Tag Archive apologetics

Can Science Explain Everything?

Reflections on the conversation

Some of my thoughts about this conversation, impressions I would say. Two opposing worldviews. “Can Science explain everything? Can we answer all questions using the scientific method?” This was a very interesting conversation between John Lennox and Peter Atkins.

Is faith in God reasonable?

Both speakers appreciate the scientific method. Both hold to a different worldview. John Lennox is a Christian theist and Peter Atkins believes in atheism. During the conversation, Peter Atkins mentioned a few times that to believe in God is not rational, it is immature. In fact, he went further than this. John Lennox thinks that to believe in God is rational and explained why.

The historicity of the person of Jesus questioned

Peter Atkins at some point even questioned the historicity of the person of Jesus. After John’s response, Peter admitted that he would support the historicity of Jesus at the level of about 80%. That was an interesting moment. Something that is well established historically was seriously questioned.

The origins of the universe and the best explanation

John thought that one strength of the Christian faith is its explanatory capacity and power. Peter thought that science if we would give enough time, would finally be able to explain things that we currently don’t understand very well. The debate focused at that moment on the question of the origins of the universe. Why is there something rather than nothing? There was agreement that the universe had a beginning. John thought that the scientific discoveries in the 1960s were confirming what the Bible was saying already for thousands of years.

Purpose and hope for this life and the life beyond the grave

Both speakers had opposing views about the ultimate purpose of life and life after the grave. Peter said that there is no afterlife, there is no evidence for it. He did say though that for some people faith in God and the hope for life after death may have a therapeutic purpose, it might help some people cope with difficulties.

John thought that there are good reasons to believe in God and the afterlife. He pointed to the historical evidence of the resurrection of Jesus. Peter thought that the explanation is that people were hallucinating. John responded that this was not possible, Jesus appeared many times to the disciples after his bodily resurrection. One time he even appeared at once to 500 people! We also see that people’s lives have changed because of an encounter they had with Jesus. This is enough evidence that points to the reality of God, purpose in life now, and real hope for the afterlife.

Justice for evil done

Furthermore, without the afterlife, justice will not be done for so much evil in the world. For Peter, there is no ultimate purpose. His purpose in life is to study, know and discover the beauty and glory of the universe now. This is it. There is nothing beyond this.

More was said and all can be watched at YouTube, see the link below. It was a meaningful, deep and challenging conversation. Very instructive.

Who is John Lennox and Peter Atkins?

Here some information from the website event: “John Lennox is an Emeritus Fellow of Philosophy of Science & Pure Mathematics at Green Templeton College, and Emeritus Professor of Pure Mathematics at the University of Oxford. John holds that the universe itself and the human rational capacity to study it are two of the great gifts of an intelligent Creator.

Peter Atkins is a Fellow at Lincoln College, and was a Professor of Physical Chemistry, at the University of Oxford until his retirement. Peter believes science is the only route to full understanding of the origin and workings of the universe, arguing against contamination of that understanding by the superstitions of religion.”

This event was live streamed on 31st January 2019

This event was live streamed on YouTube, here is the link

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Christian Apologetics Course at Tyndale

Christian Apologetics Course PA610

Since 2016 every fall semester I am teaching the Christian Apologeitcs course to M.Div students (master of divinity) at Tyndale. It is an international setting, students come from all continetns and from different church backgrounds. This makes the course even more interesting than studying it only in a western country setting. It is an enriching experience.

I personally have studied at Tyndale in 2000-2003. It was a good preparation for both my current student/campus ministry, but also for further accademic studies. There is a practical emphasis in this course. We try to find ways to apply what we learn during the course but also for our future ministries.

Short description of the course

This class is for the Master of Divinity program, but it could be an elective for the Master of Evangelical Theology program. The Christian world view will be related to competing world views, e.g. postmodernism, deism, atheism, naturalism, materialism, pantheism. Also covered are the nature of the relationship of faith and reason and other apologetic issues, such as the problem of evil, the possibility of incarnation, the case for the resurrection.

Here you can find more information about the different programs of the school.

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Responding to World Religions

Christianity and World Religions

Upcoming seminar will be on Islam. Dr. Phil Gottschalk will lead this session. You are welcome October 9th 19:00 hour at trinity church international.

Responding to World Religions at Trinity International Church Directions click here

25 September Drake Williams Introducing the topic on World Religions.

2 October Mike Duffy on Hinduism.

9 October Phil Gottschalk on Islam.

16 October Jim Dahl on Buddhism.

30 October Solomon Dimitriadis on Secularism

 

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Veritas

The very first Veritas debate in Breda!

Veritas Breda

I have been praying with my former IFES colleagues, and especially Gerrit Benschop, for a few years to see a Veritas forum at a Hoge School in The Netherlands. I heart this week that the students in Ichthus Breda were able to make this happen. Here you can find some information about the theme of the evening. We are thankful for all God is doing through the Veritas forums. Christianity is brought to a more central place in the thoughts of students through these events. Very important ministry! Debates on YouTube can be found here

Upcoming Veritas Debates

Middelburg Veritas Forum: senators Roel Kuiper and Joris Backer will debate on the role of religion in politics. Save the date: Thursday 19th February at 20:00 in the Burgerzaal! for more information here

in the name of whom Poster_Middelburg_Feb_2015_-_Web_version

19th February 2015 in Middelburg

 

Veritas Forums

Veritas Forums are events that engage students and faculty in discussions about life’s hardest questions and the modern relevance of Jesus Christ. Information about Veritas debates in The Netherlands have a look hereFor upcoming events in other countries here

While still with IFES I was able to initiate a Veritas team in Middleburg in 2012. Together with my then colleague Gerrit Benschop, national co-ordinator of Veritas in The Netherlands, we gave the first training and guidelines to build the team. For forums in Middleburg have a look here

 

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Middleburg 1st Veritas Forum 2012

veritasmiddelburg

This was the very 1st Veritas forum in Middelburg in 2012. Was well attended with about 100 students and faculty present. God answered prayers!

 

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Apologetics Conference

Apologetics conference coming – May the 30th in The Hague

Area – Is faith reasonable? What about suffering and faith? Is the Bible a reliable set of books or are there more gospels around? Dr. Phil Gottschalk will give a plenary session on faith and reason at the start of the conference. There will be two workshops given right after the first session that participants can attend:

1. Workshop on suffering and faith given by Solomon Dimitriadis

2. Workshop on the lost gospels by pastor Drake Williams 

Facebook event 

Apologetics Conference (1)

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