Professor Ross McKenzie

Ross_mainpic

Some reasons why I believe the Gospel of Jesus is true

Hi, my name is Ross McKenzie and I’m a Christian.  I’m also a Professor of physics and I have a lot of fun doing research on condensed matter.

There are two ideas that the media often promote.  One is that science can explain everything and the second is that science has done away with God.  As a scientist I’m troubled by both.  Because of this I’ve agreed to explain ‘why I believe’ through this Outreach Media poster and web campaign.

The gospel
So what do I believe?  I believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  That he lived on earth, taught and died for our sins, reconciling us to God.  I believe Jesus rose from the dead, and that he is coming again to judge the world.

I’m convinced there are good, rational reasons to believe in this gospel.

Below are some of the main reasons.  Each of these reasons may not be particularly persuasive to you on its own.  However, when combined, I find them particularly compelling.

1. The historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus. Why did the disciples change from confused cowards to confident evangelists willing to die for their faith? To me the best explanation is that Jesus actually did rise from the dead and the disciples witnessed this.

2. The Bible answers some hard questions such as ‘why science works’.  The Bible describes the nature of humanity and knowledge in ways that make sense to a scientist. The Bible addresses the perplexing question, ‘why does science work?’  The simple answer is that the universe was created by a God who delights in order and truth.  And wonderfully, God made humans in his image with the ability to understand this ordered, material world.

3. The Bible is impressive literature.  Although written over many centuries by an eclectic set of authors the literature of the Bible is beautiful, rich and complex.  In fact, its complexity is subtle and challenging.  It’s certainly no less challenging than trying to understand condensed matter physics.  Studying the Bible has expanded my scope of thinking.  Importantly, it presents a coherent and satisfying explanation of the world that rings true.

4. The Bible is remarkably accessible, transcending different time periods and cultures.  The Bible is as accessible today as it was 1000 or 2000 years ago.  This is remarkable given that life today is so different from Jesus’s time.  Some changes are obvious like massive scientific and technological advances or political and philosophical changes but others are harder to understand such as the impact and value of education or changes in culture for example music, literature and film.  Yet in every culture or age, the Bible speaks eloquently to human nature and need.  Jesus has always been and always will be relevant.

5. Human guilt and the desire for forgiveness for wrongdoing seem to be universal.  The central event of Christianity, Jesus’s death on the cross and subsequent resurrection, is a payment for sin and guilt.  It turns out that sin and guilt are problems that all humans have struggled with and continue to struggle with.  So, this most important need that Jesus speaks to is not strange to our ears.  And Jesus offers this forgiveness once and for all. Those who accept this free gift of forgiveness are transformed.

6. Jesus transforms lives in every age, culture and background.  It is impressive that people with diverse backgrounds of nationality, ethnicity, education, wealth, social status and language have had and continue to have their lives transformed by believing in the Gospel of Jesus.  People who turn to Christ stop living for themselves and they start living for Jesus and others.

7. Jesus transforms societies as well as individuals.  The Christian gospel has transformed whole communities.  The universal message of hope and salvation has overcome caste and racial divisions.  It has driven the scientific revolution, the abolition of slavery, started hospitals and literacy programs.  Even the idea of the modern university that I work in comes from the Christian desire to know God’s world.

8. The Gospel is the best option for my questions and doubts.  You may be reassured to hear that I don’t think I have all the answers but still wrestle with many doubts and questions.  For example, the problem of suffering and evil is a tough question. Yet the alternatives to believing the Gospel (atheism, postmodernism, religious liberalism, other religions…) are less compelling and raise even greater intellectual problems and questions for me.

Conclusion
As a scientist I strive to go with the best available theory that is most consistent with the available evidence. When it comes to life, ultimate truth, and God, I would say the Gospel of Jesus is the best “theory” I can find.  So it’s “rational” for me to believe the Gospel is true.

I don’t think science will ever answer every question.  That’s because some questions are beyond physics.  They’re ‘metaphysical’.  I certainly don’t think science can reveal God to me.  But you can get to know God as you read about Jesus in the bible.

I’d encourage you to be a good scientist and read the data you find in the Bible and see for yourself.

Sharing your life with Jesus

It’s important that a decision to become a Christian is an informed decision. However, if you already know lots about the Christian faith then don’t procrastinate! God wants you to begin your life afresh and the sooner the better.

But if you do need to know more then this site is a good place to get an overview of what the Bible says about being Christian.

Two Ways To Live

And you can always read the Bible online. A good place to start is by reading the Gospel of Luke.

A good prayer to start off

Dear God,

I know that I am not worthy to be accepted by you.
I don’t deserve your gift of eternal life.
I am guilty of rebelling against you and ignoring you.
I need forgiveness.

Thank you for sending your son to die for me that I may be forgiven.
Thank you that he rose from the dead to give new life.

Please forgive me and change me, that I may live with Jesus as my ruler.

Amen