Frederick Meekins is an independent theologian and social critic. He holds a BS from the University of Maryland in Political Science/History and a MA in Apologetics & Christian Philosophy from Trinity Theological Seminary. Frederick holds a Doctor of Practical Theology through the Master's Graduate School Of Divinity in Evansville, Indiana. Dr. Meekins is pursuing a Ph.D. in Apologetics through Newburgh Theological Seminary.

Tuesday, January 31

Sloppy Exegesis A Gift That Ought To Be Returned

The trick (or perhaps better stated skill as some theological nitpickers might associate the first term with the work of the Devil) in exegeting a Biblical text is deciphering if a particular narrative the circumstances that are of an historical nature pertaining only to that unique incident from those which are a prescription binding upon everyone irrespective of time or geography.

It has been observed that the accounts of the Advent and Nativity stand in stark contrast to the gospel of abortion as advocated by infanticide front groups such Planned Parenthood.

Southern Baptist theologian Russell Moore in his column titled “Joseph of Nazareth vs. Planned Parenthood” attempts to formulate a number of suggestions and proposals for the Christian wanting to apply the spirit of the Christmas story in their own lives.

This effort in itself is not necessarily without merit. For example, Moore suggests adoption as an alternative to the pervasiveness of abortion.

However, where Dr. Moore goes a hair too far is his suggestion insinuating that adoption is somehow an obligation on the part of the believer rather than one way particular families might decide for themselves to live out the implications of the Biblical message in their specific lives. Even more debatable is the invocation of Joseph as a pretext to shame the individual Christian into compliance.

Of particular interest is how the onus of sin is placed upon Christians deciding that taking on the responsibility of someone else's unwanted child is not necessarily for them rather than the ones despising a child to the extent that they are willing to see the child in question murdered.

In his exposition, Dr. Moore rips entire Scriptures from their particular contexts. For example, Moore writes, “In his obedience, Joseph demonstrated what his other son would later call 'pure' and undefiled religion', the kind that cares for the fatherless and abandoned (James 1:27).”

Regarding the children threatened by abortion today as well as the single mother households that Moore's kind of rant invokes in order to coerce all sorts of handouts, technically these children are not necessarily orphans and these WOMENNNN (said with the politically correct emphatic pronunciation often extended to this gender category) are not widows.

These children still have mothers to provide for them and, in most cases, their fathers are still alive and are simply deadbeats that refuse to take care of the lifetime consequence resulting from a few fleeting moments of pleasure. Likewise, to enjoy the sympathy, honor, and protection of which a widow is deserving, a woman needs to have had first been married, a criteria many these days finding themselves already with children have yet to fulfill.

As such, how about first casting blame at those that have actually done something wrong? For when was the last time you heard a good old fashioned hellfire and brimstone sermon directed at both unfit parents?

Criticisms of inept and negligent fatherhood are not all that uncommon. They are in fact the homiletical staple of Father's Day. However, rarely will you hear condemnation of the unfit mother often so enamored with her carefree lifestyle that she is willing to allow the murder of her unborn child. In the noble endeavor to save as many children as possible from pre-natal human butchery as possible, like hostage negotiation at times it might be necessary to sweet talk and stroke the egos of these women threatening infanticide until the child can be rescued from their clutches. However, one is in danger of approaching a conceptual state bordering heresy if one's systematic theology is compromised while engaged in such a tactic.

In his application of Biblical texts, Dr. Moore glosses over where shortcomings of character and behavior ought to be called out at least in generalized terms and cries out he has found these kinds of deficiencies where none in fact actually exist.

For example, the crux of Moore's argument centers around Joseph not abandoning Mary after she was found with child and this humble carpenter taking Mary as his wife and in essence raising Jesus as his own despite Him not being such. However, the invocation of Mary as a categorical imperative to be applied in the case of every other woman in the world does not hold up to closer scrutiny.

Foremost, God appeared to Joseph in a dream to dispel any notions Joseph might have had that Mary found herself in these circumstances as a result of sin. In fact, in regards to this aspect of her virtue, she was far from such blemish and actually selected because of her status as a righteous virgin.

