By Dan Cox
(Originally printed in the Spring 2010 MCOI Journal)
The title of Dinesh D’Souza’s book What’s So Great About Christianity is not a question. It is a statement—a powerful and persuasive statement about the fundamentally rational nature of Christian belief. Popular celebrity New Atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Sam Harris would have us believe it is irrational to believe in God—especially the God of Christianity. These New Atheists argue that science, logic and reason all clearly point away from God. History, they say, is replete with examples of horrible things done in the name of religion and religions’ gods. They contend we do not need religion to reveal truth or give moral guidance. We humans have discovered the truth about the origin of the universe, and there simply is no need for God. We do not need a Divine Lawgiver in order to live a good and morally upright life. We are quite capable of determining morality for ourselves. The “brights” (as opposed to those not-so-bright, dumb religious people) want to educate the masses so they will abandon their silly superstitions and embrace the “truth” of Darwinian Naturalism. The brights must also relieve society of something far more sinister than merely wrong belief systems, though. The ignorant people also need to know that religion—especially Christianity—is not only an incorrect belief system, but also it is evil.
So, what shall we say in response to these assaults? Shall we withdraw from the public square because, after all, the Gospel is foolishness to those who are perishing? No, that hardly would be a proper Christian response. What’s So Great About Christianity is a sweeping tour de force that answers the arguments of the New Atheists and presents a compelling case for Christian faith and practice. The Apostle Peter issued this solemn injunction to all followers of Jesus in 1 Peter 3:15:
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have ..(NIV)
As D’Souza points out, many Christians have fallen short in the arena of defense of the Gospel. Many of us are not prepared to give the reason for the hope we have. We are not ready to answer questions, handle objections and refute assaults on the faith. But, as our society becomes increasingly hostile to the Christian faith, it is even more important now to be prepared. We need to know what we believe and why we believe it. It is essential to be able to articulate clearly the good news of life and hope. Christians, too, need to know what’s so great about Christianity.
Overview and “Elephants”
The reader is presented with a systematic summary of the major arguments of the New Atheists and a Christian response. D’Souza pulls no punches, and he clearly states his aims and intentions:
1. Christianity is the main foundation of Western civilization, the root of our most cherished values.
2. The latest discoveries of modern science support the Christian claim that there is a divine being who created the universe.
3. Darwin’s theory of evolution, far from undermining the evidence for supernatural design, actually strengthens it.
4. There is nothing in science that makes miracles impossible.
5. It is reasonable to have faith.
6. Atheism, not religion, is responsible for the mass murders of history.
7. Atheism is motivated not by reason but by a kind of cowardly moral escapism.1D’Souza, Dinesh, What’s So Great About Christianity.
Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2007; xvi-xvii.
No doubt, some Christian readers paused after reading point three above and said, “Wait a minute … did I read that sentence properly?” Yes, you did … which raises an important point for consideration before examining the substance of D’Souza’s arguments. This is one of those “elephant-in-the-room” issues which require acknowledgment before going any further. D’Souza believes God created the universe. However, Christians disagree as to when and how God created all things. Is the universe thousands or billions of years old? Is there any truth at all to the Theory of Evolution or is it all a lie? Christians have argued passionately about these issues, and no doubt, many will take issue with this topic as presented in What’s So Great About Christianity.
When debating models of origins, Christians have advocated varying positions including Young-Earth Creationism, Old-Earth Creationism, Theistic Evolution, Framework Theory, and Progressive Creationism.* Young-Earth creationists will strongly disagree with D’Souza’s view of how/when God created the universe, and thus will find the book objectionable on that subject. However, there is much to be gained in considering the rest of D’Souza’s arguments regarding the history and future of Christianity, philosophy, suffering, morality and his analysis of the New Atheists.
