Monday, November 30, 2015

Is the Virgin Conception of Jesus Necessary and Reasonable?

As the Christmas season is upon us, J. Warner Wallace of Cold Case Christianity began a series of broadcasts in which he will examine the virgin conception of Jesus.  The first installment thinks through the subject questions using the following outline:

Why is the Doctrine of the Virgin Conception Necessary?
  1. The virgin conception is a piece of evidence of Jesus’ as the Messiah.
  2. The virgin conception is an essential explanation of Jesus’ nature.
  3. The virgin conception is an essential truth of God.
Why is the Doctrine of the Virgin Conception Reasonable?
  1. Naturalism is a worldview under examination.
  2. Naturalism therefore should not be a presupposition.
  3. Naturalism accepts at least one extra-natural event.
  4. Naturalism may not, therefore, be an accurate view of the world.
The broadcast can be viewed here. Enjoy and be sure to catch the next installments!

Stand firm in Christ,
Chase

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Video: One Question You Should Always Ask An Unbeliever by Frank Turek


Sometimes when sharing your faith a great question can be more powerful than an argument.  In this brief video Dr. Frank Turek shares what he believes to be the #1 question you should ask those who don't believe.

You can see our review of Dr. Turek's new book Stealing from God here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Friday, November 27, 2015

Pastor Voddie Baucham, Jr. on Science and the Christian Community

"One of the most tragic developments of our day is the abandonment of the hard sciences by the Christian community.  Teaching our children what the Bible says about creation and giving them a biblical worldview should ignite a renewed interest in biology, geology, astronomy, chemistry and physics...Christian Theists must once again take their place at the forefront of scientific inquiry in pursuit of a better understanding of the world and the God who created it."

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad




Footnote:

1. Voddie Baucham, Jr., Family Driven Faith, p. 85.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Article: The Truth about the Origin of Thanksgiving by J. Warner Wallace

In this featured article J. Warner Wallace examines the historical roots of Thanksgiving.

You can checkout the article here.

We are thankful for your readership and wish each of you a blessed Thanksgiving!

Godspeed,
Chad



Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Video: Does Islam Really Teach Peace? by Nabeel Qureshi


In this video, former Muslim Nabeel Qureshi discusses what Islam teaches and how it differs from Christianity.

Enjoy!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Tough Topic Tuesday: The Problem of Evil, Pt. 2

Last week we introduced the logical problem of evil as follows:

Logical Version: “It’s Logically Impossible for God and Suffering to Coexist.”

The argument goes something like this:

1. An all-loving, all-powerful God exists.
2. Suffering exists.

Usual assumptions…

3. If God is all powerful, He can create any world that He wants.
4. If God is all-loving, He prefers a world without suffering.

Argument: God is all-loving and all-powerful.  Therefore, He both can and wants to create a world without suffering.  Therefore, it follows that the world has no suffering.  But that contradicts 2, Suffering exists. Therefore, God must not exist. 1

Response:

Let us consider assumption 3.

Assumption 3 says, "If God is all powerful, He can create any world that He wants."  I would contend that this isn't so if people have free will.  Dr. William Lane Craig explains:

"It's logically impossible to make someone do something freely.  That is as logically impossible as making a round square or a married bachelor.  God's being all-powerful does not mean that He can bring about the logically impossible-indeed, there is not such 'thing' as the logically impossible.  It's just an inconsistent combination of words...since it's possible that people have free will, it turns out that 3 is not necessarily true.  For if people have free will, they may refuse to do what God desires.  So there will be any number of possible words that God cannot create because the people in them wouldn't cooperate with God's desires.  In fact, for all we know, it's possible that in any world of free persons with as much good as this world, there would also be as much suffering.  This conjecture need not be true or even probable, but so long as it's even logically possible, it shows that it is not necessarily true that God can create any world that He wants.  So assumption 3 is just not necessarily true.  On this basis alone, the atheist's argument is logically fallacious."2

Next week we will look at assumption 4, "If God is all-loving, He prefers a world without suffering."

