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  • Interesting analogies ...

    Hi Jeremiah,

    You write:
    I think that Scrimshaw has understood your reasons for quoting Proverbs, and that he has refuted the reasoning that you give for continuing in your initial statement. I do not know if you realize this yet, or if you are just being stubborn.
    What was the refutation? Please remind me.

    Jeremiah writes:
    Let me give you a different perspective, that might help. Zakath is not an ordinary atheist. I don't remember his exact bio, but he used to pastor a couple of churches, and I think he started a Church and a Christian school.
    What is extraordinary about that? All so-called "atheists" start out as theists.

    Jeremiah writes:
    When I first came to TOL, he immediately challenged me on my beliefs in Christ and in the Word of God. He went on what, I consider, tirades against God and against His Book, and also against His people. I told him that he was sinning by doing so. He said that it didn"t matter to him, since he was sure that there was no God. I then told him that I would not discuss the Bible with him again, because I did not want him to sin by the words that he wrote. I would be partly responsible for his sin, even though Zakath is doing it willfully, and "perhaps" unknowingly.
    Was Jesus sinning every time He gave someone an opportunity to disagree with Him and sin with their words? When Paul told Timothy to be a good soldier and to defend the truth of Christ, did Paul tell Timothy to keep it vague so that he didn't risk becoming an accomplice in the sinful words of others? Based on your and Bob's espoused methods of argumentation, I shouldn't be surprised to see you raise this issue. Very interesting indeed.

    Jeremiah writes:
    I am actually very glad that, so far, Bob is simply arguing for the existence of God on a philosophic and scientific basis. The exact opposite of your view. If Bob mentions Christ or the Bible, Zakath will probably harangue against the one true God, and it will be a sin.
    See what I mean? You must compartmentalize truth in order to avoid the sin you erroneously ascribe to the preacher of God's word. But all truth is Christ's truth, and by selectively avoiding direct attribution, Bob has played into the hands of the anti-theist, and must presume to stand on unbiblical, God-less, atheistic grounds using God-less reasoning, and allowing the atheist to do the same without challenge.

    Jeremiah writes:
    Yes, he does this every day on TOL anyway. BUT that is what I would call, "answering a fool according to his folly." I will probably have fewer people agree with me, than you have agreeing with you, but that is how I feel about dealing with someone like Zakath. He has rejected the blood of Christ, and there is no other sacrifice for sin. He has left Christ "to open shame"!
    Then I will be happy to be instrumental in further hardening him and to making hell all the hotter for the enemy of Christ.

    Jeremiah writes:
    Would you quote the Bible to Bill Clinton, "thou shalt not commit adultery", and then leave him alone in a room with someone's wife?
    Of course not. But that is exactly what Bob Enyart is doing. He is presenting pro-theistic evidence to Zakath, and rather than removing the foundation upon which Zakath presumes to evaluate the evidence, he "leaves him in the room with it," thus enabling Zakath to continue to sin against truth and true theistic knowledge.

    Jeremiah writes:
    Would you quote the commandment "thou shalt not murder" to a suicide bomber, and then allow him to cross into Israel, if you were a border guard?
    Nope. But that's what Bob is doing by allowing Zakath to continue to use logic unjustifiably. He is encouraging Zakath to use God-less reasoning, as if that will bring him to a Godly conclusion. Instead, Bob is just decrying Zakath's atheistic evidence, and pointing him in the direction of the border.

    Jeremiah writes:
    Would you leave a child alone in the presence of a man who has a reputation as a pedophile, and quote him a Bible verse as you leave?
    Not at all, but again, your analogy applies to what Bob is doing, not me. In my case, Clinton is left without an excuse because I remove the very thing he would try to sin with, namely the woman (and in Zakath's case, his presumed reasoning). In the case of the bomber, I would be removing his bombs (the tools of logic) and arresting him. In the case of the pedophile, I would be executing him (cutting off his use of the scientific method). But in each case, Bob allows the offender to keep his tools without justification, then encourages the offender to use them.

    A nice try, Jeremiah, but you didn't think it all the way through. I encourage you to read my reply to Aussie Thinker and consider the differences between that and Bob's debate with Zakath.

    Thanks,
    Jim

    Comment


    • Hilston – If mankind finds some extraordinary evidence for the validity of the bible, like say we find the ark of the covenant, and it has the mana and budding staff, etc. Do you mean to suggest that we should not use this extra biblical information as a redemptive tool to help lead the lost to Christ? Would you suggest that if Jesus were here on the earth and came to this discussion, He would not claim to be a creationist and oppose the evolutionary lies for the foolishness that they are?

      I thought that Jesus applied biblical teachings, He didn’t just quote and read them as though they have no life of their own.

      Here’s a question for you. When Paul teaches the following, is he wrong for pretending that he is something that he is not? Wouldn’t the unbelievers be more unbelieving if the evangelist presumes they really are an unbeliever?
      1Co 9:19 For though I am free from all [men], I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; 20 and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; 22 ... I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 23 Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.
      Paul was NOT under the law, but when it came to evangelizing them, he went to them as one of them (under the law) so as to win them over to Christ. And I imagine that this was a good and Godly thing to do, even though your bible passages still say what they say.
      Pr 26:4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.
      So was Paul foolish and as you suggest, making matters worse, by making it seem like He was under the law when in fact, He was not under the law?

      How about being weak even though He was strong? By your initial post, wouldn’t you criticize against Paul for pretending that he was under the law, even though he was not?

      And what about every passage that teaches us about unbelievers (in God)? According to your idea, they should not be considered as unbelievers (right), yet that is exactly what God’s word does on many occasions. You said:
      The Bible says Zakath already knows the truth, but is suppressing it in unrighteousness. That is to say, Zakath already believes in God's existence, but he aggressively denies it in his unrighteousness. By not confronting Zakath with the falsity of his atheistic claim, Mr. Enyart has implicitly supported an unbiblical claim. He has tacitly granted to Zakath his claim of atheism, which the Bible says is false.
      I would suggest that being an unbeliever in God implies that they believe that the God of the bible is not true, that particular God does not exist the way that the bible describes Him. So perhaps every unbeliever is in league with the atheists, yet the bible is only rampant with calling them unbelievers (in God).
      Last edited by 1Way; June 30th, 2003, 11:16 PM.
      Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.

      Comment


      • Reliable authority ...

        Hi 1Way,

        1Way writes:
        Hilston – If mankind finds some extraordinary evidence for the validity of the bible, like say we find the ark of the covenant, and it has the mana and budding staff, etc. Do you mean to suggest that we should not use this extra biblical information as a redemptive tool to help lead the lost to Christ?
        Right. Let me hasten to say that I am not averse to bringing something like this up as a point of conversation, a curiosity, or a good segue into a discussion about the Bible or Jesus, but I don't use it as proof. Neither should you. When you rely upon extrabiblical evidence, the strength of your case will always depend upon the credibility and integrity of the authority to which you appeal. If you're not appealing to scripture, then you're already on shaky ground. Besides, if you were to find, let's say an ossuary with a certain inscription that seems to verify Jesus's existence and his relationship to a certain New Testament character, you will have armies of scientists lining up to debunk it. I'm sure there would probably be someone who came to Christ because of the "extraordinary evidence" provided by the archaeological find, but that does not justify the validity of the evidence. God just happened to use a false claim to move someone to consider His truth. It's better to rely upon a source and authority that cannot later be proven false, and frankly, not too many things qualify.

        1Way writes:
        Would you suggest that if Jesus were here on the earth and came to this discussion, He would not claim to be a creationist and oppose the evolutionary lies for the foolishness that they are?
        There's nothing wrong with claiming to be a creationist. Jesus did that very thing by quoting Genesis. But Jesus would not oppose evolutionary lies by arguing on atheistic terms and using atheistic reasoning.

        1Way writes:
        I thought that Jesus applied biblical teachings, He didn’t just quote and read them as though they have no life of their own.
        No one is suggesting that. Every time I elaborate upon a verse you should realize that this is not my claim or my method.

        1Way writes:
        Here’s a question for you. When Paul teaches the following [1Co 9:10], is he wrong for pretending that he is something that he is not?
        Is he really pretending? I don't think you understand the verse.

        1Way writes:
        Wouldn’t the unbelievers be more unbelieving if the evangelist presumes they really are an unbeliever?
        Please restate this differently. I'm having a hard time following what you mean.

