Creative Ideas for Children’s Ministry

 

We had a very full schedule on our recent speaking trip to the northwest, with lots of opportunities to share the truth about Creation and God’s Word with children, teens, and adults. In all, we did 44 presentations at 22 locations in 2 weeks… Wow! These included churches, creation groups, a university, Christian schools, homeschool groups, and public school kids. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind, but we are privileged to come alongside so many others who are reaching out to touch people of all ages with truth.

dreamstime_xs_23710744I have been especially encouraged by the way some very dedicated churches and individuals are reaching out to children and youth through release time and after school programs. In one community, a dozen churches have joined together to support a Christian Education Release Time class. They raised money to build a facility adjacent to the public high school in which they minister to students informally by providing lunches, snacks, and a place to hang out with friends. They also have a daily Bible class that students can attend as “release time” from public school. This program takes a lot of dedicated time and money, but is reaping fruit in relationships and opportunities for young people to hear the gospel and be encouraged in their faith.

In another community, we were privileged to minister to public school students in a creative afterschool program. The school has an “early release” every Wednesday which creates both a challenge for working parents and a wonderful ministry opportunity for a nearby church. The church provides transportation from the school, snacks, a variety of classes, and homework help for grades K-5 students from 1-5 PM every Wednesday. Each week they have a 30 minute Bible class, followed by times for arts and crafts, gym activities, cooking, and other electives – all staffed by dedicated volunteers who give of their time to help parents and enrich the lives of kids. What a wonderful opportunity for the church to serve and impact the community in a positive way.

Other programs we have seen, or heard about, on this trip include; a weekly Bible Club in a public elementary school (also part of a release time program), afterschool Good News Clubs, a creative homeschool program that offers lots of electives, science enrichment classes offered by a creation club, and weekly evangelistic outreaches at a university. Some of these even include science activities that encourage creative thinking and offer a Biblical alternative to the strong evolutionary teaching kids get elsewhere. We are much encouraged by the adults who faithfully serve in these programs which minister to students.

Wouldn’t it be great if every community had programs like this to reach out and minister to real needs of families while offering creative teaching and activities to enrich the lives of children? What about your community? What might YOU do? How might YOU and your church become a catalyst for meeting needs and reaching families with the truth of God’s Word? It’s a big job, but with willing workers and God’s empowerment, YOU can make a difference.

 

by Mary Jo Nutting

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your partnership.

Beauty and Art – Creation Perspective

Creation Answer:

Beauty and art are not just the result of evolution for mating purposes.[i] “Essentially, the foundational argument would suggest that, given the universal reality that the concept of “beauty” exists (even if it is in “the eye of the beholder”) there is an ultimate “standard” by which beauty is judged. Determining the aesthetic value of anything requires rational judgment, even though that judgment is unique to each individual.  Each rational judgment must rely on one’s ability to discriminate at a sensory or emotional level.”[ii]

“This examination makes a judgment regarding whether something is beautiful, sublime, disgusting, fun, cute, silly, entertaining, pretentious, discordant, harmonious, boring, humorous, or tragic. And, of course, since such an ability exists only in the mental acuity of imaginative appreciation, then the Source of such ability must also be both rational and emotional.”[iii]

God created man beautiful in His own image. The beauty in nature (including humans) is to reflect the glory and majesty of God and what He created, and also to show the unique design and creativity of our Designer. Like every other created thing, beauty and art were created as reminders for us to glorify God. All glory is owed to Him. Beauty and a creative, artistic ability are characteristics of humanity. Humans were created intricately and very uniquely to reflect God’s ability and talents, that through what He created, people could acknowledge that He is God.

God has given an almost limitless supply of resources and creativity for humans to develop further forms of art. God is Himself a magnificent artist. He designed the stars in the sky. He designed an amazing variety of animal and plant life. He paints beautiful sunsets that cause our jaws to drop in awe. God’s intricate artistic design is evidenced even down to the smallest functions of our cells. Our God is an awesome God. The sense of awe that a human feels inspires belief and is itself an evidence of God.[iv] “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end” (Eccl 3:11, NIV). “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands,” (Ps 19:1), “because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” (Rom 1:19-20 NASB)

Math is deeply rooted within art. Without math, people and scientists would not be able to know and figure out the artistic nature and beauty of our bodies.[v] This connection between math and art did not just develop naturally, but it was designed by God. God set the standard when He first created everything with its perfect dimension and size, and from that, man was able to understand these created entities: math, art and beauty.[vi]

God designed mankind to see the opposite gender as beautiful. He created man not to be alone, and designed us to interact, to enjoy each other, and to be intimate in the right context (marriage). He did this because He loves us and wants us to be blessed by the intimate love of one’s spouse. Therefore, the beauty of one’s spouse is a special thing that God gave us and the marriage relationship is analogous to God’s beauty as well as Christ’s relationship to us.

Evolutionists make assumptions as to why waterfalls or sunsets are beautiful. They simply show that we are higher evolved and so more intelligent, but they can’t completely explain intelligence and consciousness from their worldview. They can’t explain what makes us different from “other animals.” In fact, humanity’s hunger for beauty “is a wonder in itself! The flower is not impressed with its own majesty; it merely exists with no conscious awareness. The chimpanzee does not gaze longingly on the enigma of the Mona Lisa, nor do the stars muse on the heavens they themselves grace.”[vii]

Regarding the sophisticated nest of the bowerbird, “rather than an intellectual intention towards art, the great bowerbird instinctively builds remarkable structures, and the female instinctively responds to the optical effect, as programmed by the Creator. Only man, created in the image of God, has a true aesthetic sense. When appreciating the beauty and design of creatures like the bowerbird, the wise aesthetic judge praises the Creator of both art and beauty.”[viii]

peacock beauty

Photo Credit: Melissa Rohrer

“According to evolution, a complex pattern like the eye pattern in the peacock’s feather has evolved by the accumulation of hundreds of genetic mistakes occurring over vast periods of time. However, patterns like the blue ellipsoid in the eye are irreducible, i.e. they require several features to be simultaneously present in order for there to be a clear pattern. If only one barb in a peacock tail feather was to have a patch of blue color this would not produce a beautiful pattern. Such a random change would arguably cause the peahen to deselect, not select the pattern. Since evolution requires every step change to have a selective advantage, the eye pattern cannot evolve but must be designed complete from the beginning.”[ix] “Most evolutionists accept that creatures like the peacock have added beauty” or more beauty than is needed to survive. “Added beauty” has no evolutionary explanation except that it just happened for no reason, but rather it is “a hallmark of an intelligent designer, beauty in nature must be seen as an important evidence of design.”[x]

Naturalists have created the theory of sexual selection because, within nature, there are organisms like peacocks and birds of paradise that use aesthetic selection techniques to get a mate. There are many difficulties with the theory and so some scientists have developed “alternative theories for the origin of beauty. The existence of these alternative theories suggests that the theory of sexual selection is not sound…There is no satisfactory explanation of how the sexual selection cycle can start or why the peahen should prefer beautiful features.”[xi] The aesthetic features of these organisms are all beautiful to humans as well. “According to evolution, preference genes” (genes that cause the female to be attracted to a particular feature) “appear by totally random processes and therefore there could be a fashion for all kinds of features including ugly features.”[xii] Why aren’t there more preferred features that we would call ugly?

Notice, there are things that all humanity calls ugly or beautiful and this means that “there must exist a standard of perfect beauty.”[xiii] Naturalistic “researchers have not yet found a metaprogram in this universe that guides clouds of space dust into raw functional, let alone variously aesthetic, forms. After all, what does the impersonal universe care about beauty? A Creator God who appreciates beauty and wants others to appreciate His handiwork must be responsible for the origin of aesthetic features.”[xiv]

There is no good naturalistic reason why humans should trust our logic and emotions if they are simply evolved chemical reactions. Inspiration, passion, and desire have been created and given by God to us. God designed beauty, art, math, logic, consciousness, emotions, etc. and He designed us to appreciate them. Everything God has made is a beautiful, artistic design in accordance to His will. Even in a cursed and fallen world, God has created beauty that looks ahead to things to come. Therefore, we should explore deeper into what God has created and glorify Him through every aspect of our lives.

 

What the Bible Says: Gen 1:31; Job 12:7-9; Ps 8:3, 19:1, 50:6, 36:5, 65:6-7, 90:2,  104: 30-31; Gen 1:26-27; Gen 1:28; Gen 9:7; 2 Cor 4:6; Ps 145:5; Ps 145:12; Ps 8:1; Eccl 3:11; Is 6:3; Ex 31:3; Ex 31:5; Ex 35:31; Rom 1:18-20

 

 

Written By Brian Mariani and others

 

 

Before commenting, please read the following disclosures.

