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Faith

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Faith & Reason Seminars Seminar 1: Support for a Theistic World View Steve Whitehouse, Ph.D. January 12, 2014 – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Faith


1
Faith Reason Seminars Seminar 1 Support for a
Theistic World View
  • Steve Whitehouse, Ph.D.
  • January 12, 2014

2
Course Overview
  • Apologetics is

3
Course Overview
  • Apologetics is the branch of theology that deals
    with the defense and proof of Christianity

4
Course Overview
  • Apologetics is the branch of theology that deals
    with the defense and proof of Christianity
  • Knowledge of apologetics can improve our
    relationship with God, since it helps us to love
    the Lord with all our mind, as commanded by
    Christ in Mark 12.30
  • Love the Lord your God with all your heart and
    with all your soul and with all your mind and
    with all your strength.
  • Being able to defend our faith also helps us
    witness to others, as Peter encouraged us to do
    in 1 Peter 3.15 and 16
  • But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord.
    Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone
    who asks you to give the reason for the hope that
    you have. But do this with gentleness and
    respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that
    those who speak maliciously against your good
    behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their
    slander.

5
Course Overview
  • Objectives
  • Acquaint participants with evidence showing that
    Christianity is a rational belief system
  • Give them tools for more detailed self study in
    the future
  • Topics to be discussed in the course are given
    below.
  • Logical Evidence Regarding the Existence of God
  • Scientific Evidence Regarding Creation
  • Historical Evidence Regarding Veracity of the
    Bible
  • Rights of Christians to Share the Good News in
    the Public Arena
  • Desired result to help participants understand
    that not only is Christianity a reasonable faith,
    but that faith in Jesus Christ is the most
    rational response to the evidence available to
    us.

6
Lesson 1 Logical Evidence Regarding the
Existence of God
  • And without faith it is impossible to please
    God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe
    that He exists and that He rewards those who
    earnestly seek Him.
  • Heb 11.6
  • The fool says in his heart, There is no God.
    Ps. 14.1

7
Does God Exist?
  • Why do we ask the question?

8
Does God Exist?
  • Why do we ask the question?
  • People used to accept Gods existence without
    question.
  • In modern times people believe that science
    provides access to ultimate truth.
  • Science cannot prove or disprove existence of God
  • This is a limitation of science, not God!
  • Science provides physical explanation for
    occurrences that were thought to be supernatural
    events (eclipses, comets, plague).

9
Why Does It Matter?
  • Most important question we can ever grapple with.
  • Culture tells us that our primary concern is for
    ourselves.
  • Examples from newspapers and magazines.
  • Advertisements
  • Looking out for number 1
  • Obey your thirst
  • Popular movie theme Believe in yourself, and
    everything will work out fine!
  • If God exists, we are not number 1. If He
    exists, we should obey Him rather than our own
    thirst. If He exists, we should believe in Him
    rather than ourselves.
  • If He does not exist, we are on our own, and we
    are wasting our time in seminars like this!

10
Four Logical Arguments
  • 1. Ontological Argument

11
Four Logical Arguments
  • 1. Ontological Argument
  • The very fact that humans have an idea of God
    supports the idea that He actually does exist.
  • Concepts regarding the existence of God are
    universal
  • In all cultures
  • All of us have pondered the question
  • Where would this idea come from if He didnt
    actually exist?

12
Four Logical Arguments
  • 2. Moral Argument
  • All humans have a built-in sense of right and
    wrong.
  • Children and students often say

13
Four Logical Arguments
  • 2. Moral Argument
  • All humans have a built-in sense of right and
    wrong.
  • Children and students often say Thats not
    fair!
  • Where would concepts of right and wrong, fair and
    unfair come from if the universe were merely
    matter re-arranging itself in a random manner?
  • Existence of inherent moral code, or conscience,
    in all people is evidence of a Moral Creator.
  • Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law,
    do by nature things required by the law, they are
    a law for themselves, even though they do not
    have the law, since they show that the
    requirements of the law are written on their
    hearts, their consciences also bearing witness,
    and their thoughts now accusing, now even
    defending them. Romans 2.14,15

14
Four Logical Arguments
  • 3. Cosmological (or Cause and Effect) Argument
  • Universe exists. Three possible explanations

15
Four Logical Arguments
  • 3. Cosmological (or Cause and Effect) Argument
  • Universe exists. Three possible explanations
  • (a) It created itself
  • (b) It always existed
  • (c) It was created by an eternal being
  • Argument (a) is self contradictory, and generally
    irrational.
  • If nothing created itself, it had to be something
    and nothing at the same time, which violates the
    law of contradiction.

