Category Archives: Science

Not a Chance: A Review

Not-a-Chance

Can faith in God and science coexist? Does one contradict the other? Many opponents of Christianity attempt to use science to show that a god does not and cannot exist. Along with this, many believe that the supernatural does not exist. They believe people see or experience an illusion or a figment of their imagination, but nothing actually supernatural. Opponents of believing in God often claim that “chance” plays an integral part in the world. This is where Not a Chance makes its plea. Here is a brief synopsis of the book from the back cover:

Despite claiming unbelief in God or any higher power that may have designed or created the world, modern scientists often write and speak of chance as some kind of being or force that can actually cause things to happen.

In this book, Sproul and Mathison “call the scientific world to employ logic and clarity in their discourse, to leave the word chance as an abstract concept to describe mathematical possibilities rather than an ontological entity that can cause change.” How do they accomplish this? They accomplish their goal by presenting compelling and logical arguments that demand to be answered. Not a Chance touches on everything from chaos to reason, magic, contradictions, quantum physics and logic. This book is a great read for someone wanting to stretch their brain and learn more about how God and science cannot just coexist, but actually strengthen an individual’s faith.

Here are a couple quotes from the book:

“Chance is their magic wand to make not only rabbits but entire universes appear out of nothing” (p. 24).

“However, even in our wildest dreams, chance, which is nothing, cannot do something” (p. 24).

“Chance itself has no influence on the outcome of either the coin toss or the subsequent game” (p. 37).

“I do not allow for uncaused effects because uncaused effects represent a contradiction in terms” (p. 58).

“To be free of causality is to be free of logic, and license is given for making nonsense statements with impunity” (p. 61).

One of my favorite quotes from this book is this one: “For something to come from nothing it must, in effect, create itself” (p. 26). The authors respond to this statement with this thought: “For something to create itself it must be before it is. This is impossible” (p. 26). Everyone will agree that this is in fact impossible. And that is why a book like this is so important for Christians to read as it will educate us all with how to respond to arguments against the existence of a supreme being, God Himself.

There is much more that I could cover from this book in this review but let me bring this to a conclusion and share the conclusion as the authors wrote it:

Gravity is not nothing. Space is not nothing. A multiverse is not nothing. Scientists may be able to show mathematically consistent ways in which the existence of any of these somethings could lead to other somethings. But what are the odds that something can come from absolutely nothing? There is not a chance. (p. 223)

How could something come from absolutely nothing? That is a huge question that unfortunately science has never nor will ever be able to answer. Why? Because when science tries to make something out of nothing, in their very experiments they are using something. So they are not reproducing and reenacting the very beginning of the universe they claim to be trying to prove.

Want a book that will cause you to think deeply? Have you been looking for a book on God and science? Then Not a Chance is a book that you will enjoy. Written by author and theologian R.C. Sproul, this book will challenge your cognition. If you are just looking for light reading, keep looking as this book will leave you with a headache.

Disclaimer: In accordance with FTC regulations, I received this book from Baker Books in return for a review of the book.

 


Weekly Scoop 3/28

Friday means time for the Weekly Scoop. Here are a few links for some great reading over the weekend.

It has been almost 13 years since the twin towers fell. Here is the story of One World Trade Center: http://time.com/world-trade-center/

Here is a great video on being raised without all the “stuff” that this generation has: Were you born in the 60’s, 70’s or 80’s?

As the father to a little girl, so many of these hit home: Things little girls wish their daddies knew.

Want to start journaling? Here are a few reasons you should as well as how to start: Journaling 101.

I do not always read Matt Walsh’s blog, but when I do, I am typically not disappointed. Here is a response to a feminist.

Did science just make a discovery that points to God? It appears that way. But even if science discovered something that claimed there was no God, would it affect your faith? Does this big bang breakthrough give evidence for God?

One of the most important questions in the world is “Who is Jesus” because how you answer the question determines everything about your life. Here, Bono gives his answer to the question.

For pastors, church leaders, volunteers and even regular church attenders, here is a great link on how to make visitors feel welcome. 7 ways to connect with visitors.

Lastly, this video by David Platt is challenging because it comes around the question of what if we truly were as enthusiastic about Jesus as we were about some of the other things in our lives? This parable hits home.

Thanks for taking the time to check out the Weekly Scoop. Feel free to share this through Twitter, Facebook or email with others you believe would benefit from any of the above articles.


Irrationally Irrational??

From the title, you can see this will be a deeper post than I have written in the past. Actually, this might be one of the deepest blogs I write. I am not a huge fan of writing to an extent that the average person could not understand what I was conveying through my use of words. However, every once in a while I will have a conversation with someone or God will speak to my heart in a way that makes me want to write. At times like these, I really have no idea how the post will turn out but I write anyways in as coherent a fashion as I can. With that said, let’s get to the post.

Journey Church, the church I currently lead the youth group at, is doing a series this Christmas season on “What if Christ hadn’t come?” Being a Twitter user, I decided to tweet that. I had no idea the Twitter interaction I was about to encounter just through that tweet. What ensued was a two day back and forth with someone who professed to not have any “beliefs” or “faith” and that the only thing he professed was what could be backed up by science and experimentation and actually be seen. With that, you can conclude that he was not a fan of anything supernatural. He actually believed that anyone who said they experienced the supernatural were basically being deceived or misinformed or had no idea what happened to them. Because anything that is supernatural in nature cannot be scientifically proven, he doesn’t believe in it. All throughout the conversation, I was labeled as being irrational because of my belief in the supernatural. No matter how I tried to approach it, this guy’s mind was made up. It did not seem that any question or topic would even get him to have an open mind and at least consider the possibility that there is a God. Another individual involved in the conversation brought up that there is no good reason to believe in God. It was striking to me because here I was having an open mind through and considering their arguments and points and yet they would not even try to come from the point of view that there is or could be a God.

