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« We're Not Good at Estimating Our Goodness | Main | Is Christian Education Simply a Matter of Religious Indoctrination? »

February 13, 2014


How hateful that western imperialists have destroyed the lives of so many peaceful natives just minding their own businesses.

It is truly an example of how religion poisons everything, and is the cause of conflict.

***sarcasm alert***

Yep, TC, those evil missionaries teaching people not to cannibalize others. If they were enlightened they would know that for that tribal culture it's okay morally to eat another human being.

I'm here today because a Southern Baptist Missionary left the US and invited my dad, 5 years old at the time, to a Vacation Bible School.

God bless the missionary. Thank you for doing His work.

Help me to understand how the Gospel could possibly "have an impact".

Apologists have assured me, over and over, that humans have Libertarian Free Will, and consequently all of our decisions are uncaused.

Is Richardson wrong, or are Plantinga, WL Craig et al. wrong?

[Impact] = [Forced]

False Identity Claim

Cause regresses to Will, which regresses to the Self, the Person.

Personhood ends the regress, as in, God.

And Man, in His Image.

Atheism foists that all is enslaved and determined, void of intention.

Christianity does not so foist.

Presuppositions. Definitions. Ontology. Etc.

Not sure your question was all that clear, Hivemaker. Could you clarify?

Hivemaker, libertarians believe that antecedent conditions can influence people's choices. They just don't believe antecedent conditions are sufficient to determine people's choices. So even under libertarian free will, the gospel can have an impact.


here's how it had an impact in the Sawi people. I once took a course that was taught by Don Richardson, and he related to me firsthand his experiences.

The Sawi people were a people who's very culture was geared toward deception, dishonesty, and murder. A common tactic was that if another villager had either wronged you or had something that you wanted, then you would be as nice and congenial and giving and heartwarming toward that other villager as you could. You would do everything you possibly could to befriend them. Then, when they were disarmed and least expecting it, you slaughtered them. Sometimes this happened over a period of years.

The Gospel changed that, because there was also a tradition among the different tribes that in order to make peace between the villages, one of the villages would offer the chief's son to the other village to be raised in a different tribe. Don Richardson told the villagers that the giving of the chief's son in order to make peace with another village was akin to God giving His Son in order to make peace with us.

I think the results of the Gospel's power speak for themselves...

Plantinga, WLC, et al. are wrong, but Sam is also right. ;-)

Thanks Amy. It's good to know that even many other Christians do not take Craig's or Plantinga's arguments as the unstoppable philosophical juggernauts their supporters often make them out to be.

So on this site, when Brett Kunkle and then Greg Koukl explicitly appeal to this very same notion as a solution to the problem of evil, their arguments are likewise unsound. I would love to see an intra-apologist debate on this.

"Hivemaker, libertarians believe that antecedent conditions can influence people's choices."

Not if they are consistent, they don't. "Influence" is an intrinsically causal notion. Although as you may have guessed I am hesitant to make accusations of consistency.

"They just don't believe antecedent conditions are sufficient to determine people's choices."

Of course I did not kill you! I only pulled the trigger, but pulling the trigger is not sufficient for your death -- there had to have been bullets in the gun, oxygen in the room to light the spark, no intervening barriers etc.

Likewise, I know a person who has smoked cigarettes for decades, but does not have lung cancer. Therefore smoking is not sufficient to determine whether one will get cancer, and therefore I have proved that smoking does not cause cancer. Or maybe, sufficiency is not an appropriate criterion for deciding whether something is a cause.

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