Tuesday, May 26, 2009

"Shocked at the viscous personal attacks and profanity that filled my in-box"

A portion from an email that came in today:

"I felt like I was being led to witness to atheists who have posted anti-God videos and comments on youtube. I knew it would be tough but I was not prepared for how tough. I posted a very polite comment on an atheist video and was slammed with hate mail. I was shocked at the viscous personal attacks and profanity that filled my in-box. Their very responses are testimony enough that they are miserable without a relationship with their Creator. This experience has taught me that I am not prepared to do battle with atheists and Satan on that level yet. They’ve made a hobby out of trying to disprove the existence of God where I have not majored on trying to prove He exists. I’m back in the bible and studying hard on how to help spread the gospel to these unhappy people. " Chris

Here's a bit of my response to Chris:

"Did you know that Ray Comfort has a blog that is geared towards reaching atheists?
http://www.raycomfortfood.blogspot.com/.

I think you'll get a lot out of it.

I've had a few atheists on my blog:
http://fishwithtrish.blogspot.com/search/label/Atheism

Oh and one more thing...

Have you ever heard of Greg Bahnsen?

He wrote a book called "Always Ready".

This book revolutionized the way I evangelize. Of course I use the law and things but this is another tool. It's called "Presuppositional Apologetics." In fact, Mark Spence the Dean of the Biblical School of Evangelism taught on Presuppositional Apologetics at our last Transformed Conference in South Carolina. He spoke on it in place of Kirk. Mark did a tremendous job!

You can read more about
Presuppositional Apologetics on the link below. It's essentially another way to defend the faith, especially with skeptics, atheists, relativists, etc.

Presuppositional Apologetics basically help you show the unbeliever/atheist that they can't exist with out borrowing from the biblical worldview in order to make sense of their own worldview. Presuppositional Apologetics show you how to leave the unbeliever standing on the very thing they've been rejecting, namely the Word of God. It shows the unbeliever that they can't make sense of life, right or wrong, good or evil with out borrowing from the biblical worldview.

Hope this makes sense. :-)

So, if there is one book I would recommend you read (aside from all the books
Living Waters offers) it's this one, "Always Ready".

The links to Mr. Bahnsen's six part series can be found online:

Part 1
Greg Bahnsen - Worldviews in Conflict (part 1)

Part 2
Greg Bahnsen - Worldviews in Conflict (part 2)

Part 3
Greg Bahnsen - Worldviews in Conflict (part 3)

Part 4
Greg Bahnsen - Worldviews in Conflict (part 4)

Part 5
Greg Bahnsen - Worldviews in Conflict (part 5)

Part 6
Greg Bahnsen - Worldviews in Conflict (part 6)

25 comments:

BathTub said...

Yep there are some real jerks out there. While I don't condone abuse, sometimes believers step on peoples toes by evangelizing in inappropriate places. Again not a justification for profane email or anything like that. Just an observation.

Fish with Trish said...

Bath Tub, are you evangelizing in an appropriate place? Just an observation.

ValleyGirl said...

Thanks so much for these links, Trish!!

BathTub said...

Was that evangelizing? Care to share what you thought the topic of that evangelizing was? If you need me to give a specific example I can.

People go to the Richard Dawkins forum and ignore the general sub forum to preach in the middle of other specific discussions, that gets the moderators annoyed, that gets their posts deleted and other people might even call them names. And then the person who was preaching gets upset at the mean old Atheists not letting them speak.

Is that clearer?

Fish with Trish said...

Bath Tub, my point was that you evangelize on my blog all day long.

BathTub said...

Fi sh wi th Tr ish, you still haven't said what the evangelizing above was.

You've made repeated claims to the amount of time spent. You understand that when you approve comments we get sent email notifications?

Cutting and pasting a dictonary definition after that doesn't take much time. ;)

Heath The Blogless said...

Bath Tub

If Trish doesn't mind I think I know what she was trying to say.

See the second definition.
From the Encarta® World English Dictionary.

evangelize

Definition:

1. convert to Christianity: to convert somebody or the people of an area to Christianity, especially by preaching or missionary work

2. be advocate for a cause: to try to persuade other people to share enthusiasm for specific beliefs and ideals

Hope this clears things up.

BathTub said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Brazen Hussey's said...

Trish:

WHOA! Greg Bahnsen?

Dude, had no idea y'all were THIS cool. I never heard of the guy until I was in seminary at City Seminary of Sacramento, California. Only, it was Cornelius Van Til.

I'm very happy at your links, two opposable thumbs up, and big toes, too!

(really, really impressive: and I didn't know he had this book--I'm getting it today, thanks!!!)

--Shocked and Awed----

James H

ExPatMatt said...

Sometimes people are just jerks.


Do you really think Ray Comfort's approach is going to work for this specific guy?

Everyone has to find their own way of doing what they feel they have to do and if this guy was scared by a few angry emails then I don't think Ray's approach is going to do him any favours at all!