Any offensive language will automatically disqualify your comment for publication, even if the arguments contained are good. Please comment on the ideas that are presented and not the presenter.  If your comment becomes an ad hominem argument and does not substantially address the issue, your comment will be disqualified as well.  We are looking for real arguments, not fallacious ones, so that we can present and challenge opposing ideas and arguments as they are truly believed by evolutionists.  We do not want to tear down straw men as well as you do not want to be misrepresented. Also, please keep your comments as brief as possible, and if the majority of the comment does not address the current issue, but becomes a red-herring, it will not be posted as well. If your comment does not fall into one of the above restrictions, then your comment will be posted unedited (you may want to check your spelling, grammar, etc.) We thank you for your time and comments.

One thing to keep in mind, each blog is one piece of evidence. Evidence has to then be interpreted, which is not a fact…but evidence strengthening or weakening a specific hypothesis or theory. So there can be multiple ways of interpreting the same evidence. I am not being unscientific, but asking more questions and being skeptical is being more scientific. I am still working on these, so please help with your comments.

 

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your partnership.

 

 

[i] Kathryn Bell, God, the Bible, and Art: Part 1, BJU Press, http://www.bjupress.com/resources/articles/t2t/god-bible-and-art-part-1.php, accessed August 23, 2014.

[ii] God Caused Beauty, Institute for Creation Research, http://www.icr.org/aesthetics/, accessed August 22, 2014.

[iii] God Caused Beauty, Institute for Creation Research, http://www.icr.org/aesthetics/, accessed August 22, 2014.

[iv] Fazale Rana, What Inspires Your Belief in God?, February 13, 2014, Reasons to Believe, http://www.reasons.org/articles/what-inspires-your-belief-in-god, accessed August 23, 2014.

[v] Ruth Bancewicz, Beauty, Science & Theology, Part 3: Beauty & the Character of God, Science and Belief, http://scienceandbelief.org/2012/08/09/beauty-science-theology-part-3-beauty-the-character-of-god/, accessed August 23, 2014.

[vi] The Theory of Evolution vs. Creation Science, Creation & Evolution, http://www.pilgrimtours.com/creation/mathematics.htm, accessed August 23, 2014.

[vii] God Caused Beauty, Institute for Creation Research, http://www.icr.org/aesthetics/, accessed August 22, 2014.

[viii] Bowerbird’s Artistic Sense, September 18, 2010, Answers in Genesis, https://answersingenesis.org/birds/bowerbirds-artistic-sense/, accessed August 22, 2014.

[ix] Stuart Burgess, The Beauty of the Peacock Tail and the Problems with the Theory of Sexual Selection, August 1, 2001, Answers in Genesis, https://answersingenesis.org/natural-selection/peacock-tail-beauty-and-problems-theory-of-sexual-selection/, accessed August 22, 2014.

[x] Stuart Burgess, The Beauty of the Peacock Tail and the Problems with the Theory of Sexual Selection, August 1, 2001, Answers in Genesis, https://answersingenesis.org/natural-selection/peacock-tail-beauty-and-problems-theory-of-sexual-selection/, accessed August 22, 2014.

[xi] Stuart Burgess, The Beauty of the Peacock Tail and the Problems with the Theory of Sexual Selection, August 1, 2001, Answers in Genesis, https://answersingenesis.org/natural-selection/peacock-tail-beauty-and-problems-theory-of-sexual-selection/, accessed August 22, 2014.

[xii] Stuart Burgess, The Beauty of the Peacock Tail and the Problems with the Theory of Sexual Selection, August 1, 2001, Answers in Genesis, https://answersingenesis.org/natural-selection/peacock-tail-beauty-and-problems-theory-of-sexual-selection/, accessed August 22, 2014.

[xiii] God Caused Beauty, Institute for Creation Research, http://www.icr.org/aesthetics/, accessed August 22, 2014.

[xiv] Brian Thomas, The Apobetics of Aesthetics: A Hairy Problem for Evolution, 2009, Acts & Facts 38(4):18, Institute for Creation Research, http://www.icr.org/article/apobetics-aesthetics-hairy-problem-for-evolution/, accessed August 22, 2014.

Beauty and Art – Naturalistic/Evolutionary Perspective

Introduction:

“Aesthetics is the study of beauty, more often associated today with art.”[i] Some believe that beauty and art have developed as we have evolved, mainly for mating purposes and driven by selfish desires. Others believe that beauty and art were designed by a beautiful, loving, creative God to show His nature and glory to us and through us. What is beauty? Why do we have beauty? Is beauty for more than just mating purposes? What is art? Why is art so mathematical? Why do beautiful things like a sunset move us? 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Photo Credit: Aimee Mariani

Naturalistic/Evolutionary Answer:

Beauty is displayed through people of both genders, as well as through the natural world. Beauty is an evolutionary advantage, present in people who are possibly at a higher evolved state. Based on natural selection, they will be chosen first, mate sooner and potentially survive better. This is the theory of sexual selection.[ii] Some think that only certain people have “natural beauty” stored in them and that beauty will show in their physical appearance or even in their skills or talents.[iii] “Natural beauty” may instead be universal, within every human being to one degree or another and it may be passed down by Natural Selection.[iv]

“There are indeed atheists who find no meaning, beauty, and morality in the universe. There are also atheists who find objective, intrinsic morality, beauty, and meaning in the universe, though not on the same basis as religious theists like Christians. There are also atheists — as well as more than a few religious theists, including Christians — who argue that meaning and beauty are subjective things we must personally commit to. As abstract concepts, they are created in our minds from our experiences with individual objects or events and thus have no truly independent, objective existence apart from the way we bring those elements together to create those concepts.”[v] “The experience of love and beauty…is a passive function of the mind.”[vi]

“This would mean that things like beauty and love are created from how we approach our world or how we treat other people. If that’s true, then it also means that we are personally responsible for the existence of things like beauty and love — they aren’t created by any gods and they are permanent fixtures of the universe which will persist regardless of what we do. They are, instead, something we must take responsibility for and nurture through our attitudes, behavior, and beliefs.”[vii]

“That would arguably mean that atheists are in a better position to appreciate things like love and beauty. In recognizing their responsibility for their existence, atheists can’t take such concepts for granted. If the universe is undesigned and undirected, we can only speak meaningfully about beauty, love, intelligence, etc., if we really mean it and if we really care about it because we can’t shift responsibility for them to some supernatural being.”[viii] How much greater is the joy which comes from creating beauty.”[ix]

The concept of beauty does not necessitate a God. Beauty is merely the understanding, recognition and appreciation of natural patterns. Due to highly developed eyes, minds and mating processes, humans have a better appreciation of beauty than lower evolved animals. Beauty appears to be more appreciated when organisms are more effectively able to communicate it, and thus humans have the best appreciation for beauty. Other animals or organisms cannot comprehend beauty as well.[x]  Beauty in nature happens by random chance and humans have evolved to appreciate it the most of all animals. Our fascination with the beauty in nature may be a leftover understanding or awareness of where we have evolved from and how to better survive..

Humans have evolved to be able to see beauty in other forms as well. Because of that evolved ability, humans have created many different kinds of art. Art is a creative work on paper, canvas or other mediums within the natural world. Art can be expressed through dance, music or other avenues. It is designed by a creative mind or even by some natural processes in nature. The earliest evidence of music dates back to 35,000 years ago, and the first art in the Chauvet caves in France to around 30,000-32,000 years ago. These forms of art show historic humanity’s higher creative spirit, which gave “them an edge over the Neanderthals.”[xi] There doesn’t need to be a God to give us art or beauty or that inspiration. They come about naturally.

Beauty is recognized when an experience causes sparks in the brain and automatically causes a desire to see or create more beauty. To some degree or another, humans have a natural desire to make beautiful art.[xii] The more creative and talented artists may also have evolutionary advantages, since art is another method to impress a potential mate. So the better one is at creating art and beauty, the better their chances to mate and survive. The bowerbird is a great example in that the male specifically builds a nest and integrates visually appealing aspects into it in an effort to impress the female.[xiii] As time has progressed, humans have evolved and gained more and more intelligence, so art styles have evolved and become more sophisticated over time.

In fact, the evolved ability of recognizing beauty may have allowed humans greater survival. For example, when humans see a beautiful blue sky, they are more attracted to that than moving towards a dangerous thunderstorm. Awareness of beauty may also lead to a general increase in observation, causing humans who would stand near a tremendous waterfall and look with a sense of awe and even fear, to be aware and thus avoid the dangers of the waterfall.

The awe and wonder that humans experience is not evidence of a God. “Nature inspires awe – awe of the reality of nature, not the fiction of God.”[xiv] The sense of awe is an emotional, psychological response to something so great, so vast, so beautiful that it causes us to marvel and wonder how it is possible. It inspires many humans to believe in a supernatural being in order to explain the amazing phenomenon.[xv] “The truth is far more inspiring and powerful than religious mythology. Knowing that the cosmos was not made just for us opens up whole new vistas of wonder and mystery – it makes it all the more surprising and amazing that we are here regardless.”[xvi]

“We have biases to see patterns and meaning and agency in the world, and the less rationally you think, the less likely you are to second-guess those biases. Awe might just let the spiritual floodgates open. The experience of awe leads to magical thinking, but that doesn’t mean it can’t also lead to scientific thinking. Once you’re done writing your poetry, you may still be driven to write the equations or conduct the experiments that will explain what you’ve just witnessed. We all have the Wow! We just choose our own ways of answering the How?”[xvii]

Beautiful things are often new and unique and so the fact that humans can recognize beautiful things means that they can better recognize new situations and better survive them. The observation of beautiful things is the start of the scientific process as observation is the first step. The more scientific an organism can be, the more they can learn and survive in this world.

So beauty and art have developed to help organisms survive better to pass on their genes to the next generation. They are products of this natural world and are not evidence of a God or gods.

 

By Brian Mariani and others

 

Is the above correct? Do you evolutionists agree with this position? I have tried to write it as you believe it. Do you have any disagreements or concerns or additions?

Before commenting, please read the following disclosures.

Any offensive language will automatically disqualify your comment for publication, even if the arguments contained are good. Please comment on the ideas that are presented and not the presenter.  If your comment becomes an ad hominem argument and does not substantially address the issue, your comment will be disqualified as well.  We are looking for real arguments, not fallacious ones, so that we can present and challenge opposing ideas and arguments as they are truly believed by evolutionists.  We do not want to tear down straw men as well as you do not want to be misrepresented. Also, please keep your comments as brief as possible, and if the majority of the comment does not address the current issue, but becomes a red-herring, it will not be posted as well. If your comment does not fall into one of the above restrictions, then your comment will be posted unedited (you may want to check your spelling, grammar, etc.) We thank you for your time and comments.

One thing to keep in mind, each blog is one piece of evidence. Evidence has to then be interpreted, which is not a fact…but evidence strengthening or weakening a specific hypothesis or theory. So there can be multiple ways of interpreting the same evidence. I am not being unscientific, but asking more questions and being skeptical is being more scientific. I am still working on these, so please help with your comments.

 

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your partnership.

 

[i] God Caused Beauty, Institute for Creation Research, http://www.icr.org/aesthetics/, accessed August 22, 2014.

[ii] Roger Sandall, Beauty, Art, and Darwin: The American Magazine, American.com, http://www.american.com/archive/2009/october/beauty-art-and-darwin, accessed August 23, 2014.

[iii] Russell Husted, Beauty: By Evolution or Creative Design?, Beauty: By Evolution or Creative Design?, http://www.in-this-place.com/id18.htm or https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/alt.bible.prophecy/3Ty_MqBSnzE, accessed August 23, 2014.

[iv] Nancy E. Aiken, An Evolutionary Perspective on the Nature of Art, American Psychological Association – Division 10, http://www.apa.org/divisions/div10/articles/aiken.html, accessed August 23, 2014.

[v] Austin Cline, Myth: Atheists Can’t Appreciate Love & Beauty, Can’t Believe in Love or Beauty, About.com Agnosticism/Atheism, http://atheism.about.com/od/atheismmeaninglesshopeless/a/AtheistsBeauty.htm, accessed August 22, 2014.

Hannah Ginsborg, Kant’s Aesthetics and Teleology, 2013, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/kant-aesthetics/#2.6, accessed August 22, 2014.

[vi] Frank Zindler, Ethics Without Gods, American Atheists, http://www.atheists.org/activism/resources/ethics, accessed August 22, 2014.

[vii] Austin Cline, Myth: Atheists Can’t Appreciate Love & Beauty, Can’t Believe in Love or Beauty, About.com Agnosticism/Atheism, http://atheism.about.com/od/atheismmeaninglesshopeless/a/AtheistsBeauty.htm, accessed August 22, 2014.

[viii] Austin Cline, Myth: Atheists Can’t Appreciate Love & Beauty, Can’t Believe in Love or Beauty, About.com Agnosticism/Atheism, http://atheism.about.com/od/atheismmeaninglesshopeless/a/AtheistsBeauty.htm, accessed August 22, 2014.

[ix] Frank Zindler, Ethics Without Gods, American Atheists, http://www.atheists.org/activism/resources/ethics, accessed August 22, 2014.

[x] Russell Husted, Beauty: By Evolution or Creative Design?, Beauty: By Evolution or Creative Design?, http://www.in-this-place.com/id18.htm or https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/alt.bible.prophecy/3Ty_MqBSnzE, accessed August 23, 2014.

[xi] Pallab Ghosh, ‘Oldest musical instrument’ found, June 25, 2009, BBC News, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8117915.stm, accessed July 25, 2014.

Michael Marshall, Bear DNA is clue to age of Chaevet cave art, April 19, 2011, New Scientist, Magazine issue 2809, http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21028093.900-bear-dna-is-clue-to-age-of-chauvet-cave-art.html#.U9KueHl0zZ4, accessed July 25, 2014.

Don Hitchcock, Chauvet Cave, last update November 13, 2013, Don’s Maps, http://www.donsmaps.com/chauvetcave.html, accessed July 25, 2014.

[xii] Roger Sandall, Beauty, Art, and Darwin: The American Magazine, American.com, http://www.american.com/archive/2009/october/beauty-art-and-darwin, accessed August 23, 2014.

[xiii] In attracting mates, male bowerbirds appear to rely on special optical effect, September 9, 2010, Phys.org, http://phys.org/news203257106.html, accessed August 22, 2014.

[xiv] Chapter Seven: Beyond Religion, Section 7: This wondrous universe, God would be an atheist, http://www.godwouldbeanatheist.com/7beyond/707wond.htm, accessed August 23, 2014.

[xv] Matthew Hutson, Awe Increases Religious Belief: The sense of awe leads to a sense of the divine, December 11, 2013, Psychology Today, http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/psyched/201312/awe-increases-religious-belief, accessed August 23, 2014.

[xvi] In Awe of Everything, Daylight Atheism, Pantheos.com, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/daylightatheism/essays/in-awe-of-everything/, accessed August 23, 2014.

[xvii] Matthew Hutson, Awe Increases Religious Belief: The sense of awe leads to a sense of the divine, December 11, 2013, Psychology Today, http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/psyched/201312/awe-increases-religious-belief, accessed August 23, 2014.

The Drive into a Storm?

 

Not long ago, I was reflecting on the goodness of God in our constant travels, and wanted to give an example from a recent event.

The seminar had been scheduled for some time. People were planning to be there that Saturday afternoon in Pinedale, Wyoming. However, the weather stations reported that the temperatures had just reached unseasonable lows in Pinedale (29 degrees below zero). The reports also indicated that snow and winds were likely to make driving the 350 Major stormmiles to the Pinedale seminar rather iffy. What do we do? We are the speakers! Prepare the jeep! Replace marginal tires with high traction ones. Pack some tire chains! Check the antifreeze. Yep! It tested for minus 39! Good thing we recently replaced the battery! Load the jeep with blankets and down sleeping bags, and plenty of cold winter clothing.  We were ready to go. If they didn’t close the highways, we would be there the night before, which would give some margin of safety.

Mary Jo’s sisters, who had come for a visit, were also scheduled to leave that same morning. Janet was heading East, over the mountains, with snow predicted. Carol was heading northwest and right into the middle of the huge storm. It didn’t look very pretty, but neither one thought they could delay their trip.

So then, it was time for the most important preparation! We prayed together and then each of us headed out in different directions. Later that evening, we all praised Jesus for protection and almost totally dry roads! The storm had not yet hit the southern mountain route for Jan. Carol’s daughter, who was following the storm pattern, recommended her going much further west before heading north, where she eventually encountered winter driving the next day.  For us, we could see huge walls of storm clouds just to the east , as well as to the west, while we drove north through a corridor of frequent sunshine (and mostly dry pavement) all the way to the city limit of Pinedale!

