Cold-Case Christianity by J. Warner Wallace is educational in a number of ways. Not only will you learn more about police investigations and courtroom deliberations, but Christians and skeptics alike will learn about the reliability of the biblical account concerning Jesus. You can check out my full book review by clicking here.
“The Christian tradition is actually intellectually robust and satisfying, even if we believers are occasionally unable to respond to your challenges. The answers are available; you don’t have to turn off your brain to be a believer. Yes, it is possible to become a Christian because of the evidence rather than in spite of the evidence.”
“Faith is actually the opposite of unbelief, not reason. … The biblical definition of faith is a well-placed and reasonable inference based on evidence.”
“What about cases that have no direct evidence connecting the suspect to the crime scene? Can the truth be proved beyond a reasonable doubt when all the evidence we have is circumstantial? Absolutely.
“Jurors are instructed to make no qualitative distinction between direct and circumstantial evidence in a case. Judges tell jurors, ‘Both direct and circumstantial evidence are acceptable types of evidence to prove or disprove the elements of a charge, including intent and mental state and acts necessary to a conviction, and neither is necessarily more reliable than the other. Neither is entitled to any greater weight than the other.’”
“William Dembski (the well-known mathematician, statistician, theologian, and intelligent-design advocate) has argued that specified complexity (and, therefore, the intervention of an intelligent agent) can be identified by using an ‘explanatory filter.’ If an object or event (1) cannot be explained by some natural law that necessitates its appearance, (2) exists in spite of the high improbability that it could occur as the result of chance, and (3) conforms to an independently existing and recognizable pattern, the most reasonable inference is that it is the product of an intelligent designer.”
“The early church fathers and leaders recognized that the Gospels were the eyewitness testimony of the apostles, and they set the Gospels apart for this reason. The ancient Christian author Tertullian wrote in AD 212: ‘The same authority of the apostolic churches will afford evidence to the other Gospels also, which we possess equally through their means, and according to their usage—I mean the Gospels of John and Matthew—whilst that which Mark published may be affirmed to be Peter’s whose interpreter Mark was’ (Against Marcion).”
“Skeptics cannot reject the reasonable inferences from the evidence we do have, simply because there may possibly be some evidence we don’t have; skeptics also need to defend their doubt evidentially.”
“The reasonable inference from the circumstantial evidence is that the Gospels were written very early in history, at a time when the original eyewitnesses and gospel writers were still alive and could testify to what they had seen.”
“Some have argued that the Gospels are late because none of the authors specifically identifies himself in the accounts. … BUT … The Gospels are not the only ancient documents that fail to identify the author within the text of the manuscripts. Tacitus (the Roman senator and historian who lived from AD 56 to AD 117) wrote a history of the Roman Empire from the reign of Augustus Caesar to Nero entitled Annals. Tacitus was, in fact, present during much of this period of time, but failed to include himself in any of his descriptions or identify himself as the author.”
“While it is possible that the Gospels were not written by the traditional first-century authors and were given these attributions only much later in history, it is not evidentially reasonable. If skeptics were willing to give the Gospels the same ‘benefit of the doubt’ they are willing to give other ancient documents, the Gospels would easily pass the test of authorship.”
“The most reasonable inference is that the gospel writers were present, corroborated, accurate, and unbiased. If this is the case, we can conclude with confidence that their testimony is reliable.”
There is so much excellent content to digest in each day’s reading from Today’s Moment Of Truth. Be sure to check out my book review by clicking here. Below are th first set of quotes I’m sharing from this book.
“For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.” —Robert Jastsrow, founding director of NASA’s Goddard Institute For Space Studies
“As astronomers have discovered, our sun and moon are much more exceptional than once thought. Our sun is far from ordinary; it has exactly the right mass and composition and is the ideal distance from the earth to enable life on our planet. If it were much smaller, its luminosity wouldn’t allow the high-efficiency photosynthesis necessary in plants; if it were much closer, the water would boil away from the planet’s surface. Similarly, our moon is just far enough away and just the right size to stabilize the Earth’s tilt. Without the moon’s stabilizing presence, the Earth would experience wild temperature swings, with devastating consequences for life.” —Lee Strobel
“I think people who believe that life emerged naturalistically need to have a great deal more faith than people who reasonably infer that there’s an Intelligent Designer. —Walter Bradley, co-author of The Mystery Of Life’s Origin
“An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going.” —Francis Crick, Nobel Prize winner
“It is my science that drove me to the conclusion that the world is much more complicated than can be explained by science. It was only through the supernatural that I can understand the mystery of existence.” —Allan Rex Sandage, cosmologist
“The beginning seems to present insuperable difficulties unless we agree to look on it as frankly supernatural.” —Sir Arthur Eddington
“Secular scientists often talk as though life came about through this formula: Matter + Energy + Time = Life. However, when scientists go into their labs and try to produce life, they add another ingredient—one they often don’t think about. The formula they really use is: Matter + Energy + Time + Ideas = Life.
