Question about future threats to Christianity's case...

Discussion about scientific issues as they relate to God and Christianity including archaeology, origins of life, the universe, intelligent design, evolution, etc.
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derrick09
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Question about future threats to Christianity's case...

#1

Post by derrick09 » Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:42 pm

This question concerns what specific trouble areas do you all as apologists and Christian intellectuals see as potential future threats to the case for Christian Theism? To me, I don't look for cosmology to produce anything threatening to the cosmological argument, since big bang cosmology is one of the best concrete evidences in all of science. Archeology I don't think will produce much of a threat, because to really shake Christian theism they would have to find the bones of Christ, and the odds of them doing that and having good evidence to back up the claim is not in their favor. Currently, macro evolution may produce a slight to moderate threat but since we always have theistic evolution as a back up plan, I think Christian theism could still salvage it's case even though I think Christian theism being backed up with a old earth creationism or intelligent design model is moderately more convincing and powerful than theistic evolution, but regardless you must go wherever the evidence takes you. The main two areas that I currently see as being the most threat to the case for Christian Theism is in secular neuroscience and in the study of other galaxies (i.e. the search for other earth like planets). If scientists are able to find other earthlike planets it could completely destroy the fine tuning argument and show that planets like ours are a regular occurrence. Also if secular neuroscience is able to show that our minds and brains are one and the same, it could take a lot of the supernatural luster out of Christian theism and since most Christian intellectuals believe in dualism or immaterial entities such as the soul it would force us to adopt extremely liberal or seventh day Adventist ideas into mainline apologetics as our best or only defense left. Either that or we would have to give up Christian theism and join the atheist crowd. But these I think are about the only main threats that I currently see to the case for Christian theism, if there are any points you all want to add to the areas that I see as threatening feel free to do so, also if you all see any other different threats to Christian theism's case feel free to post them as well. Thank you for your time. :wave:
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Re: Question about future threats to Christianity's case...

#2

Post by RickD » Wed Sep 01, 2010 6:14 am

derrick09 wrote:This question concerns what specific trouble areas do you all as apologists and Christian intellectuals see as potential future threats to the case for Christian Theism? To me, I don't look for cosmology to produce anything threatening to the cosmological argument, since big bang cosmology is one of the best concrete evidences in all of science. Archeology I don't think will produce much of a threat, because to really shake Christian theism they would have to find the bones of Christ, and the odds of them doing that and having good evidence to back up the claim is not in their favor. Currently, macro evolution may produce a slight to moderate threat but since we always have theistic evolution as a back up plan, I think Christian theism could still salvage it's case even though I think Christian theism being backed up with a old earth creationism or intelligent design model is moderately more convincing and powerful than theistic evolution, but regardless you must go wherever the evidence takes you. The main two areas that I currently see as being the most threat to the case for Christian Theism is in secular neuroscience and in the study of other galaxies (i.e. the search for other earth like planets). If scientists are able to find other earthlike planets it could completely destroy the fine tuning argument and show that planets like ours are a regular occurrence. Also if secular neuroscience is able to show that our minds and brains are one and the same, it could take a lot of the supernatural luster out of Christian theism and since most Christian intellectuals believe in dualism or immaterial entities such as the soul it would force us to adopt extremely liberal or seventh day Adventist ideas into mainline apologetics as our best or only defense left. Either that or we would have to give up Christian theism and join the atheist crowd. But these I think are about the only main threats that I currently see to the case for Christian theism, if there are any points you all want to add to the areas that I see as threatening feel free to do so, also if you all see any other different threats to Christian theism's case feel free to post them as well. Thank you for your time. :wave:
If you are a born-again believer, with the Holy Spirit inside you, your relationship with God is as real as the air you breathe. I can't see anything as being a threat to that. Romans 8:38-39
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Re: Question about future threats to Christianity's case...

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Post by derrick09 » Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:08 pm

Yes, that is well and good, but what I meant in my origional post was, is there anything in the works from science, (whether it be origin of life science, astronomy, biology, )or from philosophy, archeology or anywhere that would pose a serious challenge to Christian theism in the terms of dismantling it as the current top and most reasonable philosophy and religion? What currently or what (if anything) is in the works that would cause serious problems for Christian intellectuals, Christian philosophiers, Scientists who are Christians, and for Apologists? I know full well that in the event that if something were to come up that would somehow destroy Christian intellectualism and or apologetics, Christianity would still survive since a huge chunk of today's believers only operate on things such as emotion, tradition, blind faith, or a subjective religious experience instead of a combination of these along with apologetics and Christian intellectualism. So form that standpoint, what do you all currently see as potential threats, because I think for the most part, I've covered most of the big threats from previous conversation threads. But if there are any, please share and discuss them. Thanks and God bless.
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Re: Question about future threats to Christianity's case...

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Post by narnia4 » Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:55 pm

This probably isn't very helpful, but I went through a short phase where I thought that the physical nature of the brain and neuroscience would be a major atheist talking point in the future, but I feel a bit differently about it now. There's been talks here about mind-body dualism and topics like that, and as more and more is discovered about the brain, my concern was that the "need" for a human "mind" apart from the physical brain would seem to be evaporated. After reading up on it, I found that while there aren't many apologetic articles on the subject of modern neuroscience compared to some others, there are some pretty good ones. I also think that some Christians tend to undervalue to importance of physical health in relation to mental health and can even get scared when there's a correlation- even though the Bible itself predicts that there will be a correlation.

Probably the biggest thing was that I realized that the issue about the brain doesn't really do anything to disprove God or Christianity or the Bible (not all Christians are mind-body dualists either). If consciousness were somehow explained it completely physical terms, would it really disprove God? From what I'm thinking, at worst it would mean one less of many arguments for the existence of God. Something atheists don't seem to get sometimes, Christians believe that God created nature. When something "natural" is discovered, I don't think of it as "Oh no! Another thing that happens without God!", I think of it "Look at this system God designed, and another amazing thing that God created!" The same applies to the physical brain.

So yeah, I basically gave an example of an argument that I used to think would be a big deal in the future, but now I'm not so sure anymore. That's all I got though. Really, atheist thought is in a pretty big rut imo... the "new atheists" are way behind guys like Bertrand Russell who aren't around anymore! As far as philosophy is concerned, theism really has the upper hand imo. I know things seem to get worse and worse, but as time goes by I believe that we'll really see the fruits of the labor of apologists and Christian philosophers and thinkers from Craig to Zacharias and so many others.
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Re: Question about future threats to Christianity's case...

#5

Post by derrick09 » Wed Sep 01, 2010 10:56 pm

Well it's very helpful in the sense that you agree with me that neuroscience did (or still does to me) pose a big threat to Christian theism. People like Stephen Norvella scare me to death. And the fact that not enough apologists challenge this guy also makes me nervous. What I'm scared about with this is if they do indeed prove that the brain and the mind are one and the same, we would have to adopt a more liberal view in order to save or salvage the reasonableness of Christian Theism, we would essentially have to accept naturalism with a Jesus sticker on it. Also in some cases I view theistic evolution as another example of Christians waving the white flag and giving up more grounds to atheism and naturalism. But then again, a long time ago I viewed old earth creation as such a view but since Hugh Ross and the boys have helped establish the concept that they are not giving up much ground to naturalism and still regard the Bible as a crucial source for truth, I'm now very comfortable with my old earth views. But anyway thanks for the response Narnia4 and if anyone else wants to contribute to my origional post question feel free to do so.
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Re: Question about future threats to Christianity's case...

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Post by August » Thu Sep 02, 2010 5:41 am

If you are worried about neuroscience as a threat to Christianity, you should read the book "The Spiritual Brain", from Beauregard and O'Leary. It is a good treatment of the topic.
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Re: Question about future threats to Christianity's case...

#7

Post by jlay » Thu Sep 02, 2010 6:03 am

The greatest threat is the line that is continuing to be blurred between objective scientific method, and philisophical belief.
Hawking's comment on another thread is a good example. His comment is so ridiculous that a fifth grader could point out the errors. However, we are dealing with psuedo-science here. People like Hawking are permitted to make such ridiculous assertions and receive little if any scrutiny within what we know as the scientific community. It shows that this is a spiritual battle and not one of mere facts.

Attacks will come. But, it is because of the genuine nature of the Christian faith. We need Christians within the scientific community to start pointing out the errors, and calling people into account. It is then that we will see how much this is not of flesh and blood, but spiritual warfare.
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord

"I'm not saying scientists don't overstate their results. They do. And it's understandable, too...If you spend years working toward a certain goal and make no progress, of course you are going to spin your results in a positive light." Ivellious

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Re: Question about future threats to Christianity's case...

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Post by The Protector » Thu Sep 02, 2010 3:15 pm

The attacks will come, as jlay says, and there will be periods of time when things may appear bleak-- to many-- for a logical Christian theism... but these periods have come and gone in the past. How many times has Christianity outlived its pallbearers before? So often, the history of science has been the story of an idea going from generally riduculed, to generally accepted, to completely obvious and self-evident, to rejected in part or whole. Thirty-some years ago the next gobal ice age was fast approaching. Twenty years ago silicon breast implants caused immune system abnormalities. Fifteen years ago homosexuality was a genetic condition.

Likewise, it wasn't long ago that depression was caused by serotonin deficiencies in the brain. But SSRIs didn't work at all in many depressed patients, and tended to only have a small impact on those in whom it did work. Then new anti-despressants came on the market that worked about as well and didn't touch the serotonin system at all. The serotonin theory was not wrong, per se, but it was certainly incomplete. And add into the mix that the fact that research indicates that psychotherapy works as well as anti-depressants, and without the side-effects! And if there is one thing that has become clear in the last few decades of neurological research it is the surprizing plasticity of the human brain, even in adults! Anyone who tells you we are on the verge of unlocking the mysteries of the mind is lying to you.

Obviously, neurotransmitters play an important role in cognitive and emotional functioning, but so much about the brain/mind remains a total mystery. As with any new scientific discovery, it will be seized upon by those who hate God as more "proof" that he doesn't exist. Just remember that it has happened before, and the truth became clearer in the fullness of time-- as it will again in the future.

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Re: Question about future threats to Christianity's case...

#9

Post by Gman » Thu Sep 02, 2010 3:20 pm

derrick09 wrote:This question concerns what specific trouble areas do you all as apologists and Christian intellectuals see as potential future threats to the case for Christian Theism? To me, I don't look for cosmology to produce anything threatening to the cosmological argument, since big bang cosmology is one of the best concrete evidences in all of science. Archeology I don't think will produce much of a threat, because to really shake Christian theism they would have to find the bones of Christ, and the odds of them doing that and having good evidence to back up the claim is not in their favor. Currently, macro evolution may produce a slight to moderate threat but since we always have theistic evolution as a back up plan, I think Christian theism could still salvage it's case even though I think Christian theism being backed up with a old earth creationism or intelligent design model is moderately more convincing and powerful than theistic evolution, but regardless you must go wherever the evidence takes you. The main two areas that I currently see as being the most threat to the case for Christian Theism is in secular neuroscience and in the study of other galaxies (i.e. the search for other earth like planets). If scientists are able to find other earthlike planets it could completely destroy the fine tuning argument and show that planets like ours are a regular occurrence. Also if secular neuroscience is able to show that our minds and brains are one and the same, it could take a lot of the supernatural luster out of Christian theism and since most Christian intellectuals believe in dualism or immaterial entities such as the soul it would force us to adopt extremely liberal or seventh day Adventist ideas into mainline apologetics as our best or only defense left. Either that or we would have to give up Christian theism and join the atheist crowd. But these I think are about the only main threats that I currently see to the case for Christian theism, if there are any points you all want to add to the areas that I see as threatening feel free to do so, also if you all see any other different threats to Christian theism's case feel free to post them as well. Thank you for your time. :wave:
Actually I welcome the challenge... Science has brought me closer to God. I think it's great.. Bring it on.

The harder they threat, the stronger I get. :P
The heart cannot rejoice in what the mind rejects as false - Galileo

We learn from history that we do not learn from history - Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. -Philippians 4:8

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Re: Question about future threats to Christianity's case...

#10

Post by ryeguy123 » Fri Oct 01, 2010 2:36 am

i think that somthing from bichemistry will show up such as what dna looks like

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Re: Question about future threats to Christianity's case...

#11

Post by derrick09 » Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:19 pm

August wrote:If you are worried about neuroscience as a threat to Christianity, you should read the book "The Spiritual Brain", from Beauregard and O'Leary. It is a good treatment of the topic.

Hey there, I was going to tell you that I recently picked up a copy of that book and I've been reading it for the past few days, I'm currently in Ch. 5. It's a great book. I've known about it for quite sometime and I had it on my to do list to get it and read it and finally I've come around to do just that. Thanks for reminding me. :wave:
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