Category Archives: Apologetics

The Cosmic Importance Of The Red Circle

My son sent me a link to this picture which is suppose to count against the existence of God. You can see it here.

The guy who put the picture up said that it makes a “good point.” But it really only makes a good point if you are not thinking critically. First, the author is misguided in saying that every single action that Yahweh, Jesus, or Allah did in the Torah, New Testament or Quran occurred within the red circle. This is the claim that the author makes not the claim Christianity makes. The Bible speaks of God as not only the author of all existence (everything is dependent on God for it’s existence) but it also says that God PRESENTLY SUSTAINS all (thus, in human history, God is providentially at work) and lastly, God has a future for the whole earth. There is also the issue that whatever God did in that little red circle, God affected everything else in the cosmos. Lastly, I want to make a round-about response about this via a quote from a book by “Bo Jinn” entitled, “Illogical Atheism.” Bo Jinn says this:

“The “way the universe should have been,” as far as the new atheists are concerned is an ever- morphing tautology which can adjust to any set of altering circumstances.

As a tiny speck of ignorant nothingness floating about in infinite space, none of us are in a position to make any fleeting assumptions about how the universe “should be.” At any rate if we were going to proselytize on behalf of atheism by resorting to doom prophecy, I could have made it far worse for the theist than Mr. Hitchens did; because incidentally all of us, presently living, will be dead before the turn of the century. Or, at least the vast majority of us will. I’d have thought that would have been an altogether more pressing concern than the ultimate fate of the universe a few quadrillion years from now. As for the immense size and scale of the cosmos in relation to us; as the mathematician John Lennox points out, on a logarithmic scale the human being is about half way between an atom and the universe. So, I suppose if God thinks in terms of logarithms that would make us the perfect size for the universe we inhabit. But even if that were not the case, what does the size of the universe have to do with anything anyway? Perhaps a metaphor might better illustrate the point:

Suppose there were a small tribe of ten primitive humanoids in a cave some five hundred thousand years ago. Imagine that these were among the first human beings on the planet. They looked beyond their caves every day. They hunt within no more than a kilometer of their home. The Earth stretches for miles and miles beyond the horizon, across seas and oceans- domains they feel no primate human could ever possibly traverse. Between themselves and the ends of the earth lay vast expanses of land, desert and frozen glaciers battered by the elements- completely inhospitable to any kind of human life. Now, nine of these humanoids believe in a “Great Spirit” that created the world and everything in it, including the humanoids themselves. One humanoid, however, is an atheist. The atheist humanoid turns to his fellow proto- theists and says. “Why does the land and sea stretch so far beyond, so needlessly exceeding our purposes? Why is so much of our planet so completely unsuited to us? What kind of “Great Spirit” would create an Earth so large?! How wasteful! Could he have not made it a bit smaller perhaps? Some design!”

You see the point. These days we are more concerned by the fact that the Earth is too small, yet we take the same attitude the primate atheist took with regard to the cosmos. Speaking in terms of size and quantities is relative to the point in spacetime that we occupy, not that that should even matter at any rate. Precisely what size would Mr. Hitchens or Mr. Dawkins have preferred for our universe? One galaxy? Two galaxies? A few solar systems, perhaps? Or would they have preferred that Yuri Gagarin had had hit some kind a divine barrier between the Earth and the stars putting a halt to all science as we know it? How disappointingly uninteresting would that have made the universe? I am reminded of Robert Southey’s Goldilocks: One really has to ask; just what kind of universe would have been “just right” for the new atheists?”

How one cannot see how this diminishes human significance is beyond me.

The Existence Of God And The Argument From Beauty

Nothing big here. Just a quote I think is telling.

“…in experiencing beauty we feel ourselves to be in contact with a deeper reality than the everyday.” Anthony O’Hear from Beyond Evolution

Should We Take Every Opportunity To Evangelize?

I remember back in the 1980’s when I was a teenager, the big controversy was whether God could use rock music or not or whether rock music was of the devil or not (I still have the Peter brothers book on Christian rock music). For some of my Christian friends the bewilderment was over whether you could “worship and praise God” through screaming guitar riffs. Along the same vein was the idea that every opportunity should be evangelistic in nature. I believe it was Keith Green or someone in the CCM (Contemporary Christian Music) industry that asked if “every church service had to end in an altar call.” Most of my Christian friends thought that it had to end this way. But not only that, for some, it had to not only end in an altar call, but it had to end successfully with SOMEONE’S salvation.

Well along came Francis Schaeffer who spoke about making good art simply to make art and that was, in itself, an act of worship. This past week as I was reading James Beilby’s book, “Thinking About Christian Apologetics: What It Is and Why We Do It” I came across this part:

“Finally, we must be faithful to God’s purposes in specific situations. In some cases, apologetics appropriately and naturally leads to an offer for a person to commit her life to Christ, but in the vast majority of cases, our apologetic endeavours are a small step in a person’s long and a winding journey that one hopes will culminate in relationship with Jesus Christ. Just as in 1 Corinthians 3:6 where the apostle Paul said, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow,” our responsibility is to be faithful to our call in whatever situation God has placed us and help our interlocutor move one more step toward Christ, whether that step be merely acknowledging that not all Christians are morons or committing his life to Christ. In other words, we must approach each apologetic situation pneumatologically, acknowledging that the Holy Spirit has preceded us and will work after we have left. Our task is to discern what God requires of us in each situation.”

I gather from what Beilby is saying, is not only does one NOT have to use every opportunity to preach or to convert (that’s the Holy Spirit’s job anyway) but to “just be yourself” for that in itself can go a long way in helping someone come to Christ. Maybe them seeing that you are not a moron will be all the witness someone needs.

While I have come to see this “take every moment as an opportunity to evangelize or convert” as reductionistic, in some ways though, I can see the heart behind it. Christian folk desire to “glorify God in all they do” and though expressing that desire may be slightly reductionistic, I can’t fault them for that heart desire.