And nevertheless, that’s it, my people think, and we are grateful that you all do, and that’s why here at this conference, I esteem see as one of the great heroes of the faith today and the line up that he’s got in here.
I wonder why I’m actually here. In fact, I was thinking of the subject. They’ve given me the existence of God. You know, I wish I could just said just listen to what the others have said. And that demonstrates that and we’re OK. But it reminds me of the two guys who are sitting for an exam. And at the end of the exam, they were being interviewed for the job. And the man says, you know, I’ve got a problem.
Both of you guys have answered the questions exactly the same way, word for word. There is no difference in your answers, but I’m going to give it to this gentleman rather than to you. And the guy got offended. How come of our answers are identical? You’re giving it to him and not to me. He says there was one difference in one of the questions. His answer was, I don’t know the answer to this question. And your answer was, neither do I.
So I just feel like saying so do I. What you’ve just heard, I remember when I was at graduate school, sent my doctrinal examination question and we had these tiny little apartments and you had to get no help, just your Bible next to you. And it was a multiple page thing. And the opening question was, God is perfect. Explain.
So I turned to my wife and said the only more difficult thing I could think of is to find God and give two examples. Now, the fascinating thing the fascinating thing about that question is there was just this much of space in which to do the explaining, and I was grateful for that because the longer the answer, the greater the possibility of heresy on something like that.
So I answered in one line, he’s the only entity in existence, the reason for whose existence is in himself. All other entities or quantities exist by virtue of something else, and in that sense, he alone is perfect.
Uncaused, infinite, independent being, in essence, and so when we talk today about a subject as transcendently intimidating is that we got a tough subject on hand. So I’m going to take it in three phases. The first I’m going to talk about is the intense philosophical problems that arise from the denial of God’s existence. No. To how then do we demonstrate God’s existence?
And number three, why is the Christian faith unique in representing this particular notion of God and who he is?
So that’s a tall order within a few minutes on hand, but we will make our attempt to do so. So put your thinking caps on and race along with me. We’ll try and do our best and hopefully the other messages converge at the same time.
Many of you are familiar with these lines of Frederich nature. Nature had a poignancy to what he said, and in many ways he also had a Candar to what he said.
He broke new ground. He did not coined the phrase God is dead. He popularized it. He was the son of a minister and both of his grandfathers were in the ministry.
But this brilliant man who was born 1844, died in nineteen hundred, did so much in that short span of time and ironically lived out his own sense of nihilistic thought.
When he died. He was the last 14 years. He spent insane and in periods of silence would suddenly break into scripture scriptures that he had learned as a young lad.
But listen to how he words it. Have you not heard of that? Mad Men who lit a lantern in the bright morning hours, ran to the marketplace and cried incessantly. I’m looking for God. I’m looking for God, as many of those who did not believe in God were standing together there. He excited considerable laughter. Have you lost him then? Said one. Did he lose his way like a child said another, or is he hiding? Is he afraid of us?
Has he gone on a voyage or emigrated? So they shouted and laughed.
But the Mad Men sprang into their midst and some of his glances. Where is God? He cried. I’ll tell you, we have killed him. You and I. We are all his murderers.
But how did we do this? How were we able to drink up the sea? Who gave us a sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What did we do when we unchained this earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving now away from all suns, maybe?
Are we not perpetually falling backwards and forwards and sidewards and in all directions?
Is there any up or down left? I mean, not strained to an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not suddenly become colder? Is not more and more night coming on us all the time? Must not. Lantern’s now have to be lit in the morning hours. Do we not hear anything yet of the noise of the grave diggers who are bearing God? Do we not smell anything yet of God’s decomposition? God’s decomposed, do you know?
And He is dead. He remains dead. We have killed him. Now, how shall be the murderer of all murderers compose ourselves, because that which was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has possessed, has bled to death under our knives, who will wipe this blood from us? With what water can we purify ourselves? What festivals of atonement? What sacred games will we need to invent? Is not this the greatest of deeds to great for us?
Must we not now ourselves have to become God simply to seem worthy of what we’ve done? There’s never been a greater deed, and whoever shall be born after us for the sake of this deed shall be part of a higher history than all history. Hitherto, it’s event related further that on the same day the Mad Men into diverse churches and their sang a Requiem, it turned them down flat out and it is said to have recorded each time. What are these churches now?
