Ninety-percent of Christian parents send their children [to an institution] that begins with the premise ‘God shall not be mentioned here.’ And we wonder why we lose [our] children.
— R. C. Sproul, Jr., from The Christian Mind 2012 National Conference, Questions and Answers 2, at 21:48
Many arguments are marshaled against Christian schools and Christian home-schooling. Those, such as myself, who categorically reject state (public) education as insufficiently Christian, inefficient, and inherently unfair are, in for some lively debates. The objections raised must be met. Continue reading
The school system that ignores God teaches its pupils to ignore God; and this is not neutrality. It is the worst form of antagonism, for it judges God to be unimportant and irrelevant in human affairs. This is atheism.
— Gordon Clark, quoted by Douglas Wilson in Excused Absence, p. 39
Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
— John Adams, from Message to the Officers of the First Brigade of the Third Division of the Militia of Massachusetts, October 11, 1798
Cumulative Case for Christian Theism’s Explanatory Power
|Cosmology||The universe had a singular beginning (big bang cosmology); there was a beginning of time.|
|Astrophysics||Nature’s laws appear fine-tuned to allow for human life (anthropic principle); so do the universe’s content and systems (galaxy, stars, planets, etc.).|
|Biology / Chemistry||Life systems yield evidence of having been intelligently designed.|
|Anthropology / Psychology||Human beings are richly endowed intellectually but morally flawed.|
|Neuroscience||Humans possess consciousness and a capacity for intentionality and rational reflection.|
|Math||Mathematical theories correspond with physical reality.|
|Logic||As abstract entities the laws of logic are universal, invariant, and independent of human conventions.|
|Ethics||Moral absolutes seem intuitively authentic, and moral relativism is self-defeating.|
|Religion||Religion is a universal phenomenon, and religious experience seems intuitively real and consistent with biblical revelation.|
|History||Credible historical reports corroborate the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.|
|Philosophy||Human beings crave meaning, purpose, and immortality.|
— Kenneth Richard Samples, from A World of Difference, kindle location 3170
To embrace Darwinism and its underlying premise of naturalism, I would have to believe that:
- Nothing produces everything
- Non-life produces life
- Randomness produces fine-tuning
- Chaos produces information
- Unconsciousness produces consciousness
- Non-reason produces reason
— Lee Strobel, from The Case for a Creator, kindle location 5032
Theistic arguments shouldn’t be considered in isolation from, but in combination with, one another. Bracketing the ontological argument (for a maximally great Being, whose nonexistence can’t be conceived), each successful theistic argument suggests various features about God:
Cosmological argument: A very powerful personal Cause of the contingent universe exists; the fact that the universe began to exist a finite time ago suggests a personal Agent who brought something from nothing.
Teleological argument: An intelligent designing—and thus personal-Agent exists, who intends certain ordered ends for creation. Though not every aspect of creation is orderly, such as the quantum world, order can incorporate and accommodate randomness.
Moral argument: A personal, intrinsically good Being exists-rather than a impersonal monistic “One” beyond all distinction and beyond good and evil.
Argument from consciousness: A supremely self-aware Being exists—rather than some abstract principle or force.
Argument from reason: A truthful, rational Being exists.
Argument from beauty: A beautiful and alluring Being exists.
Argument from religious experience: A transcendent, awe-inspiring Presence exists whom many persons have encountered, further reinforcing the weight of other theistic arguments.
Argument from miracles: An engaged, concerned personal Agent exists. If certain events—say, Jesus’ resurrection—are better explained within Israel’s religious context of divine activity rather than within a naturalistic one, we have reason for believing in the triune God. Although this is technically “special revelation,” we can still appeal to such miracles as publicly accessible and worthy of historical investigation.
— Paul Copan, from Loving Wisdom, kindle location 1073
[When] most people say [that] you shouldn’t judge, they mean that you shouldn’t judge things negatively. In other words, if you say “Fred did great in class,” [you won’t hear people say] “don’t judge!”
Whenever somebody commits a crime, it was their bad upbringing; but if someone is rewarded, nobody says: “he doesn’t deserve it, he was brought up well.”
I’m suspicious of the “don’t be judgmental” [response] because I think it’s a kind of “don’t say things I find unpleasant” [comment]—which is really not a moral argument.
— Francis Beckwith, from Can We be Good Without God? at 1:38:20
This passage (Matthew 7:1-5) is often taken out of context to forbid all moral evaluation, as if Jesus were a relativist. But Jesus had something else in mind: a clear-sighted self-evaluation and a proper evaluation of others based on objective standards. Therefore, when one judges others, one is implicitly bringing oneself under the same judgment. One will be measured by the same measurement one employs….
If one fails to evaluate oneself by one’s own standard, one cannot rightly discern the moral status of others. In other words, proper moral evaluation requires a knowledge of the self, and allows no special pleading.
— Douglas Groothuis, from On Jesus, p. 58