Posts Tagged With: logic

How Should we then Live? parts 5-9: Revolutionary Age through the Age of Personal Peace and Affluence

The Revolutionary Age. The Enlightenment had consequences:

The Scientific Age. A giant leap forward, but can sinful man handle this kind of power?

The Age of Non-reason. Modern man goes crazy with his own perceived greatness. A leap into the dark.

The Age of Fragmentation. Falling apart, culture going schizophrenic.

The Age of Personal Peace & Affluence. Leave me alone, I’ll leave you alone… even if you’re dying.

Previous videos

Part 1 The Roman Age

Part 2 Middle Ages

Part 3 The Renaissance

Part 4 The Reformation

If you haven’t watched any of these videos yet, you are truly missing out on a simple, clear, and powerful lesson in where we’ve come from and where we are going. Happy interpreting.
-Justin

Categories: Understanding the Culture | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Darwin with Cataracts

Charles Darwin lacked modern scientific tools. Compared to the instruments we have today, Darwin was like an old woman with cataracts attempting to spot earthworms from a hot air balloon. You’d have a better chance of spotting golf balls on the moon using binoculars than Darwin had in interpreting the cosmos with his scientific instruments.

As a student of biological sciences, and holding a minor in it, I can give proper regard to the impact of the work of Darwin, and how he dedicated his energies to understanding the cosmos through biology. His work has echoed through the halls of almost every school in the modern world, and his research was exemplary for its time.

Like I said, his scientific instruments were crude and primitive, therefore limiting the accuracy and types of data he could gather. When Darwin looked through his “modern” microscope at a cell, he saw a simple circle or square with some fuzzy stuff in the middle. Today when we look at the cell, we see a complex – that’s an understatement – machine which operates with perfect internal grace and majesty. The levels of interdependence, precision, and artistic beauty within the organelles blow away anything ever created by man. If my memory serves me correctly, Darwin made remarks to the effect that if in the future of science we became able to study and conclude that there were parts within a cell which are complex and interdependent beyond what he was able to see, that then we would have to allow for the possible deconstruction of his theories.

Holy cow.

You see, if 2 different parts within a cell must have the other one to operate, then they would have both had to have been there to start with (in the first cell which existed). The problem for Darwin and his descendants is not 1 pair of interdependent organelles, but multiple groups in each type of cell, organism, animal, plant, etc. The “odds,” if we can even use such silly terms, of such an outcome from a random, unguided macro-evolution are virtually, and realistically 0.

Yet the Darwinian view persists. A house must have a foundation, and the house that Darwin built was founded on the theory that from simple forms of life much more complex, intricate life could arise by random accident. In itself that is unproven to this day, and further is illogical – (order from chaos?) Yet the house that Darwin built is inhabited by the brightest minds in academia, and I would wager it is held by the majority of educated people worldwide. What happened here? Now that we can see the brilliant design within just one cell, how could it be that so many people would still hold to an idea which posits completely random, unguided mutation in millions of species, each of which has become a whole, perfect organism able to reproduce within its own kind? Think of a simpler example: take an iPhone or a Toyota Prius and imagine that it could arise from accidental melding of parts over millions of years. Have we gotten absurd enough yet? But wait! There’s more… try to make the leap of unfounded faith that a living cell, almost infinitely more complex and intricate could arise from this same unproven process?

For an idea to be scientifically proven, it must be testable. Naturalistic evolution is anything but testable. To be fair, Darwin’s theory of the origin of species is interesting, but ultimately it is simply a guess based on an interpretation of evidence. It barely qualifies as a true scientific theory if it even does.

Ultimately, each of us will be required to place faith in something… because none of us was there “in the beginning!”

This is the juncture where the agnostics, atheists and antitheists part ways from the theists and creationists. We are forced to ask where it all started, and therefore, what or who was there before the start?

Try on this logic for size: If we put forward an eternal, creating, sentient being, then the cosmos can be as it is. If there is no eternal, creating, sentient being, then nothing can possibly exist because matter and energy cannot create themselves. Why is that so difficult to grasp? Yet if I were a professor at an average university, I could lose my job for publishing an article like this. Something beyond raw science and research is at stake here. When professional scientists’ jobs are threatened and lost (as they are) for asking legitimate questions like this, we can be sure some political motive is afoot. What is at stake?

Now I will make the (logical, informed) leap to the biblical worldview in order to answer the question.

What is at stake is the implications of an interpretation of the cosmos as an orderly, harmonious whole which is created, governed, and at the service of the Creator and Sovereign.

