Friday, August 14, 2009

Back on Wretched Radio and the words you DON'T want to hear...

This past Wednesday, if you tuned in, you may have heard my phone fishing segments on Wretched Radio. It was sort of like a big reunion. Ray Comfort was there, Tony was on air and of course Freakishly Tall Todd was there as usual -what a blessing to be on the program! It was a blast.

Tye was on hour 1
Tye listened to Todd and Ray intently... he ran off quickly before I was able to follow up with him but Todd and Ray said he sounded pretty impacted by hearing the good news of the gospel.
Rosalinda was happy to be on Hour 2 of Wretched...
But when Ray Comfort began talking about the 10 commandments...her face changed.


She was quite upset when she got of the phone. She felt that Ray and Todd were "judging" her. So Emilio and I followed up with her. We explained the gospel to her and that Ray and Todd don't judge anyone but they encourage you to look into God's mirror to judge yourself and see how you measure up before a Holy God. After a while she seemed to understand.

Her last words before we walked away where the words that I didn't want to hear...she said, "You know what...I'm not ready to walk with God and live for Him...I'm living for myself right now!" My heart just broke when I heard those words roll off her tounge. So Emilio and I pleaded with her that she may not have tomorrow and urged her to "repent today and consider all we said".


I gave her a big hug right before we left.

137 comments:

Christopher Fontenot said...

Statements like that should drive us harder to reach everyone with the Gospel. It reminds us of not only the fallen-ness of humanity but also from what we have been rescued!

Christopher Fontenot said...

Statements like that should drive us harder to reach everyone with the Gospel. It reminds us of not only the fallen-ness of humanity but also from what we have been rescued!

ExPatMatt said...

The poor girl!

She doesn't look old enough to thoughtfully deal with the turn or burn technique - but then, those are your prime targets, right Trish?

Get 'em while they're weak and vulnerable, so much easier to scare into believing they're sick that way, and with an invisible illness that you're selling an invisible cure for they're all yours...


Regards,

blogster said...

Its hard when someone says they want to do their own thing.I agree with ExPatMatt. We were all weak and vulnerable before we accepted Christ No one can make it to heaven on their own. The law is to make us realize our sinfulness and make us aware that the consequence leads us to repentance. Hell is indeed a scarry place. Suffering forever and ever. But a person doesn't have go there because of God's Son death and resurrection. We can repent (turn away from our sin) and put our trust in Him to save us. All glory to God. One day all will bow and confess Him as Lord and Savior either here on earth or on the of judgment. Better now while they have the chance with God's grace because later is to late when at that point there is no saving grace.

Larryk12309 said...

Wow! It's been a while since I listened to The Wretched Radio podcast. Now I've got a good reason to download Wednesday's show!

bassicallymike said...

Matthew 7:6 (ESV) 6. “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.

When commenting on the above verse at the end of Sermon #3096 in Volume 54 of the “Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit”, C.H. Spurgeon stated,

"When men are evidently unable to perceive the purity of a great Truth of God, do not set it before them. They are like mere dogs and if you set holy things before them they will be provoked to “turn again and rend you.” Holy things are not for the profane. “Outside are dogs”—they must not be allowed to enter the holy place. When you are in the midst of the vicious, who are like “swine,” do not bring forth the precious mysteries of the faith, for they will despise them and “trample them under their feet” in the mire. You are not needlessly to provoke attack upon yourself, or upon the higher Truths of the Gospel. You are not to judge, but you are not to act without judgment. Count not men to be dogs or swine, but when they avow themselves to be such, or by their conduct act as if they were such, do not put occasions in their way for displaying their evil character. Saints are not to be simpletons— they are not to be judges, but, also, they are not to be fools. Great King, how much wisdom Your precepts require! I need You, not only to open my mouth, but also at times to keep it shut!"


Question for fellow believers……At this point, do you feel Matt has, “avowed himself to be such”?

His purpose here is to sow seeds of doubt among professed believers, mainly through the propagation of the non-gospel of evolution. Elsewhere, he and his fellow rational thinking skeptic mates, refer to us as “incorrigible fundies” lol, among other, less than genteel names.

So, while we are busy trying to confront him with the idea of God’s Law, sin, death, final judgment, hell, faith, repentance and hone our apologetic skills along the way, he, likewise, is trying to de-convert us. Fair enough! But, at what point do we stop engaging Matt or others in light of the above verse. I do not put Matt or anyone else outside of the possibility of God’s regenerating work! It is obvious he is spiritually dead and his bones are extremely dry though.(Ezekiel 37)

Dr. John MacArthur has stated in reference to Matt.7:6, “you only need to present the Gospel to a certain point; and then when people become abusive, blasphemous, it's time to cease, at that point at least, the offering. There is a limit.” Question is, has Matt reached that limit?

The above question, is by no means an indictment against those who clearly, have the heart and calling for such a ministry as Ray has undertaken over at his blog.

ExPatMatt said...

Hey Mike, good to see you again.

Please feel free to point out where I'm being "viscous", "abusive" or "blasphemous" and I'll gladly apologize.

I take great care to always capitalize God and Jesus even when I'm saying 'He' or 'Him', which isn't specified in the blog rules, and I am generally civil unless I feel a sterner tone is warranted.

If Trish doesn't want my input/thoughts here, she has only to ask and I will leave, but I was under the impression, as you said, that one of the points of this blog was to;

"hone our apologetic skills".

I think I serve a valuable function for many of the Christians who post here (as do other non-believers). You get to see what atheists are like and develop your techniques for evangelizing to them by practicing on us - what's wrong with that?

I only bring up evolution/science when I feel that misinformation is being spread and I don't consider that to be an act against the Gospel in any way because I don't see that the two are incompatible.

I'm not trying to deconvert anyone, I just enjoy the chat!

I do note that nobody has shown me how I am mistaken in what I am saying in my initial comment, you basically(mike) just went straight for an ad hom attack.

Can't we all just get along?

bassicallymike said...

Hey Matt!
I do not believe I actually accused you of being “"vicious", "abusive" or "blasphemous".

I do think you “despise the precious mysteries of the faith” as evidenced by your subtle but pointed accusations against Trish and the Gospel in your earlier response. And…….we could have waltzed around whether or not you actually intended to imply as much for several post, but, I don’t waltz very well.

“I just enjoy the chat!” Me too! That’s why I asked fellow believers for input.

You have served a purpose here Matt. Thanks for that! There are times though, when you have crossed the line as far as I am concerned. Seeing your tenor and language in other places causes me to be less tolerant when you do cross the line here.

On the ad hom response, what else would you expect from an incalcitrant, incorrigible fundie?

Can’t we all just get along? Sorry, only on God’s terms!
Blessings!

Jason said...

Atheists are so judgmental.

bassicallymike said...

Hey Matt,
I don’t think I directly accused you of being "viscous", "abusive" or "blasphemous".
I do think you despise the precious mysteries of the faith though, as evidenced by your subtle but pointed attack on Trish and the Gospel in your initial post. I think there are other places on the web where you are blasphemous. And......we could have waltzed around for several post on whether or not that was what you actually intended to communicate, but, I don't waltz very well.

I too enjoy the chat! That is why I asked fellow believers for input. I believe I raised a very valid and practical question for believers. I have read the testimonies of a former rational response squad person, so the interaction is a worthwhile endeavor. There are some like Ray, who obviously have the gift and the heart for this type of interaction.

From the verse I quoted and the comments by Spurgeon and MacArthur it appears it is not absolutely necessary to keep the conversation going in the face of some types of responses. I think my questions were.... "do you feel Matt has, “avowed himself to be such”? and has Matt reached that limit?. I did unequivocally say, you were spiritually dead and had an agenda here, as we do.



You have served a purpose here Matt. I appreciate that! However, having seen your tenor and language other places on the web though , have greatly diminished my willingness to tolerate your calling into question Trish's motives/methods and your insinuations as to the reality the Gospel.

As to the "Ad Hom" attack, what else would you expect from an incalcitrant, incorrigible fundie? Myself and your dear Methodist Mum may have something in common though, I know I humbly and sincerely pray for your Salvation. I hope others here join me in praying to that end as well.

Can't we all just get along? Sorry, only on God's terms!
Blessings!

ExPatMatt said...

Basicallymike (theist): "It is obvious he [ExPatMatt] is spiritually dead and his bones are extremely dry".

Me (atheist): "Can't we all just get along?".

Jason (unknown): "Atheists are so judgmental".



Me: laughing.

bassicallymike said...

Matt:Laughing

Me:Laughing and praying!

Not like the WoF'ers though.

ExPatMatt said...

Mike,

One thing is for sure; you definitely did not accuse me of being "viscous"! I really shouldn't assume that, just because spellcheck says it's ok, it's actually the right word!

I don't despise the faith, Mike. I disagree with a lot of what people do in the name of 'the faith' but I have nothing against belief itself.

I'm sure there are plenty of places on the web where I've said plenty of things that I wouldn't say here. I don't swear in front of my granny, but that doesn't mean I don't swear! I limit what I say here out of respect for the blogmaster, that's just internet-etiquette but that doesn't mean that what I say here is the limit of what I actually think.

If you have a problem with that, take me to task but don't skulk around the web taking notes on what I say elsewhere and try and use that to cast me in a negative light here; that's highly unscrupulous, in my opinion.

A search on wearesmrt.com indicates that your name has come up once in the forum you mentioned and that was back in May - and it didn't appear to be anything slanderous; what's the big deal?

Besides all this, it seems that blogster agreed with my comment...although I'm not sure they understood it! So, again, what's the problem?

Cheers,

bassicallymike said...

Matt,
LOL, Yeah I should have [sic]ed you on "viscous".

Browsing is not skulking.

I took no notes.

If pointing out a snake in the grass is unscrupulous, then, dude, you nailed me again. You are what you are, wherever you are.

It was not anything against me personally on the website, but against Christianity in general that I took exception to.

Matt said...it seems that blogster agreed with my comment...although I'm not sure they understood it!
I don't think it was understood either,IMO.

I still believe I raised a valid question.

Whateverman said...

basicallymike wrote It was not anything against me personally on the website, but against Christianity in general that I took exception to.

So, when you disagree with something said about your community, you "take exception".

When atheists do the same, they're trying to deconvert you and are spiritually dead?

Really??

You value your own perception far too much, in my humble opinion. Disagreements about the Bible aside, you seem to not be willing to consider that it (perception) might be fallible.

That has nothing to do with the Bible. It's hubris, pure and simple.

ExPatMatt said...

Mike,

LOL, Yeah I should have [sic]ed you on "viscous"".

Well, I can be a bit thick sometimes!

Boom. Boom.

How am I a 'snake in the grass' by the way? Everyone here knows my position, it's not like it's a secret or something.

"You are what you are, wherever you are".

I never claimed otherwise. And you've have to be pretty stupid to think otherwise. But, as I said, that doesn't mean that I have to conduct myself in the same way wherever I am and I certainly don't have to explain myself to you.

I wonder, if your question was a valid one (which, by the way, I think it was), why am I the only one addressing it?

Ironically enough, this would appear to validate my stated reason for being here!

And, for the record, wearesmrt.com does not specifically target anyone, we will ridicule anything we find ridiculous - we are equal opportunity slanderers and proud of it. If you disagree with something we say then why not sign-up and join in, it's a pretty friendly forum and none of this annoying moderation malarkey.

Also, it's mostly Christians (and what they say), not Christianity that we take issue with or have you not seen the latest Chick Tract?



Cheers,

bassicallymike said...

WEM,
Please don't loose sight that this all started when Matt, very snarkily, called into question Trish's methods/motives and disparaged the Gospel. He wasn't talking about Erv's or his near kin, or the age of the earth, he was snarking and sniping the Gospel and it's presentation. He was right, he doesn't despise the faith, so long as no one practices or tries to propagate it.

I asked a very relevant question of believers. No one has seen fit to weigh in on it yet.

Matt went into damage control by accusing me of being unscrupulous, like I was out surreptitiously digging in his trash when no site I visited required announcement or registration. I did not divulge anything except a couple of pet names ya'll have for us. And yes, I guess deconvert was the wrong word. Let's see, maybe it was sow seeds of doubt or something along those lines. Seems like that was what the Serpent did in the Garden was it not, “Did God actually say," and later “You will not surely die."

Jon, I have enjoyed most of my interactions with both you and Matt here. You guys have taken me to the woodshed so to speak on a couple of occasions and I have learned from that. I will repeat it again, maybe it will sink in this time. After reading some of what you guys post over on your site, I am much less likely to tolerate an attack like what Matt did on Trish and the Gospel here. Read it again. Why?, I now understand you aren't just seeking conversation/answers, but are purveyors of doubt.

Matt said..Me (atheist)

That is spiritually dead!

My perception is fallible, Jon, however it is my desire to perceive what I see and hear in light of God's Word. If any believer here wants to take me to task for what I've said, I will humbly submit to that.

You know Jon, one day we will stand before a Holy God and give account for not only every word we say or type, but for every hidden thought we've ever had. I urge you to think about that.

Whateverman said...

I think about it every time my finger presses a key on this keyboard, 'Mike.

What should bother you is that you refuse to accept that I actually do think about such things. It's bothersome because hubris is what prevents you from accepting it.

Whateverman said...

Basically mike wrote Please don't loose sight that this all started when Matt, very snarkily, called into question Trish's methods/motives and disparaged the Gospel

.. and this somehow justifies - what? what does Matt's first comment justify, 'Mike?

"Very snarkily"? Seems to me EPM accused Trish of the same things that Christians accuse each other of. You're not offended because EPM somehow insulted Christianity - you're insulted because he insulted YOUR version of it.

It's hubris to pretend otherwise (are you detecting the theme yet?)

Whateverman said...

One last post for today. basicallymike wrote After reading some of what you guys post over on your site, I am much less likely to tolerate an attack like what Matt did on Trish and the Gospel here.

"Oh heavens, some people insult Christian dogma. Therefore all critics are insulting all of Christianity."

Seriously, ExPatMatt is obeying Trish's rules, and he's being polite about his disagreements. I'm pretty sure if he fails to do either of these things, you can call him (and me) on it and he (and I) will change.

You seem to be taking EPM's comments personally, as if you feel that your entire theology needs to be defended. I submit to you (for the third and last time today) that it's your pride that's causing you to react this way.

Disagreements happen. You need to deal with them like an adult.

ExPatMatt said...

Mike,

I think it was the '[you] may not have tomorrow' bit that really caught my eye in the OP. It just comes across as a scare tactic.

I'm sure that you'd agree with that description as well, except with the caveat that it is the fear of God (root of all wisdom and all that) and is necessary in order to see yourself as a sinner. Fine, that's Christian doctrine.

However, I saw the pictures of the girl, clearly upset, and not in an emotional state to deal with death and damnation and then I imagined someone following that up by saying 'hey, you might die in your sleep tonight so you need to repent and soon - think about it!'.

I just don't like it. It sounds very much like what cults do when they're recruiting and, as I said, nobody has thought it worthwhile to tell me how I'm wrong about this. (BTW, the invisible illness/cure is an accurate metaphor for the Christian doctrine of sin and redemption and so is not disparaging)

You said this;

"He [me] was right, he doesn't despise the faith, so long as no one practices or tries to propagate it".

Which I would like you to retract as it is untrue and without basis. I didn't like this instance of the faith being shared, with good reason, but that doesn't mean that I have a problem with anyone practicing or propagating in general.

I do think that people should be able to justify what they believe and why though...

I'm not going to deny the charge that I see doubt as a good thing when it comes to knowledge. Certainty is the enemy of curiosity and invention and closes the mind to alternate possibilities. I don't see anything wrong with that, but that's me. Deal with it.

And I don't really mind you calling me spiritually dead, because I don't believe in spirits, it's like me saying that your chakras are blocked; doesn't really bother you, does it?

Cheers,

bassicallymike said...

Guys,
Seems like the charge, counter charge thing could go on till Jesus returns, and we would not be any closer to a resolution.

My chakras are blocked? Isn’t that Hindu? The group whose explanation of earthquakes was that one of the eight giant elephants that held the earth on their heads had lowered its head out of weariness and shook it. I don’t know……I hope they are blocked!

I would like to bring up one final thought though, Matt has oft bemoaned the fact that few of the folks that sign up for the giveaways seldom hang around to chat. Could it be that they aren’t interested in being accosted by you two? It takes a lot of time and effort to mix it up with ya'll. Maybe they would rather be handing out flowers in a nursing home, handing out tracts in front of Walmart(hopefully not Chick tracts, huh Matt), or some other seemingly worthwhile endeavor. Oh well, just a thought.

Blessings!

The Murphy's said...

Why would she want to walk with a God who's followers are always "judging"?

Jason and Vanessa said...

The Murphy's

Are you judging that others are judging? Based on your standard you should stop.

Thank you,

jason d.

ExPatMatt said...

Mike,

That's some high-quality excuse-making there my friend. Yes, I'm sure WEM and I just scare the pants right off all those meek and mild Christian freebie-hunters!


Let's settle this once and for all, ok?

Trish:

Would you like me to continue commenting at your blog, or would you prefer it if I left?

Either way, I will respect your wishes as this is your house.

Regards,

Whateverman said...

basicallymike I would like to bring up one final thought though, Matt has oft bemoaned the fact that few of the folks that sign up for the giveaways seldom hang around to chat. Could it be that they aren’t interested in being accosted by you two? It takes a lot of time and effort to mix it up with ya'll. Maybe they would rather be handing out flowers in a nursing home, handing out tracts in front of Walmart(hopefully not Chick tracts, huh Matt), or some other seemingly worthwhile endeavor. Oh well, just a thought.

I can't believe you've just suggested that we drive people away from this blog.

'Mike, if you asked Trish about her ultimate purpose for this blog, wouldn't you guess she'd say something along the lines of "Christian Evangelism"? And since it's actually people like EPM and I who are targets of said evangelism, wouldn't that suggest that giving away free stuff is less important than preaching the gospel?

You're right - we could go back and forth forever. The real issue is not that Ray and his ministry have critics - it's that people like you refuse to listen to them.

From now on, I'm going to treat you exactly like you treat me. You no longer have anything useful to say.

Cheers

The Murphy's said...

Jason,

I'm not judging, I am asking a valid question?

Ryan

bassicallymike said...

Matt said…. I do think that people should be able to justify what they believe and why though...

That’s the rub though Matt.

From Massimo Lorenzi’s website:
What truth verification scale will you use to weigh the answer? Or, by what ultimate criterion for truth will you accept or reject the answer? This is the real issue. The issue of epistemology (one's theory of knowledge). Is it the testimony of God as revealed in the self-authenticating Scripture? Or is it autonomous reasoning? Which one do you appeal to as the final arbiter of truth?

We disagree based on two different world views that can find little common ground except at the foot of the cross of Christ. So no matter what my answer or justification for my belief, it will have little if any validity in light of your worldview.

I think most folks who visit but never post would not have any problem giving “a reason for the hope that is in them”. Being willing to stick around to defend that hope against someone who holds a worldview that is diametrically opposed and uses a different criterion for truth is another matter.

WEM,
“For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” Not pride. I have nothing to be proud of. What do I have that I did not receive?
I didn’t say you drove people away. I indicated, they may not post here for the above reasons.
Could it be ,implies a question.

bassicallymike said...

Sorry, it is
Massimo Lorenzini
Frontline Ministries

ExPatMatt said...

Mike,

I disagree (that we can't find common ground).

I can fully accept your belief in God if, for example, you tell me that your conversion experience was such that it left you in no doubt that God is real and you are saved by Christ's blood. That's fine and I have no problem with that.

Can you accept that without a conversion experience I am left with little choice but to approach the question of God's existence in the only way I know how; with my mind?

