Second Baptist in Houston (www.second.org) is a terrific church with a huge membership. My good friend Ben Young is a pastor there and runs two contemporary services at two different campuses Sunday mornings. I was there on Sunday, July 27th at those two services, with Ben and I having a conversation in front of the congregation and then fielding questions. The church is high-tech, so in addition to questions from the microphones, we were also taking text messages from people’s cell phones. Below are all the questions received (about 250 total). Such text message questions give people a fair degree of anonymity. It’s interesting what people ask when they feel less self-conscious:
Second Baptist Church
July 27, 2008
Ben Young and William Dembski
Series: Your God is Too Small
TEXT PHONE #1 Only at WOODWAY 11:11
— QUESTION: Does the divine proportion prove anything? — QUESTION: If God wants us to think and act spiritually, then why did he put us in a physical universe? — QUESTION: Discuss 2nd law of thermodynamics — QUESTION: Do you think the world was made in 7 days or longer? as god does not dwell in our time. — QUESTION: Is there any biblical grounds for organ transplants? — QUESTION: How did people before the birth of Jesus get to heaven? — QUESTION: What about prehistoric man and dinosaurs in the creation story? — QUESTION: How do scientists handle when they are asked about the 2nd law of thermodynamics and how to apply it to evolution? — QUESTION: Are the “Humanoid” fossils that have been found related to us and did they have souls? — QUESTION: What dialogue you would share to engage someone who doesn’t believe in intelligent design? — QUESTION: Do you think there is a degree of evolution that is part of intelligent design? As is, why would god design us not to improve and adapt to our surroundings? — QUESTION: How do I, who grew up on faith in Christ, help myself to relate to someone who believes life is basically chance and it’s what they make of it that matters? — QUESTION: Is there anything we as a church could do to change text books being taught in public schools? — QUESTION: Each stage of evolution takes thousands of years. Darwin has at least ten stages shown. Mathematically is evolution even possible? — QUESTION: Being convinced that there is a creator… why do you think that God did choose to create?… ie the world and everything in it, and ultimately man… — QUESTION: Do you believe that evolution or natural selection occurs in any form? — QUESTION: How did the characters in the old testament deal with death since jesus has not come yet to save us? — QUESTION: How could spontaneous generation be disproved and yet ppl still believe in evolution? — QUESTION: Does GOD make mistakes? He called me to leave my comfort zone of a different state to be with someone that I felt hr was pushing me towards. I left my family, including my children to follow what I thought was right. Now he is pushing me back home. Did he decide it was not for me? or was he just teaching me a lesson? — QUESTION: What is the strongest evidence for intelligent design? — QUESTION: In the bible it says we were created in his image, so why is it that we came from apes. I know gods not an ape. I’m confused. — QUESTION: How is it that the Spirit doesn’t know the time for the end (only the father in heaven knows)? — QUESTION: How was scripture divinely inspired? — QUESTION: When did the dinosaurs live if adam and eve were first? — QUESTION: Do you ever foresee a mathematical proof for i.d.? — QUESTION: When were the dinosaurs on earth… in relation to Genesis? — QUESTION: Ho are you supposed to defend christianity to someone who believes the bible is false? — QUESTION: How do you explain fossil records of pre humans/homosapians? — QUESTION: Do you believe that humans evolved from primates? — QUESTION: Is evolution real or false? — QUESTION: Is there anything in scripture that points to intelligent design? — QUESTION: Where/what is our eternity to be spent in? (heaven vs new earth) — QUESTION: What point in your life did you learn how to connect science and apologetics with your biblical belief? — QUESTION: Do you believe that thousands of years passed between genesis 1:1 and 1:2? and does this help explain the earth being older than 6,000 years old? — QUESTION: How do we know that Christ is not really the anti Christ? especially since his own people (jews) deny him as God. — QUESTION: With all recent news of extraterrestrials, do you believe there is life out there and how does that relate to God? — QUESTION: Talk a little about free will (can there be free will if God already knows every decision we make before we make it)? — QUESTION: How should Christians account for dinosaurs? — QUESTION: If man was predestined by God for salvation, does that conflict with the teaching of free will? — QUESTION: How do dinosaurs and other fossil evidence fit into a young earth theory? — QUESTION: Do you believe the world is 6k years old? What do you make of age dating associated with species that evolve? — QUESTION: Can it be scientifically proven that it is possible for God to have always existed? ie. I am the Beginning — QUESTION: Can the three major religions – judaism, islam, christianity- be reconciled in some way or is this impossible? — QUESTION: How should one use a discussion on intelligent design to lead to a discussion on the creator and eventually a discussion on the need for a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? — QUESTION: Does the intelligent design theory jive with Occam’s razor? — QUESTION: Where does God reside? Where is heaven? Revelation gives an exact location. How does that relate to the galaxies? — QUESTION: I once had a pastor tell me that he believed that we would see the coming of Christ in our lifetime. What are your thoughts on this? — QUESTION: How do you reconcile intelligent design with carbon dating and other hard scientific proof of the age of the world? — QUESTION: Was there an experience in your life that inspired you to believe in God? — QUESTION: How do you challenge the so called loads of scientific evidence supporting evolution? — QUESTION: What is your take on evolution? — QUESTION: What are your thoughts on the legitimacy of global warming? — QUESTION: Is there a degree of evolution found in creationism…I really don’t want to stand up, but I will. — QUESTION: Why do you think some people consider themselves “too smart” for religion? How do you overcome that in building that relationship with them? — QUESTION: If you believe in ID, do you not believe in evolution at all? — QUESTION: Where does religion fit in when you look at the obvious evidence of evolution verses when Jesus appears in the bible? — QUESTION: Can you explain how you believed when you became a christian? What changed that? — QUESTION: Do you believe those radio signal in space are just that, or do you believe there is life on other planets? — QUESTION: Science teaches you that we were formed from apes. The bible says we were formed in his image. So how do you explain this? Was God an ape or is science wrong? — QUESTION: I’d like to hear your response to the thought that there can be no God because there is such great evil in the world. — QUESTION: Have you come across any evidence of the flood in the time of noah? — QUESTION: Wouldn’t apparent age account for a young earth argument? — QUESTION: When did you first realize you were a Christian? — QUESTION: I want to know how we can know God is real and not a creation of humans as a means of terror management as it relates to the finality of death? — QUESTION: Why not believe in God and acknowledge that evolution occurs? What is your argument against evolution and how does intelligent design explain that evolve without purpose such as all of the nonfunctional parts of a flagellum without evolution? — QUESTION: In genesis 1:21 it mentions great sea monsters and in Job it mentions the leviathan. What do you think of this? — QUESTION: To what extent do you subscribe to evolution/natural selection? — QUESTION: If Jesus is God why would be call out to himself on the cross? — QUESTION: Do you believe the entire earth was actually flooded in the great flood of genesis? — QUESTION: What real scientific evidence, laws of universe supports existence of God? — QUESTION: Would you consider that God created earth and would there be a purpose in creating it? — QUESTION: Explain trinity. They say there’s one god… Doesn’t trinity mean 3? — QUESTION: How did satan get to earth? — QUESTION: Does science push you towards the theory of evolution of man? How does this effect your view of being created in God’s image? — QUESTION: Is the big bang theory still the most plausible today? — QUESTION: So when did God create the dinosaurs? — QUESTION: Is it safe to say carbon dating is irrelevant in some cases due to God speaking things into existence in mature forms? — QUESTION: What is the scarlet thread that runs through the bible? — QUESTION: What happened to the people after Jesus died who hadn’t heard about Him yet? — QUESTION: How are advancements in science either proving or disproving the writings of the bible and Christianity? — QUESTION: What is your view about the Gap Theory in Genesis 1:1? — QUESTION: So do you believe God is the source of the intelligent designs you see around? Isn’t every word in the bible the breathe of God, what should christians believe? — QUESTION: What really happened to the