Chasing Christians Down the Rabbit Hole

Here at DC we are debunking generalized notions of evangelical Christianity. When it comes to what you as a Christian believe, I say "if the shoe fits wear it, if not, then don't try to put in on." What's there not to understand about that? Just recently Jim Jordan, who visits us regularly and should know better, wrote this: "If you want to call this "Debunking Apostasies of Christianity" I think we'd all find common ground there. :-)" But I have a big problem with him saying that this is what I did, or what we do here at DC.

We used to be evangelicals, or at least, that's how we best described who we were as former believers. We know what evangelicals believe. Or do we? Well it depends on what beliefs are essential to evangelicalism, doesn't it? Maybe I should start a post and limit participation to Christians themselves, who would debate what beliefs are specifically Christian, along with who or what is an evangelical? That would be fun, except that few Christians would participate because they know the rest of us would be laughing our butts off as they debate those things.

This is not a one-on-one discussion. There is no way we can address any specific professing Christian's beliefs, unless we know what they are. We write from our background as former evangelicals, and that's all we can do. If others visit DC who claim the evangelical faith is different than what we express, or if a liberal Christian visits here, remember: "if the shoe fits wear it, if not, then don't try to put it on," okay? And to demand of us to write about stuff we don't want to write about, or to demand we deal with things that are uninteresting to us, is unreasonable. What if I demanded the same thing of you? Would you write about uninteresting stuff you don't want to write about just because I demanded it? Hardly.

We cannot write any given blog entry against the whole gamut of Christian beliefs, or it may end up being somewhat of a book. But if you tell us what you specifically believe about Christianity and if it's interesting to us, then we might. Keep in mind that we cannot deal with what every single believer thinks is the case. That's why we're reduced to writing generalized accounts from our own experience of what evangelicals believe.

Not long ago over at Parchment and the Pen was a discussion about why Christians have doctrinal disputes. After reading through this discussion here's my explanation for why they do:
The real reason why other Christians don’t agree with you is because of the nature of a history itself, along with the fact that God purportedly revealed himself in the ancient past. My argument is that if God did reveal himself, he chose a poor medium (history) and a poor era (the ancient past) to do so, and that makes an omniscient God look stupid.

We have a hard enough time understanding one another living in today’s world. We disagree about everything and we are constantly correcting misunderstandings about what we have said. So it stands to reason that this is compounded when we try to understand the literature of the ancient past. This is just obvious to me.

Of course, if God wanted to communicate more clearly and he could foresee that Southern slavery and witch hunts would result because he wasn’t clear, he could’ve said “Thou shalt not own, buy, sell, trade or beat slaves of any kind,” and said it often enough that believers could not misunderstand. He could’ve done the same with witch hunts and avoided the Galileo debacle as well. Genesis 1 could’ve started out by stating more clearly the nature of creation. [If you’d like, I could show you how an omniscient God could’ve communicated better, and I only have an IQ of 160.]

What’s the alternative, you may ask? For God to reveal himself today on the great issues that divide the church. How could he do this? Through miracles and the church’s recognition of a 14th Apostle “like unto Paul.” In the meantime the disunity of the church speaks against the existence of the illuminating work of the Holy Spirit who has not done his job down through the centuries, and therefore provides evidence the Christian faith is a delusion.

Now back to Jim Jordan. Jim, would you be so kind as to tell us the beliefs that professing Christians hold to that you think are "apostasies," why you consider such beliefs to be "apostasies," how many professing Christians agree with you about them, and what it means to describe those beliefs as "apostasies?" Would you also explain why Christians have so many doctrinal disputes over their beliefs? Would you additionally explain why you think what you said applied to what I had written? Lastly, don't forget to tell us what are the true set of Christian beliefs.

This should be very interesting. Sheesh.

25 comments:

Brother Crow said...

John, excellent challenge, and one that I suspect will create tons of silence on the other end. You know why. I hope we agnostics/atheists who are former evangelicals (me) will get to weigh in on this, and maybe make a list of what we think evangelicals believe...and them target them step by step.

I think the big reason christians can't even come to an agreement about what evangelicals believe is that - at least in today's common (as compared to academic) christianity, it is all about subjective experience. To most christians I have known, it does not matter a goddurn that God spoke in history, or in the bible, or through what logic requires. It only matters that God spoke to them personally, that they "felt" it, and that is that.

