The American Vision: A Biblical Worldview Ministry

Handicapping the Opposition

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As some of you know, I threw the shot put in high school. In most meets, I would out throw my opponents by 20 feet or more. I can remember one meet when a coach from another team approached my coach and half-jokingly asked if I would throw the 16-pound shot rather than the standard 12-pound. The coach was asking for a handicap, a standard practice to even up uneven skill levels of golfers to make games more competitive.

This reminded me of what is taking place as American Vision prepares to put together a debate between an evolutionist and a creationist. The evolutionist wanted to require the following: “No reference can be made by either side to God, the Bible or other religious matters.” It’s obvious by anyone’s estimation that this is a huge handicap to the creationist and a decided advantage to the evolutionist. The evolutionist is using God’s “stuff” to make his case. He doesn’t have to account for the existence of the universe, the material that he claims has evolved, or the reason and logic he will use to make his arguments. It would be like having to prove that a Corvette came into existence by careful designing and engineering without being able to offer into evidence anything about the design team and engineers who cooperated on the project.

Evolutionists go beyond handicapping; they are notorious for rigging the game from the start. When an evolutionist claims there is no evidence for a Creator, and a creationist lays the evidence on the table, the evolutionist will fire back claiming that it’s not real evidence. The New Testament is filled with examples of this type of rigging. Jesus is raised from the dead, and His critics fabricate a story to obscure the evidence (Matt. 28:1–15). All they had to do was offer the dead body into evidence in order to make their case. But even with the evidence so overwhelmingly against them, they still would not believe.

In a debate that atheist Richard Dawkins had with mathematician John Lennox in Birmingham, Alabama, over whether God exists, Dawkins made this charge as reported in the Wall Street Journal: “And Mr. Dawkins pointed out that for all of Mr. Lennox’s attempts to show the scientific existence of a creator, he could still not manage to prove that Jesus was the son of God or that he was resurrected.” I would have asked Mr. Dawkins what he considered to be “proof.” What would two people two thousand years from now offer into evidence as proof that the Dawkins-Lennox debate took place? Historical documents? Recorded eyewitness accounts? Only accounts by those who opposed Dawkins over Lennox?[1]

Arthur C. Clarke, best known for 2001: A Space Odyssey, a loose film adaptation of his novel The Sentinel, describes “creationism” as one of his “pet hates,” “perhaps the most pernicious of the intellectual perversions now afflicting the American public. Though I am the last person to advocate laws against blasphemy, surely nothing could be more antireligious than to deny the evidence so clearly written in the rocks for all who have eyes to see!”[2] For Clarke, incontrovertible evidence is “clearly written in the rocks.” I could say that the resurrection of Jesus is clearly supported by the eyewitness testimony of those who saw the resurrected Jesus. There is even some healthy scientific skepticism when the evidence is approached (John 20:24–29). This can’t be said for people like Clarke and Dawkins. No matter what they see, it has an evolutionary explanation. But this is contrary to the scientific method which evolutionists claim they follow:

“Facts do not come with interpretation tags, telling us how to view them. . . . Both sides haggle over the facts. Both sides search for new facts to add to their arsenals. Both sides raise accusations, yet it’s a rare day indeed when both sides acknowledge that their differences stem from something much more basic than facts. Their differences are rooted in opposing worldviews, which in turn are permeated with philosophical assumptions and commitments.”[3]

Dawkins wants to handicap the Christian from the start by objecting to evidence before it is ever considered. It’s relatively easy to prove that Jesus rose from the dead if personal testimony can be offered into evidence. Luke begins his gospel testimony with an investigative methodology:

“In as much as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus; so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught” (Luke 1:1–4).

If Dawkins objects to this kind of evidence, then the entire history of history is suspect as well as the absolute claim that the universe came into existence on its own. There were no eyewitnesses and certainly no written record of this ultimate beginning. If there was a written record, then it could be no more reliable than the accounts Dawkins and other atheists dismiss regarding the life of Christ.

 

Footnotes:
[1]
A standard argument against the NT as a reliable source of evidence is that it was written by believers.
[2]
Arthur C. Clarke, “Foreword,” in James Randi, An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1995), xii–xiii.
[3]
William D. Watkins, “Whose Facts Anyway?,” Christian Research Journal (24:2), 60

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