Monday, October 31, 2016

Debate: "Does God Exist?" David Wood vs. Michael Shermer


"On October 10th, 2016, David Wood debated Michael Shermer on the topic "Does God Exist?" The debate was sponsored by Ratio Christi. In the course of the debate, Wood and Shermer discussed the Scientific Revolution, design arguments, cosmological arguments, moral arguments, the problem of evil, skepticism, and methodology."

Enjoy!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

HT: Tim Stratton via Facebook

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Book Review: Cold-Case Christianity for Kids by J. Warner Wallace and Susie Wallace

I was excited when I heard cold-case detective J. Warner Wallace and his wife Susie were writing a children’s version of his outstanding book Cold-Case Christianity [Our review is here]. Wallace’s work has been extremely helpful to me. I have successfully implemented his arguments multiple times when sharing my own faith.  Cold-Case Christianity for Kids gives me the unique opportunity to share a wealth of evidence for the reliability of the Gospels, as well as the historicity for the resurrection of Christ, with my eight and nine year old daughters!

When I arrived home from work this week they met me at the door with their copies of Jim and Susie's book in hand. They were excited to begin their investigation!

My eldest daughter, who is a ferocious reader, finished the book in two days. When bed time reading concluded the first day, she did not want to stop! I asked, “Well, what do you think so far?” She replied, “I really like it. It says that I should investigate the case for Jesus myself!” I was thrilled. As Christian parents, my wife and I strive to teach our daughters about Christ and why we believe Christianity is true. However, we want them to own their faith.  CCC4K not only demonstrates that we have good reasons to trust the gospels and to believe the resurrection, but it also teaches children to think critically for themselves in a winsome manner.

We desire our children to evaluate evidence and draw sound conclusions based upon that evidence. We want them to understand that they should believe Christianity because it is evidentially true. This book affords children the opportunity to learn these skills and truths from an actual, seasoned detective!

Jim and Susie Wallace have written an excellent book for children that is easy-to-read with illustrations that support the arguments made in the text. One of the unique features of CCC4K is the interactive website which includes activities, videos and a certificate of merit for completing the “Detective Cadet Academy.” Further, parents are encouraged to read along with their children!

CCC4K is a must have resource for every parent who desires to teach their children not only how to think critically, but also how to “give a defense to anyone who asks…for a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15).

I am convinced this book will give children a solid foundation to their faith as well as becoming instrumental in raising up future Christian case makers.

I highly recommend this book and so does my daughter Emma!  You can read my interview with her about the book here.

You can get your copy here!

Note: Some atheists may accuse parents like myself of indoctrinating my children; however, I would challenge that notion in two ways. First, nonbelievers seem to have no problem with atheist authors such Richard Dawkins and Stephen Law writing books for children from an atheistic perspective. Second, Wallace's book teaches skills children can apply to any case, Christian or otherwise.  In other words, the thinking skills taught by Jim and Susie in this book are skills any sound thinker should adopt.  Shouldn't even the most staunch skeptic desire their children to learn how to think evidentially?

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Related Posts

14 Ways I Teach Apologetics to my 5-Year-Olds by Natasha Crain

Raising Your Kids for Christ

What Lawrence Krauss Could Learn from a Children's Book

Friday, October 28, 2016

Book Preview: Rational Faith- A Philosopher's Defense of Christianity by Stephen T. Davis

About the Author

Stephen T. Davis (PhD, Claremont Graduate University) is the Russell K. Pitzer Professor of Philosophy at Claremont McKenna College. He specializes in the philosophy of religion and Christian thought, and he is the author or editor of over fifteen books including Encountering Evil, Christian Philosophical Theology, and Disputed Issues. He has also written more than seventy academic articles and reviews. In 2015, he was honored with the festschrift Christian Philosophy of Religion: Essays in Honor of Stephen T. Davis.

About the Book


If God exists, why doesn't he eliminate suffering and evil? Does evolution disprove Christianity? Can religion be explained by cognitive science?

People have grappled for ages with these kinds of questions. And many in today's academic world find Christian belief untenable. But renowned philosopher Stephen Davis argues that belief in God is indeed a rational and intellectually sound endeavor. Drawing on a lifetime of rigorous reflection and critical thinking, he explores perennial and contemporary challenges to Christian faith. Davis appraises objections fairly and openly, offering thoughtful approaches to common intellectual problems.

Real questions warrant reasonable responses. Examine for yourself the rationality of the Christian faith.

You can get your copy here.

Please keep watching the blog for our forthcoming review!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Related Posts

Should Christians Not Study Philosophy?

SCIENCE IS DEAD!...without philosophy

What is Philosophy of Religion?

