Zondervan Publishing, 2004.
Lee Strobel is an investigative journalist and a former atheist. When he started digging into the truth claims of Christianity, he found the evidence compelling, and became a believer. His investigation into the reliability and truthfulness of the Christian faith became the basis of a best-selling volume, The Case for Christ.
Another volume, The Case for Faith, soon followed. Between the two volumes, most of the major areas of biblical faith, and the challenges they face, are addressed. Thus meaty chapters on the possibility of miracles, the problem of evil, the historicity of the resurrection, the reliability of the gospels, the relationship between science and faith, among others, are presented.
In this third volume, another area of potential difficulty is discussed: the whole debate between creation and evolution in particular, and the biblical worldview versus philosophical naturalism in general. As in the previous volumes, Strobel interviews a number of experts and authorities in relevant fields, and asks hard-hitting questions as to whether biblical faith can stand up to the tough issues of the day.
In this volume he explores the findings of modern science, the theories of Darwin and the neo-Darwinists, and the philosophy of science, in an attempt to see if the claims of Scripture can face up to them. A number of objections raised by science or evolution are examined in detail. The evidence, Strobel demonstrates, points us to God, not away. Indeed, taken together, there is a cumulative case for faith in God, as the various sciences are examined in depth.
Consider the evidence of physics. Physicists know that the universe seems to be finely tuned for life to exist. Just the right conditions seem to exist to make life possible and sustainable. There are so many finely tuned conditions in place that chance does not seem capable of providing a satisfactory explanation. Random accidents cannot explain the precisely set dials of the universe.
The evidence from cosmology is also impressive. How could our universe suddenly spring into existence? How is it possible to get something from nothing? For a long time science had assumed an eternal material universe. But by the twentieth century, science came to see that the universe in fact had a beginning. Einstein’s Theory of Relativity did not allow for a static universe, and the rise of the Big Bang model has shown a clear case for a beginning point.
And the Big Bang model shows that our universe depends on highly specialised conditions, that makes it seem designed, not accidental. Again, there seems to be a case of fine tuning going on, something presupposing a fine tuner.
Astronomy also bears witness to a creator. Here again we find an example of fine tuning, with a series of extraordinary “coincidences” that seem to rule out the possibility of accident. The earth seems uniquely suited to support human life, and too many conditions must be met for this to be so, thus making the designer thesis seem quite credible.
A habitable planet is hard to come by. It requires a lot of special preconditions. And astronomers have yet to find another part of the universe that seems to fully display these necessary conditions. The more astronomers learn about the universe, the more unique planet earth becomes. Our sun for example displays unique features all of which make a habitable earth possible. It has just the right composition, orbit, mass, light, distance and location for life on earth to flourish.
Or consider the area of biochemistry. The more we discover in this field, the more we see intelligent design at work. Biochemists like Michael Behe have shown that at the most basic levels of life there is irreducible complexity. That is, a number of different components must be acting in concert to produce a desired effect. One part cannot slowly evolve and join with another. All must be operating simultaneously from the beginning. And life at the most simple levels demonstrates this feature time and again.
Just as in a mousetrap, all the parts must be there and operating together, so in life, we see this amazing complexity of function. Evolution cannot account for how such irreducible complexity could ever have arisen. Life, it turns out, is based on all sorts of complex molecular machines. These machines could never work if parts slowly evolved and were added to the overall mechanism. They must be present from day one to work. So incremental Darwinism just does not explain these things. Naturalism just cannot explain these complex biological systems, but intelligent design seems to.
On and on goes the evidence. I have only given brief overview. The scientists and philosophers and others interviewed here give quite complex and detailed arguments about all these points. The evidence seems to keep weighing up in favor of some kind of intelligent design, and away from a naturalistic, Darwinian explanation.
Taken together, the various strands of information make for a strong cumulative case for a creator. The alternative explanations become more far-fetched as we learn more about the amazing world that we live in. It requires as much faith to believe some of the claims put forward by naturalistic Darwinism than those put forward by the intelligent design movement. Open minds will weigh up the evidence for themselves and see where it takes them. This volume is a good place to begin in that search.