Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Video- The Resurrection of Jesus as a Historical Miracle


In this featured video, philosopher Randal Rauser offers a clear and concise explanation of a "minimal facts" type of argument for the resurrection of Jesus.  This video is the closest you will get to having Rauser enter your living room and teach you how to articulate the evidence for the resurrection in a reasonable and thoughtful manner.  Well worth your time!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

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Friday, May 29, 2020

Video: Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead? by Dr. N.T. Wright


This featured video features Bishop Tom (Dr. N.T.) Wright, Bishop of Durham in the Church of England answering the question, "Did Jesus Really Rise From the Dead?"  This is a delightful lecture in which Bishop Wright sketches out some of the arguments in his massive book The Resurrection of the Son of God.

Enjoy!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

The "Who Made God?" Question as a Logical Fallacy


My 13 year old daughter Emma and I have been working through The Fallacy Detective: Thirty-Eight Lessons on How to Recognize Bad Reasoning by Nathaniel Bluedorn and Hans Bluedorn.  This book is an introduction that teaches the reader how to identify logical errors in someone's thinking.

One of the fallacies the book highlights is asking a Loaded Question.   A loaded question is when someone asks two questions, but one is hidden behind the other.  For example, if I were to ask you, "Have you stopped hitting your dog?," I am presupposing the fact that you have been hitting your dog!  And this line of reasoning is fallacious.

In the same way, when skeptics ask the Christian theist questions such as, "Who made God?," they are guilty of asking a loaded question because they are assuming that Christians believe that God was created; however, that is not what Christians believe.  Due to what Scripture teaches1 and good philosophical arguments2, Christians believe that God has always existed.  In the same way, when the skeptic asks, "Who designed the designer?," they are guilty of asking a loaded question because Christians do not believe that God (the designer) was designed.

Now, if the skeptic offers an argument that somehow demonstrates why God requires a creator or a designer, then the Christian theist should be obliged to offer reasons why this is not the case.  But until this is done, the skeptic should save the "Who made God?," question for those who actually believe in a created God.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Footnotes:
1. See Isaiah 40:48, Psalm 90:2, Romans 16:26, Deuteronomy 32:40 and 1 Timothy 1:17.
2. Philosopher J.P. Moreland makes one such argument here.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Superheroes Can't Save You

Pop Quiz! Can you match the historic heresy with the superhero who matches the bad idea about Jesus?

     Superhero                        Heresy

1.  Superman                    a. Eutychianism

       2.  Batman                        b. Modalism

       3.  Ant-Man                     c. Nestorianism

       4.  Thor                            d. Apollinarianism

       5.  Green Lantern             e. Arianism

       6.  The Hulk                     f. Adoptionism

       7.  Spider-Man                 g. Docetism

       8.  Gollum*                      h. Liberalism

That’s right, the bad ideas about Jesus, called heresies, can be matched to different superheroes you’ve read about in comic books, seen on TV and now enjoy in the movies (are you a DC or Marvel movie fan?)

That’s the point of Todd Miles’ book “Superheroes Can’t Save You”. I found it to be a wonderful resource because it takes dry, theological stuff (just look at the names!) and makes it accessible and easy to understand. Each chapter begins with a brief description of the superhero from the authors experience and love for the comics. Todd then describes the heresy (which you now understand because of the connection to the superhero), who commits the heresy today, what the Bible says and finally why it is important. A great resource for anyone and everyone!

Post your answer to the quiz in the comments! I’ll post the answers next week!

But don’t take my word for it, read the book, don’t wait for the movie.

Have a little hope on me, Roger

*Wait a minute you say, Gollum is no superhero. Correct you are. And there is no chapter on the Gollum heresy. It is discussed in the chapter on the Spider-Man heresy because the Spider-Man heresy was an over reaction to the Gollum heresy.


Thursday, May 21, 2020

Breakpoint: Evolutionary Psychology, Natural Selection, and Human Misbehavior


The following article was posted on Breakpoint.org.  You can also listen here.

