June 10, 2016
Do you feel like our country is coming under judgment? I mean judgment as is in Old Testament, wrath of God type stuff. While we are not being overrun by plagues of locusts nor is fire falling from the sky, do you not have the sense though that America is headed for some kind of reckoning and soon? Has God withdrawn His providence that we have enjoyed since our founding?
While I am a Bible believing Christian, I haven’t spent significant time pondering eschatology – the study of the events leading to the final destiny of mankind. There are many different valid, scholarly interpretations to end time events as foretold in the Bible. The most notable and popular today is the sequence laid out in the “Left Behind” series of books by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, but interpretations by other Scriptural authorities paint different scenarios. For me then, I have just left it as a broad narrative that one day, Jesus will return and establish His Kingdom with those that have chosen Him.
So, has the end time clock started ticking? I think it has and has been ticking for a while. When Israel was reestablished in 1948, two thousand years after its destruction by the Romans, it was an astounding fulfillment of a three thousand year old Biblical prophecy. Most Biblical scenarios include the reconstitution of the Jewish nation as the gateway event to the ushering in of the last days.
May 26, 2016
“You think about the United States of America. We have a really good story called the Declaration of Independence. ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal; that we’re endowed with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’ That’s a wonderful story.”
So stated the current occupier of the Oval Office in Saigon this week to the Young Southeast Asia Leaders Initiative (YSEALI). Do you notice something missing from this recitation? It’s just a few words, obviously inconsequential to this president. The clause he chose to alter should read, “that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.”
This is not the first time this president has altered the foundational principle of our civil society. He has made a concerted effort to eliminate the reference to a Creator whenever quoting this part of the Declaration throughout his time in office. The first few times you could see him hesitate before passing over the phrase, making a conscious effort to skip over it. Now he flows over it very naturally.
May 20, 2016
Harvard University, our nation’s oldest institute of higher learning, was founded in the year 1636. It received its name from its first benefactor, a young pastor named John Harvard, who upon his death bequeathed his library and half his estate to the university.
The fact that Harvard was originally founded by evangelical Christians to promote the Christian faith is unmistakable as can be seen from its charter laid down in 1646. Harvard made very clear in the document its goal for its students:
“Let every student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life and therefore to lay Christ in the bottom, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning.”
How times have changed! There is no bigger source of secular Christian antipathy today than this once great institution. Where it began with the mission to understand and teach others that Jesus is “the way, the truth, and the life”, it now worships with orgiastic fervor at the alter of materialistic atheism, spreading the doctrines of man-caused climate change, egalitarianism, and mankind as a biological accident.
March 17, 2016
The successful continuance of our country depends on our youth and with what we see happening today, I am very concerned if America as we have known it will even exist in a couple of decades. So many of our future leaders do not have even a basic understanding of our founding documents and the principles they enshrine. They do not understand how the concepts of self-governance and personal responsibility have led to the freedom and prosperity they enjoy today.
Their ignorance and lack of critical thinking skills make them easy prey for avowed socialists promoting absurd societal models that have produced nothing but misery, poverty, and death wherever they have been instituted. I fear the kind of violence seen last week in Chicago will continue to effervesce as the hateful Left steps up its efforts to stoke ignorant rage and unjustified hatred to burn down America and remake it into their own personal utopia.
Our youth for some reason have become increasingly more anxious and depressed despite the prosperity and opportunity they enjoy. Jesse Singal documents this in a recent article at nymag.com. In the piece, Singal states: “Ever since the 1930’s, young people in America have reported feeling increasingly anxious and depressed. And no one knows exactly why.”
Singal quotes social psychologist, Dr. Jean Twenge, who has done significant research into this phenomenon, saying, “I think the research tells us that modern life is not good for mental health.” Twenge has researched results obtained from the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) that has been given to high school and college students since the 1930’s. The MMPI assesses the level of anxiety and depression and the results of her analysis are unmistakable – there has been a significant rise in the symptoms of these conditions in young people over the last eighty years. The question is why?
Twenge believes a main cause is the lack of interaction and connection with others as a condition of modern life today. It seems though we are more and more connected with our electronic appliances, we are less and less connected with our own species. There is a basic need we all have for human contact and intimacy that our electronics is stripping away.
Twenge also blames smaller families, the higher divorce rate, and couples marrying later in life. She also identifies that our youth’s preoccupation with money, fame, and image lead to higher levels of depression and anxiety. She then goes so far to cite increased female autonomy as another anxiety producing factor and states that: “…the potential tradeoff for our equality and freedom is more anxiety and depression because we’re more isolated.”
I can agree with the causal factors Twenge cites in Singal’s article, but I believe they are secondary in nature and not the principle reason for the increasing uncertainty and anxiety in our youth. I believe the true cause lies with the secular humanistic worldview that has been thrust upon them. Our kids are indoctrinated in our schools to believe that they are here through a long series of accidental, totally random events and that they have no more worth than an earthworm or the bird that eats it.
Objective, universal morality has been displaced with what’s expedient and individual. Truth has become malleable and situational. Even our sense of who we are as individuals is questioned. The late Nobel Prize winner and co-discoverer of the structure of the DNA molecule, Francis Crick completely undermines the idea that we are autonomous individuals with free will. In his book on the nature of consciousness, “The Astonishing Hypothesis”, he states this about the true nature of the human experience:
“The Astonishing Hypothesis is that ‘You’, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules.”
Now Francis Crick is smart and our kids are told they just need to accept what he says without debate. Scientists have become our high priests of reality and our kids are pressured to just accept what they say and do not question anything.
Think about what such a view does to a young person’s developing sense of self. There is no ultimate meaning or purpose to your life. There is no right or wrong, good or bad, righteous or evil. Things just are. This robs kids of their initiative and their confidence to act in any capacity.
Kelly Monroe Kullberg in her book “Finding God At Harvard” described many of today’s college students this way:
“Students feel safer as doubters than as believers, and as perpetual seekers rather than eventual finders.”
Our youth has no foundation anymore to base their beliefs and actions on. When there is no right or wrong, how do you make a decision on anything? When nothing is good or evil, how do you make any kind of behavioral judgment? Most people will just acquiesce into passivity but others can spiral into frustration and violence.
Our greatest defender of Christianity today is philosopher William Lane Craig. He makes the point that life without God is absurd. Without God there is simply no grounding for objective moral values that make life livable and gives us certainty and confidence on how to live. Take this away and you see what happens – anxiety, uncertainly, hostility, and depression. It’s becoming all too clear.
