Twenty-one Tweets To Transform Your Thinking

1.  In the Evolution/Creation debate most #Evolution-believers are close-minded to #Creationism/#ID, but many Creationists came from their side

2.  Most Evolution believers today hold completely unexamined and unfounded assumptions about the nature of ultimate reality, humanity and God.

3.  Darwin’s theory wasn’t a conclusion based on research. Rather, his prior rejection of God & Theistic Science drove his theorizing & research.

4How irrational #Atheists act: A: “Show me evidence.” We give evidence & arguments. A ignore & say: “There’s no evidence. Show me evidence.”

5.  #Evolution believer: Why do you assume only the material world exists, that we’re reducible to brain chemistry, and that no Creator exists?

6.  #Evolution believer: You must resist the tendency to assume you have the truth & start questioning it. To insist you don’t need to is Denial

7.  deny but can’t refute how irreducible complexity/the decay of the human genome/the existence of minds undermine their beliefs

8.  Evolution fail: We have brain chemistry but can’t be reduced to this. The “matter-only” view of the Cosmos fails. (http://wp.me/p3YamW-1j )

9.  Only Mind/Body Dualism explains 2-way causality betw brain-chemistry & consciousness + a single entity can’t be both its own cause & effect.

10.  -believer: To say that consciousness is only brain-chemistry looking at itself is nonsense which only explains away consciousness.

11.  All education is “faith-based”. Secular public ed. is based on faith that the Creator God doesn’t exist. But this is impossible to know.

12.  If The Biblical #God exists (& we say He must), He must be The 1st Priority of all #education. To refuse to start with God is to reject Him

13.  Every human being in history has actually known that The Creator God exists. But man is also naturally inclined to rebel against our Maker.

14.  #God calls all to give up resistance to Him, Admit your sin & need for Him, Believe He sent His Son to forgive & His Spirit to transform you

15.  The Trinity (hinted at in the OT & deduced from the NT) means God is relationally both Subject & Object (not physically).

16.  God’s plurality of Being makes Him self-sufficient as a relational Person, without the need to create something to relate to.

17.  The Trinity means God is One & Many, equally-ultimate Subject & Object and a relational Being (incl cause & effect relation).

18.  Christian Theism is The Answer to all of the major riddles of Philosophy, thereby serving as the only basis for all knowledge

19.  Despite the dogmatic Modern/Post-Modern bias, the Bible is both God’s “Get to know Me Manual” & the Foundation for all Truth.

20.  Material (created) entities can only be objects, not subjects. But we, as incarnated spiritual beings in God’s image are both

21.  Having made us as incarnated spiritual beings, God Himself became one (in the Person of The Son) to lead us to Perfection.

For more thought-provoking tweets follow @Duke1CA on Twitter.  Here are some other helpful resources for those who are interested in these topics:

Jason Lisle’s book, “The Ultimate Proof of Creation”

Timothy Keller’s book, “The Reason for God”

The DVD “Evolution’s Achilles Heels” (a presentation of problems with Evolution by 15 credentialed scientists;  in addition to the compelling scientific arguments, the interviews with the scientists in the bonus material are also important)

And two web-sites: CreationRevolution.com & AnswersinGenesis.org

Those who are truly interested in finding truth are not afraid of looking for it anywhere.

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34 thoughts on “Twenty-one Tweets To Transform Your Thinking

  1. 1.
    That`s simply speculative. You have provided no reliable source for demonstrating that Creationists were once atheists. You are also making a false dichotomy between evolution and belief in a god. There are in fact numerous examples of scientists who accept evolution and believe in a god. Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the Human Genome Project. Kenneth Miller, well-known cell- and molecular biologist both accept the evidence for evolution.

    2.
    Unfounded? You really provided no evidence for your claim. It`s the burden of the believer to demonstrate this “other” reality they refer to.

    3.
    Darwin discarded his belief in God after realizing the incompatibility of faith and evolution. Not the other way round. His theory was based on observation and collection of data, he did not seek to reject god as the ultimate goal.

    4.
    Extra-ordinary claims require extra-ordinary evidence.

    5.
    The evidence provided by theists that other realities exist has been insufficient, and unconvincing.

    6.
    The epitomy of arrogance. Theists assert they have the absolute truth which has been “revealed to them. They need not provide any evidence for their claims, because “God`s Word” is true. This is of course the opposite of the scientific method, which constantly brings old theories into question, and allows for falsification by experimentation and presentation of new evidence. Belief in a deity is not falsifiable.

    7.
    There is no evidence to support that intermediate structures which steadily evolved had no use or recognizable function. Any limb, wing, or eye which worked slightly better than it`s predecessor would have been deemed useful by natural selection. The Second Law of Thermodynamics only applies to a closed system. The Earth, is not a closed system.

    8.
    Again, extra-ordinary claims require extra-ordinary evidence.
    The “matter-only” view of the cosmos has been the only one to be proven true consistently. The “spiritual” or “god” view of the cosmos lacks sufficient evidence.

    9.
    The public education system is not inherently “anti-religion” or “anti-god”. The school curriculum only teaches that which has been accepted by contemporary science. Another point to be made is that science teachers do not knock on the doors of churches to advocate the teaching of evolution to students. Creationists can teach whatever view they wish in private schools or religious institutions. The First Amendment makes it clear that any state institution i.e. public schools, cannot favour one religious establishment above that of another.

    10.
    You promote the belief in one particular god while denying the validity of other conflicting religious systems and beliefs. By some great oddity, you have chosen the correct god, and all other gods are false. You thereby deny Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, and a plurality of dozens if not hundreds of other religions. It is rational to deny something which describes an evidently immoral, misogynistic, genocidal god.

    11.
    False presumption. If people have an inherent belief in a God, why do people need to be educated or introduced to a god concept? Thinking for yourself is considered to be rebellion against the “dear leader” and one must refrain from this to avoid punishment.

    12.
    At one point in the history of humanity, God saw that intervening was finally an option, and the best way to do this, would be to impregnate a Jewish woman with Himself. He would then sacrifice Himself, as a sin-offering to Himself, to serve as payment for the transgressions of mankind.
    The belief in vicarious redemption by human sacrifice is an immoral concept, and is referred to as scapegoating.

    13.
    If Jesus really is God, and was crucified, who was running the world while he was dead?

    14.
    This deduces the existence of human beings simply to God`s pawns. If God didn`t have to create human beings, why did he?

    15.
    The concept of the trinity have always been deemed blasphemous by Jews and Muslims.

    16.
    They don`t, and I have.

    17.
    False claim. The Problem of evil.

    18.
    The Bible makes many false claims about reality, such as that the stars can fall to Earth, that π is a whole number, and that you can breed striped goats by allowing un-striped goats to mate facing a striped fence.

    19.
    Incarnated spiritual beings. Quite meaningless in rational terms. With “created” you of course imply a creator. First class example of how a conclusion follows trivially from a premise.

    20.
    Contradiction with 14. You mentioned that God is self-sufficient, so therefore he cannot also possibly need us. Your use of words here just exemplifies the nonsensical concepts of religious doctrine.

    • Many (if not most) of the some 200 scientists listed on AnswersinGenesis.com were originally Evolutionists (as I also and many others I know were). And it is simply a fact that most people today (even highly educated ones) have little or no education in epistemology, metaphysics, the history of thought, logic and critical thinking, and are therefore unable to examine their own basic presuppositions critically and are willing to uncritically embrace derogatory straw-man caricatures of Christianity. Your own arguments on Twitter and here show this very clearly. You assume impossibilities, contradictions and moral problems in the Bible and are absolutely closed to any alternative, reasonable explanations that we can offer. Your most basic error is to assume that The God described in the Bible cannot exist. All of your other misunderstandings of the Bible and my arguments are a result of this.

      It matters not that some believers accept Evolution. They are simply inconsistent in this. For it is a simple fact that Evolution (from Darwin on) has always been based on an anti-theistic Naturalism, which rigorously denies any possibility of anything other than mindless natural forces. This is simply a matter of blind faith by those who believe this, for they cannot know that this is all there is. To know this would actually require omniscience.

      You clearly believe that Science is the only way we can know things for sure. But that is, in effect, to make Science into a de facto religion (which the writers of Humanist Manifesto I admitted, you can look it up). This is why public education in the West today is actually an establishment of a religion (Secular Humanism). But Science can’t tell us who we or other people are, or what is right and wrong, or Who God is. You and I would not exist in a matter-only universe. Saying that this is all we are leads to the manifest absurdity of saying that we and all we experience and know (including all of our scientific knowledge) is an illusion. But no one actually believes this.

      Of course, your immediate response will be to summarily dismiss all of these points, as you did previously. But this only shows your own close-mindedness. All the while, you actually know in your heart that you are wrong to do so, but are utterly unwilling to consider this. I KNOW THIS BECAUSE I WAS ONCE LIKE YOU! If you ever become the slightest bit willing to reconsider your position I would welcome further discussion. (In this case, my “10 Widely-believed Fallacies” piece here could be especially helpful to you, as could Tim Keller’s “The Reason for God” and Jason Lisle’s “The Ultimate Proof of Creation”.) But unless this happens further discussion would clearly be a waste of both of our time. May God help you to do this as He did for me 33 years ago. For, what you have become convinced is the worst thing you could do: to acknowledge your absolute dependence on your Creator, is actually The Absolute Best, both now and for eternity.

  2. Perhaps you will find it surprising that I was raised in Christian home, and truly believed for well over 19 years of my life. I only began to seriously question my faith 2 years ago. Of course your natural response to such a statement would be that I was not a “true Christian” . Can you draw the line between who can be considered “true Christians” and “false Christians” ?

    You insist on making a division between religious belief and evolution, even though many respectable scientists are able to erect a partition of sorts in their minds, allowing them to reconcile the two phenomena. Many theists would also assert that even perhaps the Creator himself had a hand in the process of evolution. But as Christopher Hitchens pointed out, God would be very callous and capricious if He indeed did so.

    The impossibilities I assume against miracles, and other claims made in the Bible of otherwise unexplainable events are not unfounded. It is reasonable to be skeptical of something until proven wrong. The Bible is not proof for miracles, it makes the claim, and so its proof must come from somewhere else. The mind is a product of the brain, and so the theist has yet to demonstrate how consciousness could exist without a physical body. In the absence of sufficient evidence, disbelief in the supernatural is a rational position to take.

    You dismiss any atrocities commanded or committed by God as described in the Bible with a meaningless argument. “The willful slave” , “God can do as He pleases, He breathed life into human beings and can give or take life as he sees fit.” I`m only paraphrasing your argument, and so I know these are not your exact words, but it is in essence what you are saying. I`m disappointed to know that even the esteemed Christian Theologian and Philosopher William Lane Craig uses this vapid response to justify God`s mass killings, and orders to pillage and destruction of other supposed nations that happened to be in the way of God`s chosen people.
    Your only other reply to this, is that I misunderstand the Bible. Perhaps, but there are many people more educated on Biblical history with whom I share the opinion.

    A well-known myth that has frequently been espoused by believers, is that atheists are arrogant for not submitting to God. The opposite is in fact true. Being doubtful of a claim or questioning authority is humble. Atheists do not claim to know Absolute Truth, and that questioning this Truth will be cause for eternal punishment by hellfire. If you must scare someone to submission by threat of punishment, you are not secure in your own position.

    I enjoy conversation about such topics, and would be disappointed if you would simply prefer to avoid any further dialogue simply because I disagree.

    Kind regards,
    DarkNights

    • Whether or not you actually were a Christian at one time, you have clearly embraced the Secular Humanist worldview, which is opposed to Christian Theism at almost every point. I did the same even though I was raised as a Catholic. What you don’t understand is that, in the late 19th century, the scientific establishment, along with the rest of the educational establishment, was gradually taken over by those who had rejected Christian Theism. All subsequent research was driven by this rejection, determining what sorts of things Science would study as well what types of theoretical speculation and proposals are acceptable, based on a rigorous denial that anything exists other than mindless forces, matter/energy and space/time.

      Materialism/Empiricism isn’t “scientific”. It is a philosophy which governs scientific work, just as Christian Theism had done previously (successfully enough that it was able to develop the two technologies upon which the modern world was established: the harnessing of electricity and artificial propulsion) and still does among Intelligent Design scientists (which you will likely deny to be scientists, but this only shows the prejudicial influence of your indoctrination). Despite some Christians being confused about this, Materialism and Creationism are actually completely antithetical. The real question is: Which philosophy can be held consistently? Materialism/Empiricism can be shown to reduce to self-contradiction at numerous points, some of which I cite in my “10 Fallacies” piece. Jason Lisle does an excellent job at doing this much more extensively in his book “The Ultimate Proof of Creation”. I strongly urge you to read the latter. But you must read it with an open mind, not with the assumption that it is wrong and the determination to prove it at every turn.

      As for humility, you must consider that if we are right about God, then rejecting Him is the anti-thesis of humility. And it is actually quite ironic that many Atheists misunderstand Christian claims as arrogant. How is it arrogant to say that: “I am a sinner without hope unless my Creator comes to earth in order to save me”? As for Hell, it doesn’t exist to scare anyone into submission. Rather, it exists for those who foolishly and stubbornly refuse to accept their Maker’s offer of Heaven.

      I’ll be honest with you, I struggle with the doctrine of Hell, as do many Christians who nonetheless accept its existence. I especially struggle with the idea that it must be everlasting. After all, if we regard it as merciful to try to rehabilitate criminals, couldn’t a perfectly merciful God be willing to do it for sinners in Hell? In other words, Hell might actually be more like Purgatory (though Evangelicals like me reject in its Catholic form). I believe this is possible if one reads the Biblical verses describing it as everlasting as being hyperbole (signifying an excruciatingly long time, far worse than a life-sentence in the harshest human prison, but not endless suffering). Such punishment is just because the sin of rejecting God and all of His offers of mercy is actually worse than any other crime, even Hitler’s (who BTW would get off scot-free if your view of ultimate reality was correct).

      This preceding idea would get me in trouble with many authorities in the Church. But becoming a Christian does not at all mean surrendering one’s ability to question and sometimes reject authority. Actually, this has frequently been done in the history of Christianity, most notably in the Reformation. As a Calvinistic Reformation Christian, I recognize only God as an Absolute Authority over me, and He actually welcomes me to question Him. However, His Authority itself I could never question, because of Who He Is. This includes His Authority to do as He pleases with all of His creations. But I am absolutely confident that He never has and never will do anything unjust because His very nature is just, as well as merciful. So, if it proves to be the case that Hell is truly endless, then there will be an entirely just reason for this, which doesn’t diminish His mercy. Similarly, God’s command to exterminate the Philistines, the Sodomites, etc. can be seen to be just on account of the extreme wickedness of these peoples, including their desire to destroy the Israelites, thus being for the protection of the latter. Would you consider it unjust to kill someone who would kill you otherwise?

      As for your assumption that the mind is a product of the brain, it is just that: an assumption, and a self-defeating one at that. It is simply a learned prejudice on your part to reject our understanding that we are reasonable, moral minds (or spirits or souls, which I consider the same thing) housed in physical bodies (including our physical brains). Of course, none of us have personally experienced disembodied consciousness. But this doesn’t mean it can’t happen. To assume this is simply arbitrary.

      I deal with the problems of the mind is a product of the brain claim in comments on another article here (the “10 Fallacies” one, I believe). I do not wish to restate them here, as they would be easy for you to find. I have already argued that if your view of ultimate reality were correct, then all of our experience and knowledge are illusory and meaningless (which I say that neither you nor anyone else truly believes). But both we and the world around us (which includes our physical bodies) are real and understandable to us only because God made us and made a world for us to live in.

      I, too, welcome this discussion, for it is a reasonable one, which gives us the opportunity to understand each other and ourselves better. I have had many others with Atheists and other unbelievers. Of course, I will still be disappointed if you don’t come over to my side. Perhaps, for you, this will be a matter of going back to what you formerly believed (though I doubt that your faith was very mature). As for me, I have been where you are and would never want to go back.

      Respectfully,
      Christopher Andrus (Chris)

      • Dear Christopher,

        Thank you for the reply. I`ll admit that I have much to learn about religion, faith, science and history. I would however like to point out some points that I do not agree with.

        Philosophical naturalism is the rejection of all supernatural claims, and that naturalism is all that exists. To the contrary, scientific/methodological naturalism is simply the honest admission of the limits of our ability to investigate supernatural claims.

        I have never doubted that people who belong to a religious faith are smart, intelligent people, but to say that is was solely due to their faith that scientists have made discoveries in their past is a false statement to make. I can make a statement and say that it was due his lack of belief that we have much to be grateful for the pioneering computer scientist and mathematician Alan Turing. He was also a homosexual, in case you didn`t know.

        Everything that I have learned following my self-reflection on my faith, I have done completely on my own. I have listened to and watched many debates, as well as read intensively on the historicity of the Bible, religion, philosophy, science and ancient history. One of the clear distinctions I have found is this: I was not preached to by anyone, therefore “indoctrination” is a false statement.

        According to the Mirriam Webster Dictionary – Indoctrination:

        to teach (someone) to fully accept the ideas, opinions, and beliefs of a particular group and to not consider other ideas, opinions, and beliefs

        This however can be said of religion. One is taught to hold a specific set of beliefs. to not question them, and to defend them against criticism. There is no “central dogma” held by atheists and agnostics. Your beliefs are free to be questioned, and if they cannot withstand criticism, it is best you reject them.

        I agree that accepting authority is humble. However, people are all imperfect, everyone makes mistakes. The point I`m making is that believers cannot claim to know more than non-believers do, because we are all fallible people. Theists/believers however do claim to have knowledge of supernatural beings, occurrences or dimensions which atheists evidently don`t have.
        I am simply admitting that I don’t have the means to “know” or confirm the existence of supernatural beings.

        True, someone like Hitler would be deserving of an immense punishment, and he must be held accountable for his crime. An infinite punishment for a finite crime however is not just or moral. Even or own justice system has been set up in such a way that we would rather see the guilty walk free, than to punish the innocent. I can only say that even if we wish for crimes to be brought to justice, the universe is indifferent to our suffering, and does not care whether we flourish or suffer.

        I found your admission interesting. (I`m only quoting so as to not say something you did not) “This preceding idea would get me in trouble with many authorities in the Church”

        Why would this be? Why is it wrong to have different ideas about doctrines and teachings? There are of course Bible verses which support the idea of an eternal hell, and I know from a debate that the teaching of purgatory is entirely a human invention.

        Once again, I agree that the unjust must be punished. Have you however considered the verses which is concerned with killing women and children as well, the women frequently being taken as plunder?

        I`ll concede that I made an assumption when I stated that the mind requires a physical brain to exist. However, to say that minds can exist outside bodies requires some explaining. Just because there exists a possibility, doesn`t mean there are definite reasons for believing this is the case.

        Thank you again for the pointers you gave. I will consider them, and I look forward to your reply.

        Kind regards,
        DK

  3. The definition of indoctrination which you furnished actually fits my public education quite well (and I’m quite certain yours, as well) because it did not give us a fair and reasonable presentation of Christianity, nor did it consistently teach us how to think critically (especially with regard to the fundamental assumptions underlying contemporary culture, including Cosmic Evolution and Humanistic ethics). It also taught us to “fully accept” most of the ideas described in Humanist Manifesto I. Take a look at it. You can find it on the American Humanist Association web-site: http://tinyurl.com/ldkncuy. The manifesto itself also contains the admission that Humanism is a religious alternative to revealed religion.

    Furthermore, your assumption that religious believers are never permitted to question the tenets of their religion is totally false in most cases (except for some extreme sects or cults). In other words, it is a false stereotype. Christians have questioned and disagreed endlessly over many doctrines for 2000 years. Granted, some questioning can become controversial, depending on the situation. And disagreements can divide people. But this is always the case with groups. The whole idea of voluntary human associations is to unite like-minded people. If one is or becomes “different-minded”, then he or she simply won’t fit into the group (but may fit into another group).

    This applies just as much with non-religious people, too. There are many people today who claim not to be religious who do not allow questioning of Evolution and man-caused climate change. Even if you strongly believe in these two things, it must still be admitted that these are scientific theories, rather than directly observed natural events. And scientific theories are supposed to be open to being challenged and, even, rejected.

    As for difficult passages in Scripture, some of the commands God gave to Israel are hard for us to understand. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t explanations which are consistent with a perfectly Just and Good God, some of which only He may know. If God is Who He is presented to be in the Bible (and we say that He also presents Himself to every one of us in our consciences), then it is unrealistic for us to expect that we will be able to understand all that He does. We are often called to give others the benefit of the doubt. But isn’t it much more the case that this should this be done with Almighty God?

    As for justice, the entire history of mankind shows that it rarely occurs. But this is exactly why the biblical concepts of a Day of Judgment and Hell make sense. Furthermore, if one denies that there is a Moral God over us, then right and wrong simply cannot avoid becoming arbitrary, either as voluntarily agreed upon by a group of people or imposed on them by others (as in “might makes right”). Keep in mind that many people agreed with Hitler. And if there is no Ultimate Moral Authority over him, then who is to say that he was wrong?

    Finally, the nature of The God described in the Bible is such that all of us have only two choices:
    1) to acknowledge that He must exist and, therefore, that it is of utmost priority to get to know Him. Or, 2) to reject Him and try to make our way in life on our own (which we see as the root of all other religions and philosophies, though each of these can only succeed insofar as it borrows from the truth as established by God). I did the latter for the first 22 years of my life (despite superficially affirming Catholic teachings) until God helped me to realize that the first path is the only reasonable one. I pray and hope that this helps. Have you read Timothy Keller’s “The Reason for God”? This book could be very helpful to you, as could C.S. Lewis’ “Mere Christianity” and Jason Lisle’s “The Ultimate Proof of Creation”.

    Chris

  4. Hope you have been well, I`ve been wanting to reply for some time, but I have been quite busy of late.

    Strangely, even though I had a public school education, no humanist or secularist ideal was ever taught. The teachers were all professed Christians, and all throughout my school career, the students from each denomination attended a service by their respective pastors or ministers. I`ve always wondered why they sent each of the different denominations into a completely different direction. My biology teacher didn`t “preach” evolution. She taught it from a purely objective standpoint, and acknowledged other students who may have had a theological objection to the implications of evolution. No one ever had their faith challenged. It was assumed that everyone was devotedly Christian.

    I always had some questions about Christianity, and it was only when I started to investigate these questions for myself did I realize that I could no longer cling to the beliefs I had.

    Science is a dynamic study, which encourages questioning of old ideas. Not to use a cliché, a theory is a well-established model which explains data obtained through observation and experimentation. A scientific theory is not simply an educated guess or someone`s opinion. Yes, a theory is open to question, and invites individuals to conduct their own research and scrutinize current scientific ideas. It is a well-known fact that people are influencing the Earth`s climate. We are destroying natural habitat`s, and the rate at which we produce greenhouse gases must affect the environment in some adverse way. The Earth has a finite amount of resources. It would be very ignorant (not to sound insulting or demeaning) to think that people have no influence on the state of the Earth`s atmosphere, it`s habitats, and it`s natural resources.

    Reading the first five books of the Bible, I cannot say I agree with the way in which God punishes or rewards the behaviour of the Israelite people. In Numbers 15: 32-36, a man is stoned to death for picking up wood on the Sabbath day. I don`t think a just and merciful god would truly have condoned such an act. Women are freely given as plunder to Joshua and his army after their bloody crusades in Canaan. I`m not sure whether you have heard of this problem, but it is referred to as the Euthyphro Dilemma – Is it loved by the gods because it is good, or is it good because it is loved by the gods? Can God therefore decide what is right and wrong? How can asking someone to sacrifice their son to prove their loyalty to you be a moral act? If God can decide what is right and what wrong, doesn`t that make morality arbitrary?

    I will none the less consider what you have said, and try and find the books you recommended.

    Kind regards,
    DK

    • Perhaps you can take a stab at answering this question about climate change, which no one has been able to answer to me: How do we know that, whatever impact human activity has on our climate, that it will automatically be adverse? For example, human impact might conceivably prevent a catastrophic global cooling. Or, how do we know that a warming of the planet would not be a net good (with more rainfall and better ability to grow crops)? Granted, there would be some major human dislocations and the loss of some species. And, on that note, I have always believed that the urgency Evolutionists have in keeping species from going extinct is a contradiction of their stated belief that extinction is the destiny of all species. In this, I see Creation-deniers actually acting more like what God mandated for us in Genesis 2 in having responsibility for our environment. And how can our effect on this be faulted if we are merely natural creatures (oops, I mean, beings!) ourselves? Please give me your best answers to these questions. Overall, I believe the mainstream scientific establishment has simply become too political today. Part of this is the urgency to secure funding, which makes scientists extremely resistant to reconsidering their theoretical models (either with regard to climate change or Evolution or other theories).

      With regard to God’s actions in the Old Testament, do you really want to claim that you are qualified to judged the righteousness of what God is described as doing, assuming He exists as a higher being than you? If so, on what basis? And, as I have stated previously, it is a non sequitur to say that God can’t exist as described in the Bible simply because one doesn’t like what He is described as doing.

      Also, you are falsely assuming that there aren’t good answers to the supposed problems that you find. For example, God’s command to Abraham to offer Isaac is actually a symbolic picture of what God planned to do in offering His own Eternal Son as the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Even the idea of a substitute sacrifice is pre-figured in God’s substituting of a ram. We can surmise that God would have never actually let Abraham do it or would have raised him back to life, since God had promised to build His people through his offspring. Of course, Abraham didn’t know what God would do, but he knew God’s prior promises. So, it is also a test of Abraham’s faith (as the New Testament indicates, citing Abraham’s faith in the second possibility above – Hebrews 11:17-19). God tested Job even more and tests all of His Children. But not to try to trip us up. Rather, it is to strengthen our faith in Him.

      Finally, I have an answer to the supposed Euthyphro problem. It is a different thing to say that something is good by definition because God does it (which is the second option you give, which would be arbitrary) and to say that God is actually the Paradigm of Goodness, so that He always does good, though He could do evil. In other words, His Personal Nature is Perfectly Good. Our morality actually mirrors God’s in this. Good people are known as such because they consistently do what is good, while bad people consistently do evil. As Jesus said, the tree is known by its fruit. The only other way to avoid moral arbitrariness would be to claim that even God is under a higher Moral Authority (which would be the first option you cite). But I suspect that you wouldn’t want to go this way, nor would any real Theist. In order to be The Supreme Being there must be nothing above God. And the whole issue is whether or not there must be a Supreme Being.

      Kind regards to you, too,
      Chris

  5. We can only be sure of the effect of our actions on the environment, by examining those effects. The trend in the average increase of temperatures annually has allowed scientists to build a model based on the collected data. Small gradual changes annually, has proven to cause dramatic effects over longer time periods, like decades. One prominent fact, is the melting of polar ice, which will not only cause the sea levels to rise, but destroy the habitat of polar animals.

    Those are good questions. However, I believe I can address it by saying this: Even though the ultimate end of all lifeforms is death, that doesn`t mean you can leave the environment to carry on its own. The fate of an ecosystem depends on it`s stability. If an imbalance arises, the entire ecosystem may collapse. Diversity of life ensures stability by providing a “safety net” effect. Should one or two species perish, the effect will not be as adverse. When there are fewer links in the ecosystem, like just two or three, the loss of one will cause an imbalance in the environment. Species are there to maintain the balance and to keep the other species in check.
    Ultimately, if we do not look after the environment, it`s not the Earth that will perish, it`s us. We depend on an intricate ecosystem to sustain ourselves, and when this system is not functioning harmoniously, the repercussions will be felt in terms of our food sources, availability of clean water, and the natural resources we use to build our urban environments.

    I have a question of my own:
    The fact that 99% of all species that has ever lived in Earth has gone extinct in the past, is a worthy point to raise. Wouldn`t that be considered a tremendous waste?

    I see the point you are making in terms of God being a higher moral authority. Perhaps it will be surprising that I don`t agree with the idea of God having no other authority to answer to, nor the idea that God in fact should. My objection is to being likened almost to a pawn on a chessboard. We, the pawns, have no intrinsic value, unless it is specified by the Chessplayer. The Chessplayer has the freedom to knock as many pieces off the board as he likes, with no consequence. In everyday life, we are morally obligated to one another, and there is no ultimate authority to which we answer to. Even the president or a person in position of high authority must answer to the larger group of individuals. The president doesn`t have the freedom to send troops to battle as he wishes, he must answer to others for his decisions, and can be brought to justice if he transgresses.

    In relation to Abraham sacrificing his son as a test, wouldn`t such a test be an unnecessary undertaking for an omniscient God?

    I find it contradicting to say that God is Goodness in and of itself, that God is intrinsically Good, yet evil has the possibility of existing. A being that is Perfectly Good, yet has the “option” of doing evil, cannot be Perfectly Good. To say that something is good or bad, is because we have relative terms to compare them to. To say that something is good, is that it is the position in exception to everything that is bad, and vice versa. If only Goodness existed, evil would not. We would just have accepted it as the natural state of things, whether or not they are that way because a God or Superior Being willed them so.

    I truly enjoy this discussion, and learning more about the deep, important questions life. I hope you are well.

    Kind regards,
    DK

    • I would dispute your conclusion that 99% of the species that have lived on the earth have gone extinct. This is one of many things that evolutionists assert as fact, but are not proven by the fossil record. They are merely a matter of conjecture, based on prior beliefs, all of which are dependent on confidence in the validity of the overall theory. We simply haven’t found enough extinct species to prove this. Indeed, the identification of species in the fossil record, in itself, is highly problematical. Even the identification of living species is always debatable, being dependent on numerous questionable assumptions. The fact is that these things are constantly debated among evolutionary Paleontologists and Biologists. I would add that the fact that fossils are so common, itself, hasn’t been explained with the evolutionary approach.

      There is far less certainty in scientific theorizing than many today realize. Unfortunately, many scientists falsely claim a high degree of certainty in much of their research and theorizing (whether this is due to dishonesty or just ignorance). Indeed, the common term applied both to Evolution and climate change that it is “Settled Science” must actually be seen to be a contradiction in terms.

