Archive for the ‘Apologetic’ Category

Apologetics of the Day: Resurrection

Question.
According to science, dead people do not raise.
How do you know Jesus really rose from the dead?

Answer.
We know it from history and logic.
Historically, the disciples were the eyewitnesses of His resurrection.
They were willing to be butchered, slaughtered and died agonizing death to proclaim it.
Logically, if they had fabricated such story of resurrection, would they really have been willing to suffer for a lie?
Surely, no sane people will do that.
Hence, Jesus’ resurrection is a real event in history.

Posted February 22, 2016 by Jefri Yue Fei 吴岳飞 in Apologetic

Apologetic: Comment On God And The New Physics

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I used to get involved in some debates with a few atheists regarding the Bible and evolution.
I took side with young-earth-creationism (YEC).
Richard Dawkins once stated that evolution makes one an intellectually fulfilled atheists.
I’d argue that YEC makes me an intellectually fulfilled Christian.
After all, it is an expression of me loving God with all my mind (Mark 12:30).
In comparison, evolution says the earth is billions of years old whereas YEC says it is only a few thousands of years old.
In case in the future I get involved in a debate again, it’ll be good to learn atheists’ argument in advance.

This book discusses much Physics theories and their implication on religion.
It’d be foolish if I try to refute every single point since I am not a physicist.
Nevertheless, I can still refute some of the philosophy and chemistry argument.
Reader can go to creation.com to find more on refutation of the physics argument.
This book was written by Paul Davies in 1983 and he wrote a lot from Big Bang theory.
As of today, there has been much criticism of this theory. Btw, despite my attempt to refute Paul, I’d admit I’ve learnt much about high energy physics from him.

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“in my opinion science offers a surer path to God than religion (page ix)”
Even if it is true, just how accurate can science describe God, really?
For all we know, we’ll end up with some kind of invisible alien instead of real God.
At best, science says what humans think about God.
In contrast, Christianity says what God really says of Himself. Obviously, Christianity is more accurate than science.

“if he Church is largely ignored today it is because science… has so radically reoriented our society that the biblical perspective of the world now seems largely irrelevant.
As one television cynic recently remarked, few of our neighbor possess an ox or an ass for us to covet (page 2)”

The cynic’s understanding of the 10th commandment is clearly half baked. An ox or ass represented wealth in the ancient world.
Hence, the commandment is still applicable in today’s world. An employee may covet a colleague’s position.
Moreover, the commandment forbids a man from coveting a neighbor’s wife. I don’t need to give statistics of extramarital affair at the present time.

“scientific measurements reveal a 4.5 billion year old earth (page 3)”
To be more accurate, no scientific measurements reveal such age. Radiometric dating only measures the amount of material left today.
It employs plenty assumption when it back calculates the initial amount of material and hence the age.
To reveal the age of something, we need a historical record since it doesn’t employ any assumption at all. The Bible is such a reliable historical record.

“Christian genocide of the South American native population..
In much of Christian Europe the godfearing used to burn old women suspected of being witches.(page 4)”

In his book What is so Great about Christianity, Dinesh D Souza stated that atheists regime are responsible for 100 times more death in one century than Christian rulers inflicted over five centuries.
So, statistically speaking, which one is better: Christianity or atheism?

“So much for the social side of religion (page 5)”
Pretty biased toward negativity of Christianity, huh?
What about positive side of Christianity? A Christian by the name of Samuel Wilberforce abolished slavery.
What about negative side of evolution? Hitler believed Germans were superior and started the genocide to prevent mixed racial marriages.

“scientists.. have come to be regarded.. as faith wreckers (page 5)”
Evolutionists are faith wreckers, not all scientists. There are many past and current Christian scientists who stay true to the Bible.
According to Richard Dawkin, evolution makes him an intellectually fulfilled atheist. To me, the Bible(or YEC) makes me intellectually fulfilled Christian.

“Central to this approach is the willingness of the scientist to a abandon a theory if evidence is produced against it (page 6)”
Really? So far there is absolutely no evidence for change from molecule to man.
There is only evidence for mutation and not evolution. Will evolutionists abandon evolution then?
And more importantly, evidence isn’t evidence by itself. Evidence has to be interpreted.
Even if the evidence seems to contradict evolutionary theory, evolutionists will conveniently reinterpret it to fit evolution, won’t they?

“The ‘Truth’ is said to be communicated directly to the believer, rather than through filtering and refining process of collective investigation (page 6).”
There are many evidences which nicely fit Genesis theory. In other words, collective investigation fits Genesis theory.

“so many believers do their best to propagate their faith.. (historically .. There are examples of doing this by force and ruthless brutality) (page 6).”
Do not put Christianity at the same level as other religions, please.

“in many cases children were indoctrinated with thought they have a private wire to the office of Almighty, all others being less fortunate. (page 7)”
On the one hand, some people have indeed never heard of Lord Jesus at all. God has a fair way to deal with them.
On the other hand, much more people are fortunate enough to hear about Lord Jesus but they intentionally rebel.

“in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.. But no one was there to see it.”
The same argument applies to evolution: people have observed mutation but nobody saw the change from molecule to man.
Btw, mutation greatly differs from evolution. The change in genetic information in mutation either goes horizontal or downward.
In evolution, the genetic information is claimed to go upward.

“about eighteen billion years ago, physical universe burst into existence in the big bang.. The earth can be dated to about 4.5 billion years (page 10-11)”
Nope. The earth and even the entire universe is only about 6000 to 10000 years old. Radioactivity doesn’t tell any date.
It only tells the amount of material present.
The dating process involves plenty assumptions: the initial amount of material in the past, the constant decay rate, no contamination,
no other process interfering with the decay, etc. Hence, radioactivity should not be taken as absolute. (see Parable of the Candle in the references)

“But the cosmological argument is founded on the assumption that everything requires a cause, yet ends in conclusion that at least one thing (God) does not require a cause. The argument seems to be self contradictory. (page 37).”
This is the wrong version of cosmological argument.
But the correct cosmological argument is: everything that has a beginning needs a cause.
God has no beginning and hence He needs no cause.

“The naive image of God existing before the universe is clearly absurd if time did not exist-if there was no before.(page 44)”
If he book is talking about God of the Bible, then this book is naive.
Lord Jesus clearly teaches that God is spirit. In other words, there are physical universe and spiritual universe.
Each universe has its own time. The image of God existing before the physical universe is clearly plausible.
And obviously, even if God is spirit, He can act in physical universe as He pleases.

“A God who is in time is subject to change (page 133)”
Says who? God clearly stated He doesn’t change over time (Mal 3:6).
He is the same: all-powerful, all-knowing, all-just and all-loving.

“Modern physics, with its discovery of mutability of time, drives a wedge between God’s omnipotence and the existence of His personality. (page 134)”
Is there really a wedge? This book didn’t consider a ‘spiritual’ universe to start with.

“omnipotence raises some awkward theological questions. (page 143)”
Not at all as long as this book defines it correctly.
The word “omnipotent” is not in the Bible. God is described as the Almighty.
Even then, the Bible clearly says there are things God cannot do: God cannot deny Himself (2 Tim 2:13) or God cannot go against Himself.
This implies God’s might is limited by His nature/character. Once our understanding of omnipotence is correct, there is no more question.

“Is God free to prevent evil? If He is omnipotent, yes. Why then does He fail to do so? (page 143)”
Simply, God chooses not to prevent evil all the time because it will go against His nature.
God is love. When you love someone, you want him/her to love you back with his/her own choice.
You wouldn’t want to transform him/her into a robot to love you.
Similarly, when people choose not to love God, that’s when evil happens.
It doesn’t mean God will do nothing about it. One day God will judge evil.

“when a parent allows an unruly child to run amok, attacking neighbors and causing damage, we would normally lay a portion of blame at the parent’s feet. Must we therefore conclude that evil (in perhaps a limited amount) is all part of God’s plan? Or is God not free after all to prevent us from acting against Him? (page 143)”
First of all, God is free to stop evil. However, God chooses not to do at times so because it will contradict His loving nature.
Secondly, is this book talking about 3 year old child who isn’t so capable of deciding right or wrong or about 30 year old child who is capable of doing so?
This is to ensure the analogy applies to real life. In reality, there is no need at all for parents to interfere with their 30-year-old child’s decision to do good or evil.
Thirdly, this book’s parent-child analogy is pretty off. If God is the parent, His child/children will be Christians.
Non-Christians like Hitler are clearly not His children. Hence, in this analogy, God isn’t responsible at all for all the crime Hitler committed.
As a comparison, God may choose not to prevent Christians from doing evil. God did not prevent Adam and Eve from rebelling against Him, for example.
The interesting observation is that despite humans’ fallen nature, humans still carry a sense of morality even if they are non-Christians.
That sense of morality is like God’s warning not to do evil. God isn’t responsible at all when humans choose to break that morality.
In fact, God will punish the immoral/evil doers.

“in this way, complex organized structures can arise from the accumulation of vast numbers of small accidents. (page 166)”
Change from animals to humans requires increase in genetic information which isn’t observed from the small accidents.
In fact, such accidents actually remove organized structure. For example, loss of pelvic bone in stickleback fish (which is nicknamed superstar of evolutionary science).

“it is meaningless to talk about what can never be observed (page 171)”
Change from animals to humans has never been observed. Does it carry meaning? Is it even science?

In chapter 14, Paul Davies presented a dialogue between a Sceptic and a Believer regarding miracles.
In my opinion, Paul chose a ‘unlearned’ Believer but a ‘learned’ Sceptic. Such is rather unfair debate.

“if the universe has been designed by God, then it must have a purpose. If it is achieved, the continuation of the universe will be unnecessary (page 199)”
The purpose of the universe is to display God’s glory.
Since God’s glory is endless, the universe is supposed to be endless too since its creation.
But of course, since the universe is tarnished with sin, it will come to an end.

“the age of the universe is eighteen billion years, while the sun is already 4.5 billion”(page 200)
Nope. The age of the whole universe is 6000 years old.

“all the currently observed structure are destined to pass away eventually.. It is a scenario that many scientists find profoundly depressing. (page 204)”
Why bother with that? Under atheistic worldview, all humans are destined to become fertilizers.
Why should atheistic scientists feel depressed with the rest of the universe?

“As Robert Merton once wrote:”Most institutions demand unqualified faith, but the institution of science makes scepticism a virtue (page 219)”
How skeptical is this toward the theory that humans came from animals?

“whereas new facts and ideas are the very life-blood of science.” (page 220)
Facts do not speak for themselves. They have to be interpreted.
It is common to see defense and prosecutors interpret the same evidence and yet they arrive at completely different conclusion.
Similar scenario occurs in creation-evolution debate.

“I began by making the claim that science offers a surer path than religion in the search of God (page 229)”
Are you sure we will find the true God? Or, will we end up with a kind of weird god?
Even the devil can pretend to be ‘God’. Rather than trying to find the true God, why not let the true God find you as elaborated in the Bible?

References:
1.) http://creation.com/stickleback-evolution
2.) http://creation.com/anti-slavery-activist-william-wilberforce-christian-hero
3.) http://creation.com/review-whats-so-great-about-christianity-dsouza
4.) http://creation.com/the-parable-of-the-candle

Posted March 17, 2014 by Jefri Yue Fei 吴岳飞 in Apologetic, Bible Study, Thought