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

Showing posts sorted by relevance for query multiverse. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query multiverse. Sort by date Show all posts

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).

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)


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.

Multiverse and Rationality

Something that I was thinking about the other day: some people are familiar with Alvin Plantinga's evolutionary argument against naturalism. Basically it states that because people believe false things that help survivability (such as "god", from the naturalist's perspective), evolution does not favor minds that recognize truth, but minds that recognize how to survive- if a belief just happens to be true, it is pure coincidence.

However, I was contemplating the multiverse (or multiple worlds) hypothesis, and it seems that this only compounds the problem. For those uninitiated, multiverse theory states that our universe is not the only universe there is. There are many other universes that do exist; however, our instruments cannot detect them because they are outside our universe. This theory comes in several flavors, but the one I am talking about is the one that is capable of explaining the fine-tuning and design in the universe, along with being an alternative to God as the "banger" that the cosmological argument requires. In order to account for the fine-tuning of the physical constants of the universe, some naturalists posit that there are an infinite (or near infinite) number of universes, each possessing different constants of physics. Ours just happens to be the one that is amenable to advanced life, and that is why we exist to observe the "fine-tuning".

Creation and the Scientific Method

An Atheist's Argument
A couple years ago I was presented with an argument against theism that appealed to the trustworthiness of the scientific method. It goes like this:

1. The scientific method relies on the constancy of the natural laws for its trustworthiness
2. In order for God to create, He must act in a way that breaks the constancy of the natural laws
3. Therefore, God creating and the trustworthiness of the scientific method are incompatible

The atheist believed that he had me pinned down because I believe that the scientific method is trustworthy. I explained to him the problem with his argument and why I reject his conclusion (I'll explain that later). I haven't really heard this argument presented much lately. But I did come across it again a couple days ago, not from an atheist but a fellow Christian.

Burden of Proof: A New Perspective?

I was thinking the other day about the burden of proof. It seems that no one wants to bare it. Many atheists claim that they don't shoulder the burden of proof because "you can't prove a negative". Some theists claim that they don't hold it because you can't prove something that is metaphysical (based on the assumption that only things that can be decisively measured can be "proven").

Book Review: The Creator and the Cosmos🌌


Several years ago, when I was struggling with science/faith issues, I stumbled upon astrophysicist Dr. Hugh Ross' book "The Creator and the Cosmos." He had released the third edition of the book, and many people were recommending it for those with science/faith concerns. I was already somewhat familiar with Dr. Ross' name since I had read "The Fingerprint of God" in the mid-90s but had not pursued much more investigation (most of the content was way over my head at the time). I decided to pick up a copy of that new book in the mid-2000s and took the time to read through it carefully. I was astounded at the strength of the scientific case Dr. Ross presented for the existence of the God of the Bible.

The book helped me overcome my struggle with science and paved the way for a deeper and more reasonable faith that I still continue to investigate and communicate to others to help them through their intellectual struggles. Not only can I know emotionally and spiritually that Christianity is true, but I can know it intellectually and reasonably. Of course, I have been blogging for quite a few years regarding how to demonstrate the reasonableness and truth of the Christian worldview, and in doing so, I have been providing my readers with chapter-by-chapter summary-style reviews of many of the books that I read.

A couple years ago I decided to begin going back through some of the apologetics books that I read early on, and "The Creator and the Cosmos" was in my stack. Not too long after I made that decision, though, I found out that Dr. Ross was working on a new edition that would add the most current discoveries to his original case (making it even stronger) and address even more challenges to his case that various scientists have proposed since the book's third edition was published. I decided to hold off on my review until that new edition had been released. Well, IT IS HERE!!!!! And I cannot be more excited for it! In keeping with my usual book reviews, I will provide a chapter-by-chapter summary then provide my recommendations. If you are reading this review on the Faithful Thinkers blog, I have embedded quotes and videos to enhance the review and better communicate the content of the book. Before I get to the summary, let's start with this short video from Dr. Ross about how his investigation of the cosmos led him to the conclusion that the personal God of the Bible exists and led him to dedicate his life to Jesus Christ.

Are you ready to see how astronomers and astrophysicists are discovering every day that "the heavens declare the glory of God" (Psalm 19:1)? 

Let's begin! 

The Cognitive Dissonance of Evil

The Problem of Evil and Suffering
In defending the truth of the Christian worldview, I often come across atheists who point to the supposed incompatibility of a loving God with the existence of evil and suffering. Many defenders of Christianity will move directly to explain to the atheist that without an eternal, unchanging standard, there is no objective morality, thus there is no objective good or evil. Without objective good or evil, their challenge is groundless. I agree with this answer, but only if the atheist is critiquing the Christian worldview from outside the Christian worldview; they are rather usually pointing to an internal inconsistency- that of a loving God and evil. Christians usually offer two answers to show that evil is, in fact, compatible with a loving God: that God does have purposes for allowing the evil, and man is free is disobey God which results in much evil and suffering. (Many do recognize that the challenge to Christianity has been overcome, but it is still offered in one form or another which does have much emotional and rhetorical power- more on this later.) However, this is only a portion of what our answer should be. We have merely shown that their claim of incompatibility is false, but what about challenges with atheism posed by evil and suffering?

Philosophy of Science, Circumstantial Evidence, and Creation

The Big Bang: Evidence of Creation Out of Nothing


For those who have followed me for some time, you know that I take a strong stance on the importance of defending the Christian worldview in its specific claims about reality, as opposed to only defending general claims. For those who are not familiar with my reasons for this position, please see my posts here and here. One of the theological debates that I defend specifically is a particular view on creation. I take the old-earth creation (OEC) position that holds to the literal historicity of the records of Genesis 1-11. I came from a position of young-earth creationism (YEC) but changed due to the lack of scientific evidence supporting the view and the complete compatibility of OEC with Christianity. A couple years ago, a prominent YEC leader (Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis) debated Bill Nye on the scientific status on YECism. Ham constantly drew a distinction between "observational/operational science" and "historical science" to say that what happened in the past cannot be known. I wrote a post last year critiquing this philosophy of science and provided a followup clarification on my position (here and here, respectively).

Since then I have read and reviewed one of the foundational works on the philosophical distinction (Origin Science: A Proposal for the Creation/Evolution Controversy by Norman Geisler and J. Kirby Anderson). My previous posts dealt with the distinction as presented by Ken Ham (and many other YEC proponents); however, today I want to deal with the distinction as presented by Geisler and Anderson. There is a wide chasm between the two understandings, and if Ken Ham is getting the distinction from the work of Geisler and Kirby (or someone who agree with their distinctions), then he has misunderstood the distinctions. My goal is to explain the distinctions made by Geisler and Anderson and show how they have been misunderstood by Ken Ham and other YEC proponents. I will also show that the rejection of circumstantial evidence in Ham's understanding necessarily undermines the presuppositional grounding of knowledge of all events recorded in the Bible, which is what Ken Ham promotes in place of a circumstantial, evidential approach to discovering the mechanisms, timing, and purposes of creation.

Book Review: More Than a Theory

Book Review: "More Than A Theory" by Christian astrophysicist Dr. Hugh Ross of Reasons to Believe (reasons.org)


I am really excited to bring you this review. Dr. Hugh Ross and the Reasons to Believe (RTB) scholar team are the means that Christ used to keep this modernist thinker from completely giving up on the Christian faith about seven years ago. You can read about this more on my page Nature vs. Scripture. Reasons to Believe provides a scientific and Biblical model of the creation and history of the universe that is testable. They have produced many books and papers outlining details of different aspects of the model. They have not really produced a single resource that provides a quick overview of the model for those who might be curious and need an introduction.

That's where More Than a Theory comes in. This book was written as an introduction to the various aspects of the testable model. It frequently refers the reader to the other resources for more details. Throughout this review I will include links to their other books and articles on their website that I am familiar with that go into some more details. Dr. Ross also produced a series of podcasts that briefly go over the contents of each chapter. I will include a link to each episode at the end of each chapter's description. These episodes will give you a better description of the contents of the chapters plus what Dr. Ross specifically want the reader to focus on for each chapter.

Natalie Grant, The Grammys, and Defending the Faith

The blogosphere and social media have been quite alive with chatter about Grammy-nominated Christian music artist Natalie Grant's early departure from this year's award show. There has been much speculation about the reason(s) and/or performance(s) that pushed her to her limit of tolerance for that evening. Her initial tweet that sparked the reactions is quoted here, and her recent response to the reactions is quoted here. Grant did not call out any particular performance or performer or provide any specific reason why she called it a night early, but she did state that she had no intention of using her platform for political issues that cause division rather than unity.

