Saturday, September 29, 2012

Fistbump of the Day: Yes, We Are Still Fighting Gnosticism

The past several weeks I've head of a manuscript fragment that people are suggesting sheds light on the early history of Christianity. It's just a scrap of papyrus written in coptic but what is putting the world up in arms is one of the phrases written on it:

Jesus said to them, my wife,

This is basically making people remember that some people believe that Jesus was married. Before people tried to use the gnostic text "Gospel of Thomas" to substantiate the claim but the text itself does not explicitly say that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene people infer it. The interesting thing is that neither this scrap of papyrus or the Gospel of Thomas have either the historical evidence or validity of the four canonical gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. There are people who don't see the Gospels as historical true or that there is historic and identifiable Christianity and they seem to want to give alternate gospels and texts equal weight.

[Dr Karen] King said that it was not until around 200 A.D. that claims started to surface, via the theologian known as Clement of Alexandria, that Jesus did not marry.

"This fragment suggests that other Christians of that period were claiming that he was married" but does not provide actual evidence of a marriage, she said.

"Christian tradition preserved only those voices that claimed Jesus never married. The 'Gospel of Jesus's Wife' now shows that some Christians thought otherwise." [Source]

Dr King and others are clear in telling that this does not prove that Jesus did indeed have a wife. However they think that there were Christians [the Gnostics] who did think that Jesus had wife and the reason why traditional Christianity does not is because the poor Gnostics were silenced. It's amazing to me that people would even try to make Gnostics Christians. The Mormons have more in common with historic traditional Christianity than the Gnostics did!  I mean really. The only way you could really think that the Gnostics would have been recognized as Christians by Peter, James, John, Paul, and the other first century Christians is if you don't know what the Bible teaches and/or what the many Gnostic flavors taught.

Added to this Dr Dan Wallace has posted the following piece of information:

Dan Wallace just posted this:

“News flash: Harvard Theological Review has decided not to publish Karen King¹s paper on the Coptic papyrus fragment on the grounds that the fragment is probably a fake.” This from an email Dr. Craig Evans, the Payzant Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Acadia University and Divinity College, sent to me earlier today. He said that Helmut Koester (Harvard University), Bentley Layton (Yale University), Stephen Emmel (University of Münster), and Gesine Robinson (Claremont Graduate School)–all first-rate scholars in Coptic studies–have weighed in and have found the fragment wanting. No doubt Francis Watson’s comprehensive work showing the fragment’s dependence on the Gospel of Thomas was a contributing factor for this judgment, as well as the rather odd look of the Coptic that already raised several questions as to its authenticity.
It's a forgery. 

What I find interesting is that while we have people trying to water down Christianity and say things about Jesus that they cannot prove over a forgery and no Christian killing over the situation, we have three countries protesting and killing over a movie on YouTube  that insult Muhammad based on Islamic sources! God is straight up showing us a difference between those who follow Christ and those who follow Muhammad.

It's nothing but the hand of God. The best thing is that God has called up brothers in Christ in every generation for when this kind of crap gets raised up. Here is a list of links regarding the way Dr James White, Mariano Grinbank, and Matthew Dowling have addressed this issue. Fistbumps to them all.

The Gospel of Jesus' Wife and Update: The Gospel of Jesus' Wife by Matthew Dowling

Was Jesus married? Manuscript says yes by Mariano Grinbank

Check these out by Dr James White
Get Ready for A Wave of Gnostic Looniness Once Again
A Note to the Secular World: Do Your History
Calling the MSM---Anyone Home?

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Tim McGrew's Recommended Apologetics Reading - Apologetics 315

 Remember that lecture Dr Timothy McGrew did on educating yourself in Apologetics posted on Apologetics 315 by Brian Auten? Well Brian Auten posted a follow up that contains a Bibliography of the books and resources he discussed in the lecture. Check it out!

Tim McGrew's Recommended Apologetics Reading - Apologetics 315
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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Answering Muslims: Don't Make Fun of Muhammad!

David Wood has posted the following video commenting the recent world wide violent protests of Muslims around the world.

