Monday, September 27, 2010

How do you know that what's in the Bible is the truth?

"You base your answer on the Bible, but that is what I want to know: how do you know that what's in the Bible is the truth? For instance; you say that God cannot lie because it's in the Bible. But the Bible is God's Word, so God cannot lie because God Himself says He cannot lie.
But how do you know that in itself isn't a lie? Is God obliged to tell you the truth? After all, you're his creation and He can do with you as He pleases, right?" -- Taxandrian

Tax, I do not expect you to accept that our presuppositions regarding God and Scripture are true, that would be going against Scripture's teaching itself (1 Cor. 2.14). Instead, we consistently maintain that the things we are saying about God and Scripture are true despite what others choose to believe. We have argued from the impossibility of the contrary, it is not possible that God has not revealed Himself in Scripture. So for us, there could be no greater proof than that, the impossibility of the contrary. We argue that without presupposing Christian theistic knowledge (Biblical epistemology) your question, and truth itself would be unintelligible having no rational basis for meaningful predication concerning human experience at all.

We simply argue that the God of Scripture alone can provide the necessary preconditions of rational discourse and thus predication on reality itself, anything else would be self refuting and untenable philosophically speaking. God and His revelation are the necessary preconditions to all things logical, moral, and philosophical. This is called an infinite reference point. Anything less ends in infinite regress. God, like the laws of logic, must be presupposed to be denied, thus, attempting to deny Him is actually proving His exists as the basis of the denial in the first place.

So too if you attempt to deny the laws of logic you must operate within them to make such an illogical assertion to begin with, again you end in an infinite regress. God alone provides the necessary preconditions for rational logical discourse at all, God is the reason why your questions and objections (though untenable and untrue) can make sense in the first place. Logic works because they reflect the logical thinking of God Himself, in essence, God gives logic their law-like character. If you say there are no ultimate governing laws of logic which are universal abstract and invariant (i.e. fixed) than you are asserting the irrational nature of your own discourse and thus we can all go home. This may help,

Romans 1:18–23

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

Please repent and trust in Christ in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Sincerely,

Emilio Ramos

57 comments:

Fish with Trish said...

Again, my question to Tax would be..."how do you know that what is in the bible is NOT true?"

Stormbringer said...

Emilio, Hope you don't mind, I have to chime in on this.

I, too, had to be convinced. People were referring to the Bible, and first I wanted to know, "Where did you get that?" Then, I wanted to know, "Is the Bible itself true?" The writings are lectures of apologist Josh McDowell helped me out a great deal.

McDowell wanted to shut up Christians once and for all by disproving the Bible, so he went after it in detail. He became converted, like others who became believers in spite of themselves.

One simple evidence is the harmony: All those authors over all those years, speaking in agreement on very important topics. They came from different walks of life, spoke different languages, lived in different time periods and political situations. Get ten of your friends together and see if you get anywhere near that same agreement, and they have the advantage of speaking the same language (presumably), living here and living now. You won't get that agreement.

Other evidences, including comparing the Dead Sea Scrolls, which were far older than the previous oldest manuscripts and finding no significant textual variations; the testimony of other historical writings; the statements of world-renowned archaeologists ("Luke was a top-notch historian", "o archaeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference", and others.

I recommend McDowell's "More than a Carpenter" and "Evidence that Demands a Verdict". Also, you can come to my site and click on the apologetics links for much more evidence.

Thanks for letting me add my stuff.

Stormbringer said...

Just now found this. Rev. Matt Slick of Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry has a short article on "What is Meant by the Inspiration of the Scriptures". I was about to post the link, but suddenly remembered the rule. So, I'll say, go to CARM dot org, there's a link to the article about halfway down the main page. Hope it helps.

Taxandrian said...

Wow, an article dedicated to a question I asked. Should I be flattered?

Anyway, apparently Trish found my question interesting/disturbing enough to call in the expert. It's a pity though that the reply is quite disappointing.

Emilio, I hate to burst your bubble but presuppositionalism, aka the Transcendental Argument for the Existence of God (TAG) has been dead for quite some time. I'm not going to delve into this but if you or any readers want to know why the argument doesn't fly, do a Google search for these two articles:

Slick's Version of TAG by Dawson Bethrick

Does Logic Presuppose the Existence of the Christian God? by Michael Martin

Basically it boils down to another effort to get away from what's been bothering Christian apologists for ages: the burden of proof. Christians establish a certain position as fact and then challenge atheists or non-believers to prove the opposite. It's no coincidence that Trish' question speaks volumes:

Again, my question to Tax would be..."how do you know that what is in the bible is NOT true?"

First of all, Trish, I'd once again ask you to point out where exactly I said that the Bible is not true. Fact is, I don't need to believe the Bible is false to not believe in it. To believe in something requires an effort; you need a reason to believe. As it happens, I don't have any reason to believe the Bible is true.
If you make the positive claim that the Bible is true then it's up to you, Trish, to prove it. So I'm sorry to disappoint you but I won't play along.

But in fact all of this is besides the point because my original question was not whether God exists, but whether He speaks the truth. And with truth I meant -like I explained- whether God is obliged to keep his promise of salvation.
After all, if God exists and he created everything and everyone on Earth, isn't He free to do with it as He pleases, even if it means breaking his promise?

Cheers,
Tax

Fish with Trish said...

Stormbringer,

Thanks for the post, after becoming a believer in the mid 90’s I devoured everything I could get my hands on dealing with apologetics, I have read, almost everything Josh McDowell has written. However, I have come to the conclusion that presuppositional apologetics is the only way to argue for the Christian faith that does not defy the commands of Scripture which warn against being neutral or arriving at knowing the foundations of knowledge apart from Scripture itself (1 Pet. 3.15). Therefore, it is our job as apologists to show the unbelievers the pretended nature of his neutrality i.e. reason in a way which is autonomous, objective, and independent of God; which is an abject impossiblity. Although many of the proofs from the evidentialist camp make sense to me, that is only because I am operating under a worldview that makes sense of the ability to interpret the data in the first place. I would suggest reading, “Always Ready” by Greg Bahnsen as a helpful starting point for giving a consistent defense of the faith. Christianity is not based on the probability of evidence but on the impossibility of the contrary.

Blessings,

Emilio

Fish with Trish said...

Stormbringer,

Here's a link on my blog where I talk about presup:
http://fishwithtrish.blogspot.com/2009/05/shocked-at-viscous-personal-attacks-and.html

Thanks for posting your comments, Trish

Fish with Trish said...

Tax,

I am assuming you are an atheist? If not, I have not been following is that your position, agnostic? Or other? Whatever the case, where doe the laws of logic get their law like nature? I do not believe the non-Biblical worldviews can account for their existence or their uniformity. It is easy to say that something is a burden for someone else but, if you are not positing anything yourself that can account for your own worldview, then why would your assertions be given any notice at all?

