Christian Truth

Christian Truth

Posted on 1 CommentPosted in Christian Answers, Christian Apologetics, Christian Revival, Youth Apologetics

Christian Truth

How Scientists Have Armed Christians with Evidence

By Brace E. Barber

Apologetics Speakers

July 28, 2016

Christianity’s Truth Mission

Christianity was sorely damaged by its own search for the truth starting in the Renaissance. It is as if Christian leaders commissioned the digging of a well and then drown in the flood that their work caused. This water that was the focus of their theology ended up nourishing everything that they detested. The Renaissance of the 15th through 17th centuries brought about a renewed focus on reason instead of faith. Scholars began to explore evidence for their beliefs and they put a premium on conclusions that were empirically provable. Over time, science played an ever increasing role in shaping the core beliefs of society. The Renaissance created the environment where it was a virtue to deny anything that was scientifically unprovable as false or unknowable. Though the church itself was a proponent of the search for truth it later became a victim of its secular focus.

Truth is the core value of Christianity. The Bible tells us to, “Buy the truth and do not sell it” (Proverbs 23:23 NIV) And Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32 NIV) and “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) Digging the well of truth should have resulted in an overflowing of living water to bring salvation to the world, but that’s not what happened.

Christianity Damaged by Search for Truth

Christian Truth
Christian Truth and Science

Part of the damage to Christianity came at the hands of scientists discovering previously hidden truths. What happens when some of the truths of the Bible are contradicted by hard facts? If you go to Church and your pastor tells you that the world is flat, but Columbus says he’s been to the edge and it wasn’t there, what do you do? What happens when science tells you with clear calculations that the earth revolves around the sun instead of the other way around. Those who are disposed to following the conclusions of evidence rather than the fancies of faith begin to gain momentum. A clear and seemingly irreconcilable split between secular science and religious faith took place.

God of the Gaps

The Christian inclination to assign God to everything that they could not explain and which science could not prove was properly derided as weak minded and intellectually lazy. This practice, known as the “God of the Gaps,” became the go-to criticism applied to any assertion that God exists or that God was the cause. When bacteria were discovered to be the cause of illnesses, and when it was revealed that the rotation of the earth caused the sun to rise, the position of Christians began to narrow increasingly to the spiritual-subjective corner. Christianity became a theological preference that was as valid as any other religion. It became an opinion with no scientific authority or insights for modern society.

The God Cause Hysteria

Over time and with additional discoveries and theories destructive to the common understanding of Biblical truth, the split widened. Today, it would be unimaginable to hear a respected secular scientist proclaim God as the cause of anything. In January 2016, the PLOS One Journal printed a paper concerning the design of the hum

Christian Truth Taking Sides
Christian Truth Taking Sides

an hand. It caused outrage in the scientific community because the authors concluded that, “The connective architecture between muscles and articulations is the proper design by the Creator.” There were calls for the firing of the editors and retraction of the paper. PLOS One retracted the article and described the use of the word “Creator” as humiliating.  God is not even considered a possible choice as a conclusion for any scientific evidence. Scientists pre-suppose that God is impossible and unprovable and therefore not worthy of resting on him as a cause. It would be laziness to conclude God since that would mean that no further study was necessary.

How Can They Both be True?

The non-scientific evidence for God as the creator and Jesus as the Savior remained compelling in spite of the scientific evidence pointing away from God. God continued to be the best answer as to why there was something rather than nothing, and Jesus’ fulfillment of numerous, specific ancient prophecies did not diminish because of the progress of science. There were still very strong rational reasons to be a Christian. The situation created a tension in both camps. Secular Naturalists struggle with the implications of not having a God. How can creation and life have any purpose or meaning if it all happened by accident? Christians distanced themselves from science as it contradicted what the Bible says. They struggle with maintaining faith in something that seems to be false in light of the evidence.

The Apple Falls

Christian truth apple falling
Christian Truth Apple Falling

In modern western society, government and academia are squarely in the camp of the secularists and popular culture is shedding the constraints of Christianity at an ever increasing pace. Naturalism and relativism have taken the high-ground and is devouring the territory around it. There really doesn’t seem to be an escape for the supposed subjectivity of Christianity. And yet, from the flood of the reformation that nourished the tree of naturalism has today grown the fruit of truth which strengthens Christians and of which Secularists cannot eat. This tree in fact produces the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, and also the fruit of the evidence of a Creator.

Rational Christianity, Irrational Secularism

Where at first the discoveries of science seemed to lend support to conclusions in conflict with Christianity’s truth claims, the discoveries of the past 116 years have consistently produced evidence unmistakably pointing to Christianity.

