A man holds a glowing puzzle piece from the galaxy.Don’t talk to me about religion or politics,” say many Facebook status updates. It’s interesting that many people express this desire to avoid talking about two topics which have the potential to affect their lives in a significant way. Last week I was at a shop and got talking to the man behind the desk about church and faith. He told me that he was very interested in religion and philosophy, but that he didn’t “do church”. I found his attitude quite refreshing! He wasn’t keen to attend church, but he was happy to initiate and continue a conversation with me about faith once he found out I was a minister.

There are far fewer atheists in the world than we’re led to believe. A Gallup poll in 2015 found that 22% of people said they were not religious, but only 11% of people said they were atheists. Throughout my school days, most of my classmates would have said that they were atheists. What they meant was probably that they weren’t Christians, or didn’t subscribe to any of the other world religions. Some of them probably were bonafide atheists, of course, but many would have labelled themselves as such because that was the word we used for someone who wasn’t ‘religious’.

A criticism which is often levelled at Christians is that we just believe what we’re told to believe, without question. This is in contrast to atheists, who observe the known world and draw conclusions from those observations – or so they claim. However, I believe that it takes far more faith to be an atheist than it does to be a Christian.

“Science Has Disproved It All”

This claim was made in almost every classroom debate we had on religion vs. atheism. Writing it now, it clearly smacks of adolescent naivety. Those same peers of mine who accused me of unquestioning belief were guilty of the very same thing. Science has not disproved it all.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a science-skeptic. I believe that science has brought us knowledge and understanding of our universe in myriad ways. It has enriched our society through countless vital discoveries. I have a deep appreciation (albeit not a deep understanding) of the merits of science. Nevertheless, it cannot be claimed that science has disproved God. In fact, many scientists would say the same, atheist or not. There just isn’t evidence to disprove God. As a good friend of mine often says, “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”

Those atheists who make this claim have far more faith than I do! It’s true that my initial belief in God was due to my parents and church telling me he was real, but that initial belief morphed into genuine faith as I grew up and had personal experiences of God. I was told in school that science had disproved God. Many of my classmates believed that statement because “scientists” said it. I haven’t seen their research papers or lab work indicating their own personal study into the subject; they accept it on faith.

“The Universe Was Created by the Big Bang”

I could probably write a whole post on this one, and perhaps I will one day. Let me start by saying that I actually have no problem with the premise of the Big Bang. As a theory to explain how all matter came to be, it is at the very least slightly plausible. The element which requires more faith than I have is the bit before the Big Bang.

We’re told that the universe began as a single, infinitely dense atom. This singularity was unable to contain its density and exploded outwards, flinging matter across the universe which became the seeds of all life known and unknown. Where this idea becomes implausible is the spontaneous grouping of subatomic particles in exactly the configuration required to support and sustain life. It takes far more faith than I possess to believe that everything in existence was brought about by a cosmic accident.

There are several theories which attempt to explain this phenomenon. Some scientists have suggested that our universe is one part of an infinite multiverse, in which some universes are not suitable for life and others are. There are a multiverse of straws being clutched at here.

Science has given us a great deal. There are things we understand about the universe now due to scientific research which only a few decades ago were mysteries. Nevertheless, it still takes a lot of faith to believe in even some of the most popular theories about our universe. Atheism is in itself a religious belief, much as many atheists would seek to deny that, and it requires far more faith than Christianity.


5 Comments

Lawrence Phillips · 18/01/2016 at 21:48

Hi Jack, In your blog you talked a bit about Science vs Creation etc. Have you read 1Timothy 6:20 where it clearly tells us that Science & experts, supposedly in the know are false. I say this because if that’s true then all science is based on lies. As a for instance we don’t live on a globular earth as NASA tell us. Also NASA is interestingly 1 letter short of Satan. NASA certainly is based on lies & therefore all our history, the evolution theory, moon landings, World in which we live, gravity & many other things are lies too, & can be proven to be. God bless you as you share your thoughts & insights. They’re challenging & a blessing, as are you & Annie.