        1Way writes:
        Paul was NOT under the law, but when it came to evangelizing them, he went to them as one of them (under the law) so as to win them over to Christ. And I imagine that this was a good and Godly thing to do, even though your bible passages still say what they say.
        So, using your understanding and application of this verse, I should pretend to be an atheist to evangelize an atheist? Where would that get me? Should I pretend to be a Mormon to evangelize a Mormon? Should I pretend to be a liberal democrat socialist to evangelize the same?

        1Way writes:
        So was Paul foolish and as you suggest, making matters worse, by making it seem like He was under the law when in fact, He was not under the law?
        That's your take on the verse, not mine. So, no, Paul was not being inconsistent with Prov. 26:4,5.

        1Way writes:
        How about being weak even though He was strong? By your initial post, wouldn’t you criticize against Paul for pretending that he was under the law, even though he was not?
        If that's what he was doing, sure. But it's not. Paul was not a deceiver.

        1Way writes:
        And what about every passage that teaches us about unbelievers (in God)? According to your idea, they should not be considered as unbelievers (right), yet that is exactly what God’s word does on many occasions.
        When the scribes and pharisees were looking to stone the woman caught in adultery, Jesus criticized them, and when they retorted by questioning His birth and Father, Jesus said they did not know Him or His Father. These were unbelievers in that they were not regenerated/elect/saved. But you would not say that they didn't believe in God. These are fine distinctions that must be made throughout the scripture. Unbelievers are rebels, not atheists. They choose not to believe, but they are not unaware of God. There's a difference, and that's my point here continually. It doesn't prove anything to cite a verse that refers to unbelievers, as Scrimshaw seems to think. One must elaborate and give the sense one intends to communicate by using the verse, and then show that the verse actually conveys that point.

        Thanks for the opportunity to clarify further.

        Jim
        Last edited by Hilston; June 30th, 2003, 11:35 PM.

        Comment


        • Hilston – Paul “became as” (fill in the blank) so that he might win some. I am not suggesting that Paul was deceitful in doing this. Paul was approachable, he understood his audience so that his care and familiarity could be used to engender trust and respect. I believe God was teaching us that we should not become an unnecessary stumbling point, the gospel message does that effectively enough on it’s own. So please try to understand what I am saying. Paul allowed information to be incorporated into his evangelical efforts that was extra biblical, and he used this information to simply help clear a pathway for the gospel to be offered without the messenger presenting unnecessary problems. The catch is, that is a good and Godly thing to do even though the information redemptively used is technically extra-bible.

          As to
          When the scribes and pharisees were looking to stone the woman caught in adultery, Jesus criticized them, and when they retorted by questioning His birth and Father, Jesus said they did not know Him or His Father. These were unbelievers in that they were not regenerated/elect/saved. But you would not say that they didn't believe in God.
          You just affirmed that they didn’t even know God. That precludes their faith in God. So yes, I say that they were deluded and did not worship the (true) God.

          The demons believe that God exists, but I’d suggest that they don’t believe that God is who He really is, evidently they thought that God could be fought and prevailed against and even supplanted from His position of authority, and that is not the true God. So, sure they believe in God, but they reject His truth for a lie. They are deceived yet they believe God exists.

          God said, I am the way and the truth and the life, you can’t worship God in lies and falsehood, and you can’t believe in God if your faith about God is false. So my point is that unbelievers in God are much like atheists, certainly, atheists are unbelievers, yet the bible establishes the existence of unbelievers almost constantly.

          But lets say we strictly stick to the topic of the existence of atheists. Doesn’t the bible establish their existence too? If the bible truly teaches that no one is an atheist, then why does the bible reference them?

          Last, I think I doubt your application of the proverbs verse. I believe that if one was to join the foolishness of the fool, then you’d have to agree to some significant extent with what the fool believes. But if you (theoretically) grant what a person believes in order to disprove it, then there is nothing wrong with that.

          In fact, I think that is what you are proposing to do. First, you find the atheist, ,,, then you give them the biblical message that really they are not the atheist that they think they are. You see, in the first case, you establish the existence of (self proclaimed) atheists, but in the second place, you say there are no such thing as an atheist. If you were to remain consistent on the second belief, then you would never be able to apply the teachings the bible has for atheists, since you believe they truly don’t even exist.

          I agree that the heart of your approach can be an excellent method for reaching the lost, I like the slogan, God doesn’t believe in atheists. It’s catchy and humorous, an excellent redemptive slogan. But as for working against Bob Enyart and other Christians who do not precisely see eye to eye with you on this issue, that's being unnecessarily problematic and begging the question that the bible establishes the existence of atheists in order to clarify their true nature.

          You said:
          If you're not appealing to scripture, then you're already on shaky ground. Besides, if you were to find, let's say an ossuary with a certain inscription that seems to verify Jesus's existence and his relationship to a certain New Testament character, you will have armies of scientists lining up to debunk it. I'm sure there would probably be someone who came to Christ because of the "extraordinary evidence" provided by the archaeological find, but that does not justify the validity of the evidence. God just happened to use a false claim to move someone to consider His truth. It's better to rely upon a source and authority that cannot later be proven false, and frankly, not too many things qualify.
          You presume that a given evidence for the validity of a biblical account would be a false claim out of hand simply because it is not the bible, or did you forget to stipulate that the archaeological find was bogus? While I agree that there is no higher authority than God and His word, His word delegates authority to His creation, including man for evidencing who God is. God does not limit the bible as the only realm for authority for faith in who God is.

          Do you ever give your personal testimony or is that sort of extra-biblical information invalid since it is not quoting scripture?

          God’s word is true and the evidence that God’s word declares is valid and authoritative is truly valid and authoritative. Man’s conscience is evidence that God made us, the vastness of the stars, the grandeur of our universe, the brilliant design found everywhere in life, all this and more declares God’s handiwork. These are the appeals of the bible (whether directly or indirectly), so also they can be the appeals of the Christian if one trusts the bible’s teaching that the creation authoritatively portrays the creator.
          Last edited by 1Way; July 1st, 2003, 02:40 AM.
          Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.

          Comment


          • As an attempt to "open" up this debate between theist and non-theists, let us adress some questions here.

            So, there is the assumption as put forward by theists, the world, universe, as we know it has "come into existence" by an "act of creation". The assumption is an indication of a very fundamental issue (ontological issue) which is the issue of why there is a world, a universe in the first place, instead of "not a world", or a mere "nothing".
            The question raises deep thought as for example on wether or not the issue on hand is in fact answerable at all. (#)
            Despite that, in my mind, I have conducted my thoughts in such a way as to find an answer to this seemingly unanswerable question. So, let's dig into this issue, and try to find such a seemingly impossible answer.
            First of all, we know of a world, both because we can recognize our own mental states (thoughts, emotions) as well we are aware through our senses of an outside world, which is projected within our mind. So the issue is then this, apart from that what we know that exists, could it have been the case that anything that we know of that exists, or can imagine to have existence, would not exist at all?
            In trying to imagine that, we would need to have our mind, which is full of ideas and thoughts which reflect on our perceptions of the outside and objective world, to effectively remove all those ideas, images and projections of anything that exists. In thinking this way, and removing from thought anything that could or does exist, we are arriving finally at some totally dark uninhabited emptiness, where there is nothing, not even up or down (there are no directions in empty space). The completeness of this nothing, contains nothing.... except the "me" that is thinking that thought! The removal of anything that exists, urges me in last instance the removal of my own mental states, which is something impossible for me to do (but it would be possible for "you" to imagine a world without "me")!
            So, in last instance the non-existence of the entirity of the world (all that exists) forces me to have me out of existence also, which is in itself an impossibility. I can in my thinking not get rid of me thinking something. Nevertheless the very idea of a "non-existing" world, in last instance would also need to be a world which does not contain me, as I could not be there, if the world would not be there!

            This means, in conclusion, that this thought concept of the "non-existence" of the world, is something of an impossibility. The "me" that exists, and of which I am aware of, logically necessitates the existence of the entire world, and I am bound to take the objective existence of the world to be a truth, even if I have no way, apart from my subjective experience of the world, to objectively obtain the existence of the world.

