Ironically, perhaps the world’s best known Christian and the world’s most famous atheist died within a few weeks of one another. Evangelist Billy Graham died February 21, at the age of 99, and theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking died on March 14, at the age of 76.
Graham’s mission in life was to tell as many people as he could about the existence of God and to promote the truth that each person must repent of his/her sin and trust in Jesus Christ in order to receive eternal life.
According to his official website: “Professor Stephen Hawking worked on the basic laws which govern the universe.” Hawking was a genius in the areas of mathematics and science. He was also an atheist. In reading some of Hawking’s statements about God, however, he didn’t seem to be particularly hostile to religious people, he just thought it was akin to believing in Santa Claus. In fact, some of what Hawking said sounded more like skeptical deism than atheism, but nonetheless, he did describe himself as an atheist.
A few weeks ago I tried reading Hawking’s international bestseller, A Brief History of Time, but I quickly found I am not smart enough to understand much of it. When you start talking about “general relativity” and “quantum mechanics,” my brain tells me it will not do this for me. It’s like my brain knows how much it’s capable of comprehending and advanced science is not welcome on Tim’s island. But the book has sold 10 million copies, so evidently, a lot of people understood it. What I could gather seemed rather fascinating in the sense that here was a man with a mind that was so far and above the average person’s intellect. I think it’s fair to say Hawking tried to explain the cosmos without the consideration of a Creator.
It’s interesting because the word “cosmos” means: “An orderly harmonious systematic universe.” This begs the question: If something as complex as the universe is in “order” and “systematic,” would it not be logical to think that there is an intelligent mind behind it? That doesn’t seem like a leap of faith to me, pardon the pun. By the way, the opposite of “cosmos” is “chaos.”
Albert Einstein, like Hawking, was a theoretical physicist and known for being one of the smartest men to ever live. He could be best described as an agnostic. That is to say, he believed that God may exist, but did not believe God was a “personal” God who cares for people. But even Einstein wrote: “Everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that some spirit is manifest in the law of the universe, one that is vastly superior to man. In this way, the pursuit of science leads to a religious feeling of a special sort...”
Back to Billy Graham. Whether you believe in Christianity or not, there is no denying that Graham was one of the top 10 most influential people of the 20th century. I’ve surveyed thousands of Christians, baby boomers mostly, and by far the number one reason that they decided to follow Jesus Christ was due to hearing the sermons of Billy Graham. In fact, my own dad went forward at the Memphis crusade on June 3, 1951. Graham proclaimed what the Bible says in Genesis, which reads: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
The advancement of science has explained a lot about our world and the universe and will continue to do so. And Christianity does not reject science altogether, despite what some claim in an effort to make the faith seem superstitious and its followers mindless.
My dad used to say that it takes more faith to believe in atheistic evolution than to believe in a Creator. There is simply too much order, sophistication, and design in just the human eye alone to believe it developed from random chance. I don’t care how many millions of years you give it.
But most importantly, science has no answer for the human soul which Jesus said lives forever. The Bible does. If you have doubts about God caring for every one of us, I encourage you to read the gospel of John and ask the Lord to open your eyes to truth.