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The Christian response to postmodernism. truth the laws of logic and objectivity law of identity A=A Bill Craig is Bill Craig law of non-contradiction.

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Presentation on theme: "The Christian response to postmodernism. truth the laws of logic and objectivity law of identity A=A Bill Craig is Bill Craig law of non-contradiction."— Presentation transcript:

1 the Christian response to postmodernism

2 truth the laws of logic and objectivity law of identity A=A Bill Craig is Bill Craig law of non-contradiction its raining and its not raining law of excluded middle A or ~A a proposition is either true or false there is not a third possibility objective to say something is objective is to say that it is independent of what people think or perceive subjective not objective, it is dependent on what human persons think or perceive

3 philosophy an introduction to epistemology where do you begin? is there an objective reality?

4 faith and reason exclusive or complementary? Augustine Thomas Aquinas Henry Dodwell Alvin Plantinga fides quaerens intellectum faith is epistemic, a way of knowing blind faith [fideism] belief in God is properly basic

5 science the real Copernican Revolution do we occupy an insignificant place and time in the universe?

6 you are here 3,781,782, miles away just over 40 AUs away Voyager I

7 science the real Copernican Revolution do we occupy an insignificant place and time in the universe? [Weak] Anthropic Principle: The universe will be observed to be amenable to the existence of observers because otherwise we wouldnt be here. N=N * ×f p ×n e ×f l ×f i ×f c ×f L [Drake equation, seti.org]

8 habitability range of opinions everything is necessary nothing is necessary for habitability Kepler, H.G. Wells Percival Lowell SETI Rare Earth Privileged Planet A rough replica from Guillermo Gonzalezs and Jay W. Richards The Privileged Planet (Washington DC: Regnery Publishing 2004), 280.

9 science the real Copernican Revolution do we occupy an insignificant place and time in the universe? Anthropic Principle N=N * ×f p ×n e ×f l ×f i ×f c ×f L [Drake equation, seti.org] has the universe been fine tuned for human existence? does the Copernican Revolution demote or promote mans status in the universe?

10 science fine tuning Richard Dawkins objection: who designed the Designer? intelligent design Oxford physicist Roger Penrose calculates that the odds of the special low entropy condition having arisen merely by chance in the absence of any constraining principles is at least as small as about one part in 10 10^123 in order for our universe to exist. stupid design? is it really design if % of the universe is hostile towards life? necessity, chance, or design whos afraid of the Multiverse?

11 science the real Copernican Revolution do we occupy an insignificant place and time in the universe? Anthropic Principle N=N * ×f p ×n e ×f l ×f i ×f c ×f L [Drake equation, seti.org] has the universe been fine tuned for human existence? does the Copernican Revolution demote or promote mans status in the universe? it seems that the design of the universe exalts man as occupying a privileged space and time in the universe. the Copernican Revolution doesnt belittle man, fine tuning shows that this cosmos was [most probably] designed.

12 meaning, interpretation, & self there is objectivity texts really do have meaning. we cant just make up what we want things to mean. no one who has a headache reads the label to a bottle of rat poison and thinks, its not really rat poison. they are sadly mistaken! you better believe the text has objective meaning! the color 9 weighs four dollars when it smells like justice. this is completely incoherent if Paul writes the book of Romans there is authorial interpretation. Paul is writing with intentionality with a goal of coherent communication. the self is ultimately an individual. there is an ontological distinction in persons [Imago Dei].

