When I was a freshman in high school, I encountered the following argument for the existence of God. The argument was a lengthy quote in a book I was reading by Dr. Henry M. Morris, founder of the Creation Research institute. I have found this argument to be air tight and irrefutable. It became the basis for accepting many tenets of Christian orthodoxy that many intellectuals and “free-thinkers” of my generation have dismissed out of hand.
Case in point: Atheists charge that Christians need to resort to “special pleading” in explaining the supernatural accounts of the Bible. Special pleading in this case is the introduction of unprovable causes to explain unproven effects. That is, given a biblical history that includes miraculous events that are, by definition, “impossible” according to natural scientific laws, the only way to rationalize these “supernatural” occurrences is to postulate the existence of an all-powerful Creator God. The atheist argues that miracles do not occur in the observable universe for the simple reason that natural laws prohibit supernatural occurrences. Therefore, the lack of the “necessity” for a supernatural Creator Being leads the atheist to a firm lack of belief.
I would respond to the charge of “special pleading” by stating that atheism requires special pleading, but Christian theism does not.
Theism just proposes a logical solution to the primary existential paradox.
What is the Existential Paradox?
I will here explain the existential paradox — the problem of existence — in the rational terms of physical science. I have quoted and paraphrased Dr. Henry M. Morris’ argument in several places.
The Second Law of Thermodynamics proves that the universe had a beginning in that the universe could never have existed in a time prior to being in a state of total available energy.
Simply because the First Law of Thermodynamics shows that the universe could not have begun itself. The First Law states that the total quantity of energy in the universe is a constant and neither matter nor energy can be created nor destroyed.
Science cannot explain why matter cannot be created or destroyed. We just know that this is impossible in a purely natural system governed by physical laws. Matter and energy may be converted one into another, but beyond that, energy simply has “no place to go.”
The Second Law states that the quantity of available energy is decreasing.
Therefore, as we go backward in time, the available energy is progressively greater until, finally, we reach the beginning point, where available energy equals total energy.
Time could go back no further than this. At this point, both energy and time must have come into existence in our known universe.
One might hypothesize that the universe was simply “still” at this point and had no beginning. However, this is impossible, since movement is always taking place wherever there is matter even if it is the movement of kinetic energy at the molecular level.
One might also hypothesize that it is meaningless to talk about a “before” in time when the universe was compressed into state of total energy because at this point in time, as time and matter are relative to each other, eternity existed in a moment.
While this is true, it doesn’t solve the problem of there being a system with all the available energy in the universe being compressed into a single point and space in time.
The scientific conundrum from a purely metaphysical naturalist point of view is that energy cannot create itself, or come into existence from non-existence by itself.
Something else besides the known universe must exist in order for the known universe to exist.
The most scientific and logical conclusion we could possibly state is that:
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
The atheist will not accept this conclusion, however.
He instead hypothesizes that either:
1. Some natural law canceling out the Second Law prevailed far back in time.
2. Some natural law canceling out the Second Law prevails far out in space.
3. Some force more powerful than all the energy in the known universe brought our universe into being.
When he makes the first two assumptions, however, he is denying his own metaphysical naturalism, which says that all things can be explained in terms of presently observable laws and processes.
In the third assumption, the atheist is only denying the inevitable, that someone or something created the known universe.
In all three cases, the atheist is really resorting to creationism, but just refuses to acknowledge a personal Creator God.
If the atheist would be epistemologically honest in admitting this, Christian theists could have some respect for their position and meaningful dialog would result.
But since this is not the case, all the atheist can do is attack belief in God as something he lacks. He can never defend his on position without resorting to the convoluted and contradictory argument that attacks the supernatural as something that is not naturally possible.
He is correct. Natural laws cannot explain or describe supernatural events adequately. However, the existence of the natural universe itself according to its own self-contained physical laws requires a supernatural cause.
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Who is the Real Jesus?
Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.
Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.
The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.
Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.
Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!
Running Time: 130 minutes
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Foundations in Biblical Orthodoxy
Driving down a country road sometime, you might see a church with a sign proudly proclaiming: “No book but the Bible — No creed but Christ.” The problem with this statement is that the word creed (from the Latin: credo) simply means “belief.” All Christians have beliefs, regardless of whether they are written.
Yet a single book containing the actual texts of the most important creeds of the early Church will not often be found. Out of the multitude of works on the evangelical Christian book market today, those dealing with the creeds of the Church are scarce.
Why Creeds and Confessions? provides a foundation of biblical orthodoxy as a defense against the false and truly heretical doctrines advanced by the spirit of this age.
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High Quality Paperback — 40 pages of dynamite!
Revival, Resistance, Reformation, Revolution
An Introduction to the Doctrines of Interposition and Nullification
In 1776, a short time after the Declaration of Independence was adopted, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin were assigned to design an official seal for the United States of America. Their proposed motto was Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God. America owes its existence to centuries of Christian political philosophy. Our nation provided a model for liberty copied by nations the world over.
By the 21st century, we need a “Puritan Storm” to sweep away the Hegelian notion that the state is “God walking on earth.” We need revival and reformation in full force to vanquish the problems that plague us as a nation — from government controlled healthcare — to abortion on demand — to same sex “marriage.” This booklet gives a primer on our founders’ Christian idea of government and examines how the doctrine of nullification was woven into the Constitution as a safeguard against federal tyranny. It concludes with the history and theology of civil resistance. A Second American Revolution is coming with the Word of God growing mightily and prevailing! (Acts 19:20).
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Special Two-Disc Set!
After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.
Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.
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Just what is Calvinism?
Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?
This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.
Running Time: 257 minutes
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