I'd say there's definitely common ground there to be found if you want to.

Trish,

Still waiting on your decision....

Fish with Trish said...

"Would you like me to continue commenting at your blog, or would you prefer it if I left?"

Things have been busy around here and I have not read every comment word for word. Thank you for your patience in receiving my comment.

As long as you are not violating the blog rules and you are responding to those on my blog in a respectful fashion than you are free to stay.

"She doesn't look old enough to thoughtfully deal with the turn or burn technique"

1. You have no idea her age - looks are deceiving. She was 20 yrs old.

2. There is no age requirement given biblically that one has to reach in order to understand the gospel.

The message is clear...repent or perish!

bassicallymike said...

Matt,
You say you accept my belief in God. More than that, I hope you understand just how precious the Gospel is to me and will refrain from making light of it here at least.
Because I understood God existed before my conversion, I admit I have trouble identifying with your atheism.
When you say we can find common ground, I appreciate your conciliatory tone, but,……… I turn skeptic! LOL Where would it start?

ExPatMatt said...

Trish,

Thank you for that warm embrace of my contributions here; it made me feel all fuzzy inside. Honestly, there could be tears. ;)

I didn't say I knew her age I said, and you quoted me saying; 'she doesn't look old enough' and I'm not sure that 20 is old enough - I know you'd probably say that you're never too young to get saved (and that's fair enough, because of how good a thing you believe that is), but you have to appreciate how it looks from a non-believer's stance. Imagine if some Muslims we're using similar scare tactics to win converts...

Cheers,

Joe said...

There is no debate, we shouldn't waste our breath. Out of nothing comes nothing. The atheistic evolutionist can't explain it away, though thet try to there own shame. Nothing DID NOT evolve into everything, it's impossible!

Joe said...

Preach the Word, when it's popular and when it's not. Everywhere and all the time. Lets go!!




Evolutionist equation: 0+0= every living and non-living thing, terrible math, but great scince!

Joe said...

Get 'em while they're weak and vulnerable, so much easier to scare into believing they're sick that way, and with an invisible illness that you're selling an invisible cure for they're all yours...

Actually, get 'em before they are corrupted any further by this worlds wisdom. Of course all people are wicked from birth, so it's good to get 'em young. So the truth of the word of God can plow their hard stoney hearts.

Whateverman said...

Joe, as a Christian, you also believe that out of nothing comes everything (an intellectual embarrassment!).

After all, who created the creator?

Jason and Vanessa said...

Ryan,

You question is loaded and is based on a judgment you are making.

--

Whateverman,

You said, "Joe, as a Christian, you also believe that out of nothing comes everything"

Wrong, Christianity doesn't teach that.

You said, "After all, who created the creator?"

Noone, for God was not created. From everlasting to everlasting He is God alone. (1 Chronicles 16:36 | Nehemiah 9:5 | Psalm 41:13 | Psalm 90:2 | Psalm 103:17 | Psalm 106:48)

soli Deo gloria!

jason d.

ExPatMatt said...

Joe,

Hi there!

"The atheistic evolutionist can't explain it away, though they try to there own shame".

What about the theistic evolutionist? Can they explain it? There's a lot of them, you know?

"Nothing DID NOT evolve into everything, it's impossible!".

Well, it's a good job no scientist thinks that then, isn't it?

"Evolutionist equation: 0+0= every living and non-living thing, terrible math, but great scince!".

Actually it's more like;

1+1=2
2+1=3
3+1=4
etc...

And that's because evolution does not apply until you have imperfectly replicating organisms.

But then, you knew that, right?



As I said, repeatable; teaching evolution to creationists...

Cheers,

Whateverman said...

Ryan and Vanessa responded to my comments to Joe. Here is what they said:

Whateverman,

You said, "Joe, as a Christian, you also believe that out of nothing comes everything"

Wrong, Christianity doesn't teach that.


RaV, Christians teach that nothing created God. They often do so while making that argument that something must come from something else.

These two opinions conflict.

Ray Comfort and (apparently) Joe preach that everything came from nothing. An intellectual embarrassment.

Whateverman said...

To Jason D: sorry about me calling you "RaV". For some reason I was thinking "Ray and Vanessa".

Incidentally, the scripture which claims God was not created makes my point for me. Nothing created God who created everything.

Ergo, nothing created everything.

(Understand me, I'm not trying to belittle your beliefs. I'm simply responding to Joe who seems to not understand that his world view has the same problem that he claims the atheist's does.)

The Murphy's said...

Jason,

Ray and Trish ask loaded questions, like are you a good person? Where are you going when you die? etc...

ryan

Jason and Vanessa said...

Whateverman,

you said:

"Christians teach that nothing created God.

Wrong again, that is simply not a Christian teaching.

"They often do so while making that argument that something must come from something else. These two opinions conflict.

Perhaps it would be helpful to clarify then. All created "something(s) must come from something else." God is not created though, rather He is eternal, but everything else was created by Him. Thus they do not conflict.

I see where you are questioning their logic, I just don't think they are clarifying enough and I believe they are just talking about created things. Cause you are right, there would be a infinite regress that this created that which created that wich created that ect...

As Christians we believe the first cause, the first creator was God who is not created by anything, is eternally self-sufficient, and eternal.

Hope that clarifies.

--

Ryan,

You are missing my point, my point is not that loaded questions are wrong but I am saying your initial question:

'Why would she want to walk with a God who's followers are always "judging"?'

Seems to imply that you think it is wrong to judge, yet you are making a judgment that God's "followers are always 'judging'". I'm merely pointing out that you are not following what seems to be your own standard of judgment.

ExPatMatt said...

J&V,

"Perhaps it would be helpful to clarify then. All created "something(s) must come from something else." God is not created though, rather He is eternal, but everything else was created by Him. Thus they do not conflict".

How have you determined that the universe is a 'created something'?

Would it be fair to say that your basis for saying that everything has a creator and the universe is no different (having been created by God), is based solely on the Bible?

How would you go about demonstrating that the universe is a 'created something' when discussing the matter with someone who does not already accept the inerrancy of the Bible?

Many thanks,

The Murphy's said...

Jason,
Again my question was an honest question that came from this young lady, she said she thought they were judging her and she wasn't ready to walk with God. So the point is, can you invite someone on a faith journey without judging them first?
Ryan

Jason and Vanessa said...

ExPatMatt, you said:

How have you determined that the universe is a 'created something'?

Would it be fair to say that your basis for saying that everything has a creator and the universe is no different (having been created by God), is based solely on the Bible?


Yes, that is both fair and correct. I was simply giving the Christian view contrary to the one who said "Who created God then..."

How would you go about demonstrating that the universe is a 'created something' when discussing the matter with someone who does not already accept the inerrancy of the Bible?

I would demonstrate the presuppositions that the Bible has and go from there. I wouldn't go to science since neither the creation or evolution side can prove their side scientifically. (i.e. you can't put the origins of the universe in a test tube)

--

Ryan, you said:

she said she thought they were judging her and she wasn't ready to walk with God.

asking a question is not judging, so she was wrong. this happens alot when people are confronted with sin, they will make excuses to not deal with something.

So the point is, can you invite someone on a faith journey without judging them first?

Not sure what a faith journey is... God says He will judge the world in righteousness:

...[The LORD] comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness, and the peoples in his faithfulness.
- Psalm 96:13

and if telling that to someone is considered judging then they have to take the issue up with God, as we are merely ambassadors for Christ:

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
- 2 Corinthians 5:2

I don't see where we are to welcome someone to a "faith journey" rather:

"...[God] commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”
- Acts 17:30-31

ExPatMatt said...

J&V,

Fair enough, and very nicely put.

What do you say to people (Christians) who, when asked for proof of God, say; "you only have to look at Creation!"

Do you think this is an effective approach to use on people who do not accept Biblical presuppositions?

To my mind this tautology represents an inability on the part of the theist to independently demonstrate the reality of their claims, without resorting to an Appeal to (dubious) Authority ie, the Bible.

I'm interested to hear your thoughts.

I would certainly agree that you can't put the origins of the universe in a test tube. However, scientific understanding of the early universe (shortly after the Big Bang) is fairly comprehensive and, so far, everything has a naturalistic explanation attached to it.

Before I go on, could you clarify your position regarding origins? Are you a Young Earth or Old Earth Creationist / Theistic Evolutionist / Other?

Many thanks,

The Murphy's said...

Jason,

We obviously disagree about how someone comes to follow Jesus and you know that I don't agree with WOTM tactics. I just don't fine them loving or true to Jesus.

Ryan

Jason and Vanessa said...

Ryan, you said:

We obviously disagree about how someone comes to follow Jesus and you know that I don't agree with WOTM tactics.

That doesn't answer the question and if you disagree then what is your goal here? To convert people away from using Way of the Master tactics?

I just don't fine them loving or true to Jesus.

What don't you find loving or false? Asking questions? Preaching the gospel? The use of the commandments in witnessing?

'You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’ - Jesus (Mark 10)

Seems true to Jesus, I see Him doing all those things in His ministry, and not just Him but His disciples as well. If you are going to say someone is "not loving" then that is you making a judgment about someones motives and heart... is that true to Jesus?

Again, if you don't like this method why spend time on here? To tear down other Christians or what?


--


ExPattMatt, you said:

What do you say to people (Christians) who, when asked for proof of God, say; "you only have to look at Creation!"

Do you think this is an effective approach to use on people who do not accept Biblical presuppositions?


We all have presuppositions so if I tell that to someone who is already convinced that tree came about without any kind of creator then it obviously won't be effective, I don't think it is wrong and I know it is used to show people that it is common sense that something organized came from an organizer, ect... but that still in the end doesn't prove God. God promises that His Word and the gospel are the power of God to salvation (Romans 1) that is why I stick with the gospel. It is more important that people repent of their sins they committed against God and put their faith in Jesus Christ and the work He did on the cross to die for sinners than to believe in creation. Though I understand that for many that is a stumbling block, my answer to that is simply that their minds are darkened and they are suppressing the truth in unrighteousness simply because they love their sin and don't want to give it up.

However, scientific understanding of the early universe (shortly after the Big Bang) is fairly comprehensive and, so far, everything has a naturalistic explanation attached to it.

It sounds like your presupposition is the reality of the Big Bang, it was my understanding that this was ultimately a theory, a theory because you can't scientifically prove it (i.e. put it in a test tube / use the scientific method). Of course please correct me if I am wrong. Also, what is the naturalistic explanation for the Big Bang or the origin of the ingredients that caused the Big Bang (if it is true, as you say, "so far, everything has a naturalistic explanation attached to it.")

Before I go on, could you clarify your position regarding origins? Are you a Young Earth or Old Earth Creationist / Theistic Evolutionist / Other?

Certainly, though I know there are differences in this even amongst Christian, I recognize it is not something necessary for salvation, the plain reading of Scripture lead me to a Creationist view, neither Old or Young because I don't see the Bible trying to make that point, but it is very clear God created everything and I don't see in Scritpure any reason to believe He used the means of macro-evolution to do that.

May I ask what your standard of truth is or how do you know fact? Scientific method? Plain senses? Reason?

soli Deo gloria!

jason d.

Whateverman said...

Jason D wrote 'You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’ - Jesus (Mark 10)

Seems true to Jesus.

Except that many people who frequent Ray Comfort's blog would say he bears false witness on a daily basis. Mischaracterizing the views of his critics, demonizing them, repeating lies that have been debunked.

I'm not saying people should agree with atheism; they can even find it repugnant, and it wont matter. The real issue here (as I think The Murphy's is getting at [apologies if I'm wrong]) is that Ray seems to say one thing and do another. he pays lip service to the very thing he holds so dear...

ExPatMatt said...

jason,

Fair enough and I appreciate your detailed response.

"...they are suppressing the truth in unrighteousness simply because they love their sin and don't want to give it up".

I know you wouldn't presume to know what's in my heart or anything like that but, just out of interest, which sin(s) do you think I am so desperate to hold onto that I would willingly suffer an eternity of torture just to keep on sinning for an extra few decades?

That line of 'suppressing truth in unrighteousness' has always seemed like a bit of a cop-out to me, it's what you say when your arguments aren't strong enough to convince someone - you just poison the well and blame the skeptic.

"It sounds like your presupposition is the reality of the Big Bang,".

Big Bang Theory (BBT) is more of a conclusion, I do not use it as a starting point for my beliefs.

"...it was my understanding that this was ultimately a theory, a theory because you can't scientifically prove it (i.e. put it in a test tube / use the scientific method). Of course please correct me if I am wrong".

You're right in that it is a theory, but you're wrong in thinking that it is a theory because it hasn't been proven.

In science, a theory is an explanation as to how and why a certain phenomenon occurs. It is supported by and explains a number of facts and laws and allows scientists to make predictions that could, potentially, falsify the theory if the results aren't what is predicted.

In the case of BBT, the prediction was that there should be background radiation present from the initial expansion of the universe and this Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation was discovered as predicted, which provided further evidence to support the accuracy of the BBT.

To be clear though, a theory in science is NEVER proven, nor do they 'graduate' to laws. For a much clearer explanation on this, I suggest you got to the National Academy of Sciences or the University of Berkeley website.

"Also, what is the naturalistic explanation for the Big Bang or the origin of the ingredients that caused the Big Bang".

I said that the early universe, shortly after the big bang was understood. I made no claims about pre-big bang knowledge. Actually 'pre' might not even apply if time began at the point of the big bang!


"I don't see in Scripture any reason to believe He used the means of macro-evolution to do that".

There's also nothing in Scripture to suggest that mountains are formed by plate tectonics, or that gravity is a result of the warping of space-time by massive bodies, but that doesn't stop them from being accurate descriptions of reality, does it?

Could you perhaps give a brief description of what you mean by 'macro-evolution' as many Christians have differing ideas as to what this means (as it is not really a technical term)? Thanks.

"May I ask what your standard of truth is or how do you know fact?".

I guess that depends on how metaphysical you want to get! At the root of it, 'I think therefore I am' suffices to let me know that I exist and can form thought about the world around me. Everything else is tentative and could be shown to be false if, for example; God reveals himself to me, or Morpheus unplugs me from the Matrix
or something else happens that shatters my perception of reality.

Until that happens, my ONLY rational choice is to trust my senses (within reason) and accept evidence where it is shown to be accurate. I know fact the same way everyone knows fact - if it is universally held to be demonstrably correct.

"Scientific method? Plain senses? Reason?".

Not sure where the question went there, but the scientific method is an excellent way to establish truth (or at least an approximation of truth). Due to its self-correcting nature and the fact that the contributing scientists come from all walks of life with many different worldviews, the combined body of knowledge is very robust.

Regards,

Jason and Vanessa said...

ExPatMatt,

I know you wouldn't presume to know what's in my heart or anything like that

I wouldn't know details but since I believe God knows (since all things are laid bare before Him) and He has revealed it in His Word then I can say the same thing that God says about my heart, that it is evil and deceitfully wicked. We are inventors of all kinds of evil.

but, just out of interest, which sin(s) do you think I am so desperate to hold onto that I would willingly suffer an eternity of torture just to keep on sinning for an extra few decades?

I don't believe you think "an eternity of torture" is a fact but I know I have done many sins in my life just too please myself, not caring about other and especially not caring about God... that is until I became a Christian.

That line of 'suppressing truth in unrighteousness' has always seemed like a bit of a cop-out to me, it's what you say when your arguments aren't strong enough to convince someone - you just poison the well and blame the skeptic.

I don't think I used it in a cop-out fashion, though if I did I will gladly re-phrase my answer or be more thorough.

In the case of BBT, the prediction was that there should be background radiation present from the initial expansion of the universe and this Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation was discovered as predicted, which provided further evidence to support the accuracy of the BBT.

I have heard that, but some have proposed that that doesn't prove BBT because of the light-travel time problem.

"I said that the early universe, shortly after the big bang was understood."

Understood? Since when? I understand that there have been different evolving views of BBT, if they are unstood why does it need to evolve or change?

I made no claims about pre-big bang knowledge. Actually 'pre' might not even apply if time began at the point of the big bang!

If time began, but how can you know that?

There's also nothing in Scripture to suggest that mountains are formed by plate tectonics, or that gravity is a result of the warping of space-time by massive bodies, but that doesn't stop them from being accurate descriptions of reality, does it?

You are correct, but in Scripture it does say we reproduce after our own kind, not that He made us to evolve from one species to another.

Could you perhaps give a brief description of what you mean by 'macro-evolution' as many Christians have differing ideas as to what this means (as it is not really a technical term)?

I am using it to refer to the change of one species to another over time (i.e. a fish turning into a mammal). I know the term is used different ways in different context, and I know it is not the scientific term but I believe in the context we are in you know what I mean, right?

At the root of it, 'I think therefore I am' suffices to let me know that I exist and can form thought about the world around me...Until that happens, my ONLY rational choice is to trust my senses (within reason) and accept evidence where it is shown to be accurate.

Haven't your senses ever deceived you? Though you saw something you didn't? (perhaps that was just a glitch in the Matrix ;]) How do you know you have a brain? Have you ever used any of your senses to give evidence of it? What about dreams? How do you use your standard to show those things exist?

soli Deo gloria!

jason d.

ExPatMatt said...

Jason,

"I don't believe you think "an eternity of torture" is a fact but I know I have done many sins in my life just too please myself, not caring about other and especially not caring about God... that is until I became a Christian".

That doesn't answer the question though. You're claiming that unbelievers are 'suppressing the truth in unrighteousness because they love their sin' and I'm asking you to make sense of that statement.

I can't think of a single thing that I do that I wouldn't gladly give up if I thought for a minute there was a chance I'd be going to Hell for it.

"I don't think I used it in a cop-out fashion, though if I did I will gladly re-phrase my answer or be more thorough".

I'm not saying you did, but it does seem to crop up a lot as an easy fall-back position and when it does, it comes across as laziness.


"I have heard that, but some have proposed that that doesn't prove BBT because of the light-travel time problem".

I don't know what the 'light-travel time problem' is, could you enlighten me? There is not much dissent from the idea that the universe expanded from a point some 13billion years ago, among cosmologists/physicists, as far as I'm aware.

"Understood? Since when? I understand that there have been different evolving views of BBT, if they are understood why does it need to evolve or change?".

This comes back to the idea off acquiring knowledge/understanding. We can only know something based on the facts we have available, so saying 'we understand that...' is shorthand for saying 'it is currently understood, based on the available evidence and with the caveat that this understanding can and will change when new evidence comes to light, that...'

"If time began, but how can you know that?".

Good question. You'd have to ask someone who knows more about big bang cosmology than me!

"You are correct, but in Scripture it does say we reproduce after our own kind, not that He made us to evolve from one species to another".

Evolution also says that we reproduce after our own kind. Evolution does not suggest that at any point was an offspring a different kind (family/species/genus?) than it's parents.

"I am using it to refer to the change of one species to another over time (i.e. a fish turning into a mammal)".

Your example (fish --> mammal) is not an example of one species changing into another.

'Fish' is an extremely old clade* of organisms that includes, I think, all vertebrates that have come since (so, technically, we are still 'fish'), and modern fish include around 28,000 distinct species, so you'd have to be a bit more specific if you want to try and classify 'fish' as a species!

Whereas 'mammal' is a younger clade, descended from a lineage of 'fish' that includes any and all four-legged vertebrates that have fur, milk-producing glands, live-young and warm blood. There are around 5,400 distinct species of mammal, so again, you'd have to be a bit more specific with that.

Now, evolution does not say that any one species of fish evolved into any one species of mammal and from the the way you phrased your reply, I'm not sure that you fully understand the implications of your error.

If you'd like any clarification, I'd be glad to answer any questions you have.

"Haven't your senses ever deceived you?".

