The Question That We All Should Ask

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Have you ever asked yourself: “What is my place in the universe?” If you would be willing to pause for a moment to think about it (and why wouldn’t you?), shouldn’t this be one of the most important questions, if not the most important one anyone could ask? But, amazingly, most people today either haven’t asked it at all or have just dismissed it as unanswerable or with the simple answer: “I have no real importance in the universe.” Now, having such a perspective may seem to be humble and, even, noble. But is it correct?

Up until about 100 years ago things were very different. Most people in Europe and the United States would have answered the question in theistic terms. One’s view of one’s self was in relation to the Creator God, the same One Who is described in the Bible and Who was believed to exist by the vast majority of people. In short, aside from a minority consisting of Jews, Atheists/Agnostics, Muslims and people of other faiths, almost everyone saw himself or herself either as a Christian or a sinner before God.

But over the course of the previous century a new view had been gaining strength in intellectual circles, slowly supplanting Christianity, first in the halls of academia and, eventually, in the entire culture. This approach came to be known as Humanism and was frankly admitted to be a religious alternative to Christianity and other supernatural religions in a Manifesto authored by a group of prominent teachers in the early 1930’s (the first “Humanist Manifesto”).

Humanism featured a starkly different perspective on human existence than Christianity, rejecting the supernatural both on the personal and cosmic levels. On the cosmic side, it rejected the idea of an Almighty Creator and Lord of the universe in favor of a Materialistic view, which held that, ultimately, the universe consists only of matter-energy, space-time and mindless forces of Nature. Consistent with this was the notion of humanity as the ultimate source and standard of truth and morality. After all, if there was no Higher Authority, then we must determine truth and morality for ourselves.

Over the past 100 years Humanism has so effectively become the dominant view that it became rare that anyone would dare to question it. Those who dared to do so would tend to be viewed as odd or ignorant, at best (holding to antiquated and disproved beliefs) if not outright crazy. In American culture, the so-called “Scopes monkey trial” in the 1920’s was probably the clearest sign of the conquest of Humanism. For, although the Humanist side lost the actual trial, it clearly won a decisive victory in the court of public opinion. So it is that most in Europe and the U.S. today just take the Humanist view of humanity and the universe for granted: that we are tiny specks in a vast impersonal Cosmos, mere accidents of Nature, biochemical machines which are the most complex product of the process of Evolution, a process governed by mindless forces.

But is the Humanist view correct? Does it explain human existence? Does it stand up to critical scrutiny? Were we correct in rejecting the old way of looking at things? Or is there another approach which may work better? That such questions are rarely asked today is, in itself, a dangerous thing. Socrates has been credited with saying that “An unexamined life is not worth living.” This seems undeniably true. But in order to properly examine one’s life it is critical that one see it in the proper universal context. Sadly, most of us today have become so convinced that there is only one way to view ourselves and the universe that we have lost our ability to think critically about it and also to think about alternative views.

The goal of what follows is two-fold: to shine a critical spotlight on today’s dominant philosophy: Humanism (including its metaphysical and epistemological partners, Materialism and Empiricism) and also to shine a much-needed new light on its predecessor: Christian Theism. For, although Christianity was the dominant view for almost two millennia, it has been pushed so far from the center of modern culture that it is almost completely unknown by most today.

As one whose personal intellectual journey followed this “two-step”, I came to realize first that today’s dominant view turns out to be what is known today as an “Epic Fail”. Upon reaching this conclusion I fell into a period of total Skepticism. But, unlike some, it seems, I could not remain in skepticism. What followed was a brief flirtation with Zen Buddhism. I was initially drawn to Zen because of its denial both of Theism and of all conceptualization. Coincidentally, it happened to agree with today’s dominant view of the Cosmos (which was well-portrayed in the Carl Sagan “Cosmos” PBS mini-series of the early 1980’s and has recently been updated), which said that all of our experience and thinking are illusions and that ultimate reality is something quite different from what we perceive it to be.

But, if both Zen and modern scientists and intellectuals are correct, then all that we think and experience are merely passing fancies with an illusion of meaning. In short, if this is the case, then we are all the victims of a cosmic joke of sorts. However, even if we are all deceived, it remains the case that we undeniably exist as the subjects of the deception. After all, only a truly insane person believes that he or she doesn’t really exist. Furthermore, there are countless other things we really know to be true, in contrast with countless things we know to be false. It is simply impossible to function moment-by-moment without being able to make this distinction.

Being unable to accept the “Grand Illusion” view, I continued searching. But I was still too much under the sway of my Humanist up-bringing to give any real consideration to Christianity. While I had received catechism in Catholicism at the behest of my parents, I had never truly considered the teachings of the Catholic Church. For, this brief training was easily overcome by the Humanistic indoctrination I was receiving 5 days a week and 9 months every year in a very “progressive” suburban Philadelphia school district.

