B. D. MCLAUGHLIN, Sc.D.
SCIENCE, LOGIC AND
THE THINKING CHRISTIAN
Copyright 1988 by B.D. McLaughlin
May be distributed if no changes are made
SCIENCE, LOGIC AND THE THINKING CHRISTIAN
In this book, answers are given to 10 questions. I believe a
sound, logical basis has been provided for each answer. If you
read this book and question the logical basis for one or more of
the answers, you could do me a favor by writing a letter
delineating what you believe to be the flaws in my thinking. If,
on the other hand, you cannot reject my logic, then reading this
book will accomplish one of two things. If you are a Christian,
you will become a stronger apologist. If you are not a
Christian, you will re-examine your beliefs.
The logic used in this book is based on the concept of
thesis/antithesis. Any simple sentence (subject/predicate) may
be called the thesis. The negative of that sentence is called
the antithesis. Given any thesis and its antithesis, one is
true, the other is false. In addition, thesis A can be connected
to thesis B to form the complex sentence "if A then B." In such
a sentence, A and B may be different ways of stating exactly the
same idea. If so, the sentence "if A then B" is called a
tautology and is always true. Conversely, A and B may express
different ideas. In that case, the sentence "if A then B" cannot
be regarded as true unless the truth of B can be independently
established whenever the truth of A can be verified.
Another type of logic, called dialectic, is often used by
intellectuals. This type of logic is based on the concept of
thesis/antithesis/synthesis. In dialectic reasoning, both the
thesis and its antithesis are false. Considered together,
however, they lead to another statement called the synthesis.
The synthesis is not viewed as true in an absolute sense, but
merely "more true" than either the thesis or the antithesis.
Dialectic reasoning is totally inconsistent with rational human
consciousness; it should be rejected as intrinsically unsound.
The 10 questions, with which this book is concerned, are given in
the following list:
(1) Is the Christian description of the beginning of the
universe consistent with the scientific description?
(2) Does the universe exist primarily to serve as a home for us?
(3) What is the origin of the moral law written on each of our
(4) Did life arise spontaneously from non-living matter?
(5) Is "survival-of-the-fittest" a rational basis for the
concept of biological evolution?
(6) Are Christians supposed to think about the basis for their
(7) Are each of the known Greek manuscripts and manuscript
fragments, of a particular New Testament book, "pure"
representations of a unique autograph?
(8) Did the New Testament autographs provide an accurate account
of what a man named Jesus said and did?
(9) Who was Jesus?
(10) Were the autographs, for the book referred to as the
Christian Bible, inspired by God?
Are you one of these individuals whose heart can be reached only
by a path that goes through your head? If so, this book was
written for you. An appeal is made, not to your emotions, but
rather to your cold, hard logic. In some cases, a question
cannot be answered with certainty. In those cases, however, so
much evidence can be amassed in support of a particular answer
that a final step of faith is small and guided as opposed to
large and blind.
B. D. McLaughlin, Sc.D.
A Humble Servant of Jesus Christ
20 Hartford Rd.
Sewell, NJ 08080
Is the Christian description of the beginning of the universe
consistent with the scientific description? This question can be
answered with certainty. To answer it, examine the basic
scientific and Biblical facts about the beginning.
-- The universe began at a definite point in time.
-- Verification of any type of existence prior to the
beginning of the universe is beyond the domain of
-- Since the beginning, the universe has evolved in a
qualitatively understood manner for about 18 billion
The Bible says:
-- The universe began by "ex nihilo" creation (bara) at a
definite point in time (Gen 1:1, Heb 11:3).
-- God existed prior to the beginning of the universe.
-- Since the beginning, indefinitely long periods of time
(yom) have elapsed.
Although science and the Bible do not say exactly the same thing
about the beginning of the universe, there is clearly no
inconsistency; therefore, the answer to the question is "yes."
Claims of inconsistency generally originate with Christians who
advocate one of the following concepts:
(a) The "big-bang" theory cannot explain the bringing of
the universe into existence from nothing (ex nihilo)
because it requires the pre-existence of space, time
(b) Biblical genealogies can be used to construct
chronologies of personalities from Adam to Noah and
Noah to Abraham. Also, each creation day (yom),
described in Genesis, was 24 hours long. It follows
that Adam was created no more than six to ten thousand
years ago and the universe was created no more than 144
Concept (a) is scientifically unsound; concept (b) is
theologically unsound. Both concepts have served as needless
barriers to the acceptance of Christian beliefs. At no time has
either concept represented the thinking of mainline science or
mainline Judeo-Christian theology. (1,2)
THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE
Does the universe exist primarily to serve as a home for us?
This question cannot be answered with certainty. However,
considerable evidence can be amassed in support of a "yes"
answer. Consider the following facts.
Life is possible only because the universe has been expanding and
is continuing to expand at precisely the critical rate required
to avoid recollapse. If it had been expanding any faster,
regions which had developed slightly higher than average
densities would have continued to expand indefinitely and would
not have formed stars and galaxies. If the universe had been
expanding any slower, it would have recollapsed long before the
elements of life could have been generated in stars by
nucleosynthesis. The numerical value of expansion rate is called
the Hubble constant (H) and is approximately 15km/sec/million
Life is possible only because the gravitational constant (G), the
quantum of angular momentum (h), the speed of light (c) and the
elementary unit of electrical charge (e) have the precise values
required for the evolution of a very particular kind of universe.
This universe contains short-lived, metal scattering blue stars
and long-lived, evenly burning, slowly turning stars like the
Life is possible only because of the delicate balance between the
strong force that binds nuclei together and the enormous
repulsive force between protons.
Life is possible only because the electromagnetic coupling
constant and the ratio of electron mass (m) to proton mass (M)
are precisely what is required to allow the formation of chemical
Life is possible only because the weak-interaction coupling
constant has precisely the proper value. If it were slightly
smaller or larger, helium production would either be 100% or
zero. In one case there would be no water, in the other an
entirely variant stellar evolution.
Since H and c have precisely the proper values to permit life, it
follows that the characteristic length or "radius" of the
universe (c/H) could not be changed without precluding our
Since the universe is expanding at the critical rate to avoid
recollapse, its density must be equal to 3c^2H^2/8(pi)G. The
quantities c, H and G have precisely the correct values to permit
life; therefore, the density of the universe is exactly what is
required to permit our existence.
This list could be continued but it is already long enough to
justify a conclusion: not one of the fundamental properties of
the universe could be changed without eliminating the possibility
of life. Could this be what the Bible refers to when it says
God's eternal power and divine nature are clearly evident in the
things He has made (Rom 1:20)? Did a Supreme Being deliberately
create the universe in such a way that the slightest change in
any one of its properties would preclude our existence? The only
serious alternative offered, to date, is based on the idea that
not just one but rather an ensemble of universes exists; each
member of the ensemble is self-contained and unaffected by the
rest. In this ensemble of universes, only our universe and those
similar to ours contain living creatures. The rest are lifeless.
The ensemble concept makes our universe just one of many and
thereby avoids the need for us to occupy a special place. Aside
from the fact that no supporting evidence exists for the ensemble
concept, is it really more difficult to believe in God than in an
ensemble of universes? (3,4,5)
THE MORAL LAW
What is the origin of the moral law written on each of our
hearts? This question presupposes that you and I have identical
codes of conduct embedded deep in our subconscious minds; we can
try to suppress or ignore this code but it is there nonetheless.
This deeply embedded code of conduct is the little voice inside
which, for example, tells you not to:
-- steal from, double-cross or murder persons who treat you
-- abuse your children, elderly, sick or disabled.
-- admire selfishness
If you question the existence of this code of conduct or "moral
law," try to locate a stable society, anywhere in recorded
history, which espoused the three items listed above.
The origin of the moral law cannot be determined with certainty;
but, once again, the evidence points strongly in a particular
direction. Three origins have been suggested:
(1) The words "moral law" encompass certain types of behavior
which have developed in us by the process of biological
evolution. The details of this development process are
covered by such theories as "kinship" and "reciprocation"
and may even employ the principles of game theory. The
types of behavior classified as "moral law" accomplish no
purpose other than to enhance the survivability of the human
(2) The "moral law" is learned social behavior passed from
adults to children; collective human intelligence has
recognized that certain restrictions on social behavior
result in a more pleasant society for all.
(3) The "moral law" is really God's commandment to love your
neighbor as yourself (Mat 22:36-40). This commandment
embodies the sum total of the law given to us by God (Rom
13:8-10; Gal 5:14). To make sure no one missed the
instructions, he wrote his law on everyone's heart (Rom
Which of these explanations is consistent with the facts?
Consider, for a moment, the following groups of people in our
society; assume these people are institutionalized with no means
of support beyond public charity.
-- Elderly (with no relatives) suffering from severe
-- Orphan babies with AIDS
-- Orphan babies with Down's Syndrome
Preserving the lives of these individuals causes a drain on the
resources of society and in no way enhances the survivability of
the human race. Would you like to have them killed? If a little
voice inside you is saying, "These people need love and
compassion," that voice does not have biological evolution as its
origin. Mutation, genetic drift, migration and natural selection
cannot explain love.
Collective human intelligence has clearly recognized that certain
restrictions on social behavior result in a more pleasant society
for all; the existence of civil and criminal law reflect this
recognition. However, in your daily life, cheating would often
be more pleasurable than truthfulness. On those occasions when
you know you won't be caught, do you really refrain from cheating
because you know, in the long run, society will be a better place
for it? If so, you are an unusual person. Cultures which use
the "good of society" as a basis for morality are generally rife
with crookedness. If confronted with opportunities to:
-- keep $10,000 cash you found in a wallet on the sidewalk.
-- commit adultery while away from your spouse
-- conceal $15,000 of your income from the IRS
Would what's "good for society" be an important consideration
when making a decision? Is your innermost, secret character
based on learned social behavior about what's "good for society?"
There is no evidence to support such a premise.