They’re not the tombs and sepulchers of God. God is dead. We have killed him. You know, with all due respect for nature and regard for him, the thing about him I like is a Skender. He is raising the right questions of the implications of a godless universe who gave us a sponge to wipe away the entire horizon. Is there any up or down left must not. Lantern’s now have to be lit in the morning hours.
What he’s really saying is this is so humongous a deed that everything will have to be redefined.
Everything. And so the atheist, if you’ll pardon the crassness of it, my professor, Dr. Gisela, and my graduate school days used to have a very dry wit, had the dry wit, and he would say things like this The atheist is better at smelling rotten eggs than laying good ones.
He’s right, they’re able to sort of take this blade and lacerate away, read Sam Harris’s book. You know, at the end of faith, read his other book, A Letter to a Christian Nation, where he’s challenging America to shred this vestige of God talk and God ideas. I’m in the process of writing a response to him, which hopefully will be completed very soon, calling it a letter to Sam Harris on behalf of a Christian nation.
But they do it, they jab away this stab away, there are three or four things, actually there are several things and I don’t have the time to go into all of them. But there are several entitlements that they have struggles with. The first is this. They have an intense problem then with defining morality. How do you talk up and down, how do you arrive at a moral law and their standard responses, you know, look at all the evil that is around us.
I remember years ago at the University of Nottingham, when I first began, a student stood up and said to me, there’s there’s there’s no such being as God because of all the evil that is around in the world. I said, can we talk on that for a few moments? He said, yes. I said, remain standing. I’ll talk to you. I said, When you say there’s such a thing as evil, aren’t you assuming that such a thing is good?
He said, yes. I said, When you say there’s such a thing as good, aren’t you assuming that such a thing as a moral law on the basis of which to distinguish between good and evil? He struggled for a few moments with that, and I reminded him of the conversation between Frederick Cobblestoned and Bertrand Russell when Bertrand Russell was pushed to the wall by Kopelson, Kopelson, Saddam. Mr Russell, how do you differentiate between good and bad?
Bertrand Russell said the same. We are differentiate between Blue and Green Goblin. Sensible. Wait a minute. You differentiate between blue and green by seeing, don’t you? Yes. How to differentiate between good and bad. Bertrand Russell said on the basis of feeling what else? Oh, wait a minute. Kopelson was a kind man, he really should have turned toward Russell and said to him, is Russell? In some cultures they love their neighbors. In other cultures, they eat them both on the basis of feeling.
Do you have any personal preference?
How can this brilliant mathematician philosopher make so basic an error? But he admitted it in a letter to The Observer.
He said, I do not know how to deal with this issue of morality.
It haunts me.
You see the question of a moral law that comes within us. So I said to him and you said there’s such a thing as evil, aren’t you assuming that such a thing is good? He said, yes. I said, when you say there’s such a thing as good, you must assume a moral law. He said, All right, I’ll grant you that. I said, but when you say there’s such a thing as a moral law, you must posit a moral lawgiver.
But that’s whom you’re trying to disprove and not prove. If there’s no moral lawgiver, there’s no moral law. There’s no moral law, there’s no good. If there’s no good, there’s no evil. What is your question?
He looked at me and I quote, he says, What then am I asking you?
I said, I’m not going to help you. I’m not going to help you. Now, granted, if you’re a thinking person knows, Rabbi, how do you get from the moral law to the moral lawgiver? Is that not an extrapolation? I’ll jump. And in the Q&A time of that question comes, I’ll be very happy to deal with it right now. My time is very tight, so I’ve got to go on the problem of evil.
When you raise it, you raise the question of the nature of good. And when you raise the question of the nature of good, you have to start wondering how do you really arrive at the reality of good and evil when there is no God? Do you know what Richard Dawkins has now come up with?
Dawkins has gone so far as to say we have to deny the reality of evil if our argument is going to stay.
So he actually denies there is any such thing as evil. I was flying out of a country. I sat next to a woman. Who rescues women? And children from abuse. I won’t name the country, but she told me she was a Dutch lady, I said to be successful. She said, I saw the worst thing I saw last night. She said in this area of city called Snake Alley Mincome at night, the consumer concoction of snakes, blood and hard liquor, it ravages the mind and then whatever they want, they are given, she said.
I rescued an 18 month old baby girl from the arms of this man who was sexually plundering her because that’s what he wanted under the influence of snakes, blood and hard liquor. Mr. Dawkins, is that evil?