In this day of radical non-judgmentalism, it will be snapped let he that is without sin cast the first stone. That is usually Biblically sound advice. However, nowhere in not casting the first stone is one man obligated to surrender to the humiliation of having to pick up the tab for a baby conceived through the normal carnal means between his fiancée or betrothed and another dude.

Furthermore, why does this non-judgmentalism only apply to those living in outright sin? Dr. Moore certainly doesn't mind getting up in the grill of those that haven't emptied their bank accounts so the libertines can continue to breed wantonly without the consideration of their actions.

If Mary had conceived in such a fashion, Joseph should have kicked her to the curb. Russell Moore writes, “With full legal rights to abandon Mary and her unborn child --- perhaps to a fate worse than death --- Joseph obeyed the Father in becoming a father.” But, to reemphasize, that is because in this instance Mary had done nothing wrong.

From the way that Moore writes, had Joseph followed legal procedure, he would have been exceedingly cruel. But wasn't it because of the seemingly harsh nature of this prospective penalty that in all likelihood that the out of wedlock birthrate among the ancient Israelites in times when that people were living for the most part righteously was nothing in comparison to what it is today?

It must also be asked who was it that set up what looks to early twenty-first century eyes as an excessively judgmental social system. You can't really get all bent out of shape at the ancient Israelites because in many instances they were merely implementing what God had ordered them to under threats of calamity and damnation if they failed to do so until instructed otherwise.

This matter of whether Joseph would keep Mary or set her aside is not the only matter in which Russell Moore has not thought out the implications of what he has said in regards to these issues at hand.

Moore writes, “In a culture captivated by the spirit of Herod, could it be that God is calling our churches to follow the example of Joseph?” In that remark, Dr. Moore articulates the typical anti-male animus that has come to increasingly characterize Christian Evangelicalism.

For those that might not recall, following the visitation of the Magi, Herod flew into a rampage ordering the the murder of male children below two years of age. As a result, Joseph was instructed in a dream to escape with Mary and the Christ Child into the land of Egypt.

From the way Moore flippantly handles the allusion to the narrative, one could come away with the impression that Joseph was the only father or designated male provider to care in all of Bethlehem. Don't you think the other fathers loved their children enough that if they were accustomed to receiving messages via dreams that they would have also packed up their bags and gotten out of town if they had been extended such an opportunity? One cannot very well accuse these fathers of any wrongdoing in regard to Herod's slaughter of the innocents if the general population was extended no warning of the pending assault.

The war against human life throughout the contemporary world is pervasive. Those taking principled stands of whatever form grand or small will be commended by their Father in Heaven. However, in our own zeal for what is right, caution must be taken not to pull the facts of divine revelation from their holy context to create binding parallels that can only be deduced as a result of strained analogies such narratives never intended.

By Frederick Meekins

Saturday, January 21

The Superiority Of Theism Part 4: Precarious Exacting Complexity

Once the more-thoroughgoing theist establishes the need for a God to get the universe rolling, the conclusions of the teleological argument should be introduced. The argument contends that God not only set the universe in motion but also designed the cosmos in such a way that on average its systems and components function with a degree of efficiently not statistically likely if reality was the product of random chance. Known more commonly as the design argument, the Teleological Proof can be stated formally in the following manner: "1. Every design has a designer. 2. The universe has a highly complex design. 3. Therefore the universe had a Designer (95)."

This complexity is evident in the environment in which we find ourselves as well as within ourselves and the creatures we share this environment with as biological organisms. Despite pride in his accomplishments that can veer into arrogance if not kept in check, man is ultimately a delicate creature that can exist only within a narrow continuum of conditions and thrive along only an even smaller range along that scale. The idea that the world was specifically suited so that me might even be able live in such an environment is known as the Anthropic Principle.

In The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, the elder demon Screwtape in dispensing advice to his nephew Wormwood on how to delude his human charge counsels the young devil to dupe his victim into perceiving the ordinariness of the world around him and to avoid using real science. Such knowledge could very easily end up encouraging the lost soul into embracing the Christian faith (110).