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Footnote:
1. William Lane Craig, On Guard, p. 154-155.
2. Ibid. p. 155-156; for those who might respond, "Can't God do anything?," see here.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Love Without Knowledge Is Uninformed Infatuation

In the subject article, Kristen Davis of Doubtless Faith Ministries writes of why the heart, soul, and mind must all be engaged in order to have a deep relationship with God.  Below is an excerpt:

Loving God with our minds cannot be separated from loving Him with our hearts, souls and strength. When some part of that is removed it’s not love. It’s either infatuation based on an idea (lack of mind) or infatuation based on information (lacking heart and soul). If we say we love God but don’t care to learn about Him and grow in our depth of knowledge both informational and interpersonal then how can we really say we love God?

Happy reading!

Stand firm in Christ,
Chase

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Quote: J. Warner Wallace on Evil

"Few people witness as much horrific evil as homicide detectives. I’ve certainly seen my share. But what do we really mean when we say something is evil? Are we saying we just don’t like it personally, or are we saying there are some things that are truly, transcendently, objectively evil? Is evil nothing more than a matter of opinion? If so, we could remove all evil by simply changing our minds about what we thought was evil in the first place. If we can’t eliminate evil in this way, we need to think about why and how transcendent notions of evil could exist. While evil might at first appear to be a strong evidence against the existence of an all-powerful, all-loving Divine Creator, it may actually be the best possible evidence for the existence of such a Being. Unless we are prepared to dismiss evil as nothing more than whatever fails to please our private desires or opinions, we’re going to need a transcendent standard of good by which to evaluate and identify anything as evil. As crazy as it might sound at first, the existence of true evil, the kind that transcends each of us as individuals and groups, is dependent on the existence of a true, transcendent standard of good. True evil is evidence for God’s existence."1

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

HT: The Poached Egg

Friday, November 20, 2015

Article: Two Things Terrorist Attacks Do NOT Tell Us About Religion by Natasha Crain

I was spending time with my wife and girls when I learned of the horrible terrorist attacks in Paris.  Many people have an opinion about what causes people to carry out such acts and to behave in such morally deplorable ways and it seems that all "religion" is often demonized as a result.

In this featured article Natasha Crain contends that while these attacks may tell us many things, there are two things they DO NOT tell us about religion.

1. That religion is bad.

2. That religion is false.

Crain claims that both of these conclusions are false.

Checkout the article here.

And if you don't already, you need to follow here work here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Cosmology, the Big Bang, and the Beginning

Introduction

I recall when I learned that my father had been diagnosed with dementia.  The news was not immediately devastating because I wasn’t convinced his diagnosis was correct.  At the time, my father lived 4 hours away and was on his own.  I was persuaded that once we moved him closer to us and were able to manage his medication, diet and medical appointments that he would be fine.   I told myself that the symptoms he was experiencing were just due to old age and stress.

My brother and I were able to move him into an apartment that was only 5 minutes from my home. We were able to manage his medication, diet and medical appointments just as I had hoped; however, as I cared for my Dad, evidence began to accumulate that confirmed his diagnosis.  Dad began to have conversations with himself in the mirror because he didn’t recognize his own reflection.  He was convinced it was someone looking at him through a window.  He no longer could keep track of time and lost his ability to read.  Finally, he no longer remembered my name or knew who I was.  I could no longer hide behind the possibility that Dad was just getting old or suffering from extreme stress.   Although the thought of my dad’s life ending this way was personally repugnant, I had to face the facts- my Dad had severe dementia.

The story of how I came to accept my Dad’s diagnosis of dementia illustrates just how difficult it can be to evaluate evidence and draw a sound conclusion when strong emotions are involved.   Sometimes we reject a conclusion not because it is unsupported by evidence, but because we find it personally distasteful.

A Universe with a Beginning

My reluctance to accept my Dad’s dementia diagnosis is not all that different from the reluctance demonstrated by many in the scientific community when the evidence for the “Big Bang” was discovered.  The “Big Bang” describes the scientific theory that all space, matter and time came into being at some point in the finite past.  This was significant because “all throughout history men have assumed that the universe as a whole was unchanging…the universe itself was just there…”1 The reaction by many in the scientific community was curious.  Professor of Physics at Auburn University  J. M. Wersinger explains:

"At first the scientific community was very reluctant to accept the idea of a birth of the universe... It took time, observational evidence, and careful verification of predictions made by the Big Bang model to convince the scientific community to accept the idea of a cosmic genesis...[T]he Big Bang is a very successful model...that imposed itself on a reluctant scientific community."2

