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

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." 

Religious Refugees and the Mission Field

Introduction

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.

Book Review: God's Crime Scene šŸ•µ

God's Crime Scene by J. Warner Wallace
UPDATE: My review of the new Kids' edition has posted!

Introduction

"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?

Book Review: Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted In Mid-Air

Book Review: "Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted In Mid-Air" by Frank Beckwith and Greg Koukl

Introduction

More and more it seems that society and culture are attempting to jettison objective morality in favor of their own moral autonomy. It is a challenge that takes place at both an individual level and a political level. The Christian worldview holds that certain actions and behaviors are right or wrong regardless of who believes or does not believe that they are. Christians need to be able to defend this position in their everyday discussions with friends, family, and coworkers; otherwise, they may cave to the "wisdom of the world." Greg Koukl and Francis Beckwith wrote Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air (soft cover, Kindle, GoodReads) precisely with these everyday Christians in mind.

The book is divided into five parts (sixteen chapters) and 170 pages. This review will be a part-by-part review (rather than my usual chapter-by-chapter, due to the short length of some chapters) to provide the reader with a quick summary of what they can expect from the book. My thoughts will conclude the review. While both Koukl and Beckwith are in agreement with all the content in the book, they each were the primary authors of certain parts, so I will refer to them by name (even though both authors are represented).

6 Quotes from Donald E. Johnson on Information in Living Systems

The Programming of Life is an incredible book in which author Donald E. Johnson identifies several connections between modern information theory/systems and biochemistry. He argues by analogy and the process of elimination that these systems are all the work of a mind. Click the link above to read my full chapter-by-chapter review. Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:

"Laws of chemistry and physics which follow exact statistical, thermodynamic, and spatial laws, are totally inadequate for generating complex functional information or those systems that process the information using prescriptive algorithmic information. Unfortunately, most people investigating origins are unfamiliar with the immensity of the problems, and believe that time, chance and natural selection can accomplish almost anything."

"One cannot use the information of life to 'prove' that information can arise purely from physicality, as that would simply be a tautology based on the assumption of life from physicality. In examining any complex functional information where the source of the information is known, it invariably (no known exceptions) resulted from a source other than chance and/or necessity."

"Those who insist on purely physical causes of life are in an untenable position when it comes to known science. Not only can they not prove that it's possible (non-zero probability) for life to come about by the physical interactions of nature, but the information content of life precludes that possibility."

"In each cell, there are multiple operating systems, multiple programming languages, specialized communications systems, encoding/decoding hardware and software, error detection and correction mechanisms, specialized input/output channels for organelle control and feedback, and a variety of specialized 'devices' to accomplish the tasks of life."

"It is important not only to transmit the messages reliably...from the DNA, but the enzymes and ribosomes must already know how to interpret that coded information in order for proteins (including enzymes), RNA, and replicated DNA to be manufactured appropriately (functional criteria)."

"The challenge for a purely physical origin of such a cybernetic complex interacting computer system is the need to demonstrate the rules, laws, and theories that govern electronic computing systems and information don't apply to the even more complex digital information systems that are in living organisms."

For further reading on this topic, I highly recommend these books:

The Multiverse Instead of God?: Four Philosophical Problems

The Multiverse vs. God- Introduction

A few weeks ago a skeptic asked me about my concerns with the multiverse as an explanation for the beginning and fine-tuning of the universe. He stated that he did not want a scientific critique, though, because he believes that the multiverse is outside the ability of science to test. He was more interested in my philosophical concerns. Four issues come to mind. None of them remove the possibility of a multiverse in a theistic world; however, two make the multiverse unpalatable in a naturalistic world, and the other two do remove it from possibility in a naturalistic world.

I will start by showing the power of the multiverse as an explanation, and at the same time, I will show how two of the issues make a naturalistic multiverse impossible as a naturalistic explanation (but do not necessarily rule it out). I will then describe the two issues that make the naturalistic multiverse even less desirable as an explanation. Finally, I will conclude by demonstrating how all these issues are consistently and comfortably resolved by a theistic worldview (with or without a multiverse).

13 Quotes From Hugh Ross on Biblical Inerrancy, Interpretation, and Authority

"Humility demands that Christians hold interpretations of controversial passages somewhat tentatively, expressing a willingness to learn more. No matter how much study anyone devotes to an issue...room still exists to improve understanding."

"Literal interpretation, properly understood, is a method of interpretation that gives full weight to all aspects of a passage's context, including the immediate textual context, the literary genre of the passage, the way words were used in the culture, the historical setting and purpose of the text, and the broader theological context."

