10/27/09

Life After Death: The Evidence

Dinesh D'Souza’s most recent book is entitled, Life After Death: The Evidence.

Let us consider a description provided by Human Events – Book Services.



This may be a good addendum to Gary R. Habermas and James Porter Moreland’s book Beyond Death: Exploring the Evidence for Immortality.



Here is the description of Life After Death: The Evidence:

Is death the end? That's the ultimate question that has preoccupied mankind from the beginning of time to the present. And in truth, there is no more important question in life -- it is the one issue that makes every other issue trivial, for death is the great wrecking ball that destroys everything. But does anything lie beyond that great disruption, that terrible dissolution? Bestselling author Dinesh D'Souza answers that question with a resounding "yes." In his new blockbuster, Life After Death: The Evidence, he offers solid proof that death is not the end -- and shows why the rational side of this debate is the side that believes in the afterlife, while those clinging to blind faith are the ones who say that the end of this life is the extinguishing of all human existence.

Surprisingly enough, unlike many books about the afterlife, Life After Death makes no appeal at all to religious faith, divine revelation, or sacred texts. Instead, D'Souza (author of What's So Great About Christianity) makes a powerful and unique case by drawing on some of the most persuasive new theories and trends in physics, evolutionary biology, science, philosophy, and psychology. As he does so, D'Souza shows why the atheist critique of immortality is irrational -- and demonstrates that to believe in life after death is to affirm reason at its most fundamental level.

Life After Death makes three distinct and eye-opening arguments for life after death: one from neuroscience, one from philosophy, and one from morality. Each of these arguments is decisive by itself; collectively, they offer a convincing legal brief for the afterlife. D'Souza does not prove life after death beyond a reasonable doubt, but he meets the civil standard of proving his case by a preponderance of the evidence -- and also shows why it is good for us to believe in life after death even in the absence of complete certainty. Most compellingly of all, D'Souza provides a case study -- the only one in history -- that shows how life after death isn't just a future prospect, but has already happened for a single individual, thereby opening up a stunning new possibility: not just life after death, but eternal life right now.

The assertion that death is not the end is a factual claim, insists D'Souza; it can be reasonably assessed. Life After Death: a solidly argued case for the truth of the afterlife, and a ringing affirmation of how life after death can give depth and significance to this life, a path to happiness, and a reason for hope.



Exploring the afterlife with Dinesh D'Souza:

- How our culture, which prides itself on its open- mindedness and candor, shows an intense antipathy to facing the greatest of all human questions

- Why the common feature of all scientific hypotheses developed in order to explain the origin of life is the avoidance of miracles and supernatural explanations

- The test of a good theory: not only the validity of its reasoning but also whether it helps to explain things that would otherwise remain mysterious

- Science and the scientific method: its little-noted but all-important "blind spot"

- The remarkable implications of the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe

- The prevailing outlook of elites in the Britain and America for the past couple of hundred years -- and how it clouds our understanding of basic and quite obvious truths that support the reality of life after death

- The one way to give a natural explanation of the fine- tuned universe -- an explanation that, not surprisingly, some leading scientists have enthusiastically advanced

- Dualism: why it is gaining new respect and new adherents among philosophers and scientists

- Reincarnation? Why some people hold so tenaciously to this idea -- and why it ultimately must be rejected by reasonable people

- The two most widely held contemporary theories of materialism -- and why each fails to account for crucial and incontrovertible facts

- How atheists who insist that life after death is a religious concept may be surprised to discover that it is also a philosophical idea widely discussed in the fifth century B.C.

- Near death experiences: they don't prove life after death, but they do suggest it is possible

- Near death research: how it has faced derision and even ferocious attack from various quarters -- including, surprisingly, attack and derision from religious believers who might be expected to welcome this empirical support for one of the central premises of their faith

- How the progression of evolution on earth shows an unmistakable trajectory from matter to mind

- Why all evolutionary attempts to explain morality ultimately miss the point, seeking to explain morality but even at their best explaining what is not morality at all

- The odd form of materialism that does not completely rule out the possibility of life after death
How several of the greatest ideas and institutions of Western civilization were shaped by a firmly held vision of transcendence and life after death

- Why even the four-dimensional world of space and time envisioned by Einstein may be part of a larger multidimensional world, several of whose dimensions are hidden from us

- How the existence of moral values that stand athwart our animal nature presupposes the reality of cosmic justice, achieved not in this life but in another life beyond the grave

- How the concepts of eternity and life after death, far from being hostile to life and civilization as the atheists allege, have in fact shaped some our greatest and most beneficial social and political ideals, ideals that are shared by religious and secular people alike

- Four clear benefits provided by belief in the afterlife

- Four concrete facts in the accounts of the resurrection of Jesus Christ that have to be accounted for by anyone attempting to deny the resurrection

Continue reading Life After Death: The Evidence...

10/25/09

New Books By WLC – “God is Great, God is Good” and “On Guard”

William Lane Craig will be publishing two new books within about four months.

God is Great, God is Good: Why Believing in God is Reasonable and Responsible and On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision

God is Great, God is Good: Why Believing in God is Reasonable and Responsible will be published on November 20, 2009 AD and is edited by William Lane Craig and Chad Meister (I wonder if his friends call him The Chad Meister—making copies!)



Here is the table of contents:
Part One: God Is
1 Richard Dawkins on Arguments for God
William Lane Craig

2 The Image of God and the Failure of Scientific Atheism
J. P. Moreland

3 Evidence of a Morally Perfect God
Paul K. Moser

Part Two: God Is Great
4 God and Physics
John Polkinghorne

5 God and Evolution
Michael J. Behe

6 Evolutionary Explanations of Religion?
Michael J. Murray

Part Three: God Is Good
7 God, Evil and Morality
Chad Meister

8 Is Religion Evil?
Alister McGrath

9 Are Old Testament Laws Evil?
Paul Copan

10 How Could God Create Hell?
Jerry L. Walls

Part Four: Why It Matters
11 Recognizing Divine Revelation
Charles Taliaferro

12 The Messiah You Never Expected
Scot McKnight

13 Tracing Jesus' Resurrection to Its Earliest Eyewitness Accounts
Gary R. Habermas

14 Why Faith in Jesus Matters
Mark Mittelberg

Postscript: My Pilgrimage from Atheism to Theism
Antony Flew (with Gary Habermas)

Appendix A: The Dawkins Confusion: Naturalism "Ad Absurdum": Review of
Richard Dawkins's The God Delusion
Alvin Plantinga


On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision will be published on March 1, 2010 AD.



Here is the product description from Amazon.com:
Renowned scholar William Lane Craig offers a readable, rich training manual for defending the Christian faith.

This concise guide is filled with illustrations, sidebars, and memorizable steps to help Christians stand their ground and defend their faith with reason and precision. In his engaging style, Dr. Craig offers four arguments for God’s existence, defends the historicity of Jesus’ personal claims and resurrection, addresses the problem of suffering, and shows why religious relativism doesn’t work. Along the way, he shares his story of following God’s call in his own life.

This one-stop, how-to-defend-your-faith manual will equip Christians to advance faith conversations deliberately, applying straightforward, cool-headed arguments. They will discover not just what they believe, but why they believe—and how being on guard with the truth has the power to change lives forever.

From the Back Cover
Do you worry that someone will ask you a question about your faith that you can’t answer?

Have you tried to learn how to defend your faith but gotten lost in confusing language and theology?

Do you struggle with times of spiritual doubt yourself?

This concise training manual by a renowned scholar is filled with illustrations, sidebars, and memorizable steps to help you stand your ground and defend your faith with reason and precision. In his engaging style, Dr. William Lane Craig offers four arguments for God’s existence, defends the historicity of Jesus’ personal claims and resurrection, addresses the problem of suffering, and shows why religious relativism doesn’t work. Along the way, he shares his own story of following God’s call.

This one-stop, how-to-defend-your-faith manual will equip you to advance faith conversations deliberately, applying straightforward, cool-headed arguments. You will discover not just what you believe, but why you believe—and how being on guard with the truth has the power to change lives forever.

Continue reading New Books By WLC – “God is Great, God is Good” and “On Guard”...

10/22/09

Science & Faith: Friends or Foes?

