Frank Turek, coauthor of "I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist," presented evidence for how the earth was created and answered questions at Russell House on Thursday night to persuade students of the validity behind Christianity.
Turek tours college campuses in an attempt to persuade students that Christianity is true and he uses his own book as evidence. He decided to begin this tour because students tend to lose their Christian faith when they go to college, he said.
Turek spoke to students about his religious struggles early in his life. His presentation of the book involved Christianity, philosophy, science and occasional humorous jokes spread throughout the lecture.
Turek's lecture focused on four major questions: Does truth exist? Does God exist? Are miracles possible? Is the New Testament true? Turek said these are the four questions that believers must accept in order to truly understand and believe in Christianity.
With the first question, Turek said the statement that there is no truth is a self-defeating statement, because those statements are paradoxical and can be invalidated. With the second question, he broke it into three parts. For the beginning, he used the big bang theory and the cosmological explanation of Earth's beginning. Then he discussed intelligent design, for which he explained how God is responsible for the creation and design of the earth. He ended on moral argument, stating that without God there are no morals and, subsequently, no right or wrong.
Benjamin Spencer, a second-year philosophy and political science student, found the simplicity of the lecture to be an issue of the event. He believed having an atheist or non-believer present with Turek for a debate would have been more beneficial so the presentation could deal with the specific questions that a non-Christian would ask.
“My biggest issue, especially with the way it’s presented in a book like this, is that it doesn't really brook the kind of high-level intellectual objections that could come up, and they all deal with it at a very surface level," Spencer said.
In order to argue for God's existence, Turek said that the beginning of the universe had to be created by a spaceless, timeless, immaterial, powerful, moral, personal and intelligent creator, which he said is God. He also said that there is a standard of goodness which comes directly from Christianity if God is the creator.
Turek said students can lose their faith because they want to control their lives and do not want a moral authority to hold them accountable. Without God, Turek said there are no moral standards, only opinions.
When it came to the idea of miracles, Turek reverted back to the big bang and cited the belief that atheists accept the science behind the big bang, so if that event could occur, then there is no reason to believe that the story of creation and Jesus could not.
His final question comes from the discussion surrounding the New Testament. Turek laid out eight different reasons to believe in the New Testament, and said the embarrassing stories in the New Testament prove that the events occurred because no one would lie to make themselves look good. For example, Jesus was related to prostitutes, and at one point his family thought about taking him to receive help because they thought he was crazy.
Turek said that the college campuses he's visited brings out curious students of all faiths.
"So anywhere you go they're interested, whether they’re believers or not,” Turek said. "Is there meaning to life? Is there? Are we here for any reason? Does this progress after we die?”
Nicholas Kendrick, president of Ratio Christi, a student-led apologetics group that is faith-based, said events like these allow students to expand their beliefs and challenge them which is what his organization is all about. Apologetics is the defense of the Christian faith according to Bible.org.
“I think it’s really important for students to engage their minds in the battle of intellect and to be able to understand why they believe what they believe," Kendrick said.