Philosophers, theologians, mathematicians, scientists and all sorts of folks in other professions have argued for thousands of years about whether the universe has always been here or had a beginning.
The arguments and counter-arguments, the evidence and the re-examinations over the centuries have become ever more complicated, and yet the discussions go on and on and on and …
But maybe this isn’t as complicated as it seems. Check out the following video from philosopher William Lane Craig’s Reasons to Believe, talking about the issue from the perspective of philosophy and the Kalam Cosmological Argument:
Even if you’ve been a follower of Jesus Christ who has attended church regularly since childhood, the odds are very good you have little or no idea of just how massive the evidence from multiple fields is for Christianity. There has been a veritable explosion in Christian apologetics research in recent decades.
Same applies if you are an agnostic or an atheist because you almost certainly approach whatever arguments you’ve ever encountered on behalf of, for example, the Resurrection or the reliability of the Bible, with certain presuppositions that makes it all but impossible for you to see the whole picture.
Now along comes Cold-Case Christianity’s J. Warner Wallace, a man who for much of his adult life was an atheist, to demonstrate just how complex and detailed is the case for the most influential faith in all human history. Pay especially close attention when the chalkboard comes on the screen:
Cross-examined.org’s Frank Turek speaks on college campuses around the country every year, so he is regularly exposed to the latest arguments from critics of Christianity, as reflected in students who ask questions during his appearances.
In the following video from a recent Turek appearance, a very sharp and inquisitive student seeks to refute the Moral Argument for the existence of God. In the process, Turek demonstrates to his questioner that unconscious presuppositions can be logical landmines:
Think about this question very carefully before jumping to your conclusion. Are we human beings products of:
A. Billions of years of strictly material processes operating in predictable patterns that determine everything about us, including what we think, how we act and the desires in our hearts and minds?
B. Or are we human beings products of billions of chance collisions of atoms crashing around in a strictly material universe that has the appearance of order but is in fact in a state of permanent chaos?
If you choose either A or B, you are aligning with the conventional wisdom of contemporary science, media and academia. The material universe is all there is to reality.
Now, ponder this question: If there is no reality beyond the material world, operating either in predictable physical patterns or in endless chance collisions, is the idea that anything can be either “True” or “False” even possible?
But don’t take my word for it. Hear what Richard Dawkins, Steven Hawking and David Berlinski, atheist/agnostic all, say about this, courtesy of the recently passed Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias, author of “Let My People Think:”
Students at a Kansas middle school will no longer be able to fill Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes with gifts for poor children overseas after the superintendent caved to an atheist activist group’s litigation threat.
“While it is laudable for a public school to promote student involvement in the community by volunteering and donating to charitable organizations, the school cannot use that goal as an avenue to fund a religious organization with a religious mission,” the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) told Pratt Public Schools Superintendent Tony Helfrich in a Nov. 3 letter, according to Michael Foust, reporting for Christian Headlines.
It’s the most widely read book in human history, but the Bible may well also be the most frequently mis-understood or mis-represented written work ever produced.
Lots of people think the Bible says a lot of things that on closer inspection turn to out to be merely aphorisms or maxims. Perfect example is the cliche that “God helps those who help themselves.” No, that’s not in the Bible.
Stand to Reason’s Tim Barnett took up this issue recently and the result is a thought-provoking five-minute analysis of the crucial importance of actually knowing what the Bible says, as opposed to what its critics claim it says:
Take two people of equal intelligence, similar life experiences and educational attainment, and in the same level of professional success, then hand them the Bible and what happens?
Don’t be surprised if one of them believes the Bible and the other doesn’t. Why does that happen? How can two similarly situated intelligent people reach diametrically opposed conclusions about the same book?
In the following video, former NBC “Dateline” cold-case detective J. Warner Wallace talks about the three reasons that typically explain why an atheist rejects God and how that happens. Wallace, who is the founder of coldcasechristianity.com, also includes some fascinating information about him and his father, who remains an atheist:
If the headline above makes no sense at all, that’s almost certainly because most folks have never heard of Mantle Bottom Pancakes since they have nothing to do with breakfast. They have everything to do, however, with places like the Hawaiian Islands in the Pacific Ocean.
The Mantle is what’s below the surface of the Earth on which we live and, as Reasons to Believe’s Hugh Ross points out, it makes up more than 80 percent of the total volume of the Earth. And, he points out, it produces tremendous benefits for us on the surface in at least five ways.
And what does this have to do with working on Capitol Hill, or believing in God? Science is a major issue in countless ways in Congress. The more is known, the better life can be. Or to put it another way, the more we know about science, the more clear it becomes that Creation happened by design, not by chance.
As an astronomer, Ross is usually looking up and away from Earth, but in this fascinating article, he’s looking downward, and the results just may give you a new insight into the world we inhabit and why.