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Why I Am Not Atheist



One of the blogs I enjoy reviewing out on a regular basis is by Tim Challies. He is the publisher of challies.com where his catch phrase is “Informing the Reforming.”  I find many of his articles thoughtful, but I especially enjoy his regular “A La Carte” segment where he provides links related to an eclectic variety of interests. Recent links have included:

“Scientists are just beginning to believe what the Bible tells us in Genesis 6:3. ‘Then the Lord said, ‘My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.’’ With that, God declared there would be no more Methuselahs, and new research published in the journal Nature is bearing that out.”

There is some stunning underwater footage in this video from Indonesia.

Turns out previous estimates were kind of low. “For decades, astronomers had put the number at 100 billion to 200 billion. But new research using data from the Hubble Space Telescope and other observatories shows that number is about 10 times too low. That means there are at least 1 trillion galaxies out there ― and possibly as many as 2 trillion.”

This is incredible HD footage of an Arizona Monsoon.

As a long-time listener to CCM, I tend to agree with this article. (Which had this link to another article I found relevant: The Moment I Began to Lose Faith in Contemporary Worship Music It was strange how it happened, the time I began to lose faith in contemporary worship music.)


Back in May, Tim did a series of articles on “Why I Am Not…” The first article was “Why I Am Not Atheist”.  After giving a brief description of his life’s belief, he provided two answers. The second was a list with brief descriptions of four basic apologetic style reasons: He sees evidence of God in existence, design, humanity and in the Bible. But what 
caught my attention was his first answer:

“First, according to the Bible, I am not an atheist because God determined I would not be. See, it’s not that I have any spiritual, intellectual, or philosophical inclinations within me that nudge me toward God. Rather, I have all the makings of a very convinced atheist—an inclination away from authority and toward independence, a questioning mind, and a restless spirit. But God chose to reveal himself to me and to draw me to himself. In his own way and for his own purposes he revealed himself, his existence, his goodness, his power, and I responded with faith, with belief. Ultimately, then, I am not an atheist because God showed me himself.”

He then went on to state, “That is the first answer and the second cannot be separated from it: I am not an atheist because of things I believe and decisions I have made. God works through, not apart from, human agency and ability. And in that way I am not an atheist on the basis of evidence I have observed and conclusions I have made.”

As one who is skeptical of some of the theological framework for Calvinism, I find statements such as, “I am not an atheist because God determined I would not be” somewhat troubling. If you are an agnostic or atheist, how do you feel about such statements? If you are a Christian, what do you think? If God works through human agency and my response is on the basis of observations and conclusions I have made, then how does that correspond with God choosing to reveal himself and draw me to him because he previously determined it?

You can read the entire article for yourself here. Tim does not have a comments section, but he does have a “letters to the editor” policy if you’d like to address your thoughts to him.

Don’t take my word for it, read the article, don’t wait for the movie.

Have a little hope on me, Roger

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

What is Apologetics?

Many even within the Christian community are still unaware of the discipline of apologetics.  For this reason, and others, it seems useful for the apologist to periodically define the term apologetics and demonstrate it's biblical origins. In his excellent work, Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith, philosopher Douglas Groothuis offers a useful definition that I wanted to highlight here:

"The word apologetics is often used today in a derogatory way to mean a biased and belligerent advocacy of an indefensible position.  Yet the idea of presenting a credible 'apology' for a legitimate position or viewpoint has a long and rich history.  For example, the American founders presented an apology (or apologetic) for what would become the American form of government in The Federalist Papers.  These learned and eloquent apologists explained and rationally defended a political perspective in the face of objections.  An apologist, then, is a defender and an advocate for a particular position.  The position is not reserved for Christians or other religionists.  Richard Dawkins, for example, is a tireless apologist for atheistic Darwinism and, as such, an equally tireless opponent of all religion, but particularly of Christianity.  While apologists may resort to propaganda or even coercion in order to win approval for their positions, they need not do so.  Of course, the Christian, following Christ's example, must never do so.

Christian apologetics is the rational defense of the Christian worldview as objectively true, rationally compelling and existentially or subjectively engaging.  The word apologetics comes from the Greek word apologia, which can be translated as 'defense' or 'vindication.'  In the days of the New Testament 'an apologia was a formal courtroom defense of something (2 Timothy 4:16.)'  The word, in either the noun form apologia or the verb form apologeomai, appears eight times in the New Testament (Acts 22:1; 25:16; 1 Corinthians 9:3; 2 Corinthians 7:11; Philippians 1:7, 16; 2 Timothy 4:16; 1 Peter 3:15). The term is used specifically for a rational defense of the gospel in three texts: Philippians 1:7, 16, and most famously in 1 Peter 3:15-16.