I really think that anyone can claim such an audacious thing as TAG is dead or that the presuppositional argument does not work, people can claim whatever they want. Matt slick is by no means the source or authority on apologetics, Scripture is, but those that have proven it the best have been man like Bahnsen, Van Til, and others. Until they are answered the arguments stands.

Your statements,

[[Christians establish a certain position as fact and then challenge atheists or non-believers to prove the opposite. It's no coincidence that Trish' question speaks volumes:

Again, my question to Tax would be..."how do you know that what is in the bible is NOT true?" ]]

Reveal either your ignorance of the arguments I have put forward or your unwillingness to deal with them in any rational and honest manner. But for an atheist, why be honest at all, what is honesty and why should we can given the atheists own worldview. Oh and by the way there is not reason why Trisha’s statement above is somehow invalid, or revealing of anything other than a legitimate challenge that you have yet to answer.

You seem to be challenging this assertion too, do you believe the bible is true? In what since? Do you not, are you being dishonest, if so, what further need is there to pretend that you are being rational?

Regards,

Emilio Ramos

stranger.strange.land said...

But in fact all of this is besides the point because my original question was not whether God exists, but whether He speaks the truth. And with truth I meant -like I explained- whether God is obliged to keep his promise of salvation.

After all, if God exists and he created everything and everyone on Earth, isn't He free to do with it as He pleases, even if it means breaking his promise?


Hi Tax-

When you posed your original question (in response to what I had said about assurance of salvation to all who come to Christ in trust and repentance) you assumed, for the sake of argument at least, the existence of the God of the Bible. Since the attribute of being true to His promises is an aspect of His very character, it is impossible for God to lie. So if you pose the possibility that God ill not be true to His promise, you aren't even talking about the God whose existence you've already assumed. You are talking about something else. And that renders your question invalid.

Craig

stranger.strange.land said...

Same as above only with typo corrected. I clicked "publish" instead of "edit" : )

But in fact all of this is besides the point because my original question was not whether God exists, but whether He speaks the truth. And with truth I meant -like I explained- whether God is obliged to keep his promise of salvation.

After all, if God exists and he created everything and everyone on Earth, isn't He free to do with it as He pleases, even if it means breaking his promise?


Hi Tax-

When you posed your original question (in response to what I had said about assurance of salvation to all who come to Christ in trust and repentance) you assumed, for the sake of argument at least, the existence of the God of the Bible. Since the attribute of being true to His promises is an aspect of His very character, it is impossible for God to lie. So if you pose the possibility that God will not be true to His promise, you aren't even talking about the God whose existence you've already assumed. You are talking about something else. And that renders your question invalid.

Craig

Brazen Hussey's said...

I was reading Emilio's response and thought, "Wow. Trish went to seminary."

NOT that I don't think you aren't intelligent! I do, it's just Emilio's voice isn't yours, Trish.

I won't add much to the discussion here, other than:

WTG, Emilio! That really was like being back in seminary. Almost like reading, "Defense of the Faith" by Van Til (um, whose daughter is friends of mine on Facebook - which makes me much cooler than most potato bugs).

I can't add much other than:

Tax -

Your original question, assuming it is, "What makes you think that what God says in the Bible is true?" or something like it - being lazy here, gotta get back to work, sorry - if that is the question, mine would be:

What do you mean by "truth" and why do you suppose it to be important in the first place?

By what standard do you measure "truth" and why would you care if a thing is true or not?

On the one hand, as Emilio and Trish, et al, have said: you are presuming God's existence: God is truth.

You are borrowing Christian ethics, which stem from God in the first place, as well as the laws of logic, when you even ask the question.

Not to poke fun at you or anything, nothing like that - and it's not an argument based on this idea that I'd like to knot you in a pretzel -

Rather: there is absolutely no ground by which the atheist or agnostic may stand by which he or she can claim, "That's wrong," or "that's not true," unless first assuming sacred ground:

Truth

Ethics

Logic

All of which demand that God exist.

Then I realized that, oh, right - the transcendental argument for God is dead. Then I blush, silly me.

:)

Can you imagine taking such a position in the Cold War?

"Russia is no threat. They're done."

Yikes.

Brazen Hussey's said...

Great. I had a nice response James style here. Then Google took a break and deleted my comment...

I'll make it brief:

Emilio and Trish, SISL...great discussion!

Tax: fair question. But you assume there is such a thing as truth, or logic, by which to assess whether God's word is true. Can't have it both ways.

God is truth, there is no truth or any transcendentals without a Transcendent Being, eternal and unchanging.

Apart from Him your very life would be a fiction, less than a figment of an imagination.

Ontology itself demands His existence, and the best that all the atheist and agnostic minds can drum up is...

An explosion. Chance. Or aliens. Or...borrowing Christian capital, like:

Ethics

Truth

Logic...

Fish with Trish said...

"NOT that I don't think you aren't intelligent! I do, it's just Emilio's voice isn't yours, Trish."

Emilio used to post more often on here and we can't find the password to his blog so he's using my name "Fish with Trish" but if it is his words it will be signed by him. Hope that clears it up.

I have him commenting because he can word things 100 times better than me.

Blessings, brother and good to still see you posting on here.

Trish

Jason & Vanessa said...

The question asked already presupposes many things... so how can you [Tax] say:

"presuppositionalism, aka the Transcendental Argument for the Existence of God (TAG) has been dead for quite some time."

Why should one believe that?

Here is another good quote regarding all of this:

"Unless the biblical worldview is true, logical thought would not be possible. Only the biblical worldview can make sense of immaterial, universal, invariant laws of logic. Thus, if logic is meaningful, then the biblical worldview is true—regardless of whether or not people accept and profess this fact."

Upon saying this many will immediately throw out the "THAT'S CIRCULAR REASONING" card, but is it?:

"No, a circular argument is one in which a premise tacitly includes the conclusion. And that is not the case here. The argument is a modus tollens (i.e., denying the consequent), which is perfectly valid:

1.) If the Bible were not true, then laws of logic would not be meaningful.

2.) Laws of logic are meaningful.

3.) Therefore, the Bible is true.

Since the argument is valid, the only way to refute it would be to disprove one of the premises—most people might attempt to refute premise #1. However, no one has been able to do this.
I hope this clears up the confusion."
—Dr. Jason Lisle
via: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2009/09/11/feedback-the-logic-of-belief

bassicallymike said...

Is there an ultimate authority to which atheist appeal?

Just wondering!

Stormbringer said...

Emilio and Trish,

Thanks for your responses to my response. I like to obtain a variety of apologetics sources, including McDowell, Evidence4Faith, PleaseConvinceMe, CARM, ReasonableFaith &c. (Most are written smashed together to indicate that a "dot com" goes at the end.) I like to use a variety of methods, including speaking the Word and addressing the inner witness (conscience).

However, nothing works if the hearer (reader) does not want to believe. So many have an attitude of, "Naturalism is the only valid worldview. Convince me using only that, and I reject out of hand anything that you have to offer anyway." Is discussion and intellectualizing simply a way to dodge the issue (I think it is, most often), or a genuine interest in obtaining answers?

