Evangelist Ray Comfort recently sensationalized the atheist blogosphere by saying he’d pay $20,000 to the Richard Dawkins Foundation for the opportunity to debate Dawkins.
Comfort’s proposition is that atheists base their skepticism on their supposed intelligence, but in reality they are some of the most thoughtless people in the world. If you believe there is no God, then you believe, without any scientific proof, that the universe could have come into existence from nothing.
I’ve explained the impossibility of this from the pure standpoint of physical science in another blog post.
Even better is Chuck Missler’s succinct explanation from his book, The Creator Beyond Time and Space:
The creationist’s model begins with an infinitely intelligent, omnipotent, transcendent Creator who used intelligent design, expertise or know-how to create everything from the sub-atomic particles to giant redwood trees. Was it a miracle? Absolutely!
In the beginning (time), God created the heavens (space) and the earth (matter)” (Genesis 1:1).
The atheist’s model begins with an even more impressive miracle – the appearance of all matter in the universe from nothing, by no one, and for no reason. A supernatural event. A miracle! However, the atheist does not believe in the outside or transcendent “First Cause” we call God. Therefore, the atheist has no “natural explanation” nor “supernatural explanation” for the origin of space-time and matter. Consequently, the atheistic scenario on the origin of the universe leaves us hanging in a totally dissatisfying position. He begins his model with a supernatural event. This supernatural event, however, is accomplished without a supernatural agent to perform it.
In short, I cannot be an atheist because to believe in the spontaneous appearance of the entire universe out of nothing makes no sense.
As a thinking person, I have to be some type of theist. I’ll reserve for another post why only Christianity among the world’s theistic religions has to be correct.
Here I want simply to point out that much of the postmodern atheist strategy is simple posturing. Dawkins routinely refuses to debate Christians because he wants to put forth the idea that debating theism would give it credibility. He simply wants to ridicule faith and portray any belief in the supernatural as impossible to reconcile with his superior intelligence. I saw an interview with Dawkins and the so-called “Rational Responders” in which they admitted that their entire strategy was riducule and abuse Christians, not giving theism the dignity of a public hearing. It’s much easier to do guerilla tactics, hit-and-run, ridicule — and other forms of diversion — and never face the fact that everything that exists had to have an antecedent. The atheist never faces this existential paradox — that something in the natural world can never come from nothing. The only answer to the existential paradox is a supernatural one.
At the very least, the atheist should admit that his belief in no God is as much a supernatural faith as is Christianity in that no known natural laws can account for an ex nihilo creation of the universe.
I have no doubt Dawkins is intelligent. However, Christians ought to view him as a useful idiot. His books and atheist activism are a good opportunity to expose the soft underbelly of post-modernism — the retreat into pure emotion and subjectivity — that is the entire undergirding for today’s atheism. In fact, this atheist’s refusal to engage in formal debate is the proof of this retreat from rationalism.
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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.
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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
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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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That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!
Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.
Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.
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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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