People don’t have to abandon reason and intellect to be a Christian. I’ve always believed that, but last weekend I listened to a lot of people much smarter than me who believe that too. The National Conference on Christian Apologetics not only reinforced my beliefs, it also armed me with hard facts to stand on.
The dozen plus workshops and sessions I attended over the course of two days were jam packed with relevant information to help every Christian defend their faith. There is no way I can share it all with you here. But, I do want to touch on some of the highlights that impressed me the most and share a few resources you would probably find helpful.
There are three main arguments believers can use to reason that God exists. The first is the “cosmological.” Because our universe has been expanding and continues to expand, most scientists now agree that it had a beginning. It did not always exist. And if the universe had a beginning, then there must be a “Beginner.” If there is an effect, then there has to be a cause. Even if someone believes in Darwinian evolution he cannot explain where the primordial ooze came from.
The second big argument we have on our side is “teleological.” The extreme precision and fine-tuned intricacies of the created order could not have happened by chance. For instance, the genetic information in our DNA is more advanced than any software ever invented. Dr. William Lane Craig waxed more eloquently about the complexities of cells than I could understand. But I got the overall point: The nature of our universe demands a super-intelligent designer.
One of today’s biggest obstacles against a Christian worldview is the prevalence of the erroneous belief that truth and morality is relative. But Frank Turek, founder of CrossExamined.org, easily argued for the absolute existence of absolute truth and for the One who established it. In the workshop I attended, Turek laid out several different means to show that truth must exist. However, here are a few statements I find particularly poignant.
* The existence of moral principles is undeniable. We know it better by people’s reactions than their actions. Just try to cut in front of someone in line or steal his car. He will immediately claim there is a right and wrong.
*If there is no standard beyond humanity for morality and truth then we can’t say anything is objectively wrong. For instance, whether or not the Holocaust was wrong would just be my opinion against Hitler’s opinion. (And we all know the Holocaust was wrong.)
*If there is any objective morality then there has to be a moral lawgiver. Every law has a lawgiver.
I came away from the conference both encouraged and challenged. Encouraged that my faith is reasonable and intelligent. Challenged to arm myself, my family, and my church with the tools to defend my faith in today’s cultural arena. If you’re interested in learning more, here a few books I plan to spend some time reading:
Life After Death, by Dinesh D’Souza
Resurrection, by Hank Hanegraff
I Don’t have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, by Frank Turek
20 Compelling Evidences that God Exists, by Ken Boa
“O” God: A Dialogue on Truth and Oprah’s Spirituality, by Dave Sterrett (I actually read this one on the plane ride home. It’s a quick read and will open your eyes to the dangers of Oprah’s brand of spirituality.