Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Counterpoints: William Lane Craig and Richard Dawkins on Evolution

Richard Dawkins- "...although atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist."1

William Lane Craig- "“Barrow and Tipler, two physicists in their book "The Anthropic Cosmological Principle," list ten steps in the course of human evolution, each of which is so improbable that before it would occur the sun would have ceased to be a main sequence star and incinerated the earth. And they calculate the probability of the evolution of the human genome to be somewhere between four to the negative 180th power to the 110,000th power and four to the negative 360th power to the 110,000th power. So, if evolution did occur on this planet it was literally a miracle, and therefore evidence for the existence of God.”2

Checkout the rest of the posts in our "Counterpoints" posts here.

Courage and Godspeed,

Related Posts

Richard Dawkins says aborting babies with Down syndrome is the “moral and sensible” choice

Ye Have No Definition of Faith?

Counterpoints: Richard Dawkins vs. John Lennox on Religion and Atheism

1. Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker, p. 6.
2. Hitchens Debate Transcript found here. If readers would like to view the debate, it's here.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Video: True for You, but Not For Me? by Brett Kunkle

In this featured video, speaker, author and apologist Brett Kunkle of Stand to Reason demonstrates how to make the case for objective moral truths.  Kunkle writes:

"The culture has lost its moral common sense. It’s never surprising to hear students brush off clear-case examples of moral evil, relegating all moral claims to the realm of the subjective. We’re saturated in a sea of subjectivism, and we simply soak it up.

So, we have a big job in the church rebuilding an objective moral framework from which Christians can live and engage the culture. Here’s my attempt at helping people understand how we come to know objective moral truth, the complete deficiency of moral relativism, and why it matters..."1


Courage and Godspeed,

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Article: Can Moral Objectivism Do Without God? by Peter S. Williams

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1. Brett Kunkle, How to Make the Case for Objective Moral Truths, May 17, 2017.

Monday, May 22, 2017

The Ongoing Struggle Against the Culture to Defend Intrinsic Human Value

In the subject post on Stand to Reason's blog, Amy Hall compares the Church's struggle against infant exposure during the Roman era to it's struggle against abortion today. She writes:

In the Roman era, ordinary people routinely killed babies by leaving them on trash heaps. Today, ordinary people routinely kill babies in the womb by tearing off their limbs one by one. 

You can read the entire post here.

Stand firm in Christ and stand firm for the preborn,

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Worldview and Apologetics in the News

A (New) Argument for Abortion

Politics Disguised as Science: When to Doubt a Scientific ‘Consensus’

'Bible Answer Man' Hank Hanegraaff Reveals Battle with Cancer

Mormon church is pulling older teens from Boy Scouts' programs

Church of England Reviving with Rise in Patriotism

Book Review: Is Christianity Reasonable? A Review of Forensic Faith by J. Warner Wallace

Teacher Fired for Giving Student a Bible Gets Job Back — Victory!

Cosmic Inflation Theory Faces Challenges

It’s time to get rid of Mother’s Day: Teitel

History Made: ‘American Gods’ Features TV’s Most Explicit Gay Sex Scene Between Muslims

Podcast: BreakPoint: The Hopeless World of “13 Reasons”

Abortion is the solution to climate change?

Ravi Zacharias, Ministry Team Say 'Goodbye' to Cancer-Stricken Nabeel Qureshi
Ravi Zacharias, Ministry Team Say 'Goodbye' to Cancer-Stricken Nabeel Qureshi
Ravi Zacharias, Ministry Team Say 'Goodbye' to Cancer-Stricken Nabeel Qureshi

The left’s new response to mental illness: killing people

The Discovery of Joshua’s Ai at Khirbet el-Maqatir

Christians in India Under Pressure to Convert to Hinduism, Can't Talk About Jesus, Heaven or Hell
Christians in India Under Pressure to Convert to Hinduism, Can't Talk about Jesus, Heaven and Hell

Courage and Godspeed,

Last week's edition is here.
Ravi Zacharias, Ministry Team Say 'Goodbye' to Cancer-Stricken Nabeel Qureshi

Friday, May 19, 2017

Rape, Pork, and God

Recently I saw a Facebook post with a meme that stated “Rape someone and pay 50 shekels of silver to her dad” and “eat pork and go to hell.”  Both of these statements were attributed to the God of the Old Testament.  Like Chad Gross, I am not a fan of memes, especially ones that are “ridiculing and take shots at the opposition.”  But my main reason for responding to this would be  to provide an understanding of these two laws that are described in the Old Testament.  Clearly we cannot get this from a few words on a meme. 

