Why I am Not an Atheist, Part 2.

Atheism is Incompatible with Science.

By Jon Kauffman

Over the last 40 years several atheists have tried to convince me that I should be an atheist. Over the years I found several reasons that atheism does not make sense to me.

Several months ago, I read “Believing is Seeing, A Physicist Explains How Science Shattered His Atheism and Revealed the Necessity of Faith.” By Michael Guillen. Before he became a Christian, in his search for truth, Guillen compared science with atheism, Christianity and several other world views. Here is a chart he shared in his book to compare a few of his findings:

Guillen’s comparisons

I can also think of other inconsistencies between science and atheism.

We can continue the line of questioning that Guillen used in his book.

Does the Universe have a beginning?

Science: Yes, Atheism: No, Christianity: Yes.

For science the universe starts with a big bang. For Christianity the universe starts with a creative act from God who is outside of time and space.

Since the discovery of the background radiation a majority of scientist have believed that the universe has a beginning. Before Einstein, a majority of scientists believed in an eternal universe.

Atheism is incompatible with a beginning to the universe because then there is insufficient time for life to be created by chance.

Albert Einstein fudged his numbers creating a “cosmological constant” to avoid a beginning. He later claimed it was his “biggest mistake.” Albert Einstein was not an atheist, however this demonstrates that all of us have great difficulty changing our world view even with the best of evidence.

Stephen Hawking tried to redefine “nothing” to mean “the law of gravity.”

 “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing,” he writes. “Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist.

“It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.” Stephen Hawking, The Grand Design, page 180

Laurance Kraus changed the meaning of “nothing” to mean the empty vacuum of space.

Kraus said, “Since something is physical, nothing must be physical”

When John Lennox asked Kraus what this statement meant, Kraus said, “I suggest to you that nothing is a colloquial term that means many different things to many people. If empty space is your definition…not only will something come from it, something is required to come from it. Science has just changed the definitions. I call it learning.” John Lennox/Kevin Sorbo, Against the Tide, Finding God in an Age of Science.

Miriam Webster dictionary defines Nothing:

Definition of nothing (Entry 3 of 4)

1a: something that does not exist

b: the absence of all magnitude or quantity.


I think it was Laurance Kraus who changed the meaning of “nothing”, not science.

If we need to fudge the numbers, or the change the meaning of nothing to equal the law of gravity or if we need to change the meaning of nothing to be the empty vacuum of space, we have redefined nothing to be something other than what most scientists would define as nothing.

If an atheists must change the meaning of “nothing” to remain an atheist then science is incompatible with atheism.

If as science and Christianity suggest, the universe came from nothing physical, then the Hawking and Kraus quotes seem like gibberish to me.

Science currently cannot tell how the universe was created from nothing. Christianity says that the universe was created by a creator who is outside of time and space, is eternal, and has freedom of choice to create when he wants.

Near death experiences and deathbed experiences give us evidence that it is highly probable that something beyond the material world exists.

The historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus suggests God is reaching out to man and Jesus is an exact representation of that God. A God who can create the universe out of nothing.

If atheists would like to convert me to atheism, they must convince me that nothing can become something.

I am not aware of any scientific evidence that support the theories that the law of gravity, or the empty quantum vacuum of space or multi-universes existed before the big bang.

Copyright © 2022 by Jon Kauffman. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted when used to further the Kingdom of God. Permission is gladly given to re-blog this post.

Revised: 10/23/2022

A Film: Against the Tide, Finding God in an Age of Science

By Jon Kauffman

In this film, Oxford Professor John Lennox and Hollywood actor Kevin Sorbo discuss the scientific evidence for God and the historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus.

Does science bury God? Lennox demonstrates that science and Christianity are compatible.

Are science and faith in conflict? John answers no. The fact is science supports faith.

John Lennox learned the German and Russian languages and lectured at universities in communist countries Hungary, East Germany and the Soviet Union. And where does an atheistic philosophy lead. We can see what happened in the atheist communist countries who tried to eliminate God and to keep dignity for human beings. The experiment in atheism failed.

The atheism/Christianity debate is not about science. The debate is about philosophy and worldview.

A quote from the movie’s website: https://againstthetide.movie/

Against the Tide is a travelogue, an examination of modern science, an excursion into history, an autobiography, and more. But at heart, it is the story of one man’s daring stand against the tide of contemporary atheism and its drive to relegate belief in God to society’s catalogue of dead ideas.

Join the conversation between Dr. John Lennox—esteemed Oxford professor, mathematician, and philosopher of science—and veteran Hollywood actor and director Kevin Sorbo as they journey from Oxford to Jerusalem and explore the evidence on which Lennox’s Christian faith stands firm.

A quote from Movieguide.org.

AGAINST THE TIDE is a stirring documentary about Christian Oxford University professor John Lennox and his life of intelligent debates against renowned atheists. MOVIEGUIDE® Award winning actor Kevin Sorbo travels to Great Britain to meet Lennox for this must-see movie. Later, the pair visit the Holy Land to explore Jesus Christ’s life, death and resurrection.

The movie begins with Kevin Sorbo, who rose to fame by playing Hercules on TV in the 1990s. Later in Sorbo’s career in the movie GOD’S NOT DEAD, Sorbo played an atheist who challenges one of his university students to prove that God isn’t dead. A Christian student in his class quotes John Lennox, a Christian professor who refutes atheism. Cut to Great Britain where Sorbo ventures to meet Lennox.

The pair meet and chat in the same pub, The Eagle and The Child, where C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien contemplated Christianity. Viewers learn that Lennox is an Irishman and grew up in a family that challenged him to think deeply about other people’s points of view. One of Lennox’s teachers encouraged him to go to college, unlike so many of his peers, and Lennox went to Cambridge to study mathematics. His zeal and interest for God and Christianity grew, and he found himself having healthy debates with people about God.

Lennox believes that to make a convincing argument, one must base their truth claims on the evidence. Lennox spent time behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War and learned that communism has always gone hand in hand with atheism. Many of his travels helped strengthen his arguments against renowned atheists like Richard Dawkins.

Halfway through AGAINST THE TIDE, Sorbo and Lennox travel to the Holy Land to unpack the historical validity of Jesus Christ’s life, death and resurrection. Sorbo continues to ask Lennox about the reliability of the biblical authors and questions of that sort. Lennox always responds in a collected manner and draws on physical and intellectual reasoning for the hope Christians have in Jesus. Although science has made important discoveries and innovations, for Lennox and believers around the world, science simply can’t contain the glory of God.

AGAINST THE TIDE is extremely well written and features stellar archival footage clips that bring Lennox’s points of view to life. The music is also evocative and fits seamlessly with the on-screen action. Kevin Sorbo makes a great intellectual companion of John Lennox, and the pair have great back and forth conversation that helps debunk the age-old debate about the existence of God. The movie also might make viewers want to travel as well and experience the same feelings of the two gentleman who unearthed truth while abroad in the Holy Land.

AGAINST THE TIDE has a very strong Christian, biblical worldview. It stresses God as Creator and Jesus as God Incarnate. However, due to the religious discussion and debate, there are some references to Anti-Christian, atheist arguments and attacks. Of course, Lennox always brilliantly refutes these attacks and arguments with stronger Christian arguments and answers. MOVIEGUIDE® commends AGAINST THE TIDE for all older children and adults. AGAINST THE TIDE will strengthen their Christian faith and, hopefully, bring new people to Christ.

A quote from Patterns of Evidence: https://store.patternsofevidence.com/products/against-the-tide-dvd

Against the Tide is a travelogue, an examination of modern science, an excursion into history, an autobiography, and so much more. But at its heart, it is the story of one man’s daring stand against the tide of contemporary atheism and its drive to relegate belief in God to society’s catalogue of dead ideas.

Dr. John Lennox – esteemed Oxford professor, mathematician, and philosopher of science – along with veteran Hollywood actor, producer and director Kevin Sorbo journey from the university hallways of Oxford and Cambridge to the Holy Land to explore the intersection of science and Christianity, and the evidence on which Lennox’s Christian faith stands firm.

Along the way Prof. Lennox recounts his scholarly travels in the Soviet Union, and adds that experience to his debates with prominent atheists, including Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Lawrence Krauss, and Peter Singer.

Then, as Kevin Sorbo and Prof. Lennox walk where Jesus taught – from the top of Mount Precipice to the Sea of Galilee – they dive deeper into the origins of Christianity right where it all happened, and ultimately reach the crux of their conversation: do science and history refute the Bible?

Copyright © 2022 by Jon Kauffman. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted when used to further the Kingdom of God. Permission is gladly given to re-blog this post.

Brandon Adams, Veteran, Teacher

Recently I asked Brandon Adams, “As a veteran and a Christian, perhaps you can help me. I am asking for reasons based on the teachings of Jesus that support a Christian serving in the military.

The first Jim Lake is mostly grass by this time of year, but there was enough open water to give an evening reflection. Courtesy Leon Kauffman

Brandon answered my question with an excellent blog post “Can Christians Serve in the Military.”

My response to Brandon Adams

I would like to thank Brandon for so kindly taking the time to thoughtfully answer my question.

I like to use the example of George Whitfield and John Wesley who had great theological differences. George Whitfield taught eternal security and John Wesley taught Armenianism. When one of Whitfield’s followers suggested they would not see Wesley in Heaven, Whitfield said, “Yes, you’re right, we won’t see him in heaven. He will be so close to the Throne of God and we will be so far away, that we won’t be able to see him!” I can hardly compare myself to George Whitfield, but I suspect from reading his blog that Brandon may be close John Wesley.