      In general, evolutionary research, like all types of human inquiry, is both guided by and evaluated on the basis of a set of a priori assumptions which are merely that: assumptions, which cannot be proven but are merely held because they are considered to be the most reasonable ones we can hold at the present time. This is simply because human beings inevitably approach all things according to what we already believe is true and then seek to see how the new data fits into this. If we are consistently able to do this it supports our confidence that our prior beliefs are true. But if we consistently run into problems and, even, contradictions in seeking to do this then reason dictates that we must question our prior beliefs. We say that the latter is what occurs with Evolution, but not with Theism/Creation/ID. The bottom line is that both Evolution and Theism/Creation/ID are belief systems (or overarching “theories”, if you please). But we say that Evolution is a self-defeating system, being unable to explain why Science itself works or why we know or experience anything.

      Beyond all specific scientific issues, you must realize that my citing of internal inconsistencies in the approach of evolutionists requires me to adopt this view, but only for the sake of argument. The inconsistencies are real and show the irrationality of the position. But The Ultimate Problem with Evolution is that nothing in human experience or knowledge could be real if the worldview held by evolutionists was true. It would all just be a chemically-induced illusion.

      Moving on, I would say that you have it backwards with regard to the idea that Perfect Goodness is incompatible with the possibility of evil. Goodness would actually be meaningless without the possibility of evil, both for us and for God. How could one understand goodness without seeing it in contrast to its opposite? And, even though I am a Calvinist, who believes that only God is Absolutely Free to do anything (except for what is logically contradictory, for Logic is also a part of His Nature, as the way His mind works, which He has also given us as creatures in His image, along with our moral nature), this does not mean we don’t have real moral choices, which, ultimately, are all a matter of whether or not we will obey God. We say that God made us this way because He desires people who will freely obey Him, not do so automatically, either due to an inner necessity (like a robot) or an outward compulsion (like a puppet or what a master does with slaves). For this is what it means to love Him (or anyone else, for that matter).

      Regarding Abraham’s test, you are still misunderstanding the meaning of the test here. God didn’t test Abraham so that God could find out what he would do. He tested him so that Abraham could find out and be confirmed in his devotion to God.

      Though the analogy, like all analogies, falls short at some point, we can look at our relationship to God as being akin to being characters in a Great Play of which He is the Author and Director. Within a human play the characters exist in a self-contained, internally-consistent world (if it is a well-written play, that is) and are good or evil, as shown by the choices they make. But in our case, both we and The Play are actually real. God, on the other hand, stands over the entire Play. There is no contradiction in this, though we, as finite, time-bound beings, don’t exist in the “meta-reality” in which God functions and, thus, can’t comprehend what it is like.

      This is why you (like many people) have so much difficulty comprehending how God can be The Highest Moral Authority. The same kind of objection is also frequently given to the concept that God is The Only Necessary and Self-existing Being (or the un-caused Cause of everything else). These reflect two of the so-called classical “proofs” of God’s existence (or Theistic Proofs). But these are not really proofs in the formal sense of the term. God’s existence doesn’t need to be proven for two reasons: first, because all of us already know He exists and, second, because the existence of everything else cannot be explained unless He existed first. The so-called “Theistic Proofs” mainly serve to show the unreasonableness and, even, the impossibility of the contrary: that God doesn’t exist.

      This discussion makes me mindful of another great book which shows the reasonableness of Christianity: C.S. Lewis’ “Mere Christianity”. Have you read this? It may be the best book at correcting today’s common misconceptions about Christianity.

  6. Dear Chris,

    It`s been some time since I`ve had an opportunity to write to you. I have been incredibly busy of late, and I have really wanted to reply to your last post. Please forgive my late response.

    According to evolutionary and geological theory, we can observe five catastrophic events which took place in the Earth`s history. These are known as the mass extinctions. These events were either an impact from meteors, as the one in the Yucatan Peninsula in the Gulf of Mexico, which wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Other events were large scale volcanic eruptions which would have changed the Earth`s climate drastically and eliminated the majority of Earth`s plant and animal life. The fact that we find fossils at all borders on the miraculous. The conditions required for the formation of fossils are very narrow which is way we do not find has many fossils as we would always like to find.

    I must disagree with your statement that research in evolutionary theory are mere assumptions. There are several approaches in Evolutionary Biology by which organisms are identified, and classified phenotypically and genotypically. The scientific method does not approach the matter by first making assumptions and then trying to find evidence which supports your conclusion.
    Being a student in science, I have observed the value of the scientific method. One makes an observation, then hypothesize about a plausible explanation. Next would be to perform an experiment in an attempt to DISPROVE your hypothesis. Science indeed never claims absolute certainty about anything, which is why it has proven to be such a useful tool to make sense of the world. Even the most accepted theories are open to challenge. At some point, it would be perverse to deny the evidence which has been put forward in their support.

    Regarding moral choices, I can`t help but think of the attack at the French magazine Charlie Hebdo which occurred earlier this year. The people responsible for the act are under an impression (indeed a misapprehension) that they acted in accordance with the writings of their prophet. They can claim divine authority by which to justify their actions. Muslims recognize their faith as the one true faith above any other, as you recognize your beliefs to be true above all others. How can one know which worldview is true, and who perhaps received “the wrong message” from God? If one can claim divine authority, any act no matter how horrific can be justified.

    My objection to the “meta-reality” is that we would have no method of confirming its existence. How would you go about confirming the persistence of a mind beyond death? Any god who cared about our predicament would know the limitations of our ability to investigate the metaphysical, and therefore endow us with the tools to confirm this, without having to rely on a message which was revealed to only a few select people in a remote part of the world. Yet the message was denied to everyone else who were also alive during that period in history, such as Asian civilization where people could read and write.

    Thank you for the post, I really appreciate. I have been unsuccessful in finding a copy of the book you recommended, but will keep trying.

    Hope you have been well,

    Regards,

    DK.

  7. Good to hear from you. To being with, there is a huge difference between the scientific method, which we agree is valid (including the principle of falsification), and scientific theorizing, which can obviously be true or false. Karl Popper’s falsification principle simply doesn’t apply to the fundamental theories which drive the scientific establishment. Rather, these are simply assumed as the necessary basis for research and are routinely defended against all attacks, until, over time, it no longer becomes possible to maintain this. Thomas Kuhn accurately described how this works. Your own argumentation reflects this, as it is virtually unthinkable for you to consider that Evolution could be false.

    All of the major developments in the history of Science have been a matter of replacing theories, which were increasingly discredited by scientists who dissented against the consensus, with better ones. But sometimes the process goes in the opposite direction and rejects the better explanation for an inferior one. This is what we say has happened with the Darwinian revolution. Nothing that Darwin found could not be explained in a manner consistent with Christian Theism. But Darwin simply assumed that this wasn’t true. Instead, he was utterly committed to finding another explanation. This has always been the origin of false religions and philosophies. I would say that the most significant evidence of the deficiency of Evolution is that it simply can’t explain the existence of human intelligence or human morality or, for that matter, any human experience. Christian Theism can.

    All of your analysis is based on what we regard as a fatal error: that there is no Intelligent Force Who created the universe and is Sovereign over it today and always. We say that the dominant scientific establishment, along with most of the intellectual world made this same error during the so-called “Enlightenment”. In other words, a major wrong turn was made and the intellectual world must return to its previous basis in Christian Theism. That there has been much progress in Science since this wrong turn does not prove that it wasn’t a wrong turn. The error does not damage our observations about how nature works now so much as it does our theorizing and analysis about what happen in the past or what will happen in the future.

    There are some encouraging signs that things are beginning to change, despite fierce resistance from the dominant establishment. I would even call it desperate resistance, to hear the tone of many anti-Creationists, like Bill Nye and Richard Dawkins. Many scientists have at least begun to question today’s reigning dogma of anti-theistic Darwinism. AnswersinGenesis.com lists about 200 of these. There are also excellent challenges to Evolution on CreationRevolution.com. You simply must try to overcome your bias that a return to Creation-based Science would be a regression and consider that it might lead to far better Science.

    As for comparing religious behavior and justifications, the only reason one can do so at all is because there exists a Universal Standard of right and wrong (which evolutionary Cosmology can’t explain). It is on your view, not mine, that one must always ask the question: Who are we to say that we are right and the other side is wrong? And while there are some cases where this is a valid question, clearly, someone claiming that God calls him or her to kill or enslave innocents is either completely deluded or just evil. It doesn’t matter which God the person claims to be serving (or which philosophy, for there have also been non-theists who have killed and enslaved many innocents).

    No human being has ever been deprived of the witness of our Creator, for we are all born with the knowledge that He exists, though we are also born with a natural tendency to suppress this knowledge and to seek to get along without Him. But this is our most basic error, which leads to all of our other errors and problems. God has always “called” everyone to forsake our rebellion against Him and be reconciled to Him. Whether or not one has heard this message from others, God communicates this to all of us in our thoughts.

    Finally, as for the Jason Lisle book (“The Ultimate Proof of Creation”), the last time I checked, it can be ordered on Amazon.com. You might also get Timothy Keller’s “The Reason for God”, which answers more general objections to Christianity. At heart, the intellectual difference is always based on the more fundamental moral question: Do we have a Creator to Whom we are accountable?

    • Evolution provides a reasonable explanation for the similarities we can observe for life on Earth. Would the similarities between us and other primates be merely coincidental? The evidence for evolution is not simply from the fossil record. Would the more than 98% sequence homology between us and chimpanzees be only a coincidence? Perhaps as a result of the design of a conscious Designer? Would a Designer truly go to the length to design our genome in such a way that it would just be so unfortunate for thousands of children to be born with a point mutation, which results in Phenylketonuria, a condition where a child may suffer from mental retardation, seizures, behavioural disorders and die at the age of two or three? According to evolutionary theory, why it happens is not difficult to explain. It is the result of a chance event, and in some few cases, mutations do occur. Would a designer really go to such lengths to create worms whose life cycle involves eating through the eyes of children and making them blind? Explaining morality is not so beyond the reach of evolutionary theory as it first appears. Humans are social creatures. It is not difficult to explain why one would want to treat others with respect and kindness, as you would want to be treated that way in return.

      I also do not understand the idea of equating evolution with Cosmology, as one does not follow from the other. Accepting evolutionary theory does not necessarily indicate one`s opinion regarding the myriad of other scientific theories regarding the nature of the universe. It is entirely possible for one to accept evolution as an explanation for the diversity of life, yet still consider God to be the ultimate cause of all things.

      Please consider the case of Dr. Francis Collins. A renowned geneticist, and director of the Human Genome Project does not advocate intelligent design. He has said that the account of creation given in Genesis cannot explain the fact that indeed thousands of other people existed at the time the account was written. It is also known that Dr. Collins indeed believes God used evolution as a mechanism to create us, but I do understand that evolutionary theory and faith cannot go hand in hand.
      Regarding the debate between creationism and evolution, if you have not seen the debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham, please do so, as I would like to hear your opinion. It is surprising to note that a poll taken after the event recorded 92% of Evangelical Christians supporting Nye instead of Ham.

      http://www.salon.com/2014/02/06/92_percent_say_bill_nye_won_in_christian_today_poll/

      I can understand that you would accuse me of being biased. However, at some point you realize that some things are simply facts, and that they are impossible to ignore, which is why you will defend your own position. I have observed this from your own writing as well. You are defending a position to the contrary because you have been persuaded by the facts of its truth. It is not that science is closed to questioning or doubt. Science is a dynamic discipline, which constantly scrutinizes it`s most prized theories. The theories we do have have stood up to scrutiny every time, including those of evolutionary biology.

      I do not wish to come across as cynical or snide, but given a Creation-centred establishment of science, would you imagine doctors asking whether God had any role to play in the development of the brain tumour in his patient, and that it is now the doctor’s job to solve it? How would a divine Creator be considered to have played a role in the callous and capricious nature of existence? Would people truly be in a position, given a Creation based belief, to say what God would or would not do?

      I may have committed a fatal flaw in rejecting the existence of an Intelligent Force as the cause of all things, but do so based on the deficit of evidence for the notion. Would it perhaps not be prudent to accept our predicament on Earth, as it is now, and seek to make the world a better place in the here and now, instead of perhaps hoping for something that might not be true?

      • I did watch the Bill Nye/Ken Ham debate. I can understand why many believed Bill Nye won based on style, but I would say that Ken Ham won based on substance. Ham more often answered Nye’s points than Nye did with Ham’s. In addition, Ham presented more points, while Nye tended to make the same point over and over: that embracing ID/Creation would destroy progress in Science. But he could not explain why or how this would be the case. He simply assumes this consequence, which is a fallacy. I was disappointed that Ham failed to press Nye on the obvious difference between operational Science and historical Science early in the debate. He simply allowed Nye to blow off this valid distinction, which undermines claims of certainty on the Evolution side. Also, Ham is not a Philosopher, so he was weak on the type of philosophical arguments I make here. But he did present numerous scientific problems with Evolution, which Nye couldn’t refute.

        Of course, few ever say that the person on the opposite side from them wins a debate. (One exception to this was the admission by many Republicans that President Obama won the last two Presidential debates in 2012. I don’t recall Democrats ever admitting this about one of their candidates.) Debates like this almost never swing people from one side to the other (at least in the short run), because people are usually strongly committed to their side (which is why Thomas Kuhn’s assessment of the history of Science rings true). I am also well aware that many Evangelicals have been misled to believe that belief in Evolution is compatible with belief in The God of the Bible.

        As for the reasonableness of Evolution, it is belied especially by the fact that Evolution cannot explain what Reason itself is and why it works. The extent of research which seems to support it doesn’t prove that it is correct. As the past history of Science and the common experience of court cases prove, a lot of arguments and supporting evidence can be presented for things that are false. We say that Creation proves to be not only a more reasonable explanation than Evolution, it is the only explanation which accounts for all that we observe and know.

        I connect the Evolution of life with cosmic Evolution because both assume no Intelligence behind development. It is inconsistent to hold the former without the latter. For, if there is an all-powerful God behind the latter, then it cannot be ruled out that He could have created life more simply and quickly than Evolution assumes. And, yes, it is “assumes”, because we can’t observe processes in the past, we can only observe the products and infer about the processes. And the evolutionary assumption is that there was no super-natural intervention. This is arbitrary and is not reasonable considering other things which Evolution can’t explain.

        As for questioning why God would allow certain things we observe, we err when we assume that we are qualified to judge God’s activity because He is the Archetype of Goodness and Justice. To do so is inevitably a matter of taking our finite senses of goodness and justice which came from God and turning them against Him. Again, this is the sin at the root of all other sins (as seen in the account of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3). And it is the ultimate case of biting The Hand that feeds us.

        As for supposed conflicts with Medicine, these are avoidable. In fact, I would argue that Medicine will be greatly aided by returning to the dualistic (Mind/Body) view of human beings. Non-Pentecostal Christians like me fully accept the role of Medicine in analyzing and treating people as physical beings governed by known natural laws and processes. Indeed, some overly supernatural-oriented Christians (Pentecostals or Charismatics) do sometimes neglect natural explanations and treatments. But this is because they fail to realize adequately that a predictable natural order is part of God’s Providence (which, I would add, is also unexplainable in an ultimately mindless universe).

        At the same time, it is my belief that many mental disorders (like Bi-polar Disorder, ADHD, PTSD, OCD, Substance Abuse, Sexual Addictions, and, even, Autism and LGBT) are fundamentally misdiagnosed and mistreated today because of a false anti-spiritual, mechanical-only view of human beings. I have already argued that the Mind/Body duality must be maintained, otherwise we end in absurdity. Accordingly, I see many mental problems as beginning with behavioral choices (or mind problems), which, with much repetition, become physiological (brain) problems because they re-wire our brains in pathological ways. In other words, we change our brains over time no less than we change other parts of our bodies by our decisions. This is clearly seen with drug or alcohol abuse, but should also be seen in many other cases.

        Finally, I will restate what I wrote previously: Nothing that Darwin actually observed (as opposed to his explanations) is incompatible with the biblical Creation account, insofar as the latter is properly understood. In other words, Science has never disproven a single verse of the Bible, though there have been times when Science has helped correct misinterpretations of Bible verses or passages. But the Bible also corrects misinterpretations of Nature. Furthermore, nothing that any advocate of Evolution has found subsequently is incompatible either (including all of Bill Nye’s supposed disproving of a young, divinely-created Earth). It is just that Evolution believers refuse to consider how Creation can account for their observations. On the other hand, there are countless things which simply can’t be explained in a universe which ultimately consists only of matter/energy, mindless forces and space/time.

  8. I find it almost striking to read. Is the Earth really only 6000 years old? Are more sophisticated Christians such as William Lane Craig deluded into accepting the age science has established for the Earth? I can honestly say that Ken Ham and his followers distorted much of the evidence which would discredit their view in order to prove a preconceived conclusion. In science, you follow the evidence where it leads.

    An example of this is the Long Term Evolution Experiment conducted by Richard Lenski and his colleagues. Andrew Fabich, the microbiologist at Answers in Genesis deliberately omitted the molecular mechanisms by which bacteria can gain new “information”. As a student in microbiology, I am well aware of the mechanisms by which bacteria may have mutations, and gain new genetic material through several well-known processes. In fact, there is no “observational science” or “historical science”. There is no such trivial distinction in the scientific community. It may seem as if I am coming across as strident, but it is because there are in fact very religious people who do not adhere to a fundamentalist approach to scripture, yet are still strong believers and good scientists. You cannot be an astronomer and claim the Earth is only 6000 years old. Such a statement is so preposterous that it should rather be left unsaid. Many sophisticated believers can reconcile belief in a God with modern science. Such a belief I would argue is justified. Science does not know everything.

    How can an astronomer claim the universe is “just” 6000 years old? Did light travel much faster at the instance of creation? How is it that we can observe stars thousands of light years away, much farther than just 6000 light years? The Earth and the universe cannot be just 6000 years old.

    You correct in pointing out the incongruence of Evolutionary Biology with the Bible. However, still as I point out, there are many believers capable of reconciling this belief. Again, I must ask. How does having God as an explanation of life in Earth bring you any closer to understanding it? How can you say what God would or would not have done? Does using God as an explanation solve your problem of explaining the mechanisms behind pathogenesis of oncogenic viruses and harmful bacteria? Ken Ham made my point exactly when he said in answer to why the universe is expanding: “Exactly why God did it that way, I cannot answer that question.”

    Your scientific inquiry will be reduced to asking: “Why would God make things this way?” Which of course do not aid us in understanding the cosmos.
    The discipline of Biblical archaeology was founded to demonstrate the veracity of the Bible, yet has in fact not corroborated and even contradicted the Bible`s interpretation of history. The Exodus and Joshua`s crusades through Canaan are not attested in history. The destruction of the cities of Canaan occurred over a period of more than a thousand years. To assert that everything in the Bible is true is not an accurate representation of actual history.

    It is perhaps not unreasonable to believe in a mind/body duality. However, just because something is possible does not mean it is true. The same can be said of supposed “realms” or “dimensions” where our “souls” would go to after we are dead. Until such claims are proven, doubt is justified.

    • Your beliefs about history, as well as Science, only show your philosophical bias. All observations must be interpreted and can be interpreted variously. Your view of the evidence and the evidence you seek are just as much determined by your fundamental beliefs as us! You are lying to yourself and me if you deny this. Virtually all human issues are determined by whether or not one starts with The One True God or one rejects Him. In other words, they are spiritual/philosophical issues.

      I must go back to the basic principle that all of your beliefs about the ages of things assume no intelligent intervention. Unless you are willing to grant that the mere possibility of divine or other intelligent intervention compromises certainty on this, we will never be on the same page. Actually, even the possibility that there are things which we still don’t understand about natural forces does this. In short, you have no basis for the certainty which you profess.

      It’s very hard for most to see how presumptuous and arrogant many scientists and other Humanists have become today. This has led to a pernicious (and, indeed, unscientific) dogmatism, as is especially seen in the Evolution/Creation debate, as well as with climate-change (which are the two foci of historical Science today, one dealing with the past and the other with the future). As such, no challenge to the reigning dogma is permitted. And your denial of the distinction between operational Science and historical Science is simply dishonest! Ken Ham cited the prologue of a mainstream textbook in making this point. One cannot observe the past! This alone is a critical difference. Reasonable non-Christian skeptics see this as well as we do.

