Free Book Considering Pascal’s Wager

blaise-pascal-with-quoteThe gist of the “Wager” is that, according to Pascal, one cannot come to the knowledge of God’s existence through reason alone, so the wise thing to do is to live your life as if God does exist because such a life has everything to gain and nothing to lose

  • If we live as though God exists, and He does indeed exist, we have gained heaven.
  • If He doesn’t exist, we have lost nothing.
  • If, on the other hand, we live as though God does not exist and He really does exist, we have gained hell and punishment and have lost heaven and bliss.
  • If one weighs the options, clearly the rational choice to live as if God exists is the better of the possible choices.

–One problem: rationally choosing to live in light of God’s [probable] existence is a far cry from repenting of your sins and trusting in the work of Jesus Christ on your behalf by grace through faith. —
Here is a FREE book today on the topic. Click the link below.

Untrumpable: How Betting Against God Is A Fool’s Bet Or What Pascal Should Have Said

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One of the most important questions upon which man will ever be forced to wager is
this: given our uncertainty about the afterlife, so what? In this book, Moore argues that our uncertainty about the afterlife should matter to us greatly, if we are wise. And in order to complete the failed task that Blaise Pascal initiated, the provision of a sound and valid argument about how to wager on the afterlife under uncertainty, Moore argues for and defends the following new argument.

In brief:

1. Foolishness occurs under the following conditions:
(a) when one is aware of a severe threat to his or her most relevant interest,
(b) when one knows how to minimize the risks to such an interest against such a threat and
(c) when, in the face of such a threat-awareness, one flouts his or her risk minimization know-how,
opting to hope solely in luck’s favor.

2.The possibility of a just and severely retributive afterlife counts as a real and severe threat to our most
relevant interests (and it is the only sort of afterlife possibility that does so).

3. Despite our uncertainty about the afterlife, we know how to minimize our risks against such a threat.

4. Therefore, given both that we are aware of such a severe threat to our most relevant interest and that
we know how to minimize our risks to such, whenever we choose not to live in accordance with such
know-how we are acting foolishly.

After carefully building his case for this conclusion, Moore lays out its implications, responds to many foreseeable objections and, in the final chapter, closes with a fitting and uncommon defense of Christianity as a beautiful and wise hope.

Moral Apologetics – kindle deal –

Check out a great deal on a great book. Moral Apologetics, by Mark Coppenger is on sale for 2.99 at Amazon. Click HERE.

Dr. Coppenger was by far my favorite professor while studying at Southern Seminary. Behind the wit and humor, he is a godly man with an incredible intellect. Once he took me and a group of students to a philosophy conference in Chicago. He opened his home to us for the night and treated us like family.

It is easy to recommend a book that is so full of knowledge by someone you know and respect because you have seen their life in action. Go check out Moral Apologetics as a guide to pushing back against the cultural and religious critics of our day.

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“A tour de force of apologetic thought.” – R. Albert Mohler Jr.

Here is what the back of the book says.

Have Christians grown accustomed to those who defame the Church?

Whether it’s a best-selling author who claims “religion poisons everything” or an atheist comedian whose punch lines aren’t hassled by the burden of proof, foes of the faith continue to declare Christianity morally deficient without much resistance.

In Moral Apologetics for Contemporary Christians, Mark Coppenger mixes compelling references—from classic philosophers to modern entertainers— to reasonably push back against both harsh critics and less intense cultural relativists, contending that Christianity is morally superior to its competitors as well as true.

Coppenger doesn’t avoid uncomfortable realities like the misbehavior of many Christians and false teachers, but he sets the book’s course in defense of his faith with evidence that a Christian approach to life makes people and societies flourish, while those who turn their backs on genuine Christianity are more liable to behave wickedly.

“I hope to help replenish our cultural confidence,” he writes. “We have a great moral story to tell, and it surely points to the Author of Light and Life.”

Mark Coppenger has rendered a great service to the Christian church in the twenty- first century. Moral Apologetics is a special gift to all of those faithful Christians who believe that Christianity brings new life to the mind as well as to the soul.
Richard Land, President, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, Nashville, Tennessee

This book is a tour de force of apologetic thought, revealing ethical issues to be apologetic opportunities. Fascinating on every page . . . get ready for a guided tour through contemporary culture and Christian apologetics.
R. Albert Mohler Jr. President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Mark Coppenger is professor of Christian Apologetics at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, kentucky, and director of the Seminary’s extension in Nashville, Tennessee. He holds degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div.) and Vanderbilt University (Ph.D.).

Sermon Illustration: The Backwards Bike

We all know the phrase, “It’s as easy as riding a bike”.  Here we have a great lesson on how we train our brains to think a certain way, and it is really hard to adjust that pattern.

Really hard.

This experiment made one small adjustment to a normal bicycle, making it impossible to ride without extensive retraining of your brain. The main point driven home by this backward bicycle: you view the world through an interpretive bias, whether you realize it or not.

How have you developed your interpretive grid? What guides the way you view the world?

