Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Video: Answering Atheists by Abdu Murray


In this video, Abdu Murray of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries gives a brief overview of why he believes atheism fails to explain the reality we live in.  Topics discussed include:
  • Is belief in God is just a crutch?
  • Objective morality
  • The Problem of Evil
  • Hard atheism vs. soft atheism
  • Sam Harris and moral ontology
  • Test for truth- empirical verifiability and coherence to reality
  • Secular humanism
  • The solution to the human problem i.e. sin
  • Summary case (C.A.S.E.) for the resurrection of Jesus Christ
C- Crucifixion
A- Appearances
S- Skeptics Converted
E- Empty Tomb
  • Definition of faith
For those who are interested in learning more about Abdu's case for the resurrection, you can find his debate with atheist John Loftus here on the topic "Was Jesus raised from the dead?"

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Related Posts

Apologetics315 Interview: Abdu Murray

Abdu Murray on Appealing Only to the Mind

Atheist Joel Marks on God and Morality

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

How Should We Then Live?

In the subject series, Haven Today examines the life and impact of Francis Schaeffer.

You can listen to the series here.

Stand firm in Christ,
Chase

Monday, November 28, 2016

Article: What Every Christian Should Know about Paul by Eric Chabot

In this featured article, Eric Chabot of the Christian Apologetics Alliance writes of the Apostle Paul:

"Given that historians look to those who are contemporaries of the events, Paul is an important resource for what historians can know about Jesus of Nazareth. Furthermore, the earliest documents we have for the life of Jesus are Paul’s letters. Paul was a very competent rabbi who was trained at the rabbinic academy called the House of Hillel by ‘Gamaliel,’ a key rabbinic leader and member of the Sanhedrin.  Both Christian and non-Christian scholars have come to have great respect Paul."

He then continues by listing some very basic things that he contends all Christians should know about Paul.

You can checkout this excellent article here.  For more from Chabot, see here.

For more great resources checkout the Christian Apologetics Alliance.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Research Materials for the Argument from Reason

Articles


The Cardinal Difficulty of Naturalism, Chapter 3 of C.S. Lewis's Miracles.

C.S. Lewis and the Argument from Reason by Jay Richards

'Naturalism is True:' A Self-Contradictory Statement by Albrecht Moritz

The Argument from Reason by John M. DePoe

The Argument from Reason by Victor Reppert

Why Atheism is Self-Defeating by Scott Youngren

Libertarian Free Will and the Argument from Reason by Angus Menuge

Audio

An Evolutionary Argument against Naturalism by Alvin Plantinga

Apologist Interview: Angus Menuge by Brian Auten

Can Atheists Trust Their Own Minds? by William Lane Craig

Unbelievable? Alvin Plantinga vs Stephen Law on the Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism

Video


The Argument from Reason by Acts 17 Apologetics

Descartes, Hume, and Darwin on the Argument from Reason

Books

Agents Under Fire: Materialism and the Rationality of Science by Angus Menuge

C.S. Lewis's Dangerous Idea
by Victor Reppert

C.S. Lewis vs. The New Atheists by Peter S. Williams

Miracles by C.S. Lewis

Warrant and Proper Function by Alvin Plantinga

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Friday, November 25, 2016

Philosopher Stephen T. Davis on Tolerance

"There is no necessary connection between being an objectivist on truth and being intolerant.  Of course, there is a historical tendency that can be disturbing--a sense of absolute certainty does lead some people to intolerance and imperialism.  Still, relativists who try to make this point don't seem to realize that there can be moral systems that are taken to be objectively true and that teach or even require tolerance...The Christian motivation for tolerance is not that nobody has the objective truth but that Jesus told us to love all people and especially our enemies.  And we Christians try to practice tolerance and respect for people precisely because we believe that Jesus' teaching is true (i.e., objectively true)."1



Courage and Godspeed,
Chad


Footnote:
1. Stephen T. Davis, Rational Faith, p. 20.

Related Posts

Common Objection #28- "Tolerance Requires Us to Accept All Views Equally!"

Alan Shlemon on Tolerance

Video: Was Jesus Intolerant? by Dr. Frank Turek

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

We here at Truthbomb want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!  We pray that you have a blessed day!  Further, we are so thankful for your readership.

Please enjoy these articles today as you reflect on all that you have to be thankful for!

Enjoy The Distinctly Christian Holiday We Call Thanksgiving by J. Warner Wallace

First U.S. Thanksgiving Proclamation by Melinda Penner

Thanksgiving in a Secular Society by Amy K. Hall

Thanksgiving by Greg Koukl


Happy Thanksgiving!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad




Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Video: Why the United States is a Christian Nation by David Wood



"Is the United States a Christian Nation?  That depends on what we mean.  

In this video (drawing on the work of John Adams, James Madison, Plato, Eric Hoffer, and Francis Schaeffer), David Wood argues that the United States is a Christian nation because Christianity is the force that prevents it from becoming a tyranny."

I can honestly say that I have never seen this question answer in this manner.  This video is very challenging and very well argued.

What do you think?  Feel free to share your comments below!

Enjoy!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Related Posts

Debate Video: Did Jesus Rise from the Dead? - John Loftus vs. David Wood

Debate: "Does God Exist?" David Wood vs. Michael Shermer

Video: God, Science and Atheism by David Wood

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Book Preview- God Among Sages by Kenneth Samples

About the Author

Kenneth Richard Samples is a senior research scholar with Reasons To Believe, the premier science-faith integration ministry. An adjunct instructor of apologetics at Biola University, Samples is the author of Without a Doubt, A World of Difference, and 7 Truths That Changed the World. He lives in Southern California with his wife, Joan, and their three children.

About the Book

Was Jesus just a spiritual leader, like Krishna, Buddha, Confucius, and Muhammad? Or is he something else entirely?

In God among Sages, Ken Samples presents a biblical and historical portrait of Jesus, grounded in the claims Jesus makes about himself. Then he compares and contrasts Jesus with Krishna, Buddha, Confucius, and Muhammad and explores the competing philosophies of religious pluralism, inclusivism, and exclusivism. The result is a clear understanding of what sets Jesus apart as not simply a teacher to follow but God himself, worthy of our full allegiance and worship.

Recommendations

"Well informed, wise, and sympathetic, this is a readable volume for those interested in exploring world religions and what makes Jesus so unique."--Paul Copan, Pledger Family Chair of Philosophy and Ethics, Palm Beach Atlantic University; author of A Little Book for New Philosophers

"This is not the typical world religions volume that simply provides an information-filled survey of major faith options. Rather, Ken Samples emphasizes an interactive approach, done in a comparative fashion that contrasts strengths, weaknesses, philosophical implications, and historical foundations. I recommend it wholeheartedly."--Gary R. Habermas, distinguished research professor and chair of the Department of Philosophy, Liberty University and Theological Seminary

"There has been a crying need for a book like this, and Ken Samples was clearly the one to write it. This book would be my top recommendation for any Christian, church, or Bible study group that wanted to learn how the Christian faith stacks up against the other great religious traditions."--Craig J. Hazen, professor of comparative religion and apologetics, and founder and director of the Christian apologetics program, Biola University

You can learn more about the book here.

You can pre-order your copy here.  It will be available January 31, 2017.

I recommend anything by Kenneth Samples! 

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Related Posts

Monday, November 21, 2016

Teaching History Theologically

In the subject post, Dustin Messer writes of the "connective tissue" between history and theology; which is creation, sin, and salvation. Messer also briefly reminds us that:

Whether the Christian is teaching art, philosophy, science, or any other subject, he does so with the sure knowledge that this world is created and actively governed by a covenantal, Triune, personal God.

The post can be read here.

Stand firm in Christ,
Chase

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Pandora's Nursery

I recently read an article, Pandora’s Nursery: Adults Raised by Gays Take Up the Cause of Children's Rights, by Terrell Clemmons here at Salvo. The article discusses the harm done to children in the name of family equality as chronicled in Bobby Lopez’ book Jephthah's Daughters: Innocent Casualties in the War for Family "Equality."  I found the following paragraphs noteworthy:

“It is also important to remember that, if marriage is a lifelong commitment of sexual fidelity, and if gays are born gay and live according to fidelity in marriage, then (natural) gay parenthood is a contradiction in terms, since gay couples cannot conceive children together. In whatever way a gay family comes about, the children in it will, in all cases, have been separated from at least one parent. Certainly, in a fallen world, such separations will occur, but to willfully, intentionally, and preemptively nullify a parental tie constitutes an existential crime against the child.

Children are neither property nor "rights." They are human beings who inherently possess rights, and it is incumbent on adults to guard and secure them. The real enemy is not people who identify as gay, nor is it the gay lobby or the indifferent public who lets Big Gay have its way, though there's plenty of culpability to go around. (It's worth noting that Jephthah's Daughters also criticizes our laissez-faire divorce culture, along with reproductive technologies by which gametes and children are bought and sold without their consent.) The real enemy is the self-centeredness that deconstructs natural marriage and the natural family in favor of adult sexual choice. Selfishness is wholly incompatible with the very call of parenting, which requires that adults put the well-being of children before personal wants.”

What do you think? Don’t take my word for it, read the article, don’t wait for the movie.


Have a little hope on me, Roger

Friday, November 18, 2016

Penn Jillette: Reading the Bible (Or the Koran, Or the Torah) Will Make You an Atheist



Here is a short video that can be used as practice to respond to common objections to the Bible and Christianity.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Free Apologetics E-Book Library


Welcome to the Truthbomb Apologetics Free Online E-book Library. From time to time, while researching a given topic, we run across a free e-book online. I decided to put them all together into one collection. I will be adding to it as I find other books. If you know of a free e-book, that would go nicely in the collection, please share it with us.

I hope you find these books helpful in your search for truth; and hey, they are free! I love free books!

Apologetics

Behold, I Stand at the Door and Knock: What to Say Jehovah Witnesses When They Knock on your Door by Mike Licona


Behold, I Stand at the Door and Knock: What to Say to Mormons When They Knock on Your Door by Mike Licona

Beyond the Bounds: Open Theism and the Undermining of Biblical Christianity edited by John Piper, Justin Taylor, and Paul Kjoss Helseth [PDF]

Confessions by St. Augustine [PDF]

Curse of Cain? Racism in the Mormon Church by Jerald and Sandra Tanner

Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching by St. Irenaeus

Digging for the Evidence by Peter S. Williams [PDF] NEW!

Essential Truths of the Christian Faith by R.C. Sproul [PDF]

Evidence for the Historical Jesus: Is the Jesus of History the Christ of Faith? by Gary Habermas

Evidence of Christianity by William Paley

Fifty Nobel Laureates and Other Great Scientists Who Believe in God [PDF]

Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die by John Piper [PDF]; originally called The Passion of the Christ

How Do You Know the Bible is from God? by Kyle Butt [PDF]

Jesus Rediscovered by Malcolm Muggeridge

Letters to a Mormon Elder by James R. White

Letters to the Seven Churches of Asia
by W.M. Ramsey

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis [Audio available as well]

Mormon Claims Answered by Marvin Cowan

Pens'ees
by Blaise Pascal

St. Paul the Traveler and the Roman Citizen by W.M. Ramsey

Suffering and the Sovereignty of God by John Piper [PDF]

Summa Theologica by Thomas Aquinas

The Case for the Existence of God by Bert Thompson, Ph.D. [PDF]

The Changing World of Mormonism by Jerald and Sandra Tanner [PDF available here]

The Dawkins Letters
by David Robertson

The Irrational Atheist by Vox Day [PDF]

The Mark of the Christian by Francis A. Schaeffer

The New Testament Documents: Are they Reliable? by F.F. Bruce

The Person of Christ According to the New Testament by B.B. Warfield [In EPUB, .MOBI, .PDF & HTML Formats]

The Resurrection of Theism: Prolegomena to Christian Apology by Stuart Hackett

The Scientific Case for Creation by Bert Thompson, Ph.D. [PDF]

The Story of the Bible by Sir Frederic Kenyon

The Uniqueness of Jesus Christ Among the Major World Religions by Dr. Gary Habermas [PDF]

The Works of Flavius Josephus


Tracking the White Salamander: The Story of Mark Hofmann, Murder, and Forged Mormon Documents by Jerald Tanner

Warranted Christian Belief by Dr. Alvin Plantinga

Was Christ Born in Bethlehem? by W.M. Ramsey

Why Isn't God More Obvious? by Paul Moser [PDF]

Christian Living

Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners by John Bunyan [PDF available]

Dealing with Doubt by Dr. Gary Habermas

Holy War by John Bunyan [PDF available]

Man-The Dwelling Place of God by A.W. Tozer

Real Christianity by William Wilberforce

The Necessity of Prayer by E.M. Bounds

The Normal Christian Life by Watchmen Nee

The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer

The Thomas Factor: Using Your Doubts to Draw Closer to God by Dr. Gary Habermas

The Works of Jonathan Edwards

With Christ in the School of Prayer by Andrew Murray

Creation, Evolution, and Intelligent Design
Biblical Creationism by Henry M. Morris NEW! [PDF]

Darwin's Enigma: Ebbing the Tide of Naturalism by Luther Sunderland

In Six Days- Why 50 Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation, Edited by Dr. John Ashton

Natural Theology by William Paley

On the Origin of the Species by Charles Darwin

Refuting Evolution 1 by Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D., F.M.

Refuting Evolution 2
by Jonathan Sarfati, with Michael Matthews

Taking Back Astronomy by Jason Lisle

The Bible and the Age of the Earth
by Bert Thompson, Ph.D. [PDF]

The Creation Answers Book by Dr. Don Batton (Contributing Editor), Dr. David Catchpoole, Dr. Jonathan Sarfati, and Dr. Carl Wieland

The Descent of Man
by Charles Darwin

The Global Flood of Noah by Bert Thompson, Ph.D. [PDF]

The Mystery of Life's Origin by Charles B. Thaxton, Walter L. Bradley, and Roger L. Olsen [PDF or Adobe Reader]

The New Answers Book
by various authors

In the Shadow of Darwin, a review of the teachings of John N. Clayton by Wayne Jackson and Bert Thompson [PDF]

Logic

Logic and Fallacies of Logic by Dr. Johnson C. Philip and Dr. Saneesh Cherian [PDF]

The Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments by Ali Almossawi

Philosophy

A Treatise on Human Nature by David Hume

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Critique of Pure Reason by Emmanuel Kant