Albert Einstein himself called the discovery “irritating.”3 Contemporary of Einstein and physicist Arthur Eddington wrote, “Philosophically, the notion of a beginning of the present order of nature is repugnant to me…I should like to find a genuine loophole.”4 Phillip Morrison of MIT said, “I find it hard to accept the Big Bang Theory.  I would like to reject it, but I have to accept the facts.”5 The late agnostic Robert Jastrow comments on the reaction of his colleagues:

“There is a strange ring of feeling and emotion in these reactions.  They come from the heart, whereas you would expect the judgments to come from the brain.  Why?”6

What did these scientific thinkers find so “irritating” and “repugnant” about the discovery that the universe had a beginning?  Why the reluctance on the part of the scientific community to accept the hard evidence?  Before we answer those questions, let’s briefly survey some of the evidence for the "Big Bang."7

The Evidence that the Universe Began to Exist

Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity

As author J. Warner Wallace explains, throughout history, philosophers and “scientific thinkers (embracing the dynamics of Newtonian physics) believed the universe was infinitely old, uniform, and unchanging.”8

In 1916, Albert Einstein attempted to apply his general theory of relativity to the cosmos and he found these convictions were false.  His own calculations revealed that all space, all time and all matter had a beginning.  The idea of a finite universe was so foreign to the great Einstein that he introduced a mathematical constant into his equations to maintain the appearance of an unchanging and infinitely old universe.  Einstein would later call this the greatest blunder of his career.9  

By 1922, Russian mathematician Alexander Friedmann uncovered Einsteins “blunder” as a mistake in algebra and astronomer Willem de Sitter found that General Relativity required the universe to be expanding.

Einstein’s theory of General Relativity has now been proven accurate to five decimals places and demands an absolute beginning for time, space, and matter.  It proves that time, space, and matter are co-relative.  They are co-dependent.  You can't have one without the others.

The Expanding Universe

As already noted, General Relativity predicted an expanding universe.  In 1929 astronomer Edwin Hubble made a shocking discovery.  He found that the light from distance galaxies appeared to be redder than expected.  Philosopher William Lane Craig explains the implications:

“This ‘redshift’ in the light was most plausibly due to the stretching of the light waves as the galaxies move away from us.  Wherever Hubble trained his telescope in the night sky, he observed this same redshift in the light from the galaxies.  It appeared that we are at the center of a cosmic explosion, and all of the other galaxies are flying away from us at fantastic speeds!”10

Imagine with me for a moment that you could watch a video recording of the history of the universe in reverse.  You would see all matter in the universe collapse back to a point that is mathematically and logically nothing.11 This is known as the singularity.  In other words, there was nothing and then the entire universe exploded into being.  

Craig 12 is once again instructive: 

“As you trace the expansion of the universe back in time, everything gets closer and closer together. Eventually the distance between any two points in space becomes zero. You can’t get any closer than that! So at that point you’ve reached the boundary of space and time. Space and time cannot be extended any further back than that. It is literally the beginning of space and time.
Eventually, the distance between any two points in space becomes zero. So space-time can be represented geometrically as a cone. What’s significant about this is that while a cone can be extended indefinitely in one direction, it has a boundary point in the other direction. Because this direction represents time and the boundary point lies in the past, the model implies that past time is finite and had a beginning.

Because space-time is the arena in which all matter and energy exist, the beginning of space-time is also the beginning of all matter and energy.  It’s the beginning of the universe.
Notice that there’s simply nothing prior to the initial boundary of space-time. Let’s not be misled by words. When cosmologists say, ‘There is nothing prior to the initial boundary,’ they do not mean that there is some state of affairs prior to it, and that is a state of nothingness. That would be to treat nothing as though it were something! Rather they mean that at the boundary point, it is false that ‘There is something prior to this point.’”13

Radiation from the Big Bang

In 1964, physicists Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson couldn’t get rid of the radio signal “noise” from their large antenna at Bell Labs in Holmdel, New Jersey.   No matter where they turned their antenna, this mysterious “noise” remained.  What they originally thought was bird droppings deposited on the antenna turned out to be a significant confirmation that the universe had a beginning!  Penzias and Wilson had discovered the residual background radiation caused when the universe first came into being.  Commonly referred to as the cosmic background radiation, this residual background radiation is actually light and heat from the initial explosion.  As author Frank Turek explains:

“This light is no longer visible because its wavelength has been stretched by the expanding universe to wavelengths slightly shorter than those produced by a microwave oven.  But the heat can still be detected.”14

Penzias and Wilson would go on to win a Nobel Prize for their discovery.

