Culture and the Beast

March 7, 2017

Beauty-and-the-Beast.jpgAs you may have heard, for the first time, Disney has produced a live-action film with a gay character.  Social media and blog sites will be filled with comments about it for the next weeks.  Coming off a great apologetics conference this weekend I am more assured than ever that how biblical Christianity responds to the film, Disney and others is as important as what words of truth we respond with.

I am not exactly sure what our response should be, but it should not be any different that how we respond to other sinful behaviors.  If you feel convicted to boycott Disney and their products you might want to be careful who you tell.  Are you prepared to keep your word even after the hype dies down?  A person without Christ may not understand your motives and modifying a person’s behavior should not be our first concern, their salvation is. Not to mention it is not our job, it is the role of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps a silent boycott would be better and reconsider not uploading the video of you running over your Disney movie collection with the lawnmower.

Here are a few thoughts for believers to consider.

  1. Do not be surprised. It has almost been 2 years since SCOTUS ruled that gay marriage is legal in all 50 states.  There are so many other television shows and movies that have already included it for years.  I am surprised that Disney did not join them earlier.  No doubt they considered this earlier and held off for various reasons.
  2. Use this as an opportunity to discuss sexuality and biblical marriage.   Our culture does not hesitate to show a variety of sexual behaviors and parents and Christian educators should be ready to respond to them with biblical truth and existential examples of how the consequences will be played out. I recommend a book by Sean McDowell and John Stonestreet  called Same-sex Marriage.  It is a gentle and caring approach that explains what the Bible teaches about homosexuality and how we can respond to others in love.  This same discussion should happen of course with other topics like drugs and alcohol, language, violence, and so on.
  3. Use this to teach others about the power of media.  We all under stand the use of media and the power of suggestion.  Scottish writer Andrew Fletcher once said something close to “Let me make the songs of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws.” He knew the power of media in his day and we should also be aware of the messages in ours.  What percentage of Americans claims to be gay?  If you said two or three percent you are correct, but if you guessed much higher it is likely because the media over inflates reality with so many gay characters.  Some will dismiss this movie as just mere fiction, a rewrite of a cartoon classic, or chide you not to take it serous, but even in cartoons aspects of real life can be portrayed and are just as powerful.
  4. Say something, respond.   The worse thing you can do is nothing.  You may be tempted to just be quiet for a number of reasons.  You don’t want to lose your social media friends, you do not know what to say, or maybe you are apathetic and figure what is the use, we can’t stop the huge cultural wave that hits the shoreline again and again.If your friends unfollow  you it might be because they really were not that close to you after all, maybe you responded too harshly, or they are too easily offended. Just keep posting the cute kitten videos!  There are many negatives that come with social media that should be avoided.  It is better to speak to smaller groups that are like minded and one on one conversations are really best.  Know where you can speak freely and where you need to guard your tongue carefully around others.If you do not know what to say, this is a clue for you become clued in on this discussion.  Read and research the details so you can have a an intelligent conversation with someone about what you believe and why.  There are great resources that you can download, apps with podcasts to listen to, and a growing Christian resources that we have at our disposal.

    Finally, if you are apathetic about this issue, go ahead slap yourself now and wake up.  You may not be able to stop the oncoming waves hitting the shore but you can keep a lookout for someone to save in the water. It matters to them and you might not be able to save everyone, but you can save one.

I am sure that some will respond with truth by stating biblical verses and facts that support traditional marriage or condemning homosexual behavior.  Others may take the opposite approach and say it is our job to simply love and pray for those who live a homosexual life style.  The apostle Paul encouraged the Christians in Ephesus to “speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ” (Eph. 4:15).  This combination requires us to boldly and lovingly share Scripture with others. We must temper our words so that we are not out to bash someone, win an argument, or defend God as if he needs defending.  Have conversations with people to educate them, to consider a different point of view, or understand a Scripture passage.  It is not only about what we say, but how we say it.



The NHIS reported in July 2014 that 1.6 percent of Americans identify as gay or lesbian, and 0.7 percent identify as bisexual.[1] In a Williams Institute review based on an June–September 2012 Gallup poll, approximately 3.4 percent of American adults identify themselves as being LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender).

The Universe is Intelligently Designed

October 28, 2011

Recently we looked at the Teleological Argument in biology in DNA.  As we continue the discussion on the Teleological Argument, I wanted to look at design in the universe.  No matter if you are looking at the solar system or the entire universe you can see design and intelligence.

When you are looking for signs of intelligent design there are 3 key factors that you will need: Contingency, Complexity, and Specification.   If something were designed we would expect to see evidence of contingency.  (Meaning it did not result from a meaningless unintelligent process.)  If something were designed , we would expect to see evidence of complexity. (With many working parts) And if something were designed, we would expect to see evidence of specificity. (A detailed, precise pattern commonly associated with intelligent causes.)  Just as we can see those 3 factors in DNA, we can also see them within the universe.

There are two levels at which you can look at intelligent design in the universe.  First it seems that earth is fine-tuned  for life within the realm of our  solar system.  There are many razor-thin factors that make life on earth possible.   Here are a few examples of what I am referring to.

1. Temperature – The earth is the perfect distance from sun.  If the earth was any closer or further away to the sun, life on earth would be out of the temperature range and not contingent for life.

2. Size – The earth size, rotational speed, atmosphere, and tilt are just right for life to exist on the earth.  If it were slightly different we would not be able to sustain life on earth.

3.  The moon – Without a moon that causes tides aerating oceans and oxygen for fish & plankton sea life would not be able to exist.  The tides also clean the oceans of trash and contaminates.  During the months following the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico scientists watched carefully the raw crude oil that was in the water.  After about a year had gone by the ocean had self cleaned itself and life was returning back to normal.   The moon also acts as a shield protecting the earth from various space debris that come close to the earth in the solar system.

4. Water – Without water life would not exist.  When NASA sends spacecraft to other places within our solar system they look for the presence of water or ice.  Water covers about 70% of the surface of the earth.   In connection with the temperature and atmosphere the water cycle would not be possible and would not make plant and animal life possible on the land.

5. Oxygen – Oxygen is the most plentiful element on the earth.  It makes up about 90% of the earths total weight.   (In water and the atmosphere)  Oxygen is not only needed for animal life to breathe but in the upper atmosphere paired with a 3rd Oxygen molecule we have Ozone.  The Ozone layer helps protect the earth from harmful radiation from the sun.  You are probably familiar with oxygen and carbon-dioxide cycle, where plant life breathes in CO2 and give off O2.  Animal life breathes in O2 and breathes out CO2.  The earth had to be perfectly balanced between plant and animal life in order for both to survive.  This principle is called the Anthropic Principal.

6. Gravity – Gravity is the unexplained force in nature.  It is present all over the universe.  It controls the rotation of the planets around the sun and the rotation of the moons around the planets.  On a larger scale, it controls the movement of all the galaxies in the universe.  If Gravity was slightly different the sun would burn to fast and we not have a sun to heat the earth.

7. Lighting – Lightning happens on average about 100,000 times a day around the planet.  All plants need nitrogen as food to grow and when lightning strikes the earth it takes nitrogen from the air and deposits it in the soil.

8. Jupiter – Jupiter is the earth’s shield.  Because it is the largest planet in our solar system it acts similar to the moon as a shield protecting us from  comets, space debris, asteroids that may come in a path with the earth.  The large gravity of  Jupiter acts like a magnet and pulls these things towards Jupiter.

9. Galaxies – In order for life to be possible we must be in the right type of galaxy with the appropriate types of stars and heavenly bodies.  No only the right type of galaxy, but also the right place within the galaxy.

What happens when you try to assign a probability to all these factors.  Roger Penrose, professor at Oxford, says it is an impossibility because the number of digits would be greater than the total number of elementary particles in the know universe.  The level of precision dwarfs our human comprehension.

One objection to the idea that the solar system is fine-tuned and intelligently designed is that it only appears to be at the surface, but that evolution can explain for the illusion of design.  In other words, it only looks intelligently design, but in reality it is only how things have come to be.  Darwinian evolutionist say that just because we exist in the universe doesn’t mean that we are special and valued.They contend that if the tape of evolution were rewound through time that it is possible that something else may have evolved differently and they two would question there existence.  Too bad we don’t have access to that evolutionary tape.

Think about this example from apologist, Sean McDowell.  Imagine you purchase tickets to a football game.  Upon arrival at the stadium you find your seat and sit down to watch the game.  After talking for a while with your neighbors you slowly discover that everyone in your seat section is sitting in alphabetic order, and greater still after more investigation you learn that everyone in the whole stadium is seated alphabetically.  The uniqueness of this grand scheme demands an explanation.  Who did this?  Someone was playing with the computer perhaps?  Philosopher John Leslie uses a firing squad illustration.  Imagine you were standing before a firing squad of 50 gunmen.  The order is given to fire, but for some reason you are still alive and not shot.  Your survival demands an explanation and so does fine-tuning.

Another objection by atheist, Richard Dawkins who admits that there is no present natural explanation for the fine-tuning of the universe, but claims that hardly accounts for God.  Dawkins argues that accepting the design argument leads to “Who designed the designer?”  The problem with this argument is this, can science only accept things if they can explain them?  Or if they have explanations?  Science must come to a point that they accept what evidence they do have and deny the request for further proof.   For example; an archaeologist who finds a ancient object that looks like a arrow head or a tool for digging.  Even if she/he cannot explain the origin or the identity of the designer.  If the evidence for design is compelling she could not dismiss the design hypothesis.