Ethics by Aristotle

Fear and Trembling by Soren Kierkegaard

Me, the Professor, Fuzzy, and the Meaning of Life by David Pensgard

Heretics by G.K. Chesterton

Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton [PDF]

Philosophical Fragments by Soren Kierkegaard

Selections from the Writings of Kierkegaard- Translated by L.M. Hollander

The Everlasting Man
by G.K. Chesterton

The Predicament of Modern Man by Elton Trueblood

The Sickness Unto Death
by Soren Kierkegaard

Thus Spake Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche

What's Wrong with the World?
by G.K. Chesterton

Happy reading!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Physicist Lawrence Krauss's Bizarre Attack on Deductive Arguments


A few years ago, physicist Lawerence Krauss and philosopher William Lane Craig participated in a series of dialogues in Australia. The third dialogue was called "Life, the Universe and Nothing: Is it Reasonable to Believe there is a God?"

For those unfamiliar with Dr. Craig's work, he often uses deductive arguments when making his case for theism. He is an avid defender of the Kalam and Leibnizian cosmological arguments, the fine-tuning argument and the moral argument.

In his article The New Atheism and and Five Arguments for God, Dr. Craig explains what makes a good deductive argument:

"An argument is a series of statements (called premises) leading to a conclusion. A sound argument must meet two conditions: (1) it is logically valid (i.e., its conclusion follows from the premises by the rules of logic), and (2) its premises are true. If an argument is sound, then the truth of the conclusion follows necessarily from the premises. But to be a good argument, it’s not enough that an argument be sound. We also need to have some reason to think that the premises are true. A logically valid argument that has, wholly unbeknownst to us, true premises isn’t a good argument for the conclusion. The premises have to have some degree of justification or warrant for us in order for a sound argument to be a good one. But how much warrant? The premises surely don’t need to be known to be true with certainty (we know almost nothing to be true with certainty!). Perhaps we should say that for an argument to be a good one the premises need to be probably true in light of the evidence. I think that’s fair, though sometimes probabilities are difficult to quantify. Another way of putting this is that a good argument is a sound argument in which the premises are more plausible in light of the evidence than their opposites. You should compare the premise and its negation and believe whichever one is more plausibly true in light of the evidence. A good argument will be a sound argument whose premises are more plausible than their negations."1

As Dr. Craig notes, the power of arguing this way is that if a deductive argument is sound, the truth of the conclusion follows necessarily, whether you like the conclusion or not.  Deductive arguments are a standard way of arguing.  Which is why Dr. Krauss's strange attack on deductive arguments during this dialogue was so bizarre.

In his speech, Dr. Krauss warned the audience that they need to beware of syllogisms because they can lead to false conclusions.  He offered the following example:

1. All mammals exhibit homosexual behavior.
2. William Lane Craig is a mammal.
3. Therefore, William Lane Craig exhibits homosexual behavior.2

As you can imagine, the audience got quite a chuckle from Krauss's argument!  However, I fear that some missed the error in Krauss's sad attempt to undermine deductive arguments.  There are two problems with Dr. Krauss's "homosexual mammal" argument: 1) It is self-defeating to use logic to refute logic 2) this argument is informally invalid because it uses terms equivocally.  Dr. Craig explains:

"It’s like the following syllogism, Kevin: Socrates was Greek; Greek is a language; therefore Socrates was a language. Now that’s obviously wrong because it uses the word “Greek” equivocally. In the first premise it’s an ethnicity, in the second premise it’s a language. And so the argument is simply invalid because of equivocation. Similarly, when you say: all mammals exhibit homosexual behavior, what you mean is: all species of mammals. But when you say in the second premise: William Lane Craig is a mammal, you don’t mean William Craig is a species of mammal, you mean he is an individual organism that is a mammal. And therefore the argument is invalid; you’ve used the terms equivocally. If you mean, all individual organisms that are mammals exhibit homosexual behavior then the first premise is false. If you mean, by the second premise, William Lane Craig is a species of mammal then the second premise is false. So you cannot construct a valid argument from those premises when you use the terms to have the same meaning. It’s only by equivocating on the terms that you construct this argument leading to this false conclusion. So this, as I say, is really, oh, this is the low point of these three dialogues where Professor Krauss mounts this attack upon deductive logic itself based upon this specious argument."3

So, because of the self-defeating venture of using logic to refute logic and the fallacy of equivocation, Lawrence Krauss's bizarre attack on deductive arguments fails.

Further, if offers us a great illustration of why it is so important for the scientist to understand philosophy.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Footnotes:
1. William Lane Craig, The New Atheism and Five Arguments for God, 2010.

2. William Lane Craig and Kevin Harris, Reasonable Faith Podcast Transcript, "The Debate in Melbourne Part 2," Nov. 11, 2013
3. Ibid.

