Thursday, December 30, 2010

Carrier's Christmas Whoosh, Part 2

The Ticker will take the next three days off for the holiday weekend. To close 2010, Tekton ministry associate Nick Peters is addressing one of Richard Carrier’s rather poor parodies of theistic proofs.


To begin with, let's look at what Carrier calls the "Christmasological
Argument." I'm skipping the parody of the ontological argument as I do
not believe that argument works.

Anyway, Carrier frames it like this:

The Christmasological Argument

Either the universe had a beginning or has always existed.
Both science and logic entail the universe had a beginning.
Therefore the universe had a beginning.
Everything that has a beginning has a cause.
Therefore the universe had a cause.
Every cause must be either personal or mechanical.
But every mechanical cause is by definition a part of the universe,
and therefore no mechanical cause can have preceded the universe to
cause it.
Therefore the universe must have had a personal cause.
Santa Claus is a personal cause.
Creating the universe is the greatest gift conceivable.
The greatest gift conceivable can only have been given by the greatest
gift giver conceivable.
Santa Claus is by definition the greatest gift giver conceivable.
Therefore, Santa Claus caused the universe to exist.
Therefore, Santa Claus exists.

For the first eight, I really think Carrier basically has it right.
That is Kalam and fortunately, Carrier has not made the mistake some
atheists do of saying the argument says that everything that exists
has a cause. This is not what we say.

However, Carrier seems to then bring in the ontological argument from
this. Why? That is for his own reasons I'm sure, but there's no
connection I see between them unless Carrier thinks the ontological
argument is necessary to prove the definition of the kind of God that
creates the universe.

Carrier in this argument ends with a personal cause being the cause of
the universe. At this point, I am reminded of how some atheists will
take the arguments for theism and misconstrue them as if they must be
arguments for Christian theism. For instance, Dawkins in "The God
Delusion," (Sold in the humor section of your local bookstore) says
about the first three ways of Aquinas that,

"Even if we allow the dubious luxury of arbitrarily conjuring up a
terminator to an infinite regress and giving it a name, simply because
we need one, there is absolutely no reason to endow that terminator
with any of the properties normally ascribed to God; omnipotence,
omniscience, goodness, creativity of design, to say nothing of such
attributes as listening to prayers, forgiving sins, and reading
innermost thoughts." (Page 101)

Let us go with the first part looking at this. It speaks of conjuring
up a terminator to an infinite regress. Well if we have a terminator
to an infinite regress and it's a personal being, even if a finite
one, then it seems atheism has a problem still. Have we yet got to the
point of proving all that Dawkins says in this? Have we proven that
God is omnipotent, omniscient, etc. by this argument? Not at all. Nor
were we supposed to. (One can tell Dawkins has not read Aquinas
himself as Aquinas spends the rest of the doctrine of God
demonstrating all the attributes that Dawkins says the argument
doesn't show.)

Carrier thinks however he can go to a personal cause and then base
that personal cause on function instead of essence. When Anselm made
the ontological argument, while I agree that it is faulty, he did it
based on nature instead of function. Even if God had not created the
world, Anselm would still say he was the greatest possible being.

For instance, Santa is the greatest gift giver conceivable? Is he
really? How great a gift giver can that be? Suppose I find ten books
under my tree on Christmas morning.That's a good gift giver. I can
conceive of one however who leaves one hundred books under my tree.
Since I did not get one hundred books, then there is a greater gift
giver. However, I can keep upping the number of books to no end.
(Hence, my problem with perfection existing in that which is

If we were using modal logic, which I do not, would Santa be the
greatest gift giver in all possible worlds? What about worlds where
there are no children? What about a world where Santa was the only
rational being that existed. Would he still be the greatest gift giver
if there was no one to give gifts to?

The whole thing sounds absurd and frankly, I think it does because,
well, it is absurd. (See a parallel argument in Stephen Parrish's "God
and Necessity" about the Greatest Possible Bowler.) For me, the
problem with this argument is that it starts with a subjective reality
and thinks it can reach an objective reality from that. Starting with
thought, you will end up in thought. If you want to know about the
real world, you have to take in knowledge of the real world.

Carrier also says the universe is the greatest gift conceivable. I
consider it a great gift, but I would not agree. People in Hell will
have had the gift of the universe for instance. Salvation is the
greatest gift.