The next day’s seminar went great with good attendance and keen interest. Besides that, the Lord warmed it up for us by about 20 degrees, even though temps only raised to just below zero.  He also gave us favorable weather and mostly clear roads for our trip back home to Grand Junction. PTL!

 

Dave Nutting

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your partnership.

God is Working!

Aimee, Caden, and I are thoroughly enjoying this roadtrip and trying to make the most of the time and the regions that we have experienced. To recap the last four weeks:

  • Praise God, the trip is going well so far! Brian Teaching Creation
  • Praise God, we have presented at 8 ½ Creation Groups, 2 Christian School Groups, 1 church service, interviewed several students on a college campus, and did 1 vendor booth for a charity race. We have attended 2 different Creation Museums. We have had meetings with ICR, Creation Today, CMI, and Creation Training Initiative as well as 4 different business men! And there is much more planned in the first half of December!
  • Praise God that we met a student in Texas that has applied and is very excited about DCTI!
  • Praise God for some very good connections and contacts and several good donations!
  • Praise God that over 6000 miles of driving so far (averaging 3-4 hours a day), the weather and driving have been great, and Caden has done really well. Caden seems to appreciate being out of the car more now!
  • Praise God for a large donation at a church we didn’t even present at!
  • Praise God for tremendous new experiences of logistically planning a trip of this magnitude and for gaining great practice speaking for groups!
  • Praise God for all the great regional food that we have had the fun of trying along the way. We’ve especially enjoyed the blessing of several home cooked meals from many gracious people!
  • Praise God for a couple of catch-up and rest days with Aimee’s sister in North Carolina. It was nice to stay in one place with family for a couple days!
  • Praise God for the encouragement from many elder Creation ministry folks excited about having our young blood working in Creation ministry!
  • Praise God for the rest and great family time together during this Thanksgiving weekend: everyone is loving the time playing with Caden and we are truly very blessed! 

I hope this was entertaining for you and a blessing to you to see how God is working. Please keep praying for more good opportunities and for more good donations and supporters for the school! Our goal is to, by the end of the year, add 200 more people that see our vision and will give at least $25 per month of ongoing support for DCTI. We want to see normal, everyday people being used by God to teach Creation and the gospel in their local community and to support what we believe God has called us to!

God Bless You All!

-Brian

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your partnership.

American University Hostility

 

I just read an article where Ravi Zacharias, one of the leading Christian Apologists, was quoted as saying that American universities are becoming more hostile to Christians than the Middle East. The online story, quotes Zacharias saying:

Ravi Zacharias

Ravi Zacharias – Photo from rzim.org

“If you had asked me [which is more hostile, the Middle East or an Ivy League campus] even last year, I would have probably said, ‘Clearly the tension is greater in those parts of the world, because one wrong word and you don’t know whether you’d be boxed and sent back or what,’” Zacharias said on Glenn Beck’s radio program Monday. “But you know, our university campuses are getting pretty hostile, too. I was at an Ivy League school earlier this year and had to walk with security. Unbelievable.”

Although Mary Jo and I did not have to hire security officers to accompany us while teaching Creation this fall (at the 6 universities where we spoke ), we certainly have experienced hostility. As Zacharias points out in the article, the hostility is more ridicule and mocking than physical assault. (Thank you, Lord!)

I would agree with Zacharias about the mocking. In fact, one of the leading spokespersons for the atheists had told his audience that in order to win this battle, his fellow skeptics would have to learn to “mock and scoff.”  That is exactly what we experience on the campus. With this type of hostility, in order to present creation on the university campus, you have to have a tough hide and strong emotional fortitude!

One student came by our booth at the University in Mankato, Minnesota, where the large poster board had the title of that night’s presentation, “Best Proofs of Evolution??  Think Again!” He cocked his head and snorted, “Huhhhhnn!” He turned back, and repeated his routine again before sauntering into the dining hall still throwing his head back several more times and likely repeating, “Huhhhhnn!”

If he thought that would discourage our attempts to present the truth of Creation, it didn’t. I actually caught up with him to deliver a personal invitation to talk about it and come to our presentation that evening.  He didn’t make it that night. His form of hostility – mocking and ridicule — merely made me chuckle at the state of “human evolution” (or lack thereof) on the university campus.

 

By Dave Nutting

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Laws of Logic – Creation Perspective

 

Creation Answer:

Everyone uses the laws of logic, and they are evidence of the nature, design, and existence of God. Christians use the laws of logic to provide substantiation to the idea that God’s word is true, just as naturalists/evolutionists use them to argue their beliefs. God gave us the tools of logic so we can think, grow, learn, and do science.

The laws of logic “are rooted in God’s own nature. Indeed, some scholars think the passage ‘In the beginning was the Word [logos]’ (Jn 1:1) is accurately translated, ‘In the beginning was Logic (a divine, rational mind).’”[i]

There are numerous laws of logic.[ii] One of them is called the law of non-contradiction, which states that it is impossible for something to both be true and false at the same time and in the same sense. For example it is contradictory, or it doesn’t make sense, to say that “a banana is a fruit and a banana is not a fruit.” The banana is either a fruit or it isn’t. Another law is called the law of identity, where something is actually the same with itself and different from another, or not something different than itself. The law of excluded middle says that there are only two choices in every proposition, either it has to be true (and its negation false) or false (and its negation true). “The Principle of Sufficient Reason is a powerful and controversial philosophical principle stipulating that everything must have a reason or cause.”[iii] “The Law of Cause and Effect states that every material effect must have an adequate antecedent or simultaneous cause.”[iv]

Naturalists can’t sufficiently answer why these laws exist and will even try to ignore the laws of logic in some cases. In fact, one apologist says “perhaps the Law of Cause and Effect seems intuitive to most, but common sense is foreign to many when God is brought into the discussion.”[v] This is true when naturalists are forced to try to explain the cause of the universe without the most logical cause (the all-powerful, outside of time and space, God). The naturalistic worldview has a lot of unanswerable questions.

God did not create the laws of logic. The “laws of logic are contingent on God. They are a reflection of the way God thinks. Thus, they cannot exist without Him any more than your reflection in a mirror can exist without you.”[vi] Since God has always existed and thought, the laws of logic are also eternal. “It is impossible for God to think illogically because in the Christian worldview, logic is a description of the way God thinks. The believer has a universal standard of reasoning that makes sense within his own worldview. The atheist does not.” [vii] The atheist, who claims that the laws of logic are eternal, “fails to explain how the Laws of Logic can be eternal and uncaused and what role they play in causing all other contingent realities.”[viii]

Icon of Paul the Apostle, Wikimedia Commons.

Icon of Paul the Apostle, Wikimedia Commons.

“The Christian worldview can make sense of [the] laws of logic. The Christian believes in universal, immaterial, invariant entities because God is himself omnipresent, immaterial, and invariant…As one example…the law of non-contradiction reflects God’s internal consistency: all truth is in God (Colossians 2:3), and God cannot deny himself (2 Timothy 2:13); therefore, all truth cannot be contradictory. The Christian worldview makes sense of the law of non-contradiction…Atheists do believe in laws of logic, but they cannot justify the existence of universal, abstract, invariant laws within their worldview.” They cannot answer “why should there be a law of non-contradiction, or for that matter, any laws of reasoning? An unjustified belief is arbitrary, which is one form of irrationality…In particular, those atheists who hold to a materialistic philosophy cannot make sense of laws of logic because laws of logic are not material.”[ix] “You can’t stub your toe on a law of logic.”[x]

Evolutionists have to borrow from fundamental Christian concepts to even be able to argue their points about evolution. “The debate over the existence of God is a bit like a debate over the existence of air. Can you imagine someone arguing that air doesn’t actually exist? He would offer seemingly excellent “proofs” against the existence of air, while simultaneously breathing air and expecting that we can hear his words as the sound is transmitted through the air. In order for us to hear and understand his claim, it would have to be wrong. Likewise, the atheist, in arguing that God does not exist must use laws of logic that only make sense if God does exist. In order for his argument to make sense, it would have to be wrong.”

