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An Invitation to Inquire

Chris Holland
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Chris Holland

Chris Holland is speaker/director of It Is Written Canada. 

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  • October 15, 2015
    10:03 AM
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It had stood the test of time. God's book. The Bible. Relevant in today's complex world. It is written. Sharing messages all around the world. The purpose of our last two shows was to make a determination on whether God exists. If God does not exist then a whole range of questions related to his existence can simply disappear. We might as well. Eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we die without any judgment or accountability. Yet. Knowing that God does indeed exist. How then are we to reconcile his existence. With the seemingly contradictory opinions about M. provided by philosophers. And the world's major religions. For instance. We have already made at least two assumptions. Through how we phrased the question. The first is should refer to God in masculine terms such as father or his divine mother more appropriate. Or should we refer to God through something a little more ambiguous such as our heavenly parent. Second. Is it possible that what may seem to us as contradictory expressions about God. By the major philosophies and religions of the world are only. Apparently contradictory. On the other hand perhaps they are contradictory expressions that are ultimately reconciled. Into the one God. In other words. Perhaps. These are just different paths to the same place. It's got a personal being or is he an impersonal force. This god exist in some timeless and spaceless realm as some early Christian Church Fathers taught. Thereby making it impossible for him to be acted upon or to enter into a relationship with us. Or it's God freely able to about to providentially step into our world and enter into a relationship with us. Without at the same time compromising. His divinity is God essentially distinct from the stuff that makes up the universe. Or is he through the process of evolution. Coming to an awareness of himself as was taught by the net nineteenth century philosopher. Hegel and popularized by films such as Matrix and Lucy. Furthermore in our search for answers. Are we doomed to subjective. Explanations that arise from our own particularly faith communities. Or can we apply an objective standard. To these questions. Regard less of whether we belong to any faith community. At all. Our purpose in this presentation is much broader than providing an answer to all of the specific questions that we just recently raised. Instead our purpose is first of all to seek for an objective standard that we can apply to the major philosophies and religions of the world. So that we can evaluate whether there are a claim to authoritatively reveal God. Are in fact true. Before we begin to tackle this daunting task however let's take a few moments to review the methods. We used to analyze that question. In our previous shows on the existence of God. Now if you missed any of those shows you can go to our You Tube channel. W W W dot youtube dot com. Forward slash I W Canada. And there you can watch any of our archive programs. That's we studied over the past two weeks. We discovered that. Although the founders of modern science such as Kepler. Galileo Boyle. Pascal. Linae and Newton. They all believed in God. However many scientists. After Charles Darwin. Abandoned the notion that the Creator God is the cause of the universe. We also learned that knowledge that is derives from the senses a reason intuition. Feeling. Experience. History and from the experts. They all constitute an interpretation of truth. And nature. So we can then draw two conclusions from this first. Since knowledge from these sources. Constitutes an interpretation of the facts that it's obvious that these sources of knowledge. Have a high probability of error. Regarding the question of God's existence. Since that is the case that they are unreliable in making a solid determination regarding the existence of God. The second conclusion that we can draw from the reality that knowledge is interpretation is that we must look for a method. Whose probability of error is so incredibly minute. That it will be cited Lee place the problem of God's existence beyond question. We discovered that when we analyze the wonders of nature in the universe. The incredibly small probabilities of random chance. Cry out for an explanation of which there are only two. Chance. And blind natural processes on the one hand and design that points to God. On the other. However what seems like an on of oid will conclusion is that both sides. Bull Even miracles. In light of probabilities such as tend to the fortieth power. Tend of the sixtieth power. Tend to the one hundred twentieth power. Tend the one hundred twenty third power. Tend to the hundred ninety of power and the huge number of tend to the forty thousand power. And even greater tend to the five billion spouse or. They all demonstrate that anyone who still believes in random chance. As an explanation for the universe. Still believes in miracles. The difference between the two sides resides in the fact that one believes that God is responsible for the miracle. And the other believes that nature is responsible. But either way. A miracle has indeed taken place. I happen to agree with scientists Fred Hoyle who by the way rejects the idea of God. Now that I don't agree with with him. But I agree with his statement. When he states that a common sense. Interpretation of the facts. Suggests that a super intellect has monkeyed with the laws of nature. And that there are no blind forces. Worth speaking about this is why I believe that it is reasonable to say that God exists and that he is the Creator of All Things. Now it is important to note that there is a source of knowledge that we did not discuss in our previous to show. Yes. And that is knowledge that comes to us from sources that claim to be or Thora Tate of an inspired. How shall we test their claims. Furthermore. Do we believe our particular religion or philosophy. Because it is true or is it true. Because we believe it. Before we answer these questions. I believe it is also important that we consider various standards of test that will not work. For instance. Shall we decide these questions of authority on the basis of merit calls and answered prayers. On the basis of wise sayings. Or what about literary style and beauty. The problem with these kinds of criteria is that you're going to have people from all the major religions claiming that since God answered my prayers. Or did something miraculous. For me this therefore means that their philosophy religion or sacred writings that they adhere to must indeed be supernatural. And thus authoritative. Each religious or philosophical group will also claim that their own wise sayings and their own literary style and beauty of their writings. Is superior to the rest. It's also pointless to base our analysis on. How long a particular idea religion or secret writing has existed or even on the number of people that subscribe to it. These are all subjective criteria. That will not work. In other words. Anyone who sets up these criteria to settle the issues. Comes very close to saying that my religion is true because I believe it. What we need to do is construct a test that only God can pass. And that we can easily apply to any who claim that their religious and philosophical writings. Constitute the one and only standard. Then all claims. Must be measured by that very standard. When we applied probably Billa T. theory to some of the laws of nature. We discovered that the most reasonable explanation for the incredibly small prop abilities. Is that the universe is designed by an incredibly powerful creator. It's almost as if the universe has invited us to test and examine it. This means that probability constitutes an objective standard that. Inquirers can easily applied to the question of God's existence. What I would propose. Is that we first examine some of the major philosophies and religions of the world. In order to evaluate two things first is whether they invite and inquire to evaluate their claims to authority or inspiration. Or do they just force us to blindly accept their claims. Second. If they invite enquires to examine and test their claims. Then we can apply probability theory to their claim to inspiration. The logic goes like this. If probability clearly points to the existence of God. Then let's see if probability. Also settles the issue of authority and inspiration. A Just before we examine what the founders of the major religions taught. But straw little sketch of the major religious groups in the world today. According to a two thousand and ten demographic study that was based on more than two thousand five hundred census is surveys and population registers. The size of the major religious groups in the world are as follows. Thirty one point five percent. Claim to be Christians. Twenty three point two percent Muslim. Sixteen point three percent are on affiliated fifteen percent are Hindus. Seven point one percent are Buddhists. Five point nine percent are classified as Folk religionists. That includes African traditional religions. Chinese folk religions. Native American religions and Australian Aboriginal religious point eight percent are made up of other religions such as the Behi faith. Jainism. Sikhism Shintoism TOWIE's them ten Rico. Wicca. And so astern area an ism. Just to name a few also point two percent of the global population are Jews. Now in Canada. According to the two thousand and eleven. National household survey. Thirty nine percent identify themselves as Roman Catholic. Twenty seven percent is Protestant. Twenty four percent is claiming. No religious affiliation. And the remaining eleven percent include Islam Hinduism. Sikhism Buddhism. Judaism and Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Now some have recently asserted that all of these religious and philosophical ideas. Not only lead to the one true god. But also that they are all of equal value. However there are two major problems with this. The first is related to probability. When we investigate the laws of physics. There is virtually no room for error which essentially means that there is only one way in which the laws of physics are brought together to provide for and sustain life. Thus there are not many ways when it comes to sending live life. In this universe. There's only one way. The question must then be asked Why would God make only one way for things to work in the natural world. But then use many contradictory ways that somehow ultimately resolve and lead to the One God in the spiritual life. It is much more reasonable to assert that the consistency in the laws of physics that point to only one answer. Must also be reflected in spiritual laws which should do the same. Also in order to claim that all religious statements are of equal value. We must have some objective standard to measure whether they are indeed. Equal or not. Thus. It's problematic to state that all religions are of equal value without providing a way to test. If that is true. The second problem refers to what the religious writings claim. When we examine the major religions of the world. We do not find them saying that there particularly brand of religion is just one of many ways in which. Inquires might receive the truth. Let's take Hinduism for example in the introduction to the Bhagavad Gita. It states. Let there be one scripture. For the whole world. Bhagavad-Gita. Let there be. By one God for the whole world. Sri Krishna. One him. One montra one prayer. The chanting of his name. While the Qur'an states. A law. There is no God but He the living. The self. Subsisting supporter of all his or all things in the heavens and on earth. His throne doth extend over The. Earth. He is the most high. The supreme. But the Buddhist scriptures declare this Lord is truly of the Herat. Foley enlightened perfect in his knowledge and conduct while gone. World nowhere unsurpassed leader of men to be tamed. Teacher Of Gods and Men. The Buddha. The Lord Judaism States for the say if the Lord who created the heavens. Who is God who formed the earth. I am the Lord. And there is no other and Christianity. Speaks of Jesus in the following way. For there is no other name under heaven given among men. By which we must be saved. In fact Jesus himself also stated these words. I am the Way the Truth. And the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Thus it is difficult to escape the conclusion that the writings of the world's major religions claim that they constitute the one standard by which all others must be judged. Since that is the case. Then let's see if their writings. Invite inquirers to analyze their claims. Let's also see if we can use probability theory. In order to evaluate whether their claims. Have any objective authority. In the preface to the Bhagavad Gita. It states. Lord Krishna first spoke. Bhagavad-Gita to the sun god. Some hundreds of millions of years ago. Moreover as Dr subdued ponded points out. It was lost and then repeated at the Battle of poorish extra about fifty. Centuries ago. This certainly makes it impossible for and inquire to try to verify. As a result. The Bhagavad Gita itself states. We have to accept it as it is otherwise. There is not a point in trying to understand. The Bhagavad Gita. And its speaker. Lord Krishna. The Buddhist writings declare that absolute truth is on conditional on determine it. And beyond thought. And word. Now if absolute truth is undetermined. And beyond thought. And word. Than Just like Hinduism. It's claims are beyond inquiry. And very occasional to Qur'an claims to be unique among all classifications of literature. It declares. If men combined to produce a book. A kin to this Qur'an. They would surely fail to produce its like though they helped one another as best they could. In other places the challenge is to produce. Either one chapter or ten chapters. Like the Qur'an here indeed is a challenge. Yet. As Dr ponded has perceptibly noted there were serious problems with this challenge. First the challenge did not state what feature was to be equaled. Whether it was prose or poetry or rhythm or diction. Or philosophy or beliefs about God. Second. It did not define the method of comparison. How then would an inquired decide whether the Qur'an was better. Equal or worse. Third. Who would be the final judge regarding the comparison. Would it be and a mom. A Muslim Council of neutral body and international committee or the individual himself. Forth to the orthodox Muslim. Arabic is the divine language of communication. And the Qur'an is considered. Authentic. Only in that language. Hence to equal the Qur'an the writings. Should be only in the Arabic language. If millions of Muslims who don't know one sentence. Of literary Arabic. Are not able to test. To accept the challenge. Then how can the rest of the world. Accept the challenge. Dr pundit scholar of world religions concludes. A subjective. Nebulous challenge. Up look at will to only a narrow segment of the world's population is not a real challenge. And so now we turn to the Judeo Christian scriptures. The Old and New Testaments to see if they invite the inquirer to test their claim to inspiration. And to see if we can apply. What we have learned from Probability theory. In the Old Testament Scriptures the prophet Isaiah declares in Isaiah Chapter forty one vs twenty one to twenty three. Present your case says the Lord. Bring forth your strong reasons. Says the king of Jacob. Let them bring forth and show us what will happen. Let them show the former things. What they were that we may consider them. And know the latter end of them or declare to us things to come. Show the things that are to come here after that we may know that you are God's. Here we find Isaiah stating that the test of divinity is the ability to successfully predict what is to come. This is the test that only God can pass. Therefore if extremely small probabilities point. To God's existence. Then on the same basis. The ability to foretell specific events. Points. Decisively to the Old and New Testament scriptures. As the standard that all other writings. Must be measured against. Let's notice what Jesus himself says in John thirteen and verse nineteen. He declares. These words. Now I tell you before it comes that when it does come to pass. You may believe that I am. Jesus makes it clear that he does not expect his followers to simply accept his claims. Instead he realizes that claims can only be genuine. If they can pass the test of fulfilling the smallest of probabilities. There seems to be nothing in the Hindu Buddhist or is a logic scriptures. To which we can apply probability. As we did with the existence of God of all the writings of the major world religions. It is only the Old and New Testament scriptures which laid down. What is the ultimate challenge. In the form of predictive prophecy which can be analyzed by probability. Therefore if the old A New Testament scriptures. Not only laid down the challenge. But also provide evidence to substantiate the challenge that the issue of authority is settled. Is the Bible reliable. Can it be trusted. Will it pass the test. I invite you to not miss one show on this is a journey of inquiry and discovery. Lord help us on this journey of inquiry to discover the truth we pray in Jesus' name amen. Hi everyone. You know that saying sweets where the sweet. Well I've got a fabulous leave the totally delicious. Low calorie. And of course highly nutritious is there to show you. It's a better than ice cream sodas and thing and I mean you me. It's so good is if you're an ice cream lover. You must try this simply peel some ripe bananas and they should have spots on them because they're sweeter than cut the bananas. Into chunks. Freeze them overnight. Then blend them in your blender or food processor. Until there's smooth and creamy. It's that simple. Let me show you of got some frozen banana in here are ready. I'm just going to add a little bit more put the cover on my vitamin blender hair. And let's give this a world where. It's looking good I didn't get the whole thing. But I'm going to leave it at that for now. And it's really easy to jazz it up a little bit if you want so you can blend in some not butter to give it a richer taste a little not milk. And I had to do that for this one because it wasn't doing it so well so I just put a little bit of not milk so it moved. You could add some vanilla extract some carob chips or other frozen or fresh fruit and then it the consistency of it is just like ice cream. Look at that it stays. Just like ice cream and so you could just put them in your. In fact let me just vicious this out. It is called good and it's so good for you. Totally delicious. Instead of all the fat and processed sugar in regular ice cream. You're going to get all the goodness of the banana. It will be a low fat low calorie. Naturally sweep delicious Lee healthy dessert. That's got great potassium. So Vitamin C. Fiber five and be six. And so magnesium you're not going to get any of that can make your life cream. Not You'll want to use a powerful blender for this president as their thought might be difficult sometimes to get it nice and creamy. But the vitam expander will do that and you see the consistency of it. It's just like ice cream and it is to find out more about Vita make splendors. You can go to fight I'm excited come. Enjoy this natural goodness. And I'll see you. Friend on this journey of inquiry I want to offer you the Discover Bible guides. That will help you discover about God and His existence. Here's the information you need for Today's to request today's offer. Just log on to W W W dot. It is written canada dot ca. That's W W W dot. It is written canada dot ca for Canadian viewers. The offer will be sent free and postage paid for viewers outside of Canada. Shipping charges will apply. If you prefer. You may call toll free at one eight hundred eight call I.I. W.. Or if you wish. You may write to us at eight is written box twenty ten. Oshawa Ontario L one eight seventy four. Thank you so much for watching. Join us again next week and tell then remember. It is written. Man shall not live by bread alone. But by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

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