Taxandrian said...

Hey Emilio,

Do I sense some hostility here? I do notice some emotional language, though. But let's see:

It is easy to say that something is a burden for someone else but, if you are not positing anything yourself that can account for your own worldview, then why would your assertions be given any notice at all?

Now, you see, Emilio: you yourself didn't account for anything at all. Your argument is based on the presumption that if you need God (A) to make sense of the laws of logic (B), this automatically makes A true. But is this really the case? Let's see by means of an example:

Cue ancient Greece, and two Greek farmers are having a chat. Let's conveniently call them Theos, the theistic Greek and Atheos, the atheistic Greek.

Theos: We're blessed with such fine weather. The Gods look favorably on us.
Atheos: Gods? I don't believe all those gods really exist.
Theos: But they do exist. And I can prove it.
Atheos: How then?
Theos: By way of the impossibility of the contrary.
Atheos: Huh?
Theos: You see, you know when to sow because of the regularity of the seasons. But who do you think oversees the correct passing of the seasons? It's the Horae, the goddesses of the seasons. Actually, every time you sow you acknowledge their existence because without them you cannot account for the coming and passing of the seasons.
Atheos: ...

Well now, did Theos prove that the Horae exist?

Scripture is, but those that have proven it the best have been man like Bahnsen, Van Til, and others. Until they are answered the arguments stands.

Seriously Emilio, did you read the article by Michael Martin I pointed you to?

Oh and by the way there is not reason why Trisha’s statement above is somehow invalid, or revealing of anything other than a legitimate challenge that you have yet to answer.

As much as you may not like it, Emilio: I don't have to answer this challenge. If Trisha claims the Bible is true it is up to her to prove it, not up to me to prove her wrong. And none of your insinuations about me being dishonest or ignorant is going to change that.

(by the way; if you hoped for an emotional reaction to those statements: it won't happen. So let's stay to facts and arguments, ok?)

Take care,
Tax

Taxandrian said...

@stranger.strange.land:

Since the attribute of being true to His promises is an aspect of His very character, it is impossible for God to lie. So if you pose the possibility that God will not be true to His promise, you aren't even talking about the God whose existence you've already assumed.

Craig,

The reality is that everything you claim to know about God, you know from the Bible. But how do you know that God has revealed his complete character and nature to you through the Bible? You only know from God what He allowed you to know; if you state that it's impossible for God to lie, then that's because God has told you so via the Bible. What guarantee do you have that what He said is the truth? And even so: if God is not true to His promise, does that necessarily mean He's lying? Maybe in our minds, with our judgment. But does God really need to act according to our judgment?

You see Craig, the irony here is that I'm willing to allow God to do everything He wishes, even if that doesn't comply with what I would like Him to be. You, however, seem to want to limit the character and nature of God to that what you expect or want Him to be.

Take care,
Tax

Taxandrian said...

@jason & vanessa:

1.) If the Bible were not true, then laws of logic would not be meaningful.

2.) Laws of logic are meaningful.

3.) Therefore, the Bible is true.

Since the argument is valid, the only way to refute it would be to disprove one of the premises—most people might attempt to refute premise #1. However, no one has been able to do this.


I'm sorry Jason, but that's a failure.

If you make an argument, it's your duty to prove that the premises are correct. But instead, you seem to think that your argument is correct unless someone can prove the premises are wrong. It simply doesn't work that way: there's no reason to refute a premise that isn't proven correct in the first place.

So what you need to do to make your argument valid is to prove that premise 1) is valid. Go ahead: prove that without the Bible the laws of logic would not be meaningful.

Cheers,
Tax

P.S. I noted you posted a link. Is that allowed now? It would surely make things a lot easier for me.
P.P.S. I do find it quite amusing that apparently the whole cavalry is mobilised just because of one question from me. Fascinating!

Jeremy said...
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Jeremy said...

I haven't had the opportunity to read all the comments, but enough to suggest a few resources that haven't yet been mentioned.

He is arguably evangelicals greatest apologist of the 20th century, and also one of the least well known... Dr. Gerstner (John H.)

Heralded by Dr. R.C. Sproul as a man who's mind he could not surpass if he were to apply his own non-stop for 100 years! His works are worth delving into.

1) Primitive Theology
2) Reasons for Faith.
3) Handout Apologetics DVD

All of these resources are available at ligonier.org/store. Just do a search for John Gerstner.

To Tax's Response... The burden of proof stands on both sides and both Christians and Atheists alike are sadly guilty of passing the burden of proof.

An Athiest may believe "there is no God." But that doesn't say anything positive about "what there is." He may say "There is nothing." This is a positive assertion requiring a defense.

A Christian may say "There is a God, His Son is Jesus Christ..." Also, a positive assertion requiring a defense.

The list goes on. Every philosophy requires a defense. To say "I don't know" as an agnostic might, still requires a defense... "What don't you know?" and "How can you be so sure?" and "Why don't you know?"

I'm satisfied with the historical defenses of the Scriptures and feel they are quite adequate.

Before any discourse can be had we must answer the question: "What does "Tax" believe?" We can go nowhere until that question is answered, and then affirmed or denied based on reason...

It is impossible to answer your question...

------------original question----
"my original question was not whether God exists, but whether He speaks the truth. And with truth I meant -like I explained- whether God is obliged to keep his promise of salvation."
---------------------------------

Until we first know what your assuming to be true about God and why you're assuming that. Your question is chalk full of assumptions that are drawn from the Bible... (ie Salvation, God "speaking", truth etc.)

God (hypothetically speaking) neither speaks the truth nor lies. That is until we (as you so astutely pointed out) prove one way or another. The reason Christians (and every mentally functional theist) believes God tells the truth is because the alternative is self-defeating.

If what (ANY) god says cannot be trusted, the god can't be trusted. If what the god says can't be trusted, then we can know nothing about the god for certain, for it could be a lie. How do we even come to the conclusion that the dishonest God showed us he was dishonest? Is this not a silly proposition? We can't trust it.

This also raises all kinds of questions about why this (hypothetical) deity would communicate to his creation at all? He creates man with a capacity to rightly understand him, only to purposefully cause him to wrongly understand Him?

You see, I hope, how this undermines the whole idea of theism.

To posit a God that made his creation with the capacity to understand him, and know him, and then to lie to him makes no sense. Further, to posit such a God is to do so with no proof. We can posit a rational, relational, moral and eternal being simply based on existence (though you may disagree)

But on what grounds could we posit a God who lies, or who can not keep His promise?

Azou said...

Jeremy, deities that lie and trick their creations have been part of religions well before Christianity.

It's clearly not a self-defeating purpose if the deity simply doesn't care about the creations and derives pleasure from the ensuing confusion. We are its playthings.

Or perhaps its less cruel and simply observant: watching the reactions and interactions of the creation when exposed to divine lies and truths.

