Monday, November 23, 2015

11 Quotes From J. Warner Wallace on Evidence For God's Existence

"The layers of foundational, regional, and locational evidence in the universe show signs of tampering."

"The totality and interconnected nature of our galaxy's unique backstory, along with its rare circumstances and unlikely conditions, overwhelmingly indicate tampering."

"Researchers have been consistently unable to identify a viable location, pathway, or mechanism explaining the origin of life. With each passing year, the level of complexity and interaction at the cellular level becomes more apparent and more difficult to explain."

"Most investigators have sought the secret of life in the physics and chemistry of molecules. But they will look in vain for conventional physics and chemistry to explain life, for that is a classic case of confusing the medium with the message. The secret of life lies, not in its chemical basis, but in the logical and informational rules it explains."

"If a model attempts to explain the origin of life yet fails to explain the origin of information foundational to life, it falls dreadfully short of its goal."

"Choice is a feature of design and a reflection of intelligent agency. Designers make conscious choices between options. Their designs often reflect these decisions, especially when other options are available."

"In order to think rationally about their thoughts, they must have the freedom to do so, but this freedom is unavailable if the laws of physics and chemistry are controlling their thoughts. The fact skeptics are free to believe their thoughts are entirely physical is evidence their thoughts are not entirely physical."

"Naturalism fails to explain two attributes of the universe related to objective moral truth. It cannot adequately explain the existence of objective moral truths, and it cannot explain objective, transcendent personal obligations. Naturalism...can be reasonably eliminated because it fails on two counts."

"No single explanation will account for every act of evil. There are often several causes involved in explaining any given episode of suffering."

"When multiple divergent lines of evidence all point to the same conclusion, you can trust you're making a proper inference."

"I believe God exists because the evidence leaves me no reasonable alternative."

All these quotes can be found in Wallace's latest book "God's Crime Scene." 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Religious Refugees and the Mission Field

Since the recent attacks by Muslim extremists in Paris, there has been much debate on the internet and in the media about whether or not it is wise for America (or any other western country) to accept refugees from Islamic countries. I've heard the arguments for both sides. One side says we must accept every refugee that seeks asylum because it is our duty to protect their lives, while the other side says that we should not because it is our duty to protect our own lives. The debate in America has even become politically polarized. Liberals tend to be on the side of accepting them, and conservatives are saying to reject them. Liberals are accusing conservatives (mainly conservative Christians) of being hypocritical in refusing to care for the widows and orphans (James 1:27); while conservatives accuse liberals of refusing to protect the people God has placed under their protection. I have seen Christians taking both sides (yes, I'm guilty too). Since this is an issue that I do not see going away as long as evil exists in our world (it is not just an issue that we will deal with today), I do feel the need to address it.

My intention with this post is not to get political, but to help Christians think through the situation given the truth of the Christian worldview. It is important that Christians take a position that is consistent with their worldview; otherwise, they will be accused of hypocrisy, and that will be used by the skeptic as a reason to believe that Christianity is not true. This is not only a practical issue, it is an apologetic issue.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Book Review: God's Crime Scene

"God's Crime Scene" (KindlePaperback, GoodReadsPromo Video) is the highly anticipated "sequel" to J. Warner Wallace's "Cold Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels". In his first investigation Wallace looks at the evidence for the claim that the Gospels were eye-witness accounts of the life of Jesus. In his latest book, he investigates the existence of God. He takes his experience and skill-set as a homicide detective to bring together the evidences and present them in a coherent and convincing manner for the jurors (readers) to decide. God's Crime Scene is 204 pages divided into eight chapters. He has also included nearly 80 additional pages of case files for digging deeper into the cases he investigates in the book. This review will provide a chapter-by-chapter summary of the book but it cannot be substituted for reading the full text. I've included short interviews with J. Warner Wallace and Bobby Conway from The One Minute Apologist at the end of chapter summaries so you can hear a synopsis of the chapter directly from the author.

Opening Statement: Has Someone Else Been in This Room?
J. Warner Wallace begins his investigation by taking the reader through one of his first crime scene investigations. The crime scene involved a death that needed to be determined if it was the result of natural causes, suicide, or homicide. Wallace explains that when making this determination, the investigator quickly assess the pieces of evidence in the room and asks whether those pieces originated inside the room or if the came from the outside. If the evidence cannot all be explained by remaining inside the room, then they have evidence of an intruder- someone outside the room. Not only can these pieces of evidence establish that an intruder invaded to commit the murder, but they can also be used to give the identity of the murder (a suspect profile). He notes that it is important to have multiple independent types of evidence to build the strength of the case for the type of death (homicide) and the identity of the murderer.

Wallace explains that investigating God's existence is analogous. If all the evidence of the universe can be explained by staying inside the universe, then there is no need to appeal to someone outside the universe. However, if all the evidence cannot be explained by remaining inside the universe, then we have stumbled upon direct evidence of a source outside the universe. Just as the same evidence can be used to construct a "suspect profile" of the murderer, so too can the evidence that must be explained by going outside the universe be used to construct a profile to identify the "intruder" external to the universe.

Video- How Does A Detective Investigate God's Existence?