And as John Wesley said about George Whitfield, “There are many doctrines of a less essential nature with regard to which even the most sincere children of God…are and have been divided for many ages. In these we may think and let think; we may ‘agree to disagree.’”

We must remember that we see things differently when we disagree and that loving our brothers and sisters in Christ is far more important than demanding someone agrees with our interpretation of scripture. Dialogue with other Christians about Christian military participation can be very useful to all involved.

I noticed first of all that Brandon and I agree on many things. We agree far more than we disagree.

Perhaps one the greatest areas of agreement between Brandon and me is the authority of scripture. Brandon says, “It should be noted that the belief that Scriptures outside the four Gospels carry a lesser authority than Jesus’ words is a position this blog does not entertain.”

We agree that the Bible is our authority. God has spoken to us through his word. However, I think we need to be careful that we are correctly interpreting scripture.

We are followers of Jesus. Jesus is the Son of God, the final authority. If our interpretation of scripture is different than the teaching of Jesus or how Jesus would have interpreted that passage, we must question our own interpretation of that scripture. We must be sure we correctly understand the teaching of Jesus. We can do this by making sure we understand what the Biblical writer was saying in context of culture and context of the writer’s situation.

The New Testament Biblical writers were closest to Jesus. The men who were taught by Jesus had a much better perspective than we as to how Jesus taught. We can see how these men interpreted the teachings of Jesus by reading the New Testament.

Also closer to Jesus than us, were early Christian writers. We can use writings of the early Church writers to gain an understanding of how what Jesus taught fit into the culture of their day and how they understood that teaching to affect their lives. For example Polycarp was a disciple of John the Apostle. Polycarp would have a much better understanding of how John understood the teaching of Jesus than we do because we are so far removed in time and culture from Jesus.

Brandon says, “But for me, the strongest evidence that Christians can join the military in good conscience is God’s command to protect the innocent.”

This may be our strongest area of disagreement. I would agree we need to protect the innocent. Yet, I would strongly disagree that joining the US military necessarily means we will be protecting the innocent.

Soldiers must follow the orders of their superiors and cannot refuse if they think the orders are unjust. Often soldiers and their commanding officers are not aware that they are participating in injustice. Serving in the military is the wrong method for Christians to use to protect the innocent.

I believe that most soldiers who have served in the United States military felt they were doing the right thing. For me there are just too many examples where American soldiers were required to participate in injustice. It is far easier to see the injustice of those situations now than it was at the time these wars were fought. Examples include:

  1. The Revolutionary War was a direct disobedience to Romans 13. Nero was Emperor of Rome when the epistle of Romans was written. Nero was a much harsher tyrant than King George the III and Paul says Christians must not rebel.
  2. Stealing land from Native Americans during the Indian Wars. The Wounded Knee Massacre was one of many examples of military and US Indian policy injustice.
  3. I question the justice of our fighting in World War II, especially dropping nuclear weapons on Japan. Hiroshima Mass Murder? And perhaps the US could have prevented World War II if they had not participated in the Starvation Blockade? See “What About Hitler?”
  4. According to Retired Army Colonel Andrew J. Bacevich we have been fighting a 40 year war in the Middle East for cheap oil. See “Book Review: ‘America’s War for the Greater Middle East.’”
  5. When I read Osama Bin Laden’s “Letter to America,” I asked myself, “Who is fighting the more just war?”, the United States or groups fighting against the US in the Middle East.
  6. I could give many, many more examples.

Sometimes United States soldier’s fighting seems to have done good, but that seems to be the exception. Often soldiers have helped in natural disasters and rebuilding, certainly honorable endeavors.

When Jesus died on the cross he was the most innocent person to ever live. If Jesus refused to use violence to protect the most innocent how can we in good conscience use violence. Jesus said, “Take up your cross and follow me.” If we are fighting, it will be difficult to take up our cross.

Brandon also discussed Romans 13, Ephesians 6 and God’s use of war to conquer Canaan. I have addressed these in other blog posts: “Does Romans 13 Justify Christian Participation in Violence?;” “The Armor of God, Ephesians 6:11-17;” and “7 Reasons the Old Testament Cannot be used to Justify Christian Violence.”

Return to : Reasons Christians Give to Say Violence by Christians is Legitimate

Copyright © 2019 by Jon Kauffman. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given. Permission is gladly given to re-blog this post.

Picture: Copyright © 2019 by Leon Kauffman

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Neutering Male Courage

Peace Dove

By Jon Kauffman

One Christian wrote: “Pacifism is a satanic belief system designed to hurt innocent people and neuter male courage.”

When soldiers sitting in safe offices in the US “accidentally” kill innocent men, women and children in Pakistan with drones, are these soldiers demonstrating unneutered male courage? Does the US military drone system kill fewer innocent people than pacifism? Maybe the US military does people kill fewer innocent people than pacifism.

Thousands of Christians died as martyrs in 1st century Rome. It is more dangerous to be a Christian in many parts of the world today than it was to be a Christian in 1st century Rome. Christians in Rome did not die because the ran out of bullets or swords. They died because they refused to compromise with the Roman Government and they refused to use violence against their enemies.

The Christian Martyr’s Last Prayer by Jean Leon Gerome (1824-1904) Ancient accounts tell us that Christians often gathered together and prayed in the arenas as they awaited death. Rome culture was consumed by violence; the Romans loved a “spectacle,” an event in which a human life was taken before a cheering audience. Carla D. Sunberg

Jesus did not say following him would be safe. Jesus laid down his life on the cross when he had the power to physically defeat the soldiers.

Recently I listened to a Youtube video by Jordan Peterson. Professor Peterson says in reference to Jesus dying on the cross without resistance, “Jesus did the impossible.” Peterson further says we need to face the malevolence in our hearts before we take out the speck in our neighbor’s eye. See Jordan Peterson video.

Facing evil without violence is dangerous. Innocent people die. Jesus faced Rome and allowed the soldiers to kill him when he had 10,000 angels at his disposal. A pacifist position is not any less safe. Pacifism does not defend a country or political system of this world. Pacifism does not protect innocent people from terrorism.

Jesus said take up your cross and follow me. Jesus asks us to do the impossible and face evil through non-violence. I think being a pacifist takes far more courage than taking up the sword.

After Constantine came to power in 306 AD the 300 Bishops in the Council of Nicaea (325 AD) called Christians to leave the military and this seems to be the official view of the Roman church at that time.

“Those who endured violence and were seen to have resisted, but who afterwards yielded to wickedness, and returned to the army, shall be excommunicated for ten years.” 
Excerpt from Cannon 12 of the Council of Nicaea.

Why is it acceptable for Christians to change the teaching of Jesus and the early church? Does anyone have the authority to change the teaching of Jesus?

Christians in the US have the great strength of the US military at their disposal.  What if Christians followed Jesus’ example in fighting terrorism instead? Perhaps like 1st century Rome, 21st century terrorists would eventually become Christian?

Many enemy soldiers in the Middle East believe they are fighting an invading US enemy force far stronger than their strength. If we are soldiers fighting people protecting their innocent families are we demonstrating unneutered male courage?

When the US bombed Japan killing 1.2 million civilians, innocent men, women and children, were the pilots demonstrating unneutered male courage?

In the blog post, “What about Hitler?” I argue that if Christians on both sides had refused to fight in World War I, perhaps Hitler would not have been elected in Germany and World War II would not have taken place. In this supposition, if a Christian soldier had refused to fight and had been shot for treason, would this soldier be neutered of male courage?

When we follow Jesus we are in for the long haul with eternal significance. If we follow Jesus we will draw the line at violence against our enemies, following the example of Jesus. We would make peace, reaching out to our enemies to negotiate. We will be willing to die before we kill because we have the resurrection in mind. We will refuse to kill for temporary power, money and safety.

We as Christians are citizens of the Kingdom of God. We may also be citizens of the USA or some other country. If we are serving Jesus, then serving the Kingdom of God must be a higher priority than serving our worldly kingdom. If we are fighting for the USA kingdom and kill citizens of the Kingdom of God who happen to also be citizens of a worldly kingdom that is at war against our worldly kingdom, how is that right? Perhaps Jesus would ask us to avoid killing citizens or potential citizens of the Kingdom of God even if it causes ourselves great pain?

Pacifism is dangerous. Should we expect those who are not Christians to be pacifists? We should not expect those who are not followers of Jesus to be pacifist anymore than we should expect them to follow Jesus teaching on caring for the poor or living a chaste lifestyle or forgiving those who have hurt them.

I John says we will know someone is a Christian if he loves his brother and sister(other followers of Jesus). Perhaps if someone refuses to kill Christians and innocent men, women and children in foreign lands even when his government commands him to do so, then he is a follower of Jesus?

Patrick Coffin says “If it’s true it can stand severe tire kickings.” The Patrick Coffin Show. Does this blog post’s opening quote stand severe tire kickings? I think not!

For an excellent essay on the Old Testament and peace see Old Testament Peace Vision by Ted Grimsrud

See “What about Hitler.”

Reasons why other Christians participate in violence : Reasons Christians Give to Say Violence by Christians is Legitimate

Copyright © 2019 by Jon Kauffman. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given. Permission is gladly given to re-blog this post.

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