"No single passage reveals the entire masterpiece. At best, each text uncovers an element or two. By fitting these pieces together and discovering their nuances, one can begin to see and make sense of the overall picture...Assuming a big picture from just one or two parts can lead to a distorted whole."

"To interpret the Bible literally is not enough, one must also interpret it with internal (as well as external) consistency."

"People who seem most concerned with defending biblical inerrancy may be the most resistant to any information derived outside the Bible that might help illuminate what the Bible means. Logically, taking Scripture seriously means being passionately concerned about interpreting it correctly and thus welcoming any evidence that exposes erroneous understandings of Scripture. Unfortunately, many zealous Bible believers confuse their favored interpretations of the Bible with the Word of God itself."

"The Bible teaches a dual, consistent revelation. Just as readers rightfully expect valid interpretation of Isaiah to be consistent with that of Mark, so too they can expect accurate interpretation of the facts of nature to be consistent with the message of Genesis and the rest of Scripture."

"Since God created the cosmos, there can be no contradiction between what He has made and what He has spoken through the inspired writers of Scripture. The testimony of both will always agree, and we need never back away from facts that may appear daunting to our faith. We need only study and investigate further, checking for accuracy--the accuracy of scientific interpretations and the accuracy of biblical interpretations."

"Constructive integration advocates freely acknowledge that conflicts can and do arise between theology and science. After all, theology is not the same as the words of the Bible. It is the human effort to interpret the Bible's words. Neither is science equivalent to the record of nature. It is the human attempt to interpret nature, past and present. Because human knowledge must always be incomplete and to some degree biased, both theologians and scientists sometimes arrive at incorrect conclusions about Scripture and nature, despite God's rendering these records perfectly reliable and trustworthy."

"When science appears to conflict with theology, we have no reason to reject either the facts of nature or the Bible's words. Rather, we have reason to reexamine our interpretations, because the facts of nature and Scripture will always agree."

"In no way does God's revelation via the universe detract from the importance of His written revelation. Nor does this belief in the trustworthiness of nature's message imply that God never intervenes in the natural realm by performing miracles. It does mean that when He performs such miracles God does not remove, hide, or distort physical evidence for them."

"We want to have our ideas tested. We are persuaded that our positions today are going to need adjustment as we gain more understanding...we need some diversity; we need open dialog. What I'm concerned about is that we have so much hostility in this dialog and that needs to be replaced with a more humble spirit where we say, 'Chances are we are both wrong in part, at least, and we may discover that we need to develop something new that none of us have thought of.' How are we going to discover that if we don't have open dialog without the threat of hostility?- where we say, 'we're making progress together. We're allies; we're not enemies. We're allies working together toward the common goal'."

"Truth holds no threat for the Christian. Truth in the scientific arena, which can be directly or indirectly tested, will always be consistent with truth in the spiritual arena. And, despite protestations from all sides, truth in nature must be connected with something, or Someone, beyond the natural realm—the something or Someone responsible for nature’s existence and characteristics."

"Perhaps the most tragic aspect of denying nature's scientifically established characteristics is that such a denial forces the rejection of timely, compelling evidence for the God of the Bible and for the accuracy and authority of His Word."

These quotes can all be found in Dr. Ross' books "Navigating Genesis" and "A Matter of Days" and various other resources available at Reasons to Believe.

More quotes from Dr. Ross may be found here:
10 Quotes from Dr. Hugh Ross on Why The Universe Is The Way It Is

Book Review: A Matter of Days: Resolving a Creation Controversy

Book Review: "A Matter of Days: Resolving A Creation Controversy" by Christian astrophysicist Dr. Hugh Ross of Reasons to Believe (reasons.org)

Introduction

The debate surrounding the age of the universe has been a hot topic in the Christian Church for quite some time, and it seems that the tensions grow tighter every year. As someone who loves science and who's faith in Christ was solidified by the evidence from the sciences for the inerrancy of scripture, I find it quite discouraging that there is so much emotional hostility in the Church against the sciences and even scientists, themselves. Dr. Hugh Ross is an advocate for Christ and is a practicing scientist. His desire to see growth in the Kingdom has compelled him to write several books showing how many (not all) interpretations of the record of nature demonstrate evidence for the truth of Scripture. Unfortunately, his efforts have been met with a barrage of criticism from within the Church because he believes the evidence conclusively supports the fact that the universe is billions of years old and not merely thousands.