            This is a "truly creative" and "truthfull" thought of course, and as I in my mind "recreate" the necessity of the world in total as a logical necessity for me to be there, I know of course that this "recreation" in my mind, is of no influence or consequence for the world, being objectively there.
            The "recreation" of the world as a construct of concepts in my mind (knowing the answer to the question: why is there a world instead of "nothing") is of course something very different from the world itself, which in itself contains the fact that it must be necessarily there (the world positively states itself), and can not not be, and hence did not need "creators" or "creation acts" to be there at all, since the world exists in eternity.

            Therefore: outside and apart from my mind, I can not think of a "creation" of the world as such, and hence not think about a "creator" being there. The only possible thing I can recognize is that within my mind, I can "re-construct" the world, and it's necessity for "being there".

            And it would be good to leave the issue with that.

            (#)
            Note:

            The "unanswerabelity" of this question, can be seen as follows. Any explenation for a particular state of the world, such as "why is it the case that X" needs an answer in the form of: "because Y is the case". However in this particular question it is immediately clear that no such Y can exists which could form sufficient ground for answering the question.
            Last edited by heusdens; July 1st, 2003, 05:11 AM.

            Comment


            • To Hilston:
              So you would make hell hotter for Zakath by quoting the Bible to him, even if that would make him sin more. Therefore you must also want to see Bill Clinton, commit more adultery, Suicide bombers kill more people, pedophiles abuse more children, and blasphemers invoke the name of God. In every instance this will make hell hotter, so you must be for it? I know that what I said is not true, but that is the logical extension of your argument. If you make Zakath sin more, by quoting the Word of God to him, you will gladly do it. Your "happy" reasoning, if it fails, which it has so far, about 10,000 times, is it will make hell hotter for Zakath? BTW, Zakath quotes scripture to himself and others,
              practically every week!
              Yes most atheists were theists at one time. You completely glossed over the point that he was a pastor. Very, very, few atheists were former PASTORS, who started their own Church and or School: Huge difference in my eyes.
              Do you need me to quote several popular verses from the Bible when the Lord tells us to leave certain people alone. Zakath fits PERFECTLY into many of these verses.
              Again, there are commands against encouraging someone to sin. Many of these are in the book of proverbs. I would not quote the Bible to a known blasphemer on an open forum who has a trigger happy post reply button. But that is just me.
              I do not want to see hell made hotter for Zakath. He has told me that he doesn't care, you say that you would. We would both rather that he repents.
              I like the way the debate is going. With all the I don't knows, and Science doesn't know, and the unanswered questions by Zakath, he is making an excellent case for agnosticism. If by the end of the debate he either declares himself an agnostic, or he is shown to be one, I think it is a step in the right direction. Don't you agree.
              Personally, I went from Catholic school boy, to hedonist, to atheist,{about 3 months, was all I could stand} to agnostic, to seeker, to Born Again Believer. Most agnostics are at least seekers or open to the possibilities. Atheists are fools, according to the Bible, and fools should be left to their folly.
              Last edited by jeremiah; July 1st, 2003, 06:00 AM.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by jeremiah
                Atheists are fools, according to the Bible, and fools should be left to their folly.
                Theists are liars in that they present ideas about the world, which do not truthfully reflect on the world .
                Although lying is an aspect of human consciousness, lying is not a unique feature to humans. The real world, and nature present us many examples of "lies" (such as insects "pretending" to be sticks, or butterflies, pretending to be big animals with big eyes, etc).

                The truth of the matter is that to say something meaningfull about the world, and truthfully claim something about the world, one can not entirely relend on written or spoken words (as if the world in total would just reside within ones mind), but objective investigation of the world is necessary to test for truth.

                It's this testcase, the world presents to us, in which we may find real truth, and see where written and spoken words (even if such words pretend to be "God's" words) have yielded falsehood.

                Who needs "God's" word, if one can look and test for truth itself in the real world? We have a lot of brain mass up there, we might as well use that, and not base ourselves on ancient mythology!
                Last edited by heusdens; July 1st, 2003, 07:17 AM.

                Comment


                • Define "objective" ...

                  Hi Heusdens,

                  You wrote:
                  ... but objective investigation of the world is necessary to test for truth.
                  Please define "objective" and explain your method of investigation.

                  Thanks.
                  Jim

                  Comment


                  • 1way writes:
                    Hilston
                    Please call me Jim.

                    1way writes:
                    Paul “became as” (fill in the blank) so that he might win some.
                    A female, maybe? Did Paul become as a woman to win some women?

                    1way writes:
                    I am not suggesting that Paul was deceitful in doing this. Paul was approachable, he understood his audience so that his care and familiarity could be used to engender trust and respect. I believe God was teaching us that we should not become an unnecessary stumbling point, the gospel message does that effectively enough on it’s own. So please try to understand what I am saying.
                    I am trying. I ask you to please do the same and not jump to rash conclusions. Just so I understand what you mean, give me an example of becoming an "unnecessary stumbling point."

                    1way writes:
                    Paul allowed information to be incorporated into his evangelical efforts that was extra biblical, ...
                    I'm not against that; I'm against using extrabiblical information as proof for God's existence. It's one thing to use extrabiblical knowledge to show someone the logical outcome or rational consequence of truth proclaimed in Scripture (which I fully endorse). It is quite another to use extrabiblical evidence to try to convince someone that God exists or that Jesus rose from the dead.

                    1way writes:
                    ... and he used this information to simply help clear a pathway for the gospel to be offered without the messenger presenting unnecessary problems.
                    Give me an example.

                    1way writes:
                    ... The catch is, that is a good and Godly thing to do even though the information redemptively used is technically extra-bible.
                    Show me a biblical example of this.

                    1way writes:
                    You just affirmed that they didn’t even know God. That precludes their faith in God.
                    This is false. And I'm not talking about saving faith/knowledge. I'm talking about the rebel's belief in His existence and attributes. Please clarify for me: are you actually saying that the scribes and pharisees did not believe in God's existence?

                    1way writes:
                    So yes, I say that they were deluded and did not worship the (true) God.
                    Did you deliberately twist what I wrote, or did you not read carefully? Jesus told them that they did not know (eido) God, but undoubtedly they believed in God's existence. While they worshipped a false god, the True God was continually in their faces and they certainly believed in His existence, enough to aggressively push the truth away from themselves.

                    1way writes:
                    The demons believe that God exists, but I’d suggest that they don’t believe that God is who He really is, evidently they thought that God could be fought and prevailed against and even supplanted from His position of authority, and that is not the true God. So, sure they believe in God, but they reject His truth for a lie. They are deceived yet they believe God exists.
                    I agree with you. That's a well-conceived paragraph.

                    1way writes:
                    God said, I am the way and the truth and the life, you can’t worship God in lies and falsehood, and you can’t believe in God if your faith about God is false.
                    Didn't you just say this: "[The demons] are deceived yet they believe God exists"?

                    1way writes:
                    So my point is that unbelievers in God are much like atheists, certainly, atheists are unbelievers, yet the bible establishes the existence of unbelievers almost constantly.
                    Would say that so-called atheists, like demons, are deceived yet they believe God exists?

                    1way writes:
                    But lets say we strictly stick to the topic of the existence of atheists. Doesn’t the bible establish their existence too? If the bible truly teaches that no one is an atheist, then why does the bible reference them?
                    Show me.

                    1way writes:
                    Last, I think I doubt your application of the proverbs verse. I believe that if one was to join the foolishness of the fool, then you’d have to agree to some significant extent with what the fool believes.
                    Yes, that is what Bob Enyart is doing. By his actions, Bob Enyart is affirming his belief in neutrality, that both parties come to the table on equal rational footing and can reason themselves to the existence of God. But that's a lie. Now, if Mr. Enyart does NOT believe in neutrality, then he is not being honest with Zakath.

                    1way writes:
                    But if you (theoretically) grant what a person believes in order to disprove it, then there is nothing wrong with that.
                    I agree with you; that is correctly answering a fool according to his folly. Assuming, for the moment, the opponent's position to show the ineptitude of it. That's not what Bob Enyart is doing, because he actually thinks Zakath doesn't believe in God, which is a myth.

                    1way writes:
                    ... You see, in the first case, you establish the existence of (self proclaimed) atheists, ...
                    No, I just ask questions to see how deeply they've reflected on their professed position.

                    1way writes:
                    ... but in the second place, you say there are no such thing as an atheist. If you were to remain consistent on the second belief, then you would never be able to apply the teachings the bible has for atheists, since you believe they truly don’t even exist.
                    Why would anyone want apply teaching of the Bible to something that doesn't exist? I apply the teaching of the Bible to something that DOES exist, which is the rebellious worldview of those who erroneously call themselves atheists.

                    1way writes:
                    But as for working against Bob Enyart and other Christians who do not precisely see eye to eye with you on this issue, that's being unnecessarily problematic and begging the question that the bible establishes the existence of atheists in order to clarify their true nature.
                    If I'm espousing a biblical approach to this debate and critiquing an unbiblical one, I am not working against Bob Enyart or any other Christian. I would be in the wrong were I to support their methods. It's not unnecessarily problematic, it's necessarily biblical.

                    1way writes:
                    You presume that a given evidence for the validity of a biblical account would be a false claim out of hand simply because it is not the bible, or did you forget to stipulate that the archaeological find was bogus?
                    Neither. I don't need to stipulate anything because it really happened. It's a perfect contemporaneous example of what we're talking about. How many Christians were embarrassed after they went nuts over the Ossuary finding and put that in the faces of all their atheist friends. As I indicated, I have no problem bring up these archaological finds as an inroad to a discussion. I would use it this way: "Ya know, there might be some folks who actually begin to think the Bible might be true because they supposedly found the Ark of the Covenant. The so-called atheists might be getting a little nervous about it, too. But those people were without an excuse before it was found. Sure, it might be the real thing, but I will stick to what the Scriptures say rather than give the anti-theist the opportunity to gloat (i.e. be wiser in his own conceit) in the event that it is later proven to be a hoax."

                    1way writes:
                    While I agree that there is no higher authority than God and His word, His word delegates authority to His creation, including man for evidencing who God is. God does not limit the bible as the only realm for authority for faith in who God is.
                    I agree. But as I said above, the strength of your argument is only a strong as the authority to which you appeal.

                    1way writes:
                    Do you ever give your personal testimony or is that sort of extra-biblical information invalid since it is not quoting scripture?
                    Did I ever say that I limit my discussions to quoting scripture? What is it with you people? Are you that dense as a collective? Or is it some component of your theology that makes you say such silly things? Read my discussion with Aussie Thinker and then answer the question for yourself. I give my personal testimony whenever I'm asked how I can be so sure about what I believe. But I do not use that as proof of God's existence.

                    1way writes:
                    God’s word is true and the evidence that God’s word declares is valid and authoritative is truly valid and authoritative. Man’s conscience is evidence that God made us, the vastness of the stars, the grandeur of our universe, the brilliant design found everywhere in life, all this and more declares God’s handiwork. These are the appeals of the bible (whether directly or indirectly), so also they can be the appeals of the Christian if one trusts the bible’s teaching that the creation authoritatively portrays the creator.
                    I agree completely. These are declarations of the Creator's handiwork, not His existence. His existence is a given.

                    Jim
                    Last edited by Hilston; July 1st, 2003, 08:16 AM.

                    Comment


                    • A new phobia?

                      Jeremiah writes:
                      To Hilston
                      Please call me Jim.

                      Jeremiah writes:
                      So you would make hell hotter for Zakath by quoting the Bible to him, even if that would make him sin more.
                      I said I would be happy to be instrumental in that process if that is the result of my proclamation of the truth. The fear that speaking the truth will only further condemn someone is not only ludicrous, it sounds like something you invented to make yourself feel better because Zakath handed you your lunch. Moses knew Pharaoh would be hardened, but he preached God's word to him anyway. Jesus knew much of His audience would reject Him, but that didn't stop Him from preaching God's word. Job made sacrifices for his children, just in case they might have blasphemed God, but that didn't prevent him from preaching the truth. Your screenname is interesting, especially in light of your theory. The prophet Jeremiah didn't let this fear get in the way of proclaiming the truth. Never in scripture, unless I missed it, are we told to hold back the truth out of concern that someone with sin all the more and face further condemnation.

                      Jeremiah writes:
                      Therefore you must also want to see Bill Clinton, commit more adultery, Suicide bombers kill more people, pedophiles abuse more children, and blasphemers invoke the name of God.
                      If you want to have a rational discussion, you need to chuck this moronic logic of yours. Of course, I don't want to see anymore victims, Jeremiah, that is why, in my response to your shallow analogies, I take their tools and/or objects of destruction away from them. Duh.

                      Jeremiah writes:
                      In every instance this will make hell hotter, so you must be for it?
                      No, Jeremiah, I'm for using the truth, speaking the truth, declaring the truth, regardless, and sometimes for the purpose, of their further condemnation. Not to make more victims. Logically, if you're going to pursue this incoherent thinking, you'll have to accuse every preacher who has spoken against sin with the Word of God. Elijah taunted the false prophets on Mt. Carmel. Was Elijah afraid the prophets would blaspheme God (which they did) and invoke their demons (which they did) and cut themselves and make themselves bleed (which they did) and end up dead and in hell (which they did)?

                      Jeremiah writes:
                      I know that what I said is not true, but that is the logical extension of your argument.
                      Perhaps that's how logic works in your mind where, it would seem, you're more interested in excusing your own poor past performance, which was probably due to arguing unbiblically. I see it all the time and it's really sad.

                      Jeremiah writes:
                      If you make Zakath sin more, by quoting the Word of God to him, you will gladly do it.
                      I don't make Zakath sin. If my declaration of truth has that effect on him, it's not my problem.

                      Jeremiah writes:
                      Your "happy" reasoning, if it fails, which it has so far, about 10,000 times, is it will make hell hotter for Zakath?
                      Show me where my reasoning has failed, Jeremiah.

                      Jeremiah writes:
                      BTW, Zakath quotes scripture to himself and others, practically every week!
                      Sure, and he will be reminded of that on judgment day. So what? Should I let that stop me from confronting him or anyone else with the truth?

                      Jeremiah writes:
                      Yes most atheists were theists at one time. You completely glossed over the point that he was a pastor. Very, very, few atheists were former PASTORS, who started their own Church and or School: Huge difference in my eyes.
                      That's because you're an evidentialist. The Bible doesn't distinguish between kinds of gainsayers. Neither should we. They all have the same problem, and it's rebellion. Of all the various kinds of people that argued with or against God and His existence, the examples of how to answer them is of the same principle, which I've been discussing.

                      Jeremiah writes:
                      Do you need me to quote several popular verses from the Bible when the Lord tells us to leave certain people alone. Zakath fits PERFECTLY into many of these verses.
                      Yes, I want you to quote them. By the way, have you warned Bob Enyart?

                      Jeremiah writes:
                      Many of these are in the book of proverbs. I would not quote the Bible to a known blasphemer on an open forum who has a trigger happy post reply button.
                      I would rather die than let my fear of what a rebel's reaction prevent me from proclaiming the truth. I'm embarrassed for you.

                      Jeremiah writes:[quote]I do not want to see hell made hotter for Zakath. He has told me that he doesn't care, you say that you would. We would both rather that he repents.

                      Jeremiah writes:
                      I like the way the debate is going. With all the I don't knows, and Science doesn't know, and the unanswered questions by Zakath, he is making an excellent case for agnosticism.
                      And an excellent case against evidentialism.

                      Jeremiah writes:
                      If by the end of the debate he either declares himself an agnostic, or he is shown to be one, I think it is a step in the right direction. Don't you agree.
                      Absolutely NOT! If that's all this accomplishes, then he comes away wiser in his own conceit, just as Proverbs says and the rest of the Bible shows. The Bible says we are to take every thought (not just "steps" of thought) captive to the obedience of Christ. No "half" or "piecemeal" victories. We want total surrender, total obliteration of false philosophies and worldviews as we encounter them. That doesn't mean the opponent will even acknowledge that his worldview has been destroyed, but we are to do it nonetheless.

                      Jeremiah writes:
                      Personally, I went from Catholic school boy, to hedonist, to atheist,{about 3 months, was all I could stand} to agnostic, to seeker, to Born Again Believer.
                      I have news for you: You were already regenerated when you started seeking. You would not have sought God without regeneration. But that's another thread, that I welcome you to start if you like.