We all tend to believe what we are taught every day. And to those who object to me calling my public education an “indoctrination”, I would point out that all education necessarily involves the teaching of basic doctrines, “basic” because they are the base upon which everything else is built. All philosophies (including both Christianity and Humanism) have their own basic doctrines, which cannot practically be questioned. After all, one simply can’t go through life thinking that their most basic beliefs about themselves and the world may be wrong.

So I continued searching in every possible direction I could find other than Christianity. Until one day when I suddenly became convinced that I was not an accident of Nature. Rather, I was a creature who had been created by a Creator, created for a relationship with Him. In retrospect I consider this the day in which I became a “born-again” Christian. I had not been prompted to begin thinking about God by any other person or by reading the Bible or any other book. It was simply the opening of a vertical connection by God to me which had not existed before. And once this happens to someone, everything changes.

Within a matter of days I became convinced that the Bible must be what it says it is: God’s unique revelation of Himself. I became confident of this because, of all ancient religious scriptures, the Bible alone described The God Who had just made me aware of Himself. I would add that I had not ever truly been an Atheist who was certain that there is no God. But I was what Christians call a “practical atheist”, who thought and lived on the assumption that Christianity was false and that it’s impossible for anyone to know for sure what ultimate reality consists of and for any one religion to be true. I would later see that this in itself is just part of my previous belief-system.

Having become a true believer in the God of the Bible and the Bible, I began to describe myself as a Christian for the first time and I began seeking the fellowship of other believers. I now saw myself as a Christian not because I had been brought up as a Catholic or because I was an American, but because I truly believed in Christianity. In short, I had come to see that, despite all of the progress in Science and technology and some other areas which had occurred since it was supplanted, it was the previously-dominant approach to truth, Christian Theism, not Humanism, that was actually the correct approach.

In short, the developed world made an intellectual and spiritual wrong-turn about 100 years ago and needs to get back on the right road, turning back to Christianity from the Humanism which can be seen to be self-destructive both in principle (in destroying the true meaning of human nature and human life) and in practice (in destroying the sanctity of life and the civility, freedom and prosperity which depend on this).

This is the path that I am praying that God will lead many others on. The perspective which I came to have is illustrated in the diagram below (https://christianityistrue.org/the-duality-of-creation). And I pray that He will use this site toward this end. Soli Deo Gloria!

A Libertarian Manifesto

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1. To force someone to do or say what one believes is right but the other person believes is wrong, far from promoting civil liberty, actually takes away the civil liberty of others. Whereas this is sometimes necessary, it must only be done when it is absolutely necessary.
2. Whereas it should be recognized that discrimination against people is always unacceptable for certain things (for example with regard to race or ethnicity), in other situations it can be acceptable at times but unacceptable at other times (for example with regard to sex or sexual orientation, see note below), and should always be accepted in some cases (as in denying the liberty of murderers, rapists, pedophiles, drunk-drivers and other duly-convicted criminals, regardless of color, or in allowing people to form private associations and determine the membership qualifications and requirements for such).
3. Whereas civil rights legislation sometimes is necessary to counter illegitimate discrimination (as with racial discrimination in the 1960’s in the U.S. and elsewhere today), it should be recognized that laws in themselves don’t usually change people’s minds. And for people to change their behavior requires them to change their thinking. This change in people’s thinking is the real reason for the real progress we have made in racial and religious relations since the 1960’s.
4. The United States of America was not set up either to be a Christian or a secular nation, but a nation which sought to guarantee “liberty and justice for all”, both religious and non-religious, as far as this is possible. This liberty must include the right of both religious and non-religious people to do, say and think according to their beliefs both in private and publicly. When there are conflicts as a result of this “free-exercise” of religious or secular beliefs (as there inevitably will be), every effort must be made to find compromises which do not violate the freedom of conscience of all parties.
5. The United States of America was not set up to be a nation in which the government was to rule over all aspects of people’s lives, but a nation in which a limited amount of government, with balanced and separated powers “of the People, by the People and for the People” would protect and promote both the personal and economic liberty of all from tyranny, whether from external or internal threats.

Are you a true Libertarian? Sadly, organizations like the ACLU and Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU) often fight against the liberty of those who dissent from what is regarded as “politically correct” today. Insofar as they do so, they promote tyranny rather than liberty. A true Libertarian must always allow others “the right to be wrong” with respect to their own beliefs and values.

I welcome discussion of this with anyone willing to have a reasonable, respectful discussion. But if you aren’t willing to do so and, furthermore, would exclude this discussion and marginalize anyone who would raise these issues, then you are acting like a tyrant, not a freedom-loving libertarian.