Okay, that’s one of the “elephant-in-the-room” issues. What’s the other? The other concerns the nature of Christian faith as D’Souza defines it. Evangelicals appropriately will ask about his understanding of the Christian faith in light of the fact he has been identified with Roman Catholicism in the past. He was raised Catholic in India and moved to the United States while in high school. He describes his faith as a young man as very simple and lukewarm. He married an Evangelical Christian and started attending a non-denominational church in the Washington D.C. area. After moving to California, he began attending a Calvary Chapel church—a decidedly Evangelical church. There, he says, he found people who took their faith very seriously. It was then he got serious about his own faith and now pursues it with passion and vigor. Recently, his writing and speaking focus has shifted from political matters to Christian apologetics. He has been a featured speaker in apologetics conferences in Evangelical churches. With his growing prominence in Evangelical circles, it is altogether appropriate to review his book.
The Future of Christianity
So, what is so great about Christianity? D’Souza answers that question in eight parts. The first section, “The Future of Christianity,” boldly asserts that Atheism is NOT on a triumphant march of global conquest. In fact, statistics and analysis point to the triumph of religion over Atheism with Christianity leading the way. Nietzsche famously declared, “God is dead” (Gay Science, Thus Spoke Zarathustra). It now appears reports of His demise have been greatly exaggerated.
Traditional religion is booming. Liberal Christianity is in full retreat. Despite the advances of secularization, traditional churches are growing, while liberal churches are dying out. Considering the United States is at the forefront of modernity, we might expect it to be thoroughly secular. But, it is not. America remains one of the most religious countries in the Western world to the great dismay of the secular progressives. True, Europe has moved away from Christianity, but the outlook worldwide is good. While Europe has retreated, Christianity is advancing in Central and South America, Asia and Africa. We may soon see large numbers of Asian and African Christian missionaries coming to proclaim the Gospel in the West.2D’Souza, Dinesh, What’s So Great About Christianity.
Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2007; 8-12
Atheists in the West have noted the growth of religion around the world and are perplexed. How could this be? Should not the forces of science and progress have convinced more people to repent of their silly, superstitious ways? Alarmed by the rising power of religion around the world, Atheists have grown more outspoken and militant. We are seeing an increase in the number of Atheist tomes declaring their intellectual militancy and moral self-confidence such as Richard Dawkins’s The God Delusion, Sam Harris’s The End of Faith, Victor Stenger’s God: The Failed Hypothesis, and Christopher Hitchens’s God Is Not Great.
Buoyed by their conviction that science has totally vindicated their positions, they lash out at the God whom they consider an autocratic tyrant. They expend large volumes of ink detailing the historical crimes of religion. They view themselves as brave pioneers facing the awful truth of our lowly origins and hopeless fate with heroic acceptance. While their efforts to eradicate religion have seen some success in Europe, Canada, Australia and parts of the United States, it has been a worldwide failure. The Atheists know this, and as a result, they have become increasingly hostile to religion generally and Christianity particularly.
Christianity and the West
We might find it odd that there is such a great effort to teach our children hostility to religion, and specifically to Christianity, considering that Western civilization was built upon the foundation of Christian thought and morality. While many elements of this foundational influence could be stated, D’Souza chooses to focus on three central ideas: the separation of religion and government, the dignity of ordinary people and the equality of all human beings in terms of fundamental value and worth. As our society abandons these central ideas, the consequences are devastating:
In sum, the death of Christianity must also mean the gradual extinction of values such as human dignity, the right against torture, and the rights of equal treatment asserted by women, minorities, and the poor. Do we want to give these up also? If we cherish the distinctive ideals of Western civilization, and believe as I do that they have enormously benefited our civilization and the world, then whatever our religious convictions, and even if we have none, we will not rashly try to hack at the religious roots from which they spring. On the contrary, we will not hesitate to acknowledge, not only privately but also publicly, the central role that Christianity has played and still plays in the things that matter most to us.3D’Souza, Dinesh, What’s So Great About Christianity. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2007; 81
Christianity and Science
The fundamental question of this section of the book is this: Is there an inherent antagonism between Christianity and science? Atheist writers portray it as a “zero sum game” with Atheism on the side of truth, while Christianity represents ignorance, superstition and backwardness. Are we forever consigned to mutual enmity here? D’Souza thinks not.
