A Dynamic Faith

A Dynamic Faith

This audio file A Dynamic Faith was adapted from a research assignment written by Kevin Bounds. This theological talk was given on August 3, 2016 at West Green Baptist Church where Kevin serves as Senior Pastor. If the listener would like a copy of this original manuscript in booklet form please contact In the Word Together for details.


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How to Study the Bible for Yourself

How to Study the Bible for Yourself

Have you ever wanted to study the Bible, but didn’t know how to get started? This was the question I attempted to answer in a 3 hour session (including breaks) with the ladies at Still Waters Outreach Center. This audio playlist was recorded at Still Waters Outreach Center by permission of Joanne Ray Lewis.


***Image Attribution

Image courtesy of Joanne Ray Lewis Downloaded from FaceBook.com

John 1:9 and New Scientific Research?

I came across an article so fascinating I have to share it with you! It brought to mind what the author of the Fourth Gospel wrote in his prologue. He states, “That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world” (KJV John 1:9).  Check out this article by Michael Guillen titled The spark of life: Science and the Bible meet again

 

To find out more about Michael Guillen visit www.michaelguillen.com

Is Biblical Creationism Illogical?

Is Biblical Creationism Illogical?

Introduction

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1 KJV). It has been stated this is the most read verse of the Bible in all history. This straightforward verse is the foundation on which the resulting revelation of God is formed. Atheists around the globe find the opening line of Scripture to be an outmoded and absurd speculation. They accuse the Bible of being unscientific and anti-intellectual, but is this really the case? Is the biblical creation narrative an irrational assumption void of logic and empirical evidence? This paper will counter the claims of sceptics by utilizing logical inferences and scientific indications for intelligent design, thus, casting serious doubts on the atheistic notion of Darwinian evolution.

The logical methodology employed in this work will be congruent with the correspondence theory of truth. In his book, Christian Apologetics, renowned apologist Douglas Groothius writes, “A belief or statement is true only if it matches with, reflects or corresponds to the reality it refers to.”[1] In other words, this paper will evaluate both the validity of Darwin’s theory of evolution and the biblical theme of creation by seeing how each reflects with the known reality of scientific exploration. It should be noted the existence of God cannot be empirically proven, but neither can evolution be proven. By the close of this argumentative essay it is the author’s hope the reader will see the rationale behind the belief in the biblical creation story. Also, this work seeks to debate the competing ideas of evolution and creationism not the various interpretations of the creation narrative found in Genesis.

“In the Beginning…”

To answer the question which worldview reflects the reality of scientific data? We must first know the claims of science. According to cosmologists, the universe is not eternal, but has its origins in a singular moment of time. Scientists refer to this as the Big Bang. In his book, The Case for a Creator, Lee Strobel, concerning the Big Bang theory, quotes physicist Steven Weinberg as saying,

In the beginning there was an explosion. Not an explosion like those familiar on Earth, starting from a definite center and spreading out to engulf more and more of the circumambient air, but an explosion which occurred simultaneously everywhere, filling all space from the beginning with every particle of matter rushing apart from every other particle. [2]

It is true both atheists and many creationists accept the Big Bang as a viable theory of the origin of all things, however, their perspectives are very different.

First, for the Christian theist this fact does not contradict, but rather reinforces the creation narrative. In the opening verse of the Bible the temporality of universe is declared against the backdrop of the eternalness of God. The Creator-God is reigns in transcendence over the creation. Creationist logic is sound when it asserts the cosmological argument for God. Donald McKim defines this argument as an “argument for God’s existence which proposes that since all things in the universe must have a cause, God must exist as the ultimate cause of all things.”[3] For example, you are reading this paper as a result of an individual mind articulating the words, thoughts, phrases, and taking the time to jot them down to be viewed by others. It would be illogical to believe this work appeared from nothingness, but rather it had a point of origin. This is the reasoning behind creationism.

On the other hand, Darwinian thought excludes the necessity of a creator. It proposes everything visible and invisible, known and unknown, the entirety of the universe spawned from nothing. This defies all logical reasoning. In mathematics, when zero it added to itself or multiplied by itself the answer is a definitively zero. If the universe came into existence with an explosion, where did the initial spark originate? An explosion cannot occur from nothingness, because there is nothing to initiate or to fuel this eruption. In other words, the only logical explanation is there is an eternal Creator outside the universe which was (and continues to be) the ultimate cause. The phrase of the creation story, “In the beginning God…” (Gen. 1:1 KJV), is really not illogical, but rationally reflects known scientific evidences.

 “… God Created the Heavens and the Earth.”

The biblical plot of creation moves forward and reveals this eternal God is very innovative, but does this reflect reality? To further bolster the claim for intelligent design and to deconstruct the notion of natural selection a survey of the evidences from the fields of physics, astronomy, and biology will be explored.

