If you’ve ever been involved in a debate on campus or in a typical Washington discussion group about religion, odds are good you’ve heard somebody claim the following:
“You can’t trust the Bible because Jesus was a man who was a great teacher but still no more than a man, and besides, in the decades after his death, his followers invented Christianity by embellishing his words and actions to turn him into this mythical God-man figure.”
It may sound sophisticated and smart, but the reality, as NBC “Dateline” cold-case detective J. Warner Wallace explains in the following video, is the Gospels are solid and credible testimony that you could stake your life on in court:
If Joe tells you that two plus two equals four, he’s told you a fact. But if he then tells that you two is the square root of four and you conclude Joe has something more than basic math skills, you’re making an inference. But how do you know if your inference is accurate?
Are facts and inferences really so different? That’s an important question if you work on Capitol Hill. Consider these two claims: The federal budget has a huge deficit this year and it’s all X’s fault. You know which of those two claims is a fact but how do you determine if the inference is true or false.
J. Warner Wallace, NBC “Dateline” cold-case detective and founder of coldcasechristianity.org, spent years cracking old unsolved murders, so he knows a few things about the difference between facts and inferences, plus knowing how to judge the accuracy of an inference:
This year marked the fifth in the past six that I have joined a devoted and talented team of nearly two dozen men and women who are present and former members of Friendship Baptist Church (FBC) in Sykesville, Md., on a week-long mission to Puebla, Mexico.
At the outset, let me be clear that my saying this is not “virtue signaling” on my part. That God led me for the first time to go on this mission trip in 2015 was in itself a miracle and concrete evidence of how radically He has transformed a previously selfish, booze-addicted and politics-obsessed egotist with a new heart and desire to love and serve Him, my family, fellow believers, and my neighbors. I get zero credit here, it’s all to His credit and glory.
Among the attributes that most distinguish humans from all other creatures is our ability to perceive alternative courses of action and to make choices among those alternatives. That’s called “free will.” Our laws and system of justice assume we all have this unique ability.
But if we live in a material universe that is a product of and is governed only by the action/reaction processes of atoms and forces in motion, then there can be no such thing as free will. Our decisions to act in a certain way are nothing more than the consequences of those atoms reacting according to the sequence of causes and effects.
“No set of dominoes is held accountable for how they fall,” contends NBC “Dateline” cold-case detective J. Warner Wallace in the following brief video. “Dominoes have no choice in the matter because they fall in a certain way based on prior physical causes.” Think about it, are you just another domino?
Ever Wonder ‘Who Made God?’
That’s a question often posed by those who deny God’s existence, but, as Tom Hammond explains in “What Time Is Purple,” wondering who made God makes about as much sense as pondering where on the clock does the royal color appear.
“What Time Is Purple” is a mere 45 pages, but it’s full of clarity, logic and common sense about the most important questions we all think about it at one time or another. Be careful, though, as it may cause you to revise how you answer those questions.
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Two aliens from a planet orbiting Proxima Centauri, Earth’s nearest star beyond our Sun, walk into a bar in Amsterdam arguing about Rembrandt’s “The Night Watch,” which they just saw at the Rijks Museum.
After a few minutes of intense debate, one alien looks at the other and announces “say what you will, but I’m telling you this amazing art could only have been created by a great designer. I want to meet this Rembrandt human.”
At that, the other alien stares in amazement at his interstellar colleague, motions to the bartender to bring the two another round, and replies “nah, no way. This thing looks designed but it’s actually nothing more than the result of a chance encounter of materials.”
Is it really possible to explain the origin of life from non-life without God? Lord knows, smart people like Stephen Hawking and legions of others who deny or ignore the possibility of God as creator have been trying for centuries.
There is a magnetic thingie on our refrigerator that says “Lord, help me today to be the person my dog thinks I am.” I swear that, once as I gazed at those words, Twister, our black Lab, gave a dog chuckle, the muttered “Fat chance.” I know that’s what he said because we “get” each other.
There is a serious question to be considered here, though, and that is this: Are we humans “special” in any sense that sets us apart from dogs, cats, buffalo, ants or any of the other of the billions of animals on Earth?
J. Warner Wallace, author of “Cold-Case Christianity” and NBC “Dateline” cold-case detective, addresses this question in response to a student’s recent question.
I will tell you now that Wallace gets it completely wrong on the issue of how smart are Labs, but the rest of his analysis ought to make you think seriously about your place in the world.