It is time once more for a little Apologetic Potpourri. This is a list of articles that I found interesting combined with my own little musings about them. The month of January features an important debate announcement to put on your calendars, a mention of the passing of Halton C. Arp and his strange legacy, a brief discussion of multiverse theories and how they are in dialogue with theistic apologetics, and a helpful look at how Genesis 1 was interpreted prior to Darwin. Enjoy!
This just came to my attention today. Kyle Butt, from the Churches of Christ, will be debating the one and only Bart Ehrman, best-selling author and eminent professor, on whether or not human suffering disproves the existence of God. This debate will be in April and deserves your attention. Bart Ehrman is the real deal, and the question of human suffering is one of the most dangerous areas for an apologist to tread. I don’t actually know Kyle Butt except through his association with Apologetics Press, but I pray that he is up to this considerable challenge!
Just at the end of 2013, Halton Arp died at the age of 86. Arp’s The Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies (1966) has been a thorn in the side of big bang cosmology for decades. It is a collection of data that challenges Hubble’s interpretation of red shift in the observable universe. Arp’s work was beloved by both theistic and atheistic opponents of Big Bang cosmology, but has been largely ignored or dismissed by mainstream science. The title link above is a New York Times review of Arp’s life and legacy.
One of the most powerful arguments that theists have right now is the claim that the universe is finely-tuned, existing in a precision state that uniquely allows for not only the existence of human life, but also for the existence of matter. The challenge being mounted to that claim is the multiverse theory. This claims that the universe we live in is one of an infinite number of possible universes. Thus, instead of being an unique act of God, our precisely defined universe is simply the consequence of mathematics. No matter how small the odds, given enough universes, one of them will be like this one. The article linked above is a review of a recent book that discusses this topic, and it does a fair job of introducing the idea to readers. I’ll probably be writing on this topic in the near future, so stay tuned.
I’ll admit, before reading this article, I more or less assumed that prior to Darwin there was one consistent interpretation of Genesis 1 throughout history. This article pours some cold water on this idea by introducing the allegorical interpretations of Augustine and Aquinas in particular. It is good information to have stored away, so give it a read.