Many people are simply fascinated by the universe. NASA comes out with new scientific data or photos of the universe and it hits all the major headlines. Most recently, we got better views of Pluto than we ever had before and it was astonishing. Thanks to technology, we can see off into a galaxy far far away… But are we looking far enough?
Imagine the universe is a room in which a crime has taken place. Do we have evidence inside that room to point to a cause of the crime from outside that room? Are there clues inside which tells us that there was an intruder from outside the room?
The questions don’t stop there! We may gaze at the stars above and wonder: “Did the universe have a beginning?” “Is the universe really ‘fine-tuned’ for life?” “How and why did life begin?” “Does the universe show signs of intelligent design?” “If God exists, why is there evil in the world?”
I am pleased to say that there is a fantastic book which seeks to answer these questions. It’s called “God’s Crime Scene” and it will be released 28 August 2015 here in the UK (and earlier in North America).
I first got to know J. Warner Wallace when I was serving with Apologetics Canada. He is a cold-case homicide detective from Southern California who has appeared on Dateline, Fox News, and Court TV. Jim spoke at the annual Apologetics Canada Conference in 2012 and we became friends. He came to Canada and did a speaking tour with the release of his first book “Cold-Case Christianity” (which you should also read).
Jim is such an engaging speaker (which you should look up on youtube) and writer that Apologetics Canada had him come back to speak at the annual conference in 2013. This time, I was on stage with him playing a police officer and Jim was the detective. We were investigating the Bible the same way we would investigate a crime scene.
I support J. Warner Wallace’s new book “God’s Crime Scene” because I can vouch for the authors character. I know that he has a real passion to help people investigate the same evidence which drew him to Christianity from Atheism when he was a young police officer.
The thing I love about J. Warner Wallace’s books, blogs, talks, podcasts, etc. is the fact that he is rational, but relatable. The topic of the “intelligently designed universe” could seem overwhelming to many people who worry that they have to be an expert to understand the material.
Jim is not asking you to be the detective; that’s his job. He is asking you to be the jury.
He simply lays out the reasonable evidence for you (even using diagrams that he draws himself) and then draws the best possible inference from the evidence we have available to us. He draws upon his vast knowledge and experience in working cold-case homicides to present the material in a way that I’m sure you’ll love (as I did).
Evil & Suffering
It’s not all about the universe, however. He writes:
In desperate situations, many people consider life beyond the material universe for the very first time. Tragedy has a way of redirecting our thoughts and pointing us to a life beyond the limits of our present experience “inside the room.” If there is a loving, Divine Creator who has designed us for an existence beyond the grave, it might not be unreasonable for this Creator to use hardship to refocus those of us who haven’t been paying attention. When we come to see the end of ourselves, we often start looking for something (and someone) “outside the room.” Some forms of perceived evil may simply be evidence of a loving effort to point us in the right direction.
The Divine Intruder
The good news for us is that our universe has a Divine Intruder. J. Warner Wallace shows us that “as it turns out, the evidence for an outside intruder is compelling and the evidence supporting an inside cause (involving only matter and the laws of physics and chemistry) is insufficient. The evidence ‘inside the room’ points to someone ‘outside the room.'”
There is One who did not simply create the universe and then leave it to its own; rather, He entered into it. When evil & suffering is all around us we can know that Jesus entered into our evil world and suffered the death that we should have suffered (because of our sin). He is a real Divine Intruder in many ways… But, oh, how we need that.
J. Warner Wallace says this of the Divine Intruder:
That’s the problem with intruders: few people are comfortable with their existence. If you’ve ever been the victim of a burglary, you know how hard it is to get comfortable in your own home once it has been violated by an intruder.
For many of us who have lived successfully with a sense of autonomy and freedom, the idea of a Divine Intruder is equally uncomfortable. Who, after all, wants to be intruded upon? If you feel this way, you might want to rethink any resistance you still have to the evidence for such an intruder in our universe. Is your resistance a matter of evidential insufficiency or simply a matter of intruder discomfort?
One way to overcome your discomfort with the idea of a Divine Intruder is to rethink the nature of your home and the identity of the Intruder. I bet you never think of yourself as an intruder when you come home after a day at work or an afternoon running errands. At your house, you are the inhabitant, not the intruder. You can’t be an intruder in your own home.
The Divine Intruder we’ve described as the source for all the cosmological, biological, mental, and moral evidence in the universe is the Creator of our home. It’s His house and He’s still the primary owner and inhabitant. In our limited, self-focused view of reality, we’ve imagined this to be our universe, when in fact, it is His. We are His guests. We are the ones living in the universe God created, resisting the existence of our Creator (and landlord) and viewing Him as the intruder in our lives.
I highly recommend J. Warner Wallace’s book “God’s Crime Scene” to you so that you can see the evidence of the crime “inside the room” (the universe) being caused from “outside the room” (God).
No matter how much we dislike the idea of a Divine Intruder, if God created the universe (and entered into it to save us from our sin) then this is the best news you will ever hear. I am thankful for this book which shows us the best news and helps us answer the questions we may ponder the next time NASA comes out with some big news.
– Tyson Bradley