Christopher Andrus

Note to point 2: It’s wrong not to give women the same opportunities as men (and vice-versa) in most cases. But it’s right for the Women’s National Basketball Association to ban male players. And it’s right to protect people from being persecuted for their private, consensual behavior. But it’s wrong to persecute people for not approving of and to require them to support behavior which they view as wrong and destructive. The latter is wrong because it can’t be demonstrated that sexual orientation is akin to race as a natural, unchangeable characteristic. Indeed, it can be shown that sexual orientations can change in a variety of ways.

Twenty-one Tweets To Transform Your Thinking

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1.  In the Evolution/Creation debate most #Evolution-believers are close-minded to #Creationism/#ID, but many Creationists came from their side

2.  Most Evolution believers today hold completely unexamined and unfounded assumptions about the nature of ultimate reality, humanity and God.

3.  Darwin’s theory wasn’t a conclusion based on research. Rather, his prior rejection of God & Theistic Science drove his theorizing & research.

4How irrational #Atheists act: A: “Show me evidence.” We give evidence & arguments. A ignore & say: “There’s no evidence. Show me evidence.”

5.  #Evolution believer: Why do you assume only the material world exists, that we’re reducible to brain chemistry, and that no Creator exists?

6.  #Evolution believer: You must resist the tendency to assume you have the truth & start questioning it. To insist you don’t need to is Denial

7.  deny but can’t refute how irreducible complexity/the decay of the human genome/the existence of minds undermine their beliefs

8.  Evolution fail: We have brain chemistry but can’t be reduced to this. The “matter-only” view of the Cosmos fails. (http://wp.me/p3YamW-1j )

9.  Only Mind/Body Dualism explains 2-way causality betw brain-chemistry & consciousness + a single entity can’t be both its own cause & effect.

10.  -believer: To say that consciousness is only brain-chemistry looking at itself is nonsense which only explains away consciousness.

11.  All education is “faith-based”. Secular public ed. is based on faith that the Creator God doesn’t exist. But this is impossible to know.

12.  If The Biblical #God exists (& we say He must), He must be The 1st Priority of all #education. To refuse to start with God is to reject Him

13.  Every human being in history has actually known that The Creator God exists. But man is also naturally inclined to rebel against our Maker.

14.  #God calls all to give up resistance to Him, Admit your sin & need for Him, Believe He sent His Son to forgive & His Spirit to transform you

15.  The Trinity (hinted at in the OT & deduced from the NT) means God is relationally both Subject & Object (not physically).

16.  God’s plurality of Being makes Him self-sufficient as a relational Person, without the need to create something to relate to.

17.  The Trinity means God is One & Many, equally-ultimate Subject & Object and a relational Being (incl cause & effect relation).

18.  Christian Theism is The Answer to all of the major riddles of Philosophy, thereby serving as the only basis for all knowledge

19.  Despite the dogmatic Modern/Post-Modern bias, the Bible is both God’s “Get to know Me Manual” & the Foundation for all Truth.

20.  Material (created) entities can only be objects, not subjects. But we, as incarnated spiritual beings in God’s image are both

21.  Having made us as incarnated spiritual beings, God Himself became one (in the Person of The Son) to lead us to Perfection.

For more thought-provoking tweets follow @Duke1CA on Twitter.  Here are some other helpful resources for those who are interested in these topics:

Jason Lisle’s book, “The Ultimate Proof of Creation”

Timothy Keller’s book, “The Reason for God”

The DVD “Evolution’s Achilles Heels” (a presentation of problems with Evolution by 15 credentialed scientists;  in addition to the compelling scientific arguments, the interviews with the scientists in the bonus material are also important)

And two web-sites: CreationRevolution.com & AnswersinGenesis.org

Those who are truly interested in finding truth are not afraid of looking for it anywhere.

The Relationship of Faith and Works to Salvation

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Which Way is the Right Way to “Salvation”?

(Regardless of what name you call it)

by Christopher Andrus

Revised 1/5/2010

1)  “Faith” —> Salvation

(Good Works are unnecessary.)

2)  “Good Works” —> Salvation 

(No particular kind of Faith is necessary.)

3)  “Faith” + “Good Works” —> Salvation

4)  Salvation (Accomplished) —> Faith —> Good Works —> Completed Salvation

The first possibility is a common understanding that Roman Catholics and other non-Evangelicals have of the Protestant Christian Gospel.  But it is a misunderstanding (although it is true that Evangelical churches do sometimes fall into this error).  This is the false way of Antinomianism.  It should be noted that “Faith” has been placed in quotes to indicate that any understanding of faith which does not hold good works to be a necessary result of faith is a false view of faith.

