“compare and contrast” your selected worldview (Secular Humanism, Hinduism, Buddhism, or Islam) with the biblical worldview.

 

Critical Thinking Paper Instructions

 

Before you begin writing your paper, you should first consider which formatting style that you will be using. In this course, we allow you to choose the one that you are more familiar with, or the one that will ultimately be the style most often used within your major. (See Formatting Style document)

 

This is a research paper, not a Discussion Board Forum, so it is expected that your paper will be formatted and cited using one of the following styles: current APA, MLA, or Turabian format.

 

 

Requirements:

 

1.      Cover page – This is the first page to be included in your paper (based on the formatting style that you will be using, see the sample papers in Blackboard).

 

a.       APA: For this course, a Summary or Abstract is not required.

 

b.      MLA: This format does not require a title page, but does have a specific format for Ssudent information.

 

2.      Content pages – These pages will contain your content and fulfill the requirements as listed below.

 

a.       Be sure to complete the minimum word count (500–1,000 words).

 

i.      Do NOT include the question as part of your word count Use only your answers.

 

ii.      Direct quotations must be short and limited.

 

iii.      Include your word count at the bottom of the paper.

 

iv.      NOTE: Submissions totaling fewer than 250 words will not receive credit.

 

b.      Quotations and material used from other sources must be cited using current APA, MLA or Turabian. You must include in-text citations and a Bibliography/Reference or Works Cited page.

 

c.       Check your work for spelling and grammatical errors.

 

d.      Be sure to do your own work, do not plagiarize.

 

3.      Bibliography/References/Works Cited page

 

a.       In addition to the in-text citations, a Bibliography/Reference or Works Cited page must be included.

 

b.      A minimum of 3 different sources is required.

 

i.      Use academic sources for your paper. (For example, do not include blogs, social media, opinion pages, or Wikipedia.)

 

ii.      At least 2 of the sources must be outside of the materials used in this course (this would include the Bible, any required reading or videos, and the required textbooks).

 

c.       Use correct APA, MLA, or Turabian style.

 

 

Content:

 

Instructions-

 

o   Fulfill all of the requirements as listed above.

 

o   Select 1 of the following worldviews (Secular Humanism, Hinduism, Buddhism, or Islam) that have been considered in the course content.

 

o   Identify the worldview that you have selected on your Title page (APA, MLA, or Turabian).

 

o   Using course content and additional sources outside of the course, complete the following:

 

Note: This is a “Critical Thinking” assignment so you must go beyond just giving factual content, and demonstrate your comprehension of the material. To accomplish this, the assignment will be asking you to “compare and contrast” your selected worldview (Secular Humanism, Hinduism, Buddhism, or Islam) with the biblical worldview.

 

·         Compare: To speak of or represent as similar; to liken.

 

·         Contrast: To set in opposition … in order to show strikingly their different qualities or characteristics, and compare their superiorities or defects.

 

In your paper, you must follow the outline and answer the questions below.

 

How would the worldview that you selected answer these 5 worldview questions:

 

1.      The Question of Origin – (How did life begin? How did mankind come into existence?)

 

i.      How would your selected worldview answer this question?

 

ii.      Compare and Contrast this with how the biblical worldview would answer this question.

 

2.      The Question of Identity – (What does it mean to be human? Are humans more important than animals?)

 

i.      How would your selected worldview answer this question?

 

ii.      Compare and Contrast this with how the biblical worldview would answer this question.

 

3.      The Question of Meaning/Purpose – (Why does mankind exist? Why do I exist?)

 

i.      How would your selected worldview answer this question?

 

ii.      Compare and Contrast this with how the biblical worldview would answer this question.

 

4.      The Question of Morality – (What is meant by right and wrong? How should I live?)

 

i.      How would your selected worldview answer this question?

 

ii.      Compare and Contrast this with how the biblical worldview would answer this question.

 

5.      The Question of Destiny – (Is there life after death? What will happen to me when I die?)

 

i.      How would your selected worldview answer this question?

 

ii.      Compare and Contrast this with how the biblical worldview would answer this question.

 

(______ words)

 

*An overview of these specific worldview questions can be found in chapter 4 of Finding Your Worldview: Thinking Christianly about the World.

 

This assignment is due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Monday of Module/Week 6.

 