The laws of logic could not develop slowly and could not be a product of evolution, but would have to exist conceptually from the beginning. As astrophysicist and apologist Dr. Jason Lisle asked, “if the brain is simply the result of mindless evolutionary processes that conveyed some sort of survival value in the past, why should we trust its conclusions?”[xi] Check out more of his explanations:

“The atheist might say, ‘Well, I can reason just fine, and I don’t believe in God.’ But this is no different than the critic of air saying, ‘Well, I can breathe just fine, and I don’t believe in air.’”

“The atheist might respond, ‘Laws of logic are conventions made up by man’…So, in some cultures it might be perfectly fine to contradict yourself. In some societies truth could be self-contradictory. Clearly that wouldn’t do. If laws of logic are just conventions, then they are not universal laws. Rational debate would be impossible if laws of logic were conventional, because the two opponents could simply pick different standards for reasoning. Each would be right according to his own arbitrary standard.”

“The atheist might respond, ‘Laws of logic are material—they are made of electro-chemical connections in the brain.’ But then the laws of logic are not universal…In fact, if the laws of logic are just electro-chemical connections in the brain, then they would differ somewhat from person to person because everyone has different connections in their brain,” and thus they would be an arbitrary (and conflicting) standard, not universal.

“Sometimes an atheist will attempt to answer with a more pragmatic response: ‘We use the laws of logic because they work.’ Unfortunately for him, that isn’t the question. We all agree the laws of logic work; they work because they’re true. The question is why do they exist in the first place? How can the atheist account for absolute standards of reasoning like the laws of logic? How can non-material things like laws exist if the universe is material only?”

“As a last resort, the atheist may give up a strictly materialistic view and agree that there are immaterial, universal laws. This is a huge concession; after all, if a person is willing to concede that immaterial, universal, unchanging entities can exist, then he must consider the possibility that God exists. But this concession does not save the atheist’s position. He must still justify the laws of logic. Why do they exist? And what is the point of contact between the material physical world and the immaterial world of logic? In other words, why does the material universe feel compelled to obey immaterial laws? The atheist cannot answer these questions. His worldview cannot be justified; it is arbitrary and thus irrational.”[xii]

Critics of the Bible often claim that one is illogical in believing that the miracles happened as described within the Bible. They “might argue that such things cannot happen based on known natural laws. With this we [creationists] agree. But who said that natural laws are the limit of what is possible? The biblical God is not bound by natural laws.”[xiii] With this and the evidence above, a belief in God is a very logical and consistent worldview.

“When the critic simply dismisses those claims of the Bible that do not appeal to his personal, unargued sense of what is possible, he is being irrational. He is committing the logical fallacy known as ‘begging the question.’ Namely, he has decided in advance that such things as miracles are impossible, thereby tacitly assuming that the Bible is not true because it contains miracles. But this is the very assumption with which he began his reasoning. The critic is reasoning in a vicious circle. He has decided in advance that there is not an all-powerful God who is capable of doing the things recorded in Scripture, and then argues on this basis against the biblical God.”[xiv]

Many “claim that the biblical doctrine of the Trinity is self-contradictory, it is not. The oneness and threeness of God refer to different aspects. The three eternal and co-equal Persons of the Godhead—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—are the same in essence but distinct in role—three Persons (or three centres of consciousness) and one Being.”[xv]

Many supposed contradictions within the historical texts of the Bible have been reconciled and ultimately are very minor or unrelated to the doctrinal claims and the internal and external consistency of the Bible.[xvi] “An important aspect of contradiction is self-refutation. Many statements by anti-Christians might appear reasonable on the surface, but when the statement is turned on itself, it refutes itself. Some common examples are:

  • ‘There is no truth’—this would mean that this sentence itself is not true.
  • ‘We can never know anything for certain’—so how could we know that for certain?
  • ‘A statement is only meaningful if it is either a necessary truth of logic or can be tested empirically’ (the once popular verification criterion for meaning of the ‘Logical Positivists’)—this statement itself is neither a necessary truth of logic nor can it be tested empirically, so it is meaningless by its own criteria.
  • ‘There are no moral absolutes, so we ought to be tolerant of other people’s morals’—but ‘ought’ implies a moral absolute that toleration is good.”[xvii]

 

“By embracing materialism, the atheist has destroyed the possibility of knowledge, as well as science and technology…Only the God of the Bible can be the foundation for knowledge (Proverbs 1:7; Colossians 2:3)…Since God has revealed Himself to man, we are able to know and use logic.”[xviii] The laws of logic are a tool that God has given us to use to help others see the evidence for God and to believe on Him. In Titus 1:9 (NIV), the apostle Paul instructs that a believer “must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who opposite it.”

 

What the Bible Says: Gen 6:5, Ps 14:1, Prov 1:7, Is 1:18, Is 55:8-9, Rom 9:19-21, Rom 12:1-2, 1 Cor 2:16, 2 Cor 10:4-5, Col 2:3, 2 Tim 2:13, Titus 1:9, Heb 1:3, Heb 13:8, James 1:17, 1 Pet 3:15, 2 Pet 3:8.

 

by Brian Mariani and others

 

Before commenting, please read the following disclosures.

Any offensive language will automatically disqualify your comment for publication, even if the arguments contained are good. Please comment on the ideas that are presented and not the presenter.  If your comment becomes an ad hominem argument and does not substantially address the issue, your comment will be disqualified as well.  We are looking for real arguments, not fallacious ones, so that we can present and challenge opposing ideas and arguments as they are truly believed by evolutionists.  We do not want to tear down straw men as well as you do not want to be misrepresented. Also, please keep your comments as brief as possible, and if the majority of the comment does not address the current issue, but becomes a red-herring, it will not be posted as well. If your comment does not fall into one of the above restrictions, then your comment will be posted unedited (you may want to check your spelling, grammar, etc.) We thank you for your time and comments.

One thing to keep in mind, each blog is one piece of evidence. Evidence has to then be interpreted, which is not a fact…but evidence strengthening or weakening a specific hypothesis or theory. So there can be multiple ways of interpreting the same evidence. I am not being unscientific, but asking more questions and being skeptical is being more scientific. I am still working on these, so please help with your comments.

 

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your partnership.

 

 

 

[i] J.P. Moreland, What Are the Three Laws of Logic, April 20, 2011, Christian Apologetics, http://christian-apologetics.org/2011/what-are-the-three-laws-of-logic/, The Apologetics Study Bible,

[ii] Laws of logic, About.com, http://atheism.about.com/library/glossary/general/bldef_lawsoflogic.htm, accessed July 24, 2014.

[iii] Yitzhak Melamed and Martin Lin, Principle of Sufficient Reason, September 14, 2010, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/sufficient-reason/, accessed July 24, 2014.

[iv] Jeff Miller, God and the Laws of Science: The Law of Causality, 2011, Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=3716, accessed July 24, 2014.

[v] Jeff Miller, God and the Laws of Science: The Law of Causality, 2011, Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=3716, accessed July 24, 2014.

[vi] Jason Lisle, Did God Create Logic?, December 7, 2007, Answers in Genesis, https://answersingenesis.org/logic/did-god-create-logic/, accessed July 24, 2014.

[vii] Jason Lisle, Did God Create Logic?, December 7, 2007, Answers in Genesis, https://answersingenesis.org/logic/did-god-create-logic/, accessed July 24, 2014.

[viii] J. Warner Wallace, Is God Real? Examining Atheistic Explanations for the Laws of Logic as “Brute Realities,” March 20, 2014, A Disciple’s Study, Cold Case Christianity, http://llamapacker.wordpress.com/2014/03/page/13/, accessed July 24, 2014.

[ix] Jason Lisle, Did God Create Logic?, December 7, 2007, Answers in Genesis, https://answersingenesis.org/logic/did-god-create-logic/, accessed July 24, 2014.

Can You Have Logic Without Laws?, 2012, Your Origins Matter: Conversations, Institute for Creation Research, http://www.youroriginsmatter.com/conversations/view/can-you-have-logic-without-laws/31, accessed July 24, 2014.

[x] Jason Lisle, Atheism: An Irrational Worldview, October 10, 2007, Answers in Genesis, https://answersingenesis.org/world-religions/atheism/atheism-an-irrational-worldview/, accessed July 24, 2014.

[xi] Darius Viet and Karin Viet, Are the Laws of Logic Really Laws?, November 11, 2011, Answers in Genesis, https://answersingenesis.org/logic/are-the-laws-of-logic-really-laws/, accessed July 24, 2014.

Jason Lisle, Atheism: An Irrational Worldview, October 10, 2007, Answers in Genesis, https://answersingenesis.org/world-religions/atheism/atheism-an-irrational-worldview/, accessed July 24, 2014.

