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Science and God
Doubts about Darwinism
The Evidence of Cosmology
The Fine Tuning of the Universe
The Evidence of Biochemistry
The DNA and the Origin of Life
Science and God
I was convinced that science and faith were at odds—and that science definitely had the edge in the credibility department ... And rather than facing an "unyielding despair" that's implicit in a world without God, I reveled in my newly achieved freedom from God's moral strictures. For me, living without God meant living 100 percent for myself. Freed from someday being held accountable for my actions, I felt unleashed to pursue personal happiness and pleasure at all costs ... As a journalist, I was unshackled to compete without always having to abide by those pesky rules of ethics and morality. I would let nothing, and certainly nobody, stand between me and my ambitions.
Lee Strobel, The Case for a Creator
If possible, read the following book content in preparation for your group meeting: The Case for a Creator, chapter 4: Where Science Meets Faith, or The Case for a Creator Student Edition, chapter 1: Science vs. God? Otherwise, read it as follow-up.
Video Teaching Segment
Space is provided to take notes on anything that stands out to you.
1. How much confidence do you put in science as a source of truth? How did you develop the level of trust (or lack thereof) you currently have?
2. To what degree do you believe that only science is rational and everything else is mere opinion, superstition, or mindless faith?
3. Has scientific progress made God unnecessary? Why or why not?
4. To what extent do you think it is possible to prove—or disprove—the existence of God? In terms of your own investigation, what level of evidence (or proof) would be sufficient for you to believe or disbelieve the existence of God? How likely is it that there would ever be enough evidence to eliminate your doubts (one way or the other)? What are the implications of your answers?
5. If science is, in fact, the search for truth, should scientists be free to consider the possibility of the supernatural if the evidence of cosmology, physics, and biochemistry points in that direction? Why or why not?
6. Is it possible to believe in science and also believe in God? Can faith in God ever be rational? Why or why not?
7. Which of the following "isms" most accurately reflects your current position? What influences or factors prompted you to arrive at this perspective? How long have you held this position?
Agnosticism: the belief that knowledge of the existence or nonexistence of God is impossible
Atheism: the disbelief in the existence of God
Deism: the belief in a supreme being who remains unknowable and untouchable and permits the universe to run itself according to natural laws
Fideism: the belief that matters of religion are not supported by evidence or reason and all that is required is faith
Pantheism: the belief that God and the universe are one
Polytheism: the belief in many gods
Theism: the belief in the existence of God
8. Are science and faith at odds? Can science and faith ever be compatible? Must a science-minded person reject religious beliefs? Explain your answers.
9. To what extent can we separate ourselves from our own biases? How much do our religious or atheistic preconceived notions and worldview taint the conclusions we draw? How might your current view of God—positive or negative—affect the way you assess the scientific evidence for his existence?
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
1. Do you gravitate toward or away from scientific inquiry? What about religious inquiry? How curious are you about God?
2. Carefully meditate on the above verses from Jeremiah and just imagine these are God's words to you personally. What is your response? Are you skeptical? Bemused? Cynical? Or do you feel a spark of hope that this concept might be real? Try this exercise: Suspend your disbelief, just for a moment, and consider the possibility that God is real, that he cares about you, and that he invites you to seek and find him. How does this possibility impact you?
3. Now reread the promise made to you in the last sentence of the Jeremiah passage. What if God is real and keeps all his promises? Notice, though, that the promise is conditional—you must do your part. How willing are you to seek truth sincerely with your whole heart and to follow the evidence wherever it leads? What might hold you back from such an open-minded search?
4. Jesus once had a conversation with one of his followers who admitted to him, "Lord, I believe, now help me with my unbelief!" Can you relate in any way to this man's honest and heartfelt plea? How surprising is it to you to discover that the Bible identifies many people who faced doubts about God, and yet he answered them? You can rest assured that God welcomes your objections, questions, and doubts—and that he even invites you to come to him with your unbelief!
Please read the following book content in preparation for session two:
The Case for a Creator, chapter 2: The Images of Evolution
The Case for a Creator, chapter 3: Doubts about Darwinism
Or, The Case for a Creator Student Edition, chapter 3: Exploring Evolution
Excerpted from The Case for a Creator Study Guide Revised Edition by Lee Strobel, Garry Poole. Copyright © 2013 Lee Strobel and Garry Poole. Excerpted by permission of ZONDERVAN.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Session 1 Science and Godz.................... 7
Session 2 Doubts about Darwinism.................... 21
Session 3 The Evidence of Cosmology.................... 37
Session 4 The Fine-tuning of the Universe.................... 51
Session 5 The Evidence of Biochemistry.................... 63
Session 6 DNA and the Origin of Life.................... 75
Small Group Leader Helps.................... 89