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April 04, 2013

Comments

Perhaps I missed something, but I believe that I was given a singular specific example of a personal healing that could have only been supernatural in nature (from John Willis).

Were there others that I missed?

I hardly think that my qualifications are a "thousand" or anything outrageous in any way. Acting like they are seems to me to be an immensely weak deflection.

Yes, and you discounted that one. As you did when I told you He has healed my body.

And so on.

I specifically did NOT discount John Willis' story. I specifically accepted it as true and as supernatural. I did mention questions that a reasonable person would ask, but I accepted it as true.

My next question was why only one specific example was given?

You mentioned in general that you had been healed, but offered no details. I doubt you would have accepted such a general answer from me. I have taken pain to give you detailed, specific answers to your questions. If the details are too personal, and you don't want to share them, then just say that. That is reasonable as this is a public forum of sorts and I don't want to ask you to violate your privacy beyond what you are comfortable with.

"I specifically accepted it as true and as supernatural"

Well then?

Supernatural? As in....as in what? God?

High Frequency is not found promised in Scripture.

We've been over this Jason. [Paucity = Incongruency with reality] is not a valid arguement against Scripture's congruency with reality simply because Scripture does not present our experience as lacking Paucity.

...as in the fact that a missing toenail growing back overnight is not something that can be explained as "natural", meaning something that occurs within nature. That had to occur outside of natural, i.e. "supernaturally".

John Willis attributed that events to the Christian god. I did not and do not dispute that. I wasn't there. I have no right to.

Supernatuaral is in some God? Aliens? Allah? Once we leave the Body and Genome behind, well, welcome to Theism.

"High Frequency is not found promised in Scripture. We've been over this Jason. [Paucity = Incongruency with reality] is not a valid arguement against Scripture's congruency with reality simply because Scripture does not present our experience as lacking Paucity."

There is a vast chasm between "high frequency" and a singular specific example of personal direct evidence in the lives of every Christian I have ever known. Surely you see that?

It seems to me that you are now just deflecting instead of admitting that you believe in god simply because you believe in god, not because there's a shred of proof.

Supernatural healings are proof enough. Not that that is where God is actually Known and Found. There are greater Proofs within Personhood, within Love, outside of the Genome. Out there in the Supernatural.

"Supernatural healings are proof enough. Not that that is where God is actually Known and Found. There are greater Proofs within Personhood, within Love, outside of the Genome. Out there in the Supernatural."

So, your thoughts and feelings about god (Personhood, love, the invisible) are better evidence to you than actual, measurable, personally observed, non thought, non emotion, evidence?

That's OK, but it's just not for me. I crossed that divide and see no reason or way to return to blind faith.

Don't you ever wonder why the Christian god would make himself so invisible?

If eternal life/torture hang in the balance, why be so hidden and dubious?

Why would he not come right out and reveal himself, right now, to the world in an unambiguous way?

Why would he be so absent from present reality that virtually none of his followers gave give any personal evidence for him, outside of what they think and feel?

"actual, measurable, personally observed, non thought, non emotion, evidence"

You have two supernatual vectors breaking through into your consciousness. We must be out of atheism by now......

I've been grateful for those supernatural things I've either seen or heard about, rare as they are. I've also been grateful for things other than the body, such as personhood and love and mercy and hope and so forth. It all matters and it all has been important.

If you look back over our thread you will find multiple references from me sharing with you my own sense of pain in His Paucity and how I've traversed such.


"Forgive them because they know-not" is whispered by that One in Whose hand all judgement is found. It seems to me Love's work in this world is not what we think for the most part. Our agenda is quite different than His. I know He has not created us or some of us for the express purpose of damming us. "Hell was not made for Men" is whispered by the same God Who created Man and Eden and Lucifer and thus we need not fear that He wills our damming. And, again, "Forgive them because they know not" tells us something.


We need not fear Love Himself. I do fear His Paucity. It's uncomfortable and terribly so.

But there are things better than the body, Jason. Supernatural events shared with you by others is but a starting point. Person is not there.

He is somewhere else.

Jason,

Ever say this verse? I have:

“But if I go to the east, he is not there; if I go to the west, I do not find him. When he is at work in the north, I do not see him; when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him.”

scblhrm,

You have been honest about your struggles with paucity. I genuinely appreciate that. I guess my "haven't you ever wondered" questions were really more for those here that haven't responded to that issue.

I understand your response to the paucity, as I had the same response for decades.

But, ultimately, the way I dealt with the paucity was to finally decide to question the whole matter. Once I did that, to my surprise, there was no turning back. For me, once seen, the truth (as I see it now) seemingly cannot be unseen.

I respect that you made a different choice.

All the best,

Jason

All the best to you too Jason.

Hey scblhrm,

I have to ask, what's your first name? You have become "skibble hurm" in my head as that's the only way I can remember how to spell your name. LOL :)

Jason

Hi, Jason,

Here I am again--but at least I have a new question! I was wondering about your family while you were in ministry for 35 years. Was your wife a believer and were your children as well (if they were old enough to have made that decision)?

Sorry, I forgot to include this: I've never even thought in terms of tangible miracles in my whole thirty-five years as a Christian! I always thought that Christ coming to earth as a mere human was miracle enough--or that His rising from the dead to prove His authority over sin and death was miracle enough. I never saw need to look for miracles of the dramatic nature when the miracle of each new day, the world around me existing as His creation, the presence of His Spirit within me--all of that has always been part of the miraculous to me! (I KNOW I could not have changed my life around on my own!) All that happens due to the work of Christ IS miraculous because only HE can make it so. Sometimes I'm amazed at some answer to prayer when I see how miraculous it is, and then I'm left wondering WHY I should see it otherwise--it's God at work. The evidence of God is everywhere in creation (and I know you've gone over that before), and the evidence of Him alive in His people and changing their lives is the stuff of encouragement, glory and praise to me! The God of Scripture is alive in His Word which changes people as nothing else ever could!

"skibble hurm"(!) is right when he says all the answers are found in the Person of Jesus Christ. What God has revealed through Christ as His Word is the answer to our sin issues (whether acknowledged or otherwise), our longing for something to fill some void we are vaguely aware of, the answer to our alienation from God. The unbeliever says, "No god." The Believer says, "Know God."

This last statement is a summation of my sentence saying that the life of a Believer is far different from the life of a non-believer. Our focus is entirely different, our lens for viewing life is far different, our trust is placed in a Person outside of ourselves, our confidence is in that Person who has adopted us and yet calls us brothers and sisters! These things testify to me of the Person, Presence and Power of the one I call Lord and Savior. I could not deny Him because I know Him all too well!

Should He appear in the skies throughout all the world tomorrow and say that He is God Almighty, there will be legions of those who will deny it was a real event! They will point to technology and say it was a hoax on the part of Christians! God has no need to just come out and "reveal Himself in an unambiguous way". He has given us PLENTY to find Him trustworthy and real; He has met our deepest need!

If you were born physically blind, Jason, you would never "see" a person dramatically healed. I think this might be a case where it would be BETTER to be born blind than to deny those things which CAN be seen as the work of a loving Savior and attribute them to?? chance, evolution, random nothingness... The signs are all there; pray for sight! And I pray that you will read those signs, dear Jason, and put aside old ways of seeing.

You truly are in my earnest prayers,
Carolyn

Hi Carolyn,

You wrote:

"I was wondering about your family while you were in ministry for 35 years. Was your wife a believer and were your children as well (if they were old enough to have made that decision)?"

Thank for the question. Let me clear up a few misunderstandings. I wasn't in any "official" ministry, i.e. in any paid position. I was simply a leader in every church I was a part of, from youth group until the end. I taught, preached, was on the ministry teams, played the role of administrator more than once, and led small groups among other things.

I was saved when I was five years old and deconverted when I was 38, so I was a sincere believer for 33+ years. My wife and I were married when we were barely 20 years old. She was also saved as a young child and grew up in the church. We will be married twenty years this June.

We were lucky enough to deconvert together. Most ex-Christians I know have a spouse that is still a Christian, and as you can imagine that causes massive heartache and problems. I have great compassion for my friends in that situation, as it's very tough on everyone.

My children are 18 and 16 years old, and they were also saved when they were young (around five years old). After we deconverted, we were very cautious with our kids and did not say anything for months. But we have always had a very open and honest relationships with our kids, so eventually we had to sit down with them and carefully explain the conclusion we had come to and why.

At the time, our son revealed to our surprise that he had come to the same conclusion on his own some time before us.

My daughter wasn't sure what to think. She was still attending the youth group at our former church, and we did not encourage her to quit. We continued to drop her off and pick her up for the meetings and made it clear that she was her own person and should come to her own conclusions. Within a few months, she came to the same conclusion as us.

So, we are all atheists. I realize this may be sad to hear from your point of view, but I assure you that our family is doing very well and is better off for making our individual decisions.

Jason

Carolyn,

On your other points, I totally understand your perspective as I once shared it.

I respect your views. I simply disagree with them now for all the previously stated reasons.

I respect your beliefs because you have shown throughout this thread that you practice what you preach and have compassion and love. I appreciate that very much.

Respectfully,

Jason

Jason,

You seemed to imply that you had accepted some testimonies as being supernatural events. By that did you really mean just an event still purely natural only via a mechanims we have not discovered yet, and as such dismiss the initial testimony as either mistaken or delusional?

I am trying to find the bridge from your initial acceptance a few posts back to now still claiming to be an atheist.

I never claimed to be anything but an ex-Christian atheist.

Unless I missed something, the singular "supernatural" personal event (outside of thoughts and emotions) described to me was John Willis' toenail growing back overnight. I accept that is not a "natural" event.

I also accept that John attributes that event to the Christian god. I specifically did not dismiss his event, as that is not my purpose here. I was not there, and I have no reason to dispute his testimony. I asked my question a few dozen times because I actually want to know if anyone here has direct personal evidence outside of their thoughts and emotions that the Christian god is real.

As that type of evidence has been completely non existent in my life, my family, and every Christian I've ever known except for John Willis, and to my knowledge and experience virtually 100% of the prayers (for anything tangible, i.e. only things that a god can deliver) prayed everyday worldwide to the Christian god go unanswered, there is not enough evidence at this time for me to even consider a theistic belief, much less a theistic belief in the Christian god.

So, yes, I am an atheist, i.e. a person without a theistic belief. If any genuine evidence is offered that could convince me of the Christian god, I would reconvert to Christianity in a heartbeat. I am not an anti-theist.

Yes I know. I was just trying to clarify what you meant by supernatural earlier. I think you must mean natural but via a mechanism we have not fleshed out yet. Or you just think he is mistaken. Or delusional. But I don't think you and I mean the same thing by "supernatural".

Apologies,

I saw your question and my screen name is just this one as the whole internet world is a bit worrisome for me to use my real name and so forth :)

Once again, I did NOT say that John Willis was mistaken or delusional. Please stop trying to put those words in my mouth. I did wonder, as any rational person would, about the accuracy of the memory of a five year old, but I did not deny that it happened to him as he remembers, because I wasn't there. He was. I took his word for it.

By "supernatural" I mean something that is not explained in the "natural". I know of no natural means that a missing toenail could grow back overnight. If true, and there is no natural explanation, then I think it's reasonable to infer that something outside of nature caused his toenail to grow back.

However, I will say that if you look at history, it is interesting to see the things previously considered supernatural that now have an accepted natural explanation, e.g. earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, northern lights, etc.

Jason,

The other nuance here is that I have long-time friends who I have watched go through, well, life, and in that process you really get to know someone (over time). And, like John's example of his foot, there are in my touches with those other lives just those sorts of shared experience which I, well, just see the truthfulness of as they shared/share them. No paralysis or blindness yet though. Well, there was one on blindness. And so we "end up with" just this sort of conversation with real human beings telling us something real within their experience. And so it is up to us to weigh these things. The stories are out there and so forth but its up to us to either dismiss or disqualify or just wait for something more "weighty". There is nothing wrong with doing the latter. But doing the latter does not get rid of all these shared experiences nor does it undo the act of dismissal which we have descided upon.

Again, I think you did not really mean supernatural earlier; or at least not what I mean by that word.

I think you mean by supernatural just a natural event for which we have not yet discovered the mechanism of.

"The other nuance here is that I have long-time friends who I have watched go through, well, life, and in that process you really get to know someone (over time). And, like John's example of his foot, there are in my touches with those other lives just those sorts of shared experience which I, well, just see the truthfulness of as they shared/share them."

All of the "answered prayers" I have witnessed with friends over the years have been nothing but confirmation bias (as explained in previous posts), or things that would have worked out the same without the prayer.

"I think you mean by supernatural just a natural event for which we have not yet discovered the mechanism of."

If I thought that, then I wouldn't be asking the Christians here for evidence. I ask because I actually want to know. When the type of evidence I ask for is offered, then I will truly consider it. I will not dismiss it because of a preconceived bias that you have attributed to me.

Would you mind sharing details on your friend's blindness healing?

Jason,

"If I thought that, then I wouldn't be asking"

Well....you claim to hold to atheism.

The other:

One nearly blind eye, one good eye and then prayer and then the nearly blind eye converted to a regular eye. I mean, that was the related story. It means nothing unless you knew the person telling me; that gave it much more weight when he related it to me. Some people tell you things and it's like "Yeah, whatever" because you know who is telling you. Others tell you the same thing and knowing the person telling you makes it like, "Well, I really don't know if I believe him, but I really don't DIS-believe him either." The weight comes in many forms.

But it's good to wait for weight. He doesn't ask us not to.

I'm still confused about your atheism and natural explanation blurring.....


Hi, Jason :-) I'm still here and reading all of the posts.

I'm a few posts late on one thing you wrote that I would like to address. You said,

"Right…but something, sometime, somewhere, somehow should happen to someone right? Surely all those scriptures with supernatural promises don’t mean that nothing happens, ever, in no place, in no way, to no one? If so, then why believe in the Christian god any more than any other god or no god at all?"

I would answer that by saying that there is no other "god" who offered to do and ultimately DID do for us what Christ did--paid for my sins HIMSELF. If, for no other reason, this would be sufficient for me for belief in our God. He did the thing we could never do for ourselves, He restored us to Himself. He didn't bring us to a place of nebulous acceptance, but He brought us to His cross. He demonstrated the highest form of love by suffering for what He didn't deserve, but we did--all to reestablish the relationship with us that was broken.

So that would be why our faith is in THIS God!

May I ask you for a few references to the many promises you found in Scripture which you determined were bogus? That would be so helpful.

Thanks, Jason. And thank you for continuing to be so polite, civil, and engaged here:-)

Carolyn

scblhrm,

I'm still confused about your atheism and natural explanation blurring....."

There's no blur. The difference is atheism vs. anti-theism. An atheist doesn't have a theistic belief because he doesn't have the evidence, but he is open to a theistic belief if the evidence confirms it. An anti-theist is against the concept of theism.

Another way to state this is that an atheist is open minded to a theistic belief, and an anti-theist is not.

These are at least my definitions.

Jason,

Supernatural then is some other thing than god/gods etc?

What I see you writing is something like this, "I am an atheist who believes in supernatural events, and thus in the supernatural".

It's a bit confusing.

Hi Carolyn,

Your wrote:

"I would answer that by saying that there is no other "god" who offered to do and ultimately DID do for us what Christ did--paid for my sins HIMSELF. If, for no other reason, this would be sufficient for me for belief in our God. He did the thing we could never do for ourselves, He restored us to Himself. He didn't bring us to a place of nebulous acceptance, but He brought us to His cross. He demonstrated the highest form of love by suffering for what He didn't deserve, but we did--all to reestablish the relationship with us that was broken."

My question "something, sometime, somewhere, somehow should happen to someone right?" was referring to an observable direct event in your life outside of our thoughts and emotions that could only be attributed to the Christian god.

I would guess that you believe in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus as atonement for your sins because you read it in the bible and/or it was taught to you and/or you were raised or adopted into a culture that believes that and/or you feel it's true and/or your "spirit" knows it's true, etc. In other words, this type of "evidence" is in your thoughts and emotions.

"May I ask you for a few references to the many promises you found in Scripture which you determined were bogus? That would be so helpful."

I hesitate to do this because the apologists will likely jump in and and try to explain them away the nuances ("it didn't really mean that", "the problem is your faith", etc.)

But your question is relevant as I was a Christian. I will say that in general, I would require the type of evidence I asked for to believe in any god, i.e. something personal, physical, and undeniable.

Here's a few scriptures off the top of my head:

John 14:14 - "You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it."

As I said before, I've never seen any prayer ever answered, unless it was something that would have happened anyway, or the person praying uses confirmation bias when determining whether or not they received an answer. Some would argue the "in my name" part, meaning the prayer had to be god's will with the right amount/kind of faith. Surely, some Christian somewhere got all the variables correct, yet there are zero results in my experience.

James 5:14-15 - "Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven"

If you're like me, you have seen this countless times...people brought forward for prayers from the leadership/elders. Again, I've never seen one of these prayers genuinely answered. Again, some will argue the "in the name" or "in faith part".

Luke 17:6 - "He replied, If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it will obey you."

I've never "commanding something in Jesus' name" be successful with anything and in any way that doesn't involve confirmation bias.

I hope that answers your questions :)

Jason

scblhrm,

"Supernatural then is some other thing than god/gods etc?

I'm not sure if I can explain it any clearer. I explained that "supernatural" to me means something that can not be explained in the "natural". If that something can be attributed to a god with sufficient evidence, then so be it.

"What I see you writing is something like this, "I am an atheist who believes in supernatural events, and thus in the supernatural".

A singular piece of specific testimony (from John Willis) in my entire life does not make me a believer in supernatural events. I am also not a denier of supernatural events. I am simply looking for evidence.

scblhrm,

"One nearly blind eye, one good eye and then prayer and then the nearly blind eye converted to a regular eye."

In examining this evidence you offered, I would ask the following types of questions:

1. Did you observe this healing yourself?

I ask because every one of these stories I hear is second person, third person, or more. I'm really looking for personal direct evidence, which seems to be virtually impossible to find. It's always "someone I know" or "someone I know that knows someone" or "over in Africa", etc. In my opinion, it should be easy to find personal direct non thought non emotional evidence if the Christian god is real.

2. Was this person diagnosed by a doctor, and specifically as having an incurable eye disease?

3. How long did he have the condition, i.e. was it a sudden onset and then it was suddenly gone?

4. Did a doctor exam him afterwards and declare him disease free?

5. Is he still disease free?

I think these are reasonable questions. Asking them does not mean I think you are delusional or deceptive. They are simple, rational questions that should not cause offense.

Jason

"I ask because every one of these stories I hear is second person, third person, or more."

Except John Willis of course. His story was first person and a missing toenail doesn't require a doctor's diagnosis :)

Jason,

Those are very reasonable questions.

I guess if someone prays and gets healed in a way nature cannot explain, then one can respond with "I don't believe that (the supernatural) and I also don't deny it (the supernatural)."

Clever.


"A singular piece of specific testimony (from John Willis) in my entire life does not make me a believer in supernatural events"

Do you believe John's account?

He is saying it is a supernatural event. Do you believe him?

I think you will have to have your own miracle really to feel fully settled in yourself.

You've only 1 1st hand account in your whole life?

I've heard about 20 or 30 I think. Again, no paralysis though.

Jason,

It is not a matter of believing in the supernatural, etc.

It is a matter of do you believe John or some other person (me) and that is hard to do on a blog. If you have never had another human being share their experience with you in what you knew to taste of truth-telling, then I really am sorry for that. My experience is not like that.


If you mean to say you do not know if the supernatural exists, that is one thing. But you have two people giving you a brief look into their experience. If all my anweres to your questions above were satisfactory, what would that really mean to you hear on a blog?

Would you want doctor reports?

I could fake them and fax them to you.

Would you have to verify it?

I could access the hospital note-take and make one.

Would you then have to go to the hospital and talk with the doctor?

What if he died a few years ago?

And so on.

What I mean is, at every step of the way, until you have your own you will be interacting with another person.

This happend to me once and at the end of it all the gentleman said it must have been aliens and asked me to prove him wrong.

The end of proof is no where close to this format becuause it involves Person and not You Yourelf. And, even should it involve you yourself, you still won't be sure it was God A or God B or an Alien.

How would you then prove it was God A or B or C?

Would it take, say, a 70% pass ratio for prayers by God A's folks and a 70% failing ratio for prayers to all the other God's?

Ad infinitum.

One or ten thousand. It makes no difference because mathematics will not solve your dilemma of "Well yeah but what about X?" The end of your ad infinitum will only be Tasting Love Himself one on one.

scblhrm,

"I guess if someone prays and gets healed in a way nature cannot explain, then one can respond with "I don't believe that (the supernatural) and I also don't deny it (the supernatural). Clever."

I'm not in any way trying to be clever. I simply mean that one event (John Willis's account) does not make for a pattern. I simply await more evidence and I remain open minded on the issue in the meantime. I think that's called being rational :)

"Do you believe John's account? He is saying it is a supernatural event. Do you believe him?"

I have stated many, many times that I believe him.

"I think you will have to have your own miracle really to feel fully settled in yourself."

That would certainly be the easiest way, but I do not require that. Any again, it's not limited to a "miracle"...it's anything that is direct, personal, and not limited to thought and emotions that can only have happened as a result of the Christian god.

"You've only 1 1st hand account in your whole life? I've heard about 20 or 30 I think. Again, no paralysis though."

Yep, John Willis' testimony is it so far. I have had other people claim to have been healed, and they really believed it. I'm not saying they were lying, but when you get down to the details, it has always revealed itself to be a matter of confirmation bias or something that would have happened without prayer or so benign as to be meaningless.

"If all my answers to your questions above were satisfactory..."

Really, the first question was the important one, i.e. did you see the healing with your own eyes? Do you have a first person account?

I'll repeat my previous statement:

In my opinion, it should be easy to find personal direct non thought non emotional evidence if the Christian god is real.

Jason,

I did not come to Christ because my toenail grew back when I was five. What I took from that event was that "Something" answered my prayers. I called him God, because that's who I was praying to, but my theology (if you have such a thing at five) was Roman Catholic as I was taught, which I now believe is very wrong with respect to Salvation. I was not "saved" from God's wrath at five. I asked God to heal my toe, not take my punishment for my crimes against Him.

