“If Nature Made You, What Made Nature?”
Over the years, I have had my share of discussions about the God question with college students which include both atheists and skeptics Any attempt to point to God as an explanation for observable phenomena such as anticipatory, irreducible or specified complexity can invoke the atheist or naturalist to cry “ foul play.” When I press them further about the origins question, I mention the following from author Bruce Sheiman in his book An Atheist Defends Religion: Why Humanity Is Better Off With Religion Than Without. He says the general atheist scenario is the following:
Human Life = Laws of physics X chance + randomness+ accidents+luck X 3.5 billion yrs. In other words, the laws of physics for our present universe arose by chance (from a multitude of possible universes); the first forms of life developed by chance (arising by primordial soup combinations that resulted from the laws of physics plus accidents); the first concept of life developed purely by chance (genetic mutations and environmental occurrences).
Sadly, many students do concede that Sheiman’s scenario makes perfect sense. My next question to them is “If nature made you, what made nature?” In many cases, they never been asked this? Why do I ask them this?
Why Do Sources Not Refer To Jesus Until After His Lifetime?
People sometimes suggest that the absence of any sources writing about Jesus during his lifetime is a major problem. Why wouldn't anybody have written about him if he existed or, at least, if he was as significant as Christianity claims he was?
Other prominent religious leaders in Israel who lived around the same time, such as Gamaliel and John the Baptist, also aren't mentioned in extant documents dating to their lifetime. Many prominent philosophers and political and military leaders of the ancient world aren't mentioned in extant documents until after their death. There are a lot of potential reasons for that.
The Problem Of Evil (Part 1) By Dr. Greg Bahnsen
We want to turn now to examine some of the recurring and most basic kinds of objections which are raised against the Christian faith by those who disagree with the Biblical worldview — whether its intellectual antagonists, cultured despisers, or competing religions. Our aim will be to suggest how a presuppositional method of apologetics would answer these types of argument against Christianity (or alternatives to it) as a philosophy of life, knowledge and reality.
Perhaps the most intense, pained and persistent challenge which believers hear about the truth of the Christian message comes in the form of what is called “the problem of evil.” The suffering and evil which we see all about us seems to cry out against the existence of God — at least a God who is both benevolent and almighty. This is thought by many to be the most difficult of all the problems which apologists face, not only because of the apparent logical difficulty within the Christian outlook, but because of the personal perplexity which any sensitive human being will feel when confronted with the terrible misery and wickedness that can be found in the world. Man’s inhumanity to man is notorious in every age of history and in every nation of the world. There is a long story of oppression, indignity, unkindness, torture and tyranny. We find war and murder, greed and lust, dishonesty and lies. We encounter fear and hatred, infidelity and cruelty, poverty and racial hostility. Moreover, even in the natural world we come across so much apparently needless suffering and pain — birth defects, parasites, attacks of violent animals, radioactive mutations, debilitating diseases, deadly cancer, starvation, crippling injuries, typhoons, earthquakes, and other natural disasters.
When the unbeliever looks at this unhappy “vale of tears,” he or she feels there is a strong reason to doubt the goodness of God. Why should there be so much misery? Why should it be distributed in such a seemingly unjust fashion? Is this what you would permit, if you were God and could prevent it?
The Problem Of Evil (Part 2) By Dr. Greg Bahnsen by Truth Endures
Does the Unbeliever Take Evil Seriously, Then?
Unbelievers complain that certain plain facts about human experience are inconsistent with the Christian’s theological beliefs about the goodness and power of God. Such a complaint requires the non-Christian to assert to existence of evil in this world. What, however, has been presupposed here?
Visits to place of worship linked to lower levels of criminality
People who regularly visit a place of worship are less likely to be involved in low level crime and delinquency, according to new research.
The project, led by University of Manchester PhD student Mark Littler, involved the analysis of new survey data and in-depth qualitative interviews with young members of the UK's major faiths.
He said: "This research implies that the act of visiting a place of worship may trigger a significant reduction in the likelihood of involvement in certain types of criminal and delinquent behaviour.
"In line with existing American research, my results suggest that it is the act of mixing with fellow believers that is important, regardless of whether this is via formal worship, involvement in faith-based social activities or simply through spending time with family and friends who share your faith.