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

Internal Debates and Twisting Scripture

Debates Within The Church

A little over a month ago I wrote about the importance of internal debates to the apologist. To sum it up in one sentence: Internal debates are necessary for the apologist to engage in, so that when they present a case for the truth of Christianity, they are not defending something false that could be used as a defeater for their conclusion of Christianity's truth.

As an apologist, I not only defend the truth of the Christian worldview, but I also defend specific views within the Christian worldview. In many of my interactions, it often comes out that I defend the truth of a view that is not very popular. Sometimes I take a stand against a doctrine that has been held traditionally but, I contend, is false. I receive much resistance and am forced to defend the doctrine scripturally, philosophically, and scientifically (not that I mind that at all). Many Christians are involved in these debates (whether apologists or not). I've written on several occasions about the danger of being emotionally committed to a doctrine that is shown to be false, but today I'd like to look at a more sincere and valid concern that people have when a traditional view is challenged.

Tim Tebow And Defending Christianity

Yesterday it came to my attention that NFL star quarterback Tim Tebow was going to be speaking at a mega-church in Dallas, TX, but he announced via Twitter that he was canceling the appearance. According to the CNN report, the pastor of the church spoke with Tebow about the decision. According to him, Tebow is concerned over raising controversy about his beliefs and the church's.

It is difficult to tell from the report if Tebow disagreed with the church's stance on controversial issues (I doubt it since the same report states that he's a member of another Southern Baptist church), or if he's just not prepared to take on the challenges that would be bound to come (as if he hasn't already had to deal with plenty).

As a defender of the truth of Christianity, this story caught my attention. I can't help but think that if Tebow's church had taught him, not only what to believe but, why he can trust that his beliefs are, in fact, true; then maybe Tebow would be as confident defending the truth of his convictions as he is playing on the football field.

Faith vs. Apologetics

Last week I read an article that I found to be quite disturbing. The title is "Christianity's New F-Word". In short the author takes issue with the current revival of Christian philosophy and apologetics- saying that Christians are so scared of being associated with "faith" that they succumb to the world's reason and methods. The author believes that instead of testing the truth of Christianity or historical reliability of the Bible, we should simply assume that they are true, and our faith will be more rewarding. I have many concerns with this article; however, I want to address just three of them today.

"Secular" Reason?
I have written many times about the coexistence of faith and reason (the most recent is "Is Faith Logical or Emotional?"), so I'm not going to rehash that information here. However, I would like to point out that the author undermines their own argument by implying that "secular" reason and methods can't be trusted. If we are to follow and understand the author's argument, we must first accept the basic laws of logic. If those are not reliable, then neither is any argument made that follows the rules of logical reasoning reliable.

Irony In Rejecting Eyewitnesses

One of the objections that come up when discussing the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, is that we cannot trust the Apostles. Even though the Apostles were eyewitnesses to the events of Jesus, they cannot be trusted because they are biased. 

It strikes me, and should you too, that someone would complain that an eyewitness believes what they saw. I mean, if I saw a car crash take place, should my testimony be discredited because I am biased towards its taking place? No. The reason is because my bias has a foundation. If I saw an event and refused to believe that it took place, I would be in denial of reality. And everyone should reject my testimony because of my denial of what I saw, in favor of those who accept what they saw.

Dangers of Progress in Atheism

Something that has been going through my head recently is the concept of "progress". I especially hear it in the context of politics. Some people believe that if a society allows a certain behavior then "progress" has been made. Or if another behavior is allowed then we have "regressed". We talk about progress all the time regarding projects at work, home, or church. But we also talk about progress in sociological contexts- most commonly with social government, same-sex marriage, and abortion (at least that I have seen). I'm not going to debate the merits of any of these three today; rather, I'd like to challenge the idea that these represent progress.

Many of the people who promote these views tend to be atheistic. They do not believe that a God exists. Consequently they also do not believe that life has any ultimate purpose. Natural processes are responsible for getting the universe from the initial Big Bang to where we are today- humans living together in highly organized societies. Evolution is a continual process. Species emerge, mutate, and eventually become extinct. The process continues in a cycle of emergence and mutation as long as reproduction is possible. A species becomes extinct when it mutates too much to be the original or simply dies off. Either way, all species will become extinct.

Initially, this doesn't seem like much of a problem- the process of evolution appears to not really have much to do with progress. I mean people assume that humans have value and the comfort of humans is also valuable. The ultimate purpose of those three ideas above is the comfort of humans (whether that is valid or not, again, I'm not arguing that today). So where is the issue? I'd like to look at three issues with the concept of "progress" in all worldviews founded in naturalism.