2 Mission StatementTo help equip and encourage Christians in apologetics ministry so they might engage honest truth-seekers, under the right circumstances, with gentleness, respect, and with the ultimate goal of introducing the Gospel of Jesus
3 Topics Covered The Five W’s of Apologetics Engaging Others and WorldviewArguments for GodDealing with DoubtIslam and ChristianityThe Problem of EvilThe Case for ChristOrigins (Evolution, Intelligent Design, Creation)
4 What is Apologetics?How many of you thought the first time you heard the word ‘apologetics’ it was about apologizing?
5 Apologetics comes from the Greek word apologia (a-p&-'lO-j(E-)&) OriginApologetics comes from theGreek word apologia (a-p&-'lO-j(E-)&)“A written or verbal defense”
6 Christian Apologetics Defined The discipline of rationally justifying one’s belief in Christianity through systematic discourse
7 Extra-biblical and Biblical Christian Apologetics sometimes enters into areas not directly addressed in the Bible but always integrates the Christian worldview.
8 What is the Ultimate Goal? Lead the honest truth-seeker to an openness where the Gospel is sharedRom 10:17 – “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ”
9 Why should we be interested in Apologetics? Why Apologetics?Why should we be interestedin Apologetics?Why are you interestedin Apologetics?
10 Be Prepared!1 Peter 3:15 – “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect”
11 How Would You Respond? How do you know what you believe is true? How do you know God exists – what proof is there?How can we trust something [Bible] written thousands of years ago?How do we know other religious creeds are not true?Why isn’t God more visible if He wants everyone to know him?Hasn’t Science/Evolution completely disproved biblical creation?How can there be a loving God with so much suffering in the world?Hasn’t Science proven religious faith is unnecessary?How do we know the Resurrection occurred?
12 Results?Out of the nine questions – how many did you feel like you would be able to give a sound answer to?By the way, this course will not be about resolving all your tough questions through impeccable argumentation!
13 Being PersuasiveIs being persuasive a good thing or does the idea seem too much like coerciveness?Persuasiveness is a good thing - it means to “win someone over.”
14 Paul Persuaded1Cor. 9:19-23: Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
15 Paul ReasonedActs 17 (1-3 and 16,17) When they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead …While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there.
16 But haven’t we been taught to not worry about what to say? Just Say the Word!But haven’t we been taught to not worry about what to say?
17 Origin of “Don’t Worry!” Matthew 10:19 - But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say…Luke 12:11 - When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say…God is our defender in times of trouble!(Psalm 9, 41, 59)We should not take these versus to imply - one need not concern themselves with how they share the Gospel.
18 Uploading One option is to just upload the message… A bare-minimum do-not-be-concerned-about-the-delivery version of the plan of salvation
19 Uploading ExamplesIs it effective in bringing unbelievers to salvation to merely stand on a street corner holding a sign with the reference: “John 3:16”Why or why not?If an unbeliever were to share their disbelief in the Bible and their negative past experience in the Church, would you respond by quoting: “John 3:16”Why or why not?
20 Most of Us Do Not UploadBecause it is not persuasive!Our approach to reaching out to the unbeliever is important and God gives us many tools for the job. Sometimes it is the right word at the right time guided by the Spirit; sometimes it is a prophetic word or verse of Scripture. Sometimes we are called to merely listen. And sometimes, we are to give an answer back for the hope we have….
21 Logic TeaserHearing the Gospel is a necessary condition for salvation but not a sufficient condition.Yes, merely hearing the Gospel can be on occasion immediately effective in someone coming to faith in Christ –but that is different than the logic-term “sufficient condition.”Necessary Condition – is one which must be satisfied to ensureSufficient Condition – is one which, if satisfied, ensures
22 Friendship Evangelism Prominent evangelistic ministries targeting young-adults on college campuses employ friendship evangelism:Campus Crusade for ChristEvery Nation Campus MinistriesWhy is friendship evangelism effective?Because it leads to persuasiveness through trust.Trust building is pre-evangelism.
23 Secularized CultureOftentimes we have a tough challenge presenting biblical truths and the Gospel to unbelievers because of the culture we live in…
24 Dr. William Lane CraigSpeaking about the secularization of Europe and effectiveness of apologeticsin that setting…
25 Worldly PhilosophyAren’t we taught to stay away from worldly philosophy?Colossians 2:8 – “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.”
26 Correctly Handle – Not Avoid So that we are not taken captive by the World’s philosophy we should be prepared to correctly handle the truth – Take everything to Christ!READ:2 Corinthians 10:5 – “take it to Christ”Proverbs 23:23 – “buy the truth”1 Thessalonians 5:21 – “test everything”2 Timothy 2:14-15 – “correctly handle”2 Timothy 3:16 – “especially the Word”
27 Martin Luther’s View √ X Ministerial Use of Reason - this is the use of logic/reason as a servant or "handmaid" to the Bible and theology. Logic/reason is not put on par with or above the Bible, but stands in a subordinate role to God's revelation.Magisterial Use of Reason - this is the placing of logic/reason on par with or actually above the Bible. Here logic/reason (that of the individual or a group) is allegedly the final judge, arbitrator, or authority of truth.X
28 Pre-EvangelismIn preparation of presenting the Gospel…but only one tool (introducing Law before Gospel is pre-evangelism for example)Weeding the field analogy – sometimes we help to sow the seed; sometimes we help in the harvest; sometimes as the apologist we get to weed the field by removing false ideas.Removing the boulders analogy – getting rid of the boulders in front of the door (Jesus) one must go through for salvation.
