Tag Archives: Doug Phillips

What caused Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown to abandon his Christian faith?

Here is an interview with Dan Brown, author of “The Da Vinci Code”, and other anti-Christian books.

Excerpt:

Interviewer:
Are you religious?

Dan Brown:
I was raised Episcopalian, and I was very religious as a kid. Then, in eighth or ninth grade, I studied astronomy, cosmology, and the origins of the universe. I remember saying to a minister, “I don’t get it. I read a book that said there was an explosion known as the Big Bang, but here it says God created heaven and Earth and the animals in seven days. Which is right?” Unfortunately, the response I got was, “Nice boys don’t ask that question.” A light went off, and I said, “The Bible doesn’t make sense. Science makes much more sense to me.” And I just gravitated away from religion.

This experience is common in the workplace and in the university.

Cold case homicide detective Jim Wallace writes:

It’s both sad and frustrating that the minister in Dan Brown’s story was unable to provide a defense for the Christian view of origins. Good, critical questions should be seen as an important part of the Christian faith, but too many of us fail to see our faith as evidential. It’s so important for us to be prepared with a response for questions like those asked by Brown as a child. The Christian worldview offers insightful and power answers to questions related to cosmology, teleology and the Big Bang. I can’t help but wonder what might have happened with Brown had the minister simply been prepared.

My personal view is that even those who believe strongly in young earth creationism should be diligent to also teach their children the arguments for a Creator and Designer from mainstream, old-earth science. Mainstream science points strongly to a Creator and Designer of the universe and is compatible with a respectful interpretation of Genesis.

Here are 6 arguments that every young earth creationist should be able to defend.

  1. The Big Bang
  2. The fine-tuning of the initial conditions of the Big Bang
  3. The fine-tuning needed to provide a habitable galaxy, solar system and planet
  4. The origin of biological information in the simplest living cell
  5. The sudden origin of the major body plans (phyla) in the Cambrian Explosion
  6. The limits of mutation and selection to build up specified complexity

You can read more about these mainstream scientific arguments here. If all your experience learning science apologetics comes from young earth teachers, then you probably will get a huge boost in your effectiveness in the public square by learning these arguments from mainstream science.

I am sympathetic with responsible, well-educated young earth scholars like Dr. Marcus Ross and Dr. Paul Nelson. These scholars acknowledge the real state of the evidence, but are holding out for emerging research that may vindicate their YEC views. They are good scholars, with real degrees, and they are prominent members of the intelligent design movement, which welcomes responsible young earth scholars.

On the other hand, I do not recommend the young earth popularizers like Kent Hovind and Ken Ham. Their material is not good preparation for outward-focused engagement about scientific issues. Christian apologetics today is saturated with old-earth arguments, yet virtually no Christian apologist believes in macro-evolution. Old-earth Christians debate against evolution in public all the time. In fact, they lead the fight against evolution.

Young-earth creationism is strictly targeted to Christians

I just glanced at the ICR web site and ALL THREE of their upcoming conferences are being held in CHURCHES. The Answers in Genesis Conference is being held in a church. Ken Ham’s speaking engagements are all in churches. There are no debates with scientists going on at any of these events! Young-earth creationism is strictly for homeschooling and church. It’s not field-tested for use on the battlefield!

Meanwhile, old-earthers like William Lane Craig are debating against evolution at Indiana University against the top evolutionist in the USA, Francisco Ayala. And he debated prominent New Atheist Christopher Hitchens in front of 5000 people earlier this year at Biola University, too. So you must make your choice from this information about what arguments are useful in the real world. What works in public.

Watch a debate, then decide for yourself

All young earth creationists should watch the debate between Kent Hovind and Hugh Ross below. Kent Hovind has a PhD from a Patriot Bible College in Religious Education. Hugh Ross has a BS in Physics from the University of British Columbia, a MS in Physics and a PhD in Astronomy, both from the University of Toronto, one of the top universities in Canada. He did post-doctoral work at Caltech, the top graduate school for science in the world.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4
Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8
Part 9 Part 10 Part 11 Part 12
Part 13 Part 14 Part 15 Part 16

Watch the debate, then decide for yourself!

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Should fundamentalists encourage pro-abortion, pro-public-school and anti-marriage policies?

Here’s a post from Newsbusters about a group of “patriarchal” Christians that opposed the nomination of Sarah Palin for the post of vice presidency based on their interpretation of the Bible.

Excerpt:

The Los Angeles Times seems to have taken a sudden new interest in biblical study. No, they haven’t become religious or anything close to that. Instead, they are microanalyzing the Bible for passages that they think they can use to slam Sarah Palin for running for vice-president. They are also searching the countryside to dig up the very few strongly religious Christians they can find who think Palin is wrong to run for public office.

Should fundamentalists directly or indirectly support the election of Barack Obama, which caused disastrous effects in society, (increasing abortion, enabling a stronger influence for public schools, and potentially legalizing same-sex marriage, for starters)?

Does Scripture actually justify any of these radically left-wing positions? Won’t these fundamentalist Christians be judged based on the fruits of their opposition to Sarah Palin? Don’t Christians have a responsibility to be educated about the consequences of their positions? Isn’t it important to interpret the Bible correctly?

See my previous post on the need to have an influence in the public square in the most effective ways possible.

Another point of view

A mother of 12 writes:

It is a continual source of amazement to me that some Evangelicals/Protestants raise such a ruckus about Catholics believing in the spiritual authority of the Pope, even while setting up little mini-Popes of their own – and that these leaders disobey God’s imperative to servant leadership in order to revel in their pedestal status.

Often these begin as well-intentioned people seeking righteousness, but then giving into the temptation of spiritual pride. Like the Pharisees Jesus condemned, they become white-washed sepulchers.

Our family’s experience in a legalistic church (mercifully brief 1989-1990) was filled with people bossing us around, telling us that they had a Word for us from God. How dared they presume that God would speak to a stranger rather than guiding us Himself?

And how dare the Vision Forum crowd presume to become the Pope to Sarah Palin?

The truth is that these well-meaning people have become isolated and insulated, building an alternative universe and then judging the outside world by their self-imposed standards rather than by the historical truth of a heavenly Father who throughout the Bible has chosen unlikely leaders and who has warned us about making our own.

Found here.