Saturday, October 29, 2016

Scientifically Proving the Existence of God

A common occurrence for Christians and creationists is to have a smug atheist issue the demand, "Prove to me that God exists using science". These people who claim to believe in science and "reason" are arguing from their naturalistic presuppositions, but demonstrate not only their ignorance of the nature of God, but are also committing the formal logical fallacy known as the category error. That is, it's impossible to use man-made science philosophies and methods to "prove" the existence of God, who exists outside the confines of time, space, and matter. Then the owlhoots claim victory over the stupid Christian and proclaim that God does not exist, then try to prove evolution. However, there is abundant evidence for the existence of God, beginning from inside the questioner (Romans 1:18-23, Psalm 53:1 ESV).

Christians and creationists are often challenged by atheists to "scientifically prove the existence of God". Similarly, they ask, "Who made God?" Such approaches are irrational.
Image of God by Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, painted in the 1500s,
modified by a graphic from Clker clipart
Similarly, another irrational question is asked, "Who made God?" It may seem reasonable on the surface, but people who claim to know logic and philosophy should know that this question requires infinite regression: who made God, and who is above that maker who made him, who made him, ad nauseam. There has to be an ultimate starting point somewhere.
This question is a major objection that atheists put forward to justify their disbelief. Bertrand Russell (1872–1970), a famous British philosopher, in his influential little essay, Why I am not a Christian, put this forward as his first objection.1 Today’s atheists repeat the objection, including Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion) and Australia’s own Philip Adams at the 2010 Global Atheists’ Congress in Melbourne Australia, who said,

“The great argument for God was that there had to be a Creation, a beginning. … But my objection was simple. If God was the beginning who began God?”

The universe had a beginning; almost no one disputes that, because the laws of thermodynamics demand it: the universe is running down and it cannot have been running down forever, or it would have already run down. No stars would be still churning out energy and we would not be here.
To read the rest of this excellent article, click on "Who created God? — It’s an illogical question". Wait, there's more! I also recommend reading "How Do We Know There Is a God?", and for those who want a challenge, click here for Dr. Greg Bahnsen's refutation of the Bertrand Russell essay.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Understanding Your Audience

In matters of sharing our faith in accordance with Jesus' command (Matt. 28:18-20, Acts 1:8), we need to take a thoughtful approach. First of all, we must remember that we are not the ones who are doing the saving with our own brilliant arguments, that's the work of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 2:1-5). That's why people come to Christ through simple one-on-one evangelism from an excited new convert who is unskilled in theology and philosophy.

When presenting the gospel to people with different worldviews, it's very helpful to know where they're coming from.
Modified from an image on Pixabay by geralt
People have pointed to Peter's sermon in Acts 2:14-41 as a model for evangelism, but that message was given to monotheistic Jews. For people who have different religions such as paganism, atheism, evolutionism, Mohammedanism, Hinduism, cults that claim to be Christian, and others, a different approach is needed. A good working knowledge of their worldview is very important to establish communication. People who engage in serious debates take the time to learn where the other is coming from.

Used under Fair Use provisions for educational purposes
At The Question Evolution Project, we had bully who was engaging in spam, prejudicial conjecture and other logical fallacies. When I called him out on them, he replied, "You call it 'bigotry, prejudicial conjecture, falsehood, spam', I call it truth." In the above image (a further reply to my rebuke), you can see the bigotry and prejudicial conjecture quite plainly. Further, he arbitrarily decided to create his own "truth" based on his preferences. He had said earlier that he wanted to have "discussions", but that was obviously false based on his conduct. The point is that he had no interest in knowing what biblical creationists actually believe and teach, but wanted to express his own uninformed opinions (Prov. 18:2 ESV).

I'm not saying that we need to have encyclopedic knowledge of other worldviews, that would be ridiculous. However, when having discussions with people, we can be prepared for some of the more common belief systems, and do some homework when having planned discussions with people.

When attempting to reach the lost for Jesus Christ, we need to know our own theology. From there, we must have Christ-honoring apologetics, which includes having some familiarity with the other person's worldview — even though few want to extend the same approach to us.
Before looking at Acts 17, it is important to understand the origin of religion; in order to know the meaning of anything, we have to understand its origin. The origin of religion began in the Garden of Eden when God clearly revealed himself to Adam. However, Adam and Eve rejected that revelation and chose to believe a falsehood about Him. In this act of disobedience, they chose to follow Satan’s worldview over God’s worldview (Genesis 3:4–5). They created the first human religion, rejecting God’s perfect and true religion.