Towards the end of the conversation, I tried asking one question for him to answer, which to me was pretty easily answered as a yes or no. Let me give you a little context before I share the question. After allowing him time to ask me questions concerning what I believed, it came to a point where I realized that this guy new just enough to be dangerous to any Christian because he was one who supposedly had been a Biblical scholar for 15+ years. Apparently it had never gotten to his heart. So, I decided to ask him what he believed. That is when the conversation turned scientific and that is when he basically said that he believed only what could be proven through scientific evidence. After about an hour of discourse, I came to another point where I realized that this guy is not even open to considering anything new, the very thing I was being accused of. He felt that he had seen enough of Christians and the Bible to know there was no way that Jesus or God existed because apparently eyewitness accounts from early Christians and the Bible do not count because it is all fabricated or something to that effect. This led to my question. I started with asking him simply: “Is there someone somewhere in the world who could possibly have knowledge or experience of which you know nothing about or have not experienced?”

To that question he basically tried to beat around the bush for a little while without really giving any answer. Which, the logical and most reasonable answer to that question is of course there is someone somewhere in the world who has experienced something that he has not. There are people in the very city I live who have experienced far more than I could even think of experiencing. I was finally able to get him to at least concede that no one knows everything. However, when I attempted to explain that his own answer left room for someone somewhere to have experienced something supernatural, he defied it again. Because something supernatural cannot be scientifically proven, and handled or touched or experimented on, there was no use even discussing it or considering it. Which once again, to me seemed irrational, but apparently I was the only closed minded and irrational person involved in this interaction.

One thing that was brought up every once in a while was all that had been done in the name of God throughout history that was just horrible, like the crusades, among others that people in history have undertaken supposedly in the name of God. I tried to explain that the people were definitely wrong and were not carrying out what the God of the Bible had asked them. I explained that they were wrong. I made this statement because a couple moments before he had mentioned that science can at least accept when it was wrong and that religion is unable to do that. This struck me because I know of many times when Christians have apologized for what has happened in history supposedly in the name of God. This stuck with me because the way this individual was speaking, it seemed as if he knew enough to know that there was no way he could be wrong even though he had conceded that no one could possibly know everything there is to know. I also tried to point out that what he believed even required some “faith” but he would have none of that. He tried to ask why I am trying to give him faith but no matter how I tried to show that he in fact is showing faith since he does not know everything, it was to no avail.

Finally, after going on for about two hours, I realized that nothing I said would change their minds and that continuing the discussion would do no good. I just wanted to ask one more question in regards to what I previously mentioned. After getting the interactions to cease for a second, I posed my question. It was worded something like this:

“You have said that there is no one alive who knows everything or could possibly know everything. And you have also said that science can admit when it is wrong and that scientific experiments have even been wrong in the past. With that said, do you believe you could possibly be wrong? Could there be a God and science just has not gotten to the right experiment yet?”

This was the first time this individual was able to admit he could be wrong. However, even after admitting he could be wrong, he went on to say that since he has science on his side, it is more likely that I am wrong and there is no God then for him to be wrong and there be a God, simply because he believes in nothing supernatural.

Once again I thought, here I am the one who is accused of being irrational and not reasonable. However, I have had enough of an open mind to encourage me to look at the evidence, to look throughout history and use reason and rational thought to come to the point where I believe all the evidence in the world points to the fact that there is a Creator, God, who made everything. To think that we all just “happened” by accident to come into being, that two organisms evolved at the same rate to eventually form two separate “beings” or other organisms that then evolved into something else after millions of years of this, eventually we get humans who are capable of thought and creativity and emotions and so much more, and all of this as a result of an explosion of matter. That is what seems irrational and unreasonable to me. But what do I know? I believe in the supernatural, so therefore, my opinion does not count because I have been misinformed of what has happened to me or I am just delusional. Either way, there is no way I could be right.

I finally came to a point where I concluded with apparently some form of what is known as Pascal’s wager, which originated from the philosopher Blaise Pascal. You can look it up on Google if you are interested in the full form of his argument. However, my version was simply this: I would rather live as if there is a God, according to the Bible, putting my faith and trust in God because of what I know and have experienced in my life as well as seen through the lives of other’s and be wrong than live as if there is no God and be wrong. In the first instance, I lose nothing because of how living by following and obeying God actually fills my life with joy, happiness, peace, purpose, etc. and so much more. Whereas, in the second instance, if I live as if there is no God, which eventually leaves you empty and wondering what life is all about (I know this from personal experience). I do not claim that this argument is a valid one or an argument that we should try to use when interacting with those who are not followers of Christ. In this instance it is one that I just wanted to say. I have faith, and God is strengthening this faith day after day, that there is a God and what His Word says is truth and I desire to live my life to the end of bringing glory to God every day of my life. No matter what you believe, even if you believe only what is scientifically provable, you will have to exercise faith in some form or another. I am choosing to put my faith in the one Man who rose from the dead, defeated death and sin and now sits at the right hand of God the Father. Nothing else truly matters to me. It is hard to believe that I was accused of being irrational because even labeling someone that seems to come across as, well, irrational?

Two quick notes to end with. First, my goal in the conversation through Twitter was not to win an argument. I found myself many times challenged to pray for those involved in the conversation and even now I find myself praying that God opens their eyes to the supernatural in a way that they cannot explain through science. As Christians, we are not to be out to win arguments; we are to be about sharing the Gospel of God’s great love for mankind. Second, the main individual I was conversing with was very respectful of my opinions and it was enjoyable conversing with him. I am hoping that we can have more conversations in the future.

This is just something to think about. I would love to hear your thoughts on this matter. Thank you for taking the time to read this post and feel free to share it with others if you are so inclined.