The first Anthropic Constant examined by Geisler and Turek is that of oxygen level. Contrary to what is probably popularly believed, though it is what our lungs primarily extract for the purposes of respiration when we breath, the Earth’s atmosphere is only 21% oxygen. If the percentage was a mere four points higher, fires would erupt spontaneously; and if a mere six points lower, human beings would suffocate (98).

To our perceptions, the world seems as broad as the horizon. However, we actually live in a manner not all that different than a fish in a bowl or upon “spaceship earth” as Ray Bradbury termed the globe we travel upon as we careen through space. For the content of the atmosphere is but only one of the constants that must be relatively precise for both life and advanced civilization to exist upon this planet as we know them. Though they are often invoked to frighten the population into embracing policies resting more on assumptions rather than definitive experimental conclusions, the concepts of nuclear winter and global warming help us better comprehend the consequences if the nature of the world were even slightly different.

According to the theory of nuclear winter, the Earth's temperatures would significantly decrease following a nuclear exchange since so much debris would be hurled into the atmosphere. Thus, another Anthropic Constant is atmospheric transparency. Geisler and Turek point out that, if the atmosphere was less transparent, not enough solar radiation would reach the earth as this warmth would be reflected back into space. However, if the atmosphere was more transparent, too much solar radiation would make it through, heating things to a level deleterious to life here now as well as bombard us with assorted dangerous forms of energy.

Yet another Anthropic Constant the average person seldom gives thought to is that of the carbon dioxide level. As anyone that follows news and politics knows, former Vice President Al Gore has accumulated a fortune for himself since leaving office warning of the dangers theoretically associated with the gas.

It is conjectured that, should too much carbon dioxide accumulate in the atmosphere, excess heat would not be able to radiate back into space, causing all life on the planet to burn up. But before one goes too far and long for the abolition of all manmade and naturally occurring carbon dioxide, if there was not enough carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, too much heat world flow back into space without enough being retained to sustain life.

Even if the majesty and precision of the world in which we find ourselves is not enough to melt the coldness of the atheist's heart, perhaps their awe for the human creature the humanists among their number are so enamored with may move them to reconsider their hostility towards the Creator. The unbeliever needs to be confronted with nothing less than life itself.

When we gaze out across the vast domains of biology, one of the first things that strikes the thinking individual is the vast variety of life ranging from the tiniest of viruses and bacteria all the way to the most gigantic of whales. In considering the attributes and abilities of each, it is easy to think of some as simple and others as complex. For no matter how much radical zoological egalitarians might want to convince otherwise, there is a vast difference in scope and scale between what the cold virus and a human being are capable of doing.

Since relativism is a beloved philosophy of those that think the universe came about through a hodge-podge, helter-skelter process, it must be pointed out that the categorization of something as a “simple life form” is in reality nothing of the sort. For even the tiniest of microbes and even the most miniscule components that make up our own bodies (both single cells) consist of a complexity that baffles the human imagination that even the most intelligent of scientists are yet to replicate them.

The so-called building block of life is deoxyribonucleic acid, known more commonly as DNA. Of these molecules, Geisler and Turek write, “DNA has a helical structure that looks like a twisted ladder. The sides of the ladder are formed by alternating deoxyribose and phosphate molecules, and the rungs of the ladder consist of a specific order of four nitrogen bases (116)."

However, there is more to this compound than simply being the atomic concrete upon which our scaffolding rests. Contained within the connected nitrogen bases is the genetic blueprint for the particular life form under consideration. Even for an organism as "lowly" as the single-celled amoeba, it is estimated that the information contained within it is the equivalent of 1,000 sets of the Encyclopedia Britannica (116). As Geisler and Turek point out, “For Darwinists...then life can be nothing more than chemicals. Life contains a message --- DNA --- that is expressed in chemicals...but those chemicals cannot cause the message anymore than the chemicals in ink and paper can cause the sentence on this page (122).”

Philosophical atheism must not only account for the so-called “simple” cell whose ironically named “genesis” still befuddles mankind’s brightest intellectuals but rather also the more “complex” such as primates, ungulates and cetaceans. This they do through the process that has come to be referred to as evolution.