The second (which is the way of Moralism) is probably the most popular notion for non-religious or nominally-religious people in the modern pluralistic world.  (The latter refers to people who claim to belong to a particular religion but do not really hold to the teachings of that religion.)  Unfortunately, it is also a way that does not work.  This is because, no matter how many “good works” one does, these could not wash away the sin that separates us from God.  (Beyond our behavior and thoughts, what we should not do and do or what we should do and don’t, is the root of mankind’s universal sinfulness – our inescapable tendency to deny or resist God.)  Moreover, “good works” which are not performed for the right motive, which is love for God and neighbor, and for the right end, which is the glory of God, are not truly good (hence the quotation marks again).

The third conception is probably the most popular one for serious practitioners of all of the major religions of the world, including Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and, even (in practice, at least) Protestant Christianity.  However, in spite of the popularity of this view and regardless of the sincerity with which it is pursued, it too is a false way!  This is the error of Legalism, which makes Salvation dependent on what man does: namely, to have the right kind of “Faith” and the right “Good Works”.  But, man is unable to have either on his own.

[Related to this is a recently-developed approach which holds Faith and Good Works to be two sides of the same coin.  Thus:

Faith/Works –> Salvation.  Or:  “The Obedience of Faith” or Faithfulness –> Salvation.

While this view is somewhat of an improvement on the first two ways, in pointing to the inseparability of Faith and Good Works, it too fails to capture the true nature of God’s Saving Grace.  It also fails to recognize that Faith and Works, while inseparable, are nonetheless also distinct entities, with the former being passive and the latter active.]

This brings us to the final conception, which is the only true one, what Jesus called the narrow path which leads to life (in contrast with the other ways, which make up the broad way which leads to destruction).  For, the true Christian Gospel declares that Salvation is dependent only on what God does (in the past, the present and the future), both what He has done for us, in the saving work of His Eternal Son, Jesus Christ and what He does in us, in giving us true Faith and empowering us to do true Good Works.  In this way, the Salvation which was perfectly accomplished by Christ is applied to believers in Him more and more until they are brought to Full Salvation in eternity.

The application of the Salvation accomplished by the Lord Jesus Christ comes through the working of the Holy Spirit, Who takes up residence in the heart of God’s true Children as a true Divine Presence and Counselor.  In this we see the necessity of the Third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, as well as the Second, the Son of God, Jesus Christ, in order for Salvation to be possible.  The uniqueness of the Gospel, then, is the glorious truth that we have already been saved by Christ, although we have not yet reached the full experience of our salvation.  This means that, if Christ died for us, our salvation is certain because it has already been fully accomplished.  But it is not yet complete from our point of view.

What happens to believers in this world is determined by what God has already done in Eternity in the completed work of the Redeemer, Jesus Christ.  And so it will be until this present world comes to an end in the Day of the Lord and is replaced by the Kingdom of God in its glorious fullness, which was the goal of God’s Creation from the beginning.  The only thing that matters, then, is this: Is Jesus Christ truly your Savior?  Do you know that He died for you and that you are in Him and He is in you?  If this is true for you, then all of the blessings of Heaven are guaranteed to you and all of the glory belongs to God!

Ten Widely-believed Fallacies Today

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Ten Widely-believed Fallacies Today

by Christopher Andrus

August 30, 2013

 

  1. Every reasonable person knows the God described in the Bible can’t exist.
  2. There is no evidence that the Biblical God exists.
  3. All claims of immaterial existence are ridiculous because they can’t be      demonstrated scientifically.  So belief in the Biblical God is akin to belief in Santa Claus or the “flying spaghetti monster”.
  4. Because Science has been proven to be the only reliable way to understand the physical world, it must be the only way to gain knowledge.
  5. Biblical Christianity is anti-Science and anti-Reason.
  6. We can know what happened in the past and what will happen in the future based on what we understand about how nature works now.
  7. I am not religious because my beliefs are all scientifically-based.
  8. It is always wrong to judge others.
  9. There is no such thing as absolute truth.
  10.  Every reasonable person knows that the Bible is filled with scientific impossibilities, evil teachings or actions done by or required by God and other errors.

Introductory note: Because of the importance of these issues for every one of us it is not rational either to ignore or dismiss the arguments which follow.  They must either be refuted with rational arguments or accepted.  We assert that only the Christian worldview can account for all we experience and know.

  1. Every reasonable person knows the God described in the Bible can’t exist.

Why this is a fallacy:

It is impossible to know that God doesn’t exist because proving the non-existence of God would require complete knowledge of the universe, and not just in the present, but also from the beginning.  Of course, this is impossible for any human being.  So, one may doubt that God exists.  But you cannot know that He doesn’t.  However, the reality is that everyone actually knows that the Biblical God does exist, but most suppress this knowledge.

