LAST WEEK JAN/,3/22 CLASS REPORT
1. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND EXPRESSION OF GRATITUDE TO GOD
2. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND EXPRESSION OF GRATITUDE TO FAITHFUL CLASS ATTENDEES
3. OVERVIEW OF SOME TOPICS STUDIED IN THE PAST
4. A 26 MINUTE VIDEO FROM SUPERBOOK:
PAUL AND THE UNKNOWN GOD PT2:
THESIS: RELIGION AND SCIENCE ARE NOT OPPOSED TO EACH OTHER BUT CAN BELONG TOGETHER
5. USING CLASSICAL APOLOGETICS WITH THE TELEOLOGICAL ARGUMENT TO PROVE THE EXISTENCE OF GOD:
SCRIPTURE REF: ACTS 17:22-34, 1COR 9:20, ROM 1:20, HEB 11:3, COL 1:16-17, PS 19:1-6.
6. KEY SCENES IN DIALOGUE:
(a) Chris expresses disappointment in the results of Paul's defense at the AREOPAGUS because many walked away when they heard the Resurrection.
7. Paul responded with ACTS 17: 34 and was not discouraged but showed that those who were called believed.
8. Chris Quantum wondered how one could prove the existence of God apart from the Bible with evidence to skeptics and scientists who do not believe that God exists.
9. Joy suggested that their experience with God should be the evidence to the skeptics.
10. Superbook transports them back in Biblical time (Acts 17) where Paul answers with 1Cor 9 :20-22
11. In his reflections, Chris understood that to the Greeks Paul began from their concept of the unknown GOD (ACTS 17:20,) but to the Jews he began with the scriptures of which they were familiar.
12. Chris and Joy studied into science and bravely with eloquence and clarity presented their arguments showing that science investigates nature but God cannot Be found in nature for He is outside nature. They also backed it up with scriptures from Rom 1:20, Heb:11:3.
They showed that is the reason why commander Conrad and other scientists could not find God in science and hence do not have the right to conclude that there is no God.
Chris and Joy further challenged skeptical scientists to consider that infinite regression of causation is impossible and for that reason there must be a self existing uncaused cause that we call God.
The ultimate question to scientists who disagree is thus 'WHY IS THERE A UNIVERSE INSTEAD OF NOTHING ?
This is the epic question that science cannot answer because the answer is in Phylosopy and Religion which we shall see NEXT WEEK!
NEXT WEEK IN APOLOGETICS:
SCRIPTURE READINGS : IS 48:3-13, 45:12, JOB CHAPTERS 38,39,40,41,
1 REVIEWS OF LAST WEEK : KEY QUESTIONS :
WHAT IS CLASSICAL APOLOGETICS? WHAT IS TELEOLOGICAL ARGUMENT?
2 SCIENCE'S BEST ANSWER TO GOD
3 HARMONY OF SCIENCE, RELIGION AND PHILOSOPHY
4 INDUCTIVE REASONING AND DEDUCTIVE REASONING
5 THE ASEITY OF GOD.
CLASSICAL APOLOGETICS IS THE METHOD WHEREBY YOU FIRST PROVE THE EXISTENCE OF GOD BEFORE YOU PROCEED WITH ANY ARGUMENT CONCERNING GOD AND THE CHRISTIAN FAITH. USUALLY THIS IS DONE BY NOT USING THE BIBLE.
THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE CLASSICAL APOLOGIST DENIES OR UNDERRATES THE BIBLE, BUT RATHER BY THE RATIONALE THAT THE ONE WHO CLAIMS NOT TO BELIEVE OR KNOW THE EXISTENCE OF GOD WILL CERTAINLY NOT BELIEVE THE BIBLE NOR CHRISTIANITY AS A TRUSTWORTHY SOURCE OF KNOWLEDGE.
AFTER THE ONE IS CONVINCED OF THE EXISTENCE OF GOD IT WILL THEN MAKE SENSE FOR HIM TO CONSIDER FURTHER ARGUMENTS ABOUT WHO THAT GOD IS AND HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO RELATE TO HIM.