13 the biblical metanarrative: redemption of man 1.God created the physical universe of matter, energy, space, and time. He also created angels. 2.The most powerful being God created, the archangel Satan, chose to rebel against Gods authority and reject Gods love. Satan enticed one-third of the angelic host to join his rebellion (see Rev ). 3.On Earth, God created Adam and then placed him in a beautiful, bountiful paradise, the Garden of Eden (see. Gen ). 4.In Eden, God created Eve and brought her to Adam (see Gen ). 5.God allowed Satan to enter Eden in order to test Adam and Eve (see. Gen. 3.1). 6.Satan tempted Eve first to distrust and then to defy her Creator (see Gen ). Eve, in turn, tempted Adam to distrust and defy God (Gen. 3.6, 12). In their act of defiance, Adam and Eve incurred spiritual death (see Gen ; Rom ). They attempted to hide from God and experienced the vastness of the gulf between his glory and their vainglory, a gap they could never cross on their own. 7.God took away the Tree of Life and ejected Adam and Eve from Eden. Having experienced spiritual death, they and their descendants would also suffer a physical death (see Rom ). Their labor and relationships involved intensified pain, work, and wasted time (see Gen ). Note that ejection from the garden is an act of grace. 8.God gave humanity a written moral code to complement the one already placed within the conscience of every person (see Rom ). These moral laws served to define goodness and expose the evil within every human heart, proving to all individuals their inadequacy to deal with and conquer their own propensity for wrong doing. 9.At the precise moment of His choosing, the Creator of the universe confined Himself to human flesh, allowed Himself to be born of a woman, and grew up to manhood in a global crossroads, Israel. He lived there for more than thirty years. Jesus of Nazareth, fully God and fully human, served as a living, breathing example of moral perfection. He revealed His deity not only in words but also in expression of his power over all the forces of nature. Then through His death on a cross, He made atonement for all humanitys moral failures, all passive and active defiance of God. In rising bodily form the dead, He showed His sacrifice had been accepted and proved the tangible reality of a realm beyond the cosmos, even beyond physical death. 10.After Jesus resurrection and ascension, God sent his Holy Spirit to personally indwell individuals who humble receive Christs payment and forgiveness in place of their own best efforts and worst deeds (past, present, and future), turning away from self- rule and submitting to God as the first and final authority in life (see Jn ; 1 Pt. 3.21; Eph ). The Holy Spirit begins the process of transforming that persons mind, heart, and character to bring that person into a deepening and widening relationship with God (see. Rom ). 11.The Creator prepares a new creation for His elect (see Jn. 14.2; Rev ). 12.God brings all His elect to glory (Rom ; Rev ) while the non-elect who rejected God will be isolated in an unimaginable place to whatever degree necessary to conquer evil by torment (Rev )

14 history we can know the past a common core of indisputable facts exist i.e. the date of the Declaration of Independence it is possible to distinguish between history and propaganda Postmodern relativists cant even deny this. Brian Fay reports, Postmetaphysical metatheorists as much as any know the difference between propaganda and genuine history; they can recognize the ideological blindness which sanctions revisionist histories bent on denying the existence of the Holocaust, can identify the ways Soviet historiography was contaminated by Stalinist political correctness, can criticize not just the conclusions but the entire practice of racist historiography (such as Nazi Aryan history). Brian Fay, Nothing but History? History and Theory 37 (1998): 84. it is possible to criticize poor history i.e. Immanuel Velikovsky tried to rewrite history on the basis of worldwide catastrophes caused by extraterrestrial forces in the fifteenth, eighth, and seventh centuries B. C.

15 postmodernism a myth of reality postmodernism is self-refuting, there are absolutely no absolutes. postmodernism is only relative to religion and ethics, not science. I must emphasize another important point, which has been frequently misunderstood. I am not suggesting that the laws of physics can be anything we want them to be, that they are merely cultural narratives, as has been suggested by authors associated with the movement called postmodernism. Victor Stenger, God, The Failed Hypothesis: How Science Shows that God Does Not Exist (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books 2008), [when arguing for the laws of physics to be necessary]

16 postmodernism a myth of reality Having read this [comments on methodology and particle physics], please do not assume that the doctrine of postmodernism is being promoted here. Science is decidedly not just another cultural narrative… Peoples in all but the most primitive societies now utilize science. While we might consider science another cultural narrative, it differs from other cultural narratives because of its superior power, utility, and universality. Victor Stenger, God, The Failed Hypothesis: How Science Shows that God Does Not Exist (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books 2008), 39.

17 postmodernism a myth of reality [Such] a church… will become… impotent to stand against the powerful forces of secularism that threaten to bury Christian ideas under a veneer of soulless pluralism and misguided scientism. In such a context, the church will be tempted to measure her success largely in terms of numbersnumbers achieved by cultural accommodation to empty selves. In this way, … the church will become her own grave digger; her means of short-term success will turn out to be the very thing that marginalizes her in the long run. J.P. Moreland, Love Your God with All Your Mind,


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