A Matter of Days (Second Edition) is one of Dr. Ross' books that addresses this topic in a humble and gentle manner. He brings the evidence of nature and the evidence of Scripture together to show that there is no real reason to fear the fact that the universe is billions of years old, and that such evidence actually provides spectacular evidence for the God of the Bible and the inerrancy of His revelation to us. The book is divided into twenty-three chapters and is 264 pages long (not counting the almost one hundred pages of notes). This review will provide a chapter-by-chapter summary and will conclude with my thoughts and specific recommendations.

SCOTUS' Decision on Gay Marriage: A Philosophical Critique

Introduction

As the entire world is probably aware by now, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled in late June 2015 that "marriage" does include same-sex couples. The majority opinion (written and presented by Justice Kennedy) includes the recognition that historically "marriage" has been defined as being a union between two individuals of the opposite sex. The opinion describes three cases that the SCOTUS heard and its reasoning for its conclusion that it was time to redefine "marriage."

As a defender of the Christian worldview, which includes objective value and objective morality, I feel that it is necessary to comment on this highly emotional and political issue. I have read and heard several opinion pieces from various sources (my favorites on linked at the end of this article), and I hope to not be redundant with this article's more philosophical approach to critiquing the ruling. I also hope to provide a reasoned and gracious response that, I pray, will speak to the hearts and minds of those caught in the middle of this battle. I want to start with two important recognitions:

Historical Science, Deception, and Blind Faith

God cannot lie- Titus 1:2; Historical Science, Deception, and Blind Faith

Introduction

As I have mentioned in a couple posts in the past (here and here), it is important that apologists investigate theological questions and details of the Christian worldview. Without such investigation, inconsistency in the worldview that is being defended will easily creep in. Because consistency is a feature of reality, unbelievers will seize the inconsistency as evidence against Christianity as the true worldview. This can have detrimental effects in public places where honest seekers may be listening to and watching conversations. One of the detailed areas of the Christian worldview that must be consistent is God's character (one area of theology). If God's character is found to be inconsistent with what we are defending, then it serves as evidence that we have something wrong (in part or in whole- see the post Is Your View Falsifiable for more on this). Today, I want to focus on God's moral character, specifically His perfect honesty (Numbers 23:19; Titus 1:2; and Hebrews 6:18).


The Challenge


One of the most contentious debates in the Church today focuses on the age of the universe and the length of the days of creation in Genesis 1. One of the most influential arguments against the young-earth creationist position (YEC) is that if nature reveals an ancient age (~13.7 billion years, as the evidence powerfully [and some would say "only"] supports) yet the universe is actually young (6,000-10,000 years) then God has given us a false revelation in His creation; this means that God is ultimately deceiving us and the truth is not found in Him. If a view of God necessitates that He is lying to us, then the god necessitated by that view is NOT the God of the Bible. And if we defend such a view, we are found to be false witnesses of God and the truth is not found in us. This challenge is not one to be taken lightly and it must be addressed.

Does Old Earth Creationism Compromise Scripture?

Biblical Compromise- Introduction

A couple weeks ago I was browsing a science and theology group on Facebook where someone had asked the question, "I've always been told that OEC (old earth creationism) is a compromising position biblically speaking. Can anyone OEC clarify?" As I've discussed in previous posts, it is important that Christians investigate the whole of their worldview to develop a more accurate understanding of who God is (and what He has done) and to ensure that they are defending what is true when evangelizing and discussing in the public market place of ideas. I am a Christian who believes that the universe is not only 6000 years old (a young-earth creationist position- YEC), but rather I believe that the universe is roughly 13.7 billion years old (an old-earth creationist position- OEC).

Book Review: Rock Solid- Reasons to Believe Six Crucial Biblical Truths

Book Review: "Rock Solid- Reasons to Believe Six Crucial Biblical Truths" by Tom Gender

Introduction

Rock Solid (paperback and GoodReads) is Tom Gender's latest addition to the library of books available to those who wish to defend the truth of Christianity. It takes a very straightforward and organized approach of defending six crucial doctrines of Christianity. He has divided the 178 pages accordingly into six chapters and includes an outline of the challenges address in the appendix.


Book Introduction

Tom Gender introduces his latest work by explaining the important both both theology and apologetics to the Christian. In doing so, he establishes a necessary connection between the two: if a Christian is defending a false theology, then they are not defending a true worldview, and if a skeptic knows how to demonstrate that theology false, then they have logical reason for rejecting the worldview of the Christian. This can provide no end of doubts and stumbling blocks for unbelievers to come to Christ and Christians to consider rejecting their worldview. Gender emphasizes that apologetics should not be done in the absence of theology. To be effective, both must be practiced together.