While parodies are funny, it is hard to tell if Carrier believes this
really does show the Christian argument to be absurd or not. He can
think it false, and that is one thing, but to think it absurd is
another. For that reason, it is hard for me to even laugh because I
cannot tell if Carrier thinks he understands the arguments or not.

My advice to Christians is to not get caught up in the false premises
of the atheistic arguments, such as Dawkins saying that the arguments
don't prove the attributes of God or Carrier's turning Kalam into the
Ontological argument. The argument is meant to prove what it is meant
to prove. Nothing more and nothing less. I do not believe you can by
general revelation alone get to doctrines like the Trinity or the
forgiveness of sins in Christ. You could even demonstrate historically
that Jesus rose from the dead, but that would not prove theologically
that he did so for our salvation.

We'll look more later on at the other arguments.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bevesluis on Desire

For today's entry I once more pass the pen to Tekton ministry associate Nick Peters, who has written a critique on John Beversluis' analysis of Lewis' argument from desire. An important caveat is that Nick's critique is directed towards Beversluis' arguments as presented in his time as a Christian (that is, Beversluis') when he wrote the first edition of C. S. Lewis and the Search for Rational Religion.

At a later date we'll look at what changes, if any, Beversluis made when he addressed the claims as an atheist, writing for Prometheus Press. It should make for an interesting comparison. For now, here's Nick....


Beversluis has started off with a distinction between God in a more general theistic idea in the thought of Lewis and the specifically Christian God as well. (Pages 5-6) For instance, an argument like the Kalam Cosmological Argument can demonstrate the existence of a deity. Whether this is the god of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, or maybe even some unknown god we don’t know, that cannot be established by Kalam. A valid Kalam does not prove that God is a Trinity or that Muhammad is a prophet. General theistic arguments however can be used by any of the three Abrahamic faiths easily.

To know that the Christian God is the true God cannot be a matter that is established by reason alone. The great Christian thinker Thomas Aquinas agreed stating in Question 1, Article 1 of the Prima Pars of the Summa Theologica that:

It was necessary for man's salvation that there should be a knowledge revealed by God besides philosophical science built up by human reason. Firstly, indeed, because man is directed to God, as to an end that surpasses the grasp of his reason: "The eye hath not seen, O God, besides Thee, what things Thou hast prepared for them that wait for Thee" (Isaiah 64:4). But the end must first be known by men who are to direct their thoughts and actions to the end. Hence it was necessary for the salvation of man that certain truths which exceed human reason should be made known to him by divine revelation.

Even as regards those truths about God which human reason could have discovered, it was necessary that man should be taught by a divine revelation; because the truth about God such as reason could discover, would only be known by a few, and that after a long time, and with the admixture of many errors. Whereas man's whole salvation, which is in God, depends upon the knowledge of this truth. Therefore, in order that the salvation of men might be brought about more fitly and more surely, it was necessary that they should be taught divine truths by divine revelation. It was therefore necessary that besides philosophical science built up by reason, there should be a sacred science learned through revelation.

What Aquinas is saying is that supposing we did not have special revelation, few of us would get to the truth about God and even then, it would be only truths that could be discovered by reason alone. How hard would it be? Just picture this: How many thinkers can reach the level of someone like Aristotle? That’s how hard. Aquinas does not deny that much can be known via general revelation, but it takes special revelation to know God is the Christian God.

Why do I bring this up? Because Beversluis makes this mistake when he critiques the argument from desire. What is this argument? It is not saying “I want there to be a God, therefore there is a God.” That would be an argument that would be foolish and one Lewis would condemn immediately. The argument from desire goes much deeper.

I want you to imagine a time you have been truly incredibly happy in your emotional state and yet, it was at a time you knew you were lacking something. However, this emotion did not cause you pain. Even though it was unfulfilled, you would love to have that feeling again that you did have. These moments are few and far between for most of us and when we get them, we seek them again only to find we cannot catch them. They seem to jump up on us unaware.

Lewis sees this as a natural desire that we have and probably his best proponent of this is the modern philosopher Peter Kreeft who wrote the book “Heaven: The Heart’s Deepest Longing.” An MP3 and written version of the argument from desire can be found at Kreeft’s web site. (Interestingly, in the audio, he refers to Beversluis’s book as the worst biography he has ever read of C.S. Lewis.)

