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Today’s Issues, From a Biblical Perspective!

Does Christianity Appeal Only To The Unintelligent?

Posted by truthtalklive on April 10, 2008

Today’s guest host is Alex McFarland, President of Southern Evangelical Seminary www.ses.edu. He welcomes professors Jason Reid (Ph.D) and Doug Beaumont (M.A.) to discuss the role of learning in the life of the Christian. They also respond to the assertion that Christianity is only for the ignorant.

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176 Responses to “Does Christianity Appeal Only To The Unintelligent?”

  1. Fred said

    One only needs to listen to Christian talk to get the impression Christianity appeals only to the ignorant. Many of the callers can barely formulate a sentence and sadly can hardly communicate in the language of the land they were born in. The hosts range from absurd to bizarre especially with their anti-science rants, something that Christians have been famous for over the last 2000 years as they have denied every scientific discovery that has been made until they were forced to acknowledge it. Yes Christianity depends on the ignorance and stupidity of its adherents to survive. Oh yeah, and on their money.

  2. Maz said

    O Fred: Another of your ‘anti-christian’ rants, something that evolutionists and humanists have been famous for for over 2000! One only needs to listen to the obsurd chatter of evolutionists to see that they have absolutely no intention of believing that there is a God. They deny any scientific evidence put forth by creationist scientists. And they have to resort to assumptions at best and hoaxes at the worst. I am a Christian (who follows Christ)and have formulated a sentence and communicated my opinion about how intelligent evolutionists are. There are many more like me.

  3. Anonymous said

    BTW Fred claims to be a Christian. He’s awful hard on himself isn’t he?

  4. Fred said

    FWIW, the Fred in post #1 is a new Fred and not the usual “Fred”.

    So it looks like you have two “Freds” to deal with.

  5. Maz said

    Well, this is getting confusing….will the real Fred please stand up.

  6. F. L. A. said

    Don’t choke on your foot, Mrs.Herman.
    John and I are evolutionists who believe in your deity, as you should already know,and young earth creation scientists[who reject and alter REAL history and science to try and fit their needs] rely on assumptions at best, and misinformation, as usual.I am a pagan evolutionist[who believes in your Christ]that has communicated real facts about how silly young earth creationists are.There are many more like me.
    That said, I believe that the overall answer answer is NO.

  7. Chris C. said

    Here we are, TTL again making a sweeping generalization about a group of people bound to rais the eyre of one of their listening demographics.

    There are certainly many people with high I.Q.s that hold to some sort of religious belief in God, the supernatural, or something otherwise unsubstantiated by reality. To the extent most modern people are religious, they also live the majority of their lives as though there were no such thing as religion. Billions of people on this planet claim to be Christians and Muslims, and yet only some matter of millions participate actively in their religions daily. Most people say they believe in God as lip service to society or to their own need to be a part of something bigger. If one ever got down to the point of questioning details of their beliefs, then one would find numerous holes and cognitive missing-links.

    So yes, many smart people say they believe in God or a higher power. But there is a miniscule number of intelligent people who believe in the literal, my-way-or-no-way, hell/heaven, firebrand, fundamentalist form of religion of many of TTL’s listeners (and other conservative evangelicals). But, I think more than intelligense, it is rationality that plays the biggest role in overcoming superstition.

    Intelligent people who hold to dogmatic faith must throw their reason and logic out the window when it comes to the deepest questions of faith; either because their religion contradicts modern understanding, or because there is simply no logical reason to believe on way or another. The number of people who are rational and logical in thinking about all things, including religion, yet still hold to religious beliefs I think must be somewhere near zero.

    It is also important to note that religiosity has been demonstrated to correlate negatively with education. That is to say, the more educated one is, the less likely she is to be religious. So perhaps we should say it is not basic intelligence, nor truly a rational mind, but a well-educated mind that is most antagonistic to all sorts of religious superstitions.

  8. Maz said

    F.L.A: A pagan evolutionistic Christian? Not possible. And it is the evolutionist who rejects and alters REAL history and science to suit their own beliefs.
    You claim to believe in God but deny what He has written in His Word,that He created the world and everything that exists in six days. (As if He couldn’t!)
    You and all evolutioniss also make assumptions about many things. That is all you have.
    What is more ‘silly’ than believing everything around us just came by ‘chance’, and it all started with a singularity (at best), or nothing (at the weirdest!), and it exploded.

  9. Ben Maulis said

    “Christianity” is not the issue. The person of Jesus Christ and the gospel are the issues. Now compared to Christ, I am “unintelligent” and “ignorant.” In fact, I was so blind and ignorant that Christ did not “appeal” to me at all. I did not accept Christ because he was appealing to me. Christ chose me and unilaterally begat me again not by the will of man or the flesh, but by the will of God. “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty. And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, [yea], and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.” Now I am not ashamed of the gospel, because I know it is the power of God unto salvation.

    Unfortunately, I do sense that believers are perceived by the world to be terribly ignorant in all matters and moreover, totally credulous. Just take a look at the majority of “Christian” TV or some of the “popular” ministries out there and one has to wonder whether the world really understands the difference between being born-again yesterday and being born yesterday.

  10. F. L. A. said

    Mrs. Herman, you are acting silly again[huge toothy grin].
    Is your memory, judgment of character, and powers of perception, so faulty as to not comprehend or remember ANY of the many various comments within the various sites that John or I have made over all this time [that you’ve known of us] in regards to our theological beliefs, Christianity, and the sciences?
    I would recommend that you go back and reread our posts if I thought it would help you to understand any better, but I am coming to the conclusion that you’re just a hopeless case.
    A pagan evolution Christian? Where in the world did you ever get such an assumption that this is what I described myself as? I said that I believed in your Deity and Jesus, but I never claimed that my form of belief was the same as yours.Go back to the Mormon site and reread my metaphor about the “president of China”……. oh, never mind.
    Believe whatever you want to. People like you always do anyway.

  11. John said

    F. L. A. drooled all over this computer responding to you today Mrs. Herman.Must have been that huge, hungry, toothy grin[smile].Thank goodness for Windex glass cleaner, eh?Your posts never fail to amuse.I would say “Keep studying”, but,[raspberry!].
    I would say… no, Christianity does not only appeal to the unintelligent.Some aspects of the faith appeal even to me, and I am not unintelligent, but it’s really all a matter of satisfying a persons special needs, be they spiritual,a desire to feel important and wanted,as a means of helping humanity[like Mission and Peace Core workers]etc.etc. although the faith also appeals to those sinister sociopathic types that just want to get rich quick or take advantage of others in various ways…….
    It depends on what you define as “Christianity”, as the word and ideal is defined by many people in what are sometimes very different ways.And you all know this.

  12. Chris C. said

    Wow somehow I thought “ire” and type “eyre”. Too much pressure from work these days I guess.

    Anyway to Maz:
    What seems silly to some people seems quite rational to others.

  13. jAsOn said

    Try asking this question of Augustine of Hippo, Athanasius, Irenaus, Isaac Newton, Jonathan Edwards, Cornelius Van Til, CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien, Francis Schaeffer, and more contemporary examples, James White, and RC Sproul. Then compare their understanding of reality to the absurd suggestions of recent and present philosophers and academics who readily embrace logical contradictions.

  14. Chris C. said

    “recent and present philosophers and academics who readily embrace logical contradictions” such as…?

    I’m not doubting this statement, just curious as to who you think belongs in this category.

  15. jAsOn said

    Any “post modern” philosopher worth his salt would suggest that “A” and non “A” can in fact both be true. Carl Sagan once claimed that there was at one time nothing, and then suddenly there was something; a sort of spontaneous creation. A manifest absurdity, b/c we know that logic demands that if there was ever a time that nothing existed, well, nothing would ever exist. After being repeatedly challenged on this presupposition, Sagan back pedaled and began instead to say that “something” gradually came out of “nothing”; I guess, given enough time, something can come out of nothing 🙂 So the logical argument stands, ex nihil, nihil fit…out of nothing, nothing comes. This later fallacy is not of course an offense to the law of non contradiction, but rather, it is an absurdity of another kind.

  16. Maz said

    F.L.A: Post #10. You ask: ”A pagan evolution Christian? Where in the world did you ever get such an assumption…?”

    You SAID in post #6: ”John and I are evolutionists who believe in your diety…”
    And you also SAID (same post): ”I am a pagan evolutionist”.

    Now F.L.A: What are you? A pagan evolutionist who believes in my diety. If you believe in my diety, then what is it that you believe about Him?

  17. Maz said

    As to the question. God does not appeal to peoples intelligence, He appeals to the heart of man, ”for with the heart man believes..” God says. (Rom: 10v10.)
    Intelligence can certainly be a stumbling block to some, but it can also lead others, as so many scientists can attest to today, that it reveals the wonders of Gods Creation.
    Some scientists are beliving in Intelligent Design, because that is what they see. Especialy in the intricate workings of a single cell, and ofcourse in DNA. But they go no further because that would mean they would have to humbly accept that there is a Creator God, and for some that is unreasonable and unintelligent (and unacceptable!) (I see a contradiction here.)
    Faith comes from the heart not the head. That’s why God’s wisdom is foolishness to man and man’s wisdom is foolishness to God. God chooses the foolish and the weak things of this world to confound the wisdom of this world.
    Daniel was a Hebrew youth, but he was seen as one of the wisest men in Babylon because his source was God, and God only.

  18. jAsOn said

    Maz,

    Coming from a reformed perspective, I would have to disagree with you in #17. This is why, being a Christian is about belief and repentance, and to say either that, faith is from the heart not the head, or to say faith is from the head not the heart, is to make a false dichotomy; the two shouldn’t necessarily be separated. Belief is belief in a historical event that happened 2000 years ago, and repentance requires that we KNOW (in our heads) God’s Law so we see the position we are in. Faith is the gift of belief given by God–Eph 2:”8For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Again we see Paul connect heart belief and head knowledge (how else would we know who Christ was in history and what good works are) in the same passage.

    As for Romans 10, here are the preceding verses, “5For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. 6But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?'” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7or “‘Who will descend into the abyss?'” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

    I believe it is clear that no one can believe in their heart without having heard the history and doctrine the apostles proclaimed. Perhaps I am misunderstanding your argumentation from above, and perhaps the statement you made was just unguarded.

    The question at hand is not, “Does God appeal only to the unintelligent?” but, “Does Christianity Appeal Only To The Unintelligent?” I think there is a difference, as you know, God is a being, and Christianity is a set of doctrines describing that Being. I pray my criticisms are taken seriously but not in a bad spirit, for (based on your posts and claims) I must assume that you are my brother in Christ…fellow heirs!

  19. F. L. A. said

    Mrs. Herman, in regards to your post#16, you seem as dense as a diamond when it comes to understanding anything from a polytheistic, non-dualistic theological veiw.I don’t understand how you could be so confused about this issue, after all that John and I have posted on the topic of theology.Did you truely grasp nothing? Or do you simply just not READ everything within our posts?Perhaps I will get back to you on this later, I have to go out and kill something to eat.It’s vexing to know that there ARE many people like you.
    Good Day.

  20. Maz said

    I agree Jason….and I am your sister in Christ. But so many Christians are just believing with their head and not their heart, which means their faith is only based on knowledge and an intellectual reception of that knowledge. Yes, we need to know certain things about God and Jesus, and we need to know that we are sinners needing a Savior, but in the end it is a heart reception of the truth which comes from the knowledge we receive that brings repentance and a change of heart. We cannot really separate our minds from our hearts but the Bible tells us that our minds need renewing day by day by reading the Word of God and I believe only God can truly change our hearts and give us a new one, along with the born again experience.
    I hope I have made it a little clearer as to what I believe.

  21. Maz said

    Thanks F.L.A. I do read your posts (even though you continue to deride me and my beliefs) I guess my mind is not as perfect at remembering things as yours is but I am probably a bit older than you.

  22. jAsOn said

    Sorry, Sister Maz 🙂

    Yes, I affirm all you said above. Sorry for the confusion.

  23. Fred said

    If most of us here in the USA are Christians and if statistically most of us here in the USA are of adequate intelligence (I am guessing there), I conclude that no, Christianity does not appeal only to unintelligent people.

    Furthermore, if most of us are adequately intelligent Christians, then most of us don’t really believe the goofy stuff in the Bible like Young Earth Creationism, Noah’s Ark, etc.

    I’ll bet you that most of us adequately intelligent Christians were raised in Christian families; have fond memories of attending Churches with our families; grew up to have families of our own and enjoy attending Churches with our own families; never considered that the Bible should be used to disprove Geology or any other modern Science.

    Christians are often ignorant but not necessarily unintelligent.

  24. Chris C. said

    Yes Fred, I agree with your last sentence completely.

  25. Maz said

    Fred: Considering that men inspired by God wrote the ‘goofy stuff’ in the Bible that you speak of, like the first and the seventh chapters of Genesis, then I would rather believe His Word than yours any day. Considering that it is a far better account of creation than other religions with their elephants and turtles, and considering also, that as far as Noah’s flood goes, there are similar historical accounts all over the world to do with a global flood.
    The miraculous seems to be a problem for the humanist, secularist or evolutionist.
    If my God couldn’t do the ‘goofy stuff’ that you speak of, then He wouldn’t be a miraculous, powerful, Almighty God would He? How else can He show His power over nature? He made ‘nature’ the way it is. He invented the physics that people like Steven Hawkins works with.

    And no I wasn’t brought up in a Christian home, though I was sent to Sunday school when I was small, for a coupe of years. I thank God for that time where I learnt about Him, though it took another 20 years before I cameto know Him as my Savior.

    It’s not Christianity that uses the Bible to disprove Geology, or any other modern science….it is evolutionists that try aggressively to disprove the Bible. We just counteract
    all the evolutionistic ‘goofy stuff’!
    Richard Dawkins is cheif aggressor with His book ”The God delusion”. Why waste time writing a book like this if God does not exist? He just seems to me to be a man struggling against his own conscience, trying to convince himself that God doesn’t exist.
    And evolutionists can be as ignorant as anyone when it comes to science.
    Maz

  26. John said

    True, Mrs.Herman, however people like yourself counteract all that evolutionistic “goofy stuff”…….rather poorly.
    I see that you mentioned the topic of world wide flood myths.Be careful going there, unless you can do a better job than Stu E.Jr. did on the “Mormon Mirage” site.Do you remember that[toothy grin]?

  27. Jack said

    Ya see the big guy “satan” has given Christian haters many tools. calling us names, discrimination at work,crucification, gas chambers etc. etc.
    I can always come here for my R.D.A. of persecution, so we’re stupid, if we don’t agree with you? And you have to make the point soooo bad that you take time out of you’re day to beat us about our head and shoulders….
    Doesn’t you’re behavior give credit to our assertion’s that we will be hated by the children of the world?
    You take you’re car to the lube shop
    you take you’re suits to the dry cleaners
    you have 20$ in cash and the rest is just 1 and 0 in a bank computer
    you have maybe 2 days of food in the frg. and pantry
    you live in a city that could go up in smoke at any moment
    and you call us stupid

  28. Maz said

    John: I wasn’t around when the ”Mormon Mirage” site was having their debate.
    The thing is, it doesn’t matter what we say, you will always dismiss evidence from the Christian, Creationist side, simply because you won’t accept that God created the world in six days, or that He is Big enough and Snart enough to do these things.
    And please, call me Maz, Mrs. Herman sounds so formal….Mr…??

  29. Maz said

    OOps…That should have been ‘Smart’ not Snart!!

  30. John said

    Alright Maz, if you wish. I wasn’t around when the Declaration of Independence was written, but I still read it.You were too around at that time, for some of us were still posting on the site by February 28th and you had already made your appearance days before that date.I had thought that you would “hop” around reading all of the posts as they arrived on the various sites, like many of the other people here, especially since you were interested in debating with Amanda the Mormon on that related site.It’s “The Mormon Mirage” listed under “Christianity”, February 4th, 2008.Why don’t you go and check it out sometime and see how things went down when Stu tried to prove the truth of the Biblical Flood myth by using the Grand Canyon and the flood myths of other world wide theologies to backup his claims.It didn’t workout well for him at all.You see, for someone with a dogmatic,dualistic,”MY FAITH IS THE ONLY TRUE FAITH” type of theological view like yours, you don’t ever want to try and get “help” from alien[flawed and false, in your belief, right?] theologies with similar myths to backup your own myths. This is what I call a theological trap, for someone such as yourself, because to do this only erodes away at your own theologies credibility. How? Let’s use the flood story for an example.It is true that many[but not all!]cultures around this world have some sort of a flood myth that’s usually disastrous in effect to said cultures.This makes since when one considers that many ancient societies arose on the banks of mighty rivers,lakes, seas, etc. for obvious reasons, and these bodies of water would sometimes flood in the biggest and worst ways which would cover “the whole world”[to them].But this is where the similarity ends.What you have to learn is that these flood myths occurred at DIFFERENT points of history, for DIFFERENT reasons, with DIFFERENT results.Some of the myths tell of people surviving the flood by simply climbing tall trees.Does this sound like something that would fit into the Biblical Flood story[smile]? Of course not. The main strike against this is the historical aspect of the flood myths. Also, if you personally believe that all of these other [mainly all pagan] religions are false in every way compared to your version of Christianity, why wouldn’t this also apply to their flood myths? Would you say something like…”Oh they got everything else wrong, they just happened to get the flood story right, and that’s the only thing….” Are you sure????? For this would beg the question that…if all of these other theological views got THAT right, what other truths are hidden in there, in the realm of non-Christian myth and legend?
    As is we skeptics can’t tell that your just picking things randomly out of history as and when they suit your needs[smile].
    And this is without the monkey-wrench of historical documentation being thrown in to the mix.And the fact that you believe that this universe is only about 6 thousand years old and every animal[including cheetahs,spiders,tigersharks,mosquitoes,Utaraptors,squid,snakes,etc.etc.]onlt makes it more difficult for some of us to take Christians like yourself very seriously.
    Do you understand what I mean about this “trap”, Maz?
    People who fall into such theological traps don’t spend enough time thinking things through before they open their line of arguments.It brings everything that they provide as evidence under suspicion.

    Jack, about the second half of your post #27…..what are you talking about?I don’t understand.

  31. Maz said

    John: As I said before, whatever we say you will find a way to explain it away. You are obviously entrenched in your own myth and legend. But I know the God Who created this world and all that is in it and above it, from the quarks to the galaxies and black holes of this vast Universe. As I said at the beginning post #8, it is far more intelligent to believe in a Creator that created everything that exists than to believe that there was this singularity (at best) and absolutey nothing (at the weirdest) and it exploded….and voila!! space, time and matter was suddenly there…and ever since, over millions of years, from every intricate cell, to the vast array of animals; birds, fish, mammals and insects, all with there own intricate workings, along with the plants and trees and everything they needed for life…all came along JUST BY CHANCE. Come on…tell us another myth.

  32. John said

    I could tell you a thousand…….
    I was actually trying to help you, Maz.
    You sound like one who has been brainwashed.
    Entrenched in my own myth and legend… look who’s talking,Heh!Heh!
    What fault/s [aside from a few misspelled words]did you find within my reasoning as I tried to explain to you about the theological trap that you created for yourself? Or did you not understand? And I do believe in a creator. A bunch, actually[smile].
    As for the “Big Bang” theory that you have been referring to, those scientists who promote this theory DO NOT BELIEVE that there was ABSOLUTELY NOTHING within the cosmos before the “Big Bang”. How could there be, after all, if there was something to explode? There’s more that I could say on the theory, but, would it really matter?Would you dare believe any of it, oh great studier of physics that you are? As you’ve said before, whatever we say you will find a way to explain it away.But it’s fun to play with you regardless. T.T.F.N.

  33. F. L. A. said

    After listing those carnivorous animals within post #30, John meant to finish the sentence with “being herbivores in the begining,only makes it more difficult for some of us to take Christians like yourself more seriously.”
    He was tired, I guess.

    Maz, your seeming ability to completely disregard any information that challenges your theological views is……elegant.
    Goodnight.

  34. jAsOn said

    Hi John,

    You apparently don’t claim to be a Christian, and I do, so to argue over the historical nuances of the doctrines of the flood seems peripheral. We could argue about the details of the biblical account of the flood event, but I think we’d be missing the point. The whole point of the account in Genesis is to show the curse of sin and God’s wrath against that which is opposite to His character, and the redeemptive power of His rescue because of His long suffering mercy and grace. The bible is full of covenant style relationships between God and creation, and God and His people. So, in the end, the covenant God made with Noah is a covenant of promise intended to picture the covenant of grace that God made with all those how will ever believe, which He fulfilled as the GodMan in Christ Jesus, for His glory and our joy.

  35. Maz said

    Thanks John, I shan’t fall into any traps, not that I believe you have anything to trap me with. I may not know a lot about some subjects but I do look into anything that I’m not sure of and I shall look into your claims about the flood myths.
    Brainwashed? Yes, I’v been totally washed by the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ, and now I can see clearly Who He is and Who my Creator God is. And He is the Only God. Sorry John, but all your ‘gods’ are idols.
    I’m a beginner in physics not a professor, but I have read what scientists have said, and they have continually changed their minds about our origins. They don’t know.

    F.L.A. Nothing you or anyone else has said has ‘challenged’ my theology or my faith. I know in Whom I believe. And He is certainly no myth.

  36. Tripp said

    After reading John & F.L.A.’s posts carefully I have to say that I believe there’s a chance they could be one and the same. Read and study the mannerisms and the way they phrase things and respond. Could be.

  37. jAsOn said

    Hi John,

    I don’t know very much about you and your background, but it appears that you claim to be polytheistic. What characteristics do you think qualify one as a deity? I think you said earlier that you believe in the “Christian” God along with other gods, but I don’t see how that could be possible. The Christian God testified to in His scriptures is omnipotent and all other things are His creation, so (as the Highlander says) “there can be only one”. It isn’t rational to suggest that there can be two all powerful, all knowing, omni present, immutable beings. No offense but, perhaps your understanding of the God of the Bible is deficient.

  38. F. L. A. said

    As you study Tripp, do take note of the time of the posts. I don’t have any real responsibilities so I am free to play on this computer at my leisure, while John has to actually WORK for a living, and thus can only find the time to post after he gets off work in the evening, unless he gets out early due to bad weather.As for the similarities, we have lived together for a very long time, plus he was my first teacher in most things.We have rubbed off on one another over the years.Of course there’s absolutely no way at all to prove any of this, so you’ll just have to keep reading and draw your own conclusions.

    Maz, you created and entered the trap all by yourself. We both thought that you were deliberately ignoring or not understanding the challenges to you beliefs, but perhaps you were given too much credit.It seems that your faith[some would say psychosis] keeps you from recognizing any challenges that arise.

  39. jAsOn said

    FLA,

    The Webster’s definition for psychosis is:

    “fundamental derangement of the mind (as in schizophrenia) characterized by defective or lost contact with reality especially as evidenced by delusions, hallucinations, and disorganized speech and behavior”

  40. jAsOn said

    Here is Webster’s definition of Christianity:

    “1 : the religion derived from Jesus Christ, based on the Bible as sacred scripture, and professed by Eastern, Roman Catholic, and Protestant bodies 2 : conformity to the Christian religion 3 : the practice of Christianity”

    Wouldn’t our discussions be more fruitful if we didn’t resort to derisive name calling?

  41. Maz said

    F.L.A: Well that’s a new one….psychosis. One day you will run out of derogatory terms to call me. Do you search the dictionary every day?
    Here’s a couple of thots…have I ever called you any of those nasty things you call me?
    Can you not debate without demeaning people because of their faith in God?
    I wonder if it gives you any satisfaction in life to debase Christians?

    Jason: Good question. But I think F.L.A wouldn’t feel happy without dishing out his daily dose of abuse.

  42. Anonymous said

    One subject which seems to come up over and again is the quandry of cosmogony (how the universe began). No one knows how the universe came to begin. There are various religious beliefs (you might have storng faith, but you don’t know how the universe began). There have also been many scientific hypotheses proposed.

    The current scientific hypothesis is the big bang model; however science does not have a unified theory of physics which unites Newtonian physics (gravity/large bodies) and Einteinian physics (strong force, weak force, quantum particles). Until these two equally valid views of physics are unified, there cannot be any true reconciliation of what happens to paricles and mass at quantum levels, such as in singularities, black holes, and the proposed beginning of the universe.

    All of this is to say that, no, the big bang theory is not necessarily inscrutable. The general idea that the univere had a beginning and has been expanding ever since is as close to fact as one gets in the scientific realm. Beyond that, there are competiing theories as to the details. What is important to note is that it is okay to acknowledge, “We do not know exactly how the universe came into being.”

    I say this because there seems to be this dichotomy, “either it was the big bang theory (as it currently stands) or it was God.” This is false. It could be neither. It could be something similar to the big bang, but with modifications. Not having an answer to every yearning quetion is frustrating, but it is more honest than inventing an answer.

    Also, the modern theory of evolution has absolutely nothing to do with big bang cosmogony or biogenesis. Evolution is the theory of how life evolved once it began. And it is not, as Maz tried to say, a process of ‘chance.’ The beginning of life may have been a ‘chance’ event, although the odds for it happening given all the stars (and solar systems) in the universe seems high. But evolution by natural selection is the very opposite of chance. It is a deliberate process that chooses the best adapted traits in a given environment…but thats a topic for another thread (seems like we had a nice long discussion already 🙂 )

    Good day,
    Chris C.

  43. John said

    Good points Chris C. How do you people make those little faces?
    Anyway,….
    Fruitful discussions, JAsOn? We have tried to have such discussions with Maz in the past, I tried to have one with post #30, and she said that I was entrenched in my own myth and legend.We have both tried on other sites numerous times.The results of our efforts have been minimal at best.She seems to ONLY KNOW about theology from her own perspective, and this is fine, however it does not lead to any productive debating or heavy thinking when ideas and topics are presented to her that seem to fall outside of her range of knowledge or theological view.”Psychosis” is starting to sound like a rather fitting adgetive for someone such as herself.Besides, F.L.A. did not say that Maz was suffering from a psychosis, only that some would say such a thing.Realize Maz, that F. L. A. is not mad at you and deliberately trying to be hurtful[well, at least not ALWAYS]. It thinks you are a funny little woman, and regards you with 2parts apathy, 1part pity.Also realize that F. L. A. is purely here for amusement, unlike me, who is only partly here for amusement[smile].It is not “debasing Christians”, Maz,[oh, poor suffering victim. Well Booo! Hooo!You belong to one of the most powerful theologies in this word, Maz, so suck it up.] only critisizing your weaknesses.You don’t know what nasty is, and you’ll never get a taste of it either because A:The Moderator wouldn’t allow such wicked behavior here, and B:Your not anywhere annoying enough to be truly insulted, monster style.You couldn’t handle such viciousness. Oh,and F. L. A. is not male, either.

    JAsOn, I’m not so sure about your claims of the Christian Gods absolute,all knowing nature. Remember after Adam and Eve sinned and hid themselves, and God called out to them in the garden because he couldn’t find out where they were? Do you think that he already knew that they would feed upon the forbidden fruit? If so, then this leads to ALL KINDS of interesting questions that would involve entrapment and unjust punishments. And do you recall that Bible verse that tells how the Lords chosen people couldn’t attack that one tribe simply because they possessed iron chariots? If not I can supply you with it.I admit that my understanding of the Hebrew God is deficient, as well it should be.As well it should be for us all, right? All of us tiny carbon units on this little bluish piece of space dirt…..Frankly I would not really be all that shocked if I were to discover that “GOD”[as big as you’d make such an entity out to be, anyway] is even aware of all of us. Have you considered such horrible, heretical thoughts?Like a bunch of bacteria within your colon, or electrons within an atom of the chair that your not even sitting in right now on the other side of your living room{!}, debating about your possibal existence and how much you care about their holy wars and prayers, eh?
    It boggles the mind, the endless possibilities, and many of them disheartening.No, I much rather prefer the idea of my “little, flawed deities” for worship.I have mentioned before my thoughts on your deity, that I believed IT to be a local deity that, over time, just got real big for IT’S britches[smile].As for IT being absolutely alone within the cosmos, consider the theologies that existed before those of the Middle East that gave rise to Judaism and Christianity.I have to go to bed. We can talk about this at another time if you wish.
    Goodnight.

  44. jAsOn said

    John,

    Thanks for addressing me. I admit that none of us, here at this blog or elsewhere, communicate in a perfectly civil manner…myself included.

    You said, “I’m not so sure about your claims of the Christian Gods absolute,all knowing nature. Remember after Adam and Eve sinned and hid themselves, and God called out to them in the garden because he couldn’t find out where they were? Do you think that he already knew that they would feed upon the forbidden fruit?”

    Yes, I believe, as the bible itself reveals, and as all orthodox Christians before me, that God knew that Adam & Eve would sin, in fact, it was a part of His plan. I don’t pretend to understand exactly why He has chosen to orchestrate time and His creation in this way, but b/c of the way His character and His plans have been specially revealed in other ways in the bible, I can deduce that in the end, the “fall” (as we refer to it) will have glorified Himself more fully that if it had not occurred. You are right to follow with this statement, “If so, then this leads to ALL KINDS of interesting questions that would involve entrapment and unjust punishments.”, but you are not right to claim that these punishments are “entrapment” or “unjust”. In the bible, God is very careful to point out that He is HOLY, or “set apart” from His creation, and that we are sinful, or that we commit acts that oppose His character and the acts that He would commit b/c that is our nature after the fall. B/c of Adam’s sin, the curse of sinfulness fell upon all of Adam’s progeny, thus God is actually just in the punishments He exacts, and when He doesn’t punish then it is mercy that is displayed.

    What is the pertinence of your mentioning the “verse that tells how the Lords chosen people couldn’t attack that one tribe simply because they possessed iron chariots”?

    I admit that my understanding of God as He has revealed Himself in the bible is also deficient, but the point I was making was that (based on your previous posts) I don’t think you understand who Christians claim that God is. You also should know that the face of Christianity is not monolithic, but I don’t mean to suggest that there are possible understandings of the bible that are contradictory, no, there is only one right way to understand it, though no one person has a perfect understanding of it, there is an orthodox understanding that rises to the top. So, when you see some crazed “christian” evangelist on TV who claims to know the future or some other such nonsense, don’t necessarily assume that they are actually representing the Jesus of the bible; all groups have their charlatans. So if you do want to interact with Christian scholarship, I would be more than pleased to point you toward some helpful and theologically accurate resources.

    I am curious how you came up with your definition of “god”. You don’t appear to accept the one I submitted, so do you have an objective source from which your’s has come?

    Lastly, you said, “As for IT being absolutely alone within the cosmos, consider the theologies that existed before those of the Middle East that gave rise to Judaism and Christianity.”

    Which theologies would those be; and which ones have writings or oral traditions whose historical sources can be dated prior to the dates of the records claimed in the book of Genesis? Before you answer those questions tell me this, why is a logical fallacy like an “appeal to antiquity” supposed to compel me to change my mind?

  45. Maz said

    John: First I don’t Boo hoo! And I’m not a ‘funny little woman’.
    I just find it a waste of time sometimes talking to people who are only interested in continually insulting me and my faith (and I find it rather childish too).
    They think they are more intelligent than us but they don’t always act like it.
    And I did try debating Evolution with you and others on another blog and I had to pull out because there were those who just weren’t taking it seriously (with more insults to boot)…..so what was the point? And still the abuse seems to outweigh debate here also.
    And what a turn up for the book….after all this time thinking F.L.A. was a man…and she isn’t. I think she could find better things to do than come on here for amusement!

  46. Mike S. said

    Chris
    Another option to the dichotomy… While you’re right, it could be neither. It also, could be both… You also said “evolution by natural selection is the very opposite of chance. It is a deliberate process that chooses” Sounds like you are describing someone rather than a process. How can a “process” choose? Only free agents can choose.

    What we can not deny is that something had to eternally exist, because something can not come from nothing, and every effect has a cause. The question that begs answering: What caused it all? The complexity and order of all things points clearly to a designer. and NO I am not a young earth creationist, nor am I an old earth creationist. I just believe that He DID. Science will ultimately reveal how if we allow ourselves to be open and logical with the reality of things. Happy Day!!

  47. Fred said

    Mike S., yes, that is the question. Here’s another: why is it that some Christians can’t be as humble in their declaration of faith as you are in your post # 46?

    Excuse me for butting in.

    Back to the peanut gallery.

    Fred

  48. Mike S. said

    Thanks for the peanuts Fred. I love them. Especially the honey glazed ones! 🙂

  49. ADB said

    Mike S.

    I’ll second that opinion by Fred. I also believe that the “comlexity and order” of creation clearly points to a creator, and think it is wise not to be too dogmatic on that topic.

  50. Chris C. said

    Good old Thomas Aquinas’ argument. Subsituting God at the end of an infinite regress of causal relationships doesn’t solve any problems as I see it. What/Who made God?

    Also, I was personifying natural selection to some extent because that is the easiest way to speak of it. The best anaolgy for how natural selection works is a sieve. The sieve is only an object but it only allows certain objects to pass through. Similarly, natural selection will only allow the animals that are most fit for their envirenment pass through to the next generation. More correctly, it will only let the genes that are most fit pass into the next generation. Mindlessness doesn’t entail randomness or chance.

  51. Maz said

    Natural selection only works within species, never across them.
    DNA already has the patern within it for what is being created. Like a blueprint.
    And then there is entropy, which goes the opposite way to evolution.
    Just a couple of thots I had earlier.

  52. Chris C. said

    I guess babies growing up to be adults also violate the laws of entropy…

    The second law of thermodynamics requires a closed system, which the earth is not. There is a massive source of outside energy: our sun.

  53. jAsOn said

    Chris,

    As for the Aquinas argument, every EFFECT has a cause, rooted in the argument is the premise that God is not an effect…He is the “uncaused cause”.

    Are you suggesting that entropy is disproved by growth, or that the second law of thermodynamics is not universally valid, or that the sun is not degrading?

  54. F. L. A. said

    JAsOn, to try and speak on Jonh’s behalf[Which is rather easy as we are so much alike], we are not really interested in changing your mind, but instead just wanted to give you a little “food for thought” in case you had never considered such things.I’ll let John respond to your inquiry about ancient theologies that predate Christianity.
    What is a god? Please go to the site “Understanding The World Of Wicca And More….”listed under “Apologetics” and give it a good read through for a better understanding, also go to the site”What does Mormonism Really Teach?” listed under “Mormonism” and read my post#460[mainly] in regards to the “creation” of a deity-like entity.How did Johns idea of an unaware deity make you feel?
    Do share with us those helpful and theologically accurate resources that you have at your disposal, for we are always interested in studying theologies from a different perspective.

    Fred, in reply to your question in post#47, I think the answer is PRIDE and EGO. Everybody just wants to be superior.Perhaps it stems from some form of ….spiritual insecurity.

  55. jAsOn said

    Thanks FLA,

    I’m not sure I fully understand the distinction between “food for thought” and persuasive argumentation, but anyway…

    I will take a look at the sites and earlier posts you commended so I can understand your categories better.

    You asked, “How did Johns idea of an unaware deity make you feel?” I’m curious about your motivation for asking that question. But to answer it, on the one hand I try to confront unbiblical ideas of God in a strictly cerebral way, but on the other hand, as any Christian, I have a love of Christ and any misrepresentation of His character is offensive on a familiar level and I do respond emotionally to that. You may or may not know that in the past 20 years or so, a doctrine of God which has been labeled “open” has found a small foothold in the “christian” community. This is not new, but it has never been “Christian”. The idea of God who does not know the future, has no place in biblical theology.

    As for the resources, here are a few I believe would be helpful:

    Mere Christianity – CS Lewis

    A Christian World View – Francis A. Schaeffer

    Theonomy : an informed response – Gary North editor (Greg Bahnsen contributed 2 chapters)

    From Van Til:
    Why I Believe in God
    Christian-Theistic Evidences & The Doctrine of Scripture
    A Christian Theory of Knowledge
    A Survey of Christian Epistemology

    The death of death and the death of Christ – John Owen

    Freedom of the Will – Jonathan Edwards

    Desiring God – John Piper

  56. F. L. A. said

    Thank you JAsOn.

    The idea was originally presented because it doesn’t seem like an absolute impossibility, considering that there is sooooo much about the nature of GOD that we wee,puny, earth mortals do not or can not understand.

  57. jAsOn said

    No prob FLA. And I agree with you when you say, “here is sooooo much about the nature of GOD that we wee,puny, earth mortals do not or can not understand.” The difference I believe exists between you and me is that, I believe the God of the bible exists, and that He has spoken, so He has revealed some very specific things about Himself which we, by the simple necessity of His existence) must consider.

  58. Mike S. said

    Chris
    “Substituting God at the end of an infinite regress of causal relationships…” To substitute… something has to be there to “substitute”. What are you implying is being substituted? Placing a designer in front of the process or effect certainly answers the “what” question in my mind. On the contrary, placing “nothing” or “I don’t know” in front of the process certainly doesn’t solve the problem either. So where does that get you?

    In regards to “What/Who made God?”. Like I said earlier, something has to eternally exist… I say it’s God. What do you say it is?

    You seem to honor “natural selection” as the controller of all things.

    You must be pretty young to not personally feel the effects of entropy. At 46, I can’t deny it!!

  59. Mike S. said

    F.L.A. “Everybody just wants to be superior.Perhaps it stems from some form of ….spiritual insecurity.” How about you? Are you part of “everybody”?

  60. F. L. A. said

    Yes, in a manner of speaking, but only in regards of wanting to be superior, not in regards to wanting to be spiritually superior.I was specifically referring to the type of individuals that go on and on about their alleged theological superiority over all others when these claims cannot be proven to be true[and how could they? How could anyone?Because it’s written within a holy book?Because they simply claim it to be so?Anyone could use this technique,you know.Anyone.] I really don’t care about putting my theological beliefs on a metaphorical spiritual pedestal as the “only true way” to worship DEITY, because I know that if I tried I’d be full of crap, as I know that I have just as much trouble proving the reality of my deities as all others who believe in deities have.
    Within my element I am a superior power, and I can be satisfied with that. At least for now. In time this may change[huge toothy grin].

  61. Maz said

    Chris: Whether you know it or not, as soon as we are born we begin to slowly die…in fact the Bible says we are already dead spiritual…..but the older we get the quicker we plummet towards the day we die. Look in the mirror.
    And have they really proved that it is a closed system?
    Everything in the Universe is decaying.
    Where does evolution fit in? How can things be getting better?

    F.L.A: I have never thot of myself as superior, quite the opposite, coming to know Christ and what He went through for me on Calvary humbled me like nothing else. BUT I KNOW WHO I HAVE BELIEVED IN….I KNOW HIM. (Caps for emphasis) It is the people that won’t come to Him that think they are more superior, that they don’t need a Savior, they know better by science or some other spiritual search that makes them feel better.

  62. Maz said

    F.L.A: Your words in post #60 completely contradict what Jesus Himself said, ”I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father (God) but by Me.” Believe it and live eternally blessed, or continue to reject it, and scoff at it, and die in your sins and suffer eternally in absolute terror. May God help you see.

  63. Philip said

    John said: As for the “Big Bang” theory that you have been referring to, those scientists who promote this theory DO NOT BELIEVE that there was ABSOLUTELY NOTHING within the cosmos before the “Big Bang”.

    The April 2008 edition of Discover magazine has an article about “Three radical theories [that] revise everything we thought we knew about the history of the universe”.

    Add those three theories to the standard Big Bang model and you now have four opposing atheists views of the history of the universe.

    So… we can be certain that at least 3 out of 4 of those scientists are ignorant as to the history of the universe (maybe even 4 out of 4).

    In other words, it is too early to say who are the “uninteligent/ignorant” ones in this debate.

  64. Mike S. said

    Maz
    Have you listened to any of Tim Kellers sermons/talks on his new book? The Reason for for God. He makes that exact point. True Christianity leads a believer to understand/expect that others who do NOT believe will likely be better people than we are. Good stuff. His sermons on this topic are available for free download at the Redeemer Presbyterian Church (New York City) Website. I highly recommend EVERYONE to listen to these. His logic and reasoning combined with his humble presentation matches no other.

  65. Mike S. said

    Good point Philip. Carl Sagan has found out by now. 😦

  66. F. L. A. said

    You’re selling rowboats to crocodiles again, Maz[hopefully you remember where this analogy was originally used, and how].You don’t seem very humble to me,too self righteous,much like character Brad or Educated Dawg, but then that’s all part of your….charming appeal for us.

    JAsOn, It has come to my attention that John is going to be entertaining a family of “city people” this evening, and so will not be able to respond to your inquiries until tomorrow, perhaps.Just thought you would like to know that his responses would be late in coming.And now I must be off.
    Fare well.

  67. Maz said

    Mike: I’v actually never heard of Tim Kellers so I can’t comment on it. Sounds good though.

    F.L.A: I am only made righteous because of the Righteous Christ Who lives in me. I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me.
    Did you not read what I said in #61 or are you reading your own atheistic interpretation into it? I just KNOW what I KNOW, that is nothing to do with self righteousness. Pot calling kettle black? Have you heard that one before?

  68. jAsOn said

    Fla,

    Thanks for the heads up on John’s future comments.

    Regarding portions of your post #60:

    I’m not saying that this is necessarily the case in this strand, but there are times when Christians have been accused of spiritual elitism, or exclusively b/c we have re-presented the words of Christ from John 14, but I think if we grant as truth that Christ did, in history, say that He was the only way to the Father (which was paramount to saying that only belief in His finished work in life and on the cross would make pleasure in eternity available to an individual0 then any contrary doctrine would logically be wrong. If we take into account the law of non contradiction (that a cannot be a and non a at the same time and in the same relationship) then all doctrines that oppose what Christ said necessarily are false. So, many times, Christians appear to promote a type of “spiritual superiority” only b/c they are trying to promote the logical conclusions of a system of epistemology.

  69. Chris C. said

    Mike: I really like this line, “Like I said earlier, something has to eternally exist… I say it’s God. What do you say it is?” It has got me thinking…

    Anyways, I want to clear up some confusion on entropy and the second law. The second law, in its most basic form, deals with heat flow and energy movement. If no external source of energy is added, heat will tend to spread out into non-heated areas until the temperature of the system is equal. Entropy is the measure of how much energy (work) would be required to separate the heat from the non-heat again. In other words, a glass of salt-water has higher entropy than salt and water not mixed together.

    To say that the universe is ‘winding down’ is in some sense correct. There isn’t any source of energy (of which we know) outside the universe. Based on Hubble’s constant, most people think the universe will expand forever and eventually freeze-out, so to speak. But, within the universe than are plenty of known examples of entropy decreasing; in other words, examples of systems becoming more ordered through natural processes. The formation of stars and planets is a process which makes order from seeming disorder. This process is very well understood by science.

    My point about the baby growing up is this: creationists love to insist that things always tend to break down and decay over time based on the 2nd law of thermodynamics. This is a bit of a missaplication as we see myriad examples of things becoming more complex, bigger, better, etc. over their lifespan. Things such as babies, flowers, bugs, deer, stars, black holes, etc.

    So yes, Maz we are all just progressing towards death, but our bodies do ‘grow’ from about birth to about age 18. Some things break down and its all much more biologically complex than I get…but we’re not all just decaying from the start.

    In regards to Philip’s post: I don’t see what the big deal is. Scientists readily admit there are plenty of things (like the big bang) that no one fully understands. We have theories and we test them against our evidence. As measurements and predictions abotu the early universe are hard to judge, this is a continuing and mysterious field of study. That does, in now way, mean that there isn’t a natural explanation, or that your deity is, by default, the answer to all the problems.

  70. Mike S said

    Chris
    Another observation… You said “This process is very well understood by science.” I notice that you quite often speak of science, natural selection, processes, etc. like they are a person who knows or controls things. Just an observation.

    You also closed with “That does, in no way, mean that there isn’t a natural explanation, or that your deity is, by default, the answer to all the problems.” So how does that help to move you closer to YOUR conclusion? This can also be true… “That does, in no way, mean that there isn’t a deity, or that natural explanations are, by default, the answer to all the problems.”

    Something to think about…

  71. Maz said

    We can look at ‘nature’ and see that things aren’t dying all the time. I see all the lovely flowers that grow from seeming dead twigs, and ofcourse babies grow up and then reach a peak in their teens where their body begins to ‘decay’, (this was caused by sin in the bginning) but on a larger scale, creation itself is decaying, (because of the curse caused by sin). And altho it appears things get ‘better’ or improve in some way, there is never any new information injected into creation, DNA within everything that lives already contains the information for whatever that living thing is meant to be. The only change can be a LOSS of information. This is entropy not evolution in progress.

  72. Mike S said

    Thinking… this is something I find very few people doing these days… It is sad that in my daily encounters with folks, if I ask a deep and meaningful question, I often get a blank stare. Everyone seems to want to gossip about meaningless dribble, sports data, etc. I go to parties with very successful people in attendence and it’s ALL small talk. Shallow and Meaningless. Do you not hate that?

    I think we have become numb to that shallow and mindless boobtube that we sit on on our couches and stare at, not allowing our minds to engage and really think deeply about the issues at hand. The media is shaping the way too many people think (or don’t).

    Just my 2 cents for the day… So, John, was your time with the “City Folk” deep and meaningful, shallow and meaningless, or somewhere in between?

  73. Chris C. said

    I am proud to say I watch only an hour or two of TV a week. It’s more a matter of time, not principle, but I have to agree TV really makes your mind turn off.

    As a process, science is one of the best methods we have of understanding the world and the universe. I prefer to speak of the method of science rather than the many different scientists.

    I agree that, logically, the way you changed my sentence around is reasonable. But the simplest, most parsimonious explanation for things tends to be the most accurate. Ptolemy’s geocentric model of the universe (with all the deferents and weird auxiliary hypotheses) actually explained our observations fairly well. But heliocentrism also explains things well without making up all kinds of crazy ideas about planets rotating in little circles on their orbits in addition to revolving.

    The thing is, a ‘deity’ type being would be the resut of lots of simplistic processes, such as humans and the eye (while very complex) are the results of lots of years of evolution. If everything in the universe could have/might have happened without outside influence, it seems kind of wasteful to then postulate a God who sits and watches over it all, twiddling his thumbs.

    Maz,
    How do you feel about the fact that stars are forming in millions of ‘stellar nurseries’ all across the universe? Surely over the next 10 million years or so all their mass will acrete, another solar system will form, and the process by which we all arrived here will have begun again. Order and newness does still come from this universe…

  74. Maz said

    Mike: I feel just the same about small talk and meaningless dribble. I’v always been more interested in how the Universe works, about Why it works, and Who made it work. I enjoy hearing songbirds when others never hear them. I see trees as beautiful sculptures when others don’t see anything. I hate football, I hate meeting with women who only want to talk about the latest soap opera or what they want to wear for their next party. I love to talk with people who have the same equiring mind as I, that THINK about these deep things of the Cosmos. That is why I love to debate, and hate pointless ridicule from those who don’t know what they are talking about, or pointless sarcasm instead of intelligent dialogue. There I’v put my 5 cents in now.

    Chris: It’s the cycle of life and death in the Universe, just like babies are still born on earth, but the greater picture is still the same. It’s all going towards decay.
    And who said the process by which we all arrived here will begin somewhere else? The evolutionist doesn’t know, and I as a Christian believe we are unique. SETI will never find what it is looking for as far as I am concerned.

  75. jAsOn said

    Chris,

    You said, “The thing is, a ‘deity’ type being would be the resut of lots of simplistic processes, such as humans and the eye (while very complex) are the results of lots of years of evolution. If everything in the universe could have/might have happened without outside influence, it seems kind of wasteful to then postulate a God who sits and watches over it all, twiddling his thumbs.”

    The category you have for deity is completely different than Christianity. In modern and recent philosophy, the primary distinctions between deity and creature as categories were that, a deity necessarily is not a result of processes in its essence. So the “deity” you described is by definition, in its essence, a creature and not deity. The other categories that have been employed are “being” and “becoming”. So the essence of deity is immutability and the essence of creature-hood is mutability, thus God IS, and does not change, therefore He is the only BEING (in the strictest sense of the word), and humans are BECOMING, ever changing, therefore we do not (at least in time) have BEING.

    Christian doctrine does not promote the understanding of a God who “sits and watches over it all, twiddling his thumbs.” Yawah in the bible is describe in exactly the opposite fashion.

    I would also be interested in hearing about an experiment that can be reproduced to demonstrate matter in any form moving (without any outside influences) from chaos to cosmos; from disorder to order.

  76. Chris C. said

    Jason:
    As we understand it, energy always has to be put into a system to change it or ‘order’ it. In my example of star birth, it is usually some passing galaxy or near-by supernova which disturbs a gas cloud and starts its collapse into new stars. In this vein of discussion I do need to do some lay-reseacrh on chaos theory.

    Also, I wasn’t necessarily referring to the God of the Bible when I referred to a deity. Any one would do. In fact I believe it was Carl Sagan who said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” I think it would be safe to say that, for many of us, any sufficienty advanced form of life would be indistinguishable from many of our our ideas of God.

    I think I get what you are saying about God’s immutability versus a creature’s mutability. My point was twofold: a creature (which is how many people see their God) powerful enough to create stars etc, would be the result of lots of evolution, and not the impetus of it. Secondly, what I’ve been getting at all along is that there is nothing in science today which we have found to need a supernatural explanation. There are some things we don’t understand, but that does not mean a God is at work. We used to think Gods caused disease (oh wait, some still think so) because we didn’t unerstand germs. However, there is a perfectly logical, natural explanation for disease.

    I think over time, all of the “God of the gaps” type arguments have failed as scientists have uncovered the mechanisms of the universe. It may be that we sme day come across something which simply could not have happened naturally. Untill that time, it seems wasteful to postulate an unneeded God. (I mean unneeded in a ‘making things work’ sense.)

    Maz:
    I agree, it is all going to decay sooner or (much) later. I can’t say with certainty that life will arise (or has already) on another planet. But look at it like this: The sun is a star of average mass and size. We are right in the middle of our solar system’s evolution. We are in an unspecial arm of our galaxy. If we are just average, and life has arisen here, I think the odds are that other life is probably out there in the universe. I think I mentioned it before, but even if the odds of life arising on an earth-like planet is 1 in a billion, it would still have happened hundreds of thousands of times in the universe. Such is the power of statistics and the scope of the cosmos. Indeed, I think finding these other lifeforms may be a long way off…but I’d put the odds on their existence above the 50/50 mark.

  77. jAsOn said

    John,

    I started to review some of the material FLA cited for for in post #54.

    My main question is regarding your epistemological structure. How do you know what good and evil are; why is anything regarded as evil?

    I know the document you cited is the “Wiccan Rede”, but why should this be regarded as authoritative? you mentioned the conscience and what some have referred to as the “universal ethos” as how one determines right from wrong (Christians refer to this as “natural law”), but I think there is an inconsistency between the belief that (biologically at least) we are all simply the result of a series of nearly timeless processes, and the legitimacy of the evolution of the “universal ethos” which essentially fights against the survival of the most physically fit, which is the whole point right, to promote the continuation and progressive evolution of the physical existence of ones species? If this is true, then any activity that means to accomplish such a goal should not only be permitted, but should be established as “civil law”.

    I will continue to read your posts on those feeds.

  78. jAsOn said

    John,

    Several times you mentioned that you think your religion is right for you and that others religions may be right for them, etc. But what happens when one religion claims to have exclusive truth, therefore denying the truth of all religious ideas that oppose it, can you say that that religion is OK for them?

    I would reiterate the point I made earlier, that when an idea or belief breaks the law of non contradiction, then it is manifestly irrational.

    your thoughts…

  79. Mike S. said

    Chris, you said “As we understand it, energy always has to be put into a system to change it or ‘order’ it.” Ok let’s go with that… Doesn’t something or someone have to do the “putting” here? The biggest gap I see is the initiation of all things. Which takes us back to the eternal existent question.

    Have you ever heard of Garret Lisi? He has found a mathematical theory that many in the scientific community are lauding. Do a Google search using this text “Is mathematical pattern the theory of everything?” and go to the Newscientist.com site. There is a short 2 minute video that shows a graphic example/explanation of the theory. Check it out it’s pretty cool. I actually corresponded with him a little back in November. Here is the transcript of the correspondence:

    Mike wrote: It seems to me that everything that exists on this earth has a pattern and order to it. Even the most chaotic and complex things seem to have a sense of order. Is that what you have found in your mathematic and physics research? Just curious.

    Garrett wrote: Yes, Mike, you’ve got it exactly right.

    Mike Wrote: Do you think the pattern and order points to a designer?

    Garrett Wrote: I think the pattern and order is the designer.

    What do you think about his answer? To me, it’s like looking at a beautiful painting and saying that the pattern and order of the colors is the artist. Or looking at a beautiful piece of sheet music and saying the pattern and the order of the notes wrote the music. His answer makes no sense to me. But then again maybe I’m just too dense? You don’t have to answer that one…

  80. Chris C. said

    I think his response is a bit obtuse…perhps intentionally.

    Things are generally more aesthetically pleasing to us when they are ordered. Although order could very well be something different for a different observer. Imagine someone from Alpha Centauri observing the stars in the constellation Orion. They wouldn’t see a hunter at all. Maybe they wouldn’t see anything worth noticing. Beauty, order, etc. is often in the eye of the beholder. In that sense, I think it is wrong to say, “I think the pattern and order is the designer.”

    Interesting idea though, I’ll check him out.

  81. jAsOn said

    Mike,

    To say that “the pattern is the designer” is paramount to a pantheistic understanding of reality.

  82. Maz said

    Everything that I have read in the last few posts does beg the question…What is reality?
    Reality is Truth. I believe Truth is absolute. Therefore there can only be one Truth and we can’t all have it if we are believing opposing things.
    When we talk about patterns, order and designers, aren’t we also talking about laws?
    Laws exist in everything in creation whether it’s Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Astronomy and all ology’s, there is order and there are laws. So Who put them in place?
    Laws, order and design do not fit with the theory of Evolution.

    Mike: ”I think the pattern and order is the designer”…No you are not dense but whoever wrote that was! A little thought would make anyone realise that.
    When all is said and done, however the Universe began (and ofcourse I believe God created it), it had to have a beginning, and that has to mean it had Something or Someone to ‘Begin’ it. You can’t get a whole Universe just come into existence on it’s own.

  83. Mike S. said

    Or out of nothing…

  84. Maz said

    Chris: We are not ‘just average’ in this Universe, we are very special. The size of the earth, the rotation, the orbit round the sun, the distance from it and the angle of the earth on it’s axis are all finely tuned…then there is the amount of oxygen…too much and we could end up like a fireball. We also need enough water to make life possible. Then there is the weather! What is in the ground, the very dirt under our feet gives life…where did all the vegetation come from? Where did the seeds come from?
    What about the fine balance of ‘nature’? There has to be the food supply for every living creature. We need the bees to pollenate the plants, we need photosynthesis…I could go on and on, but all this has to be JUST SO, and I believe the mathematical odds of a planet like ours existing by accident far outweighs the number of electrons in the Universe (I think I remember reading that somewhere, tho I may be wrong!)

  85. Mike S. said

    Out of nothing, nothing comes.

    You can’t get something from nothing.

