Sunday, April 27, 2008

Ye Have No Definition of Faith?

Biologist and neo-atheist Richard Dawkins is brilliant when it comes to misrepresenting the Christian position. Dawkins many times presents the Christian worldview in a light that most likely is not even recognizable to the educated Christian.

One such case with Mr. Dawkins is his complete and utter failure to understand the meaning of Biblical faith.

Dawkins writes:

"Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence."(1)

Really? Perhaps if Mr. Dawkins were to actually investigate the matter, he would find that the Greek word for faith is pistis, which means "evidence" or "moral conviction." It is derived from the primary verb pietho, which means "to convince by argument" or "to assent to the evidence."
The Biblical concept of faith is that it is reasonable and rational. Biblical faith is and should be grounded in reality. It is open to discussion, objective inquiry, and critique.

Richard Dawkins and his zeal for preaching his atheism is to be admired. However, his knowledge of the Bible and it's history is not.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad A. Gross


1. Richard Dawkins, Lecture from 'The Nullifidian' (Dec 94),

Fear Not

I believe that many times, we as Christians do not engage in the battle for ideas because we are simply afraid. We are afraid an objection will come up that we can't answer. We are afraid we will be made to look foolish. Or perhaps we are afraid that a challenge will be presented that calls into question what we believe and everything that we hold dear.

The following quote from Christian author J.I. Packer exposes the fallacy of this type of thinking:

“The Evangelical is not afraid of facts, for he knows that all facts are God's facts; nor is he afraid of thinking, for he knows that all truth is God's truth, and right reason cannot endanger sound faith. He is called to love God with all his mind; and part of what this means is that, when confronted by those who, on professedly rational grounds, take exception to historic Christianity, he must set himself not merely to deplore or denounce them, but to out-think them. It is not his business to argue men into faith, for that cannot be done; but it is his business to demonstrate the intellectual adequacy of the biblical faith and the comparative inadequacy of its rivals, and to show the invalidity of the criticisms that are brought against it. This he seeks to do, not from any motive of intellectual self-justification, but for the glory of God and of His gospel. A confident intellectualism expressive of robust faith in God, whose Word is truth, is part of the historic evangelical tradition. If present-day Evangelicals fall short of this, they are false to their own principles and heritage.”

As the Bible says, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind" (2 Tim. 1:7, KJV, Emphasis mine).

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad A. Gross


1) J.I. Packer, quoted in Fundamentalism and the Word of God.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

An Opened Letter to Dinesh D'Souza

Dear Mr. D'Souza,

First off, let me say that enjoyed your current book, What's So Great about Christianity, and your debates with both Christopher Hitchens and Daniel Dennett. I appreciate your willingness to stand on the side of theism and challenge the many unfounded arguments presented by the so-called New Atheist Camp.

The purpose for writing you is to present a challenge. In reading your book and your current article, The Failure of Intelligent Design, I must say that I was and am surprised by the "hand wave" nature in which you simply brush-off the arguments put forth by those in the Intelligent Design(ID) Camp.

Please do not misunderstand my intent. I am not insisting that you must believe that the world was created in 6 literal, 24 hour periods to be a Christian. I am, however, challenging you to provide some evidence for some of the blanket statements you have written in reference to the ID camp and to the theory of evolution. If you simply dismiss me as an ID'er or "bible-thumping" creationist, you only serve to prove my point. I don't care who is presenting the evidence for or against the positions, I want to examine the evidence itself.

For example, in your latest article, The Failure of Intelligent Design, you make the bold comparison between Darwinian evolution and Einstein's theories of general and special relativity, implying that both are "supported by a wide body of data." [1] However, as usual the case, we are not given any of the "data," but only assured its there. Isn't this the same type of argument that you would mock Mr. Hitchens for?

Now, you may reply, "it seems improbable that the small group of intelligent design advocates is right and the entire community of biologists is wrong." [2] Maybe so, however, I need evidence and a group of unnamed persons does not provide that. I could easily point out the growing list of scientists whom question the theory of evolution found at, but what will I have proved? Nothing. I have only served to prove that it is not universally accepted, however, the question still remains, "What is the evidence?"

Simple put, I would encourage you to write your next book on the Intelligent Design vs. Evolution debate and actually critique and challenge the arguments from both camps. I believe that you will be challenged and surprised by what you find.

From the statements made in your book and article, it's clear that you have only examined the debate at a surface level. If ID isn't science, tell us why. Why isn't the Cambrian Explosion better explained by a sudden creation? What about the holes in the fossil record you refer to? It's simply not enough to say, "Well, there may be problems, but since most folks believe it, so do I." Yikes! I'm glad that the 12 disciples didn't think that way! They didn't go by a majority vote, they went by what they KNEW to be true!

To simply brush aside the credible arguments and objections put forth by the ID camp appears to be more of a political maneuver than a scholarly one. Perhaps following the example of former atheist Anthony Flew would do you well: "I just followed the evidence wherever it lead."

Chad A. Gross


1) Dinesh D'Souza, The Failure of "Intelligent Design,", April 7,2008.
2) Dinesh D'Souza, What's So Great about Christianity, p. 146.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Our Reassurance In and Through Suffering

In my February 27, 2008 post I mentioned that I had preach a sermon dealing with the topic of suffering. Here is a podcast of that message:

Be sure to checkout the messages preached by Faith Christian Fellowship's Senior Pastor, David Vance.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad A. Gross

  • Correction: The gentlemen I refer to in the sermon was not the valedictorian of my senior class, but the class president. I apologize for the error.