For instance, on page 18 of Beversluis, he makes the point that Lewis says that since we all have hunger as a natural desire, it demonstrates that we all have food. Beversluis says that this is not so, but I wonder upon what grounds he could say this. Kreeft would ask us to imagine such things as a world of creatures with stomachs and no food or a colony of ants with several Romeos and no Juliets. Even as I try to picture them, the concepts are just bizarre.

Lewis also realizes that for each natural desire that we have, there is a fulfillment of this desire. If we desire food, well there is food. If we desire sleep, then there is rest. If we have thirst, there is drink. We have sexual desire and there is sex. What if I have all these natural desires fulfilled except for one? Could there be a fulfillment for that one?

I believe Beversluis confuses this with an artificial desire such as fear in a graveyard meaning there is something there. The problem is that we are not all born with fears of graveyards nor do all have a fear of death necessarily. A Christian also would not say that fear is natural to man, but rather a result of fallen man for a fallen man would have lived in relationship with God and trust with him.

Beversluis also wants us to wonder how Lewis could know that every natural desire has an object and thus joy has one? The way is quite simple and as Kreeft points out, a first semester logic student could point it out. Ask yourself this question. Barring the return of Christ, do you know that you are doing to die someday? Do you know that all around you are going to die someday? How?

You have not done any scientific tests to prove this, but you have great evidence. Every human before you has died and you are a human, therefore you rightly believe that you will die. (Unless you think for some reason you will be the next one like Enoch or Elijah) This is inductive reasoning. It is perfectly valid to believe this desire has fulfillment because all others do.

Beversluis asks however why Lewis would be so scared to come to God if God was the object of his desire? At this point, I do not believe that it is Beversluis’s theology that is the problem so much as his psychology. Is he going to tell me that he has never wanted something that he has been at the same time frightened of?

All Beversluis needs to do is talk to most any married man about the day of his wedding. I know I barely got any sleep the night before. I was looking forward to what my life would be like, but at the same time, I was also very frightened because of all the inadequacies I saw in myself and still see. Indeed, this is where we get the joke about cold feet coming from.

There is no contradiction in desiring something and being afraid of it at the same time. Most of us can easily think of situations in our lives where that happened. It could be marriage or taking on a new job or moving to a new city or maybe some purely fun endeavor such as skydiving or bungee jumping.

Beversluis wonders why if this is the God of Christianity, why do so many really not will Him? I would answer and I’m sure Lewis would agree, that they do, but they don’t know it. God is goodness, but that is not all that He is. He is justice as well. He is a God who punishes sin. He is a God who is so good He refuses to leave us as we are.

Lewis makes the point in other works such as The Weight of Glory that we are far too easily pleased. The trouble is not that our desires are too strong, but that they are too weak. They are so weak that we settle and we fail to look past them to see what the reality is behind them.

Lewis asks us to imagine a boy who is very young and thinks the greatest thing on Earth is candy. His older brother tells him that sex is a far greater joy. The boy asks if you have candy during sex. The older brother cannot begin to explain that lovers caught in this moment of pleasure do not think of candy because they have something much more enjoyable on their mind. The boy however has the idea of the ultimate good as candy and cannot think of how something can be good that does not include that. For many in our culture of course, sex would be that ultimate good. (In a sense, they are partially right however. See my article on “A Theology of sex” here.)

The reason we do not will God completely is that our wills are too weak. Those of us who are Christians know this to some extent as we constantly chase after things at times we know won’t satisfy and end up not giving God the time that he deserves. We can have our minds easily distracted in a church service. (Of course, it could be the fault of several churches for giving us shallow teaching)

The only reason however anyone can will anything is that they think it is good.

This does not just have to be moral goodness. Imagine for instance waking up in the middle of the night and you wonder if you should get up and go to the bathroom or not. That will be based on one of two ideas. You either think you must relieve yourself lest you not be able to concentrate on anything else, or maybe you can hold it in so as not to risk waking the person you’re sleeping with.

If you’re at the grocery store and you see two items for sale, you can choose to get one of them and if you choose one, you are choosing it because you believe it is a greater good to choose that one. If you do not believe me on this, then I ask you to just watch yourself for the next few days and ask when you make a decision “Why am I doing this?” and see if there is not a good you believe you are pursuing.

Now you might ask “But Nick, what about the holocaust or rapists or murderers?” Each of these are also pursuing something. It is a perceived good. I believe Hitler wanted to perfect the human race. That is a good goal. He just had a bad way of doing it. A rapist can want pleasure and/or power. Neither of those are bad things. He’s just choosing a wicked way. A murderer can want justice. Justice is not bad. He just needs to realize he doesn’t determine who gets it and who doesn’t.

The trouble with wanting some goods in the wrong way is we can want them in an immoderate amount or want them on the wrong terms. Wanting pleasure is good but hedonism that treats pleasure as the highest good is not good. There is no wrong in wanting sex, but wanting sex outside the bounds of matrimony is not good.

So is it true that some people are really running from God? Yes. Why? Because they do not see Him as He is. They believe God wants to keep them from their fun, which are the lesser goods. This is not the case however. God is not anti-pleasure. The joy of the things we enjoy such as food, drink, friendship, beauty, sex, etc. should demonstrate this to us. Any parent should know this as well. The reason you don’t give a child everything he wants is not because you want him to be miserable but you want him to have true happiness.

This is a contrast that all Christians know of. Francis Thompson had it well in “The Hound of Heaven.” One runs in fear from the hound not really realizing that the hound does not wish to harm but to help. That might mean he needs to cut, but that cut will heal. One can think of the man with the lizard on his shoulder in The Great Divorce with the angelic being asking “Can I kill it?” and when finally done, the lizard ends up becoming a beautiful horse.

Beversluis makes it a point that Lewis was a theist before he was a Christian. Yes. He had not found his fulfillment yet. I do not believe we know much about his theistic beliefs prior to becoming a Christian, but we know he found what he was seeking in God. Yes. Beversluis is right that Lewis was a reluctant convert, but then we can think to how many young men are scared before their wedding and see that the two actually go together.

In closing, let us look at one more point. Why do we desire God? Because God is the greatest good that there is. He does not just possess goodness. He is goodness. God is the exemplar cause of goodness in other things. All other goodness is based on his goodness in other words. Nothing else could be good unless there was a God who was goodness first.

The good is that which is desirable for its own sake. That is something found in the object. It is not an idea we impress on it as if having an idea in our minds alone could ever give us a knowledge of reality. Consider the parallel with beauty. I have heard many an atheist say that when you say the sunset is beautiful, you are saying something about how you feel about the sunset. If only they could find one person like that. For me, when I hear someone telling me a sunset is beautiful, they are not describing an emotional state they throw on the sunset, but they think they are describing it itself. (See Lewis’s “The Abolition of Man.”) Just tell the atheist “I am fascinated that you are admitting there is no beauty in your wife but that that is an idea you are throwing on to her” and see how long his subjectivism lasts.

What all desire is really perfection. They desire the best of the best and that is found in God who cannot improve in His being in any way. He is desired, yes. However, like many great desires, He is also feared. Both are essential.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Critical Review: Shaking the Unshakeable

I have another medical appointment today, so I once again hand the reins to ministry associate Nick Peters, for a review of Josh and Sean McDowell's newest book. Nick himself would covet your prayers as he has some minor surgery today; see thread on TWeb here and see here for more on how you can help his ministry.


Josh McDowell has been a name around for awhile in Christian apologetics and now his son Sean has entered that same area. Together, they have written a book called The Unshakable Truth. I have no doubt that the truth is unshakable, but I have great doubt as to whether the presentation given by the McDowells is unshakable.

The book is laid out to present one with twelve great truths. Each truth is covered in four chapters. The first chapter is to explain what that truth is. The second is to give evidence of that truth. The third is to tell what difference that truth makes. The fourth is to give ways of applying that truth.

I have no problem with that layout. It is my belief that too often most churches have solely application. However, to simply have arguments I don’t think works in our day and age either. I believe we not only need to know, for instance, that God is triune, but why it matters anyway.

My problem then is the content. Most in the book is basic. That’s fine to an extent as there needs to be a place to begin, but there are far better presentations that can be found in the works of people like Lee Strobel. There is very little scholarly effort in the material. Most deal with individualized thinking about the truths of the Bible and those who think they have an unshakable truth here are likely to be chewed up in the blogosphere and on internet forums.

Consider the bibliography. I count six references in there to Wikipedia as a source. They are to the age and size of the universe, the brain, pantheism, deism, the caterpillar, and the Salvation Army. My disappointment was great upon seeing this. It gives the image of one sitting at the computer not knowing what to say about a topic and just looking it up on Google. This is especially the case with pantheism and deism. I certainly would not want to read a book by an atheist attacking Christianity and read that his source for understanding my worldview was Wikipedia.

I cannot help but wonder why the McDowells did not just go to a library and check out a book on each of these topics? Would the reader not have better information? What are we to say when that Wikipedia article gets changed by, well, whoever?

Josh McDowell has been said to place a large emphasis on personal testimony and that is the same in this book. There’s a section on how to give your testimony. I recall an atheist on TheologyWeb saying he can’t stand it when Christians give personal testimonies. I can understand that. I think testimonies have their place, but only after firm truth has been presented. It would do us better to spend more time understanding the apologetics arguments instead of understanding our testimony.

An instance of this being used comes with another problem the McDowells have. Verses are not given from translations. They are paraphrased. I found this extremely bothersome. Of course, we all will give interpretations of verses and at times paraphrase is acceptable, but this was a constant refrain. The time this happens in conjunction with testimonies is Philippians 3:3 which is said to say, “We put no confidence in human effort. Instead, we boast about what Christ Jesus has done for us.” (Page 253) The NIV translates the verse this way: For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh The problem with this is that this is not the kind of testimony that most people would look down on that Paul gives. What does he say? He was zealous with keeping the law before Christ came. That means he did not commit adultery! He did not lie! He did not steal! He honored his parents! He was faultless in righteousness! Imagine now being told “I used to be faultless in righteousness, and then I became a Christian!” He even states in verse 4 that he has all reason to boast.

Revelation 12:11 is also cited as an example since it mentions the blood of their testimony. This verse has nothing to say about having a personal testimony. Instead, it is referring to those who are willing to face persecution for the cause of Christ and their righteous living before the Roman Empire.
The emphasis on this leads to a view that is centered on the individual. It is about how God relates to the individual rather than how the individual relates to God. God is not defined by His relationship to us. Instead, we are to be defined by our relationship to Him. This comes at a great expense.

At times, I felt sorry for God reading this. Why? Because I get the picture of a God who is just so broken-hearted by people nor loving Him and how much He just wants to have a relationship with us. It’s giving the impression that we need to do this so God will be happy. This is one reason I am a strong believer in impassibility, that God does not have emotions.
Can my sin really make God sad? Can I somehow make God happier? By no means! God does not desire that I sin and God does delight in righteousness, but those are eternal unchanging realities. His delight is in that which corresponds most to Himself. If I do not worship Him, it is not God who is at a loss. It is myself who is at a loss.

This focus on the self is best seen in the constant refrain given of Exodus 34:14 paraphrased as “He is a God who is passionate about his relationship with you.” The NIV translates it this way:
Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. The verse says nothing in it about the nature of the people. It instead tells them how they are to relate to God. The McDowells have it as it is a verse about how God relates to His people. In an ancient context, jealousy would mean that God has exclusive rights to His people and because of that, they are to be faithful to Him. For an example today, as a married man, I can rightly have jealousy for my wife in that she is to exclusively have a marital relationship with me and no one else. She could say the same about me of course.

This book is already on Google books so I got curious and typed in part of the paraphrase the McDowells have. I got no fewer than eleven pages as hits and I know on some pages it is repeated more than once. I wonder about the reader who wants to use this verse to someone who’s a fan club of someone like Oprah and is instead told “That verse says God is jealous! What kind of petty God do you serve that gets jealous?!”
The focus on the self will not serve our generation well. It will only make us look more to ourselves.

I am increasingly concerned with a generation that believes they have to have a feeling of passion or desire in order to act. Feelings and emotions are good things, but they are not to be what pulls us along. Christians are called to serve God regardless of how they feel. They are not to wait and pray for a great desire to serve Him and then to serve Him. They are to serve Him regardless of the desire.

As for defenses of some topics, there is great lack. I do not believe objections are really treated as seriously as they should be. I count few references to non-Christian works in the notes. I would be surprised if there were fifteen. This is an objection I have concerning atheistic literature. It is a shame I have to make the same of Christian literature.

An example of this would be the defense of the church. Absent from the chapter is any mention of the multitude of denominations that an unbeliever will raise. There is no mention of the Crusades or the Inquisition. The budding apologist who thinks he has a defense of the church to give to his atheistic friends will quickly be torn to shreds. Let’s hope there’s some scholarly material they can get their hands on on church history lest they think that the McDowells have given the best.

I really did not like writing this review because I genuinely don’t delight in being critical of Christian authors. I do appreciate the candidness Josh McDowell had about his growing up life that was revealed, but I think for a good work on Christian apologetics, more is needed. I consider that it was almost like the McDowells just wanted to put together a book as quickly as possible and send it off, hence Google research and little interaction with atheistic material.

In an age where the new atheists are becoming more and more prominent, we do need skilled apologists to rise up. Such would be better off however focusing on argumentation rather than the constant appeal to how God desires to be with you. A lowering of God will result in a lowering of the defense we have for Him. If our defense is mainly our personal testimony, then we are going contrary to the biblical style and making God all about what He does for others, instead of making others all about what they can do for God.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Dumbest Generation, Part 2

Yesterday Nick Peters offered his take as a current member of the “Dumbest Generation” (albeit not a dumb member of it). Today I offer my own take not just as a member of the earlier generation, but as an information science guy (that’s a librarian, for those who don’t recognize the parlance).

No one should be surprised by what Bauerlein reveals about the way modern computer technology has been turned into a vast enabler of socially immature persons seeking endless entertainment and self-reflection. I’m sure the ink wasn’t dry on Gutenberg’s first project before it occurred to someone that the printing press would be a great way to also distribute pornography. The conversion of technological advances in communication for the purposes of diversionary activities is just a repeat pattern I’m sure we’ll see again and again after Twitter becomes a fad and the last Facebook page lies dormant.

I saw this coming, in a sense, back in the 80s when I worked as an evening switchboard operator at the Orlando Public Library. The VCR was the new toy for the socially immature of the day, and every night, OPL enabled these benighted souls by allowing them to call in requests for specific titles to be held for them to pick up the next day. Thursday was the worst night for this, of course, since Friday pickup was for weekend viewing. I got to know by voice dozens of people who called in every Thursday night to order their tapes. (I got so sick of it that when I worked on Sundays, I always asked to take Thursday off as compensation.)

There’s a rather critical difference in this cycle, though. The Internet has many more fingers than Gutenberg ever did. The data can flow faster and more readily than it ever could before. What that means in practical terms is that it’s a great deal easier for the dumbest generation to become, and remain, dumb and self-absorbed. It’s like offering a cocaine addict an endless line of his drug with no police in sight.

Critics who respond by pointing to the potential educational benefits of the Internet are missing the old adage that given a choice between fruits and vegetables on one hand, and Hostess Ding Dongs on the other, most people are going to lunge for the Ding Dongs. That’s evident in real life, from the survey of those reported by Bauerlein who cannot even recite basic facts such as the names of any of the current Supreme Court justices. Of course, if that’s beyond their abilities, it’s fair to assume that making an informed choice as a voter is even more out of reach. Power has been placed in the hands of the misfits, whether it be the power to vote or the power to (mis)inform in venues like Wikipedia.

Just as distressing to me as an information professional is that so many in the dumbest generation refuse to read books, reasoning that if they need information, there’s no need to find or retain it now; they can always find it on the Internet. But as Bauerlein points out, it is the retention of information that allows a person to form connections between seemingly unrelated bits of data and form new conclusions. What may be of no use now may offer insight later when paired with something else. The dumbest generation can’t do original thought like this, because all that’s in their head is the latest news about who is dating whom.

And of course, who can resist a medium in which it is possible to endlessly self-promote 24/7? You don’t need to be a narcissist to appreciate a venue that allows you to draw attention to yourself, to be continually validated by peers.

As Bauerlein points out, democracy can’t thrive on such a badly informed, self-centered citizenry. The next few years do not bode well for the nation in that respect; but they also do not bode well for the church. Christianity demands discipleship and self-sacrifice, and this is vastly at odds with the priorities of all-fronts ignorance (except when it comes to socializing) and attention-getting. Reaching the Dumbest Generation with the gospel won’t be an easy task.

Convincing them with apologetics will probably be nearly impossible.