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Outdated.  Unscientific.  Anti-intellectual.  This is one of the most consistent themes in surveys that ask young adults why they’ve abandoned their Christian faith.  Modern science, they say, makes the Christian worldview look like a relic of the past, an unenlightened, archaic mythology.  Modern science, they say, makes Christians look like naïve simpletons who must base their faith on a blind leap, irrational emotional experience, or intuition that defies reason—an “I believe because I know Jesus in my heart” kind of thing.  Modern science, they say, makes it impossible for any intelligent, scientifically-minded person to believe in Christianity.

G.K. Chesterton, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkien are three of modern Great Britain’s top literary geniuses.  Often referred to as the “prince of paradox”, Chesterton was one of the greatest writers of the Twentieth Century.  C.S. Lewis was a brilliant scholar of ancient literature and a prolific writer himself who is perhaps best known for The Chronicles of Narnia.  J.R.R. Tolkien, of course, was the author of the wildly popular The Lord of the Rings. 

Whatever else people think of them, no one would deny that Chesterton, Lewis, and Tolkien are towering intellectuals.  Yet, each one was a devout Christian.  All three wrote about their faith and how it influenced their work.  Chesterton and Lewis wrote extensively—numerous books—about the rationality behind their faith and, indeed, are known by many throughout the world for this alone.

Francis Collins is one of the top scientists of our time.  Director of the National Institute of Health, he served as the Head of the Human Genome Project and is renowned for his cutting-edge study of DNA.  Collins also happens to be an evangelical Christian whose scientific pursuits, as he explains in his book The Language of God, have only led him to a deeper and deeper faith in Christ.

Michael Guillen is a theoretical physicist who taught at Harvard.  He is the host of the History Channel’s Where Did It Come From? and, for fourteen years he was the science correspondent at ABC news where he won awards for his work on World News Tonight, 20/20, and Good Morning America.  He, too, is a Christian.  In fact, he even wrote a book called Can a Smart Person Believe in God?, passionately arguing that one definitely can!

If I had time, I could continue with many more examples.  But from this small sampling, it’s obvious that some of world’s leading intellectuals and scientists believe in Christ.  They don’t believe despite their scientific and intellectual pursuits, but because of them; because they find the Christian worldview most aligned with them.

Even one of the most formidable atheists of our time admits that a smart person can believe.  Retired NYU Professor Thomas Nagel is regarded as one of the top contemporary philosophers.  In his book The Last Word, he’s lamented: “I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers.”  (Thomas Nagel, The Last Word, New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1997, p. 130) 

Let me be clear: this doesn’t prove Christianity is true.  Or that it is an intellectually superior worldview—although many, including those cited above, would argue that it is. 

However, it does show that the one thing that can’t be said about Christianity is that it is anti-intellectual or unscientific.  Some Christians might be.  But Christianity isn’t.  It’s not like science and faith in Christ, or intelligence and faith in Christ, are completely incompatible.  It’s not like unbelievers have science and reason on their side and are therefore somehow more enlightened and intelligent. 

Christianity has just as much science and reason behind it, if not more!

Do you find Christianity outdated?  Why or why not?  You can share your thoughts with me by going to the “Contact E.J.” page of the Raising Jesus website.  I’d love to hear from you!  If you haven’t had a chance yet, please “Like” the Raising Jesus Facebook page and subscribe to our YouTube channel.  All of your continued support has meant so much to me!

About Me

E.J. Sweeney is a true skeptic. He needs to see to believe. Hard Evidence. Compelling Proof. Solid Logic. This is what he believes in. In college, he encountered questions that the superficial faith he was raised on couldn’t handle. So he began a quest for Truth, a quest for the answers to life’s ultimate questions.

EJ Sweeney

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