I am not going to go into a long analysis of this particular situation. However, I do want to take the time to look at one of my favorite works from Natalie Grant from the perspective of someone who defends the truth of the Christian worldview and show the connections with this situation.

🤔The God Paradox: Debunking the 'Who Created God?' Challenge💥

Philosoraptor- Who Created God?

The Question/Challenge

A fairly common question that I hear many atheists raise against any form of theism is "Who created God?" I've noticed that this question often comes around after a theist has presented the Kalam Cosmological Argument (KCA):

1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
2. The universe began to exist.
3. Therefore, the universe had a cause.

Even though the KCA merely concludes that the universe had a cause, the atheist wishes to undermine the theist when they use other arguments (such as the moral argument or teleological argument) to identify the cause as God. The question is designed to show that even God has a cause, and His cause had a cause, which also had a cause, etc. This could go on forever, thus requiring an infinite regress of causes. If, this challenge holds up, then it is a powerful argument against God's existence. So it does warrant a close examination. I have a couple of observations that I wish to bring to light about this challenge.

Where The Strawman Resides

A couple weeks ago, I addressed an argument that I heard being used as evidence against theism and against my view of the age of the universe (you can read it here). I received a message that I was offering a strawman of the opposing view. While in discussion, I realized that it was probably a good idea to go into some more detail about properly identifying when someone is arguing against a strawman. It applies, not just to that particular conversation, but to all discussions of defenders of any worldview.

I have posted in the past about the importance of avoiding the strawman argument. Unless I take that seriously and address accusations that I have presented a strawman, that post is quite hollow. I will be using parts of that initial message as an example in this post, but the specific challenge is not the focus of this post, so if you wish to challenge the specifics, please post the comments on the other post.

The accusation of a strawman proposed that I was applying a specific heretical view of Christianity to an entire view within the Christian Church (young-earth creationism [YEC]). I've been in conversations with the this person in the past, and I suspected that he knew that I wasn't applying it to all YEC adherents, but he wasn't sure how to express where he sensed a strawman. Of course, my sense could be wrong; but nevertheless, I identified four different areas where a strawman could be offered in a description/critique of a worldview that we all should be familiar with when composing our own arguments/material and consuming others' arguments/material:

20 Myths About Old Earth Creationism


Last month I was alerted to a debate on Justin Brierley's podcast "Unbelievable." This debate was a discussion between a young-earth creationist (Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis) and an old-earth creationist (Jeff Zweerink of Reasons to Believe). This, of course, caught my attention because of my focus on science/faith issues. I decided to take a listen but found myself quite frustrated within just minutes of Justin giving his introductions. Here is a link to the episode for those who would like to hear it for themselves:

Do we live on a young or old earth? Ken Ham vs. Jeff Zweerink

Throughout the discussion, Ken Ham presented many strawmen and misrepresentations of Zweerink's old-earth creationist view in order to argue against the view. I recognized many of these myths as ones I've heard over the years that remain popular today despite their falsehood and countless attempts at correction.

In today's post, I have compiled twenty of the myths that Ken Ham presented in the "Unbelievable" discussion, and I have provided a short, one-to-three paragraph explanation of how they are false and what the correctly understood old-earth creationist (OEC) position is. Since I have written on many of these topics in the past, I have included links to previous posts where they can offer a more detailed response. My intention for this post is three-fold for both believer and unbeliever.

First, for the unbeliever, I want them to understand that the young-earth view is not the only view held by Christians. They do not have to affirm young-earth creationism (YEC) in order to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and remain logically consistent.

Second, for the believer, I want them to understand that, claiming that a logically consistent Christian must hold to the YEC view, is simultaneously a detriment to our evangelism and to worshiping the Father in spirit and in truth (John 4:23).

Finally, for those who are honestly investigating the biblical, philosophical, and natural data to resolve this issue (both believer and unbeliever), I pray that this post also serves as a quick stop for addressing many of the myths, strawmen, and other mischaracterizations of the OEC view in a single location.