Related Posts

What Lawrence Krauss Could Learn from a Children's Book

A Universe from Someone: Against Lawrence Krauss by Peter S. Williams

Counterpoints: Lawrence Krauss and J. Warner Wallace

Monday, November 14, 2016

Resource Highlight: Life is Best


The subject DVD resource is 13 episodes and features:

  • face-to-face engagement with university students and debates with pro-choice spokespeople
  • testimonies both from women who have had abortions and from people who were supposed to be aborted but lived to tell about it
  • the exposure of the gruesome business of abortion
  • a biblically sound response to the pro-choice position and its arguments
The first episode is available on Youtube here.

The series can be purchased here.

Stand firm in Christ and stand firm for the pre-born,
Chase

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Police Calm Millennial Protesters By Handing Out Participation Trophies

U.S.—As anti-Trump rallies nationwide turned hostile overnight with widespread reports of violence, looting, vandalism, and death threats against the president-elect and his supporters, police in numerous major cities were able to instill calm and regain control by handing out participation trophies to all millennial protesters who were enraged about losing the election, sources confirmed.
The shrewd tactic was the idea New York Police Officer Joe Butler, who has three twentysomething children himself, and noted to reporters Thursday that he remembered how his children “never had to deal with losing as they were growing up.”
“It’s a foreign notion to them. Even in sports—win or lose, everyone won, and everyone got a trophy no matter what. This is the millennial way,” he said. “So I had the idea—hey, why not start handing out participation trophies to the protesters, and telling them ‘Hey, you know what? You may have lost the election, but look—everyone gets a trophy. Everyone’s a winner.'”
Seeing how the trophies had an instantaneous calming effect on the millennials and filled them with a sense of fulfillment and achievement, word spread quickly among police departments nationwide, and emergency trophies were procured by the thousands for use at the rallies.
At publishing time, police had regained control in cities across the country, and the crowds of now-content protesters were heading home with their trophies, according to sources.
Posted November 10, 2016 at the The Babylon Bee, Your Trusted Source For Christian News Satire.
Read the blog, don't wait for the movie!
Have a little hope on me, Roger

Friday, November 11, 2016

Faith and the Whole Picture

I’ve been trying to avoid using the word ‘faith’ recently. It just doesn’t get the message across. ‘Faith’ is a word that’s now misused and twisted. ‘Faith’ today is what you try to use when the reasons are stacking up against what you think you ought to believe. Greg Koukl sums up the popular view of faith, “It’s religious wishful thinking, in which one squeezes out spiritual hope by intense acts of sheer will. People of ‘faith’ believe the impossible. People of ‘faith’ believe that which is contrary to fact. People of ‘faith’ believe that which is contrary to evidence. People of ‘faith’ ignore reality.” It shouldn’t therefore come as a great surprise to us, that people raise their eyebrows when ‘faith’ in Christ is mentioned. Is it strange that they seem to prefer what seems like reason over insanity?
It’s interesting that the Bible doesn’t overemphasize the individual elements of the whole picture of faith, like we so often do. But what does the Bible say about faith? Is it what Simon Peter demonstrates when he climbs out of the boat and walks over the water towards Jesus? Or is it what Thomas has after he has put his hand in Jesus’s side? Interestingly, biblical faith isn’t believing against the evidence. Instead, faith is a kind of knowing that results in action. The clearest definition comes from Hebrews 11:1. This verse says, “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” In fact, when the New Testament talks about faith positively it only uses words derived from the Greek root [pistis], which means ‘to be persuaded.’ In those verses from Hebrews, we find the words, “hope,” “assurance,” “conviction” that is, confidence. Now, what gives us this confidence?
Christian faith is not belief in the absence of evidence. It is the proper response to the evidence. Koukl explains that, “Christian faith cares about the evidence…the facts matter. You can’t have assurance for something you don’t know you’re going to get. You can only hope for it. This is why the resurrection of Jesus is so important. It gives assurance to the hope. Because of a Christian view of faith, Paul is able to say in 1 Corinthians 15 that when it comes to the resurrection, if we have only hope, but no assurance—if Jesus didn’t indeed rise from the dead in time/space history—then we are of most men to be pitied. This confidence Paul is talking about is not a confidence in a mere ‘faith’ resurrection, a mythical resurrection, a story-telling resurrection. Instead, it’s a belief in a real resurrection. If the real resurrection didn’t happen, then we’re in trouble. The Bible knows nothing of a bold leap-in-the-dark faith, a hope-against-hope faith, a faith with no evidence. Rather, if the evidence doesn’t correspond to the hope, then the faith is in vain, as even Paul has said.”
So in conclusion, faith is not a kind of religious hoping that one does in spite of the facts. In fact, faith is a kind of knowing that results in doing, a knowing that is so passionately and intelligently faithful to Jesus Christ that it will not submit to fideism, scientism, nor any other secularist attempt to divert and cauterize the human soul by hijacking knowledge.
Tom Price is an academic tutor at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics and a member of the speaking team at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Oxford, England.
Published on November 10, 2016 in A Slice of Infinity.  “Our gift and invitation to you, that you might further examine your beliefs, your culture, and the unique message of Jesus Christ.”