“In other words, they’re not just throwing all of the ingredients into a blender, switching it to the highest setting, and hoping life will pop out at the end. Rather, they’re applying the best of scientific knowledge to selecting the elements necessary for living matter as well as the conditions that will be conducive for life to flourish.
“Putting it another way, they’re trying to replicate what God did. And if they finally succeed, it’ll only serve to reinforce what the Bible says—that God created life.” —Dr. A.E. Wilder-Smith
“When this church service is over, I’m heading to the airport to fly back home. But it’s not enough for me to sit in the terminal and believe that airplanes fly. Just acknowledging the soundness of aviation science will never get me home. I have to go beyond mere belief that airplanes fly to a personal belief in the particular airplane that’s heading to my city—demonstrated by climbing on board. It’s that active trust that will ultimately get me where I want to go. Similarly, we all need to go beyond merely believing that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the Cross for our sins. We must take the next step and trust in Him personally, asking Him to forgive our sins and to lead our lives.” —Mark Mittelberg
If you would like to know when I post more quotes from Today’s Moment Of Truth, you may enter your email address in the form to the right, and you will be notified by email as soon as new content is available.
“May the Lord increase your hunger and your thirst to see the face of God. And may He grant your desire through the gospel of the glory of Christ, Who is the image of God.” —John Piper
Chuck Colson said, “It seems that everywhere—from Tennessee to Tokyo—religion is being permeated by a consumerist mentality.” Read more (or take a listen to Chuck’s broadcast) on Gimmie That Hot-Tub Religion.
My friend and mentor, Tom Kaastra, has an amazing new website called The Basics of Life—Help for your spiritual journey. Do yourself a favor, check out the site, and then subscribe so you can receive his wisdom each time he publishes something new.
Ken Davis has some good insights on handling the ups and downs of life.
Dr. Ben Carson sets the record straight on Planned Parenthood’s racist foundation. And Jayme Metztgar explains why abortion is the new slavery, giving three reasons why what Planned Parenthood is doing is morally wrong.
From Planned Parenthood’s own annual report, prenatal services—which have decreased—amount to 18,684 services. Out of the total 10,590,433 services then, pre-natal care accounts for less than 1 percent. For pregnant women who come to Planned Parenthood, 94 percent of them have an abortion. (h/t Live Action)
J. Warner Wallace asks: Can naturalists [evolutionists] explain where life originated? Great apologetics for those who believe in a Creator or Intelligent Design.
David Wilkerson says there is a command from Jesus that far too many Christians ignore: “The King has told us to bind up the devil and cast him out of the banqueting hall. In short, we’re to rise up and take serious action against satan’s attacks on Christ’s Body.” Read more here.
When I went to college, I went as a biomedical chemistry major. I began my collegiate education at a Christian liberal arts university, and then transferred to a very secular state university. Ever since that time, I have always been deeply interested in the scientific fields, especially biology. So I was excited to read Dr. John Sanford’s paper In Light Of Genetics: Adam, Eve and the Creation/Fall.
In my Christian education experience, the scale was slightly weighted in favor of a biblical view of Creation. In my state university experience, the scale was overwhelming tipped toward an evolutionary paradigm. At both universities, I had rather intense conversations with my professors and classmates about hard science viewed through a biblical paradigm. Dr. Sanford’s paper was an encouraging study to read because of its balance between science and the Bible.
You can read Dr. Sanford’s full paper by clicking here, but here are a few highlights for me:
For all my geeky science friends, I will post some quotes from this paper soon.
Whether you are a geek or not, this is fascinating reading! I encourage my friends who hold Darwinist views to read this, and then let’s talk. I also encourage my Creationist friends to read this too, and use these studies to strengthen your apologetics.
Some good reading & watching from today…
Our First Amendment rights are under assault like never before! In Idaho the state government has told pastors to either perform same-sex “weddings” or go to jail.
“When men have to do with their estates, they are very careful; they fee a lawyer to go back over the title-deeds perhaps for two or three hundred years. In trade they will hurry hither and thither to attend to their commercial engagements; they would not launch into speculations, nor would they run great risks; but the soul, the poor soul, how men play with it as a toy, and despise it as if it were worthless earth. Two or three minutes in the morning when they first roll out of bed, two or three odd minutes in the evening, when they are nearly asleep—the fag-ends of the day given to their souls, and all the best part given to the body!” —Charles Spurgeon
“We’ve found that sleep may actually be a kind of elegant design solution to some of the brain’s most basic needs, a unique way that the brain meets the high demands and the narrow margins that set it apart from all the other organs of the body.” Read more about the rejuvenating power of sleep for the human brain.
“God will allow His servant to succeed when he has learned that success does not make him dearer to God nor more valuable in the total scheme of things.” —A.W. Tozer
[VIDEO] This story from Ken Davis is hilarious!
“Prayers aren’t graded according to style. If prayer depends on how I pray, I’m sunk. But if the power of prayer depends on the One who hears the prayer, then I have hope.” Read more thoughts on prayer from Max Lucado.