Yep, but I don't have any choice but to trust them for day-to-day use. The scientific method works to remove individual fallibility though, so that's pretty useful.

"How do you know you have a brain?".

I've had a scan.

"What about dreams? How do you use your standard to show those things exist?".

How do I show that dreams exist? Erm, I generally don't!

I'm enjoying the discussion, I must say, thanks for the chat!

*Clade: a term in taxonomy to refer to a monophyletic group/common ancestor and all its descendants.

The Murphy's said...

Jason,

You left off the rest of what Jesus was saying there...The context here is Jesus talking to a rich man...
Here is the ENTIRE text...

"17As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. "Good teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
18"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good—except God alone. 19You know the commandments: 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.'[d]"

20"Teacher," he declared, "all these I have kept since I was a boy."

21Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

22At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.

23Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!"

24The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, "Children, how hard it is[e] to enter the kingdom of God! 25It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

26The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, "Who then can be saved?"

27Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God."

28Peter said to him, "We have left everything to follow you!"

29"I tell you the truth," Jesus replied, "no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life. 31But many who are first will be last, and the last first."

Jason and Vanessa said...

ExPatMatt, you said:

You're claiming that unbelievers are 'suppressing the truth in unrighteousness because they love their sin'...make sense of that statement.

The verse I am quoting there in Romans 1 is a description of all mankind, basically saying that even though we have the truth in front of us, even though God has given us creation to see His works (thereby we can know there is a God) and a conscience to tell us write from wrong (our conscience condemning us when we do wrong, though it is seared by ignoring it) it shows us we need God, but we are not convinced by that and suppress or push away that truth in unrighteousness... basically meaning we deny there is a God by living our lives however we want. There is a whole plethora of sins that it could be for a specific person but in the end the point of it is to deny God. Like you said, what is so great that it is worth a eternity of punishment? Obviously nothing, but the unbeliever is not convinced there is a day of punishment nor is there God, that is why they live their lives the way they do. Hope that makes sense of that :)

I can't think of a single thing that I do that I wouldn't gladly give up if I thought for a minute there was a chance I'd be going to Hell for it.

Unless you have all knowledge then how can you be sure there isn't a day of judgment or Hell or God? Wouldn't there technically be a chance?

'light-travel time problem'...could you enlighten me?

I am by far no expert (or even a novice) in this area but from what I've read the thing that is supposed to validate BBT causes a problem. Google "Light-travel time problem". This sums up what I've read before:


BACKGROUND

In 1964/5, Penzias and Wilson discovered that the earth was bathed in a faint microwave radiation, apparently coming from the most distant observable regions of the universe... This Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) comes from all directions in space and has a characteristic temperature. While the discovery of the CMB has been called a successful prediction of the big bang model, it is actually a problem for the big bang. This is because the precisely uniform temperature of the CMB creates a light-travel–time problem for big bang models of the origin of the universe.


THE PROBLEM

The temperature of the CMB is essentially the same everywhere—in all directions (to a precision of 1 part in 100,000). However (according to BBT), in the early universe, the temperature of the CMB would have been very different at different places in space due to the random nature of the initial conditions. These different regions could come to the same temperature if they were in close contact. More distant regions would come to equilibrium by exchanging radiation (i.e. light). The radiation would carry energy from warmer regions to cooler ones until they had the same temperature.

The problem is this: even assuming the big bang timescale, there has not been enough time for light to travel between widely separated regions of space. So, how can the different regions of the current CMB have such precisely uniform temperatures if they have never communicated with each other? This is a light-travel–time problem.


not much dissent from the idea that the universe expanded from a point some 13billion years ago, among cosmologists/physicists

Probably not in the circles you are in or the sites or books you read.

evolution does not say that any one species of fish evolved into any one species of mammal

Perhaps I am only familiar with older theories of Evolution that said (basically) a fish (gradually, overtime) wound up on land (and somehow, gradually, overtime) got lungs and legs, ect... basically a fish to a lizard then mammal. I am purposely being very broad just for discussion.

Thought evolutionist believe we have 1 common ancestor? From hence came our modern day fish, mammals, ect... No?

Do you believe there is any non-material things? i.e. how does a evolutionist explain consciousness or morality?

Chris said...

Ryan -

Just out of curiosity, what did the context change?

ExPatMatt said...

Jason,

"...even though we have the truth in front of us, even though God has given us creation to see His works (thereby we can know there is a God)".

How did you determine that creation was a creation and not a universe?

How did you determine that the god responsible for this creation was God?

"...and a conscience to tell us write[sic] from wrong (our conscience condemning us when we do wrong, though it is seared by ignoring it)".

I feel no pang of conscience when I don't keep the Sabbath holy, do you? Right and wrong are concepts used to weigh-up whether a given action is negative or beneficial for the individual and/or the larger group. It is based on empathy and experience and there is no need to invoke a deity to explain it.

"...it shows us we need God, but we are not convinced by that and suppress or push away that truth in unrighteousness...".

None of what you described strikes me as particularly compelling evidence for 'needing God' or even the existence of God. I don't need to suppress anything to come to that conclusion.

I said; "I can't think of a single thing that I do that I wouldn't gladly give up if I thought for a minute there was a chance I'd be going to Hell for it".

and you replied;

"Unless you have all knowledge then how can you be sure there isn't a day of judgment or Hell or God? Wouldn't there technically be a chance?".

I'm pretty sure your Pascal's Wager is a non-sequitur here!

As to the 'Light-travel time problem', as I said, I'm no physicist and wouldn't dream of claiming that I know anything about cosmology or special relativity or any of that craziness. Apparently AIG are experts though, and they know better than the scientists working at NASA... ;)

"Probably not in the circles you are in or the sites or books you read".

Please, let me know of a cosmologist/physicist who rejects the idea of a 13billion year old universe.


I recognize that you're being broad with your explanation of evolution, for the sake of discussion, but you must recognize that your previous statement was so broad that it was wrong.

But perhaps I was being overly-critical and pedantic.

Yes, the theory of evolution does describe mammalians being descendants of fish-like organisms who made the transition onto land (think of a mudskipper if you're having trouble imagining that). This mudskipper gave rise to four-legged amphibious creatures and we go from there.

There is a lot of mis-information about evolution amongst the Creationist community (regardless of whether the theory is accurate or not, surely it's better to reject evolution for what scientists say it is rather than what they say it isn't?) and the frequency with which Creationists repeat long-debunked arguments and, if I'm going to be blunt, lies about evolution is truly astounding.

I'm sure a similar claim can be laid at the feet of atheists who try to disprove God with straw man arguments and petty quibbles, and it must be just as annoying.

I presume that you accept 'micro-evolution' (you kind of have to if you want to explain modern biodiversity from the pairs of animals on Noah's Ark) so what, to your mind, is the difference between micro and macro?

"Do you believe there is any non-material things? i.e. how does a evolutionist explain consciousness or morality?"

From an evolutionary perspective? We are social beings and for any organism that lives as part of a societal group, it is generally beneficial to behave in a way that is good for the group as a whole. This includes punishing bad behaviour and rewarding good; we see this in a number of our close relatives (chimps, gorillas, bonobos and orangutans).

The traits of altruism and empathy are beneficial to a social group as a survival strategy and so these traits are selected for.

Our advanced communication has allowed us to codify these morals.

Regards,

The Murphy's said...

Chris,
Because it has nothing to do with using the law or WOTM style evangelism....
Ryan

The Murphy's said...

ExPatMatt and Jason,

Have you heard of a book called: Saving Darwin: How to Be a Christian and Believe in Evolution by Karl Giberson..

What do you think Jason, can you be a Christian and believe in Evolution?

Ryan

Jason and Vanessa said...

How did you determine that creation was a creation and not a universe?

How did you determine that the god responsible for this creation was God?


I know the answer may seem simplistic or even foolish to you but my answer is simply God's own testimony, His Word, the Bible.

I feel no pang of conscience when I don't keep the Sabbath holy, do you?

I have heard some people who murder that don't feel any pangs of conscience, and soem people that rob and lie to people in the name of Jesus that have no pang of conscience. This is not surprising because the Bible says people's consciences can be seared by rejection of the Gospel, and God will even give them what they want (since they don't want Him) He will send a strong delusion so they will believe what is false. (1 Timothy 4:2 | 2 Thessalonians 2:11). By constant rejection of God the conscience gets more and more seared, so this is (sadly) not surprising to me. I pray if I ever do anything wrong and mispleasing to God that He would convict me and I thank Him for making my conscience tender again.

I'm pretty sure your Pascal's Wager is a non-sequitur here!

ewww, that did kinda sound like Pascal's Wager, I have to tell you I really dislike Pascal's Wager and I simply meant to ask that if, in your worldview, to make a statement like there is no God or day of judgment, Hell, ect... then it sounds like you would have to have all-knowledge to make a statement like that. That is what I was getting at, not Pascal's Wager.

Apparently AIG are experts though, and they know better than the scientists working at NASA... ;)

They are scientist as well. Do NASA scientist trump scientist that believe the Bible?

Please, let me know of a cosmologist/physicist who rejects the idea of a 13billion year old universe.

I can list many, though I don't know what exactly they believe about the exact age of the universe, but I know reading many of their articles or writings that scientific evidence has led them to believe in creation (or intelligent design I should say since they aren't necessarily Christians [see next comment post]):

Jason and Vanessa said...

* Stephen Hawking, theoretical physicist
* Albert Einstein, theoretical physicist
* Sir Fred Hoyle, astronomer
* Edwin Hubble, astronomer
* Brian Greene, theoretical physicist
* Paul Davies, physicist
* George Smoot, astrophysicist
* Donald Page, mathematician
* Peter Ward, paleontologist
* Donald Brownlee, astronomer
* Eugene Wigner, physicist
* Sir Martin Rees, cosmologist
* Bernard Carr, cosmologist
* Dennis Sciama, cosmologist
* Werner Heisenberg, theoretical physicist
* Robert Jastrow, astronomer
* Roger Penrose, mathematician
* George Greenstein, theoretical astrophysicist
* Freeman Dyson, physicist
* Hugh Ross, astronomer
* Ed Harrison, cosmologist
* Carl Sagan, astronomer
* Guillermo Gonzalez, astronomer
* Fazale Rana, biochemist
* Michio Kaku, theoretical physicist
* Alan Sandage, cosmologist
* Arno Penzias, physicist
* Michael Denton, microbiologist
* William Dembski, mathematician
* Kenneth Miller, microbioligist
* Charles Darwin, biologist
* Francis Crick, biophysicist
* Gerald Schroeder, physicist
* Michael Behe, biochemist
* Richard Dawkins, biologist
* Stephen Meyer, science historian
* Amir Aczel, mathematician
* T. S. Kemp, zoologist
* Stephen Jay Gould, paleontologist
* Niles Eldredge, paleontologist
* Simon Conway Morris, paleobiologist
* Jonathan Wells, biologist
* Steven Stanley, evolutionary biologist
* Marcel Schutzenberger, mathematician
* Marta Lahr, paleoanthropoligist
* Robert Macnab, biochemist
* Ian Tattersall, anthropologist
* Ernst Mayr, biologist
* Michael Boulter, paleontologist
* Whitey Hagadorn, paleontologist
* Mae-Wan Ho, biologist
* Peter Saunders, biologist
* John Maynard Smith, geneticist
* Richard Lewontin, paleontologist
* Jerry Coyne, evolutionary biologist
* James Shapiro, biochemist


I presume that you accept 'micro-evolution' (you kind of have to if you want to explain modern biodiversity from the pairs of animals on Noah's Ark) so what, to your mind, is the difference between micro and macro?

Yes, as I said earlier I agree with 'micro-evolution' (changes within species, different types of canines, felines ect...) but I don't agree with macro. Again, this is because you and I are starting at different presuppositions... I believe the testimony of the Bible that God make all the different types of animals not that we all descended from one single source [unless you mean by that that God created us all ;) ]

Again, I am really not much of an evidentialist (though I don't see anything that is truly scientific disproving anything in the Bible) and I don't think a certain amount of "evidence" will convince you because you already have your presuppositions. Reading thru your last post I see presupposition after presupposition being the foundation of your "facts" but can you "prove" these "mudpuppies" came up out of the water or what you say is "good and bad" or anything with your own standards? Or is it cause true cause NASA said so? Haven't they ever been wrong?

Chris said...

Ryan -

Because it has nothing to do with using the law or WOTM style evangelism....

That doesn't answer the question, Ryan. What does the context change?

Or perhaps you can explain what method of evangelism Jesus is using?

If a hermeneutic is wrong with this passage, then it would be helpful in explaining the correct interpretation so that we could see the error.

What do you think Jason, can you be a Christian and believe in Evolution?

I'm budding in but certainly not speaking for Jason.

Of course someone can get saved while believing in evolution. However, the caveat is that if that's where you stand in your faith, either refusing to take the issue head on or putting on blinders to the importance of such an issue, you demonstrate a lack of maturity in your walk.

There is absolutely no reason in the text to take Genesis 1-3 any other way than at face value. It's not prose, it's not poetry. Once you begin to twist it around to make it fit whatever view you wish, you begin to undermine the Gospel in many ways, for starters:

Christ's becoming sin for us (Adam & Eve, as a type: Gen 3; 2 Cor 5:21/Romans 5/1 Tim 2:14)

The protoevangelion Gen 3:15; Christ born of a virgin, Christ to be man (kinsman redeemer), Christ to pay for mans transgression, Christ to conquer the adversary (hasatan)

Creation/Sabbath (sabbath of days, weeks, months, years, the Jubilee -7x7- which is a figure of the restoration of all things.)

The idiom of marriage (ultimately God's relationship to Israel and Christ's relationship to the assembly / The Church; Gen 2; Ephesians 5; Israel as the wife of YHWH Elohim, idiom throughout the OT.)

And this is just a fraction. Unless someone can point to me elsewhere in Scripture that would even hint at the creation week being anything but 7 literal 24 hour days, then I see no reason to subscribe to anything other than the creation week being 7 literal 24 hour days.

Genesis 2:1-4 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation. These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens.

Exodus 20:8-11 "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

If any Christian has a problem with the 7 day Creation Week I would suggest they take it up with much prayer and petition to God rather than undermining His Word, to which they claim to subscribe.

ExPatMatt said...

Jason,

I asked you how you knew that creation was a creation (and not a natural universe) and that the Christian God was responsible for it, and you said;

" God's own testimony, His Word, the Bible".

Which is fair enough, but I asked the question in response to this;

"...even though we have the truth in front of us, even though God has given us creation to see His works (thereby we can know there is a God)".

Which would seem to imply that you can deduce 'creation' merely from observing the universe. Apparently not, according to your latest response, it is the Bible that indicates that the universe is a creation (and also says that anyone who doesn't agree is a fool). However, this doesn't do much to help someone who doesn't already believe the Bible to be God's word, does it?

"I have heard some people who murder that don't feel any pangs of conscience... This is not surprising because the Bible says people's consciences can be seared by rejection of the Gospel".

Then what use claiming the conscience as evidence for God's Hand in the creation of man? If it can either simply not work or be 'seared' by rejection of the Gospel, it's not much use as evidence for the non-believer, is it?

So you can't use creation or conscience as evidence of God, you just have the Bible?


"ewww, that did kinda sound like Pascal's Wager".

Yep, it did. But the point was that I wasn't claiming there was no hell. I was saying that I couldn't think of anything I do that I wouldn't willingly give up to avoid hell - I think you mis-read my original comment. That's why I said it was a non-sequitur to start talking about the certainty (or not) of hell existing.

"They are scientist as well. Do NASA scientist trump scientist that believe the Bible?".

Well, NASA doesn't have a policy that specifically rejects any and all evidence that contradicts their interpretation of a Holy Book, do they? They also have thousands of theists working for them, so you're presenting a false dichotomy there.


"I can list many, though I don't know what exactly they believe about the exact age of the universe...".

But that is what I specifically asked for - cosmologists/physicists who reject a 13.7billion year old universe.

To be continued....

ExPatMatt said...

Jason,

What was that list supposed to be? A list of scientists?
A list of humans?

I can't see any reason why you would lump all those scientists together and post it here - care to explain?

I mean, you have;

* Hawking - possible deist who accepts an old universe
* Miller - a Catholic who accepts an old universe
* Dawkins - an atheist who accepts an old universe
* Ross - a Christian who accepts an old universe Creation model

And many others with varying beliefs, but they all seem to accept an old universe; what was the point?!

On to evolution....

"Yes, as I said earlier I agree with 'micro-evolution' (changes within species, different types of canines, felines ect...) but I don't agree with macro".

Do you think the differences between all the different types of felines (or canines) constitutes 'change within a species'?

You do know that tigers and lions and house cats are all different species, right?

What you are describing, by accepting that felines are all related, is macro-evolution. It's speciation. It's the emergence of new species from a parent population that is sufficiently different so that it can no longer inter-breed. That's evolution!

"Again, this is because you and I are starting at different presuppositions... I believe the testimony of the Bible that God make all the different types of animals not that we all descended from one single source [unless you mean by that that God created us all ;) ]".

There are many Christians that hold this same presupposition...it's just that they think He did it by way of evolution. (If I did believe in God, I would hold up evolution as His masterpiece; it's an awesome piece of work!)

"Again, I am really not much of an evidentialist (though I don't see anything that is truly scientific disproving anything in the Bible)".

Is that because you define 'truly scientific' as 'agrees with the Bible', perhaps?

"...and I don't think a certain amount of "evidence" will convince you because you already have your presuppositions. Reading thru your last post I see presupposition after presupposition being the foundation of your "facts" but can you "prove" these "mudpuppies" came up out of the water...".

Mudpuppies, that's funny!

No, my acceptance of evolution is not a presupposition, it is a conclusion based on the overwhelming evidence that is available to support said conclusion.

Will you admit that your rejection of evolution is based on its perceived incompatibility with your interpretation of Scripture?

"...or what you say is "good and bad" or anything with your own standards?".

I can't 'prove' that what I say is good or bad, no. Do I need to?

"Or is it cause true cause NASA said so? Haven't they ever been wrong?"

No, I don't base what I think is true on what NASA has to say, though I do place a certain amount of trust in them based on their track record of utilizing science for technological advancement.

Regards,

The Murphy's said...

Chris,

Its easy just read the verses yourself, you'll figure out the context. You will find that Jesus wasn't using any method of evangelism found in any Way of The Master books.

"you demonstrate a lack of maturity in your walk."

Thanks for your evaluation of my walk....so I guess maturity is based on ones position on evolution?

Jason and Vanessa said...

Ryan, you said:

"you demonstrate a lack of maturity in your walk."

Thanks for your evaluation of my walk....


If you are so concerned with context you should take Chris in context... here is his ENTIRE quote:

Of course someone can get saved while believing in evolution. However, the caveat is that if that's where you stand in your faith, either refusing to take the issue head on or putting on blinders to the importance of such an issue, you demonstrate a lack of maturity in your walk.


he wasn't accusing you (unless that is your position but you haven't said what you believe nor have you answered any of my questions)... Why the double standard?


--

ExPatMatt, you said:

Which would seem to imply that you can deduce 'creation' merely from observing the universe. Apparently not, according to your latest response,

Both are true but the Bible gives the clearer revelation of creation. Also that list is people (who I said were not Christians) who are convinced from scientific discoveries that there is a creator of some kind (or intelligent design [again sorry i dont know more specifics]). Again, I am not much for evidentialist stuff like this, I was merely answering your question (you asked for a list). Because of presuppositions I can lay all the evidence I can at someones feet, but I don't believe that will ultimately convince them (though doing that is not wrong) I just think the higher way, the Biblical way is the foolishness of preaching (1 Cor. 1)

So you can't use creation or conscience as evidence of God, you just have the Bible?