This leaves God as the most likely source of that little voice
telling you right from wrong.
Did life arise spontaneously from non-living matter? This
question can be answered with certainty.
Every living creature contains at least one blueprint which
furnishes instructions for making all the creature's
biochemicals. This blueprint is a long chain of chemical units
called nucleotides. The chain is neither ordered nor random but
is, instead, complex; information is stored by means of a linear
sequence. In a living creature, a complex polynucleotide is
never constructed from nucleotide building blocks without the
assistance of another kind of chemical called an informed enzyme.
The informed enzyme is a long chain of chemical units called
amino acids. This chain is also complex and also stores
information by means of a linear sequence. In a living creature,
an informed enzyme is never constructed from amino acid building
blocks without a complex polynucleotide to provide the code.
Thus, we are faced with the catch-22 of life's origin. The
complex polynucleotide, which is the blueprint for all the
biochemicals of a living creature, cannot be constructed without
an informed enzyme; but the informed enzyme cannot be constructed
without a complex polynucleotide to code for it! If life
developed spontaneously in a primordial soup of nucleotides,
amino acids and nutrients, then either the first complex
polynucleotide or the first informed enzyme was formed purely by
random chance. The probability of such an event is virtually
By way of illustration, consider a racemic mixture of all 20 L-
amino acids and the corresponding 19 optical isomers. What is
the probability that these 39 different kinds of amino acids will
assemble themselves into a particular kind of primitive complex
amino acid chain called cytochrome-c? This particular chain has
101 amino acid sites. If each of the 39 types of amino acid has
the same probability of being incorporated into the chain, then
the number of sequences which can be formed is simply 39 raised
to the 101 power or 4.98E+160. Given a more than generous
estimate of the number of synonymous amino acid residues for each
site in the cytochrome c chain, the number of cytochrome c
sequences which can be formed has been estimated to be 12E+63.
Therefore, the probability of producing a cytochrome c chain by
random chance is 2.4E-97. If the primordial soup contained E+44
amino acid molecules (a gross overestimate) which combined,
broke-up, and recombined in groups of 101 every second for a
billion years, the probability of finding one molecule of
cytochrome-c during that period is (2.4E-97)(3.15E+58) or 7.56E-
39. This is the probability that a sequence of honest coin
tosses will produce 126 heads in a row. Keep in mind that
cytochrome-c is only a primitive protein which contains nowhere
near the information found in an informed enzyme.
The cytochrome-c illustration was based on the assumption that
amino acid chains were formed in a prebiotic soup by a specific
chemical process: random formation and destruction of full length
chains each second for a billion years. If the illustration had
been based on path independent thermodynamic concepts, the
computed probability would have been virtually the same.
The only way to achieve probabilities significantly larger than
zero is to assume that spontaneous generation of life did not
occur by random chance. In other words the chemical bonding
preferences of nucleotides or amino acids caused them to
spontaneously form complex sequences. Unfortunately for those
who would prefer to view first life as the inevitable consequence
of nature's laws at work over vast spans of time, the concept of
"directed chance" or "biochemical predestination" has neither
experimental nor theoretical support.
A conviction that complex amino acid or nucleotide chains
appeared spontaneously in the primitive milieu on earth is
clearly based more on faith than science. The scientific answer
to the question asked at the beginning of the chapter is "no."
Biological evolution presumably functions by mutation, genetic
drift, migration and natural selection. Natural selection is
supposed to operate through differential reproduction or
"survival-of-the-fittest." Is "survival-of-the-fittest" a
rational basis for the concept of biological evolution? This
question can be answered with certainty.
Consider the following two theses:
A = a creature is the most fit
B = the creature will, all things being equal (ceteris
paribus), live the longest and have the most offspring
The principle encompassed by the phrase "survival-of-the-
fittest" can be expressed using the sentence "if A then B."
In such a sentence, A and B may be different ways of stating
exactly the same idea. If so, the sentence "if A then B" is
called a tautology and is always true. Conversely, A and B may
express different ideas. In that case, the sentence "if A then
B" cannot be regarded as true unless the truth of B can be
independently established whenever the truth of A can be
If the particular sentence with which this chapter is concerned
is viewed as a tautology, then it is just as devoid of scientific
content as the sentence "if a man is married then the man is a
husband." Conversely, if A and B express different ideas, then
circumstances must be found such that the truth of A and the
truth of B can be independently tested before the truth of "if A
then B" can be evaluated. Herein lies the problem. The truth of
"a creature is the most fit" cannot be tested for any creature
under any circumstances because the overall "fitness" of the
creature can neither be measured nor computed. Since the truth
of A is untestable, it follows that the truth of "if A then B" is
likewise untestable. Therefore, the answer to the question
addressed in this chapter is "no."
Although deficiencies fatal to the theory of biochemical
evolution are gradually being recognized by the scientific
community, our inability to measure or compute the "fitness" of a
creature has not yet been viewed as fatal to the theory of
biological evolution. Investigators generally settle for
measuring small numbers of morphological, physiological or
behavioral "traits" and insinuate that, if all other aspects of
"fitness" are fixed, these traits alone will suffice.
