science

I am the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25)-Two Sides of the Same Self-Portraiture

Without Jesus nothing was made that was made (John 1:3) and without Him, there is no resurrection. He is both the life and the resurrection. Life inheres in Him.

The intriguing story of Lazarus, the brother of Martha and Mary, illustrates and authenticates the claims above. The Bible tells us that Jesus loved the family of Lazarus, Martha and Mary (John 11:5). They were hospitable and kind to Him and received Him in their home from time to time. Therefore, when Lazarus became terminally ill, his sisters sent word to Jesus to inform him about Lazarus’ illness. Ordinarily, when a good friend falls ill with a life-threatening disease, we make it a point to rush to their side to give them the support and comfort they need. But in this case, the Bible says that when Jesus heard about Lazarus’ grave illness, He said “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified by it,” (John 11:4), and He remained where He was for an additional two days during which Lazarus died. Strangely enough, upon hearing about the death of Lazarus’ death, Jesus told His disciples that Lazarus was merely sleeping. He seemed completely unfazed by Lazarus’ death. He did not even rush to attend the funeral. This must have really puzzled the sisters who must have expected Him to come and heal Lazarus the way He had healed other people, and even raised some from the dead.

Jesus finally went to be with the sisters. When He came near their town, Martha hurried to meet Him while Mary remained at home with the mourners. Martha told Jesus what she thought He would have done if He had been present: “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died, (John 11:21).  When Mary finally came to the burial site, she reiterated her sister’s sentiments. They both had faith in Jesus, but they did not understand why He had not risen to their expectations during a difficult time in their lives. May be right now the reader feels that Jesus has abandoned them while they are going through a difficult time. When my daughter died, I knew that Jesus could have healed her if He had willed. But He did not. I still believe in Him even when I do not understand what is going on in the spiritual world; behind the physical veil of this life. When Rick Warren was asked this question during a CNN interview after the death of his son by suicide: “Looking back, is it possible to begin to see purpose in your pain?” He said he had struggled with the “why” questions: “Why didn’t you [God] answer the prayer I prayed every day for 27 years?” The prayer I prayed more than any other prayer went unanswered. But… What you need in tragedy is not an explanation, you need the presence of God.” Truer words have never been spoken. God’s presence in our lives is what has kept my family going, too.

During His conversation with Martha, Jesus made a staggering claim that has forever changed mankind’s view of death: “I am the resurrection and life…,” He said. Martha believed in an eschatological resurrection as she confessed to Jesus. She understood the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead. But Jesus was trying to help her understand that the resurrection was not an event, as such. It was the Person standing right beside her. He is the life. Where there is resurrection, death is impotent and where life thrives, death is absent. In a nutshell, in Jesus, there is no death. In Him the dead do not pass into oblivion. They live on although they are separated from the physical life. Lazarus was not late Lazarus to Jesus. He was just Lazarus. Indeed Lazarus’ body had ceased to function and his flesh was decomposing, going back into the dust. But although its chemical properties had begun to disintegrate and the blood was no longer circulating, Lazarus was still within earshot of the voice of Jesus. There is never a point at which we are beyond Jesus’ voice or reach. Before the multitude in Bethany stood One who substituted the present for a future event of hope. What had ceased to exist was merely the tent housing Lazarus (2 Cor. 5:1). But to Jesus, Lazarus was more than his physical body. Human beings are spiritual beings and that is what connects us to our Creator God since the flesh has no interest in divine things (Gal 8:8).

Barclay aptly observed, in “Jesus Christ, we know that we are journeying not to the sunset, but to the sunrise” of eternal life with Him. Jesus’ voice pierced the heart of darkness that had engulfed Lazarus in his death, and shone the light of His life. Jesus completely altered the character of death so that although it remains, it is a powerless leviathan to the believer because of the continuity of life inherent in the Person of Christ, our Lord.