16
Four Logical Arguments
  • 3. Cosmological (or Cause and Effect) Argument
  • Argument (b) is a possibility.
  • However, scientific data seem to indicate the
    universe had a beginning.
  • If we accept that the universe had a beginning,
    then Argument (b) is incorrect.
  • This leaves us with one logical possibility which
    does not contradict scientific evidence available
    to us at this time i.e., the universe was
    created by an eternal, self-existent being.
  • In short, the universe is an effect, and God is
    its cause.
  • For every house is built by someone, but God is
    the builder of everything. Hebrews 3.4

17
Four Logical Arguments
  • 4. Teleological Argument

18
Four Logical Arguments
  • 4. Teleological Argument
  • There is order, harmony, and intelligence in
    universe. It is logical to assume that this
    order is the product of an Intelligent Creator,
    and that all we see was designed with a purpose.
  • The heavens declare the glory of God the skies
    proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day
    they pour forth speech night after night they
    display knowledge. There is no speech or
    language where their voice is not heard. Their
    voice goes out into all the earth, their words to
    the ends of the world. Psalm 19.1-4
  • For since the creation of the world Gods
    invisible qualities his eternal power and
    divine nature have been clearly seen, being
    understood from what has been made, so that men
    are without excuse. Romans 1.20

19
Teleological Argument (Contd)
  • Life provides evidence for existence of God.
  • Dr. Francis Crick discovered DNA.
  • Molecules in one cell 6 ½ feet long.
  • Molecules in each person 500,000 miles long.
  • Genetic info in each cell 4000 volumes of books
    in library
  • Each human has about 30 trillion cells
  • Crick calculated chance of DNA molecule coming
    into existence by chance 0

20
Teleological Argument (Contd)
  • Life provides evidence for existence of God.
  • Dr. Francis Crick discovered DNA.
  • Molecules in one cell 6 ½ feet long.
  • Molecules in each person 500,000 miles long.
  • Genetic info in each cell 4000 volumes of books
    in library
  • Each human has about 30 trillion cells
  • Crick calculated chance of DNA molecule coming
    into existence by chance 0

21
Teleological Argument (Contd)
  • Life provides evidence for existence of God.
  • Dr. Francis Crick discovered DNA.
  • Molecules in one cell 6 ½ feet long.
  • Molecules in each person 500,000 miles long.
  • Genetic info in each cell 4000 volumes of books
    in library
  • Each human has about 30 trillion cells
  • Crick calculated chance of DNA molecule coming
    into existence by chance 0
  • Led him to propose theory of panspermia
  • Sir Fred Hoyle, famous astronomer
  • Probability of single cell forming by chance 1/
    1040,000
  • Probability of 1 / 1050 0 (Lecomte duNouy, 1052
    electrons in universe)
  • To date, science has identified a total of 63
    characteristics which must be properly tuned for
    life to exist on earth. Four of these to
    precision of 1 part in 1037 or better.

22
Teleological Argument (Contd)
  • Balance also seen regarding characteristics of
    earth itself.
  • Polarity of water molecule. If greater, water
    would boil at higher temp. If less, water would
    boil at too low a temp liquid water would be an
    inferior solvent ice would not float, leading to
    runaway freeze-up.
  • Size of earth. If too large, toxic atmosphere.
    If too small, not enough atmosphere.
  • Distance from sun. If 5 closer, too hot (water
    would boil). If 1 farther away, too cold (water
    would freeze).
  • Rate of rotation. If slower, temperature too
    extreme. If faster, wind velocity too high.
  • Orbital eccentricity. If too large, seasonal
    temperature differences would be too extreme.
  • Axial tilt. If larger or smaller, surface
    temperature differences would be too great.
  • Albedo (ratio of reflected light to total amount
    impinging on surface). If greater, runaway
    glaciation. If less, runaway greenhouse effect.
  • Location of heavy planets (Jupiter and Saturn) in
    outer orbits to deflect incoming comets.