This is because human beings are made in the image of our Creator God and for the purpose of having a relationship with Him.  But we have also been born with a natural tendency to run away from God, which we inherited from our ancestors, going all the way back to our First Parents, Adam and Eve.  Because of this sinful nature, we have the desire to get along without our Creator and to try to make sense of the world without Him.  This is the driving force behind all philosophies and religions other than Biblical Christianity.  (The use of the pronoun “Him” for God does not mean that God is male.  God created both the male and female genders.  However, the New Testament message is that God became a man in the person of Jesus of Nazareth.)

Modern public education is based on the false premise that The God of the Bible doesn’t exist.  So, from our very first days in school we are taught about a world in which God is irrelevant.  One is free to believe in God personally, but only if this belief has no impact on one’s life and understanding of the universe.  In other words, God is only acceptable if He is irrelevant and powerless.

But, The Almighty Creator God cannot be dismissed.  Because of Who He Is, we must begin learning by learning about Him.  If we don’t, we have actually rejected Him and replaced Him with something else.  The Bible calls this idolatry.  In the past idolatry was obvious, being seen in open worship of other gods or ideals.  But the most common form of idolatry in the 21st century is more subtle.  Today’s main idols are human reason and desires and Science as the only source of knowledge.

Because God is The One Who gave every one of us life and everything else and Who sustains us moment-by-moment, we are “biting The Hand that feeds us” if we do not make our relationship with Him our top priority.  Again, you cannot plead ignorance on this.  You already know in your heart that you are completely dependent on God every single moment of your life.  He calls you to forsake your false sense of independence and your futile resistance to Him.

  1. There is no evidence that the Biblical God exists.

There is plenty of evidence and arguments which show that belief in God is far more reasonable than believing that He doesn’t exist or, even, doubting that He does.  In a court of law, evidence will be sought and viewed differently by the prosecution and the defense.  Such is also the case between those believe in God’s existence and those who assume that God doesn’t exist.

The first piece of evidence for God’s existence is the existence of human minds.  The most common belief today (which is falsely called “scientific”) is that the universe really consists only of matter/energy and mindless forces of nature in time.  But if this is true then the universe is ultimately mindless.  But then where did human minds come from?

Saying that our minds and identity are only brain chemistry and that we only imagine otherwise won’t work.  This is because, even if we are deluded about ourselves, “we” still exist as subjects of the delusion.  In other words, “you” and “I” exist both as objects and subjects.  We are not our brains.  Rather, you and I have bodies (including our brains), but we are clearly more than this.  For example, if a person is viewing their own brain-scan he or she must be distinguished from what is being viewed.  It is not brain chemistry viewing itself!

The Biblical view explains why we have minds – because we have been made in the image of our Creator as rational and moral beings.  And it is also explains why we have bodies, and also why there is a physical world (which the alternative view cannot) – because God created the universe and created us as minds/souls/spirits housed in physical bodies.

The next evidence of God’s existence is the existence of logic and morality.  Both of these are not part of the material world, so they cannot be explained if matter is all that exists.  Logic simply isn’t observed in Nature.  Rather, it must be assumed and relied upon before we can study and learn about Nature or anything else and before we can communicate with others, and, even, before we can think at all.  In other words, logic is a characteristic of our minds.

In this also we are like God.  God, Who is The Original Mind, is the Creator of our minds.  And our minds also reflect how His works.  God is perfectly logical because true logic describes how His mind works and how ours should work.  As such, God is not under rules of Logic which are higher than Him.  Nor is He logical because He arbitrarily defines what is logical.

In the same way, although we do make moral judgments about things which we observe in the material world, morality in itself cannot be observed in the material world.  It is also important to recognize that we tend to make such judgments only on actions done by people, not by animals.  This is quite revealing in itself in pointing to the uniqueness of humanity as rational moral beings.

Morality, like logic, exists in our minds.  Again, this reflects our Creator.  And, as with logic, true morality describes what God is like as The Original Person.  More accurately, it is The Original Three Persons, Who are equally-divine.  This is important because without this plurality God could not be relational and, thus, moral within His own Being.  This is why Christian Theism is superior to other monotheistic theologies (most significantly, that of Islam and Judaism, but also that of Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses and other monistic faiths).  All polytheistic theologies (with multiple, clearly distinct deities) are clearly inferior because God must be The Supreme Being, otherwise He is not Worthy of The Name.  So, it is necessary that God be One Supreme Being but in more than One Person.

