Corvette’s in the snow

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Jed and I were up at 4 AM this morning to get to High School for the wrestling tournament in Ceres. We were out the door by 4:30 A.M. and drove down to school, taking our time since the roads were not plowed yet. A fellow was leaving the casino we have to drive past, in his $60,000 Corvette. I passed him, (he was only going about 10 mph), thinking what an idiot he was for trying to drive in such conditions. We arrived at school and found out the tournament was canceled. Jed and I headed back home and the Corvette was spun out 1/2 mile before the school. He was trying to get it back on the road and about 3 others were trying to push it straight. Pulling over and getting out, I told him plainly it was stupid to try, and to park it here before he causes an accident. I also said I would give him and his lady friend a ride back to the casino. He was not happy about that, but recognized the futility of it. Ten minutes later, I dropped them off and we drove home.

Rare is the opportunity to feel superior when dealing with wealthy. My initial inclination, when I first spotted the spun out Corvette, was to drive by their expensive car with my window down and yell out what idiots they are, laughing as we sped away showering them with snow. Even as I considered the thoughtless and selfish act, I recognized how wrong it would be. So I opted to pull over and help out, besides it would give me even a better opportunity to gloat my superior wisdom in dealing with the elements.

As it turned out I missed out on a great opportunity to talk about the things of God with those two strangers when I gave them a lift back to the casino. Few words were exchanged and I just spent my time basking in the light of my own superiority. Who was the foolish one then? They simply did not know any better, I did. Lesson learned.

Then again, I wonder how hard can it be to feel superior, when, every time I drive by the casino, I just feel distaste for those that go there to gamble and spend their money. Not only did this ungodly attitude surface in the form of a missed chance to talk about God, but missed opportunities to pray for those around me. At least, Christians are not the only ones who can have an air of superiority, thinking they are better than those around them. For a moment, I will gloat that I am not alone in my stupidity.

Not long ago, I watched a debate between Peter Atkins and William Lane Craig. After a particular exchange, William F. Buckly had a chance to gloat, much like I did this morning. During the debate, Atkins said that science was able to answer all questions having to do with existence. Specifically, he said to Craig, “Do you deny that science cannot account for everything?” 1 Craig replied that he did deny that, and Atkins asked him to explain what science cannot account for. Craig went on to list multiple items that science cannot account for and was obviously quite prepared for this question. William F. Buckley, Jr. who was the moderator, thoroughly enjoyed listening to Craig’s reply. When Craig finished, Buckley said to Adkins, “Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.”

Russell Bertrand addressed the question of science accounting for everything in his book, History of Western Philosophy, which I wanted to share. He wrote, “Is the world divided into mind and matter, and, if so, what is mind, what is matter? Is mind subject to matter, or is it possessed of independent powers? Has the universe any unity or purpose? It is evolving toward some goal? Are there really laws of nature, or do we believe in them only because of our innate love of order? Is man what he seems to the astronomer, a tiny lump of impure carbon and water impotently crawling on a small and unimportant planet? Or is he what he appears to Hamlet? Is there a way of living that is noble and another that is base, or are all ways of living merely futile? To such questions no answer can be found in the laboratory.” 2

The more I read about apologetics and philosophy, the more I begin to understand how it can help answer some of the most basic questions we can ask about our existence. R.C. Sproul addresses four possibilities when discussing the possibility of our existence and how, if anything exists, then God exists necessarily. Only recently have I really begun to grasp this. The best way to do so is to use the example of a book you might hold. The four possibilities of this book are:
1. It is an illusion.
2. It was the cause of its own creation.
3. It has always been.
4. It was created.
If you replace the book with the universe, or our existence, you can see that no matter which of the four choices you pick, you eliminate the other three. Only one of them can be correct. Setting aside the first option, that life is an illusion, (unless you’re a fanatical Matrix fan), should not be too difficult. The second option is plain, as everyone knows something cannot be the cause of its own creation. The third option can be investigated and discounted when you understand that time cannot go backwards infinitely. If it did, we would never have reached this moment in time. That leaves us with, it was created. 3

science_vader_luke

 