First, is there any evidence for creationism in the field of physics? The prime signal for intelligent design can be witnessed in the “anthropic principle”. Strobel quotes scientist Patrick Glynn as stating, “…all the seemingly arbitrary and unrelated constants in physics have one strange thing in common – these are precisely the values you need if you want a universe capable of producing life.”[4] Is this merely a coincidence as evolutionist suggest? Strobel recounts physicist Robin Collins illustration, “Let’s say you were way out in space and were going to throw a dart at random toward Earth. It would be like successfully hitting a bull’s eye on trillionth of an inch in diameter.”[5] It appears the odds are stacked against evolutionary assumptions in the field of physics, but an intelligent mind can account for these exactitudes.

Secondly, does the field of astronomy yield any contrary testimonies to biblical creationism? Unfortunately, the evolutionist does not fare well in this category either. The precision of Earth’s placement appears to intentional for wellbeing of the inhabitants of the planet. For example, Benjamin Zuckerman, a professor in astronomy at University of California at Los Angeles explains the importance of Jupiter’s role in sustaining life on Earth. He argues,

It is that gravitational force that benefits Planet Earth. When massive objects that could do great harm to our planet hurl through our solar system, Jupiter acts as a vacuum cleaner, sucking comets and asteroids into itself or causing them to veer away from Earth. Without Jupiter Earth would be a sitting duck.[6]

This is merely one illustration of the fine tuning of the universe to enable life on Earth. It would be impossible to identify all the astronomical elements which are conducive to life on Earth, a few more would be our place in solar system, our solar system’s residence in the Milky Way Galaxy, and finally the Milky Way’s home in the universe. Natural selection cannot account for all these precise placements. For illustration, it would be far more probable to throw several decks of playing cards in the air and each suit within each deck of cards land in numerical order. It is highly illogical to assert that random chance would establish such a finely tuned Cosmos, but intelligent design can rationally explain the fastidiousness found in the field of astronomy.

Finally, does the various fields of biology support the creation narrative? First, by examining the fossil record one encounters the “biological big bang” called the Cambrian Explosion. Geologist Keith Miller defines this event as “the relative rapidity of diversification of invertebrates during the Cambrian”[7] period. This surge of new phylas does not contradict, but rather strengthens the creationist viewpoint. The Bible records, “And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so” (Gen 1:24 KJV).

However, on the other hand, this swell of new complex lifeforms defies Darwin’s theory of evolution. In fact, Darwin himself was counting the discovery of new fossils to support his notion of natural selection, but time has been very unfriendly to Darwinian evolution. Another self-inflicted wound is Darwin’s necessity for copious amount of time for his evolutionary theory to work is negated by the brevity of the Cambrian Era. In other words, time has run out for Darwin’s assertions.

Another salient point in the field of biology is the uncovered “language of life.”[8] Discoveries in DNA sequencing has revolutionized the field of biology. Much like characters of a book, DNA is intelligently positioned to inform the linking of amino acids. This process is specific and complex. Mike Chapman writes, “Science says that anytime one see a specified complexity there must be intelligence behind it.”[9] Natural selection fails miserably at explaining this phenomenon, but intelligent design is seen as a plausible assumption.

The Repercussions of the God-hypothesis

            As illustrated in the aforementioned scientific evidences of various fields of study, the creationist worldview fits closer to reality than the evolution’s worldview, thus, arguably bolstering the plausibility of creationism. But what repercussion does the God-hypothesis have on humankind? If man’s existence is not caused by random acts of natural selection, then one can only assume man is here for a purpose. He is accountable to the Creator. The denial of God in evolution attempts to do away with this responsibility. Yet, many logical and scientific evidences point to the notion of intelligent design. The question is whether the creature will submit to the Creator? The God which was in the beginning has revealed Himself to mankind in all generations and man will be responsible for his response to this Creator- God.

Conclusion

In conclusion, after briefly surveying the fields of cosmology, physics, astronomy, and biology it is apparent Darwin’s theory of evolution is not supported by science. In fact, it is merely a godless philosophy, which is being overshadowed by the evidences pointing to intelligent design. On the other hand, the biblical creation story is neither outmoded nor illogical, but all the more a plausible reality. Case in point, the Scripture declared these truths generations before modern science! The canon of Scripture is accurate and reliable source of truth.

BIBILOGRAPHY

Chapman, Mike. A Journey through the Old Testament, Ed. Homer Rhea. Cleveland, TN: Pathway Press, 2001.

Groothius, Douglas. Christian Apologetic: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith. Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 2011.

Larson, Brain C.  750 Engaging Illustrations for Preachers, Teachers, and Writers.Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1998.

McKim, Donald. Westminster’s Dictionary of Theological Terms.Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1996.