'But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord.  Always be prepared to give an answer [apologia] to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.  But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.'1

If you are interested in learning more about apologetics, please checkout our Apologist's Quiver for resources to get your started!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Footnote:

Related Posts

The Four Functions of Apologetics by Kenneth Boa

Is Apologetics Practical?

Lenny Esposito on Apologetics and the Christian Life

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Does Quantum Physics Provide an Exception to Premise 1 of the Kalam Cosmological Argument?

A popular version of the Kalam cosmological argument is as follows:

1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
2. The universe began to exist.
3. Therefore, the universe has a cause.

Premise (1) enjoys at least 3 lines of reasoning to support it:
  • Something cannot come into being from nothing.
  • If something can come into being from nothing, then it becomes inexplicable why just anything and everything doesn't come into being from nothing.
  • Common experience and scientific evidence confirm the truth of premise 1. [1]
One common assertion sometimes offered by atheists against Premise (1) is that quantum physics provides an exception to the premise, since on the sub-atomic level events are said to be uncaused.  However, as Dr. William Lane Craig explains in his book Reasonable Faith, this claim is based upon a misunderstanding.

Craig explains:

"In the first place, not all scientists agree that sub-atomic events are uncaused.  A great many physicists today are quite dissatisfied with this view (the so-called Copenhagen Interpretation) of quantum physics and are exploring deterministic theories...Thus, quantum physics is not a proven exception to premise (1).  Second, even on the traditional, indeterministic interpretation, particles do not come into being out of nothing.  They arise as spontaneous fluctuations of the energy contained in the sub-atomic vacuum, which constitutes an indeterministic cause of their origination.  Third, the same point can be made about theories of the origin of the universe out of a primordial vacuum.  Popular magazine articles touting such theories as getting 'something from nothing' simply do not understand that the vacuum is not nothing but is a sea of fluctuating energy endowed with a rich structure and subject to physical laws.  Such models do not therefore involve a true origination ex nihilo." [2]

To suggest that quantum physics provides an exception to Premise (1) of the Kalam cosmological argument is simply false and is a deliberate abuse of science propagated by thinkers such as physicist Lawrence Krauss.

To find responses to other objections to the KCA, see here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Footnote:
1. William Lane Craig, On Guard, p. 75-78.
2. William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith, 114-115.

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Case for Christ Official Teaser Trailer (2017)


This is the trailer for the forthcoming film based on Lee Strobel's journey from atheism to Christianity.  

Strobel has also recently released a revised and updated version of his classic The Case for Christ.

You can get your copy here.

Enjoy!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Late-Term Abortion, the Life of the Mother and the 3rd Presidential Debate

During the 3rd presidential debate, Hillary Clinton accused Donald Trump1 of using scare tactics when describing a late term abortion.  I took issue with her claim on social media and stated that Trump’s words were not scare tactics, but an accurate description of the process.  I claimed that the process is “brutal and barbaric” and I stand by that description.2

After reading my comments, a thoughtful reader shared the following comment that I thought was worth responding to:3

“I saw a true story on the news today about a condition where the amniotic fluid of a baby enters the mothers blood stream and the mother had to make a choice... her life or her baby's life. I think Hillary's point was that late term abortions are not always easy... as someone who sits here 38 weeks pregnant, it terrifies me to think that I would ever be in the situation to decide between saving my unborn baby's life or leaving [my child] motherless... it brings tears to my eyes to even type it now.... I'm not sure what I would do, but should government make the decision for me? What a hard subject abortion is ... I really can see the hardships on both sides…”

I believe the comment is instructive.  Notice that it communicates a genuine struggle over an important issue.  Absent is the typical rhetoric that often times enters into the pro-life vs. pro-abortion choice debate. 

As this comment demonstrates, the abortion debate is often an emotional one.  However, in my response to these thoughtful points, I will strive to say what I think about the points, not how I feel about them.  This should not be interpreted as cold or callous, but as my attempt to offer a sound and objective response that is factually based.

These situations are indeed tragic and those who have suffered through such a horrific event need to be shown the love of Christ.  They need our love and compassion, not our condemnation.

However, it important to note how extremely rare these cases actually are.  According to Dr. C. Everett, who was US surgeon general and a pediatric surgeon for 36 years:

"Protection of the life of the mother as an excuse for an abortion is a smoke screen. In my 36 years in pediatric surgery I have never known of one instance where the child had to be aborted to save the mother’s life.

If, toward the end of the pregnancy complications arise that threaten the mother’s health, he will take the child by inducing labor or performing a Caesarean section. His intention is still to save the life of both the mother and the baby. The baby will be premature and perhaps immature depending on the length of gestation.

