Doesn’t matter what event or issue is involved, there are likely conspiracy theories galore about how those on top got there, why former leaders no longer are and a whole host of other things, including just about everything from who really shot JFK to COVID-19’s spread from Wuhan, China.
But how seriously should conspiracy theories be taken? People on the far Right believe Communists secretly took over the U.S. government and are controlling it today. People on the far Left contend a few rich capitalists control the levers of power.
Dr. Frank Turek of cross-examined.org asks in this interview of cold-case christianity’s J. Warner Wallace about conspiracy theories and Wallace explains that there are three motives invariably found behind crimes and conspiracies, sexual lust, greediness for money and the desire for power. And that’s just for starters!
If a friend tells you they really do love you and, to prove it, they tell you they deposited $1 million in your bank account, how would you know if you should believe them? You check your bank balance, of course!
If the million bucks aren’t there, you know your “friend” is not to be believed. If you verify that you are now a millionaire, however, well then, you probably should accept that person as a genuine friend.
There is one essential claim upon which all of Christianity stands or falls. Paul the Apostle even says if this claim is false, then he and every other disciple of Jesus is a liar. One way to verify the claim is understanding the credibility of the four Gospels. NBC “Dateline” cold-case detective J. Warner Wallace explains in this video:
Go to an art museum and you will see dozens of illustrations of the common sense truth that design requires a designer. Regardless if you see a classic Rembrandt or some weird post-modern existential scream, there was an artist behind it (i.e. a designer).
It’s the same in nature generally and specifically in that part of nature studied as the field of biology. In the following video, Cold-Case Christianity’s J. Warner Wallace, the NBC “Dateline” detective extraordinaire, walks us through eight signs he sees in biology of design.
So, you’re jawing with a friend on the cell and happen to mention that you had a really odd dream the other night during which you were driving a sporty Tesla Model S through Hollywood.
Then your friend says, “right, it was a red convertible and we had the top down.” Would that freak you out? What if the next thing he said was “the blonde was in the back seat with me and the redhead was up there with you” and he was right!?!? (Yes, I know Tesla doesn’t make a convertible Model S, but work with me here, ok?)
Now you’re really freaked out because two people just don’t independently have the same dream like that. But, as Cold-Case Christianity’s J. Warner Wallace (the Tesla illustration was actually his, not mine) explains in this video, something like it did happen after Jesus was resurrected. And that makes all the difference in the world for all of us:
That question in the headline above might well seem like an odd one to ask in a world in which the Bible is by far the most-read, best-selling book of all human history. Imagining our world without it is like imagining it without the Sun.
But it being Easter and all, what if we didn’t have the Bible to tell us what the events of this most significant of all weeks mean to each of us as individuals and to all humanity?
That’s a question former NBC “Dateline” cold-case detective J. Warner Wallace addresses in the following video. It’s all about inferences and evidence. He’s writing a book about the resurrection of Christ based on this question and preparing to teach a course on it, so his thoughts here are not mere off-the-cuffisms:
Among the most common objections to Christianity is the rejection of the disciples’ claim that they saw and talked to the resurrected Jesus three days after his crucifixion on the cross and burial in a grave carved out of stone. He didn’t actually die on the cross, the critics claim.
This objection is one of the several ways, for example, that Islam rejects the resurrected Jesus Christ as proof of His claim to be both God and man. Similarly, atheists came up with the claim that Jesus could not have been resurrected from the dead because He didn’t die on the cross. He was buried, then revived in the cool grave, escaped and walked all the way to India or maybe Japan where he married, had kids, and died. (No, I’m not making this up, you can Google it!)
Palm Sunday is right around the corner, so odds are good this objection will be heard in coming days in the mainstream media, in online college classes and in the popular culture. But NBC “Dateline” Cold-Case Detective J. Warner Wallace explains in the following video why people who claim Jesus didn’t die on the cross have no idea what they are talking about:
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:
It is not uncommon to hear the claim that human thoughts and choices are actually nothing more than the product of material processes of neurons acting and reacting within our physical brains.
Put another way, our minds are illusions. We only think we think of our own free will. As Stephen Hawking, the famous physicist and atheist advocate, put it in a 2011 interview with Britain’s The Guardian:
Cold-Case Christianity’s J. Warner Wallaces Responds to a great question during a recent conversation on the campus of Ohio State University
That question posed in the headline above is a commonplace criticism one often hears in the media, on campus, and in a wide range of public forums in America.
You saw a typical example of this sort of ad hominem on Sunday if you happen to have watched “Meet The Press” when NBC’s Chuck Todd read a letter-to-the-editor of the Lexington (Ky.) Herald claiming people who believe Noah’s Ark actually existed are typically Trump supporters.
But this isn’t a new argument, as J. Warner Wallace explains during a recent presentation at Ohio State University. In the process, he addresses these key questions: “Why do Christian believe in – and expect – an afterlife? Is our belief in Heaven and Hell based purely on the teaching of the Bible? Is there any other good reason to expect a life beyond the grave?”
There are times when, no matter what the evidence shows, the conclusion to which it points is, for whatever reason, so difficult to wrap our minds around, or so contrary to what we have long believed, that we simply refuse to accept it.
That description undoubtedly fits a lot of folks working on Capitol Hill when the issue at hand is whether or not God exists. Probably no other issue in life is more subject to rationalization, avoidance and intellectual blinders.
When there are multiple factors pointing to a common causal conclusion, that’s significant but not necessarily decisive. When there are multiple factors from multiple categories of evidence that point to a common causal conclusion, that’s decisive.
J. Warner Wallace, NBC “Dateline” Cold-Case Detective, explains why in this video with “One-Minute Apologist Bobby Conway:
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.
To get a free copy of this challenging book, just click on its cover in the sidebar to the right and I will get yours in the mail ASAP.
NOTE: IF THE CONTACT BUTTON DOESN’T WORK FOR YOU, SEND ME YOUR SNAIL MAIL AT firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
If the physical universe that we see, smell, hear, feel and taste is all that exists, how can we account for the fact we all have thoughts and emotions that are just as “real” to us as any of our senses?
This might initially seem like an odd question, but in fact it “points” to one of the most important questions any human being can ever ponder: If the non-material (i.e. thinking, consciousness) is as real as our five material senses (which can be explained merely by physical factors), how do we explain the origin and ultimate significance of the non-material?
J. Warner Wallace, NBC “Dateline’s” cold-case detective, addresses this issue in chapter five of his superb book “God’s Crime Scene.” There he observes this: