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January 12, 2012

Comments

Well said Amy. You describe the reason why there is often a growing gulf between these two contrary worldviews. In my opinion Christianity flourishes as we walk in Christ while the atheist position effectively remains static... But Hitchens story highlights the problem... are we providing our kids with an intellectually rigorous Faith that moves beyond therapeutic deism? I must sadly say often the answer is "no". And are we as parents actually engaging in this effort in a consistent, effective and meaningful way in our homes and within the confines of our broader christian communities. I think the answer is again no...

As parents, I think that by and large, we have failed our kids and youth in this area. THe results have been well documented in numerous studies on attendance and commitment. But, thank God for ministries like STR who are making a difference! We fail in this regard NOT because the information, teaching or programs are unavailable. Instead we fail because we don't have the time or inclination or fervent desire to equip ourselves sufficiently to engage in these ideas and prepare ourselves to give good answers to our kids and their friends (even though we should, at the very least, be able to point out where good answers can be found). But why should we have to do this work? After all, isn't that what youth pastors are for?

Hitchens experience is exemplary. Could you imagine if his intellectual acumen and rhetorical skills would have been in the service of Christ (much like his brother)... As parents we must begin to engage in the battle. To long have we sat on the side lines and our kids are paying a frightening cost. If Christianity is "True", there can be no greater incentive to do better in this area than the eternal destinies of our own children.

Very well said, both of you, Amy and JustChatting. It is a real, active, even adventurous faith that engages.

Youth (that particular line of distinction continues to raise as I get older) in particular, though many adults as well, tend to say they feel "as though no one understands me." They are only beginning to understand the subjective world, and I think it rare that we, as parents and teachers, take the time and (somewhat considerable) trouble to see past our own subjective and shallow selfishness to give a rock-solid (objective) foundation for our youth to build on. We have grown so accustomed to living in our own little world, we tend to answer questions posed us from the perspective that world provides: wholly insufficient answers for people also being raised to live in their own little worlds.
(Yet another reason to get rid of this 'cult of individuality' so persistent in the West.)

Hitchens' description reminds me of a man who tried relentlessly to march forward in the direction he was pointed, only instead of stepping stones, he was given sand to walk on; the mountain just wearing away with each step he took, with each answer given his questioning mind.

And what child doesn't question?

Just about every other page in the Old Testament has God killing somebody! In 2 Kings 10:18-27, God orders the murder of all the worshipers of a different god in their very own church! In total God kills 371,186 people directly and orders another 1,862,265 people murdered. Satan 10 dead.
The God of the Bible also allows slavery, including selling your own daughter as a sex slave (Exodus 21:1-11), child abuse (Judges 11:29-40 and Isaiah 13:16), and bashing babies against rocks (Hosea 13:16 & Psalms 137:9). This type of criminal behavior should shock any moral person. Murder, rape, pillage, plunder, slavery, and child abuse can not be justified by saying that some god says it’s OK. If more people would actually sit down and read the Bible there would be a lot more atheists like myself.

Thanks Mary... very compelling (for a tired point). You must have really studied the scriptures to generate numbers so accurately (or plucked them from the atheist website de jour?). And of course you are offering us a new point (not so much) and one that has no good response (or perhaps well addressed by many?).

So, instead of boring you with "answers" you don't want to hear I would ask this question. Given that God does not exist (apparently a self-evident truth) isn't then evil done throughout history the sole responsibility of human beings?

That means murder, rape, pillage, plunder, slavery and child abuse are all acts committed by people against other people, having nothing to do with God (who is dead and we killed him), irrespective of whether such acts are committed by deluded theists or atheists. Under atheism I expect that people are still responsible for their own actions (good or bad)... Surprizingly, this is also the Christian view! That's why "sin", "evil" or "wickedness" are often considered morally culpable.

Who would have believed we had so much in common! Of course, maybe its all just in the genes (picture here Richard D clapping his hands gleefully). Or, better yet, maybe there is no such thing as evil? This certainly seems a plausible contention given a strong naturalism, and today we seem to have nothing but... Yet, if there is no "real" evil, well, then as William penned, "the Lady doth protest to much, methinks."

Curious, Mary.

How would you define a 'moral person'?

Mary

"Satan 10 dead."

Had it not been for the Satan tempting Eve, no one would have to die. Thus, your count seems just a tad off as he is responsible for the introduction of every death of the past, present and the future.

So why did God create Satan, Louis? I guess he wanted people to die along.

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