Is the Big Bang a Faithful and True Account?

Martin Luther and his 95 theses in front of a depiction of the Big Bang

Today we will apply the advice of apologist Sean McDowell. McDowell, son of “Evidence that Demands a Verdict” apologist Josh McDowell and an author[1] and college professor in his own right, suggests:

With his PhD and years of experience, starting no doubt as a child at the foot of his apologist father, many Christians turn to McDowell for advice on witnessing. And what he provides above is solid advice. So here’s the question: is using the Big Bang as a witnessing tool to back up the Biblical account being faithful to Christ? Let me answer as Jesus often did: with a question. Would you use the details of the back story of Superman to support the miraculous powers of Jesus? Such a story (a work of fiction I would remind you) might go something like this: Continue Reading

The Moral Argument – Revealer of Hypocrites

In the book of Daniel, we find one of the less frequently referenced titles of God. It’s just before the turn of the sixth century B.C. King Nebuchadnezzar who will soon to besiege and capture Jerusalem, has already captured the leading families in the southern kingdom of Judah and  carried away anyone with potential to Babylon. After the death of his father Nabopolassar, Nebuchadnezzar has decided to clean house of fake wisemen and astrologers. His method of discerning who’s fake? He’s had a disturbing dream and has  decided that unless his “magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers” (Dan 2.2) can both tell him the dream and explain it, their fate is sealed. The king had firmly decided  he would “…have you cut into pieces and your houses turned into piles of rubble.” (Dan 2.5) if they could not both reveal the dream and interpret it.

It is in this context that the prophet Daniel, then a young man who had been carried off to Babylon with the other promising young future leaders, made known a rarely referenced, but often experienced (though not necessarily recognized) work of God: that God is the “revealer of mysteries.” (Dan 2.29 NIV;  KJV uses “secrets.”) God proceeds to reveal to Daniel both  Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and the meaning, thus saving his life along with his friends and the other wise men.

God revealed truth that Nebuchadnezzar knew to be true. He dare not deny it. And to his credit he didn’t. The Moral Argument likewise reveals truth that all who are confronted by it know to be true. But unlike Nebuchadnezzar, those unwilling to acknowledge the existence of God are not as forthcoming. They will recognize the truth, but will refuse to verbally acknowledge it. Instead, they try to hide the obvious by suggesting a  number of common but ineffective excuses as to why the Moral Argument doesn’t prove God exists, or impose moral obligations. The excuses are ineffective because just as God is the revealer of mysteries, the Moral argument is the revealer of hypocrites and it exposes those who deny it. Continue Reading

Are Biblical accounts copied from pagan religions? Part 2. The Resurrection

Depiction of the empty tomb of Jesus

Depiction of the empty tomb of Jesus

Since the original sin in the garden of Eden, mankind has searched for reasons not to believe God so he could live a life independent of God. In the garden, the serpent convinced Eve not to trust God. Why? Supposedly because God was holding back the knowledge of good and evil to the detriment of Adam and Eve. The serpent suggested God was wrong f0r withholding that knowledge, but that if they were to discover the truth, they would be “like God”. (Gen 3.5) That was a big lie. God was indeed withholding the knowledge of evil, but he was not wrong in doing so because he knew that (experiential) knowledge of evil (like disobeying God) would lead to death.  And the biggest irony is – they were already like God (Gen 1.26),  there was nothing to be gained from what the serpent offered.

Today there is another lie circulating to destroy belief in God: The claim that the biblical accounts are not history, but rather stories borrowed or stolen and then adapted from the made up stories of pagan religions. If there’s no reason to believe the pagan religions, then there’s no reason to believe a made up story based on it either. Continue Reading

Should Christians believe in a multiverse? 7 Reasons Against

The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
2 Cor 4.2

Non-believers will likely consider the above scripture irrelevant and unpersuasive and will ponder the wisdom of starting an article on the multiverse with a verse of scripture. In so doing they will have confirmed the scripture (blind to spiritual truths) while setting up my two points: First – this is not merely a discussion of physics – but of metaphysics. (Metaphysics being those things that lie beyond the realm of observable physical reality and so strictly speaking, are beyond the realm of the questions that physics can answer.) Second, not only is the multiverse “pure metaphysics”[1] as Christian apologist William Lane Craig puts it, but many scientists seem blind to the fact that they are engaging in metaphysics – not physics – when proposing the multiverse as a “scientific” answer to a number of the problems their theories have. They have fallen into the same error that  philosopher of science and apologist John Lennox chides theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking for: engaging in metaphysics while failing to recognize he is doing so.[2]

Truth in advertising

Having identified multiverse theories as claims that deal with the metaphysical, we can make the following observations: Continue Reading

AD Apologetics – Part 2: Jesus’ Triumphant Resurrection

A light shines during the resurrection of Jesus while Guards at the tomb are unaware.