The better question: why create at all? Why does he need his creation to understand him? You all love your metaphors: does the painter want the painting to understand him? Does the builder hope her building knows her?

No: they have a purpose and serve it. Perhaps our purpose is manipulation for petty pleasures.

photosynthesis said...

Truth

Ethics

Logic

None of them demand that "God" exists.

But if you think otherwise, prove it, don't just assert it.

I find it quite stupid to demand Tax to answer questions he did not come here to answer. he was asking how do you know that your God would not lie to you other than some promise this God could decide to break or not. Declaring that this is not part of his character does not help at all. Asking Tax to justify things does not help.

Anyway, I rather go. Otherwise I will insult the ones handling TAG as if it made any sense. I bet dishonesty from the side of the presupping crowd enters the field in 5 ... 4 ... 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...

photosynthesis said...

Taxandrian,

Nice, simple, and to the point. Good job.

If dishonesty does not enter the field (dishonesty is how current presuppos keep the TAG "alive"), you should be done already.

G.E.

Jason & Vanessa said...

Tax,

You are making "truth" statements without proving them to be true... as I asked earlier:

how can you [Tax] say:

"presuppositionalism, aka the Transcendental Argument for the Existence of God (TAG) has been dead for quite some time."

Why should one believe that?

Regarding the argument as quoted:

"The argument is a modus tollens (i.e., denying the consequent), which is perfectly valid... Since the argument is valid, the only way to refute it would be to disprove one of the premises—most people might attempt to refute premise #1.

Need more proof? You yourself are using logic... how can you account for that? :)

Jeremy said...

@Azou
-------------quote---------
It's clearly not a self-defeating purpose if the deity simply doesn't care about the creations and derives pleasure from the ensuing confusion. We are its playthings.
-------------quote---------

It's self defeating for the one who believes he can prove that such a god exists. Also, the mere existence of self-defeating logic doesn't make it any less self-defeating... plenty of athiests have shown that to be true.

-------------quote---------
The better question: why create at all? Why does he need his creation to understand him? You all love your metaphors: does the painter want the painting to understand him? Does the builder hope her building knows her?
-------------quote---------

In order to discover (not merely hypothesize for the fun of it) a god like the one you suggested, a person would have to at least suggest that this "god" gave them (his creation) the ability to understand and discover the god.

One would assume also, that if we're suggesting that this deity exists, that he gave us this faculty for a purpose (otherwise we would not be able to say he is god).

These are essential for any Theistic Apologetic...
1. the deity must create
2. the beings must have the capacity to discover the deity
3. the deity must show himself to the being.

If you don't suggest these three things up front you don't have Theism, nor can you prove it.

Also, to your less than adequate illustration... Can paintings know their painters? Can builders know their builders? Ummm...No. If a builder puts a beam in, we assume either he's an idiot, or it has a purpose. We are Rational, Relational, and Moral beings so we deduce that those qualities are either purposeful... or our god is an idiot (a proposition you may agree with ;-).

Last, you can't ask believers to answer the question "Why Couldn't God..." when you won't answer the question "Why Can't the Bible..."

We are no more obligated to disprove every fanciful idea of potential theism that is suggested than you are obligated to disprove the Bible is God's Word.

If you want to prove that there is a diabolical deity, then you carry the burden of proof... not us.

Out of curiosity, and this is for all, what do YOU suggest other than Christianity? Can you carry your own burden of proof?

stranger.strange.land said...

Again Tax, you are assuming the God of Christianity (for sake of argument - or conversation) and at the same time attributing to him an attribute that is not consistent with the God of Christianity i.e. the possibility of lying.

Now, when I see statements of that nature, what is going on in the back of my mind is that Genesis, which sets the stage for the rest of the bible, has the serpent casting doubt on God's benevolent intentions for man. No, I am not suggestion that you have ever met the devil, but this is an attitude that is prevalent in fallen mankind, we see it all the time.

(BTW, The other two suggestions that the devil planted in our minds are 1. the denial of the punishment for disobeying God's command ("You shall not surely die") and 2. man's determining for himself what is good and what is evil, apart from what God says.)
________

Let me just repeat what it was that I said that started out this exchange that we have been enjoying here: It was saying, in explaining the gospel, that "everyone everywhere who will come to Christ, acknowledging his sins and guilt and trusting in Christ crucified, is assured that in doing that, he will receive forgiveness and eternal life by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ on behalf of sinners.

Note, this assurance, which you have brought into question, is ONLY for people who have been convicted of their sinfulness, not for anyone else. That is why the church proclaims the law first, then the gospel. Or at least it should. (If it doesn't, it needs to read Romans, or HBKS....or BOTH : )

Craig

stranger.strange.land said...

Truth, Ethics, Logic

None of them demand that "God" exists.

But if you think otherwise, prove it, don't just assert it.


I don't think it is that they demand, (or prove) that God exists so much as that the Christian paridigm, (or world-view) can account for them while naturalism / materialism does not.

I think that is what they are saying.

Good to "see" you here commenting, G.E. (How long have you been "listening in" to the conversation? ; )

Craig

Taxandrian said...

@jason & vanessa:

Why should one believe that?

No one should. That's why I included links to back up my claim. Feel free to go there, explore, and experience the joy of free inquiry! ;-)

Need more proof? You yourself are using logic... how can you account for that? :)

Why should I ask for more proof when you haven't given any in the first place? I already pointed out to you that you needed to prove the first premise of your argument to be true for it to be valid. Yet you haven't proved that without the Bible the laws of logic are not meaningful.

I'm sorry Jason, but I know what you're trying to do and I won't play ball. Either prove the validity of your premise or retreat. It's that simple.

Best wishes,
Tax

Taxandrian said...

@stranger.strange.land:

Again Tax, you are assuming the God of Christianity (for sake of argument - or conversation) and at the same time attributing to him an attribute that is not consistent with the God of Christianity i.e. the possibility of lying.

Hmmm...I think I can see where the confusion originates, so let me clarify.

When I talk about 'true' and 'lying' I refer to lying from a human point of view. However, although you -from your point of view- might consider God to be lying when He wouldn't keep his promise of salvation, from God's point of view his might still be true.
Because man considers an action of God to be a lie, does that necessarily mean that he IS lying? Does your judgment go above God's? Or in other words: what might be a lie to man, might still be truth for God. What would matter most?

You're right that I'm assuming the God of Christianity, but I also take into account that the God of Christianity might just be a small part of God. I think I've asked this before but: how can you be sure that God revealed His complete nature and character in the Bible? You simply can't because God will only reveal to you as much as He wants. Also, I'm not attributing anything to God but merely acknowledging that if God really exists, a mere human being can never completely know Him and determine what God is capable of doing and what not because all our knowledge of Him would necessarily come from Him and He is by no means obliged to reveal Himself to us completely.

Hope this makes it clear.

Take care,
Tax

Jeremy said...

Tax, you said...

