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:
Dr. Francis Collins is probably best known as the former director of the National Human Genome Research Institute from 1993 to 2008. But there is another distinction in his biography that is equally unusual.
That distinction is the fact Collins was appointed to head the National Institutes for Health (NIH) by President Barack Obama in 2009 and then re-appointed by President Donald Trump in 2017. How many people in the public eye these days can say they drew such solid support from politicians as opposite one another as Obama and Trump?!!
What is less known about Collins is that he is a man of deep faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. It was not always so because for much of his early adulthood, Collins was a convinced atheist.
But that all began to change, as he explains in the following video from Biologos, when a woman dying of heart disease asked “what do you believe, doctor?”
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.
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!
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:
At first glance, I thought this was something straight out of the fever swamp section of the National Enquirer newsroom or maybe even the Midnight News, but, no, the following news report was produced and appeared on a credible Israeli news outlet.
The claim being reported is that by using 3D imaging made possible by advanced infrared technology, a team of scientists and archeologists were able to create a digital history of a storied building in the Jerusalem area where Christian tradition claims the Last Supper was held.
Do I accept that this effort has actually discovered a means of recreating the room where Jesus had the Last Supper? To be honest, I am quite skeptical. The imaging is of a room, but not necessarily the room. Watch the segment and share your thoughts.
Can somebody who doesn’t believe in God still do good things, that is, act morally? The answer to that question is “yes, of course.” But when the issue is the existence of God, asking if an atheist can be moral leads the discussion down a rabbit hole.
The question should be this: How can there be objectively true and universally applicable moral laws if there is no God? If there are such objective moral laws, then there must be a God. We know there are such laws the instant we realize it is always and everywhere wrong to, for example, torture children.
Why is this important, especially if you work on Capitol Hill and are thus part of the process by which America debates and establishes its laws? The answer to that question is in the following video from philosopher William Lane Craig’s Reasonable Faith:
You may have heard or read recently about a team of paleo-anthropologists and other researchers who found some string-like material at a dig in Southern France from the era when Neanderthals were around.
Why is this significant, especially if you work on Capitol Hill? Well, if Neanderthals had the intelligence and dexterity to create string, that says something fundamentally important about them and modern human beings. Are we exceptional, as we think?
Reasons to Believe biochemist Dr. Fazale Rana discusses this finding and its potential significance to our understanding of human origins in the following video. It’s a half-hour video, which is a good bit longer than the norm here on HillFaith, but it’s a fascinating topic that deserves serious attention:
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.
If you work in any position on Capitol Hill, here’s a must-read analysis by True Horizon’s Bob Perry of what is likely the most frequently repeated truism of the coronavirus pandemic. Click on the last line below to read the rest of Perry’s post:
“I have made the case before that scientism is a dangerous belief system. And the COVID-19 Pandemic has done nothing but prove the point. In their response to the virus, many in power exhort us to ‘trust the science.’
“Listen to the doctors. Their wisdom should guide the trajectory of our collective futures. But accepting that view greatly depends on your understanding of what science is … and whose science you’re trusting.
Mark Twain famously remarked about how “lightning” and “lightning bug” look and sound an awful lot alike, but they are two entirely different things. Philosopher Kenneth Samples sees much the same relationship between “science” and “scientism.”
That difference is hugely significant for Members of Congress, and even more so for their staffers, who must know the difference if they are to render the most credible and useful advice and analyses for their law-making bosses.
I’m guessing you made a decision on what to eat for breakfast this morning. You also made a decision about the clothes you are wearing as you read this post. In fact, you made all kinds of decisions about a hundred different “little” things as you went about your morning. So did I. So do we all.
But think about this: If the universe is nothing but matter in motion, atoms bumping into atoms and then away only to bump into others, where does your will enter into the picture? What about the fact you have consciousness?
J. Warner Wallace, the NBC “Dateline” cold-case detective, explains in the following video how the fact we all have the capacity to make decisions on our own volition makes a compelling argument for the existence of God. Have a Super Sunday!
Virtually any time somebody who believes the universe was created by God debates another person who denies that claim, odds are good the latter will accuse the former of advocating the “God of the gaps” theory.
That theory is a rhetorical device lobbed by the speaker using it at the other person to claim they are simply inventing “God” to fill in the gaps of their knowledge created by the present lack of a purely materialistic or scientific explanation. The often unstated assumption is that given enough time, such an explanation will be found.
Cross-examined.org’s Dr. Frank Turek addresses the “God of the gaps” theory in the following video and, at least in my humble opinion, makes it crystal clear why it is nothing more than a rhetorical device:
Mary Magdalene and “the other Mary” found an empty, open grave this morning. They saw no Roman guards there but they claim they saw Jesus Christ, alive.
Do you believe them? Here are eight solid reasons you should indeed believe:
The first witnesses to the empty tomb and the living Jesus were women:It’s a sad reality, but women only counted as half as reliable witnesses as men. So the fact all four of the Gospels present women as the first witnesses to the Risen Jesus is a strong indicator Matthew, Mark, Luke and John reported the facts, not what they thought would be the most credible claims.
You’ve almost certainly never heard of Ota Benga, a diminutive young man taken from the Belgian Congo early in the first decade of the last century, and literally put on display in New York City in a cage with a monkey.
There is much discussion in America’s public forums about the country’s historic racism, with the New York Times’ “1619 Project” being among the most notable. But the Times defended putting Ota Benga on display in a cage, as did many of the most respected scientists of the day.
This award-winning documentary produced by Discovery Science is 55 minutes in length, much longer than the typical video I post here on HillFaith. But it will mesmerize and horrify you, both for the evil it documents and the realization that those who promote the narrative underlying “1619” leave out of their account the most important truths.