29 Apologetics For the Believer Ministering to other believers to help with epistemic tension (though doubt is primarily a spiritual battle!)Check your brains at the door: often suggested as a reason to pursue apologetics – but it misses the point and puts the focus on us (and our self-esteem) instead of service to God
30 Discussion End of Session 1 Time for open discussion about the material covered
31 Opener Atheists and Agnostics Take Aim at Christians From The Barna Group (barna.org - June 2007)Atheists and Agnostics Take Aim at Christians“Most atheists and agnostics (56%) agree with the idea that radical Christianity is just as threatening in America as is radical Islam.”“At the same time, two-thirds of Christians (63%) who have an active faith perceive that the nation is becoming more hostile and negative toward Christianity.” ("Active faith" was defined as simply having gone to church, read the Bible and prayed during the week preceding the survey.)
32 Opener Atheists and Agnostics Take Aim at Christians From The Barna Group (barna.org - June 2007)Atheists and Agnostics Take Aim at ChristiansAbout one in 11 Americans (9%) say they have “no faith.” – that’s 20 Million Americans! – and one in 5 of those label themselves as atheists.No-faith TrendGenerationCurrent ages1992*2007*Adult Mosaics18-22--19%Busters23-4116%14%Boomers42-608%9%Elders61+4%6%
33 Opener Atheists and Agnostics Take Aim at Christians From The Barna Group (barna.org - June 2007)Atheists and Agnostics Take Aim at ChristiansOne of the most fascinating insights from the research is the increasing size of the no-faith segment with each successive generation. When adjusted for age and compared to 15 years ago, each generation has changed surprisingly little over the past decade and a half. Each new generation entered adulthood with a certain degree of secular fervor, which appears to stay relatively constant within that generation over time. This contradicts the popular notion that such generational differences are simply a product of people becoming more faith-oriented as they age.
34 Recap Apologetics – Greek apologia Christian Apologetics – the discipline of rationally justifying Christian belief through systematic discourseUltimate Goal – Rom 1:17Be Prepared – 1 Peter 3:15Are You Prepared? – maybe not as much as we’d like
35 Recap Persuasive – is a good thing (to win someone over) Paul was persuasive – he reasoned with othersSome approaches are more persuasive than othersFriendship Evangelism - trust building is pre-evangelismApologetics is pre-evangelism – but only one tool (introducing Law before Gospel is pre-evangelism for example)
36 Terms Covered So FarPre-evangelism – whereas evangelism is the activity whereby a Christian explains or presents the Christian gospel of Jesus to one seen as a non-Christian: pre-evangelism is the activity of preparing the unbeliever for the reception of the gospel – both activities are practiced with love, gentleness and respect.Secular – the state of being separate from religion. Secularism works to separate public life from the religious life. As Christians, secularism is in opposition to an integrated Christian worldview.Worldview – think of this as “the way one sees the world.” (more on this later.)
37 Question?Evangelism or Pre-evangelism – which activity should come first when we engage an honest truth-seeker?It all depends on where God leads!
38 Terms Coming UPNaturalism (philosophical) – all phenomena or hypotheses commonly labeled as supernatural, are either false, unknowable, or not inherently different from natural phenomena or hypothesesTheist / Theism – theism is the belief in one of more deities (as Christians we are theists who believe in a transcendent God)Atheist / Atheism– atheism (a-theism or not-theism) rejects theism. A “strong” atheist affirms the non-existence of God. The “weak” version simply affirms an insufficient belief in theism (non-theism).
39 Where Apologetics?Where will you find apologetic resources and where are apologetic activities making a difference?
40 Online Resources– excellent audio archive for beginner to advanced apologetics– The VERITAS Forum– Leadership University– Oxford Center for Christian Apologetics– Ravi Zacharias International Ministries– WLC’s Site– Access Research Network– William Dembski’s weblog on Intelligent Designand (excellent Bible resource sites)(my site plug :-)
41 Organizations / Courses Alpha International – employs a strong apologetic element in their coursesToday 31,260 courses are running in 154 countries throughout the world. The material for the course has been translated into 61 languages plus Braille.These courses are going on in workplaces, schools, churches, college campuses and prisons.
42 Organizations / Courses VERITAS Forum – Since 1992 speaking mostly at US campuses - The forums are created by local university students, professors, and ministers while shaped and guided by the headquarter VERITAS team.Campus Crusade for Christ and Josh McDowell Ministries – Para-church ministry that operates student chapters on university and college campuses
43 Dr. William Lane CraigApologetics impact at the university…(6 min audio clip)
44 Our Spheres of Influence The apologetic impact can go beyond our immediate evangelistic contacts to affect change in the atmosphere of our homes, workplaces, and even the church[personal testimony here]
45 Who Are the Apologists?(other than us armchair apologists)The earliest apologists used historical defenses and then later arguments for God’s existence…(e.g. Tertullian, Justin Martyr, Origen, Augustine, Aquinas)Was Martin Luther an apologist? “Busy reconstructing the church, Luther was not known as an apologist. However, he said nothing, properly understood, that would negate the consistent use of reason by the classical apologists in defending the faith.” (Norman Geisler)
46 Types and ProponentsClassical – first establish the validity of theism (that God exists) then proceed to specific Christian truths – stress on rational processes, historical evidence, confirming miraclesAugustine, Aquinas, WL Craig, N Geisler, CS Lewis, JP Moreland, J Locke, W Paley, RC Sproul
47 Types and ProponentsHistorical / Evidential – stresses historical evidence as the basis for demonstrating the truth of Christianity.Tertullian, Justin Martyr, Origen, JW Montgomery and G Habermas
48 Types and ProponentsCumulative Case – an eclectic approach. Overlaps the classical approach but downplays the need for theistic arguments in advance. Overlaps the historical approach but does not rest their case there. Sometimes appeals to experiential evidence (testimony of changed lives.)Josh McDowell, Lee Strobel
49 Types and ProponentsExperiential or Existential – appeal primarily if not exclusively to experience as evidence of the Christian faith.Eckart, Kierkegaard, Bultmann, Barth
50 Types and ProponentsPresuppositional - reject the validity of theistic proofs and start directly from a presupposed Trinitarian view. Without the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, everything is seen through a jaundiced eye.Cornelius Van Til, John Frame (revelational)Gordon Clark, C F H Henry (rational)Francis Schaeffer (practical)
51 When is Apologetics Effective? Younger the better – you can’t teach an old dog, new tricks – statistically we are far less likely to change our fundamental religious belief as we age.The Barna Research study, announced on 11/12/99, shows that the vast majority of those who are saved experience the conversion during childhood -- before the age of 14. A person who is unsaved at the age of 14 only has a 10% chance of being saved later in life.According to FCA: Over the age of 30 – only a 4% chance of being saved.
52 Avoid QuarrelingRomans 12:16-18: Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.A good apologist knows when to not respond!Read 2 Timothy 2:23-24
53 Apologetics 5 Ws Conclusion From defense to persuasion but in all things – love!Dr. Greg Pritchard
54 Apologetics How? End of Session 2 Time for open discussion Well that’s what the rest of the course will address!End of Session 2Time for open discussionabout the material covered
55 Opener How many Chinese dualists are there in the world? (from adherents.com (2/2007) – world population 6+ billion)How many Chinese dualists are there in the world?0.4 BillionHow many Muslims are there in the world?1.3 BillionHow many Hindus are there in the world?0.9 BillionHow many Christians are there in the world?2.0 BillionHow many atheists are there in the world?1.1 Billion
56 Recap Where apologetics – where is apologetic activity taking place (universities, workplace, home, church)Types – classical, historical, evidential, experiential, presuppositionalWhen Apologetics – in congenial situations with an honest truth-seeker who is open to respectful discourse (avoid quarreling)Christian Apologetics – is the art of Christian persuasion and is always done in love (not to defend ourselves or win arguments!)
57 Worldview OverviewWorldview defined; (calqued from the German Weltanschauung) provides a framework for generating, sustaining, and applying knowledge – it is ones’ general view of the universe and our place in it which affects one's conduct. It is one’s system of beliefs; their ideology; how one sees the world. Everyone has a worldview, whether or not they can articulate it.
58 Worldview Questions Where did everything come from? What should I do with my life?Why is life meaningful and is there any ultimate purpose?How do I know what is right and wrong?What happens to me after I die?
59 Substantive Worldview An ingrained, comprehensive, momentous and cohesive worldview.It is deep-rooted unlike the ever-shifting position to suit the moment and our immediate desires.It is wide-ranging unlike the skeptical view there is little to know outside of our meager experiences.It is deeply meaningful unlike the view which says: “I don’t know and I don’t care.”It coheres with a minimum of contradictory views.
60 First Principles of Logic A first principle of logic cannot be deduced from any other principle of logicA first principle is universal, not invented, but discovered; undeniable, irrefutableLaw of Noncontradiction : ~(p · ~p)a proposition and its negation is necessarily false. “One cannot say something is and is not in the exact same sense.”
61 Contradictory vs. Contrary Contradictory propositions: if two propositions are contradictory - one must be true and the other false.Contrary propositions: if two propositions are contrary – only one can be true (they could both be false though)Note: a proposition is the information content of an assertion and is either true or false.
62 Christian WorldviewThere exists a personal triune God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit)God created the heavens and the EarthThe universe had a beginning (it is not eternal-past)Jesus is the Son of GodThere is a spiritual realmNatural causes are not the only causes in space-timeMiracles happen
63 Christian WorldviewThe virgin birth and resurrection of Jesus were real events in historyWe are more than just matter – we are spirit and matterLife is not merely the result of chance + time + energyThe universe is designedMorality is universal and objective based on divine commandOur existence does not cease at the grave
64 Islamic Worldview There exists a God (Allah) – He is not triune Allah created the heavens and the Earth (seven universes in layers)The universe had a beginning from a solid mass of waterJesus is not the son of Allah but a great prophet – Muhammad is the greatest and last prophet ( AD)There is a spiritual realmNatural causes are not the only causes in space-timeMiracles happen(Quran) Let's look at verse 4: "That they rejected Faith; That they uttered against Mary A grave false charge; That they said (in boast): 'We killed Christ Jesus The son of Mary, The Messenger of Allah.' But they killed him not, Nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not. Nay, Allah raised him up Unto Himself; and Allah Is Exalted in Power, Wise. And there is none of the people of the book (Jews and Christians) But must believe in him (Jesus) Before his death; And on the Day of Judgment He (Jesus) will be a witness Against them."
65 Islamic WorldviewJesus was virgin born, spoke in the cradle but was not crucified (Allah “lifted him up to his presence”)We are matter and spiritLife is not the merely result of chance + time + energyThe universe is designedMorality is universal and objective based on the commands of AllahOur existence does not cease at the grave
66 Atheist Worldview God does not exist The universe is a “brute fact” The universe did not have a beginning – it is eternal-pastJesus was just a man – if he existed at allThere is no spiritual realmThere are no supernatural causesMiracles do not happen
67 Atheist WorldviewThe virgin birth and resurrection events are not real historical eventsWe are mere matterLife is the result of chance + time + energyThe universe may appear designed, but isn’tMorality is relative: simply the product of socio-evolutionary processesWe cease to exist at the grave
68 Pantheistic Worldview “God is all” – not personalThe universe is (or part of) God (Hindu -> Brahman is the material and efficient cause)The universe is eternally recurring, cyclicalJesus is God – and so are we!All is spiritualAll cause/effect is GodMiracles irrelevant – all activity is divine
69 Pantheistic Worldview Jesus was not virgin-born and did not rise from the deadMatter is illusory – there is only spirit (some pantheists separate body and soul)Abiogenesis is left open – some pantheists believe evolution is divine mechanismThe universe is not designedMorality is objective and tied to the divine Unity (for some tied to nature)No immortality (absorption) – others (soul separates from body)
70 Worldview DivisionTwo individuals with substantive worldview and with minimal overlap in their core beliefs will have a difficult time persuading each other.
71 Arguments for God Cosmological Argument (Contingency) Cosmological Argument (Kalam)Teleological ArgumentMoral Argument
72 Syllogism Syllogism – a three-part deductive argument Deductive Argument – the truth of the premises ensures the truth of the conclusionGood Deductive Argument – is sound and has premises that are more plausible than their denialsSound Deductive Argument – is formally and informally valid
73 Ex Nihilo Nihil Fit “From Nothing, Nothing Comes” eks-'ni-hi-"lO-"ni-"hil-'fit (lat)“From Nothing, Nothing Comes”Metaphysical Principle - one that is understood immediately and needs no supporting evidenceWhat is “nothing?”The remotest, darkest and vacuous region of space is not nothing!
74 Actual InfiniteCan you give me an example of an actual infinite set in the physical world?Actual Infinite Sets: are mathematical constructs only – they do not exist in the physical world.
75 Cosmological Argument (Argument from Contingency)Why is there something rather than nothing? – a profound question posed by the great mathematician and Christian philosopher G. W. Leibniz who concluded all contingent being requires a reason for its existence.
76 Cosmological Argument (Argument from Contingency)Contingent Being – the reason for its existence lies outside of itself and it may to cease to exist (e.g. the Earth)Necessary Being – there is no reason for its existence that lies outside of itself and it cannot cease to exist (e.g. God)
77 Cosmological Argument (Argument from Contingency)The universe either exists contingently or necessarily: we must choose - there are no other reasonable choices.The universe either exists necessarily or contingentlyThe universe is not necessaryTherefore the universe is contingent
78 Cosmological Argument (Argument from Contingency)Things that are contingent have a reason for their existenceThe universe is contingentTherefore the universe has a reason for its existence
79 Cosmological Argument (Kalam Version)Kalam (“speaking”) – developed by Muslims during the Middle Ages.That which begins to exist has a causeThe universe began to existTherefore the universe has a cause
80 Cosmological Argument Synopsis…(4 min video clip) Dr. William Lane Craig
81 Cosmological Argument (Kalam Version)Conclusion – the universe was caused ex nihilo.[read Hebrews 11:3]Personal – the cause must transcend space and time; have unimaginable creative power; and be personal to cause a temporal effect from eternityAttempts to circumvent have been unsuccessful(discuss various models)
82 Discussion End of Session 3 Time for open discussion about the material covered
83 Opener How many stars in the known universe? 70 Sextillion (7/2003 Sydney Australia Study)70,000 million million million (7 x 10^22)1000 times the number of grains of sand from all of the beaches of the Earth10 times the number of grains of sand from all of the beaches and deserts of the Earth
84 RecapWorldview / Substantive – ingrained, comprehensive, momentous and cohesive belief systemWorldviews Intro – looked at Christianity, Islam, Atheism and PantheismDeductive Argument – a good deductive argument is sound with premises more plausible than their denials
85 Recap Cosmological Argument – (Contingency and Kalam versions) Metaphysical Assumptions – ex nihilo nihil fit (from nothing, nothing comes) and Actual Infinite Sets (are ideas only)First Principles – law of noncontradiction (contradictory/contrary)
86 Teleological Argument (tee-lee-AH-lah-jik-al)(Argument from Design)Greek word Telos – “end or purpose”(tee-loss)Greek word Teleos – “completion, perfection, arriving at a goal”(tee-lee-oss)Argument’s origin – as far back as Plato (Timaeus) and Aristotle (Metaphysics)Aquinas – One of his five proofs for the existence of God (Summa Theologica)William Paley – Watchmaker Analogy from (Natural Theology)
87 Teleological Argument (Argument from Design)1) That which is designed, has a designer2) The Universe was designed3) Therefore, the Universe has a designer
88 Disjunctive Syllogism 1) P v Q (reads P “or” Q)2) ~P (reads “not-P”)3) Therefore; QNote: P v Q v R; ~P · ~Q; therefore RSherlock Holmes Approach
89 Teleological Argument Synopsis…(4 min video clip) Dr. William Lane Craig
90 Teleological Argument (Argument from Design)1) The Universe is either the result of law, chance or design2) The Universe is not the result of law or chance3) Therefore, the Universe is designed
91 Anthropic Coincidences From the Privileged Planet…(4 min video clip)Anthropic Coincidences
92 Ockham’s RazorAttributed to the 14th century Franciscan friar William of Ockham. The principle states: an explanation of a phenomenon should make as few assumptions as possible.“entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity”Law of Parsimony (law of succinctness)
93 Anthropic PrinciplesAnthropic Principle – coined by Brandon Carter and expanded on by Barrow and Tipler – puts constraints, as human observers, on the sort of universes we could observe, and therefore affects our ability to form an explanation of its existence.WAP – Weak Anthropic PrincipleSAP – Strong Anthropic PrinciplePAP – Participatory Anthropic PrincipleFAP – Final Anthropic Principle
94 Anthropic PrinciplesWAP (Weak Anthropic Principle) – “we must be prepared to take account of the fact that our location in the universe is necessarily privileged to the extent of being compatible with our existence as observers.” (Carter) – in other words, why be surprised everything is fined tuned – if it were not, we wouldn’t be here to observe it…But this hardly addresses the statistical unlikelihood in fine-tuning! [lottery analogy]SAP (Strong Anthropic Principle) - "The Universe must have those properties which allow life to develop within it at some stage in its history." There are various flavors of SAP (no pun intended) – from a teleological view to the ensemble view (multiverse) – but why believe in an unobservable, unverifiable multiverse?
95 Anthropic PrinciplesPAP (Participatory Anthropic Principle) – a SAP variation based on Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics. It is based on the idea observation makes real.FAP (Final Anthropic Principle) - "Intelligent information-processing must come into existence in the Universe, and, once it comes into existence, it will never die out." - "At the instant the Omega Point is reached, life will have gained control of all matter and forces not only in a single universe, but in all universes whose existence is logically possible; life will have spread into all spatial regions in all universes which could logically exist, and will have stored an infinite amount of information, including all bits of knowledge which it is logically possible to know. And this is the end." (Barrow and Tipler)
96 Modus Tollens 1) If P then Q 2) ~Q 3) Therefore; ~P (basic rule of inference for conditional statements)1) If P then Q2) ~Q3) Therefore; ~PNote: Q is a necessary condition on PNote: Q therefore P is fallacious – it is called affirming the consequent
97 The Moral Argument(Argument from Objective Moral Values)1) If God does not exist, then objective moral values do not exist2) Objective moral values do exist3) Therefore; God exists
98 Objective Values Defined What are objective values? - Objective values are “recognized and discovered, not invented by humans” (“True for you but not for me”, Paul Copan, Bethany House Publishers 1998.)Are absolute and have unconditional existence; they are not relative or dependant.They are independent of human consciousness, consequence or interpretation.There is an implied obligation, or a duty to comply.Furthermore, they are universal in that they are not subject to a particular localization of space and time.
99 Moral Argument Synopsis…(4 min video clip) Dr. William Lane Craig
100 PollRaise your hand to the following questions if you agree?1) I found the cosmological argument compelling for God’s existence?2) I found the teleological argument compelling for God’s existence?3) I found the moral argument compelling for God’s existence?
101 Cumulative Case for God Cosmological argumentTeleological argumentMoral argumentNeo-Darwinian evolution(over-extrapolation)Argument from evilArgument from absenceFor GodFor Unbelief
102 Much More Than Arguments WordPrayerWorshipSacramentsStudiesMusicFellowshipSecularization through…Arts, Movies, TVBooks, MusicInternet, GamingEducational InstitutionsPeer influenceFor FaithFor DoubtSpiritual Realm
103 Dealing with DoubtWithin the body of believers
104 Discussion End of Session 4 Time for open discussion about the material covered
105 Opener What is the fastest growing major world religion? Growth rates over the period from 2000 to 2005; all figures from the nondenominational World Christian Database, a project of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.What is the fastest growing major world religion?Islam – 1.84% / yrHow fast is Christianity growing?Christianity – 1.38% / yr
106 RecapTeleological Argument – argument from design; Anthropic coincidences and principlesMoral Argument – argument from objective moral valuesCumulative Case – none of the arguments for God are analytic proofs; they help to build a plausible case for God
107 Reason and The Holy Spirit How does God reveal the true nature of Jesus to us?Read: 1 Corinthians 12:3Read: Ephesians 3:2-6How was the special revelation of Scripture given to the prophets?Read: 2 Peter 1:20-21Read: 2 Timothy 3:16 (theopneustos, thay-AH-noo-stos)
108 Augustine on ReasonReason is prior to faith: “no one indeed believes anything unless he has first thought that it is to be believed.” And, “it is necessary that everything which is believed should be believed after thought has led the way.” (On Free Will, 5)How can anyone believe the preacher without first understanding his message?Reason sets apart humans: “God forbid that He should hate in us that faculty by which He made us superior to all other beings…” (Letters 120:1)Reason elaborates on God’s general revelation (Free Will 2.6)Reason removes objections to faith (Letters )
109 Augustine on the Limits of Reason Regarding the Holy Spirit when it comes to certainty of the Christian faith:“First believe - then understand.” (On the Creed 4)“If we wish to first know and then believe, we should not be able to know or believe.” (On the Gospel of John 7:29)
110 Thomas Aquinas Will overrides Reason Human reason can be used to prove natural theologyHuman reason can illustrate supernatural theologyHuman reason can refute false ideas“Arguments confirm truths that exceed natural knowledge and manifest God’s works that surpass all knowledge” (Summa Contra Gentiles 1.6)He also said…“When a man has a will ready to believe, he loves the truth he believes…”“faith involves will and reason does not coerce the will.”
111 More on Reason and the Holy Spirit John Calvin Calvin believed reason was adequate to understand the existence of God, the immortality of the soul, and even the truth of Christianity. At the same time, he believed no one could come to certainty about these truths apart from the Holy Spirit.