According to atheistic naturalists, the plethora of life forms in the world today can be traced back to those early amino acid strains and bacteria. These primitive organisms began to accumulate adaptations through interactions with their environment that were passed on largely by the process of natural selection. By natural selection, organisms with the changes granting them an advantage over their less fortuitous counterparts were the ones most likely to reproduce. Eventually, so many mutations and variations would accumulate that various phyla, kingdoms, and species would diverge from biology's original trunk and even the assorted branches of this theoretical "tree of life" (to borrow a term ironically Biblical in its origins).

As evidence for their theory, evolutionists often point to a number of observable changes that seem to indicate that change in organisms is indeed possible over time. For example, any one that has followed medical news over the past few years knows of the dangers of misusing antibiotics in that drug resistant strains of bacteria can result.

In response to this, proponents of creationism will grant that microevolution can occur within a species that can result in an organism's varying characteristics. However, what one ends up with is simply a bacteria with a characteristic that one could argue was already inherent in a certain number of microbes to begin with. Addressing such a reality, Geisler and Turek write, "Unfortunately for Darwinists, genetic limits seem to be built into basic types...Likewise, despite the best efforts of intelligent scientists to manipulate fruit flies, their experiments have never turned out anything but more fruit flies (and usually crippled ones at that) (142)."

by Frederick Meekins

Bibliography: Norman Geisler and Frank Turek. “I Don't Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist.”

Monday, January 16

Congregation Pitches Tent Towards Gomorrah Instead Of Heavenly Jerusalem

Calvary Baptist Church in Washington DC has selected a “married” lesbian couple to co-pastor the congregation.

Yet this is not the first time this particular church has deliberately violated with enthusiastic forethought what has traditionally been categorized as the theology of the body..

In 2014, the congregation appointed an interim pastor that was transgender, apparently to lead the church from bad to worse.

In defense of surrendering the congregation's pulpit to a transgendered pastor, the chair of the Calvary Baptist personnel committee told the Associate Baptist Press, “Quite simply, this is who we --- Calvary Baptist Church, specifically, and Christians more generally --- are called to be a place that reflects God's love and recognizes, affirms, and nurtures God's call in each of our lives.”

By such a statement, the reader is to assume that whatever warped inclinations an individual might feel are to be understood as the divine calling in our lives.

So if a pastor expressed a desire to and actually touched buxom teen girls inappropriately, does that mean that a church is obligated to celebrate such a ministerial candidate by granting the individual a position of leadership?

The advocates of progressivism will respond but the pedophile psychologically damages the underaged minor.

But what do you think “Pastor” Robinson is doing to his own children since he did not spring his desire to live in this manner on anyone until after becoming a father?

For now, it seems his wife is standing by him.

But will she continue to do so once his distinctively male appendage is hacked off like a whithered garden weed?

What those falling over the edge of rank apostasy and the vilest manifestations of paganism really mean when they invoke terms like “love”, “affirmation” and “nurturing” is that they will only support those plunging along with them into the depths of libertinism and licentiousness.

For would this sort of “church” stand by someone that admitted to uttering the “N-word” under their breath some thirty years ago?

Better yet, as a more revealing test of their sincerity, perhaps this congregation should welcome into its pulpit a fire and brimstone pastor that would expose these kinds of sheol-spawned delusions for what they really are.

By Frederick Meekins

Thursday, January 12

Baptist Functionary Sides Against Common Christians In Christmas War

In “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis, one of the deprivations the White Witch imposed upon Narnia was that, under her rule, it was always winter but never Christmas. Through this literary device, Lewis was able to emphasize how the profound truths of existence are often reflected and even pointed to by the simplest pleasures of life.

It is ashame Southern Baptist cultural functionary Russell Moore has failed to grasp this particular axiom. In what amounts to a column posted at his website titled “Is There A 'War' On Christmas?” (the word “War” placed in quotations to no doubt undermine the seriousness of this concern), this particular theologian astutely analyzes and exegetes the seriousness of Christmas as the celebration of God incarnating in human form and how the flippancy in which that mystery is often approached is itself a symptom of the degree to which Western civilization has strayed from the straight and narrow.