The so-called “Big-Bang” theory of a causeless cosmos is devoid of a logical premise, and accordingly the entire story from that point falls flat. There had to be an Originator, or there would be no origin. It is that simple. So, I’m back to the question. Why is this such a difficult, heated debate with such entrenched, militaristic ideology on all sides?

What is at stake is the implications of an interpretation of the cosmos as an orderly, harmonious whole which is created, governed, and at the service of the Creator and Sovereign.

Even if we say for sake of argument that the Bible is not supernatural, and we set it aside as irrelevant, we are still in need of a coherent explanation of our origin. Stephen Hawking, the genius scientist of international acclaim, recently wrote in his book The Grand Design that we actually can explain the cosmos as having arisen ex nihilo, out of nothing and without a creator. The universe created itself. If one of the most brilliant astrophysicists in history could come out with an illogical, sad, and ridiculous statement like that, there must be something driving him away from the axiomatic reality of an eternal *something*. To state with a serious face that there was a beginning point to everything as if everything within the cosmos is self-created is to blind yourself, say that up is down, to say that squares have 5 sides, to say that we exist and do not exist simultaneously. It is foolish. It is openly foolish. It is indicative of something going on at the heart of the issue.

There must be an intellectual fear of an interpretation of the cosmos as an orderly, harmonious whole which is created, governed, and at the service of the Creator and Sovereign.

Do you fear that conclusion?

Let’s be honest. Our scientific instrumentation has matured and grown in precision and has revealed a magical, fantastical micro and macro cosmos which consumes the mind with wonder. Yet still with all of our knowledge and calculation of the universe, the conclusions to which our most intellectual class is coming are even more anti-creator, anti-truth, and anti-Bible than ever before. This is a tragedy (another understatement). God has gifted men with such an awesome wisdom in science and investigation. We have these brains which can conceive of ideas which are so much bigger than any of us individually or as a whole. We are driven to search for meaning and cohesion in the cosmos. We are designed to find our Maker.

He has spoken, He means to be heard, and He wants to be known… check it out:

In testing the Bible for divine origin, it stands as the definitively different and unique book. Its explanations of origins and history are quite logical, perfectly consistent with the cosmos as we see it, and a perfectly beautiful tapestry of divine revelation. Why is it not good enough for people to see and believe?

In 1 Corinthians 1:18 – 25 we are confronted with the irony and tragedy of the wisdom of this world which only leads to intellectual and spiritual darkness. Stephen Hawking may have an intensely powerful brain, but his rejection of divine Sovereignty and revelation in the Scriptures has lead to his becoming a public fool. Never forget, my friends, that God chooses the weak things of this world to shame the wise. Once we have rejected the Bible as the inspired, inerrant Word of God, we set ourselves adrift into a dark morass of ignorance and eternal suicide. I weep for my family, friends, and neighbors who see but don’t see, who hear but are deaf, who are alive yet dead.

Darwin made just one example of how man finds any way possible to break free of the Sovereignty of the Creator. Romans 1:18 – 32 details the regression of man in rejecting the Creator and so being turned over to a darkened, foolish mind. Here in Romans we see that with or without the special revelation of God, people refuse to acknowledge and thank Him, choosing instead to follow their own desires. Even more sad is when someone concludes that the God of the Bible cannot be the truth and the true God, leaving them nowhere left to turn other than to the darkened, limited sense of reality outside of knowing the Creator. The interpretation of the cosmos minus the lens of Scripture leads men to invent anything but truth, ranging from the universe as being on the back of a turtle all the way up to the sophisticated, pseudo-scientific ideas of naturalistic Darwinism.

I suppose that even if God Himself were to appear among us, work miracles, speak as no one ever spoke, and was able to even predict the future perfectly, that even then we would not listen and would even kill Him… like we did.

I offer to all who read this, the revelation of reality as it is from the breath of the One who created in unfettered freedom. There are stacks of books which will enlighten the mind and heart concerning the harmony between the Bible and the visible cosmos. The only question is, will we see our need of God, accept Him on His terms according to His reality, or will we venture into the swamps of fallen logic to attempt an autonomous reconstructing of the cosmos?

Thanks for reading,

-Justin

Categories: Meaning Woven into Nature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 46 Comments

Reading the Evening Cosmos

The cosmos (universe) is interpreted by 2 avenues: natural (general) revelation and spiritual (special) revelation.

