Archives for June 2015

A Divine Plan in Pope Francis?

Regarding the hard-core leftism of the current pope, it’s disturbing, but grin and bear it. There may be a divine plan in all of this: use this pope to cozy up to the billions of people on the left in the hope that at least some of them will consider embracing Christianity. And then once they’re in, have the next pope teach them deeper lessons in Christianity.

Still, the jury is still out as to whether the “Francis effect” is bringing more people into the Church. A survey in late 2013 showed no clear Francis effect in the U.S. Another survey at that time pointed to an increase in Catholic congregations in Italy.  Those surveys are ancient history now. As far as approval ratings (as opposed to conversions to Catholicism), in the wake of the Pope’s global warming and anti-free-market activism, a recent survey showed declining approval ratings among U.S. conservatives, which is no surprise. What is very surprising is that the same poll showed a decline in approval ratings among U.S. liberals. That doesn’t make sense; more research behind those numbers is needed.

In any case, don’t fret too much over Pope Francis. By reaching out to those on the left in such a forceful manner, he may actually be helping to bring many lost sheep into the Catholic fold. And one day they may in turn end up softening or abandoning their hardcore leftist attitudes.

Believing in the Nongod of Nothingness

Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker recently quoted (or paraphrased) former Bush administration official Karl Rove as saying, “Faith is a gift that, unfortunately, I have not received.”

Based on that quote the assumption is that Rove is not a believer; on the other hand he’s quoted elsewhere as saying , “I am a practicing Christian who attends a bible-centered Episcopal church in Washington and an Anglican church in Texas.”

Whatever the case, let’s assume that someone says they don’t have the gift of faith. Actually that person does have a lot of faith – in the power of spontaneous self-assembly.

It takes more faith to believe that the raw materials of the universe and that the laws of physics arose from nothing, and that those raw materials somehow self-assembled themselves into stars and living organisms, than to believe that they were designed by an intelligent agent. That’s particularly remarkable because such assembly happened in defiance of the second law of thermodynamics – that things naturally go from order to disorder.

Cup with your hands some empty space in front of you. Then imagine nothing is there – not even any molecules. If you lack faith in God, then you believe in the unbelievable notion that (1) the laws of physics somehow appeared, (2) molecules somehow appeared, (3) those molecules self-assembled into chemicals (which is doable thanks to the laws of physics), (4) those chemicals somehow, on their own (with no input of stimuli) self-assembled into amino acids, (5) those amino acids somehow self-assembled into proteins, (6) those proteins somehow self-assembled into cells, and (7) those cells somehow self-assembled into bacteria, insects, plants, animals, and humans.

If you believe all that happened without the input of an intelligent agent, then you have a lot of faith in the impossible. You have faith in something for which there’s no evidence – not even circumstantial evidence. On the other hand, there’s a lot of circumstantial evidence for God. Just as a house is circumstantial evidence that it was created by a human or humans (not direct evidence because we didn’t directly see anyone building it decades ago), a tree or an animal is circumstantial evidence that it was created by an intelligent agent, i.e. God.

Walk into a factory. Tell someone that all the components and functions of that factory randomly and coincidentally fell into place over time. Absurd, right? It’s the same idea with the cell – a factory vastly more complex than any factory man could ever build. (For a flavor for that, watch some of the video animations that the folks at the Discovery Institute put together, such as at

It also takes a lot of faith not to believe in the divinity of Christ and authenticity of the Gospels. As former atheist Lee Strobel said, “In the face of this overwhelming avalanche of evidence in the case for Christ, the great irony was this: it would require much more faith for me to maintain my atheism than to trust in Jesus of Nazareth!” For more info read his book The Case for Christ or see his videos obtainable here. Also check out this.

There’s also the avalanche of accounts of mystical experiences. My favorite are appearances of the Blessed Virgin Mary. On that, I point you to proof. Read about the story of Fatima, Portugal in 1917 and the Miracle of the Sun. Leading up to the event, the secular newspapers scoffed at such an idea. Now, you easily can find on the Internet English translations of newspaper articles by the secular press describing the extraordinary event, such as here.

So to reiterate, given the abundant evidence of an intelligent creator, it takes more faith (in the non-god of nothingness?) not to believe in Him than to believe in Him.