Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Science vs. Christianity? by Dr. Peter Payne

Why the success of science does not prove naturalism

by Dr. Peter Payne
Institute for Credible Christianity

When people speak of “the worldview of science” almost always what they refer to is naturalism, the view that the physical world is all that exists and that ultimately everything can be explained in terms of natural laws
Those who argue that science strongly points towards naturalism typically do so because science has succeeded in providing explanations for nearly every facet of our world, from the smallest scale to largest. 

The conclusion of many, then, is that God is squeezed out of the picture, that there is nothing but the natural world. But does the success of science by itself provide strong support for naturalism? In this lecture it will be argued that it does not. Briefly it will be noted that the enigma of consciousness, of the conscious self, provides good reason to think that naturalism is not the last word. However, the majority of the lecture will develop the thesis that a key problem for naturalism is the conflating of what I call order-of-nature miracles and specific-point miracles. The former, if there are any, would be miracles that God needs to perform regularly or periodically to sustain the order of nature, the normal functioning of the natural world. The latter are miracles performed at specific points in time for specific purposes. The success of science provides significant support for the thesis that there are no order-of-nature miracles, but a “gapless” order of nature accords well with the biblical teaching about God. And the success of science does not address the question as to whether there are any specific-point miracles. That is a question that has to be addressed by historical investigation. The lecture will conclude by considering and responding to one objection to this thesis.

The Wonder of Advent, or Why We Wonder

Why Advent and Christmastime Stimulate a Sense of Wonder

  • 13 December 2016
  • Author: Scott Cherry
  • Number of views: 987
Like many people I enjoy the Christmas season, often called Christmastime, or Advent. I especially gravitate toward the more "enchanted" components that inspire a sense of wonder. God designed people with the capacity to perceive and experience wonder, with a yearning for it even. This is why a sense of wonder is essential to certain kinds of movies, and why they are popular.  There are wonderous and wonderful aspects of Christmastime, and people can feel it without knowing why.  For me and many others there is a sense of wonder that accompanies the whole season.

Does God Value Liberty?

How the fall and the book of Judges can answer this question.

Does God value liberty?  There are two ways to answer this question. The first is with reason. Evil exists because God values free creatures that choose good (and therefore are capable of choosing evil) more than he values the absence of evil. The fall of man is evidence of this. God created man and gave him opportunity to choose freely. God values Liberty.


The Life of Moses

Reflections from the Book of Exodus in the Tawrat

  • 28 October 2016
  • Author: Scott Cherry
  • Number of views: 1447

Moses was an extraordinary prophet and a paragon among the shapers of world culture. As the instrument of exodus, he was a kind of Messiah figure who foreshadowed the true and only Messiah two millenia later. The Exodus of the Hebrew slaves from ancient Egypt was unquestionably a one-of-a-kind event in the world history. What other example is there of a whole distinct people group having lived over 400 years within a powerful nation and having been entirely delivered to freedom, and that without a violent revolt by the people? None. 

This article is being added to periodically as we progress through the chapters of Exodus.  Upon opening it, the most recent post appears at the top from 11/17, and older posts follow starting from 10/28.

The Reason of Reason

Why Does Anything Makes Sense?

  • 27 October 2016
  • Author: Scott Cherry
  • Number of views: 1625

“Come now, let us reason together…”   

 Isaiah, in his book named after him, chapter 1:18

Reason exists and is self-evident.  Here is my reasoning: First, all humans use reason. It is part of what it means to be human.  Indeed, we 
must use reason, for it is a necessary attribute of the human mind and it is largely by reason that we function in a complex world.  It is also how we self-identify.  You probably have heard the well-known statement by Rene’ Descartes, “Cogito ergo sum”, if not in Latin then in English—“I think, therefore I am”.   A good paraphrase would be, “I reason, therefore I am.”