Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Video: Does God Exist?- Frank Turek vs. Dennis Normark


This debate took place in Randers, Denmark and was between Christian apologist, speaker and author Dr. Frank Turek and Dennis Normark who is an anthropologist, author and one of Denmark's leading atheists.

Turek argued that the following is evidence for the existence of God:

1. Beginning of the Universe
2. Fine Tuning of the Universe
3. Objective Moral Values
4. The Resurrection of Christ

Normark mainly argued that:

1. God is imagined in our minds
2. What is "moral" is what the majority of people decide upon
3. Science is based on facts while religion is based on feelings

This was one of the more entertaining debates I've watched in awhile and both men presented their case with conviction, but respect for one another.  During the Q and A I wished I could pull up a chair and chat with both gentlemen. 

The Q and A is especially interesting and covers a wide range of topics such as:
  • the moral argument
  • the historical Jesus
  • the age of the earth
  • free will
  • determinism
  • the argument from reason
  • the meaning of life
Turek did a good job presenting evidence for his position while Normark made some interesting assertions, but in my opinion failed to sustain them with good argument.  Further, he clearly did not understand the moral argument.
Let us know what you think!  Who won?  Why so?

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Article: Did God Use the "Big Bang" to Create the Universe? by gotQuestions.org

In my opinion, the "Big Bang" is powerful confirmation of the first verse of the Bible:

"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth."  - Genesis 1:1

In this featured article, gotQuestions.org (a young-earth ministry) offers a very fair assessment of the "Big Bang" evidence.  

They write:

Prior to the 20th Century, it was not clear if the universe ever had a beginning. Had it always existed? No one knew. It was a matter of faith. Then a succession of discoveries throughout the 20th Century showed beyond a reasonable doubt that the universe did have a beginning. It wasn't always here.

First, Einstein's Theory of General Relativity, published in 1916, suggested that the universe had not always existed. Unsettled by the implications of his own theory, however, Einstein added a “cosmological constant” to make his equations support the possibility of a static (and therefore eternal) universe. Then the works of Georges LemaĆ®tre and Edwin Hubble in the 1920s demonstrated that the universe is expanding and that Einstein's cosmological constant was a mistake. This left a lot of astrophysicists very unhappy. Many felt that LemaĆ®tre, a Roman Catholic priest, was trying to inject religion into physics by suggesting that the universe had a beginning.

Over the next several decades, physicists tried to salvage the eternality of the universe by proposing everything from the Milne model (1935) to the steady state theory (1948). But with the 1964 discovery of cosmic microwave background radiation—predicted by Big Bang theorists in the 1940s—the Big Bang theory became the preeminent cosmological model. The question was no longer, did the universe have a beginning? The question became, how did it happen?

As more and more astrophysicists focused their attention on what happened in the first few moments, months and years of the universe, some Christians became upset that the new theoretical models didn't match up with their interpretation of Genesis. Just as many astrophysicists felt that the expanding universe theory was a ploy to inject religion into science, many Christians have come to feel that the Big Bang is an effort to undermine the biblical account of creation. Other Christians, however, feel that the Big Bang is consistent with the Bible’s account and welcome such compelling evidence for the creation of the universe.

Keep in mind that the Big Bang wasn't a sudden explosion of energy in some empty part of space at some distant moment in time. According to the theory, all space, time and energy came into existence together in that “bang.” Before the Big Bang, there was no time. There was no space. Then, suddenly, an exceedingly dense, incredibly hot, infinitesimal ball of something – everything – appeared somewhere, somehow for reasons unknown and began to expand rapidly with our whole world inside of it.

It is hard not to see the evidence for the Big Bang as a stunning example of where science and theology intersect. Astrophysicist Dr. Robert Jastrow phrased it this way in his book God and the Astronomers(New York, W.W. Norton, 1978, p. 116): “For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.” Why? Because, as Jastrow explained in a subsequent interview, “Astronomers now find they have painted themselves into a corner because they have proven, by their own methods, that the world began abruptly in an act of creation to which you can trace the seeds of every star, every planet, every living thing in this cosmos and on the earth. . . .That there are what I or anyone would call supernatural forces at work is now, I think, a scientifically proven fact” (“A Scientist Caught Between Two Faiths: Interview with Robert Jastrow,”Christianity Today, August 6, 1982, pp. 15, 18).

