ARCHIVE: Bob Enyart has already lost the debate ...

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Hilston

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In a rush ...

In a rush ...

Hi Devo,

I'm in a rush, so I will say this much for now ...

You write:
... Bob pretty much said everything I would say.
Then you, like Bob, are failing to understand the point -- either that or I'm not explaining clearly. In any case, I am happy to discuss and explain further, and I welcome questions that will help us all toward this end. The difficulty of presuppositionalism is not due to its being arcane, obscure, or esoteric, but rather because (a) it challenges our thinking on levels at which most are not accustomed (but are entirely biblical and necessary), and (b) evidentialism is so pervasive and abused that most have not seriously considered the error of it as an apologetic methodology.

Why don't we make this our goal: Understanding of each others position, rather than a caricature or strawman version of them. That way, in the end, even if we disagree, we will have an accurate knowledge of each others view and not misrepresent each other in the future (as Bob has done with presuppositionalism).

Gotta run,
Jim
 

DEVO

Documenting mans devolution
Cool... when you get time you can respond to my last post maybe that will help clear thiings up.
 

Aussie Thinker

BANNED
Banned
Jim writes,

He doesn't have a reasoned (i.e. intelligible, coherent, consistent) defense. Look at Aussie Thinker's attempts in this and the other thread. He tries to come up with fanciful explanations and excuses, but none of them cohere. His worldview is riddled with contradictions and it is exposed as folly.

It is only YOUR opinion that they do no cohere. I am generous enough to you and respect your intelligence enough to admit your wordview is coherent. You have so little respect for us to assume we would hang on to an incoherent view.

YOU think it is incoherent I KNOW it isn’t.

It makes perfect sense for me that once man evolved an intelligence that could think abstractly that he would develop concepts of logic to make sense of his universe. Being a creature of the universe it also makes sense that these concepts would be in line with that universe and therefore seem like they always existed.

Your contention that these concepts suddenly require justification is the “fanciful excuse” just to justify a deity.
 

heusdens

New member
Re: Re: The context ...

Re: Re: The context ...

Originally posted by DEVO
When a person exchanges the truth (His attributes being clearly visible) for the lie (that there is no God) how on earth is pointing out these visible attributes answering a fool with his folly? It seems the opposite to me.

It is just that what we see is that there is a world containing many diverse matererial forms and structures, and we can understand that all this what exists are simply manifestations of one primary substance, which is called matter and which is indestructable and infinite.
Nobody has seen or detected matter though, matter is just the abstract category of thought and indicates that what is outside, apart from and independend of consciousness.
Matter is the primary substance and essence of the world, it is that what the world in essence is and shapes and forms, and without which the world would not exist.
Even if in theory there could be a spiritual higher being in the vastness of space, this would not in the least indicate that that would be the primary, essential and necessary entity in the world, since even the spiritual and the consciousness does not exist independend from matter.
Matter contains within itself is it's own cause and consequence, it is not dependend of something else.
 

Palto

New member
heusdens said - It is just that what we see is that there is a world containing many diverse matererial forms and structures, and we can understand that all this what exists are simply manifestations of one primary substance, which is called matter and which is indestructable and infinite.

Palto - The idea that matter is indestructible and infinite is an assumption based on our own current abilities as observed by humans. There is no way to define an absolute such as this without qualifiers. There are always situations and ideas outside of our realm of reason. We could state however from what we have observed and so far as we can tell, bar Biblical implication, matter is indestructible. (Not that this concept is paramount, but it is important to understand our limitations as humans.)

heusdens said - Even if in theory there could be a spiritual higher being in the vastness of space, this would not in the least indicate that that would be the primary, essential and necessary entity in the world, since even the spiritual and the consciousness does not exist independend from matter.

Palto - In this reasoning you imply that nothing can exist outside the boundaries defined by matter. This makes the assumption that matter predates all else. If this were the case, we would be forced into believing that matter somehow had a part in the manifestation of GOD, given His existence. Consider for a moment, which seems more plausible, that a supreme Deity could arise bound by the limitations of matter, or that the Supreme Deity had actually created said matter? The premise you portray seems to be that nature defined GOD who defined nature, versus GOD merely defining nature. This is why binding all existence to the god of matter seems more of a stretch to me and undoubtedly to many others. We are defining complexity through limitation. This is also the case if you don't believe in GOD. It has been said that GOD is used as an excuse when an unknown is beyond our current ability to comprehend. I have seen the same using time as an excuse on the naturalist side.

heusdens said - Matter contains within itself is it's own cause and consequence, it is not dependend of something else.

Palto - Again this is an assumption that matter has always existed and that GOD is bound by it. It cannot be assumed that the Creator of all that exists is bound by His creation.

Palto
 

Hilston

Active member
Hall of Fame
A suggestion ...

A suggestion ...

To the anti-theists:

I have a suggestion. Since this thread was intended as a discussion about apologetic methods of Christians, perhaps it would be better if you posted in the sister thread to this one called, "The Impossibility of Atheism," in the Philosophy~Religion forum. Of course, I cannot stop you from posting here, but it would certainly help to keep the discussion on topic if your protests about theism were posted elsewhere.

Jim
 

Hilston

Active member
Hall of Fame
Jim's 2003 response to Bob's 2002 e-mail

Jim's 2003 response to Bob's 2002 e-mail

--------Jim's 2003 response to Bob's 2002 e-mail-------

[Jim wrote:]... [Ought we not to] see what He has to say about defending the faith by studying the examples and methods presented by God in the scripture?

Bob wrote:
Studying, yes; limiting ourselves to those examples, no.
I agree with you. I'm not saying that we limit ourselves to particular examples. Rather, we are to understand the underlying principles of argument that God presents through the examples and prescriptions found in His Word, as well as to understand and avoid the errors of false reasoning that God condemns in His Word.

Bob wrote:
God has created us to be creative also, and with minds, so that we ourselves can devise strategies that can win others.
I fully agree, provided those strategies are consistent with biblical principles and do not slip into false methods of argumentation.

Bob wrote:
Various strategies win different kinds of people, and even horrendous, and non-strategies, win many people to the Lord.
Again, I agree. But would also agree that the fact that some people are won to the Lord by unbiblical means or methods does not advocate the continued or future use of unbiblical means or methods of argumentation?

Bob wrote:
Cultic literature and movies have played a huge role in bringing many to salvation. I wouldn't approve of cultic literature, even if it accidentally had a good response, just like Paul doesn't approve of those who preach Christ out of envy or strife and selfish ambition, yet, he rejoices that Christ is preached. Of course, the self-serving ministers cause many to stumble, but so too, they bring many in (like the faith healer).
I wrote my previous question before reading this sentence. I see we agree on this.

Bob wrote:
So, if someone has an approach different than mine, I might encourage them to improve it, but, unless they were sinning by their presentation, I would not tell them that it was wrong for them to present that way.
I agree with you. And from that statement you may correctly conclude that I believe you are sinning by violating biblical principles, and employing unbiblical and atheistic reasoning in your approach to Zakath.

Bob wrote:
I have always distinguished tactics and strategy from underlying principles.
So do I. I'm concerned that you've violated the latter.

Bob wrote:
I might prefer a different tactic, but am satisfied if another ministry has the principle correct (many don't even have that, however). Righteous government involves absolute principles, whereas, what approach to take in a discussion leaves enormous room for creativity and empathy.
I agree. Biblically speaking, this is not a tactical or strategic conflict we're having. There are false and unbiblical principles that I oppose in your argumentation.

Bob wrote:
I agree this is a great tactic. But if a friend was debating a fool, who argued it should be legal to abort the child of a rape, if my friend said, "For the sake of the argument, let's assume that is so..." and then goes on to show that almost all abortions have nothing to do with rape, and that rape is used as a smokescreen to hide the truth, that men's hearts are hardened against innocent children. I might do it differently, but I wouldn't say his way was wrong.
I agree with you. This is a proper way to argue and is consonant with Prov. 26:5 (Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit). What I would oppose would be any arguments that concede the fool's worldview or foolish principles. For example, trying to argue with the pro-abort fool about when life begins and the unborn child actually becomes a person. It suffices that the scripture tell us that the unborn child is fully human.

[Jim wrote:]I'm referring to the notions of neutrality and atheism. It seems to me that your debates turn sour (in content, that is) when you adopt or concede these false premises.

Bob wrote:
My wife and I haven't kept track over the years, but so many, so very many people have told us that the debates (I think) you are referring to led them to the Lord. One atheist, Gordon Carroll, has gone on to use the same technique to bring many in his family to the Lord, and many co-workers and friends. Etc., etc.
Praise the Lord. Since you and I already agreed that the end does not justify the means, I'm a bit puzzled as to why you would appeal to anecdotal evidence (here and below) to support your case.

[Jim wrote:]First, there is no such thing as a neutral or objective consideration of evidence. One's pre-set worldview determines how one looks at evidence.

Bob wrote:
Of course, but so what? Isn't that obvious.
It's not obvious to the gainsayer at all, but it should be, and the Christian apologist ought to make it clear. He comes to the table blindly assuming his ability to use God-less reasoning in a God-less world, and assumes that you do the same. He does not acknowledge (nor is he thankful Ro 1:21) that his ability to reason at all comes from God and the intelligibility of all his experience depends upon God.

Bob wrote:
And still, when I debate an unbeliever, I can hammer him with scientific observations, that honestly and truly point to the Creator, and then I argue that he resists the obvious because he hates God.
While a particular unbeliever may be worn down by the "hammering" scientific facts, especially if he is uninformed of the standard atheistic rebuttals, this does not sufficiently challenge the atheistic worldview (i.e. all atheistic reasoning). I don't disagree with pointing to those observations as that which we expect to be true because God exists, not as proof thereof. Consider the recent discovery of the James Ossuary. Let's suppose the testimony of this archaeological find was offered as proof to convince an unbeliever of the truth and he later becomes a believer. The inscription on the ossuary was later found to be a hoax. Does this now negate the faith of the new believer? Not at all, since God is able to use erroneous argumentation for His ends. However, the apologist who used this as a proof ought to be wary of using such argumentation in the future.

[Jim wrote:]Second, we must be ever aware of the fact that there are no true atheists. According to Romans 1, all men inescapably know God.

Bob wrote:
Did you intentionally quote this as a present tense verb, when my Bible uses a past tense?
It is the aorist tense. Paul says, "when they knew God," that is, in their experience (ginosko, aorist active participle), they did not glorify Him. It's like saying, "I knew you'd be late." It's still in one's knowledge, even though the point of knowledge was in the past. This is consonant with the entire context of the scripture that says the gainsayer holds (present active participle) the truth in unrighteousness and those truths are understood (present passive participle). These things are presently true. Paul even goes on to describe such people as God-haters (v. 30) who have a detailed knowledge (epignosis) of the judgment of God (v. 32).

Bob wrote:
"They knew God" but "became fools" and we know that "The fool says IN HIS HEART, "There is no God." So, yes, you might argue, that really, they do believe in God. And I argue this with some, when I think it is true.
Are you then saying that sometimes you do not think it is true?

[Jim wrote:]The point is, the Bible does not ever tell us to prove God's existence (NOTE: Defending His existence & the Truth is not the same as proving it).

Bob wrote:
I have proved God's existence to many people, who have thereby been persuaded and to this day rejoice in Christ their savior. I truly think your objection is petty.
If you have made your case based on atheistic reasoning, you did not prove it. You merely persuaded them. Bad arguments often work, that's why people use them. Logical fallacies are used so often (and often unwittingly) because of their persuasive nature. In fact, you just used one. If one Christian leads one person to the Lord using one form of argument and another Christian leads a hundred using another form of argument, the numbers do not prove the correctness of the method of argument.

Bob wrote:
Tell me I'm wrong to attempt to prove God's existence to them, and I tell you, you've come under the influence of a control obsession, masquerading as an apologetic absolute.
By attempting to prove to them what they already know, encouraging them to use their God-less reasoning and to examine evidence through false lenses that they've cemented to their faces, you've become an enabler. It's like offering drinks to an alcoholic in denial, and then putting him to bed and cleaning up after him after he passes out. He wakes up the next day, shakes off the hangover, and then is ready to do it all over again.

Bob wrote:
And this next point is where I utterly reject your argument, and truly believe is absurd:

[Jim wrote:]We should avoid ... rash claims about alleged "proofs" in science (like "Intelligent Design..."

I think you have accepted foolishness in your own worldview to object to this. Again, countless people have been saved, being launched into their spirituality by such arguments...
Countless people have been saved through the false healings of Benny Hinn, Kenneth Pagan and their ilk. The end does not justify the means. Although the context is speaking of unbelieving Israel, Paul warns against having a zeal that is not according to biblical knowledge and seeking to establish one's own righteous standard (Ro 10:2,3). The God of the gaps argument that Intelligent Design espouses is horribly unbiblical. See the following article by Henry Morris, founder and president emeritus of the Institute for Creation Research: "Design Is Not Enough"

[Jim wrote:]... alleged "universality" in ethics ...

Bob writes:
God wrote his law on all men's hearts, their conscience, and that is a great starting point for winning certain types to the Lord. I know, I've done it repeatedly ...
Faith-healing charlatans say the same thing about their healings, Bob.

[Jim wrote:]... alleged "testimony" from history (like history-based resurrection "proofs")

Bob wrote:
Have you seen my Mt. Moriah video? We reference history, archaeology, and geology, along with Scripture, and many have come to the Lord through that video. Is that OK, as long as we mixed in some verses? Or do we need to cleanse the video of extra-biblical evidence?
It's not the content that is at issue; it is the method, i.e., the form of argument that is presented and whether or not it is biblical. The principles of biblical argument apply to all arguments between competing worldviews, whether the subject is the resurrection of Christ or the role of government or stem-cell research. (I have not seen the video, by the way. I'm sure I would enjoy it immensely, as I think all Christians do when they see the evidence that affirms their faith.)

[Jim wrote:]... each of which puts fallible human testimony and experience above the inerrant Scriptures.

Bob wrote:
Of course I would not put other evidence ABOVE Scripture, but God filled the world with evidence, and I would never limit myself to only Scripture.
Again, it's not the content. It's the method. I use evidence as well, but I present it biblically, not atheistically.

[Jim wrote, quoting and commenting on a BEL caller:]Richard (re: Eva): "That's obviously a godless woman. She does not know God. Hitting her with the Bible is not going to help." Your answer to Richard, which immediately follows, is EXCELLENT and spot-on:

Enyart: "Well what did the prophets do in the Old Testament? Did they hit people with the Koran? Or with the Word of God? ... The prophets in the Old Testament; Did they hit the people with the Word of God, or did they try some different approach?"


Bob wrote:
Do you think that the prophets ONLY quoted Scripture to the wicked?
No.
Bob wrote:
Do you think that EVERYTHING they uttered was written in the Bible.
No.
Bob wrote:
You would criticize them if you found out that said anything outside of your own narrow rules of engagement.
The prophets of God would not use atheistic reasoning. See the example of Paul with the Athenians on Mars Hill.

Bob wrote:
But the prophets and apostles were not constrained with your control mechanisms.
No, they were constrained by the inspiration of God, and when they uttered the Words of God, they did so in a way that was not inconsistent with the biblical principles of argument that derive from the very nature of God: Logic, induction, science, mathematics, etc. You seem fond of saying that the Bible is a criminal justice textbook. It is also an argumentation textbook.

Bob wrote:
I imagine if Van Til were on the Areopagus, he would have criticized Paul.
Not at all. Van Til's apologetic is based on Paul's example in Acts 17.

Bob wrote:
And yes, Paul's technique failed to produce fruit, but so did Christ's on countless occasions. That does not mean that the technique was inherently wrong.
Excellent point, the contrapositive of which I stated repeatedly above.

[Jim wrote:]I listened to your debates with Michael Shermer and Douglas Kreuger. In both cases you seemed to follow *Richard's* method instead of the one you yourself chided Richard about.

Bob wrote:
I only chided Richard because he would leave me with only ONE approach, just as you are doing, only from the reverse position.
What was the "ONE approach" Richard wanted to leave you with? Do you recall? All I have is what I typed when I first heard it:

Richard (re: Eva): "That's obviously a godless woman. She does not know God. Hitting her with the Bible is not going to help."

Enyart: "Well what did the prophets do in the Old Testament? Did they hit people with the Koran? Or with the Word of God? ... The prophets in the Old Testament; Did they hit the people with the Word of God, or did they try some different approach?"

It appears to me that Richard was NOT limiting you to one approach, but rather criticizing your ONE approach (in this case).

[Jim wrote:]Now I'm not saying you did not *at times* expose their foolishness, but I AM saying that every time you DID score in that regard was when you critiqued them with the scriptures

Bob wrote:
I imagine the earliest believers were all but tongue-tied when trying to evangelize, since they would have had hardly a written word to quote. I call this foolishness.
No one is arguing that only the written Word is to be quoted. If that were the case, I would join you in ridiculing such a notion.

[Jim wrote:]After Michael Shermer hung up on you, you said, "As a scientist he should have ripped me apart." I realize you may have been speaking ironically.

Bob wrote:
The point was, if you didn't intuit it, that: If Shermer and I debate science, and he is right and I am wrong, then, he being a scientist should be able to exploit my ignorance. But, because he fell so short, I was illustrating to people in the audience, that when you know the truth, you can defeat "experts" who deny that truth, especially since he didn't do so well in the discussion, even on the evidence.
Yes. I see now what you intended to mean. I should have realized what you were saying. I retract my critique of your statement.

[Jim wrote:]
But a scientist is not necessarily a philosopher and doesn't necessarily trouble himself with First Causes and stuff.

Bob wrote:
And stuff? I find it funny that you are defending him in this way? What drives you to do that?
It's not a defense. It's an indictment. He ought to trouble himself with questions of First Causes and stuff.

[Jim wrote:]
In fact, a sharp scientist will not to allow us to question him beyond his field of expertise, in which case he *will* indeed rip us apart on evidential arguments.

Bob wrote:
I utterly disagree with you on this. I've debated many science teachers, science majors, scientists, and recently, at a Golden United Methodist Church, a professor of physics from the School of Mines. And, you can ask those in attendence, he could not even score a single point.
Again, anecdotal testimony only goes so far. What if there exists, somewhere, someone who already knows all of your arguments in advance, and has compelling answers to every one of them. It seems to me that you've just been "lucky" thus far. As to those in attendance and their opinion, it depends on what presuppositions they brought with them. Just look at the wide range of opinions regarding your exchange with Zakath. How is it that obviously educated and reasonably intelligent people can have such diametrically opposing views about this debate? It's not a simple matter of seeing who crosses the finish line first or who scores the most points. This is a debate between opposing worldviews, so what must be examined are the underpinnings of those worldviews and their methods of assessing truth claims. For example, the atheist cannot complain that God sends innocent people to hell? Why? Because his underlying presupposition is that he (the atheist) can make a correct assessment about what "innocent" means. Thus, he begs the question by making such a statement. That is, he assumes his own system of assessment, and the verity of his own worldview, in advance. That is what must be challenged.

Bob wrote:
I've long noticed in others that they will reject certain intellectual pursuits (like learning the Old Testament), and they give a highfalutin reason, but in reality, they're just looking to feel good about ignoring a huge and difficult topic. I'm afraid, that could easily be the motive of some in this presuppostional movement.
Sure. But anyone who knows me, anyone who reads my debates, knows that I'm not averse to learning huge and difficult topics. In fact, a very important point that presuppositionalists are careful to make is that a proper and biblical apologetic ought not to be at all obscurantist.

[Jim wrote:]This is why we need to focus the discussion on *our* field of expertise, namely the Bible. We do not have to be experts in order to debate the experts.