CITING THE BIBLE
APA
Parenthetical Citations
In-Text Citation:
• In parenthesis place the verse reference followed by the version used to retrieve it.
Example: (Hebrews 6:19 New American Standard Bible)
• In a sentence place the verse reference followed by the version used in parenthesis.
Example: In Hebrews 6:19 (New American Standard Bible), Jesus is the anchor…
• In APA, once the scripture is cited in-text the first time, all uses after will only need to include the verse reference.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Information taken from Turabian, Kate L. A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. 8th ed. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. 2013.• In Turabian, the Bible will not need to be included in the Bibliography.Bibliography Page:Example: Many Bible Scholars believe Hebrews was written by the Apostle Paul.NOTE: In Turabian, books of the Bible do not need to be underlined or italicized.• In Turabian, once the scripture is cited in-text the first time, all uses after will only need to include the verse reference.Heb. 6:19 (NASB)Example: Heb. 6:19 (New American Standard Bible)• In Turabian, the version will be referenced first and should be spelled out (New American Standard Bible). If abbreviations are used no punctuation should be used (i.e. NASB) followed by a comma, and then the actual verse reference.• In Turabian, a colon is used to separate chapter from verse and a comma to separate different verse references. A semi-colon will be used to separate verse references from different books in scripture. Page numbers are never used.Example: (Heb. 1:1, 6:19; Mic. 6:8)• In Turabian, all books of the Bible have abbreviations. There are 2 lists of abbreviations, whichever list is chosen should be used consistently throughout the whole paper. See the Turabian Manual for specifics on each.In-Text Citation:Parenthetical Citations, Footnotes, or EndnotesTurabianInformation taken from MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th ed., 2009, sections 6.4.8, 7.7.1, and 5.6.2Example: Outreach Edition Bible. [La Habra]: NASB, 2015. BibleGateway.com. Web.May.2015.Example: Outreach Edition Bible, New American Standard Bible. La Habra, CA: Foundation Publications, 2007. Print.• In MLA, the Bible’s Title, version, publication information, and indication to whether it is print or web will be required for the citation.Works Cited Page:MLA ContinuedExample: The NASB Outreach Edition Bible has unique insights on how to meet people where they are.NOTE: In MLA, individual published editions of the Bible are italicized or underlined; however, general versions or books of the Bible are not.• In MLA, once the scripture is cited in-text the first time, all uses after will only need to include the verse reference.(Outreach Edition Bible, Heb. 6:19)Example: (New American Standard Bible, Heb. 6:19)• In parenthesis in MLA, the version will be referenced first followed by a comma, and then the actual verse reference.• In MLA, a period is used in place of a colon to separate chapter from verse.Example: (Heb. 6.19)• In MLA, all books of the Bible have abbreviations. See the MLA Handbook for specifics on each.In-Text Citation:Parenthetical CitationsMLAInformation taken from Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th ed., 2009, section 6.18.• In APA, the Bible and other well-known works do not need to be included in the reference page unless the instructor requests this.Reference Page:

REQUIRED FORMATTING STYLES FOR CRITICAL THINKING PAPER

Before you begin writing your paper, you should first consider which formatting style that you will be using. In this course, we allow you to choose the one that you are more familiar with, or the one that will ultimately be the style most often used within your major.

This is a research paper, not a Discussion Board Forum, so it is expected that your paper will be formatted and cited using one of the following styles.

How do I know the formatting style for my field of study (or major)?

APA Mostly used for Social Science courses:  Business, Counseling, Education, Biology, and Sports Management. APA Quick Guide
An APA Sample paper is included as a PDF file
MLA Mostly for English-related courses: English Literature or Composition, Teaching and Writing or Literature. MLA Quick Guide
An MLA Sample paper is included as a PDF file

Turabian Mostly Bible or History-based courses: Seminary, Religion, Public Policy, History, and Government Turabian Quick Guide
A Turabian Sample paper is included as a PDF file
 Some History and Government classes may require APA (Check with your instructor)

CRITICAL THINKING PAPER GRADING RUBRIC
Criteria Points Possible Points Earned
Structure 0 to 20 points
• All key components of the assignment are answered.
• The requirments and instructions were followed.
Content 0 to 100 points
• Major points are stated clearly and accurately.
• Word count requirements are satisfied (500–1,000 words).
(Assignments with fewer than 250 words will not receive credit.)
• Work is free of plagiarism.
• Major points are supported by the following: Reading/lecture material or Scripture, and/or outside research; and thoughtful analysis (considering assumptions, analyzing implications, comparing/contrasting concepts).
Spelling & Grammar 0 to 20 points
• Spelling and grammar are correct.
• Word choice is precise and appropriate.
• Sentences are complete, clear, and concise.
Total
Instructor’s Comments:
CITING THE BIBLE
APA
Parenthetical Citations
In-Text Citation:
• In parenthesis place the verse reference followed by the version used to retrieve it.
Example: (Hebrews 6:19 New American Standard Bible)
• In a sentence place the verse reference followed by the version used in parenthesis.
Example: In Hebrews 6:19 (New American Standard Bible), Jesus is the anchor…
• In APA, once the scripture is cited in-text the first time, all uses after will only need to include the verse reference.

Reference Page:
• In APA, the Bible and other well-known works do not need to be included in the reference page unless the instructor requests this.
Information taken from Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th ed., 2009, section 6.18.

MLA
Parenthetical Citations
In-Text Citation:
• In MLA, all books of the Bible have abbreviations. See the MLA Handbook for specifics on each.
Example: (Heb. 6.19)
• In MLA, a period is used in place of a colon to separate chapter from verse.
• In parenthesis in MLA, the version will be referenced first followed by a comma, and then the actual verse reference.
Example: (New American Standard Bible, Heb. 6:19)
(Outreach Edition Bible, Heb. 6:19)
• In MLA, once the scripture is cited in-text the first time, all uses after will only need to include the verse reference.

NOTE: In MLA, individual published editions of the Bible are italicized or underlined; however, general versions or books of the Bible are not.
Example: The NASB Outreach Edition Bible has unique insights on how to meet people where they are.

MLA Continued
Works Cited Page:
• In MLA, the Bible’s Title, version, publication information, and indication to whether it is print or web will be required for the citation.
Example: Outreach Edition Bible, New American Standard Bible. La Habra, CA: Foundation Publications, 2007. Print.
Example: Outreach Edition Bible. [La Habra]: NASB, 2015. BibleGateway.com. Web.May.2015.
Information taken from MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th ed., 2009, sections 6.4.8, 7.7.1, and 5.6.2

Turabian
Parenthetical Citations, Footnotes, or Endnotes
In-Text Citation:
• In Turabian, all books of the Bible have abbreviations. There are 2 lists of abbreviations, whichever list is chosen should be used consistently throughout the whole paper. See the Turabian Manual for specifics on each.
Example: (Heb. 1:1, 6:19; Mic. 6:8)
• In Turabian, a colon is used to separate chapter from verse and a comma to separate different verse references. A semi-colon will be used to separate verse references from different books in scripture. Page numbers are never used.
• In Turabian, the version will be referenced first and should be spelled out (New American Standard Bible). If abbreviations are used no punctuation should be used (i.e. NASB) followed by a comma, and then the actual verse reference.
Example: Heb. 6:19 (New American Standard Bible)
Heb. 6:19 (NASB)
• In Turabian, once the scripture is cited in-text the first time, all uses after will only need to include the verse reference.

NOTE: In Turabian, books of the Bible do not need to be underlined or italicized.
Example: Many Bible Scholars believe Hebrews was written by the Apostle Paul.

Bibliography Page:
• In Turabian, the Bible will not need to be included in the Bibliography.
Information taken from Turabian, Kate L. A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. 8th ed. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. 2013.

Secularism A Religion Profile from International Students, Inc.
1
Secularism: An Overview
Number of Adherents
Demographer Davit Barrett estimates that there are 150 million
atheists and 768 million nonreligious people in the world. The
combined total comes to more than 918 million people (Barrett).
Secularism Among the Nations
In more than 40 countries, atheists or nonreligious make up
more than 10 percent of the population (World Christian
Database). The following are just a few of those countries:
Austrailia, Britain, Canada, China, Cuba, Czech Republic,
France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, North Korea,
Mongolia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, Sweden,
Uruguay and Vietnam.
Defining the Terms
An “atheist” is one who says there is sufficient evidence to
show that God does not exist. An “agnostic” is one who says
there is insufficient evidence to know whether or not God
exists. The “functional atheist” is one who is apathetic
concerning God’s existence. For the purposes of this profile,
the term “secularist” will be used to indicate all three.
The Rise of Secularism
The Renaissance (Ca. A.D. 1400-1600)
In the early 1400s, Gutenberg invented the printing press with
movable type. As a result, the writings of the past became
much more accessible to the public, and this increased
accessibility sparked two responses. One was a greater
awareness of and obedience to God’s Word, which led to the
Reformation. The other was a pursuit of humanistic themes,
which drew upon the writings of Greek and Roman thinkers
and served as the foundation for the Renaissance. The word
“renaissance” means “rebirth,” and that which was reborn
was man’s sense of independence and individualism.
In the way that philosopher Rene Descartes (1596-1650)
responded to a movement call Pyrrhonism (named after the
Greek skeptic Pyrrho, 365-275 B.C.), he contributed to the
trend of moving the source of truth away from the Church.
Pyrrhonism was a form of utter skepticism whereby everything
was doubted. As a result, nothing could be known for
certain. The significance of Descartes’ cogito ergo sum (“I
think, therefore I am”) is that he had used Pyrrhonists’ own
method of questioning everything in order to establish one
fact: The doubter could be certain of his own existence
(Brown, p. 184). Descartes had no intention of being a
religious reformer; nevertheless, his new method of
approaching truth shook Christianity to its core. It was used to
shift the basis for certainty from God to man.
The Enlightenment (ca. A.D. 1600-1800)
The success of science ushered in the Age of Enlightenment.
During the Enlightenment, people began to elevate science to
being the ultimate test for truth.
The discoveries of the laws of science by men like Francis
Bacon (1561-1626), Robert Boyle (1627-1692), and Isaac
Newton (1642-1727) gave support to the analogy that the
universe was like a machine. Such an analogy, when
misapplied, tended to dismiss the need to believe in a God
who sustained the universe.
Other challenges to the Christian worldview came through
philosophers Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), David Hume
(1711-1776), and Immanuel Kant (1724-1804). Hobbes drew
out the implications of a materialistic philosophy in which
matter was the ultimate stuff of the universe. Hume, in his
Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, presented
arguments against the veracity of the miracle accounts in the
Bible. And Kant encouraged people to assert the power of
their own intellect and to throw off the shackles of
ecclesiastical authority (Brown, pp. 286-287).
Still, even with the onslaught of the Enlightenment, most
people in the nineteenth century, including scientists, believed
in the existence of a rational and personal Creator. The reason
was that there was no alternative theory to that of creation
that adequately explained the existence of an orderly
universe. That changed with Charles Darwin.
The Modern Age (ca. 1800 to present)
In 1859, Charles Darwin (1809-1882) published On the
Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or The
Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. In it,
Darwin theorized that life forms had resulted from natural,
random processes and not from the pre-design of an
intelligent Creator. The gap that had previously been filled
with a religious faith in a Creator could now, through the
theory of evolution, be filled with a purely scientific and
naturalistic explanation. Many scientists became enthralled
with the theory of evolution, and began to apply it to every
field of study, including history (Marx) and psychology
(Freud).
The result of Darwinism was that, for many, the belief in God
became an unnecessary hypothesis. If mankind was to find
solutions for its problems and hope for its future, people must
look inward, not toward God.
The Beliefs of Secularism
The Denial of God
The most fundamental tenet of secularism is the denial of the
existence of the supernatural. According to secularism, belief
in God is nothing more than a projection of man’s own
thoughts and desires. God did not make man in His image;
instead, man made God in his image.
The Denial of Miracles
After having denied God’s existence, it’s logical then to
conclude that miracles—the result of God’s intervention—are
not possible. The miracles recorded in the Bible, secularists
surmise, must have been the embellishments of the authors
who were promoting their particular religious agenda (Geisler
and Brooks, ch. 5; Geisler, 1992).
The Fact of Evolution
Secularists assert that the existence and complexity of the
universe can be sufficiently explained through naturalistic
principles as set forth in the theory of evolution. Personality
and mind also have resulted from the evolutionary process
and are sufficiently explained through the interaction of
chemical and biological elements. Thus, there is no “ghost in
the machine.”
The Potential of Man
Secularists see religion as being restrictive and escapist.
Religion does nothing more than to assuage the fears of an
ignorant people. If humanity is to survive, secularists say,
mankind must face problems squarely and find the answers
within itself, reason, and science. Secularism begins and ends
with man.
Man will be able to face the issues squarely only when freed
from the shackles of religion.
The Centrality of Science
Secularists are confident that the scientific method of inquiry
is the only reliable avenue by which to discover truth and
knowledge. According to the secularistic point of view, there
2
The Finality of Death
At death, the individual ceases to exist in any cohesive or
conscious form. As the signers of The Humanist Manifesto II
wrote, “There is no credible evidence that life survives the
death of the body” (Lamont, p. 293).
is an irreconcilable antagonism between reason and faith,
science and religion, empirical observation and revealed
authority.
The Stress on Relativity
Secularists deny that there is an absolute moral reference
point beyond man (i.e., a holy God). They contend that
humankind does not need an absolute moral standard beyond
itself in order to have a sufficient foundation and motivation
for moral behavior. Humanity is by nature good, and all that
is needed to realize that innate goodness is education, not
religious transformation.
3
Secularism
God
Matter, in one form or another, is all that has existed from
eternity.
Humanity
Humanity is by nature monistic in that man consists of
only one substance: matter. Humanity represents the highest
point of the gradual and random processes of evolution.
Humanity’s Problem
The problem is that humanity depends on the escapist
promises of religion, rather than facing problems squarely
and believing that humankind has the potential to create a
world in which peace and justice will prevail.
The Solution
The solution is in extending the scientific method of rational
inquiry into all aspects of life, while at the same time
maintaining a sense of compassion for the individual.
Jesus Christ
At most, Jesus was a good moral teacher. Because the biblical
authors embellished the details of Jesus’ life, though,
we can be certain of very little concerning what is historically
accurate.
After Death
There is no personal survival after death.
Christianity
God alone is infinite and eternal. The material universe is
finite and has not always existed. God created it out of
nothing.
Humanity is by nature dualistic in that man consists of two
substances: body and spirit. Humanity, being made in the
image of God, represents the highest point of God’s
creation.
The problem is that man has rebelled against a personal
and holy God. As a result, man lives for himself and places
hope in false gods, such as success, money, nature, science,
education, etc.
The solution is in man being restored to a right relationship
with a holy God through faith in Jesus Christ. While
Christianity encourages the rational inquiry of science, it
opposes scientism, which goes beyond the limits of science
in that it claims that the scientific method is a sufficient
avenue to all truth.
Jesus was the very embodiment of God on earth. The Bible
meets the qualifications for being authentic history. It
records that Jesus lived, died for our sins, and rose from
the dead.
There is personal survival after death, either to eternal life
with God or eternal separation from Him.
Secularism and Christianity Contrasted
Suggestions for Evangelism
What Kind of God Did the Student Reject?
Don’t assume that all secularist international students have
rejected the personal God of the Bible. Since they came from
cultures influenced by various non-Christian religions, they
might not have considered the possibility that a personal God
who loves them exists. Ask questions to discern their concept
of God.
Offer Evidence for God’s Existence
In the following section, some evidences for God’s existence
is listed. Notice how each new bit of evidence tells us a little
more about the nature of God—from Cause, to Intelligent
Cause, to Moral Being, to Fulfiller of our Longings.
• The Origin of the Universe and of Life
The second law of thermodynamics says that while the
total amount of energy remains constant (the first law), the
availability of usable energy is constantly decreasing.
Energy, then, inevitably moves toward a state where it is
increasingly unusable and inaccessible. The inevitable
cooling of a cup of hot tea typifies the constraints
impressed by the second law.
What are the implications of the second law with respect
to the origin of the universe? It means that the universe
had a beginning. Why? Because if the universe has always
existed, then an infinite amount of time would have
already passed until this present moment. But this cannot
be true because, according to the second law, the universe
would then be in a state of equilibrium—a cold and lifeless
state of absolute rest.
The question that obviously follows is: If the universe has
not always existed, then who or what caused it to come
into existence? We can appeal to science for the answer.
Scientists understand that the universe was tuned in at its
inception to a precision of greater than sixty decimal
places, which is a precision equal to the number ten
multiplied by itself more than sixty times. Unless the
universe had been finely tuned, it would not have
“worked.” But all known natural processes are not tuned
that finely, only to several decimal places. Only a First
Cause with supreme intelligence could have produced such
phenomenal accuracy.
Further questions include: What is life, and how did it
originate? Could life have arisen from the gradual changes
that resulted from the interaction between natural forces
over billions of years?
To help answer such questions, try doing a simple
experiment. Pour salt and pepper into a clear container that
can be covered, and keep the salt and pepper separate.
Then shake it. What happens? The salt and pepper become
mixed. Now continue shaking the container to try to
separate the two. Do they become unmixed? What would
be the best way to separate the salt from the pepper?
What does this experiment illustrate? First, that the random
processes of nature destroy, not create, patterns. Second,
that it would take an intellect (by physically
separating the salt from the pepper) to restore the pattern
(see Gange, ch. 7).
Living cells are like the pattern of the salt and pepper
being separated, except that the patterns in such cells are
much more complex. They are not only complex but also
viable, in that not just any pattern will do; living cells must
maintain a particular pattern that will produce and sustain
life. Such a pattern, moreover, contains a vast amount of
information, such as is found in DNA. Life is not the mere
repetitive pattern that is contained in crystals, which the
random processes of nature can produce, but it is like the
pattern contained in a blueprint, which can be produced
only by an intelligent being.
The question of origins, then, concerns the issue of what is
a sufficient source for the information—the coherent and
viable patterns—contained within living cells? To say that
the information contained in a complex living cell came
from the random and gradual evolutionary processes of
nature is to believe that one can separate the salt from the
pepper by shaking the container—an outcome that, being
unobserved, is a matter of faith and one that goes against
the observed second law. The best explanation for the
source of information in living cells is not blind nature, but
a Supreme Intellect. After all, it is an everyday empirical
fact that people, not random forces, are the source of
meaningful and coherent patterns (e.g., words, cars,
buildings, etc.). Also, it is not mere coincidence that the
theme of separation—the instilling of information—is
found in the creation account of Genesis 1, where God
separated light from darkness; the waters above from the
waters below; sea from land; time into days and years; sea,
air, and land life, each after its own kind; man from dust;
and woman from man.
• The Presence of Design
The argument from design is built on the premise that
design indicates the work of an intelligent designer (see Ps.
19:1, Rom. 1:20). The classic example is that of a watch.
Obviously, the intricate inner workings of a watch could
not have come about as the result of random chance, but
4
Approaching Secularists
doubt that lingers. For example, Corliss Lamont, who was
voted Humanist of the Year in 1977, wrote, “Even I, disbeliever
that I am, would frankly be more than glad to awake
some day to a worthwhile eternal life” (Lamont, p. 98).
Atheist philosopher Bertrand Russell, too, expressed some
hesitation concerning the idea that this life is all there is: “It
is odd, isn’t it? I care passionately for this world and many
things and people in it, and yet…what is it all? There must
be something more important, one feels, though I don’t
believe there is” (Heck, p. 224). What would be the source
of our yearning for an existence beyond? Perhaps the universe
has played a cosmic joke on us. Or, our yearning is a
mistake of evolution. What, though, if it’s not a joke or a
mistake, but a pointer to that which is real?
The Deeper Issues
People make decisions based not only on their intellect, but
also on their emotions. So, one should also try to pluck those
deeper chords.
5
only by the thoughtful planning of an intelligent designer
(see Olsen, pp. 26-27, and Denton, ch.14). The same is true
of the relationship between the creation and the Creator
(e.g., the intricacies of the human eye).
• The Stirring of the Conscience
Our consciences and feelings of guilt give evidence to our
moral nature. Such moral feelings are like currency—they
are worthless unless backed up by something of value outside
themselves. They also indicate that the best explanation
for why we have moral sensibilities is that our Source
must be both moral and personal, for impersonal natural
forces do not have moral sensibilities. In other words, since
there is a moral law binding on all of that insists we do
what is just and good, there must be a Moral Law Giver
(see Geisler and Brooks, ch.13).
• The Longing for Something Beyond
While secularists might say publicly that they accept death
as being the final end, there is nevertheless that private
Secular Assertion
“There is no absolute truth.”
“Life is meaningless.”
“Science is the only avenue to truth.”
“All morality is relative.”
“Each individual determines his or her own purpose in life.
There is no ultimate purpose.”
The theory of evolution, which is lauded as a natural law,
contends that complexity (life) arises out of simplicity (nonlife)
without the aid of intelligence.
“Humanity is, by nature, good.”
“What is needed today is rational and logical thinking.”
Contradiction or Problem
Such a statement itself claims to be an absolute truth.
The person who says this claims to make a meaningful statement
(Zacharias, p. 73).
Such a statement cannot itself be proven to be true by the scientific
method.
How can we tell if a person who makes such a statement is
telling the truth, since he or she might consider it convenient
to lie? Plus, such a person often does not hesitate to make
moral judgments concerning social issues, or concerning his
or her view of God (e.g., Why did God permit evil?)
If there’s no ultimacy to any purpose, then even the
individual purposes are meaningless. How does anyone know
there is no ultimate meaning unless he or she has an ultimate
perspective?
Contradiction or Problem: But the law of entropy, which is an
indisputable law of nature, says that complex things disintegrate
to a state of simplicity (see Noebel, pp. 330-333).
Such a statement lacks meaning since there is no moral reference
point in secularism by which to gauge goodness.
How can our thoughts be trusted to reflect reality if they are
the product of nothing more than chemical and biological
elements?
Contradictions and Problems within the Secularistic Worldview
responding to their objection directly, ask them to consider
something: What is the source of their sense of justice?
Some might answer that each individual is his or her own
source. Others might say that the moral foundation for our
sense of justice is to be found in social consensus.
The problem with such answers is that they derive the sense
of “ought” from that which “is.” But that which “is” is an
insufficient basis for our sense of “ought.” Just because most
people have told a lie does not negate our sense that lying is
morally wrong. If we base our sense of justice on nothing
higher than ourselves or social consensus, then we will be
mired in moral relativity. But is not “relative justice” a
contradiction in terms?
In order for one’s sense of justice to have meaning, it must be
based on a firm moral standard. What we observe is that
moral sensibilities are properties of personal beings, not
natural forces. But what kind of being would be 1) personal,
2) beyond humanity, and 3) have moral sensibilities? The
answer: God! Therefore, the sense of justice raised in the
objection actually affirms the existence of the very thing that
is being questioned, for only a personal, holy God is a
sufficient moral basis for our sense of justice. In brief, then,
things can’t be ultimately unjust unless there is an ultimate
justice (God).
But will God indeed judge those who have never heard of
Jesus? No and yes. No, in the sense that He will not judge us
on the basis of revelation that we have not received. Yes, He
will judge us, though, on the basis of how we respond to the
knowledge that we have received (Rom. 2:12). God has given
everyone an awareness of who He is. By what means?
Through what is called “general revelation,” which includes
the disclosure of God through creation and conscience (Lewis
and Demarest, ch. 2; Rom 1:19-20; 2:14-15; cf. Ps. 8:1, 3;
19:1-4; Isa. 40:12-14, 26; Acts 14:15-17; 17:24-25).
“The Bible Is Not Worth Serious Consideration”
Secularists dismiss the Bible, contending that it is filled with
myths, contradictions, and scientific inaccuracies. Because of
space limitation, only a few responses to this objection will be
summarized (see Boice, ch. 5; Geisler and Howe, ch.1).
First, ask if they have read the Bible, and if they have not
done so, challenge them to read it. It’s very possible that their
attitude toward the Bible was received through someone else.
Second, every educated person should be familiar with the
Bible. Why? Because, according to the Guinness Book of
World Records, the Bible is the number one bestseller of all
time (MacFarlan, p. 383). Also, the Bible has had a significant
influence on Western literature. One book on literature
says, “Great authors commonly show a familiarity with the
Bible, and few great English and American writers of the
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Show That You Care
Floyd McClung of Youth with a Mission articulated this principle
in a catchy way: “People don’t care how much you
know until they know how much you care” (Aldrich, p. 35).
Obviously, part of what it means to care is being concerned
about people’s needs.
Caring also means building a friendship that is unconditional.
While we should not be shy in sharing our faith with an international
student, neither should our friendship be conditioned
on how a student responds to the message of Christ.
Another way of showing that you (and God) care is by
praying for your international friend. Ask how you may pray
specifically for him or her. For many international students, it
will be news that God cares about their individual needs.
Responding to Hindrances and Objections
The Problem of Evil
The problem of evil is that if there is an all-powerful and
all-good God, then He wouldn’t allow evil. But evil does
happen, so God is either not all powerful or not all good.
One may respond to this objection by pointing out, first, that
the problem of evil actually assumes the existence of an absolute
standard of goodness. That standard can be found only in
a holy God, the very thing that the argument is trying to deny
(see Geisler and Brooks, ch. 4; Zacharias, pp. 174-178).
Second, identify the source of evil (see Kreeft, pp. 49-56). We
are talking about moral evil, not natural disasters or physical
diseases. With respect to moral evil, we are persons, and persons
have the ability to choose between good and evil. Evil is
the result of persons having chosen wrongly. God cannot be
held responsible for the way His creatures have chosen to go
against Him, since their ability to choose is real.
Could God have made a world where the people were
programmed to choose to do only that which is good? Yes,
but such creatures would have been automatons, not persons,
and they would not have had the ability to make real choices.
Third, when a person cites the problem of evil as an
objection, he or she is assuming that God has not dealt with
evil. The Bible declares, however, that God has dealt with evil
through the atoning death of Jesus Christ. The real issue, then,
is that He has not dealt with it in a way they expected or as
soon as they desired. But if God is all good and all powerful,
then we know that if evil is not defeated, it eventually will be,
because Jesus Christ’s resurrection demonstrated that victory.
“How Can a Just God Judge Those Who Have Never
Heard of Jesus?”
This objection raises the issue of justice. So, before
seventeenth, eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries
can be read with satisfaction by one ignorant of Biblical
literature” (Holman, pp. 61-61).
Third, the Bible should be given serious consideration
because it is historically accurate (see Bruce; Geisler and
Brooks, ch. 9; Kitchen; Wilson; and Yamauchi).
Fourth, the secularist should give the Bible serious consideration
because it is unique among religious scriptures in that it
speaks of a God who is absolute in His holiness and who
judges sinners. In light of that fact, would bad men write such
fierce judgments against their own sin? Or, on the other hand,
would good men put “Thus saith the Lord” on something that
they had devised themselves? Isn’t it more likely that it came
from God (Boice, pp. 57-58)?
Other approaches to this objection include: 1) the Bible’s
amazing unity, considering it consists of 66 books that were
written over a fifteen-year period (see McDowell, p.18); 2)
the biblical authors being led to avoid scientific misconceptions
about the body, the heavens, and the earth that were popular
in the cultures and religions of its time (see Barfield;
Montgomery, part 3); and 3) the fulfillment of prophecy (see
McDowell, ch. 9; Montgomery, part 4, chs. 3-4).
“Evolution Sufficiently Explains the Origin of the
Universe and the Diversity of the Species”
Most of us don’t have the expertise to present the evidence
against evolution with any sense of scientific sophistication.
How, then, should we respond to the objections raised by
those who believe in evolution?
1. Keep it Simple
Keep the meaning of creation basic. Your definition of
creation should include nothing more than the belief that an
intelligent Creator is necessary to explain the origin of the
universe. Anything more will divert the discussion away from
the core issue.
2. Evolution Is Also Based on Inference
Evolution is based on faith just as much as creationism. Be
aware that evolutionists move from the observable to the
theoretical in a way that is not warranted by the evidence.
They observe that minor changes occur within species
(microevolution), but they then extrapolate from those
observations the theory that such changes eventually add up
to the formation of entirely new species (macroevolution).
While microevolution is empirically verifiable, the extrapolation
to macroevolution is only a theory that has never been
observed and that is a matter of faith (Johnson, p. 115).
3. Belief in Creation Is a Reasonable Inference
Creationism is a reasonable alternative to evolution. After all,
one of the principles of science is that every effect has a
sufficient cause. Creationism posits a sufficient cause for our
7
existence as persons: a personal God who is morally holy,
intelligent, and self-existent. Evolution, on the other hand,
posits what appears to be an insufficient cause in that the
complex (human life) comes out of the simple (nonlife), or
that the universe arose from nothing without a cause.
Creationism is reasonable, moreover, because it is able to
make a distinction between operation science, which has to do
with the principles that govern the continued operation of the
universe, and origin science, which has to do with the
principles that caused the universe to begin. By saying that
science can make statements about the origin of the universe,
evolutionists are assuming that the very same laws involved
in the operation of the universe are adequate to explain the
origin of the universe. Such an assumption is similar to saying
that the very same laws that explain how a car functions are
sufficient to explain how the car was designed and built. They
aren’t, because the origin of the car needed the guidance of
intelligent beings (Geisler, 1983, pp. 137-138).
If you want to garner evidence against evolution that is of a
more scientific nature, the following are fruitful lines or
argumentation (see Noebel, ch. 14).
• the fossil record: the sudden appearance of complex life
forms and lack of transitional forms,
• the problem of life coming from nonlife (see Gange, ch. 9;
Thaxton),
• the problem of complexity arising out of simplicity without
the aid of intelligent intervention,
• the immense amount of information encoded into the DNA,
which would indicate an intelligent source rather than that
of a random chance (see Grange),
• the lack of beneficial mutations,
• the limits to the amount of change possible within a species.
For books that address the theory of evolution from a
scientific perspective, the following three are recommended:
Evolution: A Theory in Crisis by Michael Denton, Darwin on
Trial by Philip Johnson, and Of Pandas and People by
Percival Davis and Dean Kenyon.
Recommended Resources