It was Augustine who first proposed that God created time along with the universe. “Before” the universe, there was no time. We know from modern physics that, indeed, time is a property of the universe. Aquinas’s cosmological argument and Anselm’s ontological argument** are also cited as examples of early scientific reasoning, The kind of reasoning we see in Augustine, Aquinas and Anselm is typical of Christianity. There is very little of this in any other religion. And out of such reasoning, remarkably enough, modern science was born.4D’Souza, Dinesh, What’s So Great About Christianity. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2007; 91
In order for the scientific method to work, it is necessary for the universe to be unified, orderly and accessible. It is Christianity that provided the philosophical foundation for the scientific method to develop and flourish. In spite of the crucial role Christians and Christianity played in the development of modern science, Atheists often assert that the church persecuted men such as Copernicus and Galileo.
However, is this truly the case? Is that a fair perspective on what really happened? No. D’Souza lays out all the facts regarding these cases and demonstrates the Atheists’ claims are wildly exaggerated and fail to deal with the pertinent facts which are damaging to their cause.
The Argument from Design
Here we descend into the portion of the book which some Christians will find troubling. As noted previously, there is a wide divergence of opinion found among Christians regarding creation models. The issue is quite capable of raising tempers and issuing forth charges and counter-charges of unfaithfulness to the core principles and truths of Christianity. The understanding of God as Creator, fidelity to the veracity of Scripture, “normal” biblical interpretation, the nature and first appearance of death in the creation, conflicting claims regarding the fossil record, arguments about Noah’s flood … these and many more concerns have left many Christians confused.
On a personal note, I find this section a little disconcerting. I have trouble reconciling my “normal” biblical hermeneutic*** with some of the conclusions D’Souza draws here. But, that said, the cosmology enthusiast in me welcomes the challenge. Indeed, one of D’Souza’s objectives is to challenge and inspire healthy debate.
The fundamental question in this section is: Do the findings of modern science support or undermine the case for the existence of God? Also, does the design of nature point to a Creator, or can it be explained in purely naturalistic terms? D’Souza makes his case that science supports the case for the existence of God, and the evident design in nature points to a Creator.
The Big Bang Theory is a stunning confirmation of the book of Genesis. The universe had a beginning in space and time, and the origin of the universe was also a beginning for space and time. The observations of Edwin Hubble confirmed that the universe was much bigger than anyone thought, and it is rapidly expanding. This all was very bad news for Atheists. They would have preferred the Steady-State Theory which would have enabled them to support the claim of the eternality of matter. But, with Hubble’s discovery, confirmed by subsequent observations, the notion of an eternal universe was laid to rest. So, the universe and time had a beginning, and this naturally raises the question, “What caused the big bang?”
Atheists have struggled mightily with this question. Recently, I watched a documentary dealing with the latest developments in Superstring/ M theory† regarding the question of origins. Scientists have been working to discover what caused the big bang. Some believe the M theory could hold the answer. I was amused, though, as one particular Atheist scientist breathlessly explained how he believes our universe was caused when the edges of two membranes came into contact with one another. That caused the big bang and explains everything. Hmmmm … I hated to spoil his moment of triumphant glee, but I just had to ask myself, “Where did the membranes come from?” and “What caused them to collide with one another?” Apparently, those thoughts had not occurred to the scientist.
D’Souza also presents a strong case for the Anthropic Principle which holds that the universe has been finely tuned to permit life. Earth is amazingly, perfectly suited for human life. Former, renowned, Atheist Antony Flew points out how the fine-tuning of the universe at every level is simply too perfect to be the result of chance. Because of his life-long commitment to go wherever the evidence led, Flew now believes in God.
