the last. For at least three of the four Gospels, plenty of eyewitnesses were still alive who could have attested to the accuracy of the Gospels, and who could have exposed them as fabrications if the claims were untrue. Paul’s letters to the Romans are dated as early as AD 48 or just 17 years after resurrection. (Note that John’s Gospel is believed to have been written by the apostle John himself, when he was quite old and when the vast majority of his contemporaries had died.)

One may then pose the question, why weren’t accounts of Jesus’s ministry written even earlier, such as during Christ’s ministry and/or within a few years after his resurrection?

They likely were. Luke states at the beginning of his Gospel that he sought out the most reliable sources that “were delivered to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word”. It is likely that in addition to interviewing several eyewitnesses to Jesus’s ministry, he drew from notes and other written sources made by eyewitnesses, sources that no longer survive. Biblical scholars posit that those Gospel authors drew from a very early written text that the scholars call “Q”.

Moreover, the written word wasn’t even the primary means of scriptural dissemination back then, given that the vast majority of people, perhaps 97 percent of them, were illiterate. It was the spoken word that was the primary means. Most of the information at the time of Jesus was passed on by means of oral transmission. Memorization of events, narratives and sayings was the dominant method of maintaining historical records. In fact, it was common during Jesus’s time and earlier for scholars to memorize the entire Old Testament.

Creeds and hymns were how people learned about sacred scripture back then. Through careful analysis of scripture, Biblical scholars have concluded that the Gospels and Paul’s letters, some of which predate the Gospels, incorporated such creeds and hymns.[1] And they consistently convey that Jesus was the son of God who died and rose again.

Dean Overman, author of A Case for the Divinity of Jesus, writes, “My reading of the evidence available leads me ineluctably to the position that the worship of Jesus as divine did not develop over time, but erupted powerfully and contemporaneously with the resurrection appearances claimed by his disciples and followers.”

So it can be discerned that within a few years and no doubt a few months after the crucifixion, the disciples cited the resurrection as the primary piece of evidence that Jesus was God.

Regarding the telephone game, that’s a bad analogy. It implies linearity, whereas the Gospels were spread in a more exponential style. David E. Anderson, author of Myth? A Response to the Arguments Against Jesus’ Historicity, likens it to one person telling 10 people, and those 10 people telling 10 more, etc. There are multiple copies and translations of the original Gospels, and multiple copies of those, to the extent that there are still more than 5,000 ancient copies reportedly in existence. And even though those copies were found in a wide variety of places in a wide variety of time periods, those copies are 99.5 percent consistent with each other, writes Anderson. That tells us that the copies weren’t being changed each time, as in the telephone game. It tells us that today’s copies of the Gospels are amazingly consistent with the originals.

1ab37d4a0fcfb8d9f4d81cc5f8f42b7d 300x199 - Evidence for the Divinity of Christ and Authenticity of the Gospels

Compare that 99.5 consistency rate with the ancient writing that has the second highest consistency rate, Homer’s Iliad. Modern society possesses 643 ancient copies thereof, with a consistency rate of about 95 percent. The earliest copy dates about 500 years after its writing.

We don’t have original manuscripts of the Gospels; they no doubt were destroyed or lost during the early centuries, particularly during a time when Christianity was outlawed and plundering and persecutions were rampant. And the writing material used at the time, papyrus, deteriorates easily. In fact, we don’t have originals of any text from around the time of Jesus, writes Anderson, except for those literally written in stone. The earliest surviving complete copy of the Gospels dates from around the mid-300s, with fragments of the Gospels dated earlier than that.

Non-Christian Corroboration

Plenty of independent, non-Christian historical documents written by Roman, Jewish and other historians from around that time period confirm many of the events in Jesus’s life. For instance the Jewish historian Josephus, who lived from A.D. 37 to 100, wrote the following:

“At this time there was a wise man who was called Jesus. His conduct was good, and he was known to the virtuous. And many people from among the Jews and other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. And those who had become his disciples did not abandon his discipleship. They reported that he had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion and that he was alive; accordingly, he was perhaps the Messiah concerning whom the prophets have recounted wonders.”

The Jewish Talmud acknowledges miracles performed by Jesus, albeit puts a negative spin on them, stating that he practiced magic and sorcery.