Darrel Falk wrote, “Perhaps, like the work of an artist or symphony conductor, the action of the Creator has been so subtle and all-encompassing that it will never be possible to describe it by using the tools of science. Perhaps we in the world of faith are depending too strongly on the tools of science to point us to God, and perhaps those in the world of science are similarly failing to recognized that the tools of science, which depend upon regularity in nature, are not powerful enough to detect the work of a God who works on his own terms in his own way.” 4

Falk goes on to ask what tools of science can detect a secret wisdom. In 1 Corinthians, Paul talks about a mystery that has been hidden, specifically, God’s wisdom. If there is another realm, another reality, a spirit reality, and I believe there is, then how could conventional human wisdom and scientific methods using trial and error possibly detect or even comprehend them? 1 Corinthians 2:13 “This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.”

Christians should never be afraid of science and what we can learn from it. The things that we do learn about our universe, from the microscopic to the immense and vast time and space that surrounds us, is often confirmed by the Bible when researched carefully. Science cannot answer all the questions we might have, but neither should the Bible be used as a science book. As we investigate our world, both science and theology should be used to complement and confirm how best we should live.

The Bible tells us how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go. – Galileo

Sources:

1. TheHonestTheist. “Dr. William Lane Craig VS Dr. Peter Atkins.” Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, 19 June. 2009. Web. 3 Dec. 2013.
2. Russell, Bertrand. History of Western Philosophy. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1967. Print.
3. Sproul, R.C. Defending Your Faith. Wheaton: Crossway, 2003. Print.
4. Falk, Darrel. Coming To Peace with Science. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2004. Print.

God’s Not Dead

Reading Time: 5 minutes

The News Boys have a popular song titled God’s Not Dead, in response to the German Philosopher Nietzsche who proclaimed “God is dead.” Time magazine asked the question in 1966, “Is God Dead?” The article was written by John Elson, who passed away in 2009 and now has an answer to that question. This article and cover gave Time magazine its best sales in 20 years, and prompted a response that resulted in 3500 letters to the editor.

Is God Dead

Supposedly, over 300 interviews were conducted for this article, and Time had over 30 correspondents work on it. Mr. Elson wrote in his article, “Secularization, science, urbanization — all have made it comparatively easy for the modern man to ask where God is, and hard for the man of faith to give a convincing answer, even to himself.” 1

Now, nearly 50 years later, books such as The God Delusion, The End of Faith, Freedom Evolves, The God Argument, Why I Am Not a Christian, The Blind Watchmaker, and God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, can be found on book shelves all over America. Not only found, but many are best sellers on Amazon, and their authors enjoy hundreds of thousands of followers on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

On a recent podcast from Ravi Zacharias, he asked the following questions of atheists:

How does something come from nothing?
How does life come from non-life?
How does a non-moral beginning through an immoral process end up with moral reasoning? 2

Atheists don’t have answers for these questions. Even Richard Dawkins has admitted he does not have an answer as to how you can get life from non-life. Some of you may remember the experiment that took place in 1953 by Stanley Miller. This now discredited experiment, which supposedly created life from non-life in the lab, has inundated our high school text books for 50 years. In 2007, Miller, like Elson, has passed away and now has an answer to how you get life from non-life.

One of my favorite quotes is from Francis Crick, who is the co-finder of the human DNA strand. “Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.” 3 His obvious predisposition toward evolution speaks for a large contingent in the scientific community. They are unwilling to pursue truth no matter the cost. Even conceding the slightest possibility that life could have emerged from something that can’t be tested empirically is out of the question.