“Against the Tide: Finding God in an Age of Science” is a new documentary from Pensmore Films featuring Oxford Mathematics Professor Emeritus John Lennox and actor Kevin Sorbo, to be aired in more than 600 theaters across the country on November 19.
Kevin Sorbo is known to millions of Hollywood fans around the world as the lead character in one of the most successful syndicated TV series ever, “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys,” as well as “Andromeda” and “Supergirl.”
More recently, Sorbo has become known for his faith as a follower of Jesus Christ. “I am frequently berated by Hollywood compatriots for my Christian faith,” Sorbo said. “This seemed a great opportunity to learn how to respond from a master in turning the atheist manifesto on its head. Furthermore, I get to appear as ‘myself!’” Not every successful actor gets to appear on screen as themselves.
For more information on tickets and where the film is being shown, go here.
There is a a frequently heard claim by prominent atheist advocates like Sam Harris that Christians who argue for the existence of God are merely using God to explain the gaps in human knowledge about how the universe came to be, the origin of life, and other mysteries.
“Hey, we don’t understand how the world was created, or even if it was or has just always been, so that must be explained by a god,” is the alleged process atheists accuse Christians of following.
If you are a congressional aide who works on either of the Senate or House committees that deal with science and technology, odds are good you’ve heard this argument articulated more than once.
But, guess what, the same reasoning can be applied to “science of the gaps,” according to J. Warner Wallace of Cold-Case Christianity and NBC “Dateline” cold-case detective renown. “To deny personhood of the First Cause is science of the gaps,” he argues in the following video:
Daniel Bell, the great American sociologist of the 20th century, once declared that “the essence of modernity is that nothing is sacred.” Dostoevsky put it a little more precisely: “If God is dead, then everything is permitted.”
Just how right the sociologist and novelist were was foreshadowed by a brilliant and prophetic novel written in 1945 ago by C.S. Lewis that, unfortunately, never achieved the same level of popularity as the author’s monumental apologetical work, “Mere Christianity.”
Lewis’ obscure masterpiece is “That Hideous Strength,” a fictional vision of what happens when science is abused: Think racism, eugenics, and the devaluation of human life. Yes, it is a close relative to his “The Abolition of Man.”
This Discovery Science video reminds us that Lewis was not merely a supremely imaginative writer and deeply perceptive thinker, he was also gifted with a prophetic vision of where Western civilization appeared to be headed (which, by the way, my Capitol Hill friends, is where we are rapidly arriving today, it seems):
Does it really matter whether God exists? There are so many things that demand immediate attention, like your job on the Hill, the next job you want on the Hill, your personal relationships, your present bank balance, your future credit rating, where you’re going Thursday night, why does he/she do that …
We all do that, put the things of daily life on top of our priorities list. The God question gets shuffled to the back of the mind, if even there. But what happens when trouble comes along? Why does it so often matter then, but not before?
J. Warner Wallace, the NBC “Dateline” cold-case detective and author of “God’s Crime Scene” and “Cold-Case Christianity,” offers a wholly unexpected explanation for why it matters a great deal all the time:
To counter the otherwise overwhelmingly convincing evidence for Intelligent Design (ID) of our universe, critics often claim that there are actually millions of universes and it just happens that one of them has all of those characteristics cited by ID advocates as evidence for the guiding hand of a designer.
Cold-Case Christianity’s J. Warner Wallace tackles the multiverse theory in the following video produced as part of his lecture series based on his book, God’s Crime Scene.
The crime scene refers to Wallace’s prior career as a cold-case detective who was so good at unwinding decades old homicides that he made multiple appearances on NBC’s “Dateline” show.
Among the most powerful ways of demoralizing or belittling an opponent is to mock their position. It’s not one I recommend, but it is the source of a particular kind of argument one hears from time to time from atheists in discussion with Christians.
“Believing in God makes about as much logical sense as believing in the Flying Spaghetti Monster,” is one form of mockery that, as cold-casechristianity.com’s J. Warner Wallace points out, was first heard in 2005 during debates in Kansas over whether to include Intelligent Design evidence as an alternative to evolutionary theory in public schools.
The most unfortunate aspect of this retort is the fact that Christianity, unlike any other world religion, is based on a fact in history for which there is significant evidence that can be assessed, verified and then accepted or rejected. And that makes all the difference:
You may have heard of Enrico Fermi. He’s the Italian physicist who invented the first nuclear reactor. He also asked a rather pointed question that ought to challenge the best thinkers among advocates and critics of intelligent design.
That question — AKA “Fermi’s Paradox” — is simply this: If the universe is infinitely old, or billions and billions of years old, and there are multiple life forms out there, why haven’t they found us yet? Why haven’t we turned up at least a little evidence of their existence? (Yes, I know, maybe they/we have and we just don’t know it).
Cold-Case Christianity’s J. Warner Wallace explains the significance of Fermi’s Paradox in the great debate between those who claim the universe’s marvelous perfection is accidental and those who argue that it’s that way because its Creator designed it like that: