Evidence for God from Science Newsletter April, 2004
Greetings in the name of the Lord! This is the latest edition of the update for the Evidence for God website. Welcome to our new subscribers.
Contents (scroll down for descriptions)
- Book Review: Origins of Life: Biblical and Evolutionary Models Face Off
- Answers for Atheists
- Christian Theology
- Christian Life Issues (bioethics)
- Abortion and sanctity of human life
Thank you for your prayers regarding my wife Carole's driving privileges (see February, 2004 Newsletter). The interview with the DMV went well, and future interviews can be done over the phone.
Please pray for Mark Ritter and his family. Mark is my buddy over at swordandspirit.com, whose daughter, Arielle, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in March. She had her thyroid removed and the surgery was completely successful. However, she will have to take medication for the rest of her life.
Origins of Life: Biblical and Evolutionary Models Face Off by Fazale Rana and Hugh Ross. Probably the single most potent scientific argument against atheism is the problem with a naturalistic origin of life. This very problem led me to become a deist as a biology major at USC in the early 1970's. The problems for atheists have gotten no better since that time. In fact, the last 30+ years of research have turned up even more problems than those that existed when I first studied the theories. Fuz Rana (a biochemist) and Hugh Ross (an astrophysicist) have teamed up to write the definitive up-to-date analysis of the origin of life. Actually, in talking to Fuz recently, he mentioned that since the book was published earlier this month, new information has been published in the scientific literature further eroding naturalistic scenarios. The book examines the origins of life from the perspectives of chemistry, biochemistry, astronomy, and the Bible. A biblical creation model is presented along side the naturalistic models to help the reader decide which one fits the data better. This is an excellent book to give to your unbelieving friends, since it presents a testable creation model that is clearly superior to any naturalistic model.
Answers for Atheists
The topic of omnipotence (the ability of God to do anything, i.e., God is all-powerful) is frequently cited by atheists as proof that the God of the Bible cannot exist. The claim has been made that if there is anything that God cannot do, then God cannot be omnipotent and, therefore, does not exist. It turns out to be cute way to attempt to define God away. However, there are some problems with the atheists' arguments. For example, the rock argument rests on the corruption of the idea of omnipotence. God can always create a rock on any size (just look at the size of the universe) and He can always lift it. However, God cannot create a rock that He is unable to lift. The ability to fail is not a part of omnipotence. Other atheistic arguments "proving" God does not exist are based upon similar flawed logic. Take a look at the new page and be prepared to answer your favorite atheist's objections to Christianity.
One way that atheists have attempted to explain the resurrection is that Jesus didn't really die, but just fainted (the swoon theory) on the cross and revived after being taken down. Besides the spear thrust that released blood and water, there are some very good medical arguments suggesting that the swoon theory is impossible. Death by crucifixion occurred through exhaustion asphyxia - the victim eventually suffocated. The position of the body on the cross prevented the victim from breathing except by actively pushing his body up against the nails holding his feet to the cross. If Jesus had passed out on the cross, He would have died within 10 minutes by suffocation. The Bible indicates that Joseph of Arimathea walked from Golgotha to the Praetorium to ask Pontius Pilate for the body of Jesus. Then, Pilate sent a messenger to Golgotha to summon the centurion for questioning. After the centurion arrived, Pilate determined that Jesus was dead and allowed Joseph to take the body. The process of walking back and forth from Golgotha would have taken at least an hour, during which time Jesus would have died if He had just swooned. A peer-reviewed JAMA article confirmed that Jesus was dead when taken down from the cross. The full text PDF file of the original article is now available on GodAndScience.org.
Mel Gibson's new movie, The Passion of the Christ, has caused quite a stir and is one of the top ten movies ever produced, despite some prejudiced reviews panning it. I have seen the movie twice, and besides being technically excellent, it is, for the most part, quite biblically accurate. Two new pages examine the movie. The first is a review that gives you an idea of what to expect, and recommendations for attending the movie. It is the most emotionally powerful movie you will probably ever see. I recommend it for all Christians who don't have heart problems and are emotionally mature (don't take young children!).
If you have already seen the movie, The Passion of the Christ, and don't understand some of the scenes, I have written a movie guide that explains what is biblically accurate and what was added for effect. Who is the woman who attempted to give Jesus a drink on the road to Golgotha? What's with the ugly baby? Why does Satan look sort of female? These and other questions are answered on the new page. If you haven't seen the movie and don't want it spoiled, see it first.
Christian Life Issues (bioethics)
I will be part of a bioethics panel hosted at Cal Baptist University Monday, April 19, 2004. The three person panel will cover the topics, "What is a stem cell" (Dennis Bideshi, Cal Baptist University), "Stem Cell Research Around the World" (mine), and "Is it ethical... and biblical?" (Mark Carr, Loma Linda University). An hour question and answer session will follow the talks. A preliminary copy of the talk can be downloaded below. At some point, I will turn the talk into a complete analysis and bioethics discussion of stem cell research.
Abortion and sanctity of human life
Three years ago, Planned Parenthood attempted to put in an abortion clinic in the city of Monrovia, California. Following intense protests, legal challenges, and dedicated prayer, the construction was halted as the building was nearing completion, and it was torn down. During the protests, some local Christians thought it good to provide support for women in crisis pregnancies with a clinic designed to help them. After much prayer and the moving of God to secure a building, the dream will come to reality in June, 2004. The group has obtained clinical office space of over 2,000 square feet for only $3,000 for the first year. Some members of our church are donating services and materials to remodel and paint the new offices. The moving of God in this endeavor is very exciting. I have volunteered to setup their website. So, I am going to dedicate the next couple months to working on the new Foothills Pregnancy Resource Clinic website. As a result, there will probably not be any GodAndScience.org updates until mid-summer. Please pray that the Lord's favor will continue to bless all who are involved in this worthy project.
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Evidence for God from Science
Last Modified April 12, 2004