Miller, Keith B. “The Fossil Record of the Cambrian “Explosion”: Resolving the Tree of Life.” Perspectives On Science & Christian Faith 66, no. 2 (June 2014): 67-82. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed January 31, 2016).

Strobel, Lee. The Case for a Creator. Grand Rapids, MI; Zondervan, 2004.

[1] Douglas Groothius, Christian Apologetic: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith (Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 2011), 124.

[2] Lee Strobel, The Case for a Creator (Grand Rapids, MI; Zondervan, 2004), 114.

[3] Donald McKim, Westminster’s Dictionary of Theological Terms (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1996), 63.

[4] Lee Strobel, The Case for a Creator, 155.

[5] Lee Strobel, The Case for a Creator, 165.

[6] Brain C. Larson, 750 Engaging Illustrations for Preachers, Teachers, and Writers (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1998), 97-98.

[7] Keith B. Miller, “The Fossil Record of the Cambrian “Explosion”: Resolving the Tree of Life”, Perspectives On Science & Christian Faith 66, no. 2 (June 2014): 67-82. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed January 31, 2016), 68.

[8] Lee Strobel, The Case for a Creator, 272.

[9] Mike Chapman, A Journey through the Old Testament, Ed. Homer Rhea, (Cleveland, TN: Pathway Press, 2001), 52.

Richard Dawkins & The God Delusion

Are creationists delusional? Richard Dawkins argues the notion of God is a delusion and Darwinian evolution is the only true and rational explanation of the existence of all things. According to the logical law of bivalence this statement is either true or false. Douglas Groothius writes, in his book Christian Apologetics, “A belief or statement is true only if it matches with, reflects or corresponds to the reality it refers to.”[1] This leads one to the question, which worldview is valid? Darwinian evolution or Creationism? In this post, I will attempt to prove the assumptions of Dawkins to be illogical (or maybe downright delusional) and give credibility to the theory of Intelligent Design. Also, after illustrating the plausibility of creationism, I will share why I believe the Christian worldview is the most reasonable.

Which worldview corresponds with the scientific facts? Often, it is presumed Darwinians have the many fields of science in their corner, but this is merely an erroneous assumption. I will give three examples that wield the deathblow to the Darwinian worldview.

First, science has proven the universe is not eternal, but rather came into existence at a certain point in time. A majority of scientists adhere to the Big Bang theory to account for origins of the universe. Both Darwinians and creationist agree this is very acceptable, but the evolutionist has a difficult time explaining exactly how this enormous explosion happened from nothing. Nothing happening to nothing and igniting an explosion which in return causes everything to come to be is very illogical. However, if there was a God who initiated this explosion and created all things Ex Nihilo or out of nothing would be reasonable, because you must have a painter to have a painting.

Second, Darwinian evolution is at odds with the fossil record. In fact, Darwin was counting on future fossil discoveries to bolster his claim, but overtime this has not been the case. The Cambrian Explosion or a “the biological big bang” places the last nail in the coffin to Darwin’s theory. At this period of time, the fossil record shows an enormous amount of biological advancements in organisms that cannot be explained by Darwinian evolution. There is simply not enough time in this period to allow for Darwin’s theory of evolution to take place, but a creator could accomplish it! These advance organisms lead nicely to my final piece of evidence against macroevolution.

Third, Darwin’s theory cannot rectify the existence of irreducible complex molecular machines. For example, the bacterial flagellum. Biochemist Michael Behe states,

Just picture an outboard motor on a boat and you get a pretty good idea of how the flagellum functions, only the flagellum is far more incredible. The flagellum’s propeller is long and whip-like, made out of a protein called flagellin. This is attached to a drive shaft by hook protein, which acts as a universal joint, allowing the propeller and drive shaft to rotate freely. Several types of proteins act as a bushing material to allow the drive shaft to penetrate the bacterial wall and attach to the rotary motor.[2]

Evolution argues that this came in to existence over time, but without all of the aforementioned components the bacterial flagellum would not work. I have not mentioned the complexity of DNA information found in living cells! Evolutionist cannot explain these by natural selection, but intelligent design can!

After exploring how Darwinian evolution and intelligent design add up against only three scientific facts it is easy to see evolution falls drastically short. Darwinian evolution simple does not reflect or correspond with reality, thus it is false. Yet, intelligent design is a very logical assumption.

As promised, since I have only made an argument for intelligent design so far, I will now explain why I believe the Christian worldview is the most plausible of all. I will utilize the previous examples of scientific evidence to simplify my argument. First, Christianity has always agreed with science that the world was not eternal. This eliminates all religions that view the universe as ever-existing. The Bible clearly states, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. … 3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light” (Gen 1:1, 3 KJV). This very well could be the scientific “Big Bang”. Second, the Cambrian Explosion can be explained by Genesis’ account of creation as well. It states, “25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and everything that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that [it was] good” (Gen 1:25 KJV). Furthermore, the intricate details of irreducible complex molecular machines and DNA are easily rectified with the Christian worldview.