But, before I get to the perpetuated myths of old earth creationism, it is important to recognize where Ken Ham (YEC) and Jeff Zweerink (OEC) hold much common ground in their two views. Even though there are significant differences, there are even more significant commonalities that they can shake hands with each other and give them a hardy "Amen, brother!" I compiled a list a while back that is certainly not comprehensive, but is a large list to see where the differences between YEC and OEC may be fewer than is commonly understood:

What Do Young Earth and Old Earth Creationists Agree Upon Regarding Origins?

Now, on to the myths of Old Earth Creationism!

Book Review: Where the Conflict Really Lies

Where The Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, and Naturalism by Alvin Plantinga


This review has been a long time coming. I first heard of Alvin Plantinga and his "evolutionary argument against naturalism" several years ago. I was impressed by the original paper, and when I heard that he wrote a whole book on it, I was quite excited. As a defender of the Christian worldview, I constantly come across skeptics who believe that there is a glaring conflict between science and faith. I have defended the complete compatibility of modern science with the claims of Christianity using the sciences and some philosophy. My reading "Where the Conflict Really Lies" by Alvin Plantinga is an attempt to expand my philosophical defense. Is it successful? This review will provide a chapter-by-chapter summary of the book that will conclude with my thoughts.

Part 1: Alleged Conflict

Chapter 1: Evolution and Christian Belief (1)

Plantinga begins by explaining that over the centuries many people have claimed there is conflict between science and Christianity. The only thing that has changed is the source of the claimed conflict- biology not astronomy. He explains it is important to define our terms in order to properly identify any conflict. He uses common affirmations of the historic Christian creeds regarding creation as a source for the minimum necessary claims of Christianity: God is the creator. As for science, he takes the current scientific theory and breaks it into its mere components: an ancient earth, rise in complexity of life over time, descent with modification, common ancestry, naturalistic mechanisms, and naturalistic origin of life. He explains that conflict has been alleged between the first scientific thesis (an ancient earth) and the interpretation of the Bible by some Christians, but since age is not part of the Christian creeds, he concludes that the conflict is merely superficial and not actual.

Richard Dawkins is one scientist who also alleges great conflict between science and the Bible. Plantinga addresses Dawkins' argument that modern evolutionary theory has revealed a universe without design. He shows that while Dawkins may be able to envision a general naturalistic mechanism to get complex systems, he has not proposed a detailed map from the simple to the complex, nor has he provided any scientific evidence of the details of a mechanism that would produce the specific points on the map. Plantinga also addresses Dawkins' appeals to probability and the claim that God, Himself, would require a designer. He concludes that Dawkins has not demonstrated that evolution (even if it is correct) can take place independent of an intelligent agent guiding the process.

Book Review: Why The Universe Is The Way It Is

Book Review: "Why The Universe Is The Way It Is" by Christian astrophysicist Dr. Hugh Ross of Reasons to Believe (reasons.org)

Why The Universe Is The Way It Is- Book Review Introduction

Why The Universe Is The Way It Is, (hardcover, Kindle) was written by astronomer Dr. Hugh Ross (Reasons to Believe) a few years ago to address several common questions that he receives from atheists and Christians when he presents his case for the existence of God. The book is 240 pages, divided into thirteen chapters, five appendices, and an index. Dr. Ross recorded a podcast describing the material of each chapter. A link will be provided at the end of each chapter's summary of this review. Dr. Ross also has a lecture and a Q&A session on YouTube.

Validity of the Process of Elimination

I want to take a few minutes to discuss the process of elimination regarding everyday life, science, and philosophy. 

As most of you know, I work in the Information Technology (IT) department at my company. The other day I was doing some troubleshooting for one of our graphic artists. She called me and said that her monitor had started flickering. She stated that she thought that there was something wrong with the monitor and wanted it replaced.  Just to get this on the table now, I was not thrilled with having to replace this specific monitor. It is one of the more expensive ones in the company.

Starting with that thought, I made a list of the possible causes in my head: cables, video card, specific monitor input (it has two), or software on the PC (that could be any range of possibilities). I begin going through some troubleshooting steps to eliminate the possible causes: I reboot the computer; I check (and replace) the cables; I check a different input on the monitor; I try the other output on the video card; check some settings... None of those fixed the problem.