Thallus, who lived from about A.D. 5 to A.D. 60, was a Samaritan historian. As recounted in Cold-Case Christianity, most of his works are lost, but another historian in AD 221 quoted from his account. Thallus chronicled the crucifixion of Jesus and indicated the darkness that was observed at the time of his death. This other historian writes, “On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness; and the rocks were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down. This darkness Thallus in the third book of his History, calls, as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun.”

The Greek historian Phlegon (A.D. 80-140) also mentioned darkness during the crucifixion. The Roman historian Tacitus (A.D. 56-117) admitted several key facts – including that Jesus lived in Judea, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and had followers who were persecuted for their faith in him.

Regarding accounts of the crucifixion in the Gospels, a skeptic could point out the apparently erroneous claim that both blood and water came out of Jesus’s side when he was stabbed. And that he sweated blood in the Garden of Gethsemane. That may seem embellished to most of us, but not to many medical professionals. We non-medical professionals would expect that just blood would come out after being stabbed. In fact, according to Wallace, the flow of water is consistent with what happens when people are injured to the point of death. It can result in increased non-blood fluids in the membrane surrounding the heart or surrounding the lungs. There’s also a known medical condition called hematidrosis, when people sweat blood during intense stress.

Moreover, if such accounts were fabricated, we wouldn’t expect the fabricator to describe water coming of out of Jesus’s side in addition to blood, or the sweating of blood – because a fabricator likely would not be familiar with such medical phenomena.

Transformed Lives of Apostles

Among the strongest pieces of evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the transformed lives of the apostles. When Jesus was crucified, his followers were said to be discouraged and depressed, given that Jews had been taught that God would not let the Messiah suffer death. And they feared for their lives based on their association with Jesus, so with the exception of the apostle John, they dispersed and hid themselves.

But something happened afterward that turned the situation around. Or as Jennifer Fulwiler, a prominent former-atheist-turned Catholic says, something “explosive” happened after the crucifixion, so explosive that it had a profound effect on the lives of the apostles and other disciples of Jesus. That something of course was the resurrection.

The risen Jesus so emboldened them that they became fearless. The apostles abandoned their occupations, abandoned established and ingrained Jewish traditions and practices, and became committed to spreading the message that Jesus is the Messiah. They endured tremendous physical and mental hardships in support of that cause, were continually chased from place to place, rejected material wealth, and endured hunger and thirst, rough treatment, and homelessness. They chose poverty in pursuit of spiritual truth. They suffered ridicule, beatings, imprisonment, torture, and finally, for 11 of the 12 apostles, martyrdom. They refused to change their testimony despite torture and the worst forms of execution. Not one of them recanted.

As Lee Strobel writes, “People will die for their religious beliefs if they sincerely believe they are true, but won’t die for their religious beliefs if they know their beliefs are false.”

Tens of thousands of others were executed for their faith in Jesus during these years. That coincided with an extraordinary emergence and growth of the Christian church.

Paul in first Corinthians writes of 500 eyewitnesses to the resurrection. Yet there’s no evidence or writings to suggest that any of these 500 ever recanted, or were ever trotted out by enemies of Christianity in an effort to try to expose the resurrection as false.

Messianic Prophesies

The above is powerful evidence that Jesus is indeed the Messiah. Perhaps even more powerful evidence are the Messianic prophecies. As David Limbaugh writes in Jesus on Trial, the fulfillment of the prophesies is what tipped the balance of the scales for him in favor of the truth of Christianity, and he continues to marvel at them the more he learns about them.

The Old Testament contains dozens and dozens of prophecies about an “anointed one” or “Messiah” in Hebrew who would arrive in the future and redeem Jews and non-Jews alike. The book of Isaiah, written more than 700 years before Christ, discusses a Messiah who would be born of a virgin, suffer and die for the sins of Israel and the sins of the world, who would be despised and rejected, and who would be pierced for mankind’s transgressions.

Other books of the Old Testament that contain prophesies include Jeramiah, the Psalms, and Micah. They indicate that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, be a descendant of Abraham and David, be from the tribe of Judah, would be betrayed, would be pierced in the hands and feet even though crucifixion hadn’t been invented yet, and that his bones would remain unbroken. The last one is notable because breaking a victim’s legs was a common practice during crucifixion in order to hasten death on the cross. It also was written that His body would not decay but would ascend on high.

