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I remain respectful of atheism, believing that I have much to learn from it and the concerns that it expresses.
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My concerns about atheism, however, are by no means limited to my love for the natural world.
As a professor of historical theology, part of my academic life involves studying the question of how culture impacts religious (and anti-religious) beliefs.
But the rise of postmodernity has unseated this settled assumption.
Atheism now seems a little old-fashioned, the establishment position of a previous generation.
I have no idea where this trend will take us, but certainly it seems to take us away from atheism.
After all, one God is one more assumption than no God at all-and a very important assumption at that.
Yet, as physicist Richard Feynman pointed out many years ago, conceptual economy is no guarantor of theoretical correctness.
How, some people might reasonably ask, can I argue for such a productive and helpful convergence when some scientists argue that atheism is the only legitimate outcome of the proper application of the scientific method?
And isn't atheism actually more economic in terms of its concepts?Their highly contentious argument rests on decidedly shaky logical, philosophical, and evidential grounds; far from being an intellectual superhighway to atheism, it gets stalled at agnosticism, and is moved beyond that point by an aggressive use of rhetoric alone.It is quite clear that the natural sciences can be interpreted as supportive of faith or hostile to faith, depending on your agenda.In the words of another academic from Belfast who found faith at Oxford University: "I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen-not only because I see it, but because by it, I see everything else." C. Lewis conceives God in a manner that illuminates the great riddles and enigmas of life, including how and why it is that we can make sense of the universe at all.