Alistair McGrath who came to a faith in Christ out of atheism is a fine theologian. However, he seems to retain some postmodern thinking - that we cannot prove the Christian faith or even have evidential support:
· God is simply not an empirical hypothesis which can be checked out by the scientific method. As Stephen Jay Gould and others have insisted, the natural sciences are not capable of adjudicating negatively or positively on the God-question.
· Any worldview—atheist, Islamic, Jewish, Christian or whatever—ultimately depends on assumptions that cannot be proved. Every house is built on foundations, and the foundations of worldviews are not ultimately capable of being proved in every respect. Everyone who believes anything significant or worthwhile about the meaning of life does so as a matter of faith. We’re all in the same boat.
There are a number of problems with his assertions:
- No Proof!
- There are many evidences for the Christian Faith!
- Contradicted by Bible!
NUMBER 1: He is making the grandest assertion without any evidence: “Everyone who believes anything significant or worthwhile about the meaning of life does so as a matter of faith.” McGrath doesn’t even try to justify this dogmatism that no one has any evidence for their values or beliefs.
NUMBER 2: Paul mentioned one set of evidences – extensive eyewitness testimony for the resurrection:
· 1 Corinthians 15:3-8 (ESV) For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.
If any of his disciples had been in doubt about the resurrection, they need only have asked around. Eyewitness testimony had so abounded that the Jews could not deny Jesus’ miracles. Instead, their writings ascribe His miracles to Satan.
The Bible acknowledges other forms of evidence – some from the created world:
· Romans 1:18-20: The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are WITHOUT EXCUSE.
There was no shortage of evidence. John the Baptist had been encouraged in his faith by the report of Jesus’ miracles (Matthew 11). Doubting Thomas came to believe because of the evidence – the post-resurrection appearance of Jesus (John 20). All the Apostles had been restored to have by these appearances:
· Acts 1:3: He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.
Even the Old Testament Jews had been given proofs of God’s presence, as Moses had reminded them:
· Deuteronomy 4:34-35: Or has any god ever attempted to go and take a nation for himself from the midst of another nation, by trials, by signs, by wonders, and by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and by great deeds of terror, all of which the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? To you it was shown, that you might know that the LORD is God; there is no other besides him.
Jesus gladly provided many forms of evidences:
· John 13:19 “I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he.”
· John 14:28-29 “You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe.”
· John 10:37-38 “If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”
We have many objective evidential reasons to believe, even if our personal experiences have been more determinative.