Can you imagine their walk human beings for whom that is pleasure? Is this the ravaging of just the brain or the ravaging of the soul? Duncan says, no, we’re dancing to our DNA, is that what he was doing? So easy to come up and say, God is dead, God doesn’t exist. How, then, do you make any moral pronouncements of any kind?
Alan Dershowitz, Harvard. I don’t know if that’s good, but I have to say there’s such a thing as evil. Before yesterday’s USA Today. An article on advertising on the front page and then in the book section of a recent psychiatric study that is actually saying evil is real. Evil is real, and then they bring all the gurus to try and come to the point, there’s no moral law, there’s no rational way.
And it’s just in case you think I’m making this up, listen to the most brilliant, prolific Canadian atheistic philosopher, Nielsen. We have not been able to show that Rezende requires the moral point of view, all that really rational persons listen to this qualifier, all that really rational persons are hoodwinked by myth or ideology need not be individual egoists or classical. A more or less reason does not decide here. The picture I have painted for you is not a pleasant one.
Reflection on this actually depresses me. Pure practical reason, even with a good knowledge of the facts, will not lead you to morality. This is an atheist thing that rationally you cannot get there. Listen to Bertrand Russell. He says this. He says, I cannot live as though ethical values were simply a matter of personal taste. And he says, I do not know the solution to this.
And so to deny the existence of God is to take you out of the realm of moral postulates.
Secondly, it takes you out of the realm of meaning, you have no absolute way of positing meaning anymore what meaning actually means.
Listen, for example, to Stephen Jay Gould of Harvard, the late Stephen Jay Gould, I should say, of the paleontologist well known in his stridency. Here is what he says.
We are here because one odd group of fishes had a peculiar fin anatomy that could transform into legs for terrestrial creatures.
We are here because comets struck the Earth and wiped out dinosaurs, thereby giving mammals a chance not otherwise available. So thank your lucky stars, because the Earth never froze entirely during an ice age because a small and tenuous species arising in Africa a quarter of a million years ago has managed so far to survive by hook and by crook. We may yearn for a higher answer, but believe me, none exists.
These explanations, though superficially troubling if not terrifying, is ultimately liberating and exhilarating. Do you feel exhilarated?
We cannot read the meaning of life passively in the facts of nature, we must construct these ourselves from our own wisdom and ethical sense. There is simply no other way.
That’s why the rock musician says knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules, the fate of all mankind, I see is in the hands of fools. Confusion will be my epitaph as I crawl a cracked and broken path. If we make it, we can all sit back and laugh. But I’m afraid tomorrow I’ll be crying. No moral law, no meaning. And lastly, if the atheists, amongst many other things, there’s no hope, there’s really no hope.
Do you know how much this world longs for hope? Let me give you an incredible illustration of this. I was in Lebanon a few weeks ago. And my traveling associate, Philip, was with me, is having breakfast with some Iraqis and the pastor from Iraq was telling us that a few weeks before that, three weeks before we were conversing, he was driving along the streets of Baghdad, a young man with a very young family, he said suddenly a huge booming sound.
My car actually was lifted off the road and I looked around and buildings around me were collapsing. And I literally saw one man’s limbs flying off his body as he fell onto the sidewalk there. He said, I had to stop. My head felt cold. And as I touched my face, blood was pouring out of my ears from the concussion. He said I was in a state of shock and taken to the hospital.
He said, Brother Ravi, we live with this every day. When I say goodbye to my children in the morning, I never even know I’m going to see them. And so Hassan was chatting. I lean forward, I said Hassan said, good or bad, what’s happened in Iraq, what we did. I said, I want to hear from your mouth, tell me, he said.
Before America came to our help, we were living with a lot of pain, everyday pain after America’s come to help us, we still live with a lot of pain, but now we have pain with some hope.
You don’t have to agree with him, I don’t have to agree with him. I’m not saying that I’m not making a political statement here. I’m just telling you this. A man who just had his car and life nearly blown up.
Is looking you in the eye and saying we could not live without hope. Today’s story in the Houston Chronicle. An 11 year old boy who for one year has fought for custody of his baby sister, who was described as nothing more than a fetus. Hollaway stillborn. Thirty some weeks or something like that, pregnant, I forget how stillborn the mother is in drug rehab, father cannot be found.
This 11 year old boy goes to the medical authorities and asks for the body of his sister. For one year, he fought it.
