How We Define the Nature of God Determines How We Define the Problem of Evil

The problem of evil is often cited as a form of exculpating evidence by those who deny the existence of God. Exculpating evidence points away from a “suspect” under consideration in an investigation. If evil is exculpatory, it would eliminate the reasonable inference of God’s existence. In my latest book, God’s Crime Scene, I examine the problem of evil as one of eight pieces of evidence in the universe to see if the existence of evil is compatible with the existence of God. While the issue is certainly complicated, one thing is certain: How we define the nature of God determines how we define the problem of evil.
continue reading

Why I Know the Gospels Were Written Early (FREE Bible Insert)

The first criteria I use to test the reliability of a witness is simply this: was the alleged “eyewitness” really present when the crime occurred? You can’t be a true eyewitness if you weren’t even there to see what it is you said you saw! This simple criteria is part of a four part reliability template I describe in Cold-Case Christianity, and reflects the California jury instructions for jurors who are asked to assess the reliability of eyewitnesses on the stand. As a skeptic, I examined this issue related to the claims of the Gospel authors. Matthew and John were allegedly eyewitnesses to the life of Jesus. Mark (according to the first century bishop, Papias) chronicled the eyewitness account of the Apostle Peter, and Luke recorded his own investigation of the eyewitnesses. But how early are these accounts? Could they have been written by people who were actually present during the life and ministry of Jesus?
continue reading

Are Moral Truths An Illusion?

In my new book, God’s Crime Scene: A Cold-Case Detective Examines the Evidence for A Divinely Created Universe, I describe eight pieces of evidence “in the room” of the natural universe and ask a simple question: Can this evidence be explained by staying “inside the room” or is a better explanation “outside the room” of naturalism? One important piece of evidence I consider in this effort is the existence of objective, transcendent moral truths. Some philosophers and scientists deny the existence of moral truth altogether. As Richard Dawkins has famously asserted: “The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.”

continue reading

Four Ways the Earth Is Fine-Tuned for Life

The just so appearance of “fine-tuning” in our universe is rather uncontroversial amongst scientists and cosmologists. Even Paul Davies (who is agnostic when it comes to the notion of a Divine Designer) readily stipulates, “Everyone agrees that the universe looks as if it was designed for life.” The foundational, regional and locational conditions of our universe, solar system and planet are delicately balanced and finely calibrated. The slightest modification of these conditions would be disastrous for life. The delicate requirements for the existence of galaxies, star systems, and planets capable of supporting “intelligent observers” are incredibly fragile. In my book, God’s Crime Scene, I describe the nature of foundational, regional and locational conditions in the context of a crime scene I investigated many years ago. The evidence I observed in these layers led me to conclude an external suspect had tampered with the scene to cause a death. In a similar way, it appears the layered conditions of the universe have been “tampered with” to cause the emergence of life.
continue reading

How “Pattern Recognition” Helps Us Demonstrate the Existence of God

The “appearance of design” in biological organisms is undeniable. Famed atheist, Richard Dawkins, once wrote, “Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.” In my book, Gods Crime Scene, I offer a template of eight common characteristics of design. When we observe a number of these attributes in any questionable object, we are reasonable in inferring the existence of a designer. I described one of these attributes as the “Echo of Familiarity.” When an object under question strongly resembles another object we know is designed, this “echo of familiarity” should be considered as we try to determine whether a designer was involved in the object we’re investigating. Let me give you an example.
continue reading

Why the Appearance of Design in Biology Is a Problem for Atheistic Naturalism

As unlikely and unexpected as it may be, life exists in our universe, and just as researchers stipulate to the appearance of fine-tuning in the cosmos, scientists also stipulate to the appearance of design in biological organisms. Richard Dawkins would be the first to agree: “Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.” Many other scientists affirm this observation and extend it to include the larger ecosystems in which many symbiotic organisms are dependent on one another for their survival. Smith College professor of biological sciences, Robert Dorit says, “The apparent fit between organisms seems to suggest some higher intelligence at work, some supervisory gardener bringing harmony and color to the garden.” For scientists looking for an explanation within the “garden” to avoid the inference of an external “supervisory gardener,” this appearance of design is difficult to explain.

continue reading

Can Multiverse Theories Explain the Appearance of Fine Tuning in the Universe?

For many theorists, the multiverse has the best chance of explaining the appearance of fine-tuning in our universe. Other explanations, such as appealing to chance or physical necessity, offer solutions from “inside the room” of our universe. Multiverse explanations, however, point once again to an external causal agent: a mechanism capable of creating an incredibly large number of universes, each with its own set of physical laws. According to this theory, most of these universes in the multiverse collection are incapable of permitting life. Our universe, however, through “a series of cosmic accidents,” just happens to support our existence. Multiverse theories overcome the incredible odds against life (and explain the appearance of fine-tuning) by increasing the chances of such a life-permitting universe.
continue reading

Interruptions and Healing

Most of the time when Jesus healed, performed miracles and had life altering encounters with people, it was unplanned and an interruption in His day.

My favorite interruption story is found in Luke 8. Jesus is on His way to heal a sick girl when someone in a large crowd touched the hem of his robe. He stopped and asked who touched Him. Despite the emergency of the dying girl before Him, Jesus stopped, turned towards the woman who touched Him and the Bible tells us “she told why she had touched Him…” We don’t know how long the woman poured out her story to Jesus. We do know she was physically healed of chronic bleeding the second she touched Jesus’ robe and we see by Jesus’ response to her sharing when He says, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace” she found healing in her soul.

continue reading

Are Moral Truths Are a Product of Individual Belief?

For many of us, the transcendent, objective nature of moral truth seems rather self-evident. To “super-size” the point, all of us would agree it’s never morally acceptable to torture babies for the fun of it. For that matter, it’s never morally acceptable to torture anyone for the fun of it. This is a transcendent, objective moral truth claim; it applies to all of us, regardless of who we are, where we are on the planet, or when we’ve lived in history.

There are many similar transcendent, objective moral truths, even though groups often try to justify their seemingly immoral behaviors. In California, for example, there are several legal justifications for homicide. Police officers can use whatever force necessary—including deadly force—to overcome lethal resistance or to apprehend certain kinds of felons. Citizens can use whatever force is necessary—including deadly force—to stop a life-threatening attack or to protect the life of an innocent person. These are considered justified homicides (as opposed to unjustified homicides known as “murders”).

continue reading

Would A “Loving” God Allow Anything Bad to Happen to His Creation?

The “problem of evil” is often cited by unbelievers when they explain their disbelief: How could an all-powerful, all-loving God allow His created children to experience pain and suffering? In my latest book, God’s Crime Scene, I examine the problem of evil as one of eight pieces of evidence in the universe. Evil is often cited as a form of exculpating evidence, eliminating the reasonable inference of God’s existence. An ancient form of the problem is sometimes attributed to Epicurus:

continue reading
Syndicate content

Popular Blogs


Sign-up for the Newsletter
Sign-up for the Newsletter
Get the latest updates on relevant news topics, engaging blogs and new site features. We're not annoying about it, so don't worry.