You may or may not be familiar with the series by Zondervan in which people from different viewpoints each write a chapter and the others write a response. Though it was difficult at times, I’ve enjoyed reading Four Views on Salvation in a Pluralistic World, and Listening to the Beliefs of Emerging Churches. The format is interesting and fulfilling to see the arguments responded to immediately.
In light of that and the ridiculous discussions I have with my brother-in-law, we’ll be having a counterpoints-style discussion of our own.
Let me give you a little background. If you’re reading here you know where I stand. My b-i-l, Ryan, is finding many arguments in Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion compelling. We’ve talked a number of times, and not really gotten far. Last we spoke about it, he was trying to paraphrase Dawkins’ argument that the existence of God is more improbable than the universe, and subsequently life itself, appearing randomly and spontaneously.
“When you say God created the universe, it raises the question of who created God.” I don’t think the argument is sufficient, because the same can be said of the “scientific” position. The Big Bang theory says that all of the universe came from (basically) a lump of super-compressed matter, and at some point in time it suddenly expanded, separating into matter and antimatter, thus creating the universe and space. This raises a couple of questions for me.
First, if matter can be neither created nor destroyed, what created that original lump of matter? If space was created at the Big Bang, what did the matter exist in before, and what is space expanding into? These questions for me make the scientific and religious explanations of the beginning of the universe equal in their improbability. Ryan disagrees. We went back and forth on this point for a while. We eventually got frustrated and our plan was born.
We hope that the discussion that follows will be thought provoking for everyone who reads it, and we want your input as well. Check back for a number of topics, including why I think the Big Bang is actually a convergence of science and Christian belief, and why I think we should all spend a little bit of time learning to defend the faith.