112 More on Reason and the Holy Spirit Martin Luther (Third Article in his Small Catechism)“I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith…”
113 More on Reason and the Holy Spirit B. B. Warfield“It is easy, of course, to say that a Christian man must take his standpoint not above the Scriptures, but in the Scriptures. He very certainly must. But surely he first must have Scriptures, authenticated to him as such, before he can take his standpoint in them.”
114 More on Reason and the Holy Spirit John Warwick MontgomeryLutheran apologist John Warwick Montgomery does believe that conversion is totally the work of the Holy Spirit but also believes that the Holy Spirit works through the evidence provided by the apologist to remove the obstacles to faith (Faith Founded on Fact, Newburgh, IN: Trinity Press, 1978).“If you reject Him it will not be because of a deficiency of evidence but because of a perversity of will.”
115 More on Reason and the Holy Spirit Norman Geisler“The Holy Spirit is necessary for full assurance of the truths of Christianity, and he alone prompts people to believe in God’s saving truth. The Holy Spirit works in and through evidence, but not separate from it. As the Spirit of a rational God, he does not bypass the head on the way to the heart…”
116 Compare the Islamic and Christian Concept of God A debate betweenWilliam Lane CraigandJamal Bedawiat the University of Illinois
117 What to ExpectUnlikely to Convert – both debaters do fairly well and it is unlikely this debate will sway the Christian or Muslim from their current position.Draws out Concepts – the debate does do a fairly good job of drawing out a few distinctions between the Muslim and Christian conception of God and JesusNote: given each session in this course is only 75 minutes – there was only time for the opening statements and one rebuttal. Given Dr Bedawi used a good bit of his opening statement to rebut Craig (who went first), the only practical solution was to include Craig’s rebuttal and end there. To be totally fair, it would be good to hear Bedawi’s first rebuttal. However, IMO, not much light was shed after Craig’s rebuttal anyway.Debating Tactics – some interesting tactics are displayed by both sides showing the debaters skills in rhetoric
119 Craig’s Opening Statement Christian conception of God is trueJesus regarded himself as the unique divine son of GodJesus’ resurrection from the dead by God vindicated his claimsIslamic conception of God is inadequatePhilosophically it is morally inadequateGod’s love is shown conditional and partial – but should not be as the greatest conceivable beingHistorically it is inadequateQur’an and New Testament make conflicting claims about Jesus and the NT is a better source for the historical Jesus
121 Bedawi’s Opening Statement Qur’an – ample description of “God’s closeness” (Wadud)Jesus was one of the 5 greatest prophets (all prophets are Muslim)Rebuttal of Craig on Jesus’ divinity:Downplays “son of God” (term servant is superior)Matthew 11:27 (“God gave me everything”)No knowledge “of the hour”: shows lack of divinityJesus greater than the angels – still a creatureGod raised Jesus – greater power apart from JesusResurrection – does not imply divinity (straw man)Rebuttal of Craig on Islam:Islam is not an offshoot (all share one source – Allah)Makes several assertions on Allah’s loveGod loves “good deeds” and hates “evil deeds”But, morally inadequate: Allah loving the sinner and saint equally (contradictory?)
122 Bedawi’s Opening Statement Rebutting Craig (rapid-fire assertion) continued:Gives several examples of how Allah lovesJohn 14 – (way, truth, and life) – speaking for Allah on the true path as revealed by all of the prophetsDownplays John 10 – “I and the Father are one.” – one in “purpose” not “essence.”Downplays “he who sees me sees God” – metaphor and besides, “nobody ever saw God” (except Jesus?)Thomas exegesis: “my godly lord”Downplays Mark 14 – “worship from others”Downplays “before Abraham was, I am” (mere foreknowledge)Jews would have left Jesus alone if he claimed to be God (really?)
123 Bedawi’s Opening Statement More rapid-fire assertions:If Jesus were God he would have been clearer about it“was Jesus not clear enough that he need to be clearer” (rework of Bedawi’s opening about the hiddeness of God line from Islamic tradition)Should not believe the disciples in all matters – they were not prophets (undermining his own mine?)Mathew 28 on baptism – 4th century forgery?Eusebius didn’t refer to trinity – came later at NiceneI Timothy 3:16 – “He” instead of “God” who was manifest in the fleshBible not authentic anyway – British museum codex-A(again, does this not undercut the branch Bedawi is sitting on?)
