This is excerpted from Philosophical Foundations for a Biblical Worldview by J.P. Moreland and William Lane Craig.
“…it is sometimes claimed that faith and reason are hostile to each other, and whatever is of reason cannot be of faith. But this represents misunderstanding of the biblical concept of faith. The biblical notion of faith includes three components: notitia (understaning the content of the Christian faith), fiducia (trust) and assensus (the assent of the intellect to the truth of some proposition). Trust is based on understanding, knowledge and the intellect’s assent to truth. Belief in rests on belief that. One is called to trust in what he or she has reason to give intellectual assent (assensus) to. In Scripture, faith involves placing trust in what you have reason to believe is true. Faith is not a blind, irrational leap into the dark. So faith and reason cooperate on a biblical view of faith. They are not intrinsically hostile.” 
I would take two phrases out and say that they not only apply to a biblical understanding of faith, but they apply to how we reason and believe in general. ”Trust is based on understanding, knowledge and the intellectual assent to truth… One is called to trust in what he or she has reason to give intellectual assent to.” The only difference I see here is degree of trust. The Christian is called to adapt his or her life to the truth that is believed. This is not necessarily so for non-Christian propositions.
Faith and reason are not enemies. They are not polar opposites. They are not diametrically opposed. They work together to create your worldview.
I like to think of them as tennis shoes–you stand on them and they protect your foundation. Therefore, if you desire to get rid of one, all you are doing is shooting yourself in the foot.
 J.P. Moreland and William Lane Craig, Philosophical Foundations for a Biblical Worldview (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2003), 18.
The Kalam Cosmological argument for the existence of God has 3 premises:
1) Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
2) The universe began to exist.
3) Therefore, the universe has a cause.
In William Lane Craig’s “Defenders” podcast he said that he was surprised to find people would refute premise one, and he has witnessed many people try. He uses causal reality as we understand it to illustrate the absurdity of things happening “uncaused out of nothing.” My personal favorite is when he tells his audience that they aren’t worried that a horse has appeared in their living room and is, right now, soiling their carpet.
I personally find the argument pretty convincing, but at the same time, I try to take an “outside looking in” perspective and test it. In doing so I have a question.
As I bounce this around in my feeble brain, my question is, does our understanding of cause and effect (causal force/agent and potentiality) apply without the universe, in the same way it does within our universe? More concisely, is the nature of cause and effect necesarily the same without the universe as within. It seems to me that the answer to this question is fundamental to the meaning of premise one in the argument above.
I believe there are two possible answers and am interested to know if there are more, and which is true (and why). Or, if the question is just stupid, I’m willing to take that criticism as well (if stated gently for the sake of my ego).
Answer 1) Cause and effect as we understand it is an abstract concept, like numbers, and will apply in the same way in any, all or no universes.
Answer 2) We just assume cause and effect operates the same without the universe because…
I haven’t researched cause and effect much and I know there is much available on the subject, but my time right now is occupied elsewhere. And if I did go find the answer, then I would have to come up with something else to blog about.
Looking forward to some responses…
This question is a favorite among non-theists. It is intended as a sort of “in your face” to theists making the claim that the universe must have a beginning, and therefore it must have a Beginner. The thought behind the question is, if the universe must have a beginning, then the beginner must have a beginning as well. Here are some thoughts; any of them can be used when engaging someone on this point:
–By necessity, since God created the universe we inhabit, He must be of a higher order than the space time continuum we observe (e.g. spaceless and timeless).
–There are valid scientific and philosophical reasons  to believe that the universe had a beginning. There are also valid and independent theological reasons as well as philosophical reasons to believe that God did not have a beginning.
–Does the non-theist really intend to debate the nature of the Creator? If so, then open your Bible and read Psalm 100, Job 38-41 or John 1:1-18 or Colossians 1:15-23 or… If the intent truly is to discuss the nature of God, then you’ve got the whole book on the subject at your disposal.
–The universe began to exist, and still exists. Therefore, it is reasonable to believe that if the universe had a Creator, and that He still exists as well. Who might he be?
–This does nothing to disprove the “created-ness” of our universe, it merely pushes the “who-dun-it” back one level. For arguments sake, let’s say God was created. Asking “who-dun-it” has little bearing on what we observe in the created world. William Lane Craig discusses the implications of this in this video.
This question is ultimately a non-argument — a “red-herring” of sorts. Of course, if the asker does intend to go down the “nature of the Creator” trail, this is the best place for the conversation to go since it is one step closer to the gospel.
 Currently, Big Bang Cosmology models a universe with a finite past — meaning it has a definite starting point. While this theory has its weaknesses, it is currently the leading theory among cosmologists. A philosophical reason for a finite universe is that you cannot have an infinite regress of causes — there must be a first cause. To learn more about this argument click here or here.
This debate occurred 30 March 2011 (last night from the time of this post). It is good to hear the “leading edge” of the debate. It is rather long but worth the listen in your next few work commutes (or for some of you with longer commutes, your trip to work tomorrow). Enjoy.
Listen to the full debate here. (MP3 audio, 2hrs 18 min)
Here is something I think you’ll enjoy, or it will at least make you think. This is a 1998 debate between William Lane Craig and Peter Atkins. The video is rather old, but the argument still stands.
If you listen closely, you hear Peter Atkins say, “But you’re missing the point” just as the moderator says, “Put that in your pipe and smoke it” (which is, by the way, an indicator that one side of the argument is doing really well). He goes on to unconvincingly discuss how science can tell us about beauty. You can watch the full discussion here. This clip comes at the end of video 7 and the discussion continues into the beginning of clip 8.
G.K. Chesterton wrote, “The Christian is quite free to believe that there is a considerable amount of settled order and inevitable development in the universe. But the materialist is not allowed to admit into his spotless machine the slightest speck of spiritualism or miracle.”