Thursday, February 16, 2017

Challenging the Standard Models of Science and Faith

As someone with a passion for understanding the relationship between science and theology, I've read innumerable books on the subject. In my experience, book-length introductions to the science and theology conversation often resort to surface-level tropes about the general relationship between the fields, rarely presenting the core debates in more than a cursory manner. Jim Stump's Science and Christianity: An Introduction to the Issues, on the other hand, presents the actual academic arguments in the key debates, and in a manner accessible to non-experts while still being scholarly enough to satisfy even the seasoned academic. The book covers topics as wide-ranging as young-earth creationism and Intelligent Design, cosmology, divine action, the soul, and the problem of natural evil. In other words, the book is remarkably comprehensive in the range of debates it covers, without sacrificing clarity and nuance. 

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Christmas Timeline of the Biblical Account

When December hits, many familiar questions surrounding the birth of Christ come to mind. For example, some ask about making Christmas sermons relevant, the origin of Christmas and if it was pagan, the star of Bethlehem, the "inn" where Jesus was born, and many others. Of course, these are important topics, but it is also important to understand the timeline of events surrounding the birth of Jesus.

The Christmas timeline of the biblical account is called into question by many skeptics. They claim the nativity accounts of Matthew and Luke do not line up, and therefore the accounts should be discarded. Sometimes they go so far as to say that few are even aware of the issues with the Christmas timeline.

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Saturday, May 21, 2016

Is the Origin of Life a Scientific Question?

Science is supposed to be about things that are observable. That is, science can probe only things that we can detect with our five senses. Science also must be repeatable. This means that when an experiment or observation is repeated, we get the same results. These restrictions on science have led to what we call the scientific method, the general rules that we follow in doing science. The scientific investigation of the origin of life presents us with at least two problems. First, since life began before people were around, we hardly can observe the process. Second, since the origin of life appears to have been a unique event, we hardly can repeat it.

How do these four possibilities stack up? The fourth possibility doesn't really explain how life came about, but instead passes the question off to some other location. Many would object that the third option is unscientific and hence ought not to be considered. If we restrict the definition of "scientific" to questions that can be answered through the application of the scientific method to natural processes, then option three may be considered unscientific. However, what is the status of the other two options? Option one is the assertion of abiogenesis, the belief that life must have arisen from non-living things through a natural process. However, abiogenesis has never been observed. To the contrary, it has been shown numerous times that biogenesis is true, that only living things give rise to living things. That is, abiogenesis has been scientifically disproved. To persist in belief in abiogenesis, one must believe in something that clearly is unscientific.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Why Does God Allow Bad Things to Happen?

A car crash claims the life of a Christian college student on her way home, a faithful pastor receives a cancer diagnosis, a family is away on vacation only to receive the call that their house was destroyed in a fire.

One of the most common questions believers and unbelievers alike ask is why a loving and all-powerful God would allow bad things to happen. When many believers are asked this question, they freeze, not knowing what to say. Or they weakly reply, "Well, we don't know why bad things happen, but we need to trust God." But those of us who start with the right foundation, God's Word, have a solid answer that is based in the history of God's Word. But those who don't start with God's Word have a difficult time providing a satisfactory answer to this important and often emotionally charged question.

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Saturday, October 24, 2015

Assurance of Eternal Security

While the believer may gain assurance of his salvation and know that he has been saved, the question may arise concerning the permanence of his salvation. Once genuinely saved by trusting in the merit of Christ's death on the cross for sin, can the believer lose his salvation? Is there anything we can do to lose our salvation? The answer is NO! Why? Because Scripture clearly affirms the fact we are protected by the power of God through faith. Faith brings us into a grace relationship with God as a gift of God through the merit of His beloved Son. We are saved by His record, not ours.

1 Peter 1:5 who by God's power are protected through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Ephesians 1:6 to the praise of the glory of his grace that he has freely bestowed on us in his dearly loved Son.

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 it is not from works, so that no one can boast.

The following seven approaches set forth the case for the believer's eternal security, "buckled up for safety" because of the power of God and the overwhelming sufficiency of the person and work of Christ.

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Hawaii’s Volcanic Origins—Instant Paradise

The biblical worldview changes how you see everything, even a "paradise" like Hawaii. If the Flood destroyed the earth, where'd these islands come from? Only catastrophic earth movements—a result of the Flood—can explain this string of jewels.

The Wild Brothers: Paradise Lost

Mention Hawaii, and it conjures up thoughts of a tropical paradise. Pristine waterfalls, luxuriant creeping vegetation, and squawking, duck-like coots remind millions of annual visitors about the Creator's handiwork.


But red hot lavas slowly moving across fields and engulfing roads are never far away. Indeed, the Hawaiian Islands are a string of active and extinct volcanoes that hint at a catastrophic past. No Garden of Eden, this charming landscape is a product of catastrophic forces unleashed by Noah's Flood. This modern-day "paradise" speaks unmistakably of God's recent judgment.

If the volcanoes that formed Hawaii's eight major islands had been formed before or during Noah's Flood, the Flood would have deposited sediments on their flanks. But they have none. So we know the volcanoes must have erupted following the Flood.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Advaita Vedanta and Quantum Physics

Mankind’s first forays into physics, the understanding of the physical world, has always been led by the desire to find the most fundamental elements from which all others can be derived.

The first forays into physics, the understanding of the physical world, were made by the Vaisesikas of India, who formulated the concept of ‘anu’, the atom. Pythogoras after his visit to India formulated a similar concept in Greece, the concept of the atom.

This concept continued unchanged into the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries till Rutherford broke up the atom into nucleus and electrons.

This finally has been broken down by quantum physics. Unlike the previous theories, the quantum theory has a far more solid base. Its equations and theories have always been supported perfectly by experiments. There is hardly any other theory which has been experimented more and which has achieved such absolutely perfect results.

Quantum physics breaks down the protons, neutrons and electrons of the atom into further subdivisions, called sub particles. This arrangement of sub particles is called the ‘standard model’. The sub particles and their interactions in the standard model has been proven irrevocably by numerous experiments.

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Graham Oppy on the Kalam Cosmological Argument

Graham Oppy has emerged as one of the kalam cosmological argument’s most formidable opponents. He rejects all four of the arguments drawn from metaphysics and physics for the second premiss that the universe began to exist. He also thinks that we have no good reason to accept the first premiss that everything that begins to exist has a cause. In this response, I hope to show that the kalam cosmological argument is, in fact, considerably stronger than Oppy claims, surviving even his trenchant critique.

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Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Don’t Underestimate the Doctrine of Providence

I shifted uncomfortably in my chair, conscious of the tension in the little room. I'd guessed this conversation was coming, since the people now sitting in front of me had seemed unhappy with my pastoral leadership for a good long time. I wasn't sure what would happen now, but I was afraid it might end badly, with hurtful words spoken and their bitter departure from our church. I mention this moment not because it's unusual in pastoral ministry—every pastor experiences such meetings sooner or later—or because it had a miraculous and uplifting outcome, but because I recall my own heart in that conversation. I claimed to be Calvinist, but I wasn't living like one. I was thinking little of God's role in this conversation—and much of the people sitting across from me.

A Doctrine to Cherish

In the years since, I've come to cherish the doctrine of God's providence and to draw strength and encouragement from it. I've begun learning what a difference it makes in the Christian life. In his Institutes of the Christian Religion, John Calvin underscored the high stakes of believing or rejecting this doctrine: "Ignorance of providence is the ultimate of all miseries; the highest blessedness lies in the knowledge of it."