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March 06, 2012

Comments

Absosmurfly! I understand the need for thick skin, patience, and motivation.

It is of utmost importance that we pray for all apologists who are chosen of God to genuinely affirm His work and His supreme purpose of love for the reconciliation of the world unto Him,and never cease in our prayers. Decreeing,declaring,petitioning and requesting the continual action,influence and the guidance of the Spirit of God is the key to understanding how God directs and orders the footsteps of those He has sent to proclaim true liberty to the world. It always helps to meditate upon how our Lord Jesus Christ Himself served as our sublime example as to how He poured out His heart to His Father for His disciples and the task to which He had sent them to accmoplish. In John 17:6-26,He prayed such a dynamic,powerful prayer to which I would not hesitate for this prayer to be extended for the true workers of God on this blogsite and others like it. Here it is: Jesus prayed,"...I have manifested My name to the men which thou gavest me out of the world. They were Yours and You gave them to Me and they have kept Your word. Now they know that all things that You have given to Me are of You. I gave them the words which You have given to Me and they received them and have known surely that I came from You,and they believe that You have sent Me. I pray for them: I pray not for the world,but for them which You have given to Me for they are Yours. All which are Yours are Mine, and Mine are Yours and I'm glorified in them...Holy Father keep through thine own name those whom thou has given Me,that they may be one,as we are...I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world,but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil...Sanctify them in Thy truth. Thy word is truth...Neither pray I for these alone,but also for them also which shall believe on me through their word..." Amy,I leave that passage of scripture with you and the rest. Continue diligently in God's work in Jesus Christ's name Amen.

Thank you, gentlemen!

I do. I feel these men are often at the forefront of the battle. I pray often for men like James White, R.C. Sproul, Michael Brown, Michael Horton, Kim Riddlebarger, et al.

Their hard work and body of knowledge truly inspires and humbles me.

Do you pray that new discoveries will be made? That people will be raised up to work in fields that have been neglected?

All this about an evil book? Nah, I'm all about hoping for the next scientific discovery, and parents raising their children to be able to think critically, get a real education, and make the world a better place.

NZO,

If it makes you feel any better, I hope for all that stuff as well. They're all quite important to a Christian Humanist worldview. ;) And I don't care much for evil books, either. The last time I tried to pick one up, it barked "Klaatu barada nikto" and tried to eat my hand. Darned things.

Bennett,

Your post made me smile... just a little.

Of course you know, I meant the Bible... and the Koran... and anything else that people use as an excuse to trample the rights of others, or even kill others.

Just curious, was that book in some kind of video game?

NZO,

I was referencing the Necronomicon (which I may not have spelled correctly) from Army of Darkness. It quite literally was an evil book, and tried to eat the main hero, since he didn't say the right magic words.

Glad it made you smile, tho'. We disagree diametrically, but I don't hold any ill will towards you.

I think you'll find, unfortunately, that almost anyone can use almost any book or anything else they wish as an excuse to trample the rights or kill others. It's a popular slogan amongst some atheists that "Only religion makes good people do bad things", but it simply isn't true. Poverty, political maelstroms, marital strife, drug abuse, lust, stupidity, anger, greed, all sorts of things can make otherwise good people do evil.

Do mean, selfish, hypocritical people go to church? Sure. Are they Christian? Well, you mentioned the No True Scotsman Fallacy elsewhere, but let me pose a counter-example: If I were a smiling, optimistic, happy person who believed the future was bright, life had purpose, and everyone around me was swell, would you say I was much of a Nihilist? After all, sugar in your tea may not make you a faux-Scotsman, but living in Wales and speaking Welsh certainly might.

Bennett,

Haha, thank you for that. I should have known it, I'm a huge Bruce Campbell fan... it's just been waayy too long since I've seen that one.

Oh, I understand that religion is not the SOLE purpose of people doing bad things, but it IS a convenient excuse. Like when you're told the god you believe in wants you to kill the neighboring tribe/country.

Books, in and of themselves, don't do much of anything. It's when the book has, from birth, been an intrinsic part of your life, and seems to agree with the person telling you to do evil things, that the book becomes a symbol of the evil done.

It's very very easy to take people that were indoctrinated into believing silly things, and make them believe other, violent, silly things.

As for your nihilist question, I'm afraid I see too many variables with it, and am not sure what you're getting at. As such, I cannot formulate a proper response.

NZO,

If the book in and of itself doesn't do much of anything, and only seems to agree with the evil person who is distorting it, then by what means is the Bible an evil book? I'll give you "complicated", "mysterious", and even "alien" at times but by your own definition, it can hardly be evil.

And don't think that only Christians are religious, or indoctrinated into believing silly things. Even atheists can be quite religious, and quite indocrinated--just have a look at, say, the Maoist Youth. It's a part of the human frailty, that we'll so easily bow down to idols and buy into BS. Can't put that one on anyone but ourselves.

The nihilist question was more to address whether you think someone who's acting totally contrary to a philosophy could rightly be said to "not truly be" an adherent. Actions speak louder than words, no?

I'll give you "complicated", "mysterious", and even "alien" at times but by your own definition, it can hardly be evil.

There's nothing complicated, mysterious, or even alien about the bible, or the koran.

The passages in the bible promote slavery, killing children, human sacrifice, and genocide.

Even atheists can be quite religious, and quite indocrinated--just have a look at, say, the Maoist Youth.

Atheists are united under one definition, and one definition only: Not theistic.

Maoist Youth was a part of a personality cult. Mao, and Stalin, both squashed religion because religion had power, and they wanted that power. Both set themselves up as deities, and they couldn't do that with those other pesky religions around.

Nobody, at any point, committed atrocities in the name of Atheism.

A nihilist actually has a specific definition, as does an atheist. Christians don't seem to have any specific definition, and what you might say is a %100 acceptable definition of a christian will be refuted by others... not to mention the definitions commonly given are so amorphous as to be useless in describing what a christian really is.

The "No True Scotsman" fallacy is based on things that don't actually have an objective definition.

Atheist - non-theist

Nihilist - Extreme Skeptic, even of the real world, and existence itself - often coupled with the idea that life is meaningless.

Christian - According to most, "One of follows Jesus" (Problem: Jesus has never been proved to have existed, nor does he lead one anywhere, nor do the fuzzy-feeling morals from where the bible mentions him explain the need to 'follow' him)

According to the bible: Mark 16:15-18: you should be able to drink Drano and be ok. This isn't a popular definition, though I can't see why not.

NZO,

If you want a precise definition of what Christians believe, try the Apostle's Creed. Most of the doctrinal confusions which seem to bother you so much are peripheral issues to that.

I didn't mean to say that atheism was any better/worse than theism, in terms of brainwashing. That was, in fact, my point--people are people. Easily led, by those who wish to lead. Nobody's immune to it.

And unfortunately, your understanding of the Bible is quite limited. If you think it's easy, then you don't get it at all, much like quantum physics.

By the by, I'm not going to address issues in the Quran, Hinduism, etc. Not only aren't I familiar enough, they're irrelevant to Christianity. I'm not defending "religion" here, any more so than you're defending any and every vein of "atheism".

Of course, all of these are ultimately somewhat peripheral issues themselves. They don't prove whether or not God exists, or anything about his character, or whether Jesus rose from the dead. I merely got into them to address some of the preconceptions which seem to be troubling you.

I think that after this talk, you may want to hope for more apologists--provided we agree that the goal of apologetics is to get Christians to think critically and rationally, to support their positions with evidence, to be pleasant and open to discussion, and so on. If their goal is to seek the truth, and be excellent to each other, then surely that can only make them better neighbors? And if atheism is true, then wouldn't more rational Christians be easier to sway? Conversely, if Christianity is true, wouldn't you be grateful that there were smart, rational people to communicate it to you?

Seems like a win-win for everyone, to me.

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