Because it has suddenly been taken out of the protective womb, it may encounter threats to its survival. The baby is never willfully destroyed because the mother’s life is in danger."4

Moreover, Dr. Landrum Shettles, pioneer in infertility treatment and called “the father of in vitro fertilization,” claimed that less than 1% of all abortions were performed to save the mother’s life.5

And if one is still in doubt, even Alan F. Guttmacher, the “father of Planned Parenthood” conceded:

"Today it is possible for almost any patient to be brought through pregnancy alive, unless she suffers from a fatal disease such as cancer or leukemia, and if so, abortion would be unlikely to prolong, much less save the life.”6

So, contrary to the claims of pro-abortion choice advocates such as Hillary Clinton7, we can confidently conclude that late-term abortions are almost never necessary to save the life of the mother.

Furthermore, when the life of the baby is lost as the result of an operation, this is not considered an abortion.  Consider the tragic case of ectopic pregnancy, a condition that pro-choice advocates state is “the most frequently presented example of a case in which the mother’s life may be in danger if an abortion is not performed…”8

A child has very little hope of surviving such a surgery and the surgery may be necessary to save the mother.  However, this is not the intentional killing of an innocent person who could otherwise survive.  The surgeon’s purpose wasn’t to kill the child but to save the mother.  As Randy Alcorn explains:

“The death of the child was a tragic side-effect of lifesaving efforts.  This was a consistently pro-life act, since to be pro-life does not mean being pro-life only about babies.  It also means being pro-life about women.”9

Finally, as others have pointed out, in regard to the extremely rare cases such as the one you shared, advocates of the pro-life position favor legislation that would allow for life-saving measures on behalf of the mother.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Related Articles

Exceptions: Is Abortion Ever Permissible?



Related Posts

When Pro-Abortion Choice Rhetoric Hurts

Could Acceptance of Abortion Be a Matter of Ignorance?


Footnotes:
1. FYI- I am not a Donald Trump supporter, nor am I a Hillary Clinton supporter. Neither have earned my vote this election season.  In my humble opinion, both are morally unacceptable candidates.
2. For those who disagree, I challenge you to view this animated video of the process or consider the words of former abortionist turned pro-life advocate Dr. Anthony Levatino when describing the procedure:

"The toughest part of a D&E abortion is extracting the baby's head. The head of a baby that age is about the size of a large plum and is now free floating inside the uterine cavity. You can be pretty sure you have hold of it if the Sopher clamp is spread about as far as your fingers will allow. You will know you have it right when you crush down on the clamp and see white gelatinous material coming through the cervix. That was the baby's brains. You can then extract the skull pieces. Many times a little face will come out and stare back at you."

3. For the record, the reader kindly gave me permission to respond to her comment via the blog.
4. Randy Alcorn, Why-Pro-Life?, p. 79.
5. Virginia Kruta, "Even Democrats were Cringing When Hillary gave 'Late Term Abortion' Answers," Oct. 2016.
6. Alan Guttmacher, “Abortion Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow,” The Case for Legalized Abortion Now (Berkeley: Diablo Books, 1967), 9.
7. Further, it should be noted that research doesn’t support Hillary Clinton’s claim that late-term abortions are performed for ‘life and health of the mother.’  See here.
8. Bill Fortenberry, “Ectopic Personhood,” The Personhood Initiative, Dec. 20, 2011 as quoted by Randy Alcorn, Why Pro-Life?, p. 81
9. Randy Alcorn, Ibid., p. 80-81.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Learning to the Glory of God






This article is courtesy of BreakPoint.org

The average person is familiar with C. S. Lewis as the creator of the land of Narnia. BreakPoint readers are probably acquainted as well with “Mere Christianity,” his most famous non-fiction work, and also with “The Screwtape Letters,” which made him a household name in the U.S.

But did you know that Lewis also preached at least a dozen times during his lifetime? Seventy-five years ago today, on October 22, 1939, he gave his debut sermon. Do you know the name of it? Or can you name any of his sermons?