23
Teleological Argument (Concluded)
  • Based on study of only 41 parameters, probability
    of all 41 being in proper range is 1 out of 1053.
    Estimated max number of planets in universe is
    1022!
  • Not to believe in God given reality of life on
    earth is irrational!
  • Belief in God ultimately requires faith, but it
    is a reasonable and logical faith. Also, it
    requires faith not to believe in God as well. In
    fact, it requires more faith not to believe in
    God than to believe in Him. That is why it is
    foolish not to believe in God.

24
Rival Concepts of God
  • Pantheism
  • God beyond good and evil (pantheism) versus God
    Who is righteous and takes sides regarding good
    and evil (Christianity, Judaism, Islam)
  • God animates the universe almost is the
    universe.
  • If universe did not exist, God would not exist.

25
Rival Concepts of God
  • Pantheism
  • God beyond good and evil (pantheism) versus God
    Who is righteous and takes sides regarding good
    and evil (Christianity, Judaism, Islam)
  • God animates the universe almost is the
    universe.
  • If universe did not exist, God would not exist.
  • This is view behind concept of The Force in
    Star Wars movies. The Force is the energy
    which animates the universe. We all draw our
    strength from it. It has a Dark Side and a
    Non-Dark (Light?) Side. We can choose which
    side we want to be aligned with. THIS IS NOT THE
    CHRISTIAN VIEW OF THINGS!
  • From recent Star Wars movie (Revenge of the
    Siths) Only Siths deal in absolutes

26
Rival Concepts of God
  • Humanism
  • Man is the measure of all things.
  • The complete realization of human personality is
    the end (purpose) of mans life, and seeks its
    development in the here and now.
  • Man alone is responsible for the realization of
    the world of his dreams, and has the power within
    himself for its achievement.
  • Religions that place revelation, God or ritual
    above human need or experience do a disservice to
    the human species.
  • We can discover no divine purpose for the human
    species. No deity will save us we must save
    ourselves.
  • There are no moral absolutes. Ethics is
    situational. The only recognized morality is
    that which emerges from continuous human
    experience.
  • If it feels good and doesnt hurt anyone, do it.

27
The Question of Good and Evil
  • If God made the universe, how come there is evil?
  • Universe seems cruel and unjust at times.
  • But where does our concept of cruel and
    unjust come from?
  • There must be a Standard out there to allow us to
    make judgments regarding what is cruel and
    unjust
  • Universe contains much that is bad and appears
    meaningless.
  • The fact that it also contains creatures who know
    it is bad and meaningless has 1 of 2 possible
    explanations.

28
The Question of Good and Evil
  • Christian view good world gone wrong, which
    retains some memory of what it ought to be
  • Dualism two equal and independent powers (like
    The Force)
  • But what makes one good and the other bad?
  • There must be a Standard behind the Good Power
    and the Bad Power which allows us to say the Good
    Power is good because it is aligned or has the
    proper relationship to the Standard.
  • Universe embroiled in civil war. We are in
    rebel-held territory. We are invited to help the
    Good Side win it back.
  • Also, existence of good and evil provides
    opportunities for
  • Us to have free will
  • God to show that He loves us (For God so loved
    the world that He gave His only Son )
  • Us to show that we love each other
  • Us to show that we love God

29
Summary
  • If God exists, we are not number 1. If He
    exists, we should obey Him rather than our own
    thirst. If He exists, we should believe in Him
    rather than ourselves.
  • Four arguments supporting belief in the existence
    of God
  • Ontological Argument The very fact that humans
    have an idea of God provides evidence for His
    existence.
  • Moral Argument Existence of built-in sense of
    right and wrong, or conscience, in all people is
    evidence of a Moral Creator.
  • Cosmological Argument Universe exists. It was
    created by an eternal being is the most rational
    explanation.
  • Teleological Argument It is logical to conclude
    that the order, harmony, and intelligence in
    universe is the product of an Intelligent
    Creator, and that all we see was designed with a
    purpose.
  • Reason based on observation of the world around
    us reveals that belief in God is logical.
    Additional information is required to determine
    if the Creator of the universe is the God of the
    Bible. This information includes comparison of
    scientific evidence with creation accounts in the
    Bible, as well as archeological and historical
    evidence regarding the veracity of Biblical
    accounts.