To learn more about Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, go here. http://www.rzim.org/


To receive A Slice of Infinity in your daily email, go here. http://www.rzim.org/a-slice-of-infinity/

Thursday, November 10, 2016

An Edited Version of the Leibnizian Cosmological Argument

I love to study the arguments for the existence of God.  I greatly enjoy considering deductive arguments and the validity of the premises therein.1

One such argument originated with Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz.  His argument is one of the cosmological arguments for God's existence. One version, as defended by philosopher William Lane Craig, is as follows:

1) Everything which exists has an explanation of its existence

2) If the universe has an explanation for its existence, that explanation is God

3) The universe exists

4) The universe has an explanation of its existence

5) Therefore God exists2

As philosopher J.W. Wartick explains "...this outlining of Leibniz’s argument is a little forward. Premise 2 may be a bit strong."3  I concur.  While the argument is certainly logically valid, if I allow myself to step into the shoes of the skeptic, I could see how they could stumble over the wording of Premise 2.  

Therefore, Wartick has edited the argument as follows:

1) All entities which exist have explanation of their existence. This explanation is either their own necessity or (for contingent entities) an external cause. (P1)

2) The universe exists (Axiom [A] 1)

3) The universe’s existence is not found in its own necessity (P2)

4) Therefore, the universe has an external cause (P1, P2)

5) There cannot be an infinite series of non-necessary causes (A2)

6) Therefore, the cause of the universe is transcendent (external) to it and necessary (4, A2 [I’m skipping a few steps here, but it would end up here eventually, as follows from 4 and A2])4

What do you think of this version?  Please share your thoughts in the comments!

Further, for those who are unfamiliar with the argument, Wartick explains the argument and defends each of the premises here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Footnotes:
1. For those who aren't sure how deductive arguments work, go here.
2. William Lane Crain, On Guard, p. 54.
3. 
J.W. Wartick, "The Leibnizian Cosmological Argument," Oct. 6, 2010

4. Ibid.

Related Posts

Video: Leibniz’ Contingency Argument

Video: The Leibnizian Cosmological Argument

The Taxicab Fallacy

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Brian Fisher on the Federal Government and Abortion

In his blog post, "Impossible. Difficult. DONE.," Brian Fisher of the Human Coalition explain why we, the body of Christ, should not look to the federal government to solve the abortion problem. He writes:

"Too many Christians believe abortion is a political issue. Abortion is not a political issue, and it cannot be solved through political means. Abortion is a spiritual issue, and it must be ended through Christ-followers. Christians constantly wring their hands while they bemoan this elected official or that, wondering why politicians betray pre-born children and their families after making pro-life promises during their campaigns.

Seriously? Are we still surprised that politicians lie? Folks, although the Democratic Party clearly espouses and pushes abortion rights, and considers it a key portion of their plank, the Republican Party has a long history of waffling and equivocation concerning pro-life legislation. The Republicans have had opportunities to overturnRoe v. Wade, or at least make great gains in pro-life legislation. Yet they have invariably caved.

Though there have been great gains in pro-life legislation in various states, the federal government remains a pro-death institution intent on supporting Planned Parenthood and using our tax dollars to kill hundreds of thousands of children a year. Good grief, Planned Parenthood got caught selling baby parts last year, and the Feds still didn’t budge! Instead, with brutal regularity they betray our Constitution, the American people, and those they’ve sworn to protect. Republicans have had control of the executive and legislative branches in years past, and we are still killing a million babies a year.
If you are leaning on or hoping the federal government will solve the abortion epidemic—stop it. They won’t. They don’t have the backbone. Pray for them."1

Fisher continues:

"Does this mean individuals should stop engaging in the political process? Of course not. The wonderful pro-life gains made in various states are because courageous men and women engage in the political process.2

However, laws follow culture. Politics is not a leading indicator; it is a lagging indicator. If we want to see laws changed, then we must change the culture first. And we change the culture one heart, one mind at a time."3

In other words, who has the power to end abortion?  The body of Christ!

He concludes:

"So let’s commit together to stop complaining about politics and corrupt politicians. Let’s come together, link arms, and change our culture, one heart at a time."4

What do you think?  Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Footnote:
1. Brian Fisher, "Impossible. Difficult. DONE.," Nov. 4, 2016.
2. The manner in which you vote should obviously reflect your pro-life views, but don't stop there. Share your pro-life convictions and their grounding in Christ.
3. Ibid.
4. Ibid.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Video: Where Did Jesus Say, "I Am God, Worship Me"? by David Wood


In this helpful video, David Wood of Acts17 Apologetics explains how to respond to the common Muslim objection, "Where did Jesus say, 'I am God, worship me"?

I encourage our readers to follow David on YouTube here.