A light shines during the resurrection of Jesus while Guards at the tomb are unaware. (AD The Bible Continues)

The series “AD – The Bible Continues” presents a strong case for the resurrection of Jesus.

In  part 1, Jesus’ death and the empty Tomb, the uniqueness of Christianity was examined through  a consideration of the following questions:

Why believe in Christianity?
What makes Christianity different from any other religion?
Why not believe in other religions?
What makes Jesus different from the founder of other religions?
How do you know Christianity is true?
Why should I believe in Jesus?

The answer to all those questions is resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead – it is the answer to each question, and what makes Christianity unique. Furthermore, Christianity is the only religion which provides hope for us mortal men and women through a savior who has demonstrated mastery over death by himself rising from the dead. And that savior offers the same resurrection to all who believe in him.

That claim – resurrection from the dead –  is so startling, so bold, so beyond common experience that some people refuse to even consider it as a possibility. Such doubt has been expressed by the well known liberal scholar,  the late Rudolph Bultmann who in his disbelief writes,

Continue Reading

AD Apologetics – Part 1: Jesus’ death and the Empty Tomb

Mary Magdalene at the empty tomb

Mary Magdalene discovers the empty tomb (John 20.1) in “AD – The Bible Continues” episode 2 “The Body is Gone”

The series “AD – The Bible Continues” presents many strong evidences of why the resurrection of Jesus is true.

Why believe in Christianity?
What makes Christianity different from any other religion?
Why not believe in other religions?
What makes Jesus different from the founder of other religions?
How do you know Christianity is true?
Why should I believe in Jesus?


The answer to these an many other question about the authenticity of the Christian faith is the same.  That which:

 – distinguishes Jesus and Christianity from any other religion,
– validates that Christianity is true, and
– proves that Jesus is the son of God

 is the same fact: the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
The resurrection of Jesus is the most important doctrine of the Christian faith

No other religion has a founder who has proved he is the Lord of Life by showing mastery over death by being raised from the dead. This is precisely the point scripture makes when it proclaims:

…who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.  (Rom 1.4)

The resurrection of Jesus is the most important doctrine of the Christian faith, because without the resurrection there is no point to the Christian faith, and indeed no  faith at all. Or as the apostle Paul put it:

And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.

And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.
1 Cor 15.14, 17

It is no wonder then that of all the doctrines that critics, liberal scholars and those who wish to destroy Christianity could take aim at,  the one they choose to attack early, often and most viciously is the teaching that Jesus Christ rose physically from the dead, after having being put to death on a Roman cross and entombed. Continue Reading

The Problem of Evil – proof that God exists

The Fall of Lucifer - Antonio María Esquivel y Suárez de Urbina, 1840
The Fall of Lucifer
Antonio María Esquivel y Suárez de Urbina, 1840
Paradoxically, the problem of evil is proof that God exists.

On Friday, December 14th, 2012 a gunman who shall remain unnamed so as to deny him any further fame, entered the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton Connecticut, and shot and killed 20 students and 6 adults. Before driving to the school for the rampage he had killed his mother, and when finally confronted, he killed himself bringing the death toll to 28. In a news conference that same day, Gov. Dannel Malloy summed it up succinctly: “Evil visited this community today”. 

This article is being written, as it turns out, on the 20th anniversary1 of the Oklahoma City Bombing on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building which killed 168 people and caused 680 nonfatal injuries. Additionally it caused an estimated $652 million in damages.

These are but a couple of drops in a sea of evil that in one way or another touches the lives of every single human being that lives and has ever lived. This curse upon humanity is paradoxically an affirmation of the truth of God for Christians, while for those unwilling to believe,  it becomes a reason (in their mind) why they shouldn’t believe God exists. Why is it that people can look at the same evidence and come to diametrically opposed conclusions? How can consideration of a single issue – in this case the existence of evil – result in such radically different reactions and beliefs from people? One might ask the same questions of a phenomenon at the other extreme of the moral continuum – miracles.

When you get right down to it, atheists do not believe the core tenets of atheisms and evolution... Why do miracles cause some to believe, while others only see in them only something to either scoff at or be angry at; or to make accusations that people are being “misled”?  In both cases (reactions to the problem of evil and the reaction to miracles) the root cause is the same: an unwillingness to acknowledge God as Lord who will bring all created things under his control and under his judgment.

The mere  thought of God as Lord manifests itself for many as statements of unbelief.  As particles in the atmosphere are the core around which moisture coalesces to form rain drops or snow, likewise miracles and the problem of evil  are items around which unbelief can coalesce and be visibly expressed.

