Saturday, July 27, 2013

WHY ATHEISM FAILS

Let me say at the onset that I harbor no ill will against atheists. I am not sad for them, glad for them, or mad at them.  But as a system of belief, atheism fails.   An atheist may state clear reasons why he feels that a belief in God is not rationally justified, but he can go no further.  He cannot say with certainty that there is no God. For instance, just ask a friendly atheist (don’t bother with the angry ones) the following question: “How much knowledge do you think you possess in view of the sum total of knowledge that presently exists and is constantly growing?" Before he answers, you might remind him of the exponential increase of knowledge in the world in which we live. Just think of new developments and discoveries in the fields of technology and medicine. It has been said that every minute scientists add 2,000 pages to man's scientific knowledge, and the scientific material they produce every 24 hours would take one person five years to read.  That may or may not be true, but I cannot prove it either way.  I did, however, read an interesting article (The Expansion of Ignorance) written by a gentleman named Kevin Kelly (The Technicum) who states:

  Ninety- six percent of all matter and energy in our universe is some unknown variety we call dark." It is clear that “dark” is a euphemism for ignorance.  We really have no idea what the bulk of the universe is made of.  We find a similar state of ignorance if we probe deeply into the cell, the brain, or even the earth.  We don’t know nothin'. Yet it is also clear that we know vastly more about the universe than we did a century ago. This new knowledge has been put to practical use in such consumer goods as GPS and iPods, and a steady increase in our own life spans. Our beneficial progress in knowledge comes from tools and technology. Telescopes, microscopes, fluoroscopes,  oscilloscopes, for instance, allow us to see in new ways, and when we look with new tools, we suddenly win many new answers. Yet the paradox of science is that every answer breeds at least two new questions.  More answers, more questions. Telescopes and microscopes expanded not only what we knew, but what we didn’t know (emphasis mine). They allowed us to spy into our ignorance. New and better tools permit us new and better questions …. Thus even though our knowledge is expanding exponentially, our questions are expanding exponentially faster.”
The bottom line according to Kelly is this: “ In other words, science is a method that chiefly expands our ignorance rather than our knowledge.”  I believe Kelly is being forthright.  All men are extremely limited in knowledge, even the brightest of men.  Back to the question to the friendly atheist I mentioned earlier:  If he were to put any kind of percentage  on the amount of knowledge he thinks he possesses in consideration of all the knowledge that exists and is exponentially growing, he would only be demonstrating his ignorance and pride.  So the next question I would ask is this: Since you admit that you know practically nothing in view of all the things which can be known, do you think it is possible that somewhere in the vast amount of things you do not know, evidence for God might truly exist?   To confuse the matter, some atheists will attempt to redefine the definition of atheism to mean someone who doesn’t argue for the non-existence of God, but someone who is simply not a theist. But this doesn’t work.  As philosopher William Lane Craig has said, “If atheism is taken to be a view, namely the view that there is no God, then atheists must shoulder their share of the burden of proof to support this view.”  Genesis Chapters 1 and 2 are still the best explanation of why man exists and why he has the mental and spiritual capacity to even contemplate and discuss matters such as this. “The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God'" (Psalm 14:1,NKJV).

Pastor Tom

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

GOD'S SPECIAL TREASURES

I can say with all sincerity that my greatest joy is in knowing Christ as my Savior and Lord.  It is something that far exceeds any earthly pleasure.  Sometimes when I am down about something I find great consolation in my status as a child of God.  I think of how much I love my daughter and would do most anything for her, but my love for her is weak in comparison to my heavenly Father's love for me.  My love is human and finite; God’s love is Divine and infinite.  And I am even more blessed when I read in the Scripture that God takes special delight in those who delight in Him: The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy” (Psalm 147:11).

When God delights in His children He often has a special plan or blessing in store for them. This was the case in the days when Malachi the Prophet penned the last book of the Old Testament.  It was written after the construction of the Second Temple, a time when spiritual decline was evident in the camp of God’s people. Many had once again turned away from God,  so Malachi came as God’s messenger to prick their conscience and call them to repentance. The root of the problem is given in Chapter 1 and verse 6, which says, “A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the Lord of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?”   What stands out is to me is God’s interrogatory statement, “Where is my fear?” The priests and leaders had become corrupt, yet there was a community of men and women who did fear the Lord. When you get to Chapter 3, the division between the unrighteous grumblers and the godly becomes very apparent.  Because  their motives were all wrong, the grumblers felt that serving God was in vain.   Their heart was in the wrong place. Their delight was in earthly things of no lasting value. However, the godly folks feared the Lord and spoke often to one another (about God), and meditated upon his name (3:16). In other words, they took delight in heavenly things. Their joy was in thinking upon the beauty and goodness of the Lord.  This is what they treasured.  What did the Lord do in return? Well, reading further, we see that He put their names in His book of remembrance to honor them in the future and said of them, “They shall be mine… in that day when I make up my jewels" (3:17).  I believe this speaks of the fact that God will regard them as a special treasure, because they treasured Him.   Jesus said, For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Luke 12:34). 

Dear friend, do you delight in God and the things of God?  Do you fear the Lord and honor him as a faithful son would honor his father?  I trust that you do, and I hope that your greatest joy is found in your relationship with Jesus Christ.


Shalom,

Pastor Tom