Enjoy!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Monday, November 07, 2016

Book Review: One of the Few by Jason B. Ladd

Introduction

One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot's Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview is Jason B. Ladd's story.  Ladd's story begins at a moment of tragedy in his life.  It is at this moment that he realizes that while he may be prepared to defend his country, he is ill-equipped to lead his wife and children. So begins his greatest mission of all: a mission to find the truth.

Layout of the Book

One of the Few's 297 pages are separated into 3 parts.  As Ladd explains, "Part I offers a look into my childhood as a military dependent, and chronicles my journey as a spiritual seeker...Part II explains the importance of having a worldview capable of filtering out false teachings, harmful doctrines, and all the trappings of a sinful world...Part III uses my background in peace, war, and defense to help you prepare for spiritual warfare as I discuss searching for peace and struggling with doubt before, during, and after my decision to follow Christ." [p. ii-iv]

Strengths of the Book

This reader greatly appreciated how the author not only offered rational reasons and evidence for the Christian worldview, but he also dealt with how to live as a Christian after deciding to follow Jesus Christ.  Not only will the Christian be better equipped to defend their faith after reading this work, but they will also be furnished with some of the tools they will need to live a life pleasing to God. Ladd covers topics such as marriage, parenting, and addiction from the perspective of someone who has seen firsthand the harmful effects that false beliefs and self-destructive lifestyles can have on one's life. Furthermore, he is not afraid to address topics that some in the church today shy away from including homosexuality, drunkenness, and pornography.

Ladd also does a great job weaving his arguments and points throughout his own personal story.  His journey is an intimate one that admirably conveys the struggles a soldier, husband, father, and follower of Christ faces.

The author also effectively uses questions to challenge the reader to consider the ramifications of their own worldview.  For example, when discussing the power of pre-suppositions, he writes:

"...it is hard to see the truth when your mind is covered by a veil of assumptions.  If you are a seeker, then ask yourself why you believe what you currently believe.  Is it because of tradition?  Culture?  Pragmatism?  If not, then how have you come to your conclusions?  Do not navigate through the forests of philosophy with your mind covered.  Remove the assumptions so you can think clearly. Once you plot a course to discover truth, you will be on the right track." [p. 53]

This type of self-reflection is encouraged throughout the book.  This reviewer was pleased to see this because it is my conviction that many people arrive at their worldview not based upon rational argument and sound thinking, but by subjective feelings and experiences.

Arguments Dealt with in the Book

Ladd's own search began with questions he struggled with regarding ultimate meaning and purpose. He writes:

"Can there be true meaning and significance in our lives now if there is no ultimate, objective meaning and existence after death?  If our species is just a cosmic blip of evolved energy and matter, then will it matter what we were when our energy runs out?  Human beings are either very special or very deluded." [p. i]

This reader also greatly appreciated how Ladd dealt with contrary views of God and the existence of other religions.  How does one know which one is true?  The author calls upon the work of seasoned apologist, author and speaker Ravi Zacharias, to argue that a true worldview will be logically consistent, empirically adequate, and experientially relevant.  I was also glad to see that Ladd not only interacted with the world's major religions throughout his work, but he also engages with cults such as Christian Science, Ron L. Hubbard's Scientology, and Charles Taze Russell's Jehovah's Witnesses.

Most fascinating for this reader was Ladd's wrestling with what it means to take a life in battle from a Christian perspective.  He writes:

"When a life is taken, whether by accident or intention, we should give pause and consider the circumstance, meaning, and eternal significance involved.  We should think about the difference between killing, murder, capital punishment, and all out war.  I carry the burden of recognizing these distinctions and wish for perfect justice and mercy in every case.  We should be students of history and study man's propensity to wage war.  We should strive to find the best ways to create a lasting peace.  We should love our fellow man, and we should pray for our enemies...military personnel must act under the tension of man's responsibility and God's sovereignty.  I am confident that if we put our faith in Him and study His Word, it will become easier to seek and accept responsibility in accordance with His will." [p. 107]

Interestingly, the author found naturalism to be wholly inadequate to explain what he experienced on the battlefield:

"If human beings are simply an accidental collocation of atoms that is dancing to its DNA, what happens to our humanness when our DNA is spread to the winds?  If what the naturalist believes is true-that we are not special, that we just happen to be-then we are not more special when our atoms are co-located than when they are not.  On naturalism, being human has no intrinsic value.  There would be no difference between killing and murder because the concept of innocence and guilt are dissolved by the universal acid of relativism." [p. Ibid.]

Other arguments and topics dealt with in the book include:
  • The Problem of Evil
  • Christian caricatures 
  • The notion that faith is "blind"
  • What about those who die without having heard the gospel?
  • The nature of God
Who Would Benefit from this Book?

