Adelaide Chapter

The Hiddenness of God by Kevin Rogers

September 29, 2023

The strongest argument against the existence of a loving God is supposedly the problem of evil, but probably the second strongest argument is called the hiddenness of God. The argument is basically as follows:

If God wants us to believe in him, why doesn’t he make himself known more clearly and unambiguously? But He doesn’t. So, the most likely explanation is that he doesn’t show himself clearly because he doesn’t exist.

Paul claims that God’s ‘invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So, they are without excuse’ (Romans 1:20). Apologists also use arguments for God’s existence based on the observable world and from logic. However, many are not convinced. They object that these general arguments are not convincing enough. and that God could or should have made his existence more obvious.

In this presentation, the following questions will be considered:

  • Is general revelation sufficient?
  • Are we without excuse?
  • Does God deliberately make his existence known only to those who have eyes to see?
  • Does he reveal himself personally to some and hide himself from others?
  • If we seek, will we find; If we knock, will God answer?
  • Is the Divine Hiddenness argument a good argument?

Kevin’s talk is available on YouTube.

Dr Kevin Rogers

Kevin Rogers is the director of Reasonable Faith Adelaide. He is a former electrical engineering lecturer, researcher, and research supervisor at the University of South Australia. He is now mostly retired but continues with part-time research in acoustic atmospheric tomography. He is also learning New Testament Greek, and is blessed with a wife, 4 children and 8 precocious grandchildren.

Recovering the missing generation in our churches by Dr Gordon Stanger

September 29, 2023

Many of the churches across the ‘western world’ are in crisis. Their congregations are ageing, and in some cases, they are vanishing to zero. Entire denominations are well on the way to extinction. This is most obvious in the age structure of congregations. There is an entire missing generation comprising teens, twenties and young families. In many cases children were brought up in a Christian environment, went to Sunday school, and were prayed for by their parents, but then fell off a demographic cliff, never to be seen in church again. We will look at who they are, the reasons why they left, and possible approaches to bringing them back.

Then there is the rise of ‘nones’, who are those who have never had any religious affiliation or interest of any kind. Their view of Christianity is woeful. Most have never had any spiritual conversation in their entire life! The passive easy-going feel-good church has failed these ‘nones’, and failed to seriously ‘go fishing’ as Jesus repeatedly taught his disciples. Jude so graphically put it:

“Have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire”.

The ‘missing generation’ is our mission field. Many of these missing youngsters were driven away by the church itself, whose attitudes, false preoccupations and blunders have sometimes been less than Christ-like! Today’s missing generation has grown into a culture which is dramatically different from those of their parents. They have moved on, but the church has not (with few laudable exceptions). This crisis in Western Christianity MUST be addressed as a matter of great urgency. It is the first call upon the 21st century church. It will be hard for those traditionalists who are much older; and probably impossible for those locked into extremes of either liberalism or inflexible fundamentalism. We need love, and the Holy Spirit’s guidance to find the way forward.

Gordon’s talk is available on YouTube

Dr Gordon Stanger

Dr Gordon Stanger is a geologist, hydrologist, water resources specialist, and a climate-change impact analyst. He is an RFA committee member and is semi-retired.

‘Paul versus James’ by Brian Schroeder

April 27, 2023

It is often claimed that our Christianity comes from Paul, rather than from Jesus and that Paul took it over and moulded it in his own image.  There is a stark contrast between Paul and James regarding faith and works.  While this appears to be a major conflict that critics like to point out and use to try to discredit Christianity, Christians also have problems with it.  The great reformer Martin Luther is famously quoted as calling James an “epistle of straw”, so what are we to make of it?

Brian’s presentation is available on YouTube.

Brian Schroeder

Brian Schroeder is a Reasonable Faith committee member. He has BSc and BA degrees from Adelaide University (Computer Science, Physics, Mathematics), and an MA in Theology.

‘Do people have a natural sense of God?’ By Dr Kevin Rogers

April 27, 2023

Sensus Divinitatis is a Latin term that refers to a natural sense of God that is present within every human being, but what does this actually mean?