--------------quote----------------
"When I talk about 'true' and 'lying' I refer to lying from a human point of view. However, although you -from your point of view- might consider God to be lying when He wouldn't keep his promise of salvation, from God's point of view his might still be true. Because man considers an action of God to be a lie, does that necessarily mean that he IS lying? Does your judgment go above God's? Or in other words: what might be a lie to man, might still be truth for God. What would matter most?"
--------------quote----------------

If we are assuming the God of the Bible (which you said we were), then we are assuming that God spoke to man in man's terms when He wrote in His book, through men to men, in the language of men to appeal to the understanding of men "God is not a man that he should lie." (Numbers 23:19) That is how we know we can trust His word...in human terms. (ie he revealed himself to us in human terms)

There can't be a part of God that lies, and a part that tells the truth, in human terms (for he would still be a liar). Therefore, as far as men are concerned, God always tells the truth (again if we are assuming the God of the Bible.)

There is MUCH more to God than the Scriptures reveal, but the Scriptures are God's revelation to man. What we learn from the book, which is from God, is true for men, regardless of anything else that may be deduced about other things (ie other than human terms). If He doesn't lie, in human terms, then he doesn't lie at all, for what other kind of lieing is there? Also, if He lies in some other fashion (inhuman?), could it be considered lying at all in human terms? If it is, then isn't it properly called lying (in human terms)?

Now, it seems to me, that there is a side discussion going on about "proving the Bible." That shouldn't be necessary if we are "assuming the God of the Bible." That is a different discussion altogether.

Azou said...

Why can't we prove a malevolent deity exists? It could easily reveal itself to its creations and lie about the universe and its character. That satisfies your requirements.

Specifically explain the self-defeat here. Proving a god's existence is not the same as understand its character and personality.

You can easily understand the god, who I'm calling Goblar for ease of communication. Goblar is discovered when he demonstrates his power. He is understood to be rather uncaring of his creations when he lies to them. Or they simply have poor understanding when they believe his lies. Understanding does not have to be accurate.

Purpose? Goblar enjoys the chaos. It entertains him.

I am not arguing the existence of Goblar, but merely the possibility of deities that are uncaring or intentionally cruel to their creations. Because, if that is the case, the Bible could be composed of nothing but falsehoods from your God.

What?

t's impossible for God to lie?

And, out of curiosity, who told you that?

Jeremy said...

@Azou

You can prove Goblar exists (although I'm not sure how you can be sure his name is Goblar ;-).

Doing so only proves that your life, and thoughts, and conclusions are all pointless or, at best, trinkets in Goblar's toy-box. Therefore you have defeated yourself. You're saying your own conclusions are deduced from a source that is untrustworthy (ie Goblar)

Your act of proving is only disproving yourself because what you have proven may not actually be what it is, by your own admission. Hence my conclusion, that the one who thinks he has proven that such a deity exists has defeated himself.

In "proving" Goblar exists you've only proven that you've been deceived by “Steve”, the god who wants you to think there is a god named Goblar. You can't disagree because that's exactly the kind of deity you have proven to exist. You would expect Goblar (or Steve) to do something exactly like that.

We can hypothetically conceive of such a deity, but if you did actually prove him to exists, all you would know for sure is that someone out there has led you to believe a deity named Goblar exists, but you couldn't be sure because he lies (you think).

God, who does not lie, told me He does not lie, in His Word. He might be lying to me, but if He was I couldn't prove it (and neither could you), and if He was, it doesn't matter what either of us can prove or can't prove.

Here's the trouble Azou. Since the evidence (There is PLENTY) for a God who is Good, and does not lie, is sufficient for me, I believe I have a purpose, and a reason to write what I'm writing.

You're just Goblar's Tinker Toy. I may be wrong, but at least I'm consistent.

(note: I'm writing as if you were trying to prove this deity to show my point, not to suggest you are trying to do this.)

Brazen Hussey's said...

This is a great example of the blind being satisfied with the dark - what's the point of arguing the point other than to waste more time?

Just curious - Tax and Azou (is that how you spell it?) and others in the same vein are not here to actually ask a question, nor to engage in a discussion, but rather to try to disprove a God's existence they claim they do not believe.

At what point - Christians - do you move on from the pointless debate?

God hasn't called us to debate these things to those who will refuse the message, so I'm actually asking a genuine question here.

Don't get me wrong - it's not as if I don't care about people who don't currently know Christ - but at what point do you determine that these people quite frankly won't come to Christ and just want to mock?

Correct me if I'm wrong, Tax and Azou - but recent comments give no indication either of you actually want more information, rather it seems both of you are satisfied with a 3 Stooges approach to the "debate."

Viz. : Goblar, god of chaos? I can hear Curly Nyuk-Nyukkin' in the background.

What was the point again?

Azou said...

I want to understand your logic here.

You: God cannot lie.

Us: How do you know that?

You: The Bible says that he is incapable of lying.

Us: How do you know the Bible is accurate?

You: It is the word of God.

Us: Uh...how do you know the BIBLE isn't composed of lies as well?

Is this accurate? It seems like you're operating under circular logic.

Azou said...

Brazen, we can say the same about you. At what point do we realize that you are too comfortable with your delusions to bother debate? Also, I am not trying to disprove God, but am simply refuting your evidence for such a claim.

Jeremy, you illustrate very clearly the possibilities of deceit from a being with such power. "God" could be a puppet of the Great Goblar! All your evidence of God's good could have been planted by the true master of reality to deceive.

Thus, why God simply saying he's good and honest is not sufficient evidence. There is plenty of suffering in this world to suggest we could very well be the tinker toys of a destructive deity, and the whole story about original sin could be a grand hoax.

Jeremy said...

@Azou

-----------Quote------------
Us: How do you know the Bible is accurate?

You: It is the word of God.
-----------Quote------------

No, this is not accurate. What I said was....

-----------Quote------------
Since the evidence (There is PLENTY) for a God who is Good, and does not lie, is sufficient for me, I believe I have a purpose, and a reason to write what I'm writing.
-----------Quote------------

I never stated any evidences for the veracity (truthfulness) of the Scriptures because our discussion, thus far, has only to do with the self-defeat of a person proposing a deity who is a liar.

I accept your blatant switch of the subject as admission that you accept my proposition that: to propose a deity that lies, is self-defeating for the one who does it.


-----------Quote------------
Jeremy, you illustrate very clearly the possibilities of deceit from a being with such power. "God" could be a puppet of the Great Goblar! All your evidence of God's good could have been planted by the true master of reality to deceive.
-----------Quote------------

Thank you for admitting that there is plenty of evidence for a Good God. (you said "all your evidence for a good God").

-----------Quote------------
Thus, why God simply saying he's good and honest is not sufficient evidence. There is plenty of suffering in this world to suggest we could very well be the tinker toys of a destructive deity, and the whole story about original sin could be a grand hoax.
-----------Quote------------

How else would you suggest a "good and honest God" communicate that he is good and honest to his Creation other than simply saying it?

