An Apologetic Master: Interview of Dr. Geisler

Are you familiar with the work of Dr. Norman Geisler?  If not, I hope that you will take some time and acquaint yourself with some of his books and lectures.   

Many of today's most effective Christian apologists, such as Dr. Craig and Dr. Ravi Zacharias, were trained by Dr. Norman Geisler early on.

Watch this video and listen to the wisdom and insight of this Apologetic Master...

 

A Question of Justice, Question of the week by Dr. Craig

Hello Dr. Craig,
My question is about divine justice. You describe God as being essentially kind, fair, and compassionate, but I do not see how his justice can be exemplified with scenarios like this:
Suppose a serial killer like Jeffrey Dahmer enjoys a lifestyle torturing, killing and cannibalizing people for fun. He eventually gets caught and goes to prison. In prison he becomes a born-again Christian and all this sins are absolved from him. He then gets killed and goes to heaven since the mere act of conversion into Christianity cleanses him of all previous wrong doings. Some of this victims however were not Christian when they were murdered and so they go to hell when they die. So not only are the murder victims tortured and murdered in this world, they get sent to hell to be tortured even worse, but now it is forever, while their murderer enjoys everlasting peace in heaven.
I have never had a Christian explain to me how this scenario above, is not only the work of a "perfect" and "all-loving" deity, but that this is an example of perfect justice that could not possibly be improved upon by any generation of humans, past, present of future. In other words, if the God of the Bible is inherently perfect, compassionate and just, why would he allow a serial killer into heaven but his victims suffer in hell eternally, when the only thing separating them (aside from the fact the victims never tortured and killed people) is the killer's conversion to Christianity in prison just before he died?
The objection I have is that this is not an act of perfect justice, and that the Christian God is merely being defined as perfect/kind/fair/compassionate etc which to me is just wordplay since his record shows otherwise. The only answer I have yet to hear, is that we all are deserving hell, and only those who submit to God are given mercy, even if they are serial killers. So I have to ask you, with all due respect, if you truly agree with this notion of justice, that would allow a sadistic serial killer off scott-free of divine punishment, when his victims, who pleaded for their lives and were killed without mercy, are now being tortured even worse, all while their cries for mercy will go unanswered for all eternity?
Thank you for your time.
Mike
United States


Click HERE to read Dr. Craig's answer

Are we Good People?

An editorial from The Wall Street Journal some years ago still comes to mind as I occasionally watch the news. The writer was describing host Larry King’s unsettling interview of a father whose wife drowned each of their five children. Peering restlessly at the television before him, the writer believed he saw not only a disturbing interview, but a rare glimpse into the culture at large. As the father spoke of his unwavering support for his wife on national television, the mother who committed the crimes sat in a courtroom thousands of miles away receiving her sentence for the murders of their five children at that very moment. When asked how he thought his wife would do in prison, he replied that she’d do just fine, adding, “She’s a good woman.”

But the writer’s angst went deeper than his discomfort over the descriptor of the mother as good, a term to which many predictably objected the following day. He noted, rather, his discomfort over the fact that the interview itself was conducted with the same work principle of any another day in the life of modern television reporting: “Interview anyone, ask anything.” To him, that the father was even there, that Larry asked, and that we looked on, bordered a sick voyeurism. 

How could we call any of it good?

 He concluded powerfully, “There are moments when one wants to go out to the street, stare up at the stars in the dark sky and admit, I don’t get it anymore… People keep looking for reasons inside this case. I keep wondering what’s happening to all the rest of us, soaking up these recurring, weird events from our living rooms.”(1)

The writer makes an observation many of us are afraid to make when it comes to delving out goodness around us: Is there not something unsettling about our misuse of the definition of good? Indeed, what does it mean to be good? Who decides if a person is actually good? The courts? A television audience? Larry King? And when do those of us watching move from sincere concern to shameless curiosity?

Is there an inherent determiner for naming something good? Can it really arise from no where? And if we use it broadly enough will we get to the point when the word itself is void of meaning? Perhaps we already have.