[xii] Jason Lisle, Atheism: An Irrational Worldview, October 10, 2007, Answers in Genesis, https://answersingenesis.org/world-religions/atheism/atheism-an-irrational-worldview/, accessed July 24, 2014.

[xiii] Jason Lisle, The New Answers Book 3, Chapter 13: Is the Christian Worldview Logical?, May 5, 2014, Answers in Genesis, https://answersingenesis.org/logic/is-the-christian-worldview-logical/, accessed July 24, 2014.

[xiv] Jason Lisle, The New Answers Book 3, Chapter 13: Is the Christian Worldview Logical?, May 5, 2014, Answers in Genesis, https://answersingenesis.org/logic/is-the-christian-worldview-logical/, accessed July 24, 2014.

[xv] Jonathan D. Sarfati, Loving God with all your mind: logic and creation, August 1998, Journal of Creation 12(2): 142-151, Creation Ministries International, http://creation.com/loving-god-with-all-your-mind-logic-and-creation, accessed July 24, 2014.

[xvi]Jay Smith, Alex Chowdhry, Toby Jepson, James Schaeffer, 101 Cleared-up Contradictions in the Bible, http://www.debate.org.uk/debate-topics/apologetic/contrads/, accessed February 28, 2014.

Supposed Bible Contradictions: Scripture Index, Answers in Genesis, http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/contradictions-scripture-index, accessed February 28, 2014.

Eric Lyons, M. Min., The Myth of “Factual Bible Contradictions, Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=6&article=40, accessed February 28, 2014.

[xvii] Jonathan D. Sarfati, Loving God with all your mind: logic and creation, August 1998, Journal of Creation 12(2): 142-151, Creation Ministries International, http://creation.com/loving-god-with-all-your-mind-logic-and-creation, accessed July 24, 2014.

[xviii] Jason Lisle, Atheism: An Irrational Worldview, October 10, 2007, Answers in Genesis, https://answersingenesis.org/world-religions/atheism/atheism-an-irrational-worldview/, accessed July 24, 2014.

Laws of Logic – Naturalistic/Evolutionary Perspective

 

Introduction:

What is logic and how does it work? We use logic everyday, even when we don’t think about it. “A simple definition of logic is ‘the study of right reason.’”[i] The laws of logic appear to be standardized, set rules for how to think. The laws of logic are important because without them science, and thinking in general, would not even be possible and humans would not able to develop any sort of advancements. Without the laws of logic, one would not even be able to debate or argue, such as we are doing now.

Many believe that humans have evolved and developed and are now able to understand (the development and use) those laws. Yet some believe that God created humans fully developed, intelligent, and with the primary tools of logic from our very creation. What are some of the laws of logic? How did the laws of logic come about? Did their origin come about from an intelligent being like God or could they have come about naturally?

 

Naturalistic/Evolutionary Answer:

Everyone uses the laws of logic to prove their points when teaching, or in arguments and debates. There is no scientific understanding of how they originated. They are philosophical concepts and thus science cannot explain or prove them. Some believe that the laws of logic have existed before the universe and some say that at the beginning of the Universe, at the beginning of time, space, and matter, the laws of logic just happened – just like how the earth just happened to develop where it has – naturally. A world in which the laws of logic do not exist “makes no sense.”[ii]

Roman copy in marble of a Greek bronze  bust of Aristotle by Lysippus, c. 330 BCE.  The alabaster mantle is modern. - photo from Wikipedia commons.

Roman copy in marble of a Greek bronze
bust of Aristotle by Lysippus, c. 330 BCE.
The alabaster mantle is modern. – photo from Wikipedia commons.

Some say that “the categories of logic did not drop from the clouds. These forms have taken shape in the course of the socio-historical development of humankind. They are elementary generalizations of reality, reflected in the minds of men and women.”[iii] The laws of logic are developed and created by man to be able to communicate reasonably with each other. “You don’t need a mind for time to exist, but you do for “September” or “ten o’clock.” And you don’t need a mind for logic to exist, but you do for the laws of logic.[iv] The laws of logic exist in the human mind because of human intelligence. “The universe isn’t subject to any laws of logic. The universe merely exists.”[v] Some also suggest that the laws of logic have developed (or merely exist) due to the sophisticated chemical make-up of the evolved human brain. Those with higher levels and abilities of logic and reasoning may even be more evolved.

A law of logic is “not a physical thing. But it is not a non-physical thing either. It is not an entity of any sort. It is a rule that can be expressed in the form of a hypothetical imperative: “If you have ‘if p, then q,’ and you have ‘p,’ then conclude q.” There is nothing at all mysterious, transcendent, or otherworldly about such a rule. It is just an instruction, an effective procedure for getting a valid inference from the given premises.” Materialistic atheists are not “illicitly reifying the rules of inference, turning them into transcendent entities.”[vi]

“The law of non-contradiction states that for any proposition p, ~(p & ~p), that is, it is not the case that both p and not-p. Do we need a transcendent ground or supernatural basis to justify or validate this rule? No, all we need is to recognize the futility of rejecting it…The law of non-contradiction is not an abstract, ideal entity. It is simply a rule we have to follow if we are to communicate anything at all.”[vii]

“Even odder is [the] claim that rational reasoning would be impossible without the biblical God. Couldn’t Allah be the eternal ground of logic? Why not Platonic ideas? Why not the Flying Spaghetti Monster?”[viii]

Some say that “the laws of logic actually require no explanation. Have you ever asked a Christian to explain why God exists? You probably received an answer that God’s existence requires no external explanation. God exists necessarily…Things that exist contingently require an explanation of their existence. Things that exist necessarily do not…The laws of logic are uncreated and exist necessarily. They could not have been otherwise. Therefore, the argument goes as follows:

  1. The laws of logic are necessary.
  2. Things that exist necessarily do not require an explanation of their existence.
  3. Therefore, any worldview that recognizes this adequately accounts for the laws of logic.”[ix]

Another way to say this is the Christian’s “stopping point [‘God did it.’ or ‘God just exists.’] is based on nothing. It has no evidence to support it. Contrast that with the naturalists’ logical and mathematical axioms. Unlike God, these aren’t taken on faith. They’re tested continually. Why would we want to ground the one that is strongly confirmed with evidence (logic) with the one that isn’t (God)? Why demand something solid to hold up the fundamental axioms but then use faith to hold up God?”[x]

“I’ll admit that “that’s just the way it is” isn’t completely satisfying, but “God did it” resolves nothing. The apologist won’t tell us why or how God exists; he just exists. This informs us as much as “fairies did it.” But if the Christian can have a fundamental assumption about reality (God), so can the naturalist (natural axioms)…But “God did it” is simply a repackaging of “I don’t know.” It tells us nothing new. I’m no smarter after hearing “God did it” than before. How did God do it? Why did God do it?”[xi]

Creationists claim that it is logical to think that things are so intricate that they necessitate a designer. “When falling sand in an hourglass forms a cone, does that require a supernatural cone maker? When a river changes course as it meanders over a flat valley, does that demand a river designer? When there is an earthquake, must the timing and placement of that be supernaturally ordained? No, there natural explanations for all these things.”[xii]

The Christian worldview is illogical in that Christians, with no evidence, have blind faith in a fairy-tale being, different in the Old Testament and in the New Testament, who performs miracles outside of the known laws of science. Many of the miracles may have actually been real scientific phenomena that these ancient people didn’t understand and therefore resorted to a god-figure or rather a Trinitarian god-figure, which also breaks the law of non-contradiction. How can God be three yet also be only one? All of these things, not to mention all of the contradictions within the Bible, clearly show that Christianity is illogical.

If God created the laws of logic, then he would have had to act illogically before he created them or possibly God is bound to the laws of logic and thus God is limited by these concepts. Can God violate the laws of logic? Whether yes or no, in this case, as well, either God is illogical or is limited. These are reasons why the idea of God does not make sense. The claim that “God did it” is simply asserted as truth without any evidence to back it up. “God is an ever-receding pocket of scientific ignorance.”[xiii]

 

by Brian Mariani and others

 

Is the above correct? Do you evolutionists agree with this position? I have tried to write it as you believe it. Do you have any disagreements or concerns or additions?

 

Before commenting, please read the following disclosures.