A major point of contention for many Christians, however, is found in chapter 13. D’Souza believes God designed and created the universe. However, how and when God did it is subject to debate. D’Souza states his assumption that we know the universe and the earth are billions of years old. He has no issue with Evolution per se as the mechanism by which God brought everything into being. At one point he says:
Once you see how much change can be produced within a species, it’s not hard to see how evolution can transform one species into another.5D’Souza, Dinesh, What’s So Great About Christianity. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2007;150
Sorry, Dinesh, but this reviewer does find that hard to see.
As D’Souza sees it, the fundamental problem is not with Evolution; the problem is with Darwinism. In his opinion, Evolution is a well-supported and established scientific theory. He considers Darwinism to be a metaphysical stance and a political ideology. He concludes by saying:
Christians should not be afraid of the evolution debate, because there is nothing about it that threatens their faith. The Christian position is that God is the Creator of the universe and everything in it, and the evolution debate is about how some of these changes came about. For the Christian, the evolution debate comes down to competing theories about how God did it. My own view is that Christians and other religious believers should embrace evolution while resisting Darwinism.6D’Souza, Dinesh, What’s So Great About Christianity. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2007;
Many Christians do see a threat to Christian faith in the Theory of Macro-evolution. The problems are not only moral or political ideologies which might attend the theory. The problems are found in such concerns as the nature of hermeneutical principles, the existence of death and violence before humanity’s Fall into sin, the transmission of sin through the one man—Adam, and consequently, redemption through the one Man—Jesus Christ, to name just a few.
Christianity and Philosophy
How do we come to know truth? The New Atheists fancy themselves intellectually superior to us religious dolts, because they believe they rely on pure reason alone. They have no need for such a silly and irrational concept as faith … or do they? The Atheist believes pure human reason is the only way to comprehend reality. And, they operate on the basis of a mighty large assumption here. As D’Souza states:
These men simply presume that their rational, scientific approach gives them full access to external reality. It is this presumption that gives Atheism its characteristic arrogance. Daniel Dennett and Richard Dawkins call themselves “brights” because they think they and their Atheist friends are simply smarter than the community of religious believers.7D’Souza, Dinesh, What’s So Great About Christianity. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2007; 172
But, is that arrogance misplaced? Are the “brights” justified in placing such great confidence in pure reason alone? German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724 – 1804) would beg to differ. Before Kant, people simply assumed our reason and our senses gave us access to external reality—things as they are in themselves. Through the use of reason and empirical investigation, it was believed human beings could come to comprehend the whole of reality. In Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, however, he showed this assumption to be false. In brief, Kant demonstrated the limits of human-knowledge claims. It is foolish, he showed, to assert absolute-knowledge claims without first examining the limits of reason and empirical investigation.
Kant’s purpose here is not to have us sink into “paralysis through philosophical analysis” skepticism. He merely shows the folly of claiming absolute knowledge based on pure reason and empiricism alone. In effect, Kant demonstrates the validity of the philosophical basis for the Christian appeals to faith and revelation. “Faith” is not an irrational leap—it is quite rational and, in fact, necessary.
Another philosophical question D’Souza tackles is the subject of miracles. Christianity is a faith full of miracles, and it is ultimately based on the credibility of the miracle of the Resurrection. But, in a world of scientific and natural laws, are miracles even possible? Is it credible to believe in miracles? D’Souza ingeniously uses the most famous argument against miracles to show the very possibility of miracles. The argument against miracles advanced by Scottish philosopher David Hume (1711-1776) is shown to be invalid on the basis of Hume’s own philosophy.
Christianity and Suffering
The PR machine of the New Atheists has been working overtime to convince people that religion is the source of most of the conflict and death in the world, and consequently, we all would be better off without it (cue John Lennon’s song Imagine now). Atheists routinely speak of the Crusades, the Inquisition, witch trials and so forth. Some have even gone so far as to claim that millions upon millions of people have been killed in the name of religion.