125 Craig’s Rebuttal Christian conception of God is true Jesus regarded himself as the unique divine son of God – Bedawi did not dispute authenticity of Jesus’ statements:Servant more honorific comment is from a quranic perspective“God the Son”/“Son of God” distinction (John 1:18 ‘only begotten God’)“Matthew 11” on “if God gave everything” argument was incoherentMark 13:32: “Jesus must know the hour” (but Jesus was genuinely man)Noted the mistranslation of the Greek in John (on Thomas)
126 Craig’s RebuttalJesus’ resurrection from the dead by God vindicated his claims (empty tomb; appearances and origin of the church) - Bedawi did not dispute these three facts of history but tried to “soften the blow”Resurrection does not make you divine – agreedNo other “resurrection” like Jesus’ (other cases are revivifications)Islamic conception of God is inadequatePhilosophically it is morally inadequate – Bedawi made no positive arguments for Islam – and Bedawi agrees “God must be all-loving”Much rhetoric on both sides as Bedawi claims Allah is “all loving” and Craig claims his love is conditionalOn historical inadequacy – Bedawi made no case at all
127 Discussion End of Session 5-6 Time for open discussion about the material covered
128 OpenerChristian researcher George Barna polled thousands of Americans in 1989 and asked the question, "If you could ask God one question, what would it be?" The answer by an overwhelming margin was? …"Why is there pain, evil and suffering?“ (17%)“Undoubtedly the greatest intellectual obstacle to belief in God.” William Lane Craig
129 Dr. Ravi Zacharias (Intro) Is There Meaning in Evil and Suffering (The Faith & Science Lecture Forum)
130 The Problem of Evil Problem of Evil Emotional Problem Theodicy: is a specific branch of theology and philosophy that attempts to reconcile the existence of evil or suffering in the world with the existence of God being all-good and all-powerfulProblem of EvilEmotional ProblemIntellectual ProblemProbabilistic VersionLogical Version
131 David Hume – Logical Problem 18th Century Scottish Philosopher on the logical problem of evil “Is He willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then He is impotent.Is He able, but not willing? Then He is malevolent.Is He both able and willing? Whence then is evil? "If God is all-powerful G(p) then He must be able to prevent evil E(a)G(p) -> E(a)If God is all-good G(g) then He must desire to prevent evil E(d)G(g) -> E(d)If God is able to prevent evil and has the desire to prevent evil, then evil should not exist(E(a) · E(d)) -> ~EEvil does exist.ETherefore; God is either limited in power or goodness, or both.Therefore; ~E(a) v ~E(d) – from iii (DT and MT)Therefore; ~G(p) v ~G(g) – from I and ii (MT)
132 David Hume – Logical Problem 18th Century Scottish Philosopher on the logical problem of evil If God is all-powerful then He must be able to prevent evilThis is arguably false – God cannot do what is logically impossible or contrary to His natureIf God is all-good then He must desire to prevent evilThis is arguably false – there may be morally sufficient reasons to allow evil for a greater purpose
133 C. S. Lewis on Free Will“Free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having. A world of automata; of creatures that worked like machines; would hardly be worth creating. The happiness which God designs for His higher creatures is the happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to Him and to each other....”
134 Alvin Plantinga on Free Will “Now God can create free creatures, but he cannot cause or determine them to do only what is right. For if he does so, then they are not significantly free after all; they do not do what is right freely. To create creatures capable of moral good, therefore, he must create creatures capable of moral evil; and he cannot leave these creatures free to perform evil and at the same time prevent them from doing so.”
135 Augustine God thought we were worth creating “A runaway horse is better than a stone.”
136 Dr. Ravi Zacharias (25 min) Is There Meaning in Evil and Suffering (The Faith & Science Lecture Forum)
137 Probabilistic Problem of Evil The logical problem of evil is easily defeated using possible-worlds arguments consistent with the Christian worldview – but logical possibilities often come cheap!The probabilistic problem of evil draws out the quantity, degree and apparent pointlessness of evil and gratuitous suffering and tries to show possible-worlds solutions are not probable with respect to our background knowledge.
138 Christian Worldview Response The chief purpose of life is not happiness, but knowledge of God (Ravi talks about worship here)Mankind is in a state of rebellion against God and His purpose (Ravi noted cumulative evil is individual evil multiplied)God’s purpose is not just for this life but spills over beyond the grave into eternal lifeThe knowledge of God is an incommensurable goodWilliam Lane Craig – Hard Questions, Real Answers
139 C. S. Lewis“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world…No doubt Pain as God's megaphone is a terrible instrument: it may lead to final and unrepented rebellion. But it gives the only opportunity the bad man can have for amendment. It removes the veil; it plants the flag of truth within the fortress of a rebel soul.”
140 Dr. Ravi Zacharias (from the floor 7 min) Is There Meaning in Evil and Suffering (The Faith & Science Lecture Forum)
141 Discussion End of Session 7 Time for open discussion about the material covered
142 Writings of Antiquity (chart by Norman Geisler, 1986) Author/ BookDate WrittenEarliest CopiesTime GapNo. of CopiesPercent AccuracyHomer, Iliad800 b.cc. 400 B.C.c. 400 yrs64395Herodotus Historyb.c.c. a.d. 900c. 1,350 yrs8?Thucydides, Historyb.c. c. 1,300 yrsPlato400 b.c.c. 1,300 yrs 7Caesar, Gallic Warsb.c.c. 1,000 yrs10Livy, History of Rome59 b.c. - a.d. 174th cent.(partial) mostly 10th cent.c. 400 yrs c. 1,000 yrs1 partial 19 copiesTacitus, Annalsa.d. 100c. a.d. 110020Pliny Secundus, Natural Historya.dc. 850c. 750 yrsNew Testamenta.dc. 114 (fragment)c. 200 (books)c. 250 (most of N.T.)c. 325 (complete N.T.) ±50 yrs 100 yrs 150 yrs 225 yrs5366[Greek]99+
143 Craig on the Resurrection (6 min) Jesus’ resurrection was significant because of his personal claims“divine imprimatur” – formal or official approval by GodIntertestamental period – between Malachi and the coming of JesusBook of Baruk – non-canonical
144 Craig on the Origin of Christian Faith (6 min) Disciples firmly believed God had raised Jesus from the deadThe Crucifixion was a disasterThe Resurrection showed God had vindicated Jesus’ claimsWhere did the disciples get the idea Jesus was resurrectedNo causal link between pagan beliefs and disciples’ beliefResurrection (Jesus’) was not a Jewish concept
145 Craig on the Empty Tomb (9 min) The burial story – if true, the site was knownPart of Mark’s early source material – therefore very close to the events (perhaps even less than 10 years)The empty tomb story is simple – compared to apocryphal gospels the narratives are highly embellishedThe empty tomb was discovered by women; women were not highly regarded and their testimony was considered unreliableThe earliest Jewish polemic presupposes the empty tomb
146 Craig on Jesus’ Appearances (12 min) Primary evidence is Paul’s list of witnessesAppearance to 12 is best-attestedAppearance to James seems plausible given his early unbelief and subsequent leadership - martyred in AD67Appearance to all apostles – 40 daysAppeared to PaulHallucinations has a lot of problems: wide variety of circumstances, locations and witnessesPhysical aspect undercuts hypothesis and was not a Jewish notion (Elijah and Enoch were assumed into heaven)The empty tomb does not conjoin with the hypothesis
147 Craig on Gospel’s Confirmation (10 min) Paul confirms the writings of the Evangelists in the GospelsA spiritual-only resurrection is not a coherent conceptAverseness to a physical resurrection is a Greek notionNT teaches a bodily resurrectionNumerical identity between earthly body and resurrected body – (Thomas, placing his fingers into Jesus’ side)
148 Craig on Philosophical Presuppositions (4 min) Guide historical work with respect to NT narrativePresupposition of methodological naturalism – a priori discards the supernatural
149 Discussion End of Session 8 Time for open discussion about the material covered
150 OpenerAll of the world’s unique information on the Internet (2007) is estimated to be less than 10^20 bytes (100 million, trillion bytes)If all of this information were stored as DNA – how much space would you need?Less than the volume of a pinhead
151 On The Origin of Life From Genesis Genesis 1:1 - In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.Genesis 1:11 - Then God said, "Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds." And it was so.Genesis 1:20 - And God said, "Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky."Genesis 1:24 - And God said, "Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind.”Genesis 1:26 - Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."Genesis 2:2 - By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.