And he got the little body back, he takes takes three of his cousins and conducts the funeral with some stuffed animals. And some flowers and a pink blanket, he lost his dad when he was one year old, he says, he said, now, my sister Rachel, who had no name in the morgue, he’s given us the name Rachel. So now my sister Rachel and my daddy are in heaven together. The Houston Chronicle writer says very rarely in life can you use the word greatness, but I looked into the eyes of this 11 year old boy and I was looking at greatness.
Hope it has got nothing to give to it die. It’s nothing more than a physical compilation of atoms that had no provision of what it was for me.
And so you denounce God, you end up with no moral law, no meaning and no hope. All right.
What does that do about the existence of God and how do we try to even demonstrate that? Let me get into some little bit of an argumentation here. And you may not be able to write as fast as we speak this, but thankfully, you are able to hear that again. And let’s make notes on it. I don’t use PowerPoint.
I’m technologically challenged, I always say he gives me the power and I try to make the point and if you can.
If you can get it that way, it’s OK. Last week, I was lecturing someone, asked them for an overhead projector, and they said, what’s that? I said the inventor of the overhead projector has just been terribly insulted by you. He spent all his life doing that and you don’t know what it is. There are many ways to argue this.
Sarsae is just a master of this with his knowledge of Aquinas and. Guston, many of them who have given such powerful, especially Aquinas, who was the master theologian and thinker of his time with his five ways and so on. Basically, no matter what kinds of arguments you’ve heard, they filter down to two or three very strong forms. Some like to call them prove, some like to call them evidence, as some like to call them arguments. Some like to call them to the coherence factor.
I like the way Dallas Willard has summarized it, taken the best of these, and actually just come with three stages of argument. Here’s the first stage.
Stage number one, it is the nature and existence of the physical reality that we see. Now, listen to this statement very carefully. However concrete physical reality is sectioned up, the result will be a state of affairs which owes its being to something other than itself.
No matter how you section down physical concrete reality, no matter how small you break it down, no matter what you do with it, you end up with the state of affairs that that physical quantity owes its being to something else and does not self can self exist. And it is not self explanatory. If I were to bring an apple to you and show you that apple, you can cut that apple down, you can grate it, you can, you can take it under all kinds of telescopic or microscopic study or whatever it is, you’ll end up with the same reality that it doesn’t explain its own existence.
Now that every physical state listen now, no matter how inclusive, has a necessary condition in some specific type of states state which precedes it in time and is fully existent prior to the emergence of the state which had conditions, what does that mean?
You take this apple. You know, the apple didn’t bring itself into its into being whatever was needed to bring that apple into being a full grown tree in your backyard or whatever had to pre-exist and all the conditions needed for that tree to exist prior to the bringing forth of this apple had to be completed in time in order that this apple to the blossom and then ultimately grow as a fruit on that tree. The apple doesn’t explain its own existence. It is dependent on something which also had to be completed in time in order to produce the entity you are discussing.
But the reality is, neither does the tree explain its own existence. You go back across a series of physical causes and there is not one example in the physical universe of a physical quantity that explains its own existence. And to add to it, if you start back from the apple I’m illustrating and go back all the way to the series of causes, you cannot have an infinite series of causes in time because if you had to have the infinite series of causes, it would never have arrived.
At this moment, if you have a domino called X and you’ve got to have an infinite number of dominoes falling before X falls, you will never get to X because you will need an infinite number of dominos to fall. So what is it we have posited by this point, no physical quantity explains its own existence and no amount of time can consume an infinite series of events to bring you to the present, which means all of these somewhere have to be explained by one self existent cause, which is not physical.
Because a physical quantity, as we know it, in reality, it cannot explain its own existence, C.S. Lewis puts it this way an egg which came from no bird is no more natural than a bird which had existed from eternity.
An egg which came from no bird is no more natural than a bird, which had existed from eternity. So stage one is that we do not have one instance of a physical quantity that completely explains its own existence stage.
Number two, it is the argument to design, not from design. Try and understand the difference.
Very important difference. It is the argument to design and not argument from design. What is an argument from design?
If you take the vastness of the universe, for example, think about it.
There are flames of the surface of the sun, which are 40 times higher than the entire dimension of this earth.
Massive, massive flames. I remember teaming up with an astrophysicist in South Africa. And he was showing a slide on at the University of its phytoestrogen in Johannesburg, where we are lecturing together. And he said, if you look at that picture there, David Block said there’s 100 billion stars on that screen. He said if you started counting them now and counted one star per second, you’d have to be here for two thousand five hundred years.