The following link also contains a list of Islamic sources used in the video

Answering Muslims: Don't Make Fun of Muhammad!
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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Calvinism vs Arminianism - Interviews on Both Perspectives

Over the past two weeks, the pod cast "Christian Meets World" has featured interviews of a scholar explaining why he takes an Arminian position and the other interview was of a Reformed (Calvinist) scholar. Although I did not completely agree with either, I think it's worth listening to both because you get a good overview of the discussion that has raged for more than 500 years.

CMW056: Interview with Dr Jerry Walls on “What is Arminianism?” 

CMW057: Interview with Rev Dr Mark Thompson on “What is Calvinism?”
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Practical Apologetics MP3 by Dr. Timothy McGrew - Apologetics 315

Brian Auten has posted a lecture by Dr Timothy McGrew about Apologetics in which he gives really good advice about how to talk to people and how to study to equip oneself. I always enjoy hearing Dr McGrew and this lecture is no exception. There is a lot I gleaned from his advice. 

Practical Apologetics MP3 by Dr. Timothy McGrew - Apologetics 315
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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Answering Muslims: Zakir Hussain vs. James White: Is Muhammad Prophesied in the Bible?

You would think that such a think would never really need to be debated, but some Muslims will do anything to rationalize why Islam should supplant Christianity and Judaism.

Answering Muslims: Zakir Hussain vs. James White: Is Muhammad Prophesied in the Bible?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Shawarma Secret

Now this a great example how to add continuity into a story!

I love Shawarma!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Unimpressive Arguments - Debunking Christianity: Science Is Doing What God Can’t Do: Answering Prayers for Healing

Harry McCall wrote:

Spray-on skin, made-to-order muscle, and print-out kidneys aren't just science fiction anymore. Dr. Anthony Atala and Dr. Stephen Badylak, two pioneers of regenerative medicine, talk about the latest methods for building new body parts, and the challenge of growing complex organs like the heart, liver or brain.

Audio @ NPR:

What the Doctor Ordered: Building New Body

Harry McCall seems to be laboring under two false assumptions:

1. That God does not heal people.

2. And that regenerative technologies are not from God.

He also neglect the fact that there are documented cases of people's organs like kidneys being miraculously replaced after being surgically removed and subsequent prayer. Just look at what  Dr Gary Habermas says about miracles: CMW054: How would the Gospels Look Different if? Part 5, Interview with Dr Gary Habermas

McCall also neglects the fact that medical science and technology is not in spite of God but gifts from God.

26 He said, “If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.” - Exodus 15:26

Debunking Christianity: Science Is Doing What God Can’t Do: Answering Prayers for Healing
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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sulu, Warp Factor 2!

I saw two good articles today that show the work that is being done in the study of building warp drive for real. Some real exciting stuff.

A warp drive would manipulate space-time itself to move a starship, taking advantage of a loophole in the laws of physics that prevent anything from moving faster than light. A concept for a real-life warp drive was suggested in 1994 by Mexican physicist Miguel Alcubierre; however, subsequent calculations found that such a device would require prohibitive amounts of energy.

Check out the good stuff!

NASA Says a Real Life Star Trek Warp Drive Is Possible

Warp Drive May Be More Feasible Than Thought, Scientists Say
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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Director's Cut - James Brown music video - It's Man's Man's Man's World on Vimeo

Here is an awesome short film about Black America

Director's Cut - James Brown music video - It's Man's Man's Man's World
from SHOOT THE BOSS on Vimeo.

Director's Cut - James Brown music video - It's Man's Man's Man's World on Vimeo
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FacePalm of the Day - Debunking Christianity: I Doubt Rauser is Even Trying To Understand Me

It's amazing to me the lengths the readers who follow and ascribe value to John Loftus' blog will go through to excuse the failure of John Loftus' arguments. This posts as well as a few of the comments go a long way in answering the questions I have about whether or not Loftus' supporter really see the failure of his arguments or not. Short Answer: they don't. I think it is because he tells them what they want to hear and believe. Consider the following.

I have said that Dr. Randal Rauser is not being intellectually honest when it comes to his faith. This does not mean I think he's doing anything unethical or immoral. It means his faith blinds him from being honest with the arguments to the contrary. Let me try, yet once again, to persuade him to throw off his blinders with what I consider one of the dumbest rejoinders to my arguments I think I have ever heard. I do so in hopes he will see it for what it is, and then take seriously that this same blindness affects how he treats other arguments against his faith. I hope in vain though. Dr. Victor Reppert endorses what Rauser wrote, so hey, he's no different. Faith makes otherwise brilliant people stupid, and I mean this.