The Second Law of Thermodynamics

Simply put, the well-established second law of thermodynamics 15 says that the quantity of energy within a closed, isolated system like our universe remains the same, though the amount of usable energy depreciates over time.  The implication is that the energy in our universe will ultimately “even out” until the entire universe is uniform in energy, temperature, and disorder.16

To illustrate, author and speaker J. Warner Wallace asks us to “imagine walking into a room and observing a windup toy police car.  The longer you watch it roll, the slower it moves.  You realize the car is winding down-that is, the amount of usable energy is decreasing.  It’s reasonable to infer the car was recently wound up prior to your entry into the room.  The fact the toy car is not yet completely unwound indicates it was wound up recently.  If the car had been wound much earlier, we would expect it to be motionless by the time we entered the room.”17

Wallace then applies this illustration to the universe:

“In a similar way, the fact our universe still exhibits useful energy-even though the second law of thermodynamics dictates we are on our way to a cosmic ‘heat death’- indicates a beginning.  Otherwise, and if the universe were infinitely old, our cosmos should have run out of usable energy by now.  We can reasonably infer it was once tightly wound and full of energy.”18

The Second Law of Thermodynamics requires a beginning of the universe.

Quantitative Evidence from the Abundance of Helium

Having died in 2001 not accepting the “Big Bang” himself, it is ironic that Sir Fred Hoyle’s work on how stars formed would also demonstrate that the universe had a beginning.  J. Warner Wallace once again proves helpful:

“As he (Hoyle) studied the way elements are created within stars, he was able to calculate the amount of helium created if the universe came into being from nothing.  Helium is the second most abundant element in the universe (hydrogen is the first), but in order to form helium by nuclear fusion, temperatures must be incredibly high and conditions must be exceedingly dense.  These would have been the conditions if the universe came into being from nothing.  Hoyle’s calculations related to the formation of helium happen to coincide with our measurements of helium in the universe today.  This, of course, is consistent with the universe having a moment of beginning.”19

As astrophysics researcher Paolo Saraceno wrote:

“The discovery of the background radiation, together with the observed abundance of helium, was a mortal blow to the theory of a stationary universe; only a initial fireball could have produced it.  This meant the universe had an origin.”20

 The Borde-Guth-Vilenkin Theorem

In 2003, leading scientists Arvind Borde, Alan Guth and Alexander Vilenkin were able to prove that any universe that has, on average, been expanding throughout its history cannot be infinite in the past but must have a past space-time boundary.  The now famous “Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem” implies that even if our universe is just a tiny part of a so-called multiverse composed of many universes, the multiverse must have an absolute beginning!21

Vilenkin explains:

“It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man.  With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe.  There is no escape: they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning.”22

Divine Implications

The evidence for the “Big Bang” is quite good.  Yet, as one prominent philosopher explains, “the history of twentieth-century cosmology can be seen as a series of one failed attempt after another to avoid the absolute beginning predicted by the standard big bang model.  Unfortunately, the impression arises in the minds of laymen that the field of cosmology is in constant turnover, with no lasting results.  What the laymen doesn’t understand is that this parade of failed theories only serves to confirm the prediction of the standard model that the universe began to exist.  That prediction has now stood for over eighty years throughout a period of enormous advances in observational astronomy and creative theoretical work in astrophysics.”23

So why is it “irritating” and “repugnant” to some that the universe had a beginning?  Why has the scientific community been so reluctant to accept the birth of the universe?  It is my contention that it is because the origin of the universe has divine implications and some have been very forthright about this fact.  Arthur Eddington admitted, “The beginning seems to present insuperable difficulties unless we agree to look on it as frankly supernatural.”24 The late agnostic Robert Jastrow commented that “…there are what I or anyone would call supernatural forces at work is now, I think, a scientifically proven fact.”25 Wersinger contends that the origin of the universe “seemed to have to call for an act of supernatural creation…”26

Conclusion

My Father went home to be with the Lord 3 years ago.  I still remember finding out that he had been diagnosed with dementia.  I initially rejected the idea and although the implications were incomprehensible to me, the evidence continued to accumulate and I could no longer ignore the obvious.  The more I suppressed the truth regarding his condition, the sillier I most likely looked to friends and family.  Ultimately, I had to follow the evidence to its logical conclusion.

