John Zmirak writes about his experience attending the Discovery Institute’s recent Science and Faith Conference in this article on The Stream, and I loved his description of what happened when he heard Stephen Meyer speak on the topic of his upcoming book, The Return of the God Hypothesis: Compelling Scientific Evidence for the Existence of God.
I suspect that many apologists had a moment like this that started it all for them:
At some point during this talk, I felt a gear turn in my head. Then a shudder went through the whole Rube Goldberg, sending all the mismatched parts of my mind into frantic motion.
What if God is real? Not real as in “something we hope for, and have decided to be confident about, thanks to Pascal's Bet.” Or as in “a friend whom we trust to go on being a friend.” Or “the best explanation for a series of mysteries, including certain apparent religious experiences.” Or even “an argument whose truth we feel certain of.”
No. Real as the light by which you’re reading this. As certain as the smash of a plate you drop on the floor. Reliable not as in “socialism reliably produces poverty and shortages” but as in “if you stick your hand in a fire, it will hurt.” Inexorable and majestic, impossible to escape. Not the wisp of hope you feel for a happy outcome when your airplane hits some turbulence, but the vertigo which you feel looking down on the Grand Canyon, which seems somehow to be sucking you in.
For me, this moment came when I first read Mere Christianity—an incredible sense of surprise, awe, and curiosity as I first felt the weight of the idea that Christianity is really real. That started me down a path of asking questions, comparing, evaluating, and thinking, that eventually led to God completely reorienting my life around Himself. This is the joy of apologetics—it leads to Someone who is not only real but also worth knowing.