Why Presuppositional Apologetics?

Proverbs 26:4-5 NIV[4] Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him. [5] Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes.

Presuppositional apologetics supports a biblical position on apologetics. It also does not enable the unbeliever’s foolishness. The unbeliever is satisfied when you use evidential apologetics. This allows them to ignore their folly. 

Enabling the unbeliever is not loving them. Helping them suppress the truth they know is not loving. 

This was recently seen during a conversation I had with an unbeliever on Google Plus, and I pasted the screenshot of his reply. 


When I was using evidential apologetics, I gained the approval of the unbeliever. When I switched and used the word of God as my foundation, the unbeliever couldnno longer ignore their folly, must face the truth they already know, and greatly disapprove of that approach. 
But which is more loving? Which approach readies the unbeliever’s heart for the gospel?

Presuppositional apologetics is the biblical method that stays true to God’s word, glorifies Him, and is most loving towards the unbeliever. 

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Studies by UCLA neuroscientist Jeffrey Schwartz falsifies materialist determinism

WINTERY KNIGHT

Apologetics and the progress of science Apologetics and the progress of science

Here’s a summary of the research of UCLA professor Jeffrey Schwartz, authored by William Dembski.

Excerpt:

Schwartz provides a nonmaterialist interpretation of neuroscience and argues that this interpretation is more compelling than the standard materialist interpretation. He arrived at this position as a psychiatrist specializing in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). OCD sufferers recognize obsessive-compulsive thoughts and urges as separate from their intrinsic selves. For instance, after a few washings, the compulsive hand-washer realizes that his hands are clean and yet feels driven to keep washing them. It was reflection on this difference between the obvious truth (the hands are clean) and the irrational doubts (they might still be dirty) that prompted Schwartz to reassess the philosophical underpinnings of neuroscience.

From brain scans, Schwartz found that certain regions in the brain of OCD patients (the caudate nucleus in particular) exhibited abnormal patterns of…

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How to Defeat Modern Day Atheism With Three Easy Questions

Shadow To Light

Steve Greene wrote a web article entitled How to validate atheism in one easy step and gives us the most common defense of atheism that is out there:

So this is how you validate atheism in one easy step: Ask the god-believer to produce actual, credible, real world evidence of this god. He will never do it. He will always engage in word games employed to try to conjure up his god – while never even attempting to produce actual, relevant, empirical evidence of any god. He will talk about everything else under the sun, engage in rhetorical trickery, misdirection (red herring), misrepresentation (i.e., straw man criticism of atheism), all based on denying obvious facts about reality (like the problematic nature of “eyewitness testimony,” and the subjective nature of subjective beliefs about imaginary things making you feel good), while never getting around to producing any actual evidence of any god…

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New study: belief in free will linked to ability to behave morally and to help others

How does your worldview impact your actions?

WINTERY KNIGHT

J. Warner Wallace: God's Crime Scene J. Warner Wallace: God’s Crime Scene

So, Monday night I finally finished “reading” God’s Crime Scene, the new book by J. Warner Wallace. I was listening to the audio book, because it is hard to speed along with the top down and read at the same time. For now, here’s my one line review: this is a book for people who like evidence – he has collected a ton of evidence on everything people should be puzzling about, and sometimes on surprising topics. Anyway, I wanted to post something about some studies he mentioned in Chapter 6, on free will. This is one of the places where he found evidence in a surprising area.

Wallace says that free will makes more sense if theism is true, because we have non-material souls that interact with our bodies, but are not causally determined by them. On atheism, only matter exists, and you can’t get free will…

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The Muratorian fragment, dated 170 A.D., affirms 22 out of 27 New Testament books

WINTERY KNIGHT

The Muratorian fragment / The Muratorian canon The Muratorian fragment / The Muratorian canon (click for larger image)

I sometimes hear this odd objection that the books that were to be included in the Bible were not decided until the 4th century. I think it comes from some Hollywood movie, or maybe a TV show. Anyway, this post should help fix that myth.

I’m going to quote from New Testament expert Dr. Michael J. Kruger from his blog.

He writes:

One of the key data points in any discussion of canon is something called the Muratorian fragment (also known as the Muratorian canon).  This fragment, named after its discoverer Ludovico Antonio Muratori, contains our earliest list of the books in the New Testament.  While the fragment itself dates from the 7th or 8th century, the list it contains was originally written in Greek and dates back to the end of the second century (c.180).

[…]What is noteworthy…

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A Scrambled Mess at Breakfast

Recently at the National Prayer Breakfast, President Obama made the following remarks that have generated a lot of controversy.  Evangelical religious leaders are outraged at his comparison of the Crusades and the Inquisition to ISIS’ actions, the most recent is setting a Jordanian pilot on fire while he was locked in a cage.  President Obama’s actual statement was:

“Humanity has been grappling with these questions throughout human history,” he told the group, speaking of the tension between the compassionate and murderous acts religion can inspire. “And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ. There is a tendency in us, a sinful tendency, that can pervert and distort our faith.”¹

However, his other comments were even more disturbing.  Not for the fact that they showed his negative opinion of Christianity, but because of his verbal support for the faith.  During the breakfast, President Obama also said:

“Our job is not to ask that God respond to our notion of truth — our job is to be true to Him, His word, and His commandments.”¹

Surprising comments aren’t they?  The President potrays an image that God is soverign.  That He and He alone is King.  But this view stands in stark contrast to the actions he’s taken during his time as President.  An article from the Alliance Defending Freedom outlines the attacks President Obaman has led on our religious freedom.  As you read them, remember what President Obama says about God.

