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The Most Famous Debate on the Existence of God

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On January 28, 1948, the BBC brought together two of the century's brightest minds for a radio debate about the existence of God. To be sure, the debaters were not just lightweight showboats, blowing off steam. The two men represented the cream of the intellectual crop. Bertrand Russell was a renowned British philosopher, mathematician, historian, and perhaps the world's leading atheist at the time. He authored many skeptical essays and books, including the collection still popular today, Why... Read More

Would God Create Perfect Creatures? – A Christian/Atheist Dialogue

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EDITOR'S NOTE: Today we share a conversation between Randal Rauser and Justin Schieber. Randal is a Christian author, apologist, and professor of theology at Taylor Seminary (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada). Justin is the founder and host of Real Atheology, a popular atheist Youtube channel, and he's the former cohost of the Reasonable Doubts Radio Show and Podcast. Together, the two just released a book-length dialogue titled An Atheist and a Christian Walk into a Bar: Talking about God,... Read More

Sean Carroll’s “Ten Considerations” for Naturalists

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This is the final post in our long series exploring physicist Sean Carroll's new book, The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself (Dutton, 2016). In the book's penultimate chapter, which in my view is the book's strangest, Carroll offers an alternative to the Bible's Ten Commandments, what he calls his "Ten Considerations." They read like a mushy collection of Oprah-isms: Life isn't forever. Desire is built into life. What matters is what matters to people. We... Read More

The Power and Danger of Bayes’ Theorem

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I've noted many flaws and points of confusion in Sean Carroll's new book, The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself (Dutton, 2016), but one of the strongest sections is its explanation of Bayes' Theorem. The Theorem is a quantitive way to express confidence in certain beliefs. It requires assigning credences (or probabilities) to events or statements, and then tweaking them based on new information. For example, suppose you're wondering whether a randomly... Read More

Why Wouldn’t God Perform More Miracles?

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If God is a God of miracles as theists claim, then why doesn’t he perform more to stop evil? I must admit this is one question I’ve wrestled with in solidarity with my atheist friends. My initial response is to recall the words of the prophet Isaiah: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the LORD” (Is. 55:8). While I acknowledge this as true, it leaves me dissatisfied. As a Christian I believe, with St. Paul, that God “works for good with... Read More

The Ultimate Jeopardy Question

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“Why is there something rather than nothing?” In The Grand Design (2010), Stephen Hawking made headlines by denying the need for God to get matter to jump into being; the law of gravity was enough to do it. Then, Lawrence Krauss created a Youtube sensation and book called, A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing (2012), that made the same case, including an afterward by Richard Dawkins who heralded it as a death blow to the last proof for the existence of... Read More

How to Prove that God Doesn’t Exist

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There are a couple things I can appreciate about the “Who designed the Designer?” argument. Although it is rooted in a caricature of the kalam cosmological argument’s first premise ("Whatever begins to exist has a cause"), it is a positive argument for atheism, and it does attempt to deal with the God hypothesis in the only arena where God’s existence may be decisively confirmed or refuted: the arena of philosophy. The God defended by Christian theists is a transcendent,... Read More

Proofs of God: An Interview with Dr. Matthew Levering

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In his newest book, Proofs of God: Classical Arguments from Tertullian to Barth (Baker Academic, 2016), leading theologian Matthew Levering presents a thoroughgoing critical survey of the proofs of God's existence for readers interested in traditional Christian responses to the problem of atheism. Beginning with Tertullian and ending with Karl Barth, Levering covers twenty-one theologians and philosophers from the early church to the modern period, examining how they answered the critics... Read More

What Constitutes a Miracle?

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Miracle

After reading some exchanges on Facebook that were inspired by my recent blog post concerning miracles, it became clear I need to explain exactly what a miracle is. A miracle is defined as an extraordinary sensible effect wrought by God that surpasses the power and order of created nature. That’s a mouthful, so let’s unpack it. There are five aspects to the definition. Aspect #1: Exclusively attributable to divine power Only God can be the cause of a miracle. This excludes any sort... Read More

The “3:10 to Yuma” Proof of God

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“Yeah, that's why I don't mess around with doing anything good, Dan. You do one good deed for somebody...I imagine it's habit-forming. Something decent. See that grateful look in their eyes, imagine it makes you feel like Christ Hisself.” – Ben Wade “Virtue is not an act, but a disposition (a habit).” –Aristotle   Catholic philosopher Peter Kreeft famously describes the “Bach argument for the existence of God,” wherein God’s existence is clearly posited by a) the... Read More

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