For those living in disobedience the prospect of a God who will judge all is a scary one. And their unwillingness to face this truth is not because of their ignorance of God – no God has made his existence plain to all (Rom 1.19).  No, it’s not ignorance of God that’s the problem, it’s an unwillingness to be subject to God that causes them to express views inconsistent with their worldview, and thus speak as a hypocrite or express irrational view (or both) as we’ll see. Continue Reading

Atheists – Willfully Ignorant in their Looking Glass World


The white hare, Alice, the dodo, Tweedledee & Tweedledum examining the Oraculum as depicted in the Oraculum
Only in the  looking glass world of Wonderland do atheistic explanations make sense


“I know what you’re thinking about,” said Tweedledum; “but it isn’t so, nohow.”
“Contrariwise,” continued Tweedledee, “If it was so, it might be; and if it were so,  it would be;  but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic.”1
— Tweedledum & Tweedledee

 

In the Looking Glass world of Alice in Wonderland, Tweedledee’s “logic” makes perfect sense.  In the real world –  it’s nonsense – or to be more precise – suffers from both a formal and a non-formal logical fallacy.2  Yet it makes perfect sense to Tweedledee and Tweedledum.

In the same manner, the logic of atheists makes perfect sense to them in their looking glass world where they protect themselves from the truth; they can’t see anything wrong with it – yet it is clear to others it is as fallacious as the flawed  logic of Tweedledee and Tweedledum.

When difficult questions are put to atheists about the nature of reality for which the atheistic worldview has no answer, atheists (and evolutionists alike) throw out fine sounding arguments. And like the Looking Glass characters,  their answers have the form of validity, but upon close examination it is apparent their arguments are as fallacious as the logic used by the Tweedles. Let me give a couple of examples.

Consider the question – Why is there something rather than nothing? For the Christian, there’s an easy answer: In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth (Gen 1.1).  For philosophers, it is a very deep philosophical question. In fact Martin Rees, cosmologist, astrophysicist and astronomer royal calls it the “preeminent mystery.”3   Such a formulation does not affirm the Christian worldview, but neither is it overtly antagonistic.  But for particle physicist, skeptic (of the supernatural)  and atheist Victor Stenger that question is:

 “…often the last resort of the theist who seeks to argue for the existence of God from science and finds all his other arguments fail.4


Stengel is clearly antagonistic toward Christianity and is trying to deflect the illuminating power of this question. In his article Why is there Something Rather than Nothing Stenger winds up comparing “nothingness” to an unstable, simple system. What he does not seem to realize is that is an invalid comparison because a system – however simple –  is something; while nothingness is – well  nothingness. Or as famous former atheist turned theist Anthony Flew put it:

Continue Reading

Theism – Perfectly Rational

William Lane Craig vs. Klems Kappel - Debate: Does God Exist?
In the debate between Craig vs. Kappel on the topic “Does God Exist” the question  “Why should we believe atheism is true?” comes up.
Kappel is unable to explain why anyone should believe in atheism while Craig provides 6 reasons right off the bat while theism is true.

In a debate held April 18, 2012 in Copenhagen, Christian apologist and philosopher William Lane Craig debated atheist philosopher Klemens Kappel on the topic: “Does God Exist?” I couldn’t resist posting this clip  – for a number of reasons, namely:


A. Dr. Craig concludes Theism or “the God hypothesis” as he put it earlier – is “perfectly rational to hold to” – which is of course the theme of this site.

B. Dr. Craig Lists the explanatory power of Theism over atheism, Theism can explain things such as:

1. The existence of Moral Value
2. The existence of Consciousness
3 The Origin of the Universe
4 Why something exists rather than nothing
5 The Fine Tuning of the Universe
6 The historical facts about Jesus

(All good topics I should discuss one day.)

C. In challenging Dr. Kappel to prove atheism is true, Dr. Craig points out a number of ways one can logically or rationally establish an argument, namely by:

1. Philosophical Argument
2. Inference to the best explanation
3. Testimonial Evidence

When you watch, notice two things:

1) Kappel is unable to use any of these methods to prove the hypothesis atheism is true (indeed he claims both theism and atheism are un-provable – which Gives Dr. Craig an opportunity to show the explanatory power of Christianity as listed above.)

2) You’ll note I’ve had occasion to discuss item number 2 in a couple of posts1 since a number of those who claim Christians argue “illogically” seem to be unaware of this concept. Here is yet another confirmation that this is a standard logical concept accepted by atheists and theists alike.

 

Now without further ado, the video:

 

Duane Caldwell | posted 4-30-2014 | print format


1 The posts mentioning an inference to the best explanation are:The Poor Marksmenship of Evolutionists andReclaiming the Intellectual and Moral High Ground