In like manner, the standard cosmological model has been accepted by the “clear majority of the cosmological community,”27 but as we have seen, not without some resistance from the scientific community.  It has been my contention that some have resisted or rejected the standard model not because it lacks evidential merit, but because it has divine implications.  Some have even resorted to the fantastic and unsupported speculation.  Physicist Lawrence Krauss has attempted to redefine the term "nothing" to mean "something."28  Others, such as atheist philosopher Daniel Dennett, have even advanced the idea of a self-created universe!29  Atheist philosopher Quentin Smith is forthcoming regarding the attempts atheists have made to deal with the Big Bang:

“The idea that the Big Bang theory allows us to infer that the universe began to exist about 15 billion years ago has attracted the attention of many theists. This theory seemed to confirm or at least lend support to the theological doctrine of creation ex nihilo. Indeed, the suggestion of a divine creation seemed so compelling that the notion that 'God created the Big Bang' has taken a hold on popular consciousness and become a staple in the theistic component of ‘educated common sense’. By contrast, the response of atheists and agnostics to this development has been comparatively lame.”30

I appreciate the fact that many in the unbelieving community pride themselves on being children of reason.  However, it seems with the current evidence for the beginning of the universe, that Smith is right.  If you are an atheist, "the most reasonable belief is that we came from nothing, by nothing, and for nothing."31

The evidence is clear.  The universe began to exist.  To suggest otherwise is to contradict the evidence. That doesn't seem very reasonable to me.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Footnotes:
1. William Lane Craig, On Guard, p. 87.
2. J.M. Wersinger, "Genesis: The Origin of the Universe," National Forum (Winter 1996), 11, 9, 12 as quoted by Dr. William Lane Craig in On Guard, p. 91.
3. Norman L. Geisler and Frank Turek, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, p. 73.
      4. Ibid.
      5. Robert Jastrow, God and the Astronomers, p. 112-113.
6. Ibid., 113.
7. For the purposes of this post I will be focusing on the scientific evidence that the universe had a beginning.  However, there are excellent philosophical reasons for believing that the universe had a beginning as well: 1) An actually infinite number of things cannot exist 2) You can't pass through an infinite number of elements one at a time.  For more on these arguments, see here.
8. J. Warner Wallace, God's Crime Scene, p. 32.
9. Geisler and Turek, p. 74.
10. Craig, p. 88.
11. Geisler and Turek, p. 79.
12. For those who would question William Lane Craig's credibility in matters of cosmology, I would encourage them to consider his publications on the topic here.  His published work on cosmological issues has appeared in a wide range of scientific and philosophical journals including Astrophysics and Space Science, Nature, The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, The Journal of Philosophy, and International Studies in the Philosophy of Science.
13. William Lane Craig, "The Kalam Cosmological Argument," 2015.  Numerous comments by physicists and scientists confirm Craig's contention.  Atheist physicist Victor Stenger writes that "the universe exploded out of nothingness" (V.J. Stenger, "The Face of Chaos," Free Inquiry 13 (Winter 1992-1993): 13.  
Arno Penzias, who won the Nobel Prize for discovering the microwave background, said: "Astronomy leads us to a unique event, a universe which was created out of nothing, one with the very delicate balance needed to provide exactly the right conditions required to permit life, and one which has an underlying (one might say ‘supernatural’) plan.” (Margenau, H and R.A. Varghese, ed. 1992. Cosmos, Bios, and Theos. La Salle, IL, Open Court, p. 83.)  Prominent physicists John Barrow and Frank Tipler conclude "At this singularity, space and time came into existence; literally nothing existed before the singularity, so, if the Universe originated in such a singularity, we would truly have a creation ex nihilo" (John Barrow and Frank Tipler, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986), p. 442.   To see more quotes such as this, see here.
      14. Geisler and Turek, p. 81.
15. 
Interestingly, it was Arthur Eddington who said, “…if your theory is found to be against the Second Law of Thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation.” (Quoted in Paul Davies, The Cosmic Blueprint (New York: Simon &Shuster, 1988), 20.
16. Wallace, p. 34.
17. Ibid.
18. Ibid., p. 34-35.
19. Ibid. p. 35.
20. 
Paolo Saraceno, Beyond the Stars: Our Origins and the Search for Life in the Universe (Singapore: World Scientific, 2012), 26 as quoted by J. Warner Wallace, God’s Crime Scene, p. 37.
21. Craig, p. 92.
22. 
Alexander Vilenkin, Many Worlds in One (New York: Hill and Wang, 2006), 176.91-92.
23. Craig, p. 91-92.
24. 
Arthur Eddington, The Expanding Universe (New York: Macmillan, 1933), 178.
25 
“A Scientist Caught Between Two Faiths: Interview with Robert Jastrow,” Christianity Today, August 6, 1982.
26. Ibid.
27. As astrophysicist Andrew Liddle and astronomer Jon Loveday affirmed, "The standard cosmological model is a striking success, as a phenomenological description of the cosmological data...the model's success in explaining high-precision observations has led a clear majority of the cosmological community to accept it as a good account of how the Universe works" (Oxford Companion to Cosmology [Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009], 8).
28. See here.  For more detailed refutations of Krauss's work I recommend Peter S. Williams's article "A Universe from Someone: Against Lawrence Krauss" located here and here is a nice collection of podcasts by Dr William Lane Craig responding to Krauss's book A Universe from Nothing.
29. To see a response to this view, see here.
30. As quoted by Mike Licona here.
31. William Lane Craig and Quentin Smith, Theism, Atheism and the Big Bang Cosmology (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993), 135.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Tough Topic Tuesday: The Problem of Evil, Pt. 1