Adam’s disobedience had consequences for the rest of his descendants since it affected how they viewed God and creation. This can be seen at the event of the Tower of Babel, which was the beginning of the religious diversity we see in the world today (see Deuteronomy 32:8, 16–17, 21). At the Tower of Babel, monotheism devolved into polytheism, pantheism, and the worship of anything other than the one true, living God. When the people were dispersed at Babel, they would have taken with them a hybrid truth of the living God mixed with the twisting and distorting of the truth of that revelation about Him (Romans 1:18–32). Religion then is first of all a response to God’s revelation—it is either in faith or rebellion. It is either based on God’s Word or man’s word.
To read the rest in context, click on "Exposing the Underlying Worldview: Acts 17".

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Dancing the Heresy Two-Step

We are seeing 2 Peter 3:3-4 happening right before our eyes. Worse than that, Christianity is being eaten away from the inside. People will proclaim themselves as modern prophets and apostles with "new revelations" from God. Christians should be saying, "Hang on a minute. Where did you get that from the Bible? Oh, you heard from God personally? You know, like Joseph Smith? The canon of Scripture is closed,  as are the offices of apostle and prophet. Let me check your presumptuous pronouncements against the written Word of God". Instead, too many are staring in wide-eyed wonder, being gullible, and being whipped into a frenzy by the false teachers.

Image credit: Morguefile / clarita (modified)
Many false teachers with throw some Scripture into the mix, but it's a bait 'n' switch tactic, the Heresy Two-Step. Be discerning and watchful. Notice that they are not fond of reading verses in context, often reading a bit and then telling you what the passage says. This is false, they're telling you what they want it to say and mean. Even worse, they elevate feelings and experiences above the Bible. "God spoke to me, I'm a prophet, I have stories of miracles that can't be substantiated." The undiscerning get all excited about it and think they're praising God for his miraculous works.

I'll allow that it's not easy sometimes, since some of these false teachers have good presentations with personality and humor; they're often likable. 

People don't want to hear the truth, that's why they're not walking out on hucksters that tell them to give a "seed offering" to their "ministries" so they'll be blessed. Watch for it, there's a Jewish feast time, and Heaven will pour riches on you! Liars.

In another disturbing aspect, there are false teachers who appeal to the other crowd: people who want to listen to a well-reasoned presentation. These, too, use a bait 'n' switch tactic, using a little bit of Bible. People will teach "doctrines" that have nothing to do with Scripture, and are the products of imagination and traditions that nullify the Word of God. They speak with confidence and authority, which is persuasive. Like theistic and other evolutionists, they steal from the scientific principle called "Making Stuff Up™", and make their pronouncements convincing.

Here are two podcasts from Fighting for the Faith that give examples of these things. Pastor Chris Rosebrough plays material right from the sources, and does a sermon review in the second hour. Yes, second hour. You can listen online or (right-click) download the MP3. I suggest you download it, but that's just me. To get the first audio, click on "Frozen 'The Sermon'". Second, and I know I'm asking a lot of you but these are important, "Doctrines That Were Made in America". For those who are pressed for time, there are a couple of comedy sketch and promotional breaks that you can move past. For "Frozen", you can skip from the 28 minute 42 second mark and resume at 37 minutes, and the second break is at 1 hour 3 minutes 40 seconds, resuming at 1:07:02. In the "Made in America" episode, you can skip from the 29 minute 55 second mark and resume at 40 minutes, with the second break at 1 hour 12 minutes 41 seconds and resuming at 1:15:36. 

Those who are following false teachers: you need to repent.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Unravelling the Bible from Genesis

The way some people cling to their "deep time" beliefs, sometimes including evolution, while claiming to believe the Bible is mighty disconcerting to me. They are elevating man-made science philosophies to the magisterial position and are telling God that he is wrong. Scriptural teaching begins to unravel — and that's why unbelievers attack the foundations of the Christian faith, the book of Genesis.

