I spent some time on the weekend looking over some nice videos featuring Dr. Stephen C. Meyer. The topics were theistic evolution and the existence of God. It occurred to me that Dr. Meyer is the top defender of Christian theism today. And it made me wonder why he doesn’t have the same standing in the Christian community as charismatic pastors like Matt Chandler.
Recently, Christian scholars J. P. Moreland, Stephen C. Meyer, Christopher Shaw, Ann Gauger and Wayne Grudem got together and wrote “Theistic Evolution” – a 1008 page case against theistic evolution. This book is important to help Christians reject Darwinian evolution, which is by definition unguided. Belief in evolution discourages Christians from using evidence for intelligent design in biology and paleontology to support theism, and also to persuade others to accept theism as true.
Dr. Meyer also put together a 3-book series documenting 4 areas that challenge atheism. “Signature in the Cell” talks about how the origin of the first living system requires information, and that effect is best explained as a result of an intelligent agent. “Darwin’s Doubt” talks about how an intelligent agent is the best explanation for the massive amount of information required to create so many body plans in the very short period of time known as the Cambrian explosion. “The Return of the God Hypothesis” talks about the origin of the universe and the fine-tuning of the universe for life. So we have FOUR arguments that falsify atheism. That’s powerful, effective Christianity. And he knows how to talk to lay audiences too – he did the first two True U DVD sets for Focus on the Family, which are for college students.
But almost no one except Christian apologists know who people like Stephen C. Meyer are. Instead, the leadership of the church seems to be dominated by charismatic pastors who haven’t demonstrated the ability to use evidence persuasively when interacting with non-Christians.
I found two videos of Matt Chandler at Dalrock blog, a famous blog with over 25 million page views.
Pastor Matt Chandler… is a contributor to The Gospel Coalition (TGC), the president of the Acts 29 church planting network and a council member of the ERLC. In the video below Chandler explains to Vice TV why so many evangelicals support President Trump.
Here’s the first video:
Here’s what Matt Chandler says about Trump’s popularity with evangelicals:
I think people are frightened. I think people are frightened at the speed at which things are changing culturally. So I think they begin to grasp for something that might help. The Obama presidency, great man, some of his policies and the way he rolled out his policies really really scared evangelicals. And without any kind of real help from Pastors and ministers to help us understand, the news media just whipped us into a frenzy and made people feel desperate.
[…]But I think especially around topics like homosexuality where we are quick to say it’s a sin.
[…][P]eople were terrified by that bathroom bill… the thought that their children were going to be in a bathroom with the opposite sex, and… that made [conservatives] go “whoever the opposition is to that I’m voting for” and then they lost their soul on that…
The Washington Times reported on a court case related to bathroom bills:
A federal judge on Wednesday rejected a Christian college’s request to halt the Biden administration’s directive on gender identity in dwellings.
The College of the Ozarks, a Christian college in Missouri, had argued the government order, which claims to fight discrimination against transgender people, impinges on the rights of Christians and violates Biblical beliefs.
The dispute sets up a new legal battle over religious liberty and gender identity.
Judge Roseann Ketchmark, an Obama appointee… announced she would deny the college’s request to issue an injunction against the rule, which requires that segregated facilities such as dorms and restrooms be based on a person’s gender identity.
That’s the sort of legislation pastors mean when they lament that Christians are too concerned about “bathroom bills”.
Dalrock found another Matt Chandler speech:
Pastor Matt Chandler does an outstanding job with both in his speech to Equip Austin, an event produced by the Southern Baptist Convention’s (SBC) Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) in 2015.
And here’s the second video:
Matt Chandler seems to be worried that Christians are not supportive enough of gay rights and gay activism:
One of the things I’ve seen is that some people are very terrified of homosexuality. The accusation that Christians are homophobic actually is true about certain Christians I’ve been around. They are mortified of homosexuals; they are grossed out by [them]. And the gospel (really on any subject) reshapes us to a place of compassion, it reshapes us to a place of love, and it reshapes us back to an eager hope for reconciliation in all things.
Thanks to pastors like Matt Chandler, I see so many “conservative” rank-and-file Christians justifying support for abortion and gay activism by appealing to “love” and “compassion”. And charismatic pastors do nothing to counter atheism, feminism and socialism with arguments or evidence. I would prefer that the handsome, charismatic pastors write articles to defend what the Bible teaches, using evidence to persuade non-Christians. I’ve written reasoned arguments against abortion and against same-sex marriage that appealed to non-Christians with evidence. And I’ve also written in opposition to the Equality Act, which eliminates religious liberty, and in opposition to the Women’s Health Protection Act, which eliminates state-level restrictions on abortion.
I’d like Christians to reject charismatic pastors and instead prefer Christian scholars who engage non-Christians with evidence. We need to defend what the Bible teaches on issues using evidence. Our job isn’t to compromise Christianity so that non-Christians accept us. Our job is to cast down speculations set up against the knowledge of God. And we do that by being ready for anyone who asks us for reasons for our hope.