The existence of suffering, as has been proven time and again by Christians, can be accounted for sufficiently as the just punishment for sin and doesn't disprove the possibility of a Good and Honest God.


-----------Quote------------
I am not trying to disprove God, but am simply refuting your evidence for such a claim.
-----------Quote------------

You haven't yet refuted the evidence that God exists nor have you sufficiently offered a different suggestion as to how we came into existence and why what you are writing matters in your philosophy.

It's so easy for non-Christians to just chuck random questions at Christians requiring them to meet some arbitrary "standard" of proof.

For Tax or Azou... Let's assume you're right. There is no evidence for God... what is there evidence for? What do you believe?

I don't see the value in continuing the discussion until all our cards on the table.

Taxandrian said...

@jeremy:

The existence of suffering, as has been proven time and again by Christians, can be accounted for sufficiently as the just punishment for sin and doesn't disprove the possibility of a Good and Honest God.

But neither does the existence of love and friendship disprove the possibility of an evil and deceptive God. Or does it?

"You haven't yet refuted the evidence that God exists nor have you sufficiently offered a different suggestion as to how we came into existence and why what you are writing matters in your philosophy."

I'm not Azou, but I'd like to point out that I refuted both Emilio's and Jason's argument and neither of them was either capable or willing to prove the veracity of their statements.

"For Tax or Azou... Let's assume you're right. There is no evidence for God... what is there evidence for? What do you believe?

Can't speak for Azou, but I simply believe in reality.

Jeremy said...

@Tax...

What reality? How do you know it's real? Maybe nothing's real. Then your reality would be non-reality (i.e. The Matrix for example?)

I'm willing to prove the veracity of my statements.

I never said the existence of love and friendship disproved the possibility of an evil and deceptive God. I said that such a proposition defeats the one making the proposition.

Taxandrian said...

@Jeremy:

What reality? How do you know it's real? Maybe nothing's real. Then your reality would be non-reality (i.e. The Matrix for example?)

Well, if nothing would be real, wouldn't also this non-reality, or this Matrix, be NOT real? Wouldn't that just be the same as saying 'nothing exists'?

bassicallymike said...

Jason said...."At what point - Christians - do you move on from the pointless debate?"

John MacArthur, in his sermon “Why We Believe While Others Reject” based on 1 Corinthians 1:18-2:16 and posted at gty dot org under Code: 90-322 shed some light on the subject.

He gives the following five reasons why non-Christians do not believe the Bible.
"1. The message is unreasonable.
2. The reality is unattainable.
3. It is frankly unbelievable, or I guess you could say ridiculous.
4. Its people are unremarkable.
5. The preachers are unfashionable."


Earlier he stated:

"I know the Bible is true because the Spirit of God has convinced me of it. We have been saying prophecy has been fulfilled, the Bible is scientifically accurate, miracles were performed with eyewitnesses, the biblical message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ results in a revolutionary change in the lives of persons who believe. Because of all these proofs, we reason the Bible is the Word of God."

Then later adds.

"He (Calvin) understood that you only believe the Scripture when the Spirit of God gifts you with that faith and confidence. Confident trust in the Word of God and the Scripture is then not the result of rational arguments and the work of human intellect and reason or emotion. It is the work of the Spirit in the heart. Calvin further says, "For as God alone is a sufficient witness to Himself in His own Word, so also the Word will never gain credit in the hearts of men until it is sealed by the internal testimony of the Spirit.

So, rational arguments and the work of human intellect and reason do have their limits. We just have to keep hitting them with the Word, trusting it will not return void, but will accomplish the purpose, and succeed in the thing for which it was sent. Isaiah 55:11

Jeremy said...

@Tax

I don't know. You haven't proven it one way or the other yet. You just stated "reality" without proving it. I don't need to prove your reality doesn't exist... you need to prove it does (sound familiar?)

If something does exist (which we both agree on I think), where did it come from? Did it come from nothing? Did it come from a mass of impersonal objects that exploded and here we are? What evidence do you have to support your conclusion that you really do exist and your thoughts and reasoning have any purpose or meaning? If they don't, why share them?

You haven't said what you believe about these things, nor have you proven them.

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

Hey Jeremy,

I don't need to prove your reality doesn't exist... you need to prove it does (sound familiar?)"

Well no, Jeremy, I don't need to prove my reality exitst. Why? Simple: because I don't need you to believe me. I'm perfectly happy with you saying 'I don't believe your reality exists', should you want to say that.

What you seem to be saying (correct me if I'm wrong) is: 'If you can't account for your worldview, you're in no position to demand from me to account for mine'.
But here's the catch Jeremy: I'm not the one complaining. I don't go out on the streets to tell people that they should believe that reality exists or otherwise terrible things will happen. I'm not the one running a blog full of verses from a book that proves that reality exists. I'm perfectly willing to admit that I can't disprove that we're all just brains in a jar being fed experiences. The question is: are you willing to do the same thing? Are you willing to admit that you can't disprove that God might be evil?

Or in other words: I'm perfectly OK with you not believing me. Are you OK with me not believing you?

Jeremy said...

----------quote-------------
Simple: because I don't need you to believe me. I'm perfectly happy with you saying 'I don't believe your reality exists', should you want to say that.
----------quote-------------

I don't need you to believe me either, I think it would behoove you to believe me, but I certainly don't need you to believe me. Neither does God by the way.

----------quote-------------
'If you can't account for your worldview, you're in no position to demand from me to account for mine'.
But here's the catch Jeremy: I'm not the one complaining.
----------quote-------------

That is what I'm saying, and you are the one complaining. THIS ENTIRE thread is because YOU want US to prove to YOU that our reality exists. That was the whole point of the original post on THIS thread (I can't speak to the original)

Yet here you are, asking us to prove to you that our reality exists? Why? I'm just informing you that if mine does exist (and I think it does) you're in for a world of hurt.

----------quote-------------
Or in other words: I'm perfectly OK with you not believing me. Are you OK with me not believing you?
----------quote-------------

Trust me Tax (and some believers in this board won't like this one) but I won't lose a wink of sleep if you don't believe me.

My goal is not to persuade you by reason, I don't believe that's possible, but to simply show you that the standard of proof you hold us to, is not the same standard you hold yourself to. Mission accomplished.

You have admitted that you can't prove your reality and that I don't have to either. I can, but by your own admission I don't have to.

So what's your issue then? That we seek to persuade you? You've been doing the same thing.

My reality, which I can prove, calls on me to preach the Gospel. You should be O.K. with that whether or not I can prove my reality. But your not. Why?

Taxandrian said...

Hey Jeremy,

Thanks for the interesting discussion; it's certainly very entertaining.