Here's a humorous item: a plane crashed nearby on Friday, killing all six aboard. Very tragic. They were good people. It crashed near some homes, but fortunately did not hit any of those homes (people were inside at the time). A local sheriff was quoted as saying "it was not luck that this plane missed these houses; it was the hand of God, guiding this plane (to crash and kill six innocent people, most of whom were good Baptists) to hit the ground where it did."

And we think we can reason with people like that?

akakiwibear said...

John, I understand your desire to limit your site to criticism of what you see as evangelical Christianity, but offer two comments for your consideration:

1) Your site overtly promotes an atheist position rather than simply seeking to correct possible doctrinal problems among evangelicals. There are many Christians also devoted to that cause.

To be critical of evangelicals or Catholics does not require you espouse an atheist position - yet you do.
You should therefore not retreat behind your "evangelical" shield when your atheism itself is exposed as weak and apparently reliant on a literal inerrant bible. Is this the atheism you really want to project?

2) In focusing on your interpretation (some of which may be valid) of evangelical Christianity you have set up strawman to be demolished by your atheism.
An easy win, but is it a real win for atheism, or simply the best atheism can do?

Your strawman approach may impress the gullible but it not intellectually commendable.

I therefore invite you to take an intellectually honest stand:
EITHER stay with your evangelical focus and present balanced argument (atheist and theist) to refute their position - I will gladly contribute. Desist from your atheist evangelisation if you are not prepared to defend it.

OR admit to your fundamentally atheist position and abandon your evangelical Christian strawman and debate theists as an atheist.

You can't have your cake and eat it - so put up or shut up.

Sala kahle - peace

John W. Loftus said...

akakiwibear, I am not, I repeat NOT here to correct what professing Christians believe. Where did you get that? My position is that professing Christians should all get together and decide what true Christians believe and then come back here to DC. Then we'll debunk the results.

And for the record, since you missed it, I think all specifically Christian beliefs are delusional...all of them! They all deserve to be debunked. But I simply choose to debunk evangelical beliefs. In so doing I will also be debunking other Christian's beliefs from time to time.

akakiwibear said...You should therefore not retreat behind your "evangelical" shield when your atheism itself is exposed as weak and apparently reliant on a literal inerrant bible.

My atheism does not rely on the rejection of a literal inerrant Bible! Where do you get that cockamamie notion from? You certainly did not get it from me or anything I have ever said. I don't even know how to respond to this without further documentation and clarification from you. But I'll caution you against trying, since such a claim is ignorant to the core. But be my guest.

akakiwibear said...Your strawman approach may impress the gullible but it not intellectually commendable.

Strawman approach? What are you talking about? Do you know how many evangelicals there are in America? How is it a strawman approach when there are plenty of influential people who think it represents the truth, including President Bush?

akakiwibear said...EITHER stay with your evangelical focus and present balanced argument (atheist and theist) to refute their position - I will gladly contribute. Desist from your atheist evangelisation if you are not prepared to defend it.

Most of the works I quote in my book that argue against evangelical Christianity come from liberal Christian authors. You apparently have not read it.

akakiwibear said...OR admit to your fundamentally atheist position and abandon your evangelical Christian strawman and debate theists as an atheist.,

You don't even know what I am doing here. I am primarily an agnostic and secondarliy an atheist. I can argue against Christianity no matter what else I may believe, be it a pantheist, deist, process theology, or atheist. My goal is a negative sort of apologetics, and this is an entirely legitimate approach. My goal is to debunk evangelical Christianity. It's a limited goal, but an imporatant goal. I have seen nothing coming from you as to why I should change my goals. They are specific, legitimate, focused and effective. If I decided to debunk religion in general, which is to the opposite extreme, I would not have the same level of effectiveness. Surely you understand this. And I see nothing wrong with having cake and eating it too. Why would I want cake if I cannot eat it, silly! And if you claim I can only have cake but that I cannot eat it, then it is YOU who needs to put up or shut up!

What the hell is the problem! I can choose my intellectual battles. So that's what I'm doing. If I cannot do this then next time you want to argue against atheism I will demand that you first argue against Islam, agnosticism, pantheism, the guy who claims he's Jesus living in Texas, the last purported UFO sighting, and the most recent archaeological dig which shows they found a crucified body with the name Jesus of Nazareth on it. Surely it's unreasonable to ask someone, anyone, to be an expert about everything, okay? And if a person was so foolish to try, then his arguments would be less than completely knowledgable and effective against those who disagreed.

Sheesh.

Jim Jordan said...

What a surprise. Hi there.

JWL***"if the shoe fits wear it, if not, then don't try to put in on."

...

But I have a big problem with him saying that this is what I did, or what we do here at DC.


You claim to be Debunking Christianity on this site. In reality this would focus on showing Christianity to be false at its core. But you are saying it is false at the fringes, at least that's what I see. Perhaps you could call it "Debunking Evangelical Christianity" or at least feature a label to such articles.

Brother Crow had a great example about the plane crash: "it was the hand of God, guiding this plane (to crash and kill six innocent people, most of whom were good Baptists) to hit the ground where it did."

What nonsense for a Christian to say such a thing! This quote is a great example of the self-serving, mass marketing attitude that permeates Evangelical Christianity (call it "Evangelical spin" for short). It merely arises out of our current zeitgeist. Does that ridiculous quote reveal anything aside from the degree of separation between the local sheriff and his common sense?

In response to your challenge, there are core principles of Christianity that all Christians must believe. The 10 Commandments, particularly their reduction to "Love God first, Love your neighbor as yourself", are of the greatest ultimate importance. All of the "Christian" beliefs you refute contradict one or more of those commands.

Has the Holy Spirit failed? It depends on how devastating these variances are. If a person lives their life concurrently believing the earth is 6,000 years old with serving God by helping the homeless out of poverty I would say he did a better job answering the call than I. On many of these points you make you could be right and irrelevant at the same time.

Debunking bad interpretations is a good thing in any event. That's why I said I agree with you. But can you really debunk a contradictory view within the Christian community and say you've made even a baby-step towards debunking Christianity?

It seems my suggestion for renaming your site has agitated you. It was not meant to offend, which is why I put on the smiley face. Regards.

Jim Jordan said...

I meant to strike this paragraph. Perhaps you could call it "Debunking Evangelical Christianity" or at least feature a label to such articles.

On second thought, I do find it annoying when negative commenters play that game with my website's name.

I think the focus of debunking Christianity should be on theism itself or on Christ himself. Debunking all the various interpretations make for easy articles but ultimately constitute a waste of time in my opinion. Cheers.

ZAROVE said...

I'd like to add that, on many occassions, this site doesn't even represent Evangelical theology properly.

It seems to me instead that the site does reply heavily on Straw men, not only in the form of presentinng an Evangelical argument and claiming "Christians" beleive it and not "Evangelical Christians", but in the presentaiton isself.

For example, when they claim that "Christians" ( Evangelicals, but not noted as such) beleive that the Soul is seperate fromt he Body, and the source ofr COnciosuness, and then try to argue that this means that Brain trauma shoudlnot effect conciousness.

Obviosuly they misrepresent what Evangelicals beleif, as not a one woudl deny this.

Nor does it aggrevate agaisnt their theology.

I'd say this site is mainly a PRomotion of half-baked refutatiosn agaisnt a limited subsect of Christianity, and often relies upon strawman arguments agaisnt theological issues, while lablig them what"CHristians" beleive.

akakiwibear said...

John, sorry if I have upset you, but you appear to have missed the point of my comment so I will restate it.

You say “I am primarily an agnostic and secondarliy an atheist. I can argue against Christianity no matter what else I may believe,” - indeed you!!

However when you draw the conclusion that the flaw in the evangelical Christian doctrine you have exposed leads to the conclusion that there is no God then you have adopted a position you should be willing to defend in the face of wider theist interpretations.

Sala kahle - peace

Jason Creighton said...


You claim to be Debunking Christianity on this site. In reality this would focus on showing Christianity to be false at its core. But you are saying it is false at the fringes, at least that's what I see. Perhaps you could call it "Debunking Evangelical Christianity" or at least feature a label to such articles.


It says "This Blog has been created for the purpose of debunking Evangelical Christianity" in the header at the top of every single post. According to the Wayback Machine, the phrase "debunking Evangelical Christianity" has been in the header since February 7th, 2006.

A label like that, you mean?

John W. Loftus said...

akakiwibear said...However when you draw the conclusion that the flaw in the evangelical Christian doctrine you have exposed leads to the conclusion that there is no God then...

...that would be a non-sequitur of the largest proportions, and something I have never so much as hinted at. Why do you assert that this is what I do? Where is the evidence for this ignorant assertion? And it is ignorant! I do not suffer such ignorance very well at all. Sorry, but if you've read much of what I write you should know this about me, and I can tolerate a lot.

akakiwibear concluded...you have adopted a position you should be willing to defend in the face of wider theist interpretations.

I can assert anything I want to without having to defend it. Why does that escape you? I assert there is no God. I think I can defend this too, and I do from time to time. But I see no reason why I have to do so if I don't choose to do so, because it doesn't fit with my goals. I also assert that American football is a better game by far than European football. I do not have to defend everything I assert. No one does. I only have to defend that which I want to defend, silly. Which assertions I choose to defend are entirely up to me. No one can make me defend anything if I don't want to do so. No one. And it would be of the highest ignorance to claim that because I won't dance to your tune that I haven't already done so on more than one occasion, or that I won't do so at a later time, or that I can't do so.

Please, unless you actually have something to say, don't waste my time on this anymore. Please.

Sheesh.

Jim Jordan said...

The quote you use is from a thread in which you promoted Mr. Everitt's argument that the vastness of the universe is "evidence against the existence of the God of classical theism" (Everitt's words from Pg. 225 of his book). Several commenters noted that classical theism did not hold that the vastness of the universe was the problem. Others, myself included, pointed out that consciousness is of greater importance than unconscious light-years of space.

It was in that comments thread that the shift was made to "Evangelical Christianity" as the target. And it was the atheists who changed the rabbit so to speak.

I noticed that you said "this particular argument of his [Everitt's] made it into an anthology of the very best atheist arguments edited by Michael Martin". Maybe so, but it has at least two major flaws:
1) Assumes classical theism denied a vast universe and affirmed a human scale. 2) Ignores the primacy of consciousness.

Jim Jordan said...

Everitt's argument might be of use against young earth creationists like Ken Ham but there is enough material in the biblical text itself to expose Ham's mistakes. No atheist arguments are needed there.

Go Giants. Regards.

akakiwibear said...

John, perhaps I have misunderstood you.

Your last comment contained akakiwibear said...However when you draw the conclusion that the flaw in the evangelical Christian doctrine you have exposed leads to the conclusion that there is no God then...
...that would be a non-sequitur of the largest proportions, and something I have never so much as hinted at. Why do you assert that this is what I do? Where is the evidence for this ignorant assertion?
(your reply in bold)

Look back to the second paragraph your most recent post before this one (The Scale of the Universe and the God-Hypothesis) you say:
“Christians think humans are so valuable to God that he created it all just for us.”

Now I read into that, at the very least a hint (your word not mine) that such a position demonstrated the folly of a belief on God. Perhaps you did not mean that, if so I apologise for misunderstanding you and ask you, what conclusion you are trying to tease out of it?

Also in your last comment “I can assert anything I want to without having to defend it. Why does that escape you?” of course you can, and it does not escape me.

Sala kahle - peace

John W. Loftus said...

Jim are you refering to this argument of Everitt's?:

(1) If the God of classical theism existed, with the purposes traditionally ascribed to him, then he would create a universe on a human scale, i.e. one that is not unimaginably large, unimaginably old, and in which human beings form an unimaginably tiny part of it, temporally and spatially.
(2) The world does not display a human scale. So:
(3) There is evidence against the hypothesis that the God of classical theism exists with the purposes traditionally ascribed to him. (p. 225).


It is not just about the vastness of the universe, okay? And while it does indeed speak to classical theism it also has greater force against evangelical Christianity, and an even much greater force against young earth creationists.

If you'd like to comment on that argument this is not the place to do it, but since you did, I'll also comment.

Jim said Everitt's argument Assumes classical theism denied a vast universe and affirmed a human scale.