February 19, 2016
Is what we are hearing out of the Republican Senate leadership surprising to you? Do you really think they will stand firm and uphold an eighty-year precedent of not confirming Supreme Court nominees in a presidential election year?
Initial comments out of Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell seemed encouraging, but yet he did say “should not be confirmed” not “will not be confirmed” about any potential Obama nominee. In Washington-speak, this leaves the possibility wide open.
Senator Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, initially stated that there would be no hearings for an Obama nominee. He is now backtracking and saying maybe the Senate should wait to see whom Obama nominates before deciding what to do about confirmation hearings.
Just like when we gave Senate Republicans a majority and they passed Obama’s budget funding every crackpot, Marxist scheme of the president, we are going to get full blown hearings and I’m betting confirmation of Obama’s pick. Do you really think that when Obama nominates a black female for the Supreme Court, our Republican Senate leadership is going to block confirmation? Not on your life.
There is a tremendous contrast that exists between the Republican leadership and the Marxist left that now controls the Democrat party. The Republicans have abandoned conservative ideology and are instead rudderless on the rough sea of special interests and government cronies. Cowed by political correctness and having little principled foundation, their actions and interests are heavily modulated by the corporatists that fund them and the Marxists that intimidate them.
The Leftists however pursue their transformation of this country with an ideological zeal that would make Lenin or Chairman Mao proud. They never stop pushing their agenda. They do not look to reach across the aisle. They do not seek compromise. They are single-minded and relentless in pursuit of the destruction of the United States as it was founded.
Therefore they must be utterly defeated. We should not look to work with them. We should not look to compromise with them. We should strive with the same energy and courage they display to completely vanquish them. The problem is we simply do not have the right people in office to win this battle.
Most Republican office holders in Washington should be primaried in their next election. They must be replaced with people of stout character who will courageously fight for our conservative founding principles. We want the very purists and ideologues that the current Republican leadership likes to rail against. As Reagan said, we want no more pastels just bold colors.
Therefore, we must have a new team. Like an NFL franchise, we need to start drafting better players. And I believe the best well to draw candidates from is the conservative Christian one. And not only do we need solid Christian candidates, we need the Christian world in general to get involved backing them and getting seriously involved in the tremendous issues we face. Christians must engage to a much greater extent if we are going to roll back the evil tide that confronts the country.
However, too many Christians and pastors have the erroneous idea that it’s not Biblical to get involved in politics. Too often, the Christian body is content just to do church, sing songs, pray and then repeat it all next Sunday. These are certainly good things to do. However, these are not all what Christians are called to do.
Consider what Jesus said when delivering the Sermon on the Mount as documented in Matthew chapter five in the Bible. Jesus calls his followers to be “salt and light” in the culture. Jesus exhorts Christians to engage society and use his teachings to influence it for His Kingdom. We are not to hide our light under a basket but let it shine for all to see. We are to add flavor and improve the quality of the culture in which we live not to cloister ourselves in buildings.
Christians are called to be like Jesus. If you examine the Gospel narratives, much of what is recorded there depicts Jesus challenging the Pharisees who were essentially the political leaders of the day. Jesus did not spend all his time just teaching his followers in a pastoral setting. He boldly engaged the leaders and culture of His day. Jesus violently turned over tables of the moneychangers that were defiling His temple. Over and over again He clashed with the Pharisees challenging and admonishing them for their hypocrisy and failure to understand the true meaning of the Scriptures.
This is our example to follow. We must become the salt and light in the culture the Bible calls us to be. Christians withdrawing can explain much of the deterioration of our culture and society. The good news is that when we show up, we win. We just need to start showing up.
To pastors and church leaders that are afraid to speak up on political issues because of the possibility of losing your tax-exempt status, forget it. The government will not come after you. They know they will lose in court. Even if this were a possibility though, would you want to explain to Jesus that the reason you didn’t fight to stop abortion or to keep prayer in schools or preserve Biblical marriage was to maintain your tax exemption?
December 4, 2015
The scurrilous attack in San Bernardino this week brought the ever widening cultural divide in this country into sharp relief. Seeing how the mainstream media and our political punditry processed the events, made clear beyond any argument that America is in deep, deep trouble.
As I watched the events unfold, Shepherd Smith, the Fox News master of mayhem, parroted the president’s disparaging comments about our country, “I can report to you with certainty that it happens more here than anywhere else in the world.” Anyone who has taken the time to look at the real data knows this is utter nonsense. And this guy makes millions.
In disgust, I held my nose and switched to CNN just in time to catch their law enforcement analyst, Tom Fuentes, declare that the attacks were clearly planned with multiple people involved who don’t like the government and therefore must involve some kind of militia group. His reasoning was that since the perpetrators did not purposely die in the attack, they instead must be the Left’s real enemy – conservatives with guns.
I guess he just forgot the Boston Marathon bombings. The Tsarnaev brothers didn’t use guns and ran for their stinking lives after their cowardly act of blowing up women and children. And they were clearly literal Qur’an believing Islamic terrorists.
Of course, leftist politicians took the opportunity to ignore the facts and erupt with demands to essentially eliminate the Second Amendment. Her Shrillness herself, Hillary Clinton, declared: “No matter what motivation these shooters had, we can say one thing for certain—they shouldn’t have been able to do this.” That’s right, no matter what drove the Muslims to kill innocents guns gotta go!
Actually, I’m being a little unfair here. Liberals are simply asking to enact “commonsense” measures to stop gun violence. Obama has used this descriptor over and over again. Sounds so reasonable, doesn’t it? Commonsense.
Well, is it commonsense to leave our southern border completely open to terrorists wishing to enter the country to do us harm? Is it commonsense to bring in tens of thousands of unvetted Muslims into this country when ISIS has clearly stated they will infiltrate the numbers coming in? Is it commonsense to leave citizens completely vulnerable without any defense when confronted with gun toting evil? Liberals wouldn’t know commonsense if it came up and bit them in the ass.
We have far too many in this country who are willing to give up their personal sovereignty for the Left’s fiction of security. What good did California’s strict gun laws do for the San Bernardino victims? What good did their monthly active shooter drills do for them? There was a huge police presence within two minutes of the site. What good did that do for them?
Think about what a different outcome that would have ensued if someone in the conference room was armed. What if just one or two of the victims in attendance had the ability to return fire? Most of those no longer with us would be here to tell their story of survival.
Another sign that the Left is losing its grip on rationality was the New York Daily News headline the day after the atrocity. In a smug rebuke to Republican candidates call for prayer for the victims and their families, the rag printed a front page headline: “God Isn’t Fixing This”. How dare Republicans appeal to a fictitious deity instead of calling for “commonsense” disarmament!