The problem with this critique of religion as the bane of history is that it simply isn’t true. As D’Souza points out:
The problem with this critique is that it greatly exaggerates the crimes that have been committed by religious fanatics while neglecting or rationalizing the vastly greater crimes committed by secular and Atheist fanatics.8D’Souza, Dinesh, What’s So Great About Christianity. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2007; 208
D’Souza then sheds light on the history of the Crusades and the Inquisition, the Salem witch trials, and the Thirty Years’ War. Examining these and other conflicts, it becomes apparent there are many forces at work behind these conflicts other than “religion.” These and other world conflicts were more about political power, money, land, and ethnic hatred to name a few factors. Religious doctrine had very little to do with them.
Having demonstrated “religion” is not the prime cause behind all the conflict and death in world history, D’Souza goes on to expose the truth regarding the role of Atheism in producing wars and killing. Communist China, Communist Russia and Nazi Germany killed people in astronomical numbers. Stalin and Mao’s killings were done in peacetime, and they were inflicted on their own countrymen. Add to these Atheist tyrants such lesser luminaries as Pol Pot, Ceausescu, Castro and Kim Jong-il and you have millions more killed.
Some Atheists would have you believe the religiously inspired killings somehow reflect the true face of religion, while the killings of Atheist regimes are a distortion of the Atheist spirit of rational and scientific inquiry. This, however, is just a transparent sleight-of-hand that holds Christianity responsible for crimes committed in its name, while simultaneously attempting to absolve Atheism of the far greater crimes committed in its name.
Christianity and Morality
Who determines moral values? The Atheist asks if our moral values should derive from an imaginary being in the sky who has given us commandments to obey or else face the threat of eternal hellfire. Wouldn’t we do better to understand morality in natural and secular terms—as adaptable rules we make up as we go along in order to serve human objectives like peace and coexistence?
D’Souza shows this is a false choice:
Morality is both natural and universal. It is discoverable without religion, yet its source is ultimately divine. Darwinist attempts to give a purely secular explanation of morality are a failure, and each of us knows—however disingenuously we deny it—that there are absolute standards of right and wrong, and these are precisely the standards we use to judge how other people treat us. It is not Christian morality that is the obstacle to our moral freedom: it is the conscience itself, the judge within.9D’Souza, Dinesh, What’s So Great About Christianity.
Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2007; 230
The Darwinist has no explanation for the conscience. This internal arbiter gives us our highest sense of ourselves. Conscience typically intervenes on the side least convenient for us personally—on the side which costs us the most. With the exception of pathological people, the voice of conscience is clear and incontrovertible. It tells us what we are obliged to do—no matter how we may feel about it.
The Atheist also has difficulty explaining the notion of the soul and free will. For the materialist, we are nothing more than a large collection of atoms. Materialists attempt to explain everything about us as simply a product of the various physical interactions of our material constituent parts—the body. Yet, we also experience ourselves directly through the mind, which seems to function independently or in harmony with the body’s sensory perceptions. This “mind/body problem” has bedeviled philosophers for centuries. We also experience consciousness of a different order and magnitude from that of animals. There is no good scientific or Darwinian account for consciousness.
Perhaps the biggest challenge for the materialist, however, is the notion of free will. We appear to be at liberty to say “yes” to this or “no” to that. The materialist is forced to say, “We have no free will—our sense of ‘choice’ is merely illusion.” Hence, all we think, speak, and do is a determined product of our material makeup. Nevertheless, the materialist will insist that criminals be put in prison, even though they had no choice in committing their crimes. I also find it curious that materialistic Atheists speak of the “evil” things Christians have done. If we follow the Atheists’ system of belief, why are these Christians now to be scorned and held accountable for their beliefs and actions even though, they had no choice—they were simply believing and doing what their genes and brain chemistry determined?
We find ourselves today in the midst of a culture war—a struggle between traditional morality and the new, secular morality. Traditional morality is objective and is based on the idea that certain things are right or wrong no matter who says differently. Secular morality, however, says the source of morality is no longer the external code—it is the individual’s inner heart. As one who has plumbed the depths of his own internal abyss, I shudder at this notion and do not recommend it. The secular moralist is seeking his inner self, and I don’t think he is going to like what he finds when he gets there.
