Einstein+Sex=God.

As a backslidden atheist, I was fascinated by a recent interview with Lee Strobel (The Case for Christ) and world famous philosophical atheist-turned-creationist, Anthony Flew (to watch, see LeeStrobel.com). After watching this 83-year-old Oxford professor, a fun apologetic equation popped into my mind that has proven effective with skeptics.

Plain and simple — top atheist, Anthony Flew, has changed his mind about God. He said that Albert Einstein was right when he felt that there must be intelligence behind the integrated complexities in the natural world. In simple English, that means that Einstein said that dead things like rocks, metal, plastic, light, and air are made up of such complicated systems that depend on each other to exist, that there must be some intelligent being that put them together. “Mr. E=MC2” said that.

Anthony Flew said that with the huge discoveries in biological science since Einstein’s day, its even more obvious there must be a God. Flew said, “If that is a sound argument, the integrated complexity of the organic world is just inordinately greater — all the creatures are complicated pieces of design. So an argument that is important about the physical world is immeasurably stronger when applied to the biological world.” In simple words, he was saying that if non-living things like rocks proved that God exists, then living things (like human beings and animals) with their much more complex and interdependent systems, make it a no-brainer that there must be an Intelligent Designer. “Mr. Ex-Top Atheist” said that!

Einstein and Flew’s point is very simple. Think of it like this. You’re in high school. Your science teacher tells you that for your final exam you can choose to either build a rock or a human being. Which would you choose? Of course, the rock would be much easier because a human being is much more complicated. If Einstein says that rocks are made of stuff so complicated that it proves there must be a God, then human beings make it even more obvious because they are much more complicated than rocks!

Try it yourself. Build a baby from scratch (no cheating with pre-manufactured humans). Baby building is very complex. You need an ovary, an egg, fallopian tubes, a uterus, a hormone called estrogen, an umbilical cord, a placenta, and countless other womanly things that all work hand in hand to make a baby. Not only that, you’ll also need the necessary information-packed sperm, and tubes to transport them to the egg. Each of these very delicate systems must work in perfect harmony to make a baby. And if it doesn’t happen successfully over and over again, the human race will disappear.

Could you build each one of these complex systems, time them to work together in perfect sync, and produce a brand new human in 9 months that will grow, think, walk, talk, sing, do the electric slide, play basketball, AND…be able to reproduce more humans with these same capabilities and complex systems? Could you do that?

Now think what the atheist is saying. He says that all this happened without a Creator. There was no “mind” behind creation. So imagine if I sucked the brain out of your head and then told you to build what we have just talked about. Could you do that? It’s obvious why the thinking atheist has to admit there must be a God.

So the next time you’re speaking with a skeptic, remember this little equation: Einstein + Sex = God. And use it the next time someone asks you for proof for a Creator.

(article used with thanks to http://www.bethinking.org)

God Does Not Believe in Atheists

The current virulent strain of evangelical atheism does a disservice to many of the arguments of traditional atheism. I am thinking here of the latest efforts by the new Apostles of Atheism, Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion), Sam Harris (Letter to a Christian Nation), and Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything). It certainly does not advance the atheist position to have a proponent like Dawkins rambling around the world arguing that if one raises a child to be “religious,” then one is basically raising them to be an axe murderer and/or a terrorist. Dawkins’ extremism alone has led renowned atheist Michael Ruse to confess that “The God Delusion makes me embarrassed to be an atheist.” (1)

This article summarizes the arguments of traditional or “classical” atheism-i.e., atheism as it has been presented since the eighteenth-century Enlightenment. The articulation of these arguments also serves to cover the essential arguments of the new Apostles of Atheism, without the need for dealing with their hysteria from which even other atheists such as Ruse are beginning to distance themselves. Next, each argument is separately analyzed and found to be wanting in evidence and in logic. Finally, since one has hardly proved enough by ending at the existence of God if God has chosen to be silent, the importance of the case for God’s specific entrance into the human situation is put forth.

My vocation is one of a trial lawyer. The assertions of atheism-as well as the assertions that God is there and has not been silent-will, therefore, be implicitly tested by legal canons of evidence employed in law courts for almost a millennia as a means for arbitrating competing factual claims.

We only note in passing that God does not believe in atheists because, as pointed out by trial lawyer John Warwick Montgomery, in the end there really are no atheists and never have been in the history of the world. In fact, everybody has what Paul Tillich called an “ultimate concern,” something that gets first place in one’s life when the chips are down. That “ultimate concern” is that person’s religion, regardless of whether they formally consider themselves to be an atheist. More importantly, that ultimate concern is their god-whether it be their intellect and ability to reason logically, a girlfriend, a Ph.D., buffed abs, an Academy Award, a toy poodle, or season tickets to Green Bay Packers games.

The Traditional Arguments of Classical Atheism

The main objections of classical atheism are as follows:

Belief in God is psychologically explainable as part of a regressive and infantile cultural stage.
Belief in God has disastrous social implications.
Belief in God has harmed the advancement of science and the findings of modern science contradict any such belief.
Belief in God is illogical.

These four categories of argument have been carefully analyzed, and repeatedly and thoroughly refuted by serious Christian apologists for the past two millennia. One would think (as far as one can surmise from the cloistered world of contemporary evangelical atheism of the Dawkins-Adams-Hitchens variety), however, that new evidence has been discovered that refutes theism and, more specifically, that refutes the central claims of historical Christianity. This is simply not so.

Let me also preface my comments to each of these four arguments by confessing that I would rather deal any day of the week with a serious atheist than with a religious liberal of the Christian species-type. Those who technically and officially stand within the House of Salvation, and yet then gladly (and utterly irrationally) stand in judgment and criticism of the Word inscripturated and the Word Incarnate, are infinitely more dangerous to the future of the Christian faith than all the Dawkins-Adams-Hitchens the outside world will ever produce.

Also note that none of the traditional arguments of atheism deal head on with the actual primary source evidence for the central claims of Christianity-namely that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself. Why is this? The answer is simple: The sheer factual strength of the historical case for the trustworthiness of the biblical authors and the claims of its central figure Jesus Christ (both of which are subjects that have been analyzed by trial lawyers for over 400 years) are so impressive and deep that an informed atheist is wise not to trod there.

The four arguments and refutations that follow are only introductory in nature. The endnotes will lead one to greater depth and further study.

ARGUMENTS AND REFUTATIONSBelief in God is psychologically explainable

While Dawkins argues this point loud and clear in The God Delusion, this contention has been presented repeatedly since the psychoanalytic revolution began in the nineteenth century and was also echoed in the reigning philosophical circles of that time. Freud and Nietzsche certainly articulated the position that belief in God the Father is nothing more, and nothing less, than wish projection. It is the infantile groping of a repressed psyche to turn into reality that which it desperately wants to be true-namely, that one has an all-loving, all-wise, all-benevolent Father way up there. It is akin to belief in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, and it is a belief that only intellectual and cultural maturity can show to be mere fiction.

This psychological pull toward the need for a father figure and for some type of order that is imposed on a random universe is-per classical atheism-eminently understandable, but also eminently explainable. In short, the argument says that the “God Wish” goes back to the domain of primitive man. As man progresses psychologically and socially, belief in God has been shown to be largely irrelevant and only of persuasive interest to the uneducated classes who then indoctrinate their children in order to prevent intellectual and social progress from occurring.

Refutation

This argument is invalid on several grounds.

First, belief in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy is a natural condition in the early years where the lines between fantasy and reality are necessarily blurred. Many people, in fact, mature to a belief in God (witness the recent controversial conversion to theism of renowned British atheist Anthony Flew). This argument simply fails to explain why so many come to a belief in God, and specifically a belief in the God of Christianity, late in life and after obtaining a robust university education. Clearly not all these people have simply retreated to infantile regressive behavior by becoming theists or Christians. Many, for example, would see the conversion of an adult C. S. Lewis-as he himself did-as a progression into maturity rather than a regression into an infantile world of denial. (2)

This argument also ignores some basic facts derived from the biblical data in support of Christian theism. The Bible is hardly a book full of teachings that are equivalent to the vocational teachings of a wet nurse. From “turn the other cheek” to “give your enemy your coat,” from “feed the poor” to the doctrine of hell as a place for those not perfectly holy and for those failing to perfectly follow the Law, this is decidedly not the religious pablum that naïve primitive man would conjure up over a hot fire, a juicy femur head, and a pot of gruel. An infantile position would be one that, for example, failed to deal with the reality of evil and instead focused only on man’s glory and greatness, or one that ignored man’s essential inability to follow even his own moral standards. In Christian intellectual history, one finds serious reflection on issues of man’s nature and the nature of God, the reality of sin and the possibility of salvation, the nature of history, and the existence of real ethics. Profound insights on these topics have hardly come from what might be called the “infantile or regressive” impulses of such men as Augustine of Hippo, Thomas Aquinas, Blaise Pascal, John Henry Newman, G. K. Chesterton, and Alvin Plantinga, to name but a few. Finally, R. C. Sproul is perfectly correct when he contends that this argument by atheists might just as easily be turned on its head. (3)

In short, perhaps atheists wish so badly for an all-knowing Last Judge not to exist that they have projected their highly regressive and infantile fantasies onto the issue of the existence of God. The argument, therefore, ends up being utterly self-defeating on logical grounds alone.

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To the Non-Religious, Fed up with Christianity

standing2Umpteen times I have come across comments and posts by people proclaiming their disdain and sheer irritation with Christianity. I have also read and heard remarks by Christians siding with the Non-Christians, stating that they too are fed up with radical fundamentalism, the kind who run around preaching hell, fire and brimstone at every person who just happens to make the mistake of looking them straight in their squinty little eyes.

However, these Christian’s tend to go on to say that they like to keep their beliefs to themselves and aren’t really concerned with the fact that those around them don’t believe in the same thing as they do. Their “humble” philosophy in life is “judge not, lest you be judged”, however they are seriously misinformed and make a grave mistake by adapting this approach. Why? Because they fail to understand the nature of critical judgementalism versus evangelism.

What then is my argument? My argument is that I totally understand the contempt that non-Christians have for Christianity. I often hear, and have been guilty of saying this myself, Christians respond to non-Christians by saying, “Don’t look at me and hate Christianity simply because I practice it poorly. I’m a sinner just like you and can’t live a perfect life. Look at Jesus. Your judgement of Christianity should be based on HIM and not me.” May I humbly submit to you the reader that this is absolutely ridiculous. We Christians need to stop defending our sinful, superficial Christian-living and wake-up and realise there is something seriously wrong with our churches…or those who fill them. I’m included.

The second point I would like to make is that I find it difficult to believe that someone is a Christian when they do not grieve over their own sin or the sin of others, but instead accept it as ok, because they believe something different from themselves. Now, before I hear the cries of “Who are you to judge mate!!?”, please do hear me out. Christianity is an evangelising religion. That very word evangelism stems from the Greek word “EVANGELION” which literally means “Good News”. It must convey to others that their sin will separate them from God, and that they must repent and believe in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus wholly trusting in Him alone to make them right before God. God, in his sovereign will, has ordained that human language is to be the medium for this message to be proclaimed. God the Son came down and preached the good news, but Jesus’ ministry was the fulfilment of Old Testament prophecy. Thus God has also given us His word, the Bible to testify and point us to Christ. The Bible states that “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God”. So, God has decided that the gospel be proclaimed through human language, written and spoken.

WHY then are Christians to share this message and why do I blog??????

Quite simply it is because of love. Ideally, a Christian should be motivated to share his/her faith because they believe, as the Bible teaches, that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and will thus suffer the wrath of a Holy and Just God at the time of judgement because He would in fact be unjust and a liar if he were not to keep to his own testimony. The Bible teaches that Jesus is the only way that we can be freed from this judgement, by dying on the cross for us. By his own will, and not against it as some are now suggesting, Jesus died on the cross for our sins. He took the punishment we deserve. However the crux of the issue lies in His resurrection. Did it happen or didn’t it? If it didn’t then for goodness sake I wish the Christians who say “it doesn’t matter ‘cos I will have lived a decent moral life anyways” would just keep quiet and realise the fallacy of their mindset. The apostle Paul himself states in 1 Cor 15:15-19 that,

“And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.”

Let me make this categorically clear; if Jesus did not rise from the dead, if they were to dig up his bones tomorrow and it was proved that they were actually Jesus’ genuine remains then I will be straight out on the town partying and over-indulging myself with fine women. No longer will I waste my life for a lie for I am to be pitied and deserve to be mocked and ridiculed for believing a lie.

However, I believe in the resurrection of Christ. I believe because the change in the disciple’s behaviour indicates a MAJOR occurrence took place three days after the crucifixion. I believe in the resurrection because the Apostle Paul suddenly became a follower of Jesus abandoning his hate-filled persecution of Christians due to the risen Jesus meeting with Him on the road to Damascus. I believe in the resurrection because no-one WILLINGLY dies for a lie. Yes we have Islamic fundamentalists who blow themselves up, but that is because they fully believe that they are following the truth. They unknowingly die for a lie.  The disciples, however, are a totally different scenario. They followed Jesus for 3 years, sitting under his teaching, hearing His claims that He was God, that he was the Messiah, that he would die and be raised from the dead on the third day. Their despondency in the gospel accounts after his crucifixion reveal an authenticity of the gospel accounts. They reveal the despondency and disillusionment that comes with following Jesus. Geuine, raw, real life emotions are recorded here. Yet why did they die for their belief that Christ was the Son of God? Well because they met with the risen Christ and had no reason to doubt. Jesus’ claim was/is massive and the fact that Paul testifies that we would be stupid to believe and follow him if he wasn’t raised from the dead shows that he is TOTALLY AND UTTERLY CONFIDENT THROUGH HIS OWN OBJECTIVE EXPERIENCE that Jesus was raised from the dead. There is no other explanation.