                      Jeremiah writes:
                      Most agnostics are at least seekers or open to the possibilities.
                      The Bible disagrees with you. The Bible calls them gainsayers, rebels, blasphemers, enemies of Christ. They know the truth, but they choose to push it away from them. They're not passive, as you seem to suggest. They hate God and do everything they can to push Him away. When we confront that activity and remind them of what they're doing, they often turn hostile. We were warned this would happen, but it shouldn't dissuade us. Paul urges us to not be discouraged or dissuaded. If you want to cut them slack, then you're doing exactly what the Bible tells us NOT to do, which is give them an excuse.

                      Jeremiah writes:
                      Atheists are fools, according to the Bible, and fools should be left to their folly.
                      Wrong. The Bible says we are to answer their folly, and to confront them with the truth.

                      "Old Business":

                      I asked you to point out Scrimshaw's refutation. Please show me.

                      I asked you the following: Was Jesus sinning every time He gave someone an opportunity to disagree with Him and sin with their words? When Paul told Timothy to be a good soldier and to defend the truth of Christ, did Paul tell Timothy to keep it vague so that he didn't risk becoming an accomplice in the sinful words of others?

                      Lastly, do you see how your analogies broke down and were actually useful in pointing out to you Mr. Enyart's error? You didn't comment much on this, and I'm curious to know if you see it. Do you see the difference between leaving the gainsayer with this worldview and weapons intact, versus dismantling the worldview and taking his weapons away from him?

                      Jim

                      Comment


                      • Jim,
                        Please forgive me if this simplistic question has been covered.

                        You state, "We ought to properly presuppose the biblical worldview...".

                        Scripture assumes God exists, therefore a biblical worldview would likewise assume God exists.

                        Is it then your contention that it is unbiblical to take the positive side in the debate "Does God Exist"?

                        The positive side would need to argue for God's existence, which you seem to be saying is an unbiblical technique.
                        Last edited by LightSon; July 1st, 2003, 09:23 AM.
                        That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world.
                        Philippians 2:15

                        Comment


                        • The positive argument ...

                          Hi LightSon,

                          Your question isn't simplistic, but it does show how pervasive and ubiquitous the standard (and unbiblical) "proofs" have become.

                          I wrote: "We ought to properly presuppose the biblical worldview...".

                          You write:
                          Scripture assumes God exists, therefore a biblical worldview would likewise assume God exists.
                          If you put it that way, yes. Moreover, the assumption of God's non-existence must be exposed as folly.

                          LightSon writes:
                          Is it then your contention that it is unbiblical to take the positive side in the debate "Does God Exist"?
                          Not at all. But in so doing, one must not compromise the Biblical message and allow the negative view to presume to reason at all apart from God as the foundation of their reasoning.

                          Lightson writes:
                          The positive side would need to argue for God's existence, which you seem to be saying is an unbiblical technique.
                          No. Arguing for God's existence is fine, as long as it is done according biblical principles. Part of that argument includes showing the anti-theistic worldview to be a house divided against itself.

                          Good questions, LightSon.

                          Jim

                          Comment


                          • It's sad ...

                            Hi Scrimshaw,

                            Originally posted by Hilston: So would you say then that the fool described in Prov. 26:4,5 recognizes his own folly and is just trying to get the other person to behave foolishly, too?

                            You write:
                            :Yes, ...
                            It seems silly then, and hardly worthy of Biblical prescription. Do you know of any examples of this in scripture, i.e. where a fool is acting goofy and just trying to get God's people to act goofy, too?

                            Scrimshaw writes:
                            ... but let's cut to the chase on this point.
                            I did. That's why I want you to prove your interpretation of the Proverbs passage.

                            Scrimshaw writes:
                            You are using this passage to say that Bob is answering Zakath according to his folly.
                            Correction: I am citing the passage to show that Bob is incorrectly answering Zakath according to his folly.

                            Scrimshaw writes:
                            The biggest problem with your argument on this point is Romans 1 does not state there are no atheists.
                            It doesn't have to say the words "There are no atheists" to make its case, no less than the Bible must necessarily say, "God is a Trinity" in order to makes it case. So if you have a big problem with some as easily shown as the myth of atheism, what do you do with a more difficult, but nonetheless vital point such as the Trinity? Why are you so eager to side with the anti-theists and grant them their excuse?

                            Scrimshaw writes:
                            In fact, I quoted for you a verse in Psalms that outright states that there can be those who disbelieve in God. So your argument has been refuted.
                            Your simplisitic quoting of verses doesn't get you anywhere. You have to make your case. Of course the Bible talks about unbelievers. But that's not the same as not knowing God exists. The demons are unbelievers, but they believe in the existence of God. Surely you know this.

                            Scrimshaw previously wrote:
                            No, Zakath's folly is his claim that there isn't sufficient evidence for belief in God. The only way that Bob could be responding WITH that same folly is if Bob's response ALSO stated that there "isn't sufficient evidence for belief in God".
                            I replied: Really? Then the verse is really meaningless, because that isn't an answer. There's no point of contention there; it's mere agreement. Your manure bag example was much better.

                            Scrimshaw writes:
                            Actually there is a point of contention here, because you think that Zakath's manure bag is also the fact that he claims to be an "atheist".
                            I'm not talking about my view of this, I'm talking about yours. Of course, there's a point of contention on MY view. But your perception of the verse collapses to inanity.

                            Scrimshaw writes:
                            The only way the claim of atheism can be considered a manure bag is if Romans 1 had stated that there is no such thing as atheists, or those who disbelieve in God. Romans 1 never said that.
                            It does say it, both directly and by implication. Consider a later verse in the same context:
                            30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
                            Hater of whom? Knowing the judgment of whom?

                            Jim's analogy regarding the sufficiency of God's testimony:

                            Let's say you and a colleague are both professors of economics. You've taught your class the evils of deficit spending. You've tested them on it, and they all passed with flying colors. You're an excellent instructor. Your colleague agrees, and often praises you at department meetings for your thoroughness and the sufficiency of your teaching. One of your students, who earned perfect score on the test, who answers questions intelligently in class, and who enjoys flaunting her knowledge about whatever subject you are teaching on, doesn't like you. She overhears your colleague speaking highly of you. She decides to complain that you did not teach it very well, and claims to not understand the subject at all. He asks her what she earned on the test, and she lies, saying that she flunked the test. Your friend checks the records, and sees that she actually got a perfect score on th test. Your friend later overhears the student giggling among her friends about how she was able to trash Mr. Scrimshaw to one of his colleagues. Given the above, what would you think of your colleague if you were to walk into a classroom and witness him trying to teach her everything you have already taught her? How meaningful are your colleague's words about your ability to sufficiently teach your students if he so readily tries to improve upon the job you know has already been sufficiently accomplished?

                            Scrimshaw writes:
                            Here's why your analogy fails to apply to the atheism - all disbelievers in god are not necessarily deceiving, but have been DECIEVED into disbelieving. Deceived by false arguments. Deceived by the institutions of humanistic philosophy and naturalism, etc.
                            Oh, I see. It's not their fault. They were just duped. It was nothing deliberate or rebellious on their part, right? wrong.

                            Scrimshaw writes:
                            Your analogy simply characterizes the student as being intentionally deceptive, when in reality, atheists are many times the product of deception.
                            You're simply wrong, and you continue to prove to me the danger of the lie you are promoting. The Bible calls them God haters, enemies of the cross. You call them the poor hapless products of deception. You've been deceived yourself.

                            Scrimshaw writes:
                            But back to the main point......Bob has not conceded there isn't sufficient evidence for belief in God. He has only conceded that Zakath possesses a deluded perception of the evidence. Bob's goal is to dismantled Zakath's deluded perception of the evidence and expose the false arguments that Zakath is advocating to justify his disbelief in God. It's that simple.
                            Sorry, Scrimshaw, it doesn't fly. Bob Enyart is supporting Zakath's perceptions by buying into the charade that Zakath has justifiable grounds from which to evaluate the evidence. He doesn't. On Zakath's worldview, nothing coheres. It's all sound and fury signifiying nothing, and this is what needs to be exposed. Not that Zakath is rejecting evidence. That's a given. On what God-less basis does he even presume to evaluate evidence? That's the folly of the fool.

                            Jim previously asked: Do you believe that an atheist truly doesn't believe in God, Scrimshaw? If so, why, in your opinion, do they not believe in God?

                            Scrimshaw writes:
                            I believe that many athests truly do not believe in God because they have been DECEIVED by false arguments, and false perceptions of the evidence in the universe.
                            The Bible disagrees with you. It calls them enemies of Christ and God-haters. The deception is self-delusion, deliberate and willful rejection of the truth.

                            Jim previously asked: Why are they without excuse?

                            Scrimshaw writes:
                            There is never an *excuse* for believing in a lie.
                            Even if one is "deceived" into believing the lie?

                            Scrimshaw writes:
                            But that doesn't mean there isn't REASONS for why people believe in lies. An "excuse" implies a justification for the action. A reason, on the other hand, is simply an neutral fact ...
                            There are no neutral facts, Scrimshaw. You continue to affirm what I've been saying all along.

                            Previously quoted: John 17:25 - "Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me." \

                            Jim wrote: What a perfect verse, Scrimshaw. Jesus gives a characteristic description of a collective order, namely that this collective rejects the experiential knowing (ginosko) of the Father of Israel, yet they experientially know (ginosko) that the Father sent Him. It shows both their knowledge that Jesus came from the Father (and by implication, knowledge of the Father) and of their deliberate rejection of the Father, i.e. a refusal to acknowledge their experiential knowledge of Him.

                            Scrimshaw writes:
                            Actually, the verse says nothing about them "rejecting" the knowledge. That's a word you are adding to the text. It says the world does not KNOW (ginosko) the Father, who is God. That means that they do not possess "experiential knowledge" of God the Father.
                            Scrimshaw, the must have had it in order to reject it and to be regarded as not having ginosko. Because the ginosko knowledge is made plain to them. That's what Romans 1 is saying. They see it, know it, understand it, then push it away from them, suppressing it in unrighteousness.

                            Scrimshaw writes: - - And Paul also agrees with Jesus, and says -

                            1 Corinthians 1:20, 21 - "Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe."

                            Regarding the above verse, Jim wrote: This verse is not stating the world did not know about God, Scrimshaw. It's saying that the world did not know Him experientially through their own wisdom.

                            Scrimshaw writes:
                            If the world didn't know Him experientially through it's wisdom, how else could it have known Him?
                            Read Romans 1:19-32. It tells you how: The knowledge of God does not come from the wisdom of men. God manifests Himself to them, within them and without. In every facet of their daily experience. They cannot escape Him.

                            Jim previously wrote: When you say "Everyone in the world does not necessarily know about God," you've granted them an excuse. How can God hold them responsible for sinning against Him if they don't know about Him?

                            Scrimshaw writes:
                            No, it isn't an "excuse". It is a FACT. Jesus plainly stated that the world does not have knowledge of God.
                            It is an excuse. You are giving them a pass because you somehow refuse to admit that God has done a sufficient job in manifesting Himself to them. You continue to affirm what I've been saying, and in the process, you work in the so-called atheist's behalf.

                            Scrimshaw writes:
                            And here are more verses that prove the knowledge of God is conditional, not all-encompassing:
                            Who ever said the knowledge of God isn't conditional or is all-encompassing?

                            Scrimshaw writes:
                            Psalms 36:10 - "Continue your love to those who know you, your righteousness to the upright in heart." Here, David reveals that "those" who know God are a select group.
                            This verse does not say there are atheists. Knowing God is a term/description of intimacy. Surely you know this. Those who do not know God are not atheists. Those who are unbelievers are not atheists. They are rebels, enemies, God-haters. The more I think about it, the more ludicrous it is that you are so tenaciously defending them. Romans says they have no defense (anapologetic), and here you are attempting to do just that.

                            Scrimshaw writes:
                            John 17:3 - "Now this is eternal life: that they may know (ginosko) you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent." Here, Jesus states that the knowledge ("ginosko") of God is conditional to eternal life. Certainly you do not believe that everyone on the planet has eternal life, do you???
                            Those who do not know God (i.e. have rejected ginosko knowledge) do not have eternal life. That doesn't mean they're atheists.

                            Scrimshaw writes:
                            The point is, the Bible is very clear that there are many who do not have knowledge ("ginosko") or ("eido") of God, for whatever reason. So the Bible does not deny that atheism exists. It simply says there is no *excuse* for it.
                            The verses I've quoted show that your reasoning is faulty. The knowledge of God is plainly manifested to them, within them, around them, and that is rejected by the rebels who nonetheless know He exists and that they are accountable to Him. Even after God has given them over to a reprobate mind, they are still described as God haters. That is not the description of an atheist. There's no such thing.

                            Scrimshaw writes: - - It is incorrect because it falsely claims that there is not sufficient evidence for belief in God. That's it. - -

                            Jim previously wrote: So how do go about disabusing Zakath of that false claim? Show him the evidence that should have been sufficient, but for some reason wasn't?

                            Scrimshaw writes:
                            You handle it by debunking the false excuses he gives in his efforts to justify his claim that the evidence isn't sufficient.
                            That's not what the evidentialist does. The evidentialist rather buys into his excuses and tries to better convince him that the evidence says something that the gainsayer refuses to acknowledge. What must be exposed is their inability to even evaluate, let alone justifiably reject, whatever evidence is presented before them.

                            Scrimshaw writes:
                            That is the appropriate logic.
                            It's not appropriate. It is unbiblical, and therefore not logical.

                            Scrimshaw writes:
                            The problem with your logic is you are overlooking the power that deceptive arguments can have over the human mind.
                            Not at all. In fact, the biblical view perfectly accommodates the power of deception. The evidentialist view tries to undo deception, not willing to admit that the deception is deliberate and willful, and therefore inexcusable. On your view, their hapless victims of deception. That's not biblical, Scrimshaw.

                            Scrimshaw writes:
                            Atheism is a belief system based on deceptive arguments. It is our job to expose those deceptive arguments.
                            The way you propose to do it exposes nothing. Rather, it buys into the very deception we're talking about.

                            1 Cor 10:5 - "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."

                            You don't demolish arguments and pretense by joining in on the false argumentation and pretense. Atheism is a pretense, Scrimshaw. By affirming it and not exposing it as a myth, you've done very little to demolish it. Taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ is not arguing "a rock cannot create itself, and a fire cannot burn forever." It's not arguing that a "wise powerful creator thing or things" is/are behind the irreducible complexity of the natural order. It's rather saying that Jesus Christ, the Creator and Sustainor of all things, demands your life and will grind you to powder if you do not repent of the lies you've chosen to believe and espouse.

                            Jim previously asked: [i\So then afterward, when he says, "Sorry, still not good enough." What do you do then?

                            Scrimshaw writes:
                            You move on, and allow the Holy Spirit to act upon the seeds you planted in that individual's heart and mind.
                            The "seeds" planted in the evidentialists case become weeds when the anti-theist's worldview has not been sufficiently dismantled and demolished.

                            Jim previously wrote: Do you believe that Zakath, prior to this debate, had been given sufficient evidence of God's existence and his accountability to Him? Perhaps we're not agreeing on the word "sufficient"? ("Adequate to accomplish a purpose or to meet a need").

                            Scrimshaw writes:[quote]The evidence itself is sufficient, but again, deception takes what has been made known and obfuscates it. Deception distorts truth.

                            Scrimshaw writes:
                            Satan has taken the evidences of Creation which are sufficient for belief, and twisted them around so that people come to false conclusions and disbelieve in a Creator.
                            Really? So the anti-theist, when faced with God in judgment, can say: "It's not my fault. I was deceived by Satan." God will say, "No, because ___________(please_fill_in_the_blank)________." It's a sad view that Satan is more effective with his deception than God is with His existence.

                            Scrimshaw writes:
                            Just as Jesus responded to satan's misuse of scripture WITH the *correct* use of scripture, so too, we respond to the atheist's false logic WITH the *correct* use of logic. We lay bare the atheist's false excuses.
                            But you don't. You buy into them. You've spent a good portion of your post removing their culpability and excusing them for being victims of deception. I know you're going to say that they don't have an excuse. I don't see how. That's like saying a convicted pedophile was deceived into becoming a pedophile and can't help himself and therefore should not be executed.

                            Jim previously asked:[Romans 1] says they hold the truth about God, they understand, and they suppress it. You disagree with that?

                            Scrimshaw writes:
                            Paul was addressing the condition of mankind in general, and how man has apostasized since the creation of the world. You can't take sweeping generalities like this and think it applies to every individual case. ...
                            So are you saying it's not always true? So there are actually some people who have an excuse? You serve the so-called atheists well, Scrimshaw.

                            Scrimshaw writes:
                            We know that the text doesn't literally mean "ALL" men know God, for there are plenty of other scriptures that indicate that many men do NOT know God
                            If that's really what you believe, then why don't you just state it baldly: Some people have an excuse for their atheism.

                            Scrimshaw writes:
                            Jer 10:25 - Pour out Your fury on the nations who do not know You, and on the families who do not call on Your name; ....
                            Why would families call on God if they don't know a God exists? Do you see how your sloppy citations don't help your case, Scrimshaw?

                            Jim previously asked: Would you grant that Zakath has made some OK defenses of his self-professed atheism at any point in the debate? I don't think he has, but I'm wondering if you think Zakath has scored any "hits"?

                            Scrimshaw writes:
                            In some small semantical ways, yes.
                            You've just made the most anti-biblical admission thus far, which further proves the error of your position, and affirms that you tacitly side with the anti-theist by arguing this way.

                            Scrimshaw writes:
                            You are correct that there is no need of providing further EVIDENCE. However, there is a need to refute the false excuses.
                            To which I replied: Gosh -- I totally agree. How would you propose those be dealt with?

                            Scrimshaw writes:
                            We deal with it the way Bob is - exposing WHY the excuses are false.
                            Why are the excuses false, Scrimshaw?

                            Scrimshaw previously wrote: ... There is a need to clarify the evidence that the atheists distort.

                            Jim previously responded: Ack! Not at all! See, this is the error of evidentialism. The atheist has no grounds upon which to evaluate evidence. They must borrow from the Christian worldview in order to make any sense of their experience, and this should be exposed. We cannot allow them to unwarrantedly borrow tools from the Christian worldview (logic, reason, science, sense data, etc.)

                            Scrimshaw writes:
                            I don't think that is a very good argument because logic, reason, science, etc., predate Christianity by thousands of years. The Greecian, Eyptian, and Roman empires made massive inroads in all of those categories, and they certainly were not Christian. The Roman empire christianized, but not until near the very end of it's rule.
                            Are you sure you're not a plant. That is exactly what atheist's say! Look at Aussie Thinker statement that is almost word-for-word.

                            Scrimshaw writes:
                            Knowledge is accumulative, and to claim that all knowledge, logic, and reason is owned by a singular worldview is the epitome of ignorance. Sorry. Bad argument there.
                            Spoken like a true evidentialist. On your view, atheists have as much a legitimate claim upon knowledge, logic, reason, and science as Christians. It's sickening.

                            Scrimshaw quoted Psalms - 78:21 "When the LORD heard them, he was very angry; his fire broke out against Jacob, and his wrath rose against Israel, for they did not believe in God or trust in his deliverance."

                            Jim asked: Was everyone in Israel, without exception, an atheist?

                            Scrimshaw writes:
                            No, but there obviously were SOME atheists in Israel, or else the verse would make no sense.
                            The verse makes perfect sense if there are not such thing as atheists, and since the verse is not describing atheism, but rather rebellion, stiffneckedness, and sinful defiance.

                            Scrimshaw quotes Gal 4:8 - "Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods."

                            Jim previously wrote: Notice the word for "know" here is not "ginosko" (to know based on personal experience -- the Romans 1 kind of "know"), but rather "eido", knowledge that is conceptualized, seen in one's mental perception. In other words, while possessing ginosko/experience-based knowledge of God, the anti-theist hates Him, holding the truth, understanding it, yet suppressing it.

                            Scrimshaw writes:
                            No, your argument is terminally flawed because In John 17:25, Jesus uses the word ("ginosko") when he said the world does not know God the Father.
                            And as I explained, that is an expression of their rejection of the ginosko knowledge that they were given, which is what Romans 1 teaches.

                            Scrimshaw writes:
                            So your argument regarding the distinction between ("eido") and ("ginosko") is bunk.
                            It's sad to see a Christian do such violence and to so patently disregard the details of God's word. Consider John 8:19 Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know (eido) me, nor my Father: if ye had known (eido) me, ye should have known (eido) my Father also.

                            and John 8:55 Yet ye have not known (ginosko) him; but I know (eido) him: and if I should say, I know (eido) him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know (eido) him, and keep his saying.

                            Is Jesus affirming that these were atheists? Not at all, but rather, they chose to reject and push away the experiential knowledge that they had. The result is the idolatry, worship of a false god, and the loss of the eido (clear mental perception) knowledge of God. But these are not atheists. They still know God exists, and according to Romans 1, they hate Him (how can they hate that which they do not believe to exist?).

                            Jim

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by heusdens
                              This however does not mean that we have to assume, when we encounter new phenomena, not previously explained by physics laws, that there is some "supernatural" force. Instead we just found a new physics law.
                              There is no reason to think that we wouldn't have already discovered all the basic physical laws by now, and there is even less reason to think that undiscovered physical laws would CONTRADICT the ones we have already discovered.

                              In my opinion, there are no physics laws that forbid the universe to not having been there all the time.
                              Wrong, the cosmological evidence reveals that the universe is a closed system; and the law of entropy prohibits the existence of an "eternal" energy source for the universe's existence.

                              The fact that up to now, we do not understand the history of the universe prior to the Big bang, is in no way in conflict with the fact that the universe had a prior history.
                              Are you joking? You think it's a "FACT" that the universe had a history prior to the Big Bang? You must be joking, or have one the most deluded concepts of what constitutes a "fact" I have ever seen.

                              And partly we can know this past history, based on new physical theories, which are more then wild guesses, cause these models can make predictions about the current observable universe which we can test for.
                              Actually, we "know" nothing about any history of the universe whatsoever. There is no direct evidence that even proves the universe expanded from a singularity. In fact, a "singularity" is an imaginary object that has never been observed, tested, or reproduced. Its an entirely theoretical entity, just like a God. The COBE tests only confirmed that the universe is EXPANDING. Thats it. Any claims about how long it's been expanding, or what kind of state the universe expanded from, are totally unsupported speculations.

                              In summary, there is nothing within physics itself that would tell that the history of the universe would have to be finite, in contrary, we are dead sure, that the physical reality could not have emerged out of nothing, and no physical theory can ever sustain such a case.
                              You are speaking out of turn and making exaggerated claims that even Hawkings wouldn't make. We are "dead sure" of NOTHING. And contrary to your claim, the evidence in the universe points to a temporal universe which began to exist at some point in the past. The law of entropy prohibits an eternal universe.
                              SCRIMSHAW

                              "Passions act as winds to propel our vessel; our reason is the pilot that steers her, without the winds she would not move; and without the pilot she would be lost". - The French

                              Comment


                              • Jim – You quote me and take my words in a way that I do not appreciate. Predominantly, you take my meaning out of context. I keep wishing that you would read my entire post and then not violate the entire meaning offered by it. In short, you have a problem with mishandling the wider aspects of the context of the truth of a matter, you are to micro oriented, you miss the forest because of the trees or in your case, because of the leaves.

                                When I mentioned the passage about Paul becoming all things, you say, did Paul become a woman. Your presumption is that my understand may be that stupid is insulting at best, plus, it’s rather ludicrous, and overly antagonistic. I assume that passage means what it means in light of its self-provided context. Paul gave several examples of how Paul became something other than what he otherwise would have been, and so I don’t want to exceed the bible’s examples just as I’m sure you shouldn’t want to either.

                                I told you that the gospel message provides stumbling readily on it’s own and without the aid of the messenger’s intervention. If you understand that biblical meaning offered, and I’d assume you do since you seem well read in the scriptures, then just as I portrayed it, it’s that sort of meaning that I intended, that the messenger could unnecessarily offend a would be evangelized person. Evidently Paul alters his approach to different people so that the gospel message will have a path of less resistance or least offense when it comes to matters provided purely by the messenger and not the message.