D’Souza next ponders the question, “Might there be something more than autonomy and self-fulfillment that drives the Atheist to cast off traditional morality?” Is it possible that unbelief can serve as an effective, and convenient, cover for selfish and irresponsible behavior? Is it possible the militant unbelief witnessed in the likes of Dawkins and Hitchens is not simply an intellectual matter of following where the evidence leads? Could there be a deeper issue at play in their unbelief?
D’Souza proposes that Darwinism is a way to break free from the confines of traditional morality. Perhaps the reason many Atheists are drawn to unbelief is to avoid having to answer for their lack of moral restraint. They sense Christianity places people under divine scrutiny and accountability. Atheism relieves them of this burden. It provides a hiding place for those who do not want to acknowledge or repent of their sins. Perhaps Marx’s dictum needs to be revisited: It is not religion that is the opiate of the people, but Atheism is the opiate of the morally corrupt.
One final moral question D’Souza considers is the problem of evil: Why do horrible things happen in this world? This question is a serious challenge for the Christian. However, this also poses serious problems for the Atheist in that Atheism offers no comfort to the suffering. It offers no purpose to those grappling with meaninglessness. It offers no hope to those who are contemplating their own mortality. As the renowned philosopher, Woody Allen’s character “Kleinman” famously said, “It’s not that I’m afraid to die, I just don’t want to be there when it happens” (from Allen’s 1972 book Without Feathers).
Evil and suffering are indeed difficult subjects for the Christian. But this does not mean they are not serving a higher purpose which is beyond our ability to fully understand now. God has given us free will. The vast majority of evil that has occurred in the word is the direct result of human beings misusing their capacity to choose. Christians can also point to the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. God is not detached and aloof from the suffering of His creation. He entered into it through the Person of Jesus Christ, and conquered evil, death and Hell.
Christianity and You
In the final section, D’Souza issues an appeal for persons to seriously consider the claims of Jesus Christ and to embrace the life that is offered in Him. As noted earlier, however, it is important to note we do not know for sure how he is defining his terms from an Evangelical understanding or a Roman Catholic point of view? That said, though, there is nothing in this chapter, as it is written, with which an Evangelical would disagree or find objectionable.
D’Souza has presented a compelling case for faith. One might argue, however, that all he has done up to this point is present a compelling case for some sort of religious faith—not necessarily Christianity. Why should someone embrace Christianity in particular? D’Souza responds by demonstrating the compelling uniqueness of Christianity. Religion can be described as man’s attempt to reach God. Christianity is different:
But Christianity is not a religion in this sense. Christianity holds that man, no matter how hard he tries, cannot reach God. Man cannot ascend to God’s level because God’s level is too high. Therefore, there is only one remedy: God must come down to man’s level. Scandalous though it may seem, God must, quite literally, become man and assume the burden of man’s sins. Christians believe that this was the great sacrifice performed by Christ. If we accept Christ’s sacrifice on the basis of faith, we will inherit God’s gift of salvation. That’s it. That is the essence of Christianity. To some it may seem ridiculously simple. In this simplicity, however, there is considerable depth and richness.10D’Souza, Dinesh, What’s So Great About Christianity.
Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2007; 290
I think it is fair to say that Dinesh D’Souza has done an outstanding job of demonstrating what’s so great about Christianity. His arguments are a powerful answer to the attacks of the New Atheists. He has demonstrated it is fundamentally rational to believe in Christianity. Atheism is not the inevitable conclusion of intelligent, rational people, but rather, it is shown to be intellectually inferior and not worthy of the Atheist’s faith.
Atheists will find a serious challenge to their faith that cannot be ignored in this book. Seekers will find a stimulating and thrilling invitation to believe. Christians will find much to challenge and encourage them in this book. The first “elephant in the room”—D’Souza’s belief in Evolution as the mechanism by which God created the world—will no doubt be a significant obstacle for many Christians. That issue aside, however, Christians can celebrate this book as a triumphant, and joyful, response to the Atheist attacks on Christianity. Christianity is great because Jesus Christ, our God and Savior, is great.