Bob wrote:
Of course we don't need to do that, but you easily move from that liberating truth, to a stifling one: You shouldn't become expert to debate them in their fields ...
That's a non sequitur, Bob. Go ahead and become a geology expert in order to debate evolutionary geologists. But the aim should be to expose the God-less assumptions of materialist geologists rather than trying to force the unbelieving mind to accept the theistic interpretation of facts from their own God-less worldview. We're looking for a total surrender, not mere concessions of facts (2Co 10:5).

[Jim wrote:][i ]Scientists, despite their boasts about being "objective"... do NOT have a corner on objectivity, reason and knowledge. It's quite the opposite [/i]

Bob wrote:
Of course, but in a discussion between you and I, so what? No kidding!
Right! The point being, you and I operate within the same theistic worldview and we can discuss, debate, agree and disagree on the basis of the same or very similar underlying presuppositions. In other words, you and I can debate the evidences from within our shared worldview. Such is not the case with the atheist. They come to the table with a completely different set of presuppositions, many of them wrong, or wrongly assumed. We don't deny the verity of logic for the atheist, rather we deny them the use of logic on the basis of their own presuppositions. We show them that by using logic, they affirm the existence of the God they presume to deny.

Bob wrote:
Earlier, you expressed how silly it would be to try to prove that it is wrong to torture a child. You said that knowledge would be innate. Well, so is this. So then, why did you bother to point it out?
There's a difference between proving it wrong to torture a child and pointing it out (declaring the truth). I have no problem with declaring truths and exposing lies that are already known, suppressed, etc. (Ps 19:1-3). What I oppose, and the Bible opposes, is conceding falsehoods in an effort to prove to the truth.

Bob wrote:
Was it wrong of you to argue this point that we both innately know?
If you were to deny it, yes, it would be wrong for me to argue the point on the basis of whatever false reasoning you used to conclude that scientists have a corner on objectivity, reason and knowledge. I would then disabuse you of that false notion by attacking the presuppositions that lead you to think that way.

[Jim wrote:]... they [the unbelieving scientists] are even more deluded than the garden variety apologist because their learning and prestigious self-importance further solidifies their false concepts about reality.

Bob wrote:
To a large extent, I think your criticism of them applies directly to your own movement.
How so?

Bob wrote:
When people don't believe the Bible is the Word of God, I show them scientific, geographic, historical, and archaeological evidence to the contrary.
That is fine, provided it is done biblically, attending a proper critique of the unbeliever's false assumptions and God-less worldview.

Bob wrote:
And yes, by you, I might be sinning, but by many of them, they have praised God that someone took the time to show them evidence as to why the Bible is trustworthy.
As I indicated above, evidences presented within a shared worldview are valid and important. Our faith is strengthened when we see these evidences and the wondrous discoveries of scientists (both atheistic and creationistic). Within a shared theistic worldview, proofs of the Bible's verity are faith-affirming and faith-strengthening, especially amid the opposition we experience daily.

Bob wrote:
I wonder if you and I had used our time differently, rather than in this debte, if between the two of us, we couldn't have brought someone else to the Lord?
Paul told Timothy to commit others that which he learnt from Paul so that they can in turn teach others. It is not a misuse of our time and resources to improve our teaching methods and to encourage others to do so as well (2Ti 2:2).

Bob wrote:
When people commit themselves to a wrong and unpopular idea, it is extraordinarily difficult for them to reconsider.
Indeed. The same goes for wrong and popular ideas. Perhaps even moreso.

Yours in Christ,
Jim
"... in thy light shall we see light." -- Ps. 36:9b
 

DEVO

Documenting mans devolution
Re: A suggestion ...

Re: A suggestion ...

Originally posted by Hilston
To the anti-theists:

I have a suggestion. Since this thread was intended as a discussion about apologetic methods of Christians, perhaps it would be better if you posted in the sister thread to this one called, "The Impossibility of Atheism," in the Philosophy~Religion forum. Of course, I cannot stop you from posting here, but it would certainly help to keep the discussion on topic if your protests about theism were posted elsewhere.

Jim
Good point, I agree. :D
 

Yorzhik

Well-known member
LIFETIME MEMBER
Hall of Fame
But I wonder if you would do me a favor. Please show me where I need to improve in my discussions with Knight or Scrimshaw

With Knight (I'm talking about the other thread about programmed free will), instead of answering the specific point, you repeated your premise.

When discussing with Scrimshaw, instead of answering, you dodged with statements like the following:

"It wouldn't mean anything ultimately even if I DID believe the Q'uran were true"

"Did you take speling in skool?"

And there were other times like this with Scrimshaw or Knight or others where I saw their post and thought "hey, I'd like to see James' answer to that" and you gave answers like the above or other answers that didn't answer the point - not even a good counter question.

or in my critique of "The Plot." I would like to improve in each area, but just saying that I'm doing poorly doesn't really help me.

The problem with your critique of "The Plot" is that the foundation of your disagreements are based on an understanding of the bible that is no more valid that Bob's.

PS: What was your screen name in those old discussion boards?

It was my name. No handle, no user ID, just my name. That was fine until someone linked my discussions here with my discussions on a programmer's forum. My old posts tended to be laden with name-calling, anger, and emotional appeals and they ruined my reputation as a programmer with calm logic. So these days I'll just keep things separate and I won't say what that screen name was.
 