  • Creation: During the Renaissance we discovered the spherical earth and the Sun as the true center of the Solar System. In the 1900’s we learned that time, space and matter all came into existence at the same time and that the Universe is expanding at an incredibly fine-tuned rate. The Universe had a beginning, which begs a beginner. Atheists are suggesting aliens as the creator, Christians are suggesting God as the creator.
  • Design: During the Renaissance we discovered that bacteria caused illnesses, destroying the supernatural causes. In the 1900’s we learned that the simplest bacteria are intricately designed, containing a coded program that forms every part of how it works. Though the probability that the bacteria was designed is much greater than 99.99999999999999999999%, scientists suggest the unprovable theory that it actually happened by chance. Christians suggest God as the designer.
  • Life: During the Renaissance we developed an understanding of gravity and the laws of physics. In the 1900’s we learned that if the force of gravity was changed just 1 part in 1060 not only could life not exist, but the Universe could not form solid matter. We learned that gravity was one of a hundred finely-tuned forces. Though the probability that these forces were purposely set is much greater than 99.99999999999999999999%, scientists suggest the unprovable theory that it actually happened by chance. Christians suggest God as the value setter.

Christianity’s Truth Claims Supported

Though extraordinarily painful, the search for truth has come full circle to supporting the very theology it once tore down. Christianity maintained its philosophical truths and added evidence for its historical accuracy through the centuries. Now it also has overwhelming scientific evidence supporting its claims of representing Christian truth. Unfortunately, the secular rejection of God is so thorough that in spite of the evidence, they are forced to seek non-god supernatural causes to explain the evidence they have produced.

There is no evidential support for secular conclusions in the fields of cosmology, mathematics and biology, the main areas of inspection from a scientific perspective. Secularists go to their pantry, once overflowing with hope and find it bare. They have abandoned the purpose that the movement once set out to accomplish in exchange for a secular agenda. They no longer feast on the conclusions that their evidence provided, but rather sit with empty plates imagining tea time. Sadly, the allies of naturalism, governments, popular culture and academia continue in their blind support unwilling to admit God.

We are at the beginning of a Christian Renaissance. We can create Christian Revival in our time, but not without a broad concerted effort to teach Christian youth the truths discovered in science. The time to arm Christian youth with the knowledge of the truth is now. There is no excuse for losing 75% of kids raised in Christian homes to the fantasies of secular society.


Practical Help

Stay Tuned: I am completing two books to address the problem of Christian youth leaving the faith. They are due out in 2016. Sign up for my email updates to be the first to learn when they are released. Christian Apologetics Solution

  • The first book lays out the practical how-to steps for keeping Christian kids Christian for Churches and parents.
  • The second book covers 14 apologetic subjects. It will come with tools to make it as easy as possible for anyone to teach and learn.

Brace E. Barber is a Christian Apologetics Speaker teaching Churches how to immediately stop the loss of Christian kids from the Faith. See more at Christian Apologetics Speakers

Will Your Child Leave Christianity

Will Your Child Leave Christianity?

Posted on 1 CommentPosted in Christian Answers, Christian Apologetics, Christian Revival, Youth Apologetics

Will Your Child Leave Christianity?

A Strategy to Solidify Their Faith

By Brace E. Barber
July 19, 2016
Christian Apologetics Speaker

 

The first Thanksgiving back home after leaving for college is really a special time. It rarely makes the front pages of life events, but when a young adult heads away from home to college, it is often the first time back home after being away. Mine was really a once-in-a-lifetime event. I left El Cajon, California outside of San Diego, on my way to the complete opposite corner of America at West Point, New York. As it happened, the Army-Navy Game was being played in Pasadena, California that year. It was the first and last time that the game was played there, and it required a huge movement of troops all the way across the country. For me, it meant that the Army was going to deliver me home for Thanksgiving.

I’m Not a Christian Anymore

Though most coming-home-for-Thanksgiving trips are less involved, they are still a wonderful time to be together. The family gets a chance to spend time with their child learning about their experiences and plans for the future. Parents want to know who their child is becoming on their own. It may not be during Thanksgiving, but it is during this separation process that kids reveal to their parents that they are no longer Christians. Sixty-five to 75% of kids raised in Christian homes leave the faith when they leave home. If you have three kids, pick the two that you are willing to give up for eternity. When your child tells you that they are no longer a Christian, it’s too late. The 18 years you had with them is over. The years that they spent in Sunday school are gone. You will never again have that level of involvement and authority to speak into their lives.

I Haven’t Been a Christian for a Long Time

Research tells us that most who leave are already mentally gone sometime in high school. What that means is that if you have a child in high school they have probably already closed their mind to Christianity, but are just waiting until they are out from underneath your roof before they say something. If you have a middle-schooler, they are headed that way too. Right when your newly independent, mature, intellectual child informs you that they are no longer a Christian it is not the most strategic time to begin pleading with them and pulling out all the stops to save them. Is it hopeless? No. However, on Monday when they drive back to school, they are under the influence of the world where you hold no credibility. Your influence over them will diminish as they become ‘smarter’ and you hold onto your ‘illogical’ faith. Getting those kids back to the faith is a different issue than what we are dealing with in youth groups.

The Good News

The good news is that if they are still in your home, you have time. If you use that time dealing with their skepticisms head on, you will eliminate the reasons that they were using to justify leaving the faith. The promise of this approach is that you will strengthen your child’s faith in God and create a closer relationship with each other. The issue of Salvation is so important that it is not something to put off until tomorrow. The challenge for parents has always been how to ensure your child is saved and that you will eventually spend eternity with them. There is no exact answer for success because every person’s path to a decision for Christ is different and they make that decision based on an incredible number of circumstances.

