No, God And The Flying Spaghetti Monster Are Not The Same

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:


 

THINK ABOUT THIS: Friday’s Poached Egg

Then Jesus said:

“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me, even if he dies, will live. Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die — ever.” John 11:25.

And C.S. Lewis said:

“A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell.

“You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse.” – C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity.


 

Is God Hidden Or Are You Just Not Seeing What’s Right In Front Of You?

We get up everyday and all things seem to be just as they have always been, so where’s the evidence for God, some ask. If this god you keep talking about is so wonderful and all-powerful, why can’t we see Him?

Good question but, as Cold-Case Christianity’s J. Warner Wallace explains in the following video, the answer may well have more to do with you than with God:


 

Fermi’s Paradox And Why Can’t The ‘Fine-Tuning’ Of The Universe Have Some Slack Here And There?

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:


 

God And Mathematics Are Why The Universe Adds Up

Being a journalist by trade, I am a right-brained person. That’s why I never did well in mathematics in school, except for Geometry where the spatial relationships seemed to make intuitive sense to me. Maybe if I had studied more …

Screenshot from “God and Mathematics.”

Anyway, you may not know this but mathematics is the foundational blueprint for reality. This is no recently discovered fact. As Galileo put it, “the book of nature is written in the language of mathematics.” Remember that the next time you bite into a delicious ear of Silver Queen corn on the cob and wonder what the formula is for such deliciousness.

In the following video from Philosopher William Lane Craig’s Reasonable Faith outfit, a succinct case is made for the proposition that the direct relationship between mathematics and the universe is powerful evidence that the blueprint didn’t just happen:


 

THINK ABOUT THIS: Do You Think ‘Nothing’ Caused Our Universe To Exist?

It’s among the most basic questions of all and how we each answer it shapes our thinking on everything else, often in ways we don’t realize. And it involves the most basic law of logic, non-contradiction, as well as the law of cause and effect.

In the following video, Kyle Butt of the Apologetics Press analyzes the claim of materialists that the universe (the effect) had no non-material cause. Pay close attention to the explanation offered by Stephen Hawking, who surely was one of the smartest men who ever lived:


 

The Computer Revolution And The Information Age Point Directly to Intelligent Design

Read the following two graphs. If you, like me, are not a Ph.D. in computer science or quantum physics, odds are you won’t fully understand the implications for the God question:

“We now know that three quantum fields undergird physical reality — the electron, the up quark and the down quark. These ‘particles’ are in fact tiny clouds of pure energy. And somehow, they encode digital information for establishing what is known as a particle’s quantum state.

“We do not understand and cannot visualize what this ghostly energy is. But we do know that it cannot be created or destroyed by any natural power. We also know that we can use mathematics to model how these tiny clouds of digital information behave as they flow through time and combine to undergird larger and larger patterns of energy and information.”

Trust me, if, like me, you are curious about how we all got here and why we live in the kind of material universe we inhabit, you gotta read “Bits and Bytes at the Bottom,” by Kenneth Pederson and Jonathan Witt. It appears in the latest issue of Evolution News & Science Today.

Whether you are an atheist, an agnostic or a believing Christian, we ought all be tremendously inspired and encouraged by the incredible progress being made possible by all those bytes!

Why The Truth Matters Even More Today Than Ever Before

There is no such thing as absolute truth. What’s true for you may not be true for me. It’s all relative. It’s impossible to know what is truth because there are so many different opinions, so why bother?

Professor Sean McDowell.

You’ve heard all of those claims, or variations thereof, especially if you pay attention to the news, politics, cultural trends, advances in science and/or debates among philosophers about weighty questions such as “what is truth and how do we know it?”

Biola University Professor Sean McDowell takes up that question in the following video and in the course of analyzing it explains why truth exists and it’s never been more important:

DID YOU KNOW? If You Accept The Big Bang, Then Logically, You Also Must Accept Miracles

It all started with the Big Bang, right? Billions of years ago, there was nothing of the universe but empty space. No Earth. No stars or moons. Nobody anywhere. Nothing but … lots and lots of nothing.

J. Warner Wallace.

Then the Big Bang happened and, well, the rest is literally history, right up to this moment as you read these words. You aren’t certain why it happened but you are convinced it did.

But hang on a second, there’s an aspect of the Big Bang that you probably haven’t thought about. It makes all the difference, however, because it’s a miracle, something super-natural, beyond what we understand to be normal. Cold Case Christianity’s J. Warner Wallace, author of “God’s Crime Scene,” explains why:


THINK ABOUT THIS: Has Atheism Or Religion Killed More People?

