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September 19, 2008


How many times does this scripture give insight to what the article is illuminating?

Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
Rom 1:19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.
Rom 1:20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
Rom 1:21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Rom 1:22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,

These people including so called "atheists" are not even able to deny the God of the Bible, they in fact validate His word quoted here.

Brad B

Great point Brad B, but I assume noting that the atheists here are going to read this, object to it, and ruthlessly try to cut us down with their "ruthless" style of comments. But before they do I want to ask all of them to please give me and the other fine apologists here at Stand to Reason, YOUR BEST ARGUMENT AND OR EVIDENCE FOR DARWINISM/ MACRO GUE TO YOU, SOMETHING FROM NOTHING, AND OR ETERNAL UNIVERSE PROOF. I want to know how strong your positions are because pretty much I'm really unsatisified with your "God bashing" tactics. You all just act like immature teenagers at best. Once and for all please act like the "champions of reason" that you all claim to be. I'm waiting for your top arguments/evidences. Good day.

Ronald D.

I am torn on this. In my own personal life it is true. Before I became a Christian in my twenties I was as dumb as a post and likely to fall for just about anything. Now I am a voracious reader and I read about science, philosophy, history...
When I do read fictional books they are almost always classics that I would never have touched before I became a Christian because I wasn't intelligent enough to understand them, nor did I want to.

But many of the people I know are just the opposite their minds seem to be somewhere else. I have been chewed out by PREACHERS for reading the Bible to much, and it is nothing to see an astrology chart fall out of a Bible.
Most of the Christians I know can't fill a small bookshelf
I have several large bookshelves and a Kindle with 25 Megs worth of electronic books, as well as a well used library card.
I would give right arm for one Christian friend half as intelligent as Gregg Koukl that I could actually sit down and talk to.

Hi Wanda, I'm sympathetic to your thoughts and want to encourage you to be faithful in your calling. Not everyone is called to the extent that you describe, but your passion inspires me. I personally would have to really think twice about the arm thing ; ). Truth be told, it's evident that the average Christian is starving theirself by not reading--and this to their own peril. That said, if you find or look for a PCA church, I'm confident you wont be admonished for reading your Bible by the pastor.

Brad B

PCA is pretty good at leaning towards loving God with their mind (They may lean more away from loving with their hearts, but no denomination is perfect)

About the irreligious being "much more likely to believe in the paranormal": Why do Christians not believe in the paranormal? I believe in it, but think it tends to be evil.

Test: Sorry to clutter the comments. I tried to post and was screened as spam. Maybe because of:

length? or
me (my email)?

This comment tests: me?

Ok. I'me allowed to post. This post tests: Was I screened because I posted a link? Again sorry.

Baylor Link

Ok it must have been my post was too long. Here's the first half of it.

Hi Melinda and STR blog readers,

First, let's give credit where credit is due: The bit quoted in Melinda's original post is by Mollie Ziegler Hemingway and from the Wall Street Journal.

WSJ link

The Baylor U. study was published in book form. Here is what Baylor says about it:

Baylor Link

Now my response: Melinda, you once wrote, "...while witchcraft has been a staple of children's fiction for eons, it isn't just make-believe..." So, I have to think you claim to believe in witchcraft.

Melinda link

Now, generally when there is a danger to children we do more about it than warn them that the danger "isn't just make-believe." Yet (fortunately) we don't see Christians doing much about witches (anymore). Belief in witches is pretty soft indeed among Christians. Melinda: What have you actually DONE about witches lately?

The Baylor story says the study defines and measures credulity as belief "in such things as dreams, Bigfoot, UFOs, haunted houses, communicating with the dead and astrology". It says liberal Protestants and the irreligious are more 'credulous' than conservative Evangelicals because they believe in these things more often. Notice witches are missing from the definition of credulity. Looks as if the study begged the question by leaving witchcraft* off the list.

Furthermore, what is astrology doing ON the list? The Bible is full of astrological ideas. Jesus said, for example, "There shall be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars." Bible believing Christians believe in astrology and are therefore, by the Baylor study's definition, credulous.

Bottom line: The study probably has lots of interesting data in it. I'd love to have a look. But be wary of the bias in the questions and especially in the conclusions.

The opposite of credulity is not Christianity.
The opposite of credulity is skeptical inquiry.