There’s nothing Leftists hate more than the idea that there is a sovereign creator that provides objective moral standards that we are all held to. Leftists like to make their own standards that can change as needed to advance “The Agenda”. This headline clearly shows their complete ignorance of the God the Republicans were calling out to.
God exists outside space, time, and matter/energy. He is the supreme creator of reality and all that exists. He created us and gave us a perfect home but we rejected it (were Adam and Eve the first liberals?). Evil and death then entered the world. Most of the evil mankind suffers from is of our own making but God has promised to use it ultimately for good.
The event in San Bernardino this week is evil personified but that does not mean that God will not ultimately “fix it”. How do you know that God didn’t intervene and prevent the bombs planted in the convention center from going off and killing scores of others? How do you know that God in some way didn’t guide law enforcement to encounter these terrorists before they had a chance to slaughter more innocents? How do you know that actions we take as a result of this atrocity will not insure the safety of millions from a nuclear holocaust?
Our perspective is very limited and we cannot see the long-term repercussions of events happening today. So you cannot say that the evil we saw this week will not ultimately bring greater good down the road than if it never occurred at all. I can hear liberal heads exploding right now!
We are fighting two wars – one against the violent antithesis of Christianity and one against the hopelessness of the Left’s secularism. We can easily win the battle with the scourge of literal Islam. Only with God’s help can we win the battle for truth, the truth that will set you free.
November 13, 2015
One of the heartening things about the race for the Republican presidential nomination is that a majority of the candidates are publicly professing Christians. In contrast to the secular humanists vying for the Democratic nomination, several of the Republicans display a genuine devotion to the Christian faith and speak regularly of their dependence on the God of the Bible during their campaigning. I believe the election of one of these candidates is vital if we are to begin the restoration of our once civil society.
Christians are commanded to speak of their faith and to bring the truth of Christianity to all those who are in need of it. We are to do this with the gifts and position God has granted us. There are no people more gifted and with greater opportunity to be effective Christian ambassadors than these candidates for president.
This does not mean that we are electing the American Pope. We are not in need of a weekly sermon from the Oval Office. However, we need to elect a leader that clearly radiates the same unshakable faith that our founders drew upon in establishing this great nation. We need a president that will live out the truth that the Bible prescribes and serve as an example of righteous living.
Being a Christian in a position to reach so many people as these candidates are is both a great blessing and a great burden. It’s a blessing because God is using them and has provided them with a tremendous opportunity to bring truth and light to those that have so little of either. However, it’s also a tremendous burden because what they say and do will receive deep scrutiny by secular opponents looking for any opportunity to disparage both the candidate and Christianity as well.
Therefore, when any of the Republican candidates speak of theological issues they must be very careful about the veracity and accuracy of their comments. The last thing we want is to plant doubt or confusion in the minds of those who may be seeking. Nor do we want to provide unwarranted ammunition to those that are focused on eradicating the Christian faith.
Unfortunately, Ben Carson has hurt the case for Christianity through his comments about the great Egyptian pyramids being built to store grain and not as tombs for various pharaohs as archeological data clearly shows. Carson originally made comments supporting this view in 1998 during a commencement speech at Andrews University in Michigan. Opposition research dug up the video of his speech last week and CBS News asked Carson if he still held to the belief. Carson affirmed that he still believed that Joseph of the Bible built the great pyramids for the purpose of storing grain for a coming famine.
There are several problems with this assertion. First, science confirms that the pyramids were built well before Joseph was sold into slavery and taken to Egypt. In addition, according to the Bible Joseph had seven years to prepare for the famine. Therefore, he would have had to undertake the monumental task of building the pyramids that would have involved tens of thousands of workers. It’s hard to believe that such a huge undertaking would not have had some mention in the scriptures but there is none.
The best historical data that we have is that it would actually take using the techniques and abilities present in Egypt of that day about twenty years to build the pyramids not the seven years that would be required by the Biblical account. Carson can say that doing it in seven years was possible through God’s miraculous help. However, if God were performing a miracle here would not the Bible have recorded it as such? Miracles are a critical part of Christian theology. I doubt such an important one like this would not be documented.
Further, the Bible itself points away from Carson’s contention of grain storage in the great pyramids. In Genesis Chapter 41, Joseph’s methodology for storing the grain is made pretty clear:
“Joseph collected all the food produced in those seven years of abundance in Egypt and stored it in the CITIES. In each city he put the food grown in the fields surrounding it.”
So it looks like Joseph did what you would expect him to do. Grain was being grown in many places in Egypt and he stored it near the various places it was being grown. There was no need to transport it to a central point and then redistribute it back again during the famine.
Carson is a Bible believing Christian, so why doesn’t he believe this?
What Carson is doing is what we as Christians cannot do. We cannot promote unsubstantiated theories in the face of clear scientific and scriptural facts. Christians have the burden of understanding our scripture and the facts and reasons that support its truth.
We can’t ignore certain evidence because it doesn’t fit with what we want the Bible to say. We can’t insist on a 6000 year old earth or that there was no Big Bang when clearly the evidence that God has provided us clearly shows us something different. The scientific and Biblical narratives mesh very well despite what secularists want you to think. Christians need to understand this evidence and be able to articulate it to others. Christianity is for thinking men and women not mind-numbed drones.
September 11, 2015
Have you had enough of the falsehoods and deceit coming from our societal leaders? The steady stream of what the sophisticated elite call nuance and clear thinkers called damned lies is becoming more than nauseating.
Last week I wrote about the current “Big Lie” – manmade global warming. Every day we get another pronouncement about the horrors of carbon, you know the element all life is based on. Honestly, a fourth grader can defeat this nonsense.
Remember, “If you like your plan, you can keep it”? Tell that to the millions that have had their medical insurance policies cancelled. Of course, Washington bureaucrats have exempted themselves.
How about all those “shovel ready” jobs that turned out to be not so shovel ready?
Then there’s, “I never sent or received any classified emails on my server”. Hey Hillary, orange is the new black!
And one of my favorites, “If you give us a majority in the Senate, we will repeal Obamacare”. We gave the Republicans the Senate and what did they do? They immediately voted to fund every aspect of Obamacare. The scoundrels!
And a blast from the past just to keep things lighthearted, “I never had sex with that woman, Miss Lewinsky”. There is still a sizable part of our population that wants this back in the White House.
I can go on and on rattling more of these off. The point is that these examples of deceit not only damage us in ways specific to the situations they pertain to, but they also tear at the fabric of our civil society. We are lied to every day by those paraded in the media as the ones that really matter. Our cultural foundations are being steadily eroded as a result.
