April 2014 Apologetic Potpourri

posted in: Apologetics | 0

Digital StillCameraThe month is almost over, so it is time once more for a little Apologetic Potpourri. This is a list of articles and resources that I found interesting combined with my own little musings about them. The month of April features another look at the recent BICEP 2 discovery, a reminder about the faith of capable scientists, and a book titled A Manual for Creating Atheists Enjoy!

1. “Secrets of the Universe’s First Light”

The Kavli Foundation has posted a video of some physicists discussing the recent BICEP 2 investigation of light from the early universe, “a cosmic fossil.” The discovery was unexpected and contained a few surprises for theorists who not only said it couldn’t be done, but also had to watch a few theoretical models face a sad death. As the article accompanying the video states:

This surprise is still so new that additional implications keep coming to light each week. It’s already clear that the result rules out many theoretical models of inflation—most of them, in fact—because they predict a signal much weaker than the one detected. In addition, the discovery also seems to disprove a theory that says that the universe expands, collapses and expands again in an ongoing cycle.

In terms of apologetics, the fascinating fact is that the discovery points to a shockingly quick original moment of “creation,” however that term is to be understood. While it is certainly being interpreted in terms of typical Big Bang cosmology, it also works nicely with the sense of immediate, divine creation that the Bible generally pictures.

2. 9 Groundbreaking Scientists Who Happened to Be Christians

This article is not groundbreaking in any sense, but it is a little reminder that science and faith are not at all exclusive. While the older scientists may not surprise you, I was fascinated by Andrew Pinsent:

A triple threat if ever there was one, Father Pinsent is a Catholic priest, a Research Fellow at Harris Manchester College and the Research Director of Oxford’s Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion. Some of his earlier work (about 31 volumes which he co-authored) contributed to the creation of the Large Electron-Positron Collider at CERN, but he has moved toward more philosophical work of late, with a Ph.D. in philosophy from St. Louis University. That’s in addition to his three degrees in philosophy and theology from Pontifical Gregorian University and his D.Phil in high energy physics from Merton College. When he’s not doing groundbreaking research on science and physics, he’s working on theology. His book, The Second-Person Perspective in Aquinas’s Ethics: Virtues and Gifts, was published in 2012.

As a side note, I thought the discussion of Galileo in this article left much to be desired, but that is for another day.

3. A Manual for Creating Atheists

Dr. Peter Boghossian authored A Manual for Creating Atheists which was published in November of 2013. The book is being defended as an explanation of critical thinking (epistemology) rather than an attempt to actually persuade people to give up their faith. However, the title seems to suggest otherwise. I’ll let you judge for yourself what the book – and the movement it represents – is all about. Below are two podcasts. First, Dr. Boghossian is being interviewed about the book. The interview is long, but you can listen to the first 10 minutes or so and get the main thesis of the work. Also, it contains profanity, so I understand if you don’t want to listen to it, especially in a work environment. Second, William Lane Craig’s podcast offers his rebuttal to the book’s project. Craig will play soundbites from an interview with Boghossain, so be sure to listen to this one even if you skipped the other link.

I’m going to have more to say about all this later, but this should get the conversation started.

Youtube Link Containing Audio from Boghossain Interview (Contains Profanity)

William Lane Craig Audio (See the transcript and podcast link here)

Follow Benjamin Williams:

Pulpit Minister for Glenpool Church of Christ (Glenpool, OK); BS in Astrophysics from University of Oklahoma; MDiv in Ministry from Oklahoma Christian Graduate School of Theology

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