“Hey, so I understand you go to church and all that stuff…”
“Do you really believe that there is a God who created the universe?”
“How do you reconcile all your years of studying science and medicine with your faith?”
These were the blunt question, and sometimes these are the conversations in the operating room (when the situation permits).
My colleague is a bright physician of Jewish descend who sometimes attends synagogue for social reasons because deep down he does not believe in God. So we proceeded to discuss creationism vs. evolution. I went to the heart of the matter showing him problems in the theory of evolution, particularly relating to speciation. We discussed the Big Bang, and I pointed out problems there including the concept of the expanding and contracting universe necessary for the Big Bang theory; also how the issue of time complicated the matter. After all, the Big Bang does not explain how the universe came to be, it merely places the problem into a different context.
As a naturalist, his only comeback was that science has not yet figured it out.
After a while the Holy Spirit made me realize that this is not the way to handle an apology for the Christian faith.
Next I went to the real heart of the matter.
Because in that name there is power.
As a Jewish man, he was well acquainted with the Davidic kingdom. It was a perfect opportunity to ask him how would he explain the Messianic prophecy of Psalm 22 coming true in the Person of Jesus Christ. Here we have David under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit writing one of the most specific prophecies about Christ which came true 1000 years later when Christ was crucified.
“He trusts in the LORD,” they say, “let the LORD rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.” (Ps 22:8)
Evangelists Matthew accounts this exact accusation at the cross by the priests and scribes:
“He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him” (Matt 27:43)
Again in Psalm 22:
“All my bones are on display; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.” (Ps 22:17-18)
Apostle John accounts this exact detail at the cross:
“When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” (John 19:23-24)
I presented this prophecy to my friend including the historical account of its fulfillment. There was no concept of crucifixion at the time of David, no concept of casting lots of for the victims clothing by the ones crucifying the victim. I asked him, how do you explain such accurate description of the passion of Jesus Christ as the Messiah written by David 1000 years before it happened?
He was at least somewhat impressed by this outrageous information. He promised to go home and read the Scripture I quoted.
May the Holy Spirit continue his work here.