Human understanding is always restricted and crippled by our experiences on this earth. The present so pre-occupies us that it has obscured the future, particularly in spiritual issues.  Judging from what obtained in the present, Martha implicitly told the Lord that He was too late to do anything for Lazarus. Her view was confined to time and space: “If you had been here…” She thought that Jesus had to be physically present in their geographic location to heal her brother. Capitulation to the prison of time and space limits our focus to what we believe to be present reality, and makes us lose sight of that which is possible. Consequently, our straggling modicum of faith becomes frayed by our fixation to the present; to that which is temporary at the expense of the eternal.

Jesus’ own resurrection from the dead reveals to us that He has permanently defeated death.  This means that we have hope even when our loved ones succumb to physical death…

Interesting Info about Prescription Meds

Síle Lane is a scientist who works as director of international campaigns and policy at Sense about Science, which is a charity organization that endeavors to challenge misrepresentations of science and scientific evidence. She advocates for honesty and transparency in scientific research.

It is reported that much information and data related to clinical trials is deliberately being withheld from the general public.1 The data costs not only money and time, but human lives, too. This means that not all medications that are approved and placed on the market for consumption are safe. The health and wellbeing of the general public relies on decision makers composed of physicians, regulators and researchers. However, the effectiveness of decision-making can be compromised if some decision-makers have access to only 50% of the results of clinical trials. In the 1980s a drug called Lorcainide was tested in clinical trials both in the United States and in Europe. Although the findings indicated that individuals who took the medication during the clinical trial were more likely to die than those who were not given the medication, these results were not published until more than 10 years after the drug had been authorized to go on the market. As a consequence, approximately, 100,000 people died from it. Another case involved Tamiflu, an anti-flu medicine. A government regulator in the United Kingdom recommended that the government should buy the drug, based on findings from clinical trials. The government bought it at about £473 million to prepare for a possible flu pandemic. But investigations and analyses of clinical trials about the same drug by an independent research network known as Cochrane found that it was ineffective.

As a response to this alarming scenario, the European Union has passed, which will go into effect in 2018 in which it will be required that all clinical trials conducted within the Union be registered on public databases even before they begin. This way, interested individuals will be able to follow the trials as they unfold. Within one year after the trial is completed, a summary of its findings will be required to be posted on the database. There are also organizations and movements that are springing up such as AllTrials composed of researchers, patients and other stakeholders demanding that policy makers and sponsors of clinical trials publish the findings before they are destroyed. In 2016, the United Nations released a report asserting that all clinical trials results should be published and available to whoever wants to have access to them. Being informed is being armed with power to make appropriate decisions from a position of authority. Ignorance in such cases is not bliss.

 

 

Sources

Lane, S. (2017). The hidden truth about our prescription medications. Science. IDEAS.TED.COM Accessed from http://ideas.ted.com/the-hidden-truth-about-our-prescription-medications/

The Invisible Reality

Human beings have spiritual acuity that allows them to experience both the physical and spiritual realms because they are made in the image of God. Although invisible to the eye, the spiritual realm surrounds and undergirds the physical realm. The spiritual realm is eternal while the physical realm is temporary. Human beings are born in the physical realm. They grow and blossom, but soon the telltale signs of their mortality begin to manifest themselves. Our bodies begin to betray us with incessant aches and pains due to degeneration. Finally, our relentless efforts to patch them up, and mend them and restore them back to health fail, and we die. But because we are more than just flesh and sinew, Scripture exhorts us to shift our focus to the spiritual; to remember that even if “our earthly house or tent is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens,” (2 Corinthians 5:1). This is where our hope should be anchored during our brief earthly pilgrimage. We are exiles from our eternal home, but we can catch a glimpse of it even in the flesh. This is what gives meaning to our existence.

The spiritual realm is real. It is unlimited and unrestricted, and it will ultimately determine the fate of the physical realm because it has transcendent power and authority. Everything is possible in the spiritual realm. The limitations and uncertainties that characterize the physical realm are of no essence in the spiritual realm. Sometimes the spiritual realm penetrates the physical realm and intersects it to direct and steer its affairs in a specific direction.  For example, the angel Gabriel appeared to the elderly Priest Zacharias to announce the birth of a son to him. Zacharias’ son would prepare the way for the One who would change the history of this planet forever by establishing the kingdom of God in the hearts of His followers. After the announcement, the angel stepped back into the spiritual realm and became invisible again. To authenticate his first message, he came back and appeared to Mary to announce the birth of the Lord Jesus. Then again he stepped back into the spiritual realm. On some occasions, human beings have had the privilege of seeing into the spiritual realm. For example, when the king of Syria gathered his military forces and surrounded the Prophet Elisha’s dwelling place with chariots of war in order to destroy him, the prophet was unfazed. To calm down his frightened and frantic servant, Elisha asked God to open his eyes and allow him to see into the spiritual realm. The servant saw chariots of fire surrounding the hills where the prophet was. Forces in the spiritual realm were arrayed for battle to protect the man of God. The Bible tells us that it is the invisible realm that created things in the physical realm.

But there are some that dismiss this as mere wishful thinking. Sigmund Freud, for example, said that religion is a reversion to childish ways of thinking. Similarly, the American president of atheists, David Silverman says this about things of the spiritual realm: “Even children know churches spew absurdity, which is why they don’t want to attend services. Enjoy the time with your family and friends instead. Today’s adults have no obligation to pretend to believe the lies their parents believed. It’s OK to admit that your parents were wrong about God, and it’s definitely OK to tell your children the truth.”1 Stephen Hawking thinks that belief in the spiritual realm is for people who are afraid of the dark. What is amazing is that these individuals do believe in the reality of the invisible realm themselves. For example, they believe in the reality of radiation, the electromagnetic field, gravity, and many more. They also believe the wave function of the universe, which they believe is designed to represent the behavior of the universe. But this wave function has never been observed, “seen, measured, assessed or tested” by any of its proponents.2 This is all based on a theory; a speculation promulgated by physicists and yet they believe it, totally. But when it comes to spiritual things, their argument is that there is not enough evidence. When Bertrand Russell was asked what his defense would be if on judgment day God should ask him, “Why didn’t you believe in Me? Russell said his reply would be “Not enough evidence, God! Not enough evidence!” Maybe the word evidence is being loosely used and thrown around without taking into account its variant application in different disciplines and professions. For example, what a farmer might consider evidence for a bumper harvest of his crop might not make sense to a school teacher. But that does not mean the farmer is lying because, chances are, the teacher has no clue about evidence of predictors of a bumper harvest. Evidence in music might be totally different from evidence in chemistry. Similarly, an atheist physicist or cosmologist has no grounds for dismissing what the theologian claims to be evidence for the existence of God. If he or she did, they would be entering uncharted territory where their expertise would be limited.

Sources

1 DeMar, G. (2014). American Atheists Hide Behind the Fairy Tale of Evolution. Accessed from https://americanvision.org/11504/american-atheists-hide-behind-fairy-tale-evolution/

2 Berlinski, D. (2008). Th Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions, Crown Forum, New York. pp. 100

The Light Shineth in Darkness…. (John 1:5)

The presence of light always nullifies the existence of darkness. Darkness does not flee from light. It dissipates when it encounters light. The more intense the darkness, the brighter the light shines.

After The Fall of man, darkness descended on a once pristine planet in the form of sin, moral chaos, and death. All facets of creation were marred by this cataclysmic event. Greed, pride, jealousy and selfishness converged in the human heart and widened the dark chasm between Creator and creation. The quest for knowledge became self-seeking and twisted. J.H. Newman aptly describes the scenario that ensued after The Fall, “…the greatness and littleness  of man…his short duration, the curtain  hung  over  his  futurity;  the  disappointments  of  life,  the  defeat  of  good,  the  success  of  evil, physical pain,  mental  anguish, the  prevalence  and  intensity  of sin, the  pervading  idolatries, the  dreary  hopeless  irreligion; that  condition  of  the whole race, so fearfully  yet so exactly described in the Apostle’s words, ‘having no  hope  and  without  God  in  the  world,’  all this  is  a  vision  to  dizzy  and  appal;  and  inflicts  upon the  mind the  sense  of a profound  mystery, which is  absolutely  beyond human solution….this living society of men…is out of joint with the purposes of its Creator.”1

The ubiquitous effect of The Fall permeated everything God had created, and grotesquely disfigured and distorted it. Sin did not only corrupt Adam. It spread to all his descendants, gaining momentum and intensity with each succeeding generation. The dark night of sin seemed unrestrained under the direction of Satan and his emissaries. The sacredness of human life began to wane starting with Cain who committed homicide against his own little brother with impudence. The trend to trivialize human lie has continued, alarmingly. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) claims that in 2012 alone 437,000 people lost their lives as a consequence of intentional homicide!1 Other vices were unleashed on our planet as soon as Adam relinquished his authority and handed it over to Satan. People began to rebel against the authority of God and chose to be their own gods. Since then mankind has continued to attempt to determine his own future; trying to find significance and to make a name for himself apart from God. The tower of Babel was the first and prime example of man’s attempt to create a name for himself without God. Many other towers of Babel have been erected in one way or another since then claiming millions of lives in their wake. Unified rebellion against anything to do with God has exploded in most academic institutions under the guise of intellectual enlightenment. Stephen Weinberg, a Nobel laureate, said in 2007 in his address at a conference titled “Beyond Belief: Science, Religion, Reason, and Survival” during which they attacked religion that “Religion is an insult to human dignity.  With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”2 It is true that some people and organizations have, historically, committed crimes against humanity in the name of religion. But true Christians know that using violence to proselytize is at variance with the teachings of the Founder of their faith. Violence is never a core principle of Christianity. Jesus scolded Peter for cutting off a man’s ear although he was attempting to defend Him on the eve of His arrest.

But Weinberg should know that evil has never been limited to religious people and institutions alone. Obviously, Weinberg has never heard of people like Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Idi Amin, Pol Pot (among many others) who were architects of incredibly appalling carnages and genocides, but had nothing to do with religion. These are the consequences of sin manifesting themselves in myriad ways. The quest for autonomy and power is fast becoming the foundation for the self-defeating denial of the Creator God, and the enthronement of the self. Instead of seeking to know God, mankind has embraced a strange proclivity toward self-worship and self-exultation. This can be true for believers and non-believers alike. No one is insulated from the darkness of sinful desires and actions. That is why God, in His infinite wisdom, gave us a once -and-for-all Cosmic Remedy for this pervasive spiritual malady in the Person of Jesus Christ, the Light that shineth forever.

Jesus, the Light of the world, is the divine panacea for this psychic and sarcous malaise of mankind-all of mankind. In Him we do not only see God. We see mankind as he was intended to be. Jesus has fittingly become our future history. He came to offer discontinuity to man’s self-destructive gravitation toward darkness and sin. Jesus is the Light that shines in the darkness of our sin-sick souls so that we can be sensitized to seek reconciliation with God and have access to a new birth with new desires, new life, new aspirations, and newness of spirit. He came to counter the aggressive dark force that has set itself against the knowledge of God and all He stands for. Jesus towers over all history as the prism revealing God’s attributes, His love for all mankind, and His power over sin. He is the Restorer of all that has been damaged by the dark night of sin.  The life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus are not only transformative to the believer. They give the believer victory over the kingdom of Satan now. They are also God’s promise of complete eschatological annihilation and eradication of all that is related to darkness and sin. Jesus was so acutely aware of the implications of His sacrifice and resurrection and ascension that, at the end of His ministry, He triumphantly declared, now “the prince of this world is judged,” (John 16:11). Satan was defanged by Jesus’ finished work. Sin can no longer have dominion on believers who abide in Christ. Light shineth continuously from Jesus, offering pardon and reconciliation with our heavenly Father (Colossians 1:20). But this Light is a gift that can only be effective if it is accepted. It is never forced on anyone.

 

References

1.United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) (2016). Some 437,000 people murdered worldwide in 2012, according to new UNODC study. Accessed from http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/press/releases/2014/April/some-437000-people-murdered-worldwide-in-2012-according-to-new-unodc-study.html

2.Berlinski, D. (2008). The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions. Crown Forum, New York. pp.21

 

 

The Irrationality of Reductionism

Reductionism defines life in a bottom-up manner. That is, it explains life in terms of physics and chemistry. Reductionism claims that an organism can only be explained if it is dissected into parts-or broken down into the properties that constitute it (molecules, organelles, cells, tissues, organs, etc.) Ontological reductionism claims that nothing in the universe exists outside of physical objects. Everything can be can be explained in terms of physicochemical objects. As such each physical thing can therefore, be explained in terms of these properties.[i] Bottom-up reductionism is predicated upon the proposition that life started in the form of simpler processes which advanced in a process known as complexification. Carl Sagan, a famous scientist of the 20th century, perceived himself and other people in this manner: “I am a collection of water, calcium and organic molecules called Carl Sagan. You are a collection of almost identical molecules with a different collective label.”[ii] This is what he promulgated as an astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist.

Sagan’s mindset does nothing other than demean the intrinsic value of human life. His beliefs claim, implicitly, that the martyrdom, achievements, plight, and suffering experienced in this life all end at death. There is no life, no judgment, no reward beyond the grave – Nothing!!! Some reductionists argue that God is a mere concept that can be explained as a “mental state of active neurons desiring a father figure.” Needless to say this statement is not a scientific one. It is mere speculation that has never been empirically proven to be true. Personally, I require more faith to believe Sagan’s theory than to believe what the Bible says about the stature and dignity of human beings. On what do reductionists base the belief that life ends at death forever? None of them has come back from the dead to authenticate their claims. But we have One who was dead and is alive forevermore. His resurrection has been attested by His followers as well as secular historians. He alone can speak with authority regarding what lies beyond the grave. The Bible tells us that human beings will continue to exist in another dimension in God’s realm for eternity. Reductionism is not equipped to explain many experiences of human life at all. For example, how does it break down the experience of guilt or repentance or the expression of love between two human beings or even ethical behavior? Some of these concepts and experiences can only be understood from the vantage point of metaphysics where science and reductionism’s authority is vacuous.

After Carl Sagan’s death, his wife said “Carl faced his death with unflagging courage and never sought refuge in illusions. The tragedy was that we know we would never see each other again. I don’t ever expect to be reunited with Carl.”[iii] But why would this be a tragedy for her if belief in life beyond the grave is just an illusion and her husband was nothing but a collection of calcium, atoms, molecules as they espoused? Wouldn’t his death be a mere disintegration of an animated piece of dust with organized DNA known as Carl Sagan returning to its creator, the universe? Wasn’t that the expected outcome unless, of course, deep down Mrs. Sagan felt a haunting whisper reminding her that her husband was more than matter? A tragedy is what happens when something of intrinsic value is lost not when a bunch of atoms and molecules disappear into nothingness. Human life is sacred. God composed a Moral Code that stipulates, in a language we all can understand, the sacredness of human life and all that defines it. “Thou shalt not kill” does not only forbid the taking of human life, it also affirms its greatness, dignity and goodness. The loss of a human life is a sobering and traumatic experience that changes us forever. Time and again when tragedy strikes, individuals, families and entire communities are gripped with bewilderment and sorrow. They reach out to each other and hold vigils and grieve together in an effort to find healing. Interfaith services are held in memory of the deceased. Not once has any of the speakers at these services ever turned to the crowd to tell them that what was lost were nothing but matter and chemical properties. This is time to turn to Jesus, the Author of life. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the Ending of all creation, not science, not reductionism. “All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made” (John 1:3, KJV).

Sources

[i] Kaiser, M.I. (2011). The Limits of Reductionism in the Life Sciences. Available from http://philpapers.org/archive/KAITLO-2

[ii]  Sagan, C. 1980, Cosmos (New York: Random House), pp. 127.

[iii] Druyan, A. (2003). Ann Druyan Talks About Science, Religion, Wonder, Awe . . . and Carl Sagan. Skeptical Inquirer Volume 27.6. Available from http://www.csicop.org/si/show/ann_druyan_talks_about_science_religion

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Scientism Not Science

Scientism is not a science. Rather it is a form of a worldview, a filter through which its advocates view and interpret the world. But it does not end there. Scientism actually claims to have a sole understanding of our universe; how it is made, its laws and how it operates. Scientism’s community of believers look to it for guidance in their ethical decisions and conduct. They believe that valid knowledge can only be in science and that only their worldview provides a framework for understanding and interpreting truth. In a way, it is fast developing some characteristics of a cult. Scientism believes it has the capacity to guide mankind into what to believe; understanding who human beings are and their purpose. Sadly, it claims exclusivity and monopoly of rational thinking. Its proponents insist that it is the default intellectual platform from which all truth emanates. This unfortunate position has alienated scientism from disciplines such as philosophy, history, arts, social sciences, literature, etc… Unfortunately, in their zeal to prove that they are right all the time, advocates of scientism have adopted a desperate approach of incorporating qualitative speculations, philosophical assertions, metaphysical perspectives, and presuppositions [1].

On the other hand, science relies on repeated experimentation, protracted observations as well as measurements to gain its claims about discoveries of characteristics and operations of our natural world. Science demands a certain level of faith in the correctness of the methods it adopts and applies; a faith that affirms the existence of the natural world it explores, and that this natural world operates in accordance with its inherent laws. This translates into a belief system that can be understood. It is a belief system that has also distanced itself from the miraculous. But science acquiesces to its limitations. For instance, science does not have the ability to disprove the notion that the physical world is a result of the Mind of God; a Mind that is capable of miraculous violations and interruptions of the laws governing the physical world [2]. Science can never disprove the existence of the soul which the Bible talks so unequivocally about. Ultimately the choice lies with every human being; whether to adopt an empirical, quantitative scientific view of the physical world or a faith-based view of reality. People can also choose when to believe scientific claims and when not to. Free choice is our inherent right. This is a personal choice and should not be violated or denigrated.  Commenting on scientism, Michael Shermer, the Founding Publisher of Skeptic Magazine and Executive Director of the Skeptics Society said “Scientism…is the self-annihilating view that only scientific claims are meaningful, which is not a scientific claim, and hence not meaningful….”[3].

Scientism has used pejorative language that is demeaning, mocking, scornful and even blasphemous against any form religion, particularly against the Christian faith. Christians are not anti-science. After all science has Christian roots.  Many early scientists were Christians including Louis Pasteur, Carl Linnaeus, Michael Faraday, Isaac Newton, Copernicus, Blaise Pascal, etc… “The faith of these great scientists was not a separate part of their thinking; indeed, it was integral to their thinking as they operated within a Christian framework” [4]. Christians celebrate most landmark achievements of science that have made life better for humanity. But they reject the idea of being coerced into choosing between science and God. This, as Dr. John Lennox asserts, is like asking people to choose between Henry Ford and engineering to explain the existence of Ford vehicles and their engine combustion.  How can the Agency compete with mechanism and law?

Sources

[1]. Halverson, D. (2016). The Poverty of Scientism. Accessed from http://www.partiallyexaminedlife.com/2016/04/12/the-poverty-of-scientism/

[2]. Stephen Lehar (n,d.). Scientism: A system of ethics based on reason without recourse to supernatural belief. Accessed from http://cns-alumni.bu.edu/~slehar/Scientism.pdf

[3]. Ibid.

[4]. Faith Facts (2008). Are Christians “Anti-Science?” Accessed from http://www.faithfacts.org/search-for-truth/questions-of-christians/are-christians-anti-science

Young Adult Faith Attrition Crisis: What the Church and Family Can Do

In a global culture that is fast becoming secularized and hostile to religion and the Christian faith in particular, the church has a responsibility to prepare its congregants and especially its children and young adults for Christian apologetics. Apologetics is merely giving a reason and justifying one’s faith. This will not only ground them in the faith and equip them to have an objective foundation for their faith, it will also help them give an answer to everyone who asks them a reason for their hope, particularly as they enter faith war-zones in colleges and universities. Without this foundation, our kids are likely to take books like the Da Vinci Code and mistake them for truth. Most young adults lose their faith in colleges and the main reason they give is that they find Christianity to be “intellectually shallow” (attrition statistics vary, but they should be of concern us). This is why it is important to have a concerted effort between the church and the home, the family, to take steps together to familiarize our children with the ideas that will challenge their faith before sending them out as sheep among wolves, as it were. They need to be aware of the tests they will encounter regarding their faith and learn how to intellectually (and spiritually) engage and interact with those who ridicule their faith without flinching or feeling idiotic. You cannot defend what you do not know. Apologetics answers objections to the faith and builds the faith and intellectual inquiry of the defender. If we neglect this, we will have abdicated our responsibility and in our place will arise “another generation …, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done …” (Joshua 2:10 KJV). This is the time to take seriously the command that “Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul… And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” (Deut. 11:18,19 KJV). It is no longer enough to merely raise good boys and girls. We must prepare them to fight the good fight of faith; to be confident men and women, rooted and grounded in their faith. We must pass on a bright torch to our children, not one dimmed by uncertainty, retreat and hesitancy otherwise our children will end up with a distorted view of Christianity. The battle for people’s souls is raging and it will only intensify with time. Apologetics should be part of regular sermons and weekly Bible studies. It should even be part of children’s story time. Children should understand Jesus is a Person. He is not a myth. His historicity is as axiomatic as that of Alexander the Great. Parents should study hard to keep their children in the faith. Praying for them fervently and teaching them how to study their Bibles and draw life-applications from them. Allow your children to ask the questions they are wrestling with. Let them explain to you what salvation means to them. Help them understand that evolution has not debunked the existence of God. Let them understand that science is not against God, but rather explains what God has already made. They should know that there is nothing wrong with faith. The atheist uses it when he or she claims that the universe is their creator or that life sprang from some primordial soup. They were not there to witness the process. Therefore, they are relying on faith that it happened as they believe it did. Christians believe that God created the heavens and the earth. They were not there to witness the creation, but they believe it. Both sided have faith. It is just a matter of where one chooses to place it. Faith is not credulity. That is why the apostle John indicates that “These things were written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God” (John). The things John is talking about are the life, ministry and death of Jesus Christ and the testimonies of the eyewitnesses to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. If the church continues to bury its head in the sand, this is what atheists vow to do to our children when they enter college: “we try to arrange things so that students who enter as bigoted, homophobic, religious fundamentalists will leave college with views more like our own…we do our best to convince these students of the benefits of secularization….So we are going to go right on trying to discredit you in the eyes of your children, trying to strip your fundamentalist religious community of dignity, trying to make your views seem silly rather than discussable…” [1]. Apologetics is not a new phenomenon. Jesus faced the Sadducees and defended His reason for believing in the resurrection which they were trying to repudiate. This is not to advocate that Christian students should enter college to fight with those who challenge their faith, but that they should be confident of being able to withstand attacks on what they believe without flinching or feeling intellectually shallow. Alvin Plantinga, a Christian Philosopher said, “The contemporary Western intellectual world is a battleground or arena in which rages a battle for men’s souls,” [2].
Sources
[1]. ‘Universality and Truth,’ in Robert B. Brandom (ed.), Rorty and his Critics, pp. 21-22.

[2] Ratio Christi (2016). Are Christian Students Really Ridiculed and Humiliated? Accessed from http://ratiochristi.org/about-us/why-important

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