Monday, April 13, 2009

Evidence for Atheism

I watched The Privideged Planet tonight and was inspired to post this...

Look at all the evidence on the inside...

This can be used like a tract.
I've handed these to atheists and they tend to get a laugh out of it.
Then there's a gospel message on the back.


This is what is reads:
"It was G.K. Chesterton who rightly stated, "If there were no God, there would be no atheists." A thinking person will tell you that it's impossible to prove that God doesn't exist. Before someone can say, "There is no God," he or she needs to have all knowledge — because somewhere in the universe there may be evidence that God does exist. And there is, right under our noses. A building is proof there was a builder. A painting is proof there was a painter, and creation is absolute proof that there was and is a Creator. The question is, are you good enough to go to Heaven? Here's how to know: Have you ever lied (even once) or stolen (regardless of value)? Have you ever used God's name in vain, or had sexual thoughts about someone to whom you are not married? Have you ever hated someone? If you said yes to those questions, on Judgment Day God will see you as a lying thief, a blasphemer, an adulterer, and even a murderer. Jesus said, "Whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart," and Scripture also says that if you hate someone, you are a murderer. This is the Bible's warning — if God gives you justice on Judgment Day, you will end up in Hell. Forever. Not believing in something won't make it go away. You need to be forgiven before that day, and because God is rich in mercy He made a way for you to be clean in His sight: "God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Jesus suffered and died on the cross, taking the punishment for your sins. He paid your fine in His life's blood, so that you could leave the courtroom. Then He rose from the dead and defeated death. Your death sentence can be commuted. Please, come to your senses— repent and trust in Jesus, and God will forgive you and grant you eternal life. Pray something like: "Dear God, please forgive my sins (name them). I turn from them and trust Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour. In His name I pray. Amen." Then read the Bible daily and obey what you read (see John 14:21)." Visit LivingWaters.com

85 comments:

Logic Lad said...

Trish

It won't come as a surprise for me to suggest that the book in your post also contains the sum total of the evidence for theism. The book makes an interesting point in that the lack of evidence of either postion is the reason why atheism is a more likely rational response than theism.

A novel, pun intended, way to reiterate an old idea, though it would appear it's only use is as some form of notebook, so probably more useful than most 'tracts' i have read

ExPatMatt said...

Trish,


Strangely enough, this is fairly accurate. There is no 'evidence for atheism'.

Similarly, there is no 'evidence for a-any kind of belief'. You know why? Of course you do! Because the burden of proof is on the one making the positive claim. Atheism does not necessarily make the claim 'there is no God(s)', it is merely a descriptive term for someone who lacks theism.

So no, you would not expect there to be any evidence supporting atheism, no more than you would expect evidence supporting the non-existence of pixies or unicorns - nothing can be shown NOT to exist (if you follow me!)



Anyway, on to the tract on the back.


Painting = painter
Building = builders (you're not a pantheist, are you?)
Creation = Creator
Natural Universe = ....Natural Universator?

Semantics, just semantics.

You have not demonstrated how the universe is a 'Creation' and so you cannot logically conclude that it had a creator. You're skipping steps.

Not only that. But if there is a creator, deducing this fact from the existence of the universe tells you nothing about the nature of this creator, so the rest of the tract is pure, belief-based assertion all the way.

Interested to hear any comments addressing these problems, as always.

Matt

ExPatMatt said...

Trish,

You should try turning the moderation off.

No offense, but you don't generally get 100s of comments and offensive/blasphemous ones are pretty easily spotted and deleted.

Just warn anyone who breaks the rules and ban them if they break them again.

It's just that waiting around for comments to be moderating really kills discussion.

Your blog, your choice of course; whatever you think's best.

Regards,

Fish with Trish said...

Thanks ExPatMatt. I will consider your request. Thanks for caring.

The Murphy's said...

Waste of Trees.

Fish with Trish said...

The Murphy's,

I would cut down trees any day to make a point about the gospel verses atheism.

I think this tract makes a good point.

One soul is worth more than a hundred trees.

Sorry, all me green friends. :-)

profweather said...

Christians are not the ones making the claim for God. The Bible states that claim...“In the beginning God...” It is its own authority. It has made the claim for 3,500 years and as of yet, no one has been able to refute it. If it could have been refuted, it would have been long, long ago.

Nor is it up to Christians to demonstrate how the 'Universe is a creation'. It is because any other reasoning for its existence is simply illogical. Spontaneous generation was disproved over a century ago and for the belief that all of what we see came from nothing is utter nonsense.

From a previous post...From creation, we know this about the creator...He is all powerful. Since He made it once, He can do it again, [recreate] any part or all of it.

He is all-present. Since He created the Universe, He is neither contained within it nor confined outside of it.

He is all-knowing. Since there is order to this creation, there is a purpose for it all as it has been thought out. He is aware of everything He did and is doing.

For sure, the atheist rejects these as attributes for a Creator. But just because one does not accept them or understand them does not make them any less true. The question is not whether one believes (or does not believe) something, but the question one needs to answer is “Is it true?”

Even today, the Bible continues to speak about athiest since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

Quasar said...

An interesting tract.

And the most interesting point about it: it's accurate. Not the stuff on the back, that's standard Ray Comfort, but the blank book itself: there is no evidence for atheism. Not one iota.

BUT... (No prizes for predicting I was going to say that)

Does atheism need evidence? Even more importantly: is evidence for atheism even possible?

Atheism is a lack of belief in the supernatural. What evidence could possibly be provided for the non-existance of something supernatural?

What evidence can you provide that, for example, evil spirits don't exist? You could provide evidence that they do exist easily enough (assuming they existed), but evidence that they don't... impossible.

And that is why the burden of proof is on the theist: they are the ones claiming that something exists. Atheism is the neutral position on all supernatural phenomena, including the Christian God, until a believer can provide evidence to contradict it.

Also, "Creation => Creator" but "Universe =/= Creation."


Also, I'm sure the trees, and the hundreds of creatures that rely on them to survive, would disagree with you.

Logic Lad said...

Prof

While I don't agree with you, you normally make at least some sense, but trying to say that christians are not trying to make a case for a god is, to be blunt, nuts. Also the fact that something cannot be refuted does not mean it is true, i bring you back to Bertrands teapot. Please prove the abscenece of the teapot in orbit or explain to me why you don't have to.

i have said in a previous post the use of the term creation is a great example of a word game not of an argument. the only thing we know for sure about the universe is that exists now. everything else is really speculation with some explanations being more likely than others.

How does creation (for the sake of argument) proove the creator is all powerful or are you just making another unfounded leap of faith.

Why would he need to be omnipresent if he is omniscent?

Prof, not for the first time you assert that just becuase i (an athiest) don;t believe dosn't mean that god does not exist, that is very true, however please remamber, in the interest of not having to repeat myself again, just becuase you do believe does not mean he/she/it does.

you whole last paragraph can be counted with a simple, 'in your opinion' Prof, ashas been said before waving your bible and threats are not going to move this discussion forward, try logic and evidence and then we might be able to talk.

stranger.strange.land said...

Trish.

I think you should leave the comment moderation as is, for two reasons.

First, I've noticed that unless you are busy at a conference or speaking engagement, the comments are updated quite frequently. So no problem with the flow of a "discussion."

Second, remember the examiner experience with Ray's blog? (Actually, I hope you didn't see it)

Those perverts are lurking, and if you leave that door unlocked they will be all over this blog like the Bumpus's dogs on the Parkers' turkey.

I am surprised that ExPatMatt didn't think of that; he was posting there.

Craig

Roger Bennett said...

For all atheists:
I can’t do better than recommend the book “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist” by Norman Geisler and Frank Turek. How do I know? I used to be an atheist myself, but decided that the evidences for God’s existence were too numerous and far too compelling to ignore, and the evidences for Christ as the Son of God were sound and realistically irrefutable! In short, I no longer have enough faith to be an atheist!

But about the book: in part, it describes the empirical, scientific evidences that demonstrate that a theistic God exists, i.e., the personal God who created the universe and is transcendent to it, but (in the cases of Christianity and Judaism) is immanent in it (He pervades His creation).

Examples: the scientific evidence for the beginning of the universe in the finite past strongly argues for a transcendent causal Agent, since every effect must have a cause equal to or greater than itself. And the exquisite fine-tuning of our universe strongly implies an intelligent causal Agent, as does the exquisite biochemical design exhibited on a molecular level within every living cell. The uniformity in life’s biochemistry (including the same genetic code) among all living organisms strongly supports monotheism (one Creator) as opposed to polytheism (multiple creators).

Naturalists use the uniformity in life’s biochemistry to argue for the evolution of life apart from a Creator, but the specific, ordered, and meaningful information in the nuclear DNA of a single-celled amoeba would fill a 30-volume set of the Encyclopedia Britannica! Yet random-chance processes would not have assembled it because random chance disorders information much more than it orders it: the second law of thermodynamics would have broken down any significant amount of useful information in the DNA as it was “trying” to assembe. Similarly, the presidential faces on Mt. Rushmore could not have been created by natural processes because rain, wind, and erosion disorder a rock’s surface much more than they order it. If Mt. Rushmore had to be created by an intelligent agent (a sculptor), wouldn’t the ordered and meaningful information of a 30-volume encyclopedia (in the DNA of an amoeba) have to be created by an intelligent Agent (a Creator) as well?

Some would say “but in billions of years, natural selection could do it.” Even if we allowed for billions of years, scientists tell us that there are chemical signatures in rocks (in Greenland) that THEY say date back to 3.8 billion years ago, and these chemical signatures indicate the existence of bacterial life. Why is this significant? Scientists ALSO say that the “Late Heavy Bombardment” (of asteroids upon the inner solar system) ended (according to their own dating methods) at the same time: 3.8 billion years ago! During this bombardment, the surface of the Earth was molten (so they say) and could not sustain even bacterial life! In other words, even by their dating methods, the conclusion is inevitable: there was virtually no time for natural selection to act and produce the equivalent of a 30-volume encyclopedia! (Of course, if the Earth is younger than billions of years, there’s absolutely no time for natural selection to do this.)

The book also covers some of the evidences for Christ’s historicity, including logical reasons (based on evidence) as to precisely why He is the Son of God. For instance, the archeological, extrabiblical-historical, and manuscript evidences establish that Christ was a historical person, and historical testimonies inside and outside of the Bible establish that He performed miracles and was raised from the dead. Bible prophecies—written hundreds of years in advance—confirm this and confirm Christ’s identity as the Son of God.

Another example: non-Christian, historical documents attest to the fact that Christ’s disciples believed He rose from the dead, and that they were willing to die for their belief when they could have saved their lives by recanting. People are willing to die for what they believe to be true, but NO ONE will die for what they KNOW to be a lie! Christ’s disciples saw Him and touched Him after He rose from the dead—they knew firsthand whether He had risen or not. Yet they were willing to die rather than renounce Him, and many of them DID die! They would not have done this if the resurrection was a hoax, for they knew full well what had occurred.

This boils down to the fact that either Jesus Christ was the Son of God or He was a liar (when He said He was the Son of God) or He was a lunatic. His rational teachings that promoted an incredibly-high moral standard speak against the second and third possibilities, while the disciples’ testimonies speak strongly in favor of the first, which, in any case, is the only remaining possibility!

This book, “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist,” also comes in audio CD and in audio mp3 CD, and no, I’m not getting a commission for recommending it! You can order these and many other materials at christianbook.com—no, they’re not giving me a commission either!

ExPatMatt said...

Craig,

I don't remember ever commenting on the Examiner site, could you link me to a comment you believe me to have left there? In fact, I haven't commented on any of Ray's writings for quite some time now; perhaps you're thinking of someone else?

Also, I think you'll find that there is far more animosity towards Ray than towards Trish. Ray actively seeks to antagonize atheists (as he has himself admitted on several occasions), so you can't be surprised when the anonymity of the internet brings a lot of that animosity to the fore.

Now, I'm not excusing, condoning or validating any of the nasty comments that were sent his way, I'm just saying that it wasn't at all surprising.

Ray hits the hornets nest with a big stick and then runs off complaining when the hornets sting him. I don't condone it, but I have very little sympathy for him.

There are a number of theist blogs, with no moderation, that are frequented by a variety of contributors and I've not seen anything offensive on any of them

It's up to you Trish, I don't mind really; it was just a suggestion.

ExPatMatt said...

Roger,

Would you mind maybe picking one point to make and then making it, rather than the scattershot approach you appear to be taking?

It's just that the replies end up being so long and tedious!

Good job promoting the book though; are Norman and Frank friends of yours? ;)

Roger Bennett said...

To expatmatt:

No, Norman and Frank are not friends of mine, but they are scholars I respect. For instance, Dr. Norman Geisler has written an entire encyclopedia all by himself! He’s a world-famous expert in the area of apologetics.

By the way, there are literally HUNDREDS of more reasons in the book as to why the evidences for atheism are negligible compared to the overwhelming evidences for theism and Christ’s historical personhood and divinity. They blast into oblivion most of the arguments I’ve ever heard for atheism, and the remaining arguments not covered in the book are flimsy and easily refuted. I would now need a much greater quantity of faith to believe in atheism, compared to the relatively little faith I need to believe in the biblical God — because, with overwhelming evidence, you only need a little faith!

Roger

Logic Lad said...

Roger

The good old lord, liar or lunatic argument, unfortunatly for one that had not already decided that there is a god there are really only two options, those that want to be mean say a liar, those that are more generous say a lunatic, of course what you have there is a false tricotamy (is that even a word) to be honest, if he existed it is more likely he was one of many holy men of the time whose story got picked up and magnified for the benefit of a bunch of priests who liked the idea of having other people give them stuff for nothing. Does that not sound more likely than magically healing people and walking on water?

Please pick one of you points and run with it

Logic Lad said...

Roger

Just becuase someone writes a lot of words down does not make them right or even wise, just wordy. I have written a ton of stuff on the web but don't claim that i have any answers at all.

Please pick one of these pieces of evidence / argumnens that proves god and put it up so we can discuss it.

ExPatMatt said...

Robert,

"... the evidences for atheism are negligible""...quantity of faith to believe in atheism,"Did you read any of what Logic Lad, Quasar and I wrote in response to this blog posting?

Or does it just not matter to you?

Go on then, give us your 3 best evidences for the Divinity of Jesus.

Regards,

BathTub said...

Ray, or someone presumably acting for him, has deleted all of his Examinerdotcom articles. So no one can link to them anymore.

I am quite convinced that, at least towards the end, someone simply wrote a script that spammed the pages with psuedo-random gibberish and profanity.

The Murphy's said...

What if that soul doesn't have oxygen to breath?

profweather said...

@ Logic,
Thank you for your honesty.

As far as Bertrands teapot, I'm agnostic toward it. I do not know if it exists or not. And you are correct, my belief about it (or in God) one way or another does not make it (or Him) true or not.

That just then leaves both of us looking at the Universe and coming to conclusions. I see it as something way bigger than me and believe that someone way bigger than me made all this stuff. This then makes me to want to know more about this “someone.”

From the atheist viewpoint, he/she looks at the Universe (and hopefully sees it as way bigger than him/herself) and thinks, wow I'm sure lucky.

Yet, when I learn about the “someone” who made all this stuff, I find that he reveals Himself specifically from the Bible. That leads to ExPatMatt's challenge...

1.The fact that the Bible has survived 2000 years is enough proof about the Deity of Jesus. If Jesus was not God, the Bible would be just another book of antiquity like Aesop's Fables or the Iliad. The shear volume of manuscript evidence alone (verses any other non-Biblical manuscript) for the accuracy of today's Bible is irrefutable. But for the atheist, that won't do. So...

2.Extra Biblical writings reference Jesus. These writers describe the early Christians devotion to their faith in Jesus. These writers established that He was a real person corroborating the bible, where we learn the Jesus is divine. But that is still not enough for the atheist so...

3.There is no body. He was raised from the dead by God (and by the Holy Spirit, and by Himself). He was seen alive by over 500 people, most, if not all, were martyred for their belief. If what they believed were not true, they would not have died for a lie. People die for causes they believe in and not the other way around. And if Christ has not been raised, my faith is worthless.

Quasar said...

Roger Bennet

I read your long post in its entirety, and didn't find a single argument that I haven't heard repeated and refuted several times before.

In truth, however, you lost me the moment you referred to evolution and abiogenesis as "random chance." That particular term is a pet hate of mine. It manages to convey in two words a complete and utter contempt of the entire scientific endeavour, of anyone who accepts the theory of evolution, of the education system, of your debate opponents and of basic decency.

If you truly believe that the various theories of abiogenesis, and the entire theory of evolution, can be adaquatley represented by 'random chance,' then you are hopelessly ignorant. If not, then you are being wilfully dishonest by misrepresenting them.

However...
- Effect requires greater cause: what causes an atom to undergo radioactive decay?
- Fine tuning: Probability of life is impossible to calculate because we are missing several very important variables, thus you have no way to say this universe is fine-tuned.
- Single celled complexity: Abiogenic theories hold that the original life would have been far more primitive than a cell. See "Lies, D*mned lies, statistics and theories of abiogenesis caculations" on the TalkOrigins archive.
- 2nd Law of thermodynamics: fundumental misunderstanding of thermodynamics: the sun is an energy source, we can get entropy from it.
- 3.8 billion years ago: Primitive lifeforms have been found living in extreme conditions. They are known as "extremophiles." Current theories hold that primitive replicators, still primarily chemical rather than biological, most likely survived the Late-Heavy Bombardment and thrived as the earth cooled after. In addition, the possible timeframe for the origin of life is 4.0-4.2bya for deep-marine hydrothermal origins, or 4.0-3.7bya for surface-of-the-earth origins. 300 million years is hardly 'virtually no time.'
- Biblical prophecies: Have you ever heard of cold reading? Confirmation bias? Selective reporting?
- Martyrs: I don't know too much about these extra-biblical sources, so I cannot comment.
- Lord, Liar or Loonie: What about charismatic jewish preacher? The followers of many cult leaders believe them to be an envoy of god or some other such thing, even when the leader makes no such claim. The gospels may have been exaggerated before quill was put to parchment, and the current bible consists of those which most highlight his percieved divinity.

You say there are hundreds of arguments in the book: that sounds to me like a shotgun gish-gallop approach, and the quality of the arguments you though worthy of mentioning supports this theory. I can't say I'm rushing out to buy the book.

Finally, the title: one can have faith in a positive assertion such as "There is no God." One needs not make a positive assertion to be an atheist, however: I don't believe "There is no God," I merely lack belief that there is one.

Logic Lad said...

Prof

As an athiest I do indeed look at the universe, am awed and humbled by the beauty it holds and feel very lucky that i am here with the capacity to view it. But as, i believe Douglas Adams said, 'it is sufficent that i can see the beauty of the garden without the need for there to be fairies at the bottom of it.'

You need to define 'survived' with respect to the bible. it has been changed many times since the original manuscripts where penned, It has been edited, reinterpreted and translated many times, I would suggest that if you want true antiquity look to the stella of egypt, they are exactly as they where carved, long before the first bits of the bible where ever considered.

I am not a biblical scholar, but it was my impression that there is very little in the way of evidence outside the bible of the existence of Jesus, there is some mention of a religious leader that may have been jesus but that is about it, if you can tell me about better sources that would be great. More to the point most of the contempory writings that we have of the time contradict things that apparently happened in the bible, the timing of the census during his birth is a big example.

Prof, i do think you are overlooking a very obvious cause for there being no body, that he never existed, or that we simply can't identify the body. The absence of the body is not a logical reason to assume he rose from the grave. Many people have died for lies, some knew they where lies, many didn't. let us take another example of people dieing for lies, suicide bombers, I am sure we agree that some one who commits mass murder is not going to get into any version of heaven, yet they do hence are prepared to die for that.

stranger.strange.land said...

ExPatMatt.

I thought you commented when we all moved over to examiner. Did you at least read it? There are are no archived comments from there as far as I know.

Anyway, your posting there or no is not the point. Trish was the target of some filthy comments. Those people were familiar enough with FishWithTrish to show that they read the blog.

Craig

ExPatMatt said...

Prof,

Thanks for the reply. Let me know if you feel I've unfairly paraphrased your evidences...

1. The Bible exists and is relatively unchanged from its original incarnation.

So are many other religious texts - I don't see how that is evidence for the Divinity of Christ. Just because lots of people believe in something, doesn't alter its truth value. I know you believe the Bible to be true, but claiming it as an axiom isn't going to get you anywhere with a non-believer.

I'm not trying to be difficult, I genuinely don't understand how you see the existence of the Bible as actual evidence of Jesus' Divinity.

2. Other references to Jesus.

These may lend supporting evidence to the proposal that Jesus was a real person, but it is clearly not evidence for his Divinity. As you say, you get that from the Bible.

So you're saying; 'the Bible says so, therefore it's true.'

You can't blame me for not accepting this as evidence for the Divinity of Jesus.

3. People have died for what they believe to be true.

Yep, that's been true of virtually every religion in the history of mankind. How does that provide any evidence that Jesus was Divine?

You talk about Christ being raised and so on, but those are stories within the Bible, so you're back to saying the Bible is true because you believe the Bible to be true.

Unsurprisingly I'm not convinced; can you blame me?

Regards,

Matt

ExPatMatt said...

Craig,

I guess I just like to have a bit of faith in people. It's often misplaced, but I'd rather give people the benefit of the doubt than assume there's a horde of evil-doers out there just itching to unleash their petty insults.

Each to their own I guess!

Cheers,

Matt

Taxandrian said...

Trish,

Whenever criticizing non-believers; never forget that you're the one who worships a God that kills babies.

Cheers,
Tax

Fish with Trish said...

Ryan Murphy said, "What if that soul doesn't have oxygen to breath?"

Then they'd better repent and trust in Christ right away!

stranger.strange.land said...

Taxandrian said...

Whenever criticizing non-believers; never forget that you're the one who worships a God that kills babies.

Cheers,
Tax
Tax,

Whenever criticizing God, never forget that He is the one who gave you life (started when you were a baby, right?) and although you have sinned and rebelled against Him, He offers you eternal life now, because of what His Son did on the cross.

Craig

stranger.strange.land said...

ExPatMatt.

Call me "overly cautious" but I just gave my opinion. Anyway,it's Trisha's call.

Craig

p.s.(I don't think it is a "horde".)

Roger Bennett said...

So many issues, so little time … Here’s what I can do for now, but I should mention that there are HUNDREDS of additional strong evidences and arguments; the cumulative effect is overwhelming for any objective seeker. (By the way, I’m going to have to take a few days off from this blog; I’ll check back next Thursday.)

Quasar: since you clearly believe in an old Earth, I recommend www.reasons.org for a multitude of scientific and philosophical evidences. A good web article on the fine-tuning is here: http://www.reasons.org/resources/publications/facts-faith/2002issue08#anthropic_principle_a_precise_plan_for_humanity

The “fine-tuning of the universe” refers not to the probability for life, but to the probability of even one habitable planet like Earth coming into existence by random processes (see the book “Rare Earth” by Peter Ward and Donald Brownlee, and the books “The Creator and the Cosmos” and “Creation As Science” by Hugh Ross).

ALL reputable astronomers now believe in this “apparent” fine-tuning of the universe. Dr. Hugh Ross (a PhD astronomer who believes in an old Earth and universe) has stated about this: “In all my conversations with those who do research on the characteristics of the universe, and in all my readings of articles or books on the subject, not one person denies the conclusion that somehow the cosmos has been crafted to make it a fit habitat for life. Astronomers by nature tend to be independent and iconoclastic. If an opportunity for disagreement exists, they will seize it. But on the issue of the fine-tuning or careful crafting of the cosmos, the evidence is so compelling that I have yet to hear of any dissent.” (Ross, The Creator and the Cosmos, p. 160)

As every physicist knows, the weak nuclear force causes an atom to undergo decay. But that’s not the point; as the space-time theorems of general relativity reveal, not only was matter and energy created at the beginning of the universe (assuming that you accept the scientific model), but our space and time dimensions were created as well. This means that the Cause of the universe is transcendent to it—which is exactly how the Bible describes God (plus He is also immanent). If you add to this factor the overwhelmingly-evident fine-tuning, you have an INTELLIGENT Cause.

As to “primitive” life, see the book by Dr. Ralph Muncaster, “A Skeptic’s Search for God.” In it, he calculates the probability of a single primitive bacterium coming into existence at ANY time in a 15-billion-year time span, PURELY on the basis of getting a 100% chiral excess for 10,000 left-handed amino acids and 100,000 nucleotides with right-handed sugars. This hypothetical bacterium he uses thus has an absolutely-MINIMAL number of amino acids and nucleotides. His results: the probability of even ONE such bacterium coming into existence in 15 billion years is 10 to the minus 300 millionth power, even if you throw in all the baryons in the observable universe as possible reactants! I hope you know that every naturalistic so-called “solution” to the homochirality problem has failed miserably when the details are examined, though, on the surface, some look good.

Extremophiles survive at about 350 degrees Celsius; the late heavy bombardment is theorized to heat the Earth’s surface to several THOUSAND degrees, down to as much as 200 kilometers below the Earth’s surface! Replicator-like molecules could not have survived if it occurred as theorized. For more, see the article “Some Like It Hot” at http://www.reasons.org/some-it-hot%E2%80%94-first-life-did-not

There are over 300 Bible prophecies which predicted many SPECIFIC facts about Christ’s birth, life, death, AND resurrection—all in the Old Testament, written hundreds of years BEFORE Christ’s birth, as the Septuagint demonstrates. The probability that ALL of them would be fulfilled by chance is ridiculously remote. When confronted with the specifics, it’s absurd to think this way. Read Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 and tell me who YOU think they refer to! In addition, Daniel 9 predicts the year of the Messiah’s first coming. Remember, these passages are all in the Septuagint, translated about 250 BC.

About Christ’s divinity: I have another book to recommend: “Who Moved the Stone?” Years ago, Frank Morrison went to Palestine to do firsthand research and write a book disproving Christ’s resurrection. But the evidence he found was so compelling, he became a Christian! The first chapter of his book is titled “The Book that Refused to Be Written.”

[1] Logic Lad said “my impression that there is very little in the way of evidence outside the bible of the existence of Jesus, there is some mention of a religious leader that may have been jesus but that is about it, if you can tell me about better sources that would be great.”

The fact that Jesus of Nazareth existed is not doubted by any serious scholar; there are at least 19 non-Christian writers of the first and second centuries who have verified Christ’s historicity, such as Josephus, Tacitus, Pliny the Younger, and Celsus.

[2] Logic Lad stated that the Bible “has been changed many times since the original manuscripts where penned, It has been edited, reinterpreted and translated many times.” This is a gross exaggeration to the point of being utter fantasy! Our modern English versions are one-step translations from the Hebrew (in the Old Testament) or from the Greek (in the New Testament) to English.

About manuscript copies: if you wrote a letter and gave it to ten people to copy, it’s possible that all of them would make one or several mistakes. If you then lost the original, you could easily recover it because each person would most likely not make the SAME mistake or mistakes. Because of an abundance of manuscripts, textual scholars have recovered 99.1 percent of the New Testament, and the 0.1 percent remaining (that’s questionable) doesn’t change any major OR minor Bible doctrine! We therefore have 100% of the original doctrinal teaching of the New Testament!

[3] The Bible isn’t true because “the Bible is true;” in case of the New Testament, there are very sound reasons for dating almost the entire New Testament to before 70 AD and some of Paul’s letters to within 16 years after the crucifixion. In particular, the creed found in First Corinthians 15:3-8 has been traced by both conservative AND liberal scholars to within 2 to at most 8 years after Christ’s crucifixion! A legend needs at least TWO generations to develop; this is clearly insufficient time.

Why? Suppose I told you that President Reagan performed miracles, healed the sick, raised the dead, and was raised from the dead himself and is now alive physically! No one today would believe this, because there are still too many people alive today who know full well what President Reagan did do and didn’t do! This reasoning applies to the New Testament: Christ’s disciples proclaimed His miracles AND resurrection shortly after His crucifixion. If Christ hadn’t performed the miracles, NO ONE would have believed the disciples and consequently become a Christian, a Christ follower. Yet many did believe, to the extent that the Christian Church virtually exploded in Palestine and in many provinces of the Roman Empire, as verified by historians. This would have been utterly impossible if Christ hadn’t actually performed miracles!

[4] Christ’s miracles and resurrection cannot be compared to Mohammed’s so-called miracles (like trees saluting him as he walked by). Legends about Mohammed’s miracles arose only 100 to 200 years AFTER his death (enough time for a legend to develop), and NO ONE claims that Mohammed was raised from the dead!

[5] The second-century Jewish rabbis (who considered themselves Christ’s enemies) stated that Jesus of Nazareth was killed for “misleading” the people and performing “sorcery”—this is a clear albeit oblique reference to the fact that Christ was healing people and performing miracles. They also stated that Christ’s disciples were able to heal the sick in His name, which, by the way, is what Christ TOLD them they could do! Also, several non-Christian historians (Josephus and some Roman historians) stated that Christ was reported to have performed miracles and that His disciples believed He had risen from the dead.

Historians regard enemy testimony as extremely compelling; an enemy doesn’t compliment his foe unless the compliment is true. Both the non-Christian Romans and the non-Christian Jews considered Christ as their enemy; therefore, Roman and Jewish historians told the truth about Christ, about His disciples, and about their claims.

[6] Josephus and other historians stated that many of the disciples and other early Christians were martyred for their faith—killed without recanting. People are willing to die for what they BELIEVE is true, but they’re NOT willing to die for what they KNOW is a lie. Suicide bombers DON’T die for what they KNOW is a lie; they die for what they BELIEVE to be true, even though it’s actually a lie!

This is cogent evidence because the disciples KNEW FIRSTHAND whether or not Christ had risen from the dead, whether the resurrection was true or not! And since many of them were killed while refusing to renounce Christ (which WOULD have saved their lives), they knew firsthand that Christ had INDEED risen from the dead! (See “Fox’s Book of Martyrs.”)

[7] John testified that, on the cross, Christ’s chest was pierced with a spear (by a Roman soldier), and that both blood and water came out. This proved that death had already occurred (because blood was separating into serum and red corpuscles) OR ELSE, if somehow He had still been alive, piercing His chest with a spear SO THAT an abundant quantity of blood and serum came out—this surely would have killed Him! Thus, Christ really died; He didn’t “swoon,” besides which, there are multiple other problems with the “swoon” theory, such as “Who Moved the Stone?” Frank Morrison goes into great detail in his book.

[8] The fact that Christ had been raised turned the disciples from a bunch of cowards into bold and fearless preachers of the resurrection! Only the reality of the resurrection can explain this!

[9] Since Christ rose from the dead, this establishes that He is who He said He is—the Son of God!

There are many more evidences; I again recommend the book “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist” by Norman Geisler and Frank Turek. I’ll check this blog next week.

ExPatMatt said...

So Roger, what you're saying is; we should all worship Ronald Reagan?

What a strange religion you have!

;)

Taxandrian said...

stranger.strange.land said:

Tax,

Whenever criticizing God, never forget that He is the one who gave you life (started when you were a baby, right?) and although you have sinned and rebelled against Him, He offers you eternal life now, because of what His Son did on the cross.

Craig
So Craig, you are telling me that a God that kills babies just to make a point will offer me eternal life?

Ummm....since when are genocidal baby-killers trustworthy? Do you think a God that slaughters children will keep himself to a promise he has made to you in a book? Do you think you can keep him to that promise? Really?

Thanks but no thanks...I'm not into worshipping baby-killers.

stranger.strange.land said...

@Taxandrian

I'm not sure that those babies did not go straight into the arms of a loving heavenly father. If that is the case, it would sure beat growing up and dying in the numberless sins they would have accumulated.

Speculative, to be sure, but I don't think the Bible rules it out. Besides it would be in keeping with tender heart of the God I have come to know.

Of course, for those who do not yet know God, that side of Him remains unseen. They only know His anger against them for their sins.

Craig

The Murphy's said...

Craig,

"If that is the case, it would sure beat growing up and dying in the numberless sins they would have accumulated."

Are you serious with that comment?

Ryan

BathTub said...

And by killing those babies and saving them from a life of sin God provides us with an example of his infinite love.

stranger.strange.land said...

@The Murphy's & Bath Tub

Note, my words were "I'm not sure..." and "if that is the case..." and "speculative."

If you want a statement that you can nail me on, here's one: I believe that God has ordained everything that comes to pass. Everything He has done in history is first, for His glory, and second, for humankind's happiness."

There you go.

Craig

BathTub said...

If you believe that, and still think God is loving, then that's quite disturbing.

stranger.strange.land said...

I expect that it would be disturbing to anyone who, following after our first parents, have arrogated the right to determine what is good and evil to themselves.

No traitor is comfortable with the thought that another has sovereign authority over him, and their ultimate destiny is in His hands.

It was disturbing to me too. Because I still have sin, it continues to disturb me at times.

But still, God loves the world (John 3:16) and all people are within that scope of God's love. God especially loves His "elect". They are those who will eventually constitute the "Bride of Christ." Revelation 21 and 22.

Craig

get_education said...

Evidence for atheism?

It is enough to find one atheist to conclude that there is atheism.

If there was no God there would be no atheists?

That sounds more like a form of rhetoric than an argument. It convinces nobody but those who, instead of logic use ... rhetoric.

Anyway ...

Taxandrian said...

stranger.strange.land said:

...If that is the case, it would sure beat growing up and dying in the numberless sins they would have accumulated.More even: if that is the case, every abortion doctor would be a hero. After all, they send children straight to heaven, which 'would sure beat growing up and dying in the numberless sins they would have accumulated'. Maybe they themselves will burn for it eternally in Hell, but isn't that the biggest sacrifice anyone can bring?

They only know His anger against them for their sins.It never ceases to amaze me how christians characterize atheists and atheism to fit their arguments.
Just to make one thing clear: atheists are just as angry with your God as you are angry with, say, Zeus or Odin.
Hopes this makes things clear.

BathTub said...

get_education, if there were no Theists, there would be no Atheists. Existence of a God is not a prerequisite for it having believers.

stranger.strange.land I figured you would miss my point there. But you just said that every Rape, Murder, Molestation, Torture, etc, was ordained by God. That you could a) believe that b) believe that that same God is a loving God, is what is very disturbing.

stranger.strange.land said...

@Taxandrian

I said, "If that is the case, it would sure beat growing up and dying in the numberless sins they would have accumulated."

Tax said...More even: if that is the case, every abortion doctor would be a hero. After all, they send children straight to heaven..."

Now, how did I know that somebody would come up with that?

Actually, not any more a hero than Judas, or even Satan. Their evil intentions and deeds were used by God for His ultimate good ends.

Craig

Reynold said...

Roger BennetThere are over 300 Bible prophecies which predicted many SPECIFIC facts about Christ’s birth, life, death, AND resurrection—all in the Old Testament, written hundreds of years BEFORE Christ’s birth, as the Septuagint demonstrates. The probability that ALL of them would be fulfilled by chance is ridiculously remote. When confronted with the specifics, it’s absurd to think this way. Read Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 and tell me who YOU think they refer to! In addition, Daniel 9 predicts the year of the Messiah’s first coming. Remember, these passages are all in the Septuagint, translated about 250 BC.Look at the Jews for Judaism and the Messiah Truth websites. Those, and others like them, which are set up by Judaic scholars show that none of the "messianic prophecies" you speak of, including Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 match up with "Jesus" when they're taken in context.

Quasar said...

Hey Roger.


You spent quite some time on fine-tuning, so I'll respond to it first.

First point: we don't have the first clue how robust life is. The robustness of life, as calculated based on life-as-we-know-it, is the absolute minimum. It could easily be a whole heap larger.

Second point: it is possible to attempt to calculate the probabilities of life in a universe like ours (although we have to make a rather rediculous number of guesses for many unknown variables, which gives plenty of leeway to, shall we say, exaggerate the results). However, it is impossible to know how many universes there are. Therefore, any calculated possibility of life in reality is another absolute minimum, based on a single universe. This makes it useless.

Third point: Reasons to Believe. Just in case you think I was exaggerating when I said a rather rediculous number of things had to be assumed when making calculations, take a look at this: http://www.reasons.org/resources/apologetics/design_evidences/2001_probabilities_for_life_on_earth.shtml.

My original response (I was feeling rather sarcastic at the time): Isn't it amazing! Who would have thought that there was only a 10% chance that "mass of Neptune" would fall into the required range for life to exist on earth? Or that the quantity of decomposer bacteria, mycorrhizal fungi and nitrifying microbes in the soil would influence the chances of life existing? Or that there was only a 0.2% chance that the "mass of body colliding with primordial Earth" would fall into allowable ranges?The simple fact is that although the universe falls into allowable ranges for life as we know it, we by definition can't predict for life as we don't know it, we don't know how many universes there are and we don't know enough information about this universe or life to make any valid probabilities.


Secondly, abiogenesis:

I highly recommend Lies, d*mned lies, statistics, and probability of abiogenesis calculations, available on the TalkOrigins archive.

Dr. Ralph Muncaster's calculation seems to fall into many of the traps outlined in that article.

In addition, the homochirality problem is specifically addressed in another article on the TalkOrigins archive, namely: The Origin of Life, by Albrecht Moritz.

However, abiogenesis is an ongoing and relatively new field of research, and it's hypotheses are very mutable. Further study may solve problems with the current models. Claiming supernatural intervention just because we're having trouble solving a problem hardly seems scientific.

I'm reading your sources on the late-heavy bombardment, and doing a bit of research myself: I'll provide my thoughts at a later date.

Taxandrian said...

@stranger.strange.land:

Thanks for proving my point. You just gave another reason not to believe in or worship God.

The Murphy's said...

Taxandrian:

I agree,I wouldn't believe in that God either, but thats not the God I worship, nor the one found in the bible, its the one according to Calvinism and Reformed Theology.

Ryan

stranger.strange.land said...

Taxandrian said...

"Thanks for proving my point. You just gave another reason not to believe in or worship God."

I think I gave a true representation of God. No one wants to believe in or worship him until God draws them to himself. Unless one is born again by a monergistic, unilateral act of God, he cannot see or enter into the kingdom of God.

Craig


Craig

stranger.strange.land said...

The Murphy's said...
Taxandrian:

I agree,I wouldn't believe in that God either, but thats not the God I worship, nor the one found in the bible, its the one according to Calvinism and Reformed Theology.
.

Uh, oh! My cover has been blown. Tell me, Ryan. Was it a careless word that I let slip in a comment? Or did you just click on my profile?

Seriously Ryan, you don't think that the old "problem of evil in the world" is adequately solved in the Biblical doctrine of Providence?

Craig.

The Murphy's said...

stranger.strange.land said:

"Seriously Ryan, you don't think that the old "problem of evil in the world" is adequately solved in the Biblical doctrine of Providence?"

Don't you mean the Reformed doctrine/view of Providence. I believe in providence, just not in the Reformed view.


Ryan

BathTub said...

Excellent, how about the Abrahamic Religion Adherents go away to a conference, agree on a theology first, THEN try and convince the non-believers that their Theology is the ONE TRUE RELIGION.

stranger.strange.land said...

The Murphy's said...

"Don't you mean the Reformed doctrine/view of Providence. I believe in providence, just not in the Reformed view."

Why?

stranger.strange.land said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jason and Vanessa said...

Ryan (The Murphy's),

You said:

"...thats not the God I worship, nor the one found in the bible, its the one according to Calvinism and Reformed Theology."Are you saying Calvinist/Reformed folk don't worship the God of the Bible?

jason d.

Jason and Vanessa said...

BathTub,

You said:

"Excellent, how about the Abrahamic Religion Adherents go away to a conference, agree on a theology first, THEN try and convince the non-believers that their Theology is the ONE TRUE RELIGION."I assume you are referring to the statements going back and forth between Ryan (The Murphy's) and stranger.strange.land.

I think it is safe to say that all the Christians here are on the same page (on all the major, vital Christian Doctrines, of course there are many secondary issues). Also note that Ryan (The Murphy's) has made a clear declaration on his blog that he does not follow Christianity: http://ryankellymurphy.blogspot.com/2009/04/christian-what-does-that-mean.html.

Either way, if it where two Christians arguing a finer point of doctrine that neither proves nor disproves anything.

Soli Deo Gloria!

jason d.

The Murphy's said...

Bathtub:

LOL! Nice comment! Unfortunately, that would result in World War III!

Or...I've got a better one, get all the "Christians" from the U.S. together for a conference and decide on one theology. Civil War!

On a serious note, if I were to leave these conversations, every "Christian" left would agree with each other, since they are all from the same background which is either Reformed theology or they are Rayidians (haha). I am not either of those, that is why you see me disagreeing with them on so much.

I am sure though that we would all agree that we follow Jesus and that He is our Lord.

I wouldn't try to convince any atheist that my theology is better, I would try and convince them that there is this yearning inside each of us that is undeniable, and we can't put our finger on it, and I choose to believe that its not my belly rumbling(ha), but it is this yearning for God.

BathTub said...

The simple point then is.

If you can't agree why should I think you have the truth?

Jason and Vanessa said...

Bathtub,

you said...

"The simple point then is.

If you can't agree why should I think you have the truth?"
Christianity is not true because Trish or I or anyone else agree 100% on the same thing.

This could easily be turned around,...do all atheist agree 100%? Just compare the books of Dawkins or Hitchens or whomever. Because they don't agree 100% doesn't mean it isn't true.

Further more, we Christians do agree on what we call "essential matters", that there is one God, existing in 3 persons, God sent His only Son, born of a virgin, He (Jesus) lived the perfect life, died on the cross for sinners, and rose from the dead 3 days later. And all those who would repent and put their trust (or faith) in Jesus will be saved.

Other things that Christians disagree about (what we call "secondary issues") are just that,...secondary issues. some of them just deal with how and to whom we baptize or give communion to. some such deal with a 7 year difference on when Christ will return,ect...

Those are secondary issues because the main one is what concerns the Gospel, the Bible tells us that this is of first importance, that Jesus Christ lived, died, and rose again, according to the Scriptures.

That is why you can believe it even though Christians differ on secondary issues.

Jason and Vanessa said...

Ryan (The Murphy's)

I know you don't like boxes, so why do you lump "everyone" on here as "Reformed"? How do you know what everyone is? There may be some, but not all of us here are Reformed.

Also, this is not the place for in house debate, Trish has setup this blog as a way to equip Christians to evangelize and to witness to the lost.

I would suggest CARM.org or other forums if you want to debate Reformed theology.

Sola's Christas,

jason d.
(1 Peter 4:16)

The Murphy's said...

Bathtub:

Good question. Your question is very prophetic and "the church" nationally should be asking itself that question.

I also know that I'm not perfect, but my imperfection doesn't reflect God, who's perfect. The only way I can reflect God is in love, truth, justice, peace, grace, mercy, etc...

I would've figure that you'd like to hear that someone(like myself) that calls themselves a follower of Christ doesn't have it all together, but is still learning and following in faith. I would suspect most atheist might admit the same???? Please correct me if I am wrong.

I would suspect you are a constant learner as well as myself. Becoming a person of faith in God doesn't negate learning nor knowledge of any kind. To do so would be brainwashing or some sort or escapist mentality. So I would hope you don't think I am just some unintelligent, uneducated, brainwashed theist.

What I am trying to say is that I take the bible very seriously as my standard for truth, and I would direct anyone that is at least open to learning to it as well. Really that is all I have to give you as far as truth about a relationship with God goes. I might disagree with some believers here, but that doesn't negate God. He stands sovereign outside of all our little earthly bickering about theology.

Thanks for your honest question. Its one I take very seriously.

The Murphy's said...

Trish:

Suggestion: You should follow your comment rules for everyone, as Jason posted a web link. Do atheist get to post web links? Honest question, not trying to be jerky at all. Please understand.

"3. Any comments that include website links will not be published. (Since we are unable to fully explore every web site, the inclusion of a url may mean we choose not to publish your otherwise wonderful comment. If your web site is important to you, we suggest you include it in your personal profile)."

-Ryan

The Murphy's said...

Jason:

Please refer me to Trishs rules about what this blog is supposed to be, and do you speak for Trish in all honesty?

Ryan

BathTub said...

Jason and Vanessa.

Atheists are not some collective with a collective 'message' or 'truth' to sell. People disagree all the time, the label only applies because we don't believe in some any sort of active deity.

Basically the entire atheist label, note I am specifying label, is a response to what your selling and it's 'well you just aren't very convincing'. The reasons why, and the outcomes of that are as individual and different as each person is.

Now on the 'Christian' side, you do claim to have 'the truth', an all knowing, all powerful God who has decided to give you 'the truth' to share with everyone else.

If only this same God could have seen that there would be disagreement over 'the truth', and present it in a clear unambiguous fashion.

Every little thing you argue over about the nature of God, the bible, Christ, Salvation, simply compounds how unconvincing the whole thing is.

Now it doesn't disprove it, but it doesn't help convince an outsider looking in that you know what you are talking about.

Besides you cannot be serious that 'Christians' agree on the fundamentals. People disagree on the nature of the Trinity. People disagree on the divinity of Christ. You fall into the 'no true Christian' issue here. You are drawing your own line in the sand 'the people who agree with me, they are the Christians'.

I think it's possible that Christianity is more fragmented than Islam is.

There is a poster on Rays blog, Mofi I think (I could have the name wrong) who simply doesn't believe in hell. Jesus is the son of god, died, resurrected, believe in him, be saved, go to heaven. But otherwise you die.

Is he a Christian?

Jason and Vanessa said...

Ryan (The Murphy's),

"Please refer me to Trishs rules about what this blog is supposed to be, and do you speak for Trish in all honesty?"Ok, there are no formal set rules, but do you really not know what is going on here? It seemed like you didn't so I just tried to make it clear.

Just go through this blog and you will see that some Christians are trying to answer unbelievers questions and you are coming in here arguing with all the believers. Bathtub is pointing this out, and I think it would make sense to take your issues to a in house debate somewhere else.

You can also read about Trish's site purpose here from her site: http://fishwithtrish.com/whyfish.php

And, to answer the 2nd part of your question in all honesty I say these things because I personally know Trish, I help her with this website, whether it be adding new pages, or fixing things, and I have setup several other blogs for her, and even helped her with some stuff on this one. I know and I think anyone that is a regular here knows what she is all about and what she is setting out to accomplish. If I recall you have made statements in the past that showed you did not know what you were accusing Ray & Trish of (http://fishwithtrish.blogspot.com/2009/03/interesting-comments_17.html?showComment=1237538640000#c1703861273998298541) and it seemed like everyone patiently explained it to you. So I think you know what I am talking about.

I can't stop you, but I don't see how what you are doing is beneficial or wise in how you keep fighting against Reformed theology. And based on your blog I am still not convinced that you understand it, based on the conclusions you come to about it.

So all in all I am just asking you to use wisdom and to check your motives, I don't know what they are, but this is just a suggestion. I am very sorry how you feel about Christianity and it grieves me that someone who used to teach me about Christianity will not glorify God in the name Christian (1 Peter 4)

Unashamedly Christian (knowing that the invisible church is one in Christ though the visible is full of hypocrites and wolves and divisions, ect...)

jason d.

Jason and Vanessa said...

BathTub,

Looks like we agree here:

"Now it doesn't disprove it, but it doesn't help convince an outsider looking in that you know what you are talking about."I understand that this is not convincing, but the Bible is clear that the gospel, the preaching of the cross IS foolishness to those who are perishing, why? So God can get all the credit, all the glory for saving us:

"For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, 'Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.'
- 1 Corinthians 1:18-31

That is what it is, that is why we preach the gospel and to some it is foolishness, and to others, it totally changes their life and it becomes wisdom.

You said:

Besides you cannot be serious that 'Christians' agree on the fundamentals. People disagree on the nature of the Trinity. People disagree on the divinity of Christ. You fall into the 'no true Christian' issue here. You are drawing your own line in the sand 'the people who agree with me, they are the Christians'.Those issues you listed above are some of the fundamentals, and you are correct, some people call themselves Christians that don't believe in the deity of Christ, but that is not Christian, and what I mean by that is that they are believing in "another" Jesus, not the Jesus of Scripture. And that is not a line that I draw, but that the God draws (through His Word [John 8, 1 John 2, ect,...)

You said:

I think it's possible that Christianity is more fragmented than Islam is.Perhaps, but again, that neither proves nor disproves it. That does show me though and reminds me that we Christians are not perfect, we fail all the time, and I do, and I wish I didn't, but that is why I daily need God to help me, to strive for unity, to put down my pride and to help me stop sinning, we need God daily. When the Bible tells us to repent and believe, these are both words that denote continuous action, meaning it is not a one time thing, I need to always be repenting whenever I sin and I need to keep on believing in God's gracious promises.

You said:

There is a poster on Rays blog, Mofi I think (I could have the name wrong) who simply doesn't believe in hell. Jesus is the son of god, died, resurrected, believe in him, be saved, go to heaven. But otherwise you die.

Is he a Christian?
I am not familiar with Mofi, but I understand your question. I don't believe a belief in Hell is essential for salvation, however I would ask Mofi, what God saved him from then? I think it is inconsistent for a Christian not to believe in Hell, when the Bible is clear on it, and this is what God saves us from, from sin, from Hell, from His wrath, ect...

I would also note here that God did warn us that in the "visible" church (that is the church we see with our eyes) that there would be many false teachers, false converts, wolves in sheeps clothing, hypocrites, ect... But we Christians do have unity still, for everyone who is saved (not just those who say they are Christian, but those who really are) we are all unified into Christ, into one church (we call this the "invisible" church cause it is spiritual and to not get it confused with those false teachers and false converts in the church we can see [the visible church]).

Hope that makes sense, I kinda just started typing and don't have the time right now to make sure I was clear, though I hope I was.

Thank you for your inquiry and feel free to ask me to clarify any points I made.

Soli Deo Gloria!

jason d.

Roger Bennett said...

Taxandrian: the statement that “God … kills babies” is an oversimplification. For instance, there are several instances in the Bible where God wanted babies PROTECTED from being killed! One clear example is found in Exodus chapter 1, where Pharaoh of Egypt ordered the Hebrew midwives to kill all male babies, but they refused, and God blessed them FOR their refusal to kill the babies! (Exodus 1:15-20) The Bible also makes it clear that God HATED the “sacrifice” (killing) of sons and daughters as sacrifices to idol gods, which was practiced by the Canaanites and Ammonites. (Leviticus 18:21; Deuteronomy 12:31; Jeremiah 7:31; 32:35)

This is an example of what God hated, of how the Ammonites sacrificed their babies to the idol Molech, as recounted by Francis Schaeffer: “According to one tradition there was an opening at the back of the brazen idol, and after a fire was made within it, each parent had to come and with his own hands place his firstborn child in the white-hot, outstretched arms of Molech. According to this tradition, the parent was not allowed to show emotion, and drums were beaten so that the baby’s cries could not be heard as the baby died in the arms of Molech.” (The Church at the End of the 20th Century by Francis Schaeffer, p. 126) God HATED this (Deuteronomy 12:31), and I believe He still hates the practice of slaughtering babies in abortion clinics!

Why then would God Himself kill babies, as with the firstborn of Egypt? (Exodus 12:29) Some have supposed “this was a judgment on the sins of the parents.” But in Ezekiel 18:20 & 32, God said that “The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him. … For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord.” (NIV)

What then explains this? Numbers 14:22-24, along with verses 28 to 31, indicate that God did not hold children and babies morally accountable; they are innocent or effectively-righteous in His eyes. Connecting this concept with Isaiah 57 gives us a clue. Isaiah 57:1 & 2 reads “The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death.” (NIV) In other words, some who die are taken away from the evil which would have come into their lives if they had lived; instead, they enter into peace. This would particularly be the case with babies, who are clearly innocent in God’s eyes. I suspect there are other reasons for this that God isn’t telling us, but I’m thankful; for what we DO know.

And there’s a more foundational point: we wouldn’t know that baby killing is wrong unless God had placed His moral law (sensibilities, standards) into every human heart — a clear indication that He wants babies preserved, and NOT killed! Paul said in Romans 2:14-15: “For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law … they show the work of the Law written in their hearts …” (NASB) In a universe without God (if such a one could exist), we would have no real moral sensibilities. Why? Random chance and natural processes won’t produce them.

You might say “even in an atheistic universe, society would agree on moral standards for its own preservation.” That could happen, but YOU would not feel morally outraged when someone else kills babies unless YOUR life was threatened or directly affected. Why feel upset at ANY moral crime if absolute (i.e., God-given) moral standards don’t exist? Morality then degenerates into whatever is convenient for the moment.

However, since you DO feel outraged at killing babies, this demonstrates that God has placed His moral law in your heart — a very precious gift indeed.

Roger Bennett said...

Reynold: anyone can rationalize away the most obvious truths if they choose to do so. It’s so astoundingly obvious that passages like Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 refer to Jesus that many Jewish people have read them and become Christians as a result! (See the “Jews for Jesus” website.) Even some Jewish rabbis admit that Isaiah 53 refers to Jesus because it’s so painfully obvious. Perhaps the “Jews for Judaism” organization was founded to “stop the leak,” because so many Jews were reading these passages and believing in Jesus! I’ve met several of them myself.

Also, the traditional Jewish interpretation, that the suffering servant of Isaiah 53 is the nation of Israel, fails on a number of points — AS you carefully take the passage in context! For instance, it’s stated plainly that the suffering servant is a MAN (Isaiah 53:3), that He was pierced and scourged (verse 5), and that He was “cut off out of the land of the living” (verse 8) — that is, He died. How could the nation of Israel be seen as a man who “poured out His soul unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors …”? (Verse 12)

You could say “this is all figurative of the nation of Israel.” But there’s nothing in the text itself to indicate this, PLUS God demands a spotless (i.e., sinless) sacrifice for sins. The suffering servant “had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth.” (Isaiah 53:9) And He is called “righteous” in verse 11. These things cannot be said of the nation of Israel; it was BECAUSE of their sins that God allowed them to be conquered, first by the Assyrians and secondly, the nation of Judah by the Babylonians. The nation of Israel of today is by and large secular; as a whole, they do not “love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” (Deuteronomy 6:5) Of course, I’m not saying that the Jews have been any more sinful than anyone else, for “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement …” (Romans 3:23-25, NIV)

Roger Bennett said...

Quasar: Dr. Muncaster’s calculation was simple and straightforward, based on the fact that there are only two chiral forms of amino acids and of Deoxyribose in DNA. This makes the calculation SO incredibly simple and easy to understand! Since no naturalistic mechanism exists for producing anything even remotely near a 100% chiral excess, and since 100% homochirality is required within the living cell, the probability for this occurring by chance in a 15-billion-year time span and WITH all the baryons in the observable universe (as possible reactants) is easily calculated, which again comes out to 10 to the minus 300 millionth power or one chance in 10 to the 300 millionth power!

In other words, it didn’t happen naturalistically! The probability of even ONE homochiral protein or DNA molecule forming is miniscule, to say nothing of the many required for a single cell! (Dr, Muncaster made a conservative estimate of a bare minimum of 10,000 left-handed amino acids or 100 functional protein chains, each with a few hundred amino acids, plus a bare minimum of 100,000 nucleotides with right-handed sugars, which would basically comprise a very primitive bacterium.) If it were complicated, I wouldn’t make reference to this, but the calculation is so VERY simple and straightforward; how can it be ignored?

Regardless of how you feel about the age of the universe or Earth, Dr. Ross is an experienced astronomer and HIS CALCULATIONS HAVE BEEN VERIFIED BY OTHER ASTRONOMERS, who agree that these hundreds of fine-tuned parameters exist! To avoid the fine-tuning, you need to throw much of the discipline of astronomy into the trash can! ALL REPUTABLE ASTRONOMERS ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THE UNIVERSE APPEARS FINE-TUNED! Are you willing to disregard the expert opinions of all reputable astronomers? I suggest it would be absurd to do so, which is why atheists wildly speculate about a multiverse.

About the multiverse: we don’t know if even one other universe exists besides our own. The renowned physicist Alan Guth considers the multiverse “speculation squared!” What’s the point of speculating? Our universe may be the only one; the multiverse is founded on assumptions built on other assumptions! And even if we postulate a multiverse, our observable universe appears designed because of the “Boltzmann Brain” argument: if we are all Boltzmann Brains, we’re certainly atypical (because our existence is not momentary), and atypicality implies design, which is confirmed by our observable universe APPEARING to be fine-tuned in order to allow for life and especially ADVANCED life to exist (which requires much greater fine-tuning).

Examples of fine-tuning: the electromagnetic force holds electrons in orbit around the nuclei of atoms and permits atoms to share electrons and form molecules which, of course, are necessary for all life. The electromagnetic coupling constant determines the strength of this force. Dr. Ross explained: “If the electromagnetic coupling constant were slightly smaller, no electrons would be held in orbits about nuclei. If it were slightly larger, an atom could not ‘share’ an electron orbit with other atoms. Either way, molecules, and hence life, would be impossible.” (Design and the Anthropic Principle)

The strong nuclear force is exquisitely fine-tuned so as to allow for life; this holds protons and neutrons together in the nuclei of atoms. Dr. Ross explained: “If the strong nuclear force were slightly weaker, multi-proton nuclei would not hold together. Hydrogen would be the only element in the universe. If this force were slightly stronger, not only would hydrogen be rare in the universe, but the supply of the various life-essential elements heavier than iron (elements resulting from the fission of very heavy elements) would be insufficient. Either way, life would be impossible.” (Design and the Anthropic Principle)

The most extreme example of this fine-tuning is that of the space-energy density or “self-stretching property of the universe,” that property of space itself that causes the universe to expand. This parameter has been adjusted to within one part in 10 to the 120th power in order that any life at all may exist within our universe! Dr. Ross has stated that “Its value cannot vary by more than one part in 10 to the 120th power and still allow for the kinds of stars and planets physical life requires.” (Anthropic Principle: A Precise Plan for Humanity)

The world-renowned mathematician Roger Penrose has commented that this fine-tuning may be as great as one part in 10 to the 240th power! (Penrose partnered with Stephen Hawking on the first of the space-time theorems of general relativity.) Here’s a powerful quote from page 159 of Dr. Ross’ book “The Creator and the Cosmos”:
“Hawking and Penrose’s colleague George Ellis made the following statement in a paper delivered at the Second Venice Conference on Cosmology and Philosophy:
‘Amazing fine-tuning occurs in the laws that make this [complexity] possible. Realization of the complexity of what is accomplished makes it very difficult not to use the word “miraculous” without taking a stand as to the ontological status of that word.’
Stephen Hawking himself concedes:
‘It would be very difficult to explain why the universe should have begun in just this way, except as the act of a God who intended to create beings like us.’
Cosmologist Edward Harrison makes this deduction:
‘Here is the cosmological proof of the existence of God—the design argument of Paley—updated and refurbished. The fine-tuning of the universe provides prima facie evidence of deistic design. Take your choice: blind chance that requires multitudes of universes or design that requires only one.… Many scientists, when they admit their views, incline toward the teleological or design argument.’”

Back to the space-energy density: if it were any smaller, the “universe would expand too slowly, resulting in unstable orbits and too much radiation.” Unstable orbits and higher radiation levels would result from stars being closer together; unstable orbits would create extreme temperature variations on planets within solar systems. And if the space-energy density was any larger, the “universe would expand too quickly for solar-type stars to form.” Matter would “spread apart” too quickly for gravity to attract enough matter together to form solar-type stars, and life requires a star close to the mass of our Sun.

Other parameters include the mass density of the universe, the weak nuclear force, the ratio of the electromagnetic force to the gravitational force, the ratio of electron mass to proton mass, and the ratio of neutron mass to proton mass.

In his 2004 version or article on “Probability for Life on Earth,” Dr. Ross calculated that, the probability of a life-support planet like Earth existing anywhere in the universe is 10 to the minus 304th power or one chance in 10 to the 304th power! After deducting the estimated 10 to the 22nd planets in the universe, the high improbability remains; there’s one chance in 10 to the 282nd power that even one Earth should exist in our universe! (They’re revamping their website and that article may not be up yet.)

This does not necessarily mean that another planet like Earth doesn’t exist somewhere else in the universe, but it does mean that we wouldn’t expect this to happen—if life-support planets formed on the basis of random chance or whatever you prefer to call it. I personally believe that God may have fined-tuned at least some of the other galaxies and solar systems, so that other “Earths” may well exist in the universe, but from the scientific data alone, this would appear very unlikely.

And I had in mind (perhaps I should have stated it plainly) that the design or fine-tuning is consistent with verses declaring that God created the earth and the heavens by His wisdom and understanding, as in Jeremiah 10:12 & 51:15: “It is He who made the earth by His power, who established the world by His wisdom, and by His understanding He stretched out the heavens.” (NASB) Similarly in Proverbs 3:19: “The LORD by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding He established the heavens.” (NASB, NKJV, NRSV, RSV, ESV) Since this fine-tuning is the last scenario we’d expect within a purely-naturalistic universe, we can thus infer, from a biblical perspective, that God foreknew what life required and made the appropriate adjustments in the laws of physics and in the physical parameters of our universe, of our galaxy, of our solar system, and of the Earth itself—so that plants, animals, and especially humans would find the Earth to be a pleasant environment in which to survive and thrive!

ExPatMatt said...

Yes but Roger, I don't see how any of that would lead you to believe that we should worship Ronald Reagan!

What a strange religion you have!

Regards,

;)

BathTub said...

Jason and Vanessa.

See I think you hit the key point there.

What exactly do you need to believe to be saved?

The Virgin Birth?

Jesus' divine parentage?

The Trinity?

The Resurrection?

I think it's an interesting question.

The Murphy's said...

Jason:

So you are saying an opposing point of view regarding "Christianity" isn't wanted?

Ryan

Jason and Vanessa said...

Ryan,

Read my last comment to get what I am saying. To be specific I am asking you if you think it is wise to use this section as a place to put people in box and bash Reformed theology.

Bathtub,

That is a very good question. Due to time constraints and because I want to be thorough with that answer I'll have to answer it later today (hopefully).

Soli Deo Gloria!

jason d.

BathTub said...

It was rhetorical. I didn't expect you or anyone to actually draw that line.

The Murphy's said...

Jason,

Sorry if it looks like I am bashing, I apologize. Since I assume everyone (believers) here primarily are reformed or WOTM, since Trish is reformed and WOTM, I wanted to bring another voice into the mix, as I don't agree with Calvinism and I don't agree with WOTM.

If you truly want these men and women to know Christ and His people, I think it would be a lie to say that we all agree all the time on everything. Thats just being real.

I have yet to see in these current conversations anyone try and actually show these men and women that aren't believers, how to be believers and connect with God. All I see is Ray style evangelism, and it ain't workin. Have you ever thought they might need something else?

Ryan

The Murphy's said...

BathTub:

That is a honest and sincere question that gets finally to the heart of the issue.

I would like to see how Trish, Jason, and Craig answer it.

Ryan

Jason and Vanessa said...

Ryan,

you said:

Since I assume everyone (believers) here primarily are reformed or WOTMDid you read my replies to you above? Again I say, many are not reformed, probably most if you look at the history of the entire blog.


you said:

I think it would be a lie to say that we all agree all the time on everything. Thats just being real.

I never said that, in fact I showed and explained alot of the differences, did you even read what I wrote?


you said:

I have yet to see in these current conversations anyone try and actually show these men and women that aren't believers, how to be believers and connect with God.Did you not read the Scriptures I posted? Have you really read all the comments on here? How are you coming to these conclusions?


you said:

All I see is Ray style evangelism, and it ain't workin. Have you ever thought they might need something else?
Can you point out in my comments here a "Ray style"? I can tell you that I am doing many things Ray wouldn't. "ain't workin"? So pragmatism is boss? How are you coming to these conclusions?

Jason and Vanessa said...

Bathtub,...I apologize, i thought you wanted to know, sorry I couldn't tell.

I would just point you to the Bible and show where it draws the lines.

The Murphy's said...

Jason,

I said not just Reformed BUT Way of The Master believers too.

Ryan

Jason and Vanessa said...

(still waiting for answers to the questions I asked)

The Murphy's said...

Jason said:

"Can you point out in my comments here a "Ray style"? I can tell you that I am doing many things Ray wouldn't. "ain't workin"? So pragmatism is boss? How are you coming to these conclusions?"

Fighting with atheist about evolution is Ray style. Have you read his blog recently? I come to this conclusion because it is cyclical, no "Christian" on this blog wants to budge on evolution and they don't want to hear what the evolutionist have to say. So, you tell me, how is it working?

Did I miss any questions?

Jason and Vanessa said...

Ryan,

Based on the conclusions you are coming to, I again have to ask, are you reading what I am writing?

Fighting with atheist about evolution is Ray style. Have you read his blog recently?Can you show me where I have brought up the topic of evolution here? I haven't at all. The conclusions you are coming to about me have no warrant and are false,...I don't know how else to put it.

...they don't want to hear what the evolutionist have to sayAnother blanket statement that is not true, have you read the responses and questions. People don't ask questions to the other side unless they want to hear from them.

...how is it working?I have done what you are accusing me NOT doing, that is showing people how to "connect" (as you say) with God. I can do no more but preach the Word, try to clear up any misunderstanding, pray and answer any questions or objections that will be raised. God's Word will do whatever He purposes for it to do, I put my faith in God and His promises:


“Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call upon him while he is near;
let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
- Isaiah 55:6-11

As I told the Atheist earlier in another comment on this post:

"For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, 'Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.'
- 1 Corinthians 1:18-31

Since therefore it remains for some to enter it (God's rest), and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, again he appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted,

“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts.”

For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on. So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God's rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.

Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
Jesus the Great High Priest

Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
- Hebrews 4:6-14

If you have problems with Ray go talk to him, but if he is a brother in Christ (as many are on here) then you and I are both to love him, regardless of these secondary issues:

By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.- 1 John 3:10

If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.- 1 John 4:20

The Murphy's said...

Jason,

First of all, I was never talking about you dude!

Second, who said I hate Ray, I just don't agree with him at all!!!

Ryan

Jason and Vanessa said...

Ryan,

You said:

First of all, I was never talking about you dude!That clears up everything. My apologies. I was simply thinking that a statement addressed specifically from you to me that used the word "you" in it was referring to me.

Next time you are not referring to me can you not use my name then say "you" as your address follows?

Second, who said I hate Ray, I just don't agree with him at all!!!First off, who said you hate him? I didn't, and I don't see anyone else who has. It is comments that those that lead me to believe you are not even reading the comments, especially the ones specifically addressed to you. I am trying my best to be transparent and very clear as to what I am saying, but you are somehow coming to conclusions about what we are saying and who we are that are simply not true.

The Murphy's said...

Jason,

Are you serious!!!
I was using you.... oh never mind you don't get it.

As far as hating Ray...DID you not put the below scripture on your last comment???? Is this not you trying to say dont hate Ray????

"If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.- 1 John 4:20"

Jason and Vanessa said...

Ryan,

Are you serious!!!
I was using you.... oh never mind you don't get it.
I learned in school that whenever someone starts a letter they write to whom it is for,...in all those accusations you did write my name.

I also learned that in that same case the author could use the name or just say "you" to refer to the same person. You (that is Ryan as addressed in this letter) both used my name and said you to be specific. I apologize if I took my name followed by "you" to refer to me.

Scripture is just a encouragement to keep up on the right track, not a accusation. If you want to know what I said read what I wrote.

Joe said...

It's a huge waste of time to go back and forth with atheist. The evidence is all around, period. We Christians need to boldly proclaim the Gospel. God does the drawing, He pricks the conscious, and He does the saving. Our mandate is to preach the word. Arguing with folk who are so smart (in their eyes) they could never be wrong is absurd. We give them the truth in love and compassion and leave the rest to God. We were never commanded to battle wits with people that think everything came from nothing.
Is not My word like fire? declares the Lord, "and like a hammer which shatters rock? Jer. 23:29