However, Dr. Moore doesn't seem to grasp that these incidental slights that Moore seems to dismiss also point to the degree to which the culture has been deChristianized. For example, Moore writes, “But the huffing and puffing that we tend to do when marketers don't get our Christian commitments is, I think, a little bit off base.” Moore goes on to conclude, “...when we think about this war on Christmas, we shouldn't turn this into a fight for our right to party...And we need to remember that the darkness isn't overcome by sarcasm, or personal offense, or retaliatory insults, or boycotts of Wal-Mart or whatever it is.”

As part of his public persona, Russell Moore has positioned or branded himself as a minister sensitive to the concerns of particular favored aggrieved constituencies . For example, Dr. Moore serves as a token Anglo on the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and has released public statements that just about blame White people for the upheaval perpetrated during Black Lives Matter protests rather than the rampaging activists themselves.

These days linguistic tensions are so taunt with many of those in the majoritarian demographic walking around on egg shells for fear of a misconstrued verbal inflection resulting in a lost job or even threats of physical retaliation. As an historical reference one only need recall the outcry over Ross Perot's articulation of the phrase “You people”.

Therefore, if Christians in general and Evangelicals in particular see those in positions of leadership that don't mind instructing we mere dimwits of the congregation how we are to be in submission to them and to follow their example getting worked up into a froth over things considerable removed from the average American's daily purview of concern, why shouldn't it be expected for people to react vocally for the small yet existentially substantial things that they actually care about. For example, if we are expected to get worked up over someone manhandled by the police that deliberately decided to disobey la enforcement's perfectly justifiable instructions, shouldn't professional religionists such as Dr. Moore ought to express a little more sympathy for the common Christian feeling insulted that the holiday displays at the local mall or “big box retailer” don't seem sufficiently Christmasy?

Dr. Moore further observes, “...I think we need to keep in mind most of these issues that we take offense at are done by corporations ...[that] are trying to sell products. They are really not trying to offend constituencies...That's not good economics at all for anybody.”

Would Rev. Moore as dismissively let the actions of government he found questionable slide by without comment? After all, one of the purposes of bureaucracy (which it somehow never seems to achieve by the way) is to as efficiently as possible weigh, process, and prioritize the interests of the numerous factions that constitute an incomprehensibly complex technologically advanced society.

For example, if the average believer is to be persuaded that merchants harbor no nefarious intent by instructing that the greeting “Happy Holidays” be articulated rather than “Merry Christmas”, why shouldn't we believe that the misunderstanding is as simple in regards to something that the professional religionists might care about such as the effort to eliminate the tax exemption of the clergy housing allowance? It might, after all, merely be an attempt to raise revenue rather than as part of an orchestrated conspiracy to shackle ministers by undermining their freedom of religious expression to speak out on issues of moral importance (though it is never explained how authors and journalists are not similarly hindered by not being extended the same protection in the tax code).

Moore further observes, “...many, especially in the culture-making ...sectors in American life, see Christmas kind of in the same way that most Americans see Hanukkah. One knows about [it]...[But] They don't know the background story.” As such, Moore suggests that, instead of getting angry, we ought to instead teach those around us about the miracle of the incarnation and the blood atonement.

Always a good idea. But if these things aren't being taught, whose fault is that?

Perhaps the average pewfiller zooms in on retail establishments that blatantly thumb their noses at what Dr. Moore seems to dismiss as holiday trivialities rather than those that might appropriate the veneer of the devotional in pursuit of more trivial ends because deep down these believers have might have an inclination that something is askew but cannot hone in on something more specific. Many times they have not been taught much better than their secular non-churchgoing counterparts.

For example, as someone on the Southern Baptist payroll, does Russell Moore spend much time emphasizing and teaching what C.S. Lewis categorized as “Mere Christianity”? For it seems for much of the past year or so the theologian has spent an inordinate amount of time bashing Christians that got behind the Trump candidacy because, despite his faults, Trump was about the only presidential contender willing to admit that drastic action needed to be taken at the boarder.

Some might respond that it is not the place of a pastor or minister to co-opt the sanctified solemnity of the pulpit or even the clerical collar to wallow in the banalities of political affairs. However, that has not prevented Russell Moore and those of a similar mindset infiltrating the Southern Baptist Convention from speaking out on issues regarding immigration and related minority concerns.