The problem of evil (POE) is considered by many to be the most potent objection to the existence of God.  The POE typically comes in three different forms: 1) the logical 2) the evidential 3) and the emotional.  

Over the next several weeks we will present each version and offer a concise response.  This week, we consider the logical version.


Logical Version: “It’s Logically Impossible for God and Suffering to Coexist.”

The argument goes something like this:

1. An all-loving, all-powerful God exists.
2. Suffering exists.

Usual assumptions…

3. If God is all powerful, He can create any world that He wants.
4. If God is all-loving, He prefers a world without suffering.

Argument: God is all-loving and all-powerful.  Therefore, He both can and wants to create a world without suffering.  Therefore, it follows that the world has no suffering.  But that contradicts 2, Suffering exists. Therefore, God must not exist. 1

How would you respond?  Sound off in the comments!  

Next Tuesday we will offer a response to assumption 3.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Footnote:
1. William Lane Craig, On Guard, p. 154-155.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Feeling a Sense of Urgency

Murder investigations go cold when the first detectives fail to act with a sense of urgency.  If they wait too long, potential witnesses are harder to locate and evidence is destroyed before it can be recovered. Event as a cold-case detective, I have a similar sense of urgency in my secondary investigation.  If I wait too long, my witnesses or suspects may die of old age before I can contact and interview them. To be successful, I have to work within the lifetime of the people involved in my case.

I hope you feel a similar sense of urgency about the evidence in God's "crime scene."  Our temporal lives are short and often difficult. Let's act now, while we are on this side of eternity, to make the most important decision of our lives. Let's also help our friends and family to examine the evidence "inside the room" so they can understand the true nature of the universe and the hope we have for a life beyond the grave.

Start an investigation. Examine the evidence. Come to a verdict. Make the case to others.

Stand firm in Christ
Chase

Footnote:
Wallace, J. Warner. God's Crime Scene:  A Cold-Case Detective Examines the Evidence for a Divinely Created Universe. Page 204.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Debate Video- David Wood vs. Shabir Ally: Is the Qur'an a Book of Peace?


In this fast-paced debate, Shabir Ally argues that the Qur'an is a book of peace, while David Wood argues that it isn't.  This was one debate in a series of six that Wood and Ally recently participated in.