This talk covered:

  • What were the views of major Christian figures on the Sensus Divinitatis?
  • What does the Bible say about it?
  • Can it be suppressed?
  • Is it innate or
    • Is it derived from observation of the creation?
    • Is it dependent on culture and upbringing?
  • What are the major objections to the sensus divinitatis?
  • How does it affect Christian apologetics and the proclamation of the gospel?

Kevin’s presentation can be viewed on YouTube.

Dr Kevin Rogers

Kevin Rogers is the director of Reasonable Faith Adelaide. He is a former research fellow, lecturer and research supervisor at the University of South Australia. He is now mostly retired but continues with part-time research.

Should we fear God? by Geoff Russell

March 10, 2023

An image of Mount Sinai

The Bible (both Old and New Testaments) has a lot to say about the fear of God. Is this fear good and could it be beneficial, or is it “old hat” and no longer relevant, and how should we understand this fear?

Geoff’s presentation can be viewed on YouTube.

Geoff Russell

Geoff Russell is a professional electrical engineer. He has a Bachelor of Engineering with Honours from the University of Adelaide, a post-graduate Diploma in Engineering & Computer Applications and an Associate in Theology from the Bible College of South Australia. Two years ago, Geoff retired to Warrnambool, but he’s as busy as ever. In a sea change from engineering, he’s become an Associate Pastor at a local Baptist Church and the sole Chaplain at the Warrnambool Campus of Deakin University. He’s doing what he loves!

‘Apologetics for young people’, by Kevin Rogers

February 25, 2023

On the 9th February 2023, Kevin Rogers provided a presentation on Apologetics for young people.

It covers:

  • Is there a decline and how great is it?
  • What are the causes?
  • Are deficiencies in lack of apologetics for children a significant factor?
  • Is current apologetics for children adequate?
  • What can we do?

His presentation can be viewed on YouTube

Dr Kevin Rogers

Kevin Rogers is the director of Reasonable Faith Adelaide. He is now mainly retired after having an electrical engineering career for 40 years and then working as a research Fellow, lecturer and PhD student at the University of South Australia.

‘What is an experience of knowing Christ?’ by Kevin Rogers

February 25, 2023

On the 23rd February 2023, Kevin Rogers provided a presentation on What is an experience of knowing Christ?’

He describes his talk as follows:

It is often claimed that being a Christian means having a personal relationship with Christ, but what does this mean, how should it feel like, and do I have one?

Within conservative protestant circles, assurance is often based on scriptural promises. E.g., we can know we are a Christian if we have put our faith in Christ, or ‘Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so’.  However, although these statements are true, they do not go far enough. Both Jesus and Paul state that assurance goes beyond this, and Paul expects his readers to share in his own experience.

Apologetics by reasoned arguments is commanded and is useful for providing intellectual support, but it does not go the whole way. God can do more than that such that we can we truly know. The Spirit can attest with our spirit that we are children of God.

During this talk, I will cover:

  • The value and limitations of apologetics,
  • My own Christian experience,
  • The Biblical warrant for Christian experience and assurance,
  • Paul’s teaching on knowing Christ, and
  • The conditions for knowing Christ,

Kevin Rogers

Dr Kevin Rogers

Kevin Rogers is the director of Reasonable Faith Adelaide. He is now mainly retired after having an electrical engineering career for 40 years and then working as a research Fellow, lecturer and PhD student at the University of South Australia.

His presentation can be viewed on YouTube.

What Astrophysics Tells Us About God, by Dr Jeff Zweerink

December 6, 2022

On the 1st of December 2022, Jeff Zweerink (from Reasons to Believe) provided a presentation on what astrophysics tells us about God.

The Milky Way

He describes his talk as follows:

While in college, I decided to pursue a graduate degree in astrophysics because that area of physics had the most direct overlap with what the Bible describes about the universe. Our understanding of the universe has advanced significantly in the last thirty years. Although many apparent challenges to God’s existence have arisen (like inflation, the multiverse, and research into quantum gravity), the evidence for a beginning of the universe and its design for human life have grown tremendously.

We will discuss these major advances to understand them better. That understanding will help Christians use this potent evidence to share the Gospel while avoiding pitfalls that undermine the public perception of Christianity.

His presentation can be viewed on YouTube.

Jeff Zweerink

Since my earliest memories, science and the Christian faith have featured prominently in my life, but I struggled when my scientific studies seemed to collide with my early biblical training. My first contact with Reasons to Believe (RTB) came when I heard Hugh Ross speak at Iowa State University. It was the first time I realized it was possible to do professional work incorporating both my love of science and my desire to serve God. I knew RTB’s ministry was something I was called to be a part of.

Genesis and genetics, plus carbon dating by Dr Don Batten

December 6, 2022

Christians are a “house divided” on the meaning of the six days in Genesis 1, the age of the earth, and how much truth there is in evolutionary theory. This year, we are paying particular attention to these topics and are allowing speakers to present and argue for their views. This applies to organizations that hold either young earth or old earth perspectives.

On Thursday the 17th November, Don Batten talked on Genesis and genetics from a young earth perspective. He provided the following outline of his talk, including links to background material:

  1. My journey from theistic evolution / day-age to biblical creation and why I found it compelling and important
  2. How the modern molecular biology revolution undoes neo-Darwinism
    1. Bioinformatics: the information in living things
    1. The inadequacy of evolution to explain living things
  3. How the modern science of genetics underscores Genesis as history
    1. Haldane’s Dilemma
    1. The waiting time problem (a modern reworking of Haldane) +
    1. Genetic Entropy and the Fall 
    1. Adam and Eve & genetics: what the Y-chromosome and mitochondrial DNA diversity tell us. An Overview of the Independent Histories of the Human Y Chromosome and the Human Mitochondrial chromosome
    1. Human genetic diversity: from one man?
    1. Human genetic diversity: the timeframe
    1. Longevity in Genesis and genetics
    1. DNA bar codes of metazoans
  4. Carbon dating: residual carbon-14 as a problem for deep time (Measurable 14C in Fossilized Organic Materials: Confirming the Young Earth Creation-Flood Model)

His talk is on YouTube.

Don Batten

Don received both his B.Sc.Agr. (First Class Honours) and his Ph.D. from the University of Sydney. He worked for 20 years as a research horticulturalist with the NSW Department of Agriculture.  He conducted a number of research projects and published his results in scientific journals. Don joined the Creation Ministries International (CMI) in Brisbane, Australia in 1994 and has spoken around the world on the creation issue. He is co-author of The Creation Answers Book, One Blood, Answers to the 4 Big Questions, 15 Reasons to Take Genesis as History, and author of various booklets, including What about carbon dating? and What about arguments for evolution? Dr Batten was the CEO and Managing Director of CMI-Australia from 2015 to 2022. He is now Senior Scientist, focusing on research, writing, and speaking.

C.S. Lewis and his relevance today by Dr Kenneth Samples

December 6, 2022

C.S. Lewis

Clive Staples Lewis (29 November 1898 – 22 November 1963) was a British writer and Anglican lay theologian. He was a gifted academic and held positions in English literature at both Oxford University and Cambridge University. He is best known as the author of The Chronicles of Narnia, but he is also noted for his other works of fiction, such as The Screwtape Letters and The Space Trilogy. He is also well known for his works on Christian apologetics, including Mere Christianity, Miracles, and The Problem of Pain.

Lewis became an atheist in his teens. However, in his 30s he converted to Christianity under the influence of J.R. Tolkien, author of ‘Lord of the rings’. Lewis described himself as “the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England.”

Lewis had a particular style of apologetics. His Christian world view infects most of his fictional works, but his explicit main arguments for Christian belief were arguments from desire, reasoning, and morality. Are these still effective today?

Ken’s presentation can be viewed on YouTube.

Ken Samples

Kenneth Richard Samples earned his undergraduate degree in philosophy and social science from Concordia University and his M.A. in theological studies from Talbot School of Theology. He is a senior research scholar at Reasons To Believe (RTB). He uses his knowledge to help others find the answers to life’s questions and encourages believers to develop a logically defensible faith and challenges sceptics to engage Christianity at a philosophical level.