Just the vastness of it. I remember doing a course in quantum theory under the famed physicist quantum physics, John Polkinghorne, president of Queens College, Cambridge. Was a latecomer to Christ, Polkinghorne once talked about all of the contingencies in the early picoseconds of the universe, you know what a picosecond is? A picosecond is that amount of time which elapses when it takes something travelling at the speed of light to cross the strand of a single breath of hair.
That’s a picosecond, which means almost abstract. Think about. In the early picoseconds universe, he talked about the early contingencies. Here’s what Polkinghorne said to us. He said, you know, take the expansion contraction ratio. It had to be so exact margin of error, so small.
He said it would be like taking aim at a one square inch object at the other end of the known universe, 20 billion light years away and hitting it bull’s eye.
That’s just one contingency and then in typical British understatement, you turned to us and said, you know, gentlemen, there’s no free lunch.
Somebody had to pay. That’s an argument from design. What do we mean by an argument to design, the argument to design? And I want you to understand me very carefully now. Evolution is not an explanation for ultimate origins. It is not an explanation for ultimate origins, evolution doesn’t explain the big bang. Did the Big Bang evolve? What caused the Big Bang? If you were in your room sleeping at three o’clock in the morning and you heard a little bang, you’d want to know what the little bang was.
We just think we’ve talked about the big bang and we’ve solved it. The Big Bang didn’t evolve. I remember talking to a group of scientists at Florida University of Florida having dinner together. I’m not very comfortable with scientists if you’re one of them. Forgive me. I know philosophers can be boring to.
I remember Lee Strobel telling me he blames me for his son going into philosophy, and he looked at his son one day and he said, do you know what the difference is between a philosopher and a large pizza?
And his son said, is this a trick question?
He said, Do you know the difference? And he said, what? Said, You know, the difference between philosophy and a large pizza. He’s a dummy dad, and listen to him, a large pizza can feed a family of four. So we’re having dinner physicists and myself waiting for the dinner to be over so I could leave and sound normal again, and I said to them, all right, you boys are naturalist’s your day. Take exception to metaphysician metaphysicians.
You’re naturaliste. I said, what is the big bang?
Said, well, it’s where everything was reduced to a singularity, I said, and. Don’t you always say it’s where the laws of physics actually break down? That’s true. I said so even your starting point is non-natural. If the laws of physics break down of the singularity, then your starting point is also not natural. You know what one of them said to me? We retain a selective sovereignty over the issues we like to extrapolate from. Now, I’m not knocking science, I’m just telling you this, not all order has evolved.
The argument to design there is a configuration and a coalescing of intelligent. Entities and quantities that predispose the possibility of the resultant entity that came into being.
I had dinner with Francis Collins, the co member of the Human DNA. He said to me when I finished my studies on it, he said very simply, I have to say this to you. I felt I was looking at the Book of life, three point one billion bits of information.
When I finished speaking at Johns Hopkins prior to me was Francis Collins, my wife was with me and we were listening to a stock. It’s one of the most spectacular things I’ve ever seen.
He showed us on the screen a beautiful, geometrically perfect stained glass picture from York Minster Cathedral in England, and he put it up on the screen, you know, wowed.
Then he divides the screen and on the right, he shows a slide of the design of the human DNA.
There was an audible sound in the audience like, wow. And most of them were skeptics. When I see the heavens and the work of your hands, the moon and the stars which you have made, what is there in man that you should keep him in mind? You have set your glory above the heavens. No wonder in December 68, when the boys were going around the dark side of the moon, they vouchsafed a glimpse of this earth given to no human eye, and they saw it rising over the horizon of the moon, draped in a beauteous mixture of black, blue and white, garlanded by the glistening light of the sun against the black void of space.
There’s only one line that came to their minds. As the world waited, no, it wasn’t Stephen Jay Gould. It wasn’t Russell, it was in nature, it was the opening lines of the Bible. In the beginning, God.
Stage one, no physical quantity explains its own existence, stage two. There’s an argument to design. No matter how you slice it down, there’s a coalescing of intelligent components that made it possible to even bring this type of thing into existence, you know?
That’s why people like Human Einstein and all were what you’d call second grade theists, sort of talked about the mind but didn’t know where to park that mind. They didn’t know where to park it because they didn’t want the person of God brought into the scene at stage two. Stage three, the course of human events, historical, social and individual, the course of human events, historical, social and individual within the context of a demonstrated extra naturalism stage one and of a quite plausible cosmic intellectualism.
