Ben Shapiro promotes books that challenge atheism and naturalistic evolution on his podcast

Come here, Mr. Dragon, I want a word with you
Come here, Mr. Dragon, I want a word with you

So, I was listening Ben Shapiro’s podcast, and he mentioned how he had been reading Stephen C. Meyer’s “Signature in the Cell”, which makes the case for intelligent design in the origin of the first living system. Dr. Meyer is a Christian, and got his PhD from Cambridge University. His work is the most effective statement of the case for intelligent design. His second book, “Darwin’s Doubt”, strengthens his argument for intelligent design by discussing the sudden origin of body plans in the fossil record.

Ben also mentioned that he was reading agnostic biologist Michael Denton’s book “Evolution: Still a Theory in Crisis”, which is a comprehensive argument against naturalistic evolution. If that were not enough, he has previously mentioned reading “On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision” by Dr. William Lane Craig, and Ed Feser’s book “Five Proofs of the Existence of God”. He’s already had Ed Feser on his podcast, and William Lane Craig was mentioned as a future guest.

I posted this good news on my Facebook page and declared something like: 1) “Wow! Isn’t it great that this Jewish conservative thinker is publicizing arguments to his audience that will help people explore belief in God, and evaluate naturalistic evolution?” and 2) “I wish that more Christians were reading these books, and that pastors in the churches encouraged Christians to read them, too”.

In a later dialog, I also mentioned how good it was for Jordan Peterson to have tweeted an article about the minimal facts case for the resurrection of Jesus to his massive audience. Peterson also had a dialog with William Lane Craig where Dr. Craig presented his arguments for Christianity. Many people went to that dialog to hear Dr. Peterson, but they came away having heard the arguments of Dr. Craig – the most able defender of Christianity today. I considered both the tweet and the dialog to be good things, because any time evidence for the Christian worldview is promoted to large audiences, it is good for the Kingdom of God. Most people haven’t heard of this evidence, and they are settling these important questions based on their feelings, or what the popular culture tells them. It is good for people who are still deciding the big questions to know that there is real evidence to evaluate before they decide.

Two women disagreed

Imagine my surprise when two Christian women I was friends with on Facebook disapproved of my two observations.

The first one said this exactly:

“What difference does it make if he has all the knowledge in the world and not Christ? Maybe I’m missing something?”

And the second one is even worse than the first:

“What good is the evidence, though, if people remain in unbelief toward Jesus, as Peterson and Shapiro do.”

Does the Bible support the use of evidence?

As I blogged before, the Bible records believers in God using evidence to convince non-believers from the start through to the finish. Whether it’s the miracles of Moses, Elijah on Mount Carmel, or Jesus’ miracles, or the resurrection, you can barely find a page where evidence is not being presented to non-believers in order to get them to believe. That is God’s approach, it’s seen in Jesus offering “the Sign of Jonah” (his resurrection) to unbelievers. These people were not saved FIRST. Evidence was presented to them FIRST. Evidence was part of God’s saving initiative in the lives of these non-believers. They were expected to evaluate and respond to the evidence when it was presented to them.

Why did they say it?

So then why not get excited when influential people promote resources filled with evidence relevant to the big questions of life?

First, some people think of Christianity as being about themselves. One Christian woman I worked for once told me why she wouldn’t read books about apologetics: “there’s enough unhappiness in the world already, I’m sure God doesn’t want me to do anything that would make me feel unhappy”. This woman was a troop leader for the “Calvinettes”, the Reformed equivalent of the Girl Scouts. She saw Christianity as being about her, and her feelings. Any expectations, responsibilities, obligations, etc. in the Bible could easily be dismissed, because she knew (from her feelings) that God would never want her to do anything that would make her feel unhappy.

Her view was: “Who cares about those people over there in the university, in Hollywood, in government, and in the Supreme Court, who are discussing whether God exists and whether evolution is true? I shouldn’t have to do any work to convince them that the Christian worldview is correct about these big questions.” It doesn’t matter to some people whether Christianity is respected as a “live option” in the marketplace of ideas. It doesn’t matter whether the rationality of the Christian worldview is diminished in the culture. They don’t care about being ready with an answer to questions from college professors, co-workers, and children. God’s concern for the universe begins and ends with their happiness.

There are conversations going on out there in the culture about big questions. How did the universe begin? Does God exist? How did life begin? Is there life after death? Is anything really right or wrong? We should read good books in order to know how to participate in those conversations with non-Christians. And we should rejoice when  influential non-Christians recommend those books to people still leaning and deciding those big questions.

Positive arguments for Christian theism

5 thoughts on “Ben Shapiro promotes books that challenge atheism and naturalistic evolution on his podcast”

  1. I like Ed Feser. I read his book “The Last Superstition.” He engages in the same level of snark as many atheists in his book. I put the Five Proof for God on my reading list.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. People that think require evidence to back their faith.
    It is like saying you should preach only one message or there is a magic formula to present the gospel. Each person is different and unique and how you can minister to each person will vary.
    Happy feelings aren’t convincing as an argument to a thinker and it seems the feelings based arts crowd have no reasect to the science thinkers.
    Yet oddly the arty ones are most likely to be soft on gender issues and many topics based on feelings. So they respect diversity in sexual issues or gender etc.
    But there can’t be a diversity of ways to approach the gospel becaue there can’t possibly be people that require evidence to believe in God according to their opinion.

    Like

  3. “What good is the evidence, though, if people remain in unbelief toward Jesus, as Peterson and Shapiro do.”
    That comment is misguided because there will always be people who remain in unbelief toward Jesus despite overwhelming evidence. Jesus Himself even said this. But, that is no warrant against those of us who were moved closer to Christ through such reasonings. We don’t want to throw away the salvations of those who WERE moved by evidence because many will NOT be moved by evidence. In a sense, that sort of comment denies, or dismisses, Salvation for people like me.
    “What difference does it make if he has all the knowledge in the world and not Christ? Maybe I’m missing something?”
    This question is more solid, because a person CAN have more head knowledge than most ABOUT Christianity, yet still not be saved. The problem is that it seems to set up a false dichotomy between the two – we are called to continue to seek out truth even after our conversion.
    Somebody wrote that the best disinfectant is sunlight. Get the truth out there, plant the seeds, etc. God does the harvesting / winning anyway.

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  4. The what “what good is it lady” is infuriating but probably represents the majority of Christians. I hear her claim as being, “I want things to be easy, and I shouldn’t be held to account for my saltlessness because I think I am being salt.”

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  5. Great article. I too think it is fantastic when people who aren’t necessarily believers promote Christian books. It means that they are thinking. We as Christians should encourage more of this and let Jesus work on their hearts.

    Liked by 1 person

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