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My unannounced and unanticipated hiatus is over.  I thought I would have more blogging time during the winter break, but apparently that wasn’t the case.  Time has a way of slipping away, and the break was refreshing (both intellectually and spiritually).  I spent the very beginning of the new semester at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York.  The flight was very long (Oklahoma to Texas to Florida to New York), so I spent some uninterrupted time with a good book: The Joyful Christian.  It is a collection of excerpts from C.S. Lewis, covering a wide range of topics.  The chapter on apologetics stood out to me, especially the following quote:

I have found nothing is more dangerous to one’s own faith than the work of an apologist. No doctrine of that Faith seems to me so spectral, so unreal as one that I have just successfully defended in a public debate.  For a moment, you see, it has seemed to rest on oneself: as a result, when you go away from that debate, it seems no stronger than that weak pillar.  That is why we apologists take our lives in our hands and can be saved only by falling back continually from the web of our own arguments, as from our intellectual counters, into the Reality–from Christian apologetics into Christ Himself.

I don’t consider myself an apologist in the formal sense, at least not one like the great Christian apologists of our time or times past.  However, Lewis struck a chord with me.  All to often I struggle with loving the arguments of Christianity more than the source of Christianity, for it is immensely logical and self-consistent.  It is explains everything: the origin of the world, the nature of man, etc.  It also provides a real solution to man’s main problem, reconciliation to God through Jesus.  I constantly remind myself to turn my affections to the source of the arguments.  Without Christ Himself, there are no arguments.  I suppose my point in posting this is a gentle reminder to myself and those who read this: love the Lord your God for who He is, not the arguments that are grounded by His very existence.

Come quickly Lord Jesus.

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I find it interesting that adherents to scientism claim that modern science, especially evolutionary biology, has proven intelligent design theories and various strains of Biblical creationism false.  The main strategy is simply to claim that ID or creationism conflicts with the facts of science.  However, this conflates raw facts, which scientists seek to explain with theories, with the “facts” of the theories themselves.  Let me give an example to clarify how this is wrong.  Albert Einstein gave a theory to explain the low-temperature heat capacity data of crystalline materials. The theory worked pretty well, but not perfectly.  Peter Debye gave a theory that fit the available data much better.  Is it valid to say that Debye’s theory ignored the “fact” of Einstein’s theory?  Yet, that is exactly what is going on when it is claimed that ID or creationism is proven wrong by evolutionary biology.  They are competing ways of viewing the data, which ultimately gets back to whether or not evidentialism itself can distinguish the two.  The simple answer is: it cannot.  At its root, scientific evidence is the interpretation of raw facts (data) through the context of a worldview.  It is this act of interpretation that gives raw facts their meaning, linking together the facts in a coherent manner and systematizing the facts into a theory.  It is my contention that the methodological naturalism used in science results in scientific theories that are inexorably tied to a naturalistic worldview.  This is what makes using scientific evidence as a truth test for other worldviews so specious.

Brian Auten has given a list of 100 contemporary Christian apologists, including appropriate web links for each individual.  This appears to be an excellent resource for Christians.

In my previous post, I articulated my view on the limits of scientific inquiry by focusing on how scientists “do science.”  I also explored three implications that result if this picture of science is adopted.  Here, I examine one objection against this position: naturalism must be correct because modern scientific theories work. Read the rest of this entry »

The fruit of scientific exploration permeates our culture and has greatly shaped our lives in many ways. However, the increasing role of science in our lives has also brought a greater emphasis on scientific explanations about our lives, and society seems geared to automatically accept scientific explanations over theological or philosophical ones. In this regard, scientific explanations are elevated to a point where they effectively function as a truth test for a worldview. For instance, it is often claimed that Christian theism is false because in one way or another it is incompatible with certain sets of scientific evidence from biology, chemistry, physics, or geology. The relationship between science and theology is incredibly important for a Christian, because many scientific explanations, at least on the surface, seem to contradict Scripture. Integrating the two can lead to a crisis of faith that is not easily surmounted, and more often than not Christians either bend theology into the mold of scientific reasoning or claim the scientific evidence is in some way fallacious. Read the rest of this entry »

I have been reading Jerry Bridges’ book The Pursuit of Holiness for the past few weeks with a good friend of mine.  Bridges writes in his book, “[God] always does what is just and right without the slightest hesitation.  It is impossible in the very nature of God for Him to do otherwise.”  In the next paragraph Bridges continues, “…God is absolutely free from any moral evil and that He is Himself the essence of moral purity.”  These quotes succinctly summarize the heart of what I have been meditating on for a few months now, that the entirety of scripture reveals God to be holy and good.  Furthermore, it is God’s goodness that provides an objective foundation for morality. Read the rest of this entry »