What is the difference between Christianity’s claim and other monotheistic faiths, like Judaism and Islam? Why should it be chosen? In the following paragraphs I will answer these all important questions.

First, the differences between Christianity and other religions is that Christianity is incarnational. It claims this Creator-God came and dwelt among mankind in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. Although, other religions may mention Jesus of Nazareth in their religious texts, only Christianity acknowledges Him as the Son of God. This statement is either true or false. Did Christ claim to be God? Some argue, like Islam, Christianity has perverted His teaching and distorted the Bible. But the Bible has a superb record for reflecting reality. For example, many outside sources corroborate the claims of Scripture, especially the Gospels. The four biographies can be trusted to depict the proper image of Jesus of Nazareth, because they were written by eyewitnesses or accomplices of these eyewitness within close proximity of the event happenings. The stories of Christ were pasted on orally for approximately 20 to 30 year (maybe less) and then written down with great historical accuracy. This may appear to be a long time, but in an oral culture this could be done without difficulty.

Secondly, the Christian worldview answers all the major question of where did we come from? Why are we here? Where are we going? It does this without contradicting the scientific realities of the known universe. Also, the accounts of the death, burial, and resurrection have been meticulously passed down through the generation. Often, people will object saying it is anti-intellectual, unscientific, racist, sexist, homophobic, imperialistic, unconcerned for nature, and has unappealing view of afterlife, but not one of these claims can be found in the teachings of Christ when they are correctly expounded. I am convinced that the Christian worldview it the most logical.

In conclusion, are Christian creationist delusional? I believe the logic and scientific evidence speaks for themselves. Richard Dawkins may very well be guilty of exactly what he accuses creationists of being, delusional. There is no evidence to support macroevolution, in fact, all the evidence points to intelligent design. Furthermore, they do not merely point to ambiguous intelligent design, but to Jesus Christ. The author of Hebrews states, “And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:” (Heb 1:10 KJV). God is more than an emotional crutch for unintelligent people to learn on, but there is significant evidences to Him being the Eternal Mind that instituted and sustains all of the universe. The Christian worldview is not a delusion!

[1] Douglas Groothius, Christian Apologetics (Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 2011).124.

[2] Lee Strobel, The Case for a Creator (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2004), 253.

Multiverse?

Multiverse?

Could there be alternate universes? The concept of our universe being one of an infinite amount of universes caught my attention while reading Strobel’s A Case for the Creator. A multiverse has been the stuff of science fiction novels for a very long time. Growing up with C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia may have been the place I first imagined what other worlds would be like. The thought of other worlds has always intrigued me. In fact, I am in the process of reading Stephen R. Lawhead’s Bright Empire Series, where he utilizes the “many-universes theory” to create a fanciful quest to locate a map of the multiverse. But that’s science fiction, right?

Increasingly, many evolutionary scientist are arguing that a multiverse would diminish the anthropic principle (or the fine-tuning of our universe for life) and solidify Darwin’s theory of evolution. Lee Strobel writes, “

The argument can be summarized this way: ‘There could have been millions and millions of different universes, each created with different dial settings of the fundamental ratios and constants, so many in fact that the right set was bound to turn up by sheer chance. We just happened to be the lucky ones.[1]

Could this theory confirm the Copernicus Principle and reveal that our existence is really not that special? Does this circumvent the God-hypothesis?

Certainly, the “many-universes theory” cannot be ruled out empirically, but it cannot be proven either. In my opinion, we have evolutionists grasping at theoretical straws trying to negate all the scientific evidences for intelligent design. The philosophy of Darwin, not the science, has fueled this concept. It is a smoke and mirrors attempt draw attention away idea of creationism.

For fun, what if this theory is correct? Does it negate the need of a creator? Absolutely, not! World renowned philosopher and physicist, Robin Collins states, “Theist have nothing to fear from the idea that there may be multiple universes. There would still need to an intelligent designer to make all the finely tuned universe-generating process work.”[2] In other words, the futile attempt of evolutionary scientists would not evade the need for God, but would make God even more awe inspiring!

In conclusion, the idea of many universes is quite the notion, but the sci-fi nerd in me hopes it true! All logic and scientific evidence points to an awesomely creative God who set the earth and the heavens in order. The precise tuning of the Cosmos screams creation. The Apostle Paul wrote, “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together (Col 1:17 NASB). Universe or multiverse HE still holds it ALL together! Now let’s see what happens next in Lawhead’s fantastical multiverse in the Bright Empire Series.

[1] Lee Strobel, The Case for the Creator (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2004), 170.

[2] Lee Strobel, The Case for the Creator, 177.