Unfortunately, no theory is available which shows how the vast
majority of aspects may be fixed while a chosen few are free to
vary. A change in a single trait may alter 1000 aspects
important to the overall "fitness" of an organism. What sort of
interfering parameters might exist cannot even be imagined due to
the absence of a theory for reducing the organism to a calculable
If the concept of natural selection is clearly untestable, why
does the theory of biological evolution continue to dominate the
field of biology? Partly because the concept's untestability
makes it immune to falsification. Partly because the concept has
become integrated into the common working knowledge of the
biological community and has become the context within which that
community understands the world. Partly because the alternative
appears to involve God. (8)
BASIS OF CHRISTIAN BELIEFS
Are Christians supposed to think about the basis for their
beliefs? This question can be answered "yes" with certainty
because not every basis provides a suitable foundation for the
Beliefs are generally based on:
-- Blind faith in a learned person (authority figure)
-- Intuition or "feeling"
-- Personal experience
-- Thinking (logic, reason)
Which are acceptable; which are not?
If the dentist informs you that one of your fillings is cracked
and you allow him to replace it even though you don't have a
toothache, then your belief in his truthfulness is based on blind
faith in a learned person. In our complex technological society,
we must base some decisions on blind faith because we can't
become experts on everything. However, we don't generally use
blind faith as a basis for our beliefs if a mistake could be life
threatening or financially ruinous. When a false belief can have
grave consequences for ourselves or our loved ones, we may
consult available experts or "learned persons" but, ultimately,
we weigh the evidence ourselves and personally make a decision
about what is true or what represents the best course of action.
Consider, for a moment, the interesting possibility that you, as
a person, may continue to exist after the death of your physical
body. Consider the additional possibility that this existence
may be either meaningful or meaningless depending on what's in
your heart when you die. Given these premises, a false belief
about what should be in your heart will have grave consequences.
If you deal with this possibility like you deal with other
important issues, you will not blindly accept the opinion of a
learned person. You might consult a parent, teacher, pastor,
priest, rabbi, mulla or guru but, ultimately, you will personally
weigh the evidence and personally make a decision. Blind faith
in a learned person is not an acceptable basis for any religious
belief because the stakes are too high.
Intuition or "feeling" is equally unacceptable as a basis for
Christian beliefs because a very basic Christian belief is that
the human heart is too deceitful to be trusted (Ps 14:1; Prov
12:15, 14:12; Is 32:6; Jer 17:9). The Bible never encourages us
to trust our emotions. On the other hand, a personal experience
is quite acceptable as a basis for certain Christian beliefs
provided the experience is real and consistent with scripture.
What about "thinking?" Many people believe the Bible teaches us
to replace thinking with blind faith. If that were the case, the
Bible would be encouraging us to do something inconsistent with
our own common sense. In truth, the Bible encourages us, from
cover to cover, to think! The following examples will illustrate
Deut 18:21-22 - We are encouraged to use simple logic to
distinguish between a false prophet and a prophet
of God. "If a prophet makes one mistake then the
prophet is not getting his or her information
from God" or, what is the same thing, "If a
prophet is of God then the prophet always speaks
Is 1:18 ------- We are told God wants to reason with us.
Hos 4:6 ------- We are informed that we can be destroyed by lack
Luke 7:19-23 -- John the Baptist sends two of his followers to
Jesus with the following question, "Are you the
Expected One, or do we look for someone else?"
Instead of saying, "Yes, I am the one you have
awaited," Jesus performs miracles in full view of
John's followers. After a while, Jesus sends the
followers back to John with information obtained
by first hand observation. Jesus says for them
to tell John what they've seen so he can deduce
the answer for himself.
Rom 1:20 ------ We are invited to look carefully at each of the
things around us -- an incredible level of
information stored in the most primitive DNA, a
universe expanding at the critical rate to avoid
recollapse, abstract thought along with love in
the mind of man -- and try to explain these
things without invoking the existence of God.
1 Cor 14:20 --- Christians are advised to think like adults.
1 Thes 5:21 --- Christians are advised to carefully examine
1 Pet 3:15 ---- Christians are advised to always be ready to
defend their beliefs by providing a sound basis.
1 John 4:1-4 -- Christians are advised to test every prophet to
determine if he or she speaks for God.
Jude 3 -------- Christians are encouraged to contend earnestly
for the faith.
Clearly, the fundamental beliefs of Christianity should be based
on sound thinking supplemented by personal experience. Christian
beliefs should never be based on blind faith or intuition. What
about your beliefs? What exactly do you believe and why do you
PURITY OF NEW TESTAMENT TEXT
Are each of the known Greek manuscripts and manuscript fragments,
of a particular New Testament book, "pure" representations of a
unique autograph? This question cannot be answered with
certainty since no autographs have been found. However, the
available evidence supports a "yes" answer.
