The Case for a Creator

Random, undirected evolution is incompatible with Christianity, says a well-known evangelical author.

Lee Strobel was the legal editor of the Chicago Tribune and a spiritual skeptic until 1981, when he became an evangelical Christian. He went on to write 11 books, including the best-selling The Case for Christ and The Case for Faith. His latest, The Case for a Creator, takes readers along on his investigation into how the world began. After interviewing dozens of scientists , Strobel concludes that the latest evidence points to God as the creator of the universe.

Beliefnet senior editor Deborah Caldwell recently interviewed Strobel about his findings.

Why do people often say you can't you be Christian and believe in evolution?

It depends on how you define evolution. If you define evolution as merely meaning change over time, then I don't see any problem with a person being a Christian and believing in evolution. But that's not how textbooks define evolution. They define evolution as being random and undirected without plan or purpose. So how can God direct an undirected process? How can there be a divine purpose behind a purposeless and random world? That didn't make sense to me as I began to investigate this stuff. The kind of evolutionary theory being taught to students precludes the idea that there is a God or intelligent designer behind it because of the logical problem of saying that God could have directed a process that's undirected, or that he had a divine purpose behind a purposeless and random world.


You tell the story in the book of your first encounter with evolution and how that influenced your becoming an atheist.

I could take you right back to the exact spot I was in 1966. I was 14 years old. I was a freshman at Prospect High School in suburban Chicago. I was on the third floor, northwest corner of the building, second row from the window, third seat from the back when I heard the evidence that for the first time plunged me into atheism. My teacher told us about a 1953 experiment by Stanley Miller at the University of Chicago, in which he recreated the early atmosphere of the earth and shot electrical sparks through it to stimulate lightning and after a period of time, found the collection of a red goo containing amino acids. And amino acids, of course, are the building blocks of life. They make up proteins, which make up all living things. It was a "Eureka!" moment. I said, "Wait a minute, God is out of a job. If life could have come about purely by naturalistic means I have no need to believe in him anymore." And I began to consider myself an atheist.

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Interview by Deborah Caldwell
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