“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have”(1 Peter 3:15).
The Apostle Peter has been called “a thundering paradox of a man”. Although a prominent player in the early church, he wrote only 2 short epistles in our New Testament.
Peter’s purpose in writing these epistles is explicit: “ I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking” (2 Peter 3:1). And he wrote to support Christ-followers who found themselves in conflict with their culture.
The Apostle encouraged them – not to apologize for their faith – but rather to make an apologia (Greek for giving an answer or making a defence) whenever they were asked about their hope in Christ.
And the New Testament church exploded in growth, partly due to the missionary work of Peter, Paul and others; but also due to everyday Christians courageously speaking into their culture one conversation at a time, explaining the life-transforming power of the Cross of Christ.
We are called – in this sense – to also be apologists.
God’s people have always recognized that the design, beauty, functionality, predictability of creation, together with discoverability and intelligibility of the laws of nature point to the Grand Designer/ Engineer/Builder.
But in the last 40 years, scientists have discovered more deeply that physics precariously balances life on a razor’s edge. And that’s not what would be expected if our world was the result of an accidental, non-directed, unguided, purposeless process.
Life-preventing conditions would be infinitely more likely than conditions that are life-permitting.
However, the stunning discovery is that the conditions of our universe have been set with meticulous precision, finely tuned with an exactness that defies human comprehension. The careful calibration of physical constants (like the distance of earth from the sun, the strength of gravity, the energy density of empty space, the rotation speed of the globe) provides “by far the most persuasive current argument for the existence of God.”*
Hence this observation: “The universe is unlikely. Very unlikely. Deeply, shockingly unlikely.”**
Takeaway: Even in a northern-Ontario winter, can I revel in the design, beauty and functionality of God’s creation, as He expresses Himself in what He has made? Can I echo the Apostle Paul: “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” (Romans 1:20)?
*The Case for a Creator, Lee Strobel (in conversation with Dr. Robin Collins), Zondervan 2004.
**Discover Magazine, November 2002.