                                We should simply be humble enough to lower ourselves and raise up God’s gospel message as well as the needs of the others we are trying to minister to enough to remove whatever unnecessary causes of stumbling or offense or barriers to entry that we might otherwise bring to our evangelical efforts. It’s a practical application of living out humility and love for others that they might get saved, lowering ourselves and raising God and His will for our lives, which most often means, lowering ourselves and raising up others.
                                Give me an example.
                                Assuming that I am right, and keeping in mind that I would be glad to understand how I have room to grow or be corrected in this understanding. Several things come to mind. If your approaching someone who’s culture and worldview or language or mannerisms, or values, or way of life, is very different from the messenger’s, then it would be wise to try to show a respectable level of common courtesy and understanding of these variants so as to foster interpersonal trust and respect. I’m not saying that we should compromise any part of the gospel message, I’m saying that we should humble ourselves to become appropriate and spirit led servants or ministers in the hopes of engendering trust and respect. These are the foundations of righteous personal relationship (not excluding communication), and if these issues are strained or unnecessarily thin or broken, then whatever evangelical efforts might have traversed from us to them would have been short-circuited because of our own personal problems.

                                I hope this is a good example; to violate the law of God while trying to minister to those who are under the law, say by breaking the Sabbath or eating meat sacrificed to idles while trying to minister to the circumcision. That would be an unnecessary stumbling point provided by the messenger and not by the gospel message.

                                You say:
                                Show me a biblical example of this.
                                Paul at Mars Hill. Paul could have not first understood then granted for redemptive sake, the local tradition and value of going to the place where they venerate so many thoughts and faiths and just pretended that since God’s way is the only true way, then everything else that is extra-way to God’s way is simply not to be taken into consideration by the would be evangelist. Paul might have tried to reach the people by ignoring this peculiar issue to his undoing, he might have gotten another way to effectively spread the gospel message there, but it is unlikely that he would have had such a good and expedient platform to springboard off of. These people were unbelievers in (the true) God, hence they were in constant denial of the existence of the true God, but evidently, the love for the sake of the lost found in Paul to humble himself and to raise them up in hopes of bringing them to God was more than enough for Paul to assume that their beliefs or customs or extrabiblical values could be tacitly assumed, at least long enough to let that become an approachable pathway for the unfettered gospel message to reach them.

                                Your claim that Bob will undermine the truth about the atheist’s false beliefs begs the entire question of what it means to be in opposition to the debate opponent. Of course Bob believes that Zakath has some understanding of who God is, and that he is actually suppressing the truth in unrighteousness, including the delusion that God does not even exist. But if you are going to reach such a person, to violate this truth in reality is to be unrealistic and to become deluded yourself. As I have been suggesting, the bible establishes the truthful existence of, and not the myth of, atheistic belief, in order to correct it, in order to help those who are trapped by that false teaching.

                                1Way said:
                                You just affirmed that they didn’t even know God. That precludes their faith in God.
                                then you said:
                                This is false. And I'm not talking about saving faith/knowledge. I'm talking about the rebel's belief in His existence and attributes. Please clarify for me: are you actually saying that the scribes and pharisees did not believe in God's existence?
                                That sort of behavior is repugnant. You attack, yet fortunately muster the humility to ask for clarification about what you just declared was wrong. That is outright duplicity, and worse, levied against those you should rather caringly embrace in a way that you would hope that Jesus beholds you. Either you did or did not have enough information to determine if what I said was wrong or not.

                                I am focusing on the meaning offered by the idea of who and what “God” is. When the Bible refers to the God of the bible, it does so assuming all things true about Him. It never assumes that the God of the bible is sometimes unrighteous or secretly likes malice and rape. Anyone, including the angels can make a truth claim that they are worshiping “God”, or they believe in God, that He exists, but as I contextually demonstrated with my examples and points, they are deluded and do not know the true God. You cannot re-invent God and then truthfully claim to know Him. That would be a lie. You can be to some extent ignorant about Him as all saved people will learn about God when they get to heaven and see God clearly, but to go against God and His ways and at the same time claim to believe in Him or their false version of God’s existence, is delusion, it’s not true because they know not who God is, and not knowing God precludes believing in Him, it precludes believing the true God exists.
                                Did you deliberately twist what I wrote, or did you not read carefully? Jesus told them that they did not know (eido) God, but undoubtedly they believed in God's existence.
                                It’s all in the understanding of the subject of the supposed object of their belief, which is God, and the truth is that the true God they did not know nor understand, if they did know or understand the true God, then they would also have known and understood who Jesus was, but they didn’t. So God places a quality understanding about who God is when you supposedly claim that you know Him.

                                1Way said:
                                The demons believe that God exists, but I’d suggest that they don’t believe that God is who He really is, evidently they thought that God could be fought and prevailed against and even supplanted from His position of authority, and that is not the true God. So, sure they believe in God, but they reject His truth for a lie. They are deceived yet they believe God exists.
                                Jim said:
                                I agree with you. That's a well-conceived paragraph.
                                Not predicting our continued problem, I should have finished the paragraph this way.
                                The demons believe that God exists, but I’d suggest that they don’t believe that God is who He really is, evidently they thought that God could be fought and prevailed against and even supplanted from His position of authority, and that is not the true God. So, sure they believe in a version of God, but they reject His truth for a lie. They are deceived yet they believe their false understanding of who God is exists, even though He doesn’t, the true God exists differently from the God of their false understanding.
                                I hope that helps.
                                Didn't you just say this: "[The demons] are deceived yet they believe God exists"?
                                Yes, I had said that, but given a non-violating understanding of the context I offered about their deluded understanding of who God is, the God they believe exists is not the true God, the true God exists and their false God does not. If you want to grant that their version of who God is was the same as Jesus’s, then they would have also understood that Jesus was God, but they didn’t.
                                Show me.
                                You know that the bible references atheists or atheism, the bible’s message about atheism utterly declares that the belief and or that those who believe it, exist. Sure, they are deluded, they are not truthful about the existence of God, but they do exist, and we do them a service by letting them know that their belief is false, and that is what Bob is doing, even if he is not using your approach or just focused on the particular passages you personally feel is more important.

                                The bible teaches that there is no other God but the true and living God of the Bible. At the same time, it teaches that other Gods are believed in. These false Gods are not true, but they do exist in the false belief held by their adherents. So if someone is worshiping another God, we know two things and we should not violate either. First, there is only one true God, second, this other (albeit false) God is truly being worshiped/honored instead. So we don’t claim that this idolatry is not real, rather, we establish it in hopes of ministering to them the truth that can set them free. Same with the religious belief that God does not exist, that belief truly exists, but is a false belief that we should expose for the false teaching that it is.

                                Just as the bible accepts that atheism is a real faith that also happens to be a willful delusion, that fact establishes and qualifies the truth about atheistic faith, it does not the existence of atheism, rather it establishes it in order to correct it. You cannot correct or qualify a thing that does not truly exist.

                                Jim said.
                                Yes, that is what Bob Enyart is doing. By his actions, Bob Enyart is affirming his belief in neutrality, that both parties come to the table on equal rational footing and can reason themselves to the existence of God. But that's a lie. Now, if Mr. Enyart does NOT believe in neutrality, then he is not being honest with Zakath.
                                All men are able to become saved, that puts all of humanity of the same level. If you presuppose that witnessing the truth about God is not effective simply because God was not quoting scripture, but was instead applying scripture, then it is incumbent upon you to validate your claim, as in it’s face it is false.

                                Jim wrote:
                                I agree with you; that is correctly answering a fool according to his folly. Assuming, for the moment, the opponent's position to show the ineptitude of it. That's not what Bob Enyart is doing, because he actually thinks Zakath doesn't believe in God, which is a myth.
                                Oh, ok, so please indulge us then, what is your understanding of what the bible means when it calls people unbelievers, if it doesn’t precisely mean, that they don’t believe in God?

                                I perceive that this last question is at the heart of this debate and I would prefer it if you would elaborate on that issue more than any other since apparently it undermines or effects the rest of our entire discussion.

                                I don’t want to keep reminding you of what I meant by pointing out the overall context that I consistently present. And I don’t like your overly derogatory attitude towards others, I'd rather see you blessed and edified by a reciprocation of being lifted up and esteemed above ourselves instead of being torn down and degraded on the basis of heartfelt, yet human disagreement. I say this as one who has had the same sorts of struggles; you should sit back and consider these things.
                                Last edited by 1Way; July 1st, 2003, 12:41 PM.
                                Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.

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