Your approach, Trish, would be far more realistic, I think. You don't blatantly bait atheists to the degree that Ray does and you generally manage to to stick to Scripture (as you should).

Presup. Apologetics is another way of saying; lalalalalal-I'm not listening-lalalala!

Total failure, in my opinion.

I'd like to know what he [Chris] wrote, and where, that provoked such a visceral reaction - is that possible, Trish?

Regards,

Chris said...

I can relate to the email as I went through this at first until I realized that *most* of these people really don't know what they're talking about. Their expertise is actually just a matter of quick Google searches and copy/pasting techniques.

Over the course of my first few weeks I would particularly engage in discussions over the validity of the Bible. Often I'd find the same absurd allegations seemingly word for word being made by different people. I would then search Google with what they wrote in quotes only to be led to the very sites they were getting their information from.

Once you realize they really (the vast majority of the time) aren't the experts they try to present themselves as, you won't feel so bad about the personal attacks.

Fish with Trish said...

Bath Tub, sorry I had to remove your comment post today @ 11:08 PM your language was inappropriate.

Fish with Trish said...

James, you might want this book too. "Pushing the Antithesis"

Found here:
http://www.monergismbooks.com/Pushing-the-Antithesis-The-Apologetic-Methodology-of-Greg-L.-Bahnsen-p-17163.html

Very good book!

BathTub said...

Ok well I am not sure why you would approve it and then delete it.

here is that post again with 1 word changed.

To He ath...

And by saying 'there are some real jerks outs there watch your step', how do you think that fits? "

ExPatMatt said...

Chris,

Sorry, are you talking about atheists lifting arguments against the Bible from common sources without really understanding what they're talking about....

...or are you talking about Creationists doing the same thing with science?

I think both parties are guilty to one degree or another.


I like this blog because, generally, we get lots and lots of personal opinion and not too much copy/pasta.

Trish, any chance of finding out what this guy said?

Regards,

ExPatMatt said...

Nothing?

Brazen Hussey's said...

@ ExPatMatt:

Just curious:

You said Presup. Apologetics is a total failure.

1) have you listened to Greg Bahnsen's "Great Debate" with atheist what's-his-handle?

2) how would you describe the presup. method?

Here's how, in a few words, I'd describe that method:

a) There are unproved "atoms" or "foundations" of belief/worldview structures that we don't prove or can't: we assume or presuppose them. Classic example: God's existence (unless you were Moses, David, or one of the characters in the Bible who witnessed what's recorded, you'd either presuppose His existence or presuppose His non-existence).

b) From that starting point (belief in God or denial of His existence), you build your worldview.

Christopher Hitchens does a good job of this from the atheist position, though as a Christian I'd say he's irrational and has great faith in the non-existence of God. A good book (short!) I read recently to illustrate my point: "Is Christianity Good For the World?" a debate between he and Douglas Wilson, a personal hero of mine. Red cape and all.

I'm rambling. Sorry.

ExPatMatt said...

Brazen, thanks for asking.

Let's call it PA, for short, I can never spell presupopositionalizationism.....

PA says;

There are universal, invariant and abstract laws of morality and logic that can only have come from the Christian God. Prove me wrong.

Oh, and you can't use logic to prove me wrong because using logic presupposes that logic works; and it only works if God made it.

You then enter into a circle of circular reasoning that never ends.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

PA takes axioms to a new level.
I would say that a fair axiom, for me, is 'I exist'. Everything after that is up for grabs. Everything relies on us bouncing ideas off each other and deriving laws and systems to explain our existence, these are constantly being refined as we learn more.

PA says; Axiom 1 - I exist
Axiom 2 - God exists and has revealed His existence in such a way that we can be certain that He exists
Axiom 3 - anyone who disagrees with axiom 2 is hiding from God


What PA fails to acknowledge is that I can hold the axiom - you have brain damage.

Try and prove me wrong. Everything you say, I will claim is a result of your brain-damaged mind, so I don't have to respond to anything you say with anything of substance.


It's a rhetorical trick that utilizes semantics and ambiguous wording to impress people who have no training in logic or philosophy.

I can point you to some examples of it being torn apart, if you like.

Regards,

Brazen Hussey's said...

@ ExPatMatt:

Um...as "evidence" that I am a sinner with a sinfully-crippled mind, I accidentally posted a response in the wrong comment section!

Check out "An Atheist Tracks With Scripture"--there's two responses to you (really: one loooong one...)

Thanks!

Brazen Hussey's said...

@ ExPatMatt:

PA says;

There are universal, invariant and abstract laws of morality and logic that can only have come from the Christian God. Prove me wrong.

Oh, and you can't use logic to prove me wrong because using logic presupposes that logic works; and it only works if God made it.


I won't answer you fully here, as I accidentally posted my fuller answer in another thread, but the reason logic only works in the Christian system is the impossibility of the contrary.

That is, given prevailing cosmological theories of atheism, logic has no real foundation.

One short example:

Big Bang.

Logic can't have arisen from a chaotic, accidental, impersonal, non-living explosion. I hope that's apparent.