“Desire can’t be sated, because if it is, the longing disappears and then we’ve failed, because desire is the state we seek. We’ve expanded our desire for ever more human connection into a never-ceasing parade of physical and social desires as well. Amplified by marketers and enabled by commerce, we race down the endless road faster and faster, at greater and greater expense. The worst thing of all would be if we actually arrived at perfect, because if we did, we would extinguish the very thing that drives us. We want the wanting.” —Seth Godin
Some good reading from today…
“If evangelical Christianity is to stay alive it must have men again—the right kind of men. It must repudiate the weaklings who dare not speak out, and it must seek in prayer and much humility the coming again of men of the stuff of which prophets and martyrs are made.” —A.W. Tozer
“Heaven will solve our problems, but not, I think, by showing us subtle reconciliations between all our apparently contradictory notions. The notions will all be knocked from under our feet. We shall see that there never was any problem.” —C.S. Lewis
“I believe the biggest reason why families are being redefined today is not because of liberal vs. conservative ideology. It’s because we had to embrace a new ‘community’ when the nuclear family exploded. Traditional families have been broken, yet people still want to be in a ‘family,’ even if it’s temporary. Sadly, this family thing often fails. Whether in a home, a team, a dorm, a company, a gym or a church, we tend to walk away rather than work at difficult relationships. We’re like porcupines—we tend to hurt each other when we get close.” Read more of the outstanding post from Tim Elmore: How Eating Alone Costs More Than You Think.
A great post to cut through the mis-information: Myths About Roe v. Wade.
“According to some research, over half of women who have abortions do so under pressure, while those who resist can face violence and death. …The Center for Disease Control lists homicide as a leading cause of death among pregnant women.” Here are more facts contradicting the pro-abortion crowd’s rhetoric.
Good stuff: 8 Things Every Healthy Marriage Has.
[INFOGRAPHIC] Ten Evidences For Creation.
[INFOGRAPHIC] Facts on illegal immigrants.
The Cell’s Design by Fazale Rana, a distinguished biochemist, is an amazing apologetic for an intelligent designer of our universe: A Creator. You can read my full book review by clicking here. Below are a few quotes I wanted to pass along, and a graphic I created based on Rana’s findings.
“This elegance, evident in virtually all aspects of the cell’s chemistry, carries profound philosophical and theological significance that prompts questions about the origin, purpose, and meaning of life. Though I once embraced the evolutionary paradigm, its inadequate explanations for the origin of life coupled with the sophistication and complexity of the cell’s chemical systems convinced me as a biochemistry graduate student that a Creator must exist.”
“Richard Dawkins, an outspoken atheist, acknowledges that ‘biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.’”
“An event, system, or object is intentionally produced by a designer, then it will (1) be contingent, (2) be complex, and (3) display an independently specified pattern. … Three questions are used to determine if an event, system, or object stems from the activity of an intelligent agent. Can it be explained as a consequence of the laws of nature (necessity)? If yes, then it is not designed. If no, then can it be explained as a consequence of chance (contingent)? If yes, then it is not designed. If no, then does it display a specified pattern (specification)? If no, then it is not designed. If yes, then it must be the product of an intelligent designer.”
(Click image for a larger view, or click here to download a PDF version → Intelligent design flowchart)
“These advances indicate that life’s bare essentials extend far beyond the number of proteins that must simultaneously occur for life to exist. Life’s minimum complexity also requires organization of these gene products within the cell.”
“It is superastro-nomically improbable for the essential gene set to emerge simultaneously through natural means alone. If left up to an evolutionary process, not enough resources or time exist throughout the universe’s history to generate life in its simplest form.”
“Instead of resembling a preschooler’s messy fingerpainting, the interior of the simplest cell is best described as a carefully planned and marvelously executed work of art—one that masterfully carries out life’s most basic processes in living color. Disrupting this arrangement is often lethal.”
After my years in the medical science field, I’m still fascinated by the findings and operations of the many disciplines of science. I used to engage in frequent debates with my fellow students who believed our world was a result of chance and mutation spread over billions of years. But I always found it so astronomically improbable that such beautiful intricacies could result from chance. In The Cell’s Design biochemist Fazale Rana delves even deeper into the cell’s inner workings to make a powerful case for intelligent design.
Time and time again Rana shows us where there is such high-level, picture-perfect designs and operations at the smallest levels of the cell. Wherever scientists used to think, “This is as much design as we can expect, anything lower than this will be random,” they are now discovering unexpected and perfect designs.
This book is definitely not “layman” reading, but is geared for those with a working knowledge of scientific vocabulary and principles. But if you want to dive into it, you will find the results of the research to be absolutely astounding. And I think you will also find the case for a Intelligent Creator to be harder to refute.
This quote is not in The Cell’s Design, but I think it accurately captures the essence of Rana’s findings—
“There is something in the nature of things which the mind of man, which reason, which human power cannot effect, and certainly that which produces this must be better than man. What can this be but God? … The celestial order and the beauty of the universe compel me to admit that there is some excellent and eternal Being, who deserves the respect and homage of men.” —Cicero