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June 08, 2007

Comments

"they agree on many, many things, including matters that are most important"

God's don't make mistakes. "many many" is not "all all"

So let me ask you Tony. If the main tenets of Christianity are true and Jesus is who He said he is, are we to forget about all the main critical stuff we can support because there are some stylistic stuff that we are not sure how it works? Because even if the details are sometimes fuzze, the fact of the matter is that the core of Christianity (Christ live, proved himself to be God and rose from the dead) is pretty reasonable and pretty well backed up. I feel that it is a mistake to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Are there difficulties? Sure, but its like saying that because you dont understand all the effects and charateristics of gravity, or quantum mechanics that we just chuck the whole thing. The core is there and it is sound, so you would be a fool to not at least consider it.

Just another point of view. I always appreciate and respect your candor and insights.

>> "I feel that it is a mistake to throw the baby out with the bathwater."

Gods don't have "bathwater". All their output is divine.

Tony, two things:

First, the Gospels shouldn't agree on "all all" things, because they don't speak of all the same things. When they speak of the same things, they should agree on them all; but there are things in the one that aren't in the other. Thus, "many" is appropriate.

Second, although Brad's "baby with the bathwater" isn't an inspired analogy ;-), there's some value in it. He's not claiming that _he_ disbelieves parts of the Gospels; he's saying that just because _you_ can't explain/disbelieve minor parts of the Gospels doesn't mean you should throw out the parts that are clear and substantiated. I don't know if I see that as a useful argument (I find it hard to accept the testimony of a person I think is a liar on an important claim), but it's his entire point.

I'd agree with you that if the Gospels are inspired, they must be inerrant. (I should add that very good Christians disagree with me.)

I know this is off topic, but shouldn't everyone be discussing Paris Hilton right now? I think she just switched brands of perfume.

I, for one, as a Christian, shy from the term "inerrant." For one, they refer to documents none of us have ever seen ("the original autographs") so I cannot agree to any translation as being "inerrant." The very nature of language necessitates changes in tone and nuance as it is adapted to modern vernacular. Thus, I do not subscribe to "the inerrant Word of God" definition.

Actually, I can believe in Jesus without the extra added weight of "inspired Scripture." If the Gospels are reasonably accurate (that is, they record Jesus' words as heard by others), and the epistle writers were writing with studied and tried wisdom, why do I need to go the extra mile for "inspiration?" Shouldn't they stand on their own as reliable works?

An interesting thing happened to me last night. Someone broke the window of my neighbors car and took his stereo.

My wife said she saw one man leaving into a parking lot. Another neighbor said that she saw two men at the car and a third in the get-a-way car. She described the car as brown four door nissan or toyota. My other neighbor said she thought it was a two door gray honda.

With all those contradictions, they must have made the whole thing up.

But I did look in the car and the stereo was missing! I think my wife and neighbors stole the stereo themselves and made up a really lame story about the stereo being stolen.

later
Todd

Hey William,

Thanks for helping clarify my point for Tony. You were right on. But I think for me, is that a lot of the so called contradictions, as Melinda mentioned, are actually so. We have no idea in a lot of cases if we are talking about the same events from the same perspective or different event or what. When the Gospels were written, they didn't have delineations within the text like "the tomb of Jesus from Mary's standpoint" or the tomb of Jesus from so and so's viewpoint". I do not think it is so farfetched and unreasonable to say there is a decent chance on some of them that the viewpoints are different and therefore some details and that sometimes they are different instances alltogether.

Also, I think that some of the points of Perry are good as well. Language changes and there is a chance on minor points that some things didnt come out right though manuscript evidence helps to keep major doctrinal things pretty clean. Finally, the fact about the original autograph is that though we have great scholarship shows that a great deal of the Bible seems to have not been altered at all, we can see that it is entirely probable that there could have been some silly scribal errors or the like that may have made some number changes 3 to a 5 or what have you. But any arguments against subsequent copies don't even touch the original autographs at all.

Brad

Sorry about the poorly written post right above this. I am taking care of my baby while talking theology shop lol.

Todd,

>> “She described the car as brown… My other neighbor said she thought it was… gray…”

Then that proves that their accounts were not as per the direction of the Lord. For the lord has perfect color perception.

The bible is not a police report. It is a message from the creator of the cosmos. The same creator who made such things as: the laws of physics, logic, mathematics, energy, stars, planets, and the 250 billion neurons that make up Todd’s brain.

I don’t think God needs glasses Todd.

William,

>> "I'd agree with you that if the Gospels are inspired, they must be inerrant."

Ya Will I think that's going to be a hard position to defend. A lot of Christians (greg included) don't subscribe to this view anymore.

Here’s a good example of a contradiction I like:

Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshapat the father of Jehoram, Jehoram the father of Uzziah.
- Mathew

Asa his son, Jehoshapat his son, Jehoram his son, Ahaziah his son, Joash his son, Amaziah his son, Azariah [also called Uzziah] his son.
- Chronicles

In the first verse, Jehoram is the father of Uzziah.

In the second verse Jehoram is the father of Ahaziah, and then, four branches down, Azariah/Ussiah is mentioned.

I have read Christian Hugh Ross's take on this contradiction. He states that there only appears to be a contradiction because we are looking at it with western eyes. That in actuality, sometimes family lineages did not necessarily list ALL of the sons. They sometimes ignored the ones who didn’t make much of an impact on the world.

Well, why not.

Some other things you can say are:

- They are talking about two different Jehorams.
- The second verse is not listing a succession of generations but a chronological order of sons born.
- In the second verse Azariah is NOT synonymous with Uzziah and in actuality the person Uzziah is not mentioned at all here.
- One of these particular verses contains corrupted text that should not be included in the completed bible.

Anyway, this is where faith comes in I guess.

I am sorry Tony, but you come off as arrogant on your last post. You are basically implying that you know how God would act if there was a Christian God. "If there were a Christian God, He would act like x. Since He does not act like x, there is no God." But you do not have any proof as a deist that any of that knowledge exists.

But if you are saying that all Christians look at inspired and innerant the way as you imply and describe, then you are setting up a strawman. If you look, you will find a lot of good scholarship in Christian circles that have some goood answers worth thinking about. :)

Brad,

>> "If there were a Christian God, He would act like x. Since He does not act like x, there is no God."

No it's more like:

“If the Christian God exists, he can only compose flawless messages. Since his message does not appear flawless, I doubt he wrote it.”

While it's the traditional Muslim claim that God (Allah) literally wrote the Qur'an, I don't think it's the traditional Christian view that God literally wrote the scriptures, ie the difference here is between 'inspiration' and 'dictation'.

"Anyway, this is where faith comes in I guess."

Tony, you seem to project this answer a lot on other people and it's quite a tell. Given your faith comes in just fine when it has to "leap" over all of the rational ties and miraculous coincidences that couldn't have been written by accident.

It's like when I see mother Theresa selflessly help some crippled kid I wonder how an atheist can't see a benevolent, divine, meaningful morality played out...this is where your faith comes in I guess.

Abiogenesis? Your faith comes in.

Meaning? Your faith.

An amazing Bible where the only mistakes you can find are henpecking Uzziah with a tin-eared context? I guess that's where your faith comes in.

Beauty? Your faith comes in I guess.

Rationality? Logic? Objective moral truth? Your faith can leap over all of these things. So you should demark what kind of faith you're talking about so we don't get them confused with the materialist kind.

Todd,

Jesus is not a car stereo, but I guess the stroy works.

*story* the story works.

Doug T,

Ahh mannn Doug you didn’t even try with the bible verse. Oh well it’s Friday night and I ain’t got nobody - as the song goes. we’ll talk about that then:

>> “It's like when I see mother Theresa selflessly help some crippled kid I wonder how an atheist can't see a benevolent, divine, meaningful morality played out”

Why was the kid cursed with a crippled body to begin with? When I see this view I think, “how can the Christians see a god who’s benevolent, divine, and practices a meaningful morality.” Not to mention the fact that Mother Theresa helped a lot of muslim kids – who go to hell anyway. One could make a good case that she was wasting resources.

Crippled kid video here:
http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/local/news-article.aspx?storyid=28372

>> “Abiogenesis? Your faith comes in.”

I don’t believe in molecules to man yet.

>> “Meaning? Your faith.”

I told you, life is meaningless.

>> “An amazing Bible where the only mistakes you can find are henpecking Uzziah with a tin-eared context? I guess that's where your faith comes in.”

Huh? That’s where Christian faith comes in. As Craig Blomberg told Less Strobel:

“Certainly there's no shortage of authoritative books that thoroughly examine, sometimes in excruciating detail, how these differences might be reconciled. "And," said Blomberg, "there are occasions when we may need to hold judgment in abeyance and simply say that since we've made sense out of the vast majority of the texts and determined them to be trustworthy, we can then give them the benefit of the doubt when we're not sure on some of the other details."

Blomberg (and many other Christians) are ok with the existence of pockets of inconsistencies in God’s book. I’m not. I would expect a divine god to have a divine book.

>> “Beauty? Your faith comes in I guess.”

You mean why are chicks pretty? We are sexually attracted to human females when they enter breeding age. As they grow older, they are less sexually attractive. And for good reason, for if all men pursued breeding arrangements with women over 35, statistically speaking, eventually, everyone on earth would be retarded – ovum’s start going bad around then (sperm too actually but not as much).

>> “Rationality? Logic? “

Good. As mentioned previously I consider the epistemic challenges to my views to be the most damaging.

>> “Objective moral truth?”

Programmed behaviors that benefit the herd – seen in many mammals.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altruism_in_animals

http://www.amazon.com/Chimpanzee-Politics-Power-among-Apes/dp/0801863368

"Programmed behaviors that benefit the herd – seen in many mammals."

Again, your faith at work. How does true altruism benefit the herd? The strongest are supposed to survive and Mother Theresa massaging some kid's legs who was born with no brain isn't helping anyone. She's actually harming the herd. The same goes for doctors who fix people to pass on their weak eye sight, cancer, dwarfism, diabetes.

Basing objective moral truth on just what benefits the herd requires faith, not logic...and even you don't practice this.

'The greatest act of faith takes place when a man finally decides that he is not God.'-- Johann Wolfgang Goethe

“If the Christian God exists, he can only compose flawless messages. Since his message does not appear flawless, I doubt he wrote it.”

Tony,
This is a non sequitor, because if the Christian God cannot allow any flaw, then any flaw in the universe would be proof against him as a first cause. At some point, God would have allowed for non-God stuff to exist.

As one who studied textual criticism I'll be glad to say that from time to time, men fail. Inks fail. Paper fails. Transcription fails. That's to be expected when so many people are working to copy and disperse the autographs.

But though there are no contradictions in the Bible the presence of one wouldn't disprove a perfect God any more than the presence of sin disproves him. You were made no less in the image of God than our Bible. You may sin or lie in a way that a book can't, but imperfection in your life is no proof that God doesn't exist or that he didn't make you.

You hold to a conveniently high standard of skepticism when reading the Bible and drop the standard to the floor when searching for chaos in the universe. Some curse God for thorns growing among roses but I praise him for growing roses among the thorns.

The symmetry, order, beauty and meaning in the Bible and all of God's creation is staggering, and you find a few zits and see absolute disorder.

Doug, it's been great reading your comments back and forth with Tony. You have a distinct way of communicating truth in a bold yet funny way.

I find it preposterous that Tony prescribes to many things such as rationality, ethics, logic, beauty, metaphysics, and meaning in order to describe his rants against God. Yet all of these are illusory in a naturalistic worldview. The moment he tries to defend his positions he has to borrow aspects of the same Christian worldview he's trying to make his case against.

As one who prides himself on being a rational person, seeing this wild inconsistency in your worldview would surely have to make you think twice on the validity of your views. At least that's what the logical thing to do would be.

Hi Alvin and Tony

yeah the stereo part is a little silly. I mean if they told me the stereo popped out on its own I wouldn't have believed them!

But that story really did happen the other night. I thought it was interesting how a real historical event can be seen slightly differently. We were all telling the truth, we weren't making anything up, but because stuff happens so fast, and there is the element of surprise, we were unsure about some of the details.

later
Todd

"As one who prides himself on being a rational person, seeing this wild inconsistency in your worldview would surely have to make you think twice on the validity of your views. At least that's what the logical thing to do would be."

Daniel F,
if you read Tony's posts carefully he does see the inconsistency of his own world view and thinks twice about it. He also participates in wrestling Christian world views to see if the weak points topple the paradigm.

That's a guy that one can debate with...but that Tom guy? Biggest waste of typing on the planet.

I read through Tony's comments and I know he knows the Bible is true even though he claims it is a lie. He just doesn't want to submit to the creator.

He knows his worldview gives no meaning to life at all. Everyone steals from the Chrstian worldview because of its OBJECTIVE TRUTH.

Amen to the comment about Tony and Tom.


Tony,
"I would expect a divine god to have a divine book."

You are providing excellent evidence that the God of the bible is not man's invention. He does not behave in a manner you would expect a god that is a human construct to behave or achieve ends through methods one would expect and then project into that construct.
You seem to be providing evidence of bible as having devine origins even as you believe you are doing the opposite.

Good point Doug. Although I do disagree a lot with Tony, he at least sees the logical conclusion of his views. I commend you for that, Tony. To be honest, I've not met someone like him before in conversation. He willingly accepts his wild views and just "hopes for the best." Maybe one day we'll have him on "our side."

Don't get me started on that Tom character, haha.

"You are providing excellent evidence that the God of the bible is not man's invention."

I also think about how God breaks my perception of him in real life...we try to get our mind around him by putting logical principles on top of him and forcing the bible to read this way or that.

I think the doctrine of the Trinity says it best that God is in three "persons". A person is not a formula, nor is he some binary logic problem. This helps me understand some of his ways when he chooses to answer some prayers but usually does nothing. He responds with the same free will we might expect from a person.

Compare his person to the mechanized materialist notions of the particles endlessly reacting in space. They must act perfectly logically because they are not a person, though their core being is chaos, the to-hu-bo-hu.

God is a person.

Daniel F,

Daniel F. Daniel F. Where the heck have you been?

Well I’ve decided that I’m not gonna write to you anymore because you NEVER WRITE ME BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

Wes,

Everyone everyone. Wes figured me out.

Wes, intelligent comments only next time. Everyone knows you think i'm a sinner and that i'm blind to the vast power of your arguments. And that i'm going to hell. Ok we got it. But at least try to mix in ONE argument with your comments uhmmm kkkkkk.

p.s. i saw your website. Your wife is cute. And you look EXACTLY like i thought you would.
That was odd...

Louis,

>> “He does not behave in a manner you would expect a god that is a human construct to behave or achieve ends through”

Actually I’m using your definition of God. You think God is divine. You think God wrote a book. But I saw the book and, as most here admit surprisingly, it is not divine. Hence I doubt God wrote it.

Doug T,


>> "Programmed behaviors that benefit the herd – seen in many mammals." Again, your faith at work. How does true altruism benefit the herd? The strongest are supposed to survive and Mother Theresa massaging some kid's legs who was born with no brain isn't helping anyone. She's actually harming the herd.

A dolphin is too, when he swims below another dolphin to keep her rising to the surface. Or when bonobos help injured bonobos. The mental lure of altruism is a fascinating mental event. Next time your on the freeway and you come to an intersection with a homeless person holding a sign, notice that, until the light turns red, all you can think about is the homeless person. The brain goes into a swirl of cost-benefit analysis and moral and ethical deductions. Just a programmed response. We’re not a whole lot different than many animals. You may like these videos:

http://www.glasskite.com/site-gregiswrong-old/home/videos/kokos_kitten.wmv

http://www.glasskite.com/site-gregiswrong-old/home/videos/echo_of_the_elephants.wmv

>> “Since his message does not appear flawless, I doubt he wrote it.” Tony,
This is a non sequitor, because if the Christian God cannot allow any flaw, then any flaw in the universe would be proof against him as a first cause. At some point, God would have allowed for non-God stuff to exist.”

The bible IS “god stuff”.

>> “and you find a few zits and see absolute disorder.”

Gods don’t have “zits”. It only takes one.

TO EVERYONE,

There seems to be a recurring mantra amongst Christians that “You must borrow from the Christian worldview to even argue with me.”

This is not a bad point to make to the uninitiated. It’s a quick and dirty observation about your opponent’s lack of epistemic grounding. As stated again and again, I find the epistemic challenges to my view to be the most damaging.

But I’m not really borrowing from Christianity here. If anything, I’m borrowing from Plato.

As Dr. Karlis Podnieks said in his paper “Platonism, Intuition, and the nature of Mathematics”

“Particularly, the everyday philosophy of working mathematicians is a Platonist one. Platonist attitude to objects of investigation is inevitable for a mathematician: during his everyday work he is used to treat numbers, points, lines etc. as the "last reality", as a specific independent "world". This sort of Platonism is an essential aspect of mathematical method, the source of the surprising efficiency of mathematics in the natural sciences and technology.”

Indeed, it is quite useful. Ironically, Plato’s school was closed around 500 AD by Justinian of Byzantium. Reportedly because he felt it threatened Christianity. HAH Funny how nowadays so much of Christianity utilizes his tools.

Admittedly, as stated I do think that a platonic take on things does make a lot more sense following a belief in deism. Again, as noted, this is basically the ONLY reason that I do not call my self an atheist, and agree with Antony Flew here – in subscribing to the possible existence of the “God of Einstein” as he said. In other words, a (possibly) sentient creator of the cosmos who made matter and the platonic realm.

Pending more research on the nature of consciousness, I think most of these issues will one day be illuminated. As Patricia Churchland said, “Platonism is surely a kind of convenient myth, rather like the way in which frictionless planes and ideal gases are convenient myths, or perhaps even as the "spirit of Christmas" or "zeitgeist" are convenient myths.”

The epiphenomenon of logical deduction and consciousness is a hot hot topic in philosophy. It is most definitely one of the top 10 problems the human race has ever dealt with. The brain is often called, “an electricians worst nightmare”.

So your answer to this problem is to say “Hey guys this old book says that the answer to your question is that you have a ghost glued to your neurons and said ghosts has access to a realm of truths.”

Well maybe.

Who knows it might be true.

But I’d like to give the cognitive science guys a few more decades to work on the problem, especially now that the tools to do so are finally being developed.

"But I’d like to give the cognitive science guys a few more decades to work on the problem, especially now that the tools to do so are finally being developed."

...and once again, Tony expresses his faith. If we can just rip off a Beatles 3 chord progression and make it all rhyme we'll have worship services for the anti-Christians.

We have little to nothing from the cognitive science guys that has stood the test of time. What we know is that they can't seem to know anything in this field and largely abandon math and physics to embrace essoteric philosophies.

You further expose your faith by showing that though you don't know what they will find, you state that the tools are finally being developed...developed for what? Experiments that only conclude in the 'correct' struct of Materialism? Gay. Perhaps our consciousness is made of the Flying Spaghetti Monster right?

Guess what the materialists will find? They will just happen to find that everything can be explained by billions and trillions of chemical reactions at the molecular level...that morality and objective moral truths are just projections of cultural preferences and that we should do more happiness and do less harm.

Genius.

And like the Bible, and you being made in the image of God, God did a pretty good job on Plato too. Amazing how all of these civilizations just happened to reveal objective moral truth long before Christ came along. It's as if the Jesus' Seminar's revisionism about Paul inventing a Sun God was just fabricated to avoid a transcendent truth that immaterial logic can be flushed from any person at any time!

Even before Christ, God was smart...but we aren't arguing God since you'll buy the Flew-god if he behaves himself and sits in his box on the shelf.

Forgive my lucidity, I had a big glass of wine with dinner and it's showing.

For the love of god what is the deal with people drinking and blogging lately? This is getting weird.

>> “We have little to nothing from the cognitive science guys that has stood the test of time”

Little was done in cog sci before the 70’s and really, the 80’s. I know. I have a b.s. in cog sci. So I’m gonna give them some time.

Basically some of the smartest men on the planet have contributed to this question (Roger Penrose, Stephen Wolfram, David Chalmers, The Churchlands) so I’m willing to put the ghost in the shell theory off a bit.

I didn’t really see a coherent flow to your arguments but if you would like an excellent description on the Christian take on this I suggest JP Moreland’s book “Body and Soul”.

Sorry Tony, life has been busy this side of the computer screen. I've not even been able to keep up with my blog. Now things have loosened up a little here and I have time to invest in a good conversation with ya here and there.

I'm in the process of getting a new site up and running as well.

Oh and I actually got to see pictures of you on your site. I was surprised. You didn't look like I expected at all. Are you Italian?

[comment removed]

Tony,

While we certainly do not agree with everything you say, I think that having you as a poster here, is great. At the very least you keep me on my toes and make sure I have to really think out my and Christianity's claims and work them out to their logical conclusions. our minds at least. As for the guy who posted above me, I don't want you to think we are all like that. Whoever did that was way out of line bro.

Brad

Tony,
I love that Moreland book. Part of why I think cog. sci will go down the exact same rabbit trail that evolution has gone down for 100 years is because of the materialist approach to science.

If ID is true, the discovery will have been retarded by the science community themselves, all because they had more faith in random mutation than a First Cause...though a first cause is more rational, as even atheists like Flew have come to reason.

Moreland's work is superior because he starts with the possiblity that the human soul can exist...and your inelegant way of saying the soul is stuck to cells is pretty clunky compared to what Thomistic Substance Dualism has in explanitory power.

In short, the philosophically inbred cog sci departments isn't where the breakthrough is likely to come...though I expect elaborate rabbit trails.

"Blomberg (and many other Christians) are ok with the existence of pockets of inconsistencies in God’s book. I’m not. I would expect a divine god to have a divine book."

No, that's not what Bloomberg said. He said that he's willing to admit that he doesn't know which resolution some of those apparent contradictions have, and he's willing to not demand solid knowledge of those points, because the Bible _does_ give solid knowledge on many other points.

For example, we don't know why the basin in the temple is given measurements that result in a naive calculation of pi coming out to 3. It could be inaccuracy in measuring; it could be a fairly precise measurement that just happened to measure outer-diameter instead of inner diameter. It could be something else (heck, it could be trying to teach us that the vaule of pi at the time WAS 3). We don't know which explanation to choose, so we can't take a lesson from that text on that point. That doesn't mean the text is in error, though; it just means we don't understand it. If we wish to believe in infallibility (which I do), I assume in faith that there isn't an valuable lesson to be learned from knowing the resolution to that quandry. If we believe in inerrancy (which I do), we believe that there IS a resolution to the quandry (whether I know it or not). It makes things easy when I can easily see possible resolutions (as in the "pi=3" example).

-Billy

Tony,

"Actually I’m using your definition of God. You think God is divine. You think God wrote a book."

Well...now, I don't think that God wrote the book. I think that God authored it's contents in the original autographs. Now, God did this in a manner that would be perfect for its purpose, not to be perfect for perfections sake, which is what you think it should be.

" But I saw the book and, as most here admit surprisingly, it is not divine. Hence I doubt God wrote it."

I don't think that I ever said he wrote it. I have, however, stated that He is it's author. Frankly, to present the "good news" in a manner that mankind can grasp it, does not require perfection. However, it must be attuned prefectly to the purpose for which it was intended. In conveying that message it contains not a single error and is bolted to the reality of mankind's condition and need along with God's provision for it.

Louis,

>> “I don't think that I ever said he wrote it. I have, however, stated that He is it's author.”

: )

Ah Louis my friend. That has gotta be the funniest thing I’ve read in all my years on the STR blog.

Combs47,

>> [comment quote removed]

: )

Gotta admit this guy is creative. But if I said that on this blog, I would encounter the wrath of queen Amy in seconds.

AMY ! ! ! ! ! Did you see what he said to me?????

Here’s a funny insult that I got from the Phil Hendrie show:

Combs47, I’m gonna kick your a--, kill you, then I’m going to blow up and entire orphanage, so that when I die, I can go to hell, find you, and kick your a-- again! ! !