You've heard "ex nihilo, nihil fit" or "out of nothing, nothing comes." Well, I don't know the Pig or Standard Latin for it, but "out of chaos, chaos comes."

It would appear that, unless one had a bias against belief in God, we are being told in modern schools of thought that chaos produced order through chance and plenty of time.

This doesn't sit well, for it's never been observed: explosions of any sort produce nothing but perhaps happy (misled) Muslims, destruction and death.

Or: Noodle Theory.

I mean, "String Theory."

Cosmic pasta producing the universe? As if it's a great big guitar? If so: who's plucking the "Cosmic String"?

These are but two such examples.

It seems a logical necessity that personality, minds, life, logic, beauty, etc. require a requisite and effectual Cause back of them.

The only Being that seems to fit is the God of the Bible.

This was longer than I intended, sorry! Have a good night.

freddies_dead said...

Maybe Brazen Hussy can give a proof of the 'impossibility of the contrary'.

ExPatMatt said...

Brazen,

"Big Bang.

Logic can't have arisen from a chaotic, accidental, impersonal, non-living explosion. I hope that's apparent"
.

The Big Bang was not an explosion. I hope that's apparent!

"Cosmic pasta producing the universe? As if it's a great big guitar? If so: who's plucking the "Cosmic String"?".

It would appear that this is strong evidence for the existence of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, no?

I'll get back to you on the other thread....

Brazen Hussey's said...

@ ExPatMatt:

The Big Bang, according to Princeton University's definition:

(cosmology) the cosmic explosion that is hypothesized to have marked the origin of the universe

Yup! It's apparent, alright, to me and Princeton University (used to be such a fine place to train ministers of the Gospel, BTW, and flourished under Jonathan Edwards, fantastic chap): the Big Bang, as theorized, was a...well...big bang.

"Cosmic pasta producing the universe? As if it's a great big guitar? If so: who's plucking the "Cosmic String"?".

It would appear that this is strong evidence for the existence of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, no?


NOW THIS IS COMEDY.

Really.

To be sure: it was the "flying spaghetti monster" comment that flies around between the leading atheists of our time that was in the back of my mind when I wrote that, so touche, friend, well done!

Now, on a serious note: I don't disagree entirely with the notion of the big bang: only that it was more like the big God Speaking event.

As to String Theory and all such competing theories of cosmogenies: they make great reading as far as sci-fi goes, or perhaps fun movies, but don't come near to actually giving sufficient reason for what we know to exist. IMHO.

It's the transcedentals that seem not to fit:

Life
Reason
Beauty
Logic

Even light and energy don't seem to be understood to the degree that we could say, "yeah, that's where that comes from."

We could go on ad infinitum here with explanation after explanation, couldn't we?

That's the trouble with evidence: in a vast universe, when does it become enough? I'm not a great source for answers, just sharing some of my questions, and I will also share that the Bible seems to make sense and make possible all the complexities that we can detect.

I know the common waiving of the hand that dismisses Christians as a group of village fools, and as a Christian sometimes I look around and wish we didn't all have keyboards or mouths, ignorance abounds on this side of the fence, I will admit!

But given all that, honestly, these are all issues that pose neither barrier nor answer to a foundational question: will you turn (collective "you") from your sin and admit this much: you have guilt that can either not be seen by others (because perhaps it isn't blatant) nor washed clean by you? Guilt as in "broken God's law" and "rejected His Son"?

Will you turn from those sins and trust in Christ?

I remember the guilt I had before Christ, and I can't speak for you or anyone else, but it weighed me down. In fact, it nearly cost my marriage. I had sins of the sort that caught up with me in a flood!

Only the Good News of Christ, preached years earlier, could wash that away, take that burden...and that was it. I believed, trusted, cast myself upon Christ. It was a night and day change.

I share that because it's not a lack of evidence that was my trouble, and according to what's been given to us in Scripture, evidence was never in short supply--it was rather a desire of men to love God above all else. In other words: a heart, demeanor, and nature that sought to serve and honor Him even before self-seeking.

It was true for me: I didn't want to follow Christ, I had sinful intentions and lived a wicked life. All I wanted was to be left alone, even knowing what I was doing was wrong, then I hit bottom.

I'd ask that you consider these things, take 'em under advisement, whatever, but come to terms with Jesus Christ before it's simply too late, like for the folks aboard that Air France flight that just crashed. I wonder how many of them were "ready" to meet Christ?

That isn't a sales tactic or emotional appeal. It's just a candid look at the nature of the case. You will face this Judge, empirically, but then it's too late. Repentance and faith in Christ must happen in the here and now, or we get what we deserve (whether we like that or not): eternal justice.

So, I invite you to the Wedding Feast of Christ. Come to Him now, while you have the time.

Reynold said...

Gah. This Presup circular reasoning is stupid.

For a reality check, try reading Dawson Bethrick's "Incinerating Presuppositionalism" blog.

Reynold said...

Whoops. This is an OLD post!