These exegetical activists insist Scripture is inherently pro-immigrant as evidenced by the protections extended to the strangers dwelling in the midst of Israel. Yet seldom do these homilists point out that these outsiders were also compelled to live in respect of Israel's culture and the importance both the Old and New Testaments place upon abiding by the duly constituted laws of the nation's in which one happens to reside.

Dear reader, don't fall for the delusion that what Russell Moore and allied malcontents are simply calling for is the humane treatment of those that have no right or permission to be here as they are escorted from the premises of the United States as part of the deportation process. What they are in fact calling for is the elevation of deadbeats and agitators to a place of superiority over the average taxpaying pewfillers and citizens.

For among a list of ultimatums issued by Evangelical progressives posted on the Huffington Post was one demanding that White Christians DEFER to their counterparts of color. Will there be similar pleas from the authors published by that font of leftwing propaganda for protesters to DEFER to the instructions articulated by law enforcement during roadside encounters or to the rulings handed down by the judicial system? So much for assessing individual by the content of their character rather than by the color of their skin.

Given the nature of the public pronouncements that he has become increasingly known for, it would be easy to assume that Russell Moore is transitioning from being a minster of the Gospel to something more of a COMMUNITY organizer not all that different than Barack Obama in his early days. Perhaps the best thing any Christian might do next holiday season is to direct their charitable dollars towards institutions other than those affiliated with Moore's wing of the Southern Baptist Convention.

By Frederick Meekins

Tuesday, January 10

The Superiority Of Theism Part 3: Unbelief's Defiance Of Common Sense

According to Geisler and Turek, a number of scientific discoveries come down on the side of the cosmological proof rather than the steady state hypothesis. To assist in remembering what these are, the authors have provided the acronym SURGE.

“S” stands for the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The Laws of Thermodynamics stipulate that, within the universe, there is only a finite amount of energy and that over time this energy is dissipated into disorder or entropy.

From this, both the scientist and the theologian must come to similar conclusions. If there is only a finite amount of energy in the universe, by definition there had to have been some kind of starting point or things would have already reached maximum entropy in ages past. Yet we find that we are still here.

This alone is enough to cause the Steady State house of cards to come crashing down. However, from the remainder of their acronym, Geisler and Turek provide the apologist with additional lines of scientific evidence attesting to a moment of creation.

The letter “U” stands for universal expansion. In 1920, Astronomer Edwin Hubble deduced from the red shift in light that the universe is expanding outward from one particular point.

Traditionally, those embracing the idea of God creating the universe have held the notion of the Big Bang at arm’s length. The concept must be handled with caution because if one is not careful one can end up with a less than Biblical cosmology where matter is as eternally existent as God and not dependent upon Him for its existence. However, the expansion of the universe is itself a confirmation of the laws of thermodynamics as it points to a definitive point of creation because, if the cosmos was infinitely old, the universe would have collapsed back on itself by now.

The “R” in SURGE stands for “radiation” from the Big Bang. Discovered in 1965 by Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson, cosmic background radiation was left over from the moment of creation and has not yet dissipated (81).

Yet another aspect of the cosmic background radiation attesting to a deliberate intelligence at work in the universe is the concept of “galactic seeds”, which serve as the “G” in SURGE. According to the theory of cosmic background radiation, this energy signature would not be uniform across the backdrop of space but instead be scattered about in concentrated pockets.

Geisler and Turek write, “These temperature ripples enabled matter to congregate by gravitational attraction into galaxies (82).” These seeds themselves attest to deliberation, as Geisler and Turek further elaborate, “The ripples show that...the universe was precisely tweaked to cause just enough matter to congregate to allow galaxy formation but not enough to cause the universe to collapse back on itself (83)."

The "E" in SURGE stands for Einstein's Theory of General Relativity. According to Geisler and Turek, the theory posits a need for an absolute beginning for space, time and matter since these are interdependent with one not being able to exist without the others. It was because of the theory of relativity that scientists were able to discover the expanding universe, cosmic background radiation and galactic seeds (84).