“None Other Gods: Culture in War-Time” is the name of Lewis’s premier effort as a preacher. It was delivered at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin in Oxford (this was the University church that most students attended). It’s important to recall the historical context of this message from 1939. Besides occurring before “The Screwtape Letters” was published serially, it even happened prior to the release of his initial apologetic work, The Problem of Pain (1940). Yet it is even more important to recall that England had just declared war on Germany the month before this first sermon. Knowing this context makes it easier to understand the beginning of the essay version we have today.
The vicar of St. Mary’s, the Reverend Theodore Milford, was aware that Lewis was a WWI veteran, but this was not the only reason he was asked to address the congregation. The vicar had read Lewis’s “The Pilgrim’s Regress and was impressed by it. Both these factors made Lewis a logical choice to address the parishioners. This last influence is somewhat ironic, because of all the books penned by Lewis, this one from 1933 is one of his least popular books and is considered a very difficult read.
Even if you are a serious reader of Lewis’s shorter works, it is unlikely that you recognized the title of this debut sermon. That is because the essay version—available in the sermon collection “The Weight of Glory”—is better known today as “Learning in War-time.” To make matters even more confusing, that is actually the third title it had within the decade after it was preached. The following year it was included in “Famous English Sermons” as “The Christian in Danger.” This book, edited by Ashley Sampson, collected landmark messages from famous preachers. Sampson felt compelled to add Lewis’s debut effort because even then it was obvious that the message would speak to people for many years to come.
While most people today are not affected by war in the same way they were at the time Lewis preached his sermon, we can still relate to many of the questions of those who first heard this message. Although Lewis did tailor his address to students (the majority of those who were in attendance), he made many points that we need to hear today. One in particular still resonates, and offers a good reason to read the work.
Lewis began by acknowledging the anxieties faced by a majority of his audience. They were young adults fearing being called to service and debating whether they should continue their pursuit of higher learning. Lewis was familiar with their situation because he was initially a new student at Oxford during the First World War. At that time his brother, Warren, was already on active duty, and Lewis himself would eventually spend his 19th birthday in the trenches in France. If anyone could relate to the predicament of these undergraduates, Lewis could. It was now over 20 years later and Lewis had the chance to share wisdom he probably wished had been imparted to him.
Lewis used the fact that most students were doubting whether they should continue their schooling in the context of a war, to ask why even in times of peace a person should get an education. Certainly the future was uncertain, but even in so-called “normal life” (which Lewis reminded his listeners is nonexistent) there are always challenges. So, in good times or bad “plausible reasons have never been lacking for putting off all merely cultural activities.”
Why, in fact (Lewis asked), should a Christian should ever consider a temporal pursuit such as education? After all, when you consider the importance of the eternal destiny of souls, why focus on “such comparative trivialities as literature or art, mathematics or biology”? Of course, Lewis did not consider that perspective to be a valid argument and he gave reasons why, while making passing reference to the false dichotomy of “sacred” vs. “secular.” However, he also underscored the paradox that life cannot be “exclusively and explicitly religious,” and yet, “our whole life can, and indeed must, become religious.”
Near the end of his explanation Lewis delivered the now-familiar line: “Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered.” But before that proclamation, Lewis gave examples to clarify why our lives cannot always be religious in the narrowest sense.
First, he recalls that, before he served in WWI he believed his “life in the trenches would, in some mysterious sense, be all war.” This wasn’t the case at all. He found his view (and also most people’s opinion) of active service to be completely wrong. Next, he pointed out that if you lived near a dangerous body of water, it would be important to learn some life-saving skills to help someone drowning. Yet, it would be foolish for someone to devote themselves completely to saving drowning people, to the exclusion of anything else. As Lewis said, it is “a duty worth dying for, but not worth living for.”
In short, a life may be permeated and guided by an ideal without explicitly focusing on it every single moment.
When considering what to do, or not do, even beyond the question of furthering one’s education, he offers: “The solution of this paradox is, of course, well known to you. ‘Whether ye eat or drink or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God’” (1 Corinthians 10:31). This is why, he says, “there is no essential quarrel between the spiritual life and the human activities as such.” As long as one keeps the admonition to do all for God’s glory, nearly any pursuit (in peace or war) is permitted.
Lewis’s sermon of 1939 is truly a timeless message. In it, he showed the ability to expound timeless biblical truths in a fresh and illuminating way that would shape his career and make him one of our most beloved Christian writers.

Image courtesy of Real Clear Religion.
William O'Flaherty created and maintains EssentialCSLewis.com, where a variety of Lewis-related resources can be found, including a weekly podcast called "All About Jack."