The lies, dishonesty, and immorality we live with today stem from what I believe is the biggest lie of all. This lie has been promoted for over a century and has done more to destroy our culture and our sense of who we are than any other idea in history.
The Biggest Lie robs us of our value as human beings. The Biggest Lie robs us of universal right and wrong. The Biggest Lie robs us of unalienable rights. The Biggest Lie robs us of absolute truth. The Biggest Lie allows us to sacrifice sixty million unborn children and throw out thousands of years of history on what constitutes marriage.
So what is the Biggest Lie? The Biggest Lie is what your children are exclusively being taught in school. The Biggest Lie is what will prevent a college professor from getting tenure if he dares to speak against it. The Biggest lie is what tyrants used to justify the extermination of tens of millions of people in the twentieth century.
The Biggest Lie defines man as simply the result of natural selection acting on random mutations to cellular DNA. This lie says that we are merely the culmination of a long line of accidents and we really don’t have any more value than a bird, a tree, or a snail darter. Coupled with the misconception that there is nothing beyond the physical, material universe, the Biggest Lie dictates that truth and morality become expedient and are defined by whoever has the most power.
There is hope though. The viability of the Biggest Lie is rapidly eroding. All scientists agree that biological life is based on information. The DNA code in your cells is very much like the computer program that is allowing you to read this. However, it is far more complicated than anything man can do at this point. There is only one source we know of that can produce such complexity – a mind.
We now know contrary to the Neo-Darwinist view, that just making changes to cellular DNA will not get you to a new organism. That simply allows for new proteins to be synthesized and will not result in new body plans.
Scientists have recently discovered another vast amount of biological information called epigenetic information contained in cellular structures. This information governs how cells form into tissues and then into organs and new body plans. And to make sure the process of organism growth and development is properly coordinated, scientists have discovered what they call developmental gene regulatory networks. These make sure the right genes in the DNA code are executed are the appropriate time.
The bottom line is that if you are going to develop a new species, you have to change all three of these, the DNA code, the epigenetic information, and the developmental gene regulatory network in a very coordinated way. The odds of this happening by chance are virtually impossible. Stop listening to the anthropologists and zoologists (and politicians) and start listening to what the microbiologists and biochemists are saying.
The point is that the best fit to the data we have is that there is a vast intelligence behind life. This intelligence is not only responsible for the creation of biological information but also provides the grounding necessary for objective truth and morality. It is the source of our unalienable rights. This intelligence made a decision to create and impute us with immeasurable worth.
Our society has become unmoored from the understanding that there is a creator beyond space and time and that He created us for His purpose. The results of this decoupling are all around us.
August 14, 2015
What follows is part three of an actual conversation I had with an atheist friend. While my friend’s name has been changed and some details have been modified, the conversation presented below faithfully represents the arguments and points of reason that were made during the course of this exchange.
Part two ended with me making the point that even if morality could be objectively derived, it still would not provide any reason to follow it since there would be no moral law giver.
Hal: “I understand what you are saying. I am not arguing that an objective moral code exists. What I’m arguing is that one can be rationally derived from objective facts and that this is superior to taking the alleged word of someone who claims he speaks to invisible omniscient deities.”
At this point, Hal seemed to be getting annoyed with me.
Me: “The position you’re promoting is called atheistic moral Platonism, meaning that moral values just exist without any grounding. Therefore, we “derive” that mercy, justice, generosity, love, etc., exist and they are good. Fine, so they exist. Just because they exist, why does that mean I have any obligation to follow them? In an atheistic scenario, there is no lawgiver. Therefore, I am in no way obligated to believe in a way consistent with these values. Belief in God is not necessary for objective morality, God is necessary for objective morality.”
Hal responded with an increasing shrillness.
Hal: “What I’m saying is that the actual facts of nature are the foundation for morals and a better one than a reliance on someone who claims he communicates with imaginary omniscient deities!”
Me: “But again, that provides no warrant for behaving in a moral way. There are no moral duties without a lawgiver. It’s a philosophy built on quicksand. We kind of have the cart before the horse here anyway. We really have to first answer the question as to whether it is more probable that a theistic god exists or more probable that a theistic god doesn’t exist.”
Hal: “Look, neither moral nor legal duties require a lawgiver. In law, a legal positivist would make that claim. A natural lawyer would not. Neither did Thomas Jefferson as the Declaration of Independence illustrates. ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident that men are created equal…’”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing with this response.
Me: “…that they are endowed by their CREATOR with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Hal: “Yes, exactly. The Declaration uses Creator, Nature, and Nature’s God. Jefferson was not a theist.”
I was again amazed at this response. Was I missing something or was Hal just blind to where he was heading with this?
Me: “Yes, of course. He was a deist. He believed in the same creator as the theists but he differed in thinking that the Creator stopped interacting with His creation once it was finished. He still believed that the Creator provided the foundation for moral values and duties. Jefferson wrote to Thomas Law in 1814: ‘How necessary was the care of the Creator in making the moral principle so much a part of our Constitution as that no errors of REASONING or of speculation might lead us astray from its observance in practice.’”
Hal: “In any case, I don’t see how a legal argument applies to a moral claim or philosophical claim. It can illustrate them, illuminate them, or demonstrate their consequences, but it can’t in and of itself justify them. The Declaration of Independence has no more moral or philosophical authority as the Bible, which is to say nil. The same goes for the Constitution or the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Gettysburg Address, encyclicals by the Pope, or the Tao te Ching, among others.”
I mulled over Hal’s last comments. It became clear that no matter how air tight an argument I made for the necessity of God for objective moral values, Hal was just not going to comprehend and embrace it. There was much more that could be said. There were many more points he made that I could refute, but I reached the point of “Why bother?”
This question of the source of our morality is a monumental one for our society today. Do moral values naturally rise out of the material and physical properties of the universe like Hal promotes? Or, are they grounded in a perfectly moral being that exists outside of time, space, and matter/energy? The answer we as a society choose will determine out fate.
History tells a grim tale of what a materially grounded worldview leads to. The mass murdering of tens of millions of people in Europe and Asia during the twentieth century by governments dictating their own twisted view of morality can happen again. No, I would say, will happen again unless we come to recognize that morality comes from a source outside physical existence. Without God, anything becomes possible, indeed probable.
August 13, 2015
What follows is part two of an actual conversation I had with an atheist friend. While my friend’s name has been changed and some details have been modified, the conversation presented below faithfully represents the arguments and points of reason that were made during the course of this exchange.
Part one ended with my friend, Hal, asking the question:
Hal: “Would you like to argue that torturing random children to death for pleasure is not evil?”