152 On The Origin of Life Five Dominant Views Chance + necessity + timeGod-directedNaturalismSupernaturalismIntelligentDesign + GodBiblicallyCompatibleTheistic EvolutionSelf-Organizationfront-loadeddesign?Darwinian EvolutionCosmicAncestry+ abiogenesis
153 Terms UsedNeo-Darwinism: In general it is the combined view developed in the mid-20th century from genetics and Darwinian evolution theory where the gene is the primary unit of evolution and contingency and material mechanisms cause variationBiological Evolution: Descent with modificationBiogenesis: Life arising from lifeAbiogenesis: Life arising from non-life
154 Appeal to IgnoranceGod of the Gaps: a version of the logical fallacy: “appeal to ignorance” when science fails to provide a naturalistic explanation one infers a supernatural one.Cuts both ways: Scientism will often cry “god-of-the-gaps” and then appeal to future discovery to fill the gap – but this no defeater for a supernatural inference!Appealing to Gaps: provides no explanation
155 Darwinian DogmaIt is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane Richard DawkinsLet me lay my cards on the table. If I were to give an award for the single best idea anyone ever had, I'd give it to Darwin, ahead of even Newton or Einstein and everyone else. In a single stroke, the idea of evolution by natural selection unifies the realm of life, meaning and purpose with the realm of space and time, cause and effect, mechanism and physical law. Daniel Dennett - Darwin's Dangerous Idea (1995)
156 Taking Darwinism Seriously Christians need to take the challenges of Darwinism seriously and not hand-wave it off with pithy uninformed comments.[e.g. Million monkeys on typewriters analogy]
159 Irreducible Complexity Irreducibly complex systems: cannot be built gradually because their end-function does not exist until all requisite components are in placeCo-option: a process by which components from one functional system are reused in another novel functional system
162 Design Inference Filter Is an effect the result of a design-cause?HPyesHP – High ProbabilityIP – Intermediate ProbabilitySP – Small ProbabilitySpec – SpecificationNecessitynoIPyesChancenoSP+SpecnoHP – the sun rising (highest explanatory priority)IP – a small meteor hitting TallahasseeSP (not specified) – any collection of 1 million sand particles in a pile at the beachSP (specified) – collection of 1 million sand particles shaped into a castle at the beachyesDesign
163 Mountain Archer Analogy Imagine shooting an arrow off a mountain to a 10 sq. mile valley 10,000 feet below1. HP – hitting the valley2. IP – hitting one of a small number of trees you were not aiming for3. IP / Sp – landing in a stream running through the valley you were aiming for (design can slip through – false-negative)4. SP - hitting a particular stone you were not aiming for5. SP / Sp – hitting a small bull's-eye intentionally (only design can be caught here – no false-positives)
164 Design Inference Complexity + Specification = Design 1. There is a relationship between small probability and complexity2. To infer design the probability must be very small (below the universal bound)3 . A specification is a conditionally independent patternSmall probability -> complexity – the odds a million monkeys could type out a sentence from Shakespeare in a million years is possible – but typing out a whole sonnet is not statistically possible
165 Improbability BoundIf the odds are less than 1e-150 for a contingent (chance) cause to produce a complex specified effect, then the effect obtaining is below the limit of statistical possibilityThe GUID - 3F2504E0-4F89-11D3-9A0C-0305E82C3301 (5.3e-36)
166 Design Inference B C A A – Natural B- Design C – Limit Complexity ProcessB- DesignC – Limitof natural processBSimple analogy: flipping a coin multiple timesIncreasing the number of flips increases “complexity”Specifying more information about the sequence of H/T in advance increases “specification”CAComplexitySpecification
167 Conclusion1. The Design Inference is straightforward – how you apply it to biology is not2 . The I.D. camp must improve their methodology for applying the Design Inference to biological systems3. The Darwinist camp, instead of engaging in sound scientific and philosophical debate, is trying to excommunicate I.D. from the scientific community4. The jury is still out…
168 Discussion End of Session 9-10 Time for open discussion about the material covered