I think it is safe to say that a good number of people, including scientists, have become Christians precisely, in human terms, because of big bang cosmology. Am I correct, @physicists (@bjmiller, @dga471, @PdotdQ, @pevaquark, @structureoftruth – the @phys. tag didn’t stick) that many in the field recognize that there is a point (or a time) beyond (or before) which we may not be able to see? Someone has said (not me ) that big bang cosmology made angry agnostics out of some that were atheists.
I know of precisely no one where this is true.
Perhaps we could find an offhand person that came to believe in God through big bang cosmology. That is not the same as becoming a Christian.
That’s why I said ‘in human terms’. Hugh Ross comes to mind. Would you prefer ‘extremely influential’?
Like @swamidass I also know absolutely no one where this is true.
Almost 100% of the field recognize that “there is a point (or a time) beyond (or before) which we may not be able to see?”. This is as close to being certain as you can get in science. The easiest example is that faraway (equivalently, when we look far into the past), the Universe expands faster than light. This means that there are parts of the Universe that are racing away from us faster than the speed of light, i.e. the fastest information can be transferred.
He became a Chrsitian after reading Scripture, not from learning about Big Bang Cosmology.
Not true in the case of myself. I was raised in a Christian family and always believed in the basic doctrines of Christianity. Craig’s work on the Kalam Cosmological argument which intersects with BBT did strengthen and matured my faith during high school, but it did not convert me to it.
Okay, substitute through for because.
It was an essential link in the chain, part of the means God used.
A post was merged into an existing topic: Confessing to the Evidence
God uses means (including us, amazingly), so it kind of depends what you mean by ‘through’. Through the work of the Holy Spirit is an absolute, but temporal means may vary.
Even with that qualification, are there many people who became a Christian by the proximate means of arguments?
The only person I can think of is Edward Feser, who gave up atheism after studying the arguments of Thomas Aquinas (Edward Feser: The road from atheism). I can certainly grant that apologetics can remove obstacles to faith, though that’s different than obtaining positive evidence of Christianity. The ultimate step of faith usually involves a special religious experience. (Even in this case it’s not easy to come up with examples.) And I cannot come up with anybody who became a Christian through scientific theories like the BBT.
I became a Christian because of an encounter with Jesus though will add that regarding this topic, if anything how apologists (some with degrees in Physics) misunderstand, overstate and sometimes lie about Cosmology has certainly not encouraged my faith journey and been a struggle/battle internally.
Sometime I’d love to hear your story @pevaquark.
I just posted this recently at PS, speaking of arguments and evidence for Christianity:
I’m sure there are people who are convinced to become Christians through arguments, but I think most people become Christians through upbringing from their Christian parents who are instructed to pass on the tradition. That’s how I was raised myself.
There are more than Feser. Can’t think of anyone else off the top of my head who became a Christian through philosophical arguments quite the way he did, and for obvious reasons general natural theological arguments are at most effective for clearing the way for belief, rather than bringing someone to Christianity specifically. But there are examples of people who became Christians based on examination of the evidence for the resurrection - J. Warner Wallace is one, I think.
I think i understand what @DaleCutler says here although i think i may not be not fully agreeable to his exact position. We become true Christians-that is those who are fully forgiven sinners who have been regenerated by the work of Jesus on the cross when we acknowledge that God exists who is a good God, perfectly righteous and holy in all of His ways, we admit that we have sinned against Him and have sorrow as a result, we then repent of sin, ask for forgiveness and take on a new existence as one remade, fully forgiven and taking on the righteousness of Jesus because He took the wrath we deserved on that cross. The resulting fruit is one of worship and reverence to God.
What @DaleCutler suggests i think is part of the very first biblical necessity for conversion-acknowledging the existence of God which the facts surrounding the universe having a beginning very much supply a seed that helps humans realize what many have suppressed:that God our Creator exists!
So i just disagree with an evangelism model that essentially comes alongside those entrenched in the mainstream naturalistic camp that by definition keeps God out of the picture while claiming to be one of them alike and telling them at the same time that all they need is Jesus because “jesus” to them could become something other that the true Jesus. He could become a humanistic ticket for my best life now or some other.
In conclusion, there is a very real valueable place for those in the ID camp which i believe makes a very real and valueable scientific argument that points to God as it combines itself with the story God tells in Scripture which we must accept by faith in order to become a child of God.
The ministry philosophy that seems to be of a sort of here at PS seems to be one of pretending to be a naturalist in order to win a naturalist to Christ may have good intentions but with longterm damaging effects to the faith we Christians hold dear about a very real God who created us in His image!
37 posts were split to a new topic: Greg, Creationism, and PS
Or apologetics can weaken faith in atheism, creating the possibility of placing faith in something else.
I once read that the primary purpose of Christian apologetics isn’t really to convince skeptics, but for Christian to reinforce their beliefs and clear their own doubts. Honestly, I agree.