Me: “No, what I’m saying is that you can’t say torturing babies for fun is evil without an objective moral standard to judge that action against. And by objective, I mean that it is not dependent on anyone’s opinion. You can’t say something is good or evil, bad or good unless you have an absolute measuring stick to compare the actions to. In an atheistic worldview you cannot judge something objectively good or bad. It’s just your opinion. Were the 9/11 attacks bad? Without an objective moral standard, it’s just your opinion versus Al Qaeda. The Muslim world rejoiced while we were appalled. Who’s right? The German people in the 1940’s thought it was good to exterminate Jews. Again we were appalled. Who was right? A materialistic worldview only allows for relative morality. There’s no absolute standard. Only a theistic worldview provides the objective moral standard that atheists like to borrow from. That is God’s perfect moral character.”
Hal: “Well I believe that we can develop objective moral standards through reason and they may be more universal than theistic standards because they would not be arbitrary.”
Me: “Of course YOU can develop moral standards through reason but that does not make them objectively true for all humanity. They are personal to you. I may come up with different standards through MY reasoning. OK, so then who is right? How do you judge? It’s again, just my opinion against yours. Think of my point this way. Let’s say you have a grievance with a neighbor and you take him to court. He has his position and you have yours that is in direct conflict with his. You each then present your evidence and justification to the court. How do we then decide who wins the case? You have an objective legal code against which the arguments of each side is compared. The one that more closely aligns with the legal code is awarded the case. Similarly, to have objective morality, you have to have an objective moral standard that transcends space, time, and matter/energy. We have greatly differing positions on various moral issues, Hal. The only way one of us can be right and one of us to be wrong is to have an objective more code to compare our two positions to. Otherwise, we’re just debating personal preferences.”
Hal: “ But you can…”
Me: “Sorry to interrupt, but I need to add one more thing. Francis Crick is a scientist and Nobel Prize winner. He won the Nobel for co-discovering the structure of the DNA molecule with James Watson. Crick is an atheist/materialist and is also known for something he called “The Astonishing Hypothesis”. He states the hypothesis this way: ‘The Astonishing Hypothesis is that you, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact nothing more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules.’ With your worldview, Hal, you can tell yourself anything you like. That your choices are moral, that your intentions are good, etc., but it’s all meaningless without a transcendent moral standard existing outside of material existence.”
Hal: “With great respect, I disagree. On the one hand, objective moral and legal standards can be rationally derived from objective facts such as the manner in which beings are constructed or the manner in which nature appears to work. On the other hand, some people’s gods contradict other people’s gods and one has no ability to discern the truth, because everyone’s gods set equally arbitrary rules.”
Me: “Certainly Hal, through reasoning and the scientific method, we can discover objective facts about the material world. We can know that the force of gravity between two masses is inversely proportional to the square of the distance separating them. We can know the rate of radioactive decay of uranium into lead. Through the kind of reasoning you are talking about, we can learn what IS. What you can’t arrive at is an objective OUGHT, i.e., what you ought to do. You have to access a moral standard that transcends the material world. Just like mathematics and the laws of logic, an objective moral code that we all access exists outside space, time, and matter/energy. It is not a product of the universe. You can’t prove it or derive it. It just exists. Without it, again it’s just you opinion versus mine.”
Tune in next time for the final chapter of this debate to see to see whether or not our atheist will come to see what shaky ground his worldview is based on.
August 12, 2015
What follows is an actual conversation I had with an atheist friend. While my friend’s name has been changed and some details have been modified, the conversation presented below faithfully represents the arguments and points of reason that were made during the course of this exchange.
The conversation began with my friend Hal’s typical lambasting of Christians and Christianity but soon became more substantial as it transitioned to a very illustrative contrast between the atheistic view of morality versus that of Christianity.
Hal: “Hey John. I’m glad you could make it because I have something I really want to show you.”
Me: “Cool, Hal. Whatcha got?”
At that, Hal reached into his leather satchel and handed me a rather wrinkled sheet of paper. At the top of the sheet was the title: “Reasons why Atheism is TERRIBLE and unhealthy for our children and living things!” Below the title was a list of bullet points disparaging atheism:
- Atheism makes you stupid, ignorant & blind.
- Atheism is a disease that needs to be treated.
- Atheists are mentally ill, that’s why they have no faith.
- Atheism making you agree with Stalin, Mao & other terrible mass murder leaders.
- Atheists try to convert people over internet because they feel “safer” behind closet.
- Atheists do not really exist, they just pretend that they don’t believe in God and argue with religious people.
Hal: “I have always wondered why people have a problem with non-believers but now I know the answer. The most interesting point here is that the author or authors say that nobody can really be a non-believer. Why bother fighting a battle that’s already been won? On another note, it’s so gratifying to know there are people who know me better than I know myself. The very idea they can peer into my brain is positively God-like. I am blessed to be surrounded by so many mini-Gods.”
Me: “I hope you’re not implying that this represents mainstream theistic thought. Do you even know who wrote this? It could have been an atheist just trying to make Christians look bad.”
Hal: “No, I don’t John, but there sure are a lot of folks out there who subscribe to parts of this list. Just two weeks ago I was told that I believe in God whether or not I know it! You should realize that every one of you Christians are atheists whether you know it or not. I suspect you are unrepentant atheists when it comes to Thor, Zeus, Jupiter, and a thousand other gods worshipped around the world. Why? Because there is no evidence for them. So I’m just skeptical of one more God than you.”
Me: “Your reasoning is confused here, Hal. The Christian theistic God is not just another god in a collection of pagan deities that extend from the naturalistic properties of the universe. The Christian God created the universe and the properties that in turn have been deified by pagans. God is not derived from the universe but instead the universe derives from Him.”
Hal: “Look, I don’t disbelieve in God, per se, it just depends on how God is defined. If God is everything that exists, count me a believer. If God is love, I’m a believer. If God is an unviable mind who spies on every thought in my head and will condemn me to hell if I have the audacity to question His existence, then I find no evidence to support that. Indeed, if that God were to exist, I certainly wouldn’t be praising Him. In fact, I would call Him a sociopathic voyeur with a narcissistic personality disorder who is in some serious need for intensive therapy in a residential treatment facility. And if God is all powerful and all good, He deserves our condemnation for turning a blind eye to suffering, disease, natural disasters and so on.”