dinosaurs? — QUESTION: How does Lucy fit into ID? — QUESTION: Calvinism? or Armenianism? or both? neither? — QUESTION: Where is heaven? — QUESTION: How do you navigate through the hostility toward your position from not only secular peers, but also Christian peers? — QUESTION: Have you seen the movie “expelled: no intelligence allowed”? And what is your opinion on the accuracy of the film in how it depicts the truth of intelligent design? — QUESTION: Can you explain the star over bethlehem at Jesus’ birth? — QUESTION: How would you handle a debate with someone who believes in atomic matter relating to the big bang and would argue who then created God? — QUESTION: 7 Days in God’s eyes could be like 7000 years in ours. — QUESTION: Is creationism based on what the bible says, and intellectual design based on science? — QUESTION: What is your belief about the holy spirit? — QUESTION: If god made everyone, he doesn’t make mistakes. does that mean he made the atheists, muslims, homosexuals, terrorists too? — QUESTION: How valid is the bible since some parts of the bible contradict each other? — QUESTION: how ‘concrete’ is carbon dating. — QUESTION: what is modern academia loathe to embrace id? — QUESTION: Why should scientists care about intelligent design? — QUESTION: Age of accountability: Do unborn children, babies, young children or those that have NEVER heard the gospel go to hell? — QUESTION: How confident are you of using radioactive decay in measuring the earth’s age? — QUESTION: Can man deteriorate the planet, or will it last until god returns? — QUESTION: Based on intelligent design where do you theorize human kind will be in a million years? — QUESTION: Where do people go when they die if they do not do to church, worship god, and do what should be done to go to heaven? — QUESTION: According to your study, is there evidence that we are in the last days scripturally or geologically? — QUESTION: It seems your theology is framed by your scientific views and not by the word of god, first and foremost. How would you respond? — QUESTION: How do you argue the existence of cavemen? Were they before adam and eve? and, who actually came first? — QUESTION: Does the idea that creatures evolve negate intelligent design or can these coexist? Are they mutually exclusive? — QUESTION: This question is for Ben? Why did Jesus die on the cross? 832-860-3846 If Christ rose physically, where is his physical body? — QUESTION: How do you the view the distinction between the church and the country of Israel as denoted in the bible? — QUESTION: How would you say that the god of the bible fits the requirements of an intelligent designer. And would the belief that life was seeded on earth by extra terrestrial intelligence be a compromise of the theory? — QUESTION: God created everything, but how did God get there? — QUESTION: Mr. Dembski, will you address the incompatibility of believing that God used evolution, either at the macro or micro level. Should Christians reject evolution completely? — QUESTION: What do you think about the hugh ross interpretation of genesis? — QUESTION: Do you think there is life on mars? — QUESTION: I’ve been told that darwin taught evolution WITHIN a species rather than evolution OF species. Is that true? — QUESTION: How dud humans come into being? did they evolve slowly or did God make them spontaneously? — QUESTION: How do you think that the flood in Noah’s time had in the course of biology’s development? For example, the bible says that all living things were swept? — QUESTION: In what scientific areas are we seeing the most striking discoveries that appear to suggest intelligent design? — QUESTION: How can you not literally interpret a 7 day creation but literally interpret a 3 day resurrection? — QUESTION: What do you make of water on Mars? — QUESTION: What is the evolutionist as to why monkeys are still here if they evolved into humans? Did only the lucky ones evolve? — QUESTION: Describe these aspects of design that your research has found? — QUESTION: Given the hard evidence of neanderthal and Cro-Magnon man’s existence, how do you reconcile the Biblical story of Adam and eve as the first humans? — QUESTION: What do you think causes the biggest “daught” thoughts in the society we live in about God and evolution & why? — QUESTION: How can we all possibly come from adam and eve (one couple)? — QUESTION: How are we certain that God, Jesus, is our creator/higher being and not other or multiple gods, ie greek gods (mythology)? — QUESTION: how do we explain or argue the big bang? — QUESTION: Is there others on earth that are just like some on the other side of the earth? — QUESTION: If I allow my view of science to ‘trump’ my view of scripture, how does the