Francis Crick also said, “To produce a really good biological theory one must try to see through the clutter produced by evolution to the basic mechanisms lying beneath them, realizing that they are likely to be overlaid by other, secondary mechanisms. What seems to physicists to be a hopelessly complicated process may have been what nature found simplest, because nature could only build on what was already there.” 4 This quote really gets to the heart of the matter. My question to him and others is, if nature could only build upon what was already there, then where did we get what was built upon?

He suggests that we started with some kind of structure and mechanism. Where did this structure and mechanism come from? He said himself it must have already been there. Who put it there? Have you ever considered where our universe came from? Why do we have a laws of gravity, laws of motion, and laws of thermodynamics? If you have laws, then there must be a law giver. These laws do not exist necessarily any more than our universe exists necessarily.

Some have suggested that earth has been ‘seeded’ from space aliens in the past and that is how life began on earth. In my opinion, these kinds of speculations require more imagination than some of the movies Hollywood has produced in recent years. Even if it were true that earth was seeded from aliens millions or billions of years ago, it just pushes back the question of who created the aliens? It is just another form of the common response some may ask when Christians say God created the universe. A skeptic may ask if God created the universe, then who created God. You may then ask who created the God that created God and on we go endlessly pushing back the question.

Darrel Falk, in his book, Coming To Peace With Science, used an analogy that may speak to some. If we could go back in time and observe Leonardo da Vinci painting the Mona Lisa, we could empirically prove why the paints are certain colors, why the paint sticks to the canvas and explain the chemistry involved. We could examine the brush strokes of the painter, the composition of the brushes, their dimensions and how they react to the paints and canvas. We could consider the temperature and humidity of the room and analyze how it would effect the paints, canvas, and drying time. 5 We spend untold billions of dollars every year investigation why things work the way they do when the real miracle is that we ‘can’ investigate how things work.

God created time when he created the universe. Along with time, he created these laws that we just take for granted. These laws not only aid us to explore his masterpiece, but allow us to get a glimpse of just how powerful he is. Gravity, for example, is a law we understand. We can even use calculations of expected outcomes to find other planets that we can’t see, but know they are there because of their gravitational effect on nearby planets within a solar system.

Physicists can only speculate on gravitons, (tiny massless particles that emanate gravitational fields), and how they tug on every piece of matter in the universe, but can’t find them. 6 Hard to imagine something that not only surrounds us, but is within us, and we have to answer to it every day of our lives when we stumble, drop a cup of coffee, or jump out of airplanes. Interesting. Surrounds us, within us, and we have to answer to it. Sounds suspiciously like God to me.

I am looking forward to this movie, God Is Not Dead, which is to be released in the Spring of 2014.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90PWFEeRApA
I have read several reviews that were grumbling about the atheists being put in a poor light. If this is true in the movie, it is not the spin I would have put on it, but after years of the ‘Christians’ being the Bible thumpers, intolerant, homophobe, prude, self righteous, bigoted, and abusive characters, I will not lose any sleep over it.

Maybe a few of us can go together, and while we are sitting there enjoying the movie in comfortable seats, we can not only appreciate the movie, but the miracle that our bag of popcorn is not floating away, spreading popcorn all over the theater along with sodas, candy, and patrons who can’t believe in a God that surrounds us, lives within us, and we answer to. Just like gravity.

Sources:

1. Grimes, William. “John T. Elson, Editor Who Asked ‘Is God Dead?”. New York Times. Nytimes.com, 17 September 2009. Web. 30 October 2013.
2. Zacharias, Ravi. East and West Part 1 of 2. Let My People Think, 2013. MP3.
3. Crick, Francis. Science Quotes by Francis Crick. Today in Science. Todayinsci.com, 1999. Web. 2 November 2013.
4. Ibid.
5. Falk, Darrel R. Coming To Peace With Science. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2004. Print.
6. Mosher, Dave. Greatest Mysteries: What Causes Gravity? Live Science. Livescience.com, 2007. Web. 2 November 2013.

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