For more on these and many other prophecies that Jesus fulfilled, click here.

A Case for Christ author Lee Strobel interviewed Louis Lapides, a Jewish believer in Jesus. Before his acceptance of Christ, when he first learned about the prophecies, he concluded that Christians must have rewritten the Old Testament and twisted Isaiah’s words to make it sound as if he were talking about Jesus. But then he looked in a Jewish bible and found the same thing. Moreover there are Old Testament original manuscripts dated prior to when Jesus was born that confirm that these prophesies were not added to the Old Testament after Jesus’s resurrection. For example the Dead Sea Scrolls, discovered in 1947, were written some 200 years before Jesus lived on earth.

What about fabricating or embellishing the Gospels to make it look like Jesus fulfilled the prophecies? That relates to what this paper is all about: the Gospels, all the way down to the details, are authentic. There are no testimonies from people living at that time suggesting that the events described in the Gospels did not happen. Not even the Jews opposed to Jesus discredited those events. “Even though the Jewish Talmud refers to Jesus in derogatory ways, it never once makes the claim that the fulfillment of prophecies was falsified. Not one time,” said Lapides.

Or, could the fulfillment of all of these prophesies be just an extraordinary coincidence? Odds of that happening are so astronomical that it’s impossible. Strobel recounts that someone did the math to figure out the probability of just eight of the prophecies being fulfilled. That probability is one in a hundred million billion. Another mathematician calculated the probability of 48 of the prophecies being fulfilled. The result is one chance in a trillion to the power of 13.

Infinite Importance

The Messianic Prophecies, the early appearance of the Gospels, the transformed lives of the apostles after the Resurrection, and numerous other pieces of evidence described in the aforementioned books all point unequivocally to the divinity of Christ and authenticity of the Gospels.

Most nonbelievers probably never have heard of such evidence and have never bothered to launch their own investigation to find out for themselves. Lee Strobel writes that when he was an atheist, “That’s all I had ever given the evidence: a cursory look. I had read just enough philosophy and history to find support for my skepticism – a fact here, a scientific theory there, a pithy quote, a clever argument.” Upon the conclusion of his two-year investigation of Christianity, on a legal pad he listed in one column the arguments against Christ’s divinity and listed in another column the arguments in favor. It was practically no contest which argument won out. He writes, “In the face of this overwhelming avalanche of evidence in the case for Christ, the great irony was this: it would require much more faith for me to maintain my atheism than to trust in Jesus of Nazareth!”

Strobel writes of Stan Telchin, an East coast businessman who embarked on a quest to expose the “cult” of Christianity after his daughter became a Christian at college. He was astonished to find that his investigation led him to the same Messiah. He later became a Christian minister, and wrote a book about it called Betrayed! Strobel also points to Sir Lionel Luckhoo, a renowned British attorney notable for his successes in the courtroom, and who was knighted by Queen Elizabeth. He conducted a rigorous analysis of his own for several years and became convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt of the divinity of Christ. His verdict: “I say unequivocally that the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ is so overwhelming that it compels acceptance by proof which leaves absolutely no room for doubt.”

The rising number of atheists, agnostics, and fallen-away Christians indicates that an increasing number of people evidently consider the Gospels to be of no importance if not of moderate importance. But as C.S. Lewis points out, the Gospels cannot be of moderate importance, because they deal with where we’ll spend eternity. And the abundant documentation attesting to the truth of the Gospels means they cannot be of no importance. That just leaves one thing: they’re of infinite importance – for every man, woman and child on earth.




[1] According to Overman, one way of deducing this is the presence of words and phrases not characteristic of a particular New Testament author, suggesting the material was composed by someone else. Another indicator is a preference for participles over finite verbs, suggesting an original oral provenance for the material. Or the use of verbs having to do with teaching or preaching. Moreover when one translates creeds and hymns incorporated into the New Testament from Greek back into the original Aramaic, they often translate readily back into the Aramaic language, and have rhythmic patterns and lyrical styles suggestive of oral transmission.