Morality describes how The Three Persons of God have always related to each other and how we, as beings made in God’s image, should relate to each other, as well as to our world and to God.  This is also why there is an impressive amount of agreement on what is right and wrong around the world and also throughout history.  Of course, there is also a considerable amount of disagreement.  But this can be explained as the result of mankind’s natural tendency to reject both God and His moral ways.

As is the case with logic, God is not under rules of morality, nor is He moral because everything He does is moral by definition.  The latter would make morality arbitrary.  But morality is both divinely-based and real (not arbitrary) because God is Three Real Personal Beings Who are also perfectly Good.  Of course, in the latter respect, we are not like Him.

The next piece of evidence that there is a divine Mind behind the universe is the fact that we find both order and disorder in the universe.  On our level, it is clear that purposeful human activity is constantly required to create order and prevent increasing disorder.  Anyone who never cleans their house or brushes their teeth easily finds this to be true!  This is also true of human societies.

But, if this is so in our experience, then it is questionable at best to assume that purposeful activity wasn’t required in order to produce the amazing order which we observe both in the physical universe itself and, especially, in living things.  Today, we are constantly learning more and more about how complex even the simplest living things are.  Furthermore, this complexity involves countless parts working in harmony so that if even one of them is missing or defective the organ or organism cannot function.  (This is known as “irreducible complexity”.)  It is simply an extreme act of blind faith to believe that this developed without a Mind and design behind it.  We know that it takes a watchmaker to make a watch.  It took a far greater Mind to create the universe which includes watches, living things and everything else.

So, the problem is not a lack of evidence.  Rather, it is that most people don’t want to look at the evidence as pointing to God, but, rather, are completely committed to trying to make sense of everything without God.  The claim that there is no evidence for the God of the Bible is simply a lie.  The most that anyone can claim is a belief that the evidence more reasonably points to the non-existence of God.  But we assert the contrary.

Furthermore, it is absolutely absurd for anyone to demand that an Almighty God prove His existence to them before they will acknowledge Him.  For this is to put one’s self in the seat of judgment and, thus, at least equal to, if not above God.  The One True God doesn’t have to prove Himself to human beings or anyone else!  Rather, we have to answer to Him.  If you don’t like this it’s your problem, not His.

  1. All claims that immaterial entities exist are ridiculous because they can’t be      demonstrated scientifically.  So belief in the Biblical God is akin to belief in Santa Claus or the “flying spaghetti monster”.

There are plenty of immaterial entities which we all take for granted constantly.  First, there is logic, which (as indicated under the last point) cannot be observed in the physical world.  Rather, it must be assumed before all observation of this or, even, before any human thinking at all can occur.  Logic is the rules of thinking without which it would be impossible to distinguish what is reasonable from what is nonsense.

Next, there is human consciousness, which includes our self-awareness, our awareness of other people and our awareness of the world around us.  Although consciousness is associated with brain chemistry (at least in our current existence), it simply cannot be reduced to this (as we also established under the last point).

Another immaterial entity which we must assume to be real in order to get along in our world is morality.  As indicated previously, this also cannot be observed in the material world.

Finally, there is all of our experience and knowledge, including all scientific knowledge.  While scientific knowledge is about the world of objects, what we learn from Science is not in itself found in the physical world.

Furthermore, the study and understanding of these immaterial entities is just as possible as that of the material world using both evidence and reason, except that the “objects” of study are not objects, they are subjects.  This includes Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology and Theology, which is the study of The Ultimate Subject – God.  Though the first three are usually considered scientific fields, they are not physical Sciences because they seek understanding of people, who are more than just material entities governed by mindless laws of nature.

And, in practice, it is not hard to demonstrate rationally how The God described in the Bible must exist, as opposed to other claims of deity or conceptions of ultimate reality or obviously fictional characters.  We dealt with the first two under the last point.  As for fictional creatures, it is completely ridiculous to compare belief in The Creator God with belief that these are real.  This is because all sane adults know that fairy tales and fictitious creatures are made up.  But untold millions of people over thousands of years have based their lives on belief in The Creator God.  But, more importantly for the current point, all sane people in human history have assumed that they are real people.  And people are more than material bodies.

  1. Because Science has been proven to be the only reliable way to understand the physical world, it must be the only way to gain knowledge.

This is such an obvious fallacy that it is absolutely stunning that the entire modern philosophy of secular education (which is metaphysical Materialism and its corresponding epistemology of Empiricism) is based on it.  This is known as a fallacy of composition in which it is illegitimately assumed that since Science is demonstrably superior to more primitive approaches to the physical world, then the physical world must be all that exists.  This simply does not follow.  It is a testament to the blinding power of a false Philosophy/Religion that a small child is capable of understanding the logical error here, but Nobel Prize-winning scientists are not.

