Sunday, May 6, 2012

Neil deGrasse Tyson: Atheist or Agnostic? [Video]

I respect Dr Neil deGrasse Tyson although I don't agree with his conclusions concerning the weight of evidence for the Bible and God's existence. I pray for him that God give him clarity. Fortunately, he says that he is willing to consider all the evidence and hopefully God will save him.

Neil deGrasse Tyson: Atheist or Agnostic? [Video]

FacePalm of the Day - Debunking Christianity: There Isn't Anything I Haven't Considered Before

John Loftus has posted a blog article about how he has truly heard every argument and apologetic for Christianity and it's pointless to try to convince him otherwise. The facepalm comes from the arguments he uses to try to substantiate this.

I have talked to many believers face to face and online for about six years. Not one of them believes me when I say there isn't anything important they can tell me that I haven't considered before. Almost to a person they speak and write as if they can share something new that would cause me to change my mind. It's pathetic to me, and frustrating. I have to start all over with each new believer to convince them of this. Even now some believer just may comment below with what is perceived as something new, or a new approach to reaching me. Many have tried arguing with me. Others have ridiculed me--remember, it's supposed to have an effect when we do it to believers!? Some have tried being kind to me. A few have asked me to come "experience God" at their worship service.

I agree that it's pointless to assume that we can find some "magic" argument to convince John Loftus to come to Christ. We are not commanded to convert anyone but to share the Gospel and know that God will do the work to convert people to Christianity.

All God would have to do is snap his omnipotent fingers and take away my critical thinking skills so I could believe.

I would say that it would take God's omnipotence to quicken and improve Loftus' critical thinking skills so that he can believe.

Or, he could come to me in a burning bush, a visitation by the "angel of the Lord," a golden fleece, or a Damascus Road experience. If he did that with others without abrogating their free will then he could do that with me without abrogating mine.

Who said that God didn't change Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Gideon, Paul, or anyone else for that matter so that they can come to them.  Scripture tells us that is exactly what must happen. Not an abrogation of free will but freeing of our will enslaved to sin. The real lie is when we think we are free without God when we are really in servile bondage.

Believers will retort that I'm not that important to God. Really?

No where in the Bible does it say that God does not care about anyone. 

Don't we read in the Gospels where Jesus says God cares for us like the lilies of the field and even numbers the hairs on our heads? Oh, that's right. He only cares for people who believe, they say. Well, I DID believe!

Loftus is right. Jesus did not say that it was only believers God cares about. And now that Loftus doesn't believe anymore doesn't mean that God doesn't care about him. Consider how much God loves atheists although they hate Him. He allows them to go about their lives, and immensely blesses some of them although  they neither love him nor recogize him.  No one is born a believer. That is why we must be born again. Truth is default position of everyone is to reject God.

Then why did he let me slip through his fingers? Oh, I rebelled, they say. I did no such thing. The excuses keep mounting. I used to parrot them without actually thinking about what I was saying, just like a deluded cult member. In the meantime God does nothing. If he's really a king then he doesn't care that his subjects are being led to the dark side. If he's actually a shepherd then he doesn't care that his sheep are going astray. If he actually loves his bride like a husband then he would do everything he could to keep us close to him. If he's like a mother hen then he would not let his chicks out from under his wings. No king, no shepherd, no husband, and no mother hen would allow this. Such a God would take proactive measures against it.

God does take proactive measures. We love Him because He first loved us.  Jesus died for us why we were yet sinners. What more should God do? He's already done more than any of us deserve. No one slips through his fingers. I don't know who will accept God and who will reject Him. All I know is that God's actions is why any of us believe and are saved. I pray that people like John Loftus will hear God and that He will take out their heart of stone and replace it so that they can see and relate to God. 

Many believers will say I was never a believer in the first place, or that I will come back to the fold. Again, I DID believe! If God saves people who believe then I was saved, otherwise he did not keep his promise. But that doesn't concern believers. So if I die outside of Christ believers will say I never believed in the first place. If I believe again it will justify their faith. They cannot lose. A well-built fortress like this is impenetrable to reason, although little more than post hoc justifications. And yet here I am trying to reason with them. Trust me on this though. Given that I have not heard anything important to change my mind this won't happen so long as I die in my right mind.

The reason it's impenetrable is because of reason. I'd argue that if you haven't born again you have never been in your right mind. Loftus just traded the delusion of his salvation for another. It's a constant belief. You can't become unborn again. So either he was born again and will return to God or he was never born again in the first place. We have too many scriptures about people who do miracles and works for God and yet won't make it in and those who are not willing to submit to God.

So while God doesn't do anything to help, believers are doing all the evangelistic/apologetic work.

Without God's action no one gets saved.

Believers have just gotten used to making excuses for God's inactivity. They say "God (or Christ) has no hands but our hands to do his work today." They say "God has already provided all the evidence people need to believe." But it totally escapes them that God could do more, just like they wish there was more they could do to reach non-believers. They fail to connect the dots. He's not doing anything discernible, and we can only detect that which is discernible.

God is not inactive. You can't conclude that because God does not choose to act the way you think he should. Real shoddy logic there. 

Believers therefore care more than God does. How is that possible, really, think about it. How is it possible that believers who are not perfected in love can outmatch the love of a perfectly loving God?

We can't and we don't.

Oh, that's right, God is also omniscient and wise in his dealings with us. Although we cannot fathom his omniscient ways his ways are good, they say. It escapes the mind of the believer that for us to know God's ways are good we must know enough of his ways to know that they are good.

Such a statement shows that Loftus has never really had a relationship with God. He doesn't know Him. In that way you know His ways and who God is and not just know of  Him,.

 They say God sent his son to die for our sins thus showing us he's good. But the atonement is a doctrine which is completely and utterly inexplicable. All that believers have is a holy book written by ancient people that says God is good (even while having to explain away the barbaric side of God within in its pages). When they look around the world there is no present day objective evidence that he is good. There is no evidence that there is a good creator either (unintelligent design abounds).

The thought "unintelligent design abounds" is truly unintelligent. To state so mean you know what the design criteria is and none of know that. The atonement is not inexplicable in all its facets. It's what the whole Bible is about - God reconciling humanity to Himself. Seeing how badly and completely John Loftus misses the point makes me think he never understood the point.

I must stop for now. The interested reader should seriously consider how An Omniscient God Solves All Problems and Makes Faith Unfalsifiable. It really does.

Loftus keeps making this faceplant. How does unfalsifiable equal untrue?  It doesn't. God has chosen to deal with us on His terms not ours. If one continues to seek God on any terms outside of what God has chosen to do you can't complain about missing Him. 

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. - 1 Corinthians 1:18

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. - Romans 8:5-8

43 “Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered. 44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me. 46 No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. 47 Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. 50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. - John 6:43-50

Debunking Christianity: There Isn't Anything I Haven't Considered Before