rest of scripture maintain any credibility, it seems that by dismissing scriptures account of a literal 6 day creation that opens up the possibility of anyone believing anything. Isn’t this still hinduistic teaching? — QUESTION: What about the history of man according to intelligent design? How do we as christians understand creation of man when God breathed life into adam and we are told we came from apes and cavemen and natural selection? — QUESTION: Is intelligent design used to prove God’s existence or is it more to discredit evolution? Thereby allowing room or making a case for God… — QUESTION: So What? What’s the real life application for an average person in non-scientific everyday life? — QUESTION: If we evolved to get here… why do we not continue to evolve? It seems we struggle to deal with our decay, disease, etc. please comment. — QUESTION: Do you believe in virgin birth? Have you ever calculated the statcl probability of virgin birth? If so, what is it? Is it a linear combination of probability? Is it variables or attribute data? — QUESTION: Do you think that on the basis of intelligent design, that our amazing God could create and use this idea of evolution as well therefore allowing both to exist? — QUESTION: Just as evolution implies an ‘order’ as Christians we profess and live by faith in Christ via a “divine order”, that said, what you have you learned by studying the contrast between EVo. vs ID that can strengthen our faith in God’s order? — QUESTION: What is the young earth argument against carbon dating? — QUESTION: Do you think that there were just adam and eve and cain? — QUESTION: If evolution did not take place, why species still adapt to their environment? — QUESTION: Can evolution and intelligent design coexist? — QUESTION: Life on other planets… what are you thoughts? — QUESTION: What happened to the dinosaurs? — QUESTION: Do you think that God meant 7 billion years by 7 days? would that make sense? — QUESTION: Does evolution occur in any form within our history? — QUESTION: Isn’t chance just an adjective to describe a mathematical possibility therefore it can’t account for creating anything? And therefore God is really only being with the power to be 1st cause of all cause and effect? — QUESTION: If we subjectively apply a literary interpretation to the genesis creation , should we also assume the great flood, parting of the red sea and other extraordinary events in nature described in the bible are also parables? How do you as a christian scientist determine when God is being literal and when he is using analogies? Where is the science in that? — QUESTION: Most of the scientist agree that evolution is improbable since there are not the “short neck giraffes” but how can you explain homoerectus and neanderthal… — QUESTION: in the biblical timeline, where do the dinosaurs fit in? — QUESTION: How is the of good and evil accounted for scientifically? — QUESTION: is it hard containing this information? — QUESTION: I heard that scientists found smaller units of matter that may constitute a common energy or life force in all life, is this possible? — QUESTION: Did dinosaurs exists during bible times? Are they mentioned? — QUESTION: Why is Christianity right over islam? — QUESTION: In knowing all that you know about biology. theology, intelligent design, and psychology, what role does your personal faith play? and at what point does having the knowledge interfere with having faith and/or trusting God? — QUESTION: If God created us where does the lucy theory follow? — QUESTION: How does man interference fit into intelligent design, such as mixing dna to create clones or perfect humans? — QUESTION: Do you believe in life formation on other planets? if not, why were the other planets created? — QUESTION: We are told humans were made in the beginning and dinos were alive before humans. How is that possible? — QUESTION: Can you list the major evolutionary gaps? — QUESTION: can you explain the human appendix… does that support a hybrid theory of evolution within creationism? — QUESTION: If life can be supported on earth, why not on other planets? Is there any proof that it can or cannot? — QUESTION: How can we curve or prevent the liberal media from further pursuing the theory of evolution? — QUESTION: will my dog go to heaven? — QUESTION: How legit is scientific carbon dating? is this process still prevalent? — QUESTION: Wasn’t the devil a liar from the beginning? — QUESTION: What is the probability that God exists? — QUESTION: If intelligent design assumes micro but not macro evolution then why would earth not be created at maturity was adam was? — QUESTION: Isn’t the belief of the darwinists today very different than even what darwin believed?