    Jack Skett · 18/01/2016 at 22:57

    Hi Lawrence, thanks for your comment. Just to be clear, I’m not saying that science is always wrong – there are a lot of things science has taught us which have broadened our understanding of God. The point I’m making is that there are some theories presented by scientists which we should not accept on face value.
    As for 1 Timothy 6:20, it says nothing about science. Paul is writing to Timothy to give him advice as he leads the church in Ephesus. Throughout the letter we get a clear sense that Timothy is dealing with some divisive false teaching from others in the church. Paul gives Timothy direct instructions on how to deal with these people, including the verse you mentioned.
    Thank you for your encouragement, and God bless you!

      Maria-Luisa · 20/01/2016 at 20:51

      Dear Jack,
      Thanks for your article. I believe true Christians need to clarify our real believes to those who haven´t seen that God really is here. For many centuries people have confused faith with religion thanks to traditional Christian organisations around the world and many haven´t had the opportunity to get into the Bible, the Word of God, and to explore what He really says personally to each one and to mankind in general. There are many confused people around because ´God´ have been presented to them as a faraway entity who wants to stop people from enjoying life through a series to rules and sacrifices that are often against our own humanity whilst their leaders gain power and riches to use it for their own benefit. I´m Spanish and I have Catholic background. My family practiced their religion, contrary to many other people who call themselves Christians because they were born in a Catholic family, they get christened when they are little and they do their ´First Communion´. They go to ´Mas´ every Sunday, they confess their sins to a priest and they never know if or when they are going to go to Heaven. I was looking for God outside all that world because I didn´t see Him anywhere I looked, but if I´m honest, inside, a part of me was telling me that He really existed. I became a Christian aged 22, not in a church but in my own bedroom. Nobody took me to church or told me I needed to accept Jesus, make sacrifices or follow any rules. It was one day when I have no hope left through terrible circumstances in my life. I was questioning everything. Even my own existence and nobody would have convinced me of anything I didn´t believe or saw with my own eyes. I had finished my degree in Art. I had studied Archaeology and I had learned that dinosaurs really existed and the earth was a lot older than what religion always taught. But that day when I was on my way to end my life because I thought nobody could reach me in the place where I was, a lady came out of a house and spoke to me about God, about Jesus, and told me that God really loved me. She gave me my first Bible (there was one at home that belonged to my dad and I never touched). I never went to the roof of my parents’ house and I never threw myself down from it. Over the next few days I only had a strange feeling that something in my life had changed. I started reading the Bible on my own and as I was reading, it was like God was speaking straight into my life. later on I join a local Christian church (not Catholic) where I could learn more about what I had just found and be with real believers. It has been 33 years since then. I married an amazing man I met on one of my journeys to England, I had three beautiful children who are real believers, I spend my life, apart from my career and job, as a teacher, helping others and following in the footsteps of Jesus. About Science, we have allowed our children to believe that what they are still theories are a fact, but in reallity there is still no concrete proof. However, to me, the real challenge people face when they are confronted with a God, is not that they believe or not, it is whether they can listen to what God is telling them and they can obey what He says. In my long journey through life I have encountered many people who believed that there is a God, but they couldn´t allow God to be the one who ruled their lives. They know better. They want to do things that are not part of God´s nature. They will deny a God who knows better and who wants to prevent disaster for us and for others because of their own selfish desires, and that is in the end and from the beginning of creation what keeps God´s creatures away from their God.

        Jack Skett · 20/01/2016 at 23:26

        Hi Maria-Luisa,

        Thanks for your comment. It’s so great to hear your story, thanks for sharing! God bless you.

Joel Ashworth · 22/02/2016 at 21:11

It may not be said that there is no God, but it may be said that there is no good reason to think that there is one. I don’t know of a single atheist (and i have met a lot) who claims that God cannot exist, or that the idea has been disproved by science. Anyone who claims as such is intellectually defective because God exists outside the material universe and science merely deals with the material world, and so science cannot disprove God any more than it can disprove the flying spaghetti monster. All the atheist says: is that all the arguments put forward by the religious are lacking and unsatisfactory, an idea that predates Dawkins, Russel, and if you want to date it you can go back to before Christ with Democritus and Lucretius, but to be honest, the position is as old as humanity itself, some people are so made that they cannot believe. Furthermore, this is not an affirmation of faith and the attempt to legitimize religion by claiming the opposing view is inherently the same misconstrues the atheists position and advances the argument not at all.

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