    Nothing from nothing leaves nothing, you got to have something, if you want to be with me. 🙂

  86. Maz said

    Mike: So succinct. How is it some intelligent human beings can’t see that?

  87. F. L. A. said

    Wow Maz, to read of the things that you mentioned within post#82 one would almost get the impression that you had seriously studied such scientific topics, and yet…..have you? It’s difficult to believe that one who has studied, say, astronomy would still believe in a six thousand year old universe, especially when one considers the age of star light.Or do you only study these sciences from young-earth creation web sites? I’m not trying to be rude, we really want to know.But beware, this could lead into another trap, which we will gladly exploit to your disadvantage.
    The pot may well call the kettle black, but if the pot is copper and the kettle really is black, then your point is..? Atheistic views? FROM ME? Where did you ever get this idea? Is this the best that you can do? I would expect a woman of your old age to come back with something wittier, or were you just trying to be polite in your own special way? If so, then by all means don’t feel obligated to hold yourself back.
    I know that I come off as rude sometimes,but you make things far too easy for me Maz, your too much like Educated Dawg.
    I shall go for now, but John will get off work soon and then he can come here and join all of you.
    Have fun if you can get away with it[huge sharp toothed grin].

  88. Mike S. said

    Like I said earlier, I am not a young earth creationist, but why would it be so hard to believe (if you carry through the concept that God created everything) that He created everything just as it is and it only “appears” (using our current measuring systems, whether that be carbon dating, radiometric or whatever)that the fossils/earth/rocks/shells are billions of years old? The process that God used to create everything certainly could result in the materials “appearing” that old could it not? If God is who the Bible claims Him to be, sovereign over all of creation, Time, Space, and Matter, then why would it be so hard to believe? Something to think about.

  89. Chris C. said

    Mike, re: post 88, that is not difficult to imagine. But it does seem unparsimonious.

    I could say that when I use my weed-whacker it looks as those blades are cutting the grass, but in reality it is little microscopic elves on the blades biting through the grass at a very fast rate.

    Sure that accounts for the effects just the same, but its a lot simpler and more reasonable to think the weed-whcaker’s blades move quickly enough to cut the grass, no elves necessary. So sure, God could have made it look as though the universe is very old and evolution happened…maybe just to trick us.

  90. Maz said

    F.L.A: I’m not THAT old…but anyway…I have read other books besides Christian and young creationist writers. I find Steven Hawkins particularly interesting, even though I don’t understand everything he says, but I love reading about physics, and especially about time. I have one book by Paul Davies called ”About Time”. I find it fascinating. I believe in a young 6,000 year old earth because I believe in and know the God Who created it and in the Bible that tells me about it. I’m still reading up on the time/light distance problem, though time dilation and the fact that time is not the same everywhere may give us an answer. Also we don’t fully understand the force of gravity in the Universe. There is so much we don’t know in the sciencies, but I still believe my God is responsible…..evolutionistic hit-and-miss just doesn’t sound reasonable, let alone scientific.

  91. Maz said

    Chris: I love the touch of humour…made me laugh!

  92. Fred said

    Mike, would the fact that dendrochronology shows us that there were trees older than the earth would have been upset that young earth applecart? Did God fake the tree rings, too?

  93. Anonymous said

    In Mike’s defense, I think he said he didn’t necessarily hold to a strick YEC viewpoint.

  94. John said

    Hello again everybody.I just thought that I’d pop in for a moment.
    My goodness, I disappear for a little while and now, so many things to tend to.This is almost like WORK[smile].Anyway, I’ll just start going down the row…starting with..Maz in post#62! Maz, what makes you think that a thing like the F. L. A. would EVER be interested in joining you in your Heaven?You’d understand if you….understood.You never did tell all of us “Doubting Thomas’s” about your concept of Christian Heaven to let us all know what we the DAMNED would be missing, but if your in it, I can’t imagine it being a very fun place, unless we get to fight with you all the time.In your theistic view of Christianity, we would have absolutely no place within your Heaven.You leave us nowhere to go but your Hell, and unless you can do a better job than Educated Dawg’s effort,….well, at least Christian Hell sounds more interesting[smile].I’ll bet that you don’t even have sex in your Heaven[Oh, and should you actually try to do this for us, also please give us a full detailed description of what life on Earth will be like after everything’s under Gods rule[you know what I mean] again.Is it anything like the Jehovah’s Witness version of Earth?].So stop wasting your time parroting scripture to the likes of us, for it gets you nowhere.And in post#67, you just know what you know, eh? This line of reasoning didn’t work for Amanda the Mormon while you and Brad were criticizing her.Why would it work for you? Atheistic view?Where did THAT come from? All of your talk about decay and death makes me wonder why you even bother getting out of bed in the morning.I bet you can’t wait for Armageddon.You study any of those other flood myths yet?Do you need some help with it[grin]?

    Mr. Sears, my time with the city folk was…interesting.I was a praying mantis in a room of social butterflies[smile].I reminded them as to why they can’t live without the police, nearby hospitals, telephones, grocery stores, and airconditioning, and they reminded me as to why I love living without those things, on the outside edge of civilized society.People have become so spoiled and lazy.I don’t even have television.I don’t even have this computer,I travel over two miles to someone els’s house to annoy you all like this[smile].I sometimes go into the big city of Miami or Naples to visit the movie theater or buy books and tools but for stationary pleasure that involves looking I read books[ and come here to argue and such], and I have well over two thousand.If I wasn’t such a loner, I could probably be the local library.As to your post#88, if that is so, then why create everything to appear as if it’s ancient and evolved? What about all of the “stuff” that was presented by us biblical skeptics within the most recent Darwin site?

    Chris, your views [like mine]are probably far too heretical to be taken very seriously by many of the people here.But your still in good company.At least they don’t condemn you like they do others.Try and have fun with it, if you’re able.As for what you said about deities within post #76, there may be truth in that, but how would/could we ever know?It brings to mind some of my thoughts on the “BIG GOD” idea at the end of my post#43.
    It sure was a lot easier to be a deity in the olden days[sighhhhh].

    And JAsOn[and then I need to go.I have chores,a farmstead to maintain, you know.]Thankyou for the list of literature. The next time I’m at a Christian bookstore or Barnes and Nobles I’ll look them up.I mentioned the verse involving the iron chariots because it struck me as odd that such a seemingly little thing could stop God’s chosen war tribe from attacking.But then iron has a long history of making things difficult for spiritual entities, like Fairies, for example.For older theologies, how much do you know about Hinduism and Egyptian theology? These two are good to start off with, as they both have recorded historical, religious, writings that predate Christianity.There are others, but many of the others don’t have the literature, the recorded “evidence” that you may be satisfied with.
    As for your questions within post#77… were those questions as “deep” as they seemed, or am I making mountains out of molehills?
    Perhaps I should meditate upon them before I rush right out with a quick answer.As for what you asked within post #78..I would say yes, the theology is right FOR THEM, but I would personally think that they were full of crap with their claims of having exclusive theological”TRUTH”.How could they ever prove such a thing? How could anyone?They would be in the same boat as everyone else, regardless of their claims.In the olden days, primitive man settled this problem simply by waging WAR, and the winners could force the losers[If any survived.The winners could spread the word, regardless, I guess]into acknowledging that the winners deity/deities were stronger.But war never proves who’s right or wrong, only who is left alive[frown].
    Rationality and logic don’t seem to hold very much ground in matters of theology.As a species I would hazard the guess that we’re all innately insane, which may have something to do with the creation of religion and politics in the first place.Hmmmmmm.
    Anyway, I have to go now.I get back with you as soon as I can.
    Goodnight.

  95. Fred said

    Re: #93

    Lighten up, dude. I understood Mike’s position.

  96. Maz said

    John: Good day! I see you still possess your insulting attitude. We all have our chance to put our beliefs across here, but I don’t insult you with what you say, why do you insist in demeaning me and other Christians for our beliefs. If you don’t agree I accept that, but I don’t talk to you as if you are short of a brain cell or two….
    And I am sorry that ”the F.L.A” would not be interrested in ”my Heaven” that’s fine with me….well, I would rather she was ”saved”, but you can’t win them all.

    Heaven is not mine, it’s God’s place, and His place is perfect. It’s the absolute opposite of Hell which is consumed with everything that is evil. If you can get hold of a book called, ”23 minutes in Hell” (can’t remember the author) and read that, you can get a fairly accurate picture of it. I can tell you John, if you knew what it was like you would be calling out to God right now to save you from it…but ofcourse you don’t so you won’t.
    I’v never been to Heaven so I can’t discribe it to you from personal experience, but many have had ‘near death’ or ‘beyond death’ experiences and come back to tell of it.
    A book I read by a Dr. Eby called ”Caught up into Paradise”, discribes not only Heaven which he saw after having a fatal fall and then being resucitated back to life, but a vision of Hell also. It was absolutely terrifying. The acrid stench, the putried atmosphere, the screaming, the darkness like no one has ever experienced, the evil presence, the pain, regret, grief…..in fact everything that is awful in this life is multiplied a million times there….still want to go?
    And thanks for the vote of confidence in my humour. It probably doesn’t show much here because I get so fed up with the way some people on this blog talk down to Christians and abuse their beliefs.
    I can tell you that whatever I am like now, God will change me, and is changing me into a perfect child of God fit for Heaven. He would change you and F.L.A. too if you let Him, because if you went to Heaven as you were now it wouldnt be Heaven!
    So I ”parrot” scripture. Well John, I’m a Christian and this is a Christian blog site so as you have said yourself before (I think)……..get over it.

    Armageddon is the Jehovah’s Witnesses favourite subject not mine. I believe it will happen as it has been prophesied but I am waiting for my Lord from heaven to take His Church out of this world before the Great Tribulation begins. It is called the Rapture, spoken of in 1 Thess: 4 v 13-18.
    The Millenial reign of Christ will be far better than being under the government of fallible man…believe me……or not.
    I think I have covered most things…and I am sorry I called you atheists when it should have been pagans…is that right?

  97. F. L. A. said

    Yes, that is correct Maz, although you must remember, niether of us ever expect to ever end up in the Christian Heaven or Hell for we have our own.He wasn’t being rude to you, believe it or not.If you were to ever see me you’d understand why I don’t belong within your theology, unless your willing to accept the possibility that your wrong on a good many things.I won’t explain them to you for there are powerful secrets involved.
    Your Heaven sounds boring.

  98. jAsOn said

    Note to all (especially Maz, John and FLA),

    I agree with many things Maz has said, but not all Christians believe that “near” or “beyond” death experiences are biblically sustainable. Also, not all Christians believe the eschatology of secret rapture > “great” tribulation > earthly millennial reign of Christ (The Left Behind Series format) is biblical…I being one of them.

    John in particular,

    No prob regarding the literature, but I’m sad to say that most Christian books stores or religious sections aren’t going to carry many of those titles…ther’re just not “fluffy” enough I guess, and most of the authors are dead so your average Christian hasn’t seem them on TV 🙂

    I think the simple answer to the “iron chariots” is that, God never intended them to win; He never decreed it; He hadn’t ordained it from before the foundations of the Earth, so to speak.

    I know a little about Egyptian and Hindu theology, but it seems to vary from my cursory understanding, so I can’t separate their “traditional” doctrines from today’s post-modern application of them. The idea that there are “religious writings that predate the wittings of the book of Moses doesn’t really pose an evidential problem for the true claims of Christianity; the God of the bible predates (and created those peoples), and “natural law” does as well, so it is only “natural” that “unbeliever” predating Moses and Job would develop some form of religion, and the fact that there are similarities is actually a case FOR Christianities legitimacy. Prior to Abraham and Moses, covenantal treaties (royal grants and suzerainty type) existed, and God used this practice, which He had established by His providence, to relate to the people with which He entered into covenant, b/c that is the context they would understand.

    As for the questions I asked in #77, I don’t want to portray some false sense of depth or anything like that, but I guess it’s hard to avoid plunging into highly pressurized waters when we consider such topics as these. I know that we don’t really have the same categories, so many some clearer definitions of terms is in order. Maybe you can help me understand where I have been too general or where I have assumed the definition of a term you may or may not be familiar with (no poke at intellect there, just the reality of the employment of different terms.

    I agree that there is a seed of insanity in all of us :), but I think the creation of true and false religion can be historically traced back to Cain and Abe. The historical reliability of these events is testified to by the abundance of the transmission of the texts. We assume the basic reliability of the witnesses’ accounts recorded in these writings as you must rely on the accounts of oral traditions, etc. Our belief that these writings are reliable is rooted primarily in Jesus’ testimony to them; He believed the OT scriptures were true and from God and the resurrection ratifies His claims.

  99. Maz said

    Jason: Read 2 Cor: 12 v 2-4 regarding a vision of paradise.

    I agree, there are differences in interpretation of scripture amongst Christians as to when the Rapture (or if) will occur, the Tribulation, and the Millenium. I could only offer my own belief which I truly believe is supported by scripture. But I won’t go into all that here, this is another subject and a very in depth one.
    I’m not a fan of the ”Left Behind” series of books.

    F.L.A: God doesn’t judge anyone on appearance…..He loves everyone the same, He loves you whatever you look like. He doesn’t look at peoples outward appearance but looks at peoples
    hearts. I would hope that if I did ever see you, which is highly unlikely on this earth, that I wouldn’t judge you by your appearance either.

    John: Heaven would sound boring to you, because you don’t know the love of the Person Who would be there. I don’t just long for Heaven because it is a beautiful place……I long to see The One that loves me more than His own life. That is the attraction of Heaven to every
    believer. It’s Jesus.

  100. Maz said

    If anyone is interested, I have found a web site with an Open Letter to the Scientific Community written by 33 leading scientists. It is also countersigned by a few hundred more. The New Scientist magazine also published this letter with the title ”Big Bang Theory busted by 33 top scientists.” You can find it on Earthtech.org.

  101. Mike S. said

    Chris
    I can tell that you are quite a disciple of Dawkins and Hitchens. You use a lot of the same style and vocabulary that they do. I will go back and read through my outline notes of God Delusion, but I see much of their points in your responses. You are a formidable opponent to Christian beliefs and I know you would make them proud.

    Fred, How about this question posed to you as well. Something has to eternally exist, I say it’s God, what do you say it is? If creation is true then God can pretty much do anything would you agree? Mike

  102. F. L. A. said

    Let me try to use another analogy, if I can Maz, to try and explain our relationship and why your proposal will not work for one such as myself[and John too, but to a lesser degree].
    Imagine that a woman at a sea side community walks out onto a very long pier until she is far from the shoreline. When she reaches the end of this pier she kneels down and starts talking into the dark depths of the oceans water.After a while, something within the deep notices her and starts to listen and in time, respond out of curiosity and amusement, because this is a glimpse into an alien world, and it’s interesting.The woman starts to try and appeal to the thing of the depths, to convince it to live as it lives, that her way is the best way, the ONLY RIGHT WAY, but she doesn’t understand that her ways will never be able to work for the thing in the sea.They both live upon the same planet, but aside from this they are completely alien to one another in almost every way, for despite living on the same planet, they come from different worlds with different rules of existence.The woman up on the pier thinks that she’s talking to another woman who, although not entirely like herself, is still enough like her to find her proposals appealing. She can’t see beneath the water though, deep deep down, where something huge with many rows of sharp teeth, no eyes, and numerous appendages, is holding onto the rocky bottom with it’s hooked feet, regarding her with a hungry curiosity.It knows that the woman means well in her own strange fashion, but she doesn’t understand the needs of her audience, and that if it decided to humor the woman and even so much as swim up to the surface and crawl up on the pier with it’s hairy long limbs the woman would be so utterly shocked……..
    But it wouldn’t even bother.It knows that it’s were it belongs, and it can be contented with this.But still….. from time to time between rushing away to feed on the flesh of the unfortunate… it returns and listens, regarding the woman upon the pier with a hungry curiosity.

    Hopefully this will help you get a better understanding of where I’m coming from.You’re the woman on the pier.I’m the thing under the water.And now, it’s time for me to be off once again.
    I hunger.

  103. Fred said

    Hey, Mike. I don’t know. At the very core of my intellect (cough) is the question “how did all this stuff get here?”. It’s the one question which man’s ingenuity in religion and science will not be enough to provide the answer to. Wondering about it all is my religion and my church is the night sky full of stars.

    I will agree with you that it may be God. Will that do for now? As for your question about God doing stuff, that is a question which exists near the surface of my intellect and which often provokes me to sarcasm and a less congenial temperament so in light of your good natured provocations I will decline to answer that one for now. Hope we can still be friends.

    Fred

  104. Maz said

    Sorry F.L.A. but I do not think you are too far into the dark ocean depths for God….maybe I can’t make you see the Truth that is in Jesus Christ, but nothing is impossible with God…..you see. Read Psalm 139…God is wherever you are…reaching out to you…..

  105. F. L. A. said

    [Deep rumbling sigh] Oooh jeeeze.I guess I should have tried to use a different kind of analogy.
    I’m really leaving to kill some food now.

  106. Mike S. said

    Fair enough Fred. Thanks for condescending to my inquiry. Actually, a night full of stars is a great place to start. I have a great friend who started there, took a 10 year journey of seeking and searching many different paths, (Science, Eastern Religions, New Age, and various combinations of such where he kind of made his own deity that he was pretty satisfied with, thinking that Jesus was a great teacher but not God) until I challenged him to read the book of John and pray (sincerely) asking God to reveal the truth to him if Jesus is really who He says He is (as recorded in the Bible). He said the thought of doing that was actually pretty scary. After about 6 months he did so and he said it was like a light switch was flipped and the truth was revealed.

    Have you ever thought of why your heart is provoked with the sarcasm and a less congenial temperament when a Sovereign, Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent God is suggested? It might be something to think more deeply about. Or not… Thanks my Friend!

  107. Mike S. said

    F.L.A. You are really quite fascinating. Your little allegory/metaphor is on par with CS Lewis/JR Tolkein. Have you ever thought of writing fantasy type stories? You might have a real opportunity there.

    Obviously, you described yourself in that allegory quite well. Of course you know yourself better than we do, so that makes sense. While you did a good job of analogizing Maz (and evangelizing Christians) from YOUR perspective, what you seem to be misunderstanding is the message that (we, and I am being so bold as to presume where Maz is coming from) Christians are attempting to convey. We are NOT attempting to tell anyone how they should live their lives at all. Although many Christians DO approach others and society in general in such a way that expects conformation to certain ways of living, yet that is NOT what the Biblical message of the Gospel is all about. It’s about believing/trusting Christ period. Do that and live any way you want to. Does that sound different than Gospel messages you have heard before?

    I know this is going to cause some Christians to react like Paul described in Romans 6 but you have to really think about the words I just shared literally. If you really believe/trust Christ you will WANT to live differently, and you will be transformed from the inside out. You see there is real freedom in believing and trusting in Christ. I won’t go into all of the why’s, what’s, and how’s because your probably not interested… but there it is. I really enjoyed your allegory nonetheless.

  108. jAsOn said

    I think Luther put it well when he described evangelism as, one lowly beggar telling another lowly beggar where to find food.

  109. Chris C. said

    Mike,

    The God Delusion helped me come to my own atheism and, as I have a love for anthropology and the sciences, I also immensely respect the rest of Dawkins’s work. So if I mirror him in any way…I’ll take the compliment.

    As for Hitchens, I find him a bit too over-the-top sometimes. I agree with his thoughts on things, but not necessarily in the way he phrases his arguments. I’m more a fan of Daniel Dennet and Sam Harris. Also, Michael Shermer. Atheism and humanism are not about bashing religion or Christianity — at least to me. They are intellectual pursuits and are about finding the best and greatest potential within all of us.

  110. jAsOn said

    Chris,

    Maybe you should read some Nietzsche. Some say that Nihilism is the logical end to atheism

  111. Maz said

    I agree with you Mike.
    This is where I come from….a sinner saved by Gods grace and made a new creature in Christ, changed from what I was to what I am now, and still being changed by the power of God. The Lord has put His love in my heart to reach those where I once was. I know what it’s like not to believe, so I know both sides of the story. I believed in evolution once because that is all I was taught at school.
    So now I long to see people change from where they are now, like F.L.A., John and anyone else who still doesn’t know Jesus Christ and His great love, to what they could be (not like me, but like Jesus). But you cannot understand any of this from your side, it would have to be revealed to you by the Holy Spirit, perhaps through a preacher, an evangelist, the Bible, or something else the Lord may use. I just want the lost of this world to know how wonderful the Lord is. And that is my passion.

  112. Mike S. said

    “They are intellectual pursuits and are about finding the best and greatest potential within all of us.”

    A wonderful goal and purpose in life, Chris. It is truly a fantastic and exciting truth to find. I hope that you will find it soon. Keep up the search!!

  113. Chris C. said

    I enjoy reading, not torture.

    I have read excerpts from Thus Spoke Zarathustra, but never could bring myself to read it in its entirity. Growing up in the digital age, I often struggle with a short attention span, hah!

    The subject of nihilism/atheism is definitely something I think about. I would not consider myself a nihilist, but some of my views certainly line up with Nietzsche’s.

  114. F. L. A. said

    Thank you for your kind words Mr.Sears.Lewis and Tolkein, eh? Perhaps I will read their books sometime.John has them, but I mainly read reference type books for my pleasure.John actually taught me how to use words like that. He could make the life of a lowly toad sound absolutely fascinating, but neither of us are interested in being any more public than we are now on this computer.Personal reasons.
    Try to understand, you and Maz are like two Bottlenosed Dolphins trying to convert a Architeuthis[Giant Squid] to your ways[this time I made things a little easier by putting us in the same world].I could try and adopt your ways, but I’d still be a Giant Squid regardless, and they eat dolphins from time to time, you know. I have to be true to myself. You’ll just have to take me as I am or not at all.There’s a great inside joke in all of this that I can’t share with you[huge sharp-toothed grin].
    And now It’s time to feed.

  115. Maz said

    F.L.A; You still don’t understand what Christianity is all about. We can’t convert you to ”our ways”……only God by His Spirit can open your eyes to see Who Jesus is and create a new creature of you. Christianity is not trying to live a good life….we can’t. Christianity is a Person….letting Him come into your life so that He gives you the power to live a good life. He lives IN US. God is in the business of changing people….He can change Giant Squids into Bottlenose Dolphins, He can change drug addicts into evangelists, I.R.A terrorists into peaceloving Christians, Witches into Soul winners, and He CAN change you…..
    You will never be able to ”adopt” our ways, and we wouldn’t expect you to. I don’t know how to explain it any better. It’s like a blind man….he can’t see a thing. Then one day he opens his eyes and he sees everything. He couldn’t possibly know what things looked like until his eyes were opened. That’s what happened to me…not physically, but spiritually. One day I saw the world completely different. I havn’t the words to discribe the feeling but I can tell you I have never regretted asking Christ into my life. I could not live one day without Him there.
    I will take you as you are F.L.A but you can’t stop me praying for you.

  116. Mike S. said

    Well put Maz. New life in Christ. Born again. It’s real. Maz and I are living proof. It is for freedom that Christ sets us free!! Happy Friday!

  117. F. L. A. said

    You say that you are willing to take me as I am, but you have no real idea what I am,like a couple of butterflies offering to welcome a huge spider into their household without the knowledge of what a huge spider is or is capable of. And you still have not given me what I consider to be any good reason to become a Christian and “change into a new creature” metaphorically speaking.
    Could I still murder and feed off the flesh of the unfortunate?
    I wouldn’t expect so,…. and where’s the fun in that?
    [By the way, how do you like that I’m not printing in all CAPS anymore? Is it easier to read? Easier on your little eyeballs?]

  118. Mike S. said

    F.L.A.
    Do you remember when that guy went in to that Amish school and killed all of those little girls in cold blood, just because he was upset at someone? Did you know that one of the little girls asked the man to kill her if he would let the others go? That little girl was a true Christian. Offering to give her life so that others may live. Did you hear about the families of the victims taking up a collection for the killer’s family and extending their hands in love and forgiveness to them? Have you seen the movie “The End of the Spear”, the true story documentary describing how Steve Saint, the child of Nate Saint, went back and befriended the tribe leader who killed his father and shared the Gospel with this cold blooded savage. Now this once savage tribal leader is a humble servant of Christ. It DOES happen and it can happen!! Just trust and believe. That is all that is required.

    Many people think, oh I would have to clean my act up before I come to Christ. But it doesn’t work that way, He says believe… then He does the work in our souls. And contrary to your concerns, it is a glorious experience. So many people who call them selves Christians are really just grumpy folks who think THEY have to do all of these things, follow all of these rules in order to have fellowship with God. No wonder it does not look like fun. God is NOT a “funsucker”, life with Him is joyous, fun, and exciting. He just says “Come, just as you are”.

    And yes we like the new and improved typing!! Some people are sensitive about their e-mails and blogging. They think if you type in all caps that you are yelling at them

  119. Maz said

    F.L.A: Jesus Christ was willing to die an agonising death to give you an eternal life you cannot begin to imagine. All you need to do is accept it. It’s a gift. Just ask Him. That’s what some people have done. Even when they don’t really believe there is a God they have just said, ”God if you are there please show me.” It’s amazing how God sometimes answers a simple prayer like that. Whatever makes you happy now dims into oblivion compared to what He can offer you.
    Heaven is not sitting around playing harps and singing hymns all day….actually I’m not sure I would enjoy that. No, Heaven is a real place of true and absolute joy far above anything down here. No pain, no grief, no death, no fear, no loneliness, no hatred, no suffering of any kind…..surely you would like to be in a place like that?
    So F.L.A what have you done that is so awful, or what are you that is so absolutley terrible that God can’t change and save you? Never mind about what we think…..I know that God loves you whatever you are. You are a human being who needs Him. That is all that matters.
    No love on earth can compare to His.
    It doesn’t cost anything to give Him a chance by just asking Him to show Himself to you.

  120. Maz said

    Mike: I read the origial book, ”Through Gates of Splendour” about those missionaries to the Auca Indians in South America. I thought it was amazing how Nates sister and one of the native women went back to the Indians after they had killed her brother and four other missionaires, to tell them about Gods love for them. That takes real courage and faith. What is more amazing is that the men who killed them gave their lives to Christ, and Mincaye who actually speared Nate, became like a father to Steve, Nates son, when he went to the village. An Amazing story which I have also read about in ”End of the Spear” which I bought a couple of years ago when it first came out.
    I’d encourage everyone to get a copy of the book or see the film (which I havn’t seen yet).

  121. F. L. A. said

    Within post#4 on the “Should Missions Change The Culture?” site I mentioned “The End Of The Spear” myself.So, yes.
    And I’ll never forget about the gunman at the Amish school.I remember all acts of wickedness.
    I typed in caps because I am HUGE and my presence is rather oppressive, intense, and sinister.For example, imagine the scenario of talking with a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

  122. F. L. A. said

    Hey Maz, let us play a hypothetical game.
    Let us say that for the sake of argument that I was not a human being.That I was something so alien as to not even have a humanoid form.
    What then?
    Would you still feel the same way?
    And how would this effect your theological beliefs, to encounter a non human intelligence, hypothetically speaking?
    I have to go.Think long and hard before answering.

  123. Chris C. said

    I, for one, would be impressed that a non-human knew english well and could type on a PC (even without caps :)) .

  124. Maz said

    F.L.A: For the sake of argument that you were not a human being…then you would be termed an animal. But animals don’t talk intelligently like we do, animals can’t reason like we do, and animals, altho Gods creation, cannot be saved from their sins because they were not of Adam’s race. Hyperthetically speaking, you cannot know God like we do.
    BUT whatever you look like, however BIG you are, however alien you seem to think you are, if you were born from a human mother and father then you are a human being and God loves you created you for a purpose.
    Then there is, hyperthetically speaking, demons, who may take a human form, just as angels can for the purpose of carrying out Gods plans…or as with demons, Satan’s schemes.
    Do you know what you are?

