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There are several lines of evidence related to the existence of God, but perhaps the most intuitive argument comes from our observations of biology.  As we examine the complexity and inter-connectivity of biological systems, we can’t help but come away with the impression these organisms and cellular micro-machines have been carefully crafted by a master artist. Even committed atheist, Richard Dawkins, (in his seminal work, The Blind Watchmaker), concedes the appearance of design: “Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.”  Biologist Robert Dorit puts it this way: “…the apparent fit between organisms seems to suggest some higher intelligence at work, some supervisory gardener bringing harmony and color to the garden.” Is God real? The appearance of design in biology provides yet another piece of evidence.

The argument for God’s existence from the appearance of design is known as the “Teleological Argument” (the Greek word, “telos,” means “design”). The argument was first developed by William Paley (1743 – 1805), who argued the intricate, complex, detailed nature of a watch begs intuitively for the existence of a “watch maker”. If we see similar evidence of design in biological systems, doesn’t this also beg for the existence of a biological designer sufficient for the task? Here is one possible formation of the argument:

(1) Human artifacts (like watches) are products of intelligent design

(2) Biological systems and cellular micro-machines resemble human artifacts

(3) It is reasonable to conclude, therefore, biological systems and cellular micro-machines are the product of intelligent design

(4) But, biological systems and cellular micro-machines are vastly more complex and sophisticated than human artifacts

(5) It is reasonable to conclude, then, the designer responsible for such biological systems and cellular micro-machines must be vastly more intelligent and sophisticated than any human designer

(6) God is vastly more intelligent and sophisticated than any human designer

(7) God is, therefore, the most reasonable candidate for the Intelligent Designer responsible for biological systems and cellular micro-machines

It all comes down to this: can natural forces alone (i.e. the laws of physics and chemistry, unguided chance mutation, and the creative power of natural selection) account for the complexity and “appearance” of design cited by so many atheist biologists? The complexity we see in cellular organisms must be attributed to one of three mechanisms (or some combination thereof):

Unguided chance

Physical Law

Intelligent Agency

All of us, regardless of worldview, must account for the appearance of design from one of these three causal factors, and the “burden of explanation” is equally shared. As a theist, it’s not enough for me to point to the insufficiency of naturalism and then default to intelligent agency. I must demonstrate the deficiency of chance and natural law and the positive evidence for intelligent agency (one chapter of my next book is dedicated to this cumulative case for design). The atheist must, however, provide an account for the appearance of design from chance and natural law alone, and the burden of proof is as real for the naturalist as it is for the theist.

Purposeful, intentional designs are always the creative product of purposeful intelligent designers. If we find such design features in biology, God is the most reasonable explanation.
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In future ColdCaseChristianity.com articles, we’ll examine a few common evidences for design in biological systems as we make the case for God’s existence known as the Teleological Argument. Is God real? Purposeful, intentional designs are always the creative product of purposeful intelligent designers. If we find such design features in biology, God is the most reasonable explanation. Learn more about the scientific and philosophical evidence pointing to a Divine Creator in God’s Crime Scene: A Cold-Case Detective Examines the Evidence for a Divinely Created Universe.

J. Warner Wallace is a Dateline featured Cold-Case Detective, Senior Fellow at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, Adj. Professor of Apologetics at Biola University, author of Cold-Case ChristianityGod’s Crime Scene, and Forensic Faith, and creator of the Case Makers Academy for kids.

Subscribe to J. Warner’s Daily Email

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In this episode of the Cold-Case Christianity Broadcast, J. Warner offers a number of brief, rhetorically powerful responses to the objection: “Jesus is a copy-cat Savior.” These responses are designed to help you remove intellectual obstacles when talking about God with your friends and family members. They are also available on the Cold-Case Christianity Phone App so you can access them as you are interacting with others.

Quick Shot Responses to “Jesus Is a Copy Cat Savior” - YouTube

Be sure to watch the Cold-Case Christianity Broadcast on NRBtv every Monday and Saturday! In addition, here is the audio podcast (the Cold-Case Christianity Weekly Podcast is located on iTunes or our RSS Feed):

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A visitor to ColdCaseChristianity.com wrote recently to express her concerns and growing doubts about Christianity. Raised in the Church, she finds herself questioning the reliability of the Gospel authors because some of them failed to mention important events in the life and ministry of Jesus. Why does only one Gospel writer mention the Raising of Lazarus? Why does only one writer mention the dead people who rose from the grave at Jesus’ crucifixion? There are many examples of singular, seemingly important events mentioned by only one of the four Gospel authors. Shouldn’t all of the alleged eyewitnesses have included these events, and doesn’t the absence of information in a particular Gospel cast doubt on whether or not the event actually occurred? My experience working with eyewitnesses may help you think clearly about these issues and objections. You can trust the Gospel eyewitness accounts, even though some are missing important details:

Eyewitness Accounts Vary Based on Their Scope
When I interview an eyewitness, I am very careful to set the parameter for the testimony before I begin. I usually frame the interview by saying something like, “Please tell me everything you saw from the moment the robber came in the bank, to the moment he left.” I make sure to set the constraints the same way for each and every witness. Without these parameters, the resulting testimony would vary wildly from person to person. Some would include details prior to or after the robbery, some would include only the highlights, and some would omit major elements in the event. If I want to be able to compare the testimony of two or three witnesses later, I’m going to have to make sure they begin with the same scope and framework in mind.

The Gospel authors clearly did not testify with the same initial instructions. There was no unifying investigator present to set the framework for their testimony, so their responses vary in the same way they would vary today if the scope of their testimony was not established from the onset. Mark, according to Papias, the 1st Century Bishop of Hierapolis, “became Peter’s interpreter and wrote accurately all that he remembered, not, indeed, in order, of the things said and done by the Lord. For he had not heard the Lord, nor had followed him, but later on, followed Peter, who used to give teaching as necessity demanded but not making, as it were, an arrangement of the Lord’s oracles, so that Mark did nothing wrong in thus writing down single points as he remembered them. For to one thing he gave attention, to leave out nothing of what he had heard and to make no false statements in them.” More concerned about accuracy of individual events than the order in which they occurred, Mark offered details like many of my witnesses who are interviewed without a unified parameter. Mark is simply recording the preaching of Peter, and Peter only referred to portions of Jesus’ life and ministry, making no effort to order them for his listeners.

Eyewitness Accounts Vary Based on Their Perspective and Purpose
In addition, the witnesses I interview often want to highlight a particular element in the crime scene or a particular suspect behavior they think is important. Sometimes their choice of detail is influenced greatly by their own life history. Their values, experiences and personal concerns guide their selection of which details they include, and which they omit. Witnesses also typically try to offer what they think I am looking for as the detective rather than every little thing they actually saw. They are speaking to a specific audience (an investigator), and this has an impact on what they choose to include or omit. When this happens, I have to refocus each witness and ask them to fill in the details they skipped over, including everything they saw, even if they don’t think it’s important to me as a detective. If I don’t encourage eyewitnesses to be more inclusive and specific, they will omit important details.

The Gospel authors were not similarly directed. They had specific audiences in mind and particular perspectives to offer, and none of their testimony was guided by a unifying investigator who could encourage them to fill in the missing details. Luke clearly had a particular reader in mind (Theophilus): “Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus; so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught (Luke 1)”. Like other witnesses and historians, Luke likely allowed his intended audience to influence his selection of details. His testimony was also most certainly shaped by his own life experience (as an educated man),his own personal history, and his values. Matthew did something similar when he highlighted the details of Jesus’ life most relevant to Matthew’s Jewish audience.

Eyewitness Accounts Vary Based on Their Knowledge of Other Testimony
Sometimes an eyewitness will only provide those details he thinks are missing from the testimony of others. This is most likely to occur if the witness is the last one to be interviewed and he (or she) is already familiar with the testimony of the other witnesses. When I see this happening, I ask this last witness to pretend like he or she is the only witness in my case, “Try to include every detail like I’ve never heard anything about the case. Pretend like I know nothing about the event.” Once the witness has done that, I may go back and re-interview the prior witnesses to see why they didn’t mention the late details offered by the final witness. In the end, my reports related to everyone’s testimony will be as complete as possible, including all the details remembered by each person I interviewed.

The gospel authors were not similarly directed and re-interviewed. John was the last person to provide an account, and he clearly selected those events important to him, given his stated goal: “…many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name (John 20)”. John knew what had already been provided by others, and he selected specific events (some which were previously unreported) to make his case. He acknowledged his limited choice of data: “…there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written (John 21)”. John admitted what we already know: witnesses pick and choose from their own observations unless they are specifically directed to do otherwise.

Because the gospel authors were not specifically instructed, guided or re-interviewed by a single detective, we simply cannot conclude much from the differences between the accounts.
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Skeptics sometimes infer more from omissions (or inclusions) in the Gospels than what is reasonable, especially given the manner in which the Gospels came to be written. Because the four authors were not specifically instructed, guided or re-interviewed by a single detective, we simply cannot conclude much from the differences between the accounts. We must, instead, do our best to employ the four part template we use to evaluate eyewitness reliability after the fact. This template (as I’ve described it in Cold-Case Christianity), provides us with confidence in the trustworthy nature of the Biblical narratives. That’s why you can trust the Gospel eyewitness accounts, even though some are missing important details.

J. Warner Wallace is a Dateline featured Cold-Case Detective, Senior Fellow at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, Adj. Professor of Apologetics at Biola University, author of Cold-Case ChristianityGod’s Crime Scene, and Forensic Faith, and creator of the Case Makers Academy for kids.

Subscribe to J. Warner’s Daily Email

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J. Warner Wallace discusses the evidence for Christianity with apologist, Sean McDowell, as part of the “Advocates” series from Awana. In this clip, J. Warner talks about the nature of miracles and why we have to be careful not to let our pre-suppositional bias against miracles unduly influence our investigation of the Resurrection. If you’re interested in this great series for high school students, visit the Advocates webpage.

Doesn't the Miraculous Nature of the Resurrection Disqualify It as a Reasonable Inference? - YouTube

To see more training videos with J. Warner Wallace, visit the YouTube playlist.

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An Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll measures the degree to which Americans think it’s important for political candidates to have strong religious beliefs. While the data is nuanced, the poll found that “just 25 percent of Americans say it’s very or extremely important that a candidate has strong religious beliefs.” This is unsurprising, given that fewer and fewer Americans associate themselves with any specific religious group. There are, however, three good reasons believers and non-believers alike should want their political candidates to be religious.

Their Religious Identity Clarifies Their Worldview
Political parties in America adopt party “platforms” to give voters a sense of what their candidates believe, what they think is important, and what they will do, if elected. These platforms are re-written every four years, and candidates may personally reject one or more of their platform’s “planks” (positions related to specific issues). Voters don’t often get a clear, detailed report outlining the specific way each candidate personally sees the world, especially in state and local elections.

But if these candidates claim a strong religious belief and identity (one that guides their decision making), voters would at least have some way to investigate a candidate’s worldview. Unlike party platforms that evolve every four years, the ancient scriptures forming the basis for religious belief have been available for centuries, if not millennium (depending on the religion). Religious candidates have an ancient, publicly-available religious “platform” to give voters a sense of what they believe, what they think is important, and what they would do, if elected.

Religious candidates have an ancient, publicly-available religious “platform” to give voters a sense of what they believe, what they think is important, and what they would do, if elected.
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This doesn’t mean politicians will necessarily abide by their religious “platforms” – they are fallible humans, after all – but candidates who possess a clear religious worldview are much easier to assess.

Their Religious Identity “Grounds” Their Moral Decision Making
Every politician must decide what establishes the foundation for his or her moral beliefs. Are all moral truths simply a matter of personal opinion? If so, how could we ever claim one person’s moral truth is “better” or more “right” than another? Are all moral truths simply a matter of cultural consensus? If so, how could we ever judge another society’s behavior to be “wrong” or “immoral” (especially if the group is larger, older, or more powerful than our own)? Are all moral truths simply the result of human evolution? If so, how can we be sure our notions of “good” or “bad” aren’t going to change again in the future, and why should we believe that our moral intuitions today, are any truer than the moral intuitions from which they allegedly evolved?

Candidates who claim a strong religious belief ground that belief in the transcendent, unchanging nature of God, rather than the evolving, subjective opinion of individuals or groups. For this reason, voters can assess a religious candidate’s moral positions by examining the ancient, publicly-available religious texts. The religious codes found in these texts haven’t changed, and they transcend the personal opinion of each candidate or the party to which the candidate belongs.

This doesn’t mean politicians will always behave according to their religious codes of conduct – they are fallible humans in this area as well – but, strongly religious candidates embrace an unchanging moral standard that voters can understand and evaluate.

Candidates who claim a strong religious belief ground that belief in the transcendent, unchanging nature of God, rather than the evolving, subjective opinion of individuals or groups.
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Their Religious Identity Can Alert Us to Hypocrisy
The title of “hypocrite” (someone whose behavior “contradicts what one claims to believe or feel”) continues to be a label feared by most political candidates. Americans are still uncomfortable with politicians who “flip” on issues or previously held beliefs. But, unless a candidate’s personal views are well known, it’s difficult to know if that candidate is behaving in a hypocritical way or simply acting in a manner that is consistent with his private opinions.

Religious believers, on the other hand, have a well-established (and easily accessible) set of moral codes and principles. They are available for every voter who cares enough to investigate the claims of each candidate’s scripture. Strongly religious candidates are much easier to identify as hypocrites for two reasons: (1) Their beliefs are publicly available, and (2) Their standard (the moral perfection of God) is impossible to achieve with regularity. While you may not thoroughly know the standard held by a non-religious candidate (or how high or low this standard may be), the beliefs of religious candidates give them nowhere to hide.

While you may not thoroughly know the standard held by a non-religious candidate (or how high or low this standard may be), the beliefs of religious candidates give them nowhere to hide.
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This doesn’t mean politicians will always act in a way that is consistent with their religious beliefs – in fact, they will consistently fall short if their standard is the perfection of God – but, strongly religious candidates must continuously wrestle with their own hypocrisy as they measure themselves against a divinely authoritative code of ethics.

So, while most Americans don’t think it’s important for politicians to hold strong religious beliefs, there are three good reasons for both religious and non-religious voters to want religious candidates, especially if we care about the way politicians approach the world, determine moral truth, and navigate their own personal hypocrisy.

This article first appeared at the Christian Post

J. Warner Wallace is a Dateline featured Cold-Case Detective, Senior Fellow at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, Adj. Professor of Apologetics at Biola University, author of Cold-Case ChristianityGod’s Crime Scene, and Forensic Faith, and creator of the Case Makers Academyfor kids.

Subscribe to J. Warner’s Daily Email

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¿Sabías de estos grandes libros cristianos en español? Jorge Gil Calderón describe los libros cristianos más nuevos para ayudarte a investigar y defender el cristianismo:

Por Qué Debería Leer Cristianismo Caso Resuelto - YouTube

Conoce más sobre Jorge Calderón aquí: Facebook.com/JGil.org y Instagram.com/Jorge.Gil

J. Warner Wallace es un detective de homicidio en casos fríos, Senior Fellow en el Colson Center for Christian Worldview, profesor adjunto de apologética en la Universidad de Biola, y autor de Cristianismo, Caso Resuelto and Fe Forense.

Cuando Wallace aplicó sus habilidades como perito detective a las afirmaciones del Nuevo Testamento, llegó a una comprensión sorprendente: el caso por el cristianismo fue tan convincente como cualquier caso con el cual él jamás había trabajado como detective. El libro Cristianismo: Caso Resulto ofrece una apologética única que habla del interés intenso de los lectores en las historias de detectives. El Cristianismo: Case Resuelto inspira a los lectores a tener confianza en Cristo mientras los prepara para articular el caso para el cristianismo.

Obtenga más información AQUÍ. Encuentra más videos de apologética en español AQUÍ

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J. Warner Wallace. Durante los primeros treinta y cinco años de su vida, J. Warner Wallace era un ateo devoto. Después de todo, ¿cómo se puede creer una afirmación hecha acerca de un evento en el pasado distante por el cual existe poca evidencia forense?

Cuando Wallace aplicó sus habilidades como perito detective a las afirmaciones del Nuevo Testamento, llegó a una comprensión sorprendente: el caso por el cristianismo fue tan convincente como cualquier caso con el cual él jamás había trabajado como detective. El libro Cristianismo: Caso Resulto ofrece una apologética única que habla del interés intenso de los lectores en las historias de detectives. El Cristianismo: Case Resuelto inspira a los lectores a tener confianza en Cristo mientras los prepara para articular el caso para el cristianismo.

Cristianismo: Caso Resuelto - ¡Ahora disponible! - YouTube

J. Warner Wallace es un detective de homicidio en casos fríos, Senior Fellow en el Colson Center for Christian Worldview, profesor adjunto de apologética en la Universidad de Biola, y autor de Cristianismo, Caso Resuelto and Fe Forense.

Cuando Wallace aplicó sus habilidades como perito detective a las afirmaciones del Nuevo Testamento, llegó a una comprensión sorprendente: el caso por el cristianismo fue tan convincente como cualquier caso con el cual él jamás había trabajado como detective. El libro Cristianismo: Caso Resulto ofrece una apologética única que habla del interés intenso de los lectores en las historias de detectives. El Cristianismo: Case Resuelto inspira a los lectores a tener confianza en Cristo mientras los prepara para articular el caso para el cristianismo.

Obtenga más información AQUÍ. Encuentra más videos de apologética en español AQUÍ

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J. Warner Wallace. Durante los primeros treinta y cinco años de su vida, J. Warner Wallace era un ateo devoto. Después de todo, ¿cómo se puede creer una afirmación hecha acerca de un evento en el pasado distante por el cual existe poca evidencia forense?

Cuando Wallace aplicó sus habilidades como perito detective a las afirmaciones del Nuevo Testamento, llegó a una comprensión sorprendente: el caso por el cristianismo fue tan convincente como cualquier caso con el cual él jamás había trabajado como detective. El libro Cristianismo: Caso Resulto ofrece una apologética única que habla del interés intenso de los lectores en las historias de detectives. El Cristianismo: Case Resuelto inspira a los lectores a tener confianza en Cristo mientras los prepara para articular el caso para el cristianismo.

Cristianismo: Caso Resuelto - ¡Ahora disponible! - YouTube

J. Warner Wallace es un detective de homicidio en casos fríos, Senior Fellow en el Colson Center for Christian Worldview, profesor adjunto de apologética en la Universidad de Biola, y autor de Cristianismo, Caso Resuelto and Fe Forense.

Cuando Wallace aplicó sus habilidades como perito detective a las afirmaciones del Nuevo Testamento, llegó a una comprensión sorprendente: el caso por el cristianismo fue tan convincente como cualquier caso con el cual él jamás había trabajado como detective. El libro Cristianismo: Caso Resulto ofrece una apologética única que habla del interés intenso de los lectores en las historias de detectives. El Cristianismo: Case Resuelto inspira a los lectores a tener confianza en Cristo mientras los prepara para articular el caso para el cristianismo.

Obtenga más información AQUÍ. Encuentra más videos de apologética en español AQUÍ

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I love to borrow a good idea, and I’ll confess that I’ve been borrowing from James Boccardo for some time now. James wrote a book several years ago called, Unsilenced: How to Voice the Gospel, and I have been using it with groups around the country ever since. I met James at a conference in North Carolina where he and I were speaking; he sent me the book prior to the event. As soon as I read it I knew I’d discovered an “evergreen” resource I would use for years to come.

If you’re the kind of person who recognizes your responsibility to share the Gospel with people in your life, but find yourself hesitant or uncertain as to how you ought to begin, this book is for you. Although I’ve explored a number of books on evangelism (while in seminary and during my time as a pastor), I continue to return to this book for the following reasons:

It’s Practical
James is focused like a laser beam. He understands our fear and hesitancy and has learned to overcome these obstacles in his daily life. He’s an active evangelist who uses a single question to begin conversations that lead to the gospel: “What do you think happens after you die?” This simple approach is an effective “jump starter”; it is the practical foundation from which James begins.

It’s Accessible
Unsilenced is a very quick read. I read it on the flight to the North Carolina conference from Southern California. James is a layperson (graduating from UNC Chapel Hill and currently pursuing his M.A. in Biblical Studies) and he’s written the book in accessible language that simplifies the important issues as a catalyst for other laypeople.

It’s Responsive
What I love most about Boccardo’s book is the time he spent anticipating objections from non-Christians. In this sense, Unsilenced is a Case Making book that provides readers with a simple apologetic approach to evangelism. James’ “Bumps in the Road” chapter provides a responsive strategy for nineteen common objections. You’ll love the simplicity with which he navigates conversations.

It’s Doable
Unsilenced is a “get off your butt and get moving” kind of book that will provide you with an effective strategy to start sharing the Gospel. It has a modest goal and achieves this goal in 170 quick pages. Unsilenced takes the fear out of evangelism by providing a path to the Gospel, and Boccardo has cleared this path for us.

If you’re like me, you’ve been in conversations with people you hardly know and wanted to find a way to share the Gospel. Maybe you tried to direct the conversation toward the things of God, or maybe you waited patiently for the topic to emerge on its own. Now, when I find myself in these situations, I immediately think of Unsilenced and find the courage to ask the first question. James Boccardo has accomplished what he set out to achieve; he’s helped me to speak up when I might otherwise be silent. I can only imagine what a difference it would make if all of us were unsilenced.

J. Warner Wallace is a Dateline featured Cold-Case Detective, Senior Fellow at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, Adj. Professor of Apologetics at Biola University, author of Cold-Case ChristianityGod’s Crime Scene, and Forensic Faith, and creator of the Case Makers Academy for kids.

Subscribe to J. Warner’s Daily Email

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In this episode of Incarnate Investigation, Jimmy Wallace (J. Warner’s son) taps into his experience as a police officer to discuss the role hardships and difficulties can play in shaping our lives as Christians. Does the “silence” of God in difficult situations prove He doesn’t exist? Incarnate Investigation podcasts will be featured occasionally as part of the Cold-Case Christianity Podcast collection.

You can subscribe to the Cold-Case Christianity Weekly Podcast (which includes the Incarnate Investigation episodes) on iTunes, or add the podcasts from our RSS Feed.

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