___________ End first half

OK! here's the second half:


Here's a partial list of things to doubt:

* astrology
* the Bermuda Triangle
* "Big Foot" and the Loch Ness monster
* ghosts
* the "evil eye"
* multicolored halolike "auras" said to surround the heads of everyone (with colors personalized)
* extrasensory perception (ESP), such as telepathy, precognition, telekinesis, and "remote viewing" of distant places
* the belief that 13 is an "unlucky" number (because of which many no-nonsense office buildings and hotels in America pass directly from the 12th to the 14th floors—why take chances?)
* bleeding statues
* the conviction that carrying the severed foot of a rabbit around with you brings good luck
* divining rods, dowsing, and water witching
* "facilitated communication" in autism
* the belief that razor blades stay sharper when kept inside small cardboard pyramids, and other tenets of "pyramidology"
* phone calls (none of them collect) from the dead
* the prophecies of Nostradamus
* the alleged discovery that untrained flatworms can learn a task by eating the ground-up remains of other, better educated flatworms
* the notion that more crimes are committed when the Moon is full
* palmistry
* numerology
* polygraphy
* comets, tea leaves, and "monstrous" births as harbingers of future events (plus the divinations fashionable in earlier epochs, accomplished by viewing entrails, smoke, the shapes of flames, shadows, and excrement
* listening to gurgling stomachs
* and even, for a brief period examining tables of logarithms)
* "photography" of past events, such as the crucifixion of Jesus
* a Russian elephant that speaks fluently
* "sensitives" who, when carelessly blindfolded, read books with their fingertips
* Edgar Cayce (who predicted that in the 1960s the "lost" continent of Atlantis would "rise") and other "prophets," sleeping and awake
* diet quackery
* out-of-body (e.g., near-death) experiences interpreted as real events in the external world
* faith-healer fraud
* Ouija boards
* the emotional lives of geraniums, uncovered by intrepid use of a "lie detector"
* water remembering what molecules used to be dissolved in it
* telling character from facial features or bumps on the head
* the "hundredth monkey" confusion and other claims that whatever a small fraction of us wants to be true really is true
* human beings spontaneously bursting into flame and being burned to a crisp
* 3-cycle biorhythms
* perpetual motion machines, promising unlimited supplies of energy (but all of which, for one reason or another, are withheld from close examination by skeptics)
* the systematically inept predictions of Jeane Dixon (who "predicted" a 1953 Soviet invasion of Iran and in 1965 that the USSR would beat the U.S. to put the first human on the Moon*) and other professional "psychics"
* the Jehovah's Witnesses' prediction that the world would end in 1917, and many similar prophecies
* dianetics and Scientology
* Carlos Castaneda and "sorcery"
* claims of finding the remains of Noah's Ark
* the "Amityville Horror" and other hauntings
* and accounts of a small brontosaurus crashing through the rain forests of the Congo Republic in our time.

Thanks Carl Sagan (Demon Haunted World).

And here are a just a couple of places where you can find out more about skeptical inquiry whether you are a credulous liberal Protestant, credulous atheist, or a credulous Evangelical:

Center for Inquiry link

Point of Inquiry link

Ron H

__________End of post :)

Thank you Brad and Anair.
When I move in a couple of weeks I will check out the Presbyterian Church, but I have found that many individual churches don't necessarily follow the denominational line. You would be shocked if I told you the denomination of the Preacher who chewed me out for reading the Bible to much.
I think I have also discovered
something that few people seem to notice. The Church NEEDS persecution. I know this sounds strange and counterintuitive, but if you have ever heard a missionary from someplace like communist Russia speak you have some idea of what I am talking about. People in communist Russia would risk their lives to attain one page of the Bible. And they would read that page over and over again until the entire page was memorized perfectly. Here in America where we have Bibles sold everywhere many have never bothered to read an entire book of the Bible, much less memorize anything larger than two verses.

Here in the South Churches are everywhere and Christians are everywhere. For everyone non-Christian we have multiple Christians. We don't usually need to defend our ideas we just say shh and people shh. This atmosphere seems to have lulled the Bible Belt to sleep.

There is a saying" the more you sweat in training the less you bleed in combat" I have a great fear that when Atheism starts growing here like it has in California we are going to develop a gushing wound.
I feel like I need to do more to change this atmosphere but I don't know what, especially since I am a woman and many here can't continence a woman having any sort of spiritual authority.

>>"Why do Christians not believe in the paranormal? I believe in it, but think it tends to be evil."
>>"Thanks Carl Sagan (Demon Haunted World)."

