March 20, 2019 | Bill Wilson
My son Christian and I have been having an ongoing discussion about witnessing to atheists. He feels called to apologetics so we have been talking a lot about Christ’s Great Commission found in Matthew 28:19-20, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” and in Mark 16:13, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Christian believes that we have to equip ourselves to witness even to those who refuse to believe so we might fully exercise the Great Commission. In other words, be ready in season and out to make the case for Christ.
We have these deep talks about just how far one can go with someone who refuses to believe. Christian, who recently finished law school, witnesses to several people who want to argue the “logic” behind their agnostic or atheist belief about God. I keep pointing out that logic alone will not win the case for God because there is always the spiritual part that people who are not of faith cannot accept. AFP reports that 60 -ear old Brazilian-born theoretical physicist Marcelo Gleiser has received the Templeton Prize, which annually recognizes outstanding contributions to affirming life’s spiritual dimension. Gleiser believes that science and religion are not enemies. In fact, he says, “Science does not kill God.”
Gleiser told AFP, “The first thing you see in the Bible is a story of creation.” He says, whatever your religion, “everybody wants to know how the world came to be.” This fundamental curiosity unites science and religion, though each provides very different answers: science has a methodology, where hypotheses are eliminated. Gleiser says, “Science can give answers to certain questions, up to a point. This has been known for a very long time in philosophy, it’s called the problem of the first cause: we get stuck. We should have the humility to accept that there’s mystery around us.” Gleiser says “It’s extremely arrogant from scientists to come down from the ivory towers and make these declarations (against faith) without understanding the social importance of belief systems.”
Gleiser said, “When you hear very famous scientists making pronouncements like … cosmology has explained the origin of the universe and the whole, and we don’t need God anymore. That’s complete nonsense. Because we have not explained the origin of the universe at all.” Herein is where the chasm widens because pride often prevents someone from seeing the realities of faith. Christians are accused of closed-mindedness when the unbelievers, themselves, are closed off to the possibility of faith. To my son’s point, however, as Christians we need to know why we believe what we believe, and we should be able to explain it. Otherwise we are doing the Great Commission a disservice. Something to think about, for sure.
Have a Blessed and Powerful Day!