Posts Tagged ‘ Apologetics ’

Genesis: Paradise Lost in 3-D … My Review

If you have followed my blog long, searched through my all of my posts, and/or know me personally, you know I do not subscribe to the modern teaching of evolution.

I have many reasons.

Therefore, it probably should not surprise anyone that last night my wife and I went to see the movie Genesis: Part 1 – Paradise Lost in 3-D.

Do I need to mention spoilers? I mean, if you have read Genesis chapter 1, you know how it goes. If you have ever looked into Answers in Genesis, you probably know what they think about Creation. And AiG supplied many of their scientists and speakers for this film.

The Film

Genesis: Paradise Lost in 3-D was created largely on a computer to show an idea of what the creation of everything looked like based on the Bible – specifically Genesis 1. The stylized rendition was punctuated with “live commentary” of scientists and speakers about what the Bible and science have to say about the origins of everything and, especially, us – humans. Much of this cast consisted of people who work for AiG, but it included other scientists, professors, evangelists, and pastors. While focused on Genesis chapter one, other passages were included, and a lot of science was included throughout.

And, yes, dinosaurs make appearances!

My thoughts

Overall, I really enjoyed the film. The imagery was awe inspiring, and the science was clearly explained mixed in with good theology.

I do not completely agree with everything that AiG teaches (I differ slightly on the age of the Earth and therefore the historical timeline of humanity, but only slightly), but by and large the science and logic seems reasonable from them and those associated with this film.

They make fairly solid arguments against evolutionary theory, with some humor and compassion thrown in, and it is presented in a compelling way.

My biggest complaint against the film is with the 3-D. There are times that effect is not as accurately applied, causing some blurriness and/or ghosting (double-imaging). On a smaller screen, it might not be as noticeable, but when 30 feet tall it is jarring.

However, when you consider that this was not a James Cameron or major Disney production (the filmmaker, Ralph Strean, did work for Disney at one time, though) with a relatively small, crowdsourced budget, and only a few dozen people working on it, it is amazing what they did accomplish.

There are many elements of this film that the 3-D makes amazingly beautiful and engaging. At one point, I even felt the impulse to attempt to wipe water off of my glasses! And when you consider that

Therefore, if you easily suffer from motion sickness or get headaches from 3-D movies, avoid the 3-D showing.

That being said, I would suggest checking this movie out, if you get the chance.

Even if you completely disagree with their premise, the imagery alone makes it worth it.

Fallacious Choices? Am I Pro-Life?

Welcome back, interwebbers!

As we come close to the close of 40 Days for Life, it is fitting that I should focus on the topic of abortion and the like.

Honestly, this could be a long conversation covering several areas in this topic.

Today, however, I going to focus on one thing:

Choosing Which Life Is Greater?

Author Patrick S. Tomlinson feels he has asked a question, a thought experiment, “that shut down the whole anti-abortion argument.” (WARNING: unbecoming language used throughout the article)

This author feels that pro-lifers (or, as he calls them, anti-abortion) reveal they are not really pro-life, or perhaps they are inconsistent in their beliefs. And, after years of asking this question, not a single pro-lifer has truthfully and adequately answered this question.

My first thought is, “Who has he been asking?” Because I find this relatively easy to answer. And I know I am far from alone.

However, here is his question:

For some unimportant reason, you are in a fertility clinic, when the building catches fire. As you are about to run out, you hear screaming.

You run back in and find the room where the screaming is emanating. When you open the door you see a 5-year-old child on one side, fire in the middle, and a container holding 1000 viable embryos. (Just assume the container is able to preserve the embryos indefinitely.) You know you only can save one.

Which do you choose?

His argument is that if you choose the child, you prove you are not really pro-life, because you allow all of those embryos – potential humans – to die. If you choose the embryos, you are a monster for letting a child burn.

My initial response is this: Thanks for admitting those embryos are alive!

In connection with this, he and others assert that scientists and politicians can not agree when life begins.

However, all embryologists and many biologists agree that life begins at conception.

  1. There is DNA for a distinct human life.
  2. Check any biology textbook: a cell is a living thing, so they are alive.

The debate then becomes, “But does it have a soul?”

I would argue, yes! Based on:

  • Psalm 139:13-16 — We were formed in the womb and are fearfully and wonderfully made;
  • Jeremiah 1:5 — This prophet was chosen before he was even conceived, demonstrating his soul already existed at fertilization. This can be applied to all humans.

As to my answer:

I would save the 5-year-old child.

Does this prove I am not pro-life?

Not at all. In fact, I mourn the loss of those embryos, and I trust God to take care of those lost embryos in His way. But as Christians we also are called to ease suffering.

This child was screaming. Further, being a fertility clinic, this child probably has parents who were there, so I am also helping those parents not to lose a child they already have.

If we change the scenario, maybe my response would be different.

What if I was on a space station above earth or on ship to a new human colony, and the future of the human race depended on those 1000 embryos. I would probably save the embryos.

But this shows the major issue with this question: It is avoiding the point, and it does not show whether a person is truly pro-life.

It is one of those impossible situations in which any choice is not ideal.

If I were on a bus about to go over the edge of a bridge, I would save the first person closest to me. I would not look over the other 36 people on the bus and try to decide who to choose, I would just grab who was closest. I am not responsible for those others, especially if I only have time to save one. No one would question my convictions (except perhaps loved ones of the others on the bus, but most would understand).

Likewise, being in such a situation as this question suggests does not demonstrate that someone is not truly pro-life. It is the complex question fallacy, begging the question. It is basically asking, “Why do you want to let innocents die?” without properly considering other options that are clearly available.

So, what do you think?

Did I answer the question?

How would you answer?

 

I Gotta Have Faith: Whose Fool Are You?

Welcome back, people of the internet!

Today’s topic: FAITH!

Why?

Recently, I have heard several people – including Richard Dawkins, AronRa (an atheist apologist?), Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye the Science Guy – all call faith in general, with Christians in particular, foolish.

These people claim that Christians believe with a blind faith, that they do not believe in the Bible or God for any good reason, but just because that is what they were told to believe.

Is this true?

What is faith?

According to Hebrews 11:1 (ESV):

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

So, what does this mean?

Basically, faith is trusting and believing something based on evidence. Something that is not seen is believed because there are things we can see and test that support it.

A popular example is a chair.

The chair looks sturdy. I have seen other chairs hold people up. Therefore, I have faith this chair will hold me up.

How do I know your faith is true?

Live it out. Show me. Sit on the chair. Show your faith by sitting.

Another example is a compass.

We believe a compass points north, because we have seen so many compasses point north.

(Though, it is possible a compass can be manipulated by magnets …)

“Ah,” you may say, “But that is science!”

Conviction of things unseen …

What evidence do we see of not seeing things in science?

A lot!

What about black holes?

We have never seen black holes, because they literally eat light. So, how do we know they exist? We have evidence they are there.

An interesting example from the past few years is the Higgs boson.

The Higgs boson is, essentially, what gives matter mass (the ability to have weight and substance). It was theorized using mathematics. The so-called “God particle” (actually, the “Oh my God particle”, from a note scribbled by a physicist) was officially discovered by slamming atoms together in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and using the resulting mathematical probabilities to “see” this “thing”.

In other words, it was seen through the symbols of mathematics.

It was not actually seen with eyes. Rather, it was predicted (hoped for) and then proved through mathematics. We used these symbols to express the evidence of what we cannot see to prove (have conviction) that it is there.

In the math.

Scientists use written symbols to find evidence of things unseen.

Sound familiar?

You could say I have faith that people have faith, even when they are “faithless.” Because I see the evidence.

They say “These words made out of symbols and numbers tell me this should be here, and I am going to believe it because all of the other math checks out, too.”

So, why do we as Christians believe the Bible?

Because we have these words that tell us about Jesus.

Some of you may remember the Four Core Facts I covered a few years ago. What does this have to do with anything?

The Four Core Facts:

  1. The Crucifixion (and Resurrection) of Jesus Christ
  2. The Despair of the Disciples
  3. The Change in the Disciples (Their despair becoming willingness to die for the truth of #1)
  4. The Conversion of Paul

If you are willing to objectively look at this evidence, you can see the evidence for the truth of God and His Son, Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ.

That evidence includes that Jesus quoted the Old Testament, which we know existed before He was born, He claimed it was about Him, and then He claimed He would die and raise again.

And He did it! Thus validating what He said.

In fact, this is the ultimate evidence. Paul himself (you know, one of the most successful evangelists for the Church, having planted so many throughout the Roman Empire) said this is all that needed to be preached! (1 Corinthians 1:22-23, 2:1-2)

It could be argued that the Church itself is the biggest evidence.

Jesus proved it Himself.

So we do not believe it “Just because,” but because Jesus said He would die and come back and did.

One of many points of evidence of this kind of faith is Abraham.

God called Abraham to sacrifice his son. Some call this barbaric, but it really is not.

Abraham and his wife were way too old to have children, but God said “You will have a son.”

When God then called him to sacrifice this son, I can guarantee you that he thought something like, “Well, you said I would have a son through whom you would multiply my descendants, and here he is. You could easily bring him back to life, so though I may not like it, I will obey.”

God did not raise Isaac back to life (He did not need to), but He did do it with His own Son!

So there is faith: “I have seen the evidence. I may not see God. I may have seen Jesus Himself. I may not be able to see everything the Apostles and other disciples saw, but I see the written evidence.

People just do not want to accept the evidence.

So, whose fool are you?

Do have the foolish faith of a Christain or the foolish faith of those who say there is no God? (1 Corinthians 1-2)

I still have faith in science, even with a lot of people who do not believe the Bible, because the math and the science checks out and proves the validity.

I also have faith that God’s Word is true.

Oh the Humanity? A Response to the Las Vegas shooting

Hey, all!

I know just a week ago I said this site would be updated more often, but there was a quick day trip, errands to run, minor illnesses at home, and the need to respond to people about the Mandalay Bay Las Vegas shooter.

Which leads to today’s post finally coming your way.

I have had to respond to several people this week about all of the why’s, how come’s, and Am-I-allowed-to-be-angry’s. This video and post are one of those responses.

Charlie Hoehn wrote a response, “Why The Vegas Shooting Happened, and Why Men Keep Doing This”, in which he reasons that the biggest reason so many men commit mass shootings comes down to loneliness.

I do not disagree.

However, I think he missed the deeper reason.

The heart is deceitful above all things,
    and desperately sick;
    who can understand it?
Jeremiah 17:9, ESV

We, as humans, are sick and deceitful. We are messed up, apart from God.

Clay Jones, an apologist and Associate Professor of Apologetics at Biola University, asks and answers the question “Is it inhuman that people do these things? Obviously not, since humans did them.”

Well, we are so messed up that we cannot understand what and why people do things. However, God answers his own rhetorical question in the next verse.

“I the Lord search the heart
    and test the mind,
to give every man according to his ways,
    according to the fruit of his deeds.”
Jeremiah 17:10, ESV

God, and God alone, understands our hearts.

Amazingly, it is in this knowledge that He has done something about it. As Job told us long before Jesus walked the Earth,

For I know that my Redeemer lives …
Job 19:25, ESV

We are horribly messed up, but Jesus, our Redeemer, lives!

Jesus came and lived an in-messed up life, then he was horribly messed up for us by being crucified so that our sins could be forgiven and our sick hearts could be cured. He now lives in resurrection power.

That is our response.

The world is messed up, and it is our fault, but God can change our hearts to change our world.

It is sad and horrible what happened in Las Vegas and happens around our world, but our Redeemer lives!

a simple (re-)Intro

Hello, world! … again …

Things are gonna be changing around here! Watch the video for a full explanation.

The highlights?

  1. The website will be going through changes.
    1. For starters, the “.wordpress” has been removed, so that the site is now https://asimplemanofgod.com
    2. The site might also have some visual changes. Including … VIDEO
  2. There is now a way to e-mail us! Whether for questions, comments, or a way to get in touch for any other reason.
    together@asimplemanofgod.com
  3. I have invited some other men to come alongside me in producing content
    1. Blog posts – collaboratively or individually
    2. Videos – we are on YouTube!
  4. The focus will always be helping people see how simple theology can be:
    1. What does the Bible mean?
    2. How can we apply the Bible and theology to our lives?
    3. Apologetics – how can we defend the faith?
    4. What theology is in our music?

It may be a bit shaky at first – all of the changes, getting content posted consistently – but here is to a new start … on the weekend of the Day of Atonement! (A post coming just a little later on this!)

Blessings,

Daniel

Destroying [Atheist] Arguments

Build up your knowledge and wisdom with some of the thoughts from Proverbial Thought!

I recently saw a talk given by Eric Hovind. He is a biblical Creation apologist with Creation Today and the face of Creation Minute.

His talk was simply titled “Proof of God”. In it, he laid out four questions to destroy an atheist’s argument while building a bridge to the Christian worldview. I will briefly discuss those questions here!

Question #1: Is it impossible for the God of the bible to exist?

Here is why an atheist must answer “No, it is not impossible that the God of the Bible exists”: To follow science and reason, it must be concluded that in a Universe (or even multiverse) of possibly infinite possibilities, that would mean it is possible that the God of the Bible could exist.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.
Romans 1:18-19, ESV

Question #2: Is it impossible for the Bible to be what it claims to be?

This is also a “No” because if it is possible that the God of the Bible exists, then it must be possible that the Bible could be His written revelation to us.

For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
Romans 1:20

Question #3: Could the God of the Bible reveal Himself to us so that we can be absolutely certain of His existence?

Again, the answer to this question is a “Yes” because if it is possible that God exists and if it is possible that the Bible is His written revelation to us, then it is possible that He could reveal Himself to us so that we could be certain He exists.

For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Romans 1:21

Question #4: Could you be wrong about everything you think you know?

Scientists the world over admit that we know, probably, less than 1% of what can be known about the Universe. If you look at what was believed about our own Solar System just a decade ago (let alone the entire Universe), things have changed (on a small scale, just look at the status of Pluto going from “Planet” to “Dwarf Planet” … keeping in mind we did not even know Pluto existed 100 years ago!).

An atheist, therefore, must admit that with the constant changing of our understanding of the Universe it is possible that everything he or she knows about everything could be wrong.

Therefore, atheists have no rational foundation for their worldview.

Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
Romans 1:22-23

The reason I feel it is so important to share this, other than that I do subscribe to the idea of a literal 6-day Creation of the heavens and the Earth, is this little tidbit from Paul:

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ …
2 Corinthians 10:3-5

But we must always remember to do it with love, respect, and compassion, for all humans were created in the image of the God of the Bible, regardless of their beliefs:

but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.
1 Peter 3:15-16

Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.
Genesis 9:6

I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments.
Colossians 2:4

Trinitarian Elements of Doctor Who!

Find wisdom in unlikely places, such as through the thoughts of a rag-tag group of pastors, lay-leaders, and a young woman at Proverbial Thought!

If you have followed by blog for a reasonable amount of time, you may have learned I am a Whovian, a fan of the British sci-fi television show Doctor Who. The Doctor is a time-travelling alien who looks human, but he is a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey. He is able to escape death by regenerating (all Time Lords can do this), but this has the side-effect of changing his appearance and personality while still being in essence himself.

The topic at hand, however, is one of his companions. He picks up companions frequently, usually from Earth but not always. For the show, companions act as a sort-of stand-in for the audience to ask the questions we might ask … or to simply help move the plot along.

Before I continue, however, I must warn of possible spoilers, specifically about an episode from Spring of 2013, The Name of the Doctor. If you do not wish to have anything spoiled as you watch through the series, you may wish to stop reading now!

How the Trinity Works Its Way into Doctor Who

In the above mentioned episode Clara Oswald helps the Doctor in a big way.

It must first be known that she is called “The Impossible Girl” because she was first seen earlier in the season in an episode in humanity’s future in which she saved the Doctor and his companions. In that season’s Christmas special, she saved the Doctor in Earth’s past.

This is the episode in which we find out how she could have existed hundreds or thousands of years in the past or future and exist in the present.

Clara “Oswin” Oswald, to save the Doctor from being torn from Time/Space by an enemy, jumps into the Doctor’s personal Time-stream. In doing so, copies of her are seeded throughout his lifetime to help him at important junctures in life and thus help him retain his Time-memory and not cease to exist. (Yes, it is very complicated. Just know that she was able to help him in every regeneration the Doctor has had.)

Recently, I have read some articles critiquing newer episodes, especially in connection with Clara’s personality and memory of these other events.

A friend and I noticed how religious some fans get over this show, and how like Christians they act over “dogma” and ideas they have but do not fully understand about the show and its characters.

How Clara Is Like the Trinity

In this similarity, Christians do not understand things such as the Trinity, and this misunderstanding throws off other elements of their theology.

The Doctrine of the Trinity is simply that God exists as three distinct Persons (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) yet is a single Being. The word “trinity” never appears in Scripture, but it has been deduced from Scripture (e.g. see Matthew 3:16-17 which has all three Persons present simultaneously).

Clara helps demonstrate this (and, please remember from here on out that nothing can adequately explain/compare to the concept of the Trinity. Our finite brains will always struggle with this concept) in that while she was interjected into various points along the Doctor’s timeline, each “incarnation” experienced birth, life, and death in each context. Therefore, while each and every “Clara” is, was, and will be Clara, they are never exactly the Clara who is the current companion of the Doctor.

In a sense, she is one being who has been many persons in the Doctor’s life.

It is no wonder, then, that so many people, many of whom are not necessarily Christians if not agnostics/atheists, struggle with this concept of Clara.

If Christians have been arguing about this concept for two thousand years, why should we expect anyone to grasp a fictional adaptation (that was not intended as such by the writers of the show)?