: ) God I miss Phil.

Brad,

>> “While we certainly do not agree with everything you say, I think that having you as a poster here, is great”

Bless you Brad.

And anyway you know how boring this blog would be without me? You all would only have freakin Alan Aronson to talk too. I can’t stand that guy!

Ya need me ya all need me. (especially Wes) In the words of my namesake Scarface:

"Whattaya lookin' at?...You don't have the guts to be what you wanna be. You need people like me. You need people like me so you can point your fingers, and say "that's the bad guy." So, what dat make you? Good? You're not good; you just know how to hide. How to lie. Me, I don't have that problem. Me, I always tell the truth--even when I lie.”

HAHAA

Classic classic classic. I love that guy.

Doug T,

>> “If ID is true, the discovery will have been retarded by the science community themselves,”

Ya I agree. I don’t believe in ‘molecules to man’ yet as stated.

>> “your inelegant way of saying the soul is stuck to cells is pretty clunky compared to what Thomistic Substance Dualism has in explanitory power.”

Nah I’m pretty familiar with the flavors of dualism. Ultimately a ‘ghost glued to my neurons’ is really what it comes down to. Some people like to say ‘the soul is unified with my organism’ but I actually think my rendition is much more accurate.

>> “the philosophically inbred cog sci departments isn't where the breakthrough is likely to come...though I expect elaborate rabbit trails.”

Alternatively, dualism could be proved via the NDE phenomenon. Moreland also has a book on NDE. But there needs to be more research done. I am quite open to the data that both schools will provide us.

Hi Will,

>> “That doesn't mean the text is in error, though; it just means we don't understand it. If we wish to believe in infallibility (which I do), I assume in faith that there isn't an valuable lesson to be learned from knowing the resolution to that quandry. If we believe in inerrancy (which I do), we believe that there IS a resolution to the quandry (whether I know it or not).”

Ya and this is why I think that really, Melinda’s post (which is entitled “Gospel Contradictions?”) is ultimately a waste of time. There NECESSARILY cannot exist a contradiction in the bible given your above statement.

I really need you Tony?

I'm not that kinda guy.

Funny guy. You are the one that made the claim not me.

I am just asking why. I was waiting for the bash the Christian who likes to talke about the real root of the problem.

You know it is the only problem you have with God. Nothing else that He can't change your mind about once you take care of the main issue.

You think I am pointing the finger at you. I guess you didn't read through my testimony on my web site. I was in complete depravity, I know there is no good in me. My heart is completely wicked and knows no good. BUT I have been made rigtheous through the one who you say never resurrected from the cross. That is the difference between us and that is it. As Paul writes in 1 Timothy 1:15 I am the chief sinner.

I was in your exact same shoes as you who left the faith; but I have come back over 10 years now and my life has never been the same since I got on my knees and asked for true forgiveness from Christ.

"There NECESSARILY cannot exist a contradiction in the bible given your above statement. "

Tony,
it still doesn't follow. While I believe in an inerrant Bible it doesn't HAVE TO BE perfect because it came from God.

Look how God told Moses to tap the rock (or whatever) and Moses SMACKS it instead. Moses was told to do X by God but he does Y...an imperfection. This is the equivalent to a prophet recieving one perfect word from God and him performing what was not from God.

Mistakes or contradictions in the Bible doesn't negate a God, it demonstrates man's free will to make mistakes even when documenting revelation.

I find the tensions and supposed contradictions in the Bible fascinating and they too strengthen my faith (via reason)...surely if men were doctoring the scriptures over the last 2,000 years they would have edited any apparent contradiction out of the text. Why didn't they? Because transcribers weren't given the task to fix the scriptures.

What we have is a faithful documentation of history, human errors and all. If a contradiction existed they didn't try to hide it nor could they if we're talking about "fixing" thousands of extant copies.

Tony,
Combs47 does not represent the vast majority of us who visit this blog. I agree with others here who clearly stated that you have value in the community. We may have our disagreements, but you are a valuable contribution to this blog.

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