Friday, January 2, 2009

Opportunity Knocks

During January and February, the John Ankerberg Show will begin two science series that will help fill a vital instructional niche on the topics of creation and origins. Virtually everyone on the faith/worldview spectrum should take note. This includes believers and non-believers, theists and non-theists, churched and non-churched. The programs will appeal to a range of people, from those certain of their belief system, to skeptics, agnostics, and atheists. The two series deal with fundamental questions concerning our belief in God’s existence as a loving, caring Designer, as well as how and when He acted to produce our cosmos and the living things which inhabit it. As with all past John Ankerberg Show discussions on science, the presentations are supported by the very latest and best evidence available, analyzed by outstanding scholars.

It has been my personal campaign to encourage church leaders to include the exciting discoveries of science in their lineup of educational offerings as an apologetic instrument for strengthening faith in God as the Creator. Science-linked instruction in our churches is not able to offer proof for the existence of God, as proof is most commonly understood. No such proof exists. Even professionals in science would not characterize their findings in this manner. Scientist Owen Gingrich makes the point that Isaac Newton had no proof that the earth moved, or that the sun was the center of the planetary system. Such assumptions, however, provided explanation and enabled the process of prediction. People believed the proposal because of its coherency, not because of the proof it provided. Demonstration of stellar parallax (indicating the earth was revolving around the sun) and Foucault’s pendulum experiment (showing that the earth was rotating) provided coherency to the proposals, but not actual proof. Those discoveries, surprisingly, did not produce sudden acceptance of heliocentric (sun-centered) cosmology, according to Gingrich.

In a church setting where science topics are discussed, there are multiple opportunities to acquire a coherent view of the world which could bolster belief in God. Essentially, such offerings would be studies in “natural theology,” incorporating knowledge in many different fields in order to make sense of a world authored by God. Many church leaders experience discomfort with the topic of science; their sense of security and confidence is stronger in areas of Christian doctrine. This is the best reason not to miss the upcoming John Ankerberg Show presentations by outstanding Christian science professionals. Our parishioners, particularly our young people, have a profound need for apologetic instruction based on quality, scholarly science.

The Ankerberg website lists outlets where the program is broadcast.