On The Road To Answers

1.6 billion [Christians] can be wrong. . . . My claim is simply that... rational people should give up these beliefs.

Michael Martin, atheist1

Today, it seems to me, there is no good reason for an intelligent person to embrace the illusion of atheism or agnosticism, to make the same intellectual mistakes I made. I wish ... I had known then what I know now.

Patrick Glynn, atheist-turned-Christian 2

A short time after the interview with Charles Templeon, my wife, Leslie, and I began driving back to Chicago, spending much of the way in an animated discussion about my enigmatic encounter with the former evangelist.

Frankly, I needed some time to process the experience. It had been an unusual interview, ranging all the way from the resolute rejection of God to an emotional desire to reconnect with the Jesus he used to worship.

"It sounds like you really like Templeton," Leslie remarked at one point.

The truth is that my heart went out to him. He hungers for faith; he conceded as much. As someone facing death, he has every incentive to want to believe in God. There's an undeniable pull toward Jesus that clearly comes from deep inside him. But then there are those formidable intellectual barriers that stand squarely in his path.

Like Templeton, I've always been someone who has grappled with questions. In my former role as legal affairs editor of the Chicago Tribune, I had been notorious for raising what I called "Yes, but" objections. Yes, I could see that the evidence in a trial was pointing toward a certain verdict, but what about that inconsistency, or this flaw, or that weak link? Yes, the prosecutor may have presented a convincing case for the defendant's guilt, but what about his alibi or the lack of fingerprints?

And the same was true of my personal investigation of Jesus. I started out as an atheist, utterly convinced that God didn't create people but that people created God in a pathetic effort to explain the unknown and temper their overpowering fear of death. My previous book, The Case for Christ, described my nearly two-year examination of the historical evidence that pointed me toward the verdict that God really exists and that Jesus actually is his unique Son. (For a summary of those findings, please see the Appendix.)

But that hadn't been enough by itself to completely settle the matter for me. There were still those nagging objections. Yes, I could see how the historical evidence for Jesus' resurrection can support a verdict that he's divine, but what about the flurry of problems that raises? I called these conundrums The Big Eight":

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