Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Starting anew

I have started a new English language blog. Two reasons: 1. wordpress.com gives more options, 2. I want an English language blog devoted to apologetics and a title to match it. From now on you can find me at Apologia Christi in addition to my Dutch language blog De Apologeet.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

The dead-end of the evolution debate

This year marks the 200th birthday of Darwin. Various publications and a lot of attention in the media remind us of this important fact. Darwin was the one who finally allowed atheists to deal a death blow to the God of Christianity. The evolution theory was to provide an explanation for the existence of life on earth. God's final straw was taken from him. Bye, bye, God.

The evolution debate is marked by a lot of confusion. Evolution is supposed to be a scientific fact. Evolution and big-bang cosmology are confused with each other as are young earth and old earth creationists and micro and macro-evolution. When you do not believe in a literal six day creation, you reject the divine inspiration of Genesis, etc., etc.

The worst misunderstanding that is popular among proponents as well as opponents of the evolution theory is the implicit idea that where the evolution theory seems to gain ground automatically the existence of God becomes less plausible.

This debate is likely to continue for some time. The evolution-theory is a scientific theory. Scientific theories and conclusions change. They do not provide a good foundation for binding statements about the existence or non-existence of God. Add to that the fact that a large segment of the scientific community passionately beliefs in the sanctity of a naturalistic world-view and you'll understand that the elimination of God is simply a foregone conclusion.

It is better therefore to resort to classical apologetics which has seen a tremendous revival in the past decades. Classical apologetics is mainly philosophical in nature and thus depends much less on the results of scientific research. Arguments in favor of the existence of God in fact are so strong that even a die-hard atheist like Anthony Flew now acknowledges that God must exist. Listen to the arguments of people like William Lane Craig and Alvin Plantinga and realize that we find atheism dangling dangerously on the last straw that was reserved for God. Bye, bye, atheism.

Even if it would be proven ten times over that evolution plays a role in the development of the species, it would from a philosophically point of view say nothing about the existence of God. Dutch theologian, biologist and philosopher calls himself a 'cosmological agnost'. I had come to the same conclusion albeit with a less flattery term. As far as I'm concerned, the evolution debate leads to a dead-end when it comes to the real discussion that needs to take place: Does God exist? I take it He does.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Do your own thing?

A few days ago The Los Angeles Times reported on a court ruling in favour of a Christian school in California that expelled two girls who allegedly had an openly lesbian relationship. The lawyer of the two ladies is considering an appeal. According to him the ruling is very worrying because it will allow schools to discriminate against anybody as long as they do so on religious grounds.

Yes, of course, how is it possible that a Christian school could make such an immoral step? Shame on them! Does not every individual have the unalienable right to be himself and express it too? If it wouldn’t sound too biblical this lawyer might even use the word ‘sin’ to decry this school’s practice. Bu no they wouldn’t want to be associated with these Christians.

But wait. Imagine this is not about a lesbian couple, but a pedophile teacher having a relationship with a 13 year old student in his class? Is discrimination then condemned too? Or suppose - this is getting outrageous - there is a group of hard-core naturists who demand to be allowed to go to school naked (California is warm)? Would our lawyer also want to advocate these people’s rights or has he got ‘grounds’ all of a sudden on which he doesn’t want to do so? Are these also religious grounds or are we suddenly talking about objective moral grounds?

Who is really disciminating? The school that doesn’t want to tolerate a lesbian couple in their school based on its moral convictions or the lesbian girls who, based on their sexual preference, disobey the ethical rules of the school? Isn’t it simply one worldview pitched against another?

Just a few rhetorical questions. This is the chaos that we end up in when we don’t any longer hold to an absolute and unchangeable moral standard that has it’s foundation and origin outside of man. Our secular societies try to find a balance between individual self-expression and the common good, but will not succeed.

Good judge there in California. Not because he favors us Christians, but because he uses some basic common sense.

This column was published in Dutch on Habakuk.nu