      I realize that I am getting personal here, but you need to remember, once again, that I was once on your side (like many ID scientists). Besides, the attacks of Evolutionists on Creationists are frequently personal insults to our intelligence, experience and honesty. Most of Bill Nye’s presentation was essentially a personal attack on those who challenge Evolution as supposedly betraying Science, Reason and, even, honesty. Your own attack on Ken Ham shows this, as does your implication that you are better than me because you do not need God’s Commandments to be good. In fact, your ethic is based on The Golden Rule, which cannot be explained in a strictly Materialistic world. Jesus called this The Greatest Commandment. You falsely exalt yourself and defy your Creator by claiming that it is a self-imposed standard.

      We are honest enough to admit that there are some challenges to our belief in a young earth and universe. But you need to admit that there are also some things your side can’t explain, based on the fossil record and if the earth and universe are as old as is believed (some of which Ken Ham brought up). I am not going to go into a point-by-point debate on these (though I, or more highly-qualified ID scientists can or actually have answered your claims, if you would be willing to read their answers) because you will just want to offer possible solutions in each case, which you can’t prove, because you are committed to your view. But our side can do the same.

      Admittedly, the distant star light problem is a challenge for our side. However, it is potentially solved by the possibility that the speed of light is not a constant, something even some evolutionary scientists have proposed. The speed of light may have been virtually infinite at first and then it started slowing down in reverse logarithmic fashion (so that the rate of slowing is almost indetectible today). It is simply your bias which keeps you from seriously considering this possibility. A truly scientific mind will remain open to the possibility that Einstein was wrong on this point.

      Even the expression “appearance of age” reflects the Naturalist bias. As such, things are regarded as extremely old on account of the assumption of historical uniformitarianism. But that is the very assumption which we are challenging. In a world ruled by God, appearances cannot always determine age because it is simply not possible to know what happened in the un-observable past (or what will in the future) simply by observing the present. Even looking at people shows the truth of this. People of the same age can look older or younger than they are (both from outward appearance and some internal characteristics), whether this is due to genetics or lifestyle (or both).

      You are making the same mistake that many scientists have made in the past in having a false certainty based on false assumptions. Many scientists and intellectuals are coming to realize this. Those who vehemently oppose this do so mainly because they are adamantly opposed to the idea that there is an Almighty Creator to Whom they will have to answer, and also because they know, deep down inside, that their Creator is real. But that is a spiritual problem, not a scientific one.

      • I suppose I can start by saying this: He who doesn`t stand for something will fall for everything. One must have some grounded belief or basis of which you are reasonably sure by which to judge other things. Professing no amount of certainty on anything presupposes the collapse of the entire scientific endeavour. I would say again as I have before: of course there are things about the world and the universe we do not know. Christopher Hitchens said it most eloquently: “The more we know the more we know how little we know, and how much more there is to know.” But to say that we cannot claim certainty about certain things at this point is absurd. Again I must also ask, did God tweak the atomic clocks of elements in fossils and rocks just for us to discover they are older than what they in fact are? A geologist who dates a certain fossil to 4 or 5 million years has perhaps committed an atrocity?

        The division of science into “historical science” and “observational science” is a false dichotomy invented by Ken Ham in order to assert that scientists don`t know what they are talking about when dealing with evolutionary biology or cosmology. I would really love to see universities and research institutions all over the world adopting this nomenclature for their departments and publications. It`s rather ridiculous really. If you would do some investigation, you would have noticed how dishonest Ken Ham is. The paper that he cited to prove the point that dogs came from a single ancestor said in the very first paragraph stated that biologists have been able to trace the changes in the genome of the wolf to dogs by genome sequencing. If you are dishonest, the facts always come back to haunt you. His argument in fact carries no substance whatsoever.

        Indeed, you cannot observe the past, but you can collect data and make reasonable deductions about how things might have been. As Bill Nye alluded to, it is in fact the principle on which the work of forensic scientists is based. If they do not make this assumption, no murder cases would have ever have been solved and no perpetrator would ever have been brought to justice. I do grant that we cannot know whether light has always behaved the way it does currently or whether perhaps in the past it had a higher velocity. It is plausible. Until it is proven through experimentation, I see no basis for presupposing that light did behave differently in the past in order to accommodate a “young universe”. I would also find it rather interesting whether it would be possible to prove the Sun “stood still in the sky” so Joshua could win his war. Science and Scripture do not always meld.

      • I don’t have the time for a complete response to you now, but will just say this. Ken Ham showed a non-Creationist Geology text-book which cited the difference between historical and operational Science. Go back and look (it comes very early in the debate). Denying the obvious differences doesn’t change a thing. And the so-called appearance of age argument is flawed because the argument itself assumes exactly what is at issue: whether or not only undirected natural forces exist. If God exists (which cannot be excluded) then He could have created the universe and man any way He wished and at whatever pace He wished. The mere possibility of this (which, again, simply can’t be excluded) means that Science can’t tell us when or how man and the universe were made. All of your assumptions are fatally-compromised because you falsely exclude this possibility.

      • Additional comments: I am glad we are continuing this discussion. Your comparison of criminal forensics and evolutionary cosmology breaks down because of the fact that there can be eye-witness corroboration and other direct evidence of crimes. But such is not the case with ancient events. In addition, when it comes to forensics there is almost always the possibility of other explanations. And because we are not observing the actual event, it is always possible that we are wrong in any particular analysis. Indeed, this is one of things that make forensic crime shows interesting and why forensic evidence alone is rarely sufficient to convict suspects.

        Furthermore, once again, your thinking is based on the unknowable assumption that supernatural forces cannot exist and also on the false dilemma that allowing for the possibility of supernatural forces would destroy Science. There is nothing contradictory with the Biblical picture that God created a natural order which Science can understand (which is actually the only credible explanation for why Science works at all), but also that He can and occasionally does contravene in this order at times.

        And changing the terminology to evolutionary biology and cosmology doesn’t help you. There is still a fundamental difference in the disciplines. The former can be pursued under controlled conditions, while the latter cannot.

        As for accusations of dishonesty, I can say the same thing about Bill Nye (who is not even a credentialed scientist, by the way, since he only has an engineering degree). He completely ignored most of the points that Ken Ham made in the debate. Ham addressed Nye’s points much more than Nye addressed his. Go back and watch the debate again if you doubt this. Because of this, by conventional debate standards Nye would be deemed to have lost the debate. That he may have come off as being more genial or that you happen to agree with his position shouldn’t really matter. When it comes to winning debates and, more importantly, when it comes to truth it is reason and the facts that matter most. Likeable and/or clever evil people are actually the most dangerous. I am not saying that Bill Nye is evil. Only God knows his heart. But he is a militant anti-theist/anti-Christian and will be destroyed by God along with all unrepentant evil-doers unless he repents. Like all of us who change sides, he may come to realize that he was deceived that he is on the side of goodness and truth in attacking faith in God and that he will change sides when he realizes this.

        The tendency of defenders of Darwinism like Nye and you and many others to attack the honesty or basic intelligence of dissenters merely shows the hatred (indeed, the bigotry) of those on your side. You really need to ask yourself why you hate dissenters of Darwinism so much. It is not because of Science. I suggest it’s because of your belief that Science and faith are mutually-destructive. This is clearly Bill Nye’s fear. BUT IT IS A FALSE FEAR!!

        You need to get and watch “Evolution’s Achilles Heels” http://www.amazon.com/Evolutions-Achilles-Heels-Ph-D-Scientists/dp/1921643854/ref=sr_1_1/178-9364177-4636819?ie=UTF8&qid=1435665875&sr=8-1&keywords=evolution+achilles+heel). You should especially pay attention to the extended interviews of the scientists included in the bonus material. It is a complete lie to say that one can’t be a scientist (or stops being a scientist) if he or she believes (or comes to believe) in The Creator God. Nor can any scientist believe in The God described in the Bible and not have this belief profoundly affect what he or she seeks to do in Science. On the other hand, lack of belief in God exerts a profound influence on the work of unbelieving scientists. We are seeking to return to glorifying God through Science, which prevailed until unbelievers took over the scientific and overall intellectual establishments post-Darwin. In the long run, the Darwinian revolt, far from advancing Science, actually undermines it and pushes it in evil directions (a la Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union).

        Ultimately, though, your real fear is that, if we are right, then you will have Someone to Whom you must answer. I know this because I once had this fear, as well, as do all people before they are converted. But, what you don’t realize is that you have been deceived to believe that believing in God is the worst thing that one can do. In reality, it is the best thing intellectually, morally and experientially. I discovered this 33 years ago and pray that you will soon, as well.

      • I am also glad to be continuing the discussion with you.

        I must say, I find the so-called “starlight problem” a fascinating one. For me, it`s easier and more reasonable to accept that the speed of light is constant. It is unnecessary to posit that light at one time travelled at a different velocity than it does now. Your argument is really driving the point Ken Ham keeps trying make to it`s extreme.

        “Have you been there to see the time when the Universe came into existence?”

        “No.”

        “So who has always been there, who is eternal and omniscient and omnipotent? God.”

        It is a strange idea that theists demand visual physical evidence by an observer as a way to discredit science but when it comes to the evidence for God they dismiss it.

        I didn`t say that supernatural forces cannot exist. I simply do not believe that they do based on the lack of evidence for their existence. Should new evidence come to the fore, I will adjust my position accordingly.

        I pointed out Ken Ham`s dishonesty based on the merits of his argument, which I believe is what a good debater would do. I did not resort to evaluating his academic credentials. Ken Ham specifically omitted mentioning the part of the article which would contradict his statement to make a point. I do not hate “dissenters” of Darwinism. I simply strongly disagree. It would be creating a straw-argument by stating that people “need to dissent”, as if there is a regime like Nazi-Germany who punish people who do not accept evolutionary theory. There is no need to “dissent”. The problem is that creationists have never presented new evidence. Their label for creationism has simply changed to “Intelligent Design”. There hasn`t been any new evidence presented other than an appeal to incredulity. “How could life arise on its own? I don`t know, therefore there must have been a creator.”

        On the point of glorifying God through science, what kind of scientist would seek to glorify a bloodthirsty war-mongering God as described for us in the Bible, and who continues to neglect his creation today?
        Theodosius Dobzhansky wrote “Nothing in biology makes sense except in light of evolution.” Evolution occurs in nature, whether or not you like it to. Organisms change constantly as their genome undergoes various forms of genetic mutation. It`s the reason why there is such a large diversity of species, and it is why we need to keep changing the antibiotics we use in medicine, because bacteria acquire resistance genes through various means. Indeed, a society based on the foundations of evolution would be a very poor one. That is why we choose to create a society where all are equal, and where there are laws and order. Nazi Germany however was not the result of evolutionary theory. Adolf Hitler was a devout Catholic.

        I do in fact find the idea of a God who arrogantly proclaims himself ruler over all who can make and destroy civilizations as he pleases offensive (Read the book of Leviticus). I far prefer a world where one must earn the respect of others, not simply demand it.

      • You find offensive the idea of a God who “arrogantly proclaims himself ruler over all who can make and destroy civilizations as he pleases” only because you reject apriori the possibility that the God described in the Bible might exist. This is the overwhelming bias of modernity, which must people aren’t even aware of having, having been thoroughly but subtly indoctrinated in anti-Christian Humanism. If this God exists, as we say He must, then His proclamations are simply true and His actions must be just and good, because He is just and good by nature (not because what He does is just and good by definition, which would be arbitrary).

        It is a fallacy to say that genetic changes entail that evolution occurs. No one denies genetic changes occur. But this doesn’t mean that genetic changes can create new organisms. In almost every case we observe genetic changes are detrimental. As for evidence, at some point you simply have to be willing to open your mind to what we present as evidence for the supernatural. For example, we are supernatural beings insofar as our experience as people cannot be reduced to natural forces. It is fallacious and intellectually dishonest to argue along this line: I don’t see anything as evidence for the supernatural. There must be a natural explanation for everything you claim as evidence for the supernatural (even if we don’t yet know what it is). So there is no reason to think that anything supernatural exists.

        I recommend that you get the video “Evolution’s Achilles Heels”. If you are willing to be open to the case against Evolution and for Creation/Intelligent Design (as any reasonable person should be) the video may help you to do what the scientists on the video did.

        Your claim that Adolf Hitler was a devout Catholic is ridiculous and extremely offensive to all Catholics and Christians. Hitler abandoned Catholicism long before he started pursuing his political aspirations. Any legitimate historical source can confirm this. And that Hitler bullied a pathetically weak Vatican to overlook his atrocities does not make him and Rome allies.

        Finally, your admission that “a society based on the foundations of evolution would be a very poor one” is actually a fatal one for your position. If evolution is true, then it must govern all. How can you explain any other basis for society?

      • Once more, I do not a priori reject the possibility that God exists. That is a wrong rendition of the argument. The evidence for God has not met the burden of proof, hence, I am not convinced. I am glad that you point out that morality as determined by God would be arbitrary. Seemingly, God is never at fault in the Old Testament. People are slaughtered by the thousands as God`s plan for his chosen people unfolds. (A little contrary to the idea that God is omniscient). God is in fact not just, not good and not moral by nature. The description of God by Jewish scripture does not reflect the “God is good by nature” point you wish to make.

        Denying that evolution occurs is essentially the same as denying that plate tectonics occur on the Earth`s cooling crust. Evolution is the overall bigger picture when taking all the smaller genetic changes into account. Whether or not you agree with this, objectively seen, evolution is a fact. Your objection to the occurrence of evolution is due to the clear incompatibility of evolution and faith in God. It would be a very cruel world if God left our existence to chance, wouldn`t it? God would be capricious and callous if our coming into being was left to random events not controlled by his divine will. Indeed, I would be interested in seeing the video you mentioned, however, I`m not interested if I must pay to see it. Accordingly, there is a drove of reliable and vetted information on evolutionary biology that I can recommend to you, if of course you are willing to change your mind regarding the matter. I have looked up the trailer for the video you mention. I see a lot of bias from the scientists presenting their arguments in the documentary.

        Concerning evidence for the supernatural, truly one must ask the question, how long has it been since supposed evidence for the supernatural has been brought to the fore and how many times has the evidence been able to withstand objective scientific scrutiny? At some point, I would deem it rational to reject all supernatural claims, as none of the current supposed evidences has withstood the test of time. There really isn`t a reason to wonder whether prayers can still be answered or whether people can become “miraculously” cured of illness. “Spirit” realms such as heaven and hell sound equally ludicrous.

        I unfortunately must stand by my point that Hitler (and probably the majority of his military) were Christian. In case you do not know, his officers had “Gott mitt uns” stitched on their uniforms. Mein Kampf does not exactly portray a man who was deeply devoted to atheism or humanism.

        Lastly, the fact that evolution is a cruel way on which to build a philosophy of life is simply an honest admission. I have seen none from your side. The fact that evolution is cruel and does not care for the wellbeing of weaker individuals is not an argument against its veracity. Evolution is true, whether you accept it or not. The way to move forward is to embrace a human approach to living this one short, yet significant life we have to the fullest.

      • Your biggest problem continues to be that you refuse to see your own complete bias for natural explanations of things and complete refusal even to consider clear problems which I pose against them, as well as your complete bias against our alternative explanations. As for your latest specific points, first of all, I am most certainly not saying morality as determined by God would be arbitrary, as morality inescapably would be without Him. Once again, I am simply making a crucial distinction between the argument that says that 1) something is right or wrong by definition because of what God says or does, and 2) saying that God always does or says what is right because He is a perfectly good Person (actually, 3 Persons).

        The surprising yet correct Christian position is that, theoretically, God could say or do evil, but He wouldn’t because He is good. Perfect goodness is a personal characteristic of God and, thus, anything contrary to His will is evil. This understanding alone explains the existence of a universal good and evil without them being supreme over God (as they are over us) or arbitrary. Human beings actually mirror God in that good people can be counted on to do the right thing, but evil people can’t.

        Second, that you can’t understand how God’s actions in the OT can be consistent with God’s perfect goodness is your problem, not God’s. I will freely admit that it is hard for all Christians to understand this in some cases. But, in these cases, it is not impossible to conceive that His actions can be consistent with His goodness. So we trust that God’s actions are just and good, even though it sometimes appears otherwise. That you assume the opposite merely reflects your bias. There are thousands of pages written by very intelligent and rigorous believing scholars devoted to interpreting God’s actions in the Old Testament. Of course, your bias leads you to dismiss all of their work and (probably) their intelligence as well. But this isn’t reasonable on your part.

        As for Hitler and the Nazi’s, that they invoke Christianity and theological language for their evil doesn’t make them Christian. A person is not a Christian because he or she says so, but because he or she shows himself or herself to be a true disciple of Jesus by acting like He did, as revealed in the New Testament. The NT itself promises that there would be evil-doers acting in the Name of Christ. I know that you have been trained to focus only on the misdeeds of Christians (as we are not perfect) and those who falsely claim to be Christians. I know this because I was trained to do so, as well. But you need to fight this and learn to see the difference between the picture the NT Gospels give of Jesus, as well as the behavior of millions of Christians who have cared for the poor, sick, imprisoned, etc., and the monstrous evil of Nazism.

        We believe that Hitler and most of his followers will be in Hell (though some could have repented and been forgiven). If Hitler isn’t sentenced to Hell one would have to ask: Then who is? I would say the same thing about people like the 9/11 terrorists, whose dying acts were expressions of monstrously evil beliefs. You no doubt think that Hell is cruel doctrine. But without God and Hell people like Hitler escaped justice. I recognize that this doesn’t prove that Hell exists, but it does point to the unsatisfactoriness of the view that denies the existence of a Just God. Then again, justice would be a meaningless concept (along with all morality) if the evolutionary worldview was correct. You are simply lying to yourself and me if you claim to be comfortable with morality ultimately being arbitrary. No one really believes this.

        You seem to forget that I was a well-educated and convinced believer in Evolution at a distinguished university (Duke) before I started to think critically about it, which you clearly are not able to do yet. You simply don’t realize how dogmatically committed you are to anti-theism. Statements like: “Evolution is true, whether you accept it or not.” are typical of dogmatic Evolutionists. However, I do appreciate the fact that you are at least willing to engage in debate, unlike many on your side. At the same time, I feel that we have gotten to the point where we are going over the same ground again. I do not wish to do this, as it is unlikely to make any difference.

        Finally, you should be willing to spend the minimal amount to order the “Evolution’s Achilles Heels” video, or perhaps find a library or Christian or a church that has a copy of it. The interviews with the participating scientists in the bonus material could be very helpful to you. But you really need to watch it with an open mind and not with the attitude that says: “I will shoot down everything on it.” Unfortunately, you do not seem to be ready to do this yet. But I will pray that God will help you do this, as He did for me 33 years ago.

  9. Hope you are well Christopher.

    If God can determine on a whim what is right or wrong, the most vile and immoral acts can be justified and even endorsed based on such an outlook of morality. If God can choose to kill people by the millions (as so frequently it happens in the Old Testament) you are not entitled to question God. Who are you to question God if he decides to kill people for complaining? (Numbers 16: 41-49). By this reasoning, any atrocious act will and can be condoned if God commanded it. You say that God is good by nature. William Lane Craig also makes this objection to the Euthyphro dilemma. It brings you no further in answering the question. If God is good, where is the evidence on which you are basing your claim? The bible is supposedly God`s word. The bible is supposed to provide the entire human race with an accurate description of God, so that mankind may worship God and be saved? This very book which is supposed to provide us with a description of God does not at all portray the “God is good” assumption. I reject God because I take the bible seriously. You cannot dismiss the description of God in the Old Testament and the way in which God interacts with his chosen people and others and subsequently conclude “God is good by nature”. I find the response to my objection quite frivolous in that you are saying:

    “You are a mere human and can never understand God so you have no reason to object to God`s perceived immoral acts in the Bible. You are better off just forgetting what your rational faculties are telling you, deny any objections you may have and believe that God is good.”

    I paraphrase, but in essence, that is what you are saying. I must point out another inconsistency in this reasoning in that can people understand God or not? When Christians wholeheartedly and intimately believe in the love of Jesus and the redemptive power of his resurrection, they are considered to comprehend God, at least to an extent. Now to a critic of Christianity, you simply respond that they cannot understand God. This is a clear double standard. I have in fact looked quite closely at the defences of God`s actions in the Old Testament by a number of Christian scholars, such as Paul Copan and William Lane Craig and I find their arguments unconvincing. Paul Copan states that if we object to the endorsement of slavery in the bible, we are simply being “too soft”. In reference to the killing of women and children, in debate William Lane Craig gets rid of the atrocious acts in Numbers by stating that you can believe that the slaughter of the children would mean their salvation. A good solution to the problem, but where is the evidence for this claim?