Stage two. Let me repeat that statement. The course of human events and these are my words, the Dallas Will exhorts the course of human events, historical, social and individual within the context of a demonstrated extreme naturalism stage one and of a quite plausible cosmic intellectualism stage two. Now, I could take you to many places from here with that. If you look at the course of human events, you end up with this fact. How do you explain many things in history?
You remember the famous parable by Anthony, Flu and Wisdom, you’ve got to hear this carefully because John Framer’s made a tremendous response to it. Listen carefully, please. Once upon a time, two explorers came upon a clearing in the jungle. In the clearing were growing many flowers and many weeds. One explorer says some gardener must end the spot. So they pitched their tents and set a watch. No gardeners ever seen, but perhaps he’s an invisible gardener.
So they set up a barbed wire fence. They electrified the patrol it with bloodhounds. But no Shrek’s ever suggests that some intruder has received a shock. No movements of the wire ever betray an invisible climber. The bloodhounds never give KRI. Yet still, the believer is not convinced. But there is a gardener, invisible, intangible, insensible to electric shocks, a God knows no scent and makes no sound. A gardener who comes secretly to look after the garden, which he loves.
At last, the skeptic despairs off. But what remains of your original assertion? Just how does what you call an invisible, intangible, eternally elusive gardener differ from an imaginary gardener or even from one no gardener at all?
Here’s the question.
How does what you call an invisible, intangible, eternally elusive gardener differ from an imaginary gardener or even no gardener at all? John Frame and his apologetics to the glory of God begins with this. Once upon a time, two explorers come upon a clearing in the jungle. A man was there pulling weeds, applying fertilizer, trimming branches. The man turned to the explorers and introduced himself as the royal gardener. One explorer shook his hand and exchanged pleasantries. The other ignored the gardener and turned away.
There can be no gardener in this part of the jungle, he said. This must be some trick. Someone is trying to discredit our previous findings. The pitch camp. Every day the gardener arrives tends the plot. Soon the plot is bursting with perfectly arranged blooms. He’s only doing it because we are here to fool us into thinking this is a royal garden.
But one day the gardener takes them to a royal palace introduced to the explorers to a score of officials who verify the gardener status. Then the septic tries a last resort. Our senses are deceiving us. There is no gardener, no blooms, no palace, no officials. It’s all a hoax. Finally, the believer despairs. But what remains of your original assertion? Just how does this mirage, as you call it, differ from a real gardener?
Follow the point. The gardener did come. And the gardener was seen. Let me give to you three or four reasons why this gardener reveals God so perfectly. First, his description of the human condition. He points to your heart and my heart so accurately that when you finish reading Jesus’s description of you, you know, he knows you extremely well. And so the woman at the well who tries all these theological smokescreens, finally he says to her, these are not your real questions, are they?
You’ve had five broken relationships, the man you’re living with is not your husband. Isn’t that true? He did that so gently that she runs back to her village and says to the people, come back and see the one who told me everything about myself, truly, Messiah, come. You retake the readings of Muhammad, Buddha, Krishna, if he ever lived. And see their description of the human condition. It doesn’t conform to reality. But you take the description of Jesus that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, so whether you’re the head of Enron or whether you are running Playboy magazine, the heart is desperately wicked above all things.
And that’s precisely the point of the article. Two days ago in USA Today, the psychiatrist says, no matter who we are, when the chips are down and the compulsion is there, every one of us turns out to be a rotten. That’s what the Bible said. That’s what the Bible says. You know, I remember walking through Auschwitz years ago and seeing the horrors of what was done.
My wife is really quite extremely well read on World Wars and especially the Second World War. And almost everything she ever reads out to me are quotes to me. It talks about tells you what shocked humanity was that they were ordinary people. Ordinary people. Ordinary human beings, Eichman. Gary Kemmler.
When they sat being tried, one of them basically said the first time I said yes, I didn’t like it, but then I got used to it, to the slaughter of millions, go to Auschwitz and Buchenwald and Dachau and see the human heart.
You know, we got to get away from all of this. People like Sam Harris and all who brandish their penmanship like a sword to lacerate Christians and all the wars we’ve caused.
Has he ever counted the millions that atheism has killed?
And the difference in activism, it can logically emerge in a transcendent Judeo-Christian worldview. It would have to be in violation of what they believe. The kind of stuff that’s going on, he doesn’t care that 10 million female babies have been eradicated in India or Italy because they have a female. Is this all right? Or is this the human heart displayed in such heartbreaking ways, he describes in Hobart tomorrow went to his grave a sceptic he taught at Johns Hopkins, taught at Harvard, committed suicide at the age of 75.