SOME OF THE METHODS OF ARGUMENTS THAT CLASSICAL APOLOGETICS USE ARE:
1. THE ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENT. (Argument by appeal to existence) :
Saint Anselm’s ontological argument is simplified in 3 steps:
(A) That than which nothing greater can be conceived.
(B) It is greater to exist in reality than to exist only in the mind.
(C) Therefore God must exist in reality.
2. THE TELEOLOGICAL ARGUMENT : (Argument by appeal to design, purpose or end.)
It is the argument that nature is not just random and meaningless but rather it has a purpose. Arguably nothing happens by random, It happens by a cause and the cause therefore must have a purpose. A design must have a designer, and order must have an orderer. The design was designed for a purpose. Anything in ‘order’ has a purpose.
4. THE COSMOLOGICAL ARGUMENT (Argument by appeal to causation.
It appeals to order such as of the cosmos;
that in light of laws of nature, precise timing, motion, relations, change, constants, contingency, necessity etc there must be a prime mover, ). The foregoing factors also support teleological argument for where there is a cause of order there must be a purpose.
That there is a UNIVERSAL LAW OF CAUSATION also known as THE PRINCIPLE OF CAUSATION WHICH GOES LIKE THIS:
(1) Nothing takes place without a cause
(2) The magnitude of an effect is proportional to the magnitude of its cause
(3) To every action there is an equal and opposed reaction.
THE KALAM COSMOLOGICAL ARGUMENT
(Kalam is an Arabic word meaning “talk” or “speech)
The Kalam cosmological argument claims that :
(A) the universe has a beginning and was caused by an UNCAUSED CAUSE.
(B) That cause relies on nothing for its existence
(C) It has the power to create something from nothing
(D) It has a will to do it or not do it
(E) It exists outside creation and that thing is a personal God.
CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY POSITS THAT WHILES EVERY CAUSE HAS A CAUSE, IT IS IRRATIONAL TO ASSUME AN INFINITE REGRESS OF CAUSATION. IT MAKES SENSE TO HAVE A PRIME UNCAUSED CAUSE. THIS IS A SELF EXISTENT CAUSE WHICH WE CALL GOD.
4. THE ANTHROPOLOGICAL ARGUMENT :
(Argument by appeal to humanity)
That a look at humans can bring us to the conclusion that God exists. That even in science we can see that the universe was made to accommodate life, especially human life.
It has many sub topics. Such as (1) the personhood of man, the universal laws of our environment, laws and conditions necessary for life, the tripartite nature of man, morality of man, etc.
Example1: When we look at the soul of a human being in light of his rationality, individuality, self awareness, having emotions, will, intentions and moral values, we can conclude that an intelligent being as such could not have been created by a non intelligent source, furthermore that intelligent source is a person.
Example 2: When we consider the laws of the universe we see fine tuning which demands exactness lest life could not be possible for life.
According to Agnostic Astronomer Robert Jastrow (Baker encyclopedia of apologetics- Norman Geisler), the universe Is amazingly preadapted for life.
The slightest variation in the Big Bang could cause different conditions which even to a smallest degree would have made life impossible on earth.
Some more evidences:
1 If oxygen comprised of 25% instead of 21% fires would erupt; on the other hand if it were 15% humans would suffocate.
2 if the gravitational force were altered by 1 part in 1/40x10, the sun would not exist and the moon would crash into the earth.
3 If there were too much earthquakes, much life would be lost, If there were too few earthquakes, nutrients on the ocean floors and in river runoff would not be cycled back to continents through tectonic uplift. Therefore earthquakes are necessary to sustain life.
Below are further facts we can deduce from scientific data that shows that there is God.
4. If the centrifugal force of planetary movements did not precisely balance the gravitational forces, nothing could be held in orbit around the sun.
