by Nancy Pearcey
"The key passage is the first chapter of Romans. Because the apostle Paul was writing to a congregation that had not heard him speak before, he presents the Christian message in a comprehensive way suitable for an audience hearing it for the first time.
In fact, we can think of Romans 1 as Paul’s apologetics training manual. It provides effective tools for making sense of worldviews from ancient times to our own day....
Where does Paul begin his training manual? His first major point is that all people—everywhere and at all times—have access to evidence for God’s existence. How? Through the created order: “the things that have been made.” This is called general revelation because it is evidence for God that is accessible to anyone, including those who do not have the written Scripture (which is called special revelation). As the psalmist writes, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge” (Ps. 19:1–2).
Let’s begin with the verses where Paul explains the concept of general revelation: We all have access to evidence for God through creation. Romans 1:19—What can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Romans 1:20—His invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.
Paul’s claim is that both physical nature and human nature give evidence for the Creator. “The whole creation of God preaches,” as Jonathan Edwards put it. How does physical nature give evidence for God? Because the existence of the universe cannot be explained as a product of natural causes alone. This is as true for us as it was for Paul’s first-century readers.
Let’s run through a quick survey of some of the most relevant areas of scientific research: the origin of the universe and the origin of life. The origin of the universe has given rise to a puzzle known as the fine-tuning problem. The fundamental physical constants of the universe are exquisitely balanced, as though on a knife’s edge, to sustain life.
Things like the force of gravity, the strong nuclear force, the weak nuclear force, the electromagnetic force, the ratio of the mass of the proton and the electron, and many other factors have just the right value needed to make life possible. If any of these critical numbers were changed even slightly, the universe could not sustain any form of life.
For example, if the strength of gravity were smaller or larger than its current value by only one part in 1060 (1 followed by 60 zeros), the universe would be uninhabitable. Cosmologists call this the Goldilocks dilemma: Why are these numerical values so precisely calibrated that they are not too high, not too low, but just right to support life?
A New York Times article says, “These mysterious numbers … are like the knobs on God’s control console, and they seem almost miraculously tuned to allow life.” What makes the fine-tuning problem so puzzling is that there is no physical cause to explain it. “Nothing in all of physics explains why its fundamental principles should conform themselves so precisely to life’s requirement,” says astronomer George Greenstein.
Indeed, they interact in an intricately coordinated way to fulfill a goal or purpose—which is the hallmark of design. As physicist Paul Davies says, “It’s almost as if a Grand Designer had it all figured out.”
Source: Finding Truth: 5 Principles for Unmasking Atheism, Secularism, and Other God Substitutes by Nancy Pearcey