Standing against the Tide

Standing against the Tide

Richard Dawkins, Lawrence Krauss, Christopher Hitchens, Michael Shermer, Victor J. Stenger. What do all these people have in common? They are all convinced that the God of the Bible does not exist and have each made strong, public cases in defense of that position. John Lennox, emeritus professor of mathematics at Oxford, had the opportunity to debate each of them, arguing for the truth of Christianity. The new movie, Against the Tide, articulates Lennox’s case and the subtitle, Finding God in an Age of Science, gives a hint as to what the “tide” refers to.

The film recounts some of the potent scientific, philosophical, and societal reasons for God’s existence. Astronomy, cosmology, and physics provide abundant evidence pointing to (1) a beginning to the universe from nothing, (2) a law-like, mathematical, rational nature of the universe, and (3) a fine-tuned character of creation. History demonstrates that past societies devoted to implementing philosophies built on naturalistic worldviews inevitably undermined the well-being of citizens as well as the advancement of the scientific enterprise. The fields of biology and evolution also provide sound reasons for believing God exists. Lennox asks viewers to consider the requirements on the universe necessary for evolution to work, for the origin of life, and for the incredible information content and processing power of life—even in its simplest forms. The most rational explanation for all this evidence is that our universe owes its existence to a transcendent Creator. The Christian faith affirms that science stands against the tide of atheistic science.

The case becomes more convincing when considering the historicity of Jesus Christ. Against the Tide spends a substantial amount of time discussing the accuracy of the various gospel descriptions of Jesus’s life. This effort makes sense considering that the truth of Christianity hinges on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Again, ample evidence exists to validate the biblical accounts and the most rational conclusion in light of all the evidence is that Jesus indeed rose from the dead.

In addition to the wealth of evidence pointing toward the truth of Christianity, Lennox’s approach to apologetics impressed me. He exhibits exemplary confidence. In contrast, I have seen enough presentations by Christians (including my own) that seem defensive rather than confident. This defensiveness usually demonstrates itself in either aggression or passivity. Lennox declares and defends the tenets of the Christian faith. When confronted with challenging questions, he responds with confidence and calmness that communicate love, care, and compassion for his “adversary.” To be clear, Lennox is not generating false optimism or putting on a good front. Instead, one can tell that he has seriously investigated the evidence and knows that Christianity rests on a solid foundation that can withstand any assault—including the rising tide of a scientific age. Consequently, Lennox need not win the debate (or even a specific point). Rather, he focuses on clearly communicating what Christianity is so that the recipient is equipped to adopt a well-informed position.

It doesn’t take much investigation to detect the decline of the prominence of Christian thought over the past couple of decades. In its place, diverse worldviews have rushed in to fill the void in the academic and public arena. However, Christianity is a robust worldview, ultimately anchored in truth. It will not disappear. I encourage you to see this movie (premiering November 19th) so that you, too, can stand against the tide.

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