“our job is to be true to Him, His word, and His commandments.”¹

Attacks on religious freedom by Obama:

  1. Pledged to sign the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) into law – interfering with the right for religious employers to choose their employees.
  2. Appointed radical homosexual activist Chai Feldblum to the position of commissioner on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Feldblum is on record saying: “…we should … not tolerate private beliefs about sexual orientation and gender … Protecting one group’s identity may, at times, require that we burden others’ belief liberty … it is essential that we not privilege moral beliefs that are religiously based over other sincerely held, core, moral beliefs.”
  3. Signed into law the so-called “Hate Crimes” law, which has been a precursor to the silencing of religiously-based speech regarding sexual behavior.
  4. Advocated for and repealed the military “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy with no religious liberty exceptions, resulting in serious religious liberty implications for military chaplains and all service members of faith.
  5. Modified Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) guidelines – forcing landlords to violate their conscience.
  6. Designated “religious public service” as the only public service that will not be counted as payment towards student loans.
  7. Argued in Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC that the government could interfere with the internal faith and mission of religious organizations and churches. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 9-0 against this attempt to attack religious freedom.
  8. Changed “freedom of religion” to “freedom to worship,” a lexicon shift that could limit religious freedom outside the four walls of the church.
  9. Ordered the removal of a monogram symbolizing Jesus before speaking at Georgetown University.
  10. Refused to host the National Day of Prayer at the White House.
  11. Omitted, on at least three occasions, the mention of the Creator in the Declaration of Independence.
  12. Misquoted the national motto, “In God We Trust,” saying it was “E pluribus Unum.”
  13. Neglected to fill the position of religious freedom ambassador for almost two years. Finally relented after public and congressional pressure.

Direct Attacks on Religion and Religious Freedom by the Obama Administration 4/15/2014

  1. Opposed inclusion of President Franklin Roosevelt’s “D-Day Prayer” as part of the World War II Memorial, saying it would “dilute” the memorial.
  2. Declined to make any religious references in his annual Thanksgiving speech.
  3. Promoted the demands of the homosexual agenda over the religious beliefs of other nations, calling those beliefsan “obstacle” to homosexual “rights.”
  4. Ignored a U.S. Supreme Court decision ordering the Mojave World War I cross memorial to be re-erected.
  5. Disputed the granting of asylum to a German homeschooling family who had taken refuge in the United States toescape Germany’s mandatory public education laws, stating that Germany’s law “fails to violate the family’s fundamental rights.” The Supreme Court declined to review the case, thereby sending the family back to Germany, where they will face huge fines, criminal penalties, and the possible loss of custody of their five children.
  6. Issued new Department of Justice workplace guidelines entitled “LGBT Inclusion at Work: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Managers” which require that DOJ employees affirm homosexual behavior and state that “silence” means “disapproval.” These guidelines could threaten future advancement for those who do not express “support” for those who engage in homosexual behavior.
  7. Announced that he “strongly objected” to an amendment protecting religious freedom and freedom of conscience for members of the military. Rep. John Fleming (R-LA), the author of the amendment said, “This administration is aggressively hostile towards religious beliefs that it deems to be politically incorrect.”
  8. Speaking at Belfast, Ireland’s Waterfront Hall to 2,000 young people at the G8 Summit, President Obama attacked Catholic and Protestant schools, saying: “If towns remain divided – if Catholics have their schools and buildings and Protestants have theirs, if we can’t see ourselves in one another and fear or resentment are allowed to harden – that too encourages division and discourages cooperation.” 21 American Catholics for Religious Freedom responded: “Secular progressives like President Obama ignore the truth that faith-based education is a component of the religious freedom guaranteed by the Constitution.”
  9. Omitted the words “under God” from his reading of the Gettysburg Address in a video done with various celebrities and former Presidents, in a line that every other participant delivered as “that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom.”
  10. Recorded an introduction to Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, produced by avowed atheist Seth MacFarlane. The host of the program, Neil deGrasse Tyron said: “If you start using your scripture, your religious text as a source of your science, that’s where you run into problems…Enlightened people…don’t use the Bible as a textbook.”