By 1968, the existence of 5358 Greek New Testament manuscripts
and manuscript fragments had been documented by scholars. Among
these, more than 200,000 variants have been detected. To put
this in perspective, the following facts should be considered:
-- If a single word is misspelled in 3000 manuscripts and
manuscript fragments, this single word is listed as the
cause of 3000 variants.
-- The more than 200,000 variants can be assigned to about
10,000 locations in the New Testament; serious
controversy exists concerning the legitimacy of words
found at approximately 400 of these locations.
Because the New Testament contains roughly 200,000 words and only
400 are the subject of serious controversy, it must be concluded
that the Greek New Testament text, derived from all 5358
manuscripts and manuscript fragments, is more than 99% "pure."
This compares with a 95% "purity" for the Iliad based on 643
manuscripts and a 90% "purity" for the Mahabharata (the national
epic of India). Even the Koran, which originated in the seventh
century A.D., suffered from a large collection of variants that
necessitated the Orthmanic revision.
The New Testament has not only survived in more manuscripts than
any other ancient writing but it has survived in a much "purer"
form than any other great book. In addition, it is interesting
to note that not one shred of Christian doctrine hangs on
The documented high degree of agreement, among the Greek
manuscripts and manuscript fragments of a particular New
Testament book, cannot logically be viewed as accidental. More
likely it implies that each manuscript and fragment reflects a
unique autograph as its ultimate source. (9)
ACCURACY OF NEW TESTAMENT TEXT
Did the New Testament autographs provide an accurate account of
what a man named Jesus said and did? This question will be
addressed with the help of a logic tree.
DID NOT DID
NEW TESTAMENT AUTO- NEW TESTAMENT AUTO-
GRAPHS PROVIDED GRAPHS PROVIDED
ACCURATE ACCOUNT OF INACCURATE ACCOUNT OF
WHAT JESUS SAID AND WHAT JESUS SAID AND
INACCURATE ACCOUNT OF INACCURATE ACCOUNT OF
JESUS WAS ACCIDENTAL. JESUS WAS DELIBERATE.
One and only one of the four statements located at branch tips
must be true.
(1) Jesus did not exist.
(2) The New Testament autographs provided an accurate account of
what a man named Jesus said and did.
(3) The New Testament autographs accidentally provided an
inaccurate account of what a man named Jesus said and did.
(4) The New Testament autographs deliberately provided an
inaccurate account of what a man named Jesus said and did.
The subsequent paragraphs of this chapter will examine the
likelihood that statements (1), (3) and (4) represent truth. The
falsity of these three statements and, therefore, the truth of
statement (2) cannot be established with certainty. However, so
much evidence can be amassed in support of this position that a
final step of faith is small and guided as opposed to large and
(1) JESUS DID NOT EXIST.
The existence of a man named Jesus was claimed by:
-- Josephus, the first century Jewish historian
-- Tacitus, the first century Roman historian
-- The first century authors of the Gnostic gospels
-- The first century authors of the New Testament
These four sets of authors did not share a common background,
philosophy or religion. Why would they independently invent or
perpetuate the invention of a fictitious character who would have
been a virtual contemporary for each of them? Furthermore, even
if one or more of them did invent such a character, why wasn't
the hoax unmasked by eye-witnesses; why didn't someone stand up
and say, "This man Jesus never existed"? I can't think of any
good reasons. Can you?
(3) THE NEW TESTAMENT AUTOGRAPHS ACCIDENTALLY PROVIDED AN
INACCURATE ACCOUNT OF WHAT A MAN NAMED JESUS SAID AND DID.
Consider the following:
-- The contents of the New Testament autographs must have
been completely consistent with the beliefs of the
Christian community at the time the autographs were
circulated. Otherwise, the autographs would have been
rejected just like the Gnostic gospels and other
"heretical" writings were rejected.
-- The New Testament autographs must have pre-dated the
oldest known manuscript fragments.
The oldest known manuscript fragments have been placed in the
early second century A.D. This most likely means the actual
Greek autographs were known to some portion of the Christian
community during the first century. Furthermore, the fact that
the autographs were accepted by their readers as statements of
truth means that those autographs accurately described the
beliefs of the Christian community at that time. How then, could
first century Christians, including those who wrote the
autographs, have developed, totally by accident, inaccurate
beliefs about what Jesus said and did when eye-witnesses were
available to challenge those beliefs. I can't think of a way.
Clearly, the idea that New Testament autographs accidentally
provided an inaccurate account of what a man named Jesus said and
did is viable only if the events in the life of Jesus had been
recorded long after the death of all eye-witnesses. For example,
if the events in His life had been handed down by word of mouth
until 300A.D. and then finally began to be written down in what
we now refer to as New Testament autographs, it is reasonable to
believe that what He said and did could have become distorted.
What was recorded would have been consistent with the beliefs of
the Christian community of 300A.D. but those beliefs would have
(4) THE NEW TESTAMENT AUTOGRAPHS DELIBERATELY PROVIDED AN
INACCURATE ACCOUNT OF WHAT A MAN NAMED JESUS SAID AND DID.
