By James Bishop| *Views expressed in the testimony provided are expressive of the individual’s own beliefs and reasoning, and are not necessarily held by James Bishop or Reasons for Jesus.
Today Dr. Ralph Muncaster, a former atheist and “hardcore Bible skeptic” who allegedly spent many years trying to refute biblical claims, is a speaker and teacher (1). He has been featured on numerous American radio and television programs of the likes of The New Harvest Show, At Home Live!, His Place, Celebration and It’s A New Day. Notably, he has also engaged in dialogue with a Muslim mosque in Orange County about the reliability of the Bible, and has also addressed NASA scientists at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
Muncaster is an Adjunct Professor at Vanguard University of Southern California where he teaches business, communications, and religion classes. He has been actively involved within Christian apologetics for a long time, and teaches apologetics at Saddleback Valley Community Church in southern California.
As a child Muncaster soon begun questioning the stories in Bible while he was attending Sunday school, and by the age of nine he fell into agnosticism (2). Much later, at university, where he was pursuing an engineering degree, he says that he not only argued against belief in the Christian God and Christianity but that he also went on to examine several non-biblical philosophies and religions such as Hare Krishna, the New Age movement, Islam, atheistic-naturalism and others.
He found the general Christian’s lack of awareness of the reasons for their faith to be massively unsettling, and no wonder he expressed his amazement at just “how many churches, pastors, and others were ill-equipped to defend the Bible.” It is also evident that at that time Muncaster fell for the doctrine of evolutionism which he probably equated with the scientific theory of evolution, hence why he found evolutionary theory to conflict with God’s existence (elsewhere I examine the differences between evolutionary theory and evolutionism).
He felt that on evolutionary theory, God could not be seen to be a personal, a discovery he felt couldn’t be squared with the personal God of Christianity. Thus, he spends much time in his book attempting to disprove naturalistic evolution (3). He doesn’t, however, engage the arguments presented by theistic evolutionists, those who see no incompatibility between God and evolutionary theory.
Muncaster says that the major turning point that took him away from his skepticism came after a lunch he had with some other advertising executives. He remembers entering into a conversation about God with a fellow attendee by the name of Bob. At the end of their conversation, Bob encouraged Muncaster to look into the Bible and its accuracy. Muncaster accepted Bob’s proposal believing that it wouldn’t be at all challenging to disprove the Bible and Christianity.
However, to Muncaster’s surprise, the further he examined the Bible the more he found compelling evidence supporting the biblical claims. A number of lines of such evidence impressed him. Particularly impressive was the prophetic accuracy of the Bible and the “statistically impossible” odds of those prophecies being fulfilled over time.
He came to the conclusion that the biblical texts held information within them that could not have been known at the time in which they were written without some sort of divine intervention; in other words, it is inexplicable how the authors would have known of some future event other than if God revealed it them them prior to the events occurring.
He was also impressed by the scientific and historical accuracy & consistency with the Bible. When it came to the truth of the Bible and the evidence for God’s existence, he argued that both would have to be proved “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Such proof could be either soft or hard, depending on the number and quality of eyewitness testimony, enemy attestation and testimony, corroborative reports, and circumstantial evidence. Muncaster goes through many lines of what he deems to be good evidence for the truth of the Christian religion.
In his book, A Skeptic’s Search for God (2002), he examines the general reliability of the biblical texts, attestation to Jesus Christ and biblical events in other extra-biblical historical sources, archaeological evidence affirming the Bible, other alleged prophetic figures, the prophecy found within the New Testament, the expectation of a messiah, and so on. He also includes some dialogues he had with atheists in which he examines their arguments and reasoning.
At the end of the book, Muncaster compiles all the strands of evidence, and concludes that life could not possibly have come about by random chance (as naturalism says), that the fulfilled prophecy points not only to God’s existence but the inspiration of the Bible, and that the historical evidence is compelling enough to affirm the deity and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He has also penned an informative assessment shared on CBN on the historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus (4).
If readers wish to examine Muncaster’s views in greater detail be sure to engage some of his publications: What Really Happens When You Die? (2000), Does the Bible Predict the Future? (2000), A Skeptic’s Search for God (2002), Examine the Evidence: Exploring the case for Christianity (2004), and 101 Reasons You Can Believe: Why the Christian Faith Makes Sense (2004).
1. Faith for Today. Available.
2. A Skeptic’s Search for God. Available.
3. Statistical Impossibility of Evolution | Origins with Ralph Muncaster. Available.
4. Muncaster, R. Did the Resurrection Really Happen? Available.
This article was originally featured on the website of James Bishop and was republished with permission.