Using that as a springboard, Gender's purpose behind this book is to focus on the proper understanding of several of Christianity's most challenged and challenging core doctrines and how to defend their truth biblically, historically, scientifically and philosophically. Each doctrine will contain four parts: an explanation of the doctrine, an expansion upon its details, an engagement with common challenges to the doctrine and its details, and the practical implications of embracing the doctrine.

9 Quotes from Mark Whorton on Theology and Apologetics

Many apologists prefer to defend merely the essentials of the Christian worldview, choosing to avoid some of the more heated discussions and debates within the Church. However, many questions and challenges arise that go beyond the essentials into these debated details. Mark Whorton, in his book Peril In Paradise (to read my review, click here) addresses the importance of investigating the details of theology to develop a consistent worldview to defend against such challenges. Here are nine quotes from his book that goes into more detail on the importance of theology to the defender of the Christian worldview:

"The Christian faith is defensible and testable for the simple reason that it is true."

"If a Christian makes erroneous arguments from Scripture on a matter that the unbelievers know perfectly well, we should not expect them to believe the Scriptures on the more important matters of sin and salvation."

"When [our children] are confronted with the incompleteness and inaccuracies on which their creation worldview was established, the faith built on that foundation will be in jeopardy. If they come to think that the Bible is wrong in the first three chapters, they will likely reject the rest as well."

Book Review: Peril In Paradise

Book Review: "Peril In Paradise: Theology, Science, and the Age of the Earth" by Mark S. Whorton

Introduction

The problem of suffering and evil is one of the most persuasive challenges against the Christian worldview. As defenders of the true worldview, Christians need to be prepared to address this challenge. Interestingly enough, this challenge does not only come from unbelievers but also from those within the Church. The idea that animals died before humans arrived on the scene (and fell into sin) is a stumbling block for many to coming to Christ, yet the natural world tells of a history of animal suffering and death prior to humanity. It seems as though the scientific evidence and the claims of Christianity are at odds with one another. In his book "Peril In Paradise" (paperbackKindle, and Quotes), Mark S. Whorton addresses this supposed incompatibility directly. His confrontation of the issue is in the context of a long discussion with Christians who support such an incompatibility (which appears to give the unbelievers' concern credibility). The book is 233 pages divided into four parts and sixteen chapters. This review will provide a chapter-by-chapter summary of the book's content, but it is not meant to replace reading the book to dig more deeply into the details of the arguments presented by the author for his conclusions. The review will conclude with this reviewer's thoughts and recommendations.

Observational Science vs. Historical Science?

2016 Note: This post was written addressing the distinction between observational science and historical science as Ken Ham and many young-earth creationists understand it. Their understanding of the concepts and their distinction are INCORRECT, but they are common in Christian circles, so they must be addressed. After reading this critique and seeing the highlighted problems with their distinction, please read my chapter-by-chapter review of the book that originally defined the terms and described the proper distinctions between them (Origin Science by philosopher Norman Geisler). The proper distinction does not fall prey to the critiques in this post, thus I do support the distinction between the terms, but ONLY as the terms are properly understood and properly distinguished.

Introduction
It is quite common to hear in Christian discussions about science that there exists a distinction between observational science and historical science. This distinction took center stage in Ken Ham's debate with Bill Nye one year ago (see here). Ken Ham is a young-earth creationist, who often appeals to this distinction to undermine the evidence that supports any age of the universe that is older than what he believes it to be (6000 to 10000 years). Bill Nye, as well as the majority of the scientific community, rejects such a distinction, though, so Ham's critiques based on this distinction are rarely taken seriously. For Christians who wish to demonstrate evidence for the truth that God created the universe, this distinction often stands in the way of their being taken seriously by those who offer scientific evidence against a young universe and earth. If this distinction is one that is not true, then Christians need not defend this stumbling block that stands between their scientifically minded friends and those friends' salvation. I decided to do a search for a piece that might explain the distinction a bit more on Ham's site before I critiqued the distinction. This is what I found: "Deceitful or Distinguishable Terms—Historical and Observational Science." Please read it to ensure that I am accurately representing the claims of the author in this critique.* Ken Ham recently posted a blog post the other day that appeals to this distinction. It may be read here. I also checked to see if those at the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) subscribe to this distinction, and they do; their article can be found here.

Book Review: Who's Afraid of the Multiverse?

Book Review: "Who's Afraid of the Multiverse?" by astrophysicist Dr. Jeffrey Zweerink of Reasons to Believe (reasons.org)

Introduction

As a Christian who is deeply interested in the sciences and what they bring to the table for defending the existence of God (and the truth of the Christian worldview, specifically), I have often encountered the idea that multiple worlds may exist, which seems to explain away the beginning of the universe and its designed features. When I heard that astrophysicist Jeff Zweerink (Apologetics 315 Interview) wrote an introduction booklet addressing that very challenge, it caught my attention. "Who's Afraid of the Multiverse?" (paperbackKindleVideo) provides an introduction to the concept of the multiverse and what its implication is for arguments for God's existence. It is a short read at only 53 pages.