Thursday, October 20, 2016

God in the Pews

Why isn’t God more obvious? This question is often asked in many ways and in many contexts, by people of all levels of faith. When prayers go unanswered, why is God silent? When suffering or tragedy strikes, why would God allow this to happen? Why wouldn’t God want more people to know God’s good news? When all the “evidence” seems to counter the biblical narrative, why doesn’t God just give the world a sign? If God was revealed through many wondrous signs and miracles throughout the Bible, why doesn’t God act that way today? All of these examples get at the same issue: the seeming “hiddenness” of God.
Atheist Bertrand Russell was once asked what he would say if after death he met God. Russell replied that he would say: “God, you gave us insufficient evidence.”(1) While many who have found God quite evident would balk at Russell’s audacity, a similar struggle ensued between the psalmist and his hidden God. “Why do you stand afar off, O Lord? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” Indeed, the psalmist accuses God of being asleep in these plaintive cries: “Arouse, yourself, why do you sleep, O Lord? Awake, and do not reject us forever. Why do you hide your face, and forget our affliction and our oppression?”(2)
In fact, belief in a God who can be easily found, a God who has acted in time and space, makes the hiddenness of God all the more poignant and perplexing. Theologians have offered many explanations for God’s hiddenness: because God seeks to grow our faith, because our sins and disobedience hide us from God and keep us from seeing God properly, or because God loves us and knows how muchand how often we need to “find” God. If we are honest, we are just as likely to hide ourselves from God just as the first humans did in the Garden when God sought after them. Even so we cry out just like Job did and wonder why God stays hidden away in unanswered prayers and difficult circumstances: “Why do you hide your face, and consider me the enemy?”
The hiddenness of God is problematic for theists and atheists alike. And Christians often take for granted the narrative of Scripture which gives witness to God’s revelation. We have the benefit of a book full of God’s speech. God speaks in the wonder and mystery of creation; God speaks through the history of the nation of Israel; God speaks through the very Word of God incarnate, Jesus Christ. His life reveals the exact nature of God, and places God’s glory on full display.
But still we may wonder if we must always and only look to the past to hear God’s voice, while we wonder why God isn’t more “talkative” today? Is there any other source for God’s presence and activity in the world today?
In fact, God is often found in one of the last places many might guess: the church. At its best, the church re-tells the story of God speaking across the ages and definitively in Jesus Christ through the preaching of the gospel. But the church can also create community where God may be encountered in the faces of others as a result of the empowering Holy Spirit. Such a community is to be the symbol of God’s presence among us and with us as “God-found,” not “God-hidden.” It is to be the arms of God around us when we are hurting, or the voice of God speaking when we feel we haven’t heard from God in years. Such a community can be God’s voice, God’s hands and feet going towards the broken places of the world to bring healing, help, and comfort. Through worship and liturgy, prayer and communion, service and sacrifice the church can reveal the God who spoke and is still speaking.
God is not often revealed in the roar of the hurricane or the loud-clap of thunder, but in a “still, small voice”—a voice that is barely audible except to the most patient and still. But when the Church, broken and human as it is, seeks through the power of the Spirit to be who it is, we see God and hear God, and find God beautifully obvious.
For those who long to see God, who long to find God in the darkest hour, we may not find God in the dramatic or the victorious, the miraculous or the stupendous. Instead, we may yet hope to find him in the pew, at the table of the Lord’s Supper, in a simple hymn, or in the gift of fellow seekers longing to find God too.
Margaret Manning Shull is a member of the speaking and writing team at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Bellingham, Washington.
(1) Cited in Dr. Paul K. Moser’s booklet, Why Isn’t God More Obvious: Finding the God who Hides and Seeks (Norcross, GA: RZIM, 2000), 1.
(2) Psalm 10:1, Psalm 44:23-24.

Published on October 18, 2016 in A Slice of Infinity.  “Our gift and invitation to you, that you might further examine your beliefs, your culture, and the unique message of Jesus Christ.”

To learn more about Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, go here.

To receive A Slice of Infinity in your daily email, go here.


Have a little hope on me,
Roger

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

What is Philosophy of Religion?

In his excellent book, Philosophy of Religion: Thinking about Faith, C. Stephen Evans gives a helpful definition:

"Religion is an important force in human life and human history.  This remains the case despite periodic announcements by 'secularists' thinkers that humanity has finally come of age and has no more use for religion.  Most human beings are still vitally concerned with such questions as 'Is there a God?' 'Why does God allow suffering?' and 'What happens to a person at death?'  These and other questions posed by great religious of the world are grounded in some of the deepest human hopes and fears.

The philosophy of religion can perhaps be best defined in a preliminary way as the attempt to think hard and deeply about such fundamental questions as these.  In saying that philosophy of religions focuses on these questions, I mean, of course, to say that the answers given by religions are also to be the object of attention.  Philosophy of religion is therefore critical reflection on religious beliefs."1

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Related Posts

What is Philosophy?

Atheist Quentin Smith on Philosophical Theism

Should Christians Not Study Philosophy?

Monday, October 17, 2016

Racism and Abortion: Part 2


Previously we posted Part 1 of the Human Coalition's subject series in which the racist roots of abortion were discussed by Brian Fisher and Bishop Vincent Matthews Jr. 

