CLXXI

Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”

There are a lot of reasons why we believe in Christ as the Son of God and Savior of the world.  What are some of them, and how do they work together to lead us to Him?

Portrait-Jesus3

APOLOGIA

Structured steps within the Dance,

Things which could not be by chance:

Architecture of belief?

Arch of bole and vein of leaf.

Crystal’s angles; raindrop’s curves;

Bone and sinew knit with nerves.

Flick of wrist, fly-toss, and then,

Break of bubble, flash of fin.

Beyond these sure and certain hints,

A clearer class of evidence:

Broken fever; opened eyes;

Dove descending from the skies.

Footstep firm on slope of wave;

Stone rolled back from Jesus’ grave.

Glory growing out of grief?

Architecture of belief;

Things which could not be by chance:

Structured steps within the Dance.

"Lord, teach us to pray."

Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.  And look for Williams’ very latest book, Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis, due out Dec. 1, 2016, from Square Halo Books!

Donald T. Williams, PhD

Book-CSLTheology-Cover

Appearance or Rationality?

Yesterday I posted the following comment as my status on Facebook:

“After several years of getting drawn in to various debates on Facebook, I have come to a conclusion. About 95% of the people commenting care nothing whatsoever about evidence or chains of reasoning or the search for truth. They are concerned only with what statements will make them appear cool, intelligent, or with it to whatever group they are trying to impress.”

Not a person I was describing.
Not a person I was describing.

The response–an unusually high number of “likes” and not a few comments–suggested I had hit a nerve.  All of those commenting basically agreed with me.  Either I was in the group they were trying to impress, or I had just attracted all the rational exceptions to the rule.  (Either generalization would probably be dangerous!)

The bottom line is that, while there are many exceptions, the level of rational discourse of which our contemporaries seem capable is distressingly low.  Many apparently think that assertion is evidence, insult is rebuttal, shouting is argument, and repetition is exposition.  It’s not just that they try to get away with these substitutions; they apparently really cannot tell the difference.  They respond to the caricature that is already in their head of the position they are arguing against, ignoring the actual argument that has just been placed before them.

Shakespeare's Grammar School.  He learned to read Latin there.
Shakespeare’s Grammar School. He learned to read Latin there.

How is it that more people are consuming more higher education than ever before while getting so little benefit from it?  There are many reasons.  The expansion of educational opportunity in itself brings a lowering of standards.  Addiction to electronic media has decimated attention spans.  Public figures set terrible examples.  (The entire senate race my state is currently living through consists of one candidate implying that the other is a closet communist and his opponent characterizing him as a Robber Baron; each has called the other a liar, though not in so many words.  Discussion of any actual issues or political principles has been notably absent.)  The media reinforces a focus on soundbytes over reasoned civic discourse. Too many parents no longer teach their kids to practice self-discipline or to take responsibility for their time and be accountable for their actions.  So what’s even a good teacher to do when they get to school?  A climate of Post-Modern relativism cultivates cynicism about truth with a corresponding reluctance to engage in the rigorous disciplines required seriously to pursue it.  All these things make it harder to overcome the basic intellectual laziness and dishonesty that is our legacy from the Fall of Man.

No comment necessary.
No comment necessary.

If you have not yet completely fallen prey to these enemies of the mind, push back against them when you have the opportunity and set a better example when you can.  You’d better.  Otherwise these logic-deficient, evidence-impervious, educated morons that annoy you on Facebook will be the people sitting on our juries and electing our next congress and president.  Oh, wait; it’s worse than that.  They already are.

A book that fights back against the encroaching darkness.
A book that fights back against the encroaching darkness.

Donald T. Williams is R. A. Forrest Scholar at Toccoa Falls College and President of the International Society of Christian Apologetics.  To order his books from Lantern Hollow Press, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/

NO EVIDENCE???

How many times have I read an Atheist online making the statement, as if it were a simple and unassailable fact, “There’s just no evidence for the existence of God”?

Highly illogical!
Highly illogical!

How embarrassing! This claim is either a confession that you are too ignorant to be debating the subject or it is an unintentional admission of dishonesty. You can say that you don’t find the evidence sufficient, you can say that you don’t find it convincing, you can say that there is counter-evidence you find more compelling, and we can profitably discuss those claims. If you say there is no evidence, you have just signaled your unwillingness to have an honest debate.

space-sunrise
The heavens declare the glory of God . . .

There is evidence: the contingency, intelligent design, and fine-tuning of the universe; the persistence of a moral law that refuses to be reduced to convention or utilitarianism; the historical evidence for the resurrection of Christ; the changed lives of believers. All these things can be disputed, but they are out there. To ignore them and pretend they don’t exist is either willful ignorance or dishonesty. What else can you call it?

Not all Atheists are like this, but an appalling number are, judging by what they post on FaceBook and various websites.  Call the dishonest Atheists out on this every time! Do not let them get away with it.

Reflections-Front Cover-2013-6-4

Donald T. Williams is president of the International Society of Christian Apologetics.  For more of his apologetic work, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Reflections from Plato’s Cave: essays in pursuit of goodness, truth, and beauty!