Tuesday, May 26, 2009

God, if you're real, show me a sign!

51 comments:

ExPatMatt said...

Wow, that guy stood there all day and all God could show him was the same thing that has happened there every day since the Earth started spinning. No wonder he's not impressed!

You know, you could keep everything the same but change the view to that of a village getting wiped out by malaria.

Or maybe someone's home getting destroyed by a tornado.

In fact, any natural act in the universe and you can claim that this is your God at work. But it is nothing more than a claim. Other religions can claim it's their god, materialists can claim it's just the natural world, doing its thing - all just claims.


By the way - is everyone without excuse? What are they without excuse about? That there is a god, who that god is? That Jesus died for our sins?

Because I can think of some pretty good excuses for some of those....

stranger.strange.land said...

O LORD, our Lord,
How majestic is Thy name in all the earth
! (Ps 8:9)

When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers,
The moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained;
What is man, that Thou dost take thought of him?
And the son of man, that Thou dost care for him
? (Ps 8:3-4)

O LORD, what is man, that Thou dost take knowledge of him?
Or the son of man, that Thou dost think of him?
Man is like a mere breath;
His days are like a passing shadow
.
(Ps 144:3-4)

Thus says the LORD, "Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches;
but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things," declares the LORD
. (Jer 9:23-24)


This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. (John 17:3)

Chris said...

ExPatMatt,

What's your excuse for not being proactive? The answer is in the context, vs. 18-23.

stranger.strange.land said...

ExPatMatt said...
"Wow, that guy stood there all day and all God could show him was the same thing that has happened there every day since the Earth started spinning. No wonder he's not impressed!"

The man in the cartoon is like most of us. We take advantage of God's daily provision for us, yet many of us have no sense of gratitude or appreciation.

Notice that the cartoon depicts a series of days. Each one that passes means one less day to live. If the guy (read: you and I) continues to the end without regarding his Creator, his sins, or the judgment to come, the last day will catch him unawares and unprepared. He will certainly be impressed by that day.

Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them.

And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.

And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds.

Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.

And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire
.
[Rev. 20:11-15] NASB

Mike and Lizette's Travels and Thoughts said...

Every day is a is a sign that he is real.

ExPatMatt said...

Chris,

What?


Craig,

I get what the cartoon is saying, really I do. But it only works on the assumption that you [the dude in the cartoon] already believe there's a God.

If you believe there's a god (any god), then yes, taking the gift of life / existence of the universe / wonders of Creation etc for granted is very foolish.

But if you do NOT believe in any gods and you're asking for a sign; zero change from the norm is not going to cut it.
You'd presume that the guy knew he was facing East and that the Sun would appear to rise in the morning - whether he asked for a sign or not - so in asking for a sign, I'm thinking that he was looking for something unexpected.

Now, I know the whole deal about us [unsaved mortals] not being in any position to demand that God reveal Himself for our personal edification, that's fine (although it would be an extremely useful witness, don't you think?). But claiming that the normal day-to-day functioning of the world counts as a specific sign in response to a specific request is just wishful thinking.

Again, you can claim that any given natural occurrence is proof of your God, but you're only in a position to do that because you believe in Him already (or know Him personally, depending on your take on it).

Do you really expect non-believers to go; "Oh! Sunrises! How could I have been so foolish? Clearly the God of the Bible was behind this all along. Look, it even says so in the Bible!"

I hope you can see where I'm coming from.

Regards,

Reynold said...

Chris said...ExPatMatt,

What's your excuse for not being proactive? The answer is in the context, vs. 18-23.
 
For one thing, knowledge of "God" wont' do anything. It's knowledge and acceptance of "Christ" that's supposed to "save" you. Where in nature do you find anything with the label "Jesus Christ"?

Chris said...

ExPatMatt - What don't you get?

Reynold - Wrong, it's repentance and trust in the completed work of Jesus the Messiah that saves you.

Romans 1 has nothing to do with salvation being made known in nature. It has to do with God's eternal power and deity being clearly perceived through creation. It demonstrates that God is justified in helping those who suppress that understanding suppress it even more.

stranger.strange.land said...

Thanks Matt.

Sure, plenty of times I have wished that God would give a supernatural sign to someone I am witnessing to, or even to some recalcitrant atheist on a blog; although no one in particular comes to mind right now.

I think more often I wish and pray for a spiritual boost for myself to get me out of my doldrums. (Suspending me over the pit of Hell for a minute, and then letting me have a glimpse of Heaven...Yes! That would do it.)

But I can't presume to be wiser or more clever than God, who has chosen to work through mundane methods.

Besides, I am reminded that even when Jesus was here, his miracles often did not produce converts.

But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: John 12:37

Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.
But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men,
And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man
.John 2:23-25

[Btw, I was wrong about the cartoon depicting successive days. I interpreted the clear sky and the cloudy sky as different days.]

Craig

stranger.strange.land said...

Reynold said, (in addresing Chris's comment)...

"For one thing, knowledge of "God" won't do anything. It's knowledge and acceptance of "Christ" that's supposed to "save" you. Where in nature do you find anything with the label "Jesus Christ"?"

Reynold.
Good response. I totally agree with you.

Craig

ExPatMatt said...

Chris,

I don't get what you're asking, what it's in relation to or why you're asking me - could you clearly spell out what you're actually asking?
(maybe I'm just being dense!)

You did say;

"It demonstrates that God is justified in helping those who suppress that understanding suppress it even more.".

That just seems mean!

Chris said...

ExPatMatt writes: I don't get what you're asking, what it's in relation to or why you're asking me - could you clearly spell out what you're actually asking?
(maybe I'm just being dense!)
My apologies, I didn't realize you didn't know what I was responding to. It was your first comment to this post where you wrote:

By the way - is everyone without excuse? What are they without excuse about? That there is a god, who that god is? That Jesus died for our sins? You write: That just seems mean!Why? He's only giving them over to their own lusts... Likewise those who soften their hearts he will help soften further.

ExPatMatt said...

Ok Chris, I see what you're referencing, but I still don't get what you meant by;

"What's your excuse for not being proactive? ".

Proactive about what? I don't believe there is a God, there's nothing to be proactive about.

The excuses I was thinking of were, for example;

Aztec teenager in the year 1000. Never heard of the Bible, never heard of God, never heard of Jesus.

He has a pretty good excuse for not identifying God's invisible attributes based on looking at the world around him, no?

Stuff like that was what I was thinking of.

And I said it was mean because, well, it is!

If you're a teacher and you have a student who doesn't want to learn, do you follow God's example and put him off the subject altogether, or do you go out of your way to try and reach him by any means necessary because you know that, in the end, he'll thank you for it?

Many of the people who you would describe as having 'hardened hearts' towards the Lord are that way because of various experiences in their lives (things that were out of their control) and so it is little fault of their own that they think this way - and then God compounds the problem, making sure they end up in Hell.

You'd think it was mean too, if you didn't believe that God is incapable of meaness!

Regards,

Chris said...

@ExPatMatt, you wrote:

Ok Chris, I see what you're referencing, but I still don't get what you meant by;

"What's your excuse for not being proactive? ".

Proactive about what? I don't believe there is a God, there's nothing to be proactive about.
Your questions only demonstrated you hadn't actually read the passage in context before posing them.

In regards to the Aztec, you're missing the point. Looking at Creation demonstrates there is a Creator. If we recognize that, then Creation demonstrates to us that the Creator is powerful and distinct from (holy, divine, eternal, outside of) His Creation. That's all those verses state in order to lead up to Chapter 2. No more, no less - the questions you are posing presume or read into more than what the text says.