This means the New Testament autographs contained deliberate lies
set forth by certain individuals in the first century Christian
community. Since eye-witnesses were alive to challenge these
lies, the hoax could not have been perpetrated without the
"clout" of the disciples. The disciples must have been at least
willing conspirators if not the actual originators of the fraud.
Since individuals do not usually conspire to defraud without
anticipating some kind of gain, it is reasonable to ask, "What
did the disciples get for their trouble?" There is no record to
indicate they achieved wealth or political power. Instead, the
disciples, along with the rest of the first century Christians,
received persecution, torture and death as a reward for their
beliefs. Yet no disciple ever recanted his story. When, in
recorded history, have sane men ignored personal gain and freely
chosen persecution, torture and death to preserve what they knew
to be a lie?
If you can rationalize the idea that eleven men, and their
associates, risked their lives, with no hope of personal gain, to
promulgate what they knew to be a lie, then another question must
be asked. Why did anyone believe them? History confirms that
Christianity became a powerful evangelical force during the first
century. Were all the converts more gullible than you? Were
they so dumb they could be convinced without evidence that a poor
carpenter rose bodily from the dead after spending three days in
a tomb? If these converts were only of average intelligence,
they would have demanded something more than the claims of a rag-
tag bunch of amateur preachers. Surely they would have demanded
something like the personal word of a trusted friend who
witnessed a miracle or even saw the resurrected Jesus with his
Some autographs even offered bold challenges daring skeptics to
refute the lies (Acts 2:22; 26:24-28; 1 Cor 15:3-7). These
challenges were thrust in the face of Jew and Roman alike. Yet
no one stepped forth to unmask the hoax. Why?
Finally, if you and your associates decided to concoct a hoax,
focusing on a person claiming one-ness with God, would you agree
to the fabrication of details that made this person seem
susceptible to the same human frailties as you and I? If you
personally were going to play the part of a disciple in this
hoax, would you tolerate the fabrication of details that made you
look selfish and petty? Such details were incorporated into the
New Testament autographs:
-- Certain disciples argued about who among them should be
most important when Jesus acquired his kingdom
-- The disciples deserted Jesus after his arrest
-- After the arrest of Jesus, one of the disciples denied
even being acquainted with him (Mat 26:69-75).
-- Some people thought Jesus was crazy (John 10:20).
-- Jesus could not perform miracles in a certain geographic
location (Mark 6:1-5).
-- Jesus spent his early life uncertain about the nature of
his ministry (Luke 2:51-52; 3:23).
-- Jesus confessed ignorance about certain future events
-- Jesus had moments of bitterness (Mat 26:36-46).
-- Jesus uttered a cry of despair from the cross
If you were fabricating events for a text which you planned to
stuff down the throats of gullible people, would you include
these nine items?
I contend that statements (1), (3) and (4) on our logic tree must
be viewed as false based on all available evidence. Therefore,
the question asked at the beginning of this chapter can be
answered "yes" with near certainty. (10,11,12)
THE IDENTITY OF JESUS
Who was Jesus? Once again, the question cannot be answered with
certainty but so much evidence can be amassed in support of a
particular answer that a final step of faith is small and guided
as opposed to large and blind.
Let us begin by trying to find out who Jesus claimed to be.
Based on chapter VIII, "who he claimed to be" was accurately
recorded in the New Testament autographs. Based on chapter VII
we can learn the content of these autographs using the Greek text
derived from more than 5000 manuscripts and manuscript fragments.
Finally, if we consult a translation faithful to the Greek text,
we don't even need to learn Greek.
The fifth chapter of John tells us Jesus broke the fourth
commandment by healing a man on the Sabbath; He then encouraged
this man to likewise violate the Sabbath by telling him to pick
up his bed and carry it away. When confronted by the Jews, Jesus
said He was working because his Father was working. To the Jews,
this meant Jesus was making himself equal with God.
In the eighth chapter of John, Jesus claimed to have existed as a
person since before Abraham was born.
The tenth chapter of John indicates Jesus claimed to be one with
the Father; the Jews understood this to mean Jesus was making
himself out to be God.
When Jesus appeared to "doubting" Thomas, as recorded in the
twentieth chapter of John, Thomas addressed him as God; Jesus
accepted this greeting.
Jesus healed a paralytic in the second chapter of Mark but,
before the physical healing, He forgave the man's sins. Scribes
in the audience asked themselves, "Who can forgive sins but God
In the fourteenth chapter of Mark, the high priest asked Jesus if
He was the Son of God. Jesus replied, "I am."
These examples show who Jesus claimed to be; Jesus claimed to be
God! He was executed, not for any crime against man, but for
blasphemy. Was the claim of Jesus true or false? This question
will be addressed with the help of a logic tree.
JESUS' CLAIM TO JESUS' CLAIM TO
BE GOD WAS TRUE BE GOD WAS FALSE
JESUS REALIZED JESUS DIDN'T REALIZE
HIS CLAIM TO BE GOD HIS CLAIM TO BE GOD
WAS FALSE WAS FALSE
One and only one of the three statements located at branch tips
must be true.