The Multiverse Landscape

Zweerink spends the first half of the book setting the stage for why discussions of a "multiverse" are even necessary and explaining what scientists mean by the term. Various observations of the universe have led scientists to believe that the universe experienced a period of expansion speeds exceeding the speed of light. Though the evidence is strong that this took place, exactly how and what caused it to begin and end are currently under investigation. One of the types of multiverse is a necessary implication of the fact of inflation, and one of the other types is a necessary implication of a particular model for the possible mechanism of inflation. Each progressive type becomes more speculative and enjoys less scientific evidence than the previous one.

Lawrence Krauss, Astrobiology, and God

Lawrence Krauss, Astrobiology, and God

Introduction

The other day Eric Metaxas wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal entitled "Science Increasingly Makes The Case For God." Anti-theist astrophysicist Dr. Lawrence Krauss took notice and wrote a response "No, Astrobiology Has Not Made The Case For God" that attempts to undermine Metaxas' conclusions. Today I will address several of Dr. Krauss' arguments in his piece from scientific, philosophical, and theological perspectives.

Krauss takes issue with the teleological argument- the fine-tuning of environmental conditions and the fundamental constants of the universe for the origin of life. His issue is with the probabilities. He summarizes the argument as multiplying independent probabilities of every necessary event to reach a probability so low that it is indistinguishable from zero, thus chance is eliminated (from the three options of chance, necessity, or design to explain life's existence). Krauss argues that the probabilities of each event that leads to life's origin that are calculated are not independent of one another. His concern is that each event is calculated independent of all necessarily preceding events. Meaning that any event in the chain leading to the origin of life will increase the probability that the next necessary event will take place. Thus the probability is not as small as one may think.

Book Review: Origins of Life: Biblical and Evolutionary Models Face Off

Book Review: "Origins of Life: Biblical and Evolutionary Models Face Off" by Christian astrophysicist Dr. Hugh Ross and biochemist Dr. Fazale (Fuz) Rana of Reasons to Believe (reasons.org)

Introduction

How did life begin? This question has perplexed humanity for centuries. Some people believe that it came along by natural processes. Others believe that a divine Designer is behind it all. These two options go head-to-head, tested against the latest scientific research in the book "Origins of Life: Biblical and Evolutionary Models Face Off" (hardcoverKindle, Supplemental Site) by astrophysicist Dr. Hugh Ross and biochemist Dr. Fazale Rana. The book is divided into three sections, seventeen chapters, and 298 pages (including notes and appendices). This review provides a chapter-by-chapter summary of the contents of the book, but it must not be accepted as a replacement for reading the book, itself. The review will conclude with my thoughts and recommendation.

Drs. Ross and Rana take the position that the origin of life is by divine design. To scientifically test their hypothesis, they present their model, competing models, and the latest research; they then compare the predictions of the models to the research to build their case. Before examining the current state of origins research, it is a good idea to take a quick look at the events that led to the current state.

Not Knowing God's Purposes and Wondering If He Exists

In The Business World...
In my professional career, I have been in the position of management a few times. One of the responsibilities of such a position is to communicate decisions of upper management to my employees. Often when my directors communicate the decision to me, they also communicate some of the reasons for the decisions, some of which I am not to communicate any further down the chain. When I communicate the decisions, some are received with a positive attitude, and others are received with a negative one.

I have interacted with many different types of personalities in these situations. Primarily with the negative ones, people begin asking questions about the purposes for the decision in order to evaluate for themselves if the decision was the best possible to make given the circumstances. In many cases, the employee is satisfied with the purposes that I provide; however, there are times that is not the case. The employee believes that based on the purposes communicated to them, a better decision could have and should have been made. They often leave the meeting dissatisfied and with less trust in the members upper management.

Unless we are those who make all the final decisions, we all can identify with the employees provided with a decision and the chosen purposes. I feel comfortable with saying that no person has been fully in agreement with every decision made by every management team in their career. To fully make sense, we need the whole story, and that level of transparency is a rare, if not, non-existent luxury.

This scenario is not limited to the business world, though. Any hierarchical relationship where absolute transparency among the parties does not or cannot exist exhibits this issue. Every relationship from familial to clubs is affected. Today, I want to draw two analogs of this familiar scenario to address two challenges to the existence of God.