God's Existence, Science and Faith, Suffering and Evil, Jesus' Resurrection, and Book Reviews

Monday, May 2, 2022

4 Ways Atheism Undermines the Scientific Enterprise

Introduction

Have you ever wondered if atheism is compatible with science? Not many have. In today's culture it is commonly assumed that they are best of buddies. Many people even believe that science has done away with God and provides powerful evidence for the truth of atheism. A couple years ago I posted an article that describes six ways that atheism defeats science as a knowledge discipline, thus anyone who accepts that science can give us knowledge about reality must reject atheism as true. Today I want to discuss the more practical side of science and provide four more ways that science and atheism are incompatible. 

Before I start though, I want to make a couple things clear: First, I am referring to atheism as a claim about reality not merely a belief: the affirmative claim "God does not exist in reality." Second, since I am not merely talking about a belief but a reality (one's beliefs can be false), I affirm that one can certainly believe that God does not exist in reality and still be quite successful as a scientist and do great work. My claim here is very narrow, and it involves the dually claimed realities that God does not exist and that science is not as chaotic as it is about to be described. 

Monday, January 3, 2022

The Big Bang and Friends of the World


Introduction

"Don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God."- James 4:4 NIV

James 4:4 warns Christians to not become a "friend of the world" because the world is God's enemy. What does that mean, though? The other day someone told me that I was in violation of that verse because I believed the "atheistic theory" of the big bang and used it as evidence that God exists. Did James mean to communicate that Christians cannot recognize when an unbeliever or group of unbelievers have a correct view of some aspect of reality? Or did he intend to communicate something else? Before I get to the specific accusation, let's examine what actually concerns James in his letter. 

Being The World's Friends and Enemies of God

When we read all of James' letter, we see the answer. Consider James 1:14-15:

"...each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death."- (NIV)

James is talking about having the same evil desires as the world- not necessarily believing the same way about some feature of reality. James is emphasizing that we must be committed to truth not feelings or desires. If an unbeliever believes something that is true about reality that we also believe is true about reality, James does not condemn our agreement. In fact, agreement about reality may be used as a springboard for evangelism (1 Peter 3:15) and bringing the unbeliever to Christ. Enemies of God do not intentionally point others to Christ. Enemies of God do not condemn evil desires. Condemning evil desires and pointing others to Christ are necessary steps in presenting the Gospel. Enemies of God have no such interest. 

It is not that having agreement with unbelievers regarding true beliefs about reality that makes us "friends of the world" in the sense that James is speaking. It is having agreement with them regarding sinful desires that makes us "friends of the world" and thus enemies of God. We certainly could allow our sinful desires to manipulate the truth into justifying sin (which will always be logically fallacious, by the way), but is that what has happened with Christians who have accepted big bang cosmology? 

Monday, July 26, 2021

Does Jesus Devastate An Old Earth?


Does Jesus Devastate An Old Earth?
Introduction

Science and faith issues are no doubt a hot topic of discussion when it comes to defending the truth of Christianity. Many Christians hold many different views about the timing and mechanism of God's creative acts. Some views hold numerous details in common while others may hold only many details in common. It is the few differences here and there that cause much heat in this internal debate and cause unbelievers (and some Christians) to question the truth of the historic Christian faith as a whole. Today, I want to look at one of the more common distinctives between Christians who believe that the universe is young (6,000-10,000 years old) and those Christians who believe that the universe is ancient (~13.7 billion years old). 

But before I get to the specific challenge, I need to set a foundation. First, I am an old earth creationist (OEC), so I will defend the latter of the two views above; however, I will not appeal to God's actions (creation) today; rather I will limit my appeals to Scripture alone. Second, there are numerous areas of agreement among young and old earth creationists just within the doctrine of creation (not to mention the rest of the Christian worldview), and I feel that the differences, because of their ability to undermine the truth of the Christian worldview, tend to get more of the focus than the common ground. I have a list of more than forty areas of agreement in my article "What Do Young Earth and Old Earth Christians Agree Upon Regarding Origins?" to help Christians remember these area of unity and be more gracious in our discussions with each other. The primary two areas of agreement that are important for today's topic are that both young- and old- earth creationists affirm biblical inerrancy and that Adam and Eve were historically the first humans. With those in place, here we go!