(1) Jesus' claim to be God was true.
(2) Jesus realized his claim to be God was false.
(3) Jesus didn't realize his claim to be God was false.
The subsequent paragraphs of this chapter will examine the
likelihood that statements (2) and (3) represent truth. The
falsity of these two statements and, therefore, the truth of
statement (1) cannot be established with certainty. However, so
much evidence can be amassed in support of this position that a
final step of faith is small and guided as opposed to large and
(2) JESUS REALIZED HIS CLAIM TO BE GOD WAS FALSE
This means Jesus was a blasphemous, pernicious, hypocritical,
-- Blasphemous because His claim would have been an insult
-- Pernicious because He asked others to trust Him alone
for their eternal destiny.
-- Hypocritical because He told others to be honest
whatever the cost.
-- Foolish because it was His claim to be God that led to
If you believe the New Testament autographs provided an accurate
account of what Jesus said and did then you can study the
character of Jesus using a good translation of the derived Greek
text. In those pages, you will discover the most pure and noble
person in recorded history. How could a deceitful, selfish,
depraved man have flawlessly lived the life of a pure and noble
person? I don't know of a way. Do you?
(3) JESUS DIDN'T REALIZE HIS CLAIM TO BE GOD WAS FALSE
This means Jesus actually believed He was God even though He
really wasn't; in other words, Jesus was insane! I challenge you
to read chapters 5, 6 and 7 in the Book of Matthew and conclude
you have read the words of a madman. I challenge you to pick up
a red-letter addition of the New Testament, read all the
teachings attributed to Jesus and conclude you have read the
ravings of a lunatic.
I contend that statements (2) and (3) on our logic tree must be
viewed as false based on all available evidence. Therefore,
statement (1) can be viewed as true with near certainty. The
final step of faith required to believe that Jesus was God is
Notice our logic tree offers only three alternatives: (1) Lord,
(2) Liar and (3) Lunatic. One and only one of these three L's
was an accurate description of the man Jesus. What about that
other option selected by most people in the world today?
"Jesus was clearly a fine, articulate fellow offering lofty
principles, sound teaching and great leadership but, just
as clearly, Jesus was not God."
The fact that Jesus claimed to be God makes this belief
irrational. Neither a deceitful liar nor a crazy person can be
viewed as a great moral leader of men.
Finally, if Jesus' claim to be God was true when He walked the
earth 1960 years ago, then surely He is still God today. (12)
SOURCE OF THE BIBLE
Were the autographs, for the book referred to as the Christian
Bible, inspired by God? By Christian Bible we mean the 39 books
of the Old Testament (corresponding to the 24 books of the Jewish
Scriptures) and the 27 books of the New Testament.
The autographs for the 39 Old Testament books were written over a
period of approximately 1000 years by many different authors. If
what these documents taught was not inspired by God then
somewhere, among the high purity manuscripts existing in the
first century, we would have expected God incarnate to identify
at least one accidental or deliberate false teaching. Curiously,
Jesus viewed the manuscripts to which he had access as being
completely free of false teaching (Mat 5:18; 21:42; 22:29; Luke
24:44; John 5:39). The probability that the mere teachings of
fallible men could be judged inerrant by God must indeed be
small. Clearly, in the opinion of Jesus, the Old Testament
autographs were inspired by God.
What about the New Testament autographs? Jesus clearly implied
that the teachings of the disciples and their colleagues "would
be" inspired by God (Mat 28:18-20; John 14:26; Acts 9:15).
What you believe about scriptural inspiration is determined by
the importance you attach to the opinion of Jesus. If you
believe Jesus is God, then the answer to the question asked at
the beginning of this chapter is "yes."
If, after reading the previous ten chapters and studying the
indicated references, you view my logic as flawed then I would
appreciate an opportunity to examine your logic. I am not
interested in protecting unsound thinking even it's my own; I am
interested only in the truth. Please read no further but,
instead, commence immediately to formulate a basis for the
"correct" answers to the ten questions I have posed.
Conversely, if you accept my logic, please continue reading;
particularly if the first five chapters have shaken your trust in
the materialistic/humanistic answers to important questions and
the last five chapters have shaken your rejection of
Christianity. In the next few paragraphs I'm going to delineate
some important truths growing out of the beliefs that Jesus is
God and the Bible was inspired by God. These paragraphs are
directed at your heart since I am assuming your head has already
The one true God, existing as three eternal distinct persons,
created the universe as a home for man and then created a man and
a woman to live on the earth. God loved the man and woman and
wanted them to return that love. They chose to reject God and
desired to become gods themselves. Their disobedience ushered
them and all their descendants onto the path of sin. Humanity
has paid a great price for their decision: aging, disease,
suffering, hatred, despair, loneliness, war, jealousy, murder,
grief, death and, worst of all, separation from our creator. You
see, God is holy and cannot fellowship with sinful creatures like
you and I.
God was faced with a dilemma. On one hand sin was preventing Him
from fellowship with his creatures; on the other, God loved each
individual so much He could not bear the thought of separation.