But he wrote to in Psychology Today sometime, I think in the 70s, he said, you know, when we did Away with Sin, we lost our definition of ourselves.
So skeptic saying that we lost who we were, description of the human condition. Secondly, in the person of Christ as he is revealing God.
The the marvelous coalescing of absolutes in him, time’s running out. So let me raise here two years ago, actually, a year and a half ago, I was asked to speak at the United Nations Prayer Breakfast. It was the second time that asked me to come only this time. I marveled at the subject navigating with absolutes in a relativistic world.
You get up at six thirty in the morning to speak on that, and then you’re told you have 25 minutes and then your father told you cannot bring religion into it. I said, I’ll make a deal 20 minutes, your subject last five minutes. I believe in what I do as being the only answer to this struggle. OK, we agree.
So I talked about the search for four absolutes evil, justice, love and forgiveness. How do you define evil? How do you define justice? What is true love?
And when you blow it, how are you forgiven?
They all nodded their heads. I said, Now I want to ask you, with five minutes to go, do you know of one event in the world where these four converged?
I said they converge on the cross of Jesus Christ. Evil was seen for what it was. Justice was made out by a righteous and a holy God. Love was displayed unparalleled to a point where he looks at a young man and says, take care of her, she’s now your mother. A cosmic drama was unfolding, and he cared for the one woman who had so nurtured and cared for him. And then I said forgiveness. That he’s willing to wipe the slate clean and forgive you.
You know, there was an ambassador from one country, I will not name it as an atheistic country. They stood in line to shake hands. The president again says, would you come up to my office and priest, pray for me and my staff, go up and come before that. This man shakes and he said, Can I talk to you for a moment? Said, I come from an atheistic country. I don’t want to come here.
No one come here. We don’t believe in God, and I wondered why I was here. He said this morning, I find out why I’m here. God revealed in Christ, where absolutes converge in an unparalleled way. The description of evil, the convergence of absolutes, totally the disclosure of reality.
You know why I think men and women like you come to a conference like this?
Stalking my wife about it. She was not able to join me last evening, she became unwell just as we were leaving, and I wondered if it was because of my sermon. But it wasn’t. It was OK. She’s feeling much better today and join me here. But, you know, I said, what do they come in? Why you all come. Because you want to go deep. I want to go deep. God is able to take a little child and place that child at the center and south, such as the Kingdom of Heaven, and he’s able to look at a Nicodemus since you’re a teacher and you don’t understand these things.
He’s able to take the sublime and make it simple, he’s able to take this simple and show you the sublimity behind at the unfathomable depths of God’s riches, you know what I think is going to be the biggest point of our delight in eternity?
That we will be silent when we are face to face with the Trinity. You know, Peter knew the difference between one fish and three fishes. Paul knew the difference between one and three. This marvelous mystery of the Trinity, which may be the only explanation for the Greek search of unity and diversity. Because unity and diversity in the effect must presuppose unity and diversity in the first cause and only in the Trinity, is that a community of unity in diversity.
God is a being in relationships and our hearts, hunger for a relationship as we live here. Marvelous depth of truth. The atheist stuff looks so shallow after this, you say what? When somebody asked Francis Crick, the Nobel laureate, for cracking the code of the DNA and how how did we come to be, then what happened? How did we have all these components to bring us to? This was a skeptic. Ask him what Francis Crick said.
It would have to have been a spaceship that came from another planet that brought spores to seed the Earth. And that’s how we came to be. Now, if that’s reason, give me faith.
I don’t have that kind of face. That’s what you call nonsense in sophisticated language.
He says that again and again and again.
No, when we see the disclosure of reality and the last thing I say to you is this. The resurrection of the body, the resurrection of the body. Isn’t it marvelous to know that God identifies both the physicality and the spirituality as real components of our lives? We will have a glorified body and soul. If you violate sexuality, you violate it at your own risk. You violate the temple of the living God. The absolutes are shown in the sacredness of the body and the sacredness of that transcending spirit of the human being.
God raises the body, as it were, the resurrected body.
My wife’s father passed away a year and a half ago, and he was a military man. He was in the Second World War. And whenever a body was ever lowered into the ground, he always stood at attention saluting. The respect. The person may be dead and not inhabiting the body, but the body was a place we respect, you respect the human body, you remember that. And that’s why Jesus wept even at the grave of his friend, knowing he was going to raise them again.