    In reference to God as 3 persons, you might think my objection as trivial or nonsensical. It makes no logical sense to speak of one God who is quick to anger and acts quite unjustly while simultaneously maintaining the love of Jesus of God as one person. Theological concepts do not mesh well for me. You might say that I am better off just believing, but is it really wrong to demand something that makes more coherent sense and that I can understand? The first century theologian Marcion of Sinope was also unable to reconcile this belief and was branded a heretic by the church fathers of the time. You can read more about Marcion in “A History of God” by Karen Armstrong if you wish.

    Lastly, you might think that the question I want to ask is silly but what if it was God`s plan for me to grow up as a Christian, only to later reject my faith? What if perhaps your prayer to change my mind is contrary to God`s will and I was always destined for hell?”

  10. First, I should mention that I am a product of the most intellectual and rational strand of Christian Theology (at least on the Protestant side, rather like the Jesuit tradition in Catholicism), which is known as Reformed Theology. Unlike other less intellectual traditions (or, even, highly intellectual traditions like Lutheranism), we stress the importance of understanding as much as is humanly possible about God, us and the universe. As a result, all of the issues you raise have been dealt within this tradition (but, as one might expect, with varying success).

    I am not a fan of William Lane Craig and am not familiar with Copan, nor am I one who likes to refer people to other supposed authorities. My own understanding is mostly the result of my own wrestling with the issues, which we all must do in the end. Other sources are not absolutely necessary for this and are only valuable insofar as they are helpful in this. I believe that the real issues are often lost or made unnecessarily complicated by scholars.

    Unfortunately, I feel that we have now gotten to the point where we are re-covering the same ground because you still to committed to your position and, thus, are not really thinking enough about what I have written. But I will make a few brief comments on your last post.

    That you believe I am saying that God can judge on a whim what is right and wrong shows that you still don’t understand the basic point I made previously about God being not only Almighty but also a Real Person Who is Perfectly Good. Let me try to explain why this is crucial in another way. It is certainly logically possible to conceive of an all-powerful deity who is not fully good. Pagan deities often fit this description. So, we admit that it is a matter of faith to believe that our Creator is Perfectly Good. But if we are wrong about this, then all hope is lost.

    Furthermore, the problem of evil is a bigger one for you. For, you, like all of us, cannot really accept that good and evil are merely arbitrary (as they would have to be if the evolutionary philosophy was correct). You show this by arguing that God is evil in some of the things He is described as doing in the Old Testament. If good and evil were merely based on God’s whims (or if God didn’t exist at all) then this line of attack would be meaningless. You really need to think carefully about this and about some of my previous statements on this.

    It is entirely legitimate to wrestle with the question of how a Good God could have done some of the things He is described as doing in the Old Testament; or, for that matter, how He could allow the evils we observe today. Actually, Reformed Christians say that God not only allows what we observe, but He actually decrees these things, since The Almighty must be sovereign over all that happens. All Christians wrestle with this to some extent. But, in doing so, we err if we assume that, if God exists (as we say He must), we are better qualified than God to judge what He does. This would have to be seen as so even if there was a Standard for right and wrong apart from Him (which is the only other logical possibility besides the Christian one and the view that right and wrong are in fact arbitrary). Consider that even between humans it is often understood that some people are better qualified than others to make judgments in areas of their expertise. But if God created all things, then His expertise is universal. (As I write I am reminded that C.S. Lewis’ writings are helpful in this area as well as others.)

    Finally, I freely admit that it is theoretically possible that God has decreed that you are not one of His elect, so you are not destined to ever turn to Him and be saved. But, the best thing I can say about this is that it is simply not possible for you to know that God does not intend to save you. We say that it is most desirable and, indeed, possible to know as well as we know anything else that he or she is among God’s Elect. I came to know this for myself in 1982, though I believe many true Christians, unfortunately, never come to full assurance of this. But this will not really matter in Heaven. I would add that absolute assurance of salvation is only possible because it is not based on anything within us, but entirely on God’s grace and mercy, by which He loves and redeems some of a rebellious mankind.

    On the other hand, it is not possible for one to know that he or she isn’t until the end of our lives (or the end of the world, whichever comes first). So, the universal call to seek God, while He may be found, is an entirely valid one. And He has promised us that all who seek will find. So I will continue to pray that this will help you find yourself on God’s side.

    • There is a crucial difference between thinking you are seeking but not really seeking and truly seeking. I did the first for the first 22 years of my life before I realized my hidden prejudices against God and Christianity, which are both natural to all of us as sinful beings and are also powerfully reinforced by an anti-Christian culture.

      I wrote the “10 Widely-believed Fallacies Today” piece on this blog because it highlights the most important false assumptions people have been taught by our culture for more than 50 years. You must resist the common tendency to think: “This can’t be right.” It not only can be, it must be right.

      The fault for not seeing God is always on our side. We simply don’t want to see Him, though His existence and, even, His divine nature are evident both all around us and in our minds. But we are also naturally-inclined to suppress this knowledge. From the beginning, this was the reason for people to devise all sorts of religions (which the Bible rightly calls idolatry: idols designed to substitute for The One True God). Our natural inclination to run away from our Maker is a direct consequence of mankind’s original rebellion; yes, in the Garden. It really happened. And today’s dominant culture is based on the same rebellion, in contrast with the culture it replaced, which acknowledged God and human sinfulness. The critique of culture which God moved the apostle Paul to write in Romans 1, verses 18 to the end of the chapter is just as appropriate today as it was when he wrote it and, indeed, as it was in mankind’s earliest days. The idols of the so-called “civilized world” today are not as obvious, but no less real idols: especially Science as the sole source of truth and the hedonistic pursuit of pleasure or wealth or fame.

      • It would be incredibly presumptuous on your part to state that I have not sought evidence for the God of Christianity. There are too many other religions which may equally likely also be true. But, they may however all be false and have yet to surmount the burden of proof of their claims. I am not sure of the “anti-Christian” culture which you speak of. I have never experienced this in my own country, as faith in Christianity receives resounding acceptance and is in fact the overwhelming majority in nearly every country in the world today. With our limited human senses, I believe we do not possess the ability to experience or construct a coherent concept of God, yet alone know this God intimately and personally, although I do not rule it out completely. If you claim to take the position that your belong to the most intellectual denomination of Christianity, then you must also know that the Garden of Eden cannot be a literal concept, and would accordingly adjust to a more liberal view of Scripture.

        No one could so eloquently and clearly summarise my own position regarding the question of God. Please take a look.

      • I am not presuming, your previous posts tell me that you may have explored Christianity, but only with a bias which prevents you from truly considering it. For instance, you claim that the Garden of Eden cannot be a literal concept. Why is this? You believe this impossible because of your basic assumption that The Creator God doesn’t exist, which is a fallacy. It’s that simple. If The God described in the Bible exists then everything described in the Bible is possible. And if God wants to reveal Himself to us then we can know as much as He wants us to know about Him. But, again, you falsely assume there can be no God Who can do this. As for your claim that faith in Christianity receives resounding acceptance in your country, what country is that? I think you mistake countries which have a Christian heritage as Christian countries. The U.S. was largely founded on Christian principles, but is a largely secular nation today. Even most people who would identify themselves as Christian do not truly believe in the Bible and, thus, are not truly Christian believers.

      • Hope you had a good New Years.

        The facts of the matter is, the Garden of Eden could not have been literally true. Even scriptures gives reference to other people havng been there when Cain supposedly got a wife and had children. The real history of mankind has traced our origins back millenia. A figure which must have existed, notoriously dubbed Mitochondial Eve, has been known to have lived in Africa some 250 000 years ago. The Bible is not and cannot be the start of all mankind. There are too many archaeological studies which have shown that our origins go back farther than a mere 6000 years.

        If you must know, I live in South Africa, and yes the country has a secular government. However, more than 90% of the people that I know are avowed Christians, and seek to govern their lives according to Christian principles. I know but a handful of atheists. Sermons and Christian preaching are a stone`s throw away, in the form of either churches or Christian gatherings. On my own university campus, a group of Christians would get together last year for bible study, which I would sometimes attend. It was more for a favour for a friend really, to not rock the boat with our friendship. Sad isn`t it? That I have to fear losing a friend just because we don`t share the same imaginary friend. It`s these kind of small things that make me realise how little role God actually plays in people lives and how important flesh and blood people are.

        Just because a country has a secular government, it doesn`t mean that that country is atheistic or anti-Christianity. Stop trying to feel persecuted. No one is persecuting Christianity.

      • The Happiest New Year to you, as well! I have been telling people that I wish them a “Sweet 16”. It sounds like South Africa is still more Christian-influenced than America, at least in a “Blue State” like California, where I live (in the extremely “Progressive” Bay Area, no less).

        You still have it backwards with regard to our so-called “Imaginary Friend”. It has always been the case that rebellious human beings imagine that their Creator doesn’t exist, being willing to do anything besides accepting that we owe everything to Him and yet are alienated from Him, due both to our own nature and our actual sins.

        Also, you still haven’t grasped my point that all radiometric and other dating methods which scientists appeal to are illegitimate due to just the possibility of intelligent influence on a massive scale in the past, which no one can rule out and which we say actually had to have happened. As for wives for Cain an Abel, you are falsely assuming that the Genesis account explains everything. I hold to the view that Adam and Eve had daughters which their sons married. Of course, marrying your sister doesn’t work today, but it is not ridiculous to believe that the genetic problems involved with marriage between close-kin only developed later. For that matter, the assumption that people couldn’t live vastly longer than they do now in the beginning is also an unwarranted assumption, which (as with all of the assumptions of the evolutionary worldview) is based on the more basic, but still unwarranted assumption that things always were as we observe them today.

        Have you read my latest post here? It may well help you.

  11. ” you claim that the Garden of Eden cannot be a literal concept. Why is this? ”

    Because a river flowing from Eden parted and became four rivers, one of which was the Nile (which encompasses the whole land of Ethiopia) and the other Euphrates. A quick look at a map reveals the sources of these rivers are very far apart indeed.

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