NO assumptions or speculations are involved at all!
An important point is that there HAS BEEN a text which we call the Bible, for at least two thousand years. Careful scientists are convinced that the text first was composed by the time of Moses, whether it was composed by Moses or someone else. Researchers feel that Moses lived around 1300 BC, because it includes references to a specific Egyptian Pharaoh and it is confidently known that that Pharaoh reigned around 1300 BC. For the record, the Greeks would not even invent 'science' or 'logic' for another 700 years!
Only the text of Genesis 1 is important here. Specifically, that that brief text MENTIONS A SERIES OF EVENTS, IN A SPECIFIC ORDER.
Write them down, from your own Bible, in the exact order they are mentioned!
You will certainly write down 'Light' as bring first, and the creation of mankind as being last, in that order. No matter what Bible you use, you will certainly write down PLANTS before FISHES and then before LAND ANIMALS and then before MANKIND. These happen to be the EXACT ORDER of those events as now known by modern science! But science only learned these specific times during the most recent hundred years!
LOGIC has a field called Analytical Analysis where two such possible SEQUENCES can be compared. The results are astounding! There is an unavoidable consequence that God HAD TO EXIST in order to PROVIDE THE CORRECT SEQUENCE to whoever composed Genesis 1!
It is a "challenge!"
It involves a sequence of logical exercises, and YOUR logic and YOUR interpretation of any and all facts.
Which sport do you think was first? You start out with 14 choices to pick from. Then, which was second? You have 13 left to pick from, so you already have 14 * 13 or 182 different possible storylines for just the first two sports!
It turns out that you have a total of 14!, what is called 14-factorial possible sequences to choose from. That number happens to be 87,178,291,200 possible sequences. So you have quite a chore ahead of you, and you must realize that, without the added help of a computer or an encyclopedia, the chance that you get the sequence exactly right is not likely to be much better than one in 80 billion!
Yes, we recognize that you can make certain GUESSES to eliminate a few of the possibilities. But think about the situation was where all those sports began far, far, long ago, where it might have been harder to rule out many possibilities.
So reflect on how likely it was that any person of 3,300 years ago, would have or could have listed those 14 events in the SEQUENCE in which they actually occurred. Light first? Hilarious, right? Mankind last? Equally unbelievable. Would any person of 3,300 years ago have even dared to claim either of those statements?
It seems likely that to try to present a credible story, the author would certainly have mentioned Adam near the start, so he could SEE all the rest happen. To have Adam as last means that he could NOT have witnessed any of it! And Light being first? Before even solid ground?
How about that person also claiming that plants existed before any animals, and then fish being the first animals? And then land animals? Wild speculation? It would almost have to be.
It would appear that Genesis 1 somehow beat the odds of at least 40 billion to one!
(A Christian would say that there is only one explanation, that God must have existed, and that He provided the necessary data.)
And THAT is the whole point. It does NOT allow any Atheists to ever focus on God or any issues that they are well familiar with. It FORCES them to have to explain HOW a specific sequence of historical text could have been written, so very long ago. Explain how any writer could beat such astronomical odds!
Note that this approach does NOT require you or anyone else to have any deep understanding of science or anything else!
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LET ANYONE try to argue over things like day/night! And without even arguing, what if I concede that they might be right. And then point out that they have reduced the odds from 87 billion to one down to around 6 billion to one. Big deal.
In other words, LET the skeptic use ANY Bible they happen to find and MAKE THEIR OWN LIST of events. Then THEY find out when science thinks those events occurred. Without having to accept anything I or anyone else says. And since I show them how to calculate the odds, do it. Yes, an Atheist might feel that he can get the odds down to 10 million to one by selectively interpreting the phrases in (the English translation of) Genesis 1. Does 10 million to one mean that they "win"? Not at all. In fact THEY will have proven that they have been wrong! And THAT is the idea.
Of course, it is commonly estimated that we each have about a-million-to-one odds of being struck by lightning today!
They will NOT need to believe or accept anything that any Christian might try to say, or anything that I might say as a Minister. But if THEY examine the text and write down their own listing and check ANY science books they wish, they are certain to come up with extremely large odds. Then they wind up having to EXPLAIN IT.
The REASON this approach has such value is that it allows skeptics to use their own methods and ANY interpretations they wish! A Christian will never convince a diehard Atheist of any religious argument for the Existence of God, But THEY would be able to convince themselves! By their own rules!
Notice that "logic and reasoning" is all that is used in those seven points above?
Sadly, the REASON why there are so many Agnostics and Atheists seems to be BECAUSE of many Christian Churches! Most modern Christians DO seem to assume that science is "evil" and so they are willing to believe any words that their own Minister says, over all books in the world. And when that Minister tells them that scientists believe that a dog suddenly becomes a horse, they never consider questioning such a statement. If their Minister said it, it MUST BE true. So logic and facts are of no value and no importance at all to most Christians. Sad.
It is understandable that thoughtful people in such a Church would see such a Church to be total silliness. And the Minister impressively ignorant. So anyone who is aware of the rigid methods used by the Scientific Method, and sees that the claims that science makes are usually extremely well-based in facts and solid logic, how could it seem odd if Members of such a Church might decide to dis-believe EVERYTHING of Christianity and become Atheists?
But it is not because Christianity or the Bible was wrong! Instead, it was because that Minister was so arrogant in his belief of "knowing all, perfectly", that he insists that all of that Church's Members simply accept his statements as unchallengeable. As though he was as smart as God is! He happens to be wrong about that!
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Carl W. Johnson, Pastor,
A Christ Walk Church