Me: “Wow! Have you been reading Richard Dawkins again? You seem to imply that the presence of evil/suffering negates the possibility of a theistic God of the Bible. You know that argument has been pretty much abandoned by virtually all philosophers, atheistic ones included right? They have correctly concluded that our comprehension is so limited in time and scope that we can’t argue that some present evil does not bring about a greater good later beyond our current ability to perceive it. And of course as I have told you before, you can’t say something is either good or evil without a transcendent objective standard to judge the events by.”
Hal: “Wait a minute! Some actions or non-actions may be judged wrong whether they bring about a later greater good or not, no? Would you like to argue that torturing random children to death for pleasure is not evil?
To find out how I respond to this challenge, tune in for part 2 of my conversation with an atheist.
April 30, 2015
The violence and mayhem on display in Baltimore this week illustrate the unmistakable failure of big government liberalism. It’s a scene that has played out in other areas of the country in cities where the liberal establishment is deeply entrenched.
The derangement and dysfunction we are witnessing bring into full relief the fact that liberalism is bankrupt and incapable of providing citizens with fruitful, productive, and meaningful lives. Everywhere liberalism has full rein, we see fractured families, high unemployment, rampant crime, and hopelessness.
Liberal politicians and their cronies attach themselves to the misery like leeches, bleeding the citizens of hope and opportunity. They perpetuate a cycle of misery by robbing people of their initiative and belief in their own ability to find happiness while they enrich themselves off the public largess. They cynically portray themselves as the champions of the common man while they ensnare him in a web of deceitful rhetoric and stifling bureaucracy.
Yet, the cycle of degradation continues to turn unabated. With the failure of liberalism so apparent, why does it continue to spread and bring increasing societal decay?
Those of you reading who are Christians, take a good look in the mirror. As Pogo said, “We have met the enemy and he is us”. Christians have abdicated their responsibility to be the “salt and light” in our culture that Jesus called us to be.
As Christians, we have been charged to engage and influence the culture for the Kingdom. We are directed to have a solid understanding of our theology and be able to give good reasons and evidence for what we believe. Christians are to follow the example of Jesus and challenge the political authorities (the Pharisees in Jesus’ day) on actions they may be taking in conflict with the Christian worldview.
That’s not how we see Christians acting today and I believe it starts with the Church. Unfortunately, the Church is not influencing the culture for the Kingdom. Instead, the Church is conforming to the culture. Instead of standing for Biblical truth, the Church is “going along to get along”.
I’m sorry if I offend some of your sensibilities, but homosexual marriage is and will forever be destructive to society. Ancient Greeks appear to have understood this. Though their culture embraced homosexual behavior, the Greeks were against homosexual marriage. They clearly believed it was bad for their society. (Thanks to Justice Scalia for that tidbit.)
However, the Presbyterian Church officially endorses it despite the Bible clearly calling the behavior an abomination. The Episcopal Church has consecrated openly gay bishops. Certain Evangelical churches are getting a bit wobbly on this too.
We see many of the biggest and richest Christian churches today peddling a “prosperity gospel” that is preoccupied with how individual followers can gain whatever material wealth they desire. All they have to do is claim it. Speaking truth to power, influencing the culture for the Kingdom – fahgetaboutit! Instead, say a prayer, make a tithe, and the truck of your dreams is yours! This is paganism not Christianity.
The Christian Church remains terrified of science despite the fact that so much of what we are learning about creation supports the Biblical account. On one hand, churches are aligning theology with the Darwinian account of how life began to conform to secular culture. On the other, we have the young earthers who essentially reject any evidence that does not support a six thousand year old earth and in turn alienate the Christian worldview from most thinking men and women.
The teaching we get from most churches today is shallow and superficial and it’s directly affecting our children. We are not equipping and preparing them for the attacks they will encounter when they leave the home and go off to college. There’s ample statistics that show about seventy-five percent of them will leave the faith because they can’t stand up to the secular onslaught. Churches are spending all of their effort telling kids what to believe, but are not giving them a clue as to why they should believe it or how to defend it.
Is it any wonder why Christianity is losing so many followers? Is it any wonder why its influence is waning so rapidly? Christians have become so self-centered and ignorant of Biblical truth that they are simply not equipped to engage the secular culture. It doesn’t have to be this way.
No other worldview has the wealth of corroborating physical evidence that Christianity has. The universe had a beginning like the Bible says. The universe is expanding like the Bible says. The universe is unbelievably fine tuned for life as the Bible says. All biological life is based on information and we know this kind information only comes from a mind, an unbelievably powerful mind.
The Bible’s veracity is well supported by archeological evidence and extra-biblical writers and historians. Most Biblical scholars agree that what is written in the Bible today accurately reflects what the scriptural authors originally wrote.
Wherever and whenever Christians show up and fight, we win. We have the all the tools to win the country back to the values and principles it was founded on. We just have to get engaged.
So you have money issues or health issues or relationship issues. Get over it. Your reward is not in this life. Your engagement in the cultural battle must be.
February 13, 2015
So who’s birthday did you celebrate last Thursday? Most people know that February 12th is the birthday of our sixteenth president, Abraham Lincoln. He was also our first Republican president but liberals please keep reading.
A lot of people however do not realize that February 12th is also the birthday of another maybe even more influential person in history. Charles Darwin, father of the “theory” of evolution was also born on that day. In fact Lincoln and Darwin don’t just share the same birthday, they were both born on the same day in 1809.
Historians point out that there were a number of similarities these two men shared besides just being born on the same day. For instance, they both lost their mothers when they were young boys, Darwin when he was eight and Lincoln when he was nine.
In adulthood, they both lost young children, Lincoln a son of three and Darwin a daughter at the age of ten.
Neither man achieved any level of success or notoriety until their late forties. Lincoln gained national attention from his debates with Stephen Douglas in 1858 and a year later Darwin became one of the most famous scientists in history when his opus “On the Origin of Species” was published.
While there are parallels in their lives, the lasting contributions these two men made to human history stand in stark contrast.
Abraham Lincoln, of course, held together the union of the United States, fractured over the issue of slavery (though there were other issues like states rights, tariffs, and trade). Lincoln took this nation to war against itself to preserve the foundational principles enshrined in our Declaration of Independence:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Another interesting parallel between the two men is that Darwin like Lincoln was a staunch proponent of the abolition of slavery. Darwin felt it was a great curse on humanity.
What’s ironic however is that the very theory Darwin developed lends justification to the slavery he so abhorred. While Lincoln’s worldview saw that all men were of equal value and constituted with a divine spark, Darwin’s theory reduced man to just another animal living by survival of the fittest.
Darwin’s theory eliminated the need for a Creator and in turn by necessity disposes with natural rights, the rights our civil society is based on. Therefore, why treat your fellow man better than a horse or some other beast of burden? If you are the stronger or smarter or more powerful, in Darwin’s strictly materialistic world, dominating whoever you can to get what you want is not only possible but for the increasing viability of the species, desired.