Science & Faith: Friends or Foes? Is the title of a conference which will take place on October 23-24, 2009 AD at the Riley Conference Center on the campus of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Nota Bene reports:
Are science and faith at war? Does science undermine or corroborate belief in God? Does faith suppress or inspire scientific research? Explore these questions and more at a two-day conference…

Sessions will explore a Biblical theology of nature; the role of Christianity in the founding of modern science; the impact of Darwinian Evolution on ethics, society, Biblical studies and theology; and the scientific evidence for intelligent design and its implications for theism.

This conference will be of special interest to seminary students, college students, and pastors and other church leaders.

At the end of the conference there will be breakout sessions for students and church leaders on how to incorporate science and faith issues into one's church, ministry, or career.




Featured speakers include:
Dr. William Dembski, author of The Design Revolution, The End of Christianity.

Dr. Stephen Meyer, author of Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design

Dr. Jay Richards, co-author of The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos Is Designed For Discovery (which was made into a DVD)

Dr. John West, author of Darwin Day in America: How Our Politics and Culture Have Been Dehumanized in the Name of Science

Dr. Ray Bohlin, author of Basic Questions on Genetics, Stem Cell Research and Cloning: Are These Technologies Okay to Use? (Biobasics Series)

Dr. Michael Keas, Professor of the Philosophy of Science at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Continue reading Science & Faith: Friends or Foes?...

10/20/09

Collision - Christopher Hitchens and Doug Wilson at the Movies

Hard to believe as it may be to believe Bill Maher’s Religulous ( see here, here and here) may not be the end all with regards to atheist / Christian polemics.

Christopher Hitchens and Doug Wilson are the stars on a new documentary entitled Collision.


The movie’s website is found here.

Here is a trailer:


John Piper interviews Doug Wilson:


A October 30, 2008 AD debate between Hitchens and Wilson at Westminster Theological Seminary (East) is found here.


Continue reading Collision - Christopher Hitchens and Doug Wilson at the Movies...

10/19/09

Athanatos Opens Its Gates – Atheism and Christian Apologetics

Nice guy extraordinaire and more than capable apologist Anthony Horvath is once again opening the gates of the online apologetics courses he offers at Athanatos.

He has been kind enough to include me as an instructor this time around.

The course descriptions and other info is found here.

Some courses are free and the others cost less than most people spend on coffee any given week:



I will be teaching Studies in Atheism
4 weeks. Begins Nov 4th.
Before there were the 'New Atheists' there were the old ones. This investigation into the atheism of Dawkins, Harris, etc, looks into the foundations of modern day atheism and its pervasive hostility to theism and Christianity. This course ends before Christmas. (Just in case the FFRF had any ideas...)


I will also teach Jesus According to...
3 Weeks. Begins Nov 30th.
How do different cultures, cults, and world religions view Jesus? How are these similar and different to the Christian view, which is rooted in the New Testament? Why does it matter?


Other courses are as follows:
Joe Keysor, Hitler and Christianity:
3 weeks. Begins Nov 23.
A free, three week course exploring the charge that Christianity is to blame for the Nazis and the Holocaust. This course is taught by Joe Keysor, the author of Hitler, the Holocaust, and the Bible. This book is strongly recommended if you are taking the course but not absolutely required.

I reviewed Hitler, the Holocaust, and the Bible here.

Josh Davis, Christ Promised in the Old Testament:
2 Weeks. Begins Nov 16th. Strongly Suggested Materials: The Bible.
Could you demonstrate that Jesus was the Christ from the Old Testament alone as the apostles did? (Acts 17:11, 18:28, 1 Cor 15:3). This survey of major OT evidences for Jesus as the Christ will help you see how Christianity and Judaism were related why Jews found it compelling at the time. This is an introduction that will help in personal growth and evangelism efforts.




Anthony Horvath, Reliability of the New Testament Documents:
2 Weeks. Begins Nov 2nd. Strongly Suggested Materials: The New Testament Documents: Are they Reliable by F.F. Bruce.
This class surveys the development of the New Testament documents and the formation of the canon in a basic, introductory fashion.


Anthony Horvath and Terry Hollifield, Study in Alleged Bible Contradictions:
2 Weeks. Begins Nov 30th. Strongly Suggested Materials: The Bible.
Principles for resolving alleged contradictions in the Bible are introduced and applied to a small set of famous 'contradictions.'