Perhaps I have been unclear, we can and do use those, but ultimately creation and conscience are just enough to leave everyone guitly, and the more rejection and the more light of truth one has the worse punishment. Ultimately, it is the Word that is effective if the Spirit of God makes it so, according to Jesus, "Sanctify them in the truth, Thy [God's] Word is truth." (John 17) So I am not denying those things just not ultimately relying on them.

They (NASA) also have thousands of theists working for them, so you're presenting a false dichotomy there.

Yes, but just cause they work for NASA doesn't necessarily mean they reject the Biblical account or even agree with million of years or evolution, they may just not be outspoken about the issue. A documentary on this (by a non-Christian) I suggest is "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed".

(If I did believe in God, I would hold up evolution as His masterpiece; it's an awesome piece of work!)

Where you stand now, what do you believe is the cause and reason for what you believe is "an awesome piece of work"?

Will you admit that your rejection of evolution is based on its perceived incompatibility with your interpretation of Scripture?

No, cause I see the same evidence but it points me to a creator. Just like the scientist involved in the "intelligent design" movement.

I can't 'prove' that what I say is good or bad, no. Do I need to?

I suppose you don't, just wondering why you are borrowing from my worldview (aka: morals, good and bad, it is cause you have a God-given conscience?) :)

jason d.

Chris said...

Ryan -

Its easy just read the verses yourself, you'll figure out the context. You will find that Jesus wasn't using any method of evangelism found in any Way of The Master books.

I must be hard-headed, Ryan; I've got the context. You said (to Jason)

You left off the rest of what Jesus was saying there...The context here is Jesus talking to a rich man...
Here is the ENTIRE text...


So I'm really curious, what does the context change?

The ruler called Jesus 'good teacher'. Jesus asked him why he called him 'good'. Was the ruler about to call Jesus 'God'? He didn't... Strike one.

What then does Jesus do? He walks him through the portion of the commandments that deal with our relationship to others. The rich man (mistakenly) claimed (in Matthew 19:20 from where you quoted) that he kept them all... Strike two.

But the ruler knows he's not getting it and asks him what he still lacks. Jesus answers him (vs. 21) to sell all he has and give it to the poor for his treasure will be in heaven (not earthly) and he must then follow Jesus. The ruler went away in sorrow, rejecting Christ and holding onto his own earthly possessions... Strike three.

Ryan, in Matthew 22:36-40 Jesus is asked:

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

The 10 commandments (as all the law in Scripture) can be broken up into two sections: 1. Our relationship to God and 2. Our relationship to others.

In this passage the young ruler rejects Jesus twice and rejects his neighbor once, all the while thinking he's kept the commandments. The disciples then rightly ask Who can be saved? Ryan, on my own merit I'm hopeless; but as Jesus answered, thankfully, I don't have to rely on myself. So again, Ryan, what did the context change? If I'm wrong in this understanding, point it out so I can be corrected, rather than just claiming with no definition:

...it has nothing to do with using the law or WOTM style evangelism....

You write:

Thanks for your evaluation of my walk....so I guess maturity is based on ones position on evolution?

Ryan, if you're a Christian, you must believe Jesus rose from the dead. Is this the case? If it is, how did you come to this conclusion? Do you believe the Bible where it says so, over and over and over again? Do you believe the story of the rich young ruler? You're using it to say that the WotM teachings are wrong with this passage. Well, who's to say which teaching is right? Is yours? And how do we know? If it doesn't mean what it says here, and it doesn't mean what it says in Genesis 1-3, why then, should you bother believing that Jesus rose from the dead as it claims time and time again all throughout the New Testament.

Hebrews 4:12-13 says For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Please make note of what I've put in bold here, Ryan. The Scriptures are nothing to be played around with. As you mature you either learn to take God at His Word or you don't.

Hebrews 5:12-14 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

ExPatMatt said...

Jason,

"Both are true but the Bible gives the clearer revelation of creation".

So are you saying that, without your belief and without the Bible, you would have eventually figured out that the universe was 'created'? If so, I wonder how you would go about determining this.


"Also that list is people (who I said were not Christians) who are convinced from scientific discoveries that there is a creator of some kind (or intelligent design [again sorry i dont know more specifics])".

Really? Where did you get the list from?

Let's just be clear here. I said;

"...not much dissent from the idea that the universe expanded from a point some 13billion years ago, among cosmologists/physicists".

And you replied;

"Probably not in the circles you are in or the sites or books you read".

So I asked you for some names of scientists who rejected a 13billion year old universe and you gave me...this list?

Almost everyone on it, to my knowledge, accepts an old universe and quite a few of them reject the idea of a creator too (You've got Richard Dawkins on there!)

Seriously, I need some clarification on what you're trying to prove here because you close with;

"Again, I am not much for evidentialist stuff like this, I was merely answering your question (you asked for a list)".

Well, you didn't answer my question at all though, did you?

"Because of presuppositions I can lay all the evidence I can at someones feet...".

Again with the presupp. The scientific things I accept are conclusions based on an understanding of the evidence available.

"A documentary on this (by a non-Christian) I suggest is "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed"".

Oh boy. You should check out expelledexposed(dot)com and find out exactly how much of that documentary was true (clue: none of it).

"Where you stand now, what do you believe is the cause and reason for what you believe is "an awesome piece of work"?".

Natural processes.

"No, cause I see the same evidence but it points me to a creator. Just like the scientist involved in the "intelligent design" movement".

Except that where evidence doesn't mesh with your religious convictions, you reject the evidence out of hand as not being 'truly scientific', right?

"I suppose you don't, just wondering why you are borrowing from my worldview".

You know how a dictionary lists all the words that are in common usage in a language, but isn't used to teach people what words are in use in said language?

Yeah, it's kind of like that.

Regards,

The Murphy's said...

Chris,

Your right, Jesus said to him "sell all you have and give to the poor" and "FOLLOW ME".

He made a new law.

Ryan

Jason and Vanessa said...

Chris,

I have been in many a conversation with Ryan... F.Y.I.: don't be surprised if he doesn't answer any of your questions.


--


ExPatMatt, said

So are you saying that, without your belief and without the Bible, you would have eventually figured out that the universe was 'created'? If so, I wonder how you would go about determining this.

My answer may seem simplistic but creation itself shows plainly there is a creator. The majority of people throughout the history of the world have always believed in some sort of creator, though again because of sin they have made false gods and not worshiped the one true God, apart from God's own self revelation I would no doubt be lost. It wouldn't matter if I believed in any creator or if i am an atheist, what matters is if I believe in the one true God of whom all must give an account.

Where did you get the list from?

List came from Y-Origins Magazine. And it looks like I thought it said something it didn't. Here is how they described that list:

Many of these scientists have made comments about the powerful indications of design in our universe. Some have gone so far as to state that new scientific evidence has compelled them to believe in God.

That was what I remember reading and I didn't read much further and didn't look at the list in detail. My apologies, because the next sentence (I apparently just glossed over) was:

Others in this list have adamantly argued against a designer, believing only in a material universe that somehow mysteriously appeared out of nothing. To them, any evidence for a designer is laughed off as "unscientific".

Completely my mistake.

some names of scientists who rejected a 13billion year old universe

This from Answers In Genesis:

As far as we know, the scientists of the past listed here believed in a literal Genesis unless indicated with an asterisk. The ones who did not are nevertheless included in the list below because of their general belief in the creator God of the Bible and opposition to evolution.

Early

- Francis Bacon (1561–1626) Scientific method.
- Galileo Galilei (1564–1642) (WOH) Physics, Astronomy
- Johann Kepler (1571–1630) (WOH) Scientific astronomy
- Athanasius Kircher (1601–1680) Inventor
- John Wilkins (1614–1672)
- Walter Charleton (1619–1707) President of the Royal College of Physicians
- Blaise Pascal (1623–1662) Hydrostatics; Barometer
- Sir William Petty (1623 –1687) Statistics; Scientific economics
- Robert Boyle (1627–1691) (WOH) Chemistry; Gas dynamics
- John Ray (1627–1705) Natural history
- Isaac Barrow (1630–1677) Professor of Mathematics
- Nicolas Steno (1631–1686) Stratigraphy
- Thomas Burnet (1635–1715) Geology
- Increase Mather (1639–1723) Astronomy
- Nehemiah Grew (1641–1712) Medical Doctor, Botany

Jason and Vanessa said...

(continued from above):

The Age of Newton

- Isaac Newton (1642–1727) (WOH) Dynamics; Calculus; Gravitation law; Reflecting telescope; Spectrum of light
- Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz (1646–1716) Mathematician
- John Flamsteed (1646–1719) Greenwich Observatory Founder; Astronomy
- William Derham (1657–1735) Ecology
- Cotton Mather (1662–1727) Physician
- John Harris (1666–1719) Mathematician
- John Woodward (1665–1728) Paleontology
- William Whiston (1667–1752) Physics, Geology
- John Hutchinson (1674–1737) Paleontology
- Johathan Edwards (1703–1758) Physics, Meteorology
- Carolus Linneaus (1707–1778) Taxonomy; Biological classification system
- Jean Deluc (1727–1817) Geology
- Richard Kirwan (1733–1812) Mineralogy
- William Herschel (1738–1822) Galactic astronomy; Uranus (probably believed in an old-earth)
- James Parkinson (1755–1824) Physician (old-earth compromiser*)
- John Dalton (1766–1844) Atomic theory; Gas law
- John Kidd, M.D. (1775–1851) Chemical synthetics (old-earth compromiser*)

Just Before Darwin

- The 19th Century Scriptural Geologists, by Dr. Terry Mortenson
- Timothy Dwight (1752–1817) Educator
- William Kirby (1759–1850) Entomologist
- Jedidiah Morse (1761–1826) Geographer
- Benjamin Barton (1766–1815) Botanist; Zoologist
- John Dalton (1766–1844) Father of the Modern Atomic Theory; Chemistry
- Georges Cuvier (1769–1832) Comparative anatomy, paleontology (old-earth compromiser*)
- Samuel Miller (1770–1840) Clergy
- Charles Bell (1774–1842) Anatomist
- John Kidd (1775–1851) Chemistry
- Humphrey Davy (1778–1829) Thermokinetics; Safety lamp
- Benjamin Silliman (1779–1864) Mineralogist (old-earth compromiser*)
- Peter Mark Roget (1779–1869) Physician; Physiologist
- Thomas Chalmers (1780–1847) Professor (old-earth compromiser*)
- David Brewster (1781–1868) Optical mineralogy, Kaleidoscope (probably believed in an old-earth)
- William Buckland (1784–1856) Geologist (old-earth compromiser*)
- William Prout (1785–1850) Food chemistry (probably believed in an old-earth)
- Adam Sedgwick (1785–1873) Geology (old-earth compromiser*)
- Michael Faraday (1791–1867) (WOH) Electro magnetics; Field theory, Generator
- Samuel F.B. Morse (1791–1872) Telegraph
- John Herschel (1792–1871) Astronomy (old-earth compromiser*)
- Edward Hitchcock (1793–1864) Geology (old-earth compromiser*)
- William Whewell (1794–1866) Anemometer (old-earth compromiser*)
- Joseph Henry (1797–1878) Electric motor; Galvanometer

Jason and Vanessa said...

(continued from above):


Just After Darwin

- Richard Owen (1804–1892) Zoology; Paleontology (old-earth compromiser*)
- Matthew Maury (1806–1873) Oceanography, Hydrography (probably believed in an old-earth*)
- Louis Agassiz (1807–1873) Glaciology, Ichthyology (old-earth compromiser, polygenist*)
- Henry Rogers (1808–1866) Geology
- James Glaisher (1809–1903) Meteorology
- Philip H. Gosse (1810–1888) Ornithologist; Zoology
- Sir Henry Rawlinson (1810–1895) Archeologist
- James Simpson (1811–1870) Gynecology, Anesthesiology
- James Dana (1813–1895) Geology (old-earth compromiser*)
- Sir Joseph Henry Gilbert (1817–1901) Agricultural Chemist
- James Joule (1818–1889) Thermodynamics
- Thomas Anderson (1819–1874) Chemist
- Charles Piazzi Smyth (1819–1900) Astronomy
- George Stokes (1819–1903) Fluid Mechanics
- John William Dawson (1820–1899) Geology (probably believed in an old-earth*)
- Rudolph Virchow (1821–1902) Pathology
- Gregor Mendel (1822–1884) (WOH) Genetics
- Louis Pasteur (1822–1895) (WOH) Bacteriology, Biochemistry; Sterilization; Immunization
- Henri Fabre (1823–1915) Entomology of living insects
- William Thompson, Lord Kelvin (1824–1907) Energetics; Absolute temperatures; Atlantic cable (believed in an older earth than the Bible indicates, but far younger than the evolutionists wanted*)
- William Huggins (1824–1910) Astral spectrometry
- Bernhard Riemann (1826–1866) Non-Euclidean geometries
- Joseph Lister (1827–1912) Antiseptic surgery
- Balfour Stewart (1828–1887) Ionospheric electricity
- James Clerk Maxwell (1831–1879) (WOH) Electrodynamics; Statistical thermodynamics
- P.G. Tait (1831–1901) Vector analysis
- John Bell Pettigrew (1834–1908) Anatomist; Physiologist
- John Strutt, Lord Rayleigh (1842–1919) Similitude; Model Analysis; Inert Gases
- Sir William Abney (1843–1920) Astronomy
- Alexander MacAlister (1844–1919) Anatomy
- A.H. Sayce (1845–1933) Archeologist
- John Ambrose Fleming (1849–1945) Electronics; Electron tube; Thermionic valve

Early Modern Period

- Dr. Clifford Burdick, Geologist
- George Washington Carver (1864–1943) Inventor
- L. Merson Davies (1890–1960) Geology; Paleontology
- Douglas Dewar (1875–1957) Ornithologist
- Howard A. Kelly (1858–1943) Gynecology
- Paul Lemoine (1878–1940) Geology
- Dr. Frank Marsh, Biology
- Dr. John Mann, Agriculturist, biological control pioneer
- Edward H. Maunder (1851–1928) Astronomy
- William Mitchell Ramsay (1851–1939) Archeologist
- William Ramsay (1852–1916) Isotopic chemistry, Element transmutation
- Charles Stine (1882–1954) Organic Chemist
- Dr. Arthur Rendle-Short (1885–1955) Surgeon
- Dr. Larry Butler, Biochemist

Jason and Vanessa said...

(continued from above):

Some modern scientists who have accepted the biblical account of creation

- Dr. William Arion, Biochemistry, Chemistry
- Dr. Paul Ackerman, Psychologist
- Dr. E. Theo Agard, Medical Physics
- Dr. Steve Austin, Geologist
- Dr. S.E. Aw, Biochemist
- Dr. Thomas Barnes, Physicist
- Dr. Geoff Barnard, Immunologist
- Dr. Don Batten, Plant Physiologist
- Dr. John Baumgardner, Electrical Engineering, Space Physicist, Geophysicist, expert in supercomputer modeling of plate tectonics
- Dr. Jerry Bergman, Psychologist
- Dr. Kimberly Berrine, Microbiology & Immunology
- Prof. Vladimir Betina, Microbiology, Biochemistry & Biology
- Dr. Andrew Bosanquet, Biology, Microbiology
- Edward A. Boudreaux, Theoretical Chemistry
- Dr. David R. Boylan, Chemical Engineer
- Prof. Linn E. Carothers, Associate Professor of Statistics
- Dr. Rob Carter, Marine Biology
- Dr. David Catchpoole, Plant Physiology
- Prof. Sung-Do Cha, Physics
- Dr. Eugene F. Chaffin, Professor of Physics
- Dr. Choong-Kuk Chang, Genetic Engineering
- Prof. Jeun-Sik Chang, Aeronautical Engineering
- Dr. Donald Chittick, Physical Chemist
- Prof. Chung-Il Cho, Biology Education
- Dr. John M. Cimbala, Mechanical Engineering
- Dr. Harold Coffin, Palaeontologist
- Dr. Bob Compton, DVM
- Dr. Ken Cumming, Biologist
- Dr. Jack W. Cuozzo, Dentist
- Dr. William M. Curtis III, Th.D., Th.M., M.S., Aeronautics & Nuclear Physics
- Dr. Malcolm Cutchins, Aerospace Engineering
- Dr. Lionel Dahmer, Analytical Chemist
- Dr. Raymond V. Damadian, M.D., Pioneer of magnetic resonance imaging
- Dr. Chris Darnbrough, Biochemist
- Dr. Nancy M. Darrall, Botany
- Dr. Bryan Dawson, Mathematics
- Dr. Douglas Dean, Biological Chemistry
- Prof. Stephen W. Deckard, Assistant Professor of Education
- Dr. David A. DeWitt, Biology, Biochemistry, Neuroscience
- Dr. Don DeYoung, Astronomy, atmospheric physics, M.Div
- Dr. Geoff Downes, Creationist Plant Physiologist
- Dr. Ted Driggers, Operations research
- Robert H. Eckel, Medical Research
- Dr. André Eggen, Geneticist
- Dr. Dudley Eirich, Molecular Biologist
- Prof. Dennis L. Englin, Professor of Geophysics
- Prof. Danny Faulkner, Astronomy
- Prof. Carl B. Fliermans, Professor of Biology
- Prof. Dwain L. Ford, Organic Chemistry
- Prof. Robert H. Franks, Associate Professor of Biology
- Dr. Alan Galbraith, Watershed Science
- Dr. Paul Giem, Medical Research
- Dr. Maciej Giertych, Geneticist
- Dr. Duane Gish, Biochemist
- Dr. Werner Gitt, Information Scientist
- Dr. Warwick Glover, General Surgeon
- Dr. D.B. Gower, Biochemistry
- Dr. Robin Greer, Chemist, History
- Dr. Stephen Grocott, Chemist
- Dr. Donald Hamann, Food Scientist
- Dr. Barry Harker, Philosopher
- Dr. Charles W. Harrison, Applied Physicist, Electromagnetics
- Dr. John Hartnett, Physics
- Dr. Mark Harwood, Engineering (satellite specialist)
- Dr. George Hawke, Environmental Scientist
- Dr. Margaret Helder, Science Editor, Botanist
- Dr. Harold R. Henry, Engineer
- Dr. Jonathan Henry, Astronomy
- Dr. Joseph Henson, Entomologist
- Dr. Robert A. Herrmann, Professor of Mathematics, US Naval Academy
- Dr. Andrew Hodge, Head of the Cardiothoracic Surgical Service
- Dr. Kelly Hollowell, Molecular and Cellular Pharmacologist
- Dr. Ed Holroyd, III, Atmospheric Science
- Dr. Bob Hosken, Biochemistry
- Dr. George F. Howe, Botany
- Dr. Neil Huber, Physical Anthropologist
- Dr. James A. Huggins, Professor and Chair, Department of Biology
- Dr. Russ Humphreys, Physics
- Evan Jamieson, Hydrometallurgy
- George T. Javor, Biochemistry
- Dr. Pierre Jerlström, Molecular Biology
- Dr. Arthur Jones, Biology
- Dr. Jonathan W. Jones, Plastic Surgeon

Jason and Vanessa said...

