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Skeptics say that arguments for the existence of God prove very little. Are they right? Do arguments for the existence of God fail because they don’t give us a full picture of God?

Raise your hand if you’ve ever had this experience: You’ve learned a thing or two about the cosmological argument or the design argument. You share it with someone who doesn’t believe in God, and they accept all the premises. But they aren’t moved. They’ll reply with something like:“Even if these arguments work, they don’t prove enough. They show there was a first cause of the universe, or a designer, but that is a far cry from the God of traditional theism.” Or they might say “well, that doesn’t prove that the first cause or designer was Jesus or Yahweh. Try harder.” How do you respond to that? This reply is at least as old as the famous Scottish … Read more

Is God just an imaginary father figure? Sigmund Freud, CS Lewis and the question of wish-fulfillment

“You’re only a Christian because you’re afraid of death!” “You only believe in God because you need a magical sky daddy figure to make you feel better about yourself!” Have you ever heard accusations like these before? If you’ve been on the internet for very long, then I’m sure you have. Skeptics often accuse believers of wishful thinking. For example, here’s the late Christopher Hitchens: “Freud made the obvious point that religion suffered from one incurable deficiency: it was too clearly derived from our own desire to escape from or survive death. The critique of wish-thinking is strong and unanswerable.” To give you a better idea of what Hitchens is referring to here’s the father … Read more

No, Jesus could not have been raised supernaturally by any other being but God.

The argument for the resurrection of Jesus goes like this: Jesus’ disciples sincerely believed he rose from the dead and appeared to them. External evidence and events support their belief: Paul was a church persecutor, and he converted. James was a skeptic and he also became a believer. Plus there are good arguments for the empty tomb. There are no plausible natural explanations. The disciples didn’t hallucinate, and they weren’t deluding themselves. The facts are best explained by a miracle. Usually, the skeptic will either say there’s a better explanation or insist that miracles aren’t possible and simply refuse to look at the evidence. But here’s an odd objection. Skeptics will pick and third way … Read more

No, miracles do not violate the laws of nature. David Hume’s treatise against miracles is one of the most overrated arguments in the history of philosophy

The apostle Paul said that Christianity stands or falls on the claim that Jesus rose from the dead. (1 Corinthians 15:14) Yet for many religious skeptics, any argument made for a miracle is a project doomed from the start. It simply cannot get off the ground. Why is that the case? Enter the famous Scottish philosopher David Hume. In 1748 Hume wrote a short essay called Of Miracles. Hume vigorously argued that one can ever rationally believe a miracle claim because there is always more evidence that one did not occur. Michael Shermer has gone so far to say that “I think his treatise against miracles is pretty much a knockdown argument. Everything else is … Read more

Bart Ehrman says that God has a problem. If we have free will in Heaven, what’s to stop us from sinning in the afterlife? And if God takes away free will in Heaven, then why doesn’t he take it away so we stop doing evil now?

The problem of evil comes up a lot when talking to non-believers. If you haven’t got the question about why an all-good, all-powerful God allows evil, you need to step out more. Why are there suicide bombers, school shooters and people that eat Tide Pods? Why does God allow such pointless evils? The standard Christian rejoinder is that God gave man free will. He doesn’t want Stepford Wives, he wants people who can make free choices. Free will makes love possible, but it also makes evil possible as well. Now that’s not a bad response to the problem of moral evil. There’s a problem, though. Christians are also committed to the idea that the saints … Read more

There are two kinds of skeptics. Jesus demonstrated how to deal with both types.

We can gain knowledge about the subject of Christian apologetics until our eyes bug out of our heads. But knowing how to apply that information in our everyday lives is another animal. And a big part of learning effective communication is knowing our audience. I’m old enough to remember those cheezy WWJD bracelets from the ’90s. I’m sure they decorated the wrist of many a Newsboys concert-goer. They do raise a good question that we’ll apply here. What did Jesus do when faced with doubters? Let’s look at a couple of examples: The open-minded doubter – John the Baptist Yes, even a spiritual stalwart like John the Baptist went through a period of doubt in … Read more

Here are 3 intelligent former atheists who became Christians because of the Moral Argument. Every Christian that is serious about sharing their faith should begin to master this argument today.

There’s a dizzying array of arguments for the existence of God. For a newbie looking to get into apologetics, it can be intimidating trying to figure out where to start. You have the cosmological argument, but it helps if you know something about cosmology, physics and even math. There’s the argument from the origin of life, but now you’re talking about chemistry, DNA, information theory and it can feel overwhelming. There’s the ontological argument, but that requires understanding modal logic and let’s be real here, has anyone in the history of the universe come to faith because of the ontological argument? Sorry, St. Anselm. If you’re looking either for ammo to argue against naturalistic atheism … Read more

Skeptics say “You’re only a Christian because you grew up in America. If you were born in Iran, you’d be a Muslim.” While this is wrong, it should make us think.

“How thoughtful of God to arrange matters so that, wherever you happen to be born, your local religion turns out to be the true one.” Richard Dawkins How are you so sure your faith is the right one? Isn’t religion only a reflection of culture? Some might say that you’re just a Christian as an accident of birth. If you were born in Thailand, you’d be a Buddhist!  If you’ve noticed, Atheists and other skeptics of religion bring this up a lot. As if the same type of reasoning doesn’t apply to them. What’s sauce for the goose… Think about it for a second. In the West, Christianity is predominant. But not completely so. Not … Read more

Looking for God in all the wrong places: Does neuroscience really prove that there is no God?

Note: I wrote this originally like 8 years ago, but I figured it was well worth reviving since this is one of those zombie objections that just keeps coming back.  Recently the  L.A.Times ran an op-ed piece written by two atheists who use neuroscience to show us that God is a human invention. Cutting edge stuff, I know. In recent years scientists specializing in the mind have begun to unravel religion’s “DNA.” They have produced robust theories, backed by empirical evidence (including “imaging” studies of the brain at work), that support the conclusion that it was humans who created God, not the other way around. And the better we understand the science, the closer we can come … Read more

Are you defining faith the same way Richard Dawkins does or the way Jesus does?

There’s this really annoying thing that I see many atheists do. Not to overgeneralize, but I’ve heard it far too often. And it’s that they will persist in defining faith as belief without evidence. Here are some notable examples: “Faith is pretending to know what you don’t know” – Peter Boghossian “Faith is belief without evidence and reason; coincidentally that’s also the definition of delusion.” — Richard Dawkins “Faith is generally nothing more than the permission religious people give one another to believe things strongly without evidence.” – Sam Harris   There’s also this thing annoying thing I see Christians do. And it’s that they’ll basically agree with the atheist. The famous reformer Martin Luther … Read more