I always found it interesting that Karl Marx was so interested in Darwin’s theory. He and Darwin were quite the pen pals. Getting rid of God the Creator and reducing the intrinsic value of man to no more than that of a deer or Pacific kelp makes it much easier on the conscience to “manage” the proletariat.
The eugenics movement in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in this country thoroughly embraced the Darwinian model and was seen as the way to preserve and improve the groups already dominating society. Oh yes, survival of the fittest was all the rage in this country before Hitler even put on his first boot.
Over thirty states in the early twentieth century passed sterilization laws to prevent “inferiors” from reproducing. Euthanasia on a wide scale was contemplated though fortunately never implemented.
Of course the aforementioned Hitler later used race superiority and survival of the fittest to fuel and justify the most heinous chapter in human history. And later, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot did their best to keep the string going. And there will be others if we allow it.
The Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky wrote in his novel “The Brothers Karamazov” that if God did not exist, everything is permitted. There is some dispute that Dostoyevsky really wrote this, but whether he did or not, it is absolutely true. Without God, there is no grounding of morality. Morality becomes what we make of it. Therefore, he who has the power makes the rules, you know, survival of the fittest.
Darwin’s theory is on the verge of collapsing under the weight of wide ranging scientific evidence to the contrary. However, it remains the lifeblood of world politics. It’s the gift that keeps on giving for tyrants.
Darwinism will eventually make its way to the ash heap of history and a better day will reign. Until then, the battle will rage.
December 26, 2014
The drive to the 2016 elections is now beginning and likely candidates are starting to come into focus. Naturally, Hillary Clinton will be running again for the Democratic nomination. I mean she is entitled to it, right? What that woman has had to go through and she’s so eminently qualified too.
Of course, we have to get another Bush in play for the Republicans in 2016. It will be eight years since the last one, so we’re right on schedule. It’s going to be utterly fascinating to watch Jeb attempt to win primaries by alienating the conservative base. Boy, that’s smart. Most candidates would wait to get elected before throwing their most active party members under the bus.
If you don’t like those choices though, take heart there may be another alternative. In a recent announcement, Zoltan Istvan has announced he is in the early stages of preparing a campaign to run for president in 2016. What party is Mr. Istvan going to represent – Libertarian, Communist, Green, Bull Moose maybe? No, no, nothing so pedestrian. Mr. Istvan will be running on the Transhumanist Party ticket. Haven’t heard of the Transhumanist Party? Well, keep reading.
The Transhumanist movement consists of futurists, life extensionists, technologists, and others who appreciate science and are willing to use technology to fundamentally change society and the individuals of which it is comprised. They have this transformation thing all over Obama.
Istvan’s platform sounds noble if a little farfetched:
- Provide science all the resources they need to overcome human death and aging.
- Create a cultural mindset that will essentially look to science to solve all our pressing issues.
- Build firewalls and safeguards that would protect society from possible technological abuses during the transition to the Transhumanist utopia.
A lot of what Istvan projects I really don’t have much of a problem with. For instance, bionic hearts will improve dramatically and eliminate the need for transplants. Tremendous progress will be made with prosthetic limbs and possibly allow for entire exoskeletons that would allow paralyzed individuals the ability to walk and move. Our smart phones will become genius phones. These kinds of developments are essentially extrapolations of the path we are on and are beneficial for all. More funding and emphasis on research and development on these kinds of solutions I believe is well served.
However, there are other aspects of the Transhumanist movement that are unsettling and present some profound ethical dilemmas. For instance, Transhumanists believe that in the near future we will be able to upload a human mind into a computer. These “mind clones” would be capable of doing what its biological source can do such as reading, watching videos, conversing, etc. What kind of rights would these clones have? What happens to it when the human source for the mind clone dies? No one knows.
Our military is investing heavily in various aspects of this kind of revolutionary technology. DARPA is working on a wide variety of applications that will enable our soldiers to maintain peak abilities and recover more quickly and fully from injuries suffered in battle. Multiple technologies are under development that will allow soldiers to more effectively interface with advanced, complex systems. This research could have dramatic implications for longevity and disease immunity for our population as a whole.
While these developments appear to hold great promise for improving the human condition, DARPA is involved in other areas of research that in my opinion can be highly problematic. DARPA has a BioDesign program that is focused on developing new life forms. Why use less than optimized humans when you can synthesize the perfect fighting organism? Theoretically, you could develop an organism with the eyesight of an eagle, the ability to run like a cheetah, the strength of a gorilla all with human intelligence. It could have rapid healing capability. It could be able to go many days without food or water. It could have no fear. You know, better soldiering through chemistry.
These organisms would be superior to us in many ways. What if they decided they want to take over and run things? Don’t worry; DARPA plans to include a kill switch with every model.
Seriously though, what rights would such an organism have? What happens to the idea of unalienable rights when such organisms exist? Nobody knows.
As a Christian, I believe the Bible when it says Jesus will return one day to judge the world. I’ve often wondered if there could be a triggering event that would have God saying, “OK, that’s enough. Time for judgment.” If you think about it, none of our technological developments since history began have threatened to alter anything God has made. Not even learning to split heavy atoms or fuse light ones to create energy has effected His material world. However, messing with the pinnacle of God’s creation, that be us, He may not allow. Start contaminating the foundation for what makes humans human, well that may be the final straw. I would urge you non-Christians to take heed.
December 4, 2014
Tis the season and this time of year, most families like to get together and spend time reuniting and celebrating. In today’s world many families are scattered about the country and Christmas may be the only time of the year when family members can actually be together and catch up on what the last year has been like and what has been going on in their lives.
And your family may be like many today in that it is a mixed family. No, I don’t mean that you are of mixed races (certainly nothing wrong with that). What I’m getting at is that you may be a family of mixed worldviews. Some in your family view the world through the lens of Christian understanding and values while others may subscribe to a materialist or atheistic explanation for creation.
Now everybody gets along fine provided the conversation stays in the realm of the college football playoffs, the latest zany pet video on YouTube, or the great deal mom got on the Christmas ham. Whatever you do though, do not let the conversation stray into such inconsequential questions like was Jesus a real person or is the universe the result of an intelligent agent or is there a purpose to life? Nothing can curdle the eggnog faster than the vitriol that steams up between Christians and atheists when stepping on one of these intellectual land mines.
Generally, I think Christians do not fare well when the conversation breaks through the unsaid but understood boundaries preventing talk about topics that can be so divisive. Honestly, I find atheists better prepared to evangelize for their worldview than Christians.