(continued from above):

- Dr. Dean Kenyon, Biologist
- Prof. Gi-Tai Kim, Biology
- Prof. Harriet Kim, Biochemistry
- Prof. Jong-Bai Kim, Biochemistry
- Prof. Jung-Han Kim, Biochemistry
- Prof. Jung-Wook Kim, Environmental Science
- Prof. Kyoung-Rai Kim, Analytical Chemistry
- Prof. Kyoung-Tai Kim, Genetic Engineering
- Prof. Young-Gil Kim, Materials Science
- Prof. Young In Kim, Engineering
- Dr. John W. Klotz, Biologist
- Dr. Vladimir F. Kondalenko, Cytology/Cell Pathology
- Dr. Leonid Korochkin, M.D., Genetics, Molecular Biology, Neurobiology


- Dr. John K.G. Kramer, Biochemistry
- Dr. Johan Kruger, Zoology
- Prof. Jin-Hyouk Kwon, Physics
- Prof. Myung-Sang Kwon, Immunology
- Dr. John Leslie, Biochemist
- Dr. Jason Lisle, Astrophysicist
- Dr. Alan Love, Chemist
- Dr. Ian Macreadie, molecular biologist and microbiologist:
- Dr. John Marcus, Molecular Biologist
- Dr. Ronald C. Marks, Associate Professor of Chemistry
- Dr. George Marshall, Eye Disease Researcher
- Dr. Ralph Matthews, Radiation Chemist
- Dr. John McEwan, Chemist
- Prof. Andy McIntosh, Combustion theory, aerodynamics
- Dr. David Menton, Anatomist
- Dr. Angela Meyer, Creationist Plant Physiologist
- Dr. John Meyer, Physiologist
- Dr. Albert Mills, Animal Embryologist/Reproductive Physiologist
- Colin W. Mitchell, Geography
- Dr. Tommy Mitchell, Physician
- Dr. John N. Moore, Science Educator
- Dr. John W. Moreland, Mechanical engineer and Dentist
- Dr. Henry M. Morris (1918–2006), founder of the Institute for Creation Research.
- Dr. Arlton C. Murray, Paleontologist
- Dr. John D. Morris, Geologist
- Dr. Len Morris, Physiologist
- Dr. Graeme Mortimer, Geologist
- Dr. Terry Mortenson, History of Geology
- Stanley A. Mumma, Architectural Engineering
- Prof. Hee-Choon No, Nuclear Engineering
- Dr. Eric Norman, Biomedical researcher
- Dr. David Oderberg, Philosopher
- Prof. John Oller, Linguistics
- Prof. Chris D. Osborne, Assistant Professor of Biology
- Dr. John Osgood, Medical Practitioner
- Dr. Charles Pallaghy, Botanist
- Dr. Gary E. Parker, Biologist, Cognate in Geology (Paleontology)
- Dr. David Pennington, Plastic Surgeon
- Prof. Richard Porter
- Dr. Georgia Purdom, Molecular Genetics
- Dr. John Rankin, Cosmologist
- Dr. A.S. Reece, M.D.
- Prof. J. Rendle-Short, Pediatrics
- Dr. Jung-Goo Roe, Biology
- Dr. David Rosevear, Chemist
- Dr. Ariel A. Roth, Biology
- Dr. Jonathan Sarfati, Physical Chemistry
- Dr. Joachim Scheven Palaeontologist:
- Dr. Ian Scott, Educator
- Dr. Saami Shaibani, Forensic physicist
- Dr. Young-Gi Shim, Chemistry
- Prof. Hyun-Kil Shin, Food Science
- Dr. Mikhail Shulgin, Physics
- Dr. Emil Silvestru, Geology
- Dr. Roger Simpson, Engineer
- Dr. Harold Slusher, Geophysicist
- Dr. E. Norbert Smith, Zoologist
- Arthur E. Wilder-Smith (1915–1995) Three science doctorates; a creation science pioneer
- Dr. Andrew Snelling, Geologist
- Prof. Man-Suk Song, Computer Science
- Dr. Timothy G. Standish, Biology
- Prof. James Stark, Assistant Professor of Science Education
- Prof. Brian Stone, Engineer
- Dr. Esther Su, Biochemistry
- Dr. Charles Taylor, Linguistics
- Dr. Stephen Taylor, Electrical Engineering
- Dr. Ker C. Thomson, Geophysics
- Dr. Michael Todhunter, Forest Genetics
- Dr. Lyudmila Tonkonog, Chemistry/Biochemistry
- Dr. Royal Truman, Organic Chemist:
- Dr. Larry Vardiman, Atmospheric Science
- Prof. Walter Veith, Zoologist
- Dr. Joachim Vetter, Biologist
- Sir Cecil P. G. Wakeley (1892–1979) Surgeon
- Dr. Tas Walker, Geology/Engineering
- Dr. Jeremy Walter, Mechanical Engineer
- Dr. Keith Wanser, Physicist

Jason and Vanessa said...

(continued from above):

- Dr. Raymond Jones, Agricultural Scientist
- Prof. Leonid Korochkin, Molecular Biology
- Dr. Valery Karpounin, Mathematical Sciences, Logics, Formal Logics
- Dr. Raymond Jones, Agricultural Scientist
- Prof. Leonid Korochkin, Molecular Biology
- Dr. Valery Karpounin, Mathematical Sciences, Logics, Formal Logics
- Dr. Dean Kenyon, Biologist
- Prof. Gi-Tai Kim, Biology
- Dr. Noel Weeks, Ancient Historian (also has B.Sc. in Zoology)
- Dr. A.J. Monty White, Chemistry/Gas Kinetics
- Dr. John Whitmore, Geologist/Paleontologist
- Dr. Carl Wieland, Medicine/Surgery
- Dr. Clifford Wilson, Psycholinguist and archaeologist
- Dr. Kurt Wise, Palaeontologist
- Prof. Verna Wright, Rheumatologist (deceased 1997)
- Prof. Seoung-Hoon Yang, Physics
- Dr. Thomas (Tong Y.) Yi, Ph.D., Creationist Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering
- Dr. Ick-Dong Yoo, Genetics
- Dr. Sung-Hee Yoon, Biology
- Dr. Patrick Young, Chemist and Materials Scientist
- Prof. Keun Bae Yu, Geography
- Dr. Henry Zuill, Biology


There that list includes what you asked for and more.

You should check out expelledexposed(dot)com and find out exactly how much of that documentary was true (clue: none of it)

Yes, and there is a rebuttal to all that too called "Expelled Exposed Exposed"

you reject the evidence out of hand as not being 'truly scientific', right?

Yes, can you show me proof of what you asserted earlier (i.e. mudpuppy coming up out of the water eventually leading to us [humans]?)

I suppose I don't have enough faith to believe this all came about by natural process [which is ultimately random, correct?].

soli Deo gloria!

jason d.

Jason and Vanessa said...

"...why you are borrowing from my worldview".

You know how a dictionary lists all the words that are in common usage in a language, but isn't used to teach people what words are in use in said language?

Yeah, it's kind of like that.


What I am getting at is, you use terms like good and bad but how can your naturalistic philosophy account for morals? Simply because alot of people agree on it? At one point the masses (in the US) believed killing a baby was wrong but that has changed. Do you believe there are any absolutes? Would it be wrong for someone to kill you if the masses thought is was for the betterment of society? Can I just blame natural selection for that killing? I am very interested how does your worldview answer these questions.

ExPatMatt said...

Nice spam-job there Jason! Just kidding; I appreciate your research.

Well, at least your new list attempts to answer the question at hand.

However, do you really think it was necessary to list scientists from the 1500's who 'rejected' a 13billion year old universe? The concept hadn't even been proposed yet!

[imagine me giving you a list of notable historians who rejected the historicity of Jesus....but they were all from the era before Christ was supposed to have lived]

Considering the fact that the cosmic background radiation - a major confirmation of big bang cosmology - was only discovered in 1964, I'm not sure any scientists who reject an old universe before this time even count. So I'm only going to look at the last three pages of comments ie, the modern era;

Of the 195 scientists listed, do you know how many are physicists or cosmologists?....13.

13 physics/cosmology scientists who reject an old universe. The rest include dentists, food scientists, plastic surgeons and historians - I'm not sure why you think their opinion matters on this issue....

Oh and yes, every last one of them is a Christian with some affiliation to either AIG or another Creation 'Science' organization.

So, when I said that there was;

"...not much dissent from the idea that the universe expanded from a point some 13billion years ago, among cosmologists/physicists".

I was right. Out of the hundreds of thousands of working physicists, cosmologists and astronomers there are approximately 13 who dissent from the mainstream view....and all of them have strong religious (creationist) beliefs.

What is more likely?

a) hundreds of thousands of scientists (including a high percentage of theists) are truly awful at their jobs and don't have a clue what they're doing, while 13 creationists can interpret the data correctly, or,

b) hundreds of thousands of scientists (including a high percentage of theists) are good at their jobs and their research and conclusions fit the data, while a few creationists twist the data to support their religious beliefs.

I leave that up to you.

Cheers,

ExPatMatt said...

Jason,

Just to finish off with a bit of morality...

"What I am getting at is, you use terms like good and bad but how can your naturalistic philosophy account for morals?".

I think morals are merely the names we give to human action. We can very quickly identify what someone is doing and work out if that action is going to be good or bad for us, our family, our tribe, our society or our species, depending on what the action is.

Likewise we can look at our own actions and see if what we are doing causes a benefit or a disbenefit to ourselves and others.

Things that have only positive outcomes (ie, results in pleasurable emotions) such as making people laugh are considered 'good' and thing that have only negative results (ie, results in pain) are considered 'bad'.

These determinations are complex and everyone has a subjective view on what constitutes a moral course of action. Would it be moral of you to kill someone to save 5 people? What about 5 infants? What about 5 thousand? Your answers will be different to other people's but, on the whole, we as a society have establish inter-subjective values that work - for the most part - to encourage 'good' and discourage 'bad'.


"Simply because alot of people agree on it?".

The Nazis thought it was their moral duty to eradicate the Jew. To them, it was moral, to us it is immoral. I'm sure there are things that both you and I do that others would consider immoral, that's just the way it goes.


"At one point the masses (in the US) believed killing a baby was wrong but that has changed".

I'm not sure the 'masses' believe that killing a baby is moral in the US.

"Do you believe there are any absolutes?".

I don't know. I don't know if I could ever know if something was absolute or not - how would you possible test that?

"Would it be wrong for someone to kill you if the masses thought is was for the betterment of society?".

What, like the masses thinking witches should be killed for the betterment of society? Or blacks? Or Jews? Or gays? I wonder what book someone would use to condone such actions...

Now, I'm not saying the Bible does condone those actions, but it has certainly been used to justify them. If it can be so interpreted - where is the moral absolute coming into play?

"Can I just blame natural selection for that killing?".

Not really, because that's not how natural selection works. Besides, that would be 'artificial' selection, wouldn't it?

The route causes of human thought and emotion can be found in the physiology of our brains. The way we perceive and interpret the world around us is a construct of a brain that is evolved to allow abstract thought.


I fully concede that this is a belief and I could be wrong. But where I don't understand something, or flat-out don't know at all, I cannot just insert goddidit and call it a day; it's not how I work.

Regards,

Jason and Vanessa said...

What is more likely?

Interesting how in your options you don't have non-creationist twisting the data... Remember there was a time when just one scientist believed the earth wasn't the center of the universe. We don't go with the masses on that.

The Nazis thought it was their moral duty to eradicate the Jew. To them, it was moral, to us it is immoral. I'm sure there are things that both you and I do that others would consider immoral, that's just the way it goes.

Yes, I consider that immoral but my worldview can account for that. If the Nazis were just part of natural selection then who are you to say that it is immoral? Cause it hurt the Jews (and others). Isn't survival of the fittest part of the theory of evolution? Isn't right to take out the "weaker" ones for the better of the society as a whole. How can you say that is immoral... without borrowing my worldview?

Likewise we can look at our own actions and see if what we are doing causes a benefit or a disbenefit to ourselves and others.

Things that have only positive outcomes (ie, results in pleasurable emotions) such as making people laugh are considered 'good' and thing that have only negative results (ie, results in pain) are considered 'bad'.


If we are ultimately just a bunch of atoms how do we account for laughter being good and pain being bad. I've heard many a story of serial killers laughing and enjoying their killing spree. Again you can't scientifically prove any of these things so they are presuppositions. Presuppositions I don't see how natural selection can account for.

How does natural selection explain personal identity. Do you believe a atom knows it is a atom? How about a drop of water? If we all came from the same thing ultimately at what point did we have personal identity?

I'm not sure the 'masses' believe that killing a baby is moral in the US.

Well, maybe they wouldn't say that but the number of abortions would sadly show otherwise

I don't know if I could ever know if something was absolute or not - how would you possible test that?

I am not sure how you could in your worldview though you have made many absolute statements (or at least that is what they sound like).

Now, I'm not saying the Bible does condone those actions, but it has certainly been used to justify them. If it can be so interpreted - where is the moral absolute coming into play?

Even atheist can see that it being used in that way is wrong (though I don't know how they can account for wrong, what if that was just part of natural selection)

I fully concede that this is a belief and I could be wrong. But where I don't understand something, or flat-out don't know at all, I cannot just insert goddidit and call it a day; it's not how I work.

I appreciate your honesty. The Christian worldview starts with God, we don't just insert Him when mystery arises.

Chris said...

Jason -

I have been in many a conversation with Ryan... F.Y.I.: don't be surprised if he doesn't answer any of your questions.

Thanks for the heads up. Seeing that to be the case now.

ExPatMatt said...

Jason,

Ok, let's include option c) all scientists everywhere (except those 13) are fudging their data to make it seem like the universe is old, despite a large number of them believing in God.

So, which is more likely?


As for the rest...
Get back to me when you understand what natural selection means, at the minute you're just throwing it around like a cheap rag-doll and it's only confusing things.

Cheers,

Jason and Vanessa said...

ExPatMatt,

I am using it to just sum up your worldview (perhaps I should be saying naturalism). I apologize if I have confused things. I have learned alot from this discussion.

This is what I have learned about your worldview thus far:

Regarding morals, it is good if it brings pleasure or is agreed upon by a society. So how can the Holocaust or cannibalism be wrong if they were society norms? My worldview can account for why those are wrong. Given these did bring pleasure (to some, obviously not others [how subjective is that]) and it was socially acceptable (even if it was just for a time) how can you say those things are wrong? I think if you are consistent with your worldview you would have to say they were good. But noone would dare say this… perhaps that is because their conscience is working ;)

You count science as a way of knowing something is true or not. Science helps us learn things about our past experience so that that knowledge will help us in the future. Scientist don’t just think that but so do you and I. We know how to walk and ride a bike and drive. We don’t learn those things anew everyday but rather we learn from our past and that helps us in the future (i.e. we have presuppositions). Future experience will be like past experience. There would be no science if we couldn’t count on the future being like the past, if we couldn’t assume on the uniformity of nature. All assume the uniformity of nature (even if they don’t know it, it is proven by how we live). Which worldview makes sense of absolutes (you already admitted with yours it is not possible [are you absolutely sure about that ;)] or makes sense of our human experience that gives us the expectation that the future will be like the past, so that we can rely on it and plan and live out our lives. Everyone assumes this but I don’t see how your worldview can account for it like mine can.

You already admitted you know what you know based on your senses (though they have failed before but you said it was the best you got) and science. So how can you be sure of the future (perhaps you have never thought of this) we have no observation of the future. No experience of what is not yet. So even though we have seen something done in a lab 1,000 times or everyone believed something, is irrelevant if we are a universe made from randomness. Of course, I don’t think anyone would admit that but that would be consistent with your worldview. Even though they deny God, the scientists that oppose Him have to use His own creation to “disprove” Him. As one has put it, “They have to sit in His lap to slap His face”.

How about the laws of login, human reasoning, how we draw conclusions. If you maintain that there is nothing that exist except the material world around us then what are laws of logic? I hear lots of unbelievers using it but I don’t find it consistent with their worldview (again they are borrowing mine since we can account for logic but they can’t [though they love to use it J]) Our debate would be pointless without logic. The unbeliever knows God is logical, He does not lie, and He created us in His image and they want to use their brains logically but they suppress they truth in unrighteousness,…but still use our worldview to use logic to cast doubt and prove there is no God. WOW!

Jason and Vanessa said...

Another presupposition I am seeing (though you say you have none) is that you assume personal freedom and dignity. Why do we have funerals and animals don’t? We know in our heart of hearts that we are made in the image of God and when someone dies it is tragic (the only reason people will bury their dog or cat rather than a cockroach is because they treated the dog or cat more like a human and formed a bon with it, they befriended it.) Why should we give humans a chance to go to court for a crime because they are convicted but we can slaughter a cow like that for our dinner? Just cause we are more evolved? How does one account for human dignity? Vegetarians are at least a little more consistant saying it is cruelty to animals, but what about vegetables? Those are living organism too? (Sounds absurd I know, that is the point)

If naturalism is true then ultimately you have no reason to believe it. Cause naturalism says all of our thinking is just electrical chemical reaction, subject to the laws of chemistry and physics, which is to say all f our thinking is determined by the factors in the physical world and our surroundings. Our brain is just following the laws of nature. Human thinking is the same as weeds growing (though it is on a higher level). So if your consistent you have to admit that you are a proponent of naturalism simply because your brain has reqired you to say so based on laws. You don’t have the freedom or self awareness to look at different theories, evaluate evidence and make a choice of what is right or wrong. Thus, it is ironic for you to say what you believe is true if you are just forced to say it, there is no point, you believe what you believe because of the laws and I believe what I believe because of those same laws of nature. Thus we should end our debate (if our brains [ruled by the laws] allow us to that is ;] )

This is what I am asserting and perhaps will explain to you better what it means when we say “they [unbelievers] suppress the truth in unrighteousness”. You know of the one true God, you even use His conventions (like logic, morals, ect… [at least to some extent]) but you use them wrongly to deny God and don’t give Him glory and that is why He is angry. God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. He will punish justly for unbelief and not giving Him glory. He is also rich in mercy and all who come to Him with a broken and contrite spirit He will be merciful with. All you come to Him in repentance and faith will come to a loving Father rather than an angry judge. This is because He justly poured out His wrath on His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, who three days later rose from the dead for the justification of all who would believe in Him. No amount of science will convince you (thus this is why I don’t rely on evidence, though I will defend it cause no evidence contradicts the Bible), but the gospel of God is the power of salvation to all who believe. So this is all I can do, is plead with you, as a ambassador of Christ (by His amazing grace) be reconciled to God. He can and will forgive unbelief and skepticism to all who repent of their sins and put their faith in Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross for sinners.

soli Deo gloria!

jason d.

ExPatMatt said...

Response to Jason: Part 1

"Regarding morals, it is good if it brings pleasure or is agreed upon by a society".

Not necessarily. I have a positive experience when certain things happen and I share this reaction with most of humanity - this covers the basic things like food, clothing, shelter, companionship - so I can put myself in someone's shoes and know that being without those things would be bad and having them is good.

Most of the things that are near-universally agreed upon have been established for many thousands of years (certainly pre-dating the Bible) and their analogues can be found in other social species. There is every reason to suspect that this ability to utilize empathy for the benefit of ourselves and our companions is a trait that leads to increased survival odds for a society that uses it.

"So how can the Holocaust or cannibalism be wrong if they were society norms?".

The Holocaust (or any genocide, for that matter) is a case of sociopaths, without empathy (or in spite of it) manipulating the fears of others to do things they would other wise condemn. There are many experiments to show how easy it is to get people to act against their own morals if instruction is given by an authority figure.

I'm not sure that cannibalism is immoral. There are tribes that eat their dead because they see burial as an immoral, disrespectful (and wasteful) act.

"My worldview can account for why those are wrong".

Although if God asks you to commit genocide, you would....(or would you?)

"I think if you are consistent with your worldview you would have to say they were good".

You think a consistent atheist should think the Holocaust was 'good'? If that is the case then you haven't learned anything from our discussions at all!

"You count science as a way of knowing something is true or not".

Kind of. It is a tool to determine what is not true and is always approaching truth, but never quite getting there.

"All assume the uniformity of nature".