Again that's not his whole argument. Read it once more. But even on this point he's arguing that the vastness of the universe is not something classical Christians expected. The fact that he's correct about this can be documented in history. They did not expect it, at least the vast majority of them, including important Church leaders and thinkers.

Jim said...Everitt Ignores the primacy of consciousness.

Again, read his argument, okay? But even with this, Everitt is not the one making any statements about what Christians believe. He's merely noting what Christians believe, and they believe human beings are the apex of creation, reflecting the Imago Dei (the image of God), and that the human drama on earth is the most important game in town. Just read most Christian commentaries on Job and you'll see that it assumes the human drama on earth is of cosmic significance. There is more, and I may document this further later on.

You could just simply tell us why God created this universe with human beings. Go ahead. Don't feign ignorance on this or I'll suspect you simply don't want to answer the question. And you cannot claim you don't know, for that would be disengenuous since you surely have some knowledge about God's plan for creation, which I hardly think you'd want to deny.

John W. Loftus said...

akakiwibear said...what conclusion you are trying to tease out of it?

The same conclusion that Everitt is arguing for, "There is evidence against the hypothesis that the God of classical theism exists with the purposes traditionally ascribed to him."

There are other potential candidate gods if the God of classical theism is rejected. And it only claims that there is evidence against the hypothesis, not that such a God cannot or does not exist.

Cheers.

ZAROVE said...

AS noted elsewhere, Everets argument is deeply flawed.


1: Traditional Theism is not a ynonym with Christianity, and only really requires a beleif in a Creator God.

2: Tht said, the enture argument rests on the Presumption that Christians teach that God created the enture Universe for humanity.

I realise this is what you where taught as a Christian, But, my Dear Mr. Loftus, that doens't make it a Christian Doctirne binding on all Christians for all time.

It is not stated in the Bible, and was not really a part of the Early Churhc Fathers, and as not approached in the writtings of later Theologians.

I also know you think that citing Dante and what you hikt he average man int e middle ages thought is someho an argument, but Christianity stil doens't teach Creaiton was mae just for man because in the middle ages peopel thoguth the Earth was the Centre of the Univese, tisself a concept borrowed form Ptolomy.

3: Even if CHristians Unvierslly beleived the Universe was made for Humanity, why is the size of the Universe really evidence agaist this?

It seems the enture argument is that Everet thinks that if God made the Universe for man, it owudl be smaller, andbecause this is what Everet Assumes woudl be true of God created everythign for mankind, and we can show it is false, then Traditional Theism ( Really Christianity) is false.

But, what if Everet's line of thinkign is at fault? What if God created all the Universe for man, and made it so large so man can marvel at, and perhaos one day colonise?

His enture argument is base dupon faulty premises.

Evan said...

I realise this is what you where taught as a Christian, But, my Dear Mr. Loftus, that doens't make it a Christian Doctirne binding on all Christians for all time.

It is not stated in the Bible, and was not really a part of the Early Churhc Fathers, and as not approached in the writtings of later Theologians.


Here's the Nicene Creed:

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth
,
of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:

by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

So ... please tell me which of these statements allow Everitt to be so easily dismissed as arguing against a straw-man.

It's very clear to me that this is central Christian teaching of the earliest organized doctrinal councils.

zilch said...

Bro Crow and Jim- about that plane crash. I know I've quoted this before, but it bear repeating (from Hundreds of Proofs of God's Existence):

36. ARGUMENT FROM INCOMPLETE DEVASTATION
(1) A plane crashed killing 143 passengers and crew.
(2) But one child survived with only third-degree burns.
(3) Therefore, God exists.

Jim Jordan said...

JWL**If you'd like to comment on that argument this is not the place to do it, but since you did, I'll also comment.

My comment was made in the thread of comments discussing Everitt's argument. It seems you are trying to salvage some part of the argument rather than acknowledging its obvious weaknesses.

The dubious assumptions of the argument are in bold.

1) If the God of classical theism existed, with the purposes traditionally ascribed to him, then he would create a universe on a human scale, i.e. one that is not unimaginably large, unimaginably old, and in which human beings form an unimaginably tiny part of it, temporally and spatially.
(2) The world does not display a human scale. So:
(3) There is evidence against the hypothesis that the God of classical theism exists with the purposes traditionally ascribed to him. (p. 225).


1) False premise - The biblical God has no boundaries. Why would he have to create a human-sized universe?
2) Ambiguity - what is the "human scale"? I have no problem following the scientific consensus for the age of the earth or the age of the universe. You would have to take a literalists' perspective to say that this contradicts the Bible.

I still don't see where consciousness is mentioned in the argument.

My question to you, John, is this: Are Everitt's proofs NOT principally psychological? If so, why not?

Zilch, just saw your link to "Hundreds of Proofs of God's Existence". Many of those "hundreds of proofs" are also going to be quite weak. I'd say #36, while it can be made, is one of them.

ZAROVE said...

Even, you rely heavily on the Nicene creed. This is odd, since, in adiditon to it not really supporting anything about which you seem tot hink it supports, but also in regards tot he fact that I myself don't use the Creed. I am from the Church of Christ, which is Noncreedal.

That said, to claim that the Nicene creed says the Uiverse was created soley for man, you have to complltey distort soem of the wording in it.

Even those CHristians who do follow it are not boudn to the asusmption that all fo creation is just for man.

And even if they are, the Bible stull doesn't support this claim.

And even if it did, that still doens't mean God couldn't have created it as large as he did.

Its simply a bad argument.

Lets look atthe Creed.



We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.


In the first part, you bolded "Maker of Heaven and earth". This refers tot he fact that God created the Heaven and the Earth.

It does not, hwoever, tell why he created them. It surly diesn't say he created tem soley for manking.



We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:


In the above, you are guilty of a misreading. The sentence "Trough him all things wre made." ends in a period.

You seem to want it to end in a Comma.

"Through him all things where made, for us and our Salvation."

But, the text fdosn't naturlaly say this. It merley affirms the Biblical doctrien of the Trinity, and says that Jeuss, the Second person in the Trinity, is the agency through which all thigns where made. It also says that he came down from Heaven to accomplish our Salvation.

But these two things are seperate, and not the same thing. it doens't say "He created ebverythign in order so that he coudl come down and save us".

It says he created all things, and he came down to save us.

Yoru misreading of te text, which eems forced and diliberate in an attempt to generate a false result, leads to the mistaken conclusion you present here.

Since the rest lacks bolded segments, and as I have no use for it to further my own argument, I will omit it.




So ... please tell me which of these statements allow Everitt to be so easily dismissed as arguing against a straw-man.


None of the statement sint he Nicene creed say that God created the Universe for man. The firts bolded segment merley says he created the Universe. The second one says Jeuss was the Agfency through which all where made. It then says he came down form Heaven to accomplish our salvaiton. These two statements are conflate dnto one, by you, in order to create a false impression that the Creed says he created the Univers in order to accomplish our salvaiton, which is not actually int he text.

So, even the Nicene Creed doesn't actually support your false claim that Christian Doctirne mandates that all of creation is made for man.

Neither does the ASize of the Universe alone even really spak againt such an assertion even if it where made.



It's very clear to me that this is central Christian teaching of the earliest organized doctrinal councils.


It is clar to you, only because you want ot see that in the text, n order to salvage an argument agaisnt CHrstendom. But the Nicene creed dpesn't spaciflclay state that mankind is the reason for all Creation.

In any segment.

Even the one in which you want ot show it does, where it says in one sentence Jewus was the agency by which all was created, then, in a seperat sentence says he lft Hevane to acocmplish our Salvation. They are nto maign a single, continuous statement, but you take them as such.

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

John wrote, "And to demand of us to write about stuff we don't want to write about, or to demand we deal with things that are uninteresting to us, is unreasonable."

I agree that to visit another's site and make demands is inappropriate, but I honestly cannot find where that was done by Jim Jordan.

As for variances in understandings/misunderstandings of the God of Easter, He allows grace for a level of faith to form. I suffer apart from Him, but I am learning to follow Him instead of deny Him. Y'shua acknowledges that believers get infected with worldly influences, and adjusts His instructions accordingly.

As far as God revealing Himself in ancient history, it seems you have rejected the ancient witnesses so it seems appropriate that modern day witnesses would also be rejected - that would be consistant with a perspective of nonbelief or idolotry.

I am learning that the reason the "good news" is not called the "SUPER FANTASTIC MAGNIFICENT" news is that while I used to hold evangelical Christians and other people in contempt, I am learning to respect that God loves those that I do not yet find attractive.