Further Reading:

The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus

Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels

Jesus on Trial: A Lawyer Affirms the Truth of the Gospel

A Case for the Divinity of Jesus: Examining the Earliest Evidence


The Case for Christ


The Case for Jesus: The Biblical and Historical Evidence for Christ

Scientists Are Almost Sounding Religious

scientists sounding religious 300x191 - Scientists Are Almost Sounding Religious

Background image photo credit (altered): Fkearney via Wikimedia Commons.

There’s an anti-religion website called Disbeliefnet, evidently created by comedian Bill Maher, which trumpets the motto, “You won’t believe what people believe.”

He’s right. People buy into a lot of outlandish and fantastical stuff that defy common sense and the laws of nature – in a word, miracles. Such propositions are so foreign to our five senses that it’s no wonder that so many academics and other highly educated people have no tolerance for them.

Here’s a sampling of bizarre, other-worldly, and downright fanciful notions that some people believe:

* There are other dimensions beyond our own.
* Certain entities can move through solid walls.
* Some things can be invisible.
* Certain things can travel back and forth through time.
* The same entity can be in multiple distinct locations at the same time.
* Certain entities can communicate instantaneously with other entities – that are billions of light years away.

Bill Maher could have a field day with this stuff.

In centuries past, people believed in the supernatural because they didn’t have science to explain things. Now, we’re nicely ensconced in the age of science and reason; if it’s not explainable by science, goes the thinking, then it can’t be true.

Or maybe not.

It turns out that the strange notions described above are championed by top physicists.

That’s right. The weirdness falls into the realm of quantum physics – the branch of physics that seeks to explain how subatomic particles behave.

Physicists often use the adjectives “bizarre” or “weird” when describing quantum physics – because things happen that defy classical physics or common sense. And they admit they can’t explain how such things happen.

So let’s get this straight. The secular elite disparages religion because they find silly the notion that there are spiritual beings that can exist in different dimensions, be invisible, go through solid walls, time travel, and carry out other seemingly miraculous activities.

Yet, renown scientists are telling us that subatomic particles can do all of these things.

If one accepts that, then it’s by no means a stretch to infer that there is a spiritual world in which similar things occur.

Far from being in conflict with each other, science and religion are complementary. Twentieth-century physicist and Nobel Prize-winner Eugene Wigner pointed out that materialism – the atheistic worldview that reality only consists of physical matter – is not “logically consistent with present quantum mechanics.”

Another Nobel Prize winner, neuroscientist John C. Eccles, posited that the spiritual mind and physical brain are independent entities, and that the two interact through quantum physics.

In quantum physics there are systems, laws, and observers. “There is something about observers like us that’s not reducible to (classical) physics,” said University of Delaware physicist Stephen Barr. He explained in a 2012 Research on Religion podcast interview that once you accept the nonphysical reality of our own minds, then it’s easier to accept the reality of greater minds, such as that of God. And given how incredibly orderly the universe is from a mathematical standpoint, which suggests a supreme designer, “Modern physics ought to make every particle physicist in the world get down on their knees,” he remarked.

The dictionary defines the term supernatural as “not existing in nature or not subject to explanation according to natural laws.” It’s also defined as “of or relating to an order of existence beyond the visible observable universe.”

If that’s the case, then to this reporter, modern science indicates that the supernatural must exist. “An order of existence beyond the visible observable universe” immediately evokes dark matter and dark energy. Astrophysicists widely agree that the visible observable universe only makes up about 4 percent of all matter. The rest is matter that is invisible to us, known as dark matter, as well as dark energy. Scientists know it’s there because without the gravitational effects of dark matter, galaxies would fly apart.

Some physicists, notably Lisa Randall at Harvard, theorize that dark matter comes from higher dimensions, and that gravity is “leaking” from these dimensions. Apart from that, string theory has long predicted hidden dimensions. And at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland, they’re working hard on finding evidence of other dimensions.

Oxford physicist David Deutsch considers there to be vast numbers of parallel worlds, and that perhaps someday we’ll be able to contact them using quantum computers.

To be sure, scientists very rarely use the term supernatural when describing quantum physics. And when discussing other dimensions, most physicists don’t touch the word “spiritual”. Whatever the case, all this talk of other dimensions blurs the lines between the definition of physical and spiritual.

And one thing is certain: for evidence of the supernatural, the theologians have a much stronger case than the secular elite. Science confirms it.


(Originally published in Newsmax.)

%d bloggers like this: