Friday, October 29, 2010

Apologetics 315- New Look, Same Great Resource

Brian Auten over at Apologetics 315 has given his blog a makeover that you can checkout here.

For those who are not familiar with the resource, Apologetics 315 is your one-stop for the latest, most up-to-date apologetics materials.

Some of the features offered are as follows:
I encourage our readers to follow Apologetics 315 and spread the word! This is an outstanding resource for all those seeking to find and/or defend truth!

Courage and Godspeed,

Monday, October 25, 2010

Audio: Does God Exist? by Dr. Frank Turek

On October 10th, 2010, Dr. Frank Turek spoke at Faith Christian Fellowship on the topic of, "Does God Exist?" Here is the audio from that event. In this particular audio, Dr. Turek focuses mainly on the cosmological argument for God's existence.

You can find it here.

For more resources featuring Dr. Turek, see here.


Courage and Godspeed,

A Quote to Ponder from C.S. Lewis

"I have come to the conclusion that if you cannot translate your own thoughts into uneducated language, then your thoughts are confused. Power to translate is the test of having really understood your own meaning."

So basically, if you cannot communicate your thoughts to the average person on the street, it's most likely because you don't fully understand them yourself!

Courage and Godspeed,


Monday, October 18, 2010

SCIENCE IS DEAD!...without philosophy

On the first page in Chapter one of Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow's newest book, The Grand Design, the following is stated regarding questions about the origin of the universe:

"Traditionally these are questions for philosophy, but philosophy is dead. Philosophy has not kept up with modern developments in science, particularly physics. Scientists have become the bearers of the torch of discovery in our quest for knowledge."

This statement reflects the attitude among many toward philosophy. I personally have run across this type of "Scientific Snobbery" in conversation and interactions with skeptics.

Statements such as

"I'd rather ask a physicist than a philosopher any day"


"Philosophers are full of baloney and just like to hear themselves talk; I'll take a quantum physicist's word over theirs any day. "

are not entirely uncommon in the blogosphere or in the local newspaper.

Within these statements, such as the one made in Hawking's new book, exists an obvious misunderstanding that needs to be addressed. Simply put, science is built on philosophy. Indeed, as authors Dr. Norman Geisler and Dr. Frank Turek point out, science is a slave to philosophy. Why? Because:

Science cannot be done without philosophy.
Philosophical assumptions are utilized in the search for causes, and, therefore, cannot be the result of them. For example, scientists assume (by faith) that reason and the scientific method allow us to accurately understand the world around us. That cannot be prove by science itself. You can't prove the tools of science-the laws of logic, the Law of Causality, the Principle of Uniformity, of the reliability of observation-by running some kind of experiment. You have to assume those things are true in order to do the experiment! So science is built on philosophy. Unfortunately, many so-called scientists are very poor philosophers. [1]

Indeed. Even the statement, "Science is the only source of objective truth" is not itself a scientific truth, but it claims to be true! Therefore, the statement is self-defeating.

Science is an extremely valuable tool and it's contributions to mankind have been great. But let us not be deceived- science owes it's life to philosophy.

Courage and Godspeed,


1. Dr. Norman Geisler and Dr. Frank Turek, I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, p. 127-128.
Note: Geisler and Turek offer 2 other ways that science is built on philosophy in their book.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Food for Thought: Harvard University's 1650 Charter

Harvard's 1650 Charter states:

Let every Student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the maine end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life (John 17:3) and therefore to lay Christ in the bottome, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and Learning. And seeing the Lord only giveth wisdome, Let every one seriously set himself by prayer in secret to seeke it of him (Prov. 2:3). [1]

Courage and Godspeed,


1. As quoted by Dr. Norman Geisler and Dr. Frank Turek in I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, p. 205- Original spelling and Scripture references retained

Monday, October 11, 2010

Common Objection #12- "Where did Cain Get His Wife?"

To my surprise, my wife recently heard of a student who's college philosophy professor presented the objection "Where did Cain get his wife?" as if it were a huge problem for the Bible believing Christian. Honestly, I thought this objection was resting silently in the dust bin of "lame objections," however, I was clearly mistaken.

At any rate, here is a great article by Dr. Hugh Ross addressing the question entitled Finding a Wife for Cain.


For answers to other common objections, see here.

Courage and Godspeed,

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Thank You Faith Christian Fellowship and Dr. Turek

Dr. Turek's speaking engagement yesterday at Faith Christian Fellowship was a smash success! With hard-hitting evidence, clever illustrations, and witty humor, Dr. Turek presented compelling evidence that truth exists, God exists, miracles are possible, and that the New Testament is historically reliable.

Many thanks to all of you who made Dr. Turek's visit to FCF possible. Special thanks goes to Dr. Turek for making the trip and enouraging each of us to "always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you" [1 Peter 3:15, NASB].

I know that numerous people were interested in more resources from Dr. Turek. Here are some from his website,
Finally, for those of you who wanted a copy of Dr. Turek's book I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist and couldn't afford it, please contact me at and I'll be sure that you get your own book, free of charge.

Again, thank you to Dr. Frank Turek and all who made his visit to Faith Christian Fellowship possible.

Courage and Godspeed,

Note: As soon as Dr. Turek's messages are ready, I'll be sure to post them here!

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Book Review- Against All Gods: What's Right and Wrong about the New Atheism by Phillip E. Johnson and John Mark Reynolds

Phillip E. Johnson and John Mark Reynolds have written a little gem of book in Against All Gods: What's Right and Wrong about the New Atheism.

For readers interested in the book's arrangement, Johnson has written the introduction, the epilogue and the first five chapters; while Reynolds has written chapters six through eight.

Johnson and Reynolds have succeeded in addressing the arguments from the New Atheism with a fresh, sensible approach that is difficult to argue with.

As Johnson explains:

"Our attitude toward the surge of atheism is that it opens up an opportunity for university discussions in and out of the classroom that can make teaching more exciting for the instructor and for the students. With that in mind, our intention is not to attack the atheists, but to explore the case they are making, in the hope of encouraging classroom instructors to put the arguments for atheism on the table for academic consideration...our position in this book is that the arguments for atheism should be taken seriously and considered both respectfully and critically." [p. 8-9]

The result is an engaging, surprisingly short book (116 p.) that is packed full with informative, well thought out argument and challenges to the New Atheist movement.

Chapter 1- Introducing the New Atheists

In this chapter, Phillip Johnson, most likely best known for his book Darwin on Trial, provides the reader with a brief history of the rise of the New Atheism and highlights some differences in their approach. Topics covered include the framing of the so-called "God vs. science" debate, why the new atheists are a threat to science, and the false connection between scientific advancement and naturalism.

Chapter 2- Harvard's Aborted Requirement in Reason and Faith

Much of the focus in this chapter is on the work of the passionate Darwinist Steven Pinker, Harvard psychologist and popular author. Building upon a piece written by Pinker in the Harvard Crimson in October of 2006, Johnson persuasively argues that faith is necessary for all people, including the scientist.

Johnson writes:

"If I were planning a course in reason and faith, the first thing I would want my students to understand is that it is wrong to assume that some people (e.g., the ones you find in church) rely on faith, whereas other people (e.g., the ones you would find in a laboratory) rely solely on reason. It would be much closer to the truth to say that everybody relies on faith and everybody reasons." [p. 34]

Johnson further builds upon this point using illustrations from laboratory science and past political conflicts.

Chapter 3- Earth's Distinction

Professor Johnson begins this chapter discussing science's search for extra-terrestrial life through its much talk about SETI project and concludes that:

"there is no evidence that intelligent life, superior to us or not, exists anywhere but on our own planet." [p. 42]

With this in mind, the reader is challenged with the fact that, with the current evidence we have, only intelligent life, and science, exist on Earth. Johnson then precedes to indirectly address the question, "What is the best explanation of these facts?" Building upon the work of astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez and philosopher Jay Richards in their book Privileged Planet: How Our Planet is Designed for Discovery, he argues that sufficient evidence exists to challenge the idea that our Earth is merely a product of chance.

The chapter is closed with numerous suggested questions for college students and their professors to discuss regarding the uniqueness of planet Earth.

Chapter 4- The Darwinian Worldview

This reviewer found this chapter to be extremely thought-provoking, as Johnson explains the kind of "pre-suppositional" approach used by Darwinists to teach their epistemology.

"The one subject to which the corrosive Darwinian method is never applied is Darwinism itself, which is too cherished to be subjected to such undignified investigation. It must be a rock of certainty, while everything else is dissolved into shifting sand by the acid of reductionism. In consequence, the possibility that Darwinism itself is a product of brain chemistry rather than reason is never mentioned..." [p. 55-56]

Thus, Darwinism, as Dawkins contends, is the only lens in which everything, including biology itself makes sense.

Those who are familiar with Professor Phillip Johnson's work on Darwinism will get nothing much new here, but this reviewer found his ever present bold denouncement of dogmatic naturalism to be refreshing, especially when one considers the many members of the scientific establishment that are to timid to question the current paradigm.

Chapter 5- The God Hypothesis in Physics

In this chapter, Victor Stenger's book God: The Failed Hypothesis: How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist is given special attention.

Johnson effectively demonstrates that Stenger merely succeeds in rigging the game before it is played. This reviewer found these comments especially thought-provoking and relevant en light of the release of Stephen Hawking's newest book, The Grand Design:

"If the scientist is as respected as Stephen Hawking, publication ever in a popular book will suffice to refute any suggestion that the evidence of science supports the existence of God. Readers have probably noticed by now that Stenger's approach to the arguments for and against theism is asymmetrical. Theists are expected to produce proof, including proof that no naturalistic solution to the problem of creation is possible. Atheists need only to publish suggestions. Wildly speculative entities like undetectable, alternative universes are perfectly acceptable if they are advanced to refute theism. When atheists are allowed to enforce one-sided rules like that, the argument is effectively over before it has begun. We might say that Stenger's universe is fine-tuned for atheism." [p. 66-67]

Chapter 6- The Obstacle of Old Books

As I read the chapters presented by Professor Johnson in this book, I felt as though I was being led along a journey that recapped the rise of New Atheism and the state of the debate today.

However, I must admit that this reader feels that John Mark Reynolds took this work to another level. Not only is Reynolds' writing witty and powerful, but he seems to possess the uncanny ability to cut to the heart of whatever matter he is addressing while simultaneously educating the reader.

In this chapter, Reynolds intelligently points out, from an academic point of view, that while attacks on the Bible by atheists such as Richard Dawkins are not offensive, it does not help that Dawkins and others like him do not know how to read such books!

To this reviewers delight, after giving 4 reasons why the Bible deserves to be taken seriously, Reynolds presents a brief "mini-lesson" to the reader in biblical hermeneutics! Not only does the author explain the discipline and give helpful examples, but he also succeeds in writing one of the most mature and transparent responses to the often criticized narrative in the Bible of the conquest of Canaan by Joshua that this reader has ever come across. This response alone makes the book worth owning!

This chapter concludes with a challenge to skeptics to ask the right questions, with an opened-mind, when reading the Bible.

Chapter 7- A Wonderful Education

Reynolds continues in this chapter by demonstrating that historic Christianity has always valued education and that, contrary to popular rhetoric, it is modern skepticism that threatens ones desire to learn. The author's answer to this dilemma? A resurrection of wonder. Reynolds contends that it is wonder that "wants to believe that it may see what is actually true."

He writes:

"Belief combined with wonder allows for faith without foolish certainty. Faith is the best belief that retains what is hoped for within the bounds of best reason and experience. Education is the process of grounding our religious and cultural hopes in long discourse, reason and life experience. The educated religious person is a person of a reasonable and passionate faith. From the compromise between Socratic wonder and Christian theology came the traditional liberal arts curriculum of the English-speaking world in flagship institutions such as Oxford and Cambridge." [p. 89-90]

Chapter 8- Christianity and Beauty

In this final chapter, Reynolds takes issue with Christopher Hitchens' claim that everything religious is ultimately evil in some way. Instead of defending Christianity in the traditional manner, the author goes on the offensive contending that it is secularism, not Christianity, that in the end offers nothing of value to culture or progress.

He writes:

"The story of secularism is positive only when it has theism to criticize. It has shown no long-term capacity to govern and sustain a culture." [p. 109]

To his credit, Reynolds concedes that groups of people have used the guise of "religion" to do a great deal of harm; however, eventually it is Christian theism, not secularism, that finds itself at home with reason and meaning.

Further, Christians have a "better story to tell" than secularists:

"The basic story is this: the combination of Greek philosophy and Christianity produced Christendom, which has produced most of the great goods of our world. Christendom provides a home for both reason and meaning. It balances law and liberty. It makes love the central motive for human action and a reasonable God the end of that love. While Christians often fail, the basic ideas of Christendom keep pulling humanity back from the brink of utter tyranny or ruinous social chaos." [p. 103]


Against All Gods: What's Right and Wrong about the New Atheism was simply a treat to read. I especially recommend it to those who have found the arguments from the New Atheism persuasive. I believe if you read this book with an opened mind you will find that the Christianity attacked by the likes of Hitchens, Dawkins, Dennett, and Harris to be a child's Sunday School version. Reynolds and Johnson do well in presenting a mature look at the Christian Worldview that proves to be very compelling; or at least worth looking into!

Apologists will especially enjoy John Mark Reynolds' contributions to this text, as this reviewer believes that he succeeds in persuasively arguing for the legitimacy of the Christian Worldview and, in most cases, even manages to show it to be the superior.

Courage and Godspeed,

***Forthcoming Review- The Passionate Intellect by Alister McGrath