Instead, it must be recognized that there is an entire realm of reality in addition to the physical world.  In addition to returning to Christian Theism as the correct understanding of reality, we must return to metaphysical Dualism, in which it is recognized that both bodies and minds (or souls or spirits) are real.  This is represented in the diagram which can be found on this blog entitled “The Creator and the Creation”.

  1.  Biblical Christianity is anti-Science and anti-Reason.

Biblical Christianity is entirely compatible with proper Science – the study of the physical world as it works today.  Indeed, the most fundamental scientific discoveries upon which the modern world is built were achieved during a time when most scientists were Bible-believing Christians.  This includes electricity and artificial propulsion.  And even the most revered pioneer of the last century, Albert Einstein, was a Theist.

But modern Science has become an illegitimate, anti-Christian religion by claiming to be the only means of obtaining knowledge.  The most prominent example of this is the evolutionary approach to the origin of the universe and life, which assumes that ultimate reality consists only matter/energy and mindless forces of nature in space/time.  Not only is this an article of pure blind faith because it is unknowable in principle, it also essentially denies the existence of all subjects and subjectivity.  So, the philosophy underlying Evolution is both anti-Christian and anti-rational (since rationality in itself is not material).  Furthermore, (as indicated previously under the second point) without an Intelligent Creator the existence of human intelligence simply can’t be explained.

  1. We can know what happened in the past and what will happen in the future based on what we understand about how nature works now.

First, it is a fallacy to assume the impossibility of past supernatural influence being involved in how the universe came to be as we observe it today.  This possibility simply can’t be ruled out.  But, this possibility alone means that we simply cannot understand the distant past or the future based on the present.  In other words, Science alone simply cannot tell us how old the universe, the earth and all life is, or how they came to be (or about the future of the universe).

Another common fallacy is the belief that to accept the possibility of supernatural influence would destroy Science.  As common as it is, this is a false dilemma.  On the contrary, it is the natural order which God built into the universe combined with our God-given ability to understand this (as rational creatures created to be like Him) which is actually what makes Science possible.  Without The Creator God we simply cannot account for why this order exists, nor can we explain why it is that we are capable of understanding it.

All radiometric dating methods used to determine the ages of things in the natural world falsely assume the unknowable conclusion that the only possible influences on nature are the natural forces which we understand today acting identically to how we observe them acting today.  This is a four-fold fallacy, in assuming that we know all of the natural forces involved, assuming that we know these sufficiently, assuming that these natural forces always worked exactly as they do today, and assuming without warrant only natural forces.  In effect, most scientists today implicitly assume and proceed as though Science has now reached a complete understanding of the forces of nature.  But this is simply an arrogant and dogmatic presumption and a belief that, far from helping advance Science, has actually always tended to block progress in Science in the past.

It is one of the most amazing facts of Modernity that, although it has become almost universally-accepted, all so-called “Scientific” speculation about what happened in the beginning of the universe and what will happen in the future is actually invalid.  This is because all such speculation is based on a four-fold fallacy, any one of which is enough to render such speculations illegitimate.  The first is: Do we really know all of the relevant forces involved in producing what we observe today?  This has been a common error throughout the history of Science.  But do we really know we are not still guilty of it?  The answer is: No.  We simply can’t know what we don’t know!

Second, even if we have come to know all of the natural forces involved, can we really assume we know them well enough to understand all of their effects?  Once again, this has proven to be a faulty assumption on many occasions in the history of Science.

Third, can we really assume that the natural forces which we observe today always worked exactly as we observe them today?  Indeed, basic Science is dependent on this assumption, so this is clearly valid over the short-term.  But isn’t it simply a matter of “blind faith” to assume that the forces of nature could not have worked differently in the past or that they might in the future?  Indeed, can we even speak of the existence of forces of nature in the Singularity which was believed to exist prior to the supposed “Big Bang”?

The first three betray a presumption that we now have come to a complete knowledge of how the universe works.  But, such hubris, far from protecting Science, has always hindered the progress of Science in the past.

This brings us to the fourth fallacy, which is the denial of the possibility of the Supernatural.  While I anticipate that many of you will snicker over this one, the important thing to ask is: Why do you dismiss this as impossible and ridiculous?  Does the fact that you have never observed a miracle mean that such events are impossible?  No, this simply doesn’t follow.  And does the fact that Science is the proper way to study Nature mean that Nature is all that can exist?  Again, this simply doesn’t follow.  Your dismissal of the possibility that the Supernatural exists is both arbitrary and irrational.

Furthermore, the common charge that allowing for the possibility of Divine influence in the universe would invalidate all Science is also a clear fallacy.  Indeed, in order for a miracle to be recognized as such actually requires common knowledge of the natural order, of which the miracle is seen as a unique exception.  In other words, the world which Science studies must be presupposed, otherwise miracles would be unrecognizable.

It is simply a historical error to assume that the ancients had no understanding of natural laws.  While the world in which Judaism and Christianity emerged certainly lacked the scientific sophistication of today, it was not a world which was hopelessly lost in superstition.  The reality is that no society can exist without understanding a good deal about the forces of nature, whether consciously or unconsciously.  In fact, it is not even possible for any individual to do this.  For, even the truly insane must or they will quickly perish.

All of this means that, despite the unquestioned value of the process of induction regarding how the universe works today as one of the foundations of proper Science, one simply cannot use induction in order to understand what happened in the distant past or what will happen in the future.  For, strictly speaking, such questions are not subject to scientific examination.

Thus, to believe in the speculations of modern Cosmologists and, even, to believe in general that we can know the past or future based on the present is essentially a religious position.  It is an act of blind faith by people who arbitrarily and, thus, falsely reject the possibility of an Almighty Creator God.  The existence of the Almighty Creator God described in the Bible simply cannot be ruled out.  And the mere possibility of God’s existence means that “all bets are off” concerning both the origins and future of the universe.  For, this possibility is a huge unaccountable Variable which makes all analysis illegitimate.

It has become common for advocates of Intelligent Design to defend their work as Scientific, and rightly so, for this can easily been demonstrated for anyone who is the least bit open to seeing this.  But, at the same time, it must be recognized that those who arbitrarily reject a Creator are making a religious claim no less than those who presuppose an Intelligent Designer.  In other words, this is not a matter of “Science vs. Religion”.  It is a question of which Religion is the true basis of Science: the reductionistic Materialism/Empiricism which dominates the academic world today, or Christian Theism?

We assert that it is Christian Theism which alone explains why anything exists, why the universe has order and why it is that we can come to understand this order (or, for that matter, why we exist as people and can experience or know anything).  Without an Intelligent Creator human intelligence cannot be explained.  On the other hand, the Philosophy/Religion assumed by most scientists and intellectuals and, indeed, by most people today absurdly reduces the universe to being composed, ultimately, only of objects without any knowing subjects.  The rejection of Christian Theism, far from being a positive development in intellectual history, is actually The Biggest Error in human history.

  1. I am not religious because my beliefs are all scientifically-based.

You have many beliefs which cannot be scientifically demonstrated in practice or, even, in principle, especially your faith in logic, your belief in your existence as a person and the existence of other people along with countless things which you know about yourself and others, beliefs about the nature of ultimate reality (including the non-existence of The God described in the Bible), and beliefs about right and wrong.  So, we are all religious believers in one way or another.  The question is: Which religion is the correct one?  Christianity can be rationally demonstrated to be superior to all other approaches because it alone can account for all existence and knowledge.

You may wish to define “religious” more narrowly, but this simply is avoids the basic point that we are all in the same boat in having a set of fundamental beliefs which we simply assume but cannot verify or falsify scientifically.  You may call it your “philosophy” or “worldview” or “religion”.  It doesn’t matter what you call it.  But one thing it isn’t is scientific.

  1. It is always wrong to judge others.

This one is easy.  The statement itself is a judgment, so it is inherently self-contradictory and hypocritical.  In fact, all of us must constantly judge many things as to whether they are right or wrong or good or bad and we also frequently make judgments about people and their views so that we can decide whether or not to trust them and follow them.

  1. There is no such thing as absolute truth.

This is also a self-contradictory statement.  If there is no such thing as absolute truth, then it cannot be absolutely known that this is the case.

  1.  Every reasonable person knows that the Bible is filled with scientific impossibilities, evil teachings or actions done by or required by God and other errors.

All objections to what is in the Bible are based on the fundamental (and unknowable) assumption that The God described in the Bible doesn’t exist.  But all of them are answerable if one begins with the premise that this God does exist.  In other words, the Bible is internally coherent on this basis.  If God exists, He can do everything He is described as doing in the Bible because He is not bound by the laws of nature which He Himself created, nor can He be judged for His actions because human moral judgment is based on His own moral and rational Nature, which we have been given as creatures made in the image of our Creator.  He is The Perfectly Just Judge to Whom we must answer.  We cannot judge Him.

This statement is also a fallacy because most people who say this today have little or no knowledge of what is actually in the Bible.  You simply can’t know something which you have never studied.  Furthermore, even among the most advanced scholars of the Bible, no one has ever proven that the Bible has an error.  For, all of supposed factual errors or contradictions in the Bible have conceivable explanations.  The fact that many are not open to these is their problem, not the Bible’s problem