Stephen Hawking and the Fallacy of Elevated Thought

NASA StarChild image of Stephen Hawking.
Image via Wikipedia

I saw a tweet from Albert Mohler that referred to an article about Stephen Hawking in the UK Telegraph. In the article, Hawking’s latest book, The Grand Design, is cited. In it, he claims the following:

Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the Universe going. (emphasis mine)

While such opinions sadden me, they do not surprise me. When people are able to achieve success without a relationship with God or to seemingly explain away His existence, they are dubious as to why they need Him. After all, they are doing quite well without Him. In their view, He did not help them get to their level of acclaim.

Proverbs 1:7 states that The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge;  fools despise wisdom and instruction. So many reject God as irrelevant or nonexistent to their ultimate peril. Denying God does nothing to affect His power, nor to remove Him from His eternal throne.

Fortunately, it also does nothing to nullify His perfect love. He offers salvation to all through the shed blood of Jesus, including those who would deny His existence.

So, what do we do when sharing our faith with people who do not believe in the existence of God?

  1. Be patient. This could be the shortest conversation of your day, or one of the longest of your week.
  2. Don’t argue. Remember, believers in Christ have the Truth. Christians don’t need to PROVE anything.
  3. Be willing to say, “I don’t know.” Tell them when you don’t know the answer to a Biblical or philosophical question, and offer to get back to them with the answer (which is another opportunity to talk to them about it).
  4. Speak from personal experience. If someone doubts the existence of God, they may or may not hold His Word in high esteem. But they can’t deny something that happened to you personally. Tell them what Jesus has done in your life through the power of the Holy Spirit within you. That’s difficult to debate.
  5. Do all this in love. Love His detractors like He does.

The school year has begun, and, no doubt, a student you know has a teacher or professor that is confrontational in their treatment of the existence of God. Pray for those students within our sphere of influence. May they stand up for their faith, and use every opportunity to proclaim the truth of the Lordship of our God.

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3 thoughts on “Stephen Hawking and the Fallacy of Elevated Thought

  1. My first impression when I read the article on yahoo’s home page, was that I really needed to pray for Mr. Hawking–because he is obviously lost, and in need of a Savior. Then, I was shaken by the realization that there will be many naive, seeking individuals who will believe what he says because he is a brilliant scientist. That led me to the conviction to pray for those who will be misguided by his “theory”. May we all be challenged to combat the enemy’s scheme to use this to blind others to the TRUTH, and be more vigorous in our efforts to proclaim the Gospel!

  2. As a person who rejects god as non-existent and has had many a conversation about faith with believers I figured I would give a short critique of this list you have provided for your readers

    “1. Be patient”

    So far so good. You never made any friends by yelling at people and I can attest to the fact that Jon practices as he preaches on this one.

    “2. Don’t argue. Remember, believers in Christ have the Truth. Christians don’t need to PROVE anything.”

    This one might cause some problems. Generally, atheists tend to hold proof in pretty high regard. It is how we determine truth and if you don’t have any you are unlikely to make any progress. And we do love a good debate. So if you are not going to argue, do it for your own sake, not ours. And if you are going to argue, prepare to hear some things that might offend you (see #1)

    “3. Be willing to say, “I don’t know.” Tell them when you don’t know the answer to a Biblical or philosophical question, and offer to get back to them with the answer (which is another opportunity to talk to them about it).”

    No objection here. The fastest way to loose our respect is to pretend you know something that you do not. that goes for everything, not just religion. Knowing that you are ignorant on a subject is a sign of wisdom and admitting it is a sign of sincerity.

    “4.Speak from personal experience. If someone doubts the existence of God, they may or may not hold His Word in high esteem. But they can’t deny something that happened to you personally. Tell them what Jesus has done in your life through the power of the Holy Spirit within you. That’s difficult to debate.”

    Doing this wont bother a normal level headed atheist but don’t be offended or surprised if they aren’t impressed. We are not going to argue with you about what did or did not happen to you but again, we a sticklers for proof and anecdotes are notoriously deficient in that department.

    “5. Do this all in love”

    Amen to that. There is no better reason to do anything than love.

    The bottom line is if you are speaking with an atheist to try to convert them, you are pretty much wasting your breath. Chances are they are trying to convert you right back and probably wasting just as much breath doing it. Instead try to find some sort of common ground to build on. You probably have more in common with them than you think.

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