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.
«- What is Imprecatory Prayer?
- Science and Technology
-» An electoral college landslide for McCain?
Your comments are welcome!
Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.
$12.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
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.
$49.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
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
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?
Is it biblical to stand in the public places of the world and proclaim the gospel, regardless if people want to hear it or not?
Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?
These any many other questions are answered in this documentary.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)