If Christians are to have objections to the Big Bang theory, it should only be in the atheistic presuppositions that often go along with the theory. The idea itself, that the universe came into existence due to an explosion, is not necessarily incompatible with the biblical creation account. As one Christian theologian has stated, "I am not necessarily opposed to the Big Bang theory. Rather, I know who banged it."

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What about you?  Do you believe the "Big Bang" is evidence for God's existence?  Why or why not?

To learn more about the evidence for God from cosmology, go here.  

And I encourage you to follow J. Warner Wallace's example here- don't "obsess" over the Genesis debate!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Monday, April 14, 2014

Video: Christianity in the Public Square for the Public Good by Ravi Zacharias and Nabeel Qureshi



This is a talk offered by The Veritas Forum to equip you to have a productive dialogue with your neighbors.

The speakers are Ravi Zacharias and former Muslim Nabeel Qureshi of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries.

Enjoy!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Saturday, April 12, 2014

ISWA is a great place for our lady readers to go to get equipped to defend the Christian faith. ISWA has created textbooks that are tailored to the busy woman as they do not take a great amount of time to read. There are also plenty of other resources on their site.

The textbooks can be found here.

Stand firm in Christ,
Chase

Friday, April 11, 2014

Video: How Do Women Get Engaged in Apologetics? with Mary Jo Sharp


For more from Mary Jo Sharp, go here.

For more from the One Minute Apologist, see here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Stephen T. Davis on Apologetics

"In truth, faith needs apologetics. It needs it to answer both the negative arguments of the resurrection and to construct positive arguments in favor of it. Apologetics will not create faith, but perhaps, for some, it will pave the way for it or make it possible. What is destructive of genuine Christian faith, in my opinion, is not apologetics, but unfounded beliefs, unjustified commitments. Unsound arguments are irrational leaps of faith. It is the aim of apologetics to prevent Christian faith from amounting to anything like that."

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

HT: The Poached Egg

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Video: Seven Days that Divide the World by John Lennox


This is a lecture by Dr. John Lennox, Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University, at the Union Club in New York City on January 31, 2013. Dr. Lennox explains a method for reading and interpreting the first chapters of Genesis without discounting either science or Scripture.

You can checkout Lennox's book on the topic here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

The Best Question to Ask When Starting a Conversation About God

J. Warner Wallace blogged about a question that he has found to be very helpful in initiating a discussion on spiritual matters. It is a question he picked up from James Boccardo's book Unsilenced.  Wallace considers this question the most essential evangelistic question to ask:  What do you think happens when we die?

He has seen the value of this question in three ways:

1. It is diagnostic. The question will very quickly help you to understand the worldview of the person you are talking to.

2. It is disarming. Many people are willing to talk about this question because many people have given thought to it.

3. It is directed. It provides the foundation for talking about the human condition and the Gospel which provides the answer to the human condition.

The entire post can be read here.

Stand firm in Christ,
Chase

Monday, April 07, 2014

Article: A Simple Reason Why the Qur'an Cannot Be the Word of God by Jonathan McLatchie

In this featured article Jonathan McLatchie of the CrossExamined.org blog argues as follows:

1. Either the Bible is the Word of God or it is not.

2. If the Bible is the Word of God, the Qur’an is not.

3. If the Bible is not the Word of God, the Qur’an is not.

4. Therefore, the Qur’an is not the Word of God.

For those wanting to know what makes a good argument, go here.

McLatchie goes on to thoroughly defend the argument and writes:

"...the argument developed above represents a formidable challenge to the Islamic religion, and I challenge any Muslim to show me where I have erred. In order to maintain his Islamic faith, a Muslim must reject one or more of the Premises of the syllogism given at the start of this article. If he cannot do so, the conclusion follows necessarily and inescapably."

You can checkout the entire article here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad