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Exactly. In fact, I made note of that fact stating that "Christians revere Jesus as the Son of God, God the Son." This marks his deity. Also while all three "monotheism" believe in one God, only Christianity maintains a trinitarian unity - another foundational distinction between the three. And, as the column indicates, either Christianity or the others are wrong if logic has anything to do with it.
Thanks for the comment.
Thank you for that info.
He is/was of the typical militant mold of modern atheism.
Disturbed is a good way to put it.
Just a note that the above posts were the result of a poster who called himself "Stf Sgt Viper" who, like other skeptics, responded to my column with a barrage of blatant and unfounded assertions and name calling.
After my attempt to solicit just one rational argument in support of his propositions and assumptions, he/she just deleted his/her posts.
I understand the response very well, and I hope any followers of the dialogue saw the
indefensible nature of such blatant denials of God's existence. As the late Francis Schaeffer said many years ago, "He (God) is there and he is not silent.
Hello again Viper,
First of all, Hawking is in the same camp on this matter as other popular atheists like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and the late Christopher Hitchens - who, by the way, now believes in God.
Second, the myth is that those traditional human qualities like mind, conscience, reason, and volition can exist in a merely natural world determined by those preceding physical actions, reactions, and conditions within the brain. The myth that they can somehow emerge in a purely physical world is predominant even in modern academia, but popularity does not a truth make.
The reason you don’t address the issues noted above is simple. Doing so would be an admission that an atheistic view falls in to the very category to which you so adamantly consign theists generally and Christians particularly. I understand perfectly, and so do those who see the typical degrading lingo and name calling attached to your responses. It is difficult to carry on a discussion with someone who treats an issue in such a manner.
If you are willing to explain how any of the above qualities can exist in a purely physical world, we can continue the discussion. If not, I will pray that you come to the knowledge of the truth, Truth as expressed in the Risen Savior - the logical first cause of each one.
You really avoid the issues well.
So, you agree with the likes of Paul Churchland as mentioned above, “The important point about the standard evolutionary story is that the human species and all of its features are the wholly physical outcome of a purely physical process…. If this is the correct account of our origins then there seems neither need, nor room, to find any nonphysical substances or properties into our theoretical account of ourselves. We are creatures of matter. And we should learn to live with that fact” (What is the Soul, 50); or, John Searle who said it this way, “The upshot of this discussion I believe is to remind us of something that we have known all along: namely, mental states are biological phenomena. Consciousness, intentionality, subjectivity and mental causation are all a part of our biological life, history, along with growth, reproduction, the secretion of bile, and digestions.” Minds, (Brains and Science, John Searle 41).
According to such views, every quality traditionally considered uniquely human is nothing more than the action and reaction of physical properties.
The point is this. While you and others of like persuasion chide "believers" for their belief in the supernatural, naturalism of the sort maintained by modern atheists, with secularists in tow, is devoid of the very faculties about which they boast, i.e. reason, logic, human volition.
In a purely natural world, no such qualities exist, not really. Like Stephen Hawking reminds his readers in Black Holes and Baby Universes (128). Hawking understands the problem more so than many. He understands that such ideas have consequences and the idea of a purely natural and physical universe is no exception. Ideas have consequences and the consequences of a naturalistic world demands the forfeiture of those ideas and/or human qualities that depend on a theistic universe. Hawking carries the problem one step further, “One such problem with the idea that everything is determined by a grand unified theory,” he reminds us, “is that anything we say is also determined by the theory.”
There is no logical basis for the very qualities, like reason and volition, to which pure naturalists lay claim. Hawking continues by concluding that in a godless universe, both are mere illusions.
I'll rephrase the question using the appropriate pronouns.
Are you saying that those things typically called mind, reason, and volition are actual bona fide human qualities that have somehow escaped the purely natural and merely physical world in which you assume you live?
Hello Stf Sgt Viper,
I must ask, particularly since you so adamantly place God in the same category as “Santa Clause.” Are you saying that those things we typically call mind, reason, and volition are actual bona fide human qualities that have somehow escaped the purely natural and merely physical world in which you assume we live?
Good to have you on board.
Before we begin the discussion, I must ask why you consider the historicity of the resurrection vital to the Christian faith and then downplay the historicity of the historical narrative of Genesis? I see no hermeneutic consistency in doing so.
While we read many books without ascribing actual historical interpretations to them, I have no reason to think that Genesis was written for any other purpose than a historical one. In fact, it records not only the history of our origins, a literal ex nihilo creation by the word of God and then the literal salvific history of mankind but God’s actual historical and gracious intervention into the affairs of man in order to bring salvation in space and time in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
It is the historicity of Adam’s fall that haunts us to this day. In fact, as one apologist put it, “human depravity, while one of the most contested of Christian doctrines, is one of the easiest to prove.” It records the cause of the obvious effect, sin.