This video is very cool. It shows how we truly function in reality, with something “as easy as riding a bike”.

Blessings, Adam

Darwin’s Doubt

Check out Stephen C. Meyer’s new book, Darwin’s Doubt.  It is a good challenge to the denominate evolutionary presuppositions out there.  Here is his brief infographic to get your mind churning.

Darwin's Doubt

How Can I Know The Bible Is True?

monkimage.phpYesterday I had the privilege to preach at our church on this very important question.

“How can I know the Bible is true?”

It is a question of foundations, how do we really know. In universities and seminaries this is called epistemology, but I never dropped that word bomb in my sermon. For us, its just real life. How do we know the bible is true, as well anything at all? Can we really have certainty on anything!

My answer is ultimately, yes, we can.

You can listen to my sermon HERE for the full audio of the discussion under the media player. Keep reading for the main point.

There are many ways to tackle this question.

I outline the 1) Personal Experience Standard, 2) Just have Faith Approach, 3) The Bible says it Method, 4) Textual Uniqueness, 5) External Evidences, 6) Internal Divine Insights, – all of which have strengths and weaknesses.

The most powerful explanation I have found for certitude on the Truth of Scripture is in its exclusive ability to provide a foundation for Reason and Morality. The Bible alone explains why we can trust our own understanding and our sense of right and wrong.

  • The primordial soup of evolution has no basis to really trust the chemicals in our brain, yet we do.
  • The doubt of the atheists and agonists destroys any confidence to trust their own knowledge, yet they do.
  • Other religions have contradictory foundations for truth, yet they still trust our ability to know.

Only the Bible presents an accurate picture of reality. Carl Henry nails it as he astutely writes,

“But the nature of truth is such that the Christian revelation is formally intelligible to all men; it convincingly overlaps ineradicable elements of every man’s experience, and offers a more consistent, more comprehensive, and more satisfying explanation to the meaning and worth of life than do other views.” (GRA I, 238)

This worldview is one in which logic and reason are rooted in the Image of God.  Genesis 1:27 says in His image he created us, male and female.

The bible shows that God Himself is the standard to judge all things. Col. 2:3 “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Logic has its root in the person of God. The Bible reveals this to us.

The way in which God’s mind works is purely logical; Titus 1:2.- “for God cannot lie”, also in 1 Cor. 14:33 “God is not a God of confusion.”

Without the Bible we would not have a firm foundation from which we could know anything! If we dismiss the bible, how do we account for the logic we depend on for every thought or discussion?

We count on the laws of logic to never change, why is that?

Because God never changes.  Micah 3:6 says, “I the Lord do not change.” James 1:17, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

We are rational beings having rational thoughts right now because God is who he says he is, and we know this through the Bible.

Morality is equally rooted in the person of God as revealed in the bible.

The bible has revealed a God who is Good and a world that is fallen. Every person and every society of all time has had a sense of right and wrong. Where did this come from? Why do we even seek for truth rather than a lie?

Because we were created in the image of God.

The bible does not ignore the evil in our world or make excuses, but explains it. We see ourselves for who we really are as we read its pages. We find the answer to the problem of evil through the redemptive plan of God to rescue us from that evil. All of this is revealed in the bible. It accurately describes our reality.

What anchors our understanding of Good?

Psalm 100:5 “For the Lord is good and his love endures forever”. Psalm 136:1 “give thanks to God for he is Good”. In John 10 Jesus is called the “Good Shepard”. And yet we know that we are not Good, which is affirmed in the bible. Jeremiah 17:9 “the heart of man is deceitful and desperately wicked”. Mark 7 talks about the sinfulness of man does not comes from just his mouth, but from his heart.  Romans 3:23 rightly says, “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”

The understanding of right and wrong is not a herd mentality or social construct, but it is written on our hearts by our Creator.

Apart from the bible we have no foundation for the reality that we all live in and accept as truth every moment of every day.

Why is there reason and rationality? Why is there right and wrong? God has revealed why in the bible.

How do we know the bible is true?

If it is not true, we have no foundation to make sense of reality as we know it. Without presuming the truth of the bible, we cannot prove anything else.

“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” -CS Lewis

 

Lee Strobel comes to Murfreesboro, TN

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Come join me as we welcome Lee Strobel to Murfreesboro for a rare opportunity to dialogue with a nationally known apologist.

I am particularly looking forward to the Teen/Parent exclusive event where we will get to hear in a small group environment Strobel’s advise for todays teenagers with a Q&A time and book signing.  If you are in the mid-TN area don’t miss this great chance to be encouraged and challenged.

Click The School of Christian Thought for more information

Thank you Renee Sproles and the School of Christian Thought for hosting this event and reaching out to our community.

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Everyone Accepts Absolutes

“There are no absolutes.”

“Everything is relative.”

Statements similar to these exhibit the height of ignorance. Despite their self-contriditicting nature, (Isn’t “there are no absolutes” a very absolute statement? If “everything is relative,” isn’t this statement relative too?) it is very interesting that people who says silly things like this, actually only say it in reference to a small scope of reality.

