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

From Divine Engineer to Divine Architect

Arguments from Design

One of the most common arguments that Christian apologists use for God's existence is the argument from design (teleological argument). It looks at both biological and astronomical systems then uses the observations in two different ways: to argue against naturalism and to argue for God's existence. The argument against naturalism basically argues that the designs and fine-tuning found in nature are so remotely improbable that an unguided universe would never produce them. The argument for God uses an analogy that compares man's designs to nature and concludes that since things we know are designed required an intelligence (man), then the designs we see in nature must also require a mind (God). (More in my post Paperclips and Design)

One of the Critiques

This argument does have its critics. Most people like to target the biological evidence by pointing to what they believe to be bad or superfluous designs in nature. There are two ways to respond to this evidence. The first is to say that we need to continue to investigate the system, and in so doing, we will eventually find that the "bad"  or "superfluous" design is balanced with something else and is actually necessary for multiple functional purposes and thus a good design (more on this in Bad Designs and the Pharmaceutical Industry). This response is sometimes criticized because it makes God into a hyper-engineer who is only concerned with function of his creation.

Raising Children Without God?- A Logical Christian Response

Introduction
Earlier this week an article made it onto CNN's iReport that has caused quite the furor in the Christian and atheist communities. The piece was originally published as a blog post entitled "Why I Raise My Children Without God." In the post the author explains that she has lied to her kids about what happens when they die and what heaven would be like. She asks why parents should tell their kids things that they don't even believe. She follows that up with seven reasons she believes that teaching children about God is wrong and should not be done.

I want to look at this from both an emotional and logical perspective (in that order). I will respond to all of her complaints and include links to other posts that have more detail. I will conclude by providing Christianity as a viable alternative and how satisfactory answers to those complaints can only be found in Christ.

I urge you to read the post in its entirety before continuing with this post. To prepare yourself to authentically answer the challenges, ask yourself these questions:

Internal Debates and Apologetics

Internal Debates Versus Apologetics
Not too long ago I was in a discussion with a fellow apologist. We were discussing several different controversial topics in Christianity (age of the universe, Calvinism vs. Arminianism, and God's attributes). After a while he made a very strange statement. He told me that these discussions about science, philosophy, and theology weren't really important to apologists and only served to divide and cause unbelievers to run from Christ.

He took the position that apologists really only needed to defend the truth of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead to establish the truth of Christianity. His main support for that claim was that no other worldview can accommodate the resurrection of Jesus, so if it can be shown to be an historical event, all other worldviews are eliminated from the possibility of being true.

Book Review: Cold-Case Christianity­čĽÁ

Book Review: "Cold Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels" by J. Warner Wallace

Introduction


Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels (Paperback, Kindle, Audiobook) is one of the latest books to examine the evidence for the reliability of the New Testament. Homicide detective J. Warner Wallace was an atheist before he began putting Christianity to the same tests that he places witnesses and suspects to in his investigations of crimes. He split his book into two sections. The first deals with the methods used in detective work. He uses his own experiences to illustrate and applies them to the different aspects of Christianity. In the second part, he specifically targets the reliability of the four gospels as eyewitness accounts of history. This review will be a chapter-by-chapter summary but should not be taken as comprehensive of Wallace's presentation:

Section 1: Learn to Be a Detective


Chapter 1: Don't Be a "Know-it-All"

In the first chapter, Wallace begins his training of the reader by speaking a bit about presuppositions. He explains that presuppositions are ideas that we come to an investigation with prior to any investigating. They usually determine our conclusion before we examine the evidence. Though everyone has these, it is required that an investigator or juror set them aside to be able to come to an objective conclusion. The consequences of allowing our presuppositions to guide our investigation are that we are likely to come to a conclusion that is not accurate. This goes for investigating murders and investigating truth-claims of worldviews.