Critics also argue that if the laws of physics were different then some other non-carbon based life form could have existed.  Besides being entirely speculative, many of the fine-tuning instances and arguments are not based or rely on being carbon-based.

This brings us to the second level at which you can look at intelligent design in the universe.  Why are the laws of physics defined as what they are?  Why is the expansion rate of the universe (the cosmological constant) what it is?  What about the 4 fundamental forces of nature?  (Gravity, Electromagnetic force, The strong and weak nuclear force)   Just as we see in DNA in life that there had to be a programmer to put in the code for life, where did the code for the laws of physics come from?

Darwinian evolutionists are trying to answer the intelligent design argument with the idea of the Multiverse or the Grand Design, which has been popularized by Stephen Hawking in his latest book entitled The Grand Design.  Using the standard model in physics and other theories, like string theory, they are attempting to take our universes laws of physics and show that it is basically nothing special in a realm where multiple universes exist.  Is your head hurting yet?  I will spend more time explaining this in a upcoming post.

As always, questions, comments, and discussions are welcome.

Objections to the Cosmological Argument

October 13, 2011

Talk to the hand!

In my last post I introduced the Cosmological Argument to you and in this post I want to address some objections or questions that may come up from those you share with.  If you missed the Cosmological Argument click here to read it first.

The most likely response to the Cosmological Argument that you may get is a question, “Who made God?”   This is a key question in Richard Dawkins’ book The God Delusion.    Apologist Sean McDowell notes “While rhetorically powerful, this objection misses the point of the argument.  The claim is not that everything has a cause.  Rather, everything that begins to exist has a cause.”  Think about it, if God was caused, then you would have an infinite regress without a beginning.  Remember our conclusion from the last post.

Since the universe is physical, finite in space, has a beginning, and slowly running out of energy we can then say the cause had to be outside the physical, (i.e. non-physical) infinite, timeless, changeless, and powerful.  Sounds a little like the God the Bible describes.

While this doesn’t point to a particular God, like that of the Bible, the character traits that are given this creator/beginner are the same as the God of the Bible.  God is non-physical, infinite, timeless, changeless, and powerful.  This type of being does not need a cause.

Another objection you might hear from someone is that the universe caused itself to come into existence without the aid of anything outside itself.  This is as it sounds, absurd.  It that were possible, why wouldn’t other things come into existence all by themselves also?  Why don’t we have people or basketballs randomly appearing in the universe?  The laws of nature cannot explain how this might be, this is the ultimate magicians rabbit out of the hat trick.

One last objection to the Cosmological Argument might be to the premise that the universe does not have a beginning.  Someone may want to challenge your statement that you make on a beginning.  They may point out that the recent work of Stephen Hawking, a brilliant Astrophysicist and mathematician.   Hawking says that the beginning of the universe can be avoided because time has been rounded off at the final moments before the Big Bang Singularity.  The way that Hawking got this to work in mathematical equations was with the use of imaginary numbers combined with Einsteins equations.  Unfortunately these numbers do not work out when you replace the imaginary numbers with real numbers in real life.  “But if the universe can be eternal and uncaused,” as Sean McDowell states “then why can’t God?”   What is most unreasonable is to suppose that the universe arose, uncaused from nothing.

As always, questions, comments, discussions are welcome.  If you can think of any other objects feel free to post them in a comment.

Why I believe Evolution is False

April 1, 2010

I will keep this short and spare you on some of the details.  If you would like the details I will be glad to send them to you or discuss them further.

Using the word FLAWED,  I would like to expound on 6 talking points that place a lot of doubt in Darwin’s theory of Evolution.  The idea came from Chris Sherrod, a friend and fellow student minister years ago.  Chris Sherrod also has written a chapter in the new book from Sean McDowell, called Apologetics for a New Generation.   I love using the acronym  and teaching it to students because of the ease of it to memorize. 

FOSSIL FALLACY – Darwin himself said that in order for the theory of evolution to hold weight that in order we must find proof in the fossils by what he called transitional fossils.  These are fossils that show us the process of evolution at work by finding fossils that are in transition from one form to the other.  Like half bird and lizard or also the half ape-man.  Well how many of these kinds of fossils have we found, Zero!!  Not one transitional fossil has been found yet and this throws great doubt on Darwin’s Theory.  Evolutionist have had to scramble around to try to find other theory’s to support their lack of evidence like “gap theory” which also brings more questions into the argument because it doesn’t fit the facts.

LAWS VIOLATED – In order for evolution to be true, it must break a few key laws of science.  The most important Law broken is the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics which states simply that over a period of time all complex systems go from a state of order to disorder.  That over time they breakdown and become less complicated.  Evolution states that everything we know came from a random “Big Bang” in the Universe and we slowly evolved into complex organisms over billions and billions of years.  Imagine taking all the parts of a wrist watch and placing them in a bag and shaking them up and they come together to form a nice new Rolex time piece.