5. If the universe was expanding at a rate one millionth more slowly than it is, the temperature on earth would be 10,000 degrees C.
6. The average distance between stars in our galaxy of 100 billion stars is 30 trillion miles. If that distance altered slightly, orbits would become erratic and there would be extreme temperature variations on earth. ( Traveling at space shuttle speed, 17000miles/hr or 5 miles per second, it would take 201,450yrs to travel 30 trillion miles.
7. Any of the laws of physics can be described as a function of the velocity of light ( now defined to be 186,282 miles /second.)
Even a slight variation in the speed of light would alter the other constants and preclude the possibility of life on earth.
8. If Jupiter was not in its current orbit, we would be bombarded with space material.
Jupiter’s gravitational field acts as a cosmic vacuum cleaner, attracting asteroids and comets that would otherwise strike earth.
9. If the thickness of the crust of the earth was greater, too much oxygen would be transferred to the crust to support life. If it were thinner volcanic and tectonic activity would make life untenable.
10. If the rotation of the earth took longer than 24hrs, temperature difference would be too great between night and day. If the rotation period was shorter, atmospheric wind velocities would be too great.
11. Surface temperature differences would be too great if the axial tilt of the earth were altered slightly.
12. If the atmospheric discharge (lightning) rate were greater, there would be too much fire destruction; if it were less, there would be too little nitrogen fixing in the soil.
….. source : Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics by Norman Geisler p26-p27.
Based on the foregoing facts
Any sound minded scientist cannot deny the existence of an intelligent creator who is not part of nature or in other words the universe. It is a philosophical conclusion. Science cannot by itself survive without Philosophy and Religion (Faith) because science needs logic such as inductive and deductive reasoning for guidance.
Whilst science cannot find empirical evidence of God and His attributes, it can provide convergent clues of data that points to God with the aid of philosophy and religion.
It is dangerous and ignorant for one to say that man can depend on science alone and does not need religion nor philosophy.
The most arrogant and naive scientist will stagger at the simple question “why is there anything, instead of nothing?”
When religion makes faith claims of the unknown, the rationality of those claims are confirmed or denied in the courts of philosophy. In many of such cases science can come in and provide converging clues.
Mystery questions can sometimes be answered by religion through divine revelation or speculative philosophy.
Here we see the harmony of Religion, Science and Philosophy.
This explains why many scientists and philosophers are Christians or generally believers in God.
All truth is God’s truth.
God gave us Religion, Science and Philosophy to exercise dominion over this earth and for our own temporal and eternal survival. Science cannot explain the soul and its attributes nor why there should be moral values without the help of philosophy and religion.
Neither has science the authority to deny the unknown.
Where there arises conflict among any of these three disciplines, it could be an error but not the denial of the relevance of that discipline.
A conflict could be caused by human error such as false interpretation of scripture, false or fake science or erroneous philosophy.
A Quote from Dr MARTIN LUTHER KING:
“ Science keeps Religion from sinking into the valley of crippling irrationalism and paralyzing obscurantism . Religion prevents science from falling into the marsh of obsolete materialism and moral nihilism .
The Bible declares thus:
Psalms 14:1 (KJV) The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
Romans 1:19-20 (KJV) 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Faith and Reason Are Allies :
“We do not believe reason should usurp the primacy of faith, hope and love. We agree with classical Christian orthodoxy as expressed in medieval formulas like fides quaerens intellectum ("faith seeking understanding") and credo ut intelligam ("I believe in order that I may understand"). That is to say that when faith comes first, understanding follows, and is vastly aided by faith's tutelage. But we also agree with the classical position's contention that many of the things God has revealed to us to be believed, such as his own existence and some of his attributes, can also be proved by human reason, properly used.- Handbook of Christian Apologetics by Peter Kreeft and Ronald T Tacelli
Psalms 19:1 (KJV) The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
Hebrews 11:3 (KJV) Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
Colossians 1:16-17 (KJV) 16 For by him (Christ) were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
Colossians 2:3 (KJV) In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.