Hilston

Active member
Hall of Fame
Please point out ...

Please point out ...

Yorzhik writes:
With Knight (I'm talking about the other thread about programmed free will), instead of answering the specific point, you repeated your premise.
Since this is off-topic, and because I really want to know what you'd like for me to answer (I really never hold back, Yorzhik -- if anything, I say too much), please PM me. If my explanation in PM about my public answer doesn't suffice, I will offer a fuller public explanation in the actual thread.

Yorzhik writes:
When discussing with Scrimshaw, instead of answering, you dodged ...
Specifically what did I dodge? If you're referring to this thread, please post here. If not, please PM me, and as I stated above, if you can show me that my answer wasn't sufficient, I will go back and publically post a fuller explication.

As to my statement: "It wouldn't mean anything ultimately even if I DID believe the Q'uran were true," you seem to miss the point. My personal belief has nothing to do with what is true. The Q'uran is internally incoherent and presents a god who is unintelligible, let alone having anything to say about the contingent world. If Scrimshaw thought this was a dodge, he should've called me on it. I assumed that he understood what I just explained to you.


As to my statement: "Did you take speling in skool?", I was using irony to point out the irrelevance of his question, "Did you take grammer [sic] in school?" which he asked regarding his complaint about my use of definite and indefinite articles. It was an inane point. If he wanted to pursue it, I would oblige. I think the fact that he didn't pursue it indicates that he realized that it wasn't a useful point to press.


Yorzhik writes:
And there were other times like this with Scrimshaw or Knight or others where I saw their post and thought "hey, I'd like to see James' answer to that" and you gave answers like the above or other answers that didn't answer the point - not even a good counter question. ...
Please point them out. I mean this. Don't make the charge without following up on it. It might really be the case that I gave an answer that I viewed as sufficient, but the point was missed. At least allow me to explain why I think my answer was sufficient. If you really want to know the answer, and why my answer was appropriate and sufficient, you need only to point me to the question.

Yorzhik writes:
The problem with your critique of "The Plot" is that the foundation of your disagreements are based on an understanding of the bible that is no more valid that Bob's.
What, in your view, would make one person's understanding more valid than another's?

Yorzhik writes:
So these days I'll just keep things separate and I won't say what that screen name was.
OK, I can respect that. If you're so inclined, please PM me and tell me who you are. I promise not to reveal it. Others can vouch for my confidentiality. I reserve my use of the real name for PM or private e-mail only.
 

Hilston

Active member
Hall of Fame
Hi Devo,

Originally posted by DEVO
Jim? No rush, I just want to make sure you didn't forget about me. :)
I have a reply to each of your questions nearly finished. However, I need to first answer the questions of the anti-theists in the other thread, and that may take a little while because I'm not too sure how much they already understand of the atheist's unity-diversity conundrum and their inability to atheistically bridge the infinite chasm between changeless laws (Parmenides) and the contingent ever-changing world (Heraclitus). I'm going to assume they have some awareness of it, but also take some time to explain the insurmountable problems posed to the atheist in their perceptions of reality and the laws that govern it -- so it might take a little while.

Thanks for your interest.

I'll be in touch,
Jim
 

DEVO

Documenting mans devolution
Originally posted by Hilston
I'm not too sure how much they already understand of the atheist's unity-diversity conundrum and their inability to atheistically bridge the infinite chasm between changeless laws (Parmenides) and the contingent ever-changing world (Heraclitus).
Are you attempting to sound intellectual on purpose? :rolleyes:

;)
 

Jerry Shugart

Well-known member
Temp Banned
Jim,

I agree with you completly in regard to using unscriptual approaches to confront non-believers.It is obvious that those who deny the existnce of God "did not like to retain God in their knowledge"(Ro.1:28).

And once they have denied the existence of God no amount of "worldly" testimony will change their mind because "the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God;for they are foolishness unto him,neither can he know them,because they are spiritually discerned"(1Cor.2:14).

There is only one way to bring these people to the knowledge of the things of God,and that is by preaching the gospel to them.They must be "born again" before they can see the kingdom of God or even understand the things of God:

"Except a man be born again,he cannot see the kingdom of God"(Jn.3:3).

An unbeliever cannot be "reasoned" into Christianity by arguments based on "the words which man's wisdom teacheth"(1Cor.2:13).Those of us who have been "born again" have received the truth of God because we believe the gospel that comes in the power of the Holy Spirit (1Thess.1:5;1Pet.1:12).

"But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit...now we have received,not the spirit of the world,but the Spirit Who is of God"(1Cor.2:9,12).

So in conclusion it is impossible to "reason" an unbeliever into the truth of spiritual things by using "the words which man's wisdom teacheth":

"For I determined not to know anything among you,except Jesus Christ,and Him crucified...and my speech and my preaching were not with enticing words of man's wisdom,but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power;that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men,but in the power of God"(1Cor.2:2-5).

In His grace,--Jerry
 

Nathon Detroit

New member
Jerry great to see you again where have you been?

