April 19th, 2014

Concerns for Liberty University… It’s not Looking Good

by Max Andrews

I love Liberty University. I want to get that out from the very beginning so readers will have an initial filter by which to understand my concern. My concern is that Liberty is spiraling down a bad path [and has been]. The straw that broke the camel’s back is Liberty’s new affiliation with Benny Hinn. Yeah, that Benny Hinn, the heretic…

Liberty denies partnering with Benny Hinn: http://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=18495&MID=116272

But this is easily falsifiable. Here are a few sites where alumni and others have done research:

Liberty_university

I’ve started making emails and phone calls (all of which have been and are being recorded) to go through the proper channels to get questions answered. Once I’ve exhausted all I can do [from Scotland!] then I’ll share all my emails and recorded phone conversations.

I worked for the university for several years and earned a BS and an MA. I cannot speak in the language of financial contributions, I’ll never have a building named after me, but I can speak in the language of reputation. Liberty has the potential to put out many scholars to world class universities for terminal degrees (me being one of them).

April 17th, 2014

Q&A 41: Doubt and the Gospel

by Max Andrews

Q&A GraphicQuestion:

Hello Max Andrews, 
My name is David Hernandez and I’m a young minister with interest in theology and a keen interest in philosophy. First, I’d like to thank you for your website, it’s been a great help in understanding. 
First, I’d like to talk to you about doubt. I’ve doubted for a long time. Not that I haven’t heard the arguments or atheism convinces me. It really doesn’t. But every now and then, I doubt a lot. I’m getting quite tired of it. I feel it hard to talk to an atheist for many of their arguments make me doubt. Some of them are stupid but I think, what if it’s true? Maybe it’s emotional. 
Also, would you suggest any book for beginners in apologetics, philosophy of religion, and natural theology. I have a great interest though i feel God wants me to be a minister, particularly an evangelist (missionary most likely.) 
Also, what’s the relationship between metaphysics and the physical universe? I’m not understanding exactly what the cosmological arguments are trying to say.
Also what can you say in taking the gospel to atheists? It is quite difficult. I find like that but sometimes these arguments don’t work in convincing them. I guess it must be appealing to head and heart. To me they become the most difficult to bring the gospel too. Maybe it’s just I feel that way since it’s really the only worldview that challenges mine. Idk well if you answer this email thank you so much. God Bless.

April 7th, 2014

Just another review of Noah: “It’s just annoying…”

by Max Andrews

Look, I don’t have a problem with people taking liberties with narratives and stories in order to extract certain elements. For example, I absolutely loved The Shack. It’s horrible when it comes to the Trinity but it’s not teaching that–it’s about the problem of evil.  It made the problem of evil real to the readers and it taught a relational aspect with God. (Spoilers)

(Potential not-so-big spoilers.) Also, here’s the trailer for Noah: Trailer, Featurette, a Clip, and more videos.

I’d like to think I have an open mind about many of these things and I’m a huge movie fan. I love them. I was looking forward to Noah even though I kept reading reviews hating it. Well, I don’t hate it but I don’t necessarily like it. It was just annoying to watch…

One thing that drove me nuts [that probably shouldn't have] is wondering why the heck there were so many supernovae in the sky? All those bright stars during the day? Yeah, those could only be supernovae. The Watchers–fallen angels–are painted as being sympathetic to man’s fall in a good way. Backwards just are somethings think I. THEN… these fallen light, lava, rock, transformer autobot angels are redeemed after building the ark? Liberties are okay but that’s just weird…

April 6th, 2014

Discovery of quantum vibrations in ‘microtubules’ inside brain neurons supports controversial theory of consciousness

by Max Andrews

The pre-Socratics have a habit of coming back to the moderns and contemporaries and saying, “I told you so.” This is something Dave Beck and I argue in regards to the multiverse (or many worlds) in a forthcoming paper in Philosophia Christi this summer. Could it be the case that Democritus was right about mind being in the finer atoms?

SourceScience Daily

Summary: A review and update of a controversial 20-year-old theory of consciousness claims that consciousness derives from deeper level, finer scale activities inside brain neurons. The recent discovery of quantum vibrations in “microtubules” inside brain neurons corroborates this theory, according to review authors. They suggest that EEG rhythms (brain waves) also derive from deeper level microtubule vibrations, and that from a practical standpoint, treating brain microtubule vibrations could benefit a host of mental, neurological, and cognitive conditions.

April 6th, 2014

Reasonable Faith in an Uncertain World

by Max Andrews

This year’s Unbelievable conference is 12 July 2014. I haven’t scheduled out my summer yet but there’s a likelihood I’d be able to attend and I would love to meet fellow lovers of reason, truth, and Jesus at the conference. If you see me there please come up and introduce yourself!

  • This year’s conference will help ordinary Christians like you be equipped to:
  • Be confident in your faith and share it effectively
  • Engage with atheism, Islam and other worldviews
  • Give good reasons for God and the truth of Christianity

Contributors:

Conference Host: Justin Brierley

Justin hosts the popular UK discussion show and podcast Unbelievable? on Premier Christian Radio. He also writes for Christianity magazine.

 

William Lane Craig

Dr. Craig is one of the world’s leading philosophers of religion and has debated many of the world’s leading atheists around the world. He is Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University. 

April 2nd, 2014

A List of Physical Values and What Happens When Changed

by Max Andrews

Constants of Space and Time.

  1. Planck length (the minimum interval of space), l= 1.62 x 10-33 cm.
  2. Planck time (the minimum interval of time), tp = 5.39 x 10-44 sec.
  3. Planck’s constant (this determines the minimum unit of energy emission), h = 6.6 x 10-34 joule seconds.
  4. Velocity of light, c = 300,000 km/sec.

Energy Constants.

  1. Gravitational attraction constant, G = 6.67 x 10-11 Nm2/kg2.
  2. Weak force coupling constant, gw = 1.43 x 10-62.
  3. Strong nuclear force coupling constant, gs = 15.

Individuating Constants (Composition of the Electromagnetic Force).

  1. Rest mass of a proton, mp =1.67 x 10-27 kg.
  2. Rest mass of an electron, me = 9.11 x 10-31 kg.
  3. The electron or proton unit charge, e = 1.6 x 10-19 coulombs.
  4. Minimum mass in our universe, (hc/G)½ = 2.18 x 10-8 kg.
    read more »

March 25th, 2014

Q&A 40: William Lane Craig on the Multiverse and Is Free Will Incoherent?

by Max Andrews

Q&A GraphicQuestion:

I accidentally found your blog recently ! Lots of great stuff and I’ll be definitely reading more. 2 questions though

1) I was watching the Craig/Carroll debate on cosmology. Craig seemed to say that the Boltzmann brain problem was a problem for all multiverse models and Carroll said it was just a problem for certain models. Who’s right?

2)  There’s this argument free will is incoherent. It seems persuasive to me.

“Some people imagine that there’s a thing that takes part in human decision making called free will. They say that while our actions are certainly influenced by our past experience, and by desires which we haven’t chosen, free will ultimately decides what to do with these inputs—it decides whether or not to follow the path pointed to by our experience and desires or to veto that course of action and settle on another.

If this is really the case, on what basis does this free will choose whether or not to ‘take control’? And when it does take control, how does it decide what to do?

It certainly can’t be reaching its decisions according to our desires or past experience, because these factors are already represented by the ‘non-free’ part of our will. Free will, to earn its keep, must be operating differently. So what’s left as a basis for the decisions of free will? Maybe free will acts at random, but surely if that’s the case then it doesn’t seem to deserve to be called free at all.

March 18th, 2014

Why LOST is the best TV series… Ever

by Max Andrews

Before I start ranting about the glories of LOST I need to put up a disclaimer first: I’ve been told that me watching LOST over and over is a PTSD thing. I started watching it while recovering from a major surgery and watched it during the four month recovery. I know someone who does the same thing (continuously watching something they watched whilst in the hospital for something traumatic). So, there may be personal bias due to those circumstances but I’ll try to be as objective as possible. There are six seasons (121 episodes and an epilogue) and I’m currently on my ninth time through the whole series since I started for the first time late July 2011. (Judge all you want. Many times it have it playing in the background while I do work. I’ve managed to complete an MA and my first year of a PhD so you can go for a walk if you started jumping to negative judgements about me… This qualification was primarily for Fred… a hater of all things me… but he really loves me, he just doesn’t know it.)

Also, I haven’t seen every TV series in history so I’m making an inductive conclusion based on what I know. Take it hyperbolically if you wish. I’ll do my best to not give away spoilers but I’ll share enough to eventually convince the masses that hate LOST that they’re wrong, lack philosophical rigor and a broad imagination, and that they’re about as useful as a limp noodle.

-END DISCLAIMER-

So, here’s the synopsis. Oceanic Flight 815 crashes on a mysterious island with unique electromagnetic/magical properties. It’s science fiction so if you’re already upset by “magic” then go away. (I’d hate to hear your thoughts on Star Wars, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, etc.) The plane was off course by over 1,000 miles so that’s why they aren’t rescued right away.

March 18th, 2014

Celebrities with Crohn’s Disease

by Max Andrews

Original  source Fox Health.

Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that can be incredibly challenging. In Crohn’s disease, a rogue immune system attacks the digestive tract, causing inflammation and tissue damage.

Crohn’s disease symptoms include abdominal cramps, diarrhea, fever, and fatigue. Like many autoimmune diseases, symptoms tend to cycle, getting worse during flare-ups and then subsiding.

Here are 11 people who achieved celebrity for their deeds—not their Crohn’s disease diagnosis—and how they dealt with the condition.

Cynthia McFadden
ABC News correspondent McFadden first experienced the excruciating pain of Crohn’s disease, which her friends euphemistically dubbed “George,” in her sophomore year of college.

“They weren’t going to say, ‘Did you have 15 diarrhea attacks today?’” the journalist says in a 1994 People magazine interview. “So, instead, they’d ask me, ‘How’s George?’”

March 14th, 2014

Upcoming Paper on Divine Sovereignty and Omnipotence

by Max Andrews

Several months ago I was approached by an editor for a journal (Testamentum Imperium) requesting that I submit a paper. The theme of the issue is   “Divine Sovereignty in Reformed Theology.” They are backlogged with some people having withdrawn before submission. I suspect I’ll be the token Molinist. Naturally, I’ll be offering a defense of a Molinist model of divine sovereignty. Below is the abstract for my paper titled, “The Sovereignty of God and Omnipotence”.

Abstract: The means by which God conducts his sovereign rein over creation has varied amongst theologians and philosophers of religion for centuries. I will argue that omnipotence is a modal function and is a bilateral means in conjunction with omniscience by which God sovereignly controls creation. Without having these two attributes (as well as goodness, love, etc.) functioning together then there are deleterious theological consequences for the actualization of states of affairs.