The GeoChristian

The Earth. Christianity. They go together.

Atheism on Issues Etc.

Issues Etc. is one of the best programs on Christian radio. Host Todd Wilken has done three segments on atheism in the past couple weeks that are excellent:

  • 9/3/08 – Dinesh D’Souza on Responding to Atheists
  • 9/11/08 – Dr. Albert Mohler on the New Atheists
  • 9/15/08 – Dr. Doug Groothuis on Christopher Hitchens’ Book, “God is Not Great”

Here’s a quote from the D’Souza segment (D’Souza is the author of What’s So Great About Christianity):

One reason I’m not afraid to debate these guyes is not because they aren’t really smart–they are–but they are smart in a narrow field. And yet you find that rather confidently they wander out of that field to make claims in [other] realms: history, politics, philosophy. You’ll find Richard Dawkins discoursing on the shiites and the sunnis. Here’s a guy who’s basically an expert on evolutionary biology, giving us lectures about the shia and the sunni. Well, on that subject he’s a virtual ignoramous, and so I find it very easy to deflate these balloons, beccause you get people who should be confined to an area they know something about, trying to speak in areas they don’t.

Issues Etc. is a daily program (Mon-Fri) that covers an incredible range of topics. Wilkins avoids the trap D’Souza is talking about by bringing in experts from various fields and discussing the topics with them.

I have a free subscription to Issues Etc. as an iTunes podcast (search podcasts for Issues Etc); the Issues Etc. website has other ways to download the program as well.

(I don’t always agree with Wilken on some doctrinal issues, or on young-Earth creationism, but still love the program because it always focuses on Christ and what he has done for us on the cross rather than on us)

Grace and Peace

September 16, 2008 - Posted by | Apologetics, Christianity

11 Comments »

  1. Likewise I like Issues, Etc programs and am one of its biggest supporters. I admit I struggle with the YEC/OEC debates…but Wilken’s fundamental point would be that the entire need and struggle for redemption stems from Genesis 1, Creation, and Adam and Eve. Christ himself testified to the validity of Genesis. Without Adam and Eve entering the world, and therefore sin, why is there a need for a redeemer if we’re truly descendent from apes? If Genesis 1 is allegorical, how can you trust the rest of it? Where does true Biblical history begin and where does the myth end?

    Like

    Comment by PHW | September 16, 2008

  2. PHW — Thanks for the comment. I agree that the opening chapters of Genesis are foundational: a real creation from nothing, an all-powerful Creator, a real Adam committing a real sin. The bad news of our sin is a prerequisite for understanding our need for a Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ. Wilken does an excellent job with all these things.

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    Comment by geochristian | September 16, 2008

  3. …. The Pot is calling the Kettle black! Seriously, Dinesh doesn’t have a degree or background in those fields any more than the people he is criticing!

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    Comment by Samuel Skinner | September 16, 2008

  4. The point is that Dawkins, Hitchens et al. often don’t know what they are talking about. They spew anger and bitterness, and that resonates with some people, but their arguments about the existence of God tend to be rather amateurish.

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    Comment by geochristian | September 17, 2008

  5. … which is irrelevant if they are correct. Emperor! It is like these people have never heard of logical fallices! Here is a gift- think of it as an early Christmas present:
    http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/
    Do you want me to point out which one it is, or do you want to do an easter egg hunt for the exact one?

    Like

    Comment by Samuel Skinner | September 19, 2008

  6. How so? They don’t need to know theology- that is the study of God and they are criticing its existance.

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    Comment by Samuel Skinner | September 19, 2008

  7. Samuel:
    To say that someone can argue against the existence of God without really understanding the theological/philosophical arguments for the the existence of God is like saying that global warming is a bunch of hot air without having much knowledge of climatology. That is why Dawkins comes across to us as rather amateurish.

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    Comment by geochristian | September 19, 2008

  8. Except that even conservatives agree that the atmosphere exists. Atheists and theists do not always agree on basic premises.

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    Comment by Samuel Skinner | September 20, 2008

  9. Samuel:

    I think we all agree that the universe exists. I think we all agree on its basic laws: gravity, thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, and so on. I think we all use the same basic rules of logic and evidence.

    Even if the universe formed through the big bang–and I won’t argue that it didn’t–that still doesn’t answer the philosophical question, “Why is there something rather than nothing?”

    Most atheists I dialog with dismiss the classic arguments for God–cosmological, teleological, and ontological–without really understanding them. It is fine if you want to ignore these arguments, but don’t then say that you can argue that God doesn’t exist. That is no different than young-Earth creationists who argue against the geologic column (Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian…) with little or no understanding of paleontology, sedimentology, or stratigraphy.

    This is the problem with the “new atheists.” They are intelligent men who often don’t know what they are talking about.

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    Comment by geochristian | September 20, 2008

  10. Except that these are logical arguments. Yo don’t need a special backround to deal with them.

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    Comment by Samuel Skinner | September 21, 2008

  11. Wrong. One might not need a doctorate in philosophy or theology to intelligently discuss the existence of God, but it would be good to know the basic arguments, especially when publishing books for the whole world to read. To thinking Christians, the new atheists come across as ignorant and foolish precisely because they think they know what they are talking about in areas like history, philosophy, and theology, when in reality they give some anecdotes and distort facts (while ignoring other facts) and think they have made a good point.

    What you are saying when you say “all you need is logic” is no different than when many young-Earth creationists, who know little about geology or biology, make grand statements about how obvious it is that the entire geologic column was formed in Noah’s flood (the Bible doesn’t say sedimentary rocks were formed in the flood). To them it makes sense, applying the same rules of logic (they think) that other scientists use. But they don’t know rocks. Likewise, the new atheists don’t know philosophy, yet they think they are wise.

    Atheism doesn’t work, it isn’t true, and it is bad for humanity.

    Thanks for your comments.

    Like

    Comment by geochristian | September 22, 2008


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