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Are We Genetically Predisposed to Believe in God?

This entry was originally posted on February 13, 2010. While the question of evolutionary predisposition toward religious belief may be challenging, Christians need not see it as threatening. In fact, this is actually a Pauline notion that is explored in Romans 1, where Paul claims that it is in mankind’s nature to “know God”.

 

Evolution, the Enlightenment, and Worldviews

In this video conversation, N.T. Wright discusses how the Enlightenment worldview -- which clearly separates God from the world -- has impacted our view of Scripture, and why cleaning the "spectacles" through which we view the world can help us see both Scripture and the world more clearly.

 

Series: Divine Action in the World (5 entries)

In this talk, Professor Plantinga addresses the fact that many contemporary thinkers—including many theologians—believe that God cannot perform miracles, providentially guide history, or interact in the lives of people, as these activities would be contrary to science. Plantinga, on the other hand, makes the case that this popular view is mistaken; excluding divine action in the world is not a central feature of natural science itself, but a philosophical or theological preference that has been added on to science (and can just as readily be removed). Plantinga concludes that it is completely logical to accept the miracles of the Bible and support contemporary science.

 

A Biologist's Perspective

In today's video, Dr. David Finch, a biologist at New York University, discusses his thoughts on both Creationism and the effects of "new atheists" like Richard Dawkins.

 

The Source of Human Value

In this video, physicist Ard Louis describes that our value and purpose do not come from whether or not we were created by an evolutionary mechanism. Evolution may tell us something about how we were created, but it is not the source of our worth.

 

Series: From the Dust (13 entries)

In this series, Ryan Pettey offers several clips from his powerful documentary "From the Dust". This feature-length film is divided up into various sections, each of which wrestles with the difficult problems that arise when reconciling Scripture with the theory of evolution. A light of hope dawns on the science-faith conversation, however, as scientists and theologians engage in honest dialogue about tough issues such as the interpretation of Genesis, the nature of the Fall, and the idea of random design. Their profound insights are sure to enlighten all minds, raise deeper questions, and provoke new thought.

 

The Collapsing Universe in the Bible

In this essay, Godawa argues that the decreation language of a collapsing universe with falling stars and signs in the heavens was actually symbolic discourse about world-changing events and powers related to the end of the old covenant and the coming of the new covenant as God’s “new world order.” In this interpretation, predictions of the collapsing universe were figuratively fulfilled in the historic past of the first century.

 

Series: Hutchinson on Atheism (7 entries)

Ian Hutchinson draws a sharp line between science and scientism. Scientism holds that all truth emerges from scientific study and explanation. Hutchinson, however, disagrees as he points to science’s inability to establish truth about, for example, the events that have occurred in humanity’s history on earth. He specifically engages Richard Dawkins assertions (from the book The God Delusion) that God is a scientific hypothesis that has been essentially disproved by science and that evolution explains religion as nothing more than a natural phenomenon.

 

Engaging Today's Militant Atheist Arguments

In this paper, MIT professor Ian Hutchinson addresses the question of how to engage arguments put forward by the New Atheists. In doing so, he offers a critique of scientism, the assumption that scientific knowledge is all the real knowledge there is.

 

America’s Culture Wars: A Different Perspective

In this video Conversation, Rev. N.T. Wright responds to the controversy in evangelicalism about evolution. Is this a “culture war” issue?

 

Darwin: The Father of Modern Racism?

Alexander notes that while the biological theory of evolution is not itself an ideology, it has been used for ideological purposes since 1859 to defend everything from eugenics to capitalism to racism to atheism.

 

Understanding the Humanity of Jesus

The first question for Wright is, "What do you think is the biggest misunderstanding that western 21st century evangelicals have about Jesus, and how does it stunt their understanding and witness?"

 

You Are the Sun

As a scientist, I find this song particularly compelling because not only is the science on which the song draws completely accurate, but the scientific understanding of the nature of the physical sun and moon is critical to how Groves plays out the metaphor.

 

All Truth is God's Truth

In this video Conversation, Joel Hunter remarks: “I believe that all truth is God’s truth,” says Hunter, “so I am never afraid of truth—no matter who it comes from.”

 

Evolution and the Atheist Worldview

In this brief video Conversation, Os Guinness addresses the problem of holding a purely naturalistic worldview—one that does not coincide with many basic human concepts.

 

Accommodationist and Proud of It

Science and religion scholar Michael Ruse gives a personal account of his experiences as an author and public speaker on the compatibility of Christianity and biological evolution.

 

Science and Faith in the Front Lines of the Culture War

In this brief video conversation, Os Guinness, author and founder of the Trinity Forum, suggests that the religious right might have largely created the current culture war that has science and faith as its core antagonists.

 

Are We Genetically Predisposed to Believe in God?

While the question of evolutionary predisposition toward religious belief may be challenging, Christians need not see it as threatening. In fact, this is actually a Pauline notion that is explored in Romans 1, where Paul claims that it is in mankind’s nature to “know God”.

 

Scientific Fundamentalism and its Cultural Impact

Giberson's essay makes the case that scientific fundamentalists are not merely arguing for the supremacy of science but also presenting science as a quasi-religious replacement. The agenda of the "New Atheists" is not merely to refute mainstream religion but to replace it. Unfortunately, the scientific community is poorly represented by these aggressive public figures.

 

If God created the universe, what created God?

Many arguments claiming to prove the existence of God have been proposed throughout the centuries. The response to many of these arguments, however, is: “If God created the world, what created God?” It suggests that certain arguments for God’s existence only push the question of beginnings one step farther back. The Bible and Christian doctrine address this question by defining God as eternal and uncreated, but such answers rarely satisfy nonbelievers. A philosophical response is that God is the ultimate first cause; the atheist is left with a dilemma of what or who that first cause might have been. In the end, an uncaused creator may simply be a more plausible explanation for the universe we live in. Our universe appears to have had a beginning, to be finely tuned for life, and to have a place for love and purpose. These appearances affirm as plausible a prior belief in God.

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