The Summit Lecture Series: I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist, part 3 with Frank Turek

The Summit Lecture Series: I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist, part 3 with Frank Turek January 27, 2015

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When you look at a biological entity, it doesn’t say “Made by Yahweh” on there. Neither does it say “Evolved from the first single-cell creature without intelligent intervention”. An interpretation needs to be made, and that involves reasoning skills, and that’s what we mean by “philosophy”.

So, don’t buy into this nonsense: “We get all our truth from science”.

In fact, you get some truth from science, but you can’t get all truth from science. And science doesn’t say anything, scientists do.

Another thing you will hear is, “You ought not judge! You ignorant, arrogant Christians. I can’t believe you’re judging! Jesus said, ‘Don’t judge’. STOP JUDGING, YOU HYPOCRITS!”

First of all, logically, this claim is itself a judgment and therefore self-defeating.

Secondly, everybody makes judgments. Jesus actually said in Matthew 7:

“Judge not, lest you be judged. By the same standard you judge others, you will be judged by that standard. So, before you try to take the speck out of your brother’s eyes, take the log out of your own eye first. Then you’ll be better able to help your brother.”

Is Jesus telling us not to judge?

No. He’s actually telling us to judge. He’s telling us to take the speck out of our brother’s eye. That involves making a judgment. He’s simply saying, “Get that problem out of your life first so that you can better help your brother.” So, this is not a command to not judge, it is a command on how to judge. In other words, if you’ve got that problem in your life, get it out of your life first. Don’t by a hypocrite.

But it would be complete suicide to say “Don’t make judgments”. In fact, everybody makes judgments: Christians, Muslims, Atheists… everyone. The only question is: Are your judgments true?

In John 7:24, Jesus says:

Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment.

Now, Jesus did however say a very strong rebuke for people who were judgmental: the Pharisees, Sadducees and other religious and political leaders of Israel of His time. Jesus went after them! So, to anyone who doubts whether or not Jesus got involved in politics: YES, yes He did. And sometimes, He wasn’t so nice doing it. If you think Jesus was “Mr. Nice Guy” all the time, you need to read Matthew 23.:

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24 You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel…

…You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness…

…You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are…

33 “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?”

What? Sweet and gentle Jesus said this?

Jesus was not Barney (can’t we all just get along, boys and girls?). NO! He was not Mr. Rogers (can you say “kindness”, boys and girls?). NO, He was tough!

Sometimes, He was soft and sweet. Other times, He was direct and in your face. In fact, we also need to know when to be soft and sweet and when to be direct. There may even be somebody in your life who needs somebody else to slap them upside their head, right? And if you don’t do it, you’re enabling them. Of course, you may be that person, too. Perhaps somebody needs to slap you upside your head, like Jesus did to the Pharisees.

You see, Jesus made judgments without being judgmental. He got the facts first, and then acted and that’s what we need to do.

So, when we look at the “Four Questions that Must Be Answered”, number one was: Does truth exist?

It’s self-defeating to say that it doesn’t. It doesn’t matter if someone is a Christian, an Atheist, and Agnostic, or whatever – if they make a truth claim, or simply points out that something is true, they prove that truth does exist. In other words, the Bible could be true, or someone could say that a book on Atheism could be true (either way, the two opposite camps declare that truth does exist).

This is where we part ways and ask the next question:

The second is: Does God exist?

I have three major arguments for the existence of a Theistic God. A Theistic God is a God that is beyond the world, who created the world, and sustains the world.

A Theistic God is like a painter is to a painting. Michelangelo painted the painting. His attributes are expressed in the painting, but Michelangelo is not the painting.

There actually is a worldview that believes that the painting and the painter are the same – that everything and everyone is god. It’s called Pantheism. We see an example of this in “The Force” in the Star Wars movies.

But, in the Bible, where it says that we are made in the image of God, it doesn’t mean that we look like God, since God is an immaterial being. But it does mean that you are a person like God: you have a mind, emotion, and a will. God’s attributes are expressed in you, but He is not you.

So, the first of the three great arguments for God’s existence is the Cosmological argument – if the universe had a beginning, it must have had a Beginner.

The second argument is Teleological – if the there is a design in the universe and a design in life, then there must be a Designer.

The third argument is not scientific like the other two, but more philosophical in its nature. We’ve all known it since we were very small children. It’s the Moral argument, which says that if there is one thing morally wrong out in the world (i.e., it’s morally wrong to torture babies for fun; or it’s wrong to murder 6 million Jews during the Holocaust) then there has to be a God. Because if there is not God, then what is right or wrong is just a matter of one person’s opinion over another, if there is no standard above humanity. Everything would be relative when it comes to morality if God does not exist.

But, He is the unchangeable standard!

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