Despite the marvels of nature, a number of those most familiar with its technicalities and implications continue on in their unbelief. For example, some such as Robert Atkins attempt to evade the matter of how matter came about. In his “Creation Revisited”, Atkins postulated origins derived from mathematical points swirling about in nothingness which Ravi Zacharias pointed out to him after a debate moderated by William F. Buckley were actually something (80).

Others such as Robert Jastrow admit, "Astronomers now find they have painted themselves into a corner because they have proved by their own methods that the world began abruptly in an act of creation...That there are what I or anyone would call supernatural forces at work is now, I think, a scientifically proven fact." Yet according to Geisler, these minds continue on in their agnosticism despite the evidence. Hence the name of Giesler's book “I Don't Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist”.

The theist might be ready to let his guard down to rest thinking a decisive victory has been scored in the apologetic encounter. However, the battle is far from over.

For while the cosmological argument brings the unbeliever into a more theistic orbit, it hardly brings him to the embrace of a creator that cares about His creation or even relates to it on a personal level. The reluctant theist might even attempt to save face by countering that, even if some force or entity we have come to refer to as God set the universe in motion, what we see around us including ourselves is the result of random chance and deterministic consequences spanning back millennia.

By Frederick Meekins

Bibliography: Norman Geisler and Frank Turek. “I Don't Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist.”

Monday, January 2

The Superiority Of Theism Part 2: The Refutation Of Unbelief

Portraying themselves as erudite and sophisticated, the the co-called "cultured despisers of religion" attempt to trip up Christianity right out of the starting gate. Fortunately, Geisler and Turek provide the equivalent of intellectual judo in the form of a number of easily-mastered tactics that can deflect and even redirect the attacks of even the most degreed skeptics.

Foremost among these is the Road Runner Tactic. Named after the famous Looney Tune character, the Road Runner Tactic shows that often the loftiest of notions upheld in secular academia provide no solid ground to stand on, bringing to mind the scenes where Wiley Coyote went over the cliff in these animated adventures because these ideas have the ground pulled out from under them as a result of being self-defeating and self-referentially incoherent (39).

For example, entire academic specialties base their justification for existence (and thus funding) on the assertion that "There are no absolutes". By this, a variety of intellectuals ranging from anthropologists to philosophers to literary theorists contend that no standard exists above or apart from the culture in which it is utilized and as such cannot be used to judge another society.

However, this is itself formulated as an absolute applicable in all circumstances. If one holds to the position in all situations, one has by definition refuted the position by inadvertently holding that absolutes do exist. And if this one can exist, why cannot others be discovered as the mind propositionally, existentially, and experimentally struggles to comprehend the inner and outer universes?

As one gazes outward from the self, among the first things one discovers is that something as a totality exists. And as with most issues in this contentious era in which we live, two philosophical divisions have formed regarding explanations how the things around us originally came to be.

A number of the foremost thinkers of Greek philosophy and the scribes of Hebrew revelation contend that the world and everything we see in it was ultimately caused by something from beyond that was complete in itself. Known as the cosmological argument, the justification for its conclusion can be stated in the following manner: “(1) Everything that had a beginning had a cause. (2) The universe had a beginning. (3) Therefore, the universe had a cause (75).”

In the early modern period before the development of a level of science and technology sophisticated enough to probe the very composition of the universe itself, philosophical counterparts to the traditional theistic conclusions arose. For example, opponents of the cosmological argument retorted that the conclusions calling for an “unmoved mover” were merely that of a personal preference and that an infinite regress backwards into eternity past was just as rationally valid as that of a moment of creation. Advocates of this position named it the “Steady State Theory” as it contends, as Carl Sagan would put it, that the universe is all there is, was, or ever will be.

While both the traditional cosmological argument with its starting point and the steady state theory with its assertion that things now are pretty much as they have always been might be coherent with the assumptions of those expounding them, the validity of each as a mental construct must be determined by how well they fit with the evidence at hand. With the advance of empirical science, one theory at this time clearly pulls ahead in terms of common sense and rational consistency.

By Frederick Meekins

Bibliography:

Norman Geisler and Frank Turek. “I Don't Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist.”