There is a common assertion among atheists that religion is the cause of millions of deaths that would otherwise not have happened. The implication is that a world without religion would be peaceful whereas religion always and everywhere causes wars.

The implication is further that Christianity is somehow particularly prone to inciting armies to march and clash. Considering the Middle Ages and Reformation eras, there’s certainly an abundance of examples that seem to support the assertion, but, as is well-illustrated by, for example, Thucydides’ “The Peloponnesian War” and Julius Caesar’s “The Gallic Wars,” the ancient pagan world was equally familiar with wars having little or nothing to do with religion.

So the facts of history, especially in the modern era, simply do not support that atheist/agnostic contention about religion and war. As Dr. Frank Turek of cross-examined.org points out in the following video, the worst killers have been followers of officially atheistic Communism, genocidal murderers like Stalin and Mao.

And just for the record, the common element in all wars, be they religiously inspired or prompted by non-religious factors, is human nature and man’s ready resort to killing to settle things, otherwise known as Original Sin.


And Since We’re Talking About War, Don’t Miss This!

Three Keys to Conspiracy Theories: Sex, Money and The Pursuit of Power


ONE FINAL THOUGHT:

Ephesians 2:8-10 says, among much else, “you are saved by grace, not of works, lest any man should boast.” That makes Christianity a relationship with the Savior, not a religion of dos and don’ts by which one earns salvation.


When The Straw Man Shows Up, It’s Time To Bale Out Of The Discussion

We humans just love our straw men, don’t we? It’s so much easier to tear apart our distorted and inaccurate version of what somebody who disagrees with us thinks than to deal with the actual substance of their opinion.

Stand To Reason’s Tim Barnett points to this quote from atheist philosopher Peter Boghossian as an example of a straw man argument: “Definition of Faith: Pretending to know things you don’t know.”

Hoo boy, there is so much straw in that claim you could bale it and feed a herd of horses with it! If you doubt that, just watch the following video. It just might inspire you to wade into the next debate with your village atheist and, uh, make hay with his or her arguments!


 

You Have No Idea How Finely Tuned Our Universe Is (But This Video Will Help Put It Into Perspective)

Imagine you are walking along and a sign suddenly appears telling you that if you take one more step forward, you will instantly disappear into nothingness. And the same sign further informs you that taking one step backward will have the same result.

That’s kind of how we humans are in this incredible universe we inhabit. To begin to appreciate just how miraculous it is, consider that there are dozens of characteristics like gravity, the degree of Earth’s tilt on its axis and the DNA structure that must be as precisely set as they are in order for the universe to exist.

It is almost impossible for us to really grasp just how amazing it is that we exist. But this video from philosopher William Lane Craig’s reasonablefaith.org is a great first step towards beginning to understand:


 

THINK ABOUT THIS: Friday’s Poached Egg

Then Jesus said:

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.”John 15:16-17 (ESV)

And C.S. Lewis said:

“A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell.

“You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse.” – C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity.


And while we’re on the topic of poached eggs, check this one out, too!


 

You Only Live Once? Three Ways To Approach God And Time

How many times have we all heard, in jest or just as often in all seriousness, that you only live once (YOLO), so, in the words of the old beer commercial, we have to grab for all the gusto we can get.

Actually, the YOLO philosophy is but one of several ways human beings across the ages have viewed the questions surrounding God and time. A second one is the idea that time is endlessly cyclical, a wheel that turns and turns. Others think time and history are pointless, utterly empty of meaning. Then there is the idea history has purpose, as the unfolding of God’s will.

The following video is longer than the norm for HillFaith, but this conversation between philosophy Professor Sean McDowell of Biola University and Christian philosopher and author Os Guiness about the latter’s book, “Carpe Diem Redeemed,” is well worth its 58-minute length because it is certain to prompt you to think in fresh ways about this very old issue of God and time:


 

Can You Be Moral Without Being A Christian?

Can you be good as an atheist or agnostic? The answer to that question is yes, of course, according to Dr. Frank Turek, founder and president of cross-examined.org and co-author of “I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist.”

Turek argues that the more basic issue is how do you know what is “moral” on the basis of a subjective understanding of good and evil? If morality is simply whatever any individual thinks it is, then it is nothing more than opinion.

And when morality is whatever any particular individual thinks is right “for them,” there is no way anybody can logically claim to be correct except by imposing force. That’s what political philosophers describe as “anarchy:”