Tagged: Faith

Of Science and Faith: Revelation

By Jim Pemberton

In the first article, I talked about the idea that we need to ask how we know something that we claim to know. In the last article, I talked about how Christians believe that there is more than one kind of substance. So to combine the two, we as Christians need to answer the question how we know that this is true. I also observed that monists, particularly the naturalists today, need to be able to answer the question how they know that there is no other substance than that which we experience.

Of Science and Faith

For both of us, in order to answer the question, we need to have information from other kinds of substance. This poses a problem for naturalists since they don’t believe that there is another substance. This assumption requires two things: Continue reading

Of Science and Faith: Substance

By Jim Pemberton

In this series I am discussing a few key philosophical categories. Last time, I discussed epistemology. At the end of that discussion I brought up the idea that God is of a different stuff than the created world.

Of Science and Faith

The philosophical idea of different stuff is often called substance. Substance is that of which things are made. I’m not talking about the periodic table elements… per se. All of the elements that we are familiar with are of the same substance: matter. Inasmuch as matter can be converted to energy, energy is of the same substance as matter. But we have to ask ourselves if this is the only kind of substance that exists.

Continue reading

Of Science and Faith: How Do We Know?

By Jim Pemberton

Introduction

It was said by theologians in the Middle Ages that philosophy is the handmaiden of theology. It is recognized that philosophy generated religious movements and Christian theology, in particular, was forged on the anvil of clashing philosophical movement. While we are admonished by Paul not to be swayed by the philosophies of men (Col 2:8), it is precisely in observing where people have been led astray with philosophy that we have learned what the scriptures do not mean.

In this light, it is helpful to understand philosophy so as not to be held captive by it. And it is in the study of philosophy that we learn that there are helpful categories for helping us understand the Bible correctly. In this series, I will talk about the central categories that help give us a foundation for understanding. Then I will discuss at least one of the philosophical systems that are leading people astray today.

Of Science and Faith

How Do We Know?

Perhaps the most foundational area of philosophical thought is epistemology. The word epistemology literally means the “study of knowledge” and it deals with theories of how we know things. Epistemology is the answer to the question, “How do you know?” Continue reading

An Irenic & Vigorous Creationism Discussion at SBC Voices

by Ken Hamrick

Most debates between Old-Earthers and Young-Earthers deteriorate to anger and ad hominem after about 100 comments. Recently, SBC Voices posted my article, “Helping Old-Earth Creationists Face the Supernatural Question,” which had been posted here. The discussion at Voices went to 308 comments before Dave Miller shut it down—probably for reasons of length. Throughout, it remained a great example of how such discussions can be carried on without rancor. I recommend reading down through the comments for anyone looking to understand the different views better.

Helping Old-Earth Creationists Face the Supernatural Question

by Ken Hamrick

Instead of arguing for or against the scientific evidence, or arguing the merits of possible exegetical ways to reconcile Scripture with a billions-of-years chronology, I propose that—for the sake of argument-–we eliminate the evidence question all together. We can do this by accepting all the scientific claims at face value, and still insisting on a recent supernatural creation out of nothing. In other words, we would not posit a young earth, but an old earth that was recently created by divine fiat. When God creates out of nothing, He is not limited to creating things “new.” God created Adam and Eve as physically mature adults and not as infants. He created mature, fruit-bearing trees for immediate food. “He made the stars also”—and made a universe with mature light-trails already existing so that the stars were already visible. All of these imply a time-consuming natural process that was well under way at the first moment of creation. God chose to create not at the beginning of these natural processes, but somewhere in the middle—as if these processes had been going on long before the moment of creation. Continue reading

Young Earth Creationism and Presuppositionalism: A Response to J.W. Wartick

by Ken Hamrick

“Young Earth” creationism (YEC), as part of the Christian faith, stands on certain presuppositions, such as the existence of God and the divine, verbal inspiration of Scripture. The kind of apologetic argument that acknowledges that such presuppositions are assumed, and does not attempt to prove them, is presuppositional apologetics. Such presuppositions cannot be proven else they would not be matters of faith but of science. Only God can prove such things to a man. No matter how well-intended, those apologists who try to prove such things to unbelievers are wasting their efforts. The proper goal of the apologist should be to establish the validity of the Christian worldview when it is given that our presuppositions are true, and not to try to prove that these presuppositions are true. Continue reading

How We Lost the High Ground: The Delegitimizing of Christian Truth Claims

by Ken Hamrick

As we approach 2014, Christianity is under attack as never before in this country. These are troubling times. The evangelical Church has always been in the minority, and the world has always been opposed to the Church; but, here in America, at least, the world seemed to tolerate the Church… until recently. While sinners disagreed with our faith, they had in general a certain grudging respect for the strength of our worldview—not that they admired it, but that they could not disprove it. The large numbers of those who attended a Christian church of some kind, together with the possibility that the Book on which our worldview is based might actually be true, served as a kind of collective conscience of our society. But something changed that. The collective conscience is being seared. The respect is gone, and the world’s tolerance for the true Christian faith is disappearing. Continue reading

The Certitude of Christian Faith

By Ken Hamrick

We know with certainty that the facts about God and Christ, as testified in Scripture, are true by revelation, and we accept (or embrace) that truth by faith. We can choose to accept by faith what God has revealed, or we can choose to deny by unbelief what God has revealed.

Believers ought not to buy into the world’s definition of faith. Faith is not choosing to believe what you cannot know with certainty;  but rather, faith is knowing with certainty what you cannot prove to others. Continue reading

How Do We Know the Bible is True?

By Ken Hamrick

How do we know that the Bible is true? How do we know that God exists? How do we know that we are saved, and have a real relationship with Him? No questions are more important than these. The battle for inerrancy has been won in the SBC, but the battle for epistemology will soon begin.

To witness to the world, we must be certain of what we are testifying of. If we are to give an appropriate answer of the reason for the hope that is in us, then we ought to know on what foundation that faith rests. Many would say, “It rests on Scripture.” But merely claiming that Scripture is true will not suffice. How do we know it’s true? Again, many would say that we know it’s true because the Bible testifies of itself that it is the true. But why do we trust such self-authentication? Continue reading