Fisher co-wrote Part 2 with Benjamin Watson of the Baltimore Ravens. In it they discuss that in order for racism to end in America abortion needs to end. They then provide their thoughts on how this happens.

You can read Part 2 here and Part 1 can be found here

Stand firm in Christ and stand firm for the pre-born,
Chase  

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Common Objection #31- "Intelligent Design is not Science!"

As speaker and author Frank Turek explains on his useful Cross Examined App, this objection depends on what you mean by "science:"

"What do you mean by science?

Are archaeologists doing science when they inter that there was an intelligent cause for an inscription or a piece of pottery?

Are homicide detectives doing science when they engage in a forensic investigation and discover that an intelligent being committed a murder?

If Intelligent Design (ID) isn't science, then neither is evolution.  ID theorists are using the same forensic/historical scientific method that Darwin himself used.  That's all that can be used.  Since these are historical questions, a scientist can't go into the lab to repeat and observe the origin and history of life.

Scientists must evaluate the clues left behind and then make an inference to the best explanation.

Does our repeated experience tell us that natural mechanisms have the power to create the effects in question or is intelligence required?

Who defines the limits and rules of science?  If certain self-appointed priests of science say that a particular theory is outside the bounds of their own scientific dogma, that doesn't mean that the theory is false.  The issue is truth-not whether something fits a materialistic definition of science (which begs the question)."

So, is ID science?  That depends on your definition of science.  As a theist, I am free to follow the evidence wherever it leads because my philosophical convictions don't box me in. Admittedly, one should always consider natural explanations first; however, if detectable design is present, one should be at liberty to conclude that a designer is the best explanation of the phenomenon being observed.

To check out our "Common Objections" series, go here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Related Posts

Common Objection #8- "Intelligent Design is Magic"

Common Objection #26- "Science Can Account for Everything!"

Debate Video: Fazale Rana vs. Michael Ruse on Evolution vs. Design

Friday, October 14, 2016

Movie Trailer: Revolutionary


About the Film

Revolutionary tells the story of biochemist Michael Behe and the revolution he helped spark with his book Darwin’s Black Box, inspiring a new generation of scientists and thinkers who are challenging Darwinian evolution and exploring evidence in nature of intelligent design. 

Learn about Behe’s journey, how those opposed to his ideas tried to kill intelligent design in federal court, and how recent scientific discoveries have vindicated and extended his work.

You can learn more about the film here.

You can purchase your copy here.

To learn more about Michael Behe, go here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Physics Professor Michael Strauss on the Origin of the Universe

"The prediction of general relativity is that the Big Bang itself is the origin of everything we know: space, time, matter and energy, so the Big Bang is kind of a misnomer. A Big Bang brings up the idea that something exploded, but the Big Bang itself is not an explosion … it’s the origin of everything we know in this universe. If everything in the universe came into being, then the cause of the universe must be transcendent, not a part of this universe. Science kind of stumbled onto something that the Bible declared long ago … that the universe had a beginning."

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad


Related Posts

A Cosmological Argument Primer

Understanding the Cosmological Argument

Late Agnostic Astronomer Robert Jastrow on the Origin of the Universe

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Article: Apologetics as Conversation by Tim Muehlhoff

Last spring, we had the opportunity to review the book A New Kind of Apologistedited by Sean McDowell.  You can find our review here.

One of the many excellent chapters included in this book is Chapter 1- Christians in the Argument Culture: Apologetics as Conversation by Tim Muehlhoff.

In this chapter, Muehlhoff explains how he was able to find principles of communication in the book of Proverbs that anyone can implement in their own conversations to transform them into apologetics opportunities.

The author writes:

"I found the communication principles I needed in the book of Proverbs. This unique book is the collective counsel of teachers to their students. Israel's teachers were watching their best and brightest leave to take leadership positions in Jerusalem. This move put young Israelite men in touch with non-Israelites who did not share the sacred beliefs of the Jewish community. The writers of Proverbs faced the same challenge we do: How do we prepare individuals to meet and engage people whose beliefs are radically different from our own? These wise teachers knew they could not write a script for every interpersonal situation their pupils would encounter. People then were too diverse, just as they are now. Instead, they carefully crafted broad principles and sayings, which we can use today.

These proverbial principles are expressed in four essential questions that we must ask during a conversation with someone whose beliefs are different from our own."

The four essential questions are:

1. What does this person believe?

2. Why does this person believe?

3. Where do we agree?

4. Based on this knowledge, how should I proceed?

Now, you can read this entire chapter online for free.  You can check it out here.

Further, I highly recommend A New Kind of Apologist, edited by Sean McDowell.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Related Posts

What Is Some Practical Advice For Evangelism?