Our Bible makes clear that we each have an obligation to defend our faith but most Christians when pressed about what we believe can do little more than rattle off a few verses. Nothing wrong with having some scripture memorized but it is simply not enough if we are going to be the effective ambassadors we are called to be.
It is much more likely that an atheistic cousin will take the offensive and challenge our beliefs than for us to initiate a dialog about how our faith may have strengthened us during a difficult time. And today atheists are seizing on the presence of evil and suffering in the world to dismiss the validity of Christian belief.
They cite examples of the terrible, seemingly senseless violence perpetrated on innocent children and proclaim the conclusion that the existence of God and evil and suffering are incompatible and since there is evil and suffering in the world, the Christian God cannot exist.
If you were confronted with this challenge, how would you respond? Could you respond? The existence of evil and suffering in the world is a very difficult question and does not lend itself to a quick and easy answer that will send your cousin scurrying back to the punch bowl. However, there is a way to diffuse the attack and hopefully, set the stage for a substantive dialog.
Atheists very freely make judgments about events or actions people take and describe them as wrong or evil or immoral. They see a child being abused and call it awful. They see racial discrimination and call it unjust. They see a corporate tycoon rip off his investors and call it deceitful. Well, do atheists have a right to make such value judgments? Well no, they don’t.
If you believe that the material universe is all that exists, if everything is nothing more than molecules in motion, you can’t say something is right or wrong, moral or immoral. The atheist can say they don’t like it or that it makes them unhappy or they wish this wouldn’t happen, but they cannot say that anything is right or wrong. Why?
In atheism, any moral judgment has to be made within the confines of a closed material universe. Nothing exists beyond the molecules and physics that the universe consists of. The material and physical laws of this universe simply do not supply any basis for making moral judgments.
Therefore they have no objective standard to judge morality or goodness against. For something to be truly right or wrong, there must be an objective moral standard against which to compare the events. In an atheistic worldview, there is no objective standard. Therefore, everything is simply a matter of opinion.
In the Christian worldview however, we do have a standard. We can objectively affirm something is good or bad, moral or immoral. Our standard is the perfect moral nature of a transcendent God, a God that exists outside of space and time and impresses this standard on each of us. We all have a sense of right and wrong built into our nature, both Christians and atheists.
So I’m not saying that atheists can’t be moral or know when something is good or unjust. They most certainly can. What I’m saying is that they cannot justify their morality since it is not grounded in anything. Their judgments of morality can only be opinion because they deny the transcendent basis for morality.
Therefore, if you have an atheist throw some moralistic challenge at your faith this holiday season just tell them they are not entitled to make such a judgment because their beliefs are not grounded in objective morality. It will be good for hours of fun!
November 19, 2014
With the release of the feature film “The Theory of Everything”, the famous cosmologist Steven Hawking is back in the public eye. The movie chronicles his early life, his marriage to Jane Wilde, and his devastating battle with ALS resulting in his brilliant mind becoming increasingly isolated from physicality. It is truly a fascinating story.
Hawking now retired from Cambridge has advanced our understanding of the universe in many ways, most notably in the physics of black holes and he is considered the most prominent scientist of our time. He may best be known though as the author of the least read best seller of all time, “A Brief History Of Time”.
When last we saw Hawking in mainstream media, he was featured in the premier episode of the Discovery Channel series “Curiosity” which debuted a few years ago. Curiosity was intended to provide popularized and entertaining answers to the big questions science is exploring about reality, much like the recent resurrection of Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos”. The first episode entitled “Did God Create The Universe” takes on the biggest question of all (used to be found here: http://vimeo.com/55419263).
And who would be better than Stephen Hawking for such a presentation? He is so ravaged physically that he can only move his eyes and communicates through a specially designed optical computer system through which he can speak with an artificial voice. His condition adds strangeness to the presentation that I’m sure enhances the show’s appeal to the general audience.
The bulk of the 42 minute episode was spent switching back and forth between stunning graphics of galaxies, super novas, and nebulae and Dr. Hawking’s creepy, twitching eyes all the while pointing out how science has dispelled all of religion’s mythology about creation.
I was beginning to wonder if the show would ever provide its answer to the creation of universe question when finally, with just a few minutes left, Hawking bestows his insight on us – God could not have created the universe since time did not come into being until the Big Bang. Huh? That’s it? I could have watched two episodes of “Duck Dynasty” in the time I wasted getting to this vacant conclusion.
Hawking provides no argument for why God has to exist in universal time. There was no justification for it. He just floats it out there. It’s purpose seems to be to provide an easy and simple answer atheists can use to squash their Christian acquaintances at the backyard barbeque – “Hawking says God must exist in universal time and since time was created at the Big Bang, God couldn’t have been the cause. Ha! Now, pass the potato salad!”
Well, let’s take a look at Hawking’s position. Scientists all agree that time, space, and matter/energy came into being at the Big Bang. Nobody disputes this. I do find it ironic that while the show hammers the point of how science has disproved the mythologies of the past, they somehow neglect to tell us that Genesis accurately described all along how the universe had a beginning a finite time ago. Science for many years clung to a view that the universe was eternal until the evidence dragged atheistic scientists kicking and screaming into agreement with the Bible, but please forgive me for I digress.
So everyone agrees that the universe – time, space, matter/energy, and the laws of physics came into being in one fantastic creation event. Hawking says it can’t be God, but it could be particles suddenly appearing in energy level variations in a quantum vacuum. What? Did I miss something here? Didn’t we just agree that time, space and matter/energy came into existence at the Big Bang and therefore prior to the Big Bang nothing existed? This includes quantum vacuums and energy level variations that are constituents of this physical universe. So how can the universe essentially create itself prior to its own existence? I guess the show just sort of left that out. Too complicated for the low brow masses perhaps?
Christian apologists use the Kalam Cosmological argument to show the necessity of a first cause that is timeless, spaceless, and immaterial (not to mention highly intelligent, highly powerful, and purposeful). The argument can be articulated as follows:
- Everything that begins to exist has a cause
- The universe began to exist
- Therefore the universe has a cause.
Note statement one, everything that begins to exist has a cause. The word begins is the key one. The universe had a beginning. Our understanding of the Creator is that He is eternal with no beginning. And again, to create time, space, and matter/energy the cause had to be none of these, i.e., timeless, spaceless, and immaterial. The show clearly fails in providing a cogent answer to the question it poses. And Hawking? Well, I think Einstein said it best, “The man of science makes a poor philosopher”. Looks like Albert got that right too.