Now, first of all I'd like to clarify a bit what 'reality' means to me. You see, to me 'reality' is that which remains when everything I have no evidence or reason to believe in is discarderd. Since my 'reality' is determined on a case-by-case scenario and very personal (not determined by any written text or dogmas) I think you can understand why I cannot prove the truth of my 'reality'. Exactly because it's so personal I can prove it to myself but not to others. So when you say that the standards of proof for my 'reality' are different than those for yours you are absolutely right because our beliefs are founded on a different basis; yours is based on general, universal rules while mine is based on personal, case-by-case evaluation.
That's also why I don't need you to believe me; since my belief is personal it doesn't really matter whether you believe me or not. More even: it would be foolish to expect you to believe me because what works for me doesn't necessarily work for you; it might even hurt you.
And that's where we differ; you do think that I should believe you. You state that I don't need to believe you but still you can't resist telling me that it would be better for me if I did.

But here's the problem: since my belief is determined on a case-by-case scenario, how can I determine if your belief is beneficial for me if I can't evaluate the veracity of its claims? You state that it would behoove me to believe you, but somehow you are not willing to help me see that for myself.

Actually it's quite puzzling, Jeremy. I'm giving you the chance to help me believe you, yet you do not take it. You say that you can prove your reality. If that's what it takes to get me to believe you and save myself, why not help me? The fact that you don't need me to believe me doesn't necessarily mean that you can't give it a go. Yet, when presented with this choice you choose the easy way out. Why is that? Is it that wrong to ask for proof when being told that you'd better believe something?

Some other things:

"THIS ENTIRE thread is because YOU want US to prove to YOU that our reality exists."

I asked for positive claims to be backed up. What's wrong with that?

"I'm just informing you that if mine does exist (and I think it does) you're in for a world of hurt.

Again: why is that so? You know very well that without any proof of its validity this claim is meaningless for me. So why still make it as if it has any kind of value?

"You have admitted that you can't prove your reality and that I don't have to either. I can, but by your own admission I don't have to.

See Jeremy, this is the interesting thing. As I've stated above I can't prove my reality to others. Yet others can prove my reality to me. If you don't prove your reality you don't give me any reason or evidence to believe. As such, you confirm my reality as I see it to me. If only all evangelists were like you. :-)
Of course, if I was a jerk I'd call your bluff and say that you just can't prove your reality but are not willing to admit it. But why would I bother with that since you only strengthen my worldview?

"So what's your issue then? That we seek to persuade you? You've been doing the same thing."

Of what did I try to persuade you? Please point out where and what.

"You should be O.K. with that whether or not I can prove my reality. But your not. Why? "

Again: please point out to me where I stated that I'm not OK with you preaching.

Take care,
Tax

Jeremy said...


Tax,

This is good, good indeed.

Understand that the reason I haven't stated any proofs or evidences is because up to this point I was convinced this was more about mudslinging than honest inquiry. I'm still dubious, but I'll bite.

Also, the reason I start where I do (with you admitting and proving your own views) is because in order to become a believer in Christ you will have to reject your own reality. It's good, then, to start by showing the inconsistency of it.

You said...

----quote----
You see, to me 'reality' is that which remains when everything I have no evidence or reason to believe in is discarderd.
----quote----

Then, in stride you said...

----quote----
Since my 'reality' is determined on a case-by-case scenario and very personal (not determined by any written text or dogmas) I think you can understand why I cannot prove the truth of my 'reality'.
----quote----

In order to be consistent, you should at least be able to give me reasons why You believe the reality you believe. You say that your reality is based on "evidences" and you reject anything that doesn't have "evidences" so you should have "evidences" for your reality.

I don't think you do. That's why you're taking this route. This is not a question of whether I can prove it to you, or you can prove it to me, but rather the standard of proof that you or I use to prove anything for ourselves.

That's why I asked you for the evidences of your reality. Not to convince me, but to determined what the standard is for you so I can at least determine if that standard can be met.

----quote----
Of what did I try to persuade you? Please point out where and what.
...
Again: please point out to me where I stated that I'm not OK with you preaching.
----quote----

To me the following quote is the answer to these two questions...

----quote----
I'm not the one complaining. I don't go out on the streets to tell people that they should believe that reality exists or otherwise terrible things will happen. I'm not the one running a blog full of verses from a book that proves that reality exists. ... The question is: are you willing to do the same thing? Are you willing to admit that you can't disprove that God might be evil?
----quote----

I would like to point out that I have already proven that to suggest that a God exists who is evil is self-defeating. In other words, it can't be proven with out unproving it (I did this w/Azou). In other words, I have shown that one can prove a Good and Honest God, but one can't prove an evil one.


Continued in next comment....

Jeremy said...

Continued from previous comment...

----quote----
since my belief is determined on a case-by-case scenario, how can I determine if your belief is beneficial for me if I can't evaluate the veracity of its claims?
----quote----

I would never suggest this. Some evidence is necessary. I just haven't gotten there yet. I can carry this burden of proof but there is one more thing...

----quote----
You say that you can prove your reality. If that's what it takes to get me to believe you and save myself, why not help me? The fact that you don't need me to believe me doesn't necessarily mean that you can't give it a go. Yet, when presented with this choice you choose the easy way out.
----quote----

You cannot save yourself. I cannot save you. God alone can save you. That's why I don't need you to believe me, and neither does God. If you are not convinced by the same evidence that I was convinced by, that doesn't mean God doesn't exists, it means you weren't convinced. There is certainly no "necessity" of proving it to you.

So, onto the evidence that convinces me. This is the simplest way, and hopefully (for the sake of the blog) the quickest. (it is not meant to be exhaustive)

First, shall we begin assuming the existance of a good and honest God? Just a God? What, at this point, are you comfortable saying there is evidence for?

I just need a starting point.

Taxandrian said...

Hey Jeremy,

Sorry for the late reply. Real Life has been quite busy lately.

Now, let's see:

Also, the reason I start where I do (with you admitting and proving your own views) is because in order to become a believer in Christ you will have to reject your own reality. It's good, then, to start by showing the inconsistency of it.

Jeremy, who ever said that I want to become a believer in Christ? I'm perfectly happy with my current worldview as it is. Maybe you think it's inconsistent. If so, then show me. But as long as I'm happy with it, why should I help you?

Therefore:

That's why I asked you for the evidences of your reality. Not to convince me, but to determined what the standard is for you so I can at least determine if that standard can be met.

Once again: why should I care about that? I'm not asking to be converted simply because I don't even see a reason to be converted. If you think there's a reason that I should then it's entirely up to you to decide whether and how you wish to demonstrate to me.

To me the following quote is the answer to these two questions...

Nowhere in that quote did I state that I'm not OK with you preaching, nor did I try to persuade anyone of anything. Please try again.

I would like to point out that I have already proven that to suggest that a God exists who is evil is self-defeating.

Ummm...no, not really. Unless you wish to elaborate on that.

First, shall we begin assuming the existance of a good and honest God? Just a God? What, at this point, are you comfortable saying there is evidence for?

Start wherever you wish, Jeremy. Just remind the original question that started this thread. Because that is all I ever asked. I didn't ask for evidence for the existence of God, nor did I ask to be converted.

