Apologetics

Language: A Sign of Divine Design

July, 2018

Being somewhat of a newcomer to the ongoing scientific discussion in this newsletter, and coming from a nonscientific perspective, I feel a bit like a junior soccer player competing in the World Cup—definitely out of my league. Still, my experience as an English as a Second Language teacher has provided me a unique vantage point from which to observe one of the greatest evidences for God’s creation: Language. I am convinced that the language ability of human beings confirms our identity as creatures made in the image of God. In this article, I would like to share a portion of a paper written for a theology class at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina. Obviously, this approach will be more theological than scientific, but it still may yield insights that will serve as an apologetic for divine creation.

God vs Design in "The Grand Design"

April, 2013

In The Grand Design, Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow present religion and science as rivals and give the impression that they are irreconcilable. The following quotes present such an opposition, and they reveal an antagonism toward religion in the authors:

Ignorance of nature’s ways led people in ancient times to invent gods to lord it over every aspect of human life.1

Since the connection of cause and effect in nature was invisible to their eyes, these gods appeared inscrutable, and people at their mercy.1

In this book I have described how regularities in the motion of astronomical bodies such as the sun, the moon, and the planets suggested that they were governed by fixed laws rather than being subject to the arbitrary whims and caprices of gods and demons.2

The Grand Design and Free Will

October, 2011

In their new book, The Grand Design, Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow defend scientific determinism, which they define as follows:

Given the state of our universe at one time, a complete set of laws fully determines both the future and the past. This would exclude the possibility of miracles or an active role for God. …It is, in fact, the basis of all modern science, and a principle that is important throughout this book. A scientific law is not a scientific law if it holds only when some supernatural being does not intervene (30).1

They essentially argue that the laws of nature must hold true in all cases without being overridden by divine intervention. Scientific laws must operate without exceptions, except “under a stipulated set of conditions (28). ”

What is Apologetics?

September, 2010

Is apologetics all about saying you’re sorry about something? Of course not; it is derived from the Greek word apologia, which refers to giving a reason. Christian apologetics includes both 1) defending the Christian faith when speaking with non-Christians and 2) encouraging and strengthening the faith of believers. Christians are encouraged, actually commanded, in the scriptures to be able to give the reasons for why they believe and have the hope in them.

Apologetics Presentation

Dr. Henry Middleton presented talks for the youth group meetings at Englewood Baptist Church in Rocky Mount, North Carolina.1

Josephus and other Ancient Scholars on the Biblical Flood

May, 2009

A Roman portrait bust believed to be that of Josephus, from Plagnieux, P. 'Les sculptures Romanes' Dossiers d'Archéologie

Josephus (AD 37–c. 100) was a first-century Jewish historian and apologist of priestly and royal ancestry who survived and recorded the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. Josephus’s two most important works are The Jewish War (c. 75) and Antiquities of the Jews (c. 94). The Jewish War recounts the Jewish revolt against Rome (66–70). Antiquities of the Jews recounts the history of the world from a Jewish perspective. Josephus fought the Romans in the First Jewish-Roman War of 66–73 as a Jewish military leader in Galilee. He eventually surrendered to the Romans. In 71 AD, he arrived in Rome, becoming a Roman citizen.

His works are significant because of what they reveal about ancient scholarship. For example, he shows that not only primitive tribes had flood legends but also scholars from the most advanced societies. This is significant because advanced societies had written records that would preserve the truth reliably over long periods of time. For primitive tribes, one can imagine their history gradually modifying over many generations, but not so with advanced societies possessing writing.

A Response to Richard Dawkins' Argument Regarding the Basis of Morality in "The God Delusion"

February, 2009

In The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins argues that morality is grounded in evolution rather than in God or religion. He explains morality through his concept of the “selfish gene” by which genes, through natural selection, ensure their own survival by selfishly encouraging altruistic behavior. He proposes four types of such behavior. First, a gene may program an organism to favor its genetic kin. Second, through reciprocal altruism an organism grants favors and receives favors in return. Third, through altruism an organism can acquire a reputation of being generous and kind and thereby benefit itself. Fourth, an organism can use generosity to demonstrate its superiority. Dawkins then asks why we are good to people we have never met and will probably never see again. He suggests that it is a byproduct of our distant past.1

Dawkins also argues that if our morality is grounded in our “Darwinian past” then we can expect to find universal morals which transcend cultural and religious boundaries. He cites some studies using hypothetical moral decisions which he says prove this thesis.2 He concludes that people do not need God or religion in order to be moral.

A Response to Selected Arguments in Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion

June, 2007

Well-known atheist and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins authored the now best selling book The God Delusion which was published last year.1 This is just one of several recent popular science books by atheists to hit bookstores in the last few months. This essay will discuss selected scientific and philosophical arguments made in the Delusion.

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Richard Dawkins

TASC to Present Comprehensive Creation Series at North Carolina State University This Winter and Spring

January, 2015

Mark your calendars: TASC has been invited to present a series on creation this winter and spring at Grace Church, which meets on the campus of North Carolina State University. The 12 classes in the series are open to the public and will be held on Sunday nights from 6:30 to 8:00 PM starting January 25. TASC will use the new video series from the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) entitled Unlocking the Mysteries of Genesis as the framework for the classes.

The complete schedule is below:

Calling All Creationists in the Triangle: TASC’s Mission and Future

October, 2016

The creation/evolution debate is a critical battle ground for the hearts and minds of everyone. What we think about our origins impacts everything we think about the world and ourselves. If human beings are merely the result of natural law working over billions of years as materialists claim, then any action we “choose” can be justified since we become the arbiters of right and wrong. Our culture is becoming increasingly secular in its thinking and policies. Moral relativism, situation ethics, sexual permissiveness in all its forms, abortion, theft, senseless mass murders, tolerance and even justification for dishonesty, are on the rise. We are at a critical time, a tipping point, in the history of our nation.

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