Dan Cox is pastor of the Wonder Lake Bible Church in Wonder Lake, Illinois. A graduate of Moody Bible Institute and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, he has served at WLBC since 2001. In addition to his pastoral calling, he has also taught philosophy at a local college and serves as the chaplain of the Wonder Lake Fire Department.
*Young-Earth Creationism interprets the Genesis Creation account as depicting God’s creation of all things thousands of years ago in six, consecutive, 24- hour periods. Noah’s flood is viewed as a worldwide deluge that submerged all land and destroyed all humans and all land-dwelling air-breathing animals except those aboard the ark. This flood accounts for virtually all of Earth’s geological features, fossils, and biodeposits such as coal, oil and natural gas.
Old-Earth Creationism holds to the truthfulness of both the biblical account of Creation and the findings of mainstream science which propose the Earth and the universe are billions of years old. Old-Earth Creationists hold to a variety of positions with respect to the proper interpretation of the days of Creation in the Genesis Creation account and the nature and extent of Noah’s flood.
Theistic Evolution is the view that God created all things through Evolutionary processes over a period of billions of years. Theistic Evolutionists hold to a variety of positions with respect to the extent of God’s intervention in the natural order. Some believe God intervened only once at the origin of the universe, while others believe He intervened and directed the Evolutionary process at numerous points.
Framework Theory interprets the Genesis Creation account as a pattern (or “framework”) of events which serve as metaphors for God’s creative activity in the Kingdom of Heaven. Framework Theorists see little or no chronological ordering of the biblical Creation events; and they see few, if any, points of contact between the findings of mainstream science and the message of Scripture.
Progressive Creationism is the view the universe and Earth are billions of years old, and God created all things through an Evolutionary process that included numerous interventions to produce new life forms which did not descend from a common ancestor.
**Aquinas’s cosmological argument is an argument for the existence of God based on causation. It states every effect requires a cause, and nothing in the world is the cause of its own existence. There must be a First Cause responsible for the chain of effects, and this First Cause we call God.
Anselm’s ontological argument is an argument for the existence of God based on the idea that God is the greatest conceivable Being. God is defined as “that than which no greater can be thought.” To exist in reality is greater than to exist in the mind only; and therefore, by definition, God necessarily exists.
***Hermeneutics (from Greek hermeneuō, meaning interpret) is the art and science of determining principles of proper biblical interpretation.
†Superstring Theory speculates that all particles and forces in the universe can be explained as the result of tiny bands—or strings—of energy vibrating at different frequencies in ten dimensions. Scientists have debated five different versions of String Theory, all of which require 10 dimensions.
M Theory is an attempt to unify the five different String Theories into one unified “theory of everything” which proposes that all particles and forces in the universe can be explained as strings of energy vibrating in 11 different dimensions. “M” is reported to stand for “membrane,” although other suggestions have been given such as “magic,” “mystery” and “mother.”
End Notes [ + ]
|1.||↑||D’Souza, Dinesh, What’s So Great About Christianity.|
Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2007; xvi-xvii.
|2.||↑||D’Souza, Dinesh, What’s So Great About Christianity.|
Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2007; 8-12
|3.||↑||D’Souza, Dinesh, What’s So Great About Christianity. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2007; 81|
|4.||↑||D’Souza, Dinesh, What’s So Great About Christianity. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2007; 91|
|5.||↑||D’Souza, Dinesh, What’s So Great About Christianity. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2007;150|
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|7.||↑||D’Souza, Dinesh, What’s So Great About Christianity. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2007; 172|
|8.||↑||D’Souza, Dinesh, What’s So Great About Christianity. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2007; 208|
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Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2007; 230
|10.||↑||D’Souza, Dinesh, What’s So Great About Christianity.|
Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2007; 290