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

You know what I think?

I think that a lot of people who claim here to be former evangelcials are fakes.

Yep. Thats what I think.

Newman said...

Your hatred and malice toward a God you say doesn't exist is just another evidence of the fact that He does. He nor I need not defend Him. He is God. He owes you nothing and may do with you as He sees fit. You are the cruel one who has usurped the throne attempting to be a judge of God when the truth is that He is on the throne and is your judge. You will find this out when you take your last breath. Lest you repent you will be eternally angry but to no avail. With your puny finite mind you foolishly barge in to an infinitely grand reality. Truth be known it is you who need God and not He that needs you. I also must question your intelligence. Why would you even bother spending the time engaging others in what you believe to be non-existent. That would be similiar to me debating with and trying to prove wrong those who hold to a belief in a cvbzwwmmyhyt jklmmmnbbvfrt controlling the earth. Why waste time. Aren't we more intelligent than to be wasting our time trying to convince a corpse that the sun is shining today. One thing we can agree on is that 1 out of 1 die. So lets move on in our life and get something done before it's our turn to leave all this behind. A slave of the LORD Jesus

zilch said...

Jim- you say:

Zilch, just saw your link to "Hundreds of Proofs of God's Existence". Many of those "hundreds of proofs" are also going to be quite weak.

You do realize, don't you, that these Hundreds of Proofs are intended to be weak? Or better said, they are intended to demonstrate fallacies: I've encountered many of these arguments, silly as they are, seriously proposed by theists.

Newman- you say:

Your hatred and malice toward a God you say doesn't exist is just another evidence of the fact that He does.

I looked for this argument at the link above, but couldn't find it as such. Closest were these two:

67. ARGUMENT FROM HATE
(1) Some Atheists hate Christians and Christianity.
(2) That's why they don't believe in God.
(3) Pathetic, aren't they?
(4) Therefore, God exists.

129. ARGUMENT FROM INTEREST
(1) If God really doesn’t exist than Atheists wouldn’t spend so much time talking about him.
(2) [Atheist refutes (1).]
(3) Therefore, God exists.

But perhaps we need a new addition to the list:

566. ARGUMENT FROM MALICE
(1) Atheists don't believe in God.
(2) They only say that because they hate Him.
(3) You can't hate something that doesn't exist.
(4) Therefore, God exists.

Jim Jordan said...

Hey, Zilch, mon. Sounds like you need a new book. Try Boston College's Peter Kreeft. Ciao.

zilch said...

Thanks for the link, Jim. If I get time I'll read through it. I did skim it, but didn't find anything new: the Argument from Design, the Argument from First Cause, etc., which I don't consider compelling. The problem is that all such arguments for the existence of God, when it comes down to it, are the same. In fact, it could be stated thusly:

567. ARGUMENT FROM INSUFFICIENT KNOWLEDGE
(1) There's lots of stuff we can't explain naturalistically.
(2) Thus, the explanation for this stuff must be magical.
(3) Therefore, God exists.

The problems with this proof should be plain:

1) Lots of previously unexplained stuff is explained- eventually. These explanations often displace religious belief, such as the idea that Thor was responsible for thunderbolts. As T.H.Huxley said, with his characteristic vigor, "Extinguished theologians lie about the cradle of every science as the strangled snakes beside that of Hercules." I would rather have said "theologies" than "theologians", but Huxley always went for the jugular.

2) Lots of stuff which seems to demand an answer doesn't have a meaningful answer. For instance, "What is the purpose of the Universe?" is, to my mind, a meaningless question. Only beings within the Universe, such as people and dogs, or things they use, have purposes. The Universe as a whole does not.

3) Invoking magic in the form of a God the Creator doesn't really explain anything. We don't know any more about how the bacterial flagellum developed, or what the relationship between gravity and electromagnetism is, for instance, by saying that God designed them.

4) And saying that everything needs a cause or a designer, except God, who doesn't because He's magically exempt from this requirement (the Uncaused Cause, the Undesigned Designer) seems ad hoc to me, sort of like those people who swing at the ping pong ball and miss, and claim that there must be an invisible hole in the paddle that closes immediately after the swing.