Anthony Horvath, The Death of Christianity:
3 weeks. Begins Nov 9th. FREE. Suggested Materials: Internet readings, guided tour.
Christianity is demonstrably on the decline in America. This course documents that decline, probes the causes, and suggests solutions. Based on the content found at http://www.deathofchristianity.com/, this course is centered heavily on discussion between the participants.




Glenn Jones, Basic New Testament Greek Part 1
3 weeks. Begins Nov 2nd. Strongly Suggested (but not required) Materials: Basic Greek In 30 Minutes a Day by Jim Found.
Learn the Greek alphabet, how to sound out Greek words, how to identify nouns, verbs, definite articles, and how to use such information to use resources like a Bible interlinear or lexicon.


Glenn Jones, Basic New Testament Greek Part 2
3 weeks. Begins Nov 30th. Strongly Suggested (but not required) Materials: Basic Greek In 30 Minutes a Day by Jim Found.
Building on Part 1, the student will learn more vocabulary as well as parts of speech such as the definite article, etc.


Terry Hollifield, Origins: A Survey:
4 Weeks. Begins Nov 2nd.
Is evolutionary theory true? What does the Bible say? What does the science say? Is there scientific evidence for a young earth creation? Or is it just something the Bible says? In this survey of the issues, the participant will explore the critical issues involved in the Creation-Evolution-Intelligent Design Debate so they can make their own, informed, decisions. This course lays important groundwork for future study.

Continue reading Athanatos Opens Its Gates – Atheism and Christian Apologetics...

Richard Dawkins’ Positive Atheism

FYI: this post has been moved here.
Continue reading Richard Dawkins’ Positive Atheism...

10/13/09

The End Of Christianity

Mathematician and philosopher William A. Dembski is publishing a new book entitled, The End Of Christianity: Finding A Good God In An Evil World due to be released on November 1, 2009 AD.



The following information is from Amazon’s product description:
Theodicy attempts to resolve how a good God and evil world can coexist. The neo-atheist view in this debate has dominated recent bestseller lists through books like The God Delusion (Richard Dawkins), God Is Not Great (Christopher Hitchens), and The End of Faith (Samuel Harris). And their popularity illuminates a changing mental environment wherein people are asking harder questions about divine goodness. Surprisingly, these books please intelligent design champion William Dembski, because “They would be unnecessary if Christianity were not again a live issue.”

Entering the conversation, Dembski’s provocative The End of Christianity embraces the challenge to formulate a theodicy that is both faithful to Christian orthodoxy and credible to the new mental environment. He writes to make peace with three claims:

(1) God by wisdom created the world out of nothing.

(2) God exercises particular providence in the world.

(3) All evil in the world ultimately traces back to human sin.

In the process, Dembski brings the reader to a fresh understanding of what “the end (result) of Christianity” really means: the radical realignment of our thinking so that we see God’s goodness in creation despite the distorting effects of sin in our hearts and evil in the world.




Endorsements:
"The End of Christianity towers over the others in profundity and quality . . . I have read very few books with its deep of insight, breadth of scholarly interaction, and significance. From now on, no one who is working on a Christian treatment of the problem of evil can afford to neglect this book."

—J. P. Moreland, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Biola University and author of The God Question

A thought-provoking and well-worth reading book by a brilliant evangelical thinker on the perennial and puzzling problem of how to explain physical evil in the world before the Fall. I could not put it down. It has so much intellectually stimulating material in it.

Norman Geisler

"Believers have badly needed the kind of compelling case for biblical theodicy provided in Dr. Dembski's new book-grounded, as it is, not in traditional philosophical arguments (often not merely obtuse but irrelevant in today's scientific climate), but in intelligent design, of which Dr. Dembski is the world's foremost academic proponent."

John Warwick Montgomery

"William Dembski is a first-rate scholar who has focused his attention on the perennial challenge to Christianity: Why does God allow such evil and cruelty in the world? While staying well within the bounds of Christian orthodoxy, Dembski offers fresh insights that can truly be described as groundbreaking. Whether you end up embracing his solution or not, The End of Christianity is a book all Christians-and even non-Christians-need to wrestle with. We enthusiastically recommend it."

—Josh and Sean McDowell, co-authors of Evidence for the Resurrection and More Than A Carpenter

Continue reading The End Of Christianity...