Another Key law broken by evolution is the law of Biogenesis, which states that you can not create life from non-life.  Scientist have been trying this for decades and cannot break this law and create life in the laboratory but cannot.  You will never be able to get life from a granite molecule or life from other non-living matter.

The last law or principal is Cause and Effect.  Cause and Effect simply states that every effect has a cause.  similarly, every cause also is an effect of something else and also has a cause.   The cause is either a “what” or a “who”.  For example; what caused the vase to fall of the shelf?  The earthquake caused the vase to fall.  What caused the earthquake?  Was it the blasting of dynamite at the quarry next door or was it a real earthquake?  You can go on and on with layers of cause and effects.  What caused the earthquake?  Plate Tectonic movement, caused by the heat of the earths core, which is caused by the suns warming rays, etc…..  With respect to evolution, what caused the big bang that started the universe?  Even if you break matter down to its smallest form, to the sub-molecule level and start talking string theory and other new ideas, where did that come from?  Evolution has to answer 3 big bangs in reality not just 1.  The origin of matter, the origin of life, and the origin of conscience thought and a moral compass.

ABSENCE OF OBSERVATION – No one has ever saw evolution happen and there is no way to test it.  Let me point out the difference between Macro-evolution and Micro-evolution.  Macro evolution is the kind that Darwin wrote about.  It is the idea that we slowly evolved over billions of billions of years from a simple cell, primordial goo into fish and from fish to reptiles, from reptiles to birds and eventually other creations to primates to humans.  Micro-evolution also know as adaption is the faster process where in an organism, animal or plant change to adapt or survive from predators or climate.  We have seen and witnessed this process of micro-evolution, but this is not the same as Darwin’s theory of evolution.  Further more these adaptions have not gone from one species to another ie… snake to bird or fish to reptile.  Some examples of this, like the peppered-moth can be found in the section below under Erroneous examples.

WITHOUT A MECHANISM – Evolution has no purpose or reason.  Life cannot create itself and why would it desire to create itself for there is no reason behind all of the small details of the universe.  If there was life from the beginning, why would it need to evolve in the first place?  Why not just stay as the simple primordial ooze that it was.  We know that in nature there are mutations and with the process of Natural selection which we can see in nature, these mutations are harmful at best and most mutations  are eliminated by the process of natural selection and nature.

ERRONEOUS EXAMPLES – There have been many finding through out our history of so-called proof of evolution which have turned out to be false or cases where evolutionist thought or believed to be true without knowledge or fact.  Below are a few examples of many.

Peppered moth – got its name during the industrial revolution in England.  The moths were seen to change from a pure white color to a darker color and have spots that helped camouflage themselves from predators due to the rise of factories and smoke that came from them.  This is an example of microevolution and not macro-evolution.  Notice that the moth was still, a moth.  It didn’t change into a large bird or other species.  The process of Natural selection deems that the ones with spots were able to survive from predators better that the pure solid and lightly colored moths.  As the darker and spotted moths mated their kind and color began to increase as the others decreased.

The changes in the bone structure and skulls of people.  Much is made of height and other features, but in fact they are still human features not ape-men features.  Some finds have recently been under fire by scientist who believe that the few skeletal remains  found of curved or arched back bones were those of people who had a disease such as rickets.   We see people in our time today that have similar issues.

There are other examples such as the Archaeopteryx, Vestial Organs, Past ideas that fetuses had gills in utero, the list could go on but for the sake of time I will not.  Each had been thought of as further proof of evolution , but were found to be incorrect.

DESIGN & DNA – Can you imagine in all the evidence we have in the universe that it all was a random chance rather than a design set forth by a creator.  You can look at DNA and see the complex design and pattern of  life’s code.  DNA is some complex that it would make a computer program from Apple or Microsoft look like first grade math.  The DNA code in one single cell can hold as much information as the equivalent of 500 volumes of an encyclopedia.   The earth is finely turned to support life and if one detail of the earth was different in rotation, temperature, gravity, and etc…. Life would not be able to exist.  Try imagining a computer programing itself or a complicated invention like a watch or computer coming together all by itself.  Seems so crazy right, but if you don’t believe that God exist and created everything, then you have to believe that it all just is a random purposeless accident of chance.

I think it takes more faith to believe in evolution than it does to believe in God.  I really believe that the debate will go on for the next hundred and thousands of years without a single assurance that God created everything through a 6 day Biblical creation and the theory of evolution.  We may never know “for sure” to either side.   That’s when faith comes into play in the role of not having all the answers.  I hope that these points will cause you to think about what you do believe and why you believe it.  I will also follow-up this blog with another entry on why I do believe that there is a God in the near future.  As always I welcome your comments, questions, and opposing views.