30
Lesson 2 The Scientific Method
  • all things were created by Him and for Him. He
    is before all things, and in Him all things hold
    together. Col 1. 16b and 17
  • The Son is the radiance of Gods glory and the
    exact representation of His being, sustaining all
    things by His powerful word. Heb 1.3
  • Now we see but a poor reflection then we shall
    see face to face. Now I know in part then I
    shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 1
    Cor 13.12
  • The first to present his case seems right, till
    another comes forward and questions him. Prov
    18.17
  • Scientific method provides a means of learning
    about God through study of His creation. Since
    Christ is the Power who made everything and
    sustains everything, science is actually study of
    Christ. It provides a powerful tool for finding
    the truth about observable, repeatable processes
    associated with us and the universe.

31
Lesson Objectives
  • Review and illustrate the scientific method as a
    means of discovering truth.
  • Discuss Biblical basis for scientific method.
  • Provide background necessary to employ scientific
    method to evaluate information pertinent to
    creation vs evolution debate, and show Christian
    heritage of science itself.
  • Use of the scientific method to evaluate data
    regarding creation versus evolution will show
    that a Christian explanation for origins is a
    reasonable explanation.

32
Review of Scientific Method
  • There is order, harmony, and intelligence in
    universe. It is logical to assume that this
    order is the product of an Intelligent Creator,
    and that all we see was designed with a purpose.
  • Improper understanding of science provides the
    chief challenge to belief in God. However,
    scientific method rests on assumptions that imply
    an Intelligent, Purposeful God must exist.

33
Steps in the Scientific Method
  • Identify a problem.
  • Research the problem.
  • Formulate a hypothesis.
  • Collect more data.
  • Design and conduct experiments.
  • Analyze data.
  • Formulate conclusions.

34
Review of Scientific Method
  • This approach is based on the following
    assumptions
  • There is order in the universe
  • We can trust our senses and memory
  • We can use data obtained from our senses along
    with reason and logic to discover the order in
    the universe
  • Without these assumptions, there is no science!

35
Review of Scientific Method
  • But if there is no God, how did we get the order
    we see in the universe, the finely developed
    sensors in our own bodies, our memory, and our
    rational abilities to analyze data and formulate
    conclusions starting just with an impersonal
    universe governed by time and chance? Or how do
    you get intelligence starting with just matter
    rearranged using random processes?
  • For God is not a God of disorder but of peace. 1
    Cor 14.33
  • Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and
    forever. Heb 13.8
  • Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your
    faithfulness to the skies. Ps 36.5
  • God is faithful Duet 7.9, Ps 146.6, Is 65.16

36
Review of Scientific Method
  • However, science does work. The understanding we
    have gained of the universe makes atomic energy,
    airplanes, space travel, lasers, etc. possible.
    Therefore, there is order in the universe, and we
    can use our senses, memory, and reasoning to
    discover it. It seems highly improbable that any
    of these factors (order in the universe, and our
    ability to understand it) would exist in a
    eternally existent, solely material universe
    governed only by random processes. It seems much
    more likely that the order we see, and our
    ability to see it are the result of an orderly
    creation designed by an Intelligent Creator.