I believe in the resurrection because ancient historians and archaeologists can locate the graves of prominent figures from ancient times yet cannot begin to point to a site where the most famous man in all of History was “buried”. Sure fantastical new hypotheses are proposed every year but none of these have any credibility and when critiqued are always exposed as shabby scholarship by desperado professors seeking to make a quick buck by releasing a book that is always guaranteed to make the best sellers list.

So Christians believe that they are forgiven and justified before God because Christ died for our sins and rose again from the dead showing that His testimony was true. This is good news to proclaim in sheer joy and love is it not? Well yes, of course it is!

BUT…..Christians often do not preach this truth from the motivation of LOVE. They often preach it without practicing it. They often forget the fact that the only difference separating them from non-Christians, is the blood of Christ shed for them to redeem them. They did nothing but repent and submit to His Lordship, and even then they were only enable to do this by the grace of God and the work of the Holy Spirit. They earned no right to a higher standing, or to cast icy glances at sinners.

Jesus himself showed love to sinners, knowing that his LIFE OF LOVE would provide a solid foundation and prepare the hearts of his hearers to receive his message of truth, which DID talk about sin and hell and the fact that he is the ONLY way and that it is not possible for people to get to God through anyone else.

So Christians, where did we go wrong? We are hypocrites. We rebuke sinners and love each other, even when we have hidden sin festering beneath the surface like a rotten carcass on a hot summers day. Why don’t we start loving sinners, and rebuking ourselves? If we get real with God and allow him to cleanse us from our sin, some of the sin that will go out the window will be disdain for non-Christians and secular culture. Then we will be able to love them as Jesus did, and perhaps provide a ready soil in which to plant seeds of truth. I am sick and tired of Christians being a part of, and forming  little cliquey clubs. I love God, I love his creation, I love people and I love his Christ and as God is my witness I want to be the hands and feet of Jesus in a lost world and I want to share His good news as I do so.

But I and we must first get real with God. We must humble ourselves and turn from our own wicked ways. We must repent of our pride, of our selfishness, and allow him to work his holiness in us. Maybe then, non-Christians would have an accurate understanding of the Church.

Non-Christians, as a result of this blog, I don’t expect you to believe what I believe all of a sudden. But if you don’t believe, I hope that it will not be because of the impression that I am hypocritical or hateful or judgmental. However, by saying that I am saying that I am going to shy away from presenting what I believe to be the truth. Nevertheless, maybe if we can start displaying true Christianity, it will allow you to make an accurate, informed judgment about the truth of the matter. Maybe if we start living out what we believe then people will see that the Word (resurrected and written) that we believe in and follow is actually the truth.

God give us the grace, give me the grace, to live such a life and forgive me for the times I have failed to do so….in public and behind closed doors, even this night.

In Jesus name,

Amen

What is it about the New Atheists?

you_dont_exist2351What is new about the new atheists? It’s not their arguments. Spend as much time as you like with a pile of the recent anti-religion books, but you won’t encounter a single point you didn’t hear in your freshman dormitory. It’s their tone that is novel. Belief, in their eyes, is not just misguided but contemptible, the product of provincial minds, the mark of people who need to be told how to think and how to vote–both of which, the new atheists assure us, they do in lockstep with the pope and Jerry Falwell.

For the new atheists, believing in God is a form of stupidity, which sets off their own intelligence. They write as if they were the first to discover that biblical miracles are improbable, that Parson Weems was a fabulist, that religion is full of superstition. They write as if great minds had never before wrestled with the big questions of creation, moral law and the contending versions of revealed truth. They argue as if these questions are easily answered by their own blunt materialism. Most of all, they assume that no intelligent, reflective person could ever defend religion rather than dismiss it. The reviewer of Dr. Dawkins’s volume in a recent New York Review of Books noted his unwillingness to take theology seriously, a starting point for any considered debate over religion.

The faith that the new atheists describe is a simple-minded parody. It is impossible to see within it what might have preoccupied great artists and thinkers like Homer, Milton, Michelangelo, Newton and Spinoza–let alone Aquinas, Dr. Johnson, Kierkegaard, Goya, Cardinal Newman, Reinhold Niebuhr or, for that matter, Albert Einstein. But to pass over this deeper faith–the kind that engaged the great minds of Western history–is to diminish the loss of faith too. The new atheists are separated from the old by their shallowness. (Sam Schulman)