So if Dr Randal Rauser and Dr Victor Reppert are blinded by their faith, what is that blinds John Loftus?

They must hand out PhD's to almost anyone, is all I can say.

I think jealousy might be part of Loftus' problems (besides sin) because of the derision of Ph.D.'s. Loftus does not have one while Reppert and Rauser do have them. Does that mean that Loftus' opinions are stupid or lack more weight than theirs? Nope. His arguments fail on their own merits.

Let me show you this stupidity from a post Rauser wrote titled, "Is John W. Loftus 'dumber than a box of rocks'?" Warning, this is going to get ugly.
In The End of Christianity John W. Loftus describes the following Christian belief which he finds very implausible:
“That the highest created being known as Satan or the devil, led an angelic rebellion against an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, omnipresent God … and expected to win. This makes Satan out to be suicidal, inexplicably evil, and dumber than a box of rocks.” (100)
So how could any creature be so dumb as to rebel against the supreme omnibenevolent creator of the universe? John definitely has a point: that is definitely implausible.

 I have seen Loftus make this argument more than once on this blog and to be honest I don't see how rejecting Jesus, as Loftus continues to do, is any smarter. It's the same thing as what Satan did. 

But now consider the following statement John made in his blog:
“If I was convinced Christianity is true and Jesus arose from the grave, and if I must believe in such a barbaric God, I would believe, yes, but I could still not worship such a barbaric God. I would fear such a Supreme Being, since he has such great power, but I’d still view him as a thug, a despicable tyrant, a devil in disguise; unless Christianity was revised.” [The source of this quote in context can be read here at the very end.]
Let’s spend some time chewing on this passage.

According to Christianity, God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent and omnibenevolent (that is, perfectly good). And worship is, minimally, the ascription of proper worthship to that deity. Incredibly, if that being exists John will refuse to worship that being. Thus we can paraphrase John’s position as follows:
“If I was convinced that an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent and omnibenevolent God existed I would refuse to recognize the worship of that perfectly good God and would instead treat him as a despicable tyrant.”
Now wait a minute. John’s accusing Satan [Emphasis his] of being dumber than a box of rocks?

Rauser has a valid point. If Satan was dumb enough to go against an omnipresent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent  God - the God of the Bible, and Loftus is declaring that he would not worship the God of the Bible, then why not come to the same conclusion that Rauser did. I'd say that everyone who rejects God has something wrong with them. And since we all have and only God's saving power has blessed some of us to see the truth of our own stupidity.

In the comments below Rauser's post BlueDKnight said:
This is an uncharitable reading of Loftus. Charity would have us try to interpret him as saying that the God depicted in the Bible seems barbaric/despicable for letting certain things happen, and perhaps for actively doing certain things. Loftus is not saying he would go to battle with such a being and expect to win, which is what he attributes to Satan. He is simply saying he wouldn't worship him. Indeed he even says he would fear him (e.g., a despicable tyrant is not someone you fight, but someone you might privately fear).

This is a weak "gotcha" kind of thing.

Loftus had made a career in trying to "debunk" Christianity. His stated goals put him in opposition to God. He's fighting God all the way and of course he expects to win. He won't but just like Satan he's going to give it his best try. It's not a "gotcha" moment but another example of a bad argument from John Loftus. 

Clamat said to Randal,
You were eager to suggest John is “dumb as a box of rocks,” and figured out a way to do it: By reading without a reasonable measure of sophistication or honesty. Good luck with that.

John did not write “if I were a Christian.” John did not write “if God were omnibenevolent.” Had John written “If I was convinced God is omnibenevolent…God would be a barbaric, despicable, tyrant against whom I would rebel,” that would be inconsistent and difficult to defend. But that’s not what he wrote. You pay John the respect of assuming he’s not ignorant, why won’t you pay him the respect of assuming he chose to use particular words for a reason? To the extent those words may be ambiguous, why not read his words charitably (!) to determine the meaning he intended and argue against that meaning, instead of one you simply impose?

Agreed that Loftus was not agreeing that God was omnibenevolent but that was not the point Rauser was making. Satan rejected the God of the Bible. Loftus and other atheists do the same thing. One is just as stupid as the other. 

The initial, unstated question of the blog post was whether John would believe God exists if he was convinced “Christianity was true,” i.e., if he was convinced “Jesus arose from the grave[.]” The answer was yes, “I would believe, but I still could not worship such a barbaric God” because that God is demonstrably not omnibenevolent, rather he’s “a devil in disguise.” Would your position be any different had John had written: “If I was convinced [the fact claims of Christianity are] true and Jesus rose from the grave…I would believe, yes, but I could still not worship such a barbaric God[.]” (Do you see what I’ve been doing here? Using John’s actual words to determine what his other actual words were intended to mean? Ah, context.)

Sure wish Loftus and other would read the Bible with the same level of  "sophistication" and "honesty" they demand when other critique what they write. Belief in the Resurrection means that you will worship the God of the Bible. You cannot have one without the other because you will see God's omnibenevolence.  So we are back to rejecting God being a really stupid, stupid thing to do. 

The charge stands: You are narrowly reading a single phrase from John’s post entirely out of context and according to your unilateral definition of a single word in that phrase, in an effort to demonstrate an inconsistency in John’s thinking. No such inconsistency exists.

Rauser's charge does indeed stick because of the inconsistency of Loftus' misunderstanding what it means to worship and believe the God of the Bible.

With these two comments I don't have anything to add. They nail it. articulett has some great comments on Rauser's blog as well.

Although these rebuttals were written a year ago as of now, Dr. Victor Reppert recently said of Rauser's post that "This is a nice critique of Loftus."

When will these two Christian apologists become intellectually honest with their faith against the arguments to the contrary? The very fact that they feel led to concoct stupid straw man versions of our arguments, the very fact that they do not even try to understand what the arguments are, is a telling sign that they are most emphatically deluded.

Maybe providing good contrary arguments would help. Good luck finding some.   I think that there was a fundamental lack of understanding of just how bad off we are without God. The logic presented here illustrates how bankrupt intellect is without God's resources.

If instead they are seeking traffic from my links to their blogs when responding to such drivel, then this is a breach of their ethical responsibility. That is, if they knew this rejoinder to me was a non-sequitur and yet posted it anyway for the hits, I do charge them both with being unethical. How do you expect to be taken seriously by anyone at that point? You are willing to seriously weaken your own credibility for hits.

Non-sequitur does not equal an argument for which you have not defense against. No one should forget that. 

So which is it boys? Are ye stupid or unethical?

Christian, if you want someone who does not purposely misrepresent the arguments for faith before criticizing them, if you want someone who cares about truth rather than playing intellectual chess games, then do not listen to either of them. Listen to me.

I have found some very valuable insight from Loftus - of what not to do. 

Now boys, was it worth the hits?

Amazing how he does not even see that they are trying to help him. No one wants to see other people go to hell ignorantly. Paul was right
18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.
24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.
28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. - Romans 1:18-32

Debunking Christianity: I Doubt Rauser is Even Trying To Understand Me
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Greatest Human and Digital Viruses of ALL Time

Greatest Human and Digital Viruses

Parting Shot: 'Baby Korra' Video Features Real Life Young Avatar - ComicsAlliance | Comic book culture, news, humor, commentary, and reviews

When they reboot the Last Air Bender movies (and they had better), they got to get the guy who put his toddler in that world!

Parting Shot: 'Baby Korra' Video Features Real Life Young Avatar - ComicsAlliance | Comic book culture, news, humor, commentary, and reviews
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Friday, September 14, 2012

Gangnam Style! The Anatomy of a Viral Sensation [INFOGRAPHIC]

Last July 15, 2012 there was a song released by a South Korean rapper called "Gangnam Style". It's catchy but someone used it to make the following video

Me being who I am had to know more about the original song. Mashable to the rescue with an infographic

Gangnam Style! The Anatomy of a Viral Sensation [INFOGRAPHIC]

Apparently it's commentary on the wealth gap in South Korea. Who knew? Well, I guess those who speak Korean knew. Perhaps the original video using English subtitles would help.

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Here Comes Incest, Just as Predicted

Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women'...
Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women's Sexual Fantasies (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Dr Michael Brown has written an article in which he points out that as much as supporters for same-sex marriage want to deny it - changing the definition of marriage will lead to many other taboos being legitimized. He wrote:

Simply stated, with the public endorsement of same-sex relationships, the endorsement (or at least acceptance) of consensual, adult, incestuous relationships is inevitable.