I came to Christ because I became very aware in my late twenties that I was guilty of violating God's moral law and I wanted forgiveness - Real forgiveness, not pop-psycho babble, or feel good vibes from the cosmic battery cell.

I didn't even "feel" forgiven when I called out to Christ, I still had guilt feelings, but I had Real knowledge for the first time what the cure was. The transaction happened in an instant, but the knowledge of what exactly happened didn't come until I read things like Ray Comfort's book and really studied the best arguments for Christianity which I had dismissed in the past, because frankly I had no interest.

I'm not asking you to "try" Ray Comfort. Even Ray Comfort is not asking you to try on Ray Comfort. All of us here are asking you to look at what the Bible says and reflect on what that means for your condition. If Comfort's book helps you, great. If not, then please throw it away, but please don't claim to be "rational" about it.

Here is what I mean by that...you are free to call Ray all the names you want, he's a big boy and I've seen him take much worse then being called an imbecile in a blog post. But it raises the question - if you were DE-converted (your word) because you came to the rational conclusion that your faith was "confirmation bias" (a logical fallacy) why would you hand-wave Ray's work because of who he is, (or more to the point who you "think" he is) which is another logical fallacy?

I think this is what Brad was drawing your attention to with respect to your logic. It is not consistent and that is obvious and you should ask yourself why that is. You claim to have "reasoned" your way out of Christianity, yet you display no ability to reason through your own claims, foremost of which is your claim to have followed a Person for 30+ years that you claim no longer exists.

Now you may think Brad is just mean and he doesn't treat unbelievers the same as believers. But I actually think that out of all of us here that have interacted with you in this very long thread that Brad has been the most loving. And I don't mean to discount sch's, Carloyn's or anyone's input in anyway. Everyone has their own style. But please, please consider this, if the Bible is true, then what awaits you on the other side of death is much, much worse then anything, anyone has ever said or will do to you in this life. So Brad got in your cage a little - so what? You're 38+ right? You claim to be an ex-Christian, (even though there is no such thing.) What do you expect Christians to tell you? "It'll be alright....everyone's saved in the end anyways"? Sorry wrong blog Jason.

I suspect you came here because STR gives a very rational defense of the Christian worldview and you wanted a rational Christian response to your story. If you didn't, you'd be over at robbell.com or some other place getting your ears tickled.

In closing, I have a question for you;

If you no longer consider yourself a "sinner" because there isn't an objective "target" to hit in the first place, then on what grounds are you calling out anyone for their behavior towards you? Can you see the inconsistency?

Respectfully,
John

Jason,

Will the 70% pass / fail test of prayer to god A & B & C & aliens (full blown paralysis stuff) satisfy you?

John,

His incoherency on natural selection leaves little hope for morality based vectors.

Hi John,

"Here is what I mean by that...you are free to call Ray all the names you want, he's a big boy and I've seen him take much worse then being called an imbecile in a blog post. But it raises the question - if you were DE-converted (your word) because you came to the rational conclusion that your faith was "confirmation bias" (a logical fallacy) why would you hand-wave Ray's work because of who he is, (or more to the point who you "think" he is) which is another logical fallacy? "

I’m not seeing the logical fallacy in regard to Ray Comfort. Perhaps some more information from my end will help. I extensively read and listened to him both before and after I was a Christian. I noticed quite a few mistakes and outright deceptions (especially in regard to science), and decided on that basis that he is not a very credible source. Given that, I'm not sure I could be accused of a giving a "hand-wave" of his work.

"I think this is what Brad was drawing your attention to with respect to your logic. It is not consistent and that is obvious and you should ask yourself why that is. You claim to have "reasoned" your way out of Christianity, yet you display no ability to reason through your own claims, foremost of which is your claim to have followed a Person for 30+ years that you claim no longer exists. "

I really have no idea what Brad or you think is inconsistent with my logic. I do understand that my logic seems inconsistent from a Christian worldview, but there’s nothing I can do about that perception.

I think I have thoroughly and completely explained how genuinely I followed Christ and really believed it. To me, he was completely real, just as he is now to you. I also explained the realizations I came to and how that lead me conclude that, in my opinion, my (and your) “knowing” him was/is in my/your head.

I added a facet to Carolyn’s analogy which is very relevant to this point and no one addressed it, just has no one has addressed my confirmation bias analysis, although presented multiple times. Poking holes in my ability to reason seems a little hollow when a large portion of my questions go without even an attempt of an answer from most Christians here.

As I said before here, I did not come here to prove who was the most logical. Many seemed to have missed that point. I asked a very specific question in my search for evidence. No one here except for scblhrm has even admitted that they struggle with the almost complete absence of tangible evidence.

