Conversations with High School Students

October 27, 2011

Yesterday I went to a local high school in the area to hangout with some students after school.  These students are your typical students in some aspects but not in all aspects.  These 60+ students are members of the Secular Student Alliance Club at Parkview High.  These students meet every other week to discuss topics ranging from the existence of God , to the possibility of morals without God to other issues like animal rights and other social issues.  If you are new to apologetics and are not familiar with the term “Secular” it just means activities and attitudes that do not have a religious or spiritual basis.  The students members hold a variety of different beliefs or positions.  Some are atheist,  some are agnostic,  many of them are might label themselves as skeptical or searching, and there was a Christian in the group also.

I meet them about a year ago through Michael, one of the students in my student ministry, at the church where I am student pastor.  Michael had been going to the Secular Student Alliance Club each week to talk and share his Christian beliefs with the students and to jump in to the debates and discussions they had each week.  I really admire Michael for doing this, I don’t think I would have done that at his age if our school had a SSA Club like they do.  (We had to fight to even have the right to a Christian Club when I went to South Gwinnett High School 20 years ago.)  The SSA club invited me to speak a few times last school year thanks to the invite from Michael.  After Michael has graduated and gone to college I have stay in contact with the students and we talk weekly through Facebook about different subjects.

Let me first break some common misconceptions about the students in the SSA club.  They are nice, polite, smart, and funny.   Just like the average teen.  Many of them are active in community doing things to take care of environment.  A few weeks ago they held a can drive to collect food items for a local food bank in the area.  There are certain feelings that are associated or arise when you mention the word “atheist” or “skeptic”, or even “Christian” for that matter.  I think these feelings come from a past where perception was different.  Any time I have gone to talk with them I have always felt at ease and comfortable with talking to them.

Part of the reason I wanted to write this blog was to help you break down those areas of misconception and also to get a feel of what is like to have conversations with students like these or anyone else for that matter.  Yesterday I went to the meeting not really knowing what I might talk about.  I usually have an outline and prepared talk, but yesterday I just felt like being very low-key and open to where the conversation may go.  I had been in some intense discussions recently online with some of them and I really felt it was important to just be a good listener this time.  I admit, I think I have become addicted to the feeling of being in the moment with apologetic discussions.  Not knowing what questions may come up and not having all the answers, I know the best thing I can do is offer up a quick prayer for help and rely on the Holy Spirit to help me give an answer that is Biblical and is easy to understand.

As the meeting started they allowed me to open with a small discussion about some things that I have noticed through the online conversations as misunderstandings about the Christian worldview.  I talked about Blind faith vs. a Biblical Faith.  Biblical faith is based on evidence just as scientists make thesis and hypothesis based on evidence in science.   From there the conversation morphed into the different types of knowledge that we can obtain.

After I finished talking I opened it up for anybody ask questions.  They asked some really good questions that I could tell that they really wanted to know the answer to.  Some were easy to answer, some questions I had to ask a question in return to get some clarification over, and some I had to pause and think a bit before responding.  We were discussing free will, and one student asked a good question, that caught me off guard, one I had never heard before.  A student asked me if God took part of Mary’s free will when He chose her to be the mother of Jesus and to be with child from the Holy Spirit.  After a brief pause, and another silent prayer for some help from God I thought and went back to the story.  We know from the text that Mary was already a follower of Jehovah God and like most Christians today, we want God’s will to be our own will.  I made a personal reference to my life to back up the thought.  The other Christian in the room, the student,  chimed in and said that Mary still had a choice of whether to keep the baby or to accept God’s desire for her life.   In the text it says that she had been chosen by God, but it didn’t say that she was already pregnant yet.   That was an insightful question.  We ended the meeting talking about Homosexuality a bit and then finished talking about worldviews and how that there can only be one right worldview.  They can’t all be right.

One of the students I have been talking with for the last several weeks was asking a lot of questions about the Bible and I asked him if he had a Bible.  He did not have one so I asked if  I could give him one.  He agreed and took it from me.   I am looking forward to going back soon, if not to talk, but perhaps only to listen and sit in on their discussions and learn what kinds of things that they deal with and question.  One thing that I can say about this group oh high school students is that they really want to know what they believe and why.  They are looking for truth and answers for life and I applaud their thirst for knowledge and truth.  I would wish that many Christians would also have the same type of fire that these high school students do.

As always, questions, comments, and discussions welcome.


Why I believe Evolution is False

April 1, 2010

I will keep this short and spare you on some of the details.  If you would like the details I will be glad to send them to you or discuss them further.

Using the word FLAWED,  I would like to expound on 6 talking points that place a lot of doubt in Darwin’s theory of Evolution.  The idea came from Chris Sherrod, a friend and fellow student minister years ago.  Chris Sherrod also has written a chapter in the new book from Sean McDowell, called Apologetics for a New Generation.   I love using the acronym  and teaching it to students because of the ease of it to memorize. 

FOSSIL FALLACY – Darwin himself said that in order for the theory of evolution to hold weight that in order we must find proof in the fossils by what he called transitional fossils.  These are fossils that show us the process of evolution at work by finding fossils that are in transition from one form to the other.  Like half bird and lizard or also the half ape-man.  Well how many of these kinds of fossils have we found, Zero!!  Not one transitional fossil has been found yet and this throws great doubt on Darwin’s Theory.  Evolutionist have had to scramble around to try to find other theory’s to support their lack of evidence like “gap theory” which also brings more questions into the argument because it doesn’t fit the facts.

LAWS VIOLATED – In order for evolution to be true, it must break a few key laws of science.  The most important Law broken is the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics which states simply that over a period of time all complex systems go from a state of order to disorder.  That over time they breakdown and become less complicated.  Evolution states that everything we know came from a random “Big Bang” in the Universe and we slowly evolved into complex organisms over billions and billions of years.  Imagine taking all the parts of a wrist watch and placing them in a bag and shaking them up and they come together to form a nice new Rolex time piece.

Another Key law broken by evolution is the law of Biogenesis, which states that you can not create life from non-life.  Scientist have been trying this for decades and cannot break this law and create life in the laboratory but cannot.  You will never be able to get life from a granite molecule or life from other non-living matter.

The last law or principal is Cause and Effect.  Cause and Effect simply states that every effect has a cause.  similarly, every cause also is an effect of something else and also has a cause.   The cause is either a “what” or a “who”.  For example; what caused the vase to fall of the shelf?  The earthquake caused the vase to fall.  What caused the earthquake?  Was it the blasting of dynamite at the quarry next door or was it a real earthquake?  You can go on and on with layers of cause and effects.  What caused the earthquake?  Plate Tectonic movement, caused by the heat of the earths core, which is caused by the suns warming rays, etc…..  With respect to evolution, what caused the big bang that started the universe?  Even if you break matter down to its smallest form, to the sub-molecule level and start talking string theory and other new ideas, where did that come from?  Evolution has to answer 3 big bangs in reality not just 1.  The origin of matter, the origin of life, and the origin of conscience thought and a moral compass.

ABSENCE OF OBSERVATION – No one has ever saw evolution happen and there is no way to test it.  Let me point out the difference between Macro-evolution and Micro-evolution.  Macro evolution is the kind that Darwin wrote about.  It is the idea that we slowly evolved over billions of billions of years from a simple cell, primordial goo into fish and from fish to reptiles, from reptiles to birds and eventually other creations to primates to humans.  Micro-evolution also know as adaption is the faster process where in an organism, animal or plant change to adapt or survive from predators or climate.  We have seen and witnessed this process of micro-evolution, but this is not the same as Darwin’s theory of evolution.  Further more these adaptions have not gone from one species to another ie… snake to bird or fish to reptile.  Some examples of this, like the peppered-moth can be found in the section below under Erroneous examples.

WITHOUT A MECHANISM – Evolution has no purpose or reason.  Life cannot create itself and why would it desire to create itself for there is no reason behind all of the small details of the universe.  If there was life from the beginning, why would it need to evolve in the first place?  Why not just stay as the simple primordial ooze that it was.  We know that in nature there are mutations and with the process of Natural selection which we can see in nature, these mutations are harmful at best and most mutations  are eliminated by the process of natural selection and nature.

ERRONEOUS EXAMPLES – There have been many finding through out our history of so-called proof of evolution which have turned out to be false or cases where evolutionist thought or believed to be true without knowledge or fact.  Below are a few examples of many.

Peppered moth – got its name during the industrial revolution in England.  The moths were seen to change from a pure white color to a darker color and have spots that helped camouflage themselves from predators due to the rise of factories and smoke that came from them.  This is an example of microevolution and not macro-evolution.  Notice that the moth was still, a moth.  It didn’t change into a large bird or other species.  The process of Natural selection deems that the ones with spots were able to survive from predators better that the pure solid and lightly colored moths.  As the darker and spotted moths mated their kind and color began to increase as the others decreased.

The changes in the bone structure and skulls of people.  Much is made of height and other features, but in fact they are still human features not ape-men features.  Some finds have recently been under fire by scientist who believe that the few skeletal remains  found of curved or arched back bones were those of people who had a disease such as rickets.   We see people in our time today that have similar issues.

There are other examples such as the Archaeopteryx, Vestial Organs, Past ideas that fetuses had gills in utero, the list could go on but for the sake of time I will not.  Each had been thought of as further proof of evolution , but were found to be incorrect.

DESIGN & DNA – Can you imagine in all the evidence we have in the universe that it all was a random chance rather than a design set forth by a creator.  You can look at DNA and see the complex design and pattern of  life’s code.  DNA is some complex that it would make a computer program from Apple or Microsoft look like first grade math.  The DNA code in one single cell can hold as much information as the equivalent of 500 volumes of an encyclopedia.   The earth is finely turned to support life and if one detail of the earth was different in rotation, temperature, gravity, and etc…. Life would not be able to exist.  Try imagining a computer programing itself or a complicated invention like a watch or computer coming together all by itself.  Seems so crazy right, but if you don’t believe that God exist and created everything, then you have to believe that it all just is a random purposeless accident of chance.

I think it takes more faith to believe in evolution than it does to believe in God.  I really believe that the debate will go on for the next hundred and thousands of years without a single assurance that God created everything through a 6 day Biblical creation and the theory of evolution.  We may never know “for sure” to either side.   That’s when faith comes into play in the role of not having all the answers.  I hope that these points will cause you to think about what you do believe and why you believe it.  I will also follow-up this blog with another entry on why I do believe that there is a God in the near future.  As always I welcome your comments, questions, and opposing views.