We assume that things will behave in the way that we have observed, or predict them to behave, One of the great things about science is that you can make predictions that are testable.

"Everyone assumes this but I don’t see how your worldview can account for it like mine can".

Your worldview operates on the assumption that Jesus could return at an unknown time to turn the world upside down and God can change things at His whim - how uniform is that?!

My worldview accounts for things being the way things are...because that's the way we observe things to be. We can't go around assuming that things were different unless there's evidence to suggest that they were.

"... if we are a universe made from randomness".

Not everything is random.

"Even though they deny God, the scientists that oppose Him have to use His own creation to “disprove” Him".

You are under the mistaken impression that scientists are out to disprove God. I can assure you this is not the case. Scientists are out to find things out. Many scientists believe in God and consider themselves to be finding out more about His Creation....they still accept an old earth and evolution though (except for 13 of them)

"How about the laws of logic, human reasoning, how we draw conclusions".

All these things are emergent properties of the human brain. It is how we make sense of the world. Our toolkit is just a bit more 'advanced' than other species.

The laws of logic aren't 'things' that 'exist' anymore than equations are. They are concepts that we use to describe the world around us.

"The unbeliever knows God is...".

Incorrect. The unbeliever does not believe there is a God. If you are going to kid yourself into thinking that atheists actually know there's a God but just pretend they don't so they can keep on sinning, then yes, using anything to disprove His existence is silly. But we don't believe there is a God. End of story.

To be continued....

ExPatMatt said...

Response to Jason: Part 2

"Another presupposition I am seeing (though you say you have none) is that you assume personal freedom and dignity".

I don't recall, at any point, mentioning a presupposition of personal freedom and dignity, but whatever.

"Why do we have funerals and animals don’t?".

Because we are able to grasp the abstract concept of death to a more comprehensive degree. Most animals are too busy not-dying to waste time and energy 'mourning' the loss of a relative.

Having said that, there are countless studies that show numerous species reacting in all-too-human ways to the death of a mate/offspring. There was a penguin in Berlin recently that died of a broken heart....

"We know in our heart of hearts that we are made in the image of God...".

You might, I don't. I'm getting a little fed up of you telling me what I believe, it's quite presumptuous.

"...and when someone dies it is tragic".

Not if they're going to heaven, surely? It's very interesting that a recent study showed that 'born-again' Christians were the ones most likely to fight tooth and nail to survive, while other groups (including atheists) accepted death more peacefully. Strange, eh?

"Why should we give humans a chance to go to court for a crime because they are convicted but we can slaughter a cow like that for our dinner?".

Read that question back to yourself, slowly and out loud; it makes no sense.

"If naturalism is true then ultimately you have no reason to believe it".

Well, I'm glad you're not a naturalist then because you'd be a very confused one...

"Cause naturalism says all of our thinking is just electrical chemical reaction, subject to the laws of chemistry and physics, which is to say all of our thinking is determined by the factors in the physical world and our surroundings".

That is almost exactly right. Do you believe that your thinking is something other than the electrical impulses in your brain traveling down pathways that are determined by your surrounding environment?

"Our brain is just following the laws of nature".

Hopefully, yes. You're doing well here...

"Human thinking is the same as weeds growing (though it is on a higher level)".

???

ExPatMatt said...

Response to Jason: Part 3

"So if your consistent you have to admit that you are a proponent of naturalism simply because your brain has required you to say so based on laws. You don’t have the freedom or self awareness to look at different theories, evaluate evidence and make a choice of what is right or wrong".

This is incorrect. You are assuming that the brain has no computational power to analyze data and make choices based on that data; rather you are proposing that the brain operates linearly and without the ability to extrapolate, evaluate and react.

It is precisely because we have the brains we have and they work the way they do that we are able to make choices at all. If you look at the brains of other species, they lack the ability to process data in the way we do - they can only react on instinct to stimuli.

The closer other species' brain's resemble our own, the better decision-making they display.

"You know of the one true God, you even use His conventions (like logic, morals, ect… [at least to some extent]) but you use them wrongly to deny God and don’t give Him glory and that is why He is angry".

As I have said, I don't believe there is a God (any god, for that matter). However, for the sake of argument, I will assume that the God of the Bible exists.

Why is He angry that I don't give Him glory? Did He not give us free will, or was it only the free will to make the choice He wants us to make? That's no free will at all, that's coercion.

"God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. He will punish justly for unbelief and not giving Him glory".

Why? What does He need glory for? He's already the creator of all reality; what difference does it make to Him if a few humans don't worship Him?

"He is also rich in mercy and all who come to Him with a broken and contrite spirit He will be merciful with".

So if you apologize for being the way He made you, He'll forgive you for being made that way?

"All you come to Him in repentance and faith will come to a loving Father rather than an angry judge".

Anger is a very human emotion, not really befitting an omnipotent super-being, is it?

"This is because He justly poured out His wrath on His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, who three days later rose from the dead for the justification of all who would believe in Him".

Human sacrifice. Let's be clear here. You're talking about human sacrifice. And you lecture me about your worldview accounting for morality?!

We the convoluted redemption plan? Why did an innocent man have to die? He's the ruler of the universe, there must have been a million other ways that didn't require the brutal murder of an innocent man.

Speaking of which. Jesus was God! How much of a sacrifice is it to be killed and then come back to life three days later (to take your seat in Heaven)? Not much really.

"No amount of science will convince you (thus this is why I don’t rely on evidence, though I will defend it cause no evidence contradicts the Bible), but the gospel of God is the power of salvation to all who believe".

Science is not in the business of investigating the paranormal and supernatural, so I'm not sure what you mean there.

"So this is all I can do, is plead with you, as a ambassador of Christ (by His amazing grace) be reconciled to God. He can and will forgive unbelief and skepticism to all who repent of their sins and put their faith in Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross for sinners".

I've been there and tried that. Nothing happened. Go on, I know you want to - tell me I 'did it wrong' - it's the standard response.


Regards, (and I'll get around to summarizing what I've learned probably tomorrow)

Matt

ExPatMatt said...

Jason,

I hope you had a great weekend (we went to Montral; c’est fantastique!)

I think we can split our discussion into three threads;
Morality, Science & Logic.

Morality

You don’t think that naturalism (the default ‘belief’ system for any atheist) is a valid base to form a useful morality from because you can’t see how morality can arise without an absolute standard to measure it from. This is fair enough, I hear it from many theists and I can understand why you think this. You also acknowledge that, of course, atheists can be and are moral people, it’s just that they won’t accept where their morality comes from, right?

I guess it all depends on how you define ‘morality’. We can both agree that we instinctively know that something (like lying or stealing) is ‘wrong’ and that we shouldn’t do it. Similarly, we know that things like charity and dignity are ‘right’ and we feel good about them. The question is; how do we know this.

We are aware also that some people, apparently do not agree with our perception of these things and they might think that stealing is fine and that charity is ridiculous.

You think that morality (or conscience) is a God-given thing (despite the fact that Adam & Eve had to break God’s rules in order to acquire the knowledge of good and evil…) and that we recognize right and wrong because of this…however, some people don’t because they have a ‘seared’ conscience due to continued rejection of the gospel.

I think morality is a word we use to describe the process of analyzing behavior and actions to see how they will impact ourselves and those around us. I think it is an emergent property of intelligent, social animals who are better able to survive if they work for the benefit of the group. Things that are ‘good’ are seen as being such because, at some point in our past, they offered a survival benefit. Things that are ‘bad’ would have served as a survival disadvantage – examples can be provided.

As morality is an emergent property of our brains, it follows that some people will have brain functions that are considered ‘outliers’ these can be either incredibly good or incredibly bad people; from Gandhi to Jeffrey Dahlmer. Most people have an understanding of right & wrong that fits in with what most other people think, but some do not.

Nobody claims that this is perfect and I do not base my morality on what the majority says, rather it is a distillation of all of my experiences and thoughts on human interaction. I happen to think that going to war in Iraq was an immoral. Other people might say it was a moral act. Can you claim to know what the moral absolute is in this case?

ExPatMatt said...

Science

To be totally honest, I think you place too much trust in AIG. I know that’s a cliché coming from an atheist, but that’s what I think. They are not scientists (and by that, I mean they don’t do science – some do have scientific educations) and they have a stated goal of making everything prove Genesis. I just think it’s weird that you would choose to trust the word of 13 individuals over the entire scientific community, purely because their opinion coincides with your own (oh, wait!). See how readily you pub;

You appear not to be too familiar with what evolution is or what evolutionary theory proposes and what the evidences for it are. This is in addition to your lack of familiarity with scientific terminology (ie ‘theory’). Now, I’m not saying this is a bad thing – there’s no compulsion on anyone to be an expert on anything unless they do it for a job and that’s fine. But if I’m going to start saying the Bible is rubbish – you’d hope that I at least had a good working understanding of it, wouldn’t you?

I think that if you took the time to understand evolution (and didn’t worry that doing so would magically deconvert you or something!) and what it actually is, you’d be rather impressed by what your God has done there. Honestly, all the theists I know who accept an Old Earth use evolution constantly as evidence of God’s existence!

But if you’re getting your science information from a bunch of Creationists who are happy to lie and distort in order to protect their narrow interpretation of their holy book out of some irrational fear that that accepting Genesis as poetry/creation myth somehow invalidates the rest of the Bible, then you’ll never get to appreciate evolution for the wonderful phenomena it is.

However, I think you’d prefer not to think that AIG is a nest of liars, because they’re on ‘your side’ and that’s ‘God’s side’ and so therefore must be in the right. I see you still haven’t answered my question about which scenario is more likely, even after I included cheating non-Creationists into the mix…

ExPatMatt said...

Logic

It seems to be an increasingly common meme among online Christians to ask atheists to ‘account’ for logic. Like morality, you are of the opinion that logic comes from God as part of His package-deal of creation. Not only does it come from God but it also reflects His nature.

Fair enough.

The naturalists explanation is that logic is a mental tool, utilized by self-aware minds to make sense of their environments. No magic involved. Starting from the base principal of ‘I think therefore I am’, logic is self-evident and axiomatic. Claiming that logic comes from God is no different to saying that any other abstract concept comes from God. There’s no need to attribute it to God because we can see that it as unfalsifiable as me saying it comes from the Invisible Pink Unicorn or the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

I will add that it is not logically possible to have a God who; 1) would prefer people to not to end up in Hell, 2) is the First Cause, 3) is omnipotent/omniscient, 4) cares about human souls. If He truly did care, and He knew that His act of creation would result in human souls in Hell (even if it was of their own choice) then He wouldn’t have created at all (or would have created differently. The fact that you believe that people do end up in Hell shows that it actually is His will that some people end up there, because if it wasn’t then they wouldn’t.

I also don’t think you can logically defend the position that either ‘creation’ or ‘conscience’ is evidence of a creator without resorting to circular reasoning.

I’ve enjoyed our discussion Jason, thanks very much for your time.

Regards,

Jason and Vanessa said...

ExPattMatt,

I will comment on your last couple of comments within a couple of days... just been cray busy... just dont want you to think i abandoned ship :)

Lissie Darcy said...

@ Expatmatt

Sorry I'm a bit late...in the commenting. Haven't checked here for a while :D

First, I want to ask you Expatmatt how you would like me to address you. I mean since you are an adult and I'm only a 15 year old girl. (Or at least from your writing it looks like you are an adult :D.)

Mr. Matt as Christians we don't try to get people to believe they are sick, weak and vulnerable. We don't try to "get" people to believe anything but the truth. And even in that it is not I who saves the soul, but Christ alone.

Our goal is only to tell the world of man's sinful nature. Our goal is to make disciples as Jesus Himself has told us to do so.

If you believe that you are accountable, and you ALONE for your actions; then I think you yourself can safely say that no one can "get" you to believe anything other than what you choose to believe.

What Trish, Ray, and Todd do is have others look in the mirror of the God's word and have the person they are witnessing to put THEMSELVES up to God's standard, not mans. Surely you must no Mr. Matt, if I or any other Christian put OURSELVES as the standard for everyone else then everyone in the whole world would be perfect. The reason is because we'd all be measuring up to each other saying, "Well I'm not as bad as THAT guy." "I never murdered. I only told a lie. But my neighbor is a MURDERER."

No, that simply is not what we're trying to do. We want to point others to Christ, so we can one day see others in heaven.

If this was a practical joke, or some trick, or some sort of conspiracy to try to get people to think (as you put it) sick, vulnerable, and weak,I would not be involved in it because I'm a horrible liar and wouldn't be able to get anyone to believe that they're sick because whenever I lie, or joke I burst out in laughter. (Stupid I know..)

Before I leave (getting near my bedtime) I must tell you, before the Almighty God we are weak, vulnerable, and depraved not sick. If you're sick you can easily cure yourself, or a friend can cure you. If you are depraved you're doomed. Your once good nature, has been tainted and can not be restored unless someone has the power or ability to restore it.

Back to what I was saying. When we come before God we are vulnerable. We are the creatures not the Creator. We recognize that we are in the presence of a Holy God. You cannot gaze upon His face and live. You're depraved nature shakes when you realize that just how Holy He is.

Mr. Matt, I hope one day (and pray) that you come to the Lord and come to know His grace that lies in wait for you.

Your blogging friend,

Lissie

Ps. I believe you have met my Dad before. BrazenHussey?

Ps.s. I admire the respectful attitude in which you-

Lissie Darcy said...

Ran outta room. Rats.

I was going to say.. in which you address others :-P Whenever I comment I try to be polite like you do and keep a level head. (I can get pretty passionate in my writings :D)

ExPatMatt said...

Jason,

No rush! Blog comments are none too swift a way of communicating (especially with moderation on!) but you take your time and respond as you see fit.

Lissie Darcy,

You address me however you want to, I have indeed chatted with your dad and he's a good man so I trust him to have taught you to communicate with respect and intelligence (and you prove this with your comment)

A very well delivered Gospel message, I thought, you'll make a fine evangelist in the years to come. Just be sure to always know why you believe and question everything - if you're on the side of Truth, then curiosity and knowledge should hold no danger for you.

Regards,


And keep on reading the classics, that's real literature right there!

Brazen Hussey's said...

Well then with your permission/approval I will call you Mr. Matt. (I think it's kind of odd calling adults by their first name. Unless they tell me they wish it that way.)

Thank you so much! It means a lot to here those words "You'll make a great evangelist,".

My Dad is in the process of (and my Mum) teaching me appologetics. Besides, now that I'm older I am always inquiring as to "Why" we believe what we believe. It is important to know that. So, I thank you for that advice :D

As for reading the classics, I dearly love to read. When I was younger I only prefered fantasy. My Mum pushed me to read Anne of Green Gables and since then I am always reading the classics! Right now I'm devouring "Resurrection" by Leo Tolstoy. It's a challenge. But, it's great.

And you are right, as for pleasure reading, the classics and newberry award winners are the best.

-Lissie

Ps. Oh sorry! I didn't always do this. I forgot to sign in-so I'm signed in as my Dad. My mistake.

ExPatMatt said...

Well, Lissie, if during the course of your apologetics learning you ever want to know the atheist point of view, you can always come and ask me (with your dad's blessing, of course)

I should also tell you that the position I'm taking on my own blog is not my own. I am attempting to parody someone I've been chatting with to show him how annoying it is when someone behaves like he does. That's why I've been saying "ALL Christians hate science"!

It's my response to him saying "ALL atheists rely on science to tell them what to do".

I just thought you should know that so you don't get a false impression of who I am or what I think.

Take care,

Lissie Darcy said...

If I have a question about the atheistic point of view (and it's fine with my Dad) I'll be sure to ask you.

But, as a Christian (and atheist) it's important to know both view points so as to back up what you believe. Briefly we talk about what the other point of view(s) are.

As for your blog, THAT MAKES SO MUCH MORE SENSE...

I've visited your blog several times and I was always at loss as to who you really are. Well because on the one hand you have a polite atheist, who expresses his knowledge in logic through his comments, on the other hand you have...a rather rational atheist who (I mean on your blog :D) doesn't take time to think something through before he just states something??

Haha, well that makes sense. Thank you for telling me. Now I know better :D

--Lissie

Jason and Vanessa said...

@ ExPatMatt

I enjoyed reading your last post. You said (lots but I think this gets to the crux of it):

I will add that it is not logically possible to have a God who; 1) would prefer people to not to end up in Hell, 2) is the First Cause, 3) is omnipotent/omniscient, 4) cares about human souls. If He truly did care, and He knew that His act of creation would result in human souls in Hell (even if it was of their own choice) then He wouldn’t have created at all (or would have created differently. The fact that you believe that people do end up in Hell shows that it actually is His will that some people end up there, because if it wasn’t then they wouldn’t.

I agree with you. I think the Bible is clear that God has willed some to hell (Romans 9), though you won't hear this from many Christians (probably cause they just think God is love and has no other attributes and this scares them or confuses them). And even those in hell will give glory to God. This is one way God shows His justice.

I also don’t think you can logically defend the position that either ‘creation’ or ‘conscience’ is evidence of a creator without resorting to circular reasoning.

I agree that it results in circular reasoning if we just use creation or conscience. But what about your use of login. You said:

logic is self-evident and axiomatic.

This is one of the big points that I have been making that we both have our presuppositions (or axioms). Just cause something is self-evident doesn't make it true. I already asked about your senses, they are self-evident but you admitted (like I would) that they can deceive us.

I don't think circular reasoning is wrong (in some cases). Take logic for example... You have to use logic to prove logic, no? The axiom to prove logic IS logic.

This is the case I have been making the entire time that we both have our presuppositions or axioms. Science also has it's axioms, like constants (which again I can account for) but if we came about from random things then how can we rely on that?

You also admit that you can't be absolutely sure about anything, yet you keep going back to the starting point of "I think therefore I am". But you cant be sure of that either, so why use that? Are things that don't think non-existant? "They don't think, so they are not?" I know that sounds silly, but seriously, if you can't be absolutely sure about anything why follow all of these Christian blogs?

Whateverman said...

Jason and Vanessa wrote the following in response to ExPattMatt's post:

Just cause something is self-evident doesn't make it true.

I agree with you JaV. I think it might be helpful, though, to understand why logic is justifiably self-evidential. The reason is that it's based on the definitions of words we ALL (believers and atheists) accept as valid. For example, if I tell you "My hat is red" and then tell you "My hat is not red", you would rightly complain.

Why?

The definitions of the words I've used to express the two ideas reveal I've contradicted myself. That I have been illogical is self-evident NOT because you presuppose that logic works, but because the language we both agree upon reveals the inconsistency.

To someone who does not understand English, the two statements would not seem inconsistent. This is not because he DOES NOT presuppose the validity of logic, but because the words are nonsensical.

Logic "works" because we agree on the definitions of the words being used, which means we also agree on the consequences of their use.

Incidentally, the above explains why so many internet discussions end up in disagreement of how words are being used and what they mean. If people each use the same word differently, it's likely they will disagree about the logic of the statements being made.

ExPatMatt said...

What Whateverman said.

Jason,

I understand that these conversations can become unwieldy once a certain word limit is exceeded. Let's just stick to what we've got here, eh?

"I agree with you. I think the Bible is clear that God has willed some to hell (Romans 9),".

And yet you worship this being? He actually wills people to a place of eternal torment. Wow.

"And even those in hell will give glory to God. This is one way God shows His justice".

That's a very strange way to show justice. Mind you, we at wearesmrt(dot)com are at Exodus 9 in our Bible study and we just read the bit where God admits that He created the Egyptians specifically for the purpose of torturing them - thus showing how powerful He is.

Sounds like a bit of a bully to me.

"I agree that it results in circular reasoning if we just use creation or conscience".

That's two agreements now that no other Christian I've talked with has been willing to give!

"This [logic is self-evident and axiomatic] is one of the big points that I have been making that we both have our presuppositions (or axioms)".

We both share this axiom, for sure. I don't think it's a problem, do you?

"Just cause something is self-evident doesn't make it true".

So 'Creation' being self-evident proof of a Creator isn't necessarily true, even though it's (apparently) self-evident?

I agree with your point, of course, but I wasn't saying anything different to start with.

"I already asked about your senses, they are self-evident but you admitted (like I would) that they can deceive us".

I already answered this in my posts above.

"Science also has it's axioms, like constants (which again I can account for) but if we came about from random things then how can we rely on that?".

Who said constants are axiomatic? I know of no scientists that think that. They are derived/calculated from multiple experiments - not assumed as axioms. There is no reason for you to assume that God would make a universe using universal constants, is there? He could have made it using non-constant values if He wanted to, right?

"You also admit that you can't be absolutely sure about anything,".

Well, I don't know for certain that I can't be absolutely sure of anything....;)

"yet you keep going back to the starting point of "I think therefore I am". But you cant be sure of that either, so why use that?".

Because I can be sure of that, by definition alone. This is nothing to do with my senses. It is fundamentally certain knowledge that I am and I'm thinking in order to be 'I am' so I can know purely by the act of thinking, that I exist and am able to know that I exist.

"Are things that don't think non-existant?".

No, they're just not self-aware. I thought that was obvious.

"...but seriously, if you can't be absolutely sure about anything why follow all of these Christian blogs?".

Non-sequitor much?

Once again, I am absolutely sure that I exist, can think and am able to learn things about my existence.

I visit lots of blogs because people - like your good self - interest me.

Regards,

Jason and Vanessa said...

@Whateverman

you said:

"The definitions of the words I've used to express the two ideas reveal I've contradicted myself."

Yes, that is using logic... (i.e. principium contradictionis the logical principle of contradiction) Everyone has presuppositions whether they know it or not.


--


@ExPatMatt

you said:

Sounds like a bit of a bully to me.

You naturalistic standard can't use my Christian moral... sorry. Whether lots of people agree or not doesn't make it absolute as you admitted.

"I agree that it results in circular reasoning if we just use creation or conscience".

That's two agreements now that no other Christian I've talked with has been willing to give!

"This [logic is self-evident and axiomatic] is one of the big points that I have been making that we both have our presuppositions (or axioms)".

We both share this axiom, for sure. I don't think it's a problem, do you?


I don't think it is a problem, but my worldview can account for it and in fact I think you have many Christian axioms that you use to show why you disagree with God as He has revealed Himself in His Word.

Again you can't show logic without using it, nor reason without using it.

So 'Creation' being self-evident proof of a Creator isn't necessarily true, even though it's (apparently) self-evident?

It could be a illusion, but I believe it to be true cause God says it is. Your worldview can't account for anything being true so what does it matter?

There is no reason for you to assume that God would make a universe using universal constants, is there? He could have made it using non-constant values if He wanted to, right?

Of course He could have, but He tells us He made and currently sustains all things by His power.

I don't know for certain that I can't be absolutely sure of anything....;)

Are you absolutely sure about that?... ;)

I am absolutely sure that I exist, can think and am able to learn things about my existence.

But people can deceive themselves and believe lies (I'm sure you think that about me right now :] ) ... so are you absolutely sure about your proposition? Even though earlier you told me:

I don't know. I don't know if I could ever know if something was absolute or not - how would you possible test that?

Chris said...

Matt -

That's a very strange way to show justice. Mind you, we at wearesmrt(dot)com are at Exodus 9 in our Bible study and we just read the bit where God admits that He created the Egyptians specifically for the purpose of torturing them - thus showing how powerful He is.

Budding in for a sec. I'm presuming you're talking about Exodus 9:16?

16 But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth.

Let's not forget that Exodus 9:16 is surrounded by Exodus 9:15 and 9:17.

15 For by now I could have put out my hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, and you would have been cut off from the earth.

and

17 You are still exalting yourself against my people and will not let them go.

Put it together, without verse notations and it reads:

For by now I could have put out my hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, and you would have been cut off from the earth, but for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth. You are still exalting yourself against my people and will not let them go.

What needs to be pointed out is just who Pharaoh and his people are in the matter. In order to do that, we need to do a little study.

From your perspective Egypt is just a nation that God created, used and abused for nothing more than to demonstrate he's powerful. The text HAS to be put in the context of the whole, ie. Scripture interprets Scripture as well as the context of the culture of the time, not just in ancient Israelite theology, but even those of the surrounding areas. Couple that with progressive revelation and you can paint a much clearer picture than just what your initial reaction is.

I realize that even most Christians are so blind, willfully ignorant and indifferent of much of this. And if they are, then I can't expect an atheist Bible study to concern itself much with true theology and the scarlet thread of redemption. But whatever your goal in the matter, at the very least, to do it some justice and help open up The Word a little, let me fill you in on the cosmic drama and warfare behind the scenes that Scripture very delicately paints.

Since you've already been through Genesis, you should recall that Genesis 11 tells about the tower of Babel that was being built before God confused the language and dispersed the people. What often gets missed is something interesting in Genesis 11:8, where it says '...and they left off building the city.' It wasn't just a tower that was being built.

That sets the stage for what is called the 'Table of Nations'. There's a ton of literature on this so I won't bother explaining it all here, but I do want to point to what gets overlooked in the big picture and that is that what God does in the dispersion of Genesis 11 and the sudden arise of 70 nations is He gives these nations over to the adversary - people call him satan, though that's more of a title than a name.

Immediately thereafter Abram is called to be the father of the multitude, the nation Israel, Yahweh's own nation. Israel is to be distinct from the other nations. Yahweh takes this little people group for himself and gives the rest over to the adversary and the beings that follow him. That really sets the stage as the backdrop to the whole of Scripture. It's a major theme and once that lens is put on, the Bible will really open up on a whole new level.

-more coming-

Chris said...

--cont--

Matt -

So that's the backdrop to the cosmic warfare that will put Scripture into a context that will make much more sense. As an anchor to this I'll point to Psalm 82. The short Psalm of 8 verses shows God declaring to other created divine beings that they judge unjustly and in verse 7, will end up dying like mankind dies. Verse 7 is the contrast to the fact that these rulers are not mortal... Verse 8 is the climax of all history:

Arise, O God, judge the earth;

for you shall inherit all the nations!


That is it. There is the picture of the ultimate conquering King, Yahweh, inheriting the nations of the world after the adversary and those who follow him are judged and destroyed.

So now back to Exodus 9:16 and the question I raised as to who exactly Pharaoh and his people are.

In Ezekiel 31 we have a chapter of Scripture not unique in the fact that it seems to speak much beyond the literal initial opening line, in this case of verse 2 '...to Pharaoh king of Egypt and to his multitude:' The chapter goes on in prose describing Assyria as a great and beautiful cedar, greater than and nourishing all the other trees in Lebanon. In verse 8 it states that the other cedars in the Garden of God couldn't rival this particular cedar as none was equal in beauty. Read the chapter very carefully and when we get to verse 10 we see that this tree did something wrong.

Ezekiel 31:10 “Therefore thus says the Lord God: Because it (you/the tree) towered high and set its top among the clouds, and its heart was proud of its height, 11 I will give it into the hand of a mighty one of the nations. (namely this is messianic, Yeshua the Messiah is the conquering King being spoken of here) He shall surely deal with it as its wickedness deserves. I have cast it out.

I'll spare the time from diving into Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 but will recommend them as study material to help fill in the gaps as to who/what the adversary (satan) is and was created for. Ezekiel 31 is speaking of the same being, the adversary, as a cedar above all other trees. Now I want to draw you back to Ezekiel 31:3

Behold, Assyria was a cedar in Lebanon,
with beautiful branches and forest shade,
and of towering height,
its top among the clouds.


What I want to stress in verse 3 is this issue of Assyria being a cedar in Lebanon and now back to verse one, the prophecy to Pharaoh, king of Egypt.

Put that together. The nations were given over to the adversary. The 'person' being prophesied to here is the 'Pharaoh', 'Assyria, the cedar', who will be judged and destroyed along with the wicked (ie, his followers) by Yeshua (Jesus).

To wrap up quick, Isaiah 52 is the key. Again, there's a lot you can go through with Isaiah 52 but my suggestion is that it's speaking of Israel when it becomes the nation of nations and the enemy (the adversary) is subdued. It's vs. 3-4 that I want to draw your attention to.

3 For thus says the Lord: “You were sold for nothing, and you shall be redeemed without money.” 4 For thus says the Lord God: “My people went down at the first into Egypt to sojourn there, and the Assyrian oppressed them for nothing.

It's not an Assyrian, it's the Assyrian. Pharaoh at the Exodus, or rather the power behind Pharaoh is satan.

Now with that understanding, that the nations were given over to satan, that satan is the ruler behind Egypt, and that Yahweh is about to birth His OWN nation called Israel, we can go back to Exodus 9:15-17 and see that Yahweh is speaking to satan to paraphrase,

I could have struck you and your people to be cut off from the earth, but instead I raised YOU up, in order to demonstrate my power to MY people and ultimately all the earth

Quite a different perspective then, don't you think?

ExPatMatt said...

"Quite a different perspective then, don't you think?".

Nope.

Sorry, but about 90% of what you just said went waaaay over my head.

Whatever happened to a 'plain reading of the text'?

I promise you that I will go through and read all this a bunch more times because I respect that you put a lot of effort into trying to explain this passage to me, and I want to be fair to that effort.

It may take a while, but I'll get back to you on this when I understand it......

Cheers,

ExPatMatt said...

Jason,

"You naturalistic standard can't use my Christian moral... sorry".

???

"Whether lots of people agree or not doesn't make it absolute as you admitted".

You're just being deliberately obtuse with this now. I never even mentioned 'absolutes' and I don't know what naturalism or morals have to do with anything.

We both know what the word bully means, right? And I'm saying that the word seems to fit the description of God's actions that you've admitted (willing people to Hell).

No philosophy necessary, just an agreement on the definition of words.

The axiom of logic.

"I don't think it is a problem, but my worldview can account for it".

Saying 'Goddidit' is not accounting for anything.

I can just as easily say evolutiondidit and achieve the same end result. In fact, I do say that; evolutiondidit. That's how I account for my ability to utilize logic.

Now what?


"..and in fact I think you have many Christian axioms that you use to show why you disagree with God as He has revealed Himself in His Word".

Such as....? You've already shown that you don't actually know what an axiom is, because you think things like scientific constants are axioms.

"Again you can't show logic without using it, nor reason without using it".

Exactly. Think about it. I'm not trying to disprove that logic exists, am I?

"It could be a illusion, but I believe it to be true cause God says it is".

Beautiful bit of circular reasoning there and also an admission that you can't be absolutely sure of the existence of 'creation' because it could be an illusion - so we're both in the same boat.

"Your worldview can't account for anything being true so what does it matter?".

You're not even listening, are you? I've already shown you, multiple times that my 'worldview' satisfactorily 'accounts' for my ability to use logic and the existence of morality.

"Of course He could have, but He tells us He made and currently sustains all things by His power".

So you're back to your belief in the truth of the Bible. Not absolute knowledge. Again.

I said;

"I am absolutely sure that I exist, can think and am able to learn things about my existence".

To which, you replied;

"But people can deceive themselves and believe lies... so are you absolutely sure about your proposition? Even though earlier you told me:"

I don't know. I don't know if I could ever know if something was absolute or not - how would you possible test that?


For starters, we were talking about absolute morality - but nice quote-mine there.

Secondly, I've told you repeatedly that my existence and ability to think are self-evident and absolutely sure (for me). There is no way I could function if that weren't true.

Believing lies and other deceptions is only relevant when you start out actually trying to learn things about your environment, it doesn't apply to your ability to learn things about your environment. The fact that computers can run programs that crash them does not change the fact that computers can run programs, does it?

Cheers,

Whateverman said...

I wrote "The definitions of the words I've used to express the two ideas reveal I've contradicted myself."

Jason and Vanessa responded Yes, that is using logic... (i.e. principium contradictionis the logical principle of contradiction) Everyone has presuppositions whether they know it or not.


That's not very polite; it appears you ignored everything I wrote and concluded at your original assertion. Let me restate my point in terms you should be able to understand:

If logic is a presupposition, you presuppose it as well; if it were otherwise, you would not be able to communicate via language.

Whateverman said...

One more bit to make the situation even more obvious:

You can not presuppose logic while simultaneously presupposing something else that defies logic. It destroys your ability to tell anyone whether they're right, wrong, good, bad, logical, righteous, etc ad nauseum.

Chris said...

Matt -

I promise you that I will go through and read all this a bunch more times because I respect that you put a lot of effort into trying to explain this passage to me, and I want to be fair to that effort.

It's not just this passage, Matt. It's Scripture as a whole. What you stated indicates a very immature and cursory glance of the Scriptures and since BeamStalk is presupposing the documentary hypothesis, I can't imagine there is much work to do actual objective study of the text and the message that gives.

Whatever happened to a 'plain reading of the text'?

Absolutely nothing. But Scripture speaks much of itself and how it has been written, Hosea 12:10 and elsewhere. Since the Bible contains over 200 various forms of figures of speech along with prototypes and antitypes, models, idioms and the like, it comes together much better when that is recognized and used.

Further, Isaiah 28:9-10:

“To whom will he teach knowledge,

and to whom will he explain the message?

Those who are weaned from the milk,

those taken from the breast?

For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept,

line upon line, line upon line,

here a little, there a little.”


So Matt, if I had simply said "Matt, the power behind Pharaoh and his people is satan and Yahweh is speaking to satan." You'd of more than likely questioned where that came from. I've provided the detail as to why that is, not to mention a backdrop for helping to understand the whole of Scripture, namely the cosmic warfare that the Bible portrays going on behind the scenes but doesn't always specify when and where you need to dig.

Scripture is both simple and extremely complex. For example, Revelation is written entirely based on idioms found throughout the rest of Scripture - no small feat.

You might want to look up 'Jewish Exegesis' or 'PARDES Typology' as an introduction to hermeneutics for the Old Testament.

ExPatMatt said...

Chris,

I'm sure the scale and grandeur of the cosmic battle between God and satan was of great comfort to the thousands of ordinary Egyptians who suffered through the Exodus story by dint of being born in the wrong place at the wrong time to the wrong culture...

That's where my bully comment came from - I'm looking out for the common man.

God might have 'given over' Egypt to satan (not sure why He needed to do this in the first place, but that's probably just me being immature again), but that's not great news for the average Egyptian, is it?

God wants to make a point, hardens Pharaoh's heart and everyone in Egypt suffers for it - it just seems excessively violent.

Especially so when you're doing it for a race of people who constantly seem to disbelieve in you and get into all kinds of mischief despite the amount of cosmic assistance they receive.



I don't know, the whole thing sounds like averagely written fiction to me. Sorry. Maybe Ex: 10 will be better?

Chris said...

Matt -

I'm sure the scale and grandeur of the cosmic battle between God and satan was of great comfort to the thousands of ordinary Egyptians who suffered through the Exodus story by dint of being born in the wrong place at the wrong time to the wrong culture...

Really? Do you know the minds and hearts of all those who were innocently born at the wrong place in the wrong time? What happened to the Genesis study? All the players were warned of what would happen 430 years in advance. What happened to the study for Exodus 1-8 and the chance after chance to change the course of action? And even while the judgement was coming they were STILL given a way out - do this and you won't be affected.

But I guess you know who is innocent and who is guilty. Perhaps you can tell us which of those who perished may have been saved and are now basking in the presence of the eternal glory of God? Surely, you know.

I'm looking out for the common man.

Yes, I'm sure you are.

God might have 'given over' Egypt to satan (not sure why He needed to do this in the first place, but that's probably just me being immature again), but that's not great news for the average Egyptian, is it?

Go back to your Genesis 11 study, Matt. Man chose to follow after the fallen entities. The adversary and those who followed him have been in a deliberate attempt to thwart the plan of God. That is what's going on behind the scenes in Scripture. Your pity for the Egyptians presumes innocence, but as a frequenter of this blog and many others, I'm sure you know that isn't Scripturally sound.

but that's probably just me being immature again

And I don't believe you're so unintelligent as to think that saying:

What you stated indicates a very immature and cursory glance of the Scriptures...

is equal to saying you're 'just being immature.' Maturity level in a skillset or handling of a process doesn't have much to do with maturity in the psychological term.

Especially so when you're doing it for a race of people who constantly seem to disbelieve in you and get into all kinds of mischief despite the amount of cosmic assistance they receive.

They live up to their name even today, as one who contends, struggles and wrestles with God. The name itself is a play on many root words.

I don't know, the whole thing sounds like averagely written fiction to me. Sorry.

Nevertheless, Matt, as 'fiction' that's survived some 3500 years of constant attempts to destroy it, seems good to at least try to read it correctly.

Jason and Vanessa said...

@Whateverman

you said:

If logic is a presupposition, you presuppose it as well; if it were otherwise, you would not be able to communicate via language.

Perhaps you thought I was trying to say something else, but that is EXACTLY what I was saying. We all have presuppositions... whether we know it or not (for example some people have done no formal study of logic... but to some degree still use it) And some people can't point back to an absolute reason for using morals, but they still use them (to a certain degree).


--


@ExMPatMAtt

I can just as easily say evolutiondidit and achieve the same end result. In fact, I do say that; evolutiondidit. That's how I account for my ability to utilize logic.

Now what?


I suppose we keep our positions cause neither side is satisfied with the other's explination. I just don't see how we can have constants in a universe that happened from random events.

I'm not trying to disprove that logic exists, am I?

No, I know you agree with it, I am just asking how it can exist in your worldview. I know your explanation but it seems like you have to resort to "circular reasoning"... which I am saying is not wrong in all cases yet you accuse me of doing (and seems to be saying it is wrong):

"It could be a illusion, but I believe it to be true cause God says it is".

Beautiful bit of circular reasoning there and also an admission that you can't be absolutely sure of the existence of 'creation' because it could be an illusion - so we're both in the same boat.

I was granting your argument to show that it is circular. You proved my point that seeing it is circular and in your worldview you can't really be sure of anything apart from using presuppositions.

I don't know. I don't know if I could ever know if something was absolute or not - how would you possible test that?

For starters, we were talking about absolute morality - but nice quote-mine there.

Secondly, I've told you repeatedly that my existence and ability to think are self-evident and absolutely sure (for me). There is no way I could function if that weren't true.

I agree you couldn't function if it were not true, I am just saying it is true not because of a universe from randomness but because God sustains it all and we are created in His image. All througout Scripture we see that He is orderly, He plans, ect... not because of anything outside of Him but because of Who He is.

So, to stop me from "quote-mining". Ca you be sure of any universal absolutes?... Not just truths for you?

You put "???" when I said "You naturalistic standard can't use my Christian moral... sorry".

You have no absolute reason for morals yet you are using it time and time again against God. (i.e. He's a bully, human sacrifice,...)

In essence, you have to sit in God's lap to slap Him in the face.

Whateverman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Whateverman said...

How exactly is fiction read correctly? You mean something similar to the way we try to interpret Plato's dialogues? I suppose that makes sense - and I mean that sincerely.

Of the people who *do* interpret ancient works with a nod toward sensibility, however, most would be horrified if that equated to "This isn't fiction but literal history"...

EDIT: deleted the original post and fixed the last paragraph

Whateverman said...

Jason and Vanessa responded to nme with the following:

you said:

"If logic is a presupposition, you presuppose it as well; if it were otherwise, you would not be able to communicate via language."