Any offensive language will automatically disqualify your comment for publication, even if the arguments contained are good. Please comment on the ideas that are presented and not the presenter.  If your comment becomes an ad hominem argument and does not substantially address the issue, your comment will be disqualified as well.  We are looking for real arguments, not fallacious ones, so that we can present and challenge opposing ideas and arguments as they are truly believed by evolutionists.  We do not want to tear down straw men as well as you do not want to be misrepresented. Also, please keep your comments as brief as possible, and if the majority of the comment does not address the current issue, but becomes a red-herring, it will not be posted as well. If your comment does not fall into one of the above restrictions, then your comment will be posted unedited (you may want to check your spelling, grammar, etc.) We thank you for your time and comments.

One thing to keep in mind, each blog is one piece of evidence. Evidence has to then be interpreted, which is not a fact…but evidence strengthening or weakening a specific hypothesis or theory. So there can be multiple ways of interpreting the same evidence. I am not being unscientific, but asking more questions and being skeptical is being more scientific. I am still working on these, so please help with your comments.

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your partnership.

 

[i] Bill Pratt, Is God Subject to Logic?, September 13, 2010, Tough Questions Answered, http://www.toughquestionsanswered.org/2010/09/13/is-god-subject-to-logic/, accessed July 24, 2014.

[ii] Michael Martin, Does Logic Presuppose the Existence of the Christian God?, 2000, The Secular Web, http://infidels.org/library/modern/michael_martin/logic.html, accessed July 24, 2014.

[iii] Spacebuddha, Formal Logic and Dialectics, July 26, 2006, The Rational Response Squad, http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/sapient/philosophy_and_psychology_with_chaoslord_and_todangst/9293, http://www.marxist.com/science-old/logicanddialectics.html, accessed July 24, 2014.

[iv] Bob Seidensticker, A Dozen Responses to the Transcendental Argument for God (2 of 3), December 4, 2013, Pantheos, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2013/12/a-dozen-responses-to-the-transcendental-argument-for-god-2-of-3/, accessed July 24, 2014.

[v] The Laws of Classical Logic, October 6, 2012, http://editthis.info/logic/The_Laws_of_Classical_Logic, accessed July 24, 2014.

[vi] Keith Parsons, God and the “Laws of Logic”, November 13, 2007, Pantheos, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularoutpost/2007/11/13/god-and-the-laws-of-logic/, accessed July 24, 2014.

[vii] Keith Parsons, God and the “Laws of Logic”, November 13, 2007, Pantheos, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularoutpost/2007/11/13/god-and-the-laws-of-logic/, accessed July 24, 2014.

[viii] Keith Parsons, God and the “Laws of Logic”, November 13, 2007, Pantheos, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularoutpost/2007/11/13/god-and-the-laws-of-logic/, accessed July 24, 2014.

[ix] Mike, Explaining Logic, September 30, 2011, Foxhole Atheism, http://foxholeatheism.com/explaining-logic/, accessed July 24, 2014.

[x] Bob Seidensticker, A Dozen Responses to the Transcendental Argument for God (2 of 3), December 4, 2013, Pantheos, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2013/12/a-dozen-responses-to-the-transcendental-argument-for-god-2-of-3/, accessed July 24, 2014.

[xi] Bob Seidensticker, A Dozen Responses to the Transcendental Argument for God (2 of 3), December 4, 2013, Pantheos, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2013/12/a-dozen-responses-to-the-transcendental-argument-for-god-2-of-3/, accessed July 24, 2014.

Bob Seidensticker, A Dozen Responses to the Transcendental Argument for God (3 of 3), December 4, 2013, Pantheos, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2013/12/a-dozen-responses-to-the-transcendental-argument-for-god-3-of-3/, accessed July 24, 2014.

[xii] Bob Seidensticker, A Dozen Responses to the Transcendental Argument for God (3 of 3), December 4, 2013, Pantheos, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2013/12/a-dozen-responses-to-the-transcendental-argument-for-god-3-of-3/, accessed July 24, 2014.

[xiii] Bob Seidensticker, Do Atheists Borrow From the Christian Worldview?, April 22, 2013, Pantheos, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2013/04/do-atheists-borrow-from-the-christian-worldview/, accessed July 24, 2014.

Interview Questions for Young Creation Evangelists

 

One of our goals at AOI is to not only spread the gospel as we teach the creation message, but also to train and equip others to go and do the same. We want to encourage those who God is calling to teach creation, whether formally or informally, and when possible, help them connect with local Creation teaching ministries – or even start one of their own!

With that in mind, we would like to share this interview with California high school senior Caleb. Caleb is the founder of Foundations Creation Club (https://www.facebook.com/FoundationsCreationClub) and is an example of how young people (and older ones as well!) can impact their community for the Lord using the creation message. If you or someone you know is involved in some type of creation ministry, be it full-time or simply actively using it as a tool to share the gospel, we’d love to hear about it! Email us at: traininginstitute@discovercreation.org

Maybe we’ll share an interview with you as well!

Foundations Creation Club BannerAimee: Will you tell us a bit about yourself? 

Caleb: I am in my senior year in high school and have been homeschooled since 6th grade. I have had the blessing of being a Boy Scout for the last 5 years, concluding with the achievement of the rank of Eagle Scout. I currently serve as a leader in our local Christian-homeschool Trail Life USA Troop (Trail Life is the Christian alternative to Boy Scouts). For the last 2 years, I have served as a leader in our church’s AWANA program. I have been interested in science since I was a young boy and dreamed of being a scientist, specifically a paleontologist or geologist. I still haven’t given up that dream, but I’ll tell you more about that later. ;) I am currently working alongside some other creationists in our area in a ministry called Genesis Apologetics (www.genesisapologetics.com) to reach our community with this vital creation information.

Aimee: Why do you feel that belief in creation is important?

Caleb: In discussions with youth pastors, I have learned about the strategy being used to reach today’s youth is to “reach them where they’re at”. This is a good strategy, but I fear that most youth ministers and pastors don’t know where the young people in their congregation are “at”. On the 5 days of the school/work week, “churched” young people are being indoctrinated in a worldview that completely conflicts with what they are hearing on Sunday morning. “Bible stories” like Adam and Eve, Noah and the Ark, and the Tower of Babel are treated as mere superstition while “science facts” like evolution and millions of years are trumpeted as being the only “rational” explanation for our origins. On the one day of the week that Christian leaders have the ability to speak the truth into the lives of their youth, it is important that they equip them with answers to the claims they are hearing during the rest of the week. If we are to see this generation accept the truth of Scripture, this an issue that has to be dealt with. After all, if you can’t trust the first 11 chapters of the Book, why should you trust the rest? This is where ministries like ours come into play.

Aimee: How long have you believed in creation over evolution? Was there some incident or discovery that you made that caused you to change your mind, or have you always believed it?

Caleb: For about 7 years. For the first 10 years of my life, all I heard was evolution and millions of years. I didn’t even know biblical creation was an option. I knew that the Bible taught a six-day creation, Adam and Eve, Noah’s Flood, and a young earth, but science books contradicted these things by saying that earth has been around for billions of years and that dinosaurs died out millions of years ago. My response was one of confusion and apathy towards the Scriptures. It wasn’t until our family considered homeschooling that we were introduced to the biblical view of origins by a friend. We were loaned a creation book and volume 1 of the Jonathan Park radio adventure series, which helped us to understand what the Bible had to say about dinosaurs and fossils. Later, we attended a conference with Ron Carlson from Christian Ministries International, where he spoke on evolution and the age of the earth. This really helped our family to see the Bible in a new and refreshing light. For me, the Bible became more than a book of morals and stories; it became true history.

Aimee: Why did you start this creation ministry? What are your goals in the ministry? 

Caleb: The two verses that our ministry is built on (you could say that they are my “life verses”) are Psalm 11:3, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” and 2 Corinthians 10:4-5, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” Genesis is the foundational book of the Bible, the history upon which every doctrine of Scripture directly or indirectly rests. But this history is being attacked by the onslaught of evolutionary teaching in public schools, museums, and in pop culture. What are we to do? We must stand on Scripture and be able to give an answer to these claims and challenges to God’s Word, while filtering everything through the lens of a biblical worldview. This is why our ministry exists: to equip believers with the tools and information to effectively defend their faith in God and His Word.

Aimee: There are many creation evangelism efforts popping up all over the country right now. What do you think is an effective (and possibly new) way of making an impact? Please explain how you think it can go from an idea to practical application. (We absolutely don’t want to steal your ideas and we don’t have to make this public if you are worried about others stealing your idea, but we want to help you achieve and accomplish your “big” ideas!)