 Dr Brown shows that without a standard we have no reason to make any relationship taboo.  I think anyone with an interest in this should read this article. Dr Brown further comments:

A gay man and his partner once asked me, “But how can you say our relationship is wrong? We’re not hurting anyone and there is no victim.” I asked them, “Would you approve of two adult gay brothers having a relationship?” They both replied, “But that is so wrong!” Yet when I pressed them further, they could not say why their relationship was fine but that of two consenting brothers was not.
So, what’s it going to be? Do we hold the line on marriage as the union of a man and woman only, or do we eventually open the door to incest too?

Here Comes Incest, Just as Predicted
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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

FacePalm of the Day - Debunking Christianity: Honest Christians, Answer This Question!

For once John Loftus starts off with a good question but then goes off the rails very quickly.

I'd like for you to be honest with your faith here. No delusional sidesteps, okay? Answer a question having to do with what came first, your faith or your understanding. As we know, Anselm argued that "faith seeks understanding."

This is indeed important - too much so to be glossed over.  The problem is that such a discussion is problematic because of Loftus' ignorance and assumptions. Bottom line: he doesn't know what "faith" is and that has been documented many many times. What he can't understand is that in Christianity faith and understanding are not experienced at a single time but its over a lifetime. Your understanding and your faith grow. Christianity is supposed to be a living relationship with God. As that relationship grows, so does your faith and your understanding. Faith is a gift from God. Your understanding doesn't justify faith. Faith comes first and then you begin to understand what happened to you.

That's the same stance other believers view their own religions. First they believe, then they seek to justify it by understanding it. Did you reasonably examine your faith before you adopted it? Or, did you try to justify it post hoc, after believing it?

Some people do years of research and examination before coming to put their faith in God.  Not me. As soon as I understood the Gospel, I found that I believed God. I have spent years since then examining and probing and I have come to the conclusion that there is nothing better than what God has offered and I have gratefully accepted. I have not justified my faith. My faith is borne out of a growing relationship with God. I trust God because God has completely and totally been shown to be trustworthy in dealing with me. I'm not saying that I completely understand God and everything about Him. I don't. The finite can't contain the infinite. But as time goes on - more and more is understood by me - as God guides me through. Paul explained this best - that they who  God predestined believe.

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. - Romans 8:28-30

Did I see that when I first got saved? Nope.   I had to grow into that. Perfect understanding is not necessary for salvation. It's based on your faith in Jesus' finished work on your behalf. 

9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. - 1 Corinthians 13:9-12

My claim is that justifying something post hoc is an unreasonable way to examine a religion. It's something the Outsider Test for Faith finds to be an inconsistent double standard.

Hmmm. Interesting. Might need to throw out the scientific method then. Look, a hypothesis is just a belief based on evidence understood at the time the hypothesis is being made. No one suggests a hypothesis expecting it to be wrong. This is a poor analogy but we constantly make assumptions hoping that it's true and sometimes we don't understand them but later test those ideas to see if they are true. Biblical faith is different because it is based on a relationship. Scientific inquiry is not base on the relationship of the scientist with the field or the subjects under scrutiny.

For we know from cognitive studies that the strong human propensity is to unreasonably justify what we believe after the fact. We do this in order to resolve the cognitive dissonance in our heads (that uncomfortable feeling we have from for holding two contrary propositions at the same time).

So how does Loftus avoid this in his atheism? How does anyone? In order to be a Christian, one does not have to hold two contrary propositions, but people who deny intelligent design too when they look at DNA, for example.

Here's how cognitive dissonance works. You made a public stance in a confession for Jesus. Then you come across disconfirming evidence. What do you do? You already stated publicly you believed. So you must make a choice, either recant and be embarrassed for making a rash commitment, or find some way to escape the force of that disconfirming evidence. Sometimes that escape hole is so small only an ant could crawl through it, but when it comes to faith that'll do just fine.

"Disconfirming evidence"? Funny. Neither Loftus nor anyone else have managed to provide that, but to provide faulty conclusions based on unprovable assumptions. They should be embarrassed and repent,  but if they did, they would be Christians.