These fallacious statements are said only when it comes to ethical, philosophical, and/or religious discussions.

Have you ever thought about that? No one ever applies it to all of reality!

No one ever tries to say “there are no absolutes” when it comes to mathematics! You would be scoffed out of the room if you tried to implement this belief into the scientific method. The Judge never winks at the criminal while in court and assures them that “there are no absolutes”.

Everyone accepts absolutes.  It is impossible to live otherwise.  Everyone accepts that 2+2=5 NEVER happens. Everyone understands that murder and rape are wrong at a fundamental level for all people of all times and places. Everyone lives on a planet that obeys ultra-specific, absolute, laws of physics.

Consider the fine tuning of our universe. The constants that make life sustainable are razor-edge specific. If any one of these constants were off by a fraction, there would be no you, no me, no earth.  Yet, we live because there are absolutes all around us.  This video explaines these powerful facts better than I can.

So I pose a question. If our world is filled with absolutes, where do these absolutes come from?

And even more importantly, Why?

I think you know my answer to these questions. But have you thought them through for yourself?

 

 

7 Ways to Improve at Apologetics

APOLOGETICSIn college I fell in love with apologetics.  My mind was opened to the intellectual credibility that the Christian faith has, and I was blown away.  Yet the ability to communicate these truths takes time.  All Christians are called to be ready to give and answer for the hope they have (1 Peter 3:15), so here are seven tips I can offer to improve your apologetic prowess.

  1. Read Your Bible Daily – There is no substitute for knowing and loving God’s Word.  The more you are in it the more you will be changed by it and be able to use it in real life situations.  Remember that apologetics is about communicating God’s truth, not our own ideas, so get to know what He has said!  God’s Word is able to penetrate the heart of every conversation, remember Heb. 4:12.
  2. Find Good Resources – A quick google search will bring up tons of options, but note, I said “good” resources.  Not all resources are equal.  Some are solid, some are shaky.  Always be on the lookout for the Who, What, When, Where, and Why behind the resources you find.  You will find that you gravitate to theologically like-minded authors.  As you get a feel for the apologetic pulse, start collecting books, articles, and resources for ease of access.  Start your own library of trusted resources.  This will feed your growth immensely.  Don’t be a fool on your own, seek good advise it says in Prov. 12:15.
  3. Ask God for Opportunities and Wisdom – Warning: If you really ask, be prepared for action.  God tells us to ask Him, and He promises to answer.  Ask, seek and knock. (Matt. 7:7)  Ask for whatever you want in Jesus Name. (John 15:7) Ask for wisdom from the God who gives freely. (James 1:5)  Begin asking God to give you opportunities to share His truth and then keep your eyes open…its just a matter of time.
  4. Anticipate Responses – I am not a good chess player, but I have great respect for those who are.  The real characteristic of a quality chess player is the ability to think several moves ahead.  As believers we should do the same.  How helpful would it be to have pre-prepare responses to common retorts like, “that may be true for you, but not for me…” or “the Bible is just a book of myth and legend…” or “I trust in the facts of science, not faith in religion”.  Do you know there are very good answers for these statements and more?  Do your homework and take a cue from the chess player, “think several moves ahead”.  Be innocent but shrewd, as in Matt 10:16.
  5. Keep Your Attitude in Check – A good rule of thumb I read in Greg Koukl’s book Tactics is “if anyone in the discussion gets angry, you lose.” If you are getting angry, you are bullying or intimating them, not engaging them.  If they are angry, they are probably defensive too.  When emotionally defending their own ideas they are in a poor position to honestly deal with new ideas.  Therefore keep yourself in check and guide all conversations to be as cordial as possible.  If offense is taken, make sure it is because of the ideas, not because of you personally. Why do we do this? Read 2 Tim. 2:24-25.
  6. Practice with Your Friends – This can be helpful because of the low stress environment.  To have a Christian friend role-play with you can sharpen your skills.  Or, to be more bold, ask a non-believing friend if they can help you sharpen your belief system.  In a non-confrontational way you can walk through the core tenants of your faith as they offer real life insight to their worldview. Asking for their help to practice communicating with clarity and brevity could be mutually beneficial. (Acts 4:20)
  7. Teach others about Apologetics – Nothing helps me understand a topic better personally than preparing to teach it to others.  Offer to teach a sunday night study at your church on apologetics.  Facilitate a small group book study through one of the many resources you are collecting in your apologetics library (see point 2).  Disciple a teenager or college student on challenges they may face in coming years that you wished someone would have guided you through.  As you teach you will become a true student of apologetics. (Titus 2:7-8)

 

Amazing Video on Rationality in Nature

The rationality found in nature is a powerful indicator for an Intelligent Designer.

Check out this powerful, wordless, 3:43 video ranging from seashells, sunflower seeds, and dragonfly wings all pointing to the amazing technicality behind our world.