P.S. Thank God that those around me didn't believe what you are saying in your post! For if they did.... Me, my wife, my kids, my sister, her husband and their kids, my father, my wife's sister and her husband and their kids would all still be on the highway to hell!
 

Jerry Shugart

Well-known member
Temp Banned
Hi Knight,

I would be interested in hearing how you came to the knowledge of the truth of God.Would you mind sharing your experience?

In His grace,--Jerry
 

Nathon Detroit

New member
Originally posted by Jerry Shugart
Hi Knight,

I would be interested in hearing how you came to the knowledge of the truth of God.Would you mind sharing your experience?

In His grace,--Jerry
Sure... the quick version...

As a Christian bashing atheist I used to watch the Bob Enyart Live television show because I liked his conservative views.

On two consecutive nights Bob battled two different atheist evolutionists, each evolutionist pretty much shared my views identically.

Bob, pretty much destroyed the two atheists by showing them that their evidence wasn't all it was cracked up to be. Very much like he is doing in Battle Royale VII with Zakath.

This made me feel very uncomfortable as I had never heard anyone battle atheists the way Bob did. I was used to the typical Christian approach... "your a sinner, you need Jesus etc."

About six months later I got into a debate with my brother in law about abortion - we both agreed abortion was wrong but he argued I had no foundation for my view. Again this made me feel very uncomfortable.

Then..... I watched Bob Enyarts video "Mount Moriah - The Historical and Geographic Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ." At the end of the tape Bob invites folks to pray with him, I did the rest is history! Praise the Lord!
 

LightSon

New member
Originally posted by Knight
I was used to the typical Christian approach... "your a sinner, you need Jesus etc."

So you do believe that you're a sinner and need Jesus. It's just that you needed to have your atheistic presuppositions dismantled first, before the truth could shine in. Is that it?

Good stuff Knight! Thanks for sharing.
 

Hilston

Active member
Hall of Fame
Atheistic autonomy ...

Atheistic autonomy ...

Hi Devo,

As promised, here's is a response to your post. Please forgive the delay.

Jim wrote: [The anti-theist] doesn't have a reasoned (i.e. intelligible, coherent, consistent) defense. Look at Aussie Thinker's attempts in this and the other thread. He tries to come up with fanciful explanations and excuses, but none of them cohere. His worldview is riddled with contradictions and it is exposed as folly.

Devo writes:
And how (in your opinion) is his worldview exposed as folly?
Do you view his "explanations" as adequate? Even possible? If you think an intelligible universe in which God does not exist is possible, then I daresay you've not adequately or tough-mindedly thought through the ramifications of such a proposition.

As to what has been exposed: For one thing, the inconsistency and incoherency of his espoused presuppositions and standards of proof for truth claims. He requires physical proof for claims about an immaterial entity such as God, yet he blindly and arbitrarily accepts, without question, without proof, the universal and invariant nature of immaterial entities called the laws of logic, the laws of mathematics, induction and the scientific method. He has thus failed to demonstrate how, on his worldview, he can rationally evaluate anything presented to him as evidence for God's existence (since he cannot account for the tools that he uses). What is worse, he concedes the consistency and coherency of the Christian worldview, yet admittedly rejects it in favor of his own, which, despite his protests to the contrary, is itself inconsistent and incoherent. It is summed up in his statement, "It happened because it happened." That would never be an acceptable explanation about God's existence (not that I would ever use it), but I'm supposed to accept that as the atheist's explanation about the universe and all that is in it.

Jim previously wrote: Yes, but this point cannot be separated from the fact that they do so foolishly and indefensibly.

Devo asks:
And isn't this what evidentialists are doing?
No, rather than challenge the atheist's basic underlying presuppositions, the evidentialist enables and encourages the atheist to apply them. The atheist asserts his use of God-less reasoning and God-less methods to evaluate God's world. He should not be allowed to do so, let alone being encouraged to do so.

Devo writes:
My point was in the context of Romans 1, nonbelievers having excuses for other men seems a tad silly - it just isn't the point.
Not at all. The Lord expected us, commanded us, to bring the gospel to others. This involves confronting the false worldviews of unbelievers, casting down false reasoning (2Co 10:5) and debunking the opposition of atheistic science, falsely so-called (1Ti 6:20), exposing the vain reasoning and denigrated thinking of the foolish minds of those who, when they knew God, did not glorify Him (Ro 1:21). Paul's writes in the context of not being ashamed of the Gospel (v. 16) and provides briefings about the types of people we will to be confronting with that gospel (Ro 1:17-2:15). There is now such a difference in my witnessing to and convincing others, knowing that they have no excuse, and any defense they offer up can be exposed as vain, darkened, irrational and condemned, as opposed to when I tried in the past to persuade people by unscriptural and illogical methods. Paul finishes up chapter 2 declaring that it is his gospel (the gospel of the Mystery, i.e. the uncircumcision gospel, Gal 2:7) by which God will judge the secrets of men in this dispensation. It is consonant with the principle of one needing to be always ready to provide a reasoned defense for the hope that is in him (1Pe 3:15) when we are challenged by the anti-theist. Likewise, when we ask the anti-theist for a reasoned defense for why he rejects the hope that faith in Christ would effect, he has no reasoned defense, period. It doesn't matter whether it is required or you, me or God. He has no reasoned defense, ever. We see this exampled in Paul's dealings with the Athenians on Mars Hill. He did not allow them to judge his worldview on the basis of their own espoused polytheistic standards. Instead, he preached to them about Jesus and the resurrection, and indicted them for their willful ignorance and self-delusion, declaring the True God to whom they were obligated and owed their very breath, even according to their own philosophers (Acts 17:16-32). The interesting this to me is that, at the end of the day, there were those who wished to hear more, and there were those who mocked. So, with some of them, even Paul was unsuccessful, but that doesn't mean their folly was not exposed, and their worldview stripped of its coherence by the words of Paul. Therefore, we ought not to confuse actual visible outcome with cogency and soundness of argument. That is, just because in some cases one thing seems to work (faith-healing-related conversions, resurrection arguments from history and archaeology) and another thing does not (reasoning from the scriptures), does not mean that we choose our method in based on its apparent outcome.