Evidence For The Empty Tomb of Jesus and Big Bang Cosmology


The concept of "enemy attestation" is an important concept that is often used when arguing for the empty tomb of Jesus Christ. The importance comes from the general recognition that if an enemy (here, "enemy" just means someone who is philosophically committed against a view) affirms the truth of a claim, especially if that claim's being true is damaging to their counter-claim, it is likely true. Usually, in such a case, the evidence is so strong for the claim that the enemy would publicly risk intellectual integrity if they were to continue with their rejection. They "bite the bullet," so to say, accept the evidence, and search for some way to make the evidence compatible with their view.

Norman Geisler: Christians Must Build a Positive Case For Creation


As a defender of the Christian worldview it is important for me to show how other worldviews fall short of reality. In my discussions regarding the specifics of the biblical model for the origins of the universe, life, and humanity, I do this quite a bit. However, as Norman Geisler emphasizes in his book "Origin Science: A Proposal for the Creation/Evolution Controversy," that is not sufficient:
"If Creationist views are to gain scientific credibility then they must follow the principles of origin science and build a positive case for a primary cause, rather than relying on the ineffective means of pointing out flaws in various evolutionary hypotheses."
"If Creationist views are to gain scientific credibility then they must follow the principles of origin science and build a positive case for a primary cause, rather than relying on the ineffective means of pointing out flaws in various evolutionary hypotheses."- Norman Geisler- "Origin Science: A Proposal for the Creation-Evolution Controversy"

Top 5 Books For The College-Bound

The time is coming soon for a new chapter of our children's lives to begin: college life. This can be quite an apprehensive time for both Christian parents and the teens. The parents are preparing to let their kids go out into the world, unable to be protected by Mom and Dad from the various dangers that they experienced too at that age. The students are preparing to get a better taste of independence, learn more about the world and prepare for their future career and lives as individuals. Through exposure to new experiences and new ideas, they will be challenged mentally and intellectually.

Unfortunately, during the years at the university, many Christians become less convinced of the truth of the Christian worldview and many give it up entirely. This is a scary thought for Christian parents, as they know their kids may not be prepared to properly think through the philosophical challenges that this new world will put before them. That is why I have put together a short list of books that parents can go through with their college-bound kids as they prepare to enter this exciting new world. Whether you have been actively preparing your teens for these challenges or have not been so focused on them, I believe these books will prove to be vital resources to read before attending college and throughout the college years. Click the titles to see my full chapter-by-chapter review of the books. They are:
  1. Tactics: A Gameplan for Sharing Your Christian Convictions- Greg Koukl
  2. Welcome to College: A Christ-Follower's Guide for the Journey- Jonathan Morrow
  3. Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels: J. Warner Wallace
  4. Legislating Morality: Is It Wise, Is It Legal, Is It Possible- Frank Turek and Norman Geisler
  5. Before You Hit Send: Preventing Headache and Heartache- Emerson Eggerichs

Why Did I Choose These Books?

1. Tactics: A Gameplan For Sharing Your Christian Convictions

My first recommendation is "Tactics: A Gameplan For Sharing Your Christian Convictions" by Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason. I begin with this book because it is an easy read and will help ease apprehension in the reader about how to discuss what they believe. Skeptical questions from friends and others they respect will be common in college and can be intimidating, especially when they do not know the answers right off the top of their heads. The advice offered by Koukl in this book will allow the student to carry on a conversation about their beliefs without necessarily being "in the hot seat." This is the best place to start as it will prepare the student for any "awkward encounters" no matter their level of knowledge. Koukl offers wise advice throughout the book for the apprehensive student (and the over-zealous one), so it is

2. Welcome To College: A Christ-Follower's Guide for the Journey

This second book is by Jonathan Morrow and specifically targets the college student. Morrow not only discusses the intellectual challenges to the Christian worldview that will be faced in the university but he also covers that normal day-to-day challenges of campus life. The book certainly will not remove all surprises from the campus experience, but it will definitely reduce them and help the student to maintain focus. This is a great book for the student to keep on their bookshelf and reference from time to time or even revisit between semesters throughout their college career.