37
Review of Scientific Method
  • Inability of science to prove Gods existence is
    limitation of science, not God. Science limited
    to discovering cause-effect relations in
    repeatable phenomena based on careful observation
    and study. Cannot discover things like God, or
    explain one-time events like creation, or explain
    things associated with personality.
  • Proof such as existence of a person, or
    occurrence of one-time events requires legal or
    historical evidence oral testimony, written
    testimony, exhibits. Evidence is examined,
    verdict is reached based on weight of evidence
    (beyond a reasonable doubt).
  • The heavens declare the glory of God the skies
    proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day
    they pour forth speech night after night they
    display knowledge. There is no speech or
    language where their voice is not heard. Their
    voice goes out into all the earth, their words to
    the ends of the world. Psalm 19.1-4
  • For since the creation of the world Gods
    invisible qualities his eternal power and
    divine nature have been clearly seen, being
    understood from what has been made, so that men
    are without excuse. Romans 1.20

38
Biblical Basis of Scientific Method
  • Hypothesis Research Experiment Analysis to
    falsify or support hypothesis
  • The first to present his case seems right, till
    another comes forward and questions him. Prov
    18.17
  • Hypothesis is first person to present case data
    from testing is second person.
  • Test everything. Hold on to the good. 1 Thes
    5.21
  • Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but
    test the spirits to see whether they are from
    God. 1 John 4.1
  • Now the Bereans were of more noble character than
    the Thessalonians, for they received the message
    with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures
    every day to see if what Paul said was true.
    Acts 17.11

39
Biblical Basis of Scientific Method
  • You have tested those who claim to be apostles
    but are not, and have found them false. Rev. 2.2
  • Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this
    world, but be transformed by the renewing of our
    mind. Then you will be able to test and approve
    what Gods will is. Rom 12.2
  • Let us discern for ourselves what is right let
    us learn together what is good. Job 34.4
  • Examples of use of experimental method in Bible

40
Biblical Basis of Scientific Method
  • You have tested those who claim to be apostles
    but are not, and have found them false. Rev. 2.2
  • Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this
    world, but be transformed by the renewing of our
    mind. Then you will be able to test and approve
    what Gods will is. Rom 12.2
  • Let us discern for ourselves what is right let
    us learn together what is good. Job 34.4
  • Examples of use of experimental method in Bible
  • Daniel eating kings food Daniel 1.1-21
  • Thomas verifying resurrection of Jesus John
    20.24-30

41
Example of Scientific Method
  • Natural period of pendulum
  • Potential uses??
  • Hypothesis Natural period of pendulum affected
    by
  • Experimental Design

42
Example of Scientific Method
  • Natural period of pendulum can be used to keep
    time in clocks.
  • Galileo discovered potential application to time
    keeping watching a chandelier during church
    service. Timed natural period with his
    heartbeat.
  • Hypothesis Natural period of pendulum affected
    by length, mass at end, initial displacement,
    etc.
  • Experiment
  • Construct pendulum allowing length, mass, initial
    displacement to be varied
  • Time natural period for each combination of
    variables tested
  • Time 10 periods, divide by 10 to get average
    (Why?)

43
Results from Last Year
Natural Period Data Natural Period Data Natural Period Data Natural Period Data Natural Period Data
Length (ft) Initial Displacement (ft) Natural Period (seconds) Natural Period (seconds) Natural Period (seconds)
Length (ft) Initial Displacement (ft) Mass 1 Mass 2 Mass 7
9 4 3.23 3.29 3.29
2 3.24 3.26 3.26
4 2 2.15 2.18 2.23
1 2.24 2.25 2.27
1 0.5 1.11 1.2 1.12
44
Results from Last Year
  • Discuss accuracy of time measurement test
    ability to measure natural period of metronome
    accurately using our method.
  • Analyze results length is only variable that
    affects natural period (within our ability to
    measure time).
  • Initial assumptions seemed reasonable until data
    came forward to question them.
  • The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge
    the ears of the wise seek it out. Pr. 18.15
  • The fear of the Lord is the beginning of
    knowledge Pr. 1.7
  • Plot results use them to estimate natural period
    of pendulum of arbitrary length (or estimate
    length of pendulum knowing natural period).

45
Results from Last Year
46
Results from Last Year
T natural period (s), L length (ft)
47
Summary
  • Faith and Reason are not opposites true Faith is
    a reasonable belief.
  • Study of science is study of Christ we should
    enjoy it!
  • Study of science should lead us to believe that
  • God created the universe, and is worthy of our
    worship and service
  • The Bible is true and reliable, and should be
    used to guide our lives
  • We can be proud of the Christian heritage of
    science.
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