  125. John said

    My goodness, things have gotten really interesting now, yes[nervous grin]? It was just a hypothetical question, remember, although to play with this, why would this question only have to apply to animal life as you know it? The natural world is a very weird place, but things can get a lot weirder than that!
    Maz, we are all animals, sometimes better, often times worse.Those are a lot of assumptions about “animals”. How can you be so sure?”Common sense”? I have seen and heard of many things that have made me doubt such common assumptions about the animal kingdom.What is your personal definition of a demon? Any non-Christian spiritual entity? Also, I am interested in your ideas about the Millenial Reign of Christ.For example, will modern carnivorous animals become herbivorous as you believe that they were before the fall of man?I was just curious.

    JAsOn, I forgot to respond to your inquiry about the Wiccan Reid.I have been preoccupied my crops and…a woman and her kids that have been visiting lately. The Wiccan Reid is not athoritative in the same sense as, say, your Christian Commandments.It’s a poem that is used more as a guideline,the most important part of it being the last sentence which is “Eight words the Wiccan Reid fulfill, an it harm none, do what thy will.”, which basically means that as long as nobody is harmed, a worshiper has the freedom to do things as they best suit their needs, but this is not as simple as it seems at first glance.For example, because I hunt, fish,raise my own chickens,pull weeds and slap mosquitoes,etc.,etc., I cannot exist without killing and harming things, so How I apply this to my life is to use it in regards to not using harmful[“black”]magick on people[depending on the circumstances. Shall I explain?]To narrow things down, my denomination has 28 commandments.Now other denominations have other commandments of their own,some have less, some have more, but despite the differences all of these variations are surprisingly alike in regards to ethical behavior, so there’s little if any conflict among the different denominations, which is great. As far as judging evil, the criteria mainly revolves around cruelty, inflicting pain, sadness, and suffering for pleasure only, and wastefulness of all kinds.I have to go now and work on a house, but I’ll be back later.F. L. A. is…. somewhere, doing the things that it does.Have a good day.

  126. Maz said

    John: You know already that as a Christian I believe that man is special and was created by God to have fellowship with Him, the animals were created for Adams benefit so that He wouldn’t be alone, but ofcourse they weren’t enough. God created Eve.
    ofcourse if you believe in evolution the animals will just be a lower creature than us.
    How can I be so sure about what I believe? I can’t actually prove to you how sure I am, but I am, because I know the Creator. How can you be sure that we are all animals and that humans are not special in some way?
    Demons are fallen angels. When Lucifer decided to go it alone, and wanted to be like God he fell with a third of the angelic beings. They are powerful created beings, but nowhere near as powerful as God, Who is Almighty, and Eternal.
    There is God. There are His angelic created beings who serve Him, there are the fallen angels who are now demons working with Satan, the fallen Archangel Lucifer, and then there is us, created in Gods image. We are spiritual beings who possess a soul and live in a body.
    So that’s what I believe about beings of any kind that exist.
    Any ‘entities’ would usually be categorised as demonic. Poltageists, familiar spirits, and the like.
    What is intrigueing is the fact that you call F.L.A, ”it”. One wonders if you have a Big Foot living at your house?

    As far as the Millenial reign of Christ on the earth…yes, animals like the big cats and other meat eaters will be herbivores as the Bible tells us this in Isaiah Ch 11 v 6-9. We believe that’s what they were before the fall of man, it was one of the curses (animals killing animals) that came because of sin.
    His reign on earth will be a righteous reign, and there will be no death, pain or sickness. It will be 1000 years of peace upon our earth, with no wars or crime. This gives man a chance to live in ideal circumstances, but at the end they will revert back to sinful ways when Satan is let out of the bottomless pit for a while. It will just go to show that even under perfect conditions man still has the propensity to go his own way and do his own thing.

  127. F. L. A. said

    Yesssss, purely hypothetical[eternal grin].
    Forget that I mentioned it.
    You gave me the answers that I thought you would, Maz.
    Your questions about me will never be answered, so you’ll just have to be satisfied with your assumptions.Bigfoot? Down here it’s called the Skunk Ape. And I am not one.I’m more…complicated.
    T.T.F.N.

  128. Maz said

    F.L.A: Complicated? So you like to remain mysterious?

  129. F. L. A. said

    [huge,sharp-toothed grin]

  130. John said

    The Millenial Reign of Christ as you describe it is very similar to that of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.It sounds….unpleasant.
    You see, aside from my love of eating BB-Qed flesh,violence, and action, I think that we actually need a little hardship, bad weather,and trouble makers in our lives in order to be truly happy.
    With no adversity or strife we won’t be able to fully appreciate the good things that life has to offer.Oh sure it would seem great at first, perhaps, but after a few years…..with nothing to help define the good things in life,with nothing to fight for, to strive for and try and perfect, we would become “soft” and idle.
    At least that’s how it would be for people like me.I would be a rebel without a cause.I love living where there’s almost no lawmen, and the wildlife will eat a man if he gets lost in the wilderness.When I went up into the Smokey Mountains to hike 14 miles into the middle of nowhere and camp for a number of days, and saw signs warning about the Bears, I was like…”Alright! Now this is what I came for!Real wild woods!Adventure!” Even my Heaven has monsters and violence in it, where I can fight and be hunted and killed sometimes by others, and then come back and have fun getting even[along with the great food, drink,sex,dancing,extra powers, etc., of course].But I guess you might be satisfied with an existence like this, hmmmmm? Well, to each their own.

  131. Maz said

    John: As you are now in your ‘fallen’ and ‘lost’ state it is natural for you to want to live the way you do. I can categorically tell you that if Jesus changed your life your desires would change too. OK you wouldn’t want that the way you are now, but that is what God does for people……makes them completely new creatures in Him.
    I am not now the person I was when I was in my teens and early twenties, when I look back at my life then, I see another person. Yes, I’m the same person, in that I am Maz, but inside I am another person because of another Person that dwells in me.
    You say about ”after a few years” in the Millenium……it won’t seem like that then, time won’t seem like it is now, we won’t get tired or bored or anything like that. It would be hard to discribe it to you, as it would be to discribe a new life in Christ. Try explaining the colour blue to a blind man.
    Hardship and adversity actually does make us stronger, especially when we know God because He is working out a greater purpose in our life through it all. But in the Millenium there won’t be any reason for it. Jesus Christ will be on the earth, seated on the throne of David in Jerusalem, and His rule will be pure and righteous. A concept that you seem to find hard to grasp. While you live John, there is still hope for someone like you………

  132. John said

    There are medications and surgical procedures for the mind that could also make me a “new creature”,change my desires, and give me that constant state of wellbeing and bliss……but I think I’ll pass.Why would I want to change who I am so much?To the point of being a, as you put it, a “Soul winner”[I can imagine what an annoying pain in the butt I’d be to other Pagans.F. L. A. would probably mercy-kill me].What you describe sounds too much like a “spiritual cage”.Granted, it’s a pretty sweet deal of a cage, but it’s still a cage.I prefer my old deities who except me as I am.I am only “fallen and lost” according to your theology.
    Here, I have a little present for you Maz, to do with as you will.
    I’ve offered this before to other Christians, and although it won’t work with me, perhaps you can use it on others who are less stubborn or weaker in their faith.Type in “How to share the Gospel with Pagans”, by author Gwydion Oak, and read all of it.I have made copies of this and given it to annoying abet well meaning Christians in the past and some Christian bookstores.

  133. Maz said

    John: There’s no cage with Jesus….He makes you totally FREE. But you will never understand that freedom from your side unless you want to know and God makes it known.
    I shall think and pray about your little present. From what side does the wrier come if they have one.
    You mentioned Jehovah’s Witnesses earlier when I spoke about the Millenium. The J.W.s believe in a Paradise earth which is not the Millenium. They believe there will be a new Heaven and new earth (and so do I), but that the faithful Watchtower multitude will live on this new earth and the ”anointed” class of 144,000 J.W’s will live in the new Heaven. Most of their doctrines have been twisted from mainline Christianity, altho the founder, Charles Tate Russell taught closer to the Truth than the Watchtower of today. I have some old Watchtower books that teach things that they would call heresy today.

  134. Mike S. said

    John you said, “I prefer my old deities who except me as I am.”

    And Jesus DOESN’T? He accepts you (and me) to the extent that he suffered and died the death that YOU (and I) deserve!!

  135. F. L. A. said

    Only according to Christianity.Remember, in our theology such a sacrifice is unnessessary[yes I know that’s misspelled].No Original Sin for us, remember.
    We all already knew that information about the Jehovah’s Witnesses Maz.John just said that it sounded “very similar”.He has a large collection of their books too, some from back when they were reffered to as “Russellites”.
    And now, off to hunt.
    Good Day.

  136. Mike S. said

    There are only 3 reasonable options here F.L.A.

    1. Christianity is true and your theology is false.
    2. Christianity is false and your theology true.
    3. They are both false.

    They both can not be true. JAsOn has explained the laws of non-contradiction elsewhere.

    Jesus was resurrected to prove Christianity true. What do you rely on for your truth?

  137. Maz said

    John and F.L.A: Just….supposing….you were wrong/
    Just…….supposing…….there is a hell?
    Just…….supposing…….everything we have told you is true?
    Just…….supposing…….

  138. John said

    Not that you would even consider such possibilities concerning your own theological views, eh Maz? There are…things, that your theological views are not accounting for.And don’t bother asking me to explain too much, for one of the best of these things is a secret something powerful.
    It would be easier to take you both more serious on this matter if you could actually prove US wrong for a change.But alas, you cannot.
    Remember, we never denied the existence of Christian Hell, Maz.
    But this is the Hell of your theology, not ours.

    As for your three reasonable options Mr.Sears, Why can they not both be true?Consider how the legends of Christianity and the Christian Bible have been altered over all these centuries.As I’ve said before on other sites, I believe that there are truths within the Christian Bible and within some of the great Christian stories, but how much truth is up for debate.It is my belief that Christians should just try to take what positive lessons they can out of the Bible and be satisfied with that, without trying to be too nit-picky about alleged historical and theological “facts” and “truths”.Sometimes simpler IS in fact better.Such needless arguing about topics that can never be fully resolved, and perhaps it’s better that they stay this way.JAsOn’s laws of non-contradiction within post#68 are interesting, but how can man-made concepts of logic[it’s just a branch of human philosophy,you know] be expected to supply the absolute answers for something as weird and powerful as deified cosmic intelligences? These beloved laws are created by us puny mortals on this little twirling space speck so that WE can try to convince ourselves that WE actually understand a few things.Often I can’t help but wonder just how much WE are just fooling ourselves…If you actually literally believe the theological myths, even only the Christian myths, then you must recognize that theology [as we think we understand it] has a wonderful history of going against “rules of logic”[as we know of them].Remember that your talking to a Witch with magickal powers, how “logical” is this?
    What do I rely on for my “truth”?
    History as I know it, the deities as I know them,the sciences as I know them,and my gut feelings.I have to go for now. Talk to you all later.Goodnight.

  139. Maz said

    John: You do deny Hell, as taught in the Bible.

    What you said you rely on for ”truth” is similar to what we rely on and yet we have far more.
    We have the Word of God and historical proof of the truth of the Bible in archaeology, we have the sciences which reveal the truthfulness of the scriptures (which you obviously wouldn’t agree with from an evolutionistic viewpoint)
    and we have more than a ”gut feeling”, we have the witness of the powerful Holy Spirit within us that cannot be just a feeling.
    And looking out on the world that God created gives us enough proof to know it was all brought into being by a Divine Intelligence.
    If I had any dount in my God, then I would not be living by faith in the Son of God. But I know He is God, the great I AM that Moses met in the wilderness, that Abraham met, that Paul encountered on the Demascus road. Saul, who became Paul, killed Christians with a pure hatred….yet…when he encountered Christ he was changed completely. And he was willing to die for the Lord that he once persicuted.

  140. F. L. A. said

    You do not have far more Maz. We have historical evidence too, supported by the science of archaeology, and REAL HISTORY to support many of our claims.Your young-earth history and sciences do not qualify.You have a book to help back up your claims, but if all of your information was undoubtably true, then you would not have to resort to purly theistic sources all the time to back up your views.T.T.F.N.

  141. Fred said

    “We have historical evidence too, supported by the science of archaeology, and REAL HISTORY to support many of our claims.” F.L.A

    References, please?

  142. F. L. A. said

    I wonder, the way that you keep going on with all of these proclamations of your faith, are you truly trying to convince us…or yourself? Because if it’s us, well, we are happy for you and others like yourself, but personally, we don’t really care.It’s like hearing a co-worker go on and on about a new insurance policy, but without any jealousy involved.

  143. F. L. A. said

    Ahhh, well then, to help with the collection of references, which of our claims specifically would you like to have addressed?
    You caught me speaking in general terms, so I hope that you have something specific in mind concerning history or archeology in relation to paganism.For example, if you want something to prove that paganism predates the six thousand year old young-earthers world view, I can do that,or John can, provided that you are not a young-earther yourself, as young-earthers do not trust historical evidence or scientific evidence that does not support their theological views.
    Or you force me to guess what you may want to know about.

  144. Maz said

    F.L.A: I’m certainly not trying to convince myself about my faith. How many times have I told you that I KNOW in Whom I believe. I KNOW Him. I can’t explain it to you but there it is.
    And I wasn’t talking about a young earth specifically when I talked about archaeological proof, I was talking about the history in the Bible being backed up by archaeology. The kings, the places etc.

    ”Young earthers do not trust historical evidence or scientific evidence that does not support their theological views”.
    I could say exactly the same about evolutionists. They won’t and don’t want to see what is really there.

    And really F.L.A, if you don’t really care about what we have to say, then why are you on here still debating the issue?

  145. Fred said

    “Ahhh, well then, to help with the collection of references, which of our claims specifically would you like to have addressed?” F.L.A.

