Apologetics is the defense of the Christian Faith. According to 1 Peter 3:15, when unbelievers ask a Christian to give an explanation for why he or she believes in Christ, the Christian should be ready to give a rational defense of the Christian worldview. The Greek word translated as “defense” or “answer” in this verse is ‘apologia,’ which is where we get the term apologetics. However, Christians often disagree on what is the best way of defending the faith. Consequently, there are several different methods of apologetics.
Many people have the impression that the Church is God’s institution and that the government is not. Consequently, the Church must abide by the Bible in all matters, but the government must stay away from religious matters. After all, isn’t there a separation of Church and state? In reality, both the Church and the state are God’s institutions and both are morally obligated to abide by biblical principles. When a government functions in the way God has specified, it is a blessing to all the people. But a government that will not follow biblical principles inevitably becomes a tyrannical “beast” that oppresses its own citizens.
Some of the smallest members of our solar system have been known since antiquity. Comets were very mysterious objects to the ancient world. They had an unusual “hairy” appearance. Unlike planets, comets seemed to follow no predictable path. They appeared at an unpredictable time, brightened and moved in unpredictable ways, and faded into oblivion. Many cultures considered comets to be omens.
On January 1, 1801, the Italian astronomer Giuseppe Piazzi discovered a new ‘planet’ in between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. What a great way to bring in the new year! Named Ceres, this new world was far smaller than the other seven planets (Neptune had not yet been discovered). Even the most powerful telescopes of the time could not discern any sizeable disk; the object resembled a star. Piazzi initially thought that Ceres might be a comet. The central nucleus of a comet indeed looks point-like in a telescope. But Ceres was not surrounded by a coma – a cloud that typically surrounds the nucleus of a comet. Nor did it have a tail. Further observations revealed a fairly circular orbit, typical of a planet but unlike any comet.
It seems that there has been a resurgence of racism in the United States. As Christians, we are very concerned about this because we believe that all people are made in the image of God and therefore deserve dignity, respect, and fair treatment regardless of ethnicity. The Bible condemns racism as sin, and therefore we must stand against it, and must warn people of organizations that promote what God forbids.
The New Horizons mission would forever change the way we think about this little world. But in the same year that New Horizons was launched, the International Astronomical Union voted to reclassify Pluto as a dwarf planet. What exactly prompted this demotion of Pluto?
When Pluto was discovered in 1930, it was immediately accepted as the ninth planet. Seventy-six years later, the International Astronomical Union decided that Pluto should no longer be considered a planet, and reclassified it as a “dwarf planet.” What motivated this reclassification? And how exactly is a planet defined? Regardless of how we choose to classify it, Pluto is a wonderful creation and one that does not fit the secular narrative. The discovery and early investigation of this dwarf planet is a fascinating part of history.
The outermost planet of our solar system is a world of wonder and mystery. Neptune is a virtual twin to Uranus, similar in size and color. But its differences are fascinating and challenge secular thinking.
The ancient world knew of planets – the five wandering stars that moved with respect to the background stars. The invention of the telescope allowed Galileo to discover that Jupiter had moons – proving that not everything orbits Earth. This led to the...
Saturn has 82 known moons – more than any other planet at the publication time of this article. Of these, twenty were discovered in the last year. Most are just a few miles across. But the larger ones are some of the most fascinating moons of the solar system.
Known for its stunning system of rings, Saturn is truly a gem of the solar system. Although Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune also have rings, only Saturn’s are easily visible from Earth and are an icon of astronomy. Yet these rings were unknown until the 1600s. For the first five and a half millennia, Saturn was simply the slowest of the five “wandering stars.” The invention of the telescope in 1608 paved the way for more advanced telescopes, eventually allowing astronomers to see Saturn in all its splendor.
Someone recently sent me an internet post of a critic who thinks he has disproved the ASC solution to the distant starlight issue. Peter offered thirteen propositions in an attempt to support his conclusion. Amazingly, not even one of them is correct. We will examine his errors here. Actually, if Peter has posed his claims as questions instead, they would have been good questions. So, hopefully my response here will help people get up to speed on this fascinating area of physics.
Galileo’s most remarkable discovery happened when he pointed his telescope at the planet Jupiter. He found that Jupiter had moons! No one had conceived of the possibility that other planets could have moons that orbit the planet, just as Earth’s moon orbits Earth.
Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system – over ten times the size of Earth in diameter. Like the sun, it is an enormous ball of hydrogen and helium gas with smaller amounts of other elements held together by its own gravity. Although hydrogen and helium are the two lightest elements, Jupiter has so much of them that its mass is greater than the rest of the planets combined, and yet is only 0.1% the mass of the sun. The pressure of the gases increases as we dive deeper into Jupiter, and at some point, they are forced into a liquid state. But Jupiter has no solid surface.
“At most terrestrial men fancied there might be other men upon Mars, perhaps inferior to themselves and ready to welcome a missionary enterprise. Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us.” So begins the H.G Wells classic science fiction novel War of the Worlds in which technologically advanced Martians invade the Earth. More than any other planet, Mars has captured the imagination of science fiction enthusiasts. Why is this?