For books that address most of the common objections raised
by secularists, see Copan, Geisler and Brooks, Gish, Kreeft,
Moreland (1987), and Strobel (2000 and 2004).
For books that give scientific evidence for the existence of an
Intelligent Designer, see Broom, Dembski and Kushiner, and
Moreland (1994).
For books that could be given to secularists for them to consider
arguments for the existence of God, see Boa, Geisler
and Turek, and Strobel (2000 and 2004). For DVDs that could
be shown to a secularist, see ColdWater Media and Illustra
Media (2002 and 2004).
Kreeft, Peter. Yes or No: Straight Answers to Tough Questions about Christianity. San
Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1991.
Lamont, Corliss. The Philosophy of Humanism. New York: Continuum, 1988.
Lewis, Gordon and Bruce Demarest. Integrative Theology, Vol. 1. Grand Rapids, Mich.:
Zondervan Publishing House, 1987.
MacFarlan, Donald (ed.). Guinness Book of World Records. New York: Bantam Books,
1991.
McDowell, Josh. Evidence that Demands a Verdict. San Bernardino, Calif.: Campus
Crusade for Christ, 1972.
Montgomery, John (ed.). Evidence for Faith: Deciding the God Question. Dallas: Word
Publishing, 1991.
Moreland, J. P. Scaling the Secular City: A Defense of Christianity. Grand Rapids,
Mich.: Zondervan, 1987.
Moreland, J.P. (ed.). Creation Hypothesis: Scientific Evidence for an Intelligent
Designer. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1994.
Noebel, David. Understanding the Times. Manitou Springs, Colo.: Summit Press, 1991.
Olsen, Viggo. The Agnostic Who Dared to Search. Chicago: Moody Press, 1990.
Ross, Hugh. The Fingerprint of God. Orange, Calif.: Promise Publishing Co., 1989.
Strobel, Lee. The Case for a Creator: A Journalist Investigates Scientific Evidence That
Points Toward God. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2004.
Strobel, Lee. The Case for Faith: A Journalist Investigates the Toughest Questions to
Christianity. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2000.
Thaxton, Charles, Walter Bradley, and Roger Olsen. The Mystery of Life’s Origin:
Reassessing Current Theories. New York: Philosophical Library, 1984.
Wilson, Clifford. Rocks, Relics and Biblical Reliability. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan
Publishing House, 1977.
www.worldchristiandatabase.org. 3/20/05.
Yamauchi, Edwin. “Archeology and the New Testament.” The Expositor’s Bible Commentary,
Vol. 1. Frank E. Gaebelein (ed.). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 1979.
Zacharias, Ravi. A Shattered Visage: The Real Face of Atheism. Brentwood, Tenn.:
Wolgemuth & Hyatt, 1990.
Christian Apologetic Websites
Apologetics Research Network www.arn.org
All About God www.allaboutgod.com
Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture
www.discovery.org/csc
Genesis Foundation www.genesisfoundation.org
Josh McDowell www.josh.org
Reasons to Believe www.reasons.org
Bibliography and Resources
Aldrich, Joseph C. Life-Style Evangelism. Portland, Oreg.: Multnomah Press, 1981.
Barfield, Kenny. Why the Bible Is Number 1: The World’s Sacred Writings in the Light
of Science. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker, 1988.
Barrett, David and Todd M. Johnson. “Annual Statistical Table on Global Mission..”
International Bulletin of Missionary Research. January 2002.
http://www.wnrf.org/cms/statuswr.shtml. 1/26/04.
Boa, Kenneth and Robert Bowman, Jr. 20 Compelling Evidences that God Exists. Tulsa,
Okla.: River Oak Publishing, 2002.
Boice, James M. Foundations of the Christian Faith. Downers Grove, Illl.” InterVarsity
Press, 1986.
Broom, Neil. How Blind Is the Watchmaker? Nature’s Design and the Limits of Naturalistic
Science. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2001.
Brown, Colin. Christianity and Western Thought: A History of Philosophers, Ideas and
Movements, Vol. 1. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1990.
Bruce, F. F. The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? Downers Grove, Ill.:
InterVarsity Press, 1978.
ColdWater Media. Icons of Evolution: The Growing Scientific Controversy over Darwin
(DVD). Palmer Lake, Colo.: ColdWater Media, 2001.
Copan, Paul. That’s Just Your Interpretation: Responding to Skeptics Who Challenge
Your Faith. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House, 2001.
Davis, Percival and Dean Kenyon. Of Pandas and People: The Central Question of Biological
Origins. Dallas: Haughton Publishing, 1989.
Dembski, William and James Kushiner. Signs of Intelligence: Understanding Intelligent
Design. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Brazos Press, 2001.
Denton, Michael. Evolution: A Theory in Crisis: New Developments in Science Are
Challenging Orthodox Darwinism. Bethesda, Md.: Adler & Adler, 1985.
Gange, Robert. Origins and Destiny: A Scientist Examines God’s Handiwork. Dallas:
Word Publishing, 1986.
Geisler, Norman. Is Man the Measure? Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House, 1983.
Geisler, Norman. Miracles and the Modern Mind. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book
House, 1992.
Geisler, Norman and Frank Turek. I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist.
Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 2004.
Geisler, Norman and Ron Brooks. When Skeptics Ask: A Handbook on Christian Evidences.
Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1990.
Geisler, Norman and Thomas Howe. When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Biblical
Difficulties. Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992.
Gish, Duane. Evolution: The Fossils Still Say No! El Cajon, Calif.: Institute for Creation
Research, 1995.
Heck, Joel (ed.). The Art of Sharing Your Faith. Tarrytown, N.Y.: Fleming H. Revell
Company, 1991.
Holman, C. Hugh. A Handbook to Literature (third ed.). Indianapolis: Odyssey Press,
1975.
Hummel, Charles. The Galileo Connection: Resolving Conflicts Between Science and
the Bible. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1986.
Illustra Media, The Privileged Planet: The Search for Purpose in the Universe (DVD).
La Habra, Calif.: Illustra Media, 2004.
Illustra Media. Unlocking the Mystery of Life: The Scientific Case for Intelligent Design
(DVD). La Habra, Calif.: Illustra Media, 2002.
Johnson, Phillip. Darwin on Trial. Washington, D.C.: Regnery Gateway, 1991.
Kitchen, K. A. The Bible in Its World: The Bible and Archeology Today. Downers
Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1977.
PO Box C
Colorado Springs, CO 80901
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Phone: (719) 576-2700; Fax: (719) 576-5363
Email: team@isionline.org; www.isionline.org
For International Students: www.internationalstudents.org
8
Written by Dean Halverson, Director of Apologetics for
International Students, Inc.. Copyright © 1992, 2005 by
International Students, Inc.

 

Textbook Readings

  • Caner & Hindson:
    • Determinism
    • Hedonism
    • Relativism
    • Christian Ethics
  • Powell: ch. 4
  • Weider & Gutierrez: ch. 8
 

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