In any case, this question has two aspects to it. The first aspect is chronological, the second one is logical.

1) Chronologically, which came first? Did you believe in the historical evidence for the resurrection before considering the evidence for your particular God's existence? Or, did you first believe in a deist creator god and then study the various theistic revelations to decide which one of them had the most evidence for it? If you start with a God other than the Christian one you probably would not believe Jesus bodily arose from the dead from the paltry evidence. Furthermore, was your religious experience prior to examining your religious choice? Did you come to the conclusion that your faith was properly basic, that the basis for your faith was in the self-justifying inner witness of the Holy Spirit, that your religious experience was veridical, before or after trying to justify it?

The God of the Bible is not deistic. I've never accepted a God that just made everything and never intervenes nor interact. That's not the God I believe in and there is paltry evidence for that. Here is an example of cognitive dissonance: Accepting the work of the Holy Spirit and the Resurrection with deism. Won't work. I thought Loftus said he understood his own argument. I think all religious experiences must be judged in light of scripture - they can't be in contradiction and when they are it's my religious experience that must give way. 

2) Logically, as you seek to evangelize others, what do you think works the best to bring about a conversion? Some evangelists think that all you need to do is preach the evangel, the kerygma, the gospel story. Barth and Bultmann argued for this in their own ways, and most street evangelists do it. Just present the four gospel "facts":
* God loves me
* I have sinned
* Jesus died for me
* I need to decide to live for God
What evidence is presented apart from quoting the Bible? The only evidence that resonates with us is that we all feel guilty. So? The solution is presented as fact, leaving out any discussion about how Jesus is a God-man, how his death atones for our sins, and how we can know he arose bodily from the dead in the ancient superstitious past.

I disagree with the fourth point because if you agree with the first three, the fourth automatically follows and it's not against your will but you can't take credit for your faith. God changes you so that you can believe. While the nature of Jesus is important and questions about how atonement works or how the Resurrection was done are interesting, it should be pointed out that understanding these things are not necessary for salvation. Because of who I am, I ask such things because I want to know, but that does not make me better or more saved than a believer who doesn't. Some questions we don't have answers for and some we do. It is more than a little dishonest to claim that we have no evidence validating the Bible, when we do. Pretending that it should be thrown out just because you don't like it is really terrible.

The fact is that in a largely Christian culture the psychological pull of the story does all of the work. In a different religious culture the pull of their own stories do all of the work.

Loftus is making a huge mistake. If he's right then no one would be leave the religious traditions of birth and culture for another - yet it happens often.

My claims are therefore twofold: 1) Chronologically, nothing but examining your religious faith before you adopted it has much force given the strong human propensity to unreasonably justify what we believe after the fact, and 2) The psychological pull of a religious story is not a good reason to adopt one's faith.

No one becomes a born-again Christian due to the psychological pull of the story. Loftus' atheism is born out of his thinking that God should have kept him from sinning. That's an unreasonable justification for his rejection of God. I have no problem with the OTF, I just have yet to see Loftus apply it to Christianity as he says it should be applied. He should try it on what he believes today.


More like a hyphen.

So Christian, be honest here, at least with yourselves, and do the thing you failed to do from the beginning. Look at your faith as a non-believer would, as if you were not raised in a Christian culture. Take the Outsider Test for Faith where you examine your own faith as an adult this time, by doing what you have done with all other cultural religions. Force your own faith to have the burden of proof. Treat it with the skepticism of an outsider. See what you get. It's the only honest way to know.

The Bible more than holds up to proof. I have yet to see Loftus correctly examine Christianity by correctly representing God. If you are going to judge Christianity then at least get what it teaches correct.

Debunking Christianity: Honest Christians, Answer This Question!
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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Answering Muslims: Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani Goes Free

Praise God!!!! This is excellent news Iran was going to sentence Pastor Nadarkhani to death for apostasy from Islam to Christianity.  He's been convicted of evangelizing Muslims, but he's been released for time served. This is proof that if Christians stand with our brother and sisters who are being persecuted we can actually help them. 