Devo writes:
The powerful context of Romans 1 is that a non-believer will not have an excuse on judgment day. They wont be able to say... "Gee God I didn't know that". Yet here on earth they are fully capable of making those claims.
They are certainly capable of uttering any bit of nonsense they choose, just as the Athenian gainsayers mocked Paul in Acts 17. The point is that they cannot justifiably, not now or ever, mock the truth or come up with excuses that will stand the test of their own espoused standards. They are thus houses divided against themselves, double-minded, and unstable in all their ways.

Devo writes:
And THAT is what is powerful about Romans 1. Isn't Romans 1 the most powerful case that on judgment day ultimately the most fair judgment is made?
If anything is vindicated or validated in the passage, it is the place of Paul's particular gospel and its ramifications upon unbelieving man of this dispensation. The passage opens and concludes with reference to his gospel.

Devo writes:
A sinful man without Christ's blood as a covering will have no excuse for not recognizing his sin and asking God for forgiveness.
He has no excuse now. He will have no excuse ever.

Devo writes:
I don't buy that arguing scientific facts is answering a fool according to his folly. Why do you think it is?
First of all, I'm not against using scientific facts as long as they are presented biblically (i.e., not as proof or evidence, but as declarations of God's handiwork, nature and character). We have two people. One an atheist. One an evidentialist Christian. Both are well-educated and intelligent men. The atheist says, "There is no God." The evidentialist says, "Really? Well then how do you explain this evidence?" Before either utters another word, the atheist has decided in advance that any evidence presented will be evaluated on the atheistic worldview (materialism, naturalism, matter, time, chance). Just as the Christian evaluates any evidence brought forth by the atheist on the Christian theistic worldview (God created and sustains all things and is the sole authority on reality, ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, logic, mathematics, and the place of man in the universe). Before either utters a word, the Christian theist likewise has decided in advance that any evidence presented will be evaluated on the Christian theistic worldview. So how is the difference of opinion to be resolved when each disputant comes to the table with completely opposing worldviews and standards of evidence? To ask the atheist to consider evidence is to further validate, in his mind, his a priori worldview and all its attending implications. What's worse is that by offering God up for examination, the atheist is being encouraged to use his presumed God-less reasoning in order to evaluate God and His creation. It's like putting God on the witness stand, and then cross-examining Him to prove His existence, and all the while the questioner is using the very tools that could not exist if God did not exist.

Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,

Devo writes:
When a person exchanges the truth (His attributes being clearly visible) for the lie (that there is no God) how on earth is pointing out these visible attributes answering a fool with his folly? It seems the opposite to me.
Pointing them out is fine. Using them to prove God's existence is another matter and a bad argument. The atheist wants to be autonomous. He wants the final say in what he accepts or rejects as evidence. We have to show him that (a) he is not autonomous, despite his best efforts and excuses, and (b) that his own espoused standards cannot be justified on his worldview. That is, not only does he not have autonomy, but he can neither prove nor justify, even in the most general terms, how he goes about warrantedly assuming, on his worldview, such immaterial abstract existence of induction, the laws of mathematics and logic, the scientific method, etc.

Please let me know if I need to clarify or elaborate further.

Jim
 
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Hilston

Active member
Hall of Fame
The rest is history ...

The rest is history ...

Hi Lightson,

I'd like to get your opinion of the following hypothetical testimony. What would be your reaction to this:

"As a Christian bashing atheist I used to watch the Benny Hinn television show because I liked his accent. On two consecutive nights Benny battled two different demons of infirmity. Benny cast out the two demons by laying his hands on these two women who had pain in their legs and back. This made me feel very uncomfortable as I had never seen anyone confront illness and battle demons the way Benny did. I was used to the typical Christian approach of just praying for pain and sickness to go away. Then ... I watched Bob Larson's video "Exorcism: Casting Demons Out Of Those Possessed." At the end of the tape Bob Larson invites folks to pray with him, I did, the rest is history! Praise the Lord!"

Thanks,
Jim
 
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