J. Warner Wallace on Sharing Your Christian Convictions Online

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

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Monday, October 10, 2016

How Did Christianity Prevail in Ancient Rome and What Can We Learn from It?

In the subject post, Sean McDowell draws from Larry Hurtado's Destroyer of the Gods to summarize how Christianity was distinct from the the pagan Roman culture around it during its first three centuries. McDowell then contends that these distinctives are key to answering the question of how Christianity prevailed in a hostile culture; a vital question for Christians to answer today.

You can read the post here.

Stand firm in Christ,
Chase

Friday, October 07, 2016

Nabeel Qureshi on Islam & Cancer

Christ Community Church presents a powerful exclusive interview with bestselling author Nabeel Qureshi about his faith journey from Islam to Christianity and his cancer diagnosis. 





God Bless,

Thursday, October 06, 2016

An Interview with my Daughter about Cold-Case Christianity for Kids by Jim and Susie Wallace

My nine year old daughter Emma recently read Jim and Susie Wallace's new book Cold-Case Christianity for Kids and I asked her if she would be willing to do a short interview with me about it.  She graciously agreed!  Enjoy!

Q. Did you like the book?

Yes, I did like it.  It is very inspiring.

Q. What is inspiring about it?

I want to be a police officer so it helped me learn more about how to be a detective.  It also helped me learn more about the evidence for Jesus.

Q. What was your favorite part of the book?

I liked when they found out who had the skateboard.  They collect evidence little by little to figure out who has it.

Q. How did that relate to the case for Jesus?

When you are learning about Jesus, all the evidence adds up to show that Jesus really did rise from the dead.

Q. Would you recommend this book to your friends?

Yes.  It will teach you about God…that God is real.

Q. What would you say to someone who believes I shouldn’t teach you about Jesus?

Well, if He really is alive, and I want to know, what better person to ask than my Dad?

Q. What were the best arguments in the book?

When they argued that God was the best explanation for the information found in DNA.

I also thought that the answers the cadet teacher gave to the student Jason about the resurrection were helpful.

Q. If you could tell Jim and Susie Wallace something, what would it be?
 
Your book was very inspiring for someone who wants to be a police officer.
  Also, for someone who likes to learn about God.  Thank you for writing it!

You can get your copy of Cold-Case Christianity for Kids here!  Emma highly recommends it!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Related Posts

Book Review: Cold-Case Christianity by J. Warner Wallace

Book Preview: Cold Case Christianity for Kids by J. Warner Wallace and Susie Wallace

Why Is Apologetics Important? A Personal Testimony

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Biologist William Provine on Natural Selection

"Natural selection does not act on anything, nor does it select (for, or against), force, maximize, create, modify, shape, operate, drive, favor, maintain, push or adjust.  Natural selection does nothing.  Natural selection as a natural force belongs in the insubstantial category already populated by the Necker/Stahl phlogiston or Newton's 'ether'...Having natural selection select is nifty because it excuses the necessity of talking about the actual causation of natural selection.  Such talk was excusable for Charles Darwin, but inexcusable for Darwinists now.  Creationists have discovered our empty 'natural selection' language, and the 'actions' of natural selection make huge vulnerable targets." [1]

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Footnote:
1. William B. Provine, The Origins of Theoretical Population Genetics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001), 199-200 as quoted by John Lennox in Seven Days that Divide the World, p. 180-181.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Video: Intelligent Design and the Fall of Darwinism by Jonathan McLatchie


In this presentation, apologist Jonathan McLatchie speaks on misconceptions about intelligent design (ID), answering objections to ID and how to deal with some of the common stereotypes that relate to ID.  This video is part 1 of 3 parts.  You can find part 2 here and part 3 here.

In this talk, McLatchie makes his case for intelligent design.  His outline is as follows:
  • Introducing Intelligent Design
  • DNA Contains Information
  • Molecular Machines
  • Common Objections to Design
  • Conclusion
In Part 2, McLatchie "demolishes Darwinism."  The outline is as follows:
  • Irreducible Complexity
  • Waiting Times Problem
  • The Problem of Reductive Evolution
  • Animal Body Plans
  • Conclusion
In Part 3, McLatchie answers questions from the audience.  Topics discussed include:
  • Darwinism vs. Neo-Darwinism
  • How are evolutionists currently challenging Intelligent Design?
  • Is Richard Dawkins a Darwinian or Neo-Darwinian?
  • What is the difference between micro and macro evolution?  (For the record, McLatchie doesn't like this distinction)
  • The difference between a theological question and a scientific question
  • Why did God make E. coli?
To learn more about Jonathan McLatchie and his ministry, go here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad