Friday, September 26, 2014

Sermon of the Week (9/21 - 9/27, 2014) R.C. Sproul series on The Myth of Chance

Listening to R.C. Sproul podcasts is like being back in a college classroom, except better. Recent episodes have been related to his new book Not a Chance: God, Science, and the Revolt Against Reason. He addresses a mistake I often make, attributing something to chance (saying "this is caused by chance"). Chance explains the probability of something, it is not a thing-- it is not a causal force. So, nothing can be "caused by chance," and Sproul calls out physicists and cosmologists for misuse of the term. Many will say the universe is a result of "time plus chance" and Sproul reminds us that time is something that cannot be self-existent and chance is not a thing. David Hume wrote (paraphrase) that we refer to events as "chance" when we are ignorant of their true causes.

In a couple episodes, he recalls a conversation he had with the late Carl Sagan about the Big Bang. Sproul expresses incredulity at Sagan's statement that he has no interest in what came before the Big Bang, or what set up the Big Bang; the lack of interest seems unscientific. You have a moment in time of singularity, when all the forces in the cosmos are united together and yet somehow scientists aren't curious about how that's possible.

Sproul explicitly does not address cosmologists who believe the universe is infinite, that's a more recent turn in cosmology. He also does not address events after the beginning of the universe. In other recent episodes he has dealt with the concepts of self-existence and an eternal being and other issues that the episodes will lead you to question. Enjoy by clicking the links below (iTunes):

Not a Chance (Interview with Sproul and Matthison)
Saving the Phenomena
Chance: The Modern Myth
What is Chance? 

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