3. Cold-Case Christianity

The third book focuses on one of the major challenges that the Christian will face from both professors and fellow students: the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Because of the fact that the entire worldview of Christianity rests on this single historical event (1 Cor 15:14), understanding the evidence for its happening in history will be necessary for any student who wishes to show evidence of the truth of Christianity in a college setting. "Cold-Case Christianity" was written by cold-case homicide detective J. Warner Wallace. He uses his years of experience working murder cases where no existing eye-witnesses are still alive ("cold" cases) to investigate the death and resurrection of Jesus- the most important claimed event that also has no living eye-witnesses. He takes the reader through the process of investigating cold cases and shows how the same methods can be applied to investigating the Resurrection. If you really enjoy this book, you may also want to check out Wallace's book that uses the same methods to investigate the case for God's existence: "God's Crime Scene."

4. Legislating Morality: Is It Wise, Is It Legal, Is It Possible

Fourth, Christian politics will be constantly challenged not only in the classroom but also in the student's life apart from the classroom. Because politics are dependent upon ethics and morality, these are also under constant attack. Drs. Frank Turek and Norman Geisler wrote the book "Legislating Morality: Is It Wise, Is It Legal, Is It Possible" specifically to address many of the common challenges Christians face regarding politics. Turek and Geisler demonstrate how anyone who claims to be against the legislation of morality is actually guilty of doing just that. They also demonstrate how the protection of human life via laws can only be grounded in the Judeo-Christian doctrine of the Image of God. Even if college students can avoid discussing politics with their friends, they will be challenged by professors, and they need to know how these challenges are resolved within the Christian worldview.

5. Before You Hit Send: Preventing Headache and Heartache

Finally, the book that I want to be freshest in the memory of the college-bound student is Emerson Eggerich's "Before You Hit Send: Preventing Headache and Heartache." While the other books help the student to analyze, internalize, and begin to articulate the case for the truth of the Christian worldview, this book focuses on the presentation: the communication. Eggerichs describes eighty different ways that communication can go wrong and presents four questions to always ask before speaking or pressing "send" on the internet.  for ensuring that what the student communicates is effective: Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? Is it clear? It is important that the college student use discernment when speaking to friends or in class or communicating on the internet. Ensuring truthful, kind, necessary, and clear communication with friends and professors will help maintain friendships and establish trust with those around them. This book will not only be helpful in communicating the case for Christianity, but it will help in all other interactions. This is another book that the college student will want to keep on their shelf and revisit often.

Bonus: A Secret Weapon

And, I want to add one bonus title to the list for the student who wants an extra "secret weapon" in his or her arsenal. Learning how to think logically provides anyone who wishes to discover and defend the truth an incredible advantage over those who do not take the time and effort. The bonus book is not the most entertaining to read and is definitely the dryest in this list, but it does provide this most valuable tool. "Come, Let Us Reason" by Norman Geisler takes the reader through both deductive and inductive logic. He explains how arguments are formed using each method and what level of certainty (necessarily true or probably true) each provides. This will help the student to properly form their arguments when speaking to others and to be careful not to overstate the certainty level of their conclusions. It will also help the student identify when professors and fellow students make fallacious arguments and/or claim a greater level of certainty about their conclusions than is warranted by the argument they are presenting.


While there are many books that would be helpful for the college-bound to read to prepare for their journey, as I've read each of these, I wished that I had had them available to me during that those crucial years. If you want more great books on other topics that will benefit the college-bound, please check out the other Top 5 Books lists. I also recommend that the student join their college's chapter of Ratio Christi (if available on your campus) to have a place where they can go to discuss the many other challenges that they will encounter. Other apologetics ministries that have local chapters that the Christian student can find encouragement and support from are Reasons to Believe and Reasonable Faith. And, of course, the Christian student MUST remain in the Word of God and in prayer throughout their years in college. The challenges that they face will be powerful, and they will not only be intellectual. The student must not only know that Christianity is true but trust and dedicate his or her life to following Jesus Christ. It is as much a heart issue as it is a head issue, and it is only in Christ that the student can find (and show to others) that both the head and the heart can be fulfilled.

Atheistic Evangelism

Today I want to talk a bit about atheistic evangelism. Specifically, the naturalistic atheism. With the presence of the "New Atheists" and many others who follow in their footsteps, it seems that there is a lot more proselytizing of atheism than in previous years. I am quite confused at this phenomenon for three reasons: according to naturalism, first, there is nothing after a person dies; second, everything that happens is determined; third, everything is meaningless and purposeless.