Mark Mittelberg

Mittelberg’s talk puts the blitz on atheism

October 13, 2015 / by / 5 Comments
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By Rick Vacek
GCU News Bureau

Mark Mittelberg is from Denver, and he started his Chapel talk Monday morning in the Grand Canyon University Arena by professing his devotion to that city’s professional football team.

Coincidentally, the Denver Broncos are the top-ranked defense in the National Football League. Mittelberg, a best-selling author and apologist, is a top-ranked defender of Christianity, and he’s ready to tackle anyone who doubts the existence of God.

Mark Mittelberg

Mark Mittelberg used his Chapel talk Monday to lay out several of his 20 reasons why Christianity is true.

“I stand here fully convinced that Christianity is the truth,” he said authoritatively, “and I believe you can be a confident Christian — that’s why I wrote that book.”

That book is “Confident Faith,” which declares, “You can enjoy a robust Christian faith that you can share with skeptical friends. There is a firm foundation for your beliefs.”

Mittelberg said there are 20 reasons why we can know and show that Christianity is true, starting with these: design in the universe points to the existence of an intelligent designer, the incredible fine-tuning that we find in our world required an intentional fine-tuner, and the origins of the universe point to a divine originator.

Specifically, he presented an argument that (1.) Whatever has a beginning has a cause, (2.) The universe had a beginning (commonly called the Big Bang), and therefore, (3.) The universe has a cause — one that is, by definition, outside the physical realm (therefore spiritual?) and outside of time since time itself began at the Big Bang (therefore eternal?). He said the cause is incredibly powerful to bring a universe out of nothing (omnipotent?), and incredibly wise to simultaneously fine-tune all that was needed to sustain life (omniscient?). He added that “He must also be loving, to allow us life, and the ability to come here to think about these things today. … Doesn’t this spiritual, eternal, powerful, wise and loving cause behind the universe sound suspiciously similar to the divine figure we read about in the biblical book of Genesis?”

Mittelberg also said that the vast amount of information encoded into DNA points to a divine encoder, and he cited studies that have shown the amount of genetic information contained in a single human cell. It would take 31 years to read all that information, he said, and if it were printed out, the stack of paper would equal the height of the Washington Monument, which stands 555 feet, or about 55 stories high. This points, he claimed, to an incredible mind behind such mind-blowing information.

“A lot of people think science and religion are enemies,” he said. “No, science and religion are friends, and they’re pointing increasingly to the same reality of God.”

Some atheists have taken to buying billboard space, such as the ones Mittelberg noted: “There’s probably no God, so stop worrying and enjoy your life,” and “God is an imaginary friend — choose reality and it will be better for all of us.”

But Mittelberg said debates between Christian scholars and atheists in recent years haven’t gone well for nonbelievers, and he pointed to one in which the atheist got “spanked … like a foolish child.”

Put the evidence all together, and Mittelberg comes to a simple conclusion: “I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist.”

● For a replay of Mittelberg’s talk, click here.

● Next week’s Chapel speaker: Todd Clark, Christ’s Church of the Valley

Contact Rick Vacek at (602) 639-8203 or rick.vacek@gcu.edu.


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5 Responses
  1. J. Gravelle

    “Big Bangs don’t happen on their own,” he said.

    How does he know that?

    And how do we get from THAT specious claim to ‘…therefore, God’?

    This is akin to “Lightning can’t happen all on its own, ergo Zeus exists”…

    -jjg

    Oct.13.2015 at 12:17 pm
  2. Asilomar

    *sigh* These tired arguments have been hashed and rehashed.

    Big Bang had to have a Creator – why? And why is God a special case and does not?
    —– Special Pleading Fallacy.

    Let’s get real, 99.9999999% of the universe is inhospitable to human life. How is that fine tuned? It is like a puddle saying that the hole it sits in was designed for it. Come on, what would be a real stunner is if we found ourselves in a place where we SHOULDN’T exist, not one where we do.

    And please, show me something that is Intelligently Designed that could not have happened through natural causes. Even the best Experts in the field (and I use field loosely) abandoned their cause rather then allow it to be scrutinized under Law in Dover, by a conservative judge!

    Come on, let’s try for some real proof!

    – and, for the record, even if all the above were true, there is still nothing connecting a deity who did all of the above with any religion. Fail.

    Oct.14.2015 at 11:15 am
  3. Mark Mittelberg

    Thanks for the encouraging review of my message at GCU Chapel on Monday morning. I thoroughly enjoyed being there, and also had a great time that night with the Defenders Club, where we packed about 250 students into a classroom for an exhilarating time of examining further evidence for Christianity, and answering questions raised by students.

    For anyone who would like more information on the 20 reasons I present for the truth of Christianity, I’d urge them to check out my book, Confident Faith, and to visit the GCU Defenders Club that is discussing this book the entire semester. They meet every Monday night at 9 pm (because, as they say, “Late is Great!”) in CHSS 6-104.

    Also, thanks to J. Gravelle for your question. How do I know there needs to be a cause behind the Big Bang? Science itself is built on the understanding that effects need causes. In fact, Einstein himself said that “The scientist is possessed by a sense of universal causation.” And, as Dr. William Lane Craig explains, to believe that the universe popped into existence by itself and without a cause is worse than magic — because at least with magic we have a hat … and a magician! If fact, it was the awareness that the Big Bang implied that the universe had a beginning (and therefore a sufficient cause behind that beginning) that led Einstein and other scientists of the early 20th Century to avoid embracing it and to look for alternative theories. They realized that Big Bang Cosmology opened the door to God — and it did. For more information on this, and other scientific evidence that points to the existence of God, I highly recommend Lee Strobel’s book The Case for a Creator.

    Thanks much,

    Mark Mittelberg

    Oct.14.2015 at 3:12 pm
  4. jmv2009

    Physicists have several interesting things to say about the beginning of time, and even the nature of time.

    In quantum field theory, causality means an event can only impact another event if there is a past-future relationship: The distance between the events must be shorter than the speed of light. This is standard quantum field theory in flat spacetime.

    Juan Maldacena, one of the most prominent physicists, believes that space-time is an emergent phenomenon at low energies/temperatures. This includes the phenomenon of causality.

    If this is true, this pretty much removes the need for a “first mover”. (And who would have created a “first mover” anyway)

    In quantum mechanics, a decaying atom does not have a cause. If you find one, you will either cause a revolution in quantum mechanics, get involved in interpretations of quantum mechanics, or will realize you are living in a many parallel universes with the many world interpretation.

    In any case, the physics at small distances is dominated by random appearing and disappearing virtual particles, also appearing without any apparent cause.

    Space-time is continuously being generated in the expanding universe. This is standard cosmology.

    We know the universe began at very high temperatures. Variations in densities caused by mere quantum fluctuations are consistent with the variations in the cosmic background radiations which resulted in the pattern of clusters and superclusters of galaxies that we currently observe.

    There is no indications of anything steering quantum fluctuations except in interference/squeezing experiments (“empty port” squeezing).

    The physics at the beginning of time is not clear. As indicated before, it may be an emergent phenomenon. At the beginning of time, gravity played an important role, and quantum mechanics and gravity have not been unified. So the physics is not clear. In some types of field/string theories, gravity can be incorporated as it can be shown to be equivalent to a theory without gravity (with one less dimension), using the holographic principle. Also from Maldacena.

    Oct.16.2015 at 11:29 am
  5. Alrixa

    Yes, we can say the big bang had a cause. But the implications of that just possible argument are a lot and some can be disappointing and/or surprising. That could be evidence of anything, except of christianity. At most, christianity has created a horrible myth from something that is just a plausible argument of possibility which all cultures and humans have had.

    Oct.16.2015 at 2:39 pm
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