    I was of the understanding that Wicca is a new religion (20th century?) and thought maybe you were referring to some more ancient religion as having “historical evidence…supported by the science of archaeology, and REAL HISTORY…”.

    In other words, are you saying that your Wicca is a more ancient (older than the 20th century) religion? That would be interesting to hear about.

  146. F. L. A. said

    Cheap amusement between periods of roaming the swamplands.
    Boredom.To see how you will respond.
    And not everything recorded within the Bible is backed up by archeology as historical fact.Like Noah’s ark and the worldly flood that he floated through, for example.Paganism, almost any other theology, has such “historical evidences” to back them up.Remember when we discussed with you about the different flood myths of this world? As for your “scientific evidence”, it is suspicious that you can only acquire such material from Christian-based sources.If your information was wholly grounded in what is commonly defined as truth, then this would not be necessary.This dose not show very much equity on your part.

  147. F. L. A. said

    Well, Fred, I am not a Wiccan[toothy grin].I could do this, but if it’s Wicca that you want to know about then this is a job for John.He will get back to you on this this evening, as he is coming over to this house for dinner.Do you want his oral history, or actual archeological evidences, or both?He will want to know[it amuses me to set him up like this].

  148. Fred said

    Why was I thinking you both were Wiccan? I withdraw the request. Maybe John can enlighten us on the antiquity of Wicca?

    thanks,
    Fred

    P.S. another thread derailed! Sorry!

  149. Maz said

    F.L.A: ”It is suspicious that you can only acquire such material from Christian-based sources”.
    Really F.L.A, if you wanted water would you go into the desert?
    If you wanted milk would you go to a horse?
    If I wanted historical and archaeological proof for the Bible would I go to an athiest or an evolutionist? Ofcourse not. Rediculous question.

  150. John said

    Not really Maz, considering that if it all actually happened that way historically, that the information would be available everywhere, from multiple sources.Theology wouldn’t even be an issue, and it shouldn’t when one is documenting historical events, people, and places.Such information would be expected to be found within all major museums and academic fields.If this historical and archaeological evidence that you favor can ONLY be confirmed by Christian sources, then you should not be too surprised when your “evidence” is looked upon with suspicion.
    It seems as if you think that everyone that does not share your theological views is fighting against you at every turn, academically or otherwise. As if we all have this great big agenda against you. This is not so.And if this was actually so…then would you ever consider the possibility that there MIGHT be something wrong with your theological views?
    That was a rhetorical question for you, I realize that now[smile].
    I have drunk milk from horses before.It’s good.

    Hello Fred.
    Perhaps you thought that we were both Wiccan because were together and both Pagan? No, I’m the only one.Have you ever heard of the Celts and their religious cast of priests and priestess’s named the Druids? If not then check it out some time.Wicca is a branch off of the Druids, like Christianity is a branch off of Judaism.If a Christian devote can claim that Moses, Noah, and other Old Testament Jews were actually Christians because of their associations with God, then the same can be claimed about Wiccans in regard to Druidism, if one wanted to,I guess[but I personally don’t see why this would be necessary].And the Celts and their Druids have existed since about 8,ooo B.C.[roughly, I should research this and get back to you tomorrow.].
    We share the same deities, but we have four more major holidays then the Druids, but I’m getting off the point.
    Because Wicca has almost no Dogma Wiccans can worship in whatever way they feel will help them get the most out of their[shouldn’t we be on another site for this?] relationship with the deities and theology.This leads to the birth of many little denominations as people will decide to break away from a coven[for whatever reasons] and start their own.Many people might say that Wicca came into existence during the early 20th century, but the truth is that this is when the religion just started to become well known again, thanks largely to the efforts of an old pervert[well, he was[grin]]by the name of Gerald Brousseau Gardner and a folklorist named Charles Godfrey Leland. A man named Raymond Buckland helped make Wicca popular here in America.But before him……my pagan, nature-worshiping ancestors came to America[the Carolinas,specifically] from Scotland and Ireland way back in the 1780’s.They were what would later be commonly known and labeled as the Wicca[an old word but not often used at the time].Until then they had just called themselves Witches or the “Cunning Folk” and left it at that.So “Wiccans” have been here in America at least since the time of the American Revolution.Mine is a very old denomination, my ancestors created and brought Samhain[Halloween] to this country.But being a Wiccan ain’t what it used to be, and now there are hundreds of denominations, many completely unlike myself, some only a few months old I’m sure.Overall the religion has become very popular, for better or for worse.I have to go now, but I’ll be back tomorrow, maybe.Hope that this helped to satisfy your curiosity some Fred.If not, then tell me what you want and I’ll see what I can do.Goodnight.

  151. ADB said

    Interesting information John, had little knowledge of your religion before. Of course, as a Christian I think you’re wrong, but anyway that’s your prerogative. You made an excellent point regarding historical/archaeological evidences for the Bible. Much of the history in the Bible is also verified by mainstream historical investigation. One particularly interesting case is the seige of Jerusalem by the Assyrians in the very late 8th century BC. One finds this event recorded in Assyrian records as well as in Isaiah. I’ve also seen some interesting stuff recently on the Exodus. The danger of relying solely upon so-called Christian history, is that you create the appearance of creating a circular argument. History is history, it is what it is. It is impossible to do research totally objectively; history is always part interpretation. But still, to the extent possible one should recognize and allow for one’s biases. I’m glad that archaeologists can study ruins of some of the ancient cities mentioned in the Bible. I’m glad that many of the rulers one can find mentioned in Luke/Acts are known rulers of Judea, Galilee, etc. I also don’t lose much sleep waiting for someone to definitively locate Noah’s Ark, the Ark of the Covenant, etc. And I also understand that some of what I believe very strongly: resurrection, Jesus’ miracles, etc. probably will have to remain matters of faith in that it is impossible to “prove” them at this point 2,000+ years later.

    Best wishes.

  152. ADB said

    Back to the original point of the thread, I don’t think that it is so much that Christianity appeals to the unintelligent. There is something of an egalitarian, anti-intellectual streak inherent in American culture. Sometimes churches express fear that one of their own whose entering the ministry will go to seminary and get messed up (admittedly some seminaries aren’t very good and others are far too liberal for me). This isn’t really a criticism of any particular group, but just an observation of our culture.

  153. Maz said

    ADB: Thanks for your blog #151. Yes, I would agree that there is some historical evidence outside of Christian sources. Ofcourse we also agree that bias has a lot to do with how you interpret the evidence.

    John: As a Christian ”devotee”, (I am devoted to Christ), I don’t claim that Moses, Noah or any OT Hebrew (Jewish person) was a Christian. There were no Christians until after Christ came, died, and was resurrected. The Church, comprised of Christians (first called that in Antioch) was born on Pentecost a few weeks after the Passover when Jesus died. And the Church was made up mainly of Jewish believers in the Christ, their Messiah, (Who was also Jewish ofcourse). Christians are those Who have Christ INDWELLING them by the Spirit. The OT Hebrew believers believed in the same God though ofcourse, Who was called Yahweh. Yeshua being His Son, and the Jewish Messiah.

  154. Mike S. said

    Maz. If John 14:6 is really true, then I would have to disagree. Those in the OT were saved because they believed in the promise of Christ yet to be fulfilled. (Looking forward to the cross) while we have the benefit of looking back to the fulfilled promise.

    Both are Christians by definition because they had/have faith in Christ alone for their salvation. I see your point regarding “indwelling” though. I guess it’s semantics… Is the definition of a Christian simply someone who trusts Christ for their salvation or someone who has received and is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, but those happen at the same time today… so… it’s probably not worth debating over.

  155. Maz said

    Mike: I didn’t say that were’nt ”saved”, I said they weren’t Christians. The OT saints if they followed the God of their father Abraham, would obtain the promise as Abraham did even before Christ came. They lived under the law, the sacrifices they did daily were a shadow of the cross.
    They looked forward to a Messiah coming, but did not know that He would come to die.
    The OT saints were not born again, and were not part of Gods Church through Christ, nevertheless if they continued in the law of God at that time they were in a sense ”saved” by their faith. We on the other hand are saved by grace through faith.
    In the OT they weren’t indwellt by the Holy Spirit either, they had anointings…prophets, priests, kings etc. And even in the NT there were those who had the Holy Spirit come upon them, but only came into them after Jesus was resurrected and the Holy Spirit was sent on the day of Pentecost.

  156. John said

    Maz, I said “If a Christian devote can claim…etc.”, not “If Christian devotees can claim…etc.” because I knew that this was something that some Christians like Mr.Sears agreed with and others did not.So there was no need to take that personally.I had already read such information that you provided within post#153 in the past from my own books, but thanks anyway.

    Best wishes to you too, ADB[smile].
    What a wonderfully diverse group of debaters this site has collected within the last few years, wouldn’t you say? Mormons, Atheists, Young-Earthers,a Wiccan, a homosexual, a vampire/ancestor of Christ,a few fanatics, a MONSTER,….. all bonded to this site for various reasons to create a very interesting ecosystem of ideas, annoyances, mysteries, and amusements.I think this is something to be proud of. Would anyone want things any other way? Not me.

  157. ADB said

    Mike and Maz,

    Interesting and thoughtful little discussion on the OT saints. The phrase about Abraham’s faith being credited to him as righteousness is very applicable. The faithful in the OT were saved just as we are, by their faith. Obedience to some of the aspects of the law particularly circumcision and dietary requirements, in my opinion, was a sign of their faith and their belonging to the covenant community rather than merely being a part of a system of works’ righteouness. They did not have the fullest revelation of God though, that being Jesus of course. While the OT Hebrews were not the “church” of Christ technically speaking, the church as I see it is the “wild olive branch” that is grafted into the covenant to use Paul’s phrasing from Romans. (Now the whole matter of exactly how the Jews may still be the “chosen people” is far too complex for this forum and something that I don’t fully understand). Maz, I think you are exactly right concerning the Holy Spirit. The Spirit indwelled particular individuals at times hence we read of kings or prophets being “in the spirit,” even though God’s Spirit did not actually dwell in all the faithful as he does now on this side of Pentecost. Anyway, that’s my 2 cents worth.

    As always, the curmudgeonly pastor!

  158. Maz said

    John: Your explanation accepted. But I’m still intrigued about this ”monster’ who can debate on line. Mmmmmm??

  159. F. L. A. said

    “Secrets something powerful”, Maz. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm?

  160. Maz said

    F.L.A: I might not know much if anything about you but God does….there’s no secret powerful enough to hide from Him. Mmmmmm.

  161. F. L. A. said

    It returns, regarding the woman on the pier with a hungry curiosity….and thinks,”MMMMMMMMMMMMM!”
    There are different reasons for keeping different secrets Maz. Do you not think that I understand the futility of trying to keep secrets from a deity? I can well imagine Jehovah watching me as I sink my teeth and hooks into living tissue and later carry body parts back to the house to hang in the cold larder for others to later enjoy.I hazard the guess that he is rather relieved knowing that I was not one of his own.No….the secrets are intended for you and your brethren.

  162. zerxil said

    how do you know those stars are x miles away? how long will it take rocks & dirt to evolve into life? would it take longer for molucules to evolve? why do things evolve? Evolution, it explains how we have so many species..from just a few to fit in an arc. how come you can breed wolves & get any dog, but you cant get wolves out of dogs.

  163. Chris C. said

    Zerxil, please see the thread: “Was Darwin Right of Wrong” for a detailed debate over the theory of evolution. Also, the TalkOrigins . com website is an excellent resource. if you are truly interested in learning the real science of evolution, the answers are easy to come by.

    There are various ways to measure distance in space. Close by we can use the find the parallax angle of the star in the sky and use the small angle formula to compete an approximate distance to the stars. Also, we can use the inverse square law as brightness relates to luminosity to determine distance. I encourage you to do some research. The universe and science is fascinating.

  164. Chris C. said

    Ooh, spelling errors galore in my post…

    A few more words. You ask, “why” do things evolve. It is important to note that science is not concerned with these sort of teleological questions. To suppose that things must happen for a reason isn’t a valid supposition.

  165. John said

    It’s good to hear from you again Chris C.
    Have you been reading all of the posts here? If so, then how have you enjoyed the weird creature that this site has become?
    Are not modern human beings fascinating[toothy grin]?

  166. Chris C. said

    I keep up with all but the most theologically dense conversations. Humans are fascinating…as an anthropologoy major I have to agree.

  167. John said

    Yes. They are both one of my most favorite AND most hated animals.
    Was it difficult to become an anthropology major? I’m only a country bumpkin bibliophile myself, but I sometimes wonder what an advanced education would do for me.I’ll never really know,I think, but it’s interesting to dream about.
    Goodnight.

  168. Chris C. said

    Well, I should qualify that by saying I’m in the process of getting my degree. But I certainly think there are much more difficult degrees to earn (BIO, CHEM, PHYSICS, etc.). Plus I’m still fascinated by the subject matter so it makes it easier to study.

    Oh, sorry, didn’t mean to hijack the thread here…

  169. F. L. A. said

    No need to apologize Chris C., for you are an interesting character.

  170. John said

    Ditto.[smile]

  171. ryan said

    hay im new at this so be cool as a christ can be, meaning reperzent . don’t speel my inereds as well as id like
    but i do have somethin to say. GOD sees everything -so do google earth man said id like to fly . man said id like to swim like a fish . oh id sure like to land on that big round thig up there .man has said, As GOD has manafested. Threw his word and faith to conceve all that is seen ,and we have the balls to beleve we’ve mastered somthin
    hay nano land you know i beleve you keep right on shrinkin we’ll never find the end of that direction as it is to the stars darwen hated the idea of family his idea of family revoved around -???????come on ! thats right sirvival of the fittist hitler sure tryed to drive that one threw oh and he didnt or coudent conceve of any thing more then an afternoon fart creating the now.man thats a brain . wait now do you think thats all folks? no no no no ! how was Adam formed ? threw every elament in the earth -hay better check that zinc level .and not to not mention EVE she was formed threw the merow of ADAMS RIB you know those pesky stem cells every ones raving about DAAA

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