Why I am a Christian Theist and Not a Naturalist

Naturalism is the philosophy that says that only time, matter and energy are really real. Or in the words of Carl Sagan, “The Cosmos is all that is or was or ever will be.” For philosophical naturalists, spirits are not real, God is not real – they are only inventions of the human mind. Naturalists claim we know things reliably through the scientific method, but the philosophy of Naturalism itself cannot be demonstrated to be true by means of the scientific method.

True Christianity is not a mere philosophy, it is built on an encounter or revelation of Jesus Christ which is both personal and historical. God promises the Holy Spirit to those who ask and the emotional and physical effect of what I take to be God’s response was convincing to me that the naturalistic explanation of life is inadequate.

However, to me the principal argument for Christian Theism is the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. If this is true then the truth of the Bible and the necessity of Christian discipleship essentially follows. Dr William Lane Craig argues for the resurrection of Christ based on the evidence of “Jesus burial and the discovery of the empty tomb”, “the post-mortem appearances of Jesus” and “the origin of the disciples’ belief in the resurrection”   http://www.reasonablefaith.org/is-there-historical-evidence-for-the-resurrection-of-jesus-the-craig-ehrman .

During my undergraduate studies in Science, one physics lecture tried to debunk natural theology by stating that organisation can come through an energy flow, but failed to show how such things could produce complex specified information. Throughout life many seemed to believe in certain ethical values, but everything they did seemed to be guided by selfishness. During my years as a nominal Christian, I was essentially a “humanist” in the sense that my own passions and fulfillment were my central concern, and I regarded obedience to Christ as optional for a Christian. After my conversion, I no longer relied exclusively on reasoned arguments drawn from history or philosophy. My own experience of healing miracles, miracles of financial provision and personal transformation and those of hundreds of thousands of others supports the central claim of Christian Theism and in the process makes the premises of Naturalism totally incredible – to me at least. And with Naturalism, Secular Humanism must also be rejected since the latter depends on Naturalism for its epistemology and ontology.

At one stage I was fascinated by the ideas of Newtonian physics and calculus and I was hopeful that if only we could measure more and calculate more we could in principle we could work out what would happen and somehow through technology build a better and more satisfying world. There was also this subconscious quest for “certainty” and I believed it could also be found in the realms of Mathematics and physics. This hope started to be undermined once I was exposed to Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncertainty_principle) and later Godel’s Incompleteness Theorem (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/what-is-godels-theorem/) and Russell’s Paradox in set theory (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/what-is-russells-paradox/). These results suggest serious limits on the power of rationalism and empiricism to give us sure knowledge. So while Christian Theism holds that God gives certain revelation, naturalism and reason offers no such intellectual certainty. Naturalism sees the human brain itself as operating in a complex way but generally according to deterministic laws of physics, but this seems to contradict my experience. I am conscious that I can make choices one way or the other. My conscience also speaks to me, sometimes rebuking me for the things I have done. These facts align much more easily with Christian Theism than with the idea that my actions are determined by my genes and my environment according to Physical Law alone, as Naturalism would suggest.

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About Michael Fackerell

The Christian faith is about Jesus. He came to save the lost. About Jesus Christ, Bible teaching, Testimonies, Salvation, Prayer, Faith, Networking.

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