We all come into this world much like a blank slate, and we begin to write the things we experience and are taught upon the chalkboard of our lives. The way we think and behave, our internal belief systems and outlook on life are conditioned by the drawings on the chalkboard. Since part of what is drawn there is what we believe, it is imperative that we stop and consider why we believe it.
This is the one and only life we have; therefore we owe it to ourselves to challenge our biases and to consider the deep questions about who we are, why we are here, and what our lives mean. These are the questions we must ask ourselves about the meaning and purpose of our existence.
In this book, Dan Gallagher addresses some of the deep questions many people have when considering whether or not to follow Jesus. He addresses the three most common reasons why people reject the concept of God (or gods), which are: Science, Evolution, and Evil. He also looks into the Christian narrative concerning the existence of God, the condition of mankind, and the possibility of immortality, and shows that there are valuable arguments that one should consider before flat-out rejecting belief in the supernatural or a Higher Power.
This book, while not an exhaustive work, looks closely at the many factors involved as one explores a belief in the Divine. It gives attention to the various perspectives and worldviews commonly held today, and how they each attempt to explain the world around us from its creation to what we witness in our daily lives; and ultimately, it gives a solid argument for why the reader should consider Jesus.
Part One - The Case for the Divine
Chapter One: Religion or Jesus?
Jesus didn’t come to start a new religion
Some things Jesus did and didn’t say
Chapter Two: Having a Meaningful Life
We need our lives to matter
Two viewpoints about the physical world
The Naturalist position
The Deist position
Life and death—and life beyond death
Eternity in the hearts
Chapter Three: Worldviews: We all have one…what’s yours?
Your worldview is your window to the world
Our worldviews shift and change
Fords, Chevrolets, and worldviews
Worldviews and the deeper questions of life
Our worldview has real consequences
Seeking the best explanation
The Natural worldview
The Supernatural worldview
We need to look at the whole picture, not just a part
Let’s examine the evidence
Chapter Four: God and Science
Why do we believe science and religion are opposed?
Must science and religion be opposed to each other?
Must science and religion be in conflict with each other?
Does it follow that a scientifically minded person has to avoid religious beliefs?
Is there a different way to view the relationship between the spiritual and the scientific?
Is there any scientific evidence that points toward, or away from, the existence of God?
A finely tuned world
Does the Big Bang really explain things adequately?
The Big Bang leads us to God
Naturalism doesn’t seem to have all the answers
Chapter Five: God and Evolution
What is Darwinian Evolution?
Adaptation is not evolution
Icons of Evolution
The Stanley Miller Experiment
Tree of Life diagram
Ernst Haeckel’s drawings
Missing link picture
There is nothing simple about a “simple cell”
Evolution cannot allow for irreducible complexity
Chapter Six: God and Evil
What is evil?
God and evil appear to be a paradox
God cannot contradict His nature
The Natural worldview and evil
The Supernatural worldview and evil
Is God really “all-powerful”?
Why does evil exist?
Love requires a choice
There is a cosmic war between good and evil
Shouldn’t God have foreseen the evil and done something to prevent it?
Part Two – The Case for Immortality
Chapter Seven: God loves you and He wants a personal relationship with you
Man is lost because he fails to know God
The God of Christianity
How can we know God?
The physical world reveals God
God reveals Himself though communication
God’s word and deeds indicate that He is a loving Being
God intimately knows each of us, and wants us to know Him
God’s love for each of us knows no limits
God loves us and He wants us to live with Him forever
Chapter Eight: Man—Separated from God
What was the agreement between God and Adam?
There was a condition
The consequences of disobedience
Thorns, thistles, and death
One of the greatest disasters was death
Man was separated from God
Being good isn’t good enough
God has a plan