But sin could not simply be overlooked; a price had to be paid
for every crime. Unfortunately, if you and I paid the price for
our own crimes, our souls would spend eternity in Hell. God
found the solution to this dilemma.
Two of the three persons who are God have a Father/Son
relationship. The Father sent the Son to earth to be incarnated
as a man. If this man could live a sinless life culminating in
execution for crimes He didn't commit, that punishment would pay
the price for every sin throughout the history of the human race.
This is exactly what transpired about 1960 years ago. Jesus paid
the price for the sins of every man and woman who ever lived.
But there's a catch. No one has been or will be simply handed
the gift of redemption automatically. The gift cannot be
received by you until your heart is right with God and getting
your heart right with God is very difficult. You can't do it by
joining a particular church, faithfully attending all church
activities, tithing, dedicating your life to Christian service,
becoming a pastor, living what you and your friends consider to
be a holy life, making life-risking sacrifices for Jesus or
exercising some spiritual gift. All these things are far too
easy. To get your heart right, you must make something like the
following statements to God and mean them to the depths of your
(1) God, I am a sinner. Perhaps I have not murdered children or
stolen from the poor but, to a holy God, my heart is black
as coal. I can never stand before You justified by my own
(2) I ask Your forgiveness for my sins.
(3) I believe You love me so much You chose to pay the price for
my sins; I can stand before You justified only because Jesus
Christ died on the cross for my redemption.
(4) I accept the gift of redemption and invite You to come into
my heart, become Lord of my life and lead me down the path
THINK ABOUT IT DEAR READER...THINK ABOUT IT.
1. Weisskopf, V.F., The Origin of the Universe, American
Scientist, September-October (1983) pp. 473-480.
2. Wiley, H.O., Christian Theology, Vol. 1, Beacon Hill Press of
Kansas City, (1940) pp. 455, 458.
3. Hawking, S.W., The Anisotropy of the Universe at Large Times,
Confrontation of Cosmological Theories with Observational
Data, M.S. Longair (ed.), Copyright 1974 by IAU, pp. 283-286.
4. Wheeler, J.A., The Universe as a Home for Man, American
Scientist, November-December (1974) pp. 683-691.
5. Neidhardt, W.J., The Anthropic Principle: A Religious
Response, J. American Sci. Affiliation, Vol. 36, No. 4,
December (1984) pp. 201-207.
6. Yockey, H.P., A Calculation of the Probability of Spontaneous
Biogenesis by Information Theory, J. Theor. Biol., Vol. 67
(1977) pp. 377-398.
7. Thaxton, C.B., Bradley, W.L. and Olsen, R.L., The Mystery of
Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories, Philosophical
Library, New York (1984).
8. Brady, R.H., Dogma and Doubt, Biol. J. Linnean Soc., Vol. 17
(1982) pp. 79-96.
9. Geisler, N.L. and Nix, W.E., From God to Us, Moody Press,
Chicago (1974) pp. 180-181.
10. Josephus, Complete Works, Antiquities of the Jews, Book 18,
Chapt. 3, Para. 3, Kregel Pub., Grand Rapids (1981).
11. Pagels, E., The Gnostic Gospels, Vintage Books, Random
House, New York (1981).
12. McDowell, J., More Than a Carpenter, Living Books, Tyndale
House, Wheaton (1977).
Index - Evolution or Creation1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | 60 | 61 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66 | 67 | 68 | 69 | 70 | 71 | 72 | 73 | 74 | 75 | 76 | 78 | 79 | 80 | 81 | 82 | 83 | 84 | 85 | 86 | 87 | 88 | 89 | 90 | 91 | 92 | 93 | 94 | 95 | 96 | 97 | 98 | 99 | 100 | 101 | 102 | 103 | 104 | 105 | 106 | 107 | 108 | 109 | 110 | 111 | 112 | 113 | 114 | 115 | 116 | 117 | 118 | 119 | 120 | 121 | 122 | 123 | 124 | 125 | 126 | 127 | 128 | 129 | 130 | 131 | 132 | 133 | 135 | 136 | 137 | 138 | 139 | 140 | 141 | 142 | 143 | 144 | 145 | 146 | 147 | 148 | 149 | 150 | 151 | 152 | 153 | 154 | 155 | 156 | 157 | 158 | 159 | 160 | 161 | 162 | 163 | 164 | 165 | 166 | 168 | 169 | 170 | 171 | 172 | 173 | 174 | 175 | 176 | 177 | 178 | 179 | 180 | 181 | 182 | 183 | 184 | 185 | 186 | 187 | 188 | 189 | 190 | 191 | 192 | 193 | 194 | 195 | 196 | 197 | 198 | 199 | 200 | 201 | 202 | 203 | 204 | 205 | 206 | 207 | 208 | 209 | 210 | 211 | 212 | 213 | 214 | 215 | 216 | 217 | 218 | 219 | 220 | 221 | 222 | 223 | 224 | 225 | 226 | 227 | 228 | 229 | 230 | 231