Greg Koukl • Stand to Reason

To celebrate Stand to Reason’s 30th anniversary, we’ll be republishing classic issues of Solid Ground that represent some of the foundational ideas characterizing our work over the decades—ideas that continue to be vital to apologetics and evangelism today.


Lately, I’ve been enjoying my nine-year-old Annabeth’s theological common sense. “Papa, why don’t atheists believe in God?” she asked.

“Well, for a number of reasons,” I said. “Partly because they can’t see him, so they don’t believe in him.”

“Can they see atoms?” she offered.

“Good point. But I think they’d say that doesn’t count since they can still detect atoms with scientific instruments, something they can’t do with God. They won’t believe in anything they can’t measure scientifically.”

“That is the weirdest thing that I’ve ever heard,” she concluded.

My fourth grader was on to something that more educated types seemed to have missed: Lots of things are real that cannot be detected by science. How did she know that? She didn’t go to grad school. Innocence often sees the obvious.

Annabeth’s insight was about the inadequacies of naturalism, modernism’s worldview conviction that reality consists completely of material particles in a physical universe governed by natural laws.

Naturalism is best summed up in Carl Sagan’s famous faith statement, “The cosmos is all that is, or ever was, or ever will be.” No God, no souls, no Heaven, no Hell, no miracles, no morality, no sin, no forgiveness, no transcendent purpose—just molecules in motion. It’s the worldview of virtually all atheists and the methodological philosophy governing all science.

Entire cultures have been subtly indoctrinated with this physicalistic view. Even many religious people have a naturalistic impulse in their day-to-day dealings with reality, relegating whatever spiritual “beliefs” they have to the shadowlands of “faith.”

Dealing with naturalism can be daunting, until we realize we have a powerful ally working in our favor: Reality is actually on our side...

Read More