Click HERE to continue reading

Can Atheists Justify Being Good Without God ?

by Norman L. Geisler

just+be+good+for+goodness+sake.jpg

 There is a new atheist’s ad out with a picture of  Santa Claus and the words: “Why  believe in a god?Just be good for goodness sake.”  This is clever, but is it possible?  Let’s analyze it more carefully. 

First, if there is no Moral Law Giver (God), then how can there be a moral law that prescribes: “Be good.”  Every prescription has a prescriber, and this is a moral prescription.

Second, what does “good” mean?  How is good to be defined.? If it can mean anything for anyone, then it means nothing for anyone.  It is total relativism. Being “good” for some (like Nazis) can mean killing Jews.  But for Jews it is evil.  Hence, on this view there is no objective difference between good and evil.

Third,  what does “goodness” itself mean in the atheist slogan.  Being good “for goodness sake” implies that something is just plain good in itself.  That is, it is an ultimate goodness.  But this by definition is what Christians mean by God.  Everything else has goodness, but only God (the Ultimate) is goodness.  In this case, the atheist is using “goodness” as a surrogate or substitute for God.  

This maneuver is not uncommon for atheists. Before the Big Bang evidence, atheists were fond of doing this with the word  “universe.”  It was supposed to be eternal and, hence, needed no Cause since only what begins needs a Beginner.  Carl Sagan employed the term “Cosmos” as a God-substitute.  He said, “the COSMOS is everything that ever was, is, or will be.”  It sounds a little like what Psalm 90 declares: “From everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.”  Bertrand Russell attempted the same tactic in his famous BBC debate with Father Copleston.  When asked what caused the universe, he replied that nothing did.  It was just “there.”  But how does an eternal, uncaused universe from which everything else came to be differ from an Uncaused Cause (God)?

However, in the light of the Big Bang evidence that the universe had a beginning, these answers lack scientific support.  As agnostic Jastrow put it, "The scientist’s pursuit of the past ends in the moment of creation."  And  "This is an exceedingly strange development, unexpected by all but theologians.  They have always accepted the word of the Bible: `In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth'" (God and the Astronomers, 115).

Click HERE to continue reading

NO GOOD WITHOUT GOD??!!??

This is the final installation of our newest addition to our series "Good Arguments for God's Existence", and it goes by the name of the Axiological or Moral Argument.

The power of this particular argument from Natural Theology lies in the fact that is deals with something that every human being is in touch with on a daily basis, whether they are an atheist, agnostic, pantheist, or theist: our moral inclinations and perceptions concerning right and wrong, good or bad.

Some philosophers say that this can often be one of the most powerful arguments for God's existence for precisely that reason. I encourage you to listen to it, and decide for yourself if it's true. 

Ask yourself these questions, as you evaluate this deductive argument for God's existence:

- Are there any logical errors made in the progression of this argument?

- Does the conclusion follow necessarily if the premises are true?

- If God doesn't exist, what then is the ultimate foundation for objective morality?

- Is Morality truly objective, or is it relativistic? 

- What impact should that have on our justice system, international law, or even personal interactions when we are wronged if there truly is no objective right or wrong?

- Would the non-existence of God logically result in "Moral Nihilism", the destruction of all moral value and duties in a society?

Is that kind of a world liveable?

Consider these questions and track with us as we progress through this argument.

- Pastor J.

Can we be "Good without GOD"?

Is it possible to be "Good without God" 
as many atheists claim?

Do Moral Absolutes and Values 
have a foundation without GOD?

As we continue in our series "Good Arguments for God's Existence", we will now begin to examine our next line of reasoning, the Moral Argument for God's Existence.  Check out this short video featuring Dr. William Lane Craig, giving a short overview of the argument.

We will begin to explicate this argument in detail in next Tuesday's video. 

Until then, represent Christ with love, truth, and an Intelligent Faith!

- Pastor J.