Regis Nicoll

Regis Nicoll is a retired nuclear engineer and a fellow of the Colson Center who writes commentary on faith and culture. He is the author of Why There Is a God: And Why It Matters.

recent articles

The Jesus Movement: From Bust to Boom

By all immediate measures, Jesus’s ministry was a total failure. But it wasn’t for lack of effort or commitment. At the prime of life, Jesus left his carpentry bench in Nazareth for the dusty roads of Palestine. For three years he promoted his brand, wowing crowds with miracles and captivating them with his teaching. On … Read more

He Is Risen! Evidence Beyond Reasonable Doubt

Some time ago, literary critic Stanley Fish observed that religion was “transgressing the boundary between private and public and demanding to be heard.” And that’s a dangerous thing because, as Mr. Fish sees it, religion is based on claims that are excluded from tests of “deliberative reason.” Take the resurrection of Jesus Christ. “The assertion … Read more

Was the Cross Really Necessary?

The cross. No doctrine is more central to the Christian faith and, yet, more of an offense to our human sensibilities. For the unbeliever, it represents everything that is wrong with Christianity. A wrathful God who must be appeased by the brutal murder of his own son is deserving of contempt not worship; any religion … Read more

The Day Stephen Hawking Unsettled His Atheist Peers

Just over a century ago, Albert Einstein rolled out his theory of General Relativity, a paradigm-shifting take on the nature of gravity and its relation to space and matter. Of the implications of his theory, one that has captivated the imagination of filmmakers and the scientistic hopes of researchers and laypersons alike, is the black … Read more

How Now Shall We Live?

From days of old, mankind has wrestled with the question of ethics. In ancient Israel, after fifty years of Babylonian captivity had all but erased God’s providence and law from memory, the Jewish community wondered aloud: “How now shall we live?” The very question presupposes a standard and a purpose. Even the early Greeks, influenced … Read more

Science Is Never Settled

In his 2006 documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore promotes the view that anthropogenic (man-made) global warming (AGW) is fact and has caused nearly every malady in recent history from hurricane Katrina to the spread of malaria. What’s more, things are going to get worse; it’s not a question of if but when and how … Read more

The Wonders of Things Unseen

In 1977, George Lucas struck box-office gold with the epic adventure Star Wars. Mystic luminaries, anthropomorphic androids, light sabers, and computerized special effects captured the imaginations of audiences young and old alike. But perhaps the most lasting impression on viewers was Obi-wan Kenobi’s Delphic disclosure: “The Force is what gives a Jedi his power… It surrounds … Read more

We Have a Better Story

There was a time when it was nigh impossible not to believe in God—not because of man’s irrational superstitions, as atheist popularizers tell it, but because of nature’s rational design. To early thinkers, the intelligibility of nature pointed to an ineluctable fact: a prime, non-contingent source of reality (i.e., the uncaused Cause, the One, Apeiron, … Read more

The Desecration of God’s Temple

The lamentable condition—indeed, crisis—of our day in which heterodoxy and heteropraxy are not only tolerated but celebrated in the pew and pulpit, as well as the public square, was foretold by Jesus in arguably the most startling announcement of his ministry. On the previous day, he had been received by the townspeople as the conquering … Read more

The Place Where Heaven and Earth Meet

One of the oddities of the Bible is how little it reveals about the life of Jesus. All we know of Jesus prior to age thirty are a few sketchy accounts by Matthew and Luke, with gospel writers Mark and John completely silent on his early life. While the omission has piqued the interest and … Read more

The Incarnation: What It Reveals about God and Us

The season of Advent prompts us to ponder anew the question Jesus put to his disciples two thousand years ago: “Who do you say that I am?” It is a haunting question because the possible answers are few. During Jesus’s life, he was accused of being a deluded babbler, knowing fraud, or demon-possessed lackey; acknowledged … Read more

Losing Our Identity

Dear Swillpit, Have you noticed how obsessed earthlings have become with protecting their personal information for fear of identity theft, oblivious to the fact that they’ve been losing their identity long before the digital age? There was a time when they accepted their humanness as something innate, immutable, and ennn-dowed. Ulckk! That word never fails … Read more

Are We Prepared to Tell God’s Story?

It seems peculiar that the gospel reading for the first Sunday of Advent centers not on Christ’s first coming, but his second. In all three liturgical years, the gospel passage is taken from the Olivet Discourse—Jesus’s lengthy response to the eschatological curiosities of the disciples. But maybe this is not as peculiar as it seems. … Read more

Hell Relishes a Useful Religion

Dear Swillpit, The next best thing to a religion that is ignored or marginalized is one that is found useful, i.e., a means to some practical end. Thus, the minute a creature is drawn into religion, help him to see its utility in something important to him. This something can be as personal as self-improvement … Read more

The Making of an Apostate

Dear Swillpit, It’s interesting how humans can go through life without giving much serious thought to their faith. Oh yes, they may believe in a supreme Being and an afterlife. They may be members of a church, even leaders or clergy. And they may have mouthed their allegiance to our Adversary. But beyond the sanctuary … Read more

UnChristian Equalities

Over the last few decades, “equality” arguments have successfully secured everything from the legalization of abortion, homosexual sodomy, and same-sex “marriage” to the dismantling of the biological basis of gender. Equality (of opportunity) is the cornerstone of the American justice system. The great social movements of our nation—abolition, emancipation, women’s suffrage, and civil rights—all owe … Read more

The Muddled Thinking of the Liberal Christian

A conversation I had with a family acquaintance typifies the fuzzy reasoning I often encounter with believers of a liberal bent. It began with a post I had written on a March for Life rally, commenting on the contrasting behaviors of the pro-choice and pro-life camps. Taking issue with my comparisons and conclusions, “Jane” engaged … Read more

My #MeToo Moment

If there is any positive outcome from the Ford-Kavanaugh hearing debacle, it is this: young people are now forewarned that their youth and immaturity will no longer be tolerated or excused—anything they say or do as a minor, even if isolated or out of temper with their moral character, can be used against them … … Read more

All You Need Is Love

Perhaps the hook to the Beatles 1967 hit, “All You Need Is Love,” conveyed more truth than the writers knew. We come into the world as helpless infants totally dependent on the love of our parents. Throughout childhood and adolescence parental love is essential to our physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. In adulthood we look … Read more

Modeling Manhood: From Homer to Paul

In Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey, a Greek war hero faces imposing challenges in his long journey home. After decimating the armies of Troy, King Odysseus sets out for Ithaca only to find himself wrestling against more formidable foes. For ten years the whims of gods and the winds of fate hinder his journey, while … Read more

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