You can find the first debate here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Friday, November 13, 2015

Article: 5 Reasons Everyone Should Reject Abortion by John D. Ferrer

In this featured article John F. Ferrer lists and explains 5 reasons why everyone should reject abortion.  They are as follows:

1. Injustice is No Cure for Injustice
2. Abortion Displaces Oppression without Resolution.
3. It is No Liberation To Kill One Class of Human Beings For The Benefit of Another.
4. Legalized Abortion has made the Safest Place in the World the Most Dangerous Place in the World
5. Abortion Trades Old-school Sexism for New-school Sexism

You can checkout the entire article here.

 Further, I recommend his website Intelligent Christian Faith.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Video: The Atheist Challenge by Sean McDowell


In this talk Sean McDowell roles plays as a atheist and then discusses how to answer objections that some atheists offer.

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

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Notable Christian Apologist: C.S. Lewis

Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) enjoyed a distinguished career at Oxford and Cambridge.  He was also a notable literary critic and author of science fiction and children's literature (including the Chronicles of Narnia).  In addition, Lewis was arguably the most influential Christian apologist of the twentieth century.  Remarkably, he was a committed atheist before his conversion to Christ in 1929.

Lewis authored a number of important apologetic works, such as Miracles, The Problem of Pain, God in the Dock, and The Abolition of Man.  In his most famous work, Mere Christianity, Lewis presented powerful arguments for the truth of the Christian faith.  Originally broadcast as several BBC talks during World War II, Mere Christianity notes that even people who deny objective right and wrong cannot refrain from believing in them.  Moreover, people are unable to live out the moral law they know they should.  Lewis argued that this moral law, coupled with humanity's inability to fulfill it, allows Christianity to begin to "talk."  The forgiveness God offers in Christ makes sense in the real world.

Lewis also maintained that Jesus Christ claimed to be God, undercutting popular notions that Jesus was something like a good teacher.  Either He was who He claimed, or else He was a liar or lunatic.  But the life of Jesus does not betray the character of a liar or the mentally of a lunatic.  Lewis contented that the most reasonable understanding of Jesus is that He is the Lord. 1

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Footnote:
1. Ted Cabal, "Notable Christian Apologist: C.S. Lewis," The Apologetics Study Bible, p. 1827.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Is All Worship Equally Acceptable to God?

In the subject piece, Tim Barnett of Stand to Reason, tackles the common belief that it doesn’t matter how you come to God, so long as you come. The true God will accept worship—in whatever form and to whatever god—and transpose it onto Himself. On this view, it doesn’t really matter how one worships, as long as the person is sincere. 

Stand firm in Christ,

Chase

Monday, November 09, 2015

Truthbomb Apologetics presents "Defending the Unborn" featuring Abby Johnson

Truthbomb Apologetics is proud to be hosting former Planned Parenthood Director turned Pro-life Advocate Abby Johnson as she makes the case for life and equips us to work together to end abortion in our community.

This event will be held on Saturday, November 14th, 2015 at Faith Christian Fellowship in Williamsport, Md from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm.

This event is free and will feature:

- Q & A time with Abby Johnson
- Local State and Federal Politicians in Attendance and Represented
- Local Pregnancy Centers and Ministry Partners
- Free Resources to Equip You to Make the Case for Life

You can learn more about Abby Johnson and her ministry here.  I highly recommend her book and you can learn more about it here.

To learn more about the event, visit the event Facebook page here.

RSVP is appreciated, but certainly not required.  You can RSVP at anightforlife@gmail.com

We hope to see you there!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Common Objection #27- "Intelligent People Don't Believe in God!"

In his book, Exposing Myths about Christianity, Professor Jeffrey Burton Russell meets this challenge head- on:

"There is no evidence that intelligent people are more likely to be atheists than stupid people, but many atheists simply define belief in God as a sign of stupidity itself.  People with bachelor's degrees are somewhat more likely to be atheists than those who do not go beyond high school, but people with advanced degrees are somewhat less likely to be atheists than those with only a bachelor's, and slightly more than half of college professors believe in God.1
Correlation with income is firmer: those who earn more than $150,000 a year are more likely to be atheists.2  Perhaps when you feel materially secure, you feel that you don't need God.  Many Christians are anti-intellectual and make bizarre statements about both science and theology.  At the same time, many scientists make ignorant arguments about religion.  One academic finds it ridiculous to think that 'there's some person sitting on a chair with a beard who has lightning coming out of his fingers or make pronouncements about how people should live.'3  Of course it's ridiculous, as every Christian would agree.