Take care,
Tax

Jeremy said...

@Tax...

If you just want to know what physical evidence there is, that's pretty simple.

The Bible, before it is a "Bible", is a bunch of EXTREMELY reliable historical documents. You may contend this reliability but the facts don't support the case. There are more manuscripts backing the historical events recorded in the New Testament than any other (widely accepted) historical event of the same time period.

Before we trust the Bible as "God's Word" we trust it as historical evidence. It doesn't have to be God's Word to be evidence. However, if the evidence suggests that it's God's Word, we then have to show that such is not the case, or accept it as true.

That said, even without the Bible, history confirms (through the church Fathers) the events surrounding Jesus' life, death, and resurrection.

That's just one line of physical evidence.

Another line of physical evidence is the prophetic texts of the Old Testament. Literally hundreds of prophecies recorded in the OT were fulfilled in Christ. Countless other events (not concerning Christ) also were prophesied and fulfilled.

It is through this evidence that we come to trust the historical reliability of the events contained in these historical documents. It's also important to note that there is little evidence from the same period denying these events.

That evidence, with no evidence to the contrary, must be accepted as historically accurate or PROVEN to be historically inaccurate.

So far (as I am aware) no physical evidence has ever been brought to the table to suggest that the historical accounts of the Gospels were falsified, or untrue.

On the contrary, we have untold evidence that the events occurred and no reason to doubt the writers who wrote these historical accounts.

That's the physical evidence. From there every major Christian element is pretty easy to prove.

That's probably why it "seems" like we use the Bible to prove the Bible. We don't. We use reliable historical documents (also known as primary sources) and we confirm them to be what they say they are, namely God's Word. (This is an overview of the reasoning, you simply asked for the physical evidence I believe.)

Taxandrian said...

Jeremy,

Your argument has quite a few problems, but addressing those would only lead us away from the real issue at hand:

You didn't answer my question. ;-)

Jeremy said...

@Tax... I'm not sure you even know what your question is.

I have shown (with Azou above) that to actually seek to prove (not merely hypothesize) the existence of a dishonest God is self-defeating (because whatever evidence you have would be at best from an untrustworthy source (ie an untrustworthy God) and that evidence itself could not be trusted)

I have also shown evidence for the veracity of the historical documents known as the Gospels which suggest an honest and good God.

That answers both the question "How can I trust the Bible" and "How do I know God is Honest."

Those were the only two questions asked in the original post. If you object, then you need to show the flaw in the evidence presented, accept these as legitimate answers to the questions, or stop commenting altogether. Which you choose matters little to me ;-).

Taxandrian said...

Hey Jeremy,

The question was simple: how do you know that what God promises in the Bible (salvation) will actually happen?

As far as I'm concerned, you have not demonstrated having any kind of guarantee that God is obliged to keep His promise, other than pure faith and hope.

(Actually, stranger.strange.land already admitted in another topic as much by saying that one should just have 'trust')

The question is still open.

Jeremy said...

@Tax

Historical Evidence shows that He has always kept his promises (a lot of them).

There is no evidence to support the hypothesis of a dishonest God (for any evidence from such a god or for such a god can't be trusted)

Therefore, the honest God, who has always kept his promises, should be trusted, because of the evidence that he's trustworthy. Unless evidence of a dishonest god can be shown, the evidence demands we trust Him because he's honest.

As far as simple, basic logic is concerned, an honest God always keeps his promises. (For any other God would be dishonest which you haven't proven to exist, nor can you)

"As far as your concerned" doesn't matter. In order to ACTUALLY disprove these statements you either have to show how the historical record is invalid or show evidence for a dishonest God (which you can't do because no such evidence exists, and if it did, it couldn't be trusted.)

Finally, it is not my responsibility to disprove a dishonest God but to prove an honest God. I have submitted the evidence, and for kicks have rebutted the idea of a dishonest God. So Evidence/Logic (whether you like it or not) says God is honest, and he keeps his promises; therefore his promises should be trusted.

Taxandrian said...

Hey Jeremy,

Sorry for the late reply. Let's get straight to it:

There is no evidence to support the hypothesis of a dishonest God (for any evidence from such a god or for such a god can't be trusted)

Now you see, Jeremy, for the hypothesis that God might be dishonest and/or evil you don't need evidence. All you need is plausibility, i.e.: is the given hypothesis possible? And as much as you would like to disagree it is indeed possible.

You say that you have evidence for God's trustworthiness. But can this evidence actually be proved or put to the test? All your evidence comes from the Bible. Yet you believe that the Bible is God's Word. So actually you trust God because God Himself tells you He can be trusted. That doesn't really qualify as evidence. After all, wouldn't it be exactly something a dishonest God would do: tell you "Trust me", and provide you with some examples of promises He kept? There's no way you can actually check the veracity of these claims. Simply because there are some verified historical facts in the Bible doesn't mean that everything in the Bible is the truth (for example: are there any records outside the Bible of the Resurrection or the Jewish zombies roaming the streets of Jerusalem during the crucifixion?).

So the fact is, Jeremy, that if God is dishonest your evidence can't be trusted either.

But here's something interesting. Although you cannot check the Bible's claims for truth, you can actually test whether God can be trusted. In Mark 11:24 Jesus says: "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."
Now, I don't know if you have children, but suppose you had a child and it became violently ill. Would you trust God and pray for your child to get better, or would you rush it to hospital? How far does your trust in God really go?
Ava Worthington. Neil Beagly. Madeline Kara Neumann. Their parents trusted God. Were they wrong to do so? Shouldn't they have trusted God to make their child better?

You see, Jeremy, trust doesn't really say much. Just because someone kept some promises in the past doesn't necessarily mean that he will keep them in the future. Especially when it concerns God who has no obligations towards his creation whatsoever (unless you think you can hold God accountable).

If you read my question again, you'll see that I didn't ask whether you trust God to be honest. I asked how you know God to be honest. To trust is not to know, and as I've demonstrated your trust is not based on knowledge but on faith and hope.

So, despite all your efforts, the question is still open.

Take care,
Tax

stranger.strange.land said...

I just noticed this:


Taxandrian said...
Hey Jeremy,

The question was simple: how do you know that what God promises in the Bible (salvation) will actually happen?

As far as I'm concerned, you have not demonstrated having any kind of guarantee that God is obliged to keep His promise, other than pure faith and hope.

(Actually, stranger.strange.land already admitted in another topic as much by saying that one should just have 'trust')

The question is still open.


Nowhere has stranger.strange.land said that God is not obliged to keep His promise. Go to the thread: "The fool has said in his heart "there is no God" " (posted on Sept. 10th )and read the last two comments posted on Sept. 28th to read Taxandrian's question and my answer.

Earlier in that same thread I had said that not trusting the veracity of God's word was initiaed by Satan (Gen. 3) and now is a characeristic of fallen humanity.

Craig