Natural revelation comes as we perceive outer space, our solar system, our planet, and our human society – visible relationships of matter, energy, and people (more or less). For instance, when we look at the order and beauty of the stars, galaxies, and of our biological planet, we logically deduce an origin to these things. We know that we are looking at the effect, so therefore there has to be a cause. Strictly from a natural revelation, we understand somehow, something, or someone had to have begun the cosmos, for matter and energy do not arise spontaneously (as a law of physics).

Spiritual revelation comes by some intelligence other than human which is “above,” transcendent, and outside of our 4 (or so)-dimensional existence, yet is imminent in that “it” or “they” can communicate to us. This concept should not be as controversial as it is, because truly there is no law of logic which is violated to posit a being or beings which are in another form besides matter and physical energy but who are sentient and may willingly engage humanity and be engaged by humanity. Before we ever come to the Bible, or any other mode of receiving spiritual revelation, we can logically understand the possibility and probability of there being a God, and/or other spiritual beings who influence our human society, and who must in some sense have something to do with the origin of the created, or if you like, extant, visible cosmos.

Now because I am not a philosophy student, I have not formally studied epistemology, and I do not pretend to have a scholarly understanding of the various debates concerning these things, I will therefore have to ride the horses of other men from this point. I am openly, honestly revealing to you that I am assuming the detailed, satisfactory explanation of all things epistemological in going forth from my Christian/theist point of view, worldview, and indeed my interpretation of the cosmos. Yet don’t make the mistake of thinking that because I am not schooled in these subjects that therefore I cannot have valid arguments and observations.

For instance, let’s take a person who has never heard of San Francisco and place him on the Marin County side of the Golden Gate Bridge during a very heavy fog. He would not be able to see San Francisco or even the entire bridge to the other side, so it would seem he was standing on a road which ends in the cloud just a couple hundred feet out. Yet logically he could deduce that the bridge does connect to the earth on the other side because it stands firm, there are cars coming and going across it, and because bridges are generally built to connect 2 sides of a waterway.

This is the analogy of a half-breed intellectual like me, and probably you if you’re an average kind of person. We only have part of the learning necessary to be called an expert; we are in middle school trying to write a doctoral dissertation. We’re staring into a heavy fog – but everything sensible tells us how that bridge connects. We’re hard-wired with the logic and reasoning which connects the bridge in our mind to the city on the other side. This is how we conceptualize the connection between our physical cosmos and the true nature of the whole. We know there is “more than meets the eye.” We “feel” the reality of a higher control room where decisions are being made which affect us and our world – but those feelings are validated by logic. There is something totally wild about the reality that we are here, alive, parked on a blue and green beach ball 93,000,000 miles from a furnace which is made of its own fuel and is itself a micro speck compared to the space between trillions and trillions of its cousins scattered immeasurably far into the mysterious reaches of space. We stand on the end of the bridge staring into the fog, but everything logical demands we connect the bridge to the other side.

Of course there is a God.

Why hadn’t I thought of that?

And if He, (allowing my presuppositional slip to show), was able to create this cosmos, these people, those flowers, bugs, trees, sky, ocean, etc with order, design, beauty, and predictable, testable laws of consistency… then He must be able to communicate with us.

What would this communication be like? I submit to you all, as so many of my forefathers of the faith have done, that the Bible containing 66 books of Old and New Testament writings is the unique, divine, perfect revelation of that Creator God. The One who is able to breathe the cosmos into existence by sheer fiat is also able and has spoken clearly, logically, and completely to us in His Word the Bible. This we will explore and test on Interpreting the Cosmos. The Bible is the Rosetta Stone to the cosmos. It is the revelation of the Artist and Designer, it is the literature of God, and it alone is in this category.

In a beautiful circle of glory, the Bible points back to the physical cosmos as the “partner in preaching” to the written Word. The physical universe screams out the glories of the eternal, infinite God, and the Bible is where He reveals Himself personally. As a result, His plan and purpose in creating this cosmos is first vaguely imagined by us as we behold the mind-blowing universe, and then confirmed in detail through the redemptive history of the Old and New Testaments.

If this is true, then through this lens of Scripture we ought to be able to understand the cosmos in a consistent, logical way. It may throw people off that the Bible is at once a word-for-word divine revelation and yet a thoroughly human document. The marks and signature of humanity is woven throughout its pages, yet the humanity which wrote claims hundreds if not thousands of times to be the instrument of a speaking, personal God. If the Bible is the breathed-out Word of the only true God, then what it says will be supernatural, super-human, and super-amazing to all who will look into it with childlike eyes.

Won’t you look and be amazed? Let’s interpret the cosmos.

Thanks for reading,

-Adam

Categories: Foundations of ItC blog | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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