Rape Someone and Pay 50 Shekels

Deuteronomy 22: 28-29
28 If a man comes upon a young woman, a virgin who is not betrothed, seizes her and lies with her, and they are discovered, 29 the man who lay with her shall give the young woman’s father fifty silver shekels and she will be his wife, because he has violated her. He may not divorce her as long as he lives. 1

Critics attack these verses as the woman appears to be nothing more than her father’s property.  But a closer look will provide evidence that this law was actually meant to protect the woman.  Exodus 22: 15-16 helps to provide a backdrop for this scenario:

15 When a man seduces a virgin who is not betrothed, and lies with her, he shall make her his wife by paying the bride price. 16 If her father refuses to give her to him, he must still pay him the bride price for virgins.2

In each case, the man is guilty. However, in verse 28, it does say that “they” (as opposed to he) are discovered.  This seems to imply the woman was complicit in the act, although the man clearly bears the burden of responsibility for initiation.

It is important to understand in this culture and time period that it would become very difficult for a woman to find a husband if she is no longer a virgin.  So this law is actually for women’s protection.
According to Paul Copan, these passages allow for two courses of action:

1.        If the father and daughter agree to it, the seducer must marry the woman and provide for her all of her life, without the possibility of divorce.  The father (in conjunction with the daughter) has the final say-so in the arrangement.  The girl isn’t required to marry the seducer.

2.       The girl’s father (the legal point person) has the right to refuse any such permanent arrangement as well as the right to demand the payment that would be given for a bride, even though the seducer doesn’t marry his daughter (since she has been sexually compromised, marriage to another man would be difficult if not impossible).  The girl has to agree with this arrangement, and she isn’t required to marry the seducer.  In this arrangement, she is still treated as a virgin. 

Again, we don’t see a lack of concern for the woman.  Her well-being is actually the underlying theme of this legislation.3 

Eat Pork and Go to Hell

Regarding this statement, I am not familiar with an OT passage that states this.  Deuteronomy 14:8 mentions even touching the carcass of a pig makes one unclean.  But this is not eternal condemnation. If an Israelite ate or even touched pork, they would then need to adhere to the process of being made clean.

There are various reasons given as to why the Israelites were called to refrain from pork in the Old Testament.  Some scholars point to the fact that other nations surrounding them sacrificed pigs to idols.  So refraining from eating this type of meat was a distinct reminder for them to refrain from mixing pagan practices with their worship of the one true God.  This command only applied during OT times.  It is made clear in the New Testament that all foods are made clean (Mark 7:19).  So this temporary restriction most likely served as a specific purpose to draw God’s chosen people closer to Him.

1.  Taken from and the NASB revised edition
2.  Ibid
3.  Is God a Moral Monster by Paul Copan pgs. 118-119

Related Resources:

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Physicist Paul Davies on the Laws of Physics

"The orthodox view of the nature of the laws of physics contains a long list of tacitly assumed properties. The laws are regarded, for example, as immutable, eternal, infinitely precise mathematical relationships that transcend the physical universe, and were imprinted on it at the moment of its birth from 'outside,' like a maker’s mark, and have remained unchanging ever since… In addition, it is assumed that the physical world is affected by the laws, but the laws are completely impervious to what happens in the universe… It is not hard to discover where this picture of physical laws comes from: it is inherited directly from monotheism, which asserts that a rational being designed the universe according to a set of perfect laws. And the asymmetry between immutable laws and contingent states mirrors the asymmetry between God and nature: the universe depends utterly on God for its existence, whereas God’s existence does not depend on the universe…

Clearly, then, the orthodox concept of laws of physics derives directly from theology. It is remarkable that this view has remained largely unchallenged after 300 years of secular science. Indeed, the 'theological model' of the laws of physics is so ingrained in scientific thinking that it is taken for granted. The hidden assumptions behind the concept of physical laws, and their theological provenance, are simply ignored by almost all except historians of science and theologians. From the scientific standpoint, however, this uncritical acceptance of the theological model of laws leaves a lot to be desired…"1

Courage and Godspeed,

1. As quoted by Ed Feser here.

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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Video: How Do We Identify Our Biases? by Sean McDowell

Important words here from Sean McDowell on overcoming our own biases.  Enjoy!