”Now you may think Brad is just mean and he doesn't treat unbelievers the same as believers. But I actually think that out of all of us here that have interacted with you in this very long thread that Brad has been the most loving. And I don't mean to discount sch's, Carloyn's or anyone's input in anyway. Everyone has their own style. But please, please consider this, if the Bible is true, then what awaits you on the other side of death is much, much worse then anything, anyone has ever said or will do to you in this life. So Brad got in your cage a little - so what?”

I get that reasoning. If I still believed in hell and was talking to someone who did not, then my words trying to convince them would surely be out of love. I would still be aware of my tone and realize what type of communication is most effective, but like you said, people have their own styles. So be it.

”You're 38+ right? You claim to be an ex-Christian, (even though there is no such thing.)”

Well, tell that all the friends I’ve made in the last year and a half. They number in the hundreds and they are all former believers, and that’s just the people I have personally come into contact with. :)

”If you no longer consider yourself a "sinner" because there isn't an objective "target" to hit in the first place, then on what grounds are you calling out anyone for their behavior towards you? Can you see the inconsistency?”

Rude is rude, regardless of faith. I’m not sure what else needs to be said about that. Perhaps you can explain the inconsistency to me?

Jason

scblhrm,

"Will the 70% pass / fail test of prayer to god A & B & C & aliens (full blown paralysis stuff) satisfy you?"

I don't understand this question. Perhaps you can explain it differently to me.

"His incoherency on natural selection leaves little hope for morality based vectors."

As stated before, my view is that morals comes from genetics (natural selection) and culture, "nature and nurture" if you will. How is my view on morality incoherent? Please explain, and I will try to answer.

I'll be out with clients the rest of evening, but I promise that I will attempt to thoroughly address your claims of incoherency on my part if you will specifically explain them to me.

Jason,

You did not claim nature and nurture. But even when you do here you are still facing an inherent open door to the ugly stuff you think your worldview does not embrace. You claimed that the itches which natural selection values is what is good. Now, sex slavery is on the rise, as the appetites which drive the genome are alive and well, and you have thus far ignored this. The “nurture” part is wholly arbitrary and goes against our own itches which natural selection values. That is why you can de-value such drives in the male to so misuse the female even though natural selection obviously values it as the itches of sex slavery are on the rise, the itches of prostitution are on the rise worldwide, and the itches of porn are on the rise worldwide. That is also why culture can value slavery, or cannibalism, or war, or child sacrifices, and so on. You seem to have your head in the sand in order to ignore the inherent open doors which your worldview has to all the “ugly” stuff. Nothing you have said so far about naturalism (etc) tells me that love is “better” than any other itch inherently. When another appetite comes along which provides the species with more durability and thus displaces love, I see no way for you to cling to love any longer. In fact, you won’t be able to for the genome will no longer possess it.


The question about the god A and B and C and Aliens is a proof of your illogical approach to Knowing-Person, to understanding and reasoning with Scripture, and to what miracles can actually provide us with when it comes to proofs on scriptural terms. You seem to be saying that should, say, for twenty or thirty years, “IF” prayers to god A were 90% answered (even the paralysis stuff) all the while 99.99% of prayers to god B and C and to Aliens were never answered, then you would “Know that God” and have enough evidence to continue on with Him. This is nonsense as Scripture defines knowing God.


If your wish in this entire 300+ post thread was thus granted, we would have the above 90%/99% ratio to your satisfaction.

Now, should such a successful ratio go on for 20 or 30 years, you would be a Christian assuming god A were “that god people prayed to”.

And so, on that evidence, you would Know That God.

And so, on that evidence, you would be talked out of that god A as well, at least according to scripture.

There are four logical incoherencies in your reasoning and approach to knowing God here.

1) You could never prove to me that your god is not an Alien doing medical miracles.

2) Matthew 24 tells us that eventually god B and C and maybe even the Alien will show up and do better than your god A: “For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.”

3) I Timothy shows us a drought you will have to face as god B and C and the Alien begin to out perform this god A you say you know: “Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.”

4) Knowing-Person has never been satisfied in all these points and even in your satisfaction with your requested 90%/99% ratio.


Now, # 1 explains #2 above. The reason behind your inability to ever prove to me that god A is not just an Alien shows us why point 2 will actually happen to people who approach God the way you do. And #3 shows us another reason #2 will happen with people who approach God the way you do. And #4 is just an expression of #1 and shows us that even when you have your answered prayers you still will have just nothing at all of the Person that is God one-on-one.