TEXT PHONE 2 – started at Cypress then became the 2nd number for Woodway 11:11
— QUESTION: What about Dinosaurs? — QUESTION: Gen 6:3 — QUESTION: Why do you think islamic religion is growing so rapidly in this Century? — QUESTION: Dr Bill, Is intelligent design starting to get traction in the academic community or is it still met with hostility? C jc — QUESTION: How do we balance the Genesis account with the apparent age of the earth? — QUESTION: What scientific proof or evidence is there or you know of that proves there really is a God? — QUESTION: Does it take more faith to believe we are “lucky mud”? — QUESTION: Do doubts affect salvation? — QUESTION: What do you know about laminin? — QUESTION: In the book of Matthew Jesus says not to refer to anyone as father or teacher or rabbi. Should this be taken literally? — QUESTION: Will Jesus ever destroy the world or will be come back? — QUESTION: Please articulate INTELLIGENT designs most convincing argument. — QUESTION: Old earth or young earth? What proof for a young earth? — QUESTION: I don’t understand the timeline between where adam and eve were here and the cavemen and dinosaurs. Wassup with that? How can we argue for Christianity? — QUESTION: What is the difference between intelligent design and creationism? — QUESTION: I have heart it put… the Bible is a book of who and why and science is how and when. How do you see that statement? — QUESTION: Where do you place dinosaurs and cave man in the evolution of this earth? — QUESTION: Could you please give some scriptures that would help my college pre med student to use in supporting his faith when confronted with intelligent design questions? — QUESTION: What do you have to say about “Lucy”, the creature, not the 2nd baptist member. — QUESTION: I hear alot about energy being the reason we exist and when we are no longer here we just move to a different level of energy. What do you think about this? — QUESTION: Do you believe in progressive creationism or the literal twenty four hour day creationism and why? — QUESTION: Where do dinosaurs fit in? — QUESTION: What is your answer to that popular argument of “If we were created by a God that loves us, why is our world so full of pain and tragedy?” — QUESTION: What’s being taught in a typical science classroom today? — QUESTION: Does Bill have 1 underlying question that he is currently seeking the answer to and has not yet found? — QUESTION: If the prez at baylor is fired for refusing to give tenure where can believers go for refusing academic freedom? — QUESTION: Is it possible that God placed each soul in time, place, family based on foreknowledge of how each soul would respond to His grace? — QUESTION: Stem cells, genetically created cows/animals, ext. — how does this new science fit into Bible and God’s plan? What could be potential consequences? — QUESTION: If God created man on the 6th day, then are we to assume that dinosaurs were created before adam and eve? or were they even real? — QUESTION: May be a repeat – but how does ID deal with dinosaurs versus the biblical story? — QUESTION: Thank you, Dr. Bill for coming! & thank you, my church leadership, for directly engaging the issues of our times! Cactus Cagle — QUESTION: Did jesus descend into hell before ascending into heaven? — QUESTION: Why isn’t everyone in the “Elect” in terms of who is saved or who isn’t? (Pre-destination vs. Free will) — QUESTION: In the science community christians are often thought of as stupid. In a talk with a highly educated scientist, how can we best defend our faith? — QUESTION: 1. If species continue to “evolve,” does this disprove i.d.? — QUESTION: How old do you think the world is? — QUESTION: Do you actively promote the teaching of intelligent design in our public schools? If so, how receptive have the school boards been in incorporating it into part of their main curriculum? Is there an organization we can support that is taking on this task? Have you written a school text book? — QUESTION: Can you explain the statistical limitations that make evolution difficult to defend? — QUESTION: What is your response to the astronaut from Apollo 14 saying this past week that aliens exist? — QUESTION: Did the earth exist in some recognizable form prior to the “Garden” and how old is it? Why is radio carbon dating so far off on true age? — QUESTION: How old is the earth? What scientific observations support this? — QUESTION: At death, where does the spirit go to before the day of rapture? — QUESTION: What is the best counter (aside from scripture) to Darwin? — QUESTION: Explain the creatures in Job 40 & 41 — QUESTION: What are your thoughts on the big bang and string theory? What is God’s role in the creation of the universe? — QUESTION: How can I answer. If God is slow to anger or God doesn’t keep his anger forever? Why did God create hell? Which is an eternal damnation. — QUESTION: Can you give examples of intelligent design seen in nature or biology and how do you distinguish as such? — QUESTION: Do you think there is life on mars? — QUESTION: Explain trinity. They say there’s one god… Doesn’t trinity mean 3? — QUESTION: Do you believe Adam was the first man and the first to sin? — QUESTION: Why? all of it… what was it for? Why did God create an entire species knowing, as he had to, all the collateral damage (pain and suffering) that his creation would endure? Growing up as a Christian, I remember that the pat response is “God created man for fellowship with him” Fellowship? really? Why? was he just lonely? was all of his creation really just one big cosmic amusement? considering what each of us individually must endure in this life (and potentially in the next if we make the wrong call in this one) I can’t imagine why a lonely god who is supposedly so benevolent wouldn’t just dust himself up a puppy. He could’ve done that on day 5 and been done with it. — QUESTION: How does creationism/intelligent design explain fossils, dinosaurs, neanderthals, cro-magnan man, etc? Also, does the mention of leviathan in the book of Job suggest a shared existence between modern man & dinosaurs? — QUESTION: In Genesis 4, it says can went to the land of Nod and had relations with his wife. How did she get here? — QUESTION: How in the heck was adam created from dust, scientifically? — QUESTION: What is your view on the End of Times/ Millennialism Doctrine? Dispensationalism, Post-Millemialism etc. — QUESTION: Why has the law of conservation of matter never been used as an counter argument to the big bang theory? — QUESTION: How about evolution of man (aka gorillas/monkeys) vs God’s creation of man via the dust from the ground? — QUESTION: Is there a scientific law that living things cannot be created from non living things? If so, doesn’t this law support intel design? — QUESTION: Would you recommend “Darwin’s Black Box”? — QUESTION: What testimony do you most commonly use when explaining your faith to jewish or muslim intellectuals? — QUESTION: Lucy is on display here, can we prove God created her and did we evolve from her or created by God? — QUESTION: Do you think that if our solar system is so small in the universe that there could be other intelligent life forms outside of our planet? — QUESTION: How were humans formed if not evolved — QUESTION: What’s the difference between macro evolution and micro evolution? — QUESTION: If evolution can be defended, how do you explain what seems to be it’s halt with the “Arrival” of man as we know it? — QUESTION: 2 questions: 1. Please address the Gap theory. & 2. Isn’t this scientific examination irrelevant because according to Romans, God elects who will have faith in Him and His word. — QUESTION: You speak of patterns of nature. In your research, have you found patterns of God himself? — QUESTION: What constants exist on the earth and how do evolutionists explain this? — QUESTION: Where dies natural selection fit in with intelligent design? — QUESTION: Since evolution can’t be proven yet, we’re asked to believe in it. Doesn’t that make it a religion in and of itself? — QUESTION: I have a friend in Japan who is searching. One of his big questions is: If God created the earth, who created God? Is there an answer besides having faith that He is the alpha and the omega? — QUESTION: Is there room for evolution to possibly be a tool in the intelligent design process? — QUESTION: How do those who do not believe in intel design argue how we became creatures with thoughts, feelings, rationale, who enjoy music, dancing, etc. — QUESTION: Can you explain the existence of God through science? — QUESTION: How did you go from a creation view to a creation according to the bible view? — QUESTION: If angels can fall, is it possible for us to after we are in heaven? — QUESTION: Skeptics will say prophecy in the bible is random chance and divine intervention is not possible. What is the probability of the events that were foretold in the bi ble and proven to have occurred by science being attributed to random chance?