To learn more about Sean and his ministry, go here.

Courage and Godspeed,

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J. Warner Wallace on Bias

Article: Are Christians Biased in their Reasoning?

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Article: What is Thomism? by

Originally published here:

Thomism is the system of philosophy developed by Thomas Aquinas, a Catholic scholar. Aquinas harmonized the philosophy of Aristotle with Christian theology, creating a system that became among the most influential in history. Aquinas’ philosophy was popular during his lifetime. After his death, a small minority of Catholic leaders condemned his teachings as heresy. Their efforts reduced the popularity of his work, but only temporarily.

In response to the Reformation, the Catholic Church heavily endorsed the work of Aquinas, including Thomism, elevating it to a status second only to the Bible itself. Other philosophical systems today disagree with Thomism on many points, but Thomism remains a dominant philosophical worldview.

Thomism is strongly grounded in reason, specifically in opposition to “blind faith.” It holds the laws of non-contradiction and causality as the fundamental principles of reality. According to Thomism, most of nature and theology can be apprehended through observation and reason. That which can be known by reason, accordingly, should be used to judge what is known only by faith. Thomism recognizes, however, that certain truths are only knowable by special revelation.

Thomism is also empiricist, meaning it teaches that observations and experiences are necessary for knowledge. It claims that we cannot argue for God’s existence on the basis of direct experience; we can only argue for God by interpreting what we see, feel, and understand. This philosophy rejects the Rationalist claim that pure logic or reasoning—without any observations or empirical data—can be used to draw reliable conclusions.

Thomism also approaches knowledge of God via “negative theology.” This is the belief that it is necessary for human beings to apprehend God through metaphors and analogies. Since God is unique, transcendent, and infinite, He is necessarily beyond our full comprehension. In order to at least partly comprehend God, we must use figurative or analogous terms relevant to our experiences. This approach also implies that portions of Scripture can be interpreted figuratively, depending on the context.

The correspondence theory of truth is a core part of Thomism. This is the idea that “truth” can be defined as conforming to some external, objective reality. Thomism supposes both empiricism and objective realism, which both claim our senses are useful and that the world can be understood more or less as it actually is. Thomism also teaches a fusion of the body and soul, which differs in many ways from classical dualism.

Thomism poses a distinction between “essence” and “existence.” It posits that God alone is absolute and all other things are finite and imperfect. Therefore, only God has an essence identical to His existence. He is the one and only pure expression of essence, substance, and existence. For all other things, their “what” (essence) is different from their “is” (existence). This also means that evil does not exist, in and of itself, except as a lack of “good.” Something is evil insofar as it violates its purpose, or the “cause” of its existence.

According to Thomism, all living things possess some type of soul, but humans alone have an immortal, “rational” soul. Our ability to use reason, per this philosophy, is a supernatural quality that other forms of life do not possess.

Thomism is also the source of Aquinas’ “Five Ways,” which are introductory means to argue for the existence of God. These are the first mover argument, the first cause argument, the contingency (necessity) argument, the ontological (perfection) argument, and the teleological (design) argument. These are often misunderstood, and assumed to be Aquinas’ best and strongest case for the Christian God. In truth, the “Five Ways” are merely meant to be basic principles to introduce the concept of Christian theism on rational grounds.

Courage and Godspeed,

Monday, May 15, 2017

Fake News Versus Good News

In the above post from Thinking Matters, three steps to determine if a news source is trustworthy are provided. These steps are the following:

1. Is the source motivated by truth?
2. Is the source open to scrutiny both from within and without?
3. Does it matter if the news the source is providing is true or false?

The gospel is then examined using these steps, and the conclusion made is that Jesus offers good news and offers it reliably.

You can read the entire post here.

Stand firm in Christ,