Mathematician, physicist, inventor, and philosopher Blaise Pascal once noted that God has provided evidence sufficiently clear to convince people with open hearts and minds, yet sufficiently vague so as not to compel people with closed hearts and minds. But popular biases and misrepresentations, and today’s frustrating evils, can create doubts even in “open hearts and minds” — including the minds of honest skeptics, who believe truth exists, seek truth, and are willing (or at least willing to be willing) to embrace truth when they find it.
I, as a former honest skeptic, have written this meaty, phone-friendly-page, 100%-free PDF* to help other strugglers faced with tough questions and misleading claims and presuppositions. It hopefully builds a few bridges over honest skeptics’ intellectual roadblocks and strengthens non-skeptics’ confidence.
A primary-content overview follows.
Challenges “no evidence for God” assertions with 45 samples of evidence, some of which are quite strong without being technically ‘scientific’ — a narrowly-applicable validity criterion, as I subsequently argue forcefully in the THINKING FURTHER section. Easily digestible and prospectively helpful both to skeptics and to non-skeptics, you’ll find value in this section even if it’s the only one you read.
‘Miracles impossible?’ presents before-and-after medical evidence — including extensive analyses in one case — for three prayer-associated healings that clearly can’t be attributed to coincidence and that no EVER-conceivable psychosomatic or biologically-natural mechanism can explain:
- Length-regeneration of an almost-destroyed small intestine — naturally-impossible, per my independent consultations with two gastroenterologists, one with special expertise in ‘short-bowel syndrome’.
- Dramatic and sudden (seconds or minutes) restoration of sight in a man with severe central vision loss — naturally-irreversible, both per my own research and — more importantly — per my independent consultation with a retina specialist who looked at the medical records.
- An encounter that almost-fully reversed a woman's years-long “…permanently and totally disabled…” status in minutes — unambiguous per multiple doctors’ before and soon-after assessments.
For these three cases I present relevant before-and-after medical data, including photos of original records in two cases. Two of these healings, and likely the third, occurred far faster than even the fastest natural cell-renewal rates — for which I provide a table of data. This chapter also relates two additional naturally-impossible healings, for which I have no hard medical documentation but which come from trustworthy men — one a personal friend.
‘Who transformed these lives?’ relates 14 cases of positive and quite-dramatic character and behavioral changes associated with turning to the BIBLICAL Christ.
‘Muslims encounter Christ, accept all risks; why?’ relates 10 examples of a revolution over the last two decades, in which thousands of Muslims have experienced dreams and visions of Christ, turned to him, and experienced changed lives — changes that almost inevitably costs them damaged family and community relationships…and sometimes much worse.
‘Unusual means meet unusual ministry needs?’ samples 5 examples of providence in tough ministry situations.
‘Help from…?’ discusses 6 examples of rescuers suddenly appearing in critical situations and, following the crises, just-as-suddenly disappearing.
‘Personal experiences’ briefly recounts my own apparent encounters with providence.
This large ‘thought-food’ section scientifically, logically, statistically, and historically challenges some frequently-held presuppositions and addresses a few big questions.
‘God?’ addresses the following questions — emphasizing the oft-neglected UNITY of truth:
- Can we legitimately reject evidence that’s not ‘scientific’?
- MUST the Big Bang initiation have been purely material?
- Do multiverse speculations nullify the theistic significance of the universe’s widely-accepted fine tuning for life?
- Have mostly weak-minded, un-scientific people believed in God generally and Christ specifically?
- Is theism truly incompatible with science?
‘Supernatural = superstition?’ addresses the following related questions:
- Are miracles illogical and in VIOLATION of nature, as famous-skeptic Hume claimed?
- Is belief in the supernatural irrational?
- Are apparent ancient references to 20th-century-discovered scientific concepts irrelevant?
- Might unseen realities (reflecting physicists’ extra-dimensions proposals) fit a few ‘naturally impossible’ claims in scripture?
’Mythical foundations?’ addresses some anti-biblical claims:
- Do logical analyses justify claims that that “the Bible is full of contradictions.”
- Does known evidence justify claims that the New Testament is mostly myth?
- Does known evidence justify claims that the New Testament is textually unreliable?
- Can we trust anti-reliability innuendos from authors like Bart Ehrman and Dan Brown?
‘God? Then why this mess?!’ proposes a framework that sheds light on — and considers ultimate resolution of — issues of human existence, evil, suffering, and destiny.
‘Christ? Why?’ first challenges rejections of objective truth and denials that any belief system is true or most true. It then presents why I think GENUINE Christianity is true or most-true.
‘Talking to the wind?’ argues for the evidence-based rationality of prayer.
Challenges purely-materialistic and deterministic presumptions about the nature, behaviors, and destinies of us as behaviorally-modern humans.
‘Just animals?’ challenges assumptions that we’re just highly-evolved, highly-advanced animals. Famous paleoanthropologist Richard Leaky — a guy with no theological axe to grind — referred to the Upper Paleolithic era (~50,000 years ago) as "...the 'Big Bang' of human culture, exhibiting more innovation than in the previous six million years of human evolution." This chapter lists some of those suddenly-appearing innovations, discusses other characteristics unique to behaviorally-modern humans, and argues — with evidence — for the cognitive uniqueness of human free will.
‘Just stuff?’ addresses the substance of humanity. Does material 'star stuff' totally define us — or are we MUCH more than the sum of our material parts? Based on the current state of neuroscience, claims that mind is just brain are at best grossly premature...and arguably false, based on abundant evidence for situations in which life-saving warnings and other contingent thoughts MUST have originated silently OUTSIDE of the brain. (Nine examples provided.) This chapter also briefly discusses evidence suggesting post-mortem 'us' beyond our brains.
* No Kindle or Epub versions. Sorry. This book’s many multi-level lists, its extensive special formatting, and its extensive navigational aids (hundreds of hyperlinked cross-references and Internet links) are substantially incompatible with Kindle or Epub.