Tuesday, July 31, 2012

How to destroy Christianity

Christianity is a worldview that has been in existence for around 2000 years.  During those years many have attempted to discredit the Christian message.  The attempt to discredit Christianity began early, but how does one destroy Christianity?

The earliest attempt to destroy the Christian message came from the Jewish community.  Upon discovery of the empty tomb the Jewish leaders spread the story that the followers of Jesus stole the body.  This attempt to destroy the early Christian message failed, for many claimed to have encountered the resurrected Jesus.

The next attempt to destroy Christianity was wrought by the Roman Empire through persecution.  According to the Roman method, all you need to do is simply murder and suppress all Christians. Persecution of Christians by torture and killing also failed to stop the movement.  As early Church Father, Tertullian, once said, "The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church."

Many years passed until the Age of Enlightenment.  At this time and prior, people were starting to question long held beliefs of God and the Christian worldview.  Science and reason was pushed to the forefront as to how one acquires knowledge and answers to life's big questions.

Some in the scientific realm came to believe that it was the holder of all knowledge that could known.  Theories started to develop and still do today to try and explain away the existence of God. Science was seen by many as pitting itself against the Christian worldview, primarily because the supernatural realm can't be investigated by way of scientific testing.  Therefore, on this view, the supernatural must not exist, nor miracles which operate outside of natural explanations.  The route of the naturalist was simply to destroy God, and then Christianity and all other religions would fall.  However, this approach failed to destroy Christianity.

Also, during the "Enlightenment" alternative theories developed to explain away the empty tomb.  The disciples belief they had encountered Jesus after his death is part of historical bedrock belief  by most scholars whether they are Christian or not .  "Not a few, but rather a majority, of contemporary scholars believe that there is some historical kernel in the empty tomb tradition." [1] Some of the counter theories to explain away the empty tomb include: the Swoon Theory, Hallucination Theory, Twin Theory, Myth Theory, Spirit Body Theory, and others failed to explain with more explanatory power than the bodily resurrected Jesus.

The Apostle Paul has provided the best method for the destruction of the Christian worldview by saying, "If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.  And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.  More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised.  For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either.  And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.  Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost.  If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men (1 Corinthians 15:13-19)."  

Paul is absolutely correct when trying to destroy Christianity.  Science can never come close to destroying the Christian worldview, for science is limited to the natural answers.  If Christianity is ever to be destroyed it will be by debunking the empty tomb message of early believers.  Some will say, people will always be willing to believe a lie, and most would agree with that, but the early followers of Jesus actually believed they had encountered the risen Jesus, and therefore, were willing to die for what they thought was true as opposed to a lie.  

To destroy Christianity, the resurrection story must be shown untrue and false.  Evidence must be given to show that the bodily resurrection of Jesus did not happen.  This means that arguments that tip the scales against the bodily resurrection must be weightier that what the Christian worldview proclaims.  It is one thing to believe in any thing, but can your belief be justified?  When someone can show that Jesus never rose from the dead, then Christianity is officially dead.   The burden lies directly at the hands of those who want to destroy Christianity, and even Jesus offers a challenge to those opposed to the Christian worldview, when speaking about the Church, by saying, "the gates of Hades will not overcome it (Matthew 16:18)."  

If the bodily resurrection theory cannot be destroyed, then perhaps it is true.  Until the resurrection story is destroyed it offers the best explanation as to what happened to a dead Jesus three days after the fact.  The burden of proof falls directly in the lap of those who believe otherwise.

[1] Habermas, Gary as quoted in "The Resurrection of Jesus" by Michael Licona, p. 461, 2010

Monday, July 16, 2012

Antitheism and Krauss' Wager

Here is a great blog by Luke Nix of "Faithful Thinkers"

Antitheism and Krauss' Wager

Laurence Krauss- The Antitheist
Recently in a discussion with Justin Brierly (Unbelievable?) and Rodney Holder, Lawrence Krauss made an interesting statement (podcast: 58:01):

"You talk about this god of love and everything else. But somehow if you don't believe in him, you don't get any of the benefits, so you have to believe. And then if you do anything wrong, you're going to be judged for it. I don't want to be judged by god; that's the bottom line."

Earlier in the program Krauss also described himself as an antitheist and made a distinction from being called an atheist. Taken in the context of the quote above this distinction and title makes a lot of sense. As apologists, it is not enough to address a worldview as a whole, we must look into the specific views of an individual to appeal to them on both an intellectual level and an emotional level. I have a few thoughts that I would like to draw out of this.

To finish the blog click here.

Monday, July 9, 2012

The God particle and the trump card

The recent discovery of the "God Particle" has been a major breakthrough for science across the globe.  Not only has the scientific community promoted the particle, but the media has hyped it as well.  The "God Particle" is known properly as the Higgs boson particle and the quest for this particle was pursued for many years.  Why all the hype and what are the implications of this newly discovered particle?

One of the main reasons for the hype is the discovery of the most fundamental piece of the universe's beginning that has ever been discovered.  According to the scientific community, this particle is so important that it is responsible  for springing the universe into existence after the "Big Bang"  and giving mass to all particles of matter.  It is so named because it helps us to understand the process of the universe's earliest stage of development.

It is interesting that the Higgs bosen is refereed to as the "God Particle."  The "God Particle" reference is used because of the fact that God has traditionally been understood as the creator of the universe.  However, some might be willing to say that this discovery explains away the existence of God, hence the name - "God Particle."  But does the particle really render God useless?

A couple of points need to be made to counter those who would say that God is now officially dead.  First, The "God Particle" did not create the universe, for the universe was already in existence, according to the "Big Bang."  And, secondly,  for those who still want to hold on to the universe from nothing idea, a scientific explanation must be given to explain the origin of something from nothing.  This last explanation will never be given, because science is unable to address this point.

Why all the hype?  For many, there is always a quest to try and disprove the existence of God.  Scientism claims that science is the trump card of explaining away the universe, but is it?  Science ultimately fails, because as it has already been stated, explaining something from nothing is not something science can do.  Science assumes only the material universe and tests within that realm, therefore, the something from nothing question is relegated to philosophy.  Philosophy is the field that possesses the real trump card.  The "God Particle" may have made many delight in the possibility of destroying God, but in the end, no evidence from a scientific perspective can accomplish this task.