And he said, you destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up. I want to close with one humorous line, and I think I’m just on target here. I believe that in itself is a class B miracle that it learn what you did about to make you believe in God. When the great chess master. Garry Kasparov of Russia was going to play a computer in a chess match. He beat the first one and the boys got together and said, we’ll design the best computer in the world.
An IBM computer called Deep Blue and we are going to build one that will beat you. Kasparov Kasparov got nervous and went away into hiding for many months because he was afraid that if he lost a deep blue, he would lose the dignity of humanity in the process. He doesn’t know I lost that dignity after the calculator’s came out. He’s worried about the computers taking it away from it. But here is what he saw. So David Gallatin, a professor of computer science from Yale University, writes this In response to Kasparov’s fear that has lost to deep blue would end up in the loss of dignity for humanity.
Listen to this brilliant professor of computer science, David Kalodner. The idea that Deep Blue has a mind is absurd. How can an object that wants nothing, feels nothing, enjoys nothing, needs nothing and cares nothing. Have a mind or it can win a chess, but not because it wants to.
It isn’t happy when it wins or sad when it loses, what are deep blues after the match plans? If it ends up beating Kasparov, is it hoping to take deep pink out for a night in the town? No, it doesn’t doesn’t care about chess or anything else, it plays the game for the same reason a calculator adds A of Tostitos because the machine designed for that purpose, no matter what feats they perform inside, they will always be a big fat zero.
No computer can achieve artificial taught without achieving artificial emotion, too. In the long run, I doubt if there is any kind of human behavior. Computers cannot fake any kind of performance you cannot put on. It is conceivable that one day computers will be better than humans at nearly everything. I can imagine that a person might even someday have a computer for a best friend. Well, but that’ll be sad. Like having a dog for your best friend, only Satur.
By the way, I like dogs, we have one, but the gap between the human and surrogate is permanent and will never be close. Listen now, machines will continue to make life easier, healthier, richer and more puzzling. And human beings will continue to care ultimately about the same things they always have about one another and many of them about God. He could not make that article stick without that last line. The difference between a machine and you is huge.
Because of got. Do you know? Frances Thompson ran from God. Most of his life, and he would hang out at Charing Cross to get his drugs and sleep by the River Thames. Then God hounded him, followed him to read his story in the hand of heaven, but then he wrote this brilliant one. Hanging around at Charing Cross and by the River Thames, he wrote This whole world invisible. We view the. A world intangible, we touch the whole world unknowable, we know them in apprehensively clutch the desert fish soar to find the ocean, an eagle plunged to find the air.
Do we ask of the stars and motion if they have rumor of the they’re not whether healing systems darken or our benumbed conceiving source, the drift of opinions would be Hakin Beatson. Our own place, the doors. The Angels keep their ancient places touch but a stone and startling does ye Desura strange faces that amidst the many splendored thing. But when so sad thou canst not sadder trying upon thy so saw loss shall shine the traffic of Jacob’s ladder between Heaven and Charing Cross in the night my soul, my daughter cried clutching heaven by the Hem’s low Christ walking on the water not having Nasrat but tems.
And Bertrand Russell was asked why he didn’t believe in God. He said because he didn’t give me enough evidence to listen to Francis Thompson, he would find out just how the absence of evidence is, the suppression of. Got to meet you where you are. And my father in law died. So, gentlemen, to the end, it’s a great man. But he stuck to his clothes off, he was losing it. Shrunken down to a bag of bones, diagnosis to death, four months, eighty five years old, quintessential gentleman, men of God.
He lost his voice, lost everything, my wife was standing by his bed along with her sisters and her mother. Finally, he got enough strength. To reach out to his wife of 63 years. He had no voice, said, I love you. You just missed it. I love you. Put his head back on the pillow, look to the heavens and said, Amazing. Just amazing. And he was gone. But purer and higher and greater will be our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see denied God, the philosophical entitlements are insoluble.
Find the steps to him. Something beyond the physical, only an intelligent entity who came into history, who described and was seen and was heard, who described your heart and mind and the person of God. I believe in God who sent his only begotten son, Jesus Christ, because of whom I stand before you, because of whom I was rescued from a bed of suicide at the age of 17. And. He was near to me. He’s near to you love the atheist and live the life, as Ronald Reagan used to say, in his own simple way.
Serve the atheist with a fine dinner and ask him if he believes in a cock.
God bless you.