Stephen Fry has been in the news recently for his anti-God remarks on Irish television. He argued that the existence of evil in the world rules out the existence of God. And it seems Stephen Fry is not alone in his atheism. Statistics published in The Daily Telegraph last month claimed that only 38% of women and 24% of men in the UK believe in God.
So can a case be made for belief in God in twenty-first century Britain? I believe it can! Leading thinkers on the subject point us to three reasons that remain as true today as they have ever been. Three reasons that can be conveniently called the Cosmos, Consciousness and Christ.
Contemporary scientists tell us that our universe is massive, majestic and many millions of years old. But it began once with a “Big bang”. Yet what caused this bang? What came before the cosmos? Belief in an eternal God who caused the cosmos remains the most plausible reason why we exist. This great little video explains why.
The cosmos is also amazingly complex. Dozens of ‘cosmic constants’ (forces like gravity and many others) seem to be ‘fine-tuned’ to allow our universe to exist and life to emerge. Chance could be the cause, but an intelligent Creator remains far more probable. Again,see here for a fuller explanation why.
We don’t need to look into space to see signs of God. Philosophers like Richard Swinburne and JP Moreland see no natural explanation for our own self-consciousness. Matter cannot produce mind. In this clip Moreland explains why only a personal God can produce consciousness in people.
Our minds are also conscious of morality. The basic sense of right and wrong that we all experience is a signpost to the good God who made us. Here, William Lane Craig explains why.
The greatest evidence for God, however, is seen in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus claimed to have come from God and indeed, to be God. “To have seen me is to have seen the Father” he said (John 14:9). And he backed up his claims with remarkable miracles and profound teaching.
Above all, Christ’s claims were backed up by his resurrection from the dead. No natural explanation can account for his resurrection, and no historical enquiry has ever come up with a credible alternative explanation. As Richard Swinburne has written, the resurrection is God’s “signature” on the life of Jesus Christ. See here to hear the evidence for yourself.
And Christ is the first person that Stephen Fry and ourselves should look to in the face of suffering. In his earthly life Jesus stood up to sickness and healed those who came to him. And in his death on a Cross he suffered greatly, as so many do today. God is not indifferent to suffering. Because in Jesus, he himself confronted it. In Jesus, he himself endured it. And one day, when Jesus returns, he will eliminate it for good.