Ladd himself explains who would most benefit from his work:

"While this book will connect strongly with parents, it will benefit a wide group of readers.  It will help the student struggling to make sense of the world.  It will encourage men on a mission to find their faith and women desiring to share their convictions.  It will help seekers exploring the concept of faith and Christians struggling with doubt.  It will help older Christians understand the new generation of skeptics and the youth to understand the faithfulness of their elders.  It will help anyone tired of floating through life without direction, purpose, or hope." [p. ii]

Conclusion

Jason Ladd's One of the Few is an engaging read that encourages readers to think seriously about their own worldview and how they have come to hold it.  Further, this work successfully argues for the coherence of the Christian Worldview while logically and respectfully pointing out the problems and incoherence of others.

Those in the military, veterans, and military buffs will especially enjoy Ladd's vivid stories about his experiences during training and wartime.

I recommend this book to those desiring to understand their own worldview better and to those wanting to better understand what it means to be a Christian.

You can order your copy here.  

We also encourage you to check out our interview with Jason here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Many thanks to Jason Ladd for the review copy.  Also, thank you for your service to our country!


Sunday, November 06, 2016

Friday, November 04, 2016

Who Needs God?



Recently, I came across a six part sermon series entitled “Who Needs God?” by Andy Stanley of North Pointe Church in Alpharetta, Georgia.  What initially drew my interest was the attention the series had received from leading pastors and apologists across the country.  Specifically, the third message in the series entitled “The Bible Told Me So.”  The description on the website states “Jesus loves me, this I know. For the Bible tells me so. Should we really believe something just because the Bible tells us so?”  At first glance, it would seem that Stanley does not believe in Biblical inerrancy.  But if you listen to his presentation carefully, I believe you will hear otherwise. 
I’ve listened to the first four messages, and overall, I think they are well presented.  And I’m thankful that the pastor of one of the largest churches in North America took the time to prepare and present on this topic.  If this post has peaked your interest, I would suggest you listen to at least the first one or two messages before reading some of the commentaries that people have written. 
You can find the sermon series by going here .

Responses to the series:

Andy Stanley Article and Interviews:

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Atheist John Searle Responds to the Slogan, "That's Just Your Interpretation!"

"I have to confess...that I think there is a much deeper reason for the persistent appeal of all forms of anti-realism [in which we create our own reality and everything anyone believes is a matter of personal preference, interpretation, and spin], and this has become obvious in the twentieth century: it satisfies a basic urge to power.  It just seems too disgusting, somehow, that we should have to be at the mercy of the 'real world.'  It seems too awful that our representations should have to be answerable to anything but us."1

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Footnote:
1. John Searle, Mind, Language, and Society: Phiosophy in the Real World (New York: Basic, 1998), 17, as quote by Paul Copan in That's Just Your Interpretation, p. 32.

Related Posts

Do Atheists Believe in Miracles Without a Miracle Worker?

Agnostic Thomas Nagel on Why There is Anything

Counterpoints: Lawrence Krauss and J. Warner Wallace

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

An Argument for God's Existence Based on Morality

In philosopher Stephen T. Davis's new book Rational Faith, he offers an argument for God's existence based on morality.  He calls it "the genocide 1 argument for the existence of God."  He writes:

"We can define genocide as the crime of intentionally destroying or trying to destroy an entire group of people, usually a racial, ethic, national or religious group.  My argument presupposes moral objectivism-that is, the theory that certain things are morally right (things like compassion, truth telling and promise keeping) and that certain other things (things like lying, cruelty and murder) are morally wrong.  It also assumes that genocide is one of the things that is morally wrong."2

The argument is as follows:

1. Genocide is a departure from the way that things ought to be.

2. If genocide is a departure from the way that things ought to be, then there is a way that things ought to be.

3. If there is a way that things ought to be, then there is a design plan for things.

4. If there is a design plan for things, then there is an author of the plan, a designer.

5. This designer we can call God.3

Davis goes on to explain:

"A full design plan would simply be a list of all those things that are morally right, that constitute the way that things ought to be, and a list of all the things that ought not to be.

Obviously, the genocide argument does not prove that God has all the properties that we Christians think God has.  It does not prove that God is omniscient or omnipotent or a Trinity, for example.  Still, there can be no such thing as an authorless design plan, a plan for how things ought to be that follows merely from how things are.

Science is our word for the discovery of how the world is.  But nothing science can discover about how the world is tells us anything about how it ought to be.  Accordingly, the designer must be a sentient being.  That sentient being is obviously not anyone who is reading this...or indeed any human being, so it is surely God."4

So, what do you think of the argument?  Please feel free to share in the comments!

You can get your copy of Davis's book here.  Keep watching the blog for our forthcoming review!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Footnotes:
1. For those who claim that God commanded genocide in the Bible, see here.
2. Stephen T. Davis, Rational Faith, p. 25-26.
3. Ibid., 26.
4. Ibid.

Related Posts

The Free Thinking Argument

The Argument from Efficient Causality

Five Arguments for Theism by Peter S. Williams