Some of the dullards who have believed in God are the musicians Palestrina and Johann Sebastian Bach; artists such as Leonardo Da Vinci and Caravaggio; writers such as Dante and J.R.R. Tolkien; philosophers such as Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin, Rene Descartes, Alfred North Whitehead and Antony Flew; and scientists (I list more of these because anti-theists often claim that religion and science are incompatible) such as Louis Agassiz, Andre-Marie Ampere, Robert Boyle, Tycho Brahe, Nicolaus Copernicus, Georges Cuvier, John Ambrose Fleming, Galileo, Pierre Gassendi, William Harvey, Werner Heisnenberg, William Herschel, James Prescott Joule, William Kelvin, Johann Kepler, Carolus Linnaeus, Joseph Lister, Charles Lyell, James Clark Maxwell, Gregor Mendel, Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur, Max Planck, Bernhard Riemann and Nicolaus Steno.  The anti-theists retort that these people are to old and dead to have been aware that the science disproves God.  But here are brilliant people who believe in God today: Stephen M. Barr, Francis S. Collins, Simon Conway Morris, William Lane Craig, Owen Gingerich, Stanley Jaki, John C. Lennox, Alister McGrath, Kenneth Miller, Alvin Plantinga, John Polkinghorne, John A. Pople, Marilynne Robinson, Hugh Ross, Allen R. Sandage, A.N. Wilson and N.T. Wright.  And that's just the beginning.  At the world's leading research universities a much higher proportion of Christians is to be found in departments of natural science than in departments of humanities or social science.  Among the leaders of the anti-theist movement today, few are actually professional scientists."

When one claims that "Intelligent people don't believe God," they are making a demonstrably false statement.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Footnotes:
1. Amarnath Amarasingam, "Are American College Professors Religious?," Huffington Post, Oct. 6, 2010.
2. Christian Century, June 16, 2009, p. 13.
3. Elaine Howard Ecklund, Science vs. Religion: What Scientists Really Think (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010), p. 71.

Taken from Jeffrey Burton Russell, Exposing Myths about Christianity, p. 131-132.

Friday, November 06, 2015

Movie Preview: God's Not Dead 2


The short video above explains the story of the forthcoming film "God's Not Dead 2."  Apologists J. Warner Wallace and Gary Habermas appear in the film!

You can learn about the film here.

Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Article: Can Multiverse Theories Explain the Appearance of Fine Tuning in the Universe? by J. Warner Wallace

One version of the fine-tuning argument goes like this:

1. The fine-tuning of the universe is due to physical necessity, chance, or design.

2. It is not due to physical necessity or chance.

3. Therefore, it is due to design.

Multi-verse theories attempt to explain the fine-tuning of the universe apart from a designer.

In this featured article, J. Warner Wallace explains the problems with current multi-verse theories.


Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Quote: Greg Koukl on the Role of Apologetics

"If you’re searching for that perfect line of logic capable of subduing any objection, you’re wasting your time. There is no magic, no silver bullet, no clever turn of thought or phrase that’s guaranteed to compel belief…We have very limited control over how other people respond to us.That’s largely in God’s hands. We can remove some of the negatives or dispel some of the fog—and we ought to try to do both. But at the end of the day, a person’s deep-seated rebellion against God is a problem only a supernatural solution can fix." 

Courage and  Godspeed,
Chad

HT: The Poached Egg

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Articles on Jesus by Mike Licona

Author, historian and debater Mike Licona writes on Jesus and His identity in the following brief articles:
For more of Licona's work, see here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Monday, November 02, 2015

Is the Bible Reliable?

Haven Today conducted the subject five part series a while back in which Dr. Peter Williams of Tyndale House Cambridge sat down to talk about why we can have confidence that the Bible is reliable.

You can listen to the each of the following parts of the series at the links below:

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

Enjoy and...

Stand firm in Christ,
Chase




Sunday, November 01, 2015