Evidence for the Resurrection of Christ

There is perhaps no other fact more important to the Christian faith than the resurrection of Christ. Indeed, Paul writes, “And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain” (1 Cor. 15:14).

This is a topic that has been given a thorough treatment by theologians and apologists. Ashby Camp has written a concise point by point treatise on the matter, The Historical Case for the Resurrection of Christ. If you have not read other similar works, this paper is concise and thorough. I recommend it.

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Even the Unmeasurable Points to Design

IT’S not just the nature of dark matter that’s a mystery – even its abundance is inexplicable. But if our universe is just one of many possible universes, at least this conundrum can be explained.(1)

Indeed. It’s a conundrum for an anti-design perspective. From an ID and theological perspective, it’s not surprising that even the quantity of this material points to design. The notion from the anti-design perspective is that “common sense doesn’t work.” Fine. Sometimes it doesn’t. But, I don’t think people even have to rely on “common sense” to support a design perspective. You can rely on logic, philosophy, and scientific reasoning to support a design perspective. It just happens that these perspectives can also correspond with “common sense.” The same cannot be said for an anti-design perspective.

The total amount of dark matter – the unseen stuff thought to make up most of the mass of the universe – is five to six times that of normal matter. This difference sounds pretty significant, but it could have been much greater, because the two types of matter probably formed via radically different processes shortly after the big bang. The fact that the ratio is so conducive to a life-bearing universe “looks like a tremendous coincidence”, says Raphael Bousso at the University of California, Berkeley.

It does look like a “tremendous coincidence.” Thankfully, purely naturalistic scientists have an out. Of course it can’t be verified. Of course it can’t be measured. But it doesn’t start with a “g” or even a “G.” Therefore, it makes rational sense, and is science.

Freivogel focused on one of the favoured candidate-particles for dark matter, the axion. Axions have the right characteristics to be dark matter, but for one problem: a certain property called its “misalignment angle”, which would have affected the amount of dark matter produced in the early universe. If this property is randomly determined, in most cases it would result in a severe overabundance of dark matter, leading to a universe without the large-scale structure of clusters of galaxies. To result in our universe, it has to be just the right value.

In a multiverse, each universe will have a random value for the axion’s misalignment angle, giving some universes the right amount of dark matter needed to give rise to galaxies, stars, planets and life as we know it.

Praise Science that they have an alternative explanation. “So what?” if it is unmeasurable, untestable, and unfalsifiable. It doesn’t involve any kind of “G” word (a scientific explicative). It sounds good, and appeals to Science Fiction; therefore, it’s science.

(1) http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20026854.800-universes-dark-matter-mix-is-just-right-for-life.html?DCMP=OTC-rss&nsref=online-news

Does referencing the Creator inhibit science?

Many materialists (atheists and theistic evolutionists most often) argue that materialistic philosophy is key to scientific advancement. If any ideas of Creationists are allowed to even be referenced, then scientific progress will halt and people will die. There will be mass and widespread calamitous events, and we will return to the Dark Ages.

Mphuthumi Ntabeni at The Southern Cross writes:

Newton, Faraday, Maxwell and Copernicus referred to the Creator in their scientific writings. No one accused them of being unscientific because of that. There’s no rule that compels science to have a materialist outlook, it’s just an incident of history. (1)

I have yet to see any evidence that convinces me that scientific progress will be inhibited in any way by referencing notions of a designer or even God. Nor have I seen any evidence that is not just as easily explained from an ID or even a Creationist perspective as compared to a naturalistic evolution perspective. So far, I see Creationism as having the most explanatory power and ID as focusing on narrow range of observations and scientific phenomena. Both ID and Creation Science are scientific disciplines.

I must also say that I have yet to see how the theory of naturalistic evolution, on a macro scale, has ever contributed to applied science. The concept of abiogenesis has not contributed to applied science. The Big Bang Theory has not contributed to applied science. In short, the notion that Godless science leads to progress has no legs to stand on. Perhaps it will evolve those legs in the next several billions of years, but I won’t be holding my breath.

(1). My case for intelligent design, The Southern Cross, Mphuthumi Ntabeni, Nov. 9, 2008

Humanism, Existentialism, and Descartes

RC Sproul talks humanism (1), existentialism (2), and Descartes (3). Even if you’re not a Christian, he gives some interesting history lessons.

(1). Humanism

(2). Existentialism

(3). Descartes pt 1

Philosophical Arguments for the Existence of God

My wife is the more philosophically trained individual in our household–she teaches philosophy and logic.

She (The Christian Scribbler) has written 3 posts that may be of interest from a philosophical perspective:

Apologetics; The Teleological Argument for God

Apologetics; The Cosmological Argument for God

The Ontological Argument for God

Apologetics; The Moral Argument for God…

Young Earth Creationism (The Importance of Theological Consistency)

I was formerly a proponent of Old Earth Creationism (OEC). At one point, I was agnostic, verging on atheism. At that point, a low point for me, I sincerely prayed to God that he would answer my serious questions about the problems that I had with Him. In the course of 2 weeks, all of these questions were answered. I’m not saying it will happen that rapidly for everyone. And, my questions had been building for years.

Along the way, I considered, that Old Earth Creationism might answer some of my questions. Such as the starlight and time problem1, and the problem of dating methods2. The gap theory3 worked out reasonably well for me, until I discovered Answers in Genesis4 a few years ago. Now, I am somewhat undecided. I have a great deal of respect for the position of AIG, but I also realize that could possibly be wrong in their theological interpretation. Thus far, I haven’t found many problems with their theological interpretations.

So, what I am hoping, is that some atheists and agnostics out there, will open their minds and hearts to the possibilities of God. Go to Him in prayer–just talk to Him. Tell Him the problems that you have with Him and the questions that you have (whether they be personal or intellectual). Ask for answers. Open your mind to the answers…

1 http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab/does-starlight-prove
2 http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2005/1107rate.asp
3 http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v2/n1/mind-the-gap
4 http://www.answersingenesis.org/

An Example of Why I'm Not Impressed with The Ivory Tower-Part II

Why is it that I have hostility toward the Ivory Tower1? In fact, I spent enough time there to obtain a Ph.D., you’d think I’d pay homage. While I do appreciate that I had the opportunity, and a few things that I learned, I did not disengage my independent mind during the process (I seem to be incapable of doing so). It really would have been easier to get caught up in the pursuit of the intellectual. All my professors were pushing my toward academia (“You’re too intelligent to go into private practice. You should be in academia.” WTF? I took it as one of the worst insults I’ve had. In retrospect, I realize this was the best compliment the professor could possibly give. But it was from the perspective of one ensconced in the Ivory Tower. So, now with a bit more maturity and perspective, I can appreciate the compliment).

I don’t come from a background of intellectuals. My family was blue-collar, working class, middle-class folks, living out in rural America. A lot of my friends were farmers. We didn’t have any wealthy friends (they didn’t exist here), and there were no intellectual elite. The closest university is 65 miles away. So, I think it is a bit more clear to me when someone is detached from the basic reality of humanity and life, than it is for others with a different background.

So, this is a lot of lead up, and a lot of (possibly unnecessary), information about me. What’s this post all about? I’ll get to the point.

In Part I2, of this series I wrote about an example of why I’m not impressed with the Ivory Tower. I cited specifically, the work of Dr. James McGrath, a professor of theology at Butler University in Indiana. Dr. McGrath was kind enough to express his willingness to engage the discussion further, but only did so obliquely on his blog.

He wrote in a comment here:

Thank you for engaging my posts. I must confess, however, that I’m not sure what exactly you find lacking in my theological credibility. If you could be more specific, it would better enable me to respond and continue the conversation!

I responded, my coauthor, DB responded, and others responded. James, did not respond. Or did he?

My coauthor DB wrote in a comment:

This is a similar argument to that which Judas used to scold Mary M. for wasting money, “that could have been used to feed the poor,” on perfume to wash Jesus’ feet. It’s legalistic, and, as with Judas, manipulative in its intent, since he wanted that money for himself! “…by opposing science…” I don’t oppose true science, nor do most rational believers! What I do oppose, as others, is billions of dollars spent on science experiments like the LHC, which serves only the egos and desires of naturalist/materialist and atheistic scientists whose only goal is to disprove God. How could those billions have been used for humanity? How many people could have been fed, housed and clothed with 8 billion dollars? Also, unlike material science, the Creation Museum is funded by believers, not the government, which uses tax payer’s hard earned cash! I’m sorry, but your arguments seem to be manipulative and political in nature, which tells me something about what you do believe.

Dr. McGrath subsequently followed up on his blog with two posts.

Judas and the Field of Blood
30 Pieces of Silver

So, while I find obliqueness to be interesting, I find it to be a bit of a cop-out to direct communication. If you believe in your ideas enough to present them to the public, then why not defend them in a direct way instead of challenging the story of Judas. Perhaps the comments of DB hit home a bit?

1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivory_tower
2 http://www.intelldesign.com/?p=251