Here’s what we do know from the research contained in the book, The Last Christian Generation by Josh McDowell and David H. Bellis:

  • 63% of teenaged Christians don’t believe that Jesus is the Son of the one true God.
  • 51% don’t believe that Jesus rose from the dead.
  • 68% don’t believe that the Holy Spirit is a real entity.
  • Only 33% of churched youth have said that the church will play a part in their lives when they leave home.

Now We Can Solve the Problem

At a very high level, if we realize that we need to address our kids’ skepticism head on, then this list is a great place to start. Can you write down three pieces of evidence for each of the problems above? If not it’s time to start studying. You are running out of time! Furthermore, you have to realize that TELLING these kids that Jesus is the Son of the one true God, that he rose again and that the Holy Spirit is real is NOT going to work. How many times have you and the church already told them these things? The question you need to answer with them is, “Why should I believe that Jesus rose from dead?” If the thoughts you are having right now revolve around the impossibility of that task, then take a breath and listen. The evidence for Jesus Resurrection is incredibly strong and multi-faceted. When you take the time to look at it, you will be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt. Evidence can’t replace faith, but when you are satisfied that Jesus rose from the dead just as the Scriptures say, how much more confident are you in your faith. Now think about your kids.

Christian Apologetics

It’s time to get excited because the chance of your child leaving the faith has just dropped dramatically. However, you need to understand that the area of study you are going into, Christian Apologetics, is not widely practiced by most churches. Your church will certainly know about apologetics and they can recommend some books and maybe even a member who likes apologetics, but for the most part, it is an afterthought. Apologetics have mostly been an individual pursuit and sometimes the subject of a bible study. Apologetics, in common Christian terms, is simply the defense of the faith. It is an area of study that is incredibly powerful in improving the chances that your child will gain a faith of their own. It is not a cure-all, but it can help a lot.

The reason that churches shy away from apologetics is because it is predominantly academic and appeals to so few people. I may be one of three people at my church who would be thrilled to hear a sermon on the scientific evidence supporting the creation of the Universe. Everyone else would have to get up to go to the bathroom sometime during the lecture and wouldn’t come back. The academic nature of the field of study makes it less appealing than reading and contemplating the Bible or listening to a sermon, but it that aspect which also makes it so powerful. I am in the business of solving the problem of the loss of kids from the Christian Church so when I choose my tools I don’t choose based on the easiest to carry or the most stylish, I pick them based on what works the best. The apologetics tool may be a bit heavier, but it works – and it is fascinating.

The Glorious Process

In the process of learning the evidence supporting the Christian claims, apologetics will take you through scientific and historic subjects and engage you in philosophical logic. You will begin to connect the dots between what you see in the world around you and the mighty power of our God. You will be able to walk your children along the same path, which leads to making a real decision for Christ. The evidence reduces the gap between skepticism and faith. The bridge that they have to build from what they know to what we tell them is necessary for faith in the Christian worldview becomes shorter and shorter as they learn.

If I Don’t Know the Answers

Perhaps this article is finding you at the place I was when I was first convicted to begin my study. I engaged in the study of apologetics because I couldn’t answer the questions that I knew the world was going to throw at my children. And if I couldn’t answer those questions, then I knew my kids couldn’t answer those questions. And if my kids could not answer those questions then they were at risk of leaving the faith. Chances are your kids don’t know the following.

  • They don’t know why evil exists in this world how a loving and merciful God could allow suffering.
  • They don’t understand that there is no evidence for the theory of evolution in spite of it being taught as a fact in school.
  • They don’t know that there is great evidence that the Bible is the accurate eye-witness accounts of the events, and that it hasn’t changed since it was written.
  • They don’t know that the Universe, according to overwhelming scientific evidence had a beginning, and that a beginning demands a beginner, a Creator, a Cause.
  • Your kids don’t understand that it is possible to show beyond a reasonable doubt that Christ rose from the grave and appeared to the disciples and over 500 other witnesses.

Their Intellect Demands Answers

Your kids are going into high school without the answers that they need. They are going into the world without the answers to the questions that they need. Their intellect demands these answers, and they want them answered even though they don’t ask you. There is no time like today to begin your incredible journey into learning about the evidence for the Christian faith. Though the area requires study, is your child’s salvation worth overcoming any hesitancy about the work ahead? Your child is waiting to be saved.


Practical Help

Stay Tuned: I am in the process of completing two books due out in 2016 to address this problem. Sign up for my email updates to be the first to learn when they are released. Christian Apologetics Solution

  • The first book will lay out the practical how-to steps for keeping Christian kids Christian for Churches and parents.
  • The second book is a book covering 14 apologetic subjects with tools to make it as easy as possible for anyone to teach and learn.

Brace E. Barber is a Christian Apologetics Speaker focusing on teaching Churches how to immediately stop the loss of Christian kids from the Faith. See more at Christian Apologetics Speaker