 

Caleb: This is a great thing! I am extremely excited to hear about smaller ministries lead by local families and congregations. Ultimately, this is the way the battle over origins must be won. Ministries like Answers in Genesis and Institute for Creation Research are great at equipping the saints, but it’s ultimately up to local ministries to make sure that these resources are getting into the hands of believers across the nation. There are many ways of doing this. One way is to ask ministries like the ones I just mentioned to come and give presentations at local churches. Sometimes there is a cost for hosting ministries like these, but if you can get people on your side who are willing to donate or help out, it is worth it. Another way is to give out free materials, like ICR’s Acts & Facts newsletter (though, I admit, it is a bit hefty for those not familiar with creation science) or Genesis Apologetics’ Fast Facts sheets (http://genesisapologetics.com/creation-vs-evolution-fast-facts/). Another way is to hold regular meetings, where you have a speaker from your area speak, or you can show a video if there are no speakers in your area. Try hard to get pastors and youth leaders in your area on board.

 

Aimee: What do you plan to do after graduating high school? Do you plan to continue in formal creation ministry?

 

Caleb: Absolutely! I am planning to go to college to earn an undergraduate degree in geology (Lord willing!), then pursue a graduate degree in the same (or a similar) field. Ultimately, I would like to work for one of the major creation research institutes or ministries, like AiG or ICR, as a speaker, writer, and research scientist.

 

Aimee: What advice do you have for other young people who want to do active ministry, whether it be creation focused or otherwise?

 

Caleb: Ministry has to be preceded by a close, personal relationship with Jesus. Part of this means getting into His Word (remember that Jesus’ words aren’t just the red letters!). This can be challenging sometimes, as it must be something that you faithfully commit yourself to. This will fuel you and equip you for the battle you will be getting into. When you focus on reading and meditating on the Scriptures, you will grow. Another thing to remember (this is something I have to constantly remind myself of) is that God doesn’t need you. This is clearly seen in the book of Esther, where Mordecai explains to Esther that even if she didn’t take a stand for her people, He could just as easily raise up someone else to do the job. But God wants you. This is a humbling thought that should lead you praise God for His amazing grace and providence.

 

 

 

By Aimee Mariani

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your partnership.

Modern Physics – Creation Perspective

 

Creation Answer:

Physics (and math) have been discovered, not evolved. Naturalism can’t explain why physics and math are the way they are. Some naturalists don’t see this as a problem, because the fact that these mathematical and physical laws and principles exist is proof that they had to have formed to make the universe. “It’s perfect just because it is” isn’t a satisfactory answer. Naturalism doesn’t have an answer for how or why the laws of physics exist.

“Quantum mechanics [QM] really works, and has been strongly supported by experiment. The history and practice of QM shows no hidden motivation to attack a biblical world view, in contrast to uniformitarian geology and evolutionary biology.”[i] Naturalists believe that the use of modern physics does, and will, give further evidence that there is no God and that they don’t need God. But from a creationist perspective, modern physics does, and will, continue to show the complexity of life and the universe , attesting to the fact that there is a supreme creator, an intelligence behind it all. Humankind will never catch up to the information hidden and evident within existence and that is a testimony to God’s wonderful omniscience.

In-The-BeginningGod has planned all of these things out, because He is all-knowing and all-powerful. In response to Stephen Hawking’s conclusion that there is no need for a creator, he places his faith in the idea that because of quantum mechanics, particles can “pop” into existence out of nothing. “So is it possible that the universe just popped into existence out of the vacuum through nothing more than a quantum fluctuation? Some people think so, although they seem to conveniently forget that the laws of quantum physics would have had to already be in existence, so one could not say that the universe created itself ‘out of nothing’. Others have pointed out, however, that the lifetime of quantum events is inversely proportional to the mass of the object and this precludes any such cosmological quantum event. If a universe did pop into existence by quantum fluctuation, nobody would notice—the lifetime of a quantum event the size of our universe would be less than 10-103 seconds. Moreover, virtual particles today appear within the vacuum of space. In the primordial singularity there was no space and so no vacuum.”[ii]

Hawking also assumes that God has to act within time to create the universe. Hawking’s definition of God is flawed, in that, God is actually timeless and spaceless, not being limited by those constraints. Hawking and Naturalism still can’t explain the origin of the law of causality, the laws of physics, as well as numerous other laws and concepts. “This inability to provide a cogent replacement for God as the source of scientific law is hardly surprising. Once you dismiss the concept of a Creator God who is not only a living supernatural being, but one who is also omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent, it certainly is difficult to contrive an adequate substitute.”[iii]

In an attempt to answer the challenges to naturalism, naturalists suggest “that the universe is a three-dimensional ‘membrane’ floating through a four-dimensional ‘bulk universe’…They invoke higher dimensions and String theory to explain how their universe began and why it is. This is an appeal to new physics way beyond what we know now and can even hope to test experimentally, because it involves many more dimensions and takes place in some hypothetical past epoch and space.”[iv]

“This approach has been proposed with M theory, a form of String theory in as many as 11 dimensions (or even 28 in one form). Famously Leonard Susskind labelled the “M” in M theory as meaning ‘monstrous’. [The “M” stands for Membrane, though many think it should stand for “Magic,” “Mystery,” “Mother,” “Majesty,” “Madness” or other words that might fit better.[v]] M Theory and its cousin, String theory, are not physics but mathematics, which lack any predictive power in the real world and hence are untestable. This seems to me to be a grab for a solution, to find an uncaused cause, because the big bang (with its unbiblical sequence of events) needs a first cause.”[vi]

Because of the mysterious nature, one interpretation of Quantum Mechanics suggests that “it refutes both materialism and determinism opening the scientific door to the divine influence in the universe…it could provide a model for soul body interaction,” and the quantum mechanical indeterminacy may be “God working in the universe.”[vii] This is not to say that God is limited to working within known laws and processes, but possibly that the spiritual realm is quantum-ly entangled with the physical realm. “God is both the programmer and the source of power.”[viii]

These mysteries are tangible examples of how God is infinite, whereas we are finite. It is still mental gymnastics for us to try to figure out how our universe functions. God designed us for continual learning and the ability to do science (growing in knowledge) and that is part of what Heaven will be like – to be ALWAYS learning MORE about God. Heaven will not be a boring place. If we can slow down and appreciate how amazing and complicated our world is, we will realize that we will never stop learning and enjoying God’s creation.

 

by Brian Mariani and others

 

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One thing to keep in mind, each blog is one piece of evidence. Evidence has to then be interpreted, which is not a fact…but evidence strengthening or weakening a specific hypothesis or theory. So there can be multiple ways of interpreting the same evidence. I am not being unscientific, but asking more questions and being skeptical is being more scientific. I am still working on these, so please help with your comments.

 

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your partnership.

 

[i] Jonathan Sarfati, Should creationists accept quantum mechanics?, November 25, 2011, Creation Ministries International, http://creation.com/creationists-quantum-mechanics, accessed July 19, 2014.

[ii] Williams, A., and Hartnett, J., Dismantling the Big Bang, Master Books, Arizona, 2005, p. 120.

Russell Grigg, Curiosity: Did God create the universe?, November 12, 2011, Creation Ministries International, http://creation.com/curiosity-did-god-create-the-universe, accessed July 19, 2014.

[iii] Russell Grigg, Stephen Hawking: Key to the Cosmos, August 21, 2012, Creation Ministries International, http://creation.com/key-to-the-cosmos, accessed July 19, 2014.

[iv] John Hartnett, The singularity – a ‘Dark’ beginning: Did the universe form spontaneously from nothing?, July 15, 2014, Creation Ministries International, http://creation.com/dark-beginning, accessed July 18, 2014.

[v] M theory: what does it stand for? – Parallel Universes, Horizon, February 14, 2002, BBC Science, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wUh_eMtnFg, http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/horizon/2001/parallelunitrans.shtml, accessed July 21, 2014.

[vi] John Hartnett, The singularity – a ‘Dark’ beginning: Did the universe form spontaneously from nothing?, July 15, 2014, Creation Ministries International, http://creation.com/dark-beginning, accessed July 18, 2014.

[vii] Quantum physics, Genesis Mission, http://www.genesismission.4t.com/Physics/qm.htm, accessed July 19, 2014.

[viii] Desmond Allen, An Apology and Unification Theory for the Reconciliation of Physical Matter and Metaphysical Cognizance, February 22, 2008, Answers in Genesis, https://answersingenesis.org/physics/reconciliation-of-physical-matter-and-metaphysical-cognizance/, accessed July 21, 2014.