Some professing Christians may not really know what the Bible teaches, and that compromising on millions of years starts to unravel the gospel message beginning in Genesis.
Image credit: Pixabay / bluemorphos
Now, don't get all het up, I'm not saying that every professing Christian who goes in for long ages is deliberately sabotaging the Bible or is unsaved. (If you study on it a spell, you might begin to wonder why some people attack biblical creationists and have a fervent desire to believe Earth is ancient.) What I am saying is that many people really don't know what the Bible teaches, and the implications of forcing millions of years into the text. Especially when Jesus, Peter, Paul, and many others in Scripture believed the Genesis Flood was real, Adam was an actual person, and teachings that refute long ages. 

"But I've been a Christian for years, and never heard this kind of science denial stuff!"

A good part of the problem is modern church-ianity. Switch on a religious cable television network, and what do you get? Stuff to make you feel good, with some Scripture thrown in to make it seem authentic. Watch for it, they'll tell you what the Bible "says" instead of reading from it in context — especially 2 Timothy 4:1-4 or Jude 1:3-4. False teachers do this a lot. Big churches and major denominations have become religious social clubs in too many instances, not teaching the truth of Genesis, nor Jesus Christ crucified and risen for the forgiveness of our sins. They want you happy and giving them money, not saved or growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus.

Compromise and eisegesis are dangerous things.
Christians who accept millions of years of Earth history may be unaware of the inconsistency of their position. On one hand, they profess to believe the Bible, but on the other they fail to accept Genesis 1–2 as written. They might attempt to dismiss the issue by telling themselves it isn’t that serious. After all, can’t one accept the rest of the Bible as written yet reject the doctrine of a recent six-day creation? Unfortunately, accepting an old earth logically undermines the entire Bible.

If the world’s sedimentary rocks really are millions of years old, then the fossilized remains of plants and animals within those rocks are also millions of years old. These include the fossilized remains of thorny plants. This would imply that thorns were in the world long before the first humans. So, how can thorns be punishment for man’s sin as described in Genesis 3:18? And if the third chapter of Genesis is wrong about thorns, why would we trust the promise of the coming Savior in Genesis 3:15? And why should we believe its claim that death is the penalty for sin (Genesis 3:19)?
To read the rest of this short article, click on "Genesis Compromise Unravels the Bible".

Friday, October 7, 2016

Does God Continue to Create?

A plain reading of the Bible seems to make it clear that once God was done creating, he was done, period. Varieties of theistic evolutionists join the gang at the Darwin Ranch in a hoedown, dancing around what Scripture says. One group disbelieves the Bible, the other pretends to believe it a little bit. But how can anyone get around the part that says, "God rested"? Sounds like God is done, I reckon.

Theistic evolutionists try to sneak the idea of ongoing creation into their worldview by tampering with the meaning of Scripture. Proper reading settles their objections.
This post gives me an excuse to show Basement Cat resting on my e-book reader.
I took the option of finding something else to read.
Some people have no serious regard to what Scripture says, preferring to give current science philosophies the magisterial position above God's Word. Some people sort of baptize evolution by associating God's name with it, but that's as legitimate as baptizing the cat. They come up with some incoherent and self-refuting philosophies (click for larger):

Theistic evolutionists try to sneak the idea of ongoing creation into their worldview by tampering with the meaning of Scripture. Proper reading settles their objections.
Used under Fair Use provisions for educational purposes
After a couple of additional exchanges, this character was banned after an obscene comment.

The way theistic evolutionists manage to sneak the idea of God's continuing of creation into their worldview is through massive eisegesis, conflation, and other tricks of intellectual dishonesty. Some of their points and objections may seem plausible at first glance, but they're reigned in with reasoning from the Bible and proper exegesis.
According to Scripture, God finished making the whole universe in six days, and rested on the seventh. However, theistic evolutionists insist that God made galaxies, planets, and all living things by means of natural processes, using the same physical laws that govern the universe today. But, if the laws of nature possess such creative power and the world continues to evolve under their influence, then is creation really a finished work? Many theistic evolutionists openly declare that it is not. Even though the Bible says that God completed the world long ago, theistic evolutionists say the world is still under construction.

Below, we will examine the Bible’s treatment of this subject in more detail. Afterward, we will consider various strategies theistic evolutionists use to try to get around the Bible’s teaching, and explain why they do not succeed.
To finish reading, click on "God’s rest — A problem for theistic evolution".