The only way to know the God of Love described in Scripture is to know Him in a way which is immune to #2 and #3, for such is what Scripture teaches.
This whole 300+ post thread is your vain attempt to assert that getting the 90/99 ratio will satisfy #4 (Knowing Person).


And so you have debunked and reasoned your way out of some non-christian version of some religion-x. But you have not reasoned your way out of Scripture, for Scripture reveals a whole other reality than that which you are describing to have reasoned your way out of.


Finally, I told you that I have had 20 or 30 1st hand accounts and you dismiss this as if I am or was too stupid to have asked the same reasonable questions you would ask. In some of these there were no doctors within miles, in others the folks in medicine were just as perplexed as we were, but happily so of course. Again, no paralysis. You discount what I tell you for the same reason you discount what John tells you, for John’s 1 plus my 30 cannot be enough. You will have to see it yourself, and, or, you will have to compile your 90%/99% ratio of prayers to god A vs. B vs. C vs. Aliens, and, once you do that we have gotten exactly nowhere for we see just why that road leads exactly nowhere once the other gods out-perform your god and once Pastor Timothy’s drought shows up.

And we still have no proof that god A is not an alien.


I wonder Jason, should you get your ratio, and then, 30 years later, should #2 ensue (the other gods now out perform your god A, for, say, the next 30 years) all the while your god A leaves you with nothing but Timothy’s drought, what would be your answer these questions:

1) Who was or is god A all along? Would you stick with Him for the next 30 years as Matthew’s prophecy came to pass?

2) You still have not proved to me that your god A is not an Alien, and now we seem to have evidence that he may have been someone other than you thought him to be all along, so why not an alien?

3) Would you actually have Known Anyone?

4) Could you actually ever Know-God in a way which makes you immune to #2 and #3? Ever?


This all shows us yet another logical incoherency in your approach to God via yet another one of your non-christian terms. You assert that it is not possible to know God “in that way” to the conclusiveness with which we know other persons here. That is nonsense for two reasons. First, Scripture (the Christian Scripture, not the non-christian scripture you are talking about) says we can Know Him in that way, to that degree. Second, “If God” exists then He is the very foundation of all personhood and as such any dynamics we have with and in Him can and will be more concrete in that Vertical interaction with the Un-Derived than any dynamics we could ever have here in the Horizontal with the Derived.


Your only road out is to satisfy #’s 1 through #4 above for such is the Scriptural version which you have never reasoned your way out of since you have never approached God on those terms. The end of your ad infinitum will only be Tasting Love Himself one on one.


In Scriptural terms (The real New Testament, not the non-christian version which Jason seems to be struggling with), we for all practical purposes are in the equivalent of poor Pastor Timothy’s drought, though we may not be quite fully there yet for we still have those happy but rare medical perplexities in answer to prayer. Yet we may for all we know be moving towards something worse than Paucity! and that is Matthew’s prophecy where the Living God is out-performed for who knows how long. That is the Scriptural version of reality, and, therefore, I honestly believe we will (or our descendents will) see that day when god B or C (and so forth) will out-power and out be-dazzle the Living God who just is Love. “Amazing signs and wonders! Yes! You See!” Now, there is actually a way to Know-Person which makes all of that of no account, and that is also what Scripture teaches us is available to us, we who are also persons. Personhood itself, Love itself, Mind itself, Being itself. Such is the bedrock atop which all of reality finds its rest.

To love someone would mean on some level to employ the gift of correction.


John noted to Jason this, "But I actually think that out of all of us here that have interacted with you in this very long thread that Brad has been the most loving."


When someone reasons himself out of a non-scriptural version of scripture, and, when someone is unable to face the ugly things his own worldview values because he himself values love, it is in fact love to offer insight, correction, and so forth. It is also love to share one's experience. Jason has shared his experience of that terrible pain of Paucity. Others such as myself have agreed. Others, myself included, have shared their experience of touches from Love's Hand in our bodies. Scripture promises Jason not just the pain of Paucity, but something worse which will be for Jason and those who are as mistaken as he is about both atheism and Scripture a sheer death-blow to their whole approach to Knowing-God, and that is Matthew’s prophecy of false gods out-be-dazzling the Living God Who just is Love. Scripture shows us the way past even that and it is found in the very bedrock of Personhood: going one-one-one with Love Himself. Grant me a bit of license to convey what Scripture teaches us in this arena: Once I have tasted of my Beloved –twas over for my soul! –Tis her! –Tis her I burn for! And should she turn her back to me and give me but painful silence, OH Painful silence! Yet still doth my soul thirst for her ~~~ My Beloved! For I have tasted of her love ~~~

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