Nick Jones

God, Life, Religion

Category: Apologetics

Fine Tuning of the Universe

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Apologetics includes not only philosophical answers to questions, but also scientific answers to questions in defending one’s faith. When it comes to the beginning of the universe ultimately it takes faith to believe how it began because none of us alive today were there to witness the beginning of the universe. Enter the Fine-tuning of the Universe Argument:

  1. The fine-tuning of the universe is due to either physical necessity, chance, or design
  2. It is not due to physical necessity or chance
  3. Therefore, it is due to design

The sticking point for most people will be number 2 as some will believe that it is due to chance. But let’s look at that for a minute or so.

The Big Bang is the most prominent theory as to the beginning of the universe. Basically, the theory is that roughly 13.8 billion years ago the universe sprang into existence as a singularity and has been expanding and cooling ever since. Now I’m no scientist, so you’ll have to forgive my lack of in depth knowledge as to the specifics, but according to the model everything had a beginning. We don’t know what caused the singularity, there was no space before it, in fact there was nothing before the Big Bang.

Now there are different ways to interpret this data. And since no one alive today was actually there, it’s difficult to say with absolute surety that one way is the way. The way I interpret the data is that God created the universe. Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

Now there is a fine-tunedness to our universe. Some will say that it was chance that our universe sprang into being, and that is is chance that our earth is in the right spot in the solar system, and that it’s chance that the various laws are the way they are. But the universe is fine tuned for life. And if any of these fine tuned numbers were off by just a little amount, there would be some significant problems for life. Here are just three examples, and remember these are the maximum deviation from the accepted values, meaning that if they deviated by those amounts we would have some issues.

  1. Gravitation constant – If this constant varied by just 1 in 1060 parts, none of us would exist.
  2. Cosmological Constant – If this rate varied by just 1 in 10120 parts, the expansion rate of the universe would either be too fast or too slow .
  3. Mass Density of the universe – If this rate varied by just 1 in 1059 parts, would either cause stars to burn too rapidly to form, or there would be insufficient helium creating a shortage of heavy elements.

The universe is so fined-tuned for existence it’s difficult to say that it was mere chance. Michael Turner, an Astrophysicist at the University of Chicago is famously quoted in regards to the fine-tunedness of the universe as saying, “The precision is as if one could throw a dart across the entire universe and hit a bulls eye one millimeter in diameter on the other side.”

The probability that this universe happened by mere chance is ridiculously remote. I believe the best explanation for the universe is that God created it.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.” –Psalm 19:1-2

For the previous post in the Apologetics click here. For the next post click here.

The Moral Argument

Apologetics is somewhat of a passion of mine. Apologetics is the defense of what you believe. You can be an apologist for Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Atheism, etc… So whenever you are defending what you believe you are in essence an apologist. The statements and phrases used in defending your faith are called arguments, and one that I want to look at today is called the Moral Argument.

The Moral Argument is I believe a difficult argument to dismantle. People keep trying to tear it apart but it keeps popping back up again when some of the logical conclusions of the detractors are considered. The Moral Argument goes something like this:

  1. If objective moral values and duties are objectively real, then God exists.
  2. Objective moral values and duties are objectively real.
  3. Therefore, God exists.

Some definitions:

Moral Values – A general category that refers to all that is ‘good’
Moral Duties – A class of moral values to which one is morally responsible or obligated

A lot of times when I share this argument with people the first thing they say is, “But I know a lot of atheists who are more moral than many Christians.” This may be true, but the argument here is not that belief in God is necessary for morality but rather whether God Himself is necessary for morality. One doesn’t have to believe in God in order to be moral. But the question is, “Is God’s existence for morality necessary?” I would argue yes.

There are certain universal beliefs as to what is immoral. Murdering someone is wrong, raping someone is wrong, stealing is wrong. These are all objective moral values, meaning that they are moral values that are true despite what people believe. We all hold these moral facts as true.

Another argument against I have run up against is that society has learned through the process of what is best for society what is moral and was is immoral. Another way of saying this is that everyone makes up their own moral code. This is moral relativism. The problem with moral relativism is that it is easily abandoned when something they value is threatened.

For example, if you believe murder is wrong but you believe that this is a personal belief and that everyone has the choice to choose what is moral in their own lives, then you must allow someone to believe that murder is right. How can you morally object to their act of murdering your spouse/child/significant other? You can’t. You can’t tell them they are wrong because their morals dictate that they are right.

Moral relativism fails. It has no legs.

There are many more arguments against that I could go into. But I just decided to talk about the ones I’ve most commonly interacted with. I find apologetics fascinating and an opportunity to talk with others about God rather than at them. The purpose of any apologetic argument is not to win, but to share and to connect. It’s a conversation point to help people think more.

The Story

The Story

“But set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts and always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess.” –1 Peter 3:15

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Just recently I ran across an iPhone app called TheStory. I’m always trying to find different and new ways of sharing Jesus with people and this looked interesting. So I downloaded it, opened it up and realized I had to sign up for access. Usually when this happens it causes me pause, and this was no different. A lot of times when apps ask me to sign up to use them, I either delete them immediately or let them sit on my phone for awhile until I can do a little more research.

I’m glad I let this one sit. Just the other day I got around to checking it out and it’s an amazing tool in sharing the Gospel with someone. Through a six minute video (which you can watch here), the viewer is introduced to the purpose of Jesus Christ. The app also includes a way to do a short Bible study through the message starting with Creation, moving to the Fall, then introducing Jesus, and then looking at what happens in the end.

When you sign up for the app you are given your own “webpage” to send people through social media, text messages, email, etc… so that they can watch the video as well. It then keeps track of how many times the video has been watched, or how many times you have talked someone through the presentation if you use that portion of the app on your smartphone or tablet.

It’s a well done video and a well done app. I’m still working on how I can utilize it well. One idea I had which I’ve already set up is to embed the video on a page here on my blog. I’ve linked to it earlier in the post. I would encourage you to take a look. It’s a beautifully done video with a lot of thought put into what the narrator would say.

Now why bring this up? I mentioned in my last post (here) that a couple of themes have been coming up in the last year of my reading and study: Apologetics and Righteousness by Faith. So I’m going to be spending quite a bit of time on both in the coming months in my blog posts.

1 Peter 3:15 is a text that most Christian Apologetics point to as the basis for their purpose in defending Christianity:

“But set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts and always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess.” –1 Peter 3:15 NET

The phrase here in the New English Translation which reads “give an answer” is the Greek word apologia which literally means “to defend oneself.” This is why we call the defense of Christianity “Apologetics.” Peter is encouraging his readers to make sure they know Christ and can give an answer to whoever asks about the hope that they have. When you meet someone who truly knows Jesus there is something different about them, and many times people question that because they see it.

Now it’s important to note the difference between an apology (expression of regret) verse an apology (defense of belief or doctrine). Apology can mean both. Christian Apologetics is the study and defense of the Christian faith. There are Atheist Apologists, Muslim Apologists, Buddhist Apologists, and the list could go on. But because I am a Christian, I will be focusing on Christian Apologetics.

I’m looking forward to the conversations we will have. You don’t have to agree with me to engage in dialogue. I will respect your beliefs and arguments, and hopefully you’ll do the same. Am I an expert on this? No way! I’m still working through many of these arguments and ideas and I want to journey with others who may have the same questions. So, here’s to the journey!

© 2017 Nick Jones

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