Answering Muslims: Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani Goes Free
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Friday, September 7, 2012

Owned :Debunking Christianity: Biblical Discussions Are Notoriously Manufactured

John Loftus is really really living  in a different world of his own imagination. For example:

Earlier I had said that written out discussions are notoriously manufactured. I said that in reference to Randal Rauser's book, but it's hard to escape the conclusion that all of them are to some degree (barring audio or video-taping). This is especially true when one side of a particular debate gets to write them. Now for the Bible lesson of today. Read the chapter I've reproduced below from Luke's Gospel. Have you ever actually seen religious debates like the ones in this chapter, where one side (Jesus) repeatedly and conclusively stumped the other side? I haven't. It's manufactured. Don't trust it to represent what actually happened. Hint: The Pharisees and Sadducees were not convinced, I guarantee it, and they had rejoinders which were never written down by the gospel writers. The Bible is a biased book that needs corroboration at every turn, and it lacks it. 

He then quotes Luke 20:1-47. Loftus claims that Luke just doesn't write down the Pharisees' or Sadduceess' rebuttal to Jesus because in his mind they of course had rebuttals. And he further says that he has not seen such a debate where one side conclusively stumps the other side. On one hand I would agree that such things are not common because Jesus being who He is can stump and shut down anyone, but I would disagree that this kind of thing doesn't ever happen. Jesus' opponents weren't just stumped. They were humiliated.  For example when Loftus debated David Wood (twice) and when Loftus debated D'Souza this was actually what happened. It was terribly embarrassing...too bad to be humorous. It was like watching a deer caught in the headlights of an incoming mack truck.  Loftus is too deluded to realize just how badly he lost. If Loftus disagrees that Jesus' opponents were not stumped, then I wonder how he would have answered Jesus. I doubt he could do it either.  It'd be worse than when he debated D'Souza or Wood. Jesus owned him before Loftus even formed his first thought.

Debunking Christianity: Biblical Discussions Are Notoriously Manufactured
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Answering Muslims: LiveLeak Restores "Science and Islam: A Reply to '1001 Inventions and the Library of Secrets'"!

There was a video about the history of the scientific discoveries in the Muslim world while Europe was in the "Dark Ages".

Here is David Wood's response

Watch 'em while they are still posted

Answering Muslims: LiveLeak Restores "Science and Islam: A Reply to '1001 Inventions and the Library of Secrets'"!

It is a real possibility  given that YouTube has already pulled David Wood's video

The Fair Use Vs. Sharia Countdown!
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Google Doodle celebrates 'Star Trek' | PopWatch |

Google has issued a new Doodle. This one based on Star Trek!

Google Doodle celebrates 'Star Trek' | PopWatch |
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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Can a Degree Help You Live Longer? - Online College Courses

Can a Degree Help You Live Longer?

hmmmm....that Ph.D. is looking more and more necessary lol. No, really. I don't really think that this is the whole story. There is more at work because I know a lot elderly people who have not gotten a lot of education, but still live long lives. Definitely more research is needed.

Can a Degree Help You Live Longer? - Online College Courses
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Alleged Contradictions in the Gospels (2) by Tim McGrew - Apologetics 315

Brian Auten has recently posted the second part of Tim McGrew's lecture on alledged contradictions in the Gospels. I've really been enjoying this series. Take a look at the video, listen to the mp3, review the slides and the PDF. Enjoy it. I know I do.

Alleged Contradictions in the Gospels (2) by Tim McGrew - Apologetics 315
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Monday, September 3, 2012

Mia Love - Speech At Republican National Convention - YouTube

Interesting. The America Mia Love describes is not the one on I recognize. Face it NO ONE pulls themselves up on their own. Everything you have is from God (either directly or through others) and we are supposed to share what you have been given with others. America is far from a level playing field. People have opportunities and advantages that others don't have. You don't have what you have for you, but for blessing others. I don't see this represented by the Republican party or the Democratic party. Guess it's back to voting for the lesser of multiple evils. I don't agree Barack Obama on everything but he seems to recognize that he owes others his success in addition to his hard work and I don't hear that from Mia Love, Mitt Romney or other Republicans.

 Mia Love - Speech At Republican National Convention - YouTube

Technological Superiority: Star Wars vs. Star Trek [Infographic]

Star Wars vs. Star Trek
Source: Best Online Engineering Degree

I am amazed that they didn't include Holodeck, Transporter, and replicator technologies of Star Trek. I'd say that edges Star Wars out!!!

Technological Superiority: Star Wars vs. Star Trek [Infographic]