Why are people so attracted to beautiful “natural scenes like green fields, trees, and rivers?” Nostalgia, maybe? A sense of wonder? Some inherent draw to what is aesthetically pleasing?
Nah. According to some thinkers, “science” has figured out that we are drawn to natural beauty because for our ancestors, such scenes “represented survival.” By “science,” I mean what’s known as evolutionary psychology or, as my colleague Shane Morris calls it, “Sabertooth Psychology.”
Evolutionary psychology is a field specializing in hypotheses in which natural selection explains all human behaviors. According to this way of thinking, all of our modern behaviors are best understood as carryovers from those ancient behaviors that offered our ancestors evolutionary advantage over others. So, those who didn’t appreciate beautiful natural landscapes had less access to food and water and, therefore, produced less offspring. Eventually, their line died out while those who liked lush natural scenes survived.
However, not everyone is persuaded by this sort of hypothesizing, including psychologist Dr. Steve Taylor. Writing at Psychology Today, Taylor says that “evolutionary psychology is largely based on assumptions rather than evidence, and as such it is debatable whether it should be referred to as a ‘science’ (since its hypotheses are generally unfalsifiable).” Or, as philosopher Subrena Smith recently told Gizmodo, “we don’t have the relevant evidence about how our ancestors behaved to make any substantive claims.”
Even so, evolutionary psychology continues to enjoy a popularity in many academic circles, the media, and other segments of culture that far outweighs its scientific credibility.
According to evolutionary psychologists, “mate selection, parental care, predator avoidance” and other behaviors result from natural selection working on our brains. They further assume that our brains haven’t changed in the tens of thousands of years since.
But there is no evidence for these assumptions. On the contrary, as Smith told Gizmodo, brain science (not to mention history) shows that, “Our brains are dynamic, our behaviors are dynamic, we’re imaginative, we generate novel behaviors in contexts that never exhibited themselves.” This helps explain why only humans have spread to every continent.
Evolutionary psychology is built on what we might call “just-so stories,” conclusions that “must be so” because they are required by the assumptions that must not be questioned. While the constant hypothesizing might cause the people at Gizmodo to “roll their eyes,” the ideas of evolutionary psychology have real consequences and victims.
For example, according to evolutionary psychology, rape is a behavior of natural selection, “one potential strategy for males for achieving reproductive success.” It is, according to this framework, not a moral abomination, but an “aberration,” “an alternative gene-promotion strategy that is most likely to be adopted by the ‘losers’ in the competitive, harem-building struggle.”
While no evolutionary psychologist would conclude that rape is somehow justified, it’s not at all clear on what moral grounds they refuse to do so, since rape must be considered both “natural” and “hardwired.” They also must ignore much of human history, in which rape was used as a weapon to subjugate entire populations during wartime, such as in the 1937 “Rape of Nanjing” or, more recently, ISIS’s wave of terror. Survival of the fittest anyone?
On a related issue, evolutionary psychology struggles to conclude whether humans are evolutionarily adapted to mate for life, like birds, or to be promiscuous, like our other “ancestors.” Either can be “concluded” by appealing to “evolutionary adaptation,” otherwise known as the dynamic imaginations of evolutionary psychologists.
As atheist philosopher David Stove wrote in his book Darwinian Fairytales, however well these imaginative explanations describe “sponges, snakes, flies, or whatever,” they are a “ridiculous slander on human beings.” That’s because, as Chuck Colson said years ago, “they cannot account for what is most essentially human . . . things like altruism and music,” the love of beauty and that most un-survival- of-the-fittest human behavior: self-sacrifice.
So, remember, the next time you see an article or TV special ready to explain the natural origins of human behaviors, you might want to pull up a chair and get out some popcorn. You’re about to hear a fairy tale.
God Bless,

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Philosopher Randal Rauser on Skepticism

"Skepticism is not neutral and it is not a default position. If you're going to assume a skeptical posture about a particular subject matter, be prepared to defend your stance."1

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad




Footnote:

1. Via Twitter here

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Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Video Interview: Dr. Stephen Meyer


In this featured video, conservative commentator Eric Metaxas interviews Dr. Stephen Meyer, author of Signature in the CellDarwin's Doubt and well-known major player in the intelligent design movement.

They discuss:
  • a recently released and updated version of The Mystery of Life's Origin
  • the argument from the information found in DNA
  • the work of James Tour
  • chemical evolution
  • the state of the intelligent design movement
  • and more!
To learn more about Dr. Meyer and his work, go here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

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