President Obama again says one thing, but his actions contradict what he says.  I remember during his first campaign, people wondered if he was a Christian.  He had a number of people come out and state that the future Presisident was in deed a Christian.  If God is first in his life and he’s accepted Jesus’ sacrifice, how could he possibly lead such an attack on religious liberty in the United States?  Soon, his time in the White House will be over.  Will we ever be able to fix the damage done during his Presidency?  It’s going to take Christians getting more involved, speaking out for their faith, sharing the Gospel, and demanding their constitutional rights.  Christians and our future leaders should follow this advice:

“And we should assume humbly that we’re confused and don’t always know what we’re doing and we’re staggering and stumbling towards Him, and have some humility in that process. And that means we have to speak up against those who would misuse His name to justify oppression, or violence, or hatred with that fierce certainty.”

“And so, as people of faith, we are summoned to push back against those who try to distort our religion — any religion — for their own nihilistic ends. And here at home and around the world, we will constantly reaffirm that fundamental freedom — freedom of religion — the right to practice our faith how we choose, to change our faith if we choose, to practice no faith at all if we choose, and to do so free of persecution and fear and discrimination.”

The path has been laid out before us.  And amazingly, these words were also spoken by President Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast.

1. http://m.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/02/05/remarks-president-national-prayer-breakfast

2.http://www.adfmedia.org/files/ObamaReligiousFreedomAttacks.pdf

The Best of Lawrence Krauss?

This is a video posted on Google + showing some highlights of Lawrence Krauss. For those who aren’t familiar with him, he’s a physics professor at Arizona State University. For more information about him, access his ASU profile here

Watch the video here

While watching the video, I think it’s important to think about the points below.

He states all we are is “star stuff.” Then he talks about the concept of “poetic”. What is “poetic” in Krauss’ world? Is “poetic” made of star stuff?

He’s come here to praise honesty, full disclosure, etc. Why should honesty and full disclosure be praised if we are just star stuff? How are atoms of star stuff acting on way “better” than atoms of star stuff acting a different way?

He talks about ethics in science. Why should there be ethics in science? How is one action from a bag of star stuff molecules ethical and another not?

Krauss says, “Things that are inconceivable happen all the time.”
Miracles are not an issue to Krauss.

“Vile, awful, works of the bible.” What are these? How is any action of a bag of starstuff vile, or awful? We are just atoms of star stuff in motion.

“We cast out certainty in the matters of morality”
“Women are equal to men and we don’t hate gays.”
These behaviors are good and consistent with Mark 12:31. However, with no moral certainty, then rape and pedophilia are not wrong. Remember, there is no moral certainty. Krauss just grabbed behaviors that showed his position in the best light.

Science can make things more beautiful because we understand how things are made. But what is beauty in Krauss’ worldview? Simply chemical reactions within the brain. How does science make it more “beautiful”? Does more beautiful mean “stronger chemical reactions?

Dr. Krauss states his worldview, mainly that we are all just star-stuff. But he can’t stay within that worldview. He consistently talks about poetry, art, beauty, ethics, and morality. Like all unbelievers, he shows he knows the truth about God because of this. He borrows from the Christian worldview to have the tools he needs to criticize Christianity and God. Another example of Romans 1 in action.

We want….justice?

America has seen several tragic events recently, from the shooting in Ferguson to the death of Eric Garner.  Protestors are out on the streets calling for justice.  We all are questioning the justice system in American and changes that need to be put into place.  But what is justice and where does it come from?

Merriam-Webster defines justice as:

jus·tice: noun \ˈjəs-təs\

: the process or result of using laws to fairly judge and punish crimes and criminals

I hold that justice comes from God, the one true judge, and by His character.  Without God, there can be no justice.  Only religions that worship the true and living God can contain a consistent and true view of justice.  We all are the guilty party.  We sin against God and need to be judged for this sin.  However, Jesus came in the flesh as a man (John 1:14).  Jesus lived a sinless life to be our representative before God (2Corinthians 5:21).  Through Jesus, justice is preserved.

However, other religions do not result in justice.  In works-based religion, we are not judged for the crimes we have already committed.  We get off scot-free by changing our behavior and doing better next time.  True justice is not a component of works-based religions.  Fair judgement is not dispensed for the crimes already committed by the individual.

Justice is also not a component of the atheist worldview.  Within the atheist’s worldview, there is no fair judgment and punishment.  Fair laws must be based upon God’s laws and unchanging character.  Human laws are simply based on the collective subjective moral preferences and relative ideas of just punishments.  The majority subjective moral preferences and the majority ideas of just punishments are then put into laws and enforced.  This enforcement shows itself by separating people from friends and family and even death if a person follows their own subjective morality and subjective ideas of justice instead of going along with the group.  Individual morality and idea of justice is not valued unless the people in power or the majority of the group decides to value it.  This results to simple group suppression of the individual, group coercion, and physical punishment of the individual who does not conform the the collective subjective moral standard.  Group oppression does not equal fair judgement and punishment.

Only through God’s law and by His character can fair judgment and punishment be found.  We are all guilty for committing crimes against God (Romans 3:23).  For there to be true justice, we must be punished for these crimes.  However, God came in the flesh to satisfy the Father in heaven (1John 2:2), give to us His very righteousness (Phil. 3:9), and deliver us from the judgment to come (Romans 14:10).