Paul’s reference to the “first Adam” is the logical historical reference to the sufficiency of the actual death of the Savior himself. It is the Genesis account, the historical account, of Adam and his fall that gives credence to the propositional truths he gives us. (1Corinthians 15:45)
Creation of the universe is one thing but the existence of pain, suffering, and our ultimate nemesis, apart from Christ of course, death, are explained in the literal historical fall of Adam (1 Corinthians 15:22). The contrast makes sense only if the account of the fall is as literal, historically, as the life wrought in Jesus.
Even in regard to marriage, Jesus takes the original couple and their joining to each other as the divine paradigm for marriage as literal. His words to the religious intelligentsia in regard to divorce maintained a historical referent or it would have been useless (Matthew 19:8).
These are just a few because there are many other reasons for accepting Genesis as historical narrative. While much of it may have been revelatory, it does not annul the fact that it was true history.
Hello Again William,
Sorry it took so long to get back but between beings sick and job hunting, I’ve had to prioritize my life a bit.
Let me begin by addressing the “links” you posted. As far as I can tell, every “contradiction” listed by the skeptical sites you listed were a compilation of those that have been resolved by biblical scholars for quite some time.
The problem with many of them is that they don’t even qualify as possible “contradictions” at all, but are, rather, variant views of the same events; particularly in the Gospels involving the Resurrection accounts. A contradiction is claiming that A is non-A at the same time and the same relationship. For example, when one account of the resurrection says that 2 angels were present and one account says that 1 was present, neither text says that the appearances took place at the same time and in the same relationship. In fact, the Gospel of John notes that the there were 3 trips on 3 different occasions to the empty tomb of Jesus. It is perfectly reasonable to conclude that on one occasion 1 angel appeared and that on a different occasion 2 angels appeared. Many of the “contradictions” are easily reconciled with a closer look at the text and the context and then putting the pieces together. (This is just one example)
Other “contradictions,” so called, are easily reconciled via a sound theology. Understanding God’s sovereign role as the architectural cause of all events combined with the personal, i.e. satanic or human, involvement of free moral agents as the direct cause of certain events solves many more of them.
Your assertion that so many versions somehow discredit inerrancy isn't a fair treatment of the inerrancy issue. Inerrancy applies to the original text while translations, any of them, have those issues typical of any translational process. The way that the NIV, KJV, ASV, etc, translate a passage may translate certain words differently but that does no harm to the inerrancy issue.
Second, much textual work has yielded a textual accuracy to 99.9% with no particular doctrinal issue in question. I suggest reading Josh McDowell in regard to these issues.
Nor do “interpretive” issues apply to the inerrancy issue. We are not promised error free interpretive skills. We only defend the inerrancy of the text as “God Breathed.”
Also, I do understand what you were saying in regard to Darwin.
“Growl” back at ya!
First, I would like to hear the particular inaccuracies about which you spoke.
Sorry it took so long to get back with you, but been job hunting and writing my weekly column.
The biblical truth concerning “inspiration” is often misunderstood. In fact, it is often confused with “revelation” when, in fact, revelation is the direct communication by God to human beings, and it takes several forms. Natural revelation consists of both an external and internal means of divine communiqué, as in the objective cosmos itself and its correspondence with the mind of man, and then the human conscience, which makes us inherently and indubitably moral creatures. This moral consciousness declares a higher moral standard and given the law of first cause with the cause necessarily greater than the effect.
Natural Revelation is the direct manifestation of God’s existence and nature to men. It is divine and direct intervention, generally speaking, into the thoughts and affairs of men. Man, despite his attempts to do so, cannot rid himself of this nagging sense of his divine origin.
I would contend, however, that SPECIAL revelation informed Moses of the creation, flood, and Babel accounts. It is possible, however, that some of his information concerning their heritage as the people of God emerged via oral tradition, but the doctrine of “inspiration” would insure that only a historically accurate version emerged.
The assumption that all orally transmitted information is ipso facto erroneous is a stretch though. It is logical and practically conceivable that one particular version, if such info was used in the first place, does not condemn the biblical account to the abyss of mythology and historical error. Even if, as you say, “scholars believe that he only recorded oral history from previous generations for Genesis,” does no harm to the historicity.
In fact, the biblical and logical argument would be that “inspiration” guaranteed that only the correct version emerged. The Gospel of Luke, for example, states forthrightly that the famed contemporary doctor of the apostles gathered much of his information from other sources. Luke 1:1-3
Here, I would say that inspiration guaranteed that only the sound versions of the life of Christ emerged and this is consistent with the doctrine of inspiration.
Concerning the idea that Darwin was a theologian, I understand the basis of the argument and it may have it place. The only problem, however, is that every worldview has its trophies. I have two books written by former preachers who are now atheists. I could also, for example, tout the move of Antony Flew, the atheists that all other atheists have quoted, from atheism to theism as one of our greatest. Other factors are important in such “gains.” The issue I want to stress here is that such trophies do not an argument make.
Keep it coming, I am enjoyuing the interaction.
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