Perhaps you thought I was trying to say something else, but that is EXACTLY what I was saying. We all have presuppositions... whether we know it or not (for example some people have done no formal study of logic... but to some degree still use it) And some people can't point back to an absolute reason for using morals, but they still use them (to a certain degree).


Something's getting lost in translation here. I think I know what you're talking about, JaV, and I'm going to focus on the points being raise rather than resolve the misunderstandings.

The validity of Logic is not "presupposed" the way the Bible is. Logic is a consequence of language; without language, logic wouldn't exist. And rather than logic being a system of thought or a philosophy, it is merely a tool by which we reveal errors in what we're communicated. We don't "presuppose the validity of logic", just as we don't presuppose the proper functioning of language.

The Bible is a faith-based system of thought which is (or can be) presupposed.

It is entirely false to equate the tools of language with a belief system. They're not the same in any way at all, nor are they comparable.

ExPatMatt said...

Chris,

I'd love to invite you over to the Bible study, if you'd be willing. We're always interested in hearing the theistic viewpoint since our resident theist 'Freed' decided she wanted to focus on other things.

One point. You said;

"And even while the judgement was coming they were STILL given a way out - do this and you won't be affected".

Was this the bit where God hardened Pharaoh's heart?

Cheers,

ExPatMatt said...

Jason,

"I just don't see how we can have constants in a universe that happened from random events".

Who says that constants came from random events?


"No, I know you agree with it [logic existing], I am just asking how it can exist in your worldview. I know your explanation but it seems like you have to resort to "circular reasoning"... which I am saying is not wrong in all cases yet you accuse me of doing (and seems to be saying it is wrong):".

I'm saying that being able to use logic is an internal and self-evident aspect of our species. No different to blinking. It's the way we are.

"I was granting your argument to show that it is circular. You proved my point that seeing it is circular and in your worldview you can't really be sure of anything apart from using presuppositions".

Again with this! We ALL have the same basic presupposition - 'I exist and can think and I know this because I'm thinking this thought' - that's it.

Believing the Bible is not a presupposition, it's a CONCLUSION that you have decided to follow. Just because you base your worldview on it doesn't make it a presupposition.


"I agree you couldn't function if it were not true, I am just saying it is true not because of a universe from randomness...".

Where do you keep getting this 'randomness' thing from, and why do you think it has an impact on human logic??

"...but because God sustains it all and we are created in His image".

And you believe that because the Bible says so, right?

This is a claim. An assertion. It is backed up by nothing but your own faith in it. Would you agree with that?

"So, to stop me from "quote-mining". Can you be sure of any universal absolutes?... Not just truths for you?".

No, I cannot be sure of any universal absolutes. Subjective absolutes, yes, but not objective, universal ones.

"You put "???" when I said "You naturalistic standard can't use my Christian moral... sorry".".

Yes, because the question makes no sense, is there a word missing?

"You have no absolute reason for morals yet you are using it time and time again against God. (i.e. He's a bully, human sacrifice,...)"

I'm not using morals against God, I don't believe there is a God. I'm applying our general moral standard to the interpretation of God that you and other Christians subscribe to. I don't need an absolute moral standard to measure that to when we're all - for the most part - in agreement that things like bullying and human sacrifice are not good things.

If you need a cosmic supervisor to tell you what's right and wrong then fine, but I - like all humans who don't cloud their thinking with religion - am capable of empathy and altruism as a result of the workings of my brain. This allows us to determine courses of action that will be of most benefit to those around us, on the understanding that if this is reciprocated; everybody wins.


"In essence, you have to sit in God's lap to slap Him in the face".

Very clever.


Cheers,

Chris said...

Whateverman -

How exactly is fiction read correctly? You mean something similar to the way we try to interpret Plato's dialogues? I suppose that makes sense - and I mean that sincerely.

I'm not sure why it wouldn't. If we're setting out to understand something, we study it. Just because we believe it to be fiction or non-fiction doesn't change the effort and care we put into understanding the work.

Of the people who *do* interpret ancient works with a nod toward sensibility, however, most would be horrified if that equated to "This isn't fiction but literal history"...

I don't know why studying and interpreting any ancient writings with sensibility equates to the student of said writing believing it as fact. That could be a conclusion one might come to, but it's not a prerequisite.

Chris said...

Matt -

I'd love to invite you over to the Bible study, if you'd be willing. We're always interested in hearing the theistic viewpoint since our resident theist 'Freed' decided she wanted to focus on other things.

Thanks for the invite though I'm not sure I have the time to be very consistent. I'll introduce myself and watch the forum as time permits.

Was this the bit where God hardened Pharaoh's heart?

I don't believe the narrative speaks of God hardening the hearts of the Egyptians and I don't believe it speaks of God actually hardening Pharaoh's heart until chapter 9. Prior to that, Pharaoh's stubbornness is discussed as his own. That might seem to indicate a point of no return.

If you create an outline from the call of Moses through the plagues you can probably see a progression of sternness and stubbornness between that of God and Pharaoh. It might be interesting to do it from the perspective that the adversary is the power behind Pharaoh.

ExPatMatt said...

Chris,

"Thanks for the invite though I'm not sure I have the time to be very consistent. I'll introduce myself and watch the forum as time permits".

Please do, it's helpful to have as many perspectives as possible.

Don't worry about your consistency, we have plenty of people who duck in and out, it's the internet, not the military after all!

Cheers,

Jason and Vanessa said...

So let me back up and get yall to answer this then.

How does your worldview account for constants?

Do you guys not see how you are using logic to prove logic?

Sure, most everyone agrees on it... but does that make it so?

I'm saying that being able to use logic is an internal and self-evident aspect of our species. No different to blinking. It's the way we are.

Throughout most human history people have had a belief in a higher power (all different types of gods) but I know you would not say that THAT makes it so. It is much different than blinking. Blinking is tangible... logic is not. Can't compare the two. How does a naturalistic worldview account for intangible things? Cause lots of people agree on it? That's your "proof"?

Whateverman said...

First of all, Chris, thanks for paying SMRT a visit.

Secondly I wrote the following here: Of the people who *do* interpret ancient works with a nod toward sensibility, however, most would be horrified if that equated to "This isn't fiction but literal history"...

You responded with this: I don't know why studying and interpreting any ancient writings with sensibility equates to the student of said writing believing it as fact. That could be a conclusion one might come to, but it's not a prerequisite.

You are correct. Trying to interpret the Bible doesn't mean you must take it as literal. I was merely pointing out that scriptural literalism and common sense are incompatible.

I'm not a Christian, and to me the Bible may or may not have been inspired by divine events; when i try to interpret it with this opinion as a foundation, I find it much easier to understand. The language and methods used reveals something which is equal parts historical, mythological and artistic.

This "makes sense" to me. To other people, however, a literal interpretation makes sense.

How should I, as a non-believer, view this idea of trying to understand the book via common sense? The phrase seems to mean radically different things to different people...

Chris said...

WEM -

Glad to visit - hopefully my participation will be helpful to all involved.

How should I, as a non-believer, view this idea of trying to understand the book via common sense? The phrase seems to mean radically different things to different people...

It sounds like, because you've come to certain conclusions, you find yourself at odds with those who've come to different conclusions, is that correct?

I don't think our conclusions necessarily change how we study (or perhaps, should study) the Bible as much as we probably make them. At the same time, much of that is probably unavoidable since we enter the game with presuppositions based on what we already know about it.

But here's how I handle my Bible study: I'm really only interested in the text of Scripture put in it's appropriate historical and cultural context. I'm really not interested in any church traditions, or anything that tries to make the text say things it doesn't say. Extra-Biblical sources either illuminate a subject or they don't and I'm only interested in those that illuminate. I want to know what the Bible says, what the people who wrote it thought, what the people who read it when it was written understood. When you remove the Bible from it's appropriate context it doesn't make any sense - but when it's in it's appropriate context it's fascinating.

Hope to tackle what you bring up with the literal hurdle as it definitely ties into the context discussion, but I'm out of time right now.

ExPatMatt said...

Jason,

"How does your worldview account for constants?".

According to my 'worldview' I exist and am able to think and learn by observing things around me (this is self-evident and absolute, to me). I assume that other humans are capable of the same basic functions.

The scientific method allows us to draw conclusions about the world by repeating tests and measuring results - that is how we have come to understand that there are some 'constants' that govern how certain things behave.

Now, we can speculate on why those constants are the way they are and can even show the inter-relationship between constants but that doesn't tell us why they are there at all - they just appear to be an inherent part of our reality.

You are free to propose that a god has decided that the constants should be the way they are, but unless you can demonstrate it, it's nothing more than you filling in a gap in knowledge with your own personal, subjective opinion.

Short answer: I can't 'account' for why there are constants in the universe (as opposed to what, exactly? A different set of constants? Randoms?). Is it essential to my survival that I be able to offer an account for them? I don't think so.

"Do you guys not see how you are using logic to prove logic?".

What do you mean by 'prove logic'? The concept of 'proof' implies logic to begin with!
What else do you suggest we use? Illogic to prove logic?


Once again, we are able to think; this means that we can receive data, internalize it, process it, make sense of it and are able to utilize it to make decisions regarding our actions. This has been a property of brains for a very long time, it's pretty much what they're for.

We are also social creatures, so the ability to effectively communicate thoughts ('hey, why don't we kill and eat that?') and ideas ('it looks too dangerous for the two of us, lets get more of the tribe') become desirable traits amongst the population.

Why is logic possible at all? Well, I assume that if nothing behaved in a logical manner (perhaps the sun disappears for a few weeks or gravity turns off for a month) then life could not have evolved in the way that it did - we would either be different to how we are or we wouldn't exist.

We are able to make sense of the universe because we are a product of the universe.

"Throughout most human history people have had a belief in a higher power (all different types of gods) but I know you would not say that THAT makes it so. It is much different than blinking".

Yes, and we know why people believed in a higher power - because they didn't yet understand the world around them. How many lightening gods are there these days?
It may be that belief in a higher power is just as intrinsic to humans as is the use of logic. The difference is; logic is a tool and gods are attempted explanations that are formed after finding that the tools we have available to us are insufficient to derive a logical explanation.

"Blinking is tangible... logic is not".

Yes, because logic is a tool of the mind and blinking is a function of the body - their similarity is that they are both inherent to our species.

"How does a naturalistic worldview account for intangible things? Cause lots of people agree on it? That's your "proof"?".

That was not my 'proof' at all, where did you get that idea? Reference please.

Intangible things (thoughts, essentially, is what you're talking about, right?) are a product of the human brain - we are able to conceive of the abstract and the fantastical because our brains are capable of this function. As I've said before - these things don't 'exist' in the same way that the physical does; by definition they are 'abstract' but that doesn't mean they don't 'exist' in the only way intangible things are know to occur (as a product of a mind)

Cheers,

Whateverman said...

Jason and Vanessa wrote the following: How does your worldview account for constants?

Do you guys not see how you are using logic to prove logic?


No, we're using the definitions of the words being used to "prove" that constants exist. Each of the 26 letters and each of the 10 numbers in the languages we use have very specific meanings. Meanings which we ALL agree upon (assuming we all understand these languages). By the definitions we've agreed to, three apples can not also be NOT three apples [in common sense terms].

Most people think of this as "logic", yet it's merely a reiteration of the consequences of using the words/numbers we do.

As I wrote before, YOU have "presupposed" logic just as we have. Without doing so, you wouldn't be able to make an argument in this thread, let alone in real life.

"World views" have nothing to do with it. You either agree upon the definitions of the terms you use, or you don't.

Whateverman said...

I wrote to Chris: "How should I, as a non-believer, view this idea of trying to understand the book via common sense? The phrase seems to mean radically different things to different people... "

Chris responded with this: It sounds like, because you've come to certain conclusions, you find yourself at odds with those who've come to different conclusions, is that correct?

Not quite. Somewhere in this thread, someone implied that the Bible can be interpreted via the use of common sense. It's not a crazy idea, nor did the person mean to say "only common sense will be used". It was just a general description of a general approach.

What I'm having trouble with is the notion of "common sense" in this context. To some folks, it is self-evident that God exists, and that he's the God of the Bible. To others, it makes sense to be entirely skeptical of the text and treat it as (historical) fiction. I'm sure there are versions of common sense that lie between these 2 extremes.

As such, I'm not sure "common sense" provides me with an objective method. It seems as subjective as "faith" would be in this context.

Chris said...

WEM -

Meant to respond to this earlier...

What I'm having trouble with is the notion of "common sense" in this context. To some folks, it is self-evident that God exists, and that he's the God of the Bible. To others, it makes sense to be entirely skeptical of the text and treat it as (historical) fiction. I'm sure there are versions of common sense that lie between these 2 extremes.

I'm not sure which comment you're referring to. I did a quick sift, but couldn't find anything specifically.

Personally, I got into Bible study before I became a Christian. I got fascinated by it and just enjoyed reading and studying the text. I don't know what of it I believed initially or not because I don't recall caring too much one way or the other. I treated it as a cohesive whole while recognizing it as a collection of individual writings. That's what makes sense to me... studying it at face value.

Investigating the truth claims that are made throughout might be a little different. But I think that's a different task than simply studying the Bible to know what it says. Perhaps it's a matter of what the goals and intentions are...

Jason and Vanessa said...

I see...

So not everything has "evidence" then...

That doesn't seem very SMRT:

"Being SMRT means that you are skeptical of all things. You question all of your beliefs and knowledge and expect evidence in order to support them or else you acknowledge that those beliefs have no support."

So if you have presuppositions then by your own standard YOUR "beliefs have support"?

ExPatMatt said...

Jason,

Nothing you said seemed to follow from anything I said. Was there a section/word/quote missing from your comment?

I get the feeling that you're not actually interested in engaging in a reasonable conversation - you're not responding to what I'm writing, just to what you already think you know.

I'd appreciate it if you actually structured your responses in a logical way because I have no idea what point you're trying to make now and I spent a great deal of time formulating my comment in a way that made my position clear. If there was something that wasn't clear or seemed inconsistent then please point it out.

Regards,

Jason and Vanessa said...

@ ExPatMatt, you said:

Nothing you said seemed to follow from anything I said. Was there a section/word/quote missing from your comment?

Let me elaborate. I am exposing a flaw in your worldview. All throughout this conversation you are wanted proof of this and that but you fail to realize your own worldview is built on presupposition. This was shown when I finally got yall to admit your use of logic and language can't be proven by proofs (and you and Whateverman have admitted this several times yet I wonder why you don't expect evidence for those?) This seems to fly in direct contradiction to what you say being SMRT is and that is why I said:

I see...

So not everything has "evidence" then...

That doesn't seem very SMRT:

"Being SMRT means that you are skeptical of all things. You question all of your beliefs and knowledge and expect evidence in order to support them or else you acknowledge that those beliefs have no support."


Read your replies to support your use of logic, you just keep saying "You can't just say Godditit" yet you are not giving any evidence for it. Neither are you for the use of language, just keep saying things like "Everyone does it". But I am holding you to the standard you keep trying to put on us. WHERE IS YOUR EVIDENCE? That is why I am asked:

So if you have presuppositions then by your own standard YOUR "beliefs have support"?

Can you hold to your own standard?

ExPatMatt said...

Jason,

"This was shown when I finally got yall to admit your use of logic and language can't be proven by proofs".

This is where you lose me. This; 'use of logic and language can't be proven by proofs' is utterly nonsensical. Seriously, your wording renders the whole point moot. Any attempt to 'prove' something necessarily involves the use of logic and is therefore a proof of logic. Try it out - try and disprove logic (without using logic, of course!)



Both WEM and I have given you plenty of explanations of what logic is, where it comes from and why it's not a problem to use it within an atheistic (or any other) worldview.

But then, I'm not sure you've really been reading what we've been writing. For example;

"All throughout this conversation you are wanted proof of this and that but you fail to realize your own worldview is built on presupposition".

Could you point me to these many instances throughout this conversation where I've asked for 'proof of this and that'?

Could you also point out where I have failed to admit that my worldview is built on the presuppositions that I exist and can think - I've been saying this all along. These are my only presuppositions - if you think I have any more beyond these two then please let me know what they are.


But, I'll play your game if it makes you happy...

"Being SMRT means that you are skeptical of all things. You question all of your beliefs and knowledge and expect evidence in order to support them or else you acknowledge that those beliefs have no support."

It is impossible to be skeptical or to question things without the use of logic, so clearly the underlying assumption (or presupp., if you like) is that we are able to use logic - it being an axiomatic aspect of human existence and all.

What this statement is talking about is the application of that logical thought. You are using your ability for logical thought to propose a deity that is responsible for the logic you are using. That's fine, but you've no evidence to suggest it's true - other than your own circular assertions.

I am happy to accept that the ability to use logic is an axiomatic trait of our species, there's no need to impose any greater levels of complexity on top of that.


You closed with;

So if you have presuppositions then by your own standard YOUR "beliefs have support"?".

My 'beliefs' are supported only by the axiomatic notions that I exist and am able to think. I don't have to 'believe' that I exist/think because I know that I do, absolutely. So which beliefs are you referring to here?

Cheers,

Jason & Vanessa said...

You seem to think that it is ridicules to ask for proof for certain things, yet you yourself pick and choose what you want proof for. And to have to qualify your SMRT statement like that,... if you judge your worldview with that SMRT statement, like you do other, then you will see it is your belief that has no support.

I'm throwing in the towel, I must be unable to communicate cause you are not getting it.

Good to talk with you either way.

soli Deo gloria.

jason d.

ExPatMatt said...

Jason,

"I must be unable to communicate".

You nailed it.


I'll give you one last shot at making sense of your own position, and I'll make it easy - 3 point style.


1. What presuppositions do you think I have, other than that I exist and can think?

2. Do you think it is possible to 'prove' logic, without using logic? (Given that the use of logic proves logic by definition)

3. Could you point to an instance in this thread where I have asked for 'proof' of anything? ('wanted proof of this and that')

If you can honestly answer these questions then we might be able to salvage this conversation.

Regards,

Whateverman said...

I, too, would be interested in knowing what presuppositions my "world view" rests on? You seem to be implying that you know what they are, JaV.

I'm willing to bet that if you describe it/them, you'll be mistaken...

---

Chris, during our last exchange you wrote this: Investigating the truth claims that are made throughout {EDIT by Whateverman: the Bible} might be a little different. But I think that's a different task than simply studying the Bible to know what it says. Perhaps it's a matter of what the goals and intentions are...

Of the scripture I've read, I've have a difficult time separating simply reading it from needing to know what it means. Some of the apparently historical passages can be taken as is, as well as the self-evident content regarding morality. This stuff is easy.

Much of it, however, is alien to me. I apologize for bringing up this chestnut, but stoning a non-virgin to death? It's impossible to read it without wondering "Why in heck would this be just or logical?". Simply put, I can't read it without needing to know what it means.

Maybe this is where your casual interest in scripture took a more serious turn?

I take your point, however. Reading and absorbing, to know what the Bible says, is probably a great place to start.

Jason & Vanessa said...

Trish's most recent post ( http://fishwithtrish.blogspot.com/2009/09/why-do-atheists-have-funerals-emilio.html ) actually deals with this. I hope Emilio (the one who wrote it) will himself respond because I believe he can say what I have been trying to... but better and hopefully more clear. :)

(if not i'll try to clarify here)

ExPatMatt said...

Jason,

If you think the latest post on this blog answers any of my three questions then I think we're done here.


Cheers,

Jason & Vanessa said...

no that wasn't my response, i was going to respond there but it looks out of hand and judging by all the comments it looked like it was just a name calling fest. so again, i'm just throwing in the towel

Whateverman said...

I'm honestly curious as to what you think my presuppositions are, JaV. No chance of you describing them before the towel is thrown?

ExPatMatt said...

Towel = thrown


Maybe next time...