On what basis is something considered good or evil, right or wrong?” asks my colleague Mark Mittelberg in The Questions Christians Hope No One Will Ask. “And where did this basis come from? Did it start with the Big Bang? I can just imagine it: billions of years ago . . . a massive explosion . . . galaxies emerging from the fiery blast. And then, out of the gaseous flames, ‘Thou shalt act altruistically; thou shalt be kind to the underprivileged; thou shalt love thine enemies; thou shalt not steal; and—oh yes—thou shalt maintain a moderately small carbon footprint’ (all in perfect King James English, of course).
“No one really believes that moral values emerge out of physical explosions. So where did they come from? Atheists are hard-pressed to provide an answer for the existence of objective moral values.”
Dr. William Lane Craig elaborates: “Objective moral values are valid and binding independently of whether anyone believes in them or not. For example, to label the Holocaust objectively wrong is to say it was wrong even though the Nazis thought it was right. Now, if God does not exist, then moral values are not objective in this way.”
“We know that murder and rape and bigotry and racism are wrong—really, objectively wrong—regardless of traditions, customs, or preferences,” Mittelberg continues. “But where did we get this knowledge—this intrinsic sense of right and wrong? If we didn’t invent it, if it transcends the realms of culture and politics, if it’s something we can’t get away from, then what is its source? Could it be that a Moral Lawgiver actually knit those moral standards, along with the ability to understand and operate by them, into the very fabric of what it means to be human?”
I think that’s exactly what it means, and it’s a powerful reminder that there is a good God—one worth following wholeheartedly.
The requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.