You write: Many of the people who you would describe as having 'hardened hearts' towards the Lord are that way because of various experiences in their lives (things that were out of their control) and so it is little fault of their own that they think this way - and then God compounds the problem, making sure they end up in Hell.Again, you are reading into things that just aren't there. You're presuming those have hardened their hearts through no fault of their own and THAT's not being talked about in this passage. Further, it's not about who I think has a hard heart...

There's a big distinction all throughout the Scriptures between those whom God has compassion and mercy on versus those He doesn't. And all throughout he requests nothing from even the hardest but to repent and trust in Him.

It's not 'mean' - it's his kindness and severity that's being contrasted in the epistle.

Reynold said...

Reynold - Wrong, it's repentance and trust in the completed work of Jesus the Messiah that saves you. 
That's what I meant; it's the same thing. But you miss the point. You can't tell who the "correct god" to worship is by looking at nature.

Romans 1 has nothing to do with salvation being made known in nature. It has to do with God's eternal power and deity being clearly perceived through creation. 
But it doesn't say which god now, does it? If you don't know which one to worship, than the knowledge that "some" god made everything is useless. Counterproductive, actually.

It demonstrates that God is justified in helping those who suppress that understanding suppress it even more. 
That makes no sense. If one believes in the wrong "god" then he's justified in confusing you even more? Doesn't that go against the purpose of him sending his "son" down in the first place?

Chris said...

That's what I meant; it's the same thing. But you miss the point. You can't tell who the "correct god" to worship is by looking at nature.

It really isn't the same thing, but that's another discussion. This is another case of reading into what isn't there. All that is being said here is that by default you should be able to look at creation and see there is a Creator and that creation can tell you a few things about that Creator. It has nothing to do with having to sort through the millions of gods that people have made up to figure out who the 'correct' one is. Creation testifies to Him from the beginning.

But it doesn't say which god now, does it? If you don't know which one to worship, than the knowledge that "some" god made everything is useless. Counterproductive, actually.

Again, this is presuming people look at creation and now have to sort through millions of gods that others have made in their own image. But contrary to what you are claiming, It does give you clues into who The Creator is, specifically, 1. that He is eternally powerful and 2. that He is distinct from, outside of, holy, apart from (deity) the creation. That's it. Nothing more, nothing less. Those who accept that are in good shape. Those who intentionally suppress it, aren't. It has nothing to do with whether or not dad hurt your growing up. It has nothing to do with whether or not your next door neighbor is worshiping a cow. Look around, there must be a Creator. That Creator must be eternally powerful. That Creator must be distinct from His creation.

That makes no sense. If one believes in the wrong "god" then he's justified in confusing you even more? Doesn't that go against the purpose of him sending his "son" down in the first place?

Again, all that's being discussed here are those who intentionally, deliberately deny the Creator even though his divine attributes have been revealed to them plainly.

It says nothing about revealing God's redemptive plan on mankind through creation.

Reynold said...

So what, Chris? "Knowing" that there is a "creator" does nothing for you unless you know it's the "right" one. You are not in "good shape" if you "know" that there is a "creator" unless you somehow choose the right one.

As for looking around, sorry, but the more that people have learned about the world and the universe around us, the more that the biblical creator is refuted. The earth and universe are far older than the bible says, and the evidence for natural selection shows that the "creation" did not appear all within the same "creation week" a few thousand years ago.

That doesn't necessarily rule out a creator, but it does rule out yours.

Reynold said...

Chris, what "divine attributes" of the "creator" does "creation" show us, exactly? Can you explain what they are without resorting to the bible?

I remember a story of some biologist (apparently J.B.S. Haldane) being asked that question and his answer was along the lines of: "an inordinate fondness for beetles"...

Chris said...

So what, Chris? "Knowing" that there is a "creator" does nothing for you unless you know it's the "right" one. You are not in "good shape" if you "know" that there is a "creator" unless you somehow choose the right one.

Again, we're not talking about salvation - it's the shape of the heart that this passage discusses. It has nothing to do with choosing anything. It's simply a matter of being able to come to some conclusions by looking at creation.

Chris, what "divine attributes" of the "creator" does "creation" show us, exactly? Can you explain what they are without resorting to the bible?

Reynold, do you see how bizarre this question is in light of the discussion? In light of the comic that the post is centered around?

Romans 1:18-32 is a stinging indictment upon those who have deliberately rejected, not just a creator, but The Creator.

The whole point of the passage is that you don't need the Bible, or anything or anyone else for that matter, to simply deduce a few things about The Creator from looking at His creation.

Anyone can look at a few pieces of artwork from a particular artist and come to a few reasonable conclusions about who the artist is, what kind of command he or she has over their work, the style they like, even past influences and that the artist isn't the art itself.

Likewise it's only reasonable that I can look at the world around me and see that the Creator of the universe is infinitely creative, powerful and sovereign.

ExPatMatt said...

Chris,

"Likewise it's only reasonable that I can look at the world around me and see that the Creator of the universe is infinitely creative, powerful and sovereign.".

Only if you assume there is a Creator in the first place.


You use the example of art. Well, what if you hung up, next to some of Pollock's more interesting pieces, some panels that were just lying around on the floor and got paint on them accidentally; would you be able to tell the difference if nobody told you? Probably not.

So, you'd be there inferring stuff about the 'painter' when actually there wasn't one. Or you could be inferring the wrong attributes; what if the 'God' who Created the universe was more like a salmon and died after the creative effort?


We have never seen a Universe 'Created', we don't really know what happens to cause it (if 'cause' is even an applicable word) to come into being and we certainly are not in a position to know one way or the other if an intelligent entity was involved.

This is why most atheists will say 'I don't know' when asked where the universe came from...because we don't know.


Anyway, I went out last night and asked God to show me a sign too and nothing happened either. The sun didn't come up or anything....


Regards,

Chris said...

ExPatMatt -

Only if you assume there is a Creator in the first place.

This is a given. Who goes around ascribing attributes to something they don't believe exists?

Well, what if you hung up, next to some of Pollock's more interesting pieces, some panels that were just lying around on the floor and got paint on them accidentally; would you be able to tell the difference if nobody told you? Probably not.

In this case someone's trying to 'trick' you. Is that what you think about the universe?

I'm really not interested in arguing about what passes as art for my illustration and in my example I specifically said 'a few pieces' for a reason.

We have never seen a Universe 'Created', we don't really know what happens to cause it (if 'cause' is even an applicable word) to come into being and we certainly are not in a position to know one way or the other if an intelligent entity was involved.

No one would look at the Mona Lisa and think it just happened. No one would look at a watch and think it just happened. No would would look at the code behind the blogger site and think it just happened, likewise no one would look at the hardware necessary to interpret that code and think it just happened. Meanwhile, the hardware by itself serves no purpose without software to make use of it. Software by itself serves no purpose without hardware to interpret it. A watch without an interpreter is pointless just as the Mona Lisa without someone to make sense of it is pointless.

Anyway, I went out last night and asked God to show me a sign too and nothing happened either. The sun didn't come up or anything....

What part of the world do you live in?

Reynold said...

So you can "tell" that the creator is "sovereign" by looking at creation? Do tell. So things like earthquakes and all that you are able to tell are actually his will instead of him losing control?

As I said, you can't really answer that question without the bible, as you more or less admitted in your reply.

And again, you seem to miss the point that knowing about a creator does nothing for you unless you somehow guess the "right" one. Your complaining about:

"Again, we're not talking about salvation - it's the shape of the heart that this passage discusses. It has nothing to do with choosing anything. It's simply a matter of being able to come to some conclusions by looking at creation" only serves to dodge that point.

Chris said...

Reynold -

So you can "tell" that the creator is "sovereign" by looking at creation? Do tell.

If the universe was created by a creator, it would stand to reason that creator has authority over his creation. Who goes around creating things they have no control over?

So things like earthquakes and all that you are able to tell are actually his will instead of him losing control?

I don't see why they wouldn't be and I'll point back to my question above. The flow of logic here is very basic.

And again, you seem to miss the point that knowing about a creator does nothing for you unless you somehow guess the "right" one. Your complaining about:

"Again, we're not talking about salvation - it's the shape of the heart that this passage discusses. It has nothing to do with choosing anything. It's simply a matter of being able to come to some conclusions by looking at creation" only serves to dodge that point.


Again, the passage is about the condition of ones heart and only serves as a backdrop to the whole epistle of Romans - a foundation Paul uses to make his point in Chapter 2 and climaxes on in Chapter 11. It has nothing to do with God's ultimate plan of salvation being made known through creation. Paul never suggests such a thing and I'm not aware of anyone here suggesting such a thing. Nothing is being dodged - it's just a moot point.

That you insist on reading that into the passage is strange. It's as if you want it to say such so that you can point out it's faults... But the passage doesn't allow for any wriggle room.

ExPatMatt said...

Chris,

"This is a given. Who goes around ascribing attributes to something they don't believe exists? ".

But that's the point, you already do believe in it and you don't have to attempt to ascribe any attributes to it because His attributes are all spelled out in the Bible. You have to admit that you're not exactly coming to the creation-observing table without a few preconceptions, are you?

"In this case someone's trying to 'trick' you. Is that what you think about the universe?".

If there is a God, and it's the God who created the world 6,000 years ago, then yes, someone (Him) is out to 'trick' us because the universe most definitely does not appear that young!

"No one would look at the Mona Lisa and think...".

Ah, painters and watches, never seen that argument before.

Let me ask you; have you ever painted anything? Ever seen something painted? Ever been to a watchmakers? Ever been through the curtain and into the universe-makers workshop?

Spot the odd one out.

"
What part of the world do you live in?"
.

A joke Chris, just a joke.

Regards,

Reynold said...

chris 
If the universe was created by a creator, it would stand to reason that creator has authority over his creation. Who goes around creating things they have no control over? 
So you're saying that your god is to blame for every natural disaster then? What does that say about him?


Again, the passage is about the condition of ones heart and only serves as a backdrop to the whole epistle of Romans - a foundation Paul uses to make his point in Chapter 2 and climaxes on in Chapter 11. It has nothing to do with God's ultimate plan of salvation being made known through creation. Paul never suggests such a thing and I'm not aware of anyone here suggesting such a thing. Nothing is being dodged - it's just a moot point. 
As was pointed out by expatmatt, the "foundation" is useless because closer observation of "creation" shows that it is not anywhere near the age the bible implies.

As I said before, your "creator" is ruled out.

I'm not "reading" anything into anything. I'm just pointing out that looking at "creation" is insufficient to guess which "creator" is responsible. I'd even say that to blindly assume that it was "created" by a sentient being is unjustified, since if nothing else, you're still left with the question of where did this "creator" come from? In the end, it's the same kind of problem.

Though you people dodge it by saying that he exists "outside of time" or something like that, which makes no sense if you bother to think about it...

Reynold said...

There is one problem with the cartoon that you should have picked up, Chris...the cartoon is referring to the Christian "god" is it not, and not just any generic god?

If so, then you've got the same problem with that cartoon that you're complaining to me about: "creation" shows us nothing of who the "creator" is.

Chris said...

ExPatMatt:

But that's the point, you already do believe in it and you don't have to attempt to ascribe any attributes to it because His attributes are all spelled out in the Bible. You have to admit that you're not exactly coming to the creation-observing table without a few preconceptions, are you?

Of course I'm not, but that doesn't change the flow of logic in the passage and the comic.

If there is a God, and it's the God who created the world 6,000 years ago, then yes, someone (Him) is out to 'trick' us because the universe most definitely does not appear that young!

You're right - it doesn't. The world we know is under the curse of Genesis 3 and everything we see is post-flood. But this is an entirely different discussion.

... Ever been through the curtain and into the universe-makers workshop?

When you can demonstrate anything giving us any indication that any something comes from nothing, I'll submit to this reasoning. Until then, the illustration continues to work well.

Chris said...

Reynold -

So you're saying that your god is to blame for every natural disaster then? What does that say about him?

That He's eternally powerful and has authority over His creation... ;)

Sarcasm aside, God, throughout Scripture (am I free to use Scripture now?) uses various forms of judgment for various reasons. What we deem 'natural disasters' fit in line quite well. Creation is also under the curse and everything we view is post-flood. Scripture explains very plainly that these will only continue to get worse in frequency and intensity.

As was pointed out by expatmatt, the "foundation" is useless because closer observation of "creation" shows that it is not anywhere near the age the bible implies.

As I said before, your "creator" is ruled out.


Hardly.

I'd even say that to blindly assume that it was "created" by a sentient being is unjustified, since if nothing else, you're still left with the question of where did this "creator" come from? In the end, it's the same kind of problem.

Though you people dodge it by saying that he exists "outside of time" or something like that, which makes no sense if you bother to think about it...
Yes, us people continue to dodge...

Reynold, modern science has well established that time is a physical property in no small part due to Dr. Einstein's Theory of Relativity. Couple that with modern physics and dimensions in greater than 3 + time and you've got a universe we can't even begin to imagine.

Secular science has determined that at the center of a black hole, time doesn't exist. Many have had a hard time coming to grips with what that implies.

I would highly suggest going to PBS dot org where you can watch 'The Elegant Universe' for free. It does a great job in introducing these concepts for the layman since it's tough to wrap our minds around.

Once you do, to say that something can exist outside of time makes perfect sense.

ExPatMatt said...

Chris,

You said;

"When you can demonstrate anything giving us any indication that any something comes from nothing, I'll submit to this reasoning. Until then, the illustration continues to work well".

So you want something that comes from nothing? What is nothing? I presume that 'nothing' includes both time and space so we're looking for something that can come from somewhere that doesn't exist in space or time. Now who could I turn to for some advice on this.....

"Once you do, to say that something can exist outside of time makes perfect sense".

Oh that was you!

So you're perfectly happy to say that 'something' can exist outside of time (and, presumably, space) and that the universe could be 'caused' by that 'something'?

You also pointed out that;

"...you've got a universe we can't even begin to imagine".

And yet you're more than happy to say that, just by looking at the world around us, it is obvious that a Creator-deity made everything?

Fair enough.


I'd prefer to say that I don't know.


Regards,

Reynold said...

Sarcasm aside, God, throughout Scripture (am I free to use Scripture now?) uses various forms of judgment for various reasons. What we deem 'natural disasters' fit in line quite well. Creation is also under the curse and everything we view is post-flood. Scripture explains very plainly that these will only continue to get worse in frequency and intensity.
 
I guess that explains why the so many churches in New Orleans got pasted, while the districts that were more unsavory suffered less. That also explains why so many countries in Europe with legalized prostitution and "red light" districts are continually suffering earthquakes and tornadoes, while the "bible belt" in the US has never had any kind of a natural disaster.

Your "sovereign" creator sure likes to take down inoccent bystanders a lot, as well as having really lousy aim.

As I said before, your "creator" is ruled out.

Hardly.
 
Nope, quite definately. Unless you can somehow biblically justify the old age of the earth and the universe and then explain why the order that everything is made in genesis is in the wrong order compared to what science has discovered.

Mind you, William Lane Craig and Hugh Ross, among others have, in their opinions, somehow "reconciled" genesis with science, though not without some severe compromises to "scripture".

While you're at it, you may want to show just how it is that your "creator" is NOT ruled out, while the creator of other faiths is.

Reynold, modern science has well established that time is a physical property in no small part due to Dr. Einstein's Theory of Relativity. Couple that with modern physics and dimensions in greater than 3 + time and you've got a universe we can't even begin to imagine.

Secular science has determined that at the center of a black hole, time doesn't exist. Many have had a hard time coming to grips with what that implies.

 
Like what, that "god" exists only in a black hole?

Chris said...

ExPatMatt -

So you're perfectly happy to say that 'something' can exist outside of time (and, presumably, space) and that the universe could be 'caused' by that 'something'?

Yes.

And yet you're more than happy to say that, just by looking at the world around us, it is obvious that a Creator-deity made everything?

Yes.

Fair enough.

Phew!

I'd prefer to say that I don't know.

Suit yourself...

Chris said...

Reynold -

Your "sovereign" creator sure likes to take down inoccent bystanders a lot, as well as having really lousy aim.

Innocent?

Nope, quite definately. Unless you can somehow biblically justify the old age of the earth and the universe and then explain why the order that everything is made in genesis is in the wrong order compared to what science has discovered.

And what, put my trust in a bunch of bad science? I rather not.

Mind you, William Lane Craig and Hugh Ross, among others have, in their opinions, somehow "reconciled" genesis with science, though not without some severe compromises to "scripture".

I don't know enough of their opinions to know where they're compromising Scripture and I'm not interested in reconciling Genesis with bad science. Scripture has well surpassed the test of time and held up to more scrutiny than any peer-reviewed scientist.

While you're at it, you may want to show just how it is that your "creator" is NOT ruled out, while the creator of other faiths is.

Sure - for starters, He's distinct from His Creation. That rules out pantheism.

And also - He's eternally powerful. That rules out any remaining.

Like what, that "god" exists only in a black hole?

Nah... more that their neatly packaged evolutionary world just went *poof*

Reynold said...

Him quoting me, in bold, my responses to his previous posts (which he's responding to now) are in italics

Your "sovereign" creator sure likes to take down inoccent bystanders a lot, as well as having really lousy aim.
 
Innocent?
 
Ah, so then everyone of those people, even the young ones below that "age of accountability" (like babies) all deserved to die?

If so, then why not just whack all of us? It's not like it hasn't happened before...

Bottom line, it's nature. It just happens, and that's it. Your rationalizations are just making your religion look anti-human.

Nope, quite definately. Unless you can somehow biblically justify the old age of the earth and the universe and then explain why the order that everything is made in genesis is in the wrong order compared to what science has discovered.
 
And what, put my trust in a bunch of bad science? I rather not.
 
Then you'd better not have ever gone to any doctors who prescribe antibiotics that have been developed to counter bacteria that have evolved over time, or driven any vehicle that's powered by gas that was distilled from the oil that was found by the "bad science" of geology which is one of the sciences that refutes the "global flood".

Since you so obviously know more about the sciences than the hundreds of thousands of experts in the various fields who have spent decades learning, studying and testing, perhaps you'd care to go to Theology Web, in the Natural Sciences section and set people like Glen Morton straight? Or perhaps the EvC Forum: Creation versus Evolution forum?

I don't know enough of their opinions to know where they're compromising Scripture and I'm not interested in reconciling Genesis with bad science. Scripture has well surpassed the test of time and held up to more scrutiny than any peer-reviewed scientist.
 
You have got to be joking, right? Go to the Institute for Biblical and Scientific Studies and look in the Bible and Science section. You may also want to read a few books: The View from Nebo, and The Bible Unearthed.

Sure - for starters, He's distinct from His Creation. That rules out pantheism.
 
"distinct from creation"? Huh? What makes you think that some "committee" of "gods" would NOT be "distinct from creation"?

And also - He's eternally powerful. That rules out any remaining.
 
Except for the fact that any Muslim could and has said the same about their god. Then there's the problem of: How can you tell that he's "eternally powerful" by looking at creation? He may be powerful enough to create all this, but that by no means shows that he is "eternally powerful".

Try again.

Nah... more that their neatly packaged evolutionary world just went *poof*
 
And that wasn't an answer to the question at all...what does black holes and time have to do with it? Those do not prove the existence of any diety, nor do they disprove evolution. Even proving the existence of some kind of diety would by itself not necessarily disprove evolution...there are many theists who believe that's how the diety creating things in the first place.


As for evolution going "poof", I'm sure the people in the forums I mentioned earlier would love to be shown how that's the case.

Chris said...

Reynold -

Ah, so then everyone of those people, even the young ones below that "age of accountability" (like babies) all deserved to die?

Well we all will. And why do you care?

If so, then why not just whack all of us? It's not like it hasn't happened before...

Now THAT'S a good question.

Bottom line, it's nature. It just happens, and that's it. Your rationalizations are just making your religion look anti-human.

And what do YOU'RE rationalizations do for us, Reynold?

Then you'd better not have ever gone to any doctors who prescribe antibiotics that have been developed to counter bacteria that have evolved over time

What do antibiotics have to do with the age of the earth?

or driven any vehicle that's powered by gas that was distilled from the oil that was found by the "bad science" of geology which is one of the sciences that refutes the "global flood".

Oh the things that are wrong with this sentence.

Since you so obviously know more about the sciences than the hundreds of thousands of experts in the various fields who have spent decades learning, studying and testing, perhaps you'd care to go to Theology Web, in the Natural Sciences section and set people like Glen Morton straight? Or perhaps the EvC Forum: Creation versus Evolution forum?

Not interested and I don't have the time. I never claimed to be an expert but it doesn't take one to smell something rotten coming from the primordial soup.

You have got to be joking, right?

No, I'm not!

Go to the Institute for Biblical and Scientific Studies and look in the Bible and Science section. You may also want to read a few books: The View from Nebo, and The Bible Unearthed.

Is your evolution infallible?

"distinct from creation"? Huh? What makes you think that some "committee" of "gods" would NOT be "distinct from creation"?

What does a committee of gods have to do with pantheism?

Except for the fact that any Muslim could and has said the same about their god.

Right, except it doesn't quite add up once you start digging.

Then there's the problem of: How can you tell that he's "eternally powerful" by looking at creation? He may be powerful enough to create all this, but that by no means shows that he is "eternally powerful".

Again, who goes around creating things they have no control over?

And that wasn't an answer to the question at all...what does black holes and time have to do with it?

Reynold, YOU stated that Christians 'dodge' the 'who created God' question by claiming God is outside of time and then went on to state that that doesn't make any sense:

Though you people dodge it by saying that he exists "outside of time" or something like that, which makes no sense if you bother to think about it

So if I missed a question in there, I apologize. The point was to demonstrate the fact that time is a physical property.

Those do not prove the existence of any diety, nor do they disprove evolution.

It proves that something can exist outside of time.

Even proving the existence of some kind of diety would by itself not necessarily disprove evolution...

Nope, it sure doesn't, just like evolution doesn't disprove God.

there are many theists who believe that's how the diety creating things in the first place.

Indeed, but that really compromises who that deity is.

As for evolution going "poof", I'm sure the people in the forums I mentioned earlier would love to be shown how that's the case.

Depends on who's clock they're wanting to hang onto.

Reynold said...

Ah, so then everyone of those people, even the young ones below that "age of accountability" (like babies) all deserved to die?

Well we all will. And why do you care?
 
There is one difference between living out one's lifespan and having it cut short by an outside incident. If you can't see the difference, I can't help you.

I care because human life actually has value...that doesn't seem to be the case with certain religious types like you, who need to be told to be concerned for other people.

Bottom line, it's nature. It just happens, and that's it. Your rationalizations are just making your religion look anti-human.

And what do YOUR rationalizations do for us, Reynold?
 
It explains things without having to go through the moral contortions that yours does. A "god" who supposedly loves all of us, and values us, and forbids "murder", yet who sends natural disasters to kill young and old willy-nilly. (for instance, why the red-light district in New Orleans was spared while many churches were not)

Plus, one doesn't have to believe in invisible beings to make sense of my "rationalizations".

Time for you to justify your rationalization.


Then you'd better not have ever gone to any doctors who prescribe antibiotics that have been developed to counter bacteria that have evolved over time

What do antibiotics have to do with the age of the earth?
 
I'm talking about evolution there, try to keep up. Bacteria adapting to new medications is a small example of it.

or driven any vehicle that's powered by gas that was distilled from the oil that was found by the "bad science" of geology which is one of the sciences that refutes the "global flood".

Oh the things that are wrong with this sentence.
 
Ok, point them out. It's the science of geology that has refuted the age of the earth, and it's the same science that has shown us how to find oil deposits. Don't believe me? Talk to Glen Morton who works in that very field, and who used to be a young-earth creationist. Look around on his site, DMD Publishing Co. In case you're wondering, he's still a Christian.

Since you so obviously know more about the sciences than the hundreds of thousands of experts in the various fields who have spent decades learning, studying and testing, perhaps you'd care to go to Theology Web, in the Natural Sciences section and set people like Glen Morton straight? Or perhaps the EvC Forum: Creation versus Evolution forum?

Not interested and I don't have the time. I never claimed to be an expert but it doesn't take one to smell something rotten coming from the primordial soup.
 
Bluster all you want. If you refuse to buck up, then what you say from now on is just brainless noise. Your cowardice and willfull ignorance is noted.

Reynold said...

Go to the Institute for Biblical and Scientific Studies and look in the Bible and Science section. You may also want to read a few books: The View from Nebo, and The Bible Unearthed.

Is your evolution infallible?
 
No, but no one ever claimed that it was, unlike your holy book. It's just that there is so much evidence for it...try reading the 29+ Evidences for Macroevolution on the Talk Origins archive and learn something.

By the way, you've changed the subject. We're talking about the Bible, now.

What does a committee of gods have to do with pantheism?
Look up pantheism, please. It means more than one "god". Also, you've dodged the point I was trying to make: How can you tell that it was just ONE "god" who made everything, and not many? You can't do that without the bible, can you?

Except for the fact that any Muslim could and has said the same about their god.

Right, except it doesn't quite add up once you start digging.
 
Odd, that's what I was thinking about your "god" too.

Then there's the problem of: How can you tell that he's "eternally powerful" by looking at creation? He may be powerful enough to create all this, but that by no means shows that he is "eternally powerful".

Again, who goes around creating things they have no control over?
 
He may have enough to create and control nature, but does that mean his power is infinite?

And that wasn't an answer to the question at all...what does black holes and time have to do with it?

Reynold, YOU stated that Christians 'dodge' the 'who created God' question by claiming God is outside of time and then went on to state that that doesn't make any sense:
 
YOU were the one who was talking about how black holes and time made "their neatly packaged evolutionary world just went *poof*"

I ask again, what do black holes and time have to do with evolution?

There, back on topic:
Those do not prove the existence of any diety, nor do they disprove evolution.

It proves that something can exist outside of time.
 
Does it prove that your deity exists though? It's a far cry from showing that something exists "outside of time" to showing that a sentient being does.

Also, remember this about black holes: Nothing can survive in there. Also, gravity has compressed everything to bring about that result. Does your "god" live in a black hole?

The problem with living "outside of time" is this: Nothing can actually happen. Either everything happens at once, or time is "frozen" and nothing CAN happen. In a black hole, not much happens. Though it should be noted: Even black holes disintegrate over time


there are many theists who believe that's how the diety creating things in the first place.

Indeed, but that really compromises who that deity is.
 
The geocentrists like Gerardus Bouw used to say the same thing about believers who accepted that the earth went around the sun.

Your point?

As for evolution going "poof", I'm sure the people in the forums I mentioned earlier would love to be shown how that's the case.

Depends on who's clock they're wanting to hang onto.
 
No, it depends on the evidence. Many of those happen to believe in the same "god" you do. But you just implied earlier that you don't care about evidence.

Chris said...

Reynold -

I care because human life actually has value...that doesn't seem to be the case with certain religious types like you, who need to be told to be concerned for other people.

Where does that value come from, Reynold? Why does it have value? I'm hoping you see the point - no one needs to be told... we all have a moral code and it's existence is contrary to concepts like this:

Bottom line, it's nature. It just happens, and that's it. Your rationalizations are just making your religion look anti-human.

An atheist worldview cannot possibly hope to give any type of value to human life. It has no reason to. No matter how you try to justify the moral scarlet thread that exists, it runs contrary to evolution and/or natural selection. It just does. No amount of 'natural processes' can produce any sort of order out of chaos. Everything we view in the world runs completely contrary to such ideas in that everything gets worse - not better.

I'm talking about evolution there, try to keep up. Bacteria adapting to new medications is a small example of it.

It's tough, but I'm trying...

Ok, point them out.

Bluster all you want. If you refuse to buck up, then what you say from now on is just brainless noise. Your cowardice and willfull ignorance is noted.

Nice...

Reynold, I really don't have the time to get caught up in a million different discussions at once. If you are really interested, you can start with the article "The Origin of Oil—A Creationist Answer" from the AiG site. While some of this stuff interests me, it's just not my area of study and it won't hold my attention. My apologies if I caused you to think otherwise.

No, but no one ever claimed that it was, unlike your holy book.

It's constantly presented as such, and yet we need:

try reading the 29+ Evidences for Macroevolution on the Talk Origins archive and learn something.

We need missing links and 29 evidences for macro-evolution... Is there anything solid? Ahh... there's always:

By the way, you've changed the subject. We're talking about the Bible, now.

I'm not even sure anymore, Reynold. I came into this discussion talking about the Bible, my favorite topic.

Look up pantheism, please. It means more than one "god".

I think you're confusing pantheism with polytheism. Pantheism states that god is all and in all. In other words, god is in the trees, grass, all of nature and so on. This is Buddhism/Hinduism/New Age, etc. Polytheism is the belief of multiple gods assembled into a pantheon.

Also, you've dodged the point I was trying to make: How can you tell that it was just ONE "god" who made everything, and not many?

Well, aside from the fact that everything works in an organized fashion (what group of 2 or more can accomplish such a feat?) the truth of the matter is that if God is infinite or eternally powerful, then there cannot be more than one infinite being.

You can't do that without the bible, can you?

We just did.

He may have enough to create and control nature, but does that mean his power is infinite?

Yes! He is timeless and created the entire universe out of nothing! The whole point about black holes is that it demonstrates time is a physical property. Coming to grips with this notion and everything else that we keep learning about our universe demonstrates the universe is finite, digital, programmed and that's what the Bible has been saying for 3500+ years.

Chris said...

-cont-

Many of those happen to believe in the same "god" you do. But you just implied earlier that you don't care about evidence.

Reynold, in all honesty, I don't know why. God gets smaller and smaller when you have to disregard and chop up His Word to make it fit your worldview. They don't take God at His Word and unfortunately demonstrate quite a lack of trust in Him. It breaks my heart.

The theory of evolution changes day in and day out. Constantly contorting and groping in the dark for whatever missing link it can come up with, but it fails miserably. People run around talking about it as fact but it just doesn't work.

And yet, Reynold, the Bible has stood the test of time for over 3500 years. It is more intricate, more precise, more detailed than any other writing or collection of writings that exists. It has withstood more scrutiny and criticism over the last 2000 years and still thrives. Countless attempts have been taken to rid the world of it but it continues to come out on top - and it always will. It is a solid foundation that hasn't changed since it's inception. 66 books that tell a single special revelation over the course of some 2000. It's truth remains unchanged, unaltered unlike anything else on this planet you can put your trust in. And it baffles us... Just like the claims in Romans 1, friend, you too are without excuse - that through general revelation you are obligated to know Him and therefore must give an account.

You say you can't prove God, and I say you can. Then you say you can't know who He is, and I say you can. Often people will say you can't prove the Bible, but I say you can. You can demonstrate it's incredible engineering which proves it had to be written from outside our dimension of time and space.

Once you do you cannot help but to fall on your knees and repent. We live in a world where nearly everyone has their fists raised against their Creator, and then we ask 'How could a loving God?' How dare we! What we should be asking is 'How can He not?' Nations that were transformed and set free by the Good News of Jesus Christ end up in hostility against Him in a matter of a few generations, working themselves back into the slavery they were set free from and we have the gall to suggest He not destroy us. I don't believe that people like Hitchens don't believe in God. I firmly believe they do, they just flat out hate Him.

Yeshua haMeshiach Nagid will come, Jesus Christ the King will arrive with a rod of iron and every knee will bow. You can do so willingly in repentance or you can do so because He's broken your knees due to your defiance. One way or the other, it will happen.

If you soften your heart, He will reveal Himself to you. I pray you do. Romans 1 is and will always be the indictment you see it as. Evolution is a direct result of that:

Romans 1:22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

Evolution is a false religion - it worships the creature rather than the Creator. It is in opposition to The One True God.

My heart weeps for those who claim to be ambassador's of His and yet teach these lies.

Reynold said...

And yet, Reynold, the Bible has stood the test of time for over 3500 years. It is more intricate, more precise, more detailed than any other writing or collection of writings that exists. It has withstood more scrutiny and criticism over the last 2000 years and still thrives. Countless attempts have been taken to rid the world of it but it continues to come out on top - and it always will. It is a solid foundation that hasn't changed since it's inception. 66 books that tell a single special revelation over the course of some 2000. It's truth remains unchanged, unaltered unlike anything else on this planet you can put your trust in. And it baffles us... Just like the claims in Romans 1, friend, you too are without excuse - that through general revelation you are obligated to know Him and therefore must give an account.
 
It can be easily shown to be the work of fallible humans. Check out Institute for Biblical and Scientific Studies, their Bible and Science section. Check out some books about the bible and archeology: The Bible Unearthed, The View from Nebo...and the Skeptics Annotated Bible, though note that last site, the author is not picky enough. He includes anything that could possibly be a mistake, including poetry and dream sequences. Still, it's an excellent place to start research, since he lists everything.

The sole reason that the bible has stood the test of time as you claim is that mistakes are ignored and explained away. For instance, the mustard seed problem. Christ had once said the mustard seed is the "least" of all seeds. Wrong. The orchid seed is. Yet that mistake still is there today.

Evolution, like all good scientific theories changes in light of new evidence. When a mistake is found, it's tossed. Unlike your bible.

The bible remaining unchanged in it's description of the world around us, it NOT a good thing, in other words.

Evolution is a false religion - it worships the creature rather than the Creator. It is in opposition to The One True God.

My heart weeps for those who claim to be ambassador's of His and yet teach these lies.

 
Evolution is not a religion. It's a branch of science. You may as well say that Newtons theories or heliocentrism are religions. That is just nuts.

None of those scientific theories "worships" anything! They are theories devised to explain what we see around us, that's it.

Reynold said...

An atheist worldview cannot possibly hope to give any type of value to human life. It has no reason to. No matter how you try to justify the moral scarlet thread that exists, it runs contrary to evolution and/or natural selection. It just does. No amount of 'natural processes' can produce any sort of order out of chaos.
 
Ever see snowflakes form? Order produced may be temporary, but it does happen. Go to the Talk Origins site and read about the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, please.

Or, read the page titled The second law of thermodynamics and evolution:

There are millions of compounds that have less energy in them than the elements of which they are composed. That sentence is a quiet bombshell. It means that the second law energetically FAVORS — yes, predicts firmly — the spontaneous formation of complex, geometrically ordered molecules from utterly simple atoms of elements. Popular statements such as "the second law says that all systems fundamentally tend toward disorder and randomness" are wrong when they refer to chemistry, and chemistry precisely deals with the structure and behavior of all types of matter.

To summarize this important conclusion that is known by very few who are not chemists: Energetically, the second law of thermodynamics favors the formation of the majority of all known complex and ordered chemical compounds directly from their simpler elements. Thus, contrary to popular opinion, the second law does not dictate the decrease of ordered structure by its predictions. It only demands a "spreading out" of energy when such ordered compounds are formed spontaneously.



Chris:
Everything we view in the world runs completely contrary to such ideas in that everything gets worse - not better.
 
You do realize that appealing to people's emotions about what idea makes them feel good is a fallacy, right? What you want to be true has NO bearing on whether it is true or not.

Besides, if atheists choose to give life value, they will. Just because no one from "beyond" does it does not make life less valuable. I will tell you though that thinking like you do has the potential to become a "self-fulfilling prophecy". If enough theists say that atheists don't have any reason to value life, the more that other people will believe that lie.


Look up pantheism, please. It means more than one "god".
 
I think you're confusing pantheism with polytheism. Pantheism states that god is all and in all. In other words, god is in the trees, grass, all of nature and so on. This is Buddhism/Hinduism/New Age, etc. Polytheism is the belief of multiple gods assembled into a pantheon.
 
Right, right...my bad.

We need missing links and 29 evidences for macro-evolution... Is there anything solid? Ahh... there's always:
 
You didn't read the site, I guess. They give examples of many such links. Why do you pretend that they haven't found any?

Reynold said...

An atheist worldview cannot possibly hope to give any type of value to human life. It has no reason to.
&nbps;
One last thing, that statement of yours is wrong. Even if we leave out such things as empathy and wanting to leave a better world for our kids, and "treat others as you'd like to be treated", there is still a reason: The perpetuation of the species.

Reynold said...

Ok, last post. Chris says that Well, aside from the fact that everything works in an organized fashion (what group of 2 or more can accomplish such a feat?) the truth of the matter is that if God is infinite or eternally powerful, then there cannot be more than one infinite being.
 
Then how are any buildings (houses, or skyscrapers) built then? It's not just one person who does all the blueprinting, and it's not one person who does the building.

It looks to me, reading your posts, that you're starting with the conclusion and then fitting everything into that. Circular reasoning.


"The Origin of Oil—A Creationist Answer" from the AiG site. While some of this stuff interests me, it's just not my area of study and it won't hold my attention. My apologies if I caused you to think otherwise.
 
Right...the AIG people are the ones who got pasted on a regular basis when it came to geology and oil on Theology Web, in their "Natural Sciences" section. Look at the interactions between "Socrates"/Sarfati and Glen Morton.


Yes! He is timeless and created the entire universe out of nothing! The whole point about black holes is that it demonstrates time is a physical property.
 
Care to explain how your deity can exists "outside of time" then? Remember, even black holes are subject to time (they eventually burn out).

Consider this: At one point, your deity had not yet made anything, correct? Then at some point, he decided to make the universe.

Guess what that means? There was a time when your "God" had not created anything, then later, there was a time when he had created everything.

You have a sequence of events. In order for that to happen, your deity himself has had to exist IN time, as opposed to "creating" it.

Coming to grips with this notion and everything else that we keep learning about our universe demonstrates the universe is finite, digital, programmed and that's what the Bible has been saying for 3500+ years.
&nbps;
"Digital"? Care to find the Hebrew or Greek word for that in the bible? Seriously, the books and sites I've listed previously disprove the claim of biblical infallibilty when it comes to describing the natural universe.

Chris said...

Reynold -

For instance, the mustard seed problem. Christ had once said the mustard seed is the "least" of all seeds. Wrong. The orchid seed is. Yet that mistake still is there today.

Most don't read carefully enough. Orchid seeds aren't planted.

...though note that last site, the author is not picky enough. He includes anything that could possibly be a mistake, including poetry and dream sequences. Still, it's an excellent place to start research, since he lists everything.

This, unfortunately, is the case with just about all of them. So much for 'excellent places to start...' Those who seek to undermine Scripture work very hard to ignore it's context, whom it was written to, the culture of the day, literary devices and so on. When I see this, it causes me to really question the intent of the author - and if I can't trust them on a few things, why should I trust them on any? It's too bad because once the Bible is studied appropriately, a completely new understanding will emerge. You can't help but have a great respect for it's precision and attention to detail.

Evolution is not a religion. It's a branch of science.

None of those scientific theories "worships" anything!

Now that's a laugh. Ernst Haeckel had a vision of Christian churches being taken over by scientific naturalists and filling them with symbols of science, having them dedicated to Urania, the Greek goddess of astronomy.

Indeed the Scriptures are correct when Solomon quips in Ecclesiastes 1:9-11:

What has been is what will be,
and what has been done is what will be done,
and there is nothing new under the sun.

Is there a thing of which it is said, "See, this is new"?
It has been already in the ages before us.
There is no remembrance of former things,
nor will there be any remembrance of later things yet to be
among those who come after.

Reynold said...

chris:
Most don't read carefully enough. Orchid seeds aren't planted.
 
The fact that orchid seeds aren't planted has nothing to do with resolving this issue.

Though I admit that it's an original dodge, that's for sure. I've never run into that excuse before. I assume then that all those other Christians who tried to explain that problem away have also "not read carefully" enough?

All the verse says is that he planted the mustard seed, that's it.

13:31 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field:

13:32 Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.

13:33 Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.



(13:31-32) "The least of all seeds"
Jesus is incorrect when he says that the mustard seed is the smallest seed. (The epiphytic orchids have the smallest seeds.) And since there are no trees in the mustard family, mustard seeds do not grow into trees large enough to support bird nests.


So, the seed size apparently not the only mistake that's made there.


This, unfortunately, is the case with just about all of them. So much for 'excellent places to start...' Those who seek to undermine Scripture work very hard to ignore it's context, whom it was written to, the culture of the day, literary devices and so on. When I see this, it causes me to really question the intent of the author - and if I can't trust them on a few things, why should I trust them on any?
 
Simple. You've missed the point of me saying that "it's a good place to start". You do further reading and check up on it yourself.

Look at your "reasoning" here. Unless everyone you ever meet NEVER makes a mistake, then you can't trust ANYONE.

It's too bad because once the Bible is studied appropriately, a completely new understanding will emerge. You can't help but have a great respect for it's precision and attention to detail.
 
Your comment about "precision" and "attention to detail" is easily refuted by pointing out that in I Kings 7:23-26, the ratio of the circumference to the diameter is 30:10 cubits. Look up what "pi" is. It's the ratio of a circles' circumference to it's diamter, and it is NOT "3".

Every apologist I've seen handles that by saying that the people back then just couldn't be all that precise. I can buy that, but you come along and brag about the bible's "precision"??


Evolution is not a religion. It's a branch of science.

None of those scientific theories "worships" anything!

Now that's a laugh. Ernst Haeckel had a vision of Christian churches being taken over by scientific naturalists and filling them with symbols of science, having them dedicated to Urania, the Greek goddess of astronomy.
 
What's really funny is that you've taken a data point of ONE MAN to "prove" your case that evolution is supposed to be a religion.

Talk about broad-brushing. How'd you like it if I brought up Gerarus Bouw (a geocentrist), and just used what he said to show that Christians believe that the sun orbits the earth?

Reynold said...

It's supposed to be "Gerardus Bouw"

Chris said...

Reynold -

Though I admit that it's an original dodge, that's for sure.

Really not a dodge at all and hardly original. I'm sure you'll find others if you take your time and look.

He's speaking of seeds that are sown in vs. 31 and further evidence in vs. 32 is with the word lä'-khä-non which speaks specifically of plants grown and cultivated by digging as directly opposed to wild plants. It's G3001 (TDNT reference 4:65,504) and you can check for yourself on the NETBible or BLB sites.

So, the seed size apparently not the only mistake that's made there.

Reynold, you yourself admitted that the Skeptics Annotated Bible is a little too liberal, no?

But I'm glad you brought up the other apparent problem - that the mustard seed grows into a tree. This should raise an eyebrow and cause you to dig a little further. Jesus is speaking to Jews who are very familiar with planting mustard seeds and they know good and well that mustard seeds do not grow into trees, even the largest have no way to support birds nesting - or rather, birds just don't nest in them. Do a search on Google images and you'll see why. So why on earth would Jesus, speaking to a Jewish audience, say such a thing?

In Matthew 13 Jesus gives what is widely known as the 7 Kingdom Parables. Reynold, the first tip off is that these are parables, and like you pointed out, the Skeptics Annotated Bible doesn't seem to care about that when trying to demonstrate apparent discrepancies in Scripture. It's too bad, because just a few verses down this is made plain in vs. 34-35:

34 All these things Jesus said to the crowds in parables; indeed, he said nothing to them without a parable. 35 This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet:

I will open my mouth in parables;

I will utter what has been hidden since the foundation of the world.”


Why does the Skeptics Annotated Bible completely disregard this? Matthew only said it 3 times in 2 verses, further specifying the fact that it was specifically to utter what has been hidden. But that's not important to the Skeptics Annotated Bible because it wouldn't suit it's purpose, would it? Instead it points out that it's a misquote of the Psalm, completely failing to realize that it's quoting from the Septuagint - but those details just aren't important, are they?

So what's going on here? Symbolism makes up the 7 Kingdom Parables and only two are explained by Jesus, the Parable of the Sower and the Parable of the Weeds. Those who are diligent in their studies can take what's explained and utilize that to help unravel the other 5.

The Parable of the Mustard seed isn't a pretty picture, contrary to what so many pastors teach it as. The mustard seed has grown into a monstrosity, something it was never intended to be, so much so that the birds of the air show up, but they don't belong there. The birds of the air are not friendly, they are a symbol for the evil one as Jesus himself states in vs. 19 while explaining the birds in vs. 4.

The idiom of the birds actually begins way back in Genesis 15 while Abram was preparing the cutting of the covenant and the birds came down upon the carcasses so that Abram had to drive them away - the devil trying to thwart the plan of God (nothing new under the sun). You can also look for the parallels between the Parable of the Mustard Seed and the Letter to the Church in Pergamum in Revelation 2:12-17 and also Paul's two epistles to the Corinthians.

Chris said...

Reynold -

Since you bring up the Parable of the Woman and the Leaven (vs 33), this is another one of those that should surprise anyone familiar with Jewish culture. Leaven is an idiom of sin throughout the Scriptures. A woman is hiding it in 3 measures of meal which is the fellowship offering. You can find it's idiom begin to take shape in Genesis 18 when Abraham is visited by the Lord and 2 angels. Why is sin being introduced into the fellowship? Find the parallels with the Letter to the Church in Thyatira in Revelation 2:18-29 and Paul's epistle to the Galatians.

Simple. You've missed the point of me saying that "it's a good place to start". You do further reading and check up on it yourself.

Look at your "reasoning" here. Unless everyone you ever meet NEVER makes a mistake, then you can't trust ANYONE.


Rather, you miss the point. As I've just shown the Skeptics Annotated Bible isn't just a BAD place to start, it's the horrible place to start. All he does is demonstrate either complete incompetence or a deliberate attempt to undermine Scripture. I'm voting for the second. That's not objective - it's deceitful and he should be shown for what he is. I won't waste my time.

Chris said...

Reynold -

Your comment about "precision" and "attention to detail" is easily refuted by pointing out that in I Kings 7:23-26, the ratio of the circumference to the diameter is 30:10 cubits. Look up what "pi" is. It's the ratio of a circles' circumference to it's diamter, and it is NOT "3".

Every apologist I've seen handles that by saying that the people back then just couldn't be all that precise. I can buy that, but you come along and brag about the bible's "precision"??


Yeah, unfortunately that is often how this as well as other difficulties are handled. Instead of taking them head on, often people want to dance around it. This is not how they should be taken care of - we don't have be afraid of taking God at His Word.

We have to remember that the Bible was written predominantly by Hebrew authors (through the inspiration of the Spirit) who employ some of the most fascinating literary devices. Hebrew scholars have 4 methods that are applied in their hermeneutic which are:

* Peshat: literal/plain reading
* Remez: allegory from hints in the text
* Derash: illustrative (types)
* Sod: hidden meanings

I'm lifting this from Chuck Missler's article 'The Value of Pi'

A Spelling Lesson

The common word for circumference is qav. Here, however, the spelling of the word for circumference, qaveh, adds a heh (h).

In the Hebrew Bible, the scribes did not alter any text which they felt had been copied incorrectly. Rather, they noted in the margin what they thought the written text should be. The written variation is called a kethiv; and the marginal annotation is called the qere.

To the ancient scribes, this was also regarded as a remez, a hint of something deeper. This appears to be the clue to treat the word as a mathematical formula.

Numerical Values

The Hebrew alphabet is alphanumeric: each Hebrew letter also has a numerical value and can be used as a number.

The q has a value of 100; the v has a value of 6; thus, the normal spelling would yield a numerical value of 106. The addition of the h, with a value of 5, increases the numerical value to 111. This indicates an adjustment of the ratio 111/106, or 31.41509433962 cubits. Assuming that a cubit was 1.5 ft.,3 this 15-foot-wide bowl would have had a circumference of 47.12388980385 feet.

This Hebrew "code" results in 47.12264150943 feet, or an error of less than 15 thousandths of an inch! (This error is 15 times better than the 22/7 estimate that we were accustomed to using in school!) How did they accomplish this? This accuracy would seem to vastly exceed the precision of their instrumentation. How would they know this? How was it encoded into the text?


Seems pretty precise.

Brazen Hussey's said...

@ Chris:

Re: your use of Missler:

I find his radio program to be a treasure trove of interesting tidbits. Did you say you grabbed this bit of input from his site? What's it called?

I'm also wondering: what do you use for your apologetic input? It seems you've quite the grasp on a number of issues.

Thanks, and keep it up, brother.

@ Reynold: I still would like to know what turned you off to Christ in the first place.

I'll stop asking if you're adamantly opposed to it.

Chris said...

Brazen Hussey's -

Re: your use of Missler:

I find his radio program to be a treasure trove of interesting tidbits. Did you say you grabbed this bit of input from his site? What's it called?


Sure, His teaching ministry is called Koinonia House and their main site is khouse.org. Missler is probably one of my favorite Bible teachers among many.

I'm also wondering: what do you use for your apologetic input? It seems you've quite the grasp on a number of issues.

I got into some intensive Bible study several years ago after a friend of mine showed me something interesting that piqued my curiosity - it's actually a major part of my testimony (I was not saved at the time).

Everyone's got some sort of hobby they probably know more about than their profession. The Bible is mine :)

I was looking for a way to get in touch with you as I've got a lot I can point you to and even offer you some subscription based stuff for free (short-term anyway).

Go to my profile and click on my site. 2 things on there, the links page will give you a TON of quality resources, all compiled by Bible nuts like me. Second, click the contact page and send me a msg (it only goes to me) and we can get in touch that way as I've got quite a bit of stuff that might interest you.

Blessings!

Chris said...

Brazen Hussey's -

Re: the "document" theory: showing that orthodox Jews, who aren't Messianic, and have denied thereby the whole POINT of their religion, believe the false claims of the JDEP etc. theory, is like saying:

I am an atheist. The Bible was made by man. There is no God.


Bingo!

Only thing I would add is that Orthodox Jews really don't buy into this mess. While they've, unfortunately, managed to spiritualize everything in their venerated Torah, they still hold to word for word, even letter for letter dictation by God.

Of course, once you start to chip away at that, God gets smaller and smaller... Question Mosaic authorship? Now you have to question Joshua, Kings, Chronicles, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Micah, Malachi and nearly every book in the NT. That's how this stuff works.

OR, you can approach it systematically: Scripture is either God-breathed or it's not (it can't be both). For you and I, this is simple. We believe Jesus. The Scribes and Pharisees were astonished (marvelled) by Jesus' command of the Tenakh (OT). In Luke 24:25-27, Jesus gave the best Bible study of all time as he took them through, not just Moses, or just a few of the Prophets, but ALL of them. Jesus just saved you all the headache of not just the documentary hypothesis but any other futile attack there is. Sorry, if you claim to be a Christian, you better not take His words lightly. In fact, He rebuked the disciples because they didn't believe "ALL" of them. I think there are 3 ALL's there in those verses. Jesus didn't mince words.

Jesus said in Luke 16:29-31 that if people don't believe the Scriptures, they won't believe even if someone were raised from the dead (I believe this is prophetic) so when people claim to need a sign, it won't matter; the OT alone is enough.

Jesus gave the disciples words authority with His own (Luke 10:16 among others). Now, if you despise the authority of the disciples, you despise Christ and vice-versa! There really isn't any wriggle room, is there? Jesus just validated the NT. It goes deeper than this in that all the writers authenticate each other, one of the more familiar ones being Peter stating Paul's writings are inspired of God. People like Marcus Borg run around claiming to be Christian and yet, so cavalier-like, have no problem chipping away at it. But the Bible is an integrated whole, like deck of cards (flimsy illustration, great pun). Either take God at His Word or don't.

Psalm 138:2 I will bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things Your Name and Your Word.