I would have to concur with anair in principle. I am persuaded that there are true examples of the paranormal because there are such credible examples from the the Bible (a proven credible source). Not of all the mentioned suspects, but some of them. I came to the cross by way of arguments with God. One of the books in that chain was Sagan's Demon Haunted World, and I would still have to say that I think it a very creditable book on many points. It is worth reading for its discussions on skeptical inquiry, and logical falacies.
Whatever the case, I think that while hell undoubtedly reveals itself by a good many masks, mirages, and misdirections, it need not rely on such fare for those who are fully ensnared in their own mind to the exclusion of all evidence. There are two big mistakes that we make - being too interested in hell, and not being interested at all. Kind of like the various people in the stable in _The Last Battle_.

Add 9-11 Conspiracy theories to that list

Hi ?,

>>I am persuaded that there are true examples of the paranormal because there are such credible examples from the the Bible (a proven credible source).

Please give some of these credible examples. What is the proof (evidence even) that you refer to?

Ron H

Hi Val,

Absolutely add 9-11 conspiracy theories to the list.
It would be hard to be exhaustive.

Ron H

>>I am persuaded that there are true examples of the paranormal because there are such credible examples from the the Bible (a proven credible source). ...
>>Please give some of these credible examples. What is the proof (evidence even) that you refer to?

Examples which fall within the pot of the "paranormal":

-any legitimate miricle from God
-Gen 6:4: Nephilim; for that matter manifestations of angels and fallen angels
- Exodus 7&8: Egyptian sorcerers performing feats on the spot to match some of Moses miricles. Even though slight of hand might have been part of their M.O., it seems to imply more than a David Copperfield sleight-of-hand for the first two plagues.
-Lev 19:26: (divination & sorcery)
-Num 22: Balaam - seems to have had power to curse and was a prophet for hire as suggested in 2Pet2:15 and Jude1:11
-1 Sam 28: mediums and spiritists; people calling up ghosts (an interesting discussion by itself)
-Job: non-heavenly power at work in a variety of ways including physically -Job2:7
-Matt4:5~/Luke4:5~: Satan showing Jesus visions
-Matt8:28/Luk8:26: superhuman strength given by demons to at least one of the two Gerasene men
**Matt12:24: I have often _speculated_ whether the Pharisees suggestion was partly based on preceedent. Hell seems pretty unconcerned about breaking it's toys as evident in the damage it does to the possessed, so why would Beelzebub worry about cutting out a lesser demon here or there if it served a greater deception (like promoting the worship of demons in the guise of other "gods").
-Acts8:9~: _possibly_ Simon Magnus
-Acts13: _possibly_ Bar-Jesus the sorcerer-prophet and Elymas the sorcerer
-Acts16:16: definitely the girl possessed of a prophetic demon


I don't suggest that there is a demon in every closet - quite the contrary, I think that the fallen nature of man is sufficient to account for most of the evil in the world. However we are in occupied territory just now, by powers on the same order of ability as those who fought for Moses or Joshua. What limits set upon them by God to act I don't know, but to assume that hell has only psychological bunkum to fight with seems to go against the evidence. I would have to accept the possibility of many paranormal instances, though I would apply Occam's razor before I believed any specific case.

Ron H

My question to you, is where you stand on the credibility of the Bible itself?

Reliable history or literary hoax?

I probably should have asked this before posting my last, as I wonder if perhaps you had a question behind your question.

Hi Dwight,

If I were to say 'literary hoax' would that disqualify me from asking my question?

You said the Bible was a proven credible source. I asked what proof you referred to. You responded with specific examples of what the Bible says but without giving the proof of Biblical credibility or your reasons for taking it as 'proven credible'.

I'm happy to tell you what I think about the Bible. (I'm studying hard. But I don't know much.) I don't think the Bible is 100% one thing. I don't think it's 100% 'reliable history', nor 'literary hoax', nor metaphor, nor any other single thing; I think it's a mixture of things. I think some of it is probably history. I certainly don't know enough to justify the charge 'literary hoax' for any part of it.

I find the evidence for evolution overwhelming (I study that too.) so I don't believe Adam and Eve were two real people. Nor do I believe that we're all descended from Noah.

Does any of this disqualify me from asking my original question? You said the Bible is a 'proven credible source'. What proof do you refer to?

Ron H

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