Recently I was able to interview James Miller, author of the new apologetics book Hardwired.
Me: What moved you to write Hardwired?
James Miller: I have a real passion for students who grow up in the Church but who aren’t prepared to answer the tough questions that will come there way in college. My prayer is that Hardwired will help engage some of their deepest quandaries. I already have two agnostic friends who are reading it.
Me: You wrote, “No one has to convince you that you’re home”. I believe that this sums up Hardwired. Could you briefly explain this statement?
JM: There’s a feeling of resonance that we have when we know something is right. Philosophers call this a “properly basic belief.” No one has to prove to you that you’re sitting on a chair – you just know. I think the Holy Spirit has the power to convict us of the truth of the gospel, and while we can point to many rationale for why we know it’s true, in the end, we experience the sensibility of it.
Me: Hardwired makes it clear that no one is really neutral when it comes to belief. Why do you think so many try to get away with claiming to be agnostic?
JM: That’s the most pressing question Christians face today. It’s a large-scale deception. People find it easier to claim neutrality than to just come out and reject God, because they think neutrality will be a get-out-of-jail-free card in the end. That’s a pretty high stakes bet, I’m afraid.
Me: Hardwired departs from traditional apologetics by seeking to nourish the soul rather than the mind. How are the two separate?
JM: Hardwired attempts to address the fact that most of our important decisions and deepest convictions don’t come about because we collected enough facts. The deepest longings of the heart shape what we know, how we learn, and what we want to learn about. Hardwired tries to address the reasons we want to know about God, rather than just facts about God.
Me: Hardwired explains how Scriptures such as Romans 1 and Psalm 19 present natural theology. Could you explain the purpose of natural theology and to what extent it should be used?
JM: Natural theology shows us what we should know, or at least what we should be looking for, when it comes to God. It doesn’t give us enough knowledge to save us. That only comes about through Jesus by the power